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...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Quick update

Large projects, like the cardigan I have been making for about a month now, made me long for the instant gratification of a few smaller projects. So last week, on my long rides to and from Massachusetts, I started a new pair of luxurious fingerless gloves, which I finished yesterday.

They are luxurious, not just because of the lovely alpaca yarn, but because they are white. Who wears white gloves for practicality? It's a whim, because I couldn't imagine using this yarn for anything else other than something special. So, here's my birthday present to myself.

I also felt inspired and made an ironing board cover out of some IKEA fabric I bought a couple of years ago.

I wasn't planning to, because I had asked and received for Christmas a cheerful cover that I 'd have been very happy with. If only it wasn't for a much smaller board size... sigh!

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