Saturday, June 13, 2009

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I have moved to a new location. You can find me at

see you there!

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's quiz time again!

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Am I always so predictable in the eyes of others as I am in my own eyes? Or does that just mean that I just know myself well? Either way, no big surprises here on the results. What can I say, I like snuggling, as the kitties will confirm :-)

There IS crafty progress to report, but it will have to wait for the next post. I promise it will come sooner than it took me to get back after my recent unexpected brake. See you soon!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Things that brake

It has been raining on and off lately, spring marking its presence with rain and cold.

Having been too busy to finish any fabric project, I decided to break my silence by showing photos of breakable things around my house.

I bought this glass drop at the little shop in Historic Deerfield last fall. It's been looking out my window ever since.

Colored glass bottles and jars are also something I enjoy looking at. I particularly like to see the light reflecting on or through them.

These three have a Middle Eastern feel in my mind. The tall bottle reminds me of a minaret, making me nostalgic of old-style skylines.

No post is complete without a kitty presence. The girls have two sets of bowls for their dinner. These, complete with kitty smiles are everyone's favourite. I like them for the design, they like them because they are the perfect shape, keeping the softie in but not cramping their whiskers while they eat. Win-win!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stamps etc.

In the last couple of weeks I have really been wanting to make a stamp. It was almost an urge that wouldn't leave me alone - odd eh? So today I went to the local craft store and foraged for materials. After coming across a 4-stamp cube made of a thin foam sheet, I decided to give the materials a try.

One of the shapes in the one I bought was this cute little bird:

I wanted to make a flower, so I drew one on the foam sheet and cut it up with an x-acto knife. The foam sheet is soft and very easy to cut, but I still managed the edges to look kind of angly, rather than round. Somehow, though, it looks fine when it's on the fabric.

I glued the cut shape onto a piece of deli container lid, and attached a bottle cork at the back, as a handle. The idea didn't work so well, as there is uneven pressure at different parts of the shape, and I have to press the rest with my fingers. You can see the 'stamp' in blue at the right, next to the 3 printed flowers.

I applied the color using a foam brush, using some cheap fabric paints I found at the craft store. I wasn't sure I wanted to invest in high quality paints in case I wasn't impressed with the process. I have discovered I really like it, though, so I think it will be worth looking for some different colors than the 3 basic ones.

I printed a few testing shapes on a piece of scrap fabric, which may be cut and attached to other works. First, though, I need to test the fastness of the color, during the next laundry day.

In other crafty news, I was out of town last weekend, with flights that involved long layovers. During the trip I managed to whip up a quick cowl, made with a little under 1 skein of Knitpicks black Suri Dream Alpaca. Just in time for the weather to turn really, really warm. The cowl is very warm and soft and pleasant to wear, so I am (almost) looking forward to using it in the next winter (but not really).

Last but not least, here is some crazy kitty artwork I spotted in a store at the airport. Their expressions are priceless!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

'Home' is where the kitties are.

The prospect of moving from the apartment in which I have spend more years than in any of my other residences since I went to college has made me prematurely nostalgic of what may soon not be.

This apartment has lots of 'issues', mainly its irritating layout. But (as long as you block out the mess), I believe we 've done the best we can with it on a budget tighter than today's jeans.

As always, the kitties jumped at the opportunity to pose for me. After all, home is where the kitties are, and you can't have pictures of home without them.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Crafty update

My heavily modified version of the Lettuce coat (ravelry link), from this book. It is done!

Knitting time was around 2 months, with an hour here and there after dinner. All in all, a fast project. I changed a lot in it. After following the pattern to make the shoulders and sleeves, I skipped the Brioche rib entirely. Instead, I did a simple 2x2 ribbing, which did not start at waist level, as the pattern suggests. I added several rows of ribbing on the colar. Finally, I added a 15-row buttonhole band on each side, as the cardigan seemed to me somewhat small without it. It would have been okay without it if I wanted a tight-fitting piece like in the pattern, but I decided I wanted this one to be a bit more roomy.

I am very pleased with the result, the yarn, Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted in kettle-dyed Forest is very soft and pleasant to work with, although it quickly made a soft halo on the surface, that may possibly turn into pilling. It is very warm, feels wonderful on the skin, and has the tendency to stretch a bit, so it doesn't matter if the knitted piece seemed somewhat tight at first.

Buttonholes were made with 3 stitches bound off on one row, and cast on on the next row. I think it would have worked with 2 stithces also, as they already begin to stretch too much, and I may need to reinforce them so as to keep their shape. Not sure how to do this yet.

I also made a few quick gifts for friends whose birthday is around this time:

coasters for very hot summers

coasters for a New York apartment

draw-string bag to keep your knitting in

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Florida trip

Last weekend we took a short trip to Florida. I was craving for the sea as much as for some warm weather, and we were lucky to get both.

Taking a walk along the shore

the sea gulls were quite arrogant and let me come so close!

we found sand dollars at the bottom of the sea
this one was alive, so after its photo shoot it went back to the water

we took a walk to a path along the beach

my favorite local tree (I don't know its name)
it looks particularly dramatic against the sky

back to the beach

photos of roads make me long for more traveling

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Easy cloth bookmarks tutorial

There is an infinite number of ways to make cloth bookmarks. Here is how I make mine.

1. Measure and cut a piece of fabric, 2 inches longer and twice+1 inch the width you want to end up with. Or, just cut what looks right. The piece here is 9 x 5 in.

2. Fold (wrong sides facing) 1/8th of an inch in one of the narrow sides and press.

3. Fold (right sides facing) the whole piece in half lengthwise and press.

4. Cut a piece of ribbon a bit longer than your fabric.

5. Open up the folded fabric, pin and sew the ribbon on one of the two right sides of the fabric. Use a color that matches the ribbon, and sew very close to the edges.

6. Fold the fabric again (right sides facing). The ribbon is sandwiched between the two halves. Pin closed and sew along one narrow and one long side, leaving the folded narrow side open. Trim the corners to avoid bulky parts.

7. Turn inside out, straighten the corners with a sharp edge (I use the tip of a letter opener), fold in the narrow edges from step 2, and press.

8. Topstitch along the edge to close it.

9. Throw away the paper napkin, ticket, receipt etc. from your current book, and replace. Done!

Saturday, March 07, 2009


It is March, and that means only one thing: it's time to wear my sunscreen amulet!

Wearing the red-and-white bracelet is one of the few Greek traditions that I actually revived since I began living abroad. It was particularly funny to do so in Edinburgh, where there is little sun during March - or any other month, really. Here in New York, it is mostly an interesting conversation starter, as there are many cultures that attach significance to a bracelet like that, but it means very different things. As I am very interested in such cross-cultural examples, it is always fun to hear the stories.

It is definitely March: the month when spring begins, and the month of contrasts. Needing protection from the sun while all around you there is snow. I took the above photograph on purpose, not to show off my neighbors' messy terrace, but to show off the snow we had. The last storm we had was a windy one, and even in the ugly city there were some interesting snow sculptures. This is what was hanging above my bedroom window:

For the snow or nature deprived, here are some more photos from my last trip to MA.

A walk in the woods

Ghost trees

Frozen puddle

Treading water

In crafty news, knitting slowly gives way to more sewing. I resumed my efforts to making fabric collages, and made this:

I am not really impressed by the result, but it was consciously an exercise. I have plans for all these little exercises I will produce in the process, so it doesn't bother me too much that it isn't something that can stand alone.

However, my fabric collection doesn't really help. Most fabrics I have are either solid colors, or have too large and defined prints, which aren't suitable for what I have in mind. I believe a trip to a fabric store is due. heh...

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