Archive for January, 2008

help the aged

January 30, 2008

i brought this upon myself, really.
it’s just that i wasn’t expecting such rapid validation of my anxieties.
as we walked to dinner last night, i mentioned to ian and kathryn that i can no longer tell how old people are and that anyone who isn’t clearly elderly seems so young-looking. i worried that, this being my thirtieth year, i might be getting…old, you know? i mean, it isn’t so bad, i guess. nice things accompany old age. wisdom and whatnot. but to feel so distanced from the kids that i can’t even begin to tell how old they are, when i used to be able to guess with remarkable accuracy, sort of bummed me out.
i got the mail from downstairs today, sorting it as i came up the stairs, excited by the arrival of the new issue of cook’s illustrated and my first installment from netflix of season two of big love (we don’t have tv, so it’s new to us), but my cheer faded quickly as i shuffled through to notice an envelope from the membership center of aarp. seriously?
thanks a bunch, guys. really.



January 29, 2008

ira glass, host of this american life, host of the show that keeps me going while working alone at home, will be at the borders books in columbus circle this thursday evening. thursday. evening. night of the first of two consecutive joanna newsom shows i will be attending. joanna newsom, the best songwriter of all time, writer and singer and player of songs that keep me going when all else fails. obviously, i’m not foregoing night one just to stand in line to have ira glass sign something as i grin at him creepily. but! still!
sure, i’m an enthusiast, i like a lot of things. but these are two big people to me! huge, even! on the same night! why??

it could only be made worse if like, the cast of northern exposure were getting together for a one-time-only performance/talk/question-and-answer night on thursday. oh man. that would be really rough.

pre-spring cleaning

January 28, 2008

i don’t know how ebay sellers do it! i spent most of today photographing, editing, measuring, describing and posting…and it’s so tiresome! granted, i have to do all of those things when i update dear birthday with things i’ve made, but somehow then it just feels different. anyway! if you’re interested, please take a look at my auctions. there’s lots of oilily and a couple of pairs of etro shoes. oooh. things i like, but just don’t wear anymore. mostly i guess because my wardrobe was way too oilily-heavy after having worked there for several years. now those otherwise pretty sweaters just feel like a uniform to me. alas…

now i will spend the evening working on a new dress pattern. i know that straight-cut mini dresses are quite popular right now, and as much as i like to wear and make them, they still don’t really feel like me. so i’m working on a sundress with a full circle skirt! i’ve got the skirt patterns down (this pattern making book is the best thing ever) and now i just have to add the top. i’m excited!

technical difficulties

January 27, 2008

i’m more of a hands-on kind of person. honestly, if i could, i would write this blog with a pencil on paper and doodle links and drawings in the margins. but since that’s not really possible (or would, in fact, require more code) here i am.
you may have noticed that this blog is horribly ugly and for that, i offer my most heartfelt apologies. it bothers me daily. and today i set out to try to change that a little. i added some links to sites i read over there on the right and i edited an old collaged image i’d made in school to use as a header. however, either ian and i are both completely daft or there is something very wrong with my version of wordpress. it may be a combination of these options, but i’m leaning more heavily on the latter.
see, i use wordpress through yahoo, which hosts my website. when i first set this blog up, i monkeyed with the code only very slightly in order to make the header grey, as i didn’t yet have an image i wanted to use. anyway, today i went to put in my image and it just didn’t work. i did the whole ftp thing. the image is there…in computerspace somewhere, but it won’t show up in the header, try as we might. ian even made a wordpress account for himself and then, using the same theme i’m using, uploaded my image to his header. and it worked! he then copied his page’s header code and pasted it into mine…to no avail!
if anyone has any idea what i’m typing about and any interest in helping, i would be most grateful.


oh! and ps. if anyone in nyc wants to go see joanna newsom on friday evening at bam, i have an extra set of tickets. that show is sold out fer sure…i’m not sure if thursday is, but i assume so? anyway, comment or email me if you’re interested.

less than hilarious, i guess

January 25, 2008

it’s freeeeezing here tonight. so i put a blanket on geoffrey while he was lounging on his “puff” (a sort of slightly-elevated doggie cot), which he proceeded to take with him when he decided to get up. the slight tail-wagging is really just too much.
i swear, we’re really busy around here.

industrial strength birthday

January 22, 2008

our friend stacy has a plant-care business that involves tending to outsize terrariums with giant tweezers and scissors and sticks, which were in need of a proper tool tote. i was honored that she would ask me to create such a thing, having previously only glimpsed small bits of my work, so i really hope she likes it…i’m nervous! i tend to overestimate how many layers of thick fabrics/pelts my little home-sewer singer can tackle and this bag, i have to admit, was a struggle to complete. i tend to lean more toward perfectionism, even when channeling a rough-hewn aesthetic, so needless to say, i’m trying very hard not to beat myself up over some of the stitchery here. AND i’m seriously considering investing in a heartier machine. granted, i sew leather and thick canvas very rarely, but it’s increasingly appealing.
for one, wouldn’t it be so rad to make moccasins?
speaking of which, i’m probably going to order these for spring:

i think about them daily…

i’m totally all over the place these days!
ok, sorry for the jumble!

late winter? or…early spring?

