Thursday, December 24, 2009

That time of year

The apartment is all cosied up with Christmas decorations and the remnants of a little holiday party from last Friday. I set the table with a red cross-stitched table cloth that my father made as a child. It was a long train ride from Trenton, NJ to Altoona, PA , where my grandmother's family lived, and needlework was how she kept my father busy. I think it's kind of amazing. The ruffled plates are from the same grandmother. She had a vast collection of milk glass and it became mine when she passed away, last year almost to the day. It makes me infinitely happy to have it and to use it. At least it's not sitting in a box in someones basement.

I took about 25 pictured of the table, all of them blurry, but you can get the basic idea. All warm red and orange and creamy white. Very festive, indeed.

I'm at my parents' house today and will be for the next 4 days. I had a little moment of panic when I realized that I brought my current knitting project but failed to print out the pattern! I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my free time now. It's a feeling kind of like floating in space with no anchor.

For the moment I'm watching TV and sitting on the couch with the family's dog, Ella, faithfully at my feet. Some programming genius knew I needed some comfort today and there is a West Wing marathon on right now. Is there anything cosier than curling up with Josh, Leo, CJ and the gang for a few hours? I think not.
Be grateful for the little things this holiday. Give from the heart and honor the past. Start new traditions with people you love. Keep things in perspective and keep things positive. A new year and a new opportunity to start fresh is right around the corner, so no matter what this year has brought you, there is the promise of the New Year lighting your way.
Happy holidays, everyone, and thank you for being a part of this blog, and of my life.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Craft-rageous! Craft-tacular! Craft-abulous!

I think you can pretty much put the word "craft" on the front of any other word and it would be funny.

Last Saturday was the 3rd Ward Handmade Holiday Craft Fair. The fair itself was quite impressive. It was out in the middle of nowhere in Bushwick, Brooklyn and, yet, there were hundreds of people there! Quite a turn out, indeed.

It was a mild success for me. It's been several years since I was on the craft fair circuit and was a bit rusty. I also think that Bushwick is not really the demographic for my goods. Ah, but live and learn, right? I know what I would do differently next time around.

The coasters, gift tags, and, soon, the pillows are up in my etsy shop. The gift tags were incredibly cute and my best seller. There's only a few left so go get 'em!!!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

In which I head out into the world of crafting

Hey there! I've been super busy since my last sorry post getting stuff ready for the 3rd Ward Handmade Holiday Craft Fair! It's my first craft fair in about 4 years and I'm a little nervous, so come out and say "hi", OK? And maybe buy something!

Gotta go finish with the sewing and knitting and etc! See you Saturday!!!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Oh, hey, I have a blog

I actually couldn't remember the last thing that I posted. I had to visit my own blog to find out. That's really sad.

Then I had to go to flickr to see if maybe there were some pictures of stuff that I hadn't blogged about and there weren't. Not really. Just some random shots of supplies for a photo shoot I did a week ago and this one.

These are destined to become something that's a bit of s surprise. I'm going to sharing a table on December 12th at the 3rd Ward holiday craft show in Brooklyn. I'm pretty excited. I'm going to be selling stuff from my etsy shop as well as a slew of new items.

In the meantime, I've been sewing up a storm, knitting when I can, and, well, living life. I often forget that I can share all of this here. There's been another photo shoot, a chili takedown, a Christmas tree.... I'll be sharing all of that with you really soon.

I promise.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

clearly I have a very rich imagination

The Perfect Sunday Afternoon in November

Pun, completely intentional.

Apparently, in my fantasies, I carry $1,240 Lanvin purses and wear Alexander McQueen earrings.
And have a rich grandmother who lives on the UES in NYC.

Just discovered via Angry Chicken and Posy Gets Cozy. Also, discovered that is not fire-walled at work. Big Mistake.

For some reason writing like Bridget Jones.

Alternate titles for this outfit: "Too Much Gossip Girl" or "I Could Never Really Walk Around NYC In These Shoes That's Why It's A Fantasy, Silly".

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

She knits! She sews!

It's true, I do both of those things. I used to write about them on this blog quite a bit, actually.

Above, you can see the latest evidence of my knitting. This is Shaylee, from Rowan Kidsilk Aura Collection book that was published in 2007. Oh, that's right, 2007. I bought it while I was still working at The Point NYC. While The Point was still open, even.

The yarn you're seeing is Manos Silk Blend, which I bought when it was still a new product. I can't even remember when that was.

What you're looking at, is my 4th attempt to knit the left side. It's seems that I just can't get it right. When I follow the directions as I believe they are written, the shaping doesn't match the diagram of the finished knit. When I tried to wing it, it came out really, really wrong. So I'm back to following the directions. The worst case scenario is that the spacing on the belt loops are a little off. I can live with that.

