Monday, November 27, 2006

Cold Turkey

And I'm not talking left-overs.

Beginning tomorrow, morning cartoons are a once-was. For a little while, that is. Four days, specifically. Any longer and I might lose it. I'll admit it, I like my hour in the morning to fiddle around while my son sprawls in front of the TV, no interaction or guidance expected on my part. Actually, he is very actively involved in the shows that he watches, participating in the call and response, raising his arms up to the sky, ENGAGED.

Unfortunately, SIGH, he has been experiencing progressively more extreme withdrawal when it is time to turn said electronic device off. As in outright refusal, sobbing, thrashing around on the floor, etc. This makes it quite difficult to complete the few remaining tasks that are necessary before we can leave the house, like brushing teeth and putting on shoes.

I reached my elastic limit this morning (remember, I don't really want to impose this consequence!) when he was a horrid little brat (oops, did I really type that?) after I turned off the TV. Despite the fact that we were going on a really exciting field trip with his preschool to see the Golden Dragon Acrobats, which he had been eagerly anticipating prior to the cartoon fiasco. Just like an addict, however, he wanted more, more, more of the drug that was currently coursing through his system!

Instead of cooperating (ha!) so we could leave in a timely fashion, he spent ten minutes choking on his own mucus as he sobbed away like the junkie he is. Then, when we got in the car and he still hadn't stopped crying, mommy dearest (see how I try to distance myself from my evil other through third-person narrative?) proceeded to scream at him for 5 minutes to "just shut up!"

So. Tomorrow, no TV. And Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. I'm not looking to ban TV watching, just to take a step back into a more balanced space, from which we can evaluate "how much" and "when." (Tuesday morning update: my plan went surprisingly well. No whining, no tears, no endless protestations. I may be on to something here. Go figure.)

Wish me luck.

And when [he] was good
[He] was very, very good,
But when [he] was bad [he] was horrid.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, November 20, 2006


Spent a lovely weekend thrifting, crafting and baking. I went to what was a "potentially" fabulous estate sale on Saturday and managed to find some fabric scraps, two vintage pillowcases which I will be using to make the apron pattern in The Crafters Companion, and a few Christmas presents which I dare not share as there are curious eyes all around. . . Still, I was lucky to find any of these items as there were pretty slim pickin's at 10:00 (gasp) am!! Why was I not waiting out front at 8 am, with all the other eager and in-the-know thrifters, cash burning a hole in my pocket? I'm just too damn lazy in the morning.

This was the estate of an elderly woman who (apparently) loved to sew, decorate for Christmas, and keep everything she ever purchased from the 50's on! I don't even want to know what I missed out on. . . When I got there, I saw a woman walking around with two wonderful aprons and I nearly knocked her over for her finds! ; ) Did I learn anything from this experience? Next weekend, I will be making my list of sales on Friday evening and out the door at dawn's early light on Saturday. So there. No more lazy Saturday mornings in this house.

Oh, and that lovely stainless steel bowl? Found at Urban Ore, $1.00. MY bowl, mine, mine, mine. . . ALL mine. Despite the fact that my sister tried her best to scoop it out from under me. She even thought that if she paid for it, she'd have squatter's rights. Can you believe it? I guess I owe her a buck.

What I worked on:

Wee wonderful bunny for a friend's daughter (update: she now has eyes, shoes and dress trim!) Still to come, two more bunnies (one for a niece and one for ME!)

And, for a housewarming on Saturday I baked this apple pie. Please excuse my pride when I say how happy I was with how beautifully it turned out! This was before a 4-year old (accidentally, yeah) pushed his hand into the middle as we were on our way out the door. . .

Please note my "new" (read: vintage) pastry cutter that I bought to replace my ugly black plastic-handled one. I LOVE using these!

"Monday, monday, can't trust that day
Monday, monday, sometimes it just turns out that way. . ."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Working For The Weekend

Deep breath. Thank goodness it's Friday Sunday! This song didn't mean much to me when I was 13, but now? I LIVE for the weekend. So much for being here, now.

I'm not much of a juggler. It may seem as if I'm managing many things at one time, because I've embarked on each one to some degree, but really everything's on hold except for the one project that I'm running with. And that would be whatever I'm REALLY excited about or REALLY behind on. This last week was one and the same, plus a healthy dose of workplace deadlines that I'm definitely not excited about. This is how I felt all week long. Which should explain why I haven't had the energy to blog! And really, I only have a brief reprieve. Some responsibilities have been met, but the wolf is still lurking at the door. Birthday bunny to sew, Christmas socks and mittens to knit, tea towels to embroider, oh yeah, cooking, cleaning, and playing with my son! And what I really need to do is SLEEP.

Mission accomplished: I sent off my package today to Nina, my swapmate in For the Elves. This was a great creative outlet! It's very exciting putting together a gift package for someone when you've got a theme to work with and you think you've got a good idea of their interests! And "vintage christmas" is a great theme - thanks, Ellia! I think I'm hooked on swapping! Despite the fact that I am prone to "swap stress" and "swap guilt" as coined by Apron Thrift Girl.

This just on its way:

And here's what the elves delivered to my house. Nina was so thoughtful and sent me many lovely vintage treats. Thank you, Nina! For more photos, click on the second picture to go to my Flickr photos.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Isn't She Lovely?

Isn't she wonderful?

Found: 1940's dress form at Antiques by the Bay in Alameda this past weekend. It was my first venture there, though definitely NOT my last. My only concern about returning is the effect on my bank account. . . ; ) Recovered in late 40's barkcloth, style Glen Court Grey. I am so excited to drape my finished Swallowtail, from Interweave Knits, in silky blue-gray Sundara yarn, around her shoulders. What was that? Finished? Oh no, hardly. Hmm? Progress pic? Ahem, well let's just say I'm expanding my skill set learning the provisional cast-on. Here's where I'm at, hardly blog-worthy. . .

And now for an actual finished object:

A kleenex case I made from felt (worked on until 2:30 am last night, per my m.o.) You should see the bags under my eyes! As if it isn't bad enough to be 38, I seem to be trying my best to look it too!!! Inspired by my little mochi's adorable creations as seen in my recently received copy of The Crafter's Companion. You MUST go and get this - it is lovely and inspiring! Ah, to have a studio. . .

And, finally, here's a teaser of what I'm sending my partner in Green Bean Baby's Vintage Christmas Swap. I hope she likes it!!! I'll be sure to post more pictures after it's been received. This is probably my longest standing craft hobby - I've been making these for over 20 years. Geez, maybe I should retitle this post: "There was an old lady. . ."

Before I go, please let me know if I'm going overboard with the links. Personally, I love to follow links from one place to another. It's like being on a magical adventure without a map. . .

Saturday, November 04, 2006

44 Things You Could Care Less About


2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Hmm. Well, my name means "warrior's daughter" so go figure.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last week.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? More than some, less than others.


6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Definitely! I have a great sense of adventure and am always up for new experiences.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? This is it.


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not on my life. I tandem-parachuted once, about 13 years ago, and would possibly (read: probably never!) do that again, but the idea itself of bungee jumping makes me nauseous.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Kasha with butter and salt.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? If I'm wearing shoes with laces, which is rare. In the summer, I live in flip flops.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I'd like to say yes, but in all honesty, not really.


14. SHOE SIZE? 7.

5. RED OR PINK? Red in practice, pink in theory.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Let me get back to you later on that. . .

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Both my grandmothers - so very different, but I miss them both equally and think about them all the time.

18. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Red flannel pajama bottoms, white cotton peasant nightshirt, barefoot. If only I had some handknit socks. . .

19. LAST THING YOU ATE? Warm bread and butter pudding with cream that I made this morning with a left-over baguette.

20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? My son hammering on the furniture.

21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Blue Gray. Although normally a tolerant and liberal person, I admit to much shock and dismay regarding modern crayon colors. Macaroni and cheese? Fuzzy wuzzy brown? I'd rather Lemon yellow and raw umber.

22. FAVORITE SMELLS? Real jasmine flowers, David Austin's English Roses, a sunny breeze, my son's skin when he was a baby, hot apple pie, and freshly ground coffee.

23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My mom. My dad was the first person I spoke to this morning.

24. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Their ability to laugh at the absurd.

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON YOU STOLE THIS FROM? I'll admit to coming across Laura's blog some time ago and bookmarking it for one reason or another, probably her enjoyable prose and steady-as-it-goes knititude (unlike my fits and starts), but I hardly know her, so I'll hold off on this one. . .

26. FAVORITE DRINK? Margaritas. Mmm, salt.

27. FAVORITE SPORT? For exercise, swimming. For playing with my son, baseball.

28. EYE COLOR? Green.

29. HAT SIZE? Small.


31. FAVORITE FOOD? Home-made pie, mine that is. If I'm arrogant about one thing only it would be my ability to bake a DAMN GOOD pie.



34. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs AND kisses.

35. FAVORITE DESSERT? Pie, pie and more pie.

36. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Currently working on my stack of unread New Yorkers.

37. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? The mouse. And dirt. . .

38. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Nothing, I was trapped on the internet. Usually, any Law & Order, House, Rescue Me, Saved, Grey's Anatomy, The Closer, The Shield, Cold Case, Project Runway, What Not to Wear (anything that I'm wearing!). Yes, I like TV and I AM ashamed of it. . .

39. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The noise of nature when everything else is quiet.


41. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? France, when I was 16.

42. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Obsessive attention to detail when I care enough; oh, and baking delicious pies!

43. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Berkeley, California.

44. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Pinched it from Laura.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pretty In Pink

When I'm in the groove, I knit fast and hard. My enthusiasm and determination propel me forward long into the night, needles clicking when I should be sleeping. Some might even call me obsessive. . . ; ) Conversely, I'm often slow to get started on a new project, second guessing every element of the process - yarn choice, pattern, needles (swatch did you say? but isn't guessing so much more "adventurous!?") Despite my aversion to swatching, I whole-heartedly approve of it and fully recognize the benefits, which is why I often have such a difficult time at the onset of a project, refusing to swatch, but refusing, also, to just dive in. In fact, this dilemna says a lot about who I am - an inherently lazy, procrastinating, perfectionist. It's a wonder I ever accomplish anything, sitting as I do, on my ass, anxiously twiddling my thumbs!

My intent for blogging today was to document my stash, my WIPs, and my pending projects, possibly with the intent of shaming myself into some knitting action, but the light was so murky that I was unable to capture any decent pictures. Instead I'll post two pictures for Kathy. What I won't do for the illustrious Grumperina. . .

I gifted this hat to a friend's daughter, but first insisted my son model it for my records. He wasn't particularly amenable to this, not because the hat is pink, which color he is very fond of, but because he is a boy and rarely stops moving! I was lucky to get the first altogether better shot, focused and with good composition, but my personal favorite is the second. Just look at his expression in that picture. Priceless. Oh, and in the background is the lovely quilt that my grandmother Dora made in 1935. Vintage doesn't get any better.

Eyelet Ruffle Hat
Clip yarn, color 196