Archive for the ‘on being valerie’ Category

June 22, 2009

yesterday was make music new york! day and in spite of the crappycrumbtastichorrible weather and the fact that once again, the L train was not running out in our neck of the woods, i was determined to make it over to sodafine to check out erin’s lineup. i’m glad we made it because the weather kept temporarily clearing and we were able to catch two and a half of the bands, which the sprout either really loved or really hated, because he was dancing up a storm to some major feedback. we also got to chat with nicole of astulabee and see some pals we haven’t seen in months, though they live just a few stops away. every time i think about moving away from new york (and this is often) i worry that i’ll feel so lonely and isolated, since most of my friends live here now. then i remember that i rarely see them anyway because this is new york and everyone is busy!

well, while we were in williamsburg, i dropped off the two patch kimono sleeve ts and the last quilty t with the lovely miss erin, so if you were wondering about them, you will just have to waddle (oh, i’m sorry, i’m the only waddler here) on over to sodafine to take a gander.

in baby news: two weeks left! though a certain buddy’s mama is placing bets on the 7th, so two weeks, give or take a few days. hopefully! we’re readier than ever, so i’m going to try very hard to stop telling him to keep cooking. don’t want to make him think it’s not ok to greet us when he’s ready. we’re ready, little man! though we probably won’t use it for a little while, we now have a fancy yellow stroller, courtesy of grandma and grandpa soles (woah, that’s weird to say/type) and yesterday we ordered a bouncy seat from mini jake, using the gift certificate the greenpoint girls so kindly gave us. we’re ready! that’s all you need, right? oh yes, and lots of love floating around. we’re more than ready to do some major fawning. and he’ll be born with a name tag, right? that’s what we’re hoping for, at least.


June 15, 2009

yesterday was so rotten! we had so many things to do around the apartment and i woke up feeling like an 85 year old woman, all achey and miserable and slightly nauseous. nothing changed all day, except that i cried a bit over feeling bad and useless and worrying that i would feel bad for the next three weeks and then watched some tv on the internet and went to bed. bah!

but todayyyy! today was Different! for one, the sun, she shone. and for two, i magically felt better! and for three, i made my way over to purl patchwork and purchased precisely one yard of that lovely heather ross frog prince fabric, because dammit, i deserve a little treat. i’m going to make myself a little breezy summer top to wear once little nameless one is here. and he will get it all messed up and that will be just fine. also, the sweet lady working today took my name and phone and promised to call me when (shhh!) they receive the unicorn print in blue, which is what i really Really want. hooray!

also, the cutest lady in a mociun dress and saltwater sandals introduced herself as a dear birthday customer and i hope i wasn’t too awkward because it kind of made my day.

and now to bed, hoping very much that this one day on, one day off thing is not a true pattern. goodnight!

April 22, 2009

we drove the little rental car through pennsylvania and back home to brooklyn yesterday afternoon, stopping only to smugly eat bananas and carrot juice (and ok, to split a thing of curly fries) amidst the junk food at woodrow wilson’s namesake on the new jersey turnpike. oh and we took a quick jog to ikea in red hook to see about that crib, but they were out of stock. returned the car after dumping our baby loot (mom threw us a really nice baby shower and my gramie and aunt kathy even flew in for it) off at home and then ian treated us to one last “vacation” meal at brooklyn label for dinner. and then a siouxsie and the banshees record and the new camera obscura.

it feels good to be home. by which i mean, it was really really good to go home, both to my family and ian’s, but it was also nice to come back to brooklyn. something about being pregnant, being slightly uncomfortable all of the time, has made it easier for me to be comfortable with quick changes of setting. this is something that usually rattles me a bit. it’s nice to know that neurosis can be shut off. hope it stays away.

we’re at 29 and a half weeks now! unbelievable.

today i’m going to run a few local errands, clean this place up and investigate sergers online. turns out that as much as my brain would really like to blow my entire tax refund on a bernina, my body gets kind of sick at the thought. i knew they were pricey, but holy cow. my cheap little sewing machine* was less that $200 on ebay–i think that’s where i will head in search of ze next serger. anyway, liberty jersey lovers, hold tight! i’m working on it.

*of course, i’d tried a friend’s model out first and determined that while inexpensive, it certainly isn’t as Cheap as some of the new machines out there. it works very nicely.

March 28, 2009

i’ve been carrying around the little camera ian gave me two christmases ago for the past week, fully expecting to take up my old habit of snapping away at anything and everything, yet here it is in the safe, zippered pocket of my trusty moop bag, losing battery life and patience as i neglect it some more. this is why i have no evidence for you of some of the amazing things i’ve seen around new york within the past week.

i can’t share my own personal view of the dana schutz show at zach feuer, but i can tell you that if we were wealthy, i would be at this very moment having a Serious Discussion with ian about why we should purchase this painting. that’s assuming it isn’t already sold, which is foolish because clearly it is AMAZING and therefore already spoken for.

nor can i show you the man on the L who sat across from me on wednesday, blaring his boom box for all to (ahem) enjoy but *only* until the mariachis walked into the car, at which time he graciously (and gracefully) muted his tunes so that they could bust out their guitar and accordion jams and pass the hat (no buyers, i’m afraid), turning up the music once again only when the competition had made their way into the next car.

i have no photographic evidence of the half-naked hallway babies, which reside on the first floor of our building and whom flock around screaming “HOLA!!!” in unison when caught by unsuspecting second and third floor dwellers, coming home from various outings.

and i can’t, or won’t give you a little preview of the lovely new liberty of london fabrics that came for me this week and which will be transformed by monday into another batch of new undies.

this is part of the reason that i will never be one of those amazing bloggers i read so religiously; it is all about the photography. and sometimes the photography doesn’t even need to be Good. it just needs to show. more showing, less telling. but here i am in a telling mood and here you are and there we have it.

here’s hoping that spring will help restore my long-silent shutterbug to its former energetic self.
in the mean time, look at this!

maira kalman has the best blog ever

this husband and wife etsy seller team makes the cutest baby t shirts and moccasins: tiny whales

February 22, 2009

hi hi, sorry for the quietude!
thanks for the comments and suggestions regarding the naming of the son-to-be. for the record, his name does not necessarily have to begin with an L, i just happen to favor L names. also, i tend to favor welsh and scottish names, but ian says we are not in the old country. ALAS!

so we are STILL unpacking, if you can believe it. and i just purchased some safe paint from milk paint to begin our epic paint job. we’re going to start with the trim first. we’ve decided to paint all of the trim in the apartment a tint of their seafoam. then the living room will be tavern green, the bedroom a tint of mustard and the studio oyster white. still unsure about the kitchen and bathroom–whether we will paint them at all and if so, what colors. but! progress will be made. also, we are going to ikea on tuesday evening to purchase some necessary evils for the kitchen: a wheely cart with a chopping block top, some of those hanging bar things with hooks and a towel bar for the bathroom. we’ll be up and running in no time, right?

ah, but regardless our flophouse situation has been fun. one of my oldest and bestest buddies ever, total sister friend karie is in town. i feel like a bit of a lame hostess since i’ve been working every day since her arrival and my next free day is tuesday and she’s LEAVING, but! these things, they happen. i was really glad that she came with us last night to glasslands to see erin’s of sodafine and siri’s of treehouse fashion show for williamsburg fashion weekend. it was a total madhouse and a major zoo and a half, but their show rocked so hard! they had all musician ladies for models and they came out one by one and picked up their place in the band, jamming like nuts. and! one of the girls hung from a trapeze and drummed upside down! they certainly know how to put on a show. and the clothes were pretty rad too! i was a little bummed that i couldn’t join them this time around. maybe in the fall. alas!

hm. that’s two alases in one post! a sure sign that things need to settle down so i can get back to work. ian and i have both been itching to get back on top of the making–him with the painting and the drawing and me with the sewing and the drawing. soon! i shall keep saying soon. one nice thing about not having much to do during my few hours at home is that i’ve been getting lots of snugly reading time in. something i’ve missed quite a bit in the past howeverlong. of course, that reading has been almost exclusively of the harry potter variety. huh. did i mention i’ll be 31 next month?


