Archive for March, 2007

March 30th, 2007

We’re going to Japan…probably

Rod is scheduled to go to Japan for work in May and I’m trying my best to tag along. It looks like things will all work out, but I’m trying not to get too excited. It’s not working very well. I keep thinking about all the amazing things there are to see and do in Tokyo. And the food. And the fabric. That’s where I lose control of my excitement level.

I’m the kind of traveler who likes to have things planned before I go. I like to know which sites I’m going to see and where everything is before I get there. I might not stick to that plan once I get to my destination, but I like to have as much research done as I can before I get there. I think that helps me manage my excitement – I feel like I’m doing something before the trip even begins. Is anyone else like this or am I just weird?

I’m getting concerned, though, because I’m having trouble finding shopping information for fabric/sewing type stores. Have any of you been to Tokyo? Any thoughts on must-see sites/stores/restaurants? I’ll most likely be on my own for a good bit of the trip, since Rod will be working and all, so I’ll be looking for all kinds of things to keep myself occupied.

I’m off to read more guidebooks….

March 29th, 2007

It’s in the bag

I started sewing because I love bags. It was getting to be an expensive love and I had seen a lot of them that I thought “I can make that,” so I gave it a shot. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it might be, but I had a lot of fun doing it. I still have a lot of fun making them and I’m trying to branch out into other areas of sewing, too. In the meantime, though, here are some photos of recent bags that I’ve made.

This one is a pencil case for the new pens that Rod bought me. You can see that it is clearly labeled as “mama’s stuff,” but I don’t know how far that will get me. Maybe I should have labeled it as medicine or avocados if I really wanted Alex to keep his hands out of it.

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The next one is the Moopy Bunny bag. I used the Mini-Moopy Bunny pattern from Carly at Moopy & Me, though I can’t find a link to it anymore. I downloaded it several months ago, so she may have taken it down now. For the bag, I made a flat bunny and stitched him onto a basic lined bag. I also added some grass for him to munch on and a nice pink flower in his hand.

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The last one is a preschooler-sized bag I made for Alex. The mouse is made from a freezer paper stencil with a stencil pattern from the freebies at Ottobre (LOVE that magazine!) and his clothes are fabric. The talking bubble is also made with a freezer paper stencil.

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There are a few more bags laying around the house that I need to take some photos of. Obviously, I need to try a new location or a different time of day to avoid those nasty shadows…

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March 24th, 2007

Do they come any better than this?

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Look at what my amazingly generous husband brought back for me from his trip to San Jose! He picked out the most adorable books and picked up some of my other favorite things – pens and notebooks! That green notebook says “Notebooks for pretty girls. All tiny things are pretty.” So cute!

The books have some incredible projects in them and I just need to figure out which one to try first. Hmmm…maybe I’ll take one of those notebooks and pens and make a list. I’ll post some photos of the insides of the books in the gallery just as soon as I can figure out how to make the photos look halfway decent.

The weather here has been great. It was 85 degrees today with very little humidity. Usually when we see temperatures that high, they come with 90% percent humidity and make you want to hide in a freezer somewhere. Today, though, we were able to get out and enjoy it. Rod, Alex, and I went on a photo safari to Big Spring Park. I made a list for each of us of the things we needed to “shoot” – animal, tree, building, flower, etc. We had a great time. The results are posted in the Expedition gallery, if you’re interested.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!

March 22nd, 2007

Crafty adventures to come!

I know I haven’t posted anything very crafty lately, but I’m working on that. It’s Spring Break around here, so Alex has been home all day, but his saintly grandparents have taken him for a couple of days so I can have some time to get the house ready to move craft.

I also hope to be able to show you the surprises my wonderful husband is bringing back from his trip to San Jose. I’m not sure how he managed to find the Kinokuniya bookstore there, but he said it was very nice and that he even found some books for himself. (Okay, maybe he found it because I gave him the address. With directions from his conference center to their front door. Maybe.)

In something completely unrelated, what in the world is going on with American Idol? Sanjaya seems like a wonderful kid, but why is he still there? I feel bad for him because sometimes it seems like he just wants to go home. He knows he’s not the best and he has to know what people are saying. Just let the poor kid go home…

March 18th, 2007

I heart Charlie and Lola

charlie.lola2I absolutely love Charlie and Lola. The characters started out in books by Lauren Child and became an animated series at some point in time. In their native England, Charlie and Lola are on the BBC, but here in the US they are on Playhouse Disney. Charlie is the older brother and Lola is the younger sister. Charlie narrates and Lola causes the trouble. I don’t know what it is about this show/book that I like so much. It’s funny, but it’s intelligent humor – even for pre-schoolers. The lessons are all very important, but the author doesn’t beat the kids over the head with them. Everything is very subtle. And the artwork is incredible. If you aren’t a regular viewer of Playhouse Disney, you can check out some clips and even a webisode at the official Charlie and Lola website. If you love them as much as we do in this house and you’re interested in some Charlie and Lola swag, the good folks at Pink Milk have lots of really cool stuff — and they will ship outside the UK. They are the only source I’ve been able to find that will ship anything outside of Europe.

This commercial break is over. We now return you to your regular programming….

March 14th, 2007

“There will be no demand for such a contraption as that.”

The other day Rod and I were talking about something. I don’t remember what it was, but whatever it was reminded me of something my grandfather had told me one time. I didn’t remember all of the details, but I was pretty sure he told me that his grandfather had invented the adding machine. Rod said he believed me, but I don’t know that he really did.

The next day I called my grandfather to check my facts. I told him what I remembered and I think he was impressed that I’d been paying attention way back then. Turns out I was right. His grandfather, my great-great-grandfather, A. I. Loop of North East, PA, did indeed invent the adding machine. Some banker in Erie stopped the progress, though, with the declaration, “There will be no demand for such a contraption as that.” Hmpf!

My grandfather even has a newspaper clipping with a photo, which he sent me a copy of.

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Grandpa told me he and his brothers and sisters used to play with it when they were little kids. His mom donated it to the Henry Ford museum along with some sort of horse-drawn hay rake that one of her relatives invented. I have to say that wasn’t on my must-see list of places in the United States, but I might have to add it now! The accountant in me is incredibly proud to know that one of my relatives had a hand in making the beans easier to count…

March 6th, 2007

Any Thai cooks out there?

One of our favorite restaurants in Huntsville is a Thai restaurant. For the longest time, I think it was the only Thai restaurant in town. Their food is awesome and the atmosphere in the place is very friendly. But, as much as we love this place, there is no way we can afford to eat there as often as we want to. Actually, if the crowd there Saturday night was any indication, we probably couldn’t get in even if we could afford to. Anyway, I thought I would try to figure out how to make our favorite dishes here at home. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no experience in Asian cooking — unless the La Choy Chow Mein counts.

According to the restaurant menu, my favorite dish is Pad Gra-Tiam Prig Thai. It is chicken sauteed with garlic, broccoli and special Thai seasonings. I’m good with the chicken, garlic, and broccoli, but I’m clueless on the “special Thai seasonings.” It’s a spicy dish, but it has really good flavor, too. Immensely helpful, I know. Have any of you had luck with Thai cooking? Any idea what the special seasonings could be? Should I just head into my local Asian market and look for the jar of Special Thai Seasoning? Seriously, any tips are greatly appreciated.

Update: I think I’ve found a reasonably close recipe to the one I was looking for. I haven’t tried it yet, but if you like Thai food, you might want to check out this website.


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