January 19, 2008

tomorrow i will be dropping off the first three plaid blouses of spring to sodafine in williamsburg. i was planning on squirreling them away for the site update next month, but i’ve decided that it’s better to clear off the “finished” rack to motivate the sewing, you know? anyway, i’m rather excited about these. they button up the back (i’m in love with buttons!) and have a prim little collar and then ridiculously outsize sleeves, which are dressed on the inside hem in a ring of be-hearted ribbon. the sleeves can be rumpled and rolled to show off the ribbon, or you can keep it as a secret. i very much like the idea of clothing with secrets…

oh! and while you’re at sodafine (hehe) you will notice that all of the beautiful chie mihara and coclico boots are on sale (!!!) and you will buy them all up before i can. especially these….oh help!

January 11, 2008

what about plaid makes it so comforting? or, am i the only one who feels that way about it?
maybe it’s the little crossed x-es* that form a barrier between you and the world that is greater (symbolically, at least) than that created by the fact of the fabric alone. it’s protective, but somehow also looks strong. not like wearing purple: more like wearing armor.

anyhow, i’m working on some plaid blouses for spring and summer. there will be some plaid dresses too. it’s become the thing again, but i’ve decided that i’m ok with that. one has to embrace what of their loves is available as it becomes so; in virginia, try as i might, i could rarely find a good plaid in the fabric stores and here! well, here it’s rolling off the shelves! in abundance! so it’s ok to be opportunistic and i shall be and i’ll add my tiny voice to the plaids’ loud call.

other than that, not much is going on. i need to start thinking of a place to photograph the spring things! we got rid of the car last month, as it was just too much upkeep and irritation, so though we’ve signed up for zipcar (it’s rad!) i don’t feel that same sense of freedom as before. i can’t just grab a map and get in the car and find a good spot. there’s more research involved now, which sort of makes the stakes higher? that barely makes sense, but i guess i mean that there’s more pressure to make the location *perfect* because a do-over is a more difficult prospect. anyway, suggestions are welcome! i don’t want to take industrial street shots. no way. i want trees and grass. well, brown grass is fine. i do recognize that i can’t control the seasons. yet.

*how do you write the plural of x? language is not my first mode of communication. i guess it isn’t anyone’s, really. anyway.

i can’t believe that it’s so cold and there ain’t been no snow

January 3, 2008

the high for today is set to be 24 degrees (and probably will not make it so high) but monday will apparently be in the mid-fifties (!!!), according to the times. yes, it’s only the beginning of january, but spring is on my mind and i’m working on making a bunch of spring jackets like the one above, as well as some blouses and dresses and shirts for the lads. and now with all this patterned color and free-limbed styling, i can’t wait to ride my bike! but the huff and puff layering required to make that possible right now is just not appealing.
i need to get a tune up anyway and possibly new tires? my poor old stingray had been shut up in a dark basement for eight years! eight years! that’s crazy. we’ll be out and about again soon.

good morning, 2008

January 2, 2008

my very dear friend kathryn gave me and ian a beautiful stash of specially selected teas from ito en for christmas. the budding jasmine rose has sat, unopened in the refrigerator until this morning. you know, it’s perfectly fine that i don’t have a beautiful glass teapot to display it in! i am going to drink one from my favorite mug and settle in for some sewing on this flurry-filled day. (why won’t it snow for real?)

yesterday i made a new pattern. or at least, worked on the beginning of one that will hopefully become workable. i’ve been looking into pattern-making classes at fit, but in order to get the ny state resident rate, you need to have been a resident for a year. so! in the fall, i suppose. in the mean time, i’ll stick with what i know and try to learn a few new things from a pattern-making text i picked up on the street a few months back. it’s a bit outdated, but the basics are really all i need, right?
i found this amazing blog and maker: wiksten-made and she’s totally inspired me to learn how to do things the right way. well, not that making can really ever be right or wrong, but it would be nice to be able to confidently make things for people who aren’t generally me-sized. though i seem to be within a relatively popular shape-set. still. since my desire to sew and make clothes has nothing at all to do with fashion or trends or worrying about what might be within the realm of “acceptable”, i tend to allow myself to forget some of the more practical aspects, like whether or not a piece will fit anyone other than me. i much prefer to believe that the intended wearer will find the garment and will feel that a true connection has been made. it’s silly, i guess. but it’s part of making, i think. and the desire to make by one’s own hands.
anyway, i’m rambling when really i should be working.
happy new year of working and drinking decadent teas to you as well!

ps: i got tickets to see joanna newsom at bam next month!!! i’m so excited! we tried last night at midnight, but the computer wouldn’t let us (public sale started today and we foolishly thought it would start at midnight…) and we totally thought we were defeated and that all true fans were purchasing bam memberships in order to buy tickets in advance. i was cursing our cheap ways! but this morning i tried again and…and! got tickets! oh. my heart is happy.