Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Round 2

I pulled out my Ancient Greek materials today. We'll see if it goes anywhere.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I pulled these pillows out of the trash today.

I am amazed at what gets thrown into the giant dumpsters at our apartment complex. It's one thing to want stuff out of your house, but to throw perfectly good pillows (and our 'new' slightly beat-up sofa among other decent furniture/housewares that we didn't have room/use for so they stayed in the trash) in the trash? Especially when the Goodwill drop off is, um, across the street. No, really, walk to the front of the complex, you can see it. Not to mention all the various consignment shops and donation bins around town. If there's one thing the city does right, it's making donations convenient.

But then again, I shouldn't complain. We now have a full sized sofa and eight very nice pillows. :)

Here's the sofa:

Oh, and this very cool shadow box:

I'm thinking of joining DDA: Dumpster Divers Anonymous. It could be very profitable. Besides, it's fun to see the looks on peoples faces when they see you. There was some guy taking his trash out when I hauled myself up into the dumpster to reach the last pillow. He lives in the same building as us so he followed me in the door. He said thanks when I opened the door for him, pillows in hand, and had this big grin on his face like he couldn't believe what I had just done.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Trip

Okay, so I totally lied about posting stories from our trip to Maine. But here are some pictures: :)

Philadelphia, PA. The Liberty Bell, from the back. It was bigger than I expected, smaller than Dustin expected, go figure.

Philadelphia, PA. Dustin needs a hat and cane.
Somewhere, PA. This is a bridge that crosses the highway, pedestrians only. On one side is the river and on the other side is where they keep all the boats. It was kind of weird to stand in the middle and watch all the cars go under your feet.
Princeton is the prettiest place. Even the people are pretty, in a non-model way, but they dress well.
My boy. :) Some lake in RI.
New Port, RI. This is a monument to a Dutch nautical navigation school, the first discoverers of America.
New Port, RI. Dustin took this picture, I like it.
New Port, RI. This is at a wildlife preservation. I'm standing in front of solar panels that supply 15% of the preservation building's energy. Portland, ME. The Portland Headlight. It was windy but beautiful.

Diana's Baths in Maine are very beautiful. They are made up of a series of waterfalls that fill (or filled, as the actual baths have now decayed) the man made baths pictured below.
The water in the baths was crystal clear and icy cold. We lost feeling in our feet after about 20 seconds. :P
Somewhere in New England. I don't actually know what this is called but it regulates the water flow, Dustin was checking it out.
The Strongs on vacation :D
No, this is not in Ohio. I think it was in Vermont. But a little taste of home.
Niagara Falls are huge. Duh, but no kidding, huge.
Niagara Falls, NY. This little guy is a harbor seal waiting for lunch. He kept looking a the visitors and then at the door to the exhibit. Apparently the seals are fed by trainers at 10 AM and then visitors at 12 and 2 PM. He just didn't' know whose turn it was.
Niagara Falls. An abbreviated version of our trip. We have over 100 pictures and just as many stories but they're not getting typed out :P

New Look

Blue/Green is much more calming.
Embroidery is by far the most time consuming project ever. This 'S' took all day yesterday (10ish to 5ish). ALL DAY. But it was so much fun :) S's are the most difficult letter for me to write, much less embroider, something about making the curves equal and even just doesn't work for me. C's are much easier.

The Sew Beautiful magazine that came earlier this week had a few hand embroidery stitches in it and they looked fun. So I went online to find more, which is how I found Needle 'n Thread. She is amazing, I may never to aspire to her level of embroidery. She stitched the back of a (I assume Catholic) vestment. Wow. Amazing. It's 11'' by 11'' and took her five weeks, 380 hours, if I remember correctly, and she did it BY HAND (and using 2% gold because it's 'ecclesiastical' work). I strongly encourage you to read through the process of how she put it together, it increases my awe of this kind of work a hundred fold. Next time I'm in an orthodox church I'll better appreciate their clothing and all the effort that could have been put in them. I don't know what she does for a living but she mentions a job and it's not this *shock.

