Friday, September 27, 2013

ishkabibble - a mixtape for you...

it's andra's birthday today... she would have been 42. :)

 andra made me a handful of mixtapes when we were younger. i love them dearly and they are the only reasons i still have one tape player left in the house... :) they're carefully crafted with doodles and text art...  and thankfully, andra had very eclectic taste in music. although we shared a lot of favorites, she always introduced me to something new.

i re-created one of her mixtapes for you below. i hope you enjoy it! track listing follows....


1. mountains - prince & the revolution 2. dance to the music - sly & the family stone 3. the sensual world - kate bush 4. avalon - bryan ferry / roxy music 5. happy - public image limited 6. warrior - public image limited 7. orinoco flow - enya 8. fury eyes - the creatures 9. lay my love - brian eno / jah wobble 10. one word - brian eno / jah wobble 11. coyote - yoyo ma / bobbie mcferrin 12. air - yoyo ma / bobbie mcferrin 13. never stop - echo & the bunnymen 14. the killing moon - echo & the bunnymen 15. just like heaven - the cure 16. kool aid - B.A.D. II 17. in my dreams - B.A.D. II 18. plainsong - the cure 19. looney tunes / merrie melodies - carl stalling

be careful. be good. be nice.  and happy birthday, andra!  :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

under stars by tess gallagher

the sleep of this night deepens
because i have walked coatless from the house
carrying the white envelope.
all night it will say one name
in its little tin house by the roadside.

i have raised the metal flag
so its shadow under the roadlamp
leaves an imprint on the rain-heavy bushes.
now i will walk back 
thinking of the few lights on 
in the town a mile away.

in the yellowed light of a kitchen
the millworker has finished his coffee,
his wife has laid out the white slices of bread
on the counter. Now while the bed they have left
is still warm, i will think of you, you
who are so far away
you have caused me to look up at the stars.

tonight they have not moved
from childhood, those games played after dark.
again i walk into the wet grass
toward the starry voices. again, i
am the found one, intimate, returned
by all i touch on the way.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

built like a tank... :)

my sister bought a few malongs for me and for the longest time, i haven't done anything with them because a) i don't really wear them b) i really love the fabric and couldn't bear to cut it up...  

but i recently whittled down my stash again and found them and was inspired to use them, they're just too pretty to sit in a box.  i made one of them into a tiny pocket tank.  it's a very easy pattern - the instructions and diagrams are very clear.

i'm so pleased with how it turned out and how it fits.  and i actually have enough fabric left over to make a wrap skirt too!  bonus!  this tank is going to be a great layering addition.  looking forward to making more breezy tanks this summer...  maybe i should start a new challenge and make tanks on tuesdays! 

no.  that was a joke.  ;)

thanks for stopping by and visiting for a spell!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

my new spring scarf!

when anna maria horner's new(ish) lawn fabric, called "fine feathered" in pomegranate, came in to the store, all of my coworkers bought some yardage to make into scarves...  meanwhile, did they leave me even an inch??!!  nooooooo....

so when we got the reorder in, i snagged two yds for myself!  ha!  

but, after i brought it home i realized...  hmm...  we were all going to have the same scarves...  unless...


oooohkay...  i guess you either love the whole mini pom pom fringe trend or you hate it...  i kinda dig it myself...  :)

i looked around locally for mint green mini pom pom fringe and couldn't find it...  honestly, i have no idea why the mint green/celadon color was so appealing to me, but i had to have it.  i ordered 4 yds from warehouse fabrics which has a pretty large color selection of mini pom pom fringe.  

so i washed the lawn fabric in my machine - cold, gentle cycle.  then, while it was still wet, i twisted it into a hank - much like this:

when it was dry, i ironed out just the perimeter of the fabric so that i'd have a flat surface to sew.  

i sewed (btw - if you are sewing a lightweight fabric like cotton lawn, make sure you're using an appropriate sized machine needle) all around with a 1/2 inch seam but left a 3" gap to pull the scarf inside out:

after the scarf is pulled inside out, press the seam flat and sew the gap closed.

