28 December 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas. I'm still in Missouri, half grateful that I didn't have a flight cancelled because of the snow storm in NYC and half sad that I am missing all that snow (we only had a skiff of snow here).
Our Christmas table was red and green all over. My mom has a collection of vintage tableclothes and great Christmas tree dishes. We topped each place setting off with a personalized sugar cookie.

No Christmas is complete without cookies- chocolate crinkles, peanut butter blossoms, seven layer (minus one), pecan tassies, and fudge pictured below. We also had chocolate chip, sugar cookies, and peanut butter fudge as well as pecan and pumpkin pie.

22 December 2010

Christmas card

What did I use the red thread for? My Christmas cards of course. And since I can't send one to all of you-


The idea came organically enough starting with another project I'm working on and this stamp I purchased awhile back to play around with, but never used much. I thought thread would be perfect because well I don't own a hole punch, but I have lots of needles.

20 December 2010

O Christmas tree

Everyone knows about the Rockefeller Christmas tree, but there are magical trees all around town. There are trees running down the center of Park Ave, Bryant Park, each outer borough neighborhood and most office building lobbies (mine has three! one made from poinsettias). I turned a corner last Sunday and saw this one in the courtyard of the Bloomberg Tower.

19 December 2010

Apartment rehab

The new apartment blessed me with this awesome antique sink. Two big sinks and a neat cover for the one side, but no cabinet underneath.... nothing underneath. If there is a theme to the apartment it is "no cabinets" thankfully however there is a big pantry and a decent closet. Back to the rehab. So I need every storage space I can get and under the sink I had put cleaning supplies and my stash of potholders (hey Santa!), towels, and dishrags.

A few years ago... at least three or four... my mom gave me her old living room curtains to figure out a new use for up till now they had been living in my "craft container" (some people have rooms, I have a container). As these were already hemmed all I had to do was cut them in half and hang them up. I used this sophisticated hanging method called "duck tape" its working for now. Any suggestions on a more permanent fix?


18 December 2010

Apartment rehab

If you've spoken to me lately you know that I moved into an older apartment, which means more character and ehhhh more challenges.

Once the apartment was painted my target was set on the medicine cabinet. I've spared you the pre cleaning photos. Lets just say that a few items were left behind and there were shelf liners covered in something. I had bought some contact paper at Target to replace the shelf lining in the pantry so I decided to use it in the medicine cabinet as well.



Now I'm not afraid to put my stuff inside and it makes me smile every time I reach for my toothpaste.

14 December 2010

M&J Trimming

Why did it take me so long? I've seen this store many times as its not that far from my office. And I was directed to go shopping here back in my shoemaking phase, but never made it. Monday after work I was in need of red thread and knew most of the garment district stores would be closed so I headed over to M&J Trimming. So much to look at! They were getting ready to close so I found some thread and checked out, but I'll have to go back and explore. The store is mostly trimmings (as the name implies) but also had great sewing odds and ends that I can't seem to find around the city.

The store
The thread

Everyone will have to wait to see what I did with the thread... at least until the post man makes some deliveries.

11 December 2010

Holly Jolly Hectic Holiday

Sorry I have disappeared for a bit. But after Thanksgiving I had to move. Yes my third move in four years, sigh. Anyways I got internet back today! In between the packing and moving and unpacking I've taken some time to enjoy the season.

Last Saturday (as I was suppose to be packing) I went over to Martha's offices for their craft show. I attended last year and had a fabulous time. After a short wait inside the building my friend and I found several items to take home. This year there was a line outside the building wrapping around and all the way up the block! Since I had already rode two trains and walked to 10th Ave I got in line. The wind was blowing of the Hudson something fierce and it wasn't till 45 minutes later that I entered the building. Then I waited in a line upstairs for another 10 minutes. It might have been the long wait or my frozen toes, but I didn't find anything to buy. There were tons of amazing things just some were the same as last year and many were priced more as art than craft.

While I was waiting to get in. Those fabulous chandeliers were tinsel.
The good thing about working in Times Square is you are close to Bryant Park. For a few weeks they had the skating rink and shops up and it was still pretty warm so I enjoyed lunch while watching luckier people skate. Now its turned colder, but it is still a lovely area to stroll.

