Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Feed a Cold

This has been the scene around our house for the last few days. Only we both have the man cold, and there is no one else around to be the voice of reason. Today we sniffled and sneezed our way through Polish class. (It seems like almost everyone else we encounter is sniffling also, can this be possible?) The nose blowing and sneeze-blocking kept me distracted from asking "Why? Why are we learning Polish, why?" At lunch I was reminded of the answer: the bigos, oh, the bigos

Monday, February 16, 2009

Birthday Party

Party on the top floor in East Harlem. I wonder if this is the urban equivalent of tying balloons to your mailbox. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've been using my new sewing machine quite a bit since my parents gave it to me for Christmas. I've been wanting to use it to make cards, but I couldn't get motivated until I saw this simple Valentine's Day card idea. I altered this idea a little, by using card stock I had on hand instead of buying something fancy, and I made the card a single layer, more like the cards you passed out in grade school. 

I've been wondering how in the world anyone sews a curved line with their machine, and I knew that working on this project would help me figure it out. The answer: very patiently. 

I gathered some scrap fabric, cut out some hearts, and started out by practicing the zig-zag stitches. 

It was hard, and I knew that if I waited until I could do it perfectly, I wouldn't send the cards out in time. So I practiced until I could basically trace the heart, and then I went into production mode.

Step 1: cut out hearts using scrap fabric. The link above includes a template, but I just made my own by sketching on card stock. 

Step 2:  sew the border stitches using a straight, short stitch. Make a few extras to take the pressure off for Step 3. 

Step 3: experiment with your zig-zag stitch setting and stitch length until you find your favorite one to use for outlining the heart. Secure the fabric heart to the paper, with a bit of glue or double-sided tape. Then it's the fun part--zig zag stitch on a curve!

Step 4: I wanted to create the ragged edge like the cards on the purlbee. I followed a link on their site to learn how to create that edge using my sewing machine. Remove all thread from the machine and then "sew" close to the edge using short stitches so the needle creates a perforated edge. Fold several times, then tear away the excess paper from the edge. 

Making the perforated edge was too much fun, and it made the cards even more like grade-school valentines: remember how they came in sheets and each card was folded and torn away? 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy New Year!

Last Sunday we got to Chinatown just in time to see the tail end of the New Year's dragon dances. We got caught up in Soho shopping at Uniqlo. We celebrated Chinese New Year with an early dinner at Great New York Noodletown, where we looked around and were convinced that everyone else was eating something better than what we ordered. Next time we will know better. We'll order the Chinese broccoli (which isn't listed anywhere on the menu, but everyone except us was eating it) and the salt baked shrimp (which is actually fried). 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What a day off looks like

This must be what a day off looks like for our neighbor. Shirts courtesy of Yummy Taco. YT is another reason I'm not sorry to be cooking at home. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I accomplished an important step in relocating today: I found a place to get a haircut. And I like it. But maybe one day I'll go here, just for the window decorations. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Who knew Gwyneth Paltrow had a blog?