Friday, July 31, 2009

First sitting

(on my way!)

A short sitting, but worth it. I would have loved to stay longer, but we were all pretty beat and we got started kind of late. The outline of the bottom half is done. The top half will be done on Thursday and the shading and line work will complete the job two weeks after Thursday's sitting. That's the part I'm excited about...the small details will make this just pop off of my arm. Can't wait. I'm excited about it now, but I know it's going to look so much cooler when the detail is added. If you're wondering what the little gaps are in some of the flowers, Glenn left it this way as a guide for next week when he has to match the top half of the stencil to the tattoo. I was wondering how he was going to pull that off. Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, the butterfly from the original design was taken out and replaced by a flower. He also added a sweet little bee to balance out the weight of the piece.

Sorry these shots aren't any better. I never knew how hard it is to take pictures of your own arm until now. Yeesh! The perspective looks all weird and my arm looks gross. Sorry, folks!

Eventually this will wrap around my entire arm and the top half will meet up with the little (and big) birds on my shoulders. Once this arm is done, we'll start on my right arm. Different flowers, same style. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 27, 2009

In three days... left sleeve will finally, after a long, long wait, be started. I visited with Glenn (an old friend and new tattoo guy) last night and got a sneak peek of his sketches for me. This is exactly what I was looking for. He took the botanical drawings I gave him and combined them with the line drawing style I asked for and came up with this. I'm in love. The only change to be made to the design below is the butterfly. I'm not a butterfly kind of gal, so he's going to replace it with either a bird or another flower. Sorry about the weird shadows in these images...the lighting in that place is not great for taking photos. As long as it's okay for doing great tattoos I guess I don't care!

Thursday cannot get here fast enough.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

belated birthday

I'm about three days late with this post, but I'm barely home anymore and I'm just getting around to catching up on e-mail/blogging/browsing, etc. My dearest dad celebrated his birthday at the hospital this year. While that doesn't sound like the most appealing thing in the world, we tried to make the best of it. He still can't have solid food, so we brought Italian Ice to replace the chocolate cake he would have much preferred. I think it did the trick. We decorated a bit with balloons and pictures, and while we had to force the party hat on him, he agreed to wear it for a picture. His spirits are still high, but there's no word on how long he'll be in the hospital. It seems as though no one knows exactly what's wrong with him, and that's scary because he's got a high fever and his blood pressure is all over the place. I'm amazed at how confusing everything is when it comes to a paralyzed patient. No one seems to know for sure the proper way to handle things, no matter how basic, and yet we have to put our trust and faith in strangers who (should) know what they're doing. He still may need a second surgery, and I think that's the hardest part because it's this dreaded thing just looming off in the distance. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

So happy birthday, Dad! I hope you're feeling better soon, or at least well enough to go home. Your strength amazes me and I hope you know how much you mean to me and to all of us!

As for me, well, how I'm feeling doesn't really matter right now. People keep asking me how I'm doing. I'm tired and worried and hopeful and grateful all at the same time. It's a hard thing to swallow, this second long stint in the hospital. Wait and see isn't a game I play well, but we're hanging in there.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

for the dogs, part 2

Not sure if you remember my post about the dog park moving into Troy, but it seems the organizers have hit a snag and they need your help! I can't think of a better way to help the dogs in the area than eating pizza, unless you throw in the fact that the pizza is coming from one of my favorite places in Troy...Bacchus! Talk about a winner of a night! If you've never been to Bacchus, August 3rd is the time to go. Head on over and help the fur babies out! I'll be there with a face full of wood-fired goodness.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Thank you so much for all of your kind words, thoughts and prayers. Just wanted to give an update here because it's much easier than sending out a million e-mails. He's still in the hospital and isn't doing as well as we'd hoped. The first two days after his initial surgery were amazing. He looked great, sounded great, acted great. And then he took a slight down-turn and the doctors are starting to worry. He may need a second emergency surgery today depending on what they find after his x-ray. Please keep praying for him and for our family. He's nowhere near in the clear yet. Thanks, kids.

Friday, July 17, 2009

think happy thoughts...

My dad is in the hospital and it's pretty serious. He had major surgery at 3am yesterday morning and we're all in that awful waiting period to see how he's going to make out. I'll most likely be spending my time for the next week or two bouncing back and forth between the hospital and the shop, so posts will be sparse. I apologize in advance for the lack of fun around here. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

spoiled brat

That's me I'm referring to. I'm totally spoiled, especially by my husband, and I'm still trying to figure out how I can possibly deserve such an amazing, loving, sweet man by my side. Not only did he clean my entire house on Saturday while I was at work, but he stopped off at a local yard sale and bought a gorgeous antique covered cut glass cake stand for me. We drove by it on our way to the farmers' market and he heard me squeal with delight when I saw it sitting on top of a very cluttered table. I've always wanted one just like it. The new stands are super expensive and just seem to lack the charm that comes naturally to the antique varieties. I have a ceramic stand already, but there's nothing quite like the sight of the delicious cake you slaved over all day sitting pretty atop a glass stand and underneath a sparkling cover. Move over Martha Stewart! Heh.

So, yes, he cleaned my house, he bought me my dream cake stand (pictures soon), took me shopping for new shirts, AND he bought me the sweetest vintage armchair at the local thrift store. This little gal needs a post of her own, and I'll get to that as soon as I can get my hands on my camera. Since getting her home I've nicknamed her Matilda, and she's not only super comfy, but adorable too! Just ask the cat...she's been camped out on the back of the chair since it came through the door. Wait till you see!

I'm a lucky girl to be with such an amazing man. He loves me unconditionally, treats me far better than I've ever been treated before, puts up with my crap (and trust me, there's plenty), dotes on me far more than I deserve, he's completely adorable AND he's willing to humor Lola by wearing her cake-coated birthday crown!

Wonder what I could have done to find such a catch...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

skirts, and nothing more

I've got stacks of sewing projects piled up all over the place.

I've got ideas for new sewing projects swimming around in my head.

I have plenty of sewing I could be doing for the shop.

And yet whenever I see fabric, think about fabric or touch fabric, all I can do is fantasize about making skirts! I'm hooked. It's scary. The best part about this little craze of mine, though, is I get to use the leftovers for bags, headbands, little cloth pouches, coffee jackets...the list goes on and on! AND, these skirts fold down into a convenient little playing card size, so packing for our trip to Florida in October will be a breeze! I'll have a new skirt for every day I'm there.

The prints below are already in my furry little hands for the latest round of sewing:
A blueberry skirt? I think so!

I was sorry to hear that Fabricworm is closing up shop. She's got some great deals going on right now...head on over and help her out!

Friday, July 10, 2009


If there is any justice in this world, these shoes, in olive green, will be mine:

Silla Flat by Blowfish.

newest addition

Downtown Troy is covered in art these days, or so it seems. We have a new addition to our little stretch of River Street...

This is an interesting take on those magnetic poetry fridge things, eh? Pretty clever.
I love the quote on the street-facing side:

If you can't read it, it says:

In nature's realm
Troy is a city of art
under the shadows of perfection;
with the hope we all lie
in the arms of angels.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

saying goodbye

We had to say goodbye to our beloved Aunt Peg yesterday. After suffering for far too long, she passed away peacefully while surrounded by family and loved ones.

Aunt Peg was a wonderful cook, so her son decided to give a small memento to each of us after the funeral...a laminated copy of her famous apple pie recipe complete with photos of Peg demonstrating each step. How cool is that? This was such a thoughtful and amazing gift and every time I look at it, or read the recipe, I smile and think of her. I think she would have loved that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I love this woman...

Okay, so the fact that I have more than a slight obsession with Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) occurred to me twice over the holiday weekend. Duh, right?

The first moment of clarity came to me when I was standing in the middle of my kitchen and I realized that I had not one, not two, but THREE of her recipes in different stages of completion planted all over the place. I made her chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips (I substituted peanut butter chips), the one and only necessary cookie recipe in my opinion, and the caramelized onion dip for my sister's 4th of July picnic. I also finally came through and made her incredibly awesome barbecue sauce from scratch. Holy hell, people, you must make this sauce! Ben had company over on Friday night and I offered to make homemade sloppy joes for the boys. Rather than digging up a mundane joe sauce recipe or opting for the canned junk, I combined Ina's BBQ sauce with some lean ground beef and it was pure heaven. There are an awful lot of ingredients to this recipe, but it's totally worth it. Plus, one batch makes a tremendous amount of sauce so store it in the fridge, whip it out on a whim and wow your friends and family with it.

The second revelation came about when I stopped and noticed how excited I got to find this site over the weekend. I'm not going to get all "fatal attraction" or anything like that, so please don't be alarmed. She's just such a private person and to get little glimpses here and there of who she is behind the scenes is thrilling. I love her decorating style: simple and cozy. Her cooking mirrors that very same style.

I adore this woman, although the most recent episodes of her show on the Food Network leave me longing for the older ones. The food and cooking tips were the focal points, and her friends and social life were tossed in as personal touches. Now it's all about the friends in the Hamptons and so very few of us can relate. Sorry, Ina. I watch the show to learn and lately I feel somewhat, uh, jealous. Not sure if "jealous" is the word, but you get the point. Still, I'm a huge fan, and I think I'd keel over and die if I ever had the chance to meet her and pick her brain. Yes, I'm a total Ina fanatic dork, and proud of it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

gentle nudge

I was just gently reminded that I haven't posted in a week, and after re-reading my last post I can see why certain members of the family and some friends may be a little worried. Sorry 'bout that. I'm okay, really. A little dismayed and I feel a bit like I'm drowning sometimes, but I'm okay. I'll pull through. I'm trying my best to keep busy with whatever I can get myself into. This summer is chock full of rain and that makes it hard to get outside and run around. Ben recently took up running, a hobby I will eternally be jealous of. I've always wanted to run, but alas, certain parts of my upper body will not allow it. Ahem.

Anyway, let's see...what's been going on around here...other than constant rain.

1) I finally finished Randi's birthday present. I'd post pictures but that would ruin the surprise. I'm sorry, Randi, for taking so long, but life gets in the way sometimes. Plus, not only is my sewing machine in desperate need of a tune-up, but my grandmother's machine, the machine I've been using since mine crapped out, now needs a tune-up as well. Guess I should have expected that.

2) We celebrated this past Troy Night Out with an art show by two sisters from Averill Park high school. One girl is a freshman and the other is a junior. Their show consisted entirely of photographs, and I was completely blown away. They sold a huge chunk of the pieces brought in, so there are very few left. If you're in the area, though, check out the remains of the show. Amazing stuff, especially for two very young, untrained teens. Sometimes I think training can ruin natural born talent. What do you think?

3) Looking forward to a few days off this weekend for the holiday. Ben's brother is getting married on the 4th, so we'll be spending our day in Grafton. I adore Grafton. It's a bit out there, but the lush green covering everything makes the trip worth while. And there's always the Peace Pagoda. If we have a bit of daylight left after we've left the wedding, I'd love to kick off my heels and take a dip in the lake. I haven't been swimming yet this year and lake swimming sounds dreamy to me. Heh, swimming in a dress. Never tried that yet. Swimming in jeans? Absolutely.

4) I have big plans to paint two rooms in my house if it ever stops raining. My bathroom is going from a bright, lively green to a shade of pink I can only describe as "antique rose". The only time I've seen this particular color was buried deep in the petals of cottage roses growing up the side of a cabin I once stayed in on Cape Cod. Gorgeous. The living room will be painted...again. I'm going from a taupey brown to an olive green. I think if I had my way (and common sense wasn't an issue), I'd paint my entire house olive green. Love. It. I think the combination of our new furniture, freshly painted coffee table (I crackle-finished the entire thing) new curtains, vivid throw pillows and quilts, and new art for the walls, this color will knock your socks off. I'll post pictures of the entire thing once I'm done. And again, if it ever stops raining, I'll get started. Yeesh.

That's about it. What are you crazy kids up to? After popping in and out of blog world today, I'm beginning to notice that everyone is slow with the posts this summer. Glad I'm not the only one. I no longer feel guilty.