11–20 of 20 entries from the month of: May 2007

Goodness Gracious

May 11th

mound o bags

Remember when I asked for goody bags for my upcoming trip to Africa? I had 1,400 responses. The Internet, apparently, is this crazy medium fueled by incredibly generous, amazing people. I couldn’t believe it. Neither could my postman.

my sanity is buried under there

The packages have been coming in steadily during the last two weeks, with more than 40 having arrived from all over the world. Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Europe, etc. It is simply startling and I’m beginning to get used to signing for packages, as if I’m some sort of business bigwig. Your letters to the orphans are really what get me. I had to stop reading because I began having a Pavlovian response when I’d get the mail: I’d see an envelope and start crying. (Fine at home, not so much at work.) You are one astounding group of people and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to thank you.

A kindergarden class sent 30 bags

These were sent in by a kindergarten class in Sugar Land, Texas. Children helping children. Ah, crap. I’m crying again.

Managing this project has been a bit more than I was expecting. Just getting the mail to my house requires driving most days — about 1000 yards — which is ridiculous. It takes an hour a day to go through all of the packages, record the sender’s information, recycle the boxes and sort the goody bags. The count as of yesterday (before four new boxes came in the mail) was 280 baggies. We are well into Bolivian territory at this point; I’ll be taking many of these Mozambican baggies to South America in the Fall instead.

boxes of baby beanies

Keep your Kleenex out — Kathie, from Mesa, Arizona (what a place-a), knit and crocheted more than 100 beanies for the baby orphanage. Can you imagine? They are so bright and beautiful. I know the director, Ana Paula, is going to flip.

{If you’ve sent a package and you haven’t heard from me, please shoot me an email. I’ve got several without return or email addresses.}

current state of studio craziness

Yep. This photo makes me twitch and want to put on a pair of yellow gloves, stat! I’ve got Geller instincts when it comes to cleaning and don’t handle disarray well. Thank goodness I’ve got the extra space to hide all of this!

From the bottom of my overwhelmed heart, thank you.

Posted in
Africa, CAOK, Journal, Travel
Comments (43)

A Helping Hand

May 9th

One of the beauties of blogging is creating new friendships all over the world with like-minded folk. One such blessing is my friend Jessica. She splits her time between New York and Brazil. I’ve followed her writing and adventures for quite some time. {She’s also an avid believer of eating a raw diet and is quite the inspiration.}

Jessica emailed me a couple of weeks ago to brainstorm ideas — public health, fundraising, creating sustainable programs that don’t just give a fish, but teach women to cast a line. After soon arriving in Brazil, she found herself surrounded by people who needed a helping hand. The brutal reality of poverty in South America was everywhere she looked. How to help?

In truth — this poverty can be seen in many, many countries. It can be found in inadequate housing, poor diets, lack of access to health care, bad water, no education, etc. This type of poverty pushes young girls into prepubescent marriage. It keeps children in fields working, instead of studying. It leads women into the sex trade to simply make ends meet. The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. It’s justice.

Jessica came up with a brilliant idea to help her friends in Brazil — friends you can read more about here. She is conducting a raffle to raise funds. This is one woman’s quest to make the world a better place, to improve the health and living standards of a community she cares about. I’m rallying around her and hope you will too. God knows we could all use a bit more justice.


Posted in
Journal, Public Health
Comments (11)

Today’s Forecast: Less Itchy, Much Happier

May 9th

on the mend

What a difference 24 hours can make when you get a good prescription!


Posted in
Comments (26)

That’s What You Get for Owning Designer Makeup. Love, the Universe

May 8th

I’m battling a wicked eye infection this week, which I thought was pink eye yesterday. Today? Not so sure. I have some lovely photos of my eyes that would make yours instantly burn with empathy. My biggest woe is that I’m going to have to throw away my $45 Christian Dior mascara, which was a gift that I’ve been using sparingly and loving. And of course, I used it Sunday just before the first symptoms glued my peepers shut.

