Thursday, January 31, 2008

Me and sewing

Last summer for my birthday, I got a sewing machine. (Erin and Lauren tried to convince me I was getting a couch, those tricky devils!) I had learned to sew in 7th and 8th grade, but could really only do basic things. When I owned my first apartment in White Plains, one snowy winter I attempted to make drapes. It was a complicated pattern with swags, and I cursed my way through it, but it scared me away from sewing for a while.

Since I've become a stay at home mom, the sewing bug has gotten me again. So I requested the sewing machine. I really don't know what I'm doing, but I've managed to make a few things. The seam ripper and I are getting reaquainted.

I started by making purses for the girls, just to see if I could. Lauren's requirement was that a bunny could fit in. I'm happy to say that I met that requirement.

Erin's bag
Originally uploaded by bloggerjeanne

First bag
Originally uploaded by bloggerjeanne

First bag
Originally uploaded by bloggerjeanne
inside of bag

Then I made a lovey blanket for baby Natalie, the newest cousin in the family. I made it a "taggy" blanket. It wasn't perfect, but Natalie seemed to like it. Disregard the imperfections, and it's kind of cute!

Lovey for baby Natalie
Originally uploaded by bloggerjeanne

I made the girls these Heather Bailey headbands, which were easy.

Recently, I attempted to make baby bibs for my friend Abby's baby shower. They came out OK, but I wished I had used cotton and chenille instead of flannel and chenille, they kept moving a lot when I was sewing. I forgot to take a picture! Must take pictures of things I've sewn. I used the pattern and instructions from Happy Things for the easy chenille bib tutorial.

I've make a few other things I'll post about in the future.

This week was the first week of the "Sewcial" meeting of some moms who like to sew or want to learn how to sew. It is an offshoot of the Moms Club, not an official Moms Club meeting, which is good, as I am no longer a member. Jordan hosted, and had quite the array of cure and beautiful things to show. She showed a cute boo-boo baggie out of terry cloth, a lovely pillowcase dress, a tablecloth for her husband with military fabric (and demonstrated a mistake made good!), a crayon roll as well as some other things. Melissa showed everyone easy flannel wash cloths. Chantel showed us the design for a quilt she made, and gave us a frugal tip: use goodwill blankets instead of batting! My frugal tip was to use cut up fleece squares for swiffers! I'm glad to see that we're all pretty much on the same level, although it seems that Jordan has more knowledge to educate us all.

And all that is a longwinded way to reveal my secret timewaster. Sewing and craft blogs. I'm addicted to them! I don't really watch much TV (other than the occasional HGTV show). But the creations of so many talented people our there are inspiring! They make it look so easy. Having attempted some of these creations, I know that it's not as easy as it looks. Practice. Patience.

So now, in an effort to make sense of the many bookmarks I have saved of inspirational sewing posts, and as a way to share these with my new sewing group, I will list some sites and posts that have inspired me. Start clicking on these at your own risk. One blog leads to another. Could be addictive.

The Sew Mama Sew blog has a great roundup of many great projects. This handmade holidays link has a summary of many easy projects to make. I keep going back to this link to get ideas. It's here I found the baby bib tutorial.

A pillowcase dress tutorial I found.

Sunny day dress tutorial (shirred or smocked style).

Cute little smocket for girls with pattern here.

Little artists case
Notebook and pencil holder
Martha stewart roll up pencil kit tutorial

Tutorials, including easy chenille baby bib tutorial that I used.

Easy baby flannel blanket.

How to sew a zipper, ie Don't fear the zipper.

Put a zipper in your pillow tutorial.

And finally, amazing quilts! I learned that February is Quilting Month. Beautiful photos on Flickr. (And if you really want to waste some time, look around flickr. Search for random phrases "garden path" "oranges" "doll quilt" and you could be there for hours. If you have hours to spare, that is.)

Next I'll post some links to sites I like to visit on a regular basis.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Christmas recap

I'm a little late on this, but wanted to post some Christmas photos. We had a nice week with Nana and PopPop visiting. Rene took the week off from work. The festivities started with Rene's birthday feast, and of course it wouldn't be Christmas time without some ear infections. Santa visited, and all was well.

Girls making gingerbread cookies with Nana.

Erin staring at oven clock on Christmas morning. She woke up at 5am and we told her she had to wait until 6 to wake everyone else up.

Christmas morning: Girls painting the dollhouses they got for Christmas.

Me, Nana, PopPop and girls

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thanks Barack Obama, for reconnecting me with my colleauges

I've posted before that I worked with Barack Obama at one time (I think it was the first job out of college for both of us). So I've followed with interest his rising political career. I read his first book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance with interest. He devoted a few pages to his time at Business International, and after I read those pages I thought that his memory of the place where we worked differed from mine.

Fast forward to last month, and I read this New York Times article. The author interviewed some former coworkers of mine, including Dan who writes this blog, Analyze This. I guess the reporter found him, due to this posting, where Dan takes issue with Obama's memory of our former workplace. Well, the New York Times article had some very funny quotes. That the old office was like "high school with ashtrays" (an accurate description), and a great story about one of our managers who realized he wiped butter off his mouth with his tie because he was unaccustomed to wearing one. I emailed Lou and he said the NYT author had interviewed him for an hour and that was the one quote that she took from him.

A few of my former coworkers saw the article, as I did, and commented on Dan's blog. So now we're reconnecting via email. I also created a new Linkedin group, Business International Alumni. There are 11 of us so far!

So if you worked for Business International, feel free to join the group. If you worked for Business International in the 80's (before the Economist bought the company), and you worked in the Finance group in the New York office, you'll likely remember pub crawls (perhaps you had a Flaming Chartreuse at Harglos?), Wang word processing terminals, the coffee wagon, the Poodle with a Mohawk poster. You remember how to spell Dag Hammarskjold, and the quirky cast of characters who worked there. It was a great first job for me. Not as memorable, it seems, for Barack.

2008 Masters Rental

Dear bloggerjeanne readers, posting this in case someone in internetland does a google search for such a thing! If you know anyone would like to rent out a home for Masters week (you know, golf!), post a comment here and I'll get emailed.

Lovely large 4 bedroom home, each with queen beds, on beautiful lush 1 acre property with front and back patios and deck for entertaining, just outside West Lake. Recently remodeled kitchen and bathrooms. Beautiful hardwood floors. 40 inch plasma TV with digital cable, DVD player Wireless internet access. Bonus room with futon and TV. (Queen bed or twin beds available to put in bonus room at additional cost). $6000 for 7 day rental (negotiable), daily maid service plus extra day rental available at extra cost.

Here's two pictures, more available by request: