Thursday, September 27, 2012

Eileen and Sugar's baby blanket

Eileen is one of Leslie's friends at school.  I feel like Eileen has been pregnant forever, but she's quickly approaching her due date.  Back in July, Leslie asked me to make a baby blanket for her (the same week she recruited me to make an apron for her friend Ali).  Although Eileen knows that she's having a girl, Leslie was adamant that nothing about this blanket could be frilly or pink--she wanted something that would reflect Sugar's (ie, the baby's) autumn birthday. (Everyone refers to the baby as Sugar because Eileen and her husband are keeping her name a secret.) So, I dragged Leslie to Jo-Ann with me and made her pick out the colors for the final product.  She settled on white and a color called "Goldfish" from Vanna White's baby yarn.  (The website describes the color as "soft peachy orange," but I think it's tomato red.)

I used the same pattern and edging stitch as Steph and Lauren's blankets. (Speaking of Lauren, I really need a picture of her new baby girl who is at least two weeks old by now ... Abigail Paige arrived some time ago!)  Rather than do one solid color, I did a "goldfish" square in the middle and two borders of color to break up the white.  I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the finished product, but I think I really like it.

You've probably caught on by now that I'm not the most proficient crochet-er. (Is "crocheter" a real word?)  I can crank out a lot of stuff, but none of it is complicated--mostly the same stitch over and over in different (easy) sequences.  When you read Alicia's famous blog everyday, it takes about two seconds to calculate, "Oh, I see! I don't know anything about this. Ok. Glad we settled that."  This project made me a little nervous because it required switching off colors at least four times.  Luckily, I have the magnificent Klutz tome Learn to Crochet sitting on my shelf, and the colored diagrams (designed for small children) make it really clear how to switch colors in mid-stitch.  I cheated, though, and tied knots to connect the colors because ultimately I don't trust my work to hold up in the wash without them.

Eileen, I've never met you, but I feel like I have because Leslie has been talking about you since orientation.  I'm wishing you and your husband and Sugar the best!  And, I sorta hope that you just name your baby Sugar because I really think it's cute.  (Or, maybe you can get a dog and name her Sugar just to have an excuse to keep the name in the family?)

OMG, so I have four more baby blankets that need starting and finishing in the next six months.  Your calculations are right: Erin accounts for two of them, but the other two? Well, more on that later.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another reason to be jealous of Marcie

Remember Marcie from California? Remember the view of the Monterey Bay from her apartment windows?

Marcie emailed me on Friday with a message that went something like, "OMG LOOK AT THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Endeavour flew right by her window on its final (albeit, assisted) flight.  How cool is that?  It's once in a lifetime.

Also, if you want to hear a really funny report featuring California school kids watching for the shuttle last Friday, listen to this short clip on NPR's All Things Considered.

Kid: "That was the most awesomest airplane--I mean, shuttle--I've ever seen!!"
Reporter: "Have you seen any others?"
Kid: [very definitively] "No." 


Friday, September 21, 2012

OMG I need one for the Fluffs

Of course, this will also require buying a motorcycle like the guy who let me take this picture of his dog.  (I would rather have one of those blue convertibles in the background.)

On second thought, who am I kidding?  I would have to ride in the Fluff Saucer with them PLUS plenty of pillows and afghans.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sarah and Jeff get married

Ok, it's official: Sarah wins.  She is--hands down/no question--the happiest bride I have ever seen.  It almost made me sad because I have been to A LOT of weddings, and I found myself thinking, "Whoa! So this is what a blissed out bride looks like??!"  My ignorance really took me by surprise.

This is St. Michael's Church in Long Branch, New Jersey.  It's like walking inside the kind of gorgeous Easter egg that gets featured in Martha Stewart Living or something.  Jeff's parents were married here, Jeff did all of his sacraments here, and he sat through many a mass as an altar server here.

I would pay a couple hundred bucks to get this crystal clear.

I later heard Jeff say to Sarah, "It was crazy: Every person in the church was looking at you.  Everyone's backs were turned to me.  Not a single person looked at me--it was all eyes on you."

Their friends Diana and Miguel did the pictures for them--more about them later.

The weather could not have possibly been more perfect. It was PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT.

You can't tell from the pictures, but the church and the reception took place one block from the beach.

They danced to Etta's "At Last."

Their friend offered to sing their song just for them.

Sarah wore her grandmother's sapphire wedding ring as her something borrowed and blue.

Ron said to me, "I know I've only gotten to be acquainted with Sarah over the years, but have you ever seen her--I mean, have you seen anybody--so freakin happy before?  I mean, I was like, WOW, I am really not used to seeing anybody with that look on their face."  I thought it was just me.

Sarah and her dad talked the whole time they danced.  No one could hear what they were saying--it was just for them.

I'm still getting to know Jeff, but one thing I know for sure is that he is really, really funny.  Take, for example, the "cake feeding" (as the DJ called it):

Sarah is a perfect lady:

But look at this trick that Jeff pulled--it only worked because Sarah closed her eyes!

Such a good sport!

So about their wedding photographers: Diana and Miguel did the wedding photography as a gift for the bride and groom.  But get this: they don't do weddings on a regular basis.  While they do photography for a living, most of their work takes place at ... how do you say? ... crazy insano important events.  For example, Miguel had just arrived from the US Open (you know, that tennis tournament thingy?) and Diana from NY Fashion Week (that Project Runway type sorta thing) to photograph their wedding.  Their work routinely appears in national magazines and publications.  Poor Diana, I swooned all over her.  She was awesome.  (And, yes, she's an early 80s baby, named for the Princess herself!)

Sarah and Diana

With Ama and Katie

And ladies, for those of you who are terrified that everything gets WORSE with age, let me show you something.  Here we are at SIXTEEN:

That's me on the left next to Sarah, Ama, and Megan.  Thank you, Jesus: My mother convinced me to grow my hair out in college.
And here we are at almost-30 (except for Katie who is a slightly younger):

Ama, Katie, Sarah, me, Megan
And people say that aging sucks. PUH-LEEEEEZ!!  What is everyone talking about? I'll take 29 over 16 ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

Sarah and Jeff: Best wishes for a blissfully happy marriage!  Enjoy your new home together in Jersey, and please don't be strangers.  Wishing you the best of everything, xoxo, Me

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

West Chester Garden Tour

Every fall, my mom and I make sure we have tickets for the annual garden tour that rotates around different portions of the borough.  For the past three years, there have been some astounding gardens on the tour.  You can see last year's here:
11_09_10 Garden Walk

I would argue that last year's photos are actually worth a glance.  This year's ...?  I hate to say it: Not really.  I feel mean saying it, but we could've skipped it and we wouldn't have felt bad about it.  There were one or two really nice gardens and the rest were literally just burnt out from the summer.  Everything was totally exhausted and/or overgrown.  Too bad.  Plus, I was really sick and working through Day 3 of No Voice and Totally Unable to Talk. Plus, it was 90 freakin degrees and way too freakin humid.

An artist is stationed at each garden and paints the surroundings in his/her preferred medium.  An artist actually lives at this last house (isn't that an awesome tree?), and he opened his studio to the public.  The only thing I had fun photographing the whole day was his studio.

Jess, how cool are these benches?  I took a bunch of pictures of them for you:

I really want that jade tree.

There were two really awesome porches.  This first one is my fave and my mom's fave:

I've walked by this house a thousand times and did not even know that this was back here. Then, there was this porch:

Random details:

A really nice old man came up to me and said, "Did you just take a picture of that thing on the wall?"  Like I said, I had no voice that day so I just nodded my head.  And then he says, "Do you know what it is?"  I managed to croak, "A rabbit?"  He goes, "I don't know--my daughter lives here, so you should ask her."  She confirmed that it was, indeed, a rabbit.

She looks like she's having fun.  Watch out, Gorgeous Mermaid Girl: The French paparazzi could be nearby ...

So, not the best year, but not so awful that I won't buy a ticket next year.  Maybe it was just a fluke.  Like I said before, I don't want to come across as mean since these homeowners were really generous and opened up their yards for strangers to tramp all over them.  I'm sure it didn't help that I was high on cold meds and hadn't been able to talk in half a week. I'm surprised that I could even remember how to operate my shutter button.

Tomorrow, happier things: Sarah's wedding.