{Waving my fist at the universe!}

Enough whining. While the antihistamines are still working and I’m not yet sleepy — some weekend sewing:

patchwork scarf
Jackie's patchwork scarf
ribbon detail

A scrappy scarf I whipped together for a girlfriend’s 63rd birthday Sunday. She’s traveling to Alaska this summer on vacation and I know she loves turquoise. I love using up my scraps and pairing turquoise with chocolate brown grosgrain ribbon. Voila — a bit of sass for her travels.


Posted in
Domestic Art, Journal, June Cleaver
Comments (22)

Now, to master the clasp…

May 7th

first necklace, turquoise
turquoise and red, full
turquoise and coral, cu
my crafty bead organization system


Posted in
Domestic Art, Journal
Comments (37)

1976 USSR Silver Medalist, Balance Beam

May 7th

olympic cupcakes

A few weeks ago I got an invitation to an Olympics party — a backyard fiesta featuring 11 events and prizes. Never one to miss a themed bash, I quickly RSVP’d for Boris and Svetlana, a Russian gymnastics pair who would be attending. Then the hunt was on to find a costume (note to self: next time consider something a little more basic, like track. Or swimming. Or something you already have the gear for. Really, Russian gymnastics?) and a Boris (Again, self, really. Finding a good date? Hard. Finding a man willing to dress up like a Russian gymnast? Nearly impossible.) However, I did find both and guess what? We had a great time. And we were in fact the only people at the party in costume. Boris even won a medal.
{By the way, I’ve found the best way to get a man to dress up for such an occasion is not to mention that you might be the only two in costume until you are pulling up to the house. Then mention the keg.}
Not only did I want to attend in style, but I also wanted to bring something sweet to add to the amazing dinner we were served. At happy hour on Friday, I was lamenting to friends that I didn’t know what to take, when one crafty gal suggested using pineapple rings and food dye to make an Olympic symbol.

secret ingredient to the cupcakes

A quick trip to the dollar store to buy a package of Kool Aid, a white cake mix and a can of pineapple rings and voila! For $3, I had a great dessert and gave myself a gold medal for frugality. And stealing someone else’s idea, in the true Olympic spirit.

rings, soaking
rings of glory

Hope your weekend was also a bit crafty and crazy!

Posted in
Domestic Art, Journal
Comments (22)

Gosh Darn It!

May 4th


Turquoise from Santa Fe, new beads from the shop down the street — a crafty weekend ahead.

Did you ever see the SNL skit featuring Stuart Smalley when he looks into a mirror and cheers himself on by repeating, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And gosh, darn it, people like me!?” The humor was in the guest hosts who were encouraged to parrot the same self-help mantra. Charles Barkley couldn’t get through it. Michael Jordan was nearly in tears. The audience was howling through both.
My family adopted this phrase and would repeat it anytime we were feeling blue or unmotivated — adding a bit of humor to lift our spirits.
I have been in a rather uncharacteristic crap mood all week. I fully blame the dead typhoid bugs swimming around system for putting me in a funk. Thankfully this morning I woke up feeling human and my normal, perky optimistic happy self.

A little in love with this bead

I am feeling empowered, in part, to sit up straight, smile and get going after my goals (like the beading) after a detour through cultural craziness yesterday. I sat down for a few minutes after running errands to watch a bit of television and zone out. Television anymore is frosting — totally unnecessary to my day, but occasionally a nice treat. I watched about five minutes of Rachael Ray before I decided that gosh darn it, my time is too important for this. Rachael was interviewing a mother who couldn’t control her 4-year-old daughter’s makeup habit.

{I’m going to pause here to let you re-read that last sentence. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.}

And I sat there and watched this nonsense for five minutes — like a passerby who just witnessed a horrible accident and is in shock. Ultimately, this segment should have been labeled: “Parenting 101 — teaching your children the word NO.” Or, “How to look like an ass on TV.” I’d like a time refund, please.

New beads

I was in traffic the other day when I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Those who know more need less.” When I fall off the vegetarian wagon, let it be face first into a juicy, seared petite filet. When we eat dark chocolate, let it be one perfect piece of Godiva. When we do sit down to watch television, let it be something wonderful and worthy. Because, gosh darn it, we are good enough.


Posted in
Domestic Art, Goals, Journal, Media
Comments (43)

In Stitches: May

May 2nd

Altar to the craft, love Gods

My Santa Fe purchases turned into a crafting/love altar. Who doesn’t need some good juju?

Dear Finny,
Howdy partner. Those are some pretty darn stylish chaps you’ve got on there. And by chaps, I mean lounge pants ala Butler. Can you believe how many great pairs of jammies our crafty group managed to whip up in April? I wish we could have a slumber party and take a giant group shot. Hee hee! Just imagine.
{You’d have to tell Bubba that alas, just like Santa Fe, no pillow fights or lingerie involved.}

Anyway, May. What to do? I’m thinking we bust out that cutesy apron. I’m going to add a couple of pockets so I can include it in the May/June Tie One On project because I’m fuel efficient that way.

What’s the theme? And who is our lovely April winner? And if that isn’t enough — what’s June’s project? Just kidding. You don’t have to tell me now, but I’m leaving this sew-along in your hands alone for the next few weeks until I’m home from Mozambique. So, you’ll have to pick the project and theme for June. I’ll bring you back some snazzy tribal fabric in return. Sound good?

Miss you Finny. I so wish we were back in Santa Fe sipping margaritas,

P.S. Did you see Britney performed in San Diego last night? I so wish I lived in your state. I would have paid $125 to see those 16 minutes of booty shaking craziness.

P.P.S. You are getting a Paper-Source in San Jose. The grand opening is June 2: 334 Santana Row. You know how you are in a new gardening shop? I have that same shop with fury spirit at this store. The closest one to me is Beverly Hills. Maybe Britney and I could schedule lunch there next month and I could kill two birds with one stone…

Posted in
Domestic Art, In Stitches Sew Along, Journal
Comments (17)

Why Yes, I Will Upgrade to the Waffle Cone

May 1st

Did you know when you make an appointment at the international travel desk at your local public health department, the clerk will fully laugh when your destination is Mozambique?
Thankfully, the nurse doesn’t laugh. She just ever-so-quietly lines up the immunizations and doesn’t bother to hide her “Why the hell?” look.
My afternoon went something like this:
Show up late to the county health department — my appointment coincidentally on the same day as a huge immigrant march through the same neighborhood — and meet clerk with brilliant comedic timing.
Clench fists and force a smile at said clerk. Pay $183 for shots that will not with 100% certainty protect my ass from infectious disease but with without fail make me 100% crabby.
Meet nurse, who is fairly pleasant and far too qualified for the crap she must deal with in this role.
Inhale and work on meditating: “Be thankful for the benefits of immunizations.”
Exhale. “Be thankful. Be thankful. Be thankful.”
Inhale, grimace, promising self ice cream after this is said and done: “Just breathe. Mint chocolate chip. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.”
Inhale, “Screw the breathing. Just get through this and we’ll get a double scoop.”

And yet, when it was all said and done? Still better than getting typhoid.

Posted in
Africa, Journal, Public Health, Travel
Comments (30)

Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

May 1st

lounge pants, round II

Another pair of lounge pants from Amy Butler’s In Stitches and another embroidered tank. This monkey, like the first, comes from Sublime Stitching. Although I’m a bit scared by this one. Hopefully the recipient — a birthday girl — isn’t.

monkey tank, round II
lime green ribbon drawstring
scary monkey
Monkey, round II, wrapped and ready to go
Posted in
Domestic Art, In Stitches Sew Along, June Cleaver
Comments (22)