Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Swearing in

What a happy day.

Love, J

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fine tuning

I think we all have clothes that we like well enough, but require some adjusting in order to be "just right." In my case, it's usually hemming my pants up so they don't drag all over the ground, but sometimes other items need a little bit of a facelift as well.

I had two t-shirts, each with its own virtues. The green shirt fit like a dream, and was soft and flattering. But I never wore it because I wasn't wild about its printed design. The rose shirt had beautiful embroidered beadwork up one side, but was too short and the fit felt awkward. Both of these shirts sat in my dresser for years, always passed over because of their shortcomings, and the time had come to send them down the road.

Fortunately for me, as I held them above the Goodwill box, hesitating to throw out their good qualities along with the bad, applique inspiration struck. Now I have the best of both worlds:

I have to shorten all of my pants, because I have extremely short legs. Like, cartoonishly short. Jeans have always been tricky, because for years, I could not figure out how to shorten them and preserve the original hemline. When you straight-up hem jeans, they do not look good. I was desperate to stop cuffing them, like a kid in too-big hand-me-downs, when a little bit of fancy folding revealed a solution. And now jean shopping is a snap. All I have to do is find a pair that fit in the butt, and the rest can be adjusted!

I loved this dress when I saw it at the store, but when I got it home I realized it was a maternity dress and way too dowdy for me to feel pretty in. Solution: chopping off six inches and adding a touch of lace. It even makes my legs look longer!

This is a really fun kind of sewing, because it's sooo much faster (and requires less skill!) than constructing something from scratch.

Love, J

Saturday, May 22, 2010

From the vault

These were taken in Seattle last May:

The hubs is absolutely dying to road trip back over the mountains, and now that I've passed the test and my West-side-trauma has healed, I'm ready to do the same. As soon as the baby bunnies go back to the sanctuary, we're hitting the road.

Seattle to-do list:

- Visit all of our friends!
- Value Village in Capitol Hill
- Pike Place Market for flowers
- Dancing at the Century Ballroom
- Eat. And eat and eat and eat. Araya's;
Than Vi; Agua Verde; Cupcake Royale; Great Harvest; Silent Heart Nest; Thai Tom; Alibi Room; that Indian place we loved but never learned the name of... Can you fit a dozen lunches and dinners into a long weekend? We may have to try.

Love, J

Friday, May 21, 2010

Where I brag, then whine, then go to bed

Tonight I am re-appreciating having so many sisters.

I just finished watching the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. It was intense, and I wanted so bad to have someone to talk it over with. So I called my Big Sister, who happened to be watching it at that moment. And after a conversation made up almost entirely of the statements "Oh my God!" and, "Did you SEE that?!?" and, "They can't kill HIM off, right?" I felt much better.

B is there for good book and music recommendations. And she's super easy to shop for, so I always have fun browsing thrift shops with her in the back of my mind. She'll even wear clothes I get for her (and is the only person I can say that for).

Jules is around for all pet-related questions, and will never refer to me as the weird rabbit lady. (Even though we both know she'd be spot on if she did.) And now she's planning her wedding and sort-of house hunting too, so it's fun to talk to her about how that's all going.

C's the only other person I know who's memorized every episode of Friends. Half of our conversations consist of quoting lines from the show. It seriously works on so many levels. She's also just purely good. Even when she's annoyed with you, she won't fight mean. She won't really fight at all. It's maddening, actually.

KT cheers me up with random photo texts of pretty things she sees, and lets me live vicariously through her free-spirited existence. Every ounce of carefree, carpe diem-ness in the family went to her, while I seem to have sucked up all the stick-in-the-mud-osity.

Big Sister has been around to commiserate about schoolwork for the past ridiculous number of years. She tried to teach me how to dance when I was in junior high. She failed, but she tried. And she calls just to chat at such serendipitous moments, that I have to suspect she's psychic.

And G. If you were to ask any one of us who our favorite sister is, we'd all say it's G. Not because she's the baby, but just because she's the best. She's the kindest, the most fun, the easiest to talk to. It doesn't hurt anyone's feelings, it's just generally understood that's the way it is.

Growing up with and then maintaining relationships with six other girls is like an accelerated, emotional boot camp. We fight. Some of us more than others. And I'm not as close with most of them as I once was. This is teaching me a lot about myself, and how I relate to those around me. We are each so different, and we each offer and demand such different types of love and attention.