Kate Spade set up a pop up store in Bryant Park. I entered a raffle, but alas they haven't called. (side story- I told my friend that Kate is from Kansas City, MO he starts chatting up a sales lady and mentions that Kate is from KCMO she had no idea, but countered with Kate's husband's brother is David Spade... lame)
The rink, the tree, the library
This morning I took part in the Jingle Bell Jog in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. I was so nervous I was going to be cold. Luckily my new shirt and the weather pulled through. I also hadn't been running a lot lately and had never ran 4 miles straight. But I guess all my moving and going up and down and up and down stairs prepared me well as I was able to run the entire way and was a few minutes under my goal time. There were tons of people there... tons... and it was very festive. Many people had reindeer ears or santa hats and we all had jingle bells for our shoes. The ringing was pretty dramatic at the beginning of the race, but I didn't notice it later on (too focused on finishing).

Shirt and bells

29 November 2010

Forest of magazine trees

As promised we folded trees... and glittered trees... creating a forest

Gretchen loved hanging out in the forest.

28 November 2010

Thanksgiving table

My mom purchased a ton of mini pumpkins to use as place cards for Thanksgiving dinner. I used card stock, decorative scissors, a hole punch, regular scissors, a calligraphy pen and autumn colored yarn to create the tags.

A bowl of squash and indian corn created the centerpiece

The table with all the fixings

26 November 2010

Window dressings

I love the city decorated for Christmas, but this being my fourth season in the city I've noticed many of the big decorations don't change from year to year. Still pretty, but not as magical. Solution? Window Displays. The window displays change every year and are always elaborate. My favorites every year include Bergdorf's, Saks', Bloomingdale's and of course Macy's. Today I noticed Saks still had their's covered, but not Bergdorf.

Bergdorf is always good for a little quirk and a lot of style.

I loved the bright colors, lights, and type style

Along fifth the seemed to be Unusual trips using unusual forms of transportation...
this one is nautical
"Merry Happy" to all

25 November 2010

How do you decorate your tree?

Pull out the scaffolding? Ladders? 5 miles of lights? Swarovski crystal star?

Rockefeller tree putting on the glitz

23 November 2010

Let there be light

Remember this scene from Sex and the City? They are smelling perfumes in a fancy department store. The store? Takashimaya. An upscale Japanese department store that had been located on 5th avenue since 1958. Well the store shut down this year and what should replace a fancy, expensive, elegant department store on 5th Avenue?


image via

It has been replaced by:

Story is they only have a 6 month lease for now...

22 November 2010

Magazine trees

It has become a tradition in my family to do a craft project at holiday gatherings. After we chow down on delicious food and clean the table we pull out the supplies and make a simple craft, for example:

Christmas sock snowmen
Thanksgiving tree limb reindeer
Easter painted flower pots

I suggested that for this year for Thanksgiving we make magazine trees. I've seen these all around throughout the years, but most recently I saw them on Martha. And that is where I got the instructions for mine.

I decided to do a test run. I decided this the day after I did a great magazine purge so the only magazine I had handy was Elle. Now for those of you that don't read Elle, it is a rather thick magazine (300+ pages). So lesson learned- start with a thinner magazine if you want to finish sometime this year.

It took me a week or too of stopping and starting, but I finally finished... I wasn't the neatest and will try to be more consistent next time around. I adapted the instructions a little. On the third fold I didn't tuck and you can't tell. I don't have spray paint or glitter here either (or anywhere to spray paint) so I'm keeping this tree au naturale.

Check back after Thanksgiving... we might make a forest.

21 November 2010


I admit I was a bit of a TOMS holdout. I would see and admire them on other people's feet on the subway and I liked the company's mission (in short- buy a pair of shoes and they give a pair to a child in need), but I thought they were a little pricey for canvas shoes (even two pairs).

That was until I saw these:

Five days later they arrived at my door. A little tight at first they quickly loosened up and they (and my feet) survived my trip to Target in Harlem. They came with a flag (to take a picture with and post on their website) and a sticker.

