Thursday, December 30, 2010

friday dance: RAIN edition

*before you read the slobber that follows - let it be known that i am a VERY happily married woman... and to thin man, love o' my life, you know i loves you more than any (unbelievably gorgeous) preschool aged dude.... yer my main squeezage. but feel free to buy me a RAIN cd or desk calendar or t-shirt for my birthday.... hint hint wink wink knowhatimean... :)

ok... so waaaaay back in 2007, the lovely and all wise kimchi mamas posted this OUTRAGEOUS korean eye candy on their blog who answers to the name, Rain.

of course, being the relatively newly minted mom of two, my brain was completely fried. and fer crissakes, he's 10 years younger than me.... yes, i will admit he's REALLY cute, but beyond that i started to feel a little too predatory.

yeah. fast forward to 2010. i'm owning up to the whole predatory thing... MEOWRRRR.... i'm always late to parties... :)

the reason is twofold... i just finished two books recently: J.Carey's Naamah's Kiss and C. Clare's Clockwork Angel. both of which, if made into films, would have perfect parts for Rain - imho - assuming that the characters aren't whitewashed out of the films.... but i digress...

ennyhoo... right after i finished the books, i literally stumbled on my remote control and SOMEHOW, by some twist of fate (totally weird, no?) or my hips and knees, my cable on demand just started playing Rain's newest hollywood movie, Ninja Assassin. go figure, right?! just started playing. ON ITS OWN. so i couldn't NOT watch it. clearly, the universe was trying to tell me something. and when the universe talks... am i right!? ;) i'm preaching to the choir ladies, i know...

feel free to fwd to the 1:20 ish mark where the music and booty shaking begins:

and some highlights from ninja assassin made by another fan:

youtube also has some interviews and episodes from his most recent tv show the fugitive: plan b.

suffice to say, i have a problem. i'm mamazilla. i am a rainaholic. it has been two minutes since i last google stalked searched for RAIN:
i will never look at a grey cloud in the same way... evar again!!! *swoons*

happy friday!!!! and best wishes for a bright and prosperous new year!!! :)

Tuzki Bunny Emoticon

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

operation gratitude

for a while now, i've been feeling a little blue... just a little... nothing too deep to overcome though. our financial situation has been pretty bleak for many months - a year even... honestly, we're fine... considering how little (financially) i had growing up - we're doing well... we're healthy (chicken pox free!), amply clothed, fed and sheltered.

recently, we heard from our former neighbors (but still very close friends) that our house was finally boarded up. we had no idea since the daily calls we receive from the bank impart no information or very late misinformation on their part...

i also really missed creating, writing and sending out our Christmas cards this year too. we just couldn't afford it. i am very surprised by my melancholy over it. i had no idea the act of correspondence (albeit one sided and slightly robotic) meant so much to me. and hence - my vivid smurfette blue pallor... :)

i'm hopeful that we'll have recovered financially and that we actually have GOOD news to share next year.

luckily, the thin man and i managed to scrape up enough to get the kids some gifts this year - ourselves, friends and family are still in negotiation... (yes, i know it's 3 days until the BIG day....) i've come to realize that getting creative with a financial budget is emotionally exhausting - i don't care how easy excel can make it - the numbers are still red! :( our families have also been very generous as always at this time. and santa's coming too, we can't forget santa! thankfully, the kids are also slowly learning to become more reflective about wants vs. needs as well as learning to be more patient.

as a child, when times were tight, and my emotions and impatience would sometimes consume me, my mother would remind me of our trips home to the philippines where the desperate poverty was never far from view. i remembered children like myself who i would see bathing in potholes full of fresh rainwater to get clean. i would stop complaining and do something... anything.... to reassure myself that "this too shall pass" and recount how much i had to be thankful for...

recently, i heard about Operation Gratitude, a non profit that sends care packages to soldiers overseas. inside the care packages, they also send knit scarves (in the winter) made by volunteers. after reading their guidelines, i knew this was something i could do easily.

i married into a family of military veterans and after hearing their stories have grown to sincerely appreciate the heartbreaking sacrifices the troops and their families make. i couldn't get beyond the feeling that this would help me lift my spirits and would help a soldier out there feel some warmth/comfort - physically, maybe even emotionallly - a mutual win-win situation... :)

i got myself acquainted with the mistake rib via crazy aunt purl. i found lion brand fisherman's wool yarn on sale at my local Michael's and got started. i finished up last week:

i know it won't get there in time for Christmas. but i know they're still accepting scarves so it will find a new owner eventually - hopefully, sooner than later. after i wrote my accompanying letter of thanks and concern to the soldier, i really felt a renewal of sorts. it never ceases to amaze me how making something and giving it to someone else always makes me feel like i received a gift instead....

2011 looks better and brighter with every passing day of 2010... :)

i hope this holiday season has brought you great joy, some peace and ample time to spend with your loved ones! as always, thanks for coming by and reading...

Tuzki Bunny Emoticon

Friday, December 10, 2010

more sewing! & friday dance - madness edition

ok. i dunno what it's like at your house right now but at our house - it's absolute MADNESS....

unlike the serene & orderly appearance of this blog, my living room is resembling santa's workshop after a visit from a psycho with chain saw... there's glitter and boucle fuzz where glitter and boucle fuzz should just. not. be. O_o

i have waaaay too many projects going on at once for birthdays, donations, the holidays, new baby arrivals, etc... and the children are on crafting overdrive... they've turned it up to 11!!! :)

they're also still attending birthday parties... and i am still making birthday presents.... i SWEAR people are having WAY to much unprotected sex in the spring... jeez LOUISE!!!!

"mother's tired, she needs a rest...." :) ennyhooo.... here are my two latest creations:

the doll's dress is made from an alteration of simplicity 4786. i added the shoulder ruffle from simplicity 4268.

the girl's dress is an (neckline) alteration of simplicity 3510. i added the center front ruffles and sequin trim... just because. :)

the boy's shirt was made from butterick 3475. however, i didn't have the right size so, i had to grade up the pattern myself. it turned out well i think and apparently fits it's owner perfectly. hopefully, that will be true this summer. the fabric was actually a production sample i received from one of my former manufacturers when i worked for joe boxer. i wish i could remember the name of the fabric - we were so good as so many things at JB including naming colors and fabrics. :)

last but not remotely in the least... the porkchop celebrated his 5th birthday on tuesday. much love, hugging, gift wrap ripping, hilarity and cake ensued... HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my s'wonderfullest little man:

thanks for stopping by.... i hope you are having an AWESOME friday!!!! :)


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

so little time, so many toys to sew...

so, first and foremost... the reason for the quiet blog? well, we've celebrated a number of birthdays which are usually preceded and followed with LOTS of sewing... however, not only did the kids bring home bags full of goodies... my dear (suffering) husband had the misfortune of bringing home the chicken pox.

thankfully, i'd already suffered thru them as a child and the kids have already been vaccinated... he had to stay away from the public for at least a week and was too sick to really do anything except stay in bed. so, i had to double up some parenting duties... honestly, i had no idea i could be this tired. so beware the birthday parties, parents... BEWARE.... :)

ennyhoo.... back to the birthday gifts... i was really proud of these three, all made for classmates in porkchop's jr. kindergarten class:

i made another bunny from martha stewart's encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts. i made the tote bag by copying another one we had lying around. the fabric flower was another made with the help of the wisecraft fabric flower tutorial. inside the bag, along with the bunny, i placed a lovely book perfect for ANY young girl, "my name is not isabella". the book is beautifully illustrated, educational and empowering for girls. it also gives a short bio of "women who changed the world" which includes "Mommy". :)

so, i didn't think the boys would appreciate a bunny... i've made teddy bears from the book "toys to sew". but, i felt like i needed to make something new. a little further in the book are patterns for dinosaurs, like the apatosaurus above. and this pattern (like the herbivore dinosaur) scared me the least. the patterns for the stegosaurus and the t-rex are really amazing but frankly, nightmarish. when i have more time, i'll try them.


i put the initals of the boys' names on each bag and filled them with items purchased from our local toy store, building blocks toys, a melissa & doug paint craft, a kumon origami book, a magic drawing slate, and a dover sticker book. what can i say? i like to spread the crafty, artsy fartsy love... :)

ok. i REALLY have to return to the saltmines now... hopefully, i'll have another post up soon... thanks for coming by and reading!


Friday, November 12, 2010

friday dance: death warmed over edition

i'm barely functioning on very little sleep... and this has been a horrific week to boot.... hope you're having a better day/week than me!



Friday, November 05, 2010

friday dance - california love edition

when november's chilly winds blow thru me, i often think back to november 1995, when i moved to california.

so many things had gone wrong for me in chicago towards the end of college and after graduation... and at the urging of close, worried friends of mine, i traveled out to san francisco to visit with them for a week to give my self, body and soul, a much needed rest. i came back, got my stuff, returned and stayed in SF for the next six years...

i'm glad to be back in chicago now and i feel more at home and whole, than i did when i left. this song and this very young singer, alyssa bernal, remind me so much of a younger me and that feeling of freedom i felt even as i got on the train... an immense weight lifted incrementally as i got closer to the west... and that starstruck feeling i had gazing at the beauty and ferocity of the SF skyline, thru a filmy glass window, on a bus going over the bay bridge from oakland...

san francisco will always be a special place for me... i feel as if the city nursed me back to health with some tough love, as well as some TLC.... my life evolved and was irrevocably altered by the wonderful friendships i forged there, the challenges i confronted, the experiences i engaged in.... (and yes, meeting and marrying you too, thin man - that goes without saying, but i know you'll bring it up later if i don't mention it now. :) )

san francisco was my second chance.... and with some adversity, i bloomed.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

happy halloween!!!

huzzah!!! a post that isn't a "dance friday"! :)

pictured above is the costume that the paloma wanted - a fancy firefly from the chasing fireflies catalog... the costume, including all the accessories (wings, antennae, glovelets, choker, earrings) would've cost about $120.00 (before tax, shipping, etc...)

porkchop wanted to be the engineer from the polar express:

i didn't actually see any engineer costumes at the halloween store, but i figured it would be easy to put together since i already had a white tee, an engineer cap and a red handkerchief. i just needed to make some overalls.

after the fabric/pattern hunt at joann, i started working on the porkchop's overalls first:

i purchased McCalls M4756. i was shocked that i found only two overall patterns. the other was too small - an infant size. i did have to add some length to the overalls since porkchop is so tall, but other than that, the pattern was very easy to follow. i couldn't find any striped denim to match his hat, but the dark dye denim i did find looked really good with it. of course, i had to buy some train buttons and a train patch too. and multitudes of heartfelt thank yous to the craft universe for the invention of snap tape! i'm thinkin' maybe porkchop can be a member of the dexy's midnight runners next year... har de har har... :)

the first thing i had to do re: paloma's costume was find the wings. the halloween store didn't have this color green in the dragonfly shape but they did have a lovely aqua blue and she liked the traditional wing shape and they were already on sale.... so i brought the wings with me to match fabrics. (just don't tell her she looks like a fairy... you won't hear the end of it...)

luckily, i also had patterns for paloma already - i used the bubble dress pattern from Simplicity 2767 and i used the petals from McCalls M4622 to make a tutu to go over the dress. make it and love it blog has a great tutorial for making the glovelets. i bought some pipe cleaners and added them to a headband she already had. she was a little disappointed that the dress didn't light up like the one in the catalog, but she loves the assorted glitter, crystals and mini paillettes on the dress and wings. i'm especially happy that she has an actual dress to enjoy as well, not another costume dress (we have many) for pretend play.

ennyhoo... i'm soooo glad, i finished these costumes... and i'm sooo looking fwd to watching the kids show them off tomorrow night!

hope you have a happy halloween! thanks for coming by and reading. :)


Friday, October 29, 2010

friday dance - ghosts of (80s) goths past edition

i finished the porkchop's train engineer costume and have started paloma's blue firefly... so i am up to my eyeballs in aqua blue chiffon, tulle, sequins and mini pailettes...

taking a mini time out to post some spine tingling faves from my medusa's shoegazing, le chateau wearing, scenes coffeehouse people watching, wax trax records perusing days:

first up... familiar music from the exorcist... (not the original mike oldfield version, i know) a movie that still scared the sh*t out of me even though i only listened to it under a blanket... i remember a friend of mine picking this out on the piano one dark and stormy night... *shivers*

and lastly, a song that has ALWAYS given me the creeps... as did the vampire movie, the hunger.

happy friday! mwahahahahahahahahahahaha!


Friday, October 22, 2010

friday dance - road trip edition (take 2)

fyi - i'm with the famz in a car headed east... road trip music follows: :)

happy friday!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

tea for two :)

just an fyi - the thin man and i are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary today!

yay us! :)

(btw - housework, cats, children and husband were all neglected to create this little film montage...)


Thursday, October 14, 2010

friday dance - shake and boogie edition

so.... i just happen to know it's tito jackson's birthday today.

don't ask. just dance. :)

happy friday!!!


p.s. i'm hoping to resume to regular blogging very soon.... i was sidetracked by my father's visit, then my in laws came for a visit.... and the kids and i are still getting used to the new school routine... and fighting off a new set of germs every couple of days it seems.... i started sewing a dress for paloma yesterday and halloween costumes are up next... and i got another armful of craft books at the library too!

Friday, October 01, 2010

friday dance - love is the drug

taking care of a snuffly feverish porkchop today... which means me and the rest of "the thundering herd" will be just as sick very soon... so i got to thinking of this:

y'know me and those wacky word associations. :) hoping you're having a healthier friday than me. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

tooth fairy fail. and WIN!

before we go any further... if you're a tooth fairy non-believer, do yourself a favor and don't read the rest of this post... :) don't say i didn't warn you!

ennyhoo... as i mentioned earlier, i've been perusing martha stewart's encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts.

one of the many crafts/gifts that caught my eye is a cute tooth pillow... it's a little square pillow w/ a pocket where you can store the tooth for the tooth fairy...

well, paloma is waist deep in the "loose tooth" age... and so, of course, i started to make the pillow... however while i was sewing it up, she wiggled another tooth loose...

thankfully, i finished up the pillow in time for bed last night (click to enlarge thumbnails):

we went thru our nighttime routines and fell asleep w/ visions of teeth and fairies dancing in our heads...

this morning, i went into paloma's room to wake her for school. she was already awake. AND CRYING MISERABLY... clutching the pillow... and the tooth... (!!)

"Mommy, the tooth fairy never came!!!" she cried. (O_o)

i was SHOCKED!!! (O_o) i mean what the h*ll kind of tooth fairy doesn't pick up a loose tooth!!!??? and after it was placed in such a beautiful holder and all.... what could possibly delay her/him!!?? what does she/he do all day anyway!!?? and why is there no tooth fairy customer service/complaint line??!!


paloma was SO upset... she even wrote the tooth fairy a letter in case she showed up (slacker...):

before she walked out the door to walk to school w/ the thin man, she hugged me tight and whispered, "i really hope the tooth fairy comes. i hope i didn't do something wrong."


hours passed.... i picked up paloma and porkchop from school. porkchop ran to paloma's room and of course, i followed because very rarely does something good come of him playing in her room... i shooed him out of her room and noticed a LOT of glitter scattered on the floor... i called to both of them to clean it up... they bounded down the hallway...

"what glitter?" they said.

"the glitter that you guys scattered all over the room... please stop doing crafts in your bedrooms you guys. paloma, i also want you to make your bed please." i replied.

the paloma looked completely confused but started to make her bed anyway... and she found this under her pillow:

there was some money inside the pillow pocket and a beautiful unicorn toy sitting next to it!!!

the note reads (click to enlarge):

we couldn't believe it!!! there was even a trail of fairy glitter from the windowsill to paloma's bed:

in closing, she went to bed very very happy tonight... as will i... tooth fairy, we'll never doubt you again... hope your wing is healing up quickly! :)

thank you for coming by and reading...


Friday, September 24, 2010

friday dance: rebel rebel

another friday dance dedicated to my papa. who for some reason thought *I* was a rebel... *flashes devil horns* ;)

Monday, September 13, 2010

new kid on the block

at the end of august, my extended (my stepsister's sister in law) family grew by one new bouncing baby boy! so, of course, to celebrate the healthy baby's arrival and the blossoming family, i started sewing (not heavily drinking or gorging myself with sushi per usual...). :)

i wasn't sure what i wanted to make... i took a walk, found myself at the library (a common occurence) and started perusing the craft book section. i picked up martha stewart's encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts, sew u and sew what! skirts

clearly, i wasn't going to make him a skirt or any part of a women's wardrobe so, i hoped martha stewart would inspire me... and she didn't disappoint!

first of all, the book is GINORMOUS! supposedly, it contains 150 projects... i didn't count them, but considering the size and heft of this book, it wouldn't surprise me... so, i saw these three projects that served as a launching pad:

(click to enlarge thumbnails)

one of the many cool things about this book is the included CD. it has all the patterns & designs needed to complete the projects.

i made the bunny exactly as specified and instructed in the book, except that i also made a yo-yo, stuffed it with fiberfill and used it to make the tail:

the kimono was easy to make. i even made my own contrast binding... however, i did notice after cutting out the pattern that the front flat pattern was missing seam allowance at the "angled shoulder". i should have trued up the pattern beforehand, but honestly, i just assumed that the pattern was correct. i mean, it's in a martha stewart book for goodness sakes... (!!??)

the pant was made from some random pattern i already had. the baby booties in the book were too feminine looking so, i used the pattern for the sole in the book, but then used porkchop's old pair of robeez as a reference to draft patterns for the top and heel. i didn't want to use elastic (as in robeez) because the shoes are made of felt. so i used ribbon and made a hole in the top to secure. next time, i make these booties, i think i'll use ultrasuede, fleece and an actual buttonhole. :)

ennyway... thank you for stopping by and reading. hope you have a lovely rest of the day... :)


Friday, September 10, 2010

" have caused me to look up at the stars..."

one of my favorite poems (ever) is tess gallagher's under stars. it starts and ends with a letter and the sender transfixed by the letter's destination, it's recepient, the future and the present...

on sept. 10, i (try to) dedicate a post to my best friend, andra brubaker, who passed away on this day in 1993.

i think i've mentioned before that one of the umpteen things i miss about andra are the letters i would have received from her...

i finally feel comfortable enough to share some of the "visual splendor" with you... the verbose bodies of letters themselves remind me of some of the funniest and saddest times of my youth, when i was just discovering my "voice" and "vision", etc... and i think it would be difficult to share those without giving some lengthy background about our 20-something selves... i'll save you the gorey details... ;)

when i say "visual splendor" i mean it... when andra and i became classmates in an "Art 1", we quickly became friends. her drawings and paintings were whimsical, lyrical and emotive... she was born with a talent that was encouraged by her family.... her hands flowed easily with any tool...

i had some talent but it was something i had to work at and focus on. i struggled with anything that wasn't a pencil. and i never entertained the thought of art or design as an actual career because my parents would have never accepted it - and they proved me right when i finally entertained the thought and got into art school.... thankfully, that's not the case now...

when we started college & writing the letters (in 1989!), we'd doodle on the envelopes like this one (click on thumbnails to enlarge):

or this one:

sometimes, andra would send me class notes (botany) along with her letter - two sided notebook paper + tree hugger:

the last one i'll share with you is a postcard that shows her individual approach to penmanship:

i wish i knew why it is so difficult for me to write a letter today... sometimes, i think it's because it's not as easy to buy stamps anymore... (lazy...) sometimes, i reason, i'm not even sure if the addresses i have are current... (<-- wait. that's a lie. i send 80+ holiday cards in december and i rarely get one back...) often, i let the fear of not getting a response, prevent me from making the effort... this is true of me in many areas of my life w/ re: to socializing... hence, my "loner" ness.

for someone who LOVES getting mail, i just don't act like it... admittedly, i also get really distracted with email, text, twitter, FB and (the dreaded) TV, etc... often, i'm glad for the technology that connects me so quickly to friends and family, but in some ways, they act as barriers or filters of true, honest, "warts and all" friendships too.

the four full years of andra letters that i have i treasure and cherish. i feel the weight of the different papers, the pressure of the pen on the paper... i hear the crinkle pages turning, tangled in other pages... i smell graphite, ink or the earthy scent of "stuff getting old"...

as old as the letters are, they reek of the present to me... they are the act/quality of endurance solidified.... they are the blessings of our friendship. they are andra's hand to hold in fear and in grief. they sit with me when i cannot sleep. they make me laugh... they remind me that i learned from failure... they nudge me gently to get back to the "work in progress"...

today, i realize that andra's letters are reminding me to be more thankful to have the friends i have... and i should cherish them and tell them so... often. :) i should be a better friend than i am by trying to be a friend instead of self-segregating myself from friends out of fear of rejection... that i shouldn't be afraid to accept the offer to lean on friends when i need to, when conversely, i'm never afraid to be leaned on. because i learned the hard way, as a child, that's the best way to find out who your real friends are - they're the ones who don't run away, when they see you in the harshest light.

and lastly, i'm reminded to be patient with myself and others... that it takes two people to make a real, loving friendship, as it does to write letters. that friendships like letters shouldn't be written or read in one sitting...

and in closing... because andra would never want me to stop dancing... i post a favorite song of ours for friday dance:

i miss you so much, andra. our time together was too too short. i hope to see/be with you again someday... til then, i'll address my letters to the stars...

be careful. be good. be nice.


Friday, September 03, 2010

friday dance - dartboy edition

friday dance is dedicated to my dear friend and criminal mastermind, @smanny aka dartboy & self proclaimed surly girl. she leaves for a new adventure in a new city much too soon...

i'll miss you very much, ma petit chou! a bientot! bises! :')

heads up philly! hide your elderly and children! ;)


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"oh firenze dolce firenze"

in october, the thin man and i will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. :)

after our wedding, we travelled to italy for our honeymoon. we started in venice and ended in rome, with stops in florence, pisa, siena, san gimigiano and capri.

i'd always wanted to visit italy. to me, italy was a bigger film celebrity than any international film star since most of my favorite films used italy as a backdrop -
fellini's 8 1/2, roman holiday, stealing beauty, night on earth, life is beautiful, godard's contempt, and a room with a view:

eenyway... a while ago, in a galaxy far far away, i picked up this quirky fabric that had a poem about florence printed on it... i didn't know what it said, so i was afraid to make anything from it until i got it translated and made sure it didn't say something that would make an italian want to point and laugh at me. ;)

recently, i've become friends with a wonderful mom (ciao marcella! *hugs*) at paloma's school who happens to be italian, from a small town near milan. she took a look at it and reassured me it was not offensive. :) i really wanted to make something that was large enough to show off the entire poem so, i decided on yet another dress from matsumoto's "feminine wardrobe":

the text of the poem is as follows (i still don't have an exact translation unfortunately):

"oh firenze dolce firenze
che portastionde magiche nel-mio io
dove nelodie ronantiche e statue autkhi
come la guerra e la pace
si ripetono nel tempo, celand o amori
nato nella tua culla.
dove maratonando nelle tue vie, he
sognate me raviglie nascoste.
alloggi casuali dove il neglie stpuc'
dare con l'aiuto della luna....
e l'alba dalba per ricominciare ad amare
circndata da un lungo fiocco d'argento
si rispecchia il tuo mondo d'arte
donandori un senso completo di liberta'
libenpa' di conquistartl..."

grazie & ciao ragazzi!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

friday dance: volcanoes & raccoons edition

(i'm posting this on thursday night, 'coz imma be busy tamarra... and it's friday somewheres, right?)

a week or so ago, i was working on these two t-shirts to give to my friend M. he turned 8, this past monday. he loves raccoons and volcanoes.

i moseyed on down to my local Michael's craft store and picked up some blank tees and some fabric markers... (click on pics to enlarge)

i used a grid to freehand draw the "happy volcano" with a vanishing ink pen. then, i colored it all in...

i used a light box to trace the image and text for the raccoon tee. although you can't tell - the t-shirt is heather grey in color... y'know, raccoons are grey... :

paloma and i were very happy with the results:

and last but not least- my offerings for FrIdAy DaNcE!!!

veruca salt's "volcano girls":

and ben folds' "rocking the suburbs": (ok... so the only raccoon that came to mind was the raccoon from the kids movie over the hedge... the song is from that film.)




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