11–20 of 22 entries from the month of: October 2008


October 17th

canvas pouches -- pre Monogram

I sewed a bunch of zippered pouches last night. They have wildly colored zippers and even crazier colors inside.

Distressed stamped monogram

A few ended up monogrammed with a rubber stamp.


Of course there was a small problem with a clipped corner…

Zipper gone bad

Zipper fail.

Otherwise it felt really good to sit down for some creative time.

What are you working on?


Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art, Journal, June Cleaver
Comments (23)


October 17th

Nacho who?

If you haven’t seen Nacho Libre, it is my new favorite movie. I don’t know exactly what about it makes me laugh like a little kid, but it does the trick every single time. My friends were oh-so-confused by this when I subjected them to viewing it in the GOV (giant orange mini-van) on the way to Mexico last week. They were only laughing at me. A failed attempt at sharing a fave movie for sure.

Que lastima,
Nacha Libre

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Pre-Emptive Strikes

October 16th

Bowling league
Salty Senor works the lanes
The only shoes I'm willing to rent
That's an 8 pound ball

Are you absolutely horrible at hobby you still love? For me, this is bowling. Poor Salty didn’t know what he was getting (or better yet, not getting) when he asked me to play in his bowling league last year. Matt and Rebecca regularly kick my butt, as does the 12-year-old who is often playing the neighboring lane. Last night I came in with a whopping 86, 81 and 111. You should have seen how delighted I was to break 100!
And yet? Still one of the most hilarious activities I have on my social calendar. Getting together with these three for a bit of pre-emptive striking is a trip.


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La Africa

October 15th

Sweet African rock

Just goes to show you, you can take the girl out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of the girl. Look what I found one morning walking along the beach in Mexico? I was looking down, listening to a podcast and enjoying the crisp morning weather when voila! Africa jumped out from the other rocks and caught my eye.

Africa en Mexico

Of course I turned around on the spot and carried that baby back to the condo to photograph my find. First I showed it to Jason to see if I was just crazy. But he looked at me and said, “Dude. That’s Africa.” Dude. It is!

Things making me happy this week:

~The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. What a weird, fun and great read.

~ October weather. Cool air, sleeping under quilts, walking to work and not arriving sweaty. Pumpkins everywhere. If we had trees, the leaves would be falling. (Okay, Phoenix has a few trees, but they aren’t natives.)

~Gangplank. I attended the lunch meeting today on sales and it was great. Nice work Aaron! I look forward to future events. Plus, it was really fun to finally put faces to the avatars I’ve chatted with on Twitter. Weird meeting virtual friends in person. This is a crazy, techie world we live in and it made me uncharacteristically bashful.

~ Fostering a pup. I’ve decided to foster a great dane. The peeps from the rescue agency are coming by this week for the interview, which means the Aussie and I need to do some housecleaning, STAT.

~ Spending quite a bit of time thinking of my future professional plans. I’ve got some big ideas I’m working on and hope to develop. Do you think Macy’s needs a linen’s designer? Hmm…

Hope your week is also going well,

Posted in
Faith, Goals, Happy Hippie, Journal, Uncategorized
Comments (13)


October 14th

I took a friend to see a lawyer yesterday. About a decade ago, when she was a small girl and far too young to know what poor decisions were being made on her behalf, her parents left Mexico and drove the family to the United States illegally. They settled in Arizona, found odd jobs, raised their young family, and she was enrolled in the public schools. Her lack of American citizenship became her problem when she received scholarships for college. She couldn’t claim the funds; she didn’t have a Social Security number. Instead, she now attends a small private university paying for course by course out of pocket. She pays out of state tuition even though she’s lived here nearly her entire life. She works like you wouldn’t believe to help her family, manage her coursework and avoid ever drawing even a wink of attention from anyone in uniform.

Living in Phoenix, and having lived in Mexico, every side of illegal immigration seems incredibly ugly and miserable. Whether you are the poor rural Mexican family paying a coyote to shuffle you through hundreds of miles of hot desert, only to land in a drop house in a Phoenix suburb where you are enrolled in indentured servitude to pay off the smuggling fees, or the American families who pretend not to notice nearly everyone cooking their food, mowing their lawns, washing their cars are brown skinned and being paid under the table — the system is broken. Arizona schools are overwhelmed. Our hospitals cannot handle the emergency room cases, where non-citizens know they will always receive care. Our public services are feeling the strain of many who don’t pitch for their portion of the bill. It makes me sad the economy of Mexico isn’t strong enough to provide ample opportunities to their people. However, their corrupt government has made one bad economic decision after the other and when officials began distributing pamphlets for safe-desert crossing, I nearly lost my mind. Bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility at its worst! Governments should stand up for their citizens and work to make their countries stronger, not encourage their people to move to other lands to work illegally.

It took quite a bit of convincing on my part to even get M before the lawyer yesterday afternoon. I’m not sure if she knew before then that her parents had made a series of decisions that would forever influence her life, or if it was just sinking in when sitting across from a great immigration attorney in a fancy conference room, we heard the bad news.
She’s got few options as an illegal immigrant in the United States and even fewer considering one of her parents is now a legal resident. Family nonsense aside, this is the story of a sweet, smart young woman who simply wants to finish college and live the American life she’s loved for the last 20 years. She was brought here as a child, but is being punished as an adult. The attorney was blunt: don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t go near the border. Avoid cities with large immigration check points — namely southern California. Oh, and if you can swing it, marry an American. He specifically warned her against marrying anyone with a green card or residency permit. He must be a citizen, otherwise she’d more than likely be deported to Mexico for at least 10 