PS- TOMS is short for tomorrows (buy a pair today they give a pair tomorrow)

17 November 2010


It is true I like musicals and it is also true that I like the movie elf. So a friend and I went to check out the new Broadway musical "elf". I realize it is not yet Thanksgiving, but the ticket prices went way up after Thanksgiving so I allowed myself to celebrate the Christmas season a little early.

Outside the theater
The show starts in santa's workshop and the elves outfits are great fun in lots of different bright colors. Buddy quickly learns he's human and heads to NYC. The next part before intermission was full of corny NYC centric jokes and so-so song and dance.

The musical might be better for people that haven't seen the movie because I kept waiting for three signature scenes from the movie that never came. Also the songs from the movie weren't used (i.e., baby its cold outside and santa clause is coming to town) instead they have made up songs... like buddy makes them up... on the spot... However the overall storyline is the same and many lines and scenes are carried over.

At the time I was much more satisfied with the second half. Now I can't place why. I think the songs were better, bigger dance scenes, and they went back to the north pole with those great elf costumes.

13 November 2010

Falling for Fall

Today was an absolutely amazing day. After weeks of below normal temps today was a no jacket type of day. Clear skies and fall leaves.

around my hood

I've neglected my park lately... so I visited today, drank coffee, knitted, and waved at the circle line cruise as it passed by.

My park

07 November 2010

NYC Marathon

I had this brilliant idea to live blog the marathon... then I ran into some issues:
1. I still can't figure out how to mobile blog pictures....
2. You can't take your eyes away for the street for any amount of time or you miss things & people
So for your pleasure I sent three mobile text blurbs... I hope you enjoyed them :)
Now for some pictures!
For the second year in a row I watched from Long Island City. I like this vantage point as it's near my apartment, it's not very crowded, it's the halfway point, and most people still look pretty fresh.
Welcome to Queens
Elite women
Elite men
Some really fast men
Heading to the 59th street bridge
The masses
PS- I am terrible at finding runners. I had four friends running and two fake friends, Al Roker and Meredith Vieria (from the Today show), that I was watching for. How many did I see? Only one! after he spotted me first and yelled my name... I would practice up for next year, but I'm not sure how.
Elite men halfway at 1:07
Elite women halfway at 1:18
Bagel and hot chocolate in hand, i'm watching the wheeled marathoners are making their way past long island city

31 October 2010

High flying zip lining

Like I said, I went on a canopy tour. They are pretty popular in Costa Rica so I thought I had to give it a try. Being the off season I got my own personalized tour with two guides, one to throw me and one to catch me. Also one of the guides loved using my camera and took tons of pictures and a few videos. The first is of me and the second one he took while cruising on the zip line.

btw- I think they thought I wasn't having fun as I was making serious faces the entire time... I was just trying to do it right and not fall of off the trees... success!

30 October 2010

Driving the dirt roads

So I didn't knit much this last week nor was I doing any fun fall New York activities as I was in Costa Rica. My friend and I booked the trip way back in June (I think?), but didn't have any specifics on where we would be going or what we actually would be doing until we arrived in San Jose. Well we did know that we had a rental car and hotel rooms (but not where these rooms were). The more timid traveler or OCD personality would not of faired well, but we are both chill so it worked out great.

We went in off season so things were cheaper, roads were emptier, and the trees were greener (thanks to the rain-a-day). We had a great time.... a few highlights.

Zip-lining through the cloud forest
Relaxing on an almost empty completely beautiful beach
Hiking and learning about the cloud forest in Monteverde
Swimming at the foot of Volcan Arenal
and sleeping in some of the most fabulous accommodations ever

17 October 2010

Knitted cowl

Just finished my cowl knitted in the round. This was fun to knit as it was a different pattern; full of yarn overs, knit togethers, and slips.

Nice and warm and out of the way

Halloween decor in Brooklyn

I walked around some neighborhoods in Brooklyn with a friend on Saturday. She's looking to move back to the city (yea!) and wanted to see if Carroll Gardens area would be a good fit. The neighborhood is great with old buildings and lots of trees, but I really enjoyed all the stoops decorated for Halloween.

Two of my favorites: