The Compliment


While leaving for the weekend from my office, I ran into to a guy at work at the elevator. He paid me a compliment on my scarf. He told me it was a nice scarf and asked where I got it. I told him that I made it myself, and he replied yes I figure that you did because it doesn’t look at anything you would buy from the store. He started to ask me what made me get into knitting, and I said I want to learn how to knit from a child so finally learned how a few years ago. He said I bet you knit on the train, and I responded by saying whenever I have elbow room. He mentioned something about knitting and how it seemed a little exhibitionist by saying to the world that you can make your own clothes. And I told it is probably no different than reading on train, and he responded by saying yes telling the world you are reading War and Peace.

That conversation lead me to think about a lot of knitters like to knit on the go, and is there a little truth about what the guy said about being an exhibitionist knitter. I certainly can’t speak for the knitting population, but the reason why I knit on the train is simply to finish my project as quickly as possible. Of course, there is some truth about showing the world that I know how to knit. That sense of independence in saying to the world that I have possess a skill and it gives me power in a sense. There is a certain sense of pride in showing your work. When I am out in public and if I am carrying my knitting, I am going to knit to pass some time, but I do the same time with reading. Reading is a solitary activity because it means that you really do not want to speak to anyone, and want to become involved in the story you are reading at the time. Knitting does not necessarily mean I want to be alone, but want something to do while commuting to and from work.How do you show the world what you can do?

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What’s Happening Friday


Friday has finally arrived and the a little cold weather in New Jersey.  We are expecting some rain/sleet/rain on Sunday which means going out on Saturday to run errands and perhaps getting in a movie.  This Christmas is playing in theaters and it’s nice to see one new Christmas movie, although I have to say one of my favorite movies about the holiday is “A Christmas Story with Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsley.  It is one of the funniest stories about a little boy’s repeated requests for a Red Ryder B-B gun, and it’s a story that does not have a perfect Christmas which makes really human.  If you have never seen it, TBS will air the movie all the month of December or just rent it.  I am going to attempt to get some sewing done this weekend and finish up a project, and get some reading in as well. I am currently reading the book Exposed in which 

I mentioned in my blog earlier this week, and probably will finish it as it is not a long book, however, the book is eye-opening.  Of course, I tend to get in some fiction by finishing The Jane Austen Book Club that started over a month ago and haven’t completed it yet.  I haven’t started any knitting projects, but have yarn where I could make a few more scarves.I went the theater last night at Lincoln Theater which is an amazing performance venue to see Phylicia Rashad in Cymbeline.  I though the play was good, but better in the second act whcih happened to be longer than first which is unusual for a play.  However, I am talking about Shakespeare and his plays are generally long. 

Some of you my know, that I am beginner sewer and admit that I do not have a serger just yet.  Hopefully I will able to purchase one in the near future as I want to sew up some knit dresses and pieces to give it a more finished look to the garment.  There are times when I ask myself to serge or not to serge.  Some sewers say you do not need a serger, but others believe it is a necessity and I am still on the fence.  I was thinking about purchasing a used serger, but it is just a mere thought and will make a decision in the next couple of months.  Well Ithink that is what on my mind at the moment.  Have a good weekend everyone!

Greener Cosmetics


If some of you read my Wednesday’s blog about toxic chemicals in our everyday products, then you might have heard the interview I posted yesterday with the investigator reporter, Mark Schapiro on Fresh Air/National Public Radio.  In the interview, Schapiro told Terry Gross (interviewer) that many of the lipsticks on the market contain lead.  That’s right my sisters lead along with petroleum which I venture to say is not probably a good thing to put on our bodies and faces.  I was reading an article in January 2007 issue of Essence Magazine where one of the celebrities (think it was Nancy Wilson) said that she used Vaseoline petroleum.  Now you could have knock me over with a feather that in this day and age that some people still use this product.  I do not use petroleum on your face or body when can also use it to fuel your car or home, not a good thing.

What I also learned from the interview is that there is no requirement in the United States to test cosmetics.  Have you ever read on the back of the face cream you use that the company doesn’t test their products on animals with the statement “no animal testing”?  Now have you asked yourself how does the company test their products?  I am all for not testing animals, but they should create testing on cosmetics to prove its safety.

