Thursday, November 29, 2007

McJagger and the Doody Sandwich

I've been tagged by Jen, the talented crocheter/seamstress of The fabled needle. Here are ten weird or little known things about me:

1. I got arrested the night before the S.A.T.s for throwing stuff off my parent's balcony. My friend and I hit a moving police car as it turned a corner. Woops!

2. I'm a major sugar addict. I can't go even one day without a few sweet things. Once I had to cut all yeast out of my diet for a week and I still put a spoonful of sugar in my coffee each morning. Diets are pretty much out of the question.

3. My first star obsession was with Adam Ant when I was in seventh grade. My best friend Maya and I spent all our allowance money on his albums, posters, and buttons for our jean jackets. We eventually got to see him play at Radio City. We even wrote him letters. My second and last star obsession was with Robert Smith.

4. Maya and I were also obsessed with gay men in seventh grade. We went to school in NYC's west village where gay men are abundant, and we thought they were the best thing ever. We hung out outside a gay bar (Uncle Charlie's) on Friday nights with a Polaroid camera and notebook, asking various men if they could help us with a school project by answering questions. We took their photos, and asked what their favorite bands were, where in the world they would want to live if they could live anywhere, and what their favorite foods were. None of them turned us down and I still have a baggy full of the Polaroids in a box in the closet. The pictures freak me out because I now realize that some of those men must be dead as the photos were taken right when AIDS was starting to infect people but no one realized what it was yet.

5. Later in high school I was the youngest (and first under 18) person to volunteer at Gay Men's Health Crisis. I wanted to do in-home visits with a client to help him (or her) with tasks he was too ill to perform. I went through an intensive training and then they discovered that I could not do the job due to insurance issues because I was too young. I ended up working instead at the recreation center, serving meals and playing mixed tapes on Friday nights. My pal Emily joined me and we enjoyed our junior year spending Friday nights eating and boogying with a group of really fun adults.

6. I have been to a psychic twice in my life (different psychics). Both times I went just for kicks not expecting much out of it. Both times I was told I would have two sons. The first time when I was in high school I was told I would end up either a teacher or a nurse. I've already been a teacher and am still considering switching to pediatric nursing. This same first psychic also told me that I would live a long life but die a violent death (thanks for nothing b'yotch!)

7. When I was a kid I thought Mick Jagger was an Irish person who was called by his last name, McJagger.

8. The only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a writer. That and a mother. At least I got one out of two. And I'm not dead yet, so we'll see.

9. A few years ago my cousins and I cranked called my grandmother and whispered, "Do you want a doody sandwich?" She said she would love a doody sandwich. We never told her it was us.

10. When I was 27 I declared bankruptcy due to credit card debt. It never caused me any problems and I have zero debt to this day. Yippee!

OK, I now tag Kimmy, Jen Tiffany, Daryl, and Linda.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Well Hello Dolly

My paltry posting habits are due to the holiday season, I swear! I've been working away on ornaments for this ornament swap and this one (as if I don't have enough to do, but I couldn't turn down a good swap). I'll post pics a week after I send them out. Also, I am replenishing the Rose & Duke stock because I'll be selling again in a couple of weeks in the Guerro's lot on S. Congress. Please stop by and say hello if you are in town, there will be lots of handmade goodness for sale.

We enjoyed a peaceful thanksgiving at Jen and Kevin's with Jen's delightful family. You betcha that I brought some desserts. I made a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip squares (for some reason I forgot to photograph these). Everyone always goes berserk on these and they are quite easy to make. I also took a risk and went with Martha's recent recipe for pear cranberry pie with a lattice top. I used a plastic star from Harlan's shape sorter toy to cut the starts out of the crust. The pie was good but too heavy on the cranberries unfortunately.

At the last minute I decided to throw in a chocolate bourbon pecan pie, because every thanksgiving table needs a good one. I made this one from a combination of recipes and it came out more like a soft cookie on a pate brisee pastry, which may not be exactly what I was going for but still tastes a lot better than a fistful of baby corn or cuchifritos (deep fried pig ears).

I did not want to work on anything I had to do during the vacation, so instead I made a couple of doll dresses for the baby dolls at Harlan's Montessori school. When I picked him up last Tuesday a couple of the kids were playing with the dolls, and I noticed that their only outfits were totally falling apart (and were pretty crummy to begin with). It made me sad. Next I'm going to make them a couple of quilts for their wooden cradles. I can't believe I forgot to photograph the back sides of the dresses, but I did. They are totally open, with two covered buttons and red velvet ribbons on the other side to hook over the buttons. I used a combination of these two patterns. I would like to make them some sweaters so if anyone knows of any patterns for doll sweaters please let me know (knit or crochet).