In other news, I made my Halloween costume this year. Or, rather, I cobbled it together from items that I already owned, made and bought on the cheap.

I was inspired by Tim Burton's much anticipated, Alice in Wonderland, and dressed as Alice. The are no current photographs of me because I just wasn't myself in that blind wig. I felt obvious and silly. (Though I secretly LOVED my costume and thought it was incredible.) I think I'll recycle it for next year, since it took a bit of work. Perhaps then there'll be photos.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Year of Living Dangerously

Hi, friends. I'm coming up on a bit of a milestone. This coming weekend will mark one year that I've been living as a single woman in NYC (well, Queens, more accurately, but I digress).

This is a fact that still kind of hits a raw nerve for me. I didn't think it would, but this past week I've been bombarded with random mood swings and general feelings of panic and grumpiness. I couldn't understand what was wrong with me and then I looked at the calendar.

One year ago this Sunday, I moved all of my earthly belongings into my friend, Kevin's, apartment in Sunnyside, Queens and never looked back. Somehow, between the two of us, I developed a mantra that would guide me through the next year. I would in the months to come, time and time again, hear Kevin's voice in my head, "Just say yes, Rebecca."

Someone invites me to see a band I hardly know at 11pm on a Tuesday? Just say yes.
Drop everything and spend 2 weeks in Italy? Just say yes.
Face all of your fears and do the one thing you're afraid of the most? Just say yes.

And so I said yes. Every time I was too tired, or too scared, or too shy, I heard Kevin urging me on. Whether he's aware of it or not, he helped me discover a new self. Or maybe it was an old self that had just been pushed down for so long that she had become unrecognizable.

But she's here now, and she's not going away, and she's going to keep saying yes. Thanks, Kevin.

Just a few of the things I have said yes to in the last year:
I moved into a new apartment.
I spent 2 weeks in a country where I don't know the language.
I sang karaoke.
I ate wild boar!
I took up kickboxing.
I went to a party where I didn't know anyone except the host.
I bought my first computer.
I took on a project that I wasn't sure I could finish.
I ran three 5K races.
I took lots of pictures.
I raised some tomatoes.
I went to Staten Island.
I saw my friend play in a band.
I kissed a stranger.
I went to a Knicks' game.
I ate sweetbreads.
I made new friends.
I went to Long Island.
I was a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding.
I went to Texas alone to see an old friend get married.
I read a Psalm at my grandmother's funeral.
I considered the possibility of new love.
And, oh yeah, I flew on the trapeze.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hi, friends! I keep forgetting to share this with you!!

Do yourself a favor, will you? Listen very carfeully to what I'm telling you and do everything exactly the way I describe it, OK?

First, get yourself and your special someone over to Motorino on Graham Ave. in Williamsburg. Share a bottle of wine, eat a Margherita pizza , but save room for dessert.

After dinner, wander outside, (maybe linger on the corner for a moment to share a kiss fueled by a pizza-eating induced high) and then head down Metropolitan Ave. to the corner or Manhattan Ave. If you look to your left you'll see the shining beacon of light that is Fortunato Brothers Bakery.

Go inside, order a cannoli (or two) and have a seat at one of the little tables. The lovely waitress will take your espresso order and bring your cannoli and your night will be complete.

This, my friends, is the recipe for a perfect evening. Trust me and just do as I say.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just a quick note for you all. I've been busier this past month than I've been in a long time. I've been struggling to push myself to think creatively and act productively.

I've been shooting almost every weekend! These are images from my latest with photographer, Kat Teutsch. Kat has so much energy and so many ideas that simply being in the same room with her inspires me.

The stills we shot compliment photos that Kat took on a farm in Nebraska. We incorporated all of the produce that they were harvesting on the farm and tried to rustic, yet sophisticated setting.

Since this shoot I've done three more!! I hope to be able to share more images with you soon. On other fronts, I haven't had time to do much crafting, since most of my time these days is spent prepping for photo shoots.

I am working on a baby blanket for a dear friend of the family. I'm about half way through and my deadline is October 1st, so that's all I'm going to be doing for the next couple of days.

I'll have photos to share with you as soon as it's finished!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm just a little excited about these. See, I grew them myself. Little ol' me, Queens Resident, City Gal, grew some freakin' tomatoes!

Aren't they so cute? Tasty, too! I put my two tomato plants in a very large planter that I keep in our little front yard area. It's surrounded by a fence and overwhelmed by a enormous rose bush. When my landlord saw the planter, he said, "You should put them in the ground. They'll grow a lot bigger."
Ah! Next year, Franklin. Next year.