I suppose the same the rule for food applies, “If you cannot pronounce, then do not eat it.”  With that said, just as there places like Whole Foods and Wild Oats alternative food markets selling organic products, the same is true for cosmetics.  There are new organic cosmetics companies on the market everyday.   This does not include the 8,000 products that the beauty industry creates each year.  So I am going to write about some alternative cosmetics companies for you do your own research and see what best suits you.  Yesterday I wrote in my blog about a database that gives you the ingredients in cosmetics and a safety rating.  I am going to post it again, so that when you do your research the alternative companies you can rate them as well.  Not all organic products are alike or equal.

Probably one of most largest organic skincare company is Origins (www.origins.com).  The company first started in 1990 and has grown over the 17 years.  Origins has stores across the country and also sells its product in Bloomingsdale’s and Macy’s department stores.  The company sells skin care, make-up, fragrances, and bath & body care.  The next company is Avalon Naturals (www.avalonnaturalproducts.com).  The company sells a variety of body, skin, and hair products, however, does not sell color cosmetics.  A good thing about this company is that it products for babies.   Avea (www.avea.co.uk) is an organic company from Great Britain with an interesting surprise, it sells non-toxic nail polish and herbal hair dyes (the US government does have some requirements about hair dyes).  This may a company worth going on the site and see what it offers. 

One note:  Ladies and Gentlemen from the very fair-skinned to the darkest hue it is very important to use sunscreen if you plan to spend hours outdoors, and this does include people of color as everyone is at risk of getting cancer.  Do you research on the safest sunscreen to purchase and wear.

Here are some other companies you might be interested in taking a look:

Aubrey Organics  www.aubrey-organics.com

L’Occitane – http://usa.loccitane.com/FO/Default.aspx?cm_mmc=

Saffron Rouge www.saffronrouge.com

Lastly, The Green Guide had an article published back in April about organic cosmetic and here is the link for you to read www.thegreenguide.com/doc/119/makeup.  All is not lost, we can still look fabulous but our products can be safer and greener.  Enjoy! 

Getting Greener – Side Note


Hello everyone!

I really want to do you what you think about the interview on Fresh Air about toxic chemicals in our products.  I think it is important to voice your opinion as it does affect our daily lives.  So I am going to post the link for you to listen :

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16616951

Another story that aired yester is about the looming water crisis:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16654226

Listen and have something to say!

Things are Getting Greener


The other day, I wrote a blog about doing a little laundering on the fabrics we made into clothes and caring for them.  It would be easier to take them the dry cleaners, but there are times when the cleaners can do more harm than good our nice fabrics.  You may have horror stories to tell about that favorite cashmere sweater that the dry cleaner managed to ruin.  However, does anyone ever wonder about the chemicals that are used at the dry cleaners cannot be good for clothes or the environment.

Going green has become a huge trend over the past couple of years with Al Gore’s book and movie “An Inconvenient Truth” has made the public more aware of global warming or the new catch phase climate change that conservatives are more with using.  However, I believe the average do-it-yourselfer is more conscience of using and recycling things around the house.  I recycle as much as possible as it does save some cash.  I know that people who sew, knit and crochet probably has a million ideas about recycling such as using that glass jar originally for pickles turn into a convenient containers for buttons, ribbons and other notions.

I listened to an interview the other day on Fresh Air with Terry Gross (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16616951) with Mark Schapiro discussing his book “Exposed.”  Schapiro is an investigative reporter who examined how toxic chemicals exist in many of the products we handle every day from the gadgets, toys, beauty products, etc.  He also discussed how the European Union requires businesses to minimize toxic chemicals or list them, and the U.S. does not provide any such requirements in its policy, and with an increasingly green economy, American businesses could get shut of the huge market he argues.  You can listen to the interview at the above-listed link.  In fact, Fresh Air is airing inteviews this week pertaining to environmental issues.  FYI, after hearing the interview, you may not want to purchase anymore plastic toys for your children.

Here is the section where I give some web resources about getting a little greener.  There some good resources on the web on being environmental safer and putting some green in yourself, and there are many instances where you save money.  An interesting tipbit that using a dishwasher saves more water than handwashing dishes as we tend to continually run water while washing them.

Now here are the resources:

National Geographic created a magazine called the Green Guide that provide information on green products, make your own green products, and about the environment www.thegreenguide.com.  

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit organization consisting of a team of scientists, enginners, policy experts, lawyers and computer programmers pores over government data, legal documents, scientific studies and our own laboratory tests to expose threats to your health and the environment, and to find solutions. Our research brings to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know, www.ewg.org.

This one of my favorite websites.  The cosmetics database list beauty products and rates the level of toxic chemicals from 0 being the lowest to 8 being the highest www.cosmeticsdatabase.com.