P.S. I went to the City Wide Garage Sale last weekend and was basically just overwhelmed by the crowds. We only stayed a brief amount of time, but I did score three vintage aprons for $2 each. While I don't wear aprons and bought these to scrap the fabric for other projects, I feel badly cutting them up because they're just so darn cute. What can you do?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Half Violet Crumble

So it turns out my camera is fine but the lens is broken. Lucky for me my father's birthday gift to me just arrived today. It's a micro lens and it's taking me a little practice to get the hang of. Here is one shot I took with it of a couple of the price signs I had on my table at Stitch:

This is a shot I forgot to post last week. It's my failed attempt at making honeycomb with chocolate coating for the adult's goody bags at Harlan's birthday party.

I made the honeycomb three times, all according to Nigella's cooking show. She never mentioned a temperature for the confection to reach and thus I never ended up with a successful honeycomb. Lucky for me my friend Kim can steer me in the right direction in time for Christmas.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Christmas List

Apparently Urban Outfitters* has sent a spy into my subconscious to come up with a fabulous bunch of goodies:

salt and pepper shakers

Critter cookie jars:

Some fantastic cameras including The Diana:

A record player you can plug into your computer to turn your albums into CDs or MP3s:

*Disclaimer: I know it's wrong to support them because they rip off so many indie designers, but for crying out loud they're killing me with some of this stuff.

BUT, better than anything available at Urban Outfitters is the t-shirt from Houston artist Chingo Bling:

I think I need to get this "T-churt" as it called on the webstore. Not that half Irish Catholic half Ukrainian Jews are in danger of being deported, but still.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Stitch in Time

I have been a horrible blogger lately because I have been working non-stop to prepare for Stitch Austin. The event was my first major vending experience, and it was a great way to get my feet wet. Stitch was a fashion show and guerilla craft fair that happened last Saturday down at the Austin Convention Center, and it showcased the talents of designers and crafters from all around.

I shared a booth with my friend Jenifer, and our load in time was at ten in the morning, although the show did not officially open until 2:30 P.M. I managed to pack my garment rack, over a hundred garments, and all the other accouterments into a giant suitcase and Rubbermaid box with wheels. I also had a folding chair, and a giant two year old (Harlan measured in at 3' 2" at his recent two year check up) in tow. My plan was to pull into the loading dock, strap Harlan into his stroller and make short runs with all of the gear into my booth inside. There were a bunch of volunteers working at the loading dock whom I had been told via e-mail would be willing to help vendors load in. The volunteers who stood by the entrance with clip-boards in hand were a bunch of barely-twenty-somethings with a Delia's aesthetic, who seemed to think that the woman running laps between the station wagon and the kid in the stroller was invisible. By the time I had gotten the suitcase past them and ran back with Harlan to the box and chair sitting in the middle of parking lot, an older volunteer approached me and asked if she could help. Usually I'm one to say, "No, no, I got it" even if I'm on fire and someone approaches me with a bucket of water, but on this day I happily handed my child over to a stranger while I ran back to pick up the box and chair. When I got back Harlan was surrounded by nice women all chatting with him, and he did not even notice my 30 second absence. The helpful stranger then helped me even more by dragging the massive box and chair all the way to my booth for me. Big thanks kind stranger!

The show was a lot of work but also a heck of a lot of fun, not only because I got to experience total strangers rushing over to ooh and aah over my efforts, but because I met so many cool, talented people who were all trying to do the same thing that I have been- earning a living by making things. I managed to do some great trades as well, but unfortunately I can not show you anything I received nor any action shots of Rose & Duke because MY CAMERA BROKE!
Great timing, as my father just bought me a micro lens for my birthday too.

Moving right along, I know I need to post something visual, so I'll mention some holiday crafting inspiration for any of you who don't have enough already:

Sew Mama Sew has a post each day this month with a different tutorial for something you can make as holiday gifts.

Anthro has some adorable hand sewn felt house ornaments that have inspired me to make some for some upcoming ornament swaps.

Alicia P. is going to sell some kits to make her famous Santa Lucia dolls. You better bet I need one. Speaking of Alicia, if you know any Corgi lovers you need to get a gift for, how about this book?

And lastly, I have a new Japanese fabric ALERT for all you fanatics out there:
Or don't if you like money and want to keep any.

Again, apologies for the lack of photos, hopefully the matter will be resolved shortly.