Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vacances (Encore!)

My mom is coming to visit, yeah! And we're going hiking in the Pyrenees. So things will probably be quiet around here for a week or so.

We are going to the same area as in February, but this time there'll be no snow:

An Open Letter to the Republican Party Members of the US Congress

Dear Republican Party Members,

Would you, as individual citizens, default on your personal loans? Or would you do everything in your power to avoid that situation? Would you work your hardest to rearrange your household budget and find a way to make payments, like so many Americans do every day? I believe that as individual citizens, you would do this, you would find a solution and do what it takes to repay your loans.

So, why oh why are you refusing to do the same thing for your nation's budget? Why are you leading your fellow citizens to default on the collective loans? By doing so, you are implicating every American citizen in this default. You too are defaulting. Your job as Congressmen and Congresswomen is to find solutions to the nation's problems, not to decide to opt out of the process.

Compromise. Find a solution. Make it work. Pay off the debts we owe.

Concerned American Citizen

Friday, July 22, 2011

Emergency Post

Wow, check this out! It's midnight here and I've had two mojitos (thanks Drew!) but I could not resist sharing this. Very Cherry designed this pattern and the fabric for Spoonflower. You can also see pictures on her Flickr stream.

Love it!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Croatia: Zagreb II

Before leaving Zagreb behind there was one last thing I wanted to share: Time Machine Zagreb!

While we were there, the city was offering various 19th-century-themed events, like waltzing under gazebos, costume promenades, etc. We weren't quite prepared for any of this, having left our (non-existent) steam punk costumes behind, and so we didn't actually go to any of the events. We stuck to the regular tourist fare. But I think it's cool that the city was doing this and I really love the design of their pamphlet. So this is for the design geeks and historical costumers (I am envious of all of you):

On a related note (design, style, same thing!), I didn't take any fashion photos to document the local style 'cuz I'm just not comfortable doing that, but I did buy a fashion magazine to check it out.

Of course I can't read it, but the pictures are cool. And I do believe there are several articles about sex (seems to be the same word), so that conforms to the average US 'woman's' magazine output I'd say.

Here's one that shows how various women have styled the same t-shirt:

While I didn't take photos of anyone (purposefully), Drew and I were stopped in the main square in Zagreb by a wanna-be Sartorialist (I'm convinced) who requested to take our photo. We posed for him after he assured us that he wouldn't do anything weird with the photo but I'm not too sure what he will be doing with it. So if you see any odd photos of me floating around there in webland...

Anyhow, I hope everybody's having a good week. I'm not being very productive, craft-wise. Lots of knitting and unknitting and reknitting. I haven't wanted to touch my sewing 'cuz it's been rainy and that makes me sleepy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Croatia: Zagreb

Our first stop in Croatia was Zagreb, the capital city. That's one of the old blue trams pictured in the center. The same line has an eclectic mix of old and new tram cars.

We took our first meal in the main square (currently known as Jelacic Square, named after the general on the horse...names have changed a lot for political reasons). This was the first of many excellent meals in Croatia! Here's a picture of the yummy mushroom soup:

Zagreb has many beautiful buildings and parks with lots of colors and textures:

This hotel used to be a major stopping point for travelers on the Orient Express. The inside is so sumptuous! I'm jealous that I wasn't staying there, but happy that I got to hang out in the lobby for a while :)

We visited this art museum in the park. I took a photo of this painting because it represents Salome with the head of John the Baptist, and my niece is named Salome. :)

Croatia has a lively cafe culture; this street is considered the place to people-watch in Zagreb, especially if you like to critique fashion:

We didn't actually drink a coffee on this street, but here I am drinking coffee on another street, in the shirt I made from New Look 6870:

Thanks, Drew for the iPad photo :)

Zagreb also has fun markets, selling flowers and vegetables along with some souvenir stands:

For my next blog entry, I'll show you where some of those flowers and vegetables come from. If you don't like travel photos, you can skip the Croatian entries to come, but I hope you'll stick around and enjoy them!

P.S. Sorry I'm not providing many travel details (i.e., street names, museum names) but if you're interested I can add them back later. I'm also intending to stay pretty light re: the trip...just showing you some photos to (hopefully) tempt you into a visit. Obviously the Balkans have a recent history of violence and that should not be ignored. I can recommend a book about the break-up of Yugoslavia and subsequent war: The Impossible Country: A Journey Through the Last Days of Yugoslavia by Brian Hall. I'm only one-third of the way through it, but so far I've loved every page and feel like I'm learning a lot...which, as I remarked to my travel-buddy, is not hard to do when you start from zero.

P.P.S. Just in case you didn't know, if you click on the photos you'll be able to see a bigger, clearer version of the images.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'm Back

This is just a quick post to let you know that I'm back in town and working on editing my trip photos (I took over 1100!) in order to share some with you. I also wanted to brag about the fact that up until today I wore something me-made every day in July! See, I'm wearing my brown skirt here:

I know, I know, you can't really see the skirt - you'll just have to trust me! Maybe my friend Drew (also pictured) has some photos where you can see my outfit; I'll share more later. This picture was taken with my camera timer at Korcula, a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea.

The only bottoms that I brought with me on the trip are me-made: my brown and red linen skirts and my brown linen pants. Unfortunately I have some quality control issues with the red skirt - I developed two different holes on two different seams. I don't know if the problem is incorrect stitch length or thread tension or thread quality...but I'll try to rectify.

Get ready to have some vacation posts! ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

One Last Post Before I'm Outta Here

I just thought I'd share what I'm in the middle of before I leave for Croatia. A few days ago, I started a tank top with this New Look 6677 pattern:

I was hoping to have it finished before starting my trip, but I knew there was a slim chance of success :)

I'm using this fabric from Connecting Threads combined with a turquoise solid that I think I bought at Ikea. I've had variable luck with Connecting Threads. Given the low prices I can't really complain as I think you get what you pay for. But I want to finish sewing with the fabric in my stash and I need a tank top!

And here's an update of where I am on my Thermal Sweater (pattern by Laura Chau):

You can see where I've bound off stitches for the armpits, so I'm not doing too bad. I should be finished by this fall.

And I'm off to dip my toes in the Adriatic, but (in my best Arnold voice) I'll Be Back! ;)

Friday, July 1, 2011


is officially finished! While I still struggled to vary my outfits I think I did better this time than with Me-Made-March.

I think if I stick to my sewing plans (in terms of making basics) I'll end up being able to better use my existing wardrobe. It's hard to stay focused though with all the cute stuff out there to make!

Anyhow, here are my last outfits:

I have other pieces that didn't make the rotation. Some of my first projects aren't very wearable, either because I'm not happy with the fit or the finishing. I think I can fix my polka-dotted shirt, but I'm not so sure about the others. I should probably unpick them and put the fabric aside to use in other projects, but I keep procrastinating!

I'm leaving for a 10-day trip in Croatia on Monday morning so things will be quiet here, but when I come back (hopefully) I'll have tons of beautiful photos to share with you :)