 

Ideal Bite is an website that gives daily tips for green living.  You can also subscribe to the e-newsletter for your daily bite www.idealbite.com.

 

Lime is a great website that provide mass media, TV, Radio, Podcasts, etc.  There is a variety of information concerning alternative health, fitness, green living, etc. www.lime.com. 

 

Of course there is Body and Soul Magazine from Martha Stweart Omnimedia (www.bodyandsoulmag.com, Plenty Magazine (www.plentymag.com), and Verdant Magazine (www.verdantmag.com) are some of the magazines about green living on the market.

 

 Finally, here are some blogs about green living:

 

http://greenliving.suite101.com/

 

http://dannyseo.typepad.com/

 

http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/cgi-bin/svblog.cgi

 

www.treehugger.com

 

http://thegreenwayblog.com

 

http://www.greenlivingtips.com

 

http://blog.greenlivingonline.com

 

www.greendaily.com

 

I hope that I gave you something to think about, and perhaps visit some of the website to give some ideas how to make your life safer because we only get one and life is too short to waste.  Now, I know everyone isn’t going to do everything, but maybe not having so many lights on in the house, and remember to turn off the water while brushing your teeth to conserve water.  Finally, being aware of the toxic chemicals in your cleaning and everyday products and use with caution, or find alternative products that are safer.  Have a greener day everybody!

Time for a Little Laundering


With all my new hobbies of knitting and sewing, I wondered how I am going to keep all my articles of clothing and accessories clean.  As you might know, I am a magazine hound (another side hobby) and everything from Business Week to Real Simple.  Real Simple gives some great advice about simplifiing your life, and introduce some great products to use.  Getting back to my laundering issue, Real Simple wrote a small tip bit about this company called The Laundress.  It is an online company created by two women created a line of luxury fabric care specialty detergent line.  The line includes cashmere/wool shampoo, delicates, whites, darks, stain remover, and fabric refreshener.  The line also has a detergent for baby clothes and denim.  I am going to warn you that products are pricey, but worth it as they smell great and does a wonderful job in cleaning your fabric which means longer wear. 

I ordered from The Laundress sample kit that comes with six best-selling formulas from The Laundress; 2 oz. Whites Detergent, Darks Detergent, Delicate Wash, Wool & Cashmere Shampoo, Stain Solution and Classic Fabric Fresh. They come in a black and white zippered pouch along with our Laundress Recipe Card.  The products are organic and biodegradable which means you will be helping the environment.  I tried the whites and darks detergent and thought was great, and the smell is wonderful, people will think it’s prefume.  I encourage anyone to visit www.thelaundress.com to browse and see if anything interests you.  I recommend to try the sample kit to see which products are probably more useful to you before committing to the larger size bottles.

Now for the my regular laundry, I use Arm and Hammer detergent and 20 Team Mule Laundry Booster because the water where I live is hard which is also better for the environment  In addition, 20 Team is an all-purpose cleaner that is also good with cleaning things like bone china, refrigators, bathrooms, garage pails, etc.  I am thinking about making my own cleaners for the house than purchasing all the commercial brands that take its toll on my skin and breathing (have asthma).

Well, I guess those my little tipbits for the day.  Enjoy Everyone!

Finished Product


I am happy today because I finally finished my scarf.  This is an accomplishment and feel that I can get to my other working projects.  I am not a big time multi-tasker and focus on the project at hand even if I am thinking about the next project finishing the first one becomes more important.   My scarf has an organic feel because the yarn is multi-color and each skein was a different than the one before, so I went it whatever colors feel in place.  Towards the end of my scarf did have black due to the one skein where that color was almost existent, and I think it’s looks good because everything doesn’t have to be even or matchy matchy.

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Out of Thanksgiving Coma


Hello everyone!  I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was great and that you didn’t eat yourself into coma.  Cooking for Thanksgiving can be ebullient and tiring at the same time.  You do no notice that you are tire while spending a good part of that day cooking and putting finishing touches on your fabulous meal, but it hits you later after washing and putting away that last dish, you sit down and realize how tired you were when it’s all over.  However, you look forward to the next holiday.

This time of year comes with holiday parties and celebrating four holidays with Thanksigving kicking off.  Everyone will be in holiday mode.  In fact, Christmas decorations were on display in several towns before Thanksgiving and some radio station began playing holiday music two weeks before Thanksgiving.  Personally, I can wait to play my Charlie Brown’s Christmas soundtrack next week because I needed to get through Thanksgiving first.  I do not decorate my house for the holidays because I live alone, but I will make the trip to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree and walk down Fifth Avenue as New York City is beautiful this time of year.  I also have this wish that it snows around the holidays because I really have seen snow in a couple of years and it would nice.

Now on the creative front, I have a some projects in the works and need to organize my time to get them done.  I have scarf that is almost completed and need to start another one.  The muslins I created can now become the real project to sew.  Getting things done will be a slow process due to the holidays and preparing meals in between that time.  I may have to edit myself and be realistic about what I do get done in a certain amount of time.  I am still looking for fabric for my dress which I still haven’t seen anything that catches my eye, and reverting to black is not what I want to do.  I want to find a fabric with an expansive array of color, now I probably will end up with making three or four dress that are black, lol.

Gobble, Gobble Everybody!


It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and I know that some of you are preparing tomorrow’s feast.  I thought I would never get out of work on time today because I too have a date with Tom the Turkey.  Last night, I put my bird in a brine solution to soak, today I am making some desserts and candied yams.  What I can prepare today means doing less tomorrow.  Of course in between the cooking and washing dishes, I am going to get some knitting before bed, then it’s getting up around six in the morning to wash the bird, season, and place into the oven by 8:00 am.  I am debating on to stuff or not stuff the turkey because my father wanted to get a 17 lb bird for four people (which means turkey pot pie next week).

I do everything possible to make the easiest recipes that taste wonderful and not out of a can.  Can someone explain green bean casserole to me because from what I’ve seen it doesn’t look very tasty, however, I digress.  At any rate, I hope everyone enjoy the day tomorrow even if means putting up with one relative you cannot stand.  Just look at from this perspective, you will only have to see him or her tomorrow and probably will not see the person until next year.  I’m kidding, lol.  Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Aprons on my Mind


Throughout the course of the day, aprons has come across my path a few times.  I always thought having an apron, but believe they were outdated.  However, aprons are practical in the kitchen and working on crafts.  Mimi from Domestic Haven made a great apron that she posted on her log today.  I heard Adrienne speaking with Deepika today on Conversations with Adrienne podcast, and Deepika talked about the first sewing project she made was an apron that she continues to wear.  At this point, I am sold on having an apron.

I do have a few ideas about the kinds of aprons I want to make, and yes I definitely a few kitchen aprons, and a couple of crafty aprons.  The thought also occurred to me to knit a cotton apron.  Yes a knitted apron with a crochet trim and a couple of pockets.  This is another reason why I decided to crochet, knit, and sew, I am in need of kitchen towels, oven mittens, and dish cloths, and it’s easier for me to make what represents my personality and allow my creativity to come out.  I could do a variation of the apron in the winter issue of Adorn Magazine and try some fabric painting and create my own design (attempt anyway, I draw stick people).

I like to thank the people I mentioned in the blog inspiring me to think about making an apron for myself.  Sometimes we are need a little nudge every now and again to spark our creativity.

Cranberry Sauce and other Ramblings


I went grocery shopping today to purchase all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner this coming Thursday.  Of course, I start preparing my menu with making cranberry sauce.  It is seems to be the opinion of some people that is far easier to open a can of cranberry sauce and call it day.  However, for me cranberry sauce from the can usually tastes like the can and what is the purpose of cooking a wonderful home cook meal only to dump sauce from the can.  So I decided to make cranberry sauce and to my surprise the easiest thing I make from the entire menu.  Cranberry sauce is easy to prepare with 3/4 cups of water, a cup of sugar, and a bag of fresh or frozen cranberries.  Just boil the water and sugar, add the cranberries, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, put sauce in a bowl, the in frig and chill.  The sauce can be made a couple of day in advance.There are times when I make different variations such as adding apples or pears.  You can add orange juice, allspice and cinnamon.  You can use brown sugar instead of white sugar, but don’t use anything like a splenda because it will not chill.  Cranberry doesn’t have to be difficult to make, and it significantly better tasting than the can.  In addition, you will know what is in the cranberry sauce because you made it, and do you really want to eat something from a can that has been sitting on the shelf that only the bugs and insect knows how long it has been there.  Something to think about.  

Thanksgiving is Fast Approaching


Okay, Thanksgiving is fast approaching and finally sat down to write out my shopping list for my menu.  I decided on making roasted Brussel Sprouts, but could very change that to green beans (not that green bean casserole).  Of course, the menu consists of candied yams, cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing, giblet gravy, and potato sour cream biscuits.  My dessert is still up in the air, but I am leaning towards apple or the cranberry pear oatmeal crumble, either way it will be a simple recipe.  Cooking is my first passion and I can not believe that I have been doing it for more than 30 years.  Yes, I first started cooking at the age of 11 and been cooking ever since, and preparing Easter, Christmas, New Year’s, and Thanksgiving meals for about 20 years.  I use make collard greens for Thanksgiving until my brother did something silly.  It was over ten years ago, I gave my brother ten dollars to purchase the greens for me (I gave him the money four days before Thanksgiving).  I finally told him that he needed to get the greens because it was already Wednesday.  Now believe or not collard greens were cheap and you can get a few bunches for under a dollar.  My brother came back to the house the night before with a garage bag full of collard greens (he spent all of the money I gave him).  The bag was huge and I spent two hours on the floor cutting up and cleaning greens and vowed not to make them again.  Needless to say I was annoyed with my brother because he did not help and it was the last time I sent him anyway to purchase produce for me.

I am going to share a recipe for rolls that I made about nine or ten years ago, but I must warn you that it is a seven hour preparation time.  The rolls will come out nice and fluffy.  They feel like clouds and very easy to make because there is two 2 1/2 rising.  However, you can try this recipe when you have time.  Actually, you make the rolls and do other things between the risings.  I first saw the recipe on Cooking Live on Food Network.  Here is the recipe and decide for yourself:

Georgine’s Fluffy Rolls

Recipe Courtesy of Saveur Magazine Cookbook: Saveur Cooks Authentic American

 
 
 
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 7-gram packet active dry yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups flour
3/4 cup melted butter

Combine milk, shortening, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; set aside and allow to cool.

Mix yeast with 1/4 cup lukewarm water in a large bowl; set aside until yeast dissolves and little bubbles begin to appear on the surface, about 10 minutes.

Pour cooled milk mixture into yeast. Stir in eggs and gradually add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir, then use your hands to knead in the flour (dough will be sticky, so grease your hands with a little butter). Brush a small amount of butter on the inside of a large bowl and on one side of a sheet of waxed paper. Place dough in bowl, cover with buttered waxed paper, and lay a clean damp dish towel on top. Set aside to rise until doubled, at least three hours.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until elastic, then roll out to 1/2 -inch thickness. Cut dough with a 3-inch biscuit cutter, dip each round into melted butter, and fold in half. Line up, round edges up, sides touching, in a baking pan. Cover with buttered waxed paper and a towel, and set aside to rise, at least 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Rolls are best served warm

 

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 7 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen

User Rating: 5 Stars

 
 
 
 

 

Episode#: CL9226
Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

I have to prepare by cleaning the refrigerator, oven and stove, get out my roaster for the turkey, and stop by the farmer’s market to pick up some fresh marajam, rosemary, sage, and thyme for the turkey and stuffing.  I have to get to market early because it’s just like a one-day sale at Macy’s and have to fight the other women for the last dress you want on the rack.  Needless to say, very little knitting and sewing will happen during the holiday.

Next Stop, Knits


I tend to do a significant amount of thinking as I am sure everyone does. As I wrote a couple of days about my muslin for the pants from the Simplicity pattern. In addition to noticing that I should lengthen the pants because the petite length is too short (I’m 5’4″), and would like to wear with heels. My original plan was use a lightweight wool, but thought about and decided today that it would be better to use a knit with some stretch. A mid-weight knit that I can wear during the fall and winter months, and there is the idea of using twill with stretch which will probably work and is a suggested fabric to use.

I have not yet worked with knits, but have some patterns in my stash that call for that fabric. This is a personal preference, but I like wearing knit during the fall and winter months as it is comfortable and easy to care by hand washing or a gentle wash. I like to wear these pieces for work, weekends, and going out (I can dress it up). I love wearing tweeds and wools, but it requires more care than knits (I like washable knits too).

With my planning with sewing dresses, jackets, pants, and skirts, I need to think about tops to wear as well. I do not have enough tops and that means looking at some patterns of some knits to purchase. I do intend to make shell tops because they are great to wear under jackets and sweaters. Well I suppose that is all I have today, but I certainly will take any advice or suggestions you may have. You can also tell me how you feel about working and wearing knits. Cheers!

What’s Happening


I am now into my three-day weekend off. I did not do very much over the weekend, but managed to see “Why Did I Get Married” on Saturday, work on my scarf, and put a muslin together for a pair of pants. It is a very good thing that I created the muslin because it calls for a could of adjustments with the length (a little longer), and just add an 1/2 inch to the waist, and it should do the trick.

I finally received my patterns from Butterick and want to get started with doing the tunic from pattern number 5100, and make a diaper bag for a co-worker at work who’s having a baby. The creative idea is to make a couple of diaper bags and use them as center pieces for the shower. I can put things in the bags like cloth diapers (hey, you can use a couple just in case), baby wipes, glass bottles, lotion, powder, etc. I think it’s different than doing a gift basket and one can get more use from two diaper bags than the basket.

With the arrival of the holidays coming, it can be so hectic. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next Thursday? I have yet to write out my shopping list as I am still thinking about what I am preparing. Of course, the turkey will be the main event, but still haven’t decided on the side dishes and dessert. I was thinking about preparing a cranberry pear oatmeal crumble and potato sour cream biscuits. I think these will be nice and easy to prepare and tasty along with preparing cranberry sauce. Yes I do prepare my own cranberry sauce and it is very simple with a cup of water, sugar, and a bag of cranberries. I usually do a variation by adding an apple or orange to the sauce, and the dish can be made a few days before the dinner as you will need to allow cranberry sauce to chill and jell together. My father always wants yellow turnips with his dinner, so I will make a batch of that to keep him happy and my sanity will remain in tact. I shall write out my dinner menu by tomorrow night.

Now I am going to do a review of my movie I saw on Saturday “Why Did I Get Married.” I thought it was Tyler Perry’s most adult and mature movie to date. Upon watching the problems of the couples unfold, I thought that a couple of marriages could have ended and one does because of the obvious reason that the marriage between Mike and Sheila . You really don’t know what Mike really marries Shelia although she seemingly loves him and put more than 100% into the marriage and he gave her nothing in return. Actually he does give her something, his contempt and ridicule. Mike is the least mature person in the movie, and doesn’t understand what it takes to make a marriage work. Shelia stays in the marriage for the wrong reasons as it did not matter to Mike what she could have done to change herself (by losing weight), he did not appreciate or love her. I thought the movie brought out the point of the importance of honesty with your spouse. I think have become more of an opponent of discussing any concerns you may before getting married because at least you know where you stand, and a person can make a choice to accept or or not. I thought it was a little disconcerting that Diane who did not want children got her tubes tied without her husband’s knowledge knowing that he wanted more children (he gets a DNA test on their daughter without her knowledge). Perhaps intellectually and legally she does have the right to do whatever she wants with her body, but sometimes being right may not the best thing for a marriage, and she should have been honest enough to discuss with her husband that she did not want to have four children (actually it should have been discussed before walking down the aisle) . I think this movie is good in knowing what happens when you are not honest within a relationship, and it gives one a great to think about what kind of marriage you want and willing to live with.

New Craft Magazine Find


I can not begin to you how many magazines I purchase on knitting, sewing, and general crafts.  I also subscribe to Everyday with Rachael Ray, New Yorker Magazine, O Magazine (and O Home), More, Body and Soul, and Fast Company.  Let’s just say I love magazines.  So today, I went to Barnes and Noble to purchase the new December/January issue of Threads Magazine.  I was deciding to get the Winter issue of Interweave Knits (but will get that next week) until a new Magazine called Make It Mine came into view.  The premier issue has different ideas to embellish clothes, accessories, and home.

There are some really creative ideas to embellish things you are already own or plan to make.  The three things I like from this issue comes from the article Spice Up Your Skirts, 6 Great Ideas to Inspire You, one particular skirt can be made from neckties.  Yes, by finding coordinating ties, you can sew them together and make a skirt.  I thought if you can make a skirt with neckties, I wondered if the same technique could be used with scarves or perhaps strips of fabric (think I am having an Ah Moment!).  Another idea I like from the magazine is making a totebag from paper.  Yes, I can recycle my magazines and newspapers by making them into the totebags and use them as gift bags.  The third article I enjoyed was about needle felting which is also called dry felting.

I have to say I really enjoy reading and learning from this magazine, and I also like Adorn Magazine which also has great ideas along with a regular article the places to visit and shop in different cities.  There is also a wonderful project for making a Russian coat.  You are taking an existing coat and embellishing it with the Russian style, or you can use that idea and create something that fits your personal style.

If you are anything like, a magazine hoarder, then you can check out Make It Mine’s website at http://www.makeitminemag.com and the read the blog as well.