The hardest lesson that I have learned from our conflicts is to not take things personally. There are times when the way people feel about you is dictated by your actions, and then there are times when it is not. Times when the way they feel has very little to do with you yourself, and everything to do with context and complications and a million other things you cannot control and often are not even aware of. And all you can do is love and accept and try to be good and then apologize when you fail at being good.

And also, remember to be grateful when you have someone to call and lament the untimely passing of some of the new interns as Seattle Grace. (We have a date to watch it together next year - much better than over the phone.)

Love, J

PS ~ I love these photos, but Big Sister is missing! And also, how pretty are my sisters?!? Gah.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

For best results, serve with tea and backgammon

Holy. Crap. These. Are. Awesome.

Papa Ray himself had a sample stand set up at Yoke's yesterday and convinced me to toss a bag in the cart. Oh am I glad I did. Local family company makes all natural, delicious scone mix? Yes please.

Seriously, yum.

Love, J

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer jammies

I've stitched up some warm weather pajamas for myself, and they are rooooomy. Too roomy, really, but quite comfy. And I now believe that every outfit should come with a coordinating pair of bloomers. Even the word is cute. Bloomers.

I made these using view 3 of Advance pattern #8489. The top is supposed to be loose like this, but I find it sort of overwhelming. I think I'll take this chance to finally experiment with smocking (or is it shirring? People seem to use the terms interchangeably, and I don't know the difference...) Hopefully it won't mess with the sweet pleats along the neckline.

Love, J

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In a row

As the hubs says, "they kill me dead."

They really do.

Love, J

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sock progress

I've figured it out!

Or rather, I decided I couldn't figure it out as written, so I changed it up to something I can understand.


But the heel went smoothly, and it's looking (and feeling!) good.

This is my first pair of stockings ever, so I've never tried the "normal" way, but in my opinion, toe-up is the only way to go. It lets you try them on as you go, to check the shaping, ensures you don't run out of yarn before you finish the toe, and gets all the tricky heel parts out of the way early on, so you don't knit forever only to reach the heel and screw everything up. Plus the heel was easier to turn than it seems to be on other patterns, where you have to go back and pick up stitches. I'm sold.

Another lesson I've learned from this project is that plastic needles break. Kind of easily. So I'm currently working with my remaining 2 full and 2 half needles, and teaching myself to eeease up on the tension. You'd think I was uptight or something.

Assuming I don't lose interest soon, I ought to actually finish these before the weather cools off enough to wear them this fall. Shocking!

Love, J

Sunday, May 16, 2010

(Insert mushy-sweet title here)

Now that they're *almost* too big to squeeze through the bars of our pen, the babies have been treated to a few afternoons in the outside sunshine.

After a bit, I climbed in with them. It was getting breezy, and they all hurried in to huddle close to me and warm up. Talk about melting a girl's heart...

Mmmm, it's sleepy work, lounging around like this.

Love, J

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Soccer in the hot sun

Thank you, summer weather, for finally arriving. Please feel free to stay a looooong time. I love having you here.

Love, J

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teeny houseguests

I got an email from our favorite animal shelter last week, asking if we would be willing to foster a family of 6 baby bunnies and their mom for a month or so. I read the email to the hubs, who responded exactly as I expected him too: "Um, hell yes!"

River's Wish is a very happy place where the animals are taken care of extremely well, but it's supposed to be good for the babies to be handled a bit each day so that they grow up comfortable with humans. Basically we're being treated with the chance to do a "favor" to the shelter by cuddling and loving on these awesome little guys.

Their mom is so sweet, and she and the dad rabbit were taken from their owners by the police after a neighbor reported their neglect. It's so sad to think of her all pregnant and living outdoors in a small hutch with not enough food. She had her litter just a few hours after arriving at River's Wish.

Love, J

PS ~ There's no denying that these guys are WAY cute, but I'm also afraid I gloss over how naughty and high maintenance the rabbits can be sometimes. If any of my bunny posts have you considering taking in a couple of your own, make sure you read up on them beforehand! This is the authoritative site, and this is good too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Are you acquainted with the genius of the Tom Selleck Waterfall Sandwich site?

Also, I reeeeeally like this clip of little kids reenacting The Hills. If the real show starred these children, I would watch it.

You're welcome.

Love, J