Sunday, November 29, 2009


I came across the Stella McCartney collection for Gap Kids about a week or so ago online. The clothes are a little pricey for a kids collection (IMO), but very well priced for Stella. If you're not familiar with her, besides being the daughter of Paul McCartney (aka one of the Beatles), she also brought the design house Chloe back from the brink in the last decade. She really has her finger on the fashion button in terms of being both fashion-forward and wearable.

Anyway, I was at Fashion Square with my little sister today taking a break from the rest of the fam, and we poked our head in to Gap Kids to check it out. It was a wee bit crowded in there, so she got on line while I perused the collection. I loved the cashmere pullover with the intarsia leopard, but it was far from practical in real-life (and for something I wouldn't wear often, $98 is a little expensive).

I did, however, find a grey asymmetrical cardigan in kids XXL that fit me just right. For the price, $58, I couldn't go wrong, and I will even go so far as to say this is my new favorite sweater! I fully expect to wear this until it falls apart. The cotton/cashmere blend also make it feel really nice. Did I mention I'm excited about this? I really am, like, stupidly so! And, I can forgive the XXL tag by reminding myself that it's a KIDS XXL, not women's! Muahahahaha

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Day 5 - Tune in Thursday

I'm not a huge fan of episodic TV - miss a week and I'm Lost (no pun intended). That said, I do occasionally fall for shows - HARD. Usually, the ones I like get canceled - Square Pegs, anyone? What about TV 101? (Yes, there are more recent examples, I'm just drawing a blank). I adore most of the sci-fi on BBC America (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Being Human, Primeval), but not so crazy about the period pieces (Robin Hood, for example - too soap opera-y and they killed Marian, wha???). I despise reality TV shows, to the point that I feel they suck the life out of you and are hastening the demise of Western Civilization (merely MHO, of course! Others LOVE them, but I'll just continue staging my one woman boycott to make myself feel better).

So, the reason I'm posting is to say that I really like Flash Forward and don't want it to go away! The pilot was intriguing, and there was enough there to make me want to see where they're going to go with the idea. Oh, and Joseph Fiennes is cute, which never hurts ;-)

The only other show I'm interested in catching is V, though I missed it Tuesday when I went to Disney Hall. Still, I'll catch up over the weekend on and see how I feel. I liked the original version way back in the day, and the kid who played the lead's son sat behind me in French class that year, which made it that much cooler.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Day 4 - for reals

Ah, Wednesday, that un-special, middle of the week, hump day. Half way through the week already (thank goodness!). I really ought to be sewing, but am procrastinating while watching TV. I wish I could craft as fast as I come up with ideas, but have to remind myself: It's the process, not the finished product that makes it enjoyable. That said, I've finished quite a few knitted projects over the last two weeks that just need blocking/sewing together. I'll get it all done eventually...

Anyway, not feeling particularly verbose this evening, so will sign off for now...

Day 3 (kinda sorta)

I'm a little late today, but I'm still up from yesterday - does that count? I stepped out of my comfort zone today and spontaneously agreed to go to listen to chamber music at the Disney Hall in downtown Los Angeles. My friend, R, had amazing seats down in front and we had a great time. I've only had the pleasure of knitting with her every month or so, but going out outside of knitting was a good thing. Turns out, we have quite a few things in common! Anyway, I'll leave it brief for tonight, but just wanted to share a little something from my day.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Day 2

Now, don't get too excited, but yeah, I'm back for Day 2 of NaBloPoMo! Today's theme is Make It/Mend It Monday. On the mend it front, I fixed the hem on my favorite pants. They'd only hung out in the mending pile for a month or so... (sad, I know). I really do love those pants, and anyone who has met me in person knows this, as I wear them every chance I get. They're brown linen palazzo pants that I made from a New Look pattern. In fact, they're my second pair since I loved the first ones so much, I wore them until they fell apart.

