11–20 of 27 entries from the month of: April 2008

Hippie Baby Couture

April 19th

ikea 013
ikea 015
bias edge, pillowcase dress
Thrifted pillowcase detail
Pillowcase dress #1.
Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art, Journal, June Cleaver, Reuse
Comments (20)

Run Right By, Won’t You?

April 18th

I cannot sprint like a Kenyan, but I can swim with the best of Arizona brats who grew up in fancy swim clubs. Last night’s race was a fun reminder of why I wish the swimming came last.

Let me paint the scene:
Me and 100 other folk waiting for the start of a two-lap swim around a Tempe Town Lake course. The other 99 (most with wet suits) are in the water. Me at the starting dock with my toes in waiting for the horn to start the race. I dive, I find my place in the pack, I emerge 20 minutes later or so in the first 20 or so folk. The advantage of not wearing a wet suit is apparent as I throw on my tennis shoes and sunglasses and take off. Soon enough I’m cruising through the out-and-back 1.8 mile course when I hear a set of feet behind me. A dude cruises by. Then another. Then another. Then it is a torrent of slower swimmers who’ve caught the hare and are flying past me in their fancy, sprinty, Kenyan ways.
I finished mid-pack and was pleased as punch; I swam and ran as hard as I could. I was so tired at the end I nearly puked, and considering these races provide some of the best male eye-candy in town, I’m really glad I didn’t. Instead, I pulled myself together and went out with a group for post-race happy hour.
Yet when I woke up this morning with two swollen pink eyes, I had to wonder if the dip in the city lake was worth the infection. It was a lot of fun but I am not going to be a happy camper if this morphs into another $50 spent on antibiotic drops for these wimpy peepers of mine.

Next up: Tri for the Cure on Sunday. It’s a sprint tri I’m doing as a relay with a couple girlfriends. And guess what? I’m doing the run. Thankfully I can hide behind a pair of sunglasses if necessary.

Happy weekend!


Posted in
Clutz McGee, Get Fit, Journal, Triathlon
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Chevroleg, 2.0

April 17th

once filled with junk in my trunk (ha! no really, a tire iron and the such)

Take one $.99 Ikea bag, a bit of canvas for the lining, a square of cotton for the front key pocket, some yellow thread and voila: le Chevroleg, 2.0.

My new signature pose, apparently
inside pocket and velcro goodness
inside pocket
Wrapped up with leftover handle

For Salty. Next sewing project: girl’s dresses made from pillowcases. Have you heard of this?


P.S. I’m doing my first Splash and Dash tonight. I’m a bit nervous. You’d think by now I’d be comfortable swimming in Tempe Town Lake, but it still panics me a little. I did a 2.4 mile open water a couple weeks ago and once again I was one of two idiots without a wetsuit. I was so cold, I couldn’t get my breath under control for 1000 meters. Thankfully, tonight the race is just 1000 meters and then some running (hence the dash). And no, this idiot still doesn’t have a wetsuit. Oy. Full algae and hyperventilation report tomorrow.

Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art, Journal, Recycle, Reuse, Triathlon, Tutorial
Comments (25)

You Can Do It: Dreaming

April 17th

she's a bit excited, no?

Aimee and I have decided to go through You Can Do It one project at a time to challenge ourselves and learn a few new tricks. (And yes, I say it in that same voice too.) The book is deemed, “A merit badge handbook for grownup girls.” Pretty sure boys can play along too, but I like the notion of having a handbook for those of us who wish we were still in a Girl Scout troop.
(Although truth be told, I did not like my troop. The leader was miserable and the other girls weren’t so sweet. The only reason I stuck with it was camp. Night sky filled with stars, horses, canoes, crafts and being outdoors without my little brother under my feet for an entire week was pure joy.)

found for $8 at Changing Hands.

Project one in this girl’s guide is “Dare to Dream.” To earn your badge (a set of stickers in the back of the book), you should answer the following questions:

1. What have been the proudest moments in your life?
Graduating from college and seeing my family in the crowd, being inducted in the Peace Corps, visiting my brother for the first time in Colorado and seeing the life he’s created for himself, cooking Christmas dinner for my family.

2. What would you do if you won the lottery and money were no object?
I’d buy a beach house in Carlsbad, California and fill it with adopted children. I’d volunteer in the community, be an active mom and grow a kick ass garden. There would be lots of time to write those novels too. And a couple huge pound puppies running around.

3. What are the roads you didn’t take because at the time they seemed wrong to you, unfamiliar, too rocky, or just less traveled?
I didn’t stay in the PC when it became intolerable. I could have been stubborn to prove a point and I am so thankful I’ve finally realized it was a really good choice to come home.

4. What did you daydream about as a kid?
Camp. And the beach. And having my own family one day. There was a dream of being a Harvard lawyer too, but I think that was more due to lots of “LA Law” viewing with my folks and not so much a true desire.

5. What childhood pursuits or pastimes would you like to pick up again?

6. What makes you feel free, serene or full of nervous excitement?
In order: taking long, solo runs, being on the beach or in the mountains, blind dates.

7. What would your perfect day contain?
Exercise, family, friends, good food, time in prayer. And we might as well add a dash of Javier Bardem in there too.

8. List the women you most admire.
Lordie. The list is long. Eleanor Roosevelt is on there, and so is Martha Stewart, my mom, grandmas, girlfriends.

9. Are there dreams you are a bit embarrassed to admit?
Well, my latest dream is to own a small organic farm that helps provide supplies for my tiny bakery — where I am able to feed others and provide a pretty place for people to enjoy breakfast. With their dogs.

Aimee — did you make your list? Next up: “bust a move.” Oy vey, my two left feet are apparently going to take a dance class. This should be amusing.


Posted in
Goals, Good to Great, Journal, You Can!
Comments (23)


April 16th

peach pink wavies, blooms

For all my whining about not being able to go to Africa this summer, a good karma boomerang came flying my way to deliver a ticket and itinerary for a seven-week, six-country, three-continent adventure. It is a long story, but let’s just say I am the incredibly fortunate beneficiary of a great act of kindness.

My summer of travel starts late-May in Nicaragua, where I’ll work on a water project for several weeks. Then I have a 12-hour stop back home to swap luggage and laundry and grab another set of plane tickets. I’ll be off to London, Johannesburg, Blantyre, possibly Harare and eventually Beira. (US-Nicaragua-US-UK-South Africa-Malawi-Zimbabwe-Mozambique-South Africa-UK-US.)

Black star of fertility

Yep, I’m shaking I am so happy with the news. That sweet friend of mine who is working in Zambia will be meeting me in Mozambique for the last week too. I’ve got lots of work to do in both Nicaragua and Mozambique, but there is a fair amount of vacation mixed in too. I’ll be staying at a tea plantation in Malawi and hopefully seeing Victoria Falls. I’ll be working at the orphanage, walking the villages in Beira, working with an epidemiologist on the effectiveness of our malaria net projects, trying not to lose my cool at the sight of the hospital decay, etc.

drinking up the sunlight

I’ll get to check in and spend a good chunk of time with my friends Ken and Debby, who live in Mozambique on a cattle ranch. I crave time with this pair and needless to say, they live where the streets have no name. They don’t have electricity and laugh at the attempts I’ve made to get them to set up an email account in the city. There is no mail service in Mozambique. If it is truly an emergency, Ken can climb a hill, stand on a water tower and lean a certain direction to get cell reception. Frankly, booking a flight is about the most efficient way of catching up with the pair.

reminds me of a Georgia O'Keeffe

Debby can drink almost anyone under the table and Ken’s stories have this crazy former South-African military tint that make you wonder how he’s survived this long. I will be a wild time. And I know I’m a bit nuts to be so thrilled at the thought of another summer spent on the road, but the alternative is commuting 50 miles a day in the Phoenix heat.

orange, print

My love affair with Africa continues…

p.s. I know these Portland flower photos have nothing to do with Africa, but you can only post the cliche “kelli and the African kid” photo so many times before you make yourself sick.

Posted in
Africa, Journal, Public Health, Travel
Comments (31)

ChevroLEG Bag

April 15th


Inspiration: my eBay Timbuk2 bag I purchased a couple years ago and use daily for work.

The Chevroleg Bag

Recreation: the Chevroleg Bag — for a cyclist friend who needed a messenger bag.

Tiny key pocket, front panel

I used Ikea fabrics left over from my holiday man-bag project. I am considering adding grommets to the strap so it can be shorted by using a carabiner. Perhaps for round two, although I’m also considering using Ikea material for that one too — one of those giant blue heavy plastic shopping bags that cost $1.


p.s. I need to use my flash.

Posted in
Community, Domestic Art, Journal
Comments (20)

Portland in 12

April 14th

For April’s 12-of-12 Challenge, I was in Portland with one of my very best friends — Finny! We celebrated our annual girl’s weekend in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, enjoying the city mostly on foot and with a fork.

Fruit and yogurt from the Bistro Cafe

Breakfast at Bijou Cafe, where we sat, strangely enough, near Steve Kerr. St. Honore’s Bakery was my favorite breakfast find. The cranberry hazelnut rolls are heavenly.

Pretty Vogue Dress in the window at Josephine's

Josephine’s Dry Goods is as great as the reviews. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fabric district in Phoenix?

button emporium display

The Button Emporium didn’t disappoint either. Ribbon, trim and buttons of all sorts, lined up and beautifully displayed. You know you are on vacation with the right friend when you both jump at the sight of vintage trim/racks of Amy Butler fabric/organic fruit at a farmer’s market/a giant Banana Republic outlet.

Pretty colors of soft super wash

There was also yarn, but I was too distracted by this sweet little guy next dooor at The Happy Needle — a needlework shop:


NOODLE! Isn’t he sweet? Napping in the sun.