And on to more pressing matters. This blankety-blank chalkboard that I saved up for forever and purchased a month ago. I am afraid that it's too small. I keep going over ways to make it appear more dramatic. Maybe a bigger frame. Paint a dark frame around it on the wall. Hmmm. I know! Buy a bigger chalkboard!
Yep. It's too small. I want to cry when I think about how much it's going to cost to ship it back. And how much the shipping on the bigger size is.
I. Just. Want. To. Cry.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I can hardly believe that today is September 1st! The last two weeks have just flown by!

This speeding up of time is partially due to how busy I've been. In the last two weekends, I've had 3 photo shoots! I'm exhausted, but happy to be doing something creative.

The photos are some of my favorite from my collaboration with photographer Kat Teutsch. They are exactly what I was hoping for when we started out. Isn't that amazing when that happens?!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I've been lusting after this tiffin set from DWR. But, oh lordy, $85!!!!!

I found mine at the "Dollar Store" on Hoyt Street for $8!!!!!!!

It's only 1/3 of the set they're selling, but c'mon, it's $8 I'm so excited! I took my lunch in it today and was just thrilled. Next, though, I have to sew a little bag for it so I can carry it on my shoulder. I just don't have enough hands to carry my tiffin and my coffee mug on the subway.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I went to NJ this weekend and came back with something from each of my grandmothers.

My dad's mom passed away last Christmas and I chose a carefully curated selection of her huge collection of milk glass. She did most of her collecting in the 50's and 60's and favored the hobnail design. I'm trying to learn a little more about collecting milk glass but a lot of her stuff is unmarked, so I'm not making much headway.

The main reason I wanted it, though, is because I associate it with her so strongly. I just think of her when I see it. She was a crazy collector. She didn't just have one of something, she had 10. It makes me smile to see this little bowl on my counter and know that I have something of hers.

The tomatoes are courtesy of my mom's mom. She's in her 80's now, but still keeps a pretty impressive garden. It used to be bigger, but she's older now and has less mouths to feed and so she's cut back on the vegetables. Still, whenever I'm home she sends me back to the city with a bag full of tomatoes or cucumbers or string beans. I used to roll my eyes and groan, "More beans?" But now I know better. I'll eat some, freeze some and maybe pickle some so I can have them all year and think of her.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I had the honor of attending the loveliest wedding this weekend in Greenwich, CT.
My friends, Michael and Rissa, (who were my gracious hosts in Tuscany this past April) were the adorable groom and bride. I wish I could have posted a picture of how handsome they both were, but I don't have their permission!

Every single detail was elegant and thoughtful, from the mojitos that matched the flowers to the parasols and fans provided for the guests.

And the dinner! It was a true reflection of the couple's tastes. Rustic and elegant, equally, and paired with the perfect wine. And the music! A Cuban band played into the wee hours of the night. You could definitely feel Michael and Rissa's hand in every detail of the evening.

I wish you both all the happiness in the world for your future together!!!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh, yeah. Hi. Remember 3 weeks ago when I was going to give you regular farmers' market updates? I guess that never happened. I really meant to, I've just been so darned busy.

I've been really working on getting the ol' etsy shop in tip top shape and also, trying to incorporate the other side of my life - styling and decorating. I may also be adding wedding planning to that list, but that's another story.

So I'm trying to become a brand. You know? I think I've got it all worked out, but I have this idea for a logo that involves the words "Needleworks, Inc." embroidered. I'm testing different fonts and doing the stitching then I figure I have to scan the fabric, right? Is anyone savvy enough with Photoshop to know what to do next? I have to somehow separate the writing from the background and I know there's some way to do that.

Also, I'm in the market for a very simple website. Eventually I'm going to have some styling images up there, but nothing fancy. Anyone willing to do it for cheap? Or some kind of barter?

I know that's a lot to throw out there but I figure I'd turn to my bogging friends for help first. Right?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I have been very busy, trying to bring to life all the ideas that have been swimming around in my brain.

These are the latest.

Some Moleskine notebooks (which I love on their own) that I have embellished with fabric that I love. I've had bits of fabric that just weren't big enough for any real patchwork project, so here they are. In notebook form.

I find it continuously difficult to take pictures in my new(ish) apartment. Though we get lots of light, it's never in the place that I want it to be! Someday I'll have professional photos. Or equipment!

All the items you see are now available in my shop.

The 80 acid-free pages inside (the last 16 are detachable) are ruled, soft white paper, and the back cover features the traditional Moleskine pocket to collect scraps and notes.

The perfect thing for jotting down lists, notes, ideas, poetry - anything your heart desires!!!

