Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Congratulations to my dear friends Joanna (Jo) and Emanuel (Manu) -- Today (Sunday December 30th) at 12:35pm, Théoden is born: 3.3kg (7+lbs) of screaming and kicking baby.

For those who are wondering, the name is from the Anglo-Saxon word þēoden (also spelled ðeoden), cognate to the Old Norse word þjóðann, both meaning "leader of the people" (i.e. "King").

It is also the name of the King of Rohan in the Lord of the Rings ;-)

I'll be heading to the hospital Tuesday for a visit (and photos) as Mom will be resting from her unexpected C-section until then and has asked for a day of rest before visitors. Whatever Mama wants!!

More info (including a really cute video of the hungry baby) can be found HERE.

Yeah & Congratulations again!!!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

HOW-TO...It's a Wrap

Since folks have asked for more info, here are all of the juicy details:

I folded sheets from catalogs (3 to 4 pieces) into knife-pleats/acordian pleats and stitched them together into a sheet. I calculated how large the sheet needed to be by placing the gift to be wrapped on top and guestimating. Then I stitch across the pleated edges, which we'll call top & bottom, leaving approx. 1/4" seam allowance.
NOTE: roll up the edges of the sheet halfway up your gift when guestimating...remember, it's NOT like using wrapping paper!

Repeat making a second sheet of approximately the same size (you have a little wiggle room since you'll be cutting the side to side edges.) I pinked the top and bottom edges of both pages.

Next I put one sheet on top of the other - wrong sides together - and stitched down the two sides (parallel to the pleats.) When stitching, I left enough seam allowance to be able to pink the sides after sewing (1/4" worked fine.)
Returning to the top & bottom edges (which are independently sewn, but NOT sewn together, go to the center of this edge. I folded a line across the folds, between 1/2" & 3/4" in from the edge. Then I curved the fold from that point out to the corners where the stitch line up he sides met the ends. This creates a curved half-moon fold.
Do this on all four top/bottom edges.

You will have created a package/packet with self closing ends.
The thicker your "filling" (present), the further in you make your innitial fold for the half-moon.

I help to keep the package closed with the tying of ribbon. Then I added a gift tag (often two pieces of a catalog glue-stick glued together and cut.

Punch a whole in it.
Thread the tassles through and tie tassles to the ribbon or yarn used to tie the package closed.
Other options? Replace ribbon with yarn. Try an i-cord bow! The possiblities are endless!!

Voilà. Got it! Thought so!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's a wrap!
(what to do with those Holiday Catalogs!)

What's a girl to do with the plentiful number of thick-n-glossy Christmas catalogs that fill her mailbox showing items that fall into the "someday I wish" category?

I mean... They must have spent THOUSANDS on producing them (afterall, I know my budget for a far less high-end catalog!) What a waste to simply chuck them aside!!

Hmmm...Gather up the catalogs and items you wish to wrap...Tear out pages in tonally coordinating colors (it helps to keep the package from looking too busy! I found that J Crew, Bloomies, Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel were good catalogs to start with. There wasn't too much writing and the art direction of the catalogs was beautiful! Brookstone was not a good fit but Lands End would work in a pinch. I may make a few with text pages from Time Out (all text.)

Fold and stitch pages together (helps keep them from separating when you fill the package)...

Stitch and Pink and fold the ends in a half moon fashion and close the ends shut by wrapping with ribbon!!

I made tassles with yarn from the item inside...a little hint to start with!And voila!

If your pages are thinner than those of the glossy Bloomingdales (etc) catalogs, you can always layer a second page (two layers) underneath the top side page and fold away!! Because of the folding, the packages are pretty strong too!
No tape needed and I am able to use things I have around the house!

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Loco: 1993-2007

14 years ago I became friend and care giver to a wonderful cat, a Siamese named Loco. Through 4 homes and 14 years, Loco greeted me daily when I got home and sat with me through lifes ups and downs. He was the most empathetic animal I've ever met. These last 7 years he's spent his warm days lounging in his garden and nights in his chair. He loved to sit on my lap and at most would put one paw over my yarn as I knit.

He always carried himself as a King, so regal with the bluest eyes...and he always sat just so with his paws tucked under.

In his soft chair I now sit with both of the boys (Coco & Chanel) who have been on and off my lap in between taking turns searching the house for Loco.

Tonight I made the difficult choice. After some difficulties these past few days, todays vet visit showed a massive tumor. Other things lead us to believe that it was cancer and it had spread to his lungs too. Additional complications were uncovered as I was told what I should expect (breathing difficulties and heart failure to start with.) The vet frankly wasn't sure how he was still breathing so calmly.

Rather than allow him to suffer through any pain, Dan joined me and helped to give me the strength to put him down before the pain that the vet said would begin very soon, if it hadn't already. He was such an amazing companion.

He is and will be missed. For those of you who've lost a pet, you'll understand. For those of you who haven't or maybe haven't even had a pet...I'd go through it again in a heartbeat to have such a wonderful and empathetic companion.

It will take a while to make the house feel like a home without him. You've been with me since college old friend and I'll try to keep the boys in line as well as you did. They miss you too.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

With no internet at home until months end, I've been quite deliquent in writing here. When I've been at work it's been extra extra long days so I'd dash home (10pm+) rather than blogging.

I've so many photos and fun things to post! It's been a FUN month!!

In random as-it-comes-to-me order:

* Columbus Day weekend away with Dan to the Birkshires!

* Moments of time sucked into Ravelry!!!

* Dinner with girlfriends!!

* I had 18 people (plus me) over for Thanksgiving to feast! What an amazing & International group!! From France, Singapore, Italy, Holland, Puerto Rico, Slovakia and Egypt to name a few!
Food I made: 20lb Turkey (I've cooked them for years and years but brined for the 1st time this year), 2 stuffings: wheat w/ sausage & dried apricot & traditional white bread, homemade whole cranberry sauce, kale with garic & pinenuts, roasted carrots, lemon coconut bars, cookies, coconut shrimp, apple crisp...
People brought: 12 more desserts, plus appetizers and a yummy green bean dish -- many from their home countries!
If you went hungry it was your own fault!

* Helped plan a Baby Shower that was last weekend for Jo! (Due Jan 6!!) Fun and a successful surprise.

* Flew out to San Diego to help Chemo-sit my dear friend Tara, taking her to round 1 of her Chemo infusions and stayed a week afterwards. She's doing VERY WELL and had round 4 yesterday!! 50% done with chemo!! You go girl!!

* Enjoyed Walmartopia downtown Off-Broadway with my parents after Thanksgiving.

* Go see The Mist! (Steven King Thriller/Horror)! It's good!

* Baked cookies - yum! Gingersnaps! I think it's time to bake again!

* Made a great if-not-a-bit-too-salty Turkey Veggie Orzo soup from the carcass. NOTE: do not add that pinch o salt when making the stock with a turkey that you BRINED! (Duh.)

* Danced the night away at Michelle's holiday soiré/house warming.

* knit: 6 Christmas gifts and counting!

* Am reading two books...
-At my place: The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille (really interesting!!!)
-At Dan's place: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

* Successfully completed another photoshoot and am up to my neck in finishing the next catalog -- Autumn/Winter 2008!!

* Launched my new line (AW08) to my UK/EU people (US launch in January) and enjoyed sharing NYC with them.

* Yummy dinners out: The Mermaid Inn (UWS), Hagi (Theatre Dist), Compass (UWS), L'absynth (UES), Momofuku (LES)...

* Cooked the best Roast Beef I've ever made! YUM!

I know there's more!!! It's been a busy 8 weeks!!

Sent from my Blackberry