to sew the mini pom pom fringe, i needed to use my zipper foot.  i placed the rib portion of the fringe close to the edge of the scarf,  and just started sewing....  this was probably the most time consuming portion of the project..  i was worried that i would catch one of the pom pom the the seam while sewing, so i took it very slow...  :)

i would like my scarf to be a little more wrinkled than pictured, so, i'll most likely dampen it down again later by spraying it with a bit of water and then twisting it into a hank again....

all in all, i LOVE my new scarf!  we have some more beautiful lawns in the store and have also gotten in a shipment of different sized pom pom fringe...  already have my eye on some fabric and complimentary trim!  >:)

thanks for coming by and reading!  

thursday link parties:  house of hepworths,  the brambleberry cottage

       Somewhat Simple

Friday, May 24, 2013

friday dance - thrift shop

i love when a new generation "discovers" the thrift store...  

bwahahahaha!!!  *snort*  newbies....  *smh*

(heads up, the version below is not clean, so prolly shouldn't play around little ears...)

happy friday!  hope y'all  have a relaxing extended weekend!  :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

moar reversible bags! :)

recently, we dedicated a week of school to give thanks to the teachers who truly go above and beyond...  i modified the reversible bag pattern i usually use by shortening it a little and adding a pleat in the middle...  i kinda dig it:

this was my pattern test.  i loved it so much, i kept it.  (four.eyed.deer.)

this one was made for a teacher who is also a whovian.  we picked out the fabrics for the similar tardis console room geometrics and the space whale episode.

the art teacher at school is an accomplished mosaic artist - a common icon/inspiration she uses is the sugar skull.

this bag was for porkchop's teacher.  i really liked the doodles in the grey fabric which remind me of his love of doodling...  

this bag was for paloma's teacher who was wearing a similar color combo and whose fave color is green.

lastly, i wanted to update you on the status of the Colette Laurel contest.  sadly, i didn't make it into the readers' choice round, but i had some stiff competition.  please check out the finalists and vote for 5 of your faves here!

thanks for coming by and reading! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Colette Patterns - Laurel Dress

so i've been a little busy sewing bee lately...  :)

i decided a while ago to enter the colette patterns' laurel sewing contest.  but i was having trouble deciding how i wanted to alter the pattern and what fabrics i wanted.

i ended up altering the pattern by simply 1) making the yoke, 2) the horizontal band under the yoke,  3) the vertical print stripe down center front,  4) the solid band at the front hem and lastly,  5) facings for the front and back. i also made my own bias tape for the arm openings.  (i love making my own bias tape.  whee!)

i also decided on these three fabrics:

michael miller malibu stripe
riley blake ombre green - sadly you can't tell from the pics that the green fabric is ombre. but it is! and it's really cool looking!
michael miller coral cotton couture solid

i was really inspired by all the color blocked dresses i've seen on the runways.  i was curious if i could emulate something similar myself....  i have to admit, during the process, i was really second guessing what this dress  might become, but i'm really happy with it.

i'd really like to try altering the pattern again with more asymetrical blocks of color...  and with different prints/colors.

this really was an easy and fun pattern/dress - even with all of my alterations - to make.

ennyhoo...  thanks for coming by and reading!  please forgive me for the brief post...  i spent most of the day at C2E2 yesterday and then some drinkin and dancing in the evening...  and i'm plum tuckered out.  if you have any questions about the dress, please leave them in the comments!  :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013


lately, i've noticed a lot of collabrations...  mentions of artists inspired by/collaborating with other artists...  finished products or completed works by two or more collaborating artists, bloggers collaborating on other blogs, etc...

i was just thinking how funny it is that so many creative people i know are really introverted and yet have no trouble/little trouble opening up to collaborate with other creative people.... or maybe some of us do... (?)  i dunno... i swear we are the most confusing people evar.  :)

i recently started working at a local fabric store and with fellow columbia alum, jen beeman.  if you haven't visited her blog yet - go. now.