Color and Inspiration


I wrote a blog a couple of days mentioned inspiration, and Adrienne so kindly responded with a comment stating that inspiration is everywhere.  She is absolutely right about that inspiration being everywhere and there are times when I get inspired in the middle of working on a project.  However, some of my inspiration comes from taking walks.  I have created stories to write while walking from the train station to work, or during lunchtime spending that time at the bookstore.   Inspiration came to me yesterday while taking photographs of my current knitting and sewing project and realized how the colors from the scarf I am knitting coordinated with the tweed skirt.

Now here is some background history about my wardrobe.  The current wardrobe consists primarily of black, gray and some brown.  Every now and again I have some color like a red cardigan and a pink sweater, but more than 70% of my clothing is black.  My mostly black wardrobe is a product of me working in New York City, and just about every woman in the City wears black (with the exception of the Sex in the City girls).  Black is the easy go to color as it goes with everything and seemingly slimming, but wearing too much black can be drab.

When I made the decision to start sewing my own clothes to build a wardrobe, I purchased fabric and again the majority of the fabric is in black, gray, and blue with the few exceptions of buying red cotton twill, the wool tweed from the previous post, my printed pj bottoms.  I thought to myself that I am doing it again gravitating toward the go to dark colors.  So now I need to add splashes of color in my wardrobe.  I actually hate wearing one color from head to toe that includes a print, and have to consider my problems areas that I do not necessary want to show.  I was in need of serious inspiration, so magazines became my inspiration to find color.  And thought to myself how much I really like wearing silk blouses because they are so feminine, and what a great idea to add color like reds, purples, greens, and certain blues.  I decided to create a color chart of fabric and yarn as a way to incorporate more color.  Mimi from the Domestic Haven blog suggested organizing fabric swatches to take to the store and coordinate with fabric you might purchase.  I thought it was a great idea, and in a way it could use a color chart.  You can pull the color from existing fabric swatches.

There are certain places where I can find inspiration and it sometimes take on a trip to the museum, particularly the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).  They are great places of inspiration from Ancient Egypt or Greece to modern art.  Music gives me a lot of inspiration although it does not provide a visual, but you can create something in your mind’s eye like dreaming about a meadow or seeing an explosion of color.  At this moment, I am getting inspired with finishing my scarf to see the color pattern of the yarn.  Until we meet again, happy inspiration!

Another Scarf, Perhaps More!


Yes, I started knitting another scarf last night. However, I decided it was time to different type of knit stitch. A double seed stitch or sometimes called double moss. It’s a really simple pattern with row 1 and 2, knit 2, purl 2 across the row, and row 3 and 4, purl 2 and knit 2. The double seed stitch is reversible with a nice drape, and is coming out really nice in my scarf. I am using the Patons SWS yarn that I purchased last week on my fabric store trip, the yarn has this nice stripe and getting a good strip pattern as well. I like using multi-color yarns as it does say me from changing colors by adding different color yarns. It’s not difficult to change to another color, but it’s a pain weaving the tails after finishing the project.

I took these photos of my progress of my scarf and tweed skirt.  I probably will finish the skirt on the weekend as it is not as stressful in addition to more time to work on it.  It is a matter sewing the seams, put in the elastic waistband, and small hem.  I think my fabric  cutting is improving (because I really like to take my time and cut as nicely as possible).  It was a good idea to cut out a muslin piece first because there was only one pattern to cut the skirt and the instructions called for a single thickness cut.  So when it came time to cut the real fabric, I had two pattern pieces to pin than just one.  While taking these photos, I realized that the scarf coordinates well with the skirt.  The yarn has purple and thought to myself that the color would coordinate well.  Is there a purple silk blouse or purple sweater on my list to sew and knit respectively?  It is amazing how the mind works sometimes, I purchase the yarn without coordinating with the tweed.  I definitely I am going to make a hat with the reminder of the tweed fabric.  I can see myself with my driving cap with the skirt (I don’t own a car, lol).

 

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It’s Monday


I finally made the trip to the fabric store after work today to exchange the knitting needles and purchase sewing machine needles to finish my skirt, although when finally getting home, I did not feel like doing it.  It’s difficult coming home from work with the desire to work on my knitting and sewing.  In fact, it’s usually the reason why I do my sewing projects on the weekends, and knitting I do just about anywhere such commuting to and from work (whenever I have some elbow room).  What I that said, while walking to the train to come home, I forgot to get some bobbins for the sewing machine (can never enough bobbins) and just couldn’t go back.

