shopping trip

On my way home from work, I walked up Broadway on my way to Penn Station and found the coolest store, Fishes Eddy. As an on-again-off-again ceramic artist I go a little nuts for anything pottery or ceramic, but this place really deserves it. Sparing you the overly detailed description, I'll plug their website instead for anyone interested. I ended up buying 2 items.

I'm sure the thing on the right is a real cooking utensil but I think it looks like a cauldron and only cost 75 cents, so I'll find something decorative to do with it. The purple glass thing is a salt dip - I think it would be perfect for dipping Challah on shabbat, so I'm saving it for my mom for Chanukah and am considering picking up another one for my grandma.

My fair squares partner received her package today, so I can post pictures of what I stitched for her finally! It's a kit called Thankful Sheep from Shepherd's Bush. Check out Mary Kathryn's blog, she does really pretty things with her cross stitch when she's done stitching them.

Gotta go take this phone call. Have a good night all.



I've got some good news, and some bad news. First the bad news, so that I get it out of my system and can dwell on the good stuff.

I recently reconnected with an "old" friend from when I lived in London, who is now living in Paris. Since I work with Paris, speak French, and am basically obsessed with all things french (despite disapproving of their social policies), it wasn't hard for her to convince me to visit. I'm trying to plan a trip over Thanksgiving but I hit a slight snag with $1400 dollar airfare... so I need to do some serious searching to find something more affordable. I need to start planning these things further in advance next time!

Okay! On the good stuff:
My new blogging friend Beatrice mentioned me on her blog, and linked over here. Plus she posted an update on this enormous dragon piece she's stitching... since I couldn't possibly stitch something so large myself, it's very fun to see how others are progressing on them. It's very inspiring. Thanks Beatrice!

My not-as-new friend JS is getting married in June, and she IMed me this morning to tell me about her upcoming engagement party. We started chatting about her shower (I've already got the perfect project picked out as a gift), and asked me to be a bridesmaid! I really like JS & her fiance, and it's my first time as a bridesmaid, so I'm totally psyched. I really can't post more about this yet, but you'll hear updates in future posts. Also, any advice on bridesmaiding would be much appreciated! JS is usually the one I ask about wedding etiquette.

Moving away from the good news/bad news thing...
A couple of years ago my mom used her best friend's son's upcoming marriage as an excuse to get in shape, gave herself 8 months to do it and accomplished her goals for fitness and weight in about 4 months. I'm thinking of using JS's wedding (and the fact that I'm in it) as the same kind of push towards dieting and getting more in shape. My mom hit the gym for like 90 minutes a day, 6 days a week, and I definitely wouldn't be able to do that! I figured out that I have 34 weeks, so if I set up a plan with more-reasonable weekly goals, it's totally doable. I'll have to get back to you all on what exactly those goals will be, but they involve yoga once a week, more bicycling, and less chocolate :(

This getting-in-better-shape plan is NOT shaping up the be one of the fun adventures. Moving away from such depressing thoughts as less chocolate!

I've given up on finding a nice, non-cliche'd Jewish-themed wedding sampler pattern for my cousin who got married a couple of weeks ago. So I think I'm designing my own. Going for the non-cliche thing, I'm going to use a line from the last and most *famous* of the 7 blessings from the Sheva Brachot (for a decent translation of the actual blessings try here) . It's going to be in Hebrew since that's clearly what they'd prefer (and we all speak/read Hebrew well), and then I'll stitch their names and the English & Hebrew dates of the wedding on it somewhere.

I'm still trying to come up with some good graphics to go along with the text. It's really hard since a lot of the *traditional* wedding iconography is innappropriate (crosses, churches, church bells) or doesn't apply. What is up with doves? And she's allergic to wheat, so there was no wedding cake. What am I supposed to do, stitch a broken plate, broken glass, and bottle of wine? I might just go with flowers. Or a chupah. I could do their chupah! It was really tastefully decorated with just the right amount of flowers, and we took more than enough photos (from the front row) for me to put something together. And then it's have flowers. Hmmm

Blog-therapy seems to be working for me today, so I'll leave you with this for now. Here's hoping we all accomplish some of our goals today!


Fall fun

Today rocked! The day began with no plans beyond getting out of the house and doing "something Fall", and mission accomplished!

