Monday, December 29, 2008

More software rage

Who knew that my latest software rage would be against kindly techy

I updated my etsy profile. In one fell swoop (er, one page) I uploaded an avatar, selected my country, specified my gender, my birth month and day. There is a space for "favorite materials".

I type:
fabric. buttons. bells.

I press ok or save or whatever. I can't even recall which side the confirm button was on because it then told me I can not have periods in my "favorite materials". It retained what I had written in the "favorite materials" box (including periods) but it removed all other information I specified and also forgot about my photo? HUH?

So I then remove the periods and use &. And then it says I can't have symbols. So I change it to
fabric and buttons
(totally forgot about the bells at this point, and they didn't make sense anyway).
and do all the other steps separately, saving after each step.

Seriously? Etsy, I thought much more highly of you.

Maybe in 2009 I will actually read this book.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Blog it, blog it, blog it: Updates

Having a good nap at my parents' house on Christmas Day

Update 1: I'm overly excited now that my blog has my very own profile photo! I'm a gray blob no more! Thank you Pete for showing me how to edit that, especially how to get the cropped Flickr photo over here on Blogger!! It's a crop of this photo.

Update 2: I'm also excited that I now have a blog follower whom I don't know!

Update 3: Christmas was wonderful! Even though I had to work on Christmas Eve for the first time ever, it was still a very nice day. The director bought us all pizza for lunch (not just any pizza, but my favorite carbalicious Lala's pasta pizza from Massimo's) and we had a nice work celebration. Pete was invited to attend which was great too, and we were allowed to go home at 3pm. We drove to my parents house. Mom waited on Pete and me hand and foot. Three homecooked yummy meals a day, and she bought and decorated a new Christmas tree! We opened presents on Christmas Eve like we always do. Then Christmas Day, Pete and I went down to Sea Girt and Belmar to walk on the boardwalk. So we've now gone swimming on Thanksgiving Day and have been at the beach on Christmas Day. A nice way to bookend the holiday season, no? Also, it was the first time Pete and I spent Christmas together, so that was really special! That night Mom drove us around and we looked at Christmas lights.

Pete charmed friends and neighbors he had never met before with his cute English accent!

At the Belmar boardwalk on Christmas Day, 2008

Update 4: A coworker of mine asked me what our Christmas dinner tradition is. This woman is a bit of a traditional Martha Stewart type so I simultaneously cringed and laughed to tell her that on Christmas Eve we always eat tacos! She blinked and said, "that's good too!" Then she asked what we traditionally have on Christmas Day. Her daughter, who is probably 10 years old, then guessed "enchiladas?". Such a hoot.

Update 5: I made a shirt last Sunday, Dec 21. I finally SPR'd it tonight. I don't have much more to add except that I was getting tired while I made it, and had been hoping that it would only take 1 hour of sewing time instead of 2.5 hours. But it was well worth it!

Love the criss-cross and ties!!

Update 6: I uploaded more Hawaii photos of the first 2.5 days in Maui. More to follow! They're at the end of this album.

And how was your holiday??

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Work success and broken craft tools

Some of my favorite pins that my grandmother made

What a weekend!

First, my work project finally came to fruition this weekend. I have been working on the software upgrade since Jan 8, 2007, testing, testing, testing, and in a way, it felt like maybe release day would never come. I'd find bugs, they would be fixed, breaking something else in the process, etc etc etc. (During the 2007 user conference in New Orleans, I had my tarot cards read. I asked her how the upgrade would go. She said it would take longer than I thought, but it would work out.) Finally we got to a point where the software could be released. We shut down the old version Friday night at 6pm and the upgrade was done by 8:30pm. That night I had a nightmare combining the upgrade at my current job with the office at my old job. Finally I awoke and tested the upgrade yesterday for ~5 hours. Tomorrow, the user community starts using the new version. I've trained ~60 users so far the past two weeks, and have ~20 more to train. I've updated or written many, many pieces of documentation with a few more to go.

I wonder what will happen tomorrow; how will it go? What problems exist that I didn't find? For now, it is an amazing (and exhausting) feeling that it is finally released.

Hawaii flashback: On the Oahu Grand Circle Island tour, we met two people who tour the country installing Oracle. One of the was kind of surprised that I knew what it was!

Broken tools
In other news, I accidentally broke my grandmother's knitting needle. I use her needles for turning "ties" inside out. I've never had this happen to me before! Argh! While I was using her needles I was thinking about how she was a creative person and how I most likely got my creativity from her. A few years ago I organized some of her holiday pins into this shadowbox. I made my own snowman pin but discovered I don't have the patience for sewing little things like that. I prefer garments and larger craft items (though I do cross-stitch). And then while I was turning a tie inside out, the needle broke, in many pieces.

The broken plastic needle and a smaller metal one

Tonight I made "English Toffee Bars," which are a cookie that my mom's neighbor makes each year (though I don't really know what is "English" or "Toffee" about them. It's basically a cookie dough made with oats, with chocolate & walnuts on top.) She gave me the recipe last year. After mixing with my mixer, lifted up the plastic bowl to put the contents into the pan and discovered the bottom of the bowl cracked open with a huge hole. What a surprise!

The bowl that cracked up...

I'm not sure if the cookies are good or not...they are hard to get out of the pan (I guess I didn't grease it well enough) and now I've scratched the non-stick cooking pan. Sigh...

I did sew a shirt today but I'll write about it...tmw??

It feels like the holidays should start now, but I have three more days of work to go!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Yule" Laugh at Our Yule Log Movie!

Chris and Christine, this is for you! This may not make sense to anyone else but you're welcome to view it! Turn the volume up!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Does this annoy anyone else?

Why can't an agreement be made to keep the Yes/Ok/Save/Whatever buttons and the No/Cancel/whatever buttons in a consistent order? I am conditioned to OK being on the...right...and sometimes it's on the...left...even within the same program, the button order changes! Gah!

Lately I've been in training and documenting mode at work, and it's made me analyze other people's software documentation more closely.

For example, it annoys me when documentation is written this way:
Choose Warp Speed from the Actions menu and select Overdrive.

Here's how I write documentation:
From the Actions Menu, select Warp Speed, then Overdrive.

Isn't it easier for the user to follow the steps when they are written in order?? Too many times, the Microsoft documentation for word/excel/ppt is written in the first way rather than my way.

Lucky for my users, I write documentation in order. Heh.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chirally Challenged

Good evening!

It's been a few weeks since I've sewed. Pete suggested that I do something for myself yesterday, so after taking a nap, I tackled New Look 6149, the wrap shirt version. So easy--just 3 hours including cutting time, and next time will be even faster because I won't cut the facings and will skip the interfacing(just fold the edges over, sew, you're done!) Somehow I made the mirror image of the wrap (completely my fault) and it made me think about organic chemistry and chiral centers.

I still have to read through the Understanding Knit Fabrics course from SPR, and Christine gave me a Built by Wendy book about sewing with knits. I can't wait to read those! But until then, I can say that double knit is by far the best knit fabric I've sewed with. It may be expensive, but it sews like a dream!
Detail of the wrap

I may need to steal an idea from Erica Bunker. She just posted her 2008 year in review and I may need to do something similar!

Yesterday I also made cookies for the cookie exchange at work. I made a batch of my usual scrumptious Nestle Toll House cookies, and then tried the double chocolate version (the only difference between the regular Toll House and the double chocolate ones is a half cup of cocoa and an additional quarter cup of brown sugar). We were supposed to make 6 cookies for each participant and one of my coworkers said that I should make 12 because they are so good. Thanks!

No pix of the cookies, though. We also burned the first log of the season but no pix of that either!