On the make it side, I made a top from a vintage 1980s Simplicity pattern (design by Hang Ten - remember them?). I finished the top a couple days ago, and am already in love. The thing to keep in mind here is there was some serious wardrobe refashion involved here. NxtDrGuy gave me a periwinkle T-shirt with holes and a stain (artfully covered by the pocket!), and I proffered up a navy workout T-shirt, and a remnant of darker periwinkle ribbing. I'm seriously in love with the outcome, and if I could get away with wearing it everyday, I would.

Hang Ten - Simplicity 5517

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Up for the challenge

I've been a little lax on the blog front (work stuff has kept me busy for the most part, which would be too boring/technical/eye-glaze-inducing for all but the nerdiest out there to get into here), and so have decided to participate in the NaBloPoMo* this November in order to shake me out of my quietude.

Perhaps, the easiest way to get back in the groove would be to have some themes going... For sure, I will post some of my crafting projects this month, as I really need to get back into that habit. My fear is that I will post all my good intentions here and then not follow through. That would hardly be fair and certainly wouldn't make for very interesting reading. Oh, and since I've been promising to post some Blythe knitting patterns, I will publish those this month (sorry, Kittenlash, I really haven't meant to drag this on for so long!).

Okee dokee then, that's gonna have to do it for today, but I'll be back tomorrow, I promise!

*National Blog Posting Month

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tulip Skirt

A couple of weeks ago, I was tooling around flickr and saw this skirt. I thought, "Gee, that looks like a skirt in the first issue of Stitch magazine." Well, lo and behold, they are the same! For some reason, I never put the designer of the skirt pattern, Jenny Gordy, together with her line "Wiksten." Anyway, I decided to give the pattern a spin and make one of my own.

These are the results:

tulip skirt

I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with how the pattern turned out! My measurements put me in between a small and medium, so to be safe, I went for the medium. Well, for once, my erring on the side of caution means my skirt is a little on the big side (but, hey, it's easier to take things in than let them out, so even though it meant an extra step in my case, it was the wise choice). Instead of ripping the skirt apart to take it in on the sides, I just took it in up the back.

Jenny mentioned a few errata in her blog, but I noticed a couple of minor things as I went along - the arrow directions for the pleats on the front are incorrect (I just followed the photo of the finished object), and the grain line on the pattern for the front and back pieces are swapped.

Fabric - a 100% cotton corduroy from Joann's. I pre-washed it, and cut it out with the nap going up (gives a richer color).

I didn't feel like doing as much hand-finishing as Jenny's pattern calls for (I like instant gratification and hand sewing is avoided like the plague at chez NDG), so I did a lot of extra top stitching, which really works with the fabric I chose. This included topstitching the placket closed, and also edge stitching the center front edge of the placket. I did the same thing on the wasitband - both topstitching it closed and edge stitching the top. I guess I could have edge stitched the belt, too, but it didn't dawn on me until this moment. In addition, I also pressed up the bottom of the waistband facing prior to attaching it to the waistband for a neater finish at the front edge. I also added a button to the waistband, and one more at the bottom of the placket. I would probably do that again, but I debated between horizontal and vertical placement on the waistband and well, I'm still not completely sold (but it's better than hook and eyes, which I've never been very good at getting to sit right).

I will definitely be sewing this again, and love the fact that this skirt lets me be a size small!

Oh, and because I cut the belt out along the grain, I had almost half a yard left over, so I'll be making a tote bag for my knitting projects. Win win all the way around.

Monday, April 13, 2009

My New (old) Love

My first love in the crafting world is sewing, but since I prefer using a machine, it isn't a terribly portable craft, and so my love of knitting, cross stitching and needlepoint was born.

But, I digress... Sewing, although my first love, has been relegated to the bottom of the totem pole in my crafty world and this weekend, I realized how much I miss it. I mean look at this shayna punim, how can you not love it?

My 2nd love

So, to get back in the grove, I went through a few of my boxes of fabric and came across some fabric scraps given to me by a cousin who worked in the schmata business at the time. The scraps have probably been in my stash about 10 years, and have been sore point with me - too good to throw out, too small to be of much use. And then I realized what I needed to do with them. I pinned and sewed the pieces one after the other until they were long enough, and then folded the whole thing in half lengthwise and sewed them into a tube. I kept second guessing myself, but gave myself permission to screw it all up if I had to. Well, I didn't screw up, in fact, I had enough to make two! But, please, don't take my word for it, judge for yourself (but forgive the flash photo, it is night after all!).