I am going to admit to purchasing two more patterns from Simplicity this past weekend.  One is a wardrobe coordinates patterns that I could make a pants, skirt, and t-shirt from knit fabric.  I need knits in my wardrobe for after work and weekend wear.  In fact, I can considered the pattern (New Look 6762) the alternative sweat suit. This reminds me while writing the previous sentence that I am going to need needles for knits.  I haven’t worked with knits yet, but the pattern seems like a good introduction to work with the fabric.  The other pattern (Simplicity 3566) which I think is a great wardrobe because it has a dress, jacket, skirt, pants, and top to coordinate with other pieces in the wardrobe.  I want to sew all of the pieces to this pattern and I want to do the pants in a light weight tweed (I like tweed).  I also get excited about color like finding purple fabric to make the dress or skirt, or a brown tweed for the pants and skirts (brown and purple goes together).  The patterns just gives me so many ideas and interruptions.  Perhaps it was a good idea to write a blog entry tonight to get me inspired and invigorated for the rest of the week. What gets you inspired?

Catching Up to Time and Other Moments


Upon waking up this morning, something feel a little off to me.  Although I woke up during daylight, it still felt very early to me and the realization hit that I forgot to turn back the clocks prior to going to bed (not use to standard time occurring in November).  It was only 6:25 am with one clock reflecting the correct time (my cable box), so simply got out of bed and turned all of my clocks back (went back to bed as well).  A typical Sunday for me is really staying around the house, cooking, and just relaxing.  However, I did manage to pinned another muslin project for a pair of pants.  I think pinning and cutting pants patterns are probably one of the easiest thing for me to do.  Actually I am using a Simplicity pattern and find using those patterns are easiest for me considering I am neophyte to the sewing world.  This is the first pattern that I am putting in darts and a zipper.  All I really need to do is just take my time and everything should fine.  However, I am going to need to put a lining for the fabric I am using to make the pants (wool flannel).

Now I may be creating more work for myself, but it’s important to me have my fall/winter apparel lined.  I do not know if anyone has noticed, but clothes in the department stores are not lined.  I brought a pair of Ellen Tracy wool gabardine without a lining.  Now a person would think that a pair of pants with a $250.00 price tag should have a lining (I only paid $50.00), but no because it’s a way for designers to find shortcut in order to save money for the company.  I think quality suffers in the process, but what do I know for I am just a mere consumer who’s spending her money.  That’s enough of venting for the day.

I haven’t really knitted anything this weekend and still trying to figure out what knit stitches to use for my new scarf.  I am differently knitting another long scarf. but want to do an interesting knitting pattern that will look nice with the yarn.  Maybe a simple lace pattern, I can search on knitting pattern central to find a pattern that is simple and quick to knit.  I still  haven’t purchased any yarn for my knitted skirt project, but promised myself that I am going to knit a skirt.  I hope I am not suffering from knitting and sewing overload, but there could other things that are worst.

Oh Mine!


After two weeks of waiting patiently of receiving some books I ordered, it finally came this afternoon except the books I order did not arrive.  Instead, I received the wrong books.  Although, I am all for learning new things, canning and preserving is not one of them.  I do not understand how I received a book about canning when I ordered Essential Baby Knits and Vogue Sewing.  I am also dismay by the fact that I have failed to receive the two Butterick patterns after ordering them over two weeks ago.  My patience must prevail through all the little mishaps, and the realization that is not the end of the world as things can be corrected.  I will simply returned the wrong books, and will contact Butterick by phone to see what happened to my order.

It is raining today in New Jersey as result of the residual from tropical storm Noel, and now there’s rain and wind (mostly windy).  This is a good day to stay inside and do some knitting and sewing, or perhaps see a movie.  Yet, there is no reason why one should not do them all as it is the weekend.  After, I have yet to see Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married,” as it is still doing well at the box office.

Friday night, I went to see American Gangster with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe and thought it was a good and well-acted movie to watch.  Washington portrays Frank Lucas, a real life person who was a big-time heroin dealer in Harlem from the late 60s to mid 70s before getting arrested for conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs.  Lucas brought his drugs directly from the wholesaler in Bangkok with the help of a cousin station there during the Vietnam War, and transported the drugs in the coffins of dead servicemen coming home in military planes.  Lucas eliminated the middleman which enabled him to sell his drugs at a cheaper price and of better quality than his competitors.  Crows plays the detective who works to bring Lucas down, Lucas later becomes an informant to bring down corruption in the police department in New York City.  It was a good movie, yet disturbing film for those Washington fans who do not like seeing him play the bad guy.

Well I think that’s all have to write today as I should get some other work done today.  Have a good day everyone!