February 16, 2009

ian brought me these the night before valentine’s day. he was embarrassed to be one of “those guys” walking around carrying flowers and assured me that they are most certainly *not* to commemorate that fake holiday. oh no. heh.
our anniversary (which we prefer to call “relationship day” and which this year marks NINE YEARS!) is some time around now, and so no, these flowers were for that. and also (i’ve decided) to apologize for giving me this nasty headcold/possible flu, which resulted in our missing my friend’s one-night art show AND the screening of handmade nation (which i had already purchased tickets for). oh but i don’t mind. for my little toast maker is far more important to me than those things.

pardon the mush, i may still have a fever.

our lovely new kitchen. the whole apartment is still very much a work in progress and as we were under the weather all weekend, the weekend we were planning on getting things all ready to be prettified, there are still innumerable piles of things waiting to be sorted. but this cute bunny calendar is up! that is something, yes?

this is the view from where i spent most of my day, as well as most of my weekend: on the couch watching northern exposure dvds. this is the episode where maurice imports an english fox for a hunt with an aristocrat. ruth anne overhears him bragging that he got it past customs by claiming that it would be a new addition to the cicely zoo and she kidnaps it in an attempt to save its life. ed ends up running in place of the fox. this show got really weird toward the end. um. i’m not giving away the fact that i’ve seen them all at least a dozen times, am i? what’s that? i just did? oh that’s just the fever talking…

February 12, 2009

woo! i did it! i woke up yesterday morning and decided right away yes, life is too short to stick out bad jobs (esp. bad jobs that don’t pay) and excess/needless stress and so! i quit! i walked to the train (the subway, which everyone in new york calls the train and which i now refer to as the train as well) in the morning feeling all light and airy and happy as a clam. and it definitely helped that the weather was unseasonably warm.
so now i’ve just got to put in one more day there and i’m freeeee!

actually, i feel a little bad for complaining about it so much because really, the job itself was not bad. i’ve worked at oilily on and off for….oh my gosh, six years now and for the most part i LOVED it. most of my co-workers have been awesome and i had a lot of fun selling those wacky clothes to wacky ladies (and occasional gentlemen) and their kids. BUT, as i suspect is the case with most retail jobs, there was just too much nonsense and posturing. too much being stepped on and watching my pals being stepped on. it didn’t start out that way, but perhaps that’s because i started out in a smaller store and not in OMGNYCFLAGSHIP land. eh! whatev’s. i bid thee farewell and best wishes, corporate-run retail world! you are not my cup of tea, nor (clearly) i yours.

the knots are gone from my shoulders and i’m feeling more like valerie the happy. tonight we are going out to see our friend’s art show and saturday we are going to see handmade nation! i’m so excited! it will be good to see our (in the collective, not the personal sense) handmade story on the big screen, as told by the biggies in the community. and perfect timing for me, as that studio really needs to be set up so i can get back to work and this will be the just the kick in the pants i need to get motivated again.

in baby news, we’re finding out the sex on tuesday!
also, i am huge.
though a random semi-creepy dude who decided to interrupt my post doctor’s visit, pre going to work hot cocoa break in order to offer *his* opinion as to whether i will have a girl or a boy said that i almost look like i just ate too much. well thanks dude! that’s what every pregnant lady wants to hear from a stranger whose opinion she did not seek!

January 1, 2009

three months

happy new year!
i’m sorry things have been so quiet around here lately, but i have a few very good excuses.
so here is the new year’s news.
we are going to have a little baby in early july.
yes! so crazy.
i’ve been sitting on this little secret (very poorly i might add, as dear blog, you are sadly the last to know) since election day. ELECTION DAY! seems like forever. but here we are. it’s 2009 and little valerian (no we will not name him/her that) will be hangin’ out with us in just over six months. woo! and, yikes!

so in addition to the usual work schedule, we now have midwife appointments, sonograms, blood tests, and we are also busy getting things squared away for ian’s show in dc (opening on the 10th!) and our move a little later this month. needless to say, life is pretty hectic right now and probably won’t settle down until early february. so, things are also changing around dear birthday headquarters. you may have already noticed that the kathryn dress is no longer available for custom order. the dying process involves a small amount of airborne and possible carcinogenic pigment that seems like a bad idea to be messing with right now. i’m also going to take a small break from all other sewing until we’re moved in and the studio space is set up, which will probably be around mid-february.

ok it seems ridiculous to be typing away about business stuff right now, so i’m going to stop that.
happy new year!
i hope you’re looking forward to exciting changes in your life as well.
much love to you and a new year’s kiss!