Inspired by this and this!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

In the last year I've become more conscientious (obsessed) with buying local and unprocessed foods. I may have broken down and bought a frozen dinner one day last week (maybe) but in general I have been making more and more at home. I make hummus on a weekly basis. I still haven't perfected bread making, but I'm working on it. Luckily, I don't eat that much bread. I still buy my yogurt and pasta and oatmeal at the grocery store, but about 90% of my produce comes from my farmers' market near work (in Brooklyn Heights).

The decision to eat/shop this way is multi-faceted. It has to do with my health and the health of our nation and our planet. I do what I can, within reason. I am not perfect and I don't go overboard. I haven't bought a bottle of water in 3 months. I haven't bought chicken stock in about 6 months. But I did buy some Pepperidge Farm's Puff Pastry Dough on Sunday. But in general, the less that goes into bringing me the food I eat, the better.

Shopping at the Farmers' Market is the biggest change I've made. And I am trying to use every bit of everything I buy. I never ate radish or beet greens until last month and you know what? They're pretty good! I wish my market sold more so that I could buy more when I'm there. Maybe they will soon, because I think this way of living is catching on. Until they do, I'm going to keep doing what I do.

And every week, I'd like to share it with you as a way of spreading the word. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Two things that caught my fancy as I was surfing the web at work.
(Shhhh. Don't tell my boss!)
Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections illustrations. They're so charming! I always imagined that someone would write one about me. Alas, I am not the girl who was afraid of birds in Williamsburg.

Built By Wendy is having a sale. I am on a strict, strict budget and so please buy something and tell me about it so I can live vicariously through you. OK?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Well, those of you who live in the NYC area know what that sigh is for. This ridiculous rainy weather we've been having. Just ridiculous. Though my tomato plant sure in enjoying it.

As it usually happens when the weather turns warm, I start knitting less and sewing more. I still have a knitting project on my needles. It's sitting in the little basket next to the couch and it comes out when "So You Think You Can Dance" comes on. Which is only once (well, twice) a week, so you can guess what Kind of progress is going on there.

I have been doing quite a bit of sewing, however. I finished this skirt, from a pattern I got a few years back. It seems I make one new wrap skirt every summer, which is just about the right number to make.

I also completed several new items for my shop, but the dang rain simply does NOT allow for me to take a decent picture of anything. Even this last skirt pic is all blurry and creepy because I used my super bright hallway bulb as a light source. Anyway......

I hear the sun may come out this weekend. On Sunday I plan on being at the LIC Water Taxi Beach to try and catch it. If you're in the 'hood, stop by and say ,"hello".

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A little FYI for all your knitters: My two most popular designs (according to Ravelry favorites) are now available for download on Ravelry!

The Last Hurrah scarf is a free download that was previously on The Point's blog. Now that The Point is (sadly) no more, I've moved it over to Ravelry.

The Fiona Wrap Jacket is for sale for $5.00 - the same price The Point was selling it for, which seemed fair to me.

My Ravelry and Etsy shop are now pretty much complete with all of my patterns. It's kind of amazing for me to look at them all in one place like that. It made me realize what a productive knitter I was when I was working at the yarn shop. Hopefully I will continue to be inspired and add to my shop.

Thank you to all of you who put a little heart next to one of my designs!!! It makes me incredible happy!!! Thank you so much!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I went to the Renegade Craft Fair on Sunday with Jess/LittleBunny and Ana. I had a great time. I made a few purchases. I did not, however, take any pictures.

My favorite purchase (aside from a huge slice of organic watermelon!) was this tote from Survive Design. They have a wonderful message and their motto is"Style is Natural"! Hello!

I've been using the tote non-stop and the bright colors have livened up this dreary, rain-filled week. Turquoise is my new obsession for summer. It's a welcome break after Spring's navy blue bonanza. (I was just a tad obsessed)

I've also been visiting the Green Market at Cadmen Plaza every Tuesday on my lunch hour. Last week I saw the first strawberries of the season and nearly lost it. I was waiting and waiting to see some berry action! Now I can't get enough. I actually bought two pints this week. Shocking, I know.

The peas I lovingly shelled and put into a dinner of pasta with arugula pesto and fingerling potatoes. The pods are being saved for this. Can't wait!!!!

Friday, June 05, 2009

About a week ago, it looked like Spring was in full swing in NYC. The good weather was infectious and I responded by planting a little window garden. I have oregano, rosemary, thyme and basil. All seem to be doing very well, thank you. I hope that they'll continue to thrive all year long, seeing as they're inside and all.

And outside! Outside is glorious! Every single front yard on my block has an enormous rose bush in bloom. Simply walking down the street is a heady experience. Our rosebush, for which I've been waiting patiently to bloom since October, has finally let forth with an amazing number of blooms. More than enough for me to snip three or four a week and keep my dining room table looking cute.

On this dreary day it's nice to have a little reminder of the sunshine!