Thursday, July 31, 2008


My friend Trent blogs at Re-Nest, a green living site, and I volunteered us to provide him with pictures of our family's famous hand-knit dishcloths. Of course, I did this as a person who has never made one herself! Can you guys send me or post the pattern?

Here's a link to one of Trent's articles about a NC house made of pressed dirt that actually looks like a normal house with normal walls and stuff.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Who needs a sewing machine?

I decided to go with Zelda Fitzgerald (crazy wife of F. Scott and famous Alabamanian) for the costume party on Saturday. I got 1.5 yards of this green satin fabric for $3.50 from JoAnne Fabrics and a $7 bucket hat from Target. I also bought Stitch Witch, which is explicitly only for hems, but I thought it could be strong enough to hold a flimsy dress together. And it worked! All the seams are ironed-on glue!

Even the hat is Stitch Witch-ed. I cut the bucket hat and overlapped the brim so it made more of a cloche shape.

At the last minute I added lampshade fringe to
the top of the dress, the beads ($3 for a bag and
strung on black thread), and a coordinating
flower-type thing on the hat. Overall, the outfit was pretty good and it may be my cheapest theme party outfit yet at under $20!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Renegade Craft Fair

On Sunday, Dan and I went to the Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco. This fair was started by a woman in Chicago and this was the first time they held a fair in San Francisco. Most (maybe all) of the vendors are craftspeople who sell their stuff on Etsy. The woman who started the group sponsors these fairs and has recently opened a shop in Chicago. There were a couple hundred vendors there and a lot of really nice crafts. Compared to other craft shows, this one was young people, and very creative ideas, most of which were definitely hand crafted, smaller items. So the booths were small and most people had relatively few different items for sale. I liked this one booth - the woman was selling vintage-style aprons, and she was standing in the booth giving out cookies from a cookie sheet! There were a lot of tote bags, made from every possible material, from fabric to vinyl and leather, to plastic, including old plastic grocery bags cut and sewn together in layers! There was quite a bit of jewelry, too, and I liked some of this jewelry made from vintage buttons and buckles - perhaps ideas for my extensive button stash! There were lots of really nice letterpress cards and stationery, beautiful yarn and knitted items - gorgeous hand-dyed yarns that were hard to resist. As you'd expect, there was also an emphasis on recycled materials and re-using vintage fabrics and items - like the typewriter-key jewelry. I always think of Mom when I see that, because she loved typing! There were a few quilters, mostly baby quilts. One of the quilters was a young woman whose quilts were mostly black and used fabrics printed with skulls and beer motifs - her business is called "Don't Quilt the Day Job". There were also a couple traditional sewing companies there, Janome was promoting their sewing machines, and Burda was publicizing their online site where you can download patterns for free.
Overall, it was a fun and inspiring show!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why Do I Throw Things Away?

Another theme party is on its way and once again I wish I had not gotten rid of an old piece of clothing. This party's theme is "Alabama and England" because it's the housewarming for my newly-engaged friends Kim (from Alabama) and Dan (from England). If you were to dress as your favorite Alabamanian or Brit, who would you pick? I had two thoughts:
1) Mary Poppins. But my coat is packed in a box in Baltimore along with my other winter clothes, so that's pretty much out.
2) Zelda Fitzgerald. This should be easy because pretty much any generic flapper/1920's costume would work. As it turns out, I've been to a 20's themed party before: Ingrid's 16th birthday party in 1994. I had a drop-waist rose dress with a lace collar, pearls, and a cigarette holder. Now all that's left is the cigarette holder, so I have to find a dress...


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dr. Emily Fisher

Emily pops the corks on the celebratory champagne bottles, after her successful PhD thesis defense on Friday! Looking on is her advisor and mentor, Jeff Dangl.
Bob and Nancy, Zac, Brian and I, along with lots of Emily's friends and colleagues joined her for her defense seminar and the following celebrations, including happy hour with her department right after the committee meeting, dinner out, then more celebrating by the under-30 crowd. The next night we went to another party at her advisor's home. We are all so happy for her!
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