Saturday, July 21, 2007

Crafts and a giant sofa are in the hizzy

Guess what my friend Kim S. made for Harlan before he moves south?

I love it so much, and the herringbone tweed is made from her father's old sport coat (which Joe says he wishes he could have). Kim was also sweet enough to save me a giant hunk of the Valrhona chocolate bread pudding she had just made. Did I mention Kim writes for Chocolatier magazine? I bet that job beats tempting as a receptionist (not that those are the only two options in the world for careers, but sometimes it kind of feels like it is to me). She also gave me a big pile of cardboard boxes that she helped me carry home while pushing Harlan in his stroller. I can't wait to join the car culture quite honestly (I'm getting a bio-diesel VW, don't worry).

If you wonder why I placed such a cute bunny on a pile of taped up boxes it's because every surface in my apartment is covered in boxes. Every surface that is, except for our giant sofa which had to be lifted up the side of the building with rope and pulled in through the window because the clearing at the top of the first flight isn't tall or wide enough for the couch to get around the corner and up the next flight. My cousin Lori used to own a furniture store out on the North Fork of Long Island and gave me the sofa because it had a bit of water damage on the back of it. The men that worked for her who drove the sofa into Brooklyn for me are a couple of real characters. Andy, who is a mildmannered and hulkish schizophrenic who married his Psychiatrist and had two healthy children with her, and Cleo, an extremely generous older Texan African-American who looks about 20 years younger than he is. Cleo is super muscular and short and has a thin moustache. He also enjoys wearing vintage ladies jewelry like enameled floral necklaces (three at a time), along with gold eye-liner and skin tight jeans with red pumps.

As soon as the two of them realized that the sofa would not fit around the corner at the top of the first flight of steps, Cleo insisted that he would go buy a rope and pull it up, because they hadn't driven the damn thing for four hours on the L.I.E. for nothing. Andy kept saying, "No way Cleo. No way" but Cleo was determined. As the two of them hoisted the sofa up the side of the building a small crowd gathered to watch on the sidewalk. Cleo pulled the rope and dripped with sweat while screaming at the onlookers, "Whatchew all lookin' at? This 'aint no damn picture show, keep moving 'fore I charge y'all!"

I placed a photo of the sofa on Freecycle and on Craiglist and received a few e-mails. The first was my favorite as the subject line read, "I wan your sof". Inside, the message just said to call the sender. I know I'm kind of old and not totally down with text messaging codes and what not, but is it really that difficult to type the extra t and a in the subject line? Needless to say I didn't call. None of the other e-mailers worked out (surprise surprise, an ad that says Free Sofa, Bring Rope didn't get great results) and so we have decided to leave the behemoth to my lovely landlord and his five foot nose hairs (have I not mentioned the nasal growth before? It's nightmare worthy so perhaps I have spared you all thus far). The best part is, Landlord will probably drag the sofa out the door and down the first flight of stairs before realizing that it won't fit around the sharp corner of the stairwell on the second floor. He will have to bring it back up and either get a chainsaw to cut it in half, or pay someone to get it out the window for him. I feel tempted to leave a note on the sofa that just says, "This is what you get for being a hostile a-hole to people who live on your property".

Guess what came in the mail to me today just in time?

The busy bees embroidery transfer, courtesy of the famous Floresita. She had an extra copy of the pattern and was generous enough to send it to me along with a very sweet note. I am such a fan of hers. If you don't know who she is, be sure to check out her flickr embroidery group, embroidery group blog, and vintage transfers blog, which has scans of many fantastic transfers for you to see or use. Needless to say, between the Amazing Dad Sport Coat Bunny and the free transfer in the mail, I scored big time.

Here is a gratuitous photo of me and Harlan taken this afternoon. I had to have a recent photo of myself to post an intro on the new meetup group I just joined in Austin. I'm hoping to meet other moms in my new hood to spend time with. I can't even believe how sad I am to leave all my Fort Greene mama pals. They have really been a bunch of lifesavers over the past 20 months, and the best part is, we would have all loved each other even if we didn't have children the same age. I can't imagine that I will be this lucky again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I've been oot and aboot

What a flaky blogger I have been, although to be fair the past month has been extremely un-computer friendly to me. We spent a week up at lake Muskoka at Joe's family's lake house that has been in the family for generations. While packing for the trip Joe recommended that I bring along some of my craft projects since there was going to be so much time to relax. Being the know-it-all that I can't help but be, I did not pack anything recreational other than a pile of New Yorkers that I have not had the opportunity to read. This was wise. While all of the family members at the house with us lounged on the dock and rode around in sail boats and Kayaks, Joe and I pretty much did what we do on a daily basis; we took care of Harlan. At twenty months the big lug has only been really walking about three months, and all of it has been on solid cement ground. The rocky steep ground on this Canadian island was not familiar turf, and so we spent a lot of time running around the porch and playing with grandpa's plastic clogs. Luckily grandpa was a good sport and enjoyed having a charming toddler take his shoes on and off repeatedly, and occasionally offer them to his cousin if she happened to be passing through. Not a lot of spare time to work on crafting, but it was certainly relaxing and always great to get away from Brooklyn in the summer. And did I even mention that they sell English candy in Canada? Yup. I got to go to the Cadbury outlet store. What could be better than that? The truck stop availability of maple or cinnamon Kit Kats? Perhaps. The abundance at the supermarket of those crazy English potato chip flavors like dill pickle and ketchup? Maybe. But as anyone knows, it's hard to beat the English Cadbury. I went to the outlet store in desperate search of the chocolate spread that Dottie Angel is hoarding over on the west coast. Alas, they did not have any, but I did leave with a shopping bag full of candy. I hope they have a good dentist in Austin.

Right now I am getting in my beach time at my mother's house in Long Island. The apartment is half packed and we move out on the twenty fourth. As you can imagine, not a whole lot of crafting going on these days. P.S. Check out this shot of Harlan in Canada with what we called "boat face" on. He loved riding in the boat, but always got this super serious face while the boat was actually in motion.