Wednesday, May 27, 2009


My very first giveaway!

Sew, Mama, Sew! is having a giveaway day, and I don't know if I got in on time or not (if not, I'll try to stick myself in their twitter feed), but, either way, here's my prize:

A little blank book, coptic-bound in purply-pink thread, with purple covers and silvery endpapers.
(EDIT: my husband says it's not purple, it's pink on the covers... I'm not good with colors, but I think he's right.)

It's not absolutely perfect, so my perfectionist self won't let me sell it, but it's really quite nice and good for a giveaway! It may not be sew-ish, but it is sewn with needle and thread, lack of fabric notwithstanding... and the sew-ish people can use it to jot down pattern ideas :)

To win, leave any comment at all below. Open until next Monday morning.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I won Rozi's giveaway. Today the package arrived!

Check out those funky stamps :) Her handwriting's nifty, too.

So fancy, that paper's totally being used for something else (another book?) sometime soon.
And then the final unveiling:

So pretty :) Thanks!
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Finally the camera card is back! Here are two of the projects I'm currently working on:

I like this little Roma tomato plant. The lovely tomato you see in the middle has been that size and that color for some time now, and the internet suggested that perhaps cooler temperatures might encourage it, as it's been over 85 every day; it hasn't changed much in three days inside, but we'll see. It was a dollar at the grocery store as a little 4" seedling, and it's done pretty well so far!

My other plants aren't doing as well... the City was doing water main work, and tearing up our street, and roped off all trees and shrubs along their way, including a little pear tree I've been loving and nourishing for several months. I come home one day and they've torn out my little tree (but none of the neighbors' roped-off shrubs, just my little tree and a scrubby bush next to it) and put it in a pile of dirt off to the side. I asked a fellow about it the next day, and he said, "we'll put it back." A week later, they still hadn't put it back, and the bush had been thrown away, so I gave up and put my little tree in a pot my mother brought around... it really doesn't look too good, and I don't think it'll make it. Very sad. I'll put in a complaint with the City if it dies, asking them to replace my tree (and my bush, and my grass, etc.), but I don't have much hope -- I'm still fighting them for charging me $400 for a leak they caused and didn't report, when we had no water for two days while their nicked water line was flooding the street. Meh.

In other news, though, I've finally got back out my rigid heddle loom -- hadn't touched it since high school. Thanks to Linda S. for helping me refresh my memory of how to warp it up! You can vaguely see my attempts at a plaid, but, as I've now learned, my warp threads are too thin for it to show well, so I'd either need to make this a very loose weave (which I can't manage, especially around the edges), or try again with thicker warp. This shadow-plaid will be a runner for the guest bedroom / craft room, which is in a blue-pink-purple color scheme (Himself doesn't go in there, so he doesn't mind!). It's been fun, and I'm getting better -- what you can't see rolled up on the beam at the front (besides the ripped-up plastic bags I used as waste strips) is all the wobbly-edged-ness and failed attempts at a twill weave from the beginning part. But onward and upward!

In more "other news," the pigeons are gone -- up and left one day -- I know it's probably wishful thinking, but I'm pretending the mother took the babies to a nest nearer the ground. There aren't any cats or other predators that can get into our yard, so far as I know, so I'm telling myself they're safe somewhere.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Two babies!

In case you were worried (I was!), the other baby pigeon did hatch! Still no camera thingy (uploaded the other pictures at my parents' house), so no picture (plus, I feel guilty every time I scare away the mama pigeon by watering my plants), but BABY PIGEONS ARE UGLY! If you really want to see a picture, go here -- mine look just like that. They make my so happy every time I see them...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Here she is. I have an herb garden off my window, a very pleasant little place with basil, rosemary, parsley, and a flower I picked up somewhere. Underneath are tomato plants (growing beautifully, I must say -- my father-in-law, a good hand with flowers, mentioned that I must be using a setting spray -- I said that no, I wasn't, I was just letting things proceed naturally .... and then I looked up online what was causing the flowers to fall off rather than make tomatoes, and, lo and behold, I need a setting spray. Should have listened...); I went out to water them one day, and felt a fluttering, and here she was:

And this is what she left:
Here you can see both what happens to basil and flower when given minimal water (and probably some bird droppings) for two weeks -- as well as what wasn't there yesterday morning, but was there this afternoon:
I have a baby bird!

(The other egg may be a dud -- it's got a crack in one side.)

It's been fun to watch -- the papa bird will come by, sit on the railing (this is a balcony one story up), and talk for a bit, mama will answer, and papa will say something else; then mama flies off and has lunch (I'm guessing) while papa stands guard. Very sweet.
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I've been enjoying myself with some melt-and-pour soap. The first batch was very pretty, but cheap base, so didn't lather well -- smells divine, though, and very decorative. Good ornamental soap.
The next batch I had more fun -- rose petal bits, almond bits, olive oil, honey (that one was slimy, won't try that again!), and a better base.

Also tried a bit of rebatching, as you can see in the bright aqua ones -- they're a bit rubbery, but maybe they'll work!
Verdict: Soapmaking is fun, but when will I use all that soap? And who can I give it to?
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Sunday, May 10, 2009


Himself helped clean house, which is truly excellent and wonderful, but, of course, things get lost when cleaning. So, I don't have the dongle (that's what it's called?) that connects the camera's card to the computer... so I can't post pictures of the pigeon that's nesting in my herb garden! Maybe soon...

Friday, May 1, 2009


On our way back from India, Himself and I stopped off in Paris. His family is from India, and his first name is very common there, so we were always looking around to see who was calling him. (Aside: I always found it amusing to shout out "Mommy!" in a crowd, just to see how many mothers would look my way to see if I were theirs.) For equality's sake, then, we found my name in many places in Paris.
(You may have to zoom in on that one.)
We had fun doing the 1976 Michelin Guide (picked up on my parents' honeymoon) recommended 4-days tour of Paris in 2 days, with the third for Versailles -- walking about 8 miles a day, which is very salutary, I'm sure, but does make your feet tired after four days of climbing stone temples barefoot in India.
We caught some examples of fine French design, which my French-Antiques-Saleswoman Aunt I'm sure would appreciate, such as the chandelier in our little hotel:
And we saw all the general sights, as well as, of course, some very exciting bookbinding examples:
at the Hotel Cluny, Museum of the Middle Ages:
Also managed to stop by Relma, a fantastic bookbinding shop. I'd never been to a real bookbinding shop before, only booths at the Guild of Bookworkers Standards meeting, so it was a great experience. Bought some cheap leather (that would fit in the suitcase) and some headbands -- some of the leather's already gone to make Himself a book, which should be my next post, if I remember -- either that or the bird that's moved into my parsley!
The last night, febrile under the Eiffel Tower, was not quite as fun, but I'm all recovered and well, and at least the pneumonia didn't really hit until the last night!