In the meantime, if I needed a sign I’d fit right in here, voila.

Donk and Fin take on Portland

We hit the farmer’s market, the Saturday Market, numerous fun restaurants (Oba, Manzana, Cha Taqueria, Everett Street Bistro) and took our rental Prius out to the country.

Rows and rows of colorful beauties

We took in the tulip festival at The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. It was a sea of beautiful color. I took more than 100 photos of flowers. (Note to self: less coffee, more restraint.)

This one looks like a hungry baby bird

This one reminds me of a hungry baby bird.

These are my favorite

Definitely my favorite tulips. They were all wavy and I appreciate aesthetically how the light green of the stem carries into the flower’s petals.

These fit

And they were only slightly too big.

Portland find --

My favorite purchase — a sandstone elephant from Zimbabwe courtesy of Swahili Imports in the Pearl District. Other purchases included fabric, trim, local wine for a future community dinner, pickled asparagus from the farmer’s market and I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a stack of new books from Powell’s sitting next to me. Powell’s really is my idea of heaven on earth; floors of used and new books, a great coffee shop, and magazine racks that flowith over.

We are a year off, and I’m already dreaming of the next Fin/Donk weekend. And not just because she introduced me to Haagen Dazs double chocolate chip while watching a Deadliest Catch marathon. (What? This isn’t your idea of a great Sunday night? Obviously you haven’t partied with us lately.) It was a great trip; I am such a lucky girl.


Posted in
Journal, Photography, Travel
Comments (32)

Can of Worms

April 14th

Ok — I took a brief vacation and things went a little nuts in blogland. Usually I respond to commenters, but I’m not touching all the conversation that has taken place in response to last week’s posts. I appreciate the chatter and thank you for your opinions. Obviously, many of us don’t agree. Regardless, thanks for letting me know how you feel.
One time-saving measure — if who I am is so mind-blowingly offensive, there are only 10 gazillion other blogs at last count. I’m certain there is someone out there who fits your sensibilities.


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Comments (24)

National Public Health Week: Community

April 10th

National Public Health Week: Community

Tonight I added the Valley Interfaith Project rally at Pilgrim Rest Church in downtown Phoenix. Crammed in the pews with 1,000 other folk of all faiths, we listened as religious and political leaders addressed Arizona’s immigration policy. Mayor Gordon spoke to Sheriff Joe’s illegal behavior. Two community leaders gave a pretty funny presentation about Russell Pearce — awarded human rights enemy #1 in the state. (He wants to prevent citizenship for children born to parents who are not citizens. The dude needs a hug. And a girlfriend. He’s obviously pretty miserable.) We stood, cheered, prayed and rallied in unison: the faith community of Phoenix wants improved immigration policies and human rights for all.
It was by far the coolest community event I’ve ever attended. I can’t wait to become more involved with this group.
Even though my family has moved, Phoenix really is my hood. I talk about moving away, but I do love it here, as a member of this big, crazy stuccoed city (even if we have too many golf courses and shopping malls.)


Posted in
Arizona, Faith, Journal, Public Health
Comments (22)

National Public Health Week: Craftiness

April 10th

April, week one, 2008 009

A stack of vintage linens found at a Boy Scout garage sale this weekend, including those flags I turned into bags.

This is where everything comes full circle. So, how can craftiness improve the public’s health? Well, a bit of creativity always helps when trying to use, eat, drive and waste less. Crafty — in a Beastie Boy use of the word — is a compliment to all folk who use their creativity for the betterment of humanity, not just to fulfill their own desires. They thrift to find materials instead of heading off to yet another big box store. They spend the extra 20 minutes waiting around the bus stop to use public transportation in lieu of driving their own car. They move closer to work to minimize the commute. They bring cloth bags to the market. They wear hand-me-down clothing with pride.

Boy Scout Garage Sale finds

These could have easily been thrown away, but thankfully they were at the sale. I used the disposible casserole to deliver that chicken pot pie. The jars I filled with sun tea and lemons and delivered to friends. The paper bags I’ll use for wrapping during the next year.

If we in the “developed” world use, eat, drive and waste less by instead looking at what we have and really need, we’ll improve our community’s health locally, nationally and globably. We’ll let less go into landfills. We’ll become less of a disposible culture. We’ll respect well-made products instead of cheap consumables. We’ll have cleaner air and rely less on oil from any country. We’ll eat until we’re statisfied instead of until we’re stuffed, know that taking food home in a doggie bag means spending less on food (and a bigger belt) tomorrow. We’ll have more money for organizations that matter to us. We’ll live simply so others can simply live.

April, week one, 2008 007

An Army bag that I’m going to use this summer, when — fingers crossed — I’ll be traveling through Africa. A new trip is brewing… All these items cost $4. I gave them $7 because that’s what I had in my wallet. I would have spent that on the jars and dish alone at the market!

Imagine if the United States was once again known for our philanthropy, geneorosity and creativity? That’s that land (and people) I love.


Posted in
Good to Great, Journal, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
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