I'll be doing this again in the future, perhaps after I've bought floss, I'm still using the leftovers from that cross stitch.

A Side Note: I was afraid when I started looking for the old crafts (heirloom sewing, embroidery, lace crocheting, etc.) that I wouldn't find them, they're not very 'contemporary'. Although knitting and crochet seem to be making a come back in the younger crowd. I was very happy to find Sew Beautiful, a magazine devoted to heirloom sewing. I was surprised, but then realized I shouldn't have been, to find the editor's note strongly indicated a Christian background for the magazine. I hadn't even considered a religious tendency in crafters, but after consideration, it makes sense that strongly traditional crafts would be continued on by the strongly religious.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sew Beautiful... out of skirts.

This was yesterday's project. I just got my first Sew Beautiful magazine in the mail and couldn't wait to try out a pattern. It's just a little girl dress with two front pockets but it was more complicated than some of the dresses I've made for me.

I really like this dress (besides the fact that it's cute and about a foot and a half tall) because I made it out of a skirt. I just picked up the skirt at the flee market (actually, Dustin's aunt bought it for me). It was a really cheap skirt, both in price and in quality. I didn't even have any twinges of guilt as I cut the skirt up because it was so poorly made it really didn't even deserve to exist.

The blue bow at the front and the 'ribbon' around back is the draw string from the original skirt. It feels like it should be elastic but has all the stretch stretched out of it. The red pockets are made of leftover fabric from one of my fall/winter dresses, my first sewing project, in fact. The purple see through trim at the bottom of the skirt, on the pockets, and where the yolk meets the skirt are leftover ribbon from our wedding decorations. :) The binding over the 'ribbon' is thread from a huge cross stitch I finished at the beginning of the summer.

So it's a 'leftover' dress but I think it turned out really well. There are a few mistakes in it (the frill isn't sewn on correctly all the way around [but you can hardly tell], I accidentally snipped a small hole in the skirt while trimming a seam, I cannot for the life of me tie the shoulder bows at the same spot) but I am happy with it. Now I just need a baby to go in it :P In a couple years, maybe.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Why do women need so many shoes? My husband has more than most men, but that's because his parents garage sale and if it fits, he gets it. I, on the other hand want more shoes. I was a good girl and got them down to 5 pairs: tennis shoes, black dress, white dress, brown and black work shoes, and I might have had flip-flops but they hurt my feet. I figured men only need three pairs of shoes and generally look fine so I know it can be done. I was right, I generally look good and it can be done. But I want more. I now have a pair of brown boots, black dress, white dress, gold dress, bronze dress, suit shoes (business looking, not pretty like my dress shoes), street sneakers, hiking shoes, black sandals, and house shoes. That's 10 pairs, not including what's packed away for the winter (which are only about 4 pairs, most of my shoes are closed toed and do well in all seasons). But I want more. More colors, more styles. You can wear the same outfit with different shoes and jewelry and it will be totally different. Sigh. But it's hard to convince your practical half to cough up the money so your creative half can be satisfied.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I am out of shape. Ow. I've been doing a workout video and today's day three. I am sore, in pain, and very much aware that my muscles are out of shape. They're not as strong nor as flexible as they once were. Everything hurts. I reach up to get a plate out of the cupboard and I twinge in my arm, back, and side. Dustin hugs me and my back and shoulders complain. I climb into bed and my legs, back and arms all inform me that they really don't want to.

But with all the pain, it's still nice. I sweat way more than I should and when I'm done I smell. I was surprised that sweat was nostalgic for me. I used to be on a competitive gymnastic team and at the gym 9ish hours a week during the school year, more in the summer. The gym always smelled like sweat and chalk. So when I was lying in a stretch and breathed in lots of sweat smell, I was annoyed for a brief moment before I was in Texas East gym and wondering why the sweat smelled strange. Then I realized: there was no chalk to make it smell dry, this was wet sweat. I smiled and just breathed it in and wondered how many people would think I was weird because I like the smell of sweat.

Today was easier than yesterday, yesterday I got to do the workout in spite of the pain, today it still hurt but not quite as badly.