Sunday, June 24, 2007

Today I took my new bike out for its first longish ride. After some seriously sketchball riding on the streets, including a WAY TOO CLOSE call in which a motor bike ran a red light and missed hitting my by six inches, I made it to the bike trail that runs all the way down the Hudson. Although dodging rollerbladers wasn't always easy, it was about a million times better than worrying about an oblivious driver sideswiping me or opening a car door into me.

I rode along the river to 29th St, where I stopped for a short rest. It just so happened that I sat next to a very busy helicopter landing pad, or some such area. In the 15 minutes or so I was there, maybe 8 helicopters came and went. The wind from the propellers sprayed river water on me periodically and created quite the breeze, so it was rather refreshing - as long as I managed to forget I was being showered with the HUDSON. Um, yeah.

The little ride was wonderful. Some day this summer - perhaps after I build up a little endurance - I want to ride the trail that runs from 125th all the way down the Hudson, around the tip of Manhattan and back up the East River. It'd be quite the feat, but I figure the 12 or so miles I rode today is a start. Now all I need is a little bell on my bike to warn rollerbladers to ge the hell outta my way.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A summer thunderstorm is dumping rain outside, but I don't mind too much - even though it spoiled my evening's plan of a bike ride (on my NEW BIKE!!!). After all, that rain is nourishing the zucchinis I planted!

I had low expectations for them when I stuck the seeds in the ground. After all, I've never grown anything edible except for some basil and cherry tomatoes (even though Mom did most of the work for those) - and certainly nothing from seed. So I was ecstatic when I noticed the little sprouts poking up through the ground.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but I can't help the visions of picking giant, delicious squash from the backyard and making them into skewers for the grill. After all, the seed package says "Muy prolifica!" on the front. And who's to argue with a promise like that - especially when it's surrounded by a red starburst straight out of a direct mail flyer?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Andrea - who interned at Self last fall and who is now back in the city (!) - commissioned me to make a double of Mitzu, her sister's cat. The kitty is apparently pretty skitzo, and her stuffie definitely is, too!

Speaking of kittens, I played with the ones in the animal shelter again this weekend. They were so cute and I wanted to take them all home - especially on skinny soft gray cat and of course the three 6-week-old kittens that huddled together in their litter box. It was almost too much.

AND I made a new feline friend in our backyard. She (I just assume her gender) jumped the fence while Eric and I were BBQing last Friday. Let me tell you it was tough keeping focused on our game of Sorry with that cute cat meowing at me for attention. I named her Biscuit and gave her some turkey burger. Hopefully she'll return the next time we grill!

So until the day we have a pet-loving landlord, I guess I'll have to continue making cat stuffies.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Last weekend was Ember's babyshower for Aria Elizabeth, due in August. (Conveniently, Aria is meant to arrive when I'm in Oregon!) I was really bummed I couldn't go but sent a little friend in my place.

Ember likes elephants so I made this one. I embroidered a little musical note on its bum, too. I hope Aria slobbers all over it!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Last night I decided I needed a new big project, since I finished Amy's customized BINGO set (hopefully pictures to come), so I decided to make my first quilt.

I bought this Winnie the Pooh fabric last summer with the intention of sewing a baby blanet for Keegan, but I don't know what I was thinking. I mean, make a quilt in the two weeks between graduating and moving to New York? Unlikely. It turns out that Ember's due to have her baby, Aria Elizabeth, in August, so that gives me a perfect excuse to renew my quilt-making aspirations. My mom sent me the fabric recently, shortly after my brand new sewing machine arrived (!!).

Isn't she a beaut? I've yet to name her, but she does have a mouse fingerpuppet as a mascot, so I figure that counts for something.

Anyhow, this part of the quilting process has been surprisingly easy and quick. True, I messed up on one part, but I'm hoping that Aria won't notice or mind.

Next: Check out some of the fabric stores in the Garment District to get material for the border and back. And maybe some advice on how to do the rest!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Last week I went to an orientation meeting for New York Cares, a volunteer organization in the city, and went to my first event today. I looked forward to it all week, as Eric can affirm. I got to play with KITTIES! And they called it volunteering! Hey!

I walked to the Manhattan Animal Care Center on 110th and 2nd Ave. A woman in her 60s, who adopted a cat from there, and I helped put fresh water and food into the kennels of about 40 cats waiting to find homes. But the best part was petting and cuddling with them! I of course had a few favorites - especially one tiger-striped male who was super soft and friendly. He climbed onto my shoulder and didn't want to go back in his cage. A ridiculously skinny striped cat was such a lover - he kept pushing his nose against my chin, giving me little kisses.

I left without adopting a cat, although I did seriously consider it. I just don't think I could hide a meowing cat from the landlords too long since they have to walk past our apartment to get to the office. But I did take home several pounds of cat hair on my sweatshirt and jeans.

Perhaps sometime I'll be brave enough to risk eviction and rescue a kitten. In the meantime, though, I can always scratch them behind the ears.
I finished a set of stuffies and sent them off to France, where hopefully they'll eat a ton of cheese and drink really good wine. Well, perhaps not, because their new owners are 4- and 2-year-old girls. Sarah Hurwit asked me to make two stuffies for her nieces.

They're called munucks - a mix between monkey and the Turkish word for "cute." I love it!

Eric's parents came to visit Wednesday and Thursday, which was fabulous. When she left, Linda bought five stuffies and cut my inventory in half! That's a very good thing, though, because not much is moving on my site. Plus, it gives me a good excuse to sew some more.

Next up: an ugly fish!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring has arrived! Granted, I'm still seeing patches of grimy, dirty snow in some shady areas and along the streets, but sprouting crocuses and daffodills tell me to say goodbye to winter.

To officially welcome the new season, I wore shorts on Saturday for the first time since the fall. Yes, it was chilly, and yes, I wore my giant blue puffy coat on top, but the change in clothes let my claustrophobic (and pale) legs get a little air.

I've been trying to take lots of walks lately, especially because my gym membership has been kaput for a month now. I wandered the East Village on Saturday, walked home from Time Out through Central Park on Sunday (from 77th to 138th - not bad) and explored Ft. Tyron Park yesterday. I needed to clear my head yesterday afternoon and headed north instead of the usual route to Central Park. Ft. Tyron is hilly and runs along the Hudson, and it was pretty relaxing, despite the traffic you can see on either side of the park.

I can't wait to get outside again today! It's about 70 outside and sunny. I'm hoping no one has noticed I didn't shave my legs, because I'm wearing a skirt - with no tights! Joy!

Coincidentally, or perhaps not, the weather coincides with my new resolution to wear sunblock on my face, neck and ears EVERY DAY. In the most recent issue of Self, I read an article about young women with skin cancer that scared me into action. I had no idea that young women are the fastest-growing group to be diagnosed with skin cancer. So now, every morning I'm slathering on face cream with SPF 30. So I'll be pale, but I'd take pastiness over cancer any day.