Monday, December 8, 2008

To Cheer You Up

Have you seen this? Because it is adorable!
Are you on Catnip Camera?
and the related Flickr album:
The Cat Cam

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I used the men's room for the first time

Snowball candle holders

While decorating for the holidays I found some items from last Christmas that I want to ebay! So I've posted some more items Saturday and tonight. I still have a few more to go. I'm amazed that the 1970's Christmas craft kit got a bid, so I posted another vintage 70's Christmas craft kit that I was thinking of making...but seriously, it requires 250 sequins per tree, and the trees are like 3 inches tall, and that's just insane. I'd rather have the 5 bucks (minus fees).

Here's Pete modeling some snowball candle holders for ebay:
See the light...

I'm working on getting back to sewing. There is a red wrap shirt I want to make, but I haven't gotten past the laying-it-out-on-the-fabric stage due to the odd shirt pattern and lack of fabric. Sigh!

I wonder when Christmas became the consumer spending holiday that it is? We started calling it Giftmas last year. I've done a lot of shopping in advance, most of it online, I got my cards done and mailed today, half of my presents are wrapped, the decorations are up, the lights are in the window...and it even snowed last night! But it's still stressful.
The tree I've had since third grade

The lights all aglow in my front window

An arrangement I made last night

I still want to write about Maui, and post the second half of my vacation photos. And tell you fun stories! Like how, for the first time ever in my life, I used a men's rest room because electricians were working on the ladies room. Or how Pete had never sat in a La-Z-Boy recliner before and loved the one in our Maui condo. Or how TSA questioned my identity by saying, "You don't look like a Kyle". Or how, when we boarded the plane to Maui, the automated system on the plane alarmingly announced, "Windshear Ahead! Windshear ahead!" when we were still parked at the gate. I don't want these great moments to be lost!

And I still want to write about how my water bottle challenge is going, and what possible challenges lie ahead for next year (no plastic bags? no more buying paper items?) But there's still much to do: Much of what I need to do, professionally and personally.
Sometimes planning on paper is best.

(The post-its let me move items around easily.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Shameless self promotion

Demonstrating talking to your broker on a rotary phone

Whee! I've posted my Giftmas time ebay blowout items! These are items that didn't sell during the year that, well, if they don't sell during the Christmas season, they'll never sell. Or they've been lurking around, say, the trunk of my car for a while. Or they have some other secret history...
Check them out (if this works) otherwise Advanced Search, by Seller, blossomkyle

It's for you!

Who doesn't want a rotary phone (I had this in my trunk for a while, and when I'd drive over a speed bump, the phone would ring, and it was quite funny when I had guests in my car...I ignored it the first time and no one said anything...)

In other news, I did not win the Sewing Pattern Review 100% cotton contest. I got 2 votes. Thank you, other person who voted for me!

Friday, November 28, 2008

We're back!

It's crazy to think that 24 hours ago, Pete and I were in the car on the way to the Maui airport! We went swimming in the ocean on Thanksgiving Day, and now I'm wearing flannel and the heater is on. Those of you in warm climes, you are so very lucky!
Unfortunately we didn't have internet access in Maui, so I have a lot of stories to write about in the next few days. Until then, I leave you with this picture of Pete in First Class (we had been feeling so sad to leave, and then we slipped into our first class seats for the journey from Honolulu to Newark and suddenly things weren't so bad)!

Business first from HNL to EWR...November 27/28, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I give it three years; Pete gives it one week

A prop plane similar to the one we flew on Tues Nov 18, 2008

Yesterday we took a one-day tour of Kauai, the Garden Isle. I have been told by more than one person that Kauai is the best of the Hawaiian Islands, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about!

We were up at 5am for our 5:50am pickup time. We took a small propeller plane on Island Air (an airline I had never heard of...Roberts Hawaii had booked the plane as part of the tour fee). The flight was a bit bumpy. Our tour guide Nani picked us up from the airport. I knew it was going to be a good tour when she said, "for all you men who don't want a lady driver, you can get off the bus the way you came on" or something similar. Plus she said everything twice and spelled out the names of the towns and sites we went to...very thorough. She is a Kauai native and knew all the back roads and fun places and took us to places that were not on the itinerary, such as additional scenic lookout points and an extra waterfall..and we were on a mini-bus so she was able to take us to some tight places. She also wasn't afraid to climb up on rocks or guard rails to take pix of her group. She was extremely knowledgable about Kauai and told us a lot about its history, esp a hurricane that devastated the island in 1992 and left it without electricity for 9 months (imagine, 9 months without electricity). There are still parts of this island that have not been rebuilt, and the ruins of the damaged buildings remain (such as the Coco Palms where Elvis shot one of his Hawaiian movies). She also talked about how dangerous the surf can be. 17 people have drowned off the coast of Kauai since the start of this year. Overall, the island is very lush and green, much more so than the Big Island. In sections where hotels were rebuilt, it is amazingly plush and expensive looking and also very beautiful!

I like taking pix of Pete taking pix

This tour had 22 people compared to the 53 on Sunday's tour) so it felt cozier somehow. Regardless, Nani did leave 2 people behind at our first stop and we had to go back and pick them up when her boss called her cell phone. These two people happened to be sitting in the seats in front of Pete and myself, and someone told Nani "we're missing a few people" but Nani said she had counted, we had the right number, and if there were empty seats, it was because people changed seats. Ha ha ha ha ha. I couldn't remember what the people in front of us looked like and I guess I should have said, "who sat here and then changed their seats?" I didn't think of it at the time. Nani said it was the second time in her many years of driving that she's left someone behind. Oh, and she kept calling the mainland "Big America". Quite a lot.

It was windy and I was hamming it up at Waimea Canyon

It was my turn to be sick this time. At one point Nani said, "it's going to be like a roller coaster. If you feel sick, let me know so you can throw up outside the bus." I was ok going up the mountain, but somehow coming back down made me really nauseous. Lots of switchbacks and bumpy portions, plus we were supposed to talk to our neighbors at that point, and I think turning around to talk also added to the nauseous feeling. We wound up talking to the super nice people behind us, who were from New Zeland and whose son is a chemistry professor! I happen to know a NZ chemist from my PDB days, but this wasn't the person. Pete also met a woman from England, who wanted to know where Pete was from. When he said "England" she said, "I know that! Where in England?" Turns out she's English herself but has been in the states since 1953. There was one couple on our tour who was annoying; they were having trouble with some other tour they were trying to book and basically were holding us up or on their cell phone. They are newlyweds and she looks ultra-high maintenance. I give it three years. Pete said he gives it one week.

In total we visited Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), 2 waterfalls, Spouting Horn, and took a river cruise down the Waimea River to the Fern Grotto (a cave with ferns). The river was very smooth so by then I was feeling ok. The tour of the grotto was really neat and I especially liked that one of the performers fed a stray cat Whiskas cat food--she used a curved leaf as a bowl and put the food into it. She said the cat's name is Soprano and she is talkative. The poor cat has an eye infection in one eye but otherwise seemed fine. The performer said she feeds the cat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. At the grotto they played the Hawaiian wedding song (apparently they marry a lot of people at this cave). What was neat was they asked who was celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon. For anniversaries, how many years? For honeymooners, how many days? Then they asked who was living in sin. The same performer who fed the cat said that for Christians, it's called living in sin. For Hawaiians, it's the natural thing to do.

Around 5pm we were taken back to the airport. Pete's bag was searched by TSA after a suspicious item was found on the x-ray scanner.. Out came the white gloves and then blue ones on top of that...and into the bag the TSA worker went. We both couldn't think of what it could have been that flagged the search--we had removed all the bottled water. We had both forgotten that a tube of sunscreen was in there. Sigh. The bag and sunscreen had passed security at Honolulu airport that morning.

Got back on the prop plane. The stewardess announced that due to high tradewinds the descents into HNL have been exciting. So once again I felt sick. Then we got on a bus and got stuck in traffic. Once we were back at the hotel I felt better. This morning I felt back to normal, after sleeping like a log and having a work dream.

Today we had another "day off". I fed birds on the porch (love the ones with the red feathers) and we did some more shopping, then spent some time on the beach. We rented chairs and an umbrella which was a fantastic idea. We decided this time to watch the sunset from the roof of our condo/hotel and met a Japanese woman who was travelling on her own and told us a lot about her life (she went to the University of Hawaii) and how excited she was to be here and see the sunset. I felt just as enthusiastic as her. I really enjoy being in Hawaii and am sad to leave Oahu tmw. However, we are flying half an hour to Maui and we'll be there til we leave on Thanksgiving Day. We haven't been to Maui before--I can't wait to see what it's like!

Morning breakfast on the balcony, Wed. Nov 19, 2008

My flicker album has been updated! We may not have internet access in Maui--we'll see!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I don't know how to hold a gun

Rainbow morning! Monday, November 17, 2008 in Waikiki

Today was our "day off". No tours. No wake up times (though the condo phone rang at 12:45 and 12:47am for whatever reason...) Read the newspaper. Love the fact that the Honolulu Advertiser (and not the USA Today) is delivered to the door daily. There were some really great articles in there today about recycling styrofoam; "green" cleaning products with home recipes; and an article about "alternative" crafters. Plus their daily comics are in color! And we've been introduced to a new comic called "Retail" which wasn't very funny today but was a hoot on Friday and Saturday. And there was a rainbow today that kept appearing and disappearing!

We did some shopping today and I did more Giftmas shopping. Almost done... We wanted to go to the beach but it started raining. It's been raining on and off since we got here--which is in contrast to our previous stays on Oahu (we recall it only rained the first night we were in Waikiki in 2004). Early Friday morning was the worst rain--we got stuck in it on the way back from the grocery store (the bill was $85 for the basics! Everything here is twice as expensive compared to the Stop and Shop at home. $7 for a box of Special K, $4 for a quart of milk, $7 for the mid-size carton of orange juice...but from what I've read, it's so expensive because almost everything is shipped here from the mainland. Hotels don't make much money off of the food they sell. It may seem like a rip off, but it really is that expensive). Anyway, yes, it's been raining on and off so no beach this afternoon!

Tonight we went to a place called King's Court. We can see it from our balcony and it looks a bit Disney-fied but one thing they do have that is neat is the King's Guard ceremony, which features lots of cermonial gun activity (flipping, stomping, throwing, tapping). Afterward they let the tourists pose for free photo ops. I have no idea how to hold a gun so I went for symmetry, but later on I saw a couple who posed with the gun the "right" way. Sigh.

I have no idea what I'm doing

Pete hasn't been feeling very well with headaches each day. He's not sleeping much at night. I've been sleeping pretty well and feel good except I'm occasionally tired. We've kept the sliding glass doors open all day and all night, but maybe tonight we'll try closing them. (It's a really nice temperature--not too hot and only sometimes a little cooler.) Tomorrow we're going on a one day tour of Kauai. So many have said that Kauai is the best island, so we're going on a tour to check it out. The tour co. will be here at 5:50am for the pickup, with a return to the hotel at 7:30 or 8pm. It will be a long day but I think it will be worth it. Then Wed. is another "free day" and Thurs we fly to Maui for a week!

Tonight's ambient noise includes: people laughing and some live Hawaiian music.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's the only cemetary with a gift shop

Hanauma Bay, November 16, 2008

Aloha! Today we took the "Grand Circle Island Tour" of O'ahu with our Roberts Hawaii Tour Guide Duke. After a 6:30am wake up time and a 7:50am pickup, we were on our way to many sites such as Hanauma Bay, the beach where the hot scene in "From Here to Eternity" was filmed, the blowhole (which wasn't "working" today because it wasn't windy enough to produce the waves that force the ocean water into a hole in what I'm guessing is a reef, which gives the impression of a whale spouting water), Pali Lookout (which was waaay less windy than it was when we visited in 2006), the Dole Pineapple plantation, the North Shore, Waimea Bay, a Macadamia Nut hut, and a Japanese temple that was on the site of a cemetary (thus the title of this entry). We were back at our hotel around 4:30 or 5-ish. Then it was on to a Hawaiian/Mexican dinner (enchaladas made with pulled pork--like the kind served at luaus) at La Cucaracha (yes, the Cockroach), which conveniently moved to close to our hotel, just steps away (it seemed funnier when this restaurant was located just below the emergency medical care office on Kuhio--now it's over a surfboard shop). Afterward we saw the bright sunset over Wakiki Beach, then watched the free hula show which featured different performers than the ones on Friday night. Both shows really had a sense of O'hana (Hawaiian for Family) and seemed less commericial and more "real" than the ones we've seen at luaus. We learned this show is sponsored by the Waikiki Improvement Association and is Tues-Sun nights.

I kind of thought tours were lame, but this one was great because I wasn't doing 120 miles of driving; I never would have stopped at a mac nut house on the side of the road (nor known that it existed); we got to hear the life story of our tour guide Duke, which included his take on growing up and living in Hawaii, the cost of living, how much he makes, how many hours he works, how he served in the military and Desert Storm; I never would have seen the beach featured in "From Here to Eternity". Plus Duke was making jokes the whole time and I learned some more Hawaiian words (not that I remember too many of them now). I also learned that Doris Duke's Shangri La estate is up for sale. The Doris Duke Gardens recently closed in NJ and it sounds like her estate is selling off her remaining property. But mostly the tour emphasized that we all need to get out of Waikiki and see the special places O'ahu has to offer!

I took 100 pix today and narrowed 'em down to 79...on my Flickr page...check 'em out! There are pix from the tour, pix of the apt and especially sunset pix!

Surfers and Sunset at Waikiki Beach, November 16, 2008

Tonight's ambient noise featured someone singing an especially overwraught-with-emotion Unchained Melody.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Did you cut up the drapes?

Surf's up!

Aloha! Is it pathetic to blog while on vacay?

We're in Waikiki in our beautiful condo 2 blocks from the beach! It's basically a studio apt but is arranged in such a way that it doesn't feel like a studio apt. It is mostly windows and mirrors which makes it feel much larger than it is. It even has a jacuzzi that is practically in the living room! And a gigantic lanai (balcony) with city, mountain and ocean views! This is by far the best place we've stayed in on Waikiki and it's not even all that expensive! But it is loud. The ambient noise includes: the incessantly loud fan for the building(s) next door; competing Hawaiian and 60's music; general traffic noise; people randomly screaming on the streets. And there is also the smell factor. There's a restaurant downstairs that grills. And if you know me, you know how I love the smell of grilling. Ugh.

So far we've gone mini-golfing at an indoor, 3-D, extremely loud course, went to a free hula show on the beach that felt more authentic than any hula we've seen at luaus in our previous visits, went to a craft show in a park where I did some Christmas shopping and Pete bought me some beautiful and unique necklaces (thanks Pete!), and spent a late afternoon on Waikiki Beach, swimming in the calm waters and watching the sun set.

Last night Pete and I wore our matching aloha wear which I made last year for very non-Hawaiian Myrtle Beach. While I felt some people were looking at us as we walked around last night, one old guy yelled out to us, "Did you cut up the drapes?" I had no idea what to say.

Aloha! More pix are on my Flickr page.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall day

Sigh...I worked this weekend so no sewing. I'm really missing it. I've been thinking about what to make next! But at least I've been wearing the new hats I've made! Here's one I made two Sundays ago:

It's a fuzzy aqua colored fleece from JoAnn's remnant bin that I made into a hat. It's the same hat as the swim hat I made a few weeks ago. I think it's cute. It goes well with my new gray fashionable wool coat (thank you for the early Giftmas present Pete!), but it was too warm this afternoon for my gray coat. And we were doing the recycling, and I didn't want to get my new red jacket dirty so I'm wearing my 11 year old corduroy light burgundy jacket. Sometimes old faithful friends are best!
Nice composition, Pete!

I won't be able to sew again til the last weekend of the month--because we're taking our big 2 week trip to Hawaii later this week! A week on Oahu, a week on Maui, may the spirit of Aloha fill us all with joy! Until then and after, it's a very stressful work time for me. But one of the neat things I've been working on is the redesign of the work web page--a chance for me to be creative at work! Pete has taught me some tricks about logos and also given me some helpful PowerPoint tips. The best thing about the logos is that sometimes they are very simple geometric shapes. Now I'm starting to look at the design of signs at places--including the grocery store! The new Stop and Shop logo is a bunch of "third of a circle"s fanned out to kinda look like a bird. It doesn't have to be complicated. Simple can be best.

Mahalo! Yes we can!

Yellow leaves

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've only got 4 cast my ballot.

I took a half day off work today. Worked the morning, came home for lunch (Thanks Pete for making lunch!). Then off to the polls. I vote in a Catholic school/church. I really don't understand where the separation of church and state is when my voting place is a church. When I lived in the apt, I also voted in a Catholic school. When I lived with my parents, I voted in a firehouse.

Anyway, I arrived at the church at 1:44 and was back in the car at 1:48, hence the title. (My coworkers who voted this morning in different districts waited 15-20 minutes). While there were many districts with small lines at my polling place, my half of the alphabet for my district was open. Walked right up to the table, signed my name, and electronically voted. I was wearing my "Kittens for Obama" button on my brown jacket underneath my red jacket while I followers know which jackets I'm referring to!
Image from psychedelictara's shop on

Then it was off to the dentist where my teeth checked out ok, thank goodness (I've also recently learned I'm not diabetic--just thirsty all the time for no good reason--and that I have such a great "good cholesterol" level, the PA couldn't believe it.) The hygienist said she waited in line for an hour this morning but then had to leave to go to work...and doesn't get off work til 8pm so she won't be able to vote! eek! Seriously, why doesn't NJ have early voting??

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Annoyed at Blogger...

....why is it that when my friends post new posts on their Blogger blogs, I don't always see them til days later? Even after checking their blogs every day? And others have already commented on their blog posts? But I couldn't see them? (CleverGirl: I couldn't see your Oct 25th post til TODAY? And I was even mentioned in it! And I check it everday?!)

So now I'm using the "following" feature. I hope that helps.

Bottled water update

Still holds at 21! No bottled water for Aug, Sept or Oct!

Weekend PJs

Ooph, here's a quick post about my pajama sewing this weekend. After thinking I wouldn't be able to make Debbie pjs in time for her birthday, low and behold, the extra hour today gave me the time to think that I could actually make them. I wound up making the pjs for her and pj pants for me! Whee!
First, my aqua flannel pants:
They are awfully wide legged...not for slenderizing or anything. Also, the pant legs are the same's just my jaunty angle that makes them look like different lengths.

I love the daisy detail on the hem!

I can't wait to make a matching top. Unfortunately, that won't be happening tonight.

Here are Debbie's pjs for her birthday. The top is a cat flannel and the bottom is a "camel" flannel with a cat flannel casing:
Hat not included.
So that you can see the cat casing and ribbon.
Closeup of the casing and ribbon.
These have already been wrapped and mailed priority mail using the APC at the post office. I think they'll make it to PA by Tuesday!

Of course, the pants have been Sewing Pattern Reviewed.

Thanks Pete for taking pix of me!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sewing Pattern Review 100% cotton contest: entered!

It's a beautiful fall day!
Hurrah! I have just entered the Sewing Pattern Review 100% cotton contest! You can read my review now or you can look at the fun Flickr album I have just created for this jacket which follows the evolution of the jacket, from cutting it out to the finish!

I don't have time to try to get the fit better in the chest area so it will have to do since the contest deadline is on Friday, Oct 31. Also, I wore it to work almost every day this week and my coworkers didn't notice the fit issue until I pointed it out so I think it's ok!

Here are some brief pix:

Outside of the coat...with that fun lining peaking through! The outside is 100% cotton uncut corduroy in "picante". It's a reddish color.
The funky 100% cotton Alexander Henry print lining.
The pleated sleeve cuff with topstitched sleeve extension.