I woke up pretty early for a Sunday - 8ish - and did 2 hours of stitching on Ivy while watching some shows off my DVR - Gossip Girls, Big Shots, and Smallville. Gossip Girl is my guilty pleasure this TV season. I went to high school on the Upper East Side - it was NOTHING like the prep school on the show though, but I still recognize a lot of the scenery & laugh because I probably had some of those kinds of kids in my school too. Last week's episode was pretty good, they introduced a new character (Vanessa), and I'm really hoping she'll be back in future episodes.

Smallville was GREAT this week, I love seeing Lana's evil side (finally!) but we all know she's gonna get slapped by the Luthors in the end (unfortunately). Chloe is still one of my favorite characters, and this week she was still reveling in her side-kick-ness - I'm waiting for her to bust out some superpowers of her own already!

Despite all that happened in TV land, I made good progress on Ivy. I'm working on the skirt for now, figure get the *boring* parts done before moving on the torso and wings, which have prettier colors and the sparkly Kreinik threads. I'm about 1/3 done with the skirt... so about 20% through the entire project? Let's optimistically say 20% ;-)
In case you're wondering, I'm stitching this on "Denim Blue", but it looks Periwinkle or Purple IRL. I was going for something more blue but I'm still okay with this color.

The weather today was GORGEOUS - cool and sunny - and all the leaves are turning colors, so after lunch (and straightening up a bit after Sky), I took Sky to a park near our house. It's mostly woods and has a mile-long path where people take their dogs for walks off-leash. Sky is fairly well-known there, since she's pretty unique looking and usually goes to this park 6 days a week (not Saturdays). I don't usually take her, so I've gotten used to strangers and their dogs greeting Sky and either ignoring me or asking where Sky's *regular* people are. Surprisingly though, today Sky didn't have any admirers and we barely saw anyone on the paths. The park was GORGEOUS with all the turning leaves and fallen pine needles, so we kept busy looking around instead of socializing. It was my first "fall something" of the day.

My second fall something was very spur-of-the-moment... I was trying to get through to a friend to go ice skating, and just when I'd given up she called and suggested we go to Old Bethpage for the afternoon. Old Bethpage is a restoration village, basically they started out with a very old farmhouse and barn and all the farmland associated with them, and whenever they find an old (1700's or 1800's) building on Long Island that's in decent condition, instead of knocking it down they'd move it to OBVR. So now there's a whole village, and the coolest thing is that all the buildings are right from our area. My favorite buildings are the Cooper House (that's Cooper as in the Cooper Union, he was pretty cool), the original Powell farmhouse, and the workshops where people demonstrate crafts such as broom making, blacksmithing, and hat making/finishing.

One of the nicest things about OBVR is that they have something interesting going on pretty much every weekend in order to attract visitors. They have programs for St Patrick's Day in March, old fashioned baseball games in the summer, the Long Island Fair in September, Thanksgiving and Christmas themed stuff in November and December, and all with a historical, this-is-how-we-do-it-in-the-1800's slant. Today's theme was of course Halloween, and there were historically accurate talks/demonstrations in the cemetary and numerous houses, period crafts for sale, and a display of civil-war era gravestone etchings and clay molds.

Of course I forgot to bring my camera, but I plan to go back for the Thanksgiving programming in November, so I'll try to take some pictures then.

Oooh! Another nice thing about the excursion to OBVR - my friend drove, so I got to start knitting a hat! I picked up some very pretty, 100% wool yarn at AC Moore last week. You probably can't see the colors very well in the photo, but it's variegated yarn with lots of different shades of pink, all pretty soft though. I've never really felted before so this is going to be an experiment. I just hope it comes out too small instead of too big - I could always give it to my little cousins if it's small, but too big would just be weird... unless I cut it down? I'll have to see.

Tonight I picked my parents up from the airport - Sky was seriously overjoyed to see them - and then we did the family dinner thing with takeout Chinese food. Now I'm waiting for the game to be over so my Red Sox fan friend will return my phone call :-/ I'm a Yankees fan, but I've pretty much given up hope that the Rockies will come through for me. Oy, my Mets-fan friends are going to be SO annoying tomorrow if the Sox win!

Ok, off to finish the hat and root for the Rockies.


quick post - gotta run

Just a quick post...
I got my first comment Friday! Thank you sooo much Beatrice, it's nice to know that someone reads my blog... besides the google spiders that is.

So, quick update on stitching. I finished a 18-month old WIP that turned up last week while I was looking for cardboard to finish an already-completed piece... so that, plus my finish of July and nearly-finished August BC blocks meant I talked myself into a trip to my not-too-L NS. Among other things, I picked up the Kreinik, Mill Hill, and fabric components I needed to start Ivy (from Mirabilia). Of course I started that night! As of now the plan is to stitch 10 hours or more and then switch off with 10+ hours on the BC months, so hopefully I'll finish at least one of them soon!

On a non-crafty note, I went to a friend's for lunch today. She and her mom make the best Shabbat lunches, and it's always really casual and just-us-girls. Tomorrow we might go to Old Bethpage, or ice skating. I'll keep you posted!

Have a good night,



Hehehe, long time, no see...

I didn't realize how long it's been since my last post! Oh well, better late than never :)

So last night at around 11 I was falling asleep watching TV, and got the strong urge to paint my nails. I have a small collection of 1-3 year old nail polishes in colors like deep rose, red orange, red, maroon, purple and blue - pastels never appealed to me, seasonal correctness or not. Anyways, of all my color options I somehow, in my sleepy delusion, pick a bright, metallic purple. Never mind that I had already planned to wear blue today, which doesn't really go with the nail polish.

This morning on the train, I bypassed my 200 puzzles of Sudoku book to work on a new quick stitching project, that I started this Sunday with the intent to work on it during my commute. It's the "Tartan Thistles Coaster Kit", as seen on this website, that I bought 2 years ago when I was in Scotland. Per the instructions, I've started stitching the light and medium purple borders, and I realized this morning: My nails match the medium purple exactly.

Coincidence? I think it was my subconscious. My psych-phd-student cousin would love it.


Picasa experiment

[Photo 1] This is my first LHN finish! Also my LHN start, so that's good :) It was pretty quick to stitch, and I think I'm going to try more LHN designs in the future. This one is going to look great in my bedroom, which has a lot of green already.

[Photo 2] I finished this over the summer but recently pulled it out to show someone, so I figured I'd post a pic of it. It's a design by JBW, French Country Apple and took me about 2 days to stitch.

I'm seriously annoyed with myself over this piece. When I stitched this, I thought it was strange to write "Pomme" instead of "La Pomme", since in French you usually put an article of some sort and not just a noun, but I went against my instinct and stitched it as directed. Well now I'm working on the Pear from this series, and the pattern calles for "La Poire"! I think I'm going to change this one - better have them both right than both wrong, even if it means more work for me.

[Photo 3] I went to my LNS yesterday to pick up threads for the next photo, my BC snappers, and walked out with some additional thread purchases, my first Q-snaps, and LHN's new design "Princess and the P". I know I'm trying not to get new charts until I stitch some stash, but I finished a couple of things lately, so I went for it.

Of course Ihad to change the color of the dog to match Sky, and I'm not a huge fan of light pink with black so I ended up changing all the colors... And now the bed is blue :-) I had blue sheets in my dorm.

I'm still not sure about the color of the pillow. You can barely see it on the left side of the bed, I might have picked too light a color. Oh well, I'm going to finish stitching it and then consider what to do. Any advice?

[Photo 4] I'm making some progress on my Bent Creek snappers, but I misplaced the July chart for a couple of days, so I started on August. "Rings" is off-by-one to the left but I'm not sure if I care. Then I discovered I forgot to get any Lancaster Red, and half the August pattern's done in red... thus my LNS run yesterday. Despite starting the new LHN I actually worked on this yesterday too, and now that I have the colors and the pattern July is going down. Tonight.
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Wow it's been a long weekend. Literally: it's been four days. I love the holiday season but seriously, by Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah I think everyone is sick of seeing each other and eating all that food. We're very low key about holidays at my house but still, I'm actually looking forward to going back to work. Won't that change around 9:05 tomorrow morning ;-)

I designed and started my second exchange square (the one with my name), but I could tell I didn't have enough of the blue thread I was working with so work kinda came to a halt while I ponder what I can use as a substitute. Instead of finally finishing, I finished my first LHN piece, the Rose Sampler. It took a long time to stitch but it's really pretty in the end. It'll look great on my wall since it's got plenty of green in it. I used the recommended colors of DMC on Light Mocha linen.

I finally got LHN's Dog sampler (which I ordered ages ago) in the mail on Saturday. I definitely need to rework the color scheme, since it's based around the dog being browns and I'd like to make it black with a white spot, like Sky.

Today was my cousin's engagement party, at his fiancee's parent's home in Jersey. Their house is gorgeous and the whole party was very fancy and nicely done. I spent most of the party hanging out with C or with my grandma, who's getting older and needs a bit of minding. Usually I'm the one behind the camera but today I actually made it into some pictures. I hope I get a copy of some of them.

One last piece of news - the Yankee's finally won! We're still in it, thank goodness. Go Yankees! Please don't lose again tomorrow!



What a busy week!

Last Wednesday night began one of my favorite holidays, Sukkot, the third and final installment of the Jewish "Holiday Season". The holiday lasts for 8 days, and the first and final 2 days have virtually all the restrictions of a typical Saturday. However, on years such as this year, when the holiday falls begins Wednesday night, the Thursday and Friday holidays roll right into Shabbat, creating a 3-day holiday. Now not only does this mean no crafting, TV, internet, turning on or off lights, or other modern electricity-based comforts, but my relatives that normally spend this 2 day holiday at our house each year were also restricted from traveling home until Saturday night. Three whole days of non-stop family time, without the TV to distract anyone, is pretty intense. But I think everyone enjoyed it, and it was really quality time. Hey, after the holiday ended it took 2 hours to get everyone out of the house, so they must've not hated it or they'd have been packed and ready to go, right?

Saturday night was a marathon stitching session since I was too mentally tired and it was too late to start making plans to go out at 10 when they left. Plus my DVR was full of 3 nights worth of season and series premieres, so I had my work cut out for me! I made some headway on a bunch of cross stitch projects, getting a lot done but finishing nothing. I did however find out what happened to Chloe on Smallville (I was worried), watched them catch the miniature killer and search for Sara on CSI, make my peace with Colby on Numb3rs, and made sure that Sam was okay on Las Vegas - no thanks to the crack security team at the Montecito for once.

I had to work again Sunday in order to not lose all my vacation for the holidays, as I mentioned in a previous post. I worked in an afternoon excursion to Michaels, Staples, and LNT though, and picked up some stitching supplies, stitching organizational supplies, and some storage bins. My cross stitch charts used to be in piles all over the place - I now have a lovely, drab grey binder for unstarted charts, one for some works in progress, and a tangerine binder to organize the freebie charts I've started printing from this great blog. Now if I could only find someplace that sells Rainbow threads I'm set for the next 8 trillion birthdays =)

Yesterday I took care of some painful-but-necessary errands that I won't get into. The evening was much better. My friend Aj had another yoga class last night, and it was even better than the first! We did the Crow again which was so fun! and partner stretching! and you know it was a great workout when body parts don't move or work the day or two after =) Plus yoga was just the thing to clear my head from earlier in the day.

I finished my Fair + Square block last night (of course staying up til 3am to do so was stupid stupid stupid!) Now I need to design my name and town on a block, figure out what small treats to include, and mail the darn thing. Tomorrow. I'd rather not wait until after the holiday to send it Monday, but we'll see how far I get on my name block tonight. I need some sleep!

Oh, yesterday also brought some great news in the form on an email from a former coworker, who quit and moved home to Uruguay recently because she is about to have her first baby. I really like her and was seriously disappointed to learn only 2 days in advance of her leaving the country and the company - I definitely would've crocheted her a baby blanket if I'd known. Anyways, she sent a lovely picture of herself and a little message about what she's up to. Today I even got to Google-chat with her, and she sounds like she is doing very well. She's due in a week! I hope everything goes well for her, her husband and the baby.

I also spoke to an old, old friend from London who's currently living in Paris today. She's invited me to visit and stay by her, and I think I might take her up on it for Thanksgiving week. I might even be able to work in the Paris office a couple of days, which is great because I get to meet people I'd normally only email with, but more importantly, the building that houses the Paris office is the world headquarters for DMC! No kidding. I think I have a picture from the last time I was there, I'll have to post it sometime.

Okay enough blogging, I'd better go start my square if I want to mail it off tomorrow. I have an idea of what to put in the package as extras but I'll need to hit a few stores during lunch. I hope I'll be able to pull it off!