Monday, January 26, 2009

Lost and Found

The problem for me with cleaning/organizing my apartment is that I get distracted easily. I find something or do something and I get sidetracked and then forget about what I was originally doing. That's why, when I organize my space, it usually looks like a hurricane or tornado went through.

See, I'm a stasher. I like to hold onto things in case I might need them later on, or to just keep the memories alive. I still have training manuals from my days with the PIRGs and the Endangered Species Coalition. I don't plan on organizing again, but what if I need it.

Every time I go home, I find something else that I bring back with me. Actually, I do that for the memories, but also for the survival of the memories since my mom is always intent on purging things and decluttering. We are opposites in that respect. The last time I was home, I brought back my high school yearbook (helpful when folks friend me on facebook and I don't recall the name) and this:

This is an etching I made sophomore year in my graphics class. It was based on a photograph taken earlier that year for photography. Basically, it is me and my best friend at the time hanging out at the cliffs (aka the Palisades). I had forgotten all about this and I just happened to find it framed in my closet in the basement. I swear, every time I go in that closet I find something else I didn't know I had. I'm sure I'll be bringing home my old portfolio the next time. Who knows where that would go!

But I digress. Yesterday, I decided to go thru the drawers of my entertainment unit to make room for my ever-expanding yarn stash (help). While digging thru the drawers I found this back cover for a spiral notebook a used in high school. I'm guessing sophomore or junior year since my boyfriend's name on it.

Can you tell I liked to doodle? Well, that and song lyrics were very important to me. I wrote them everywhere, including the furniture in my room. (another piece of history I need to remember to photograph before my mom throws it out)

I can't believe I saved this. The joy I get from finding these things is the reason why I save stuff. But then the problem is, I got distracted by this and forgot about some of the other things I was doing and my place looks like a hurricane hit again. It never ends.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy New Year)

It's the Chinese New Year and tonight I spent it up in Allentown (yeah, that's right) w/ Regina and Lisa. Regina's brother's girlfriend's family owns the House of Chen in downtown Allentown and Regina and her husband celebrate the Chinese New Year there every year. This year, since her husband was out of town, she brought some of the girls along to celebrate. Aside from the really long drive and ridiculous traffic, it was a fun evening. I think it was the first time I had Chinese since I have been back from China. The meal did not disappoint. I was stuffed by the time I left.

In case you are wondering, this year is the year of the Ox.

As w/ the end of any Chinese meal, we were given fortune cookies. I go ahead and break my cookie, and then pull out my fortune. I'm figuring it will say you will do well in your career, you will meet the love of your life, you will have good luck, etc. Instead it was something totally unexpected:

I totally lost it and started laughing hysterically. I had never seen a fortune like this. I tried to read it to everyone, but couldn't since I really hate the "c" word. I was practically pissing my pants I couldn't believe it said it. Then I saw the other fortunes and they talked about about getting screwed and such. Obviously, these were prank cookies meant for friends. Everyone at the table got a kick out of my reaction. I really didn't expect this fortune. Just thought I'd pass it on . . .

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finished Project #3

Ta da!

Seriously, I feel like I'm on a roll with finishing all these projects. I'm really not, but it sure is nice to finish some stuff!

This cardigan is another pattern from Rowan 44. It's called Colbert and is knit it Rowan's wool/cotton. Can I first just say how much I love the feel of this yarn once it has knitted up! Anyway, I started this over the holidays and pretty much knit the entire body on the beach or by the pool in Florida. It was the perfect, mindless knitting project.

Unfortunately, I ran into a ton of problems w/ the collar. The first problem was that it was so big that it covered my shoulders. My shoulders are about 5-5.5 inches wide and the collar was 6.5 inches wide. Yeah, that wasn't going to work. I then ripped back an inch, but then the collar kept riding up in the back. So, to solve the problem, Wendy helped me tack or sew down the collar from shoulder to shoulder. It works so much better now. Thank you Wendy!!!!! The collar is still a little wider than I'd like in the front, but that's ok

See, you can't even tell that the collar is sewed down. I got some nice compliments on this when I wore it to work yesterday.

Oh and by the way, thanks, Kate, for taking the pictures last night!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Finished Project #2

Here are pictures of another project I finally finished. I started this at the end of September w/ the goal of finishing it and wearing it for the high holidays. After having knit the back and then ripping it out b/c I made a mistake that I couldn't fix, I put it aside for a while, knowing there was no way I'd finish it. Then, once I finished the pieces, the seaming was a bitch! I had to seam the entire border along the edges and up around the corner. Ugh.

However, I do like the finished product. It's a great little shrug for a lightweight outfit. The pattern is called Bacall and is from Rowan 44. I made it in Berocco Ultra Alpaca Light.

As you can see, I tried it on w/ different summer dresses. Not so sure how it looks on the bright pink dress, but you get the idea of how it should fit.

It should be pinned w/ a brooch of some sort; however, I don't own any. I've always hated pins. Scavenging through my old junk, I found this random pin that doesn't go at all. Just giving you a idea of how it would look pinned. I'll be pin shopping in the future.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Finished object

I just finished this entrelac hat from the Twist Collective's Winter Issue. It's one of their free patterns, called Fourth Grade Hat; not sure why, but whatever. It's made with Rowan Tapestry, the whirlpool colorway.

Entrelac is totally addictive. It's like reading those junk novels w/ 5 page chapters and you keep saying, "just one more chapter," and it 3am. Same thing here. I kept saying, "just one more square," and my sleep went down the tubes.

I have 2 more projects I finished seaming. Once I soak and block them, I'll post pictures.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Holy cow batman

I cooked!

Ok, that's not such a big deal since I make chili and this chicken soup, but these are somewhat easier and can easily be cooked in bulk and stored in the freezer.

Tonight, however, I really cooked.

I cooked fish!

Not just that, but I made it in the oven (I rarely use my oven, opting for the toaster oven instead), in parchment paper, with kitchen string. Hello?

It actually came out pretty well and I ate the whole thing. I tend to take a few bites of things I make and throw them out. That's how good of a cook I am. :-) But tonight was different.

So you must be wondering what I made. Here it is:

The recipe is called Halibut w/ Tapenade in Parchment. I got it from the South Beach Diet cookbook. It was really simple to make, aside from finding parchment paper and kitchen string and trying to actually tie the paper before putting it in the oven. Basically it's halibut (I used turbo b/c the guy at Whole Foods said it was most like halibut), diced tomatoes, olive tapenade, and little drizzle of lemon and olive oil, salt and pepper.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's all about me

Over the holidays Lisa tagged me to do this meme where you list 7 random facts about yourself. So here is goes.
1. I lived in 25 different apartments or homes, in 8 states, before moving to Philly 5 years ago.
2. My siblings and I were all born on Wednesdays between 11 AM and noon. Also, everyone in my immediate family was born on either the 13th or the 14th of the month and my father and I share the same birthday.
3. I applied to art school, and even put together a portfolio of work. I was practical and knew that I couldn't make a living on my art work, so I opted to major in art management and own a gallery some day.

4. I canvassed Tom of Maine (you know the toothpaste guy), but didn't realize it until I left (he was at his mom's house). I was running a campaign office that summer in Portland, ME for the Sierra Club and USPIRG (now Environment America).

5. I own an orange, carpeted mushroom.

6. The furniture in my first apartment consisted of a hammock, hanging chair, 2 extra-large bean bags, and #5 above.

7. In high school, I took the doors off my sliding door closet and turned it into a graffiti wall modeled after Pink Floyd's The Wall.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!!!!!

Yes, I am still alive. I've been going non-stop since I got back from China that I really just haven't had the energy to post! I was in NJ, then FL, then DC, then NY, then FL again. I am so excited to stay put for the next 6 weeks. What a luxury. I think I've spent maybe 3 weekends home since Labor Day weekend. Seriously!

I just got back from a great week in Florida with my family. Plus, it was a week with my nieces. The little one, Leah, was sick but still such a happy baby. You just look at her and she smiles. The oldest, Alex, well I still can't get over the stuff that comes out of her mouth. A few weeks ago she informed her parents that she wanted to be a lawyer like me. (how cute!) Then, we were driving home from Sesame Street Live and I mentioned how she should be a songwriter (she's making up songs left and right), and she got all upset and told me she wanted to be a lawyer like me. I then told her that she could be a songwriter on the side as a hobby, kind of like I knit. Alex then got all huffy and said, "but I want to knit like you." She then proceeded to tell me that she'd knit me a hat and a scarf, then asked my favorite color, and told me she'd knit me a blue sweater. So friggin' cute. However, in the intervening weeks, she has come to her senses and wants to be a songwriter on the side. LOL!

Well, we were at dinner the other night and she and her dad were talking about songwriters or something when Alex says, "you know who is the best songwriter ever?" She then asked her dad, "who sings 'How to Say I Love You in a Song?" Her dad said, "Jim Croce sings that." In true Alex fashion she says, all serious, "Jim Croce is the best songwriter ever!" Seriously! She's not even 4 yet. How can you not get a kick out of this kid?

I got a great picture of my mom w/ Leah. I will leave you w/ this for now. Happy New Year!