Now it's on to making pjs for Debbie for her b-day (which will be my last entry for the Stash contest, most likely)! And then I probably won't get to sew very much for a while because of my main work project, a 2 week vacation, and Pete's visit for 3 months. I really enjoyed the run at sewing I had since August. I'm sure I will get to sew now and then during the rest of the fall and start of the winter but I won't have as much time to sew.

Happy fall, everyone!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Special 100% cotton contest preview! plus yesterday's sewing

Warning: hair was not done for the pix! Some skin is being shown!

Why is it that I start to wake up on Sunday nights?
Today I worked on my 100% cotton lined jacket for the, you guessed it, 100% cotton contest. I got it to a point so I could wear it out to dinner tonight with a former coworker of mine. He's in town for a work retreat, and I wound up seeing several former coworkers--they all were looking at my outfit but no one said anything about it (note, I did not go outside in my sweatpants and raglan shirt)...This jacket has an amazing lining which they can't see of course--but the outside is a bit big. That's good for layering (I wore the purple cowl neck I made yesterday and my favorite brown jacket underneath this new jacket). So I don't know what they were thinking--that the front seaming looks a bit odd...or that it was too big or whatever. Here it is unbuttoned as I see it lying here in bed..I adore that lining! And it doesn't look so bad from far away. I'm thinking of changing the button. I'm also thinking of making it smaller. Hmm...I could also make it into a long A-line style coat...hmmm....but it is already quite heavy as it is (the outside is 100% cotton uncut corduroy, the interior is 100% cotton quilters cotton).

Yesterday I made some things for the Stash Pattern Contest. Well, I "get" one point for make 3 garments from one pattern package (This time, McCalls 4664). I wanted to make the halter top but wound up making the skull cap and pullover shirt as well (isn't the cap just ADORABLE! I mean, it's not a real swimmers cap but it is so adorable--I will definitely make more of those in fleece!)

I wasn't sure if I should post the bikini top pix but I figured if I'm going to wear it on Waikiki Beach, I can wear it in my blog (and on SPR). [This line of thinking is, of course, subject to reconsideration!)

Then I tackled Simplicity 3634. It was a fast sew--just one hour--and it features my new cowl-neck obsession. I bought the pattern last weekend so it doesn't count for the stash contest, though.

And here's one of the feral cats taking a snooze this afternoon on my lawn chair. Awwww!

Last weekend's blue sewing

Eek, this weekend's already half over and I haven't written about last weekend's sewing yet!
Well, it was very "blue".
First I fixed the New Look 6762 "disaster shirt". There was just something wrong with the drafting of the pattern, specifically the length of the collar band, as confirmed by other Sewing Pattern Reviewers. I thought about how to "fix" the shirt on and off for a few weeks--and with the stash contest deadline looming, I finally got down to business last weekend and fixed it! After a few tries, I wound up adding a casing underneath the collar band and put elastic in it, and that created a "gathered" effect that also covered up the shoulder darts. I am thinking about trying to make a turtleneck using this kind of effect.

I used the same knit aqua colored fabric to make the "goddess" shirt Simplicity 3536--but the deep cowl neckline and overly tight torso means I won't be wearing this one outside the house--ever! It looks good on me just standing there, but it's not practical. And forget bending over!

Then I made another stash pattern--New Look Tunic 6677 in a similar blue color. I changed up the collar to a ruffle a la Clever Girl...(no collar stand for me, though). Overall I was proud of how carefully I lined up the stripes and whatnot and how my V-neck is not all puckered. On the other hand, I think this top kinda looks like pjs!

What do you think???

Of course these have all been Sewing Pattern Reviewed.

I sewed more today but I am so tired and must get to sleep, so a post about today's sewing will have to wait! No work this weekend (hurrah!). My choices for tomorrow are:
a. Start sewing my new jacket for the latest SPR contest (100% cotton)
b. Clean up my house, do chores, go grocery shopping, do laundry.
c. A combo of a and b.

Which one do you think I'll choose?