Friday, June 29, 2007

a perfect day

I can't believe this was 5 years ago. It has flown by.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Birthday goodies

28 on the 28th. This must be the birthday for paper. E and I will be celebrating our 'wood' anniversary (5 years) tomorrow. I know birthdays don't have gift themes like anniversaries, but paper seemed to be the theme of my gifts today!
Miss A in Chicago, the apron recipient, sent these scrap packs from PaperSource. Yum. I may have said this before, but I want to live in that shop!
My mom finds the coolest stuff. She knows what I like and finds things I would never come across. Like this sewing pattern stationary. With zipper and button stickers!
I don't think I've mentioned my students much lately, but I have a brag-worthy group right now. I've had most of them for 2 semesters now, and they are unbelievable. Last week, they gave joint presentations with American students in a cross-cultural communication class we attended. How brave of my 5 international students to stand up in front of a room full of Americans and present in a 2nd language (English)! I was amazed at how confident and comfortable they came across--much better than some of the native English speakers! Well, both skilled and very thoughtful, they surprised me with these roses in class.
And finally, a goody for another birthday girl: a package of spicy chocolate cookies for a co-worker whose day is tomorrow. I'm always so inspired by Sally's packaging, so I took some extra time and used some Martha ribbons and new stationary (also from mom).

Thank you to everyone who made today special!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


A couple of cute bags from a patchwork book I got at Mitsuwa.

Well this creative rut I've been in has manifested itself in my lack of blogging, too. The most creative thing I've done lately is put together a couple of awful 80s outfits for a party. My pleated, acid-wash denim skirt was starting to grow on me, and E's dangley earring and his dad's members only jacket were pretty hot! Too bad the photos came out blurry.
As for the garden, it's experienced some extreme weather lately. I'll have to give the squash another try since several days of heavy rain pretty much got rid of my small crop. The beans look the most promising. We'll know soon!
The new windows are in, although now it's too hot out to open them much. New windows means new window treatments. Blinds for most of them are coming Saturday, but I left a few windows to cover myself. I ordered some of the echino fabric with that last superbuzzy order. I think that'll go in the kitchen, but I haven't decided what I'll do. Then there's my room. I have some sheer linen fabric I've found a couple times in the remnants bin at Joann. I really love how the panels I made for our sunroom turned out. It was an early-on sewing project, and they turned out just as I wanted. They offer privacy without completely blocking sunlight, so something along these lines might work for the remaining windows. I've always liked the idea of Roman shades, so something like these that Courtney made might be a possibility.
Well I hope I have something to share soon!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

apron for A

I just finished up this orange and yellow apron to send to Chicago as a thank you. I hope she likes it. I modeled it after this one I made a while back.
I love the flatware fabric--it's another tea towel I found at Kmart, marked waaay down. And the yellow text fabric is a recent superbuzzy purchase.
I also ordered this floor plan fabric. It is so funny--with its fronto door and creem yollow tied (cream yellow tiled, I guess?) bathroom. I saw it and didn't buy it, went back and didn't buy it, checked yet again and thought it was all gone. When I realized how much I had wanted it, and then was able to find it (it was there all along), I knew I had to have it.

OK, no more [new] fabric purchases for a bit.

Happy Fathers Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

and the rest

I was looking forward to, more than anything, the Japanese market in Chicago. I had come across it online somehow a while back, and told my friend who lives there. She grew up eating the Korean food her mom served, so Mitsuwa is a good source for dried squid and other delicacies (that I can't stomach:)) She also got my fancy tupperware there.

So our friends offered to drive us there during our visit, not knowing how excited I'd be, how long I'd linger on every aisle, and how many different foods I had to sample and books I had to browse through before leaving. It felt like stepping back into Japan, complete with a bookstore, bakery, and food court.

Also at the top of my list was Oak Park, a neighborhood with several Frank Lloyd Wright houses. His victorians were so unique, and of course his prairie houses were gorgeous with their strong horizontal movement and clean lines. I realized that the house E and I refer to as our dream house (one on the river a few blocks away) is very much in the style of FLW. Quite Japanese, too.

Well, I'm back to work and back to crafting, including a thank you gift for our wonderful Chicago hosts. Hope everyone's having a good week. I'm hoping to make it to the u-pick blueberry farm this weekend. And then blueberry pie. mmm.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

chicago 1

I took so many photos on our trip, I figure I've got more than one post's worth to share. I started snapping shots right away because the light was hitting the buildings in such a beautiful way. The trip couldn't have been better. Well, the 6am flights weren't much fun, but other than that, perfect. Warm days, cool nights (something we've already moved past in Florida). Although I didn't hit any fabric stores, I did pay a visit to Paper Source, which did not disappoint. I think I could live there. Three whole floors of paper, stamps, supplies!

My salmon at Rick Bayless' restaurant was tasty, and the rice was shaped like a pyramid! I love gimmicky stuff like that.

I was impressed by all the colorful beds planted around the city. Most of them contained high contrast plants--rich purples and bright yellows and greens. This one was in front of the Chicago Tribune building. It was all so lush, much more healthy looking than the thirsty grass we found back at home.

And to top it off, a celebrity sighting: Aaron Eckhart (blue trench) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (brown trench) filming "feature film Rory's First Kiss," as we were told. But the Gotham taxis everywhere tipped us off that it's really the next Batman. Pretty sneaky with that fake title, huh?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I love my library. It's small, and has pretty limited hours, but they always have what I need, and sometimes surprise me with things I want. Yesterday I picked up this book, along with the newest #1 Ladies Detective series book that I've had in my sidebar for a while. Yep, we're going to Chicago to visit friends this weekend, and I need suggestions! So far, only Mitsuwa is on the itinerary, maybe a museum, and I'd love to do some craft/fabric shopping, but I don't know where to go. Anyone been to Chi-town?

Monday, June 4, 2007

dealing with it

a new hair cut, that is. I've had it about a week, and it's still not quite right. I keep finding bits that need to be trimmed, and I can't keep my bangs out of my face--they're too short for behind-the-ear. But bobby pins seem to do the trick. And with a little button, pretty cute.

Now that student who said "What happened to your hair?" and the other one who said "What did you do, put a bowl on your head and cut around it?" will have to take it back!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

zippers and linings

Gosh, it's taken a while for me to get to posting this week. I had photos and a post ready to go, but it never did happen. Last weekend, we went to the farmer's market, and I came home and made salsas galore: tomatillo, mango, and roasted everything. The mango salsa (the only way I like mangoes) was sweet and tasty as usual, but the surprising one was the tomatillo salsa. I roasted half of them and boiled the others to see if there was a difference (not much) and then blended them. I tasted it before adding anything, and it didn't even need salt. It was wonderful.

I saw some of LeeAnn's bags on a recent post, and I was so impressed with all her zipper sewing. I've been trying to figure out the zipper and lining thing ever since I made my cruise clutch, and then another just like it for my mom. LeeAnn directed me to uhandblog, and what I read there helped so much when I decided to line the skirt I'm working on. I think it looks a lot more finished this way than what my Photo Guide to Sewing showed, and it involved no hand sewing! The skirt is still a work in progress--somehow I always make skirts too wide (easy to fix) and too short (not so easy).

I'm not normally such a j.crew girl, but I'm loving all their sailor inspired gear right now. This skirt in particular caught my eye. Maybe it'll be next on the project list. Whoa, I just noticed the price when I was adding the link--it will definitely have to be made, not bought, to become part of my wardrobe!