December 15, 2008


thank you to everyone who stopped by to visit on saturday! i had fun and made enough to buy some christmas presents *and* to go out to dinner with ian and kathryn later. we went to five leaves and it was so delicious and cozy. i’m glad we went at least once more before we move. btw if you click that link, seriously ignore all bad comments left on eater. those people must be insane! we’ve eaten there three or four times and i’ve hung out at the bar once with a friend and each time was wonderful. the staff is pretty much the sweetest to be found in north brooklyn–completely genuine and without a trace of affect– and the food is amazingly delicious. (can you tell i’m a fan?)

oh, but what’s that? i didn’t tell you? we’re moving! not terribly far, but out of the neighborhood to bushwick. i’m sad to leave greenpoint, but with our recent series of apartment troubles and the ongoing annoyance of living above a sushi restaurant (stinky!) we decided that the time had come to seek out greener (or greyer) pastures. as it happens, greenpoint is fast becoming the most awesome and desirable place to live in new york (in spite of the dire health consequnces of living in such close proximity to the biggest oil spill/seepage these united states have known) and we can’t afford it anymore. so! bushwick here we come! we’ll have slightly more space for much less rent, on a residential block, not at all far from the L and close to a park. i am a little nervous because of some stories i’ve heard from well-meaning friends and co-workers about the relative danger of the neighborhood, but i think we’ll be ok.  i’ve been reading a great local blog, BushwickBK and it’s gotten me pretty excited about our new home-to-be. so! onward!

with that and the upcoming holiday/end of year excitement in mind, i should say that updates to the etsy shop will not likely resume until mid january. unless some crazy burst of energy comes my way, i’m going to be packing up our apartment, wrapping gifts and then packing a bag and heading south for a few days of relaxing and eating with the whitmores and the soleses. so that’s that 2008!

oh! but one more bit of excitement! on sunday i was working at sodafine and who should walk in but jenny gordy of wiksten! we were both completely weirded out at first, not at all expecting to see one another in person, let alone in brooklyn! but jenny is so charming and sweet and we totally just chatted away until the shop closed. it’s always so exciting to meet blogger friends in person and compare the online impression to the real life one–i have to say that i’ve never been disappointed (you can usually tell a good egg by their writing) and this case was no exception.  sometimes i wish i could just scoop up all the nice people i’ve ever met and put them in one place. i guess new york is like that to some extent. but! it’s also sort of comforting to know that wherever you are, there are kind hearts and hilarious pals tucked away somewhere.

November 21, 2008

two things!

1. i just put those fancy patchwork slippers (and the denim rainbow ones!) on sale in the etsy shop. hooray!

2. i think i’m a bad tipper! i mean, in restaurants i’m generally a very good tipper. but. ahem. i always give delivery people a standard $2 (unless it’s like, storming out). well. today i ordered lunch (a very *extravagent* lunch) from dumont burger and when it arrived, i was so dumbstruck by the price (hello $4 bottle of water!) that i almost let the delivery dude leave with a $1.50 tip! i collected myself by the time he got to the door to go and was like, uh! i forgot the change part! and just thrust another dollar into his hand. he was really good natured and i don’t think he would have held it against me even if i *hadn’t* but…how embarassing. anyway, i was trolling around online to find out what the standard is for tipping delivery people these days, since i learned this $2 thing uh…in the early 90s when i first started answering the door for the family pizza. turns out, i’m a lousy tipper! funny how i never thought to up that amount until NOW. ah well.

what do you guys tip? am i going to some sort of service industry hell for my inattentiveness to inflation?