jen is really funny and fun to work with and i look forward to picking her multifaceted brain about possibly developing some downloadable patterns of my own in the future...

lastly, the dance weekend that i am DYING (DYYYYYING!!!!) to go to someday happened over the weekend...  it's where WCS dancers can meet up with Lindyhop dancers...  it's amazeballs.  i especially love the crossover dances, even funnier this year, the WCS dancers dressed up in vintage inspired gear and the lindyhoppers are dressed in modern day wear:

ennyhoo...  although i'm juggling a couple of new projects in the air - figgy's sunki pattern for paloma, a bowling shirt for porkchop and possibly throwing my hat into the collette patterns laurel sewing contest...   i'll be leaving later this week on a spring break road trip from chicago to hilton head, sc - passing thru nashville, tn and savannah, ga...

hope this short post finds you well and warm! (it's 36 here!)

thanks for coming by and reading...  :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

read: the handmade marketplace: how to sell your crafts locally, globally and online

The Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, And OnlineThe Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, And Online by Kari Chapin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

if you (like me) have ever considered getting serious about selling your garments or projects/crafts, this is the book for you....

it's written for crafters by crafters - easy to follow, understand, relate to and best of all very very encouraging...

the author and her panel of crafters cover everything from very basic business tips, marketing and branding including using social/online as well as print media, and selling - either online, in a store or a craft fair or all of the above...

i especially appreciate all of the tips and recalled experiences from the various crafters and creators... it's reassuring to know that these very successful people were once in your (my) unsure shoes. it's very thought provoking too - re: online sales and craft fairs... i really didn't put much deep thought into anything outside of pricing and selling (which scares me to death). the book made me consider a reasonable return policy as well as the methods of payment i should accept.

admittedly, i skipped the portion about podcasting because i doubt i'd ever use that as a marketing tool... additionally, i was a little lost during the press kit portion of the book as well... again, another tool i don't think i would use...

i absolutely LOVED this book and am so thankful to the author, kari chapin, for writing it!! since reading the book, i feel more confident about trying to sell my own garments online and at craft fairs...

thanks so much for coming by and reading...  :)

View all my reviews

p.s.  our youngest cat, rascal says this book just put him to sleep....  (owner note:  everything puts rascal to sleep except between the hours of 3am - 6am)

Monday, March 18, 2013


i received an email from our school that a father of two students (a 3rd grader and a kindergartner) passed away over the weekend...

i didn't know the dad personally, i knew who he was and that he was a very jovial, friendly and popular dad amongst our mutual friends/parents....

despite not knowing him, i'm so sad to hear the news...  i can 't even imagine the kind of grief they must be experiencing...  i pray for him, his wife and their children, family and friends...  i pray that God helps them in their sorrow...  sheltering and embracing them through the stormy and weary days ahead...

i just learned that the dad was also very connected to the chicago music scene as a musician for a very popular local band and as a manager of many bands - local and elsewhere...  he wrote the song below about his life and his children, it's performed by the band, kaiser cartel...

please join me and leave a light on for this family tonight...

Friday, March 15, 2013

revolutions & friday dance

yowza...  it's been a whirlwind couple of weeks....

the first week of march, we celebrated paloma's 10 revolutions around the sun (and shortly thereafter, my 41 revs... ay caramba!  yes, you have to say it like bart simpson...)

paloma asked for a studio ghibli/miyazaki birthday party/sleepover...  she basically wanted to marathon movie watch and dance battle her friends on wii...  we also planned to have a cake featuring miyazaki characters... (Haru & Baron from Cat Returns, Haku and Chihiro from Spirited Away, Howl and Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle, Totoro, Satsuki & Mei from My Neighbor Totoro)

(no, i didn't cut the cake with my rotary cutter, sassycrackers...)  O_o

and paloma also kept asking if i could make her this dress from The Cat Returns.

*insert boisterous laugh track here* (although, this cosplay of Haru is OFF THE CHAIN. holla!)

eventually, we settled on me making a totoro t-shirt with a pale yellow tutu skirt inspired by that dress for her and matching skirts for her friends... *whew*


sadly, all of my grand pinning of miyazaki party ideas on pinterest (i love that that search actually yielded results! *fistbump* pinterest! )  failed, because i caught another Emperor Virus McSicklypants cold....  i finished making the shirt and skirt for paloma but i didn't get a chance to finish her friends' matching skirts...  they're close though...  all in all the young ladies seemed to enjoy themselves... evidence there was much rejoicing...

a few days later, i celebrated my birthday in chicago:

and then i flew out to new jersey to celebrate my bff, corey's birthday with her beautiful family:

corey also has the teensyest tinyest rice cooker i have seen....   ever...   it looks like a toy!!

there were many highlights during the trip including getting lost in princeton...  seriously, who knew we'd get lost on campus...  

princeton is a lovely college town.  i geeked out and saw einstein's house...  but i was too chicken to take a picture, since it's still a residence...  there was signage everywhere exclaiming "Happy Pi Day!"  and "Happy Birthday Albert!"  clearly, corey and i were in very good piscean company...

we had breakfast at pj's pancake house and  lunch at triumph brewing and checked out a bunch of local shops...  and then we caught "silver linings playbook" at the princeton garden theatre.  it's a lovely theatre with a very friendly staff.  and i highly recommend watching that movie... it was SOOOO GOOOD!!!!!  :')

we stayed at the westin princeton at forrestal village...  where they surprised us with complimentary drinks in their latitude lounge and we found  this when we got to our room!

then, we capped off our birthday weekend with massages and facials... it was a short but very sweet visit...  corey said she hadn't laughed as hard as she had in a very long time...  best. compliment. evar!!!  :)

 ennyhoo...   hopefully, i'll finish the remainder of the birthday skirts and i'll update this post with pics of them all together...  :)  

i saw these amazeballs dance videos on my birthday - so you've prolly already seen them elsewhere, but they're so great - you won't mind seeing them again...  and again...  :)

i love that in this video, some of the dancers are *airquotes* RETIRED *airquotes*...  bwahaha....

oooo...  this video just makes me wanna break out all my 80s pastels....  *doublesnaps*

thanks for coming by and reading, i hope march is treating you well, weather notwithstanding.... :)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

facebook fast - update

so, it's been almost three weeks since i started my facebook fast...  and it's been a tough go of it...  facebook may have it's warts but for me and my family and friends who now live in different time zones and continents, it really is a wonderful way to stay in touch, even if it is only through a status update...  personally, i find some status updates truly intimate and genuine...

anyway, i'm glad that i've been able to keep my lenten sacrifice so far...  i tell you this now, because tomorrow is my birthday and i will most likely break it...  i just think if people take time to send you good wishes, the least you can do is thank them....

i have definitely noticed in the past three weeks that i'm my more observant self.   i have re-opened my eyes to the world around me that was often obscured by my phone and my facebook wall...

although, i've failed thus far to write any letters, i have blogged more and have read more and am still planning on writing letters....  one of the hidden gifts of being more observant is how something mundane or coincidental will rush memories of someone and bring them to the present and the need to communicate with them becomes a priority...  i've also noticed that i've struck up conversations with complete strangers more often than before.  and they've been very funny and productive interactions....

not too recently, during one of our chicago snowstorms, i noticed an elderly man struggling to free his car from the middle of an unplowed intersection.  eventually, after he'd managed to back up onto the street corner,  i helped him to move his car and asked a couple of construction workers to help me.  we released the car and the man waved weakly from his window.  i bought my fellow helpers hot chocolates at the cafe.   we joked a bit about the man and his mercedes and what could possibly be so important for him trek outside on a stormy day like that day.

late in the afternoon, it was still snowing...  and while tromping home thru snow with the kids  from school, we spied a lovely old sewing table (sans machine & retrofitted with a new top).  The metal legs were in very good condition and the pedal still moved the large wheel.  i couldn't let the table languish in the alley, so i started to half drag/half carry the heavy table home...  which was only a half block away...

the two construction workers from the morning saw me.  they came to my rescue this time, and carried the table the rest of the way home and up our front steps...  i am so very thankful for and humbled by their generosity.  it was a good day.  i was thankful that i was present to help the man in his car and thankful i was present to see the sewing table....  :)

fwiw, these three weeks have been an excellent reminder of how absent i have been in other parts of my life...  and that i should endeavor to balance my online life and my off line life... and be more present and observant in both....

chicago is currently hiding under a blanket of snow...  she's quite pretty nonetheless....  i hope you are warm and safe wherever you are...  thanks for coming by and reading...  :)


Monday, March 04, 2013

read it: the girl who fell beneath fairyland and led the revels there

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2)The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

i'm surprised at how lukewarm i am about this sequel to "the girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a ship of her own making" - especially since i really enjoyed the first book...

i didn't hate it. i was glad to see some familiar characters again...

however, it was odd... i wasn't nearly as compelled to read this book as i was the first... it felt like i was involved in a poorly planned scavenger hunt...

poor september seemingly goes from unresolved quest to unresolved quest with new character after new character... and is constantly unsure of herself... which seemed very out of character for her, considering the triumphant & bittersweet end of the first book...

and speaking of completely out of character - what's up with maud? clearly, she was much more interesting when she mirrored the marquess - i would have preferred her like that the entire time....

and this book was much darker than the first... and generally i like dark, one of my favorite books is gaiman's bittersweet and somberly humorous, graveyard book. but this journey was dark and sad and seemingly without redemption.... which is fine, i guess.... i was just baffled that we'd traveled this arduous journey with september for so long on a very sad road and then *poof* everything's hunky dory.... ???

i just think if you're gonna go the "empire strikes back" route... just go all the way with it... not sure why the story turned so fast at the end....

i did enjoy reading about the landscape and history of fairyland below... it is just as interesting if not more so than fairyland itself... the author is a master of describing that world and immersing/captivating the reader.

fwiw, i'm still looking forward to the next fairyland book. i hope it's better than both of it's predecessors. :)

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 28, 2013

final - figgy's patterns - scirocco

clearly, all of my grand (delusions) plans to document my progess on this garment have failed...  since i finished the dress about a week ago...  *sad trombone*  i've also been really busy with work and paloma's birthday is this weekend.... lots of prep for the soon to be 10 year old's b'day party...  (

re:  cutting...

i think i've mentioned before that cats do not make good pattern weights...  you should believe me.  (my) cats won't, but you should....  it took me about two hours to cut this out (cat notwithstanding), but only because i decided (*cough*forgot to buy lining*cough*) to have contrast panels and lining (see pink and peach fabrics)...  

re: sewing...

this would probably be a challenging pattern even for an intermediate sewer, but if you just take it slow and read the directions, i think you'll find your way...

the trickiest part is definitely the bodice, where you turn the lining...  again, if you follow the directions, you'll figure it out....

"16.  Right sides facing, align the inner shoulder seams and stitch.  Press the seam open."  (then you pull the shoulder seams thru the opening at the waist and stitch the outer shoulder seams...  this sounds more complicated than it is...  really.)

"18.  Right sides facing, place the inner and outer shoulder seams on top of each other.  Pin and stitch the remaining seam opening along the armhole and neckline, which avoids topstitching."

after the bodice, the skirt is a breeze, especially if you take my advice and notch the patterns so you know which one is which....  then, TA-DA!!!  *insertsnoopydance* (not optional)

so, yeah....  i always forget how tall Paloma is....  it's more of a long flouncy shirt than a dress....  but, she loves it and that's all that matters to me....  i can't wait for summer so she can actually use it....  she spent the coooold chilly day in this outfit with a sweater and long socks...  she dinna wanna take it off...  :)


ennyhooo.....  happy thursday!  thanks for coming by and reading!!  

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