Velour scrap scarf

Monday, March 09, 2009

Oh my

Why.Must.The.Time.Change.Be.So.Painful? Seriously, it hurt to get out of bed this morning, and if work weren't so busy, there's a good chance I would have called in sick.

In some ways, I wish I had - I started off the day by leaving my blackberry in my car, necessitating a run back to it after my morning meeting, and ended the day leaving my wallet at work, necessitating a run back to the office. It was a perfect, if nerve-wracking, bookend to the day.

In knitting news, NxtDrGuy lost the Noro ribbed hat I made him 2 years ago :-( Luckily, I found the same colorway, and ordered two skeins (an extra, just in case!), and he feels sufficiently bad about losing it. So, at least he's knit-worthy...

And finally, in shopping news, I scored the Dr Martens flats I'd been ogling for a few months on crazy sale (we're talking cheap!), in my size and the color I wanted. Here they are in all their gorgeous red technicolor (nom nom nom):

Dr Martens Helen front

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

I slept hard after last night's eat-a-thon, and waking up was painful, until I realized it was New Year's Day and all I had to do to today was putter about the kitchen and maybe finish some knitting. I really love days off!

Nxtdrguy and I celebrated New Year's Eve in the usual way - dinner at Black Angus. It felt different this year, though. The place was pretty quiet and it was way too easy to get a parking spot. If this is not a sign the economy is in the dumps, I don't know what is. What I do know is that this is the first time I haven't felt a twinge of sadness at the passing of a year. 2008 was really a shitter of a year, and I hope 2009 will be a vast improvement on it.

Speaking of vast improvements, I've been using the time off work to get things done around the place, and am finally getting my crafting mess a bit more organized. Me + organization results in more mess, but it's coming together, albeit slowly!

The big project was building an Expedit bookcase from IKEA to hold my mags, dolls and the fabric I want to sew now (much more stored elsewhere!). Yarn is stored in the closet (sorry no photos, though maybe I will flash the stash this year).

Here's a photo of the first round of organizing the Expedit (it's likely to change at some point, but will do for now):

All my magazines fit across the bottom row - I'm ever so proud of that! They look so much neater there, and have freed up a bunch of space elsewhere. The Blythes and other dolls fit in the top two shelves, and that cleared two smaller bookcases, which I think will go in the dining area to hold cook books and other displayable items, like Pyrex, etc. See? Already making plans on how to whip my place into shape...

Ah, and speaking of plans... It is New Year's Day after all, and tradition dictates one should make resolutions. I think I'll make mine a list of things I'd like to accomplish this year, so I can refer back to it periodically and make sure I'm on track.

1) exercise more: I have started hiking on weekends with a friend of a friend, so will continue that. In addition, I am to exercising two times a week after work with a co-worker.

2) knit more: I already have dedicated time for knitting on Saturdays, and do a little during the work week, too. I'd like to knit through at least ten miles of stash yarn, and I think the best way to do it is to make a list of what I should work on per month. I intend to follow that up by posting picks of FOs here (yeah, right - haha!)

3) stay in touch more: I tend to get so into work that I feel like I never come up for air, and it promises to be even more challening in the next few months, so I will set aside time to hang with friends. If nothing else, I'll update the blog so everyone will know why they never hear from me!

4) write more: yup, it's time. Will do that by blogging more, and finally getting my laptop out so I can work on my stalled novel. Really.

5) keep my place neat: I can't say organized, because my sense of organization is quite different than anyone else's! But, stuff put away and not on every surface might be a good start. I would also like to purge some things this year, which I think will help.

6) do fun things: I'd really like to finally learn to play guitar and chess! I know, so weird that my idea of fun is learning new things. I blame the IHP. XD

That should cover most of it. I'd add travel more, but I've not been in love with travel for while - it seems like more of a chore for some reason. But, if I do, it would be to visit friends in Italy.