Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Will Miss This View

As the move approaches, I realize more and more how much I love the view from this place. I can always count on something interesting to happen each week. Today was no exception. I heard one of the trains blowing its whistle like there was no tomorrow. I decided to go and see if someone was stuck on the tracks at the crossing or something to cause such a ruckus. When I looked, there were people all over by the tracks and many police cars, but the train was just a normal Amtrak commuter line pulling out. I did not see what the fuss was all about. Then I realized how many cameras were out, and of course, I turned toward the very morbid possibility that someone was hit on the tracks by the station. It has happened before here, so I was concerned and hoped for the best. Then I heard a very distinct noise, that of a steam engine whistle. There was a special train passing through the area that is the last steam engine purchased by Union Pacific. For more information you can check out the website about the train. Here are a few pictures I took out the window as it passed by the building:

While I have grown rather tired of all the train noises as of late, this one was a welcomed change. It was neat to see this old locomotive roll past and look at all the shiny cars from days gone by zip past the building. I will miss this view and all the wacky things I have seen, both good and bad, out these windows. From zeppelins passing by to breath taking sunsets and fingerlings of fog, they will truly be missed. I do think though that it is time for change and... a little more quiet at night being a bit further away from the rumbling freights.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Post 100

Well this is the 100th post on here, and sadly it is not as momentous as I had hoped. I have a ton to do in the next two weeks, and I feel like no matter how fast I move, it is not fast enough. There are boxes to pack and things to clean and put away. There is another place to walk through and clean as well. I also have the quilt to get done and a suit to lengthen. Classes need to be attended, choreography sessions need to be lead, and a dance performance for the studio also are all this week. There seems to be no end to the things I need to accomplish in two weeks before the Illinois trip. Add on top of it the sudden temperature shift around here from low 70's to the low 90's, it has been an interesting time already two days into this busy week. I think I have all the services ready to be switched over to the new place and ended at the current place. I keep telling myself this is not like the last move; this is two blocks, not across the country. I guess I need to attack this in little chunks, just like Mom always advises me. Off to tackle another quilt square.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Red Dahlias

I had a little time yesterday to take photos of the new hair flowers I have put together. I even got one set listed today on the Etsy Store. They are beautiful brick red dahlias that I think would look great either on stage or out on the town this spring and summer. I love their spiky petals that turn from red to yellow to a green at the inner most points.

Today is really busy. I have a lunch meeting today with a friend followed by tutoring at 826 Valencia. Then I am leading a choreography session at Ariellah's studio. Needless to say, not much is getting done on the quilt order today. I hope to get a ton done tomorrow while I tackle the laundry. I have no other plans to go out on Friday, so hopefully I can get this accomplished. I need to pack up all the stuff for my various trips today still, so I better hop to. It will be time to leave for SF before I know it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quick Update

I know that my blogging has been kind of sketchy this week, and there is a great reason for that. My husband and I have decided to move. We aren't moving far, in fact, we are still in the same neighborhood. Our lease at the current place was coming up, and we decided to take a look around to see what was out there. I am really glad we did. A place opened up in a building that is just right for us. The unit will allow the Fabulous Pants shop to have its own dedicated space. It will also have a nice office area for the husband to retreat to while the machines are in use on the weekends again. While I will miss our awesome view of the estuary waters and all the boats and wildlife on the water, I will be glad to be a bit further from the tracks and train noise. For the next few weeks, posts will be a bit small if they exist. I have gotten some good pictures of new hair flowers, two red sets and a light purple set, that I hope to edit tonight and will list them tomorrow, Friday, and Monday. Look here for the first pictures and announcement of their listings. I am also working on my Mom's quilt order. That work is going slow, and I am hoping to knock out a big chunk today since the machines will have to be packed up to move soon.

Needless to say, there is a lot of work to be done over the next two weeks. Mainly there is repacking to be done and cleaning of two apartments. Our movers show up on my birthday, so I guess my present this year is a new dedicated space for the shop. I can totally live with that! I will post pictures of the new space when it is all up and running.

A quick heads up on a shop closure. We will be out of town for a wedding and to visit family May 1st to the 7th, so any orders made during that time will not be shipped until Monday, May 11th. Look here and the fan page for more updates.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Radio Paradise, Tomatoes, and a Quilt

This weekend was rather interesting and action packed. I had the show down in Morgan Hill that I have been prepping for the last few weeks. After much agonizing over choreography and what I wanted artistically when I listened to the music, I settled on doing improv. I was somewhat happy with the result, but wished I could have done a bit better with my interpretation of the music. Everyone seemed to like it, but I had parts I would do differently. I guess that can almost always be said. I just wanted to write a quick thank you in here to Paloma and Devvvora for all the hard work they do setting up and arranging these shows. With out your hard work, none of this would happen! Thank you!

Today I decided that I wanted to turn off the television and get back to some music while I work around the house and on stuff for the shop. I really like to listen to Radio Paradise, but I do not like having to attach the laptop to the stereo. I used to use a Nokia 770 for this application, but as of a few months ago, ours got rather temperamental. I decided to give it a fresh go today, and to my surprise, I have my internet radio back! I could not be happier.

On a Aerogarden note, I finally have a few of the golden cherry tomatoes ready to be picked soon. The red tomato plant seems to have stalled out, but perhaps now that it is not competing with the lettuce plants for light, it may grow again. Who knows in this little science experiment. Here is a close up of the new tomatoes:

Today on the plate, I am going to work on making some new hair flowers and photographing them for listing tomorrow. I also have to make another of the play quilts for my mother.

She has placed an order for one for a baby shower gift. I had to run out to the store on Friday to get some more materials for another one. I made the first two out of the material I bought and the extra material. (I always seem to over buy for these things.)This time I had to get some different materials for the outer border fabrics, and I am going to have to substitute some other scraps for things like the bear's neck tie. I kept with the same style for the border, but it will look slightly different when I am done. I will take pictures of the new one when it is finished. I hope to have that out by the end of the week.

I am also hoping to get the final sorting of my magazines accomplished across this week while I watch television at night. I want to eliminate all the extra paper and space these take up, so I am pulling out only the articles I want from all of my years of magazines and recycling the rest of them. The other thing I would like to get done by the end of the week is a set or two of accent falls with cowrie shells. Hopefully I will get done with the magazines sooner rather than later and can move onto the falls.

Also today, some house cleaning..... I should quit procrastinating and get that done.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Become a Fan!

Just a quick posting today on a recent accomplishment I achieved. I have finished up, for the most part, my facebook fan page. If you would like to become a fan, head on over and sign up. I hope to keep you the most up to date on the blog here as well as on facebook. I will be posting specials to the fan page, so make sure you sign up to get the passwords and codes from me. If you are not on facebook, I will be setting up a quarterly e-mail newsletter in the future. Look for that announcement to come. Once again, thanks to everyone over the past year for the support you have given me. I would not be here if it weren't for you! Come on over and check out the new digs!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rainy Day Thoughts

It is raining here in the Bay, a delightful soft rain that makes the world seem clean and fresh. In the short time that I have lived in Oakland, the one thing that I miss often is the spring and summer storms of the Midwest. I love the clean feeling of a storm. I miss the power of thunder and lightning. I, however, don't miss the continual snow that seems to be going on this year. I am quite glad that the rain is here. As an avid allergy sufferer, the tree pollen was beginning to get to me, and the rain will help knock some of that out of the air. Rain also always comforts me when I have decisions to make, and a big one currently on my mind seems to be solved the more the rain falls today. I also love rain because it helps me focus. Lately I have not been able to get down to work on the double fans piece I am performing this weekend. The piece remains unfinished and unpracticed. I can see in my head what I would like to do with it, but I cannot seem to translate that into my body. Hopefully today, with the cleansing and renewing rain, I will finally be able to move past what is going on and settle in for some great choreography. I am also going to take a break today to make some new hairflowers for the shop. Look for them here and there in the coming days. For now, I am going to be content with the soft sounds of falling rain and know that good work will be accomplished today with the focus a rain shower brings me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Taxes and Shotgun Theatre

This weekend was full of activities; some planned, others not, and still others planned not happening. Saturday was a fun day of getting the house back up to running order for the next week after my Vegas trip. There were groceries to buy and some straightening to be done in the morning. We made a great lunch and dinner then went off to see Skylight by the Shotgun Players They did a wonderful job, and I really loved the play. The acting was wonderful and the set was amazing. They do great work over there, and I highly recommend anything that this group does. They even have their rendition of Beowulf opening just off of Broadway.

Sunday was filled with things we had to do but did not, mainly taxes. I worked a bit on the belt here and there and pondered my choreography that is no where near done. I also was able to make some stunning achievements in the realm of cooking. I tackled fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits for the first time. They really turned out well, and I am pretty proud of myself. Thanks Alton Brown! Today, choreography... that is all I am going to work on.... I promise. Speaking of which, I think I should get down to work.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cake and Choreography

I made a cake this week from scratch. I usually don't put in the effort on cakes for some reason like I do on other things. Lately, that has been bothering me. I have been trying to remove a majority of the premade and box foods in our diets, and I have been feeling much better about my cooking skills and food choices as of late. Part of my hunt for better food has involved looking through old issues of Cook's Illustrated that I have but never was able to cook out of due to time issues. I really love this magazine as it takes a more scientific method approach to cooking and improving recipes. In my searching through for a dessert this week, I found a recipe for applesauce cake found in their September and October issue from 2006. It was a little bit more work than a mix or packet, but the results were really that much better. I decided to take a page from Jane Brocket's Blog and take a picture of my cake on a fancy plate.

The china only gets used on special holidays, but I have to say that looking at cake on this dessert plate makes me think I should crack them out more often. China just makes everything look better.

Today I am going to work on jogging again and also hit the choreography. I have gotten mid way through the tough opening of the song and look forward to the free flowing part that I seem to have in my head already. I am excited and think today will be a very productive session, and hopefully, I did not just jinx myself! I am hoping to finally get the shirring foot to work this weekend. I am going to work on trouble shooting with Dan to see if he can figure out what I am doing wrong. He is a wonderful sounding board and usually finds the obvious things that I seem to always miss in these situations. I really want my skirt for the start of level 2 at Fat Chance Belly Dance next week. While I could have had this skirt done last week if I would have hand gathered it, I really want to learn to use my machines for these things. It will speed up any projects that are similar in the future. Here is to hoping for a successful day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hoping for Some Inspiration

My dance performance is coming up soon, and I need some inspiration. I am going to be doing double fan as shown in my practice picture above. I am dancing to a song by the Toids called Sleepless. It is really beautiful, and the back three fourths will be easy for me I think. As usual, I am having trouble with the opening. This is where I really begin to miss Bastet. She and I could always get a piece started. When one of us was stuck, the other always had a good idea. That was why I loved collaborating with her on Maelstrom. Well I guess this is going to be a short entry as I have to work on this choreography before I head out the door for a lunch meet-up and tutoring at 826. Hopefully I will have more tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Soaps That Look Good Enough to Eat

A few weeks ago, I was blogging about making my felt fortune cookie promotions for the shop. I would like to give a huge THANK YOU to Alison of Dirty Ass Soaps for handing them out for me at a craft fair in the Etsy bags! It is people like Alison that make Etsy such a fun community. I love her shop as well. She makes vegan friendly soaps that look like some definite non-vegan food items. I would have to say that soap makers like Alison are so inspiring. Her talent is unbelievable, and the items she makes are creative and so realistic that you will want to eat them. I would not advise eating the soap though! Check out her shop. Here is a mini of it:

Buy Handmade

Today I want to get some things in order around the house. I was so involved in the embroidery yesterday that I did not fully unpack. I am also hoping to get a major component of my choreography done for the show on the 11th. I also want to get jogging again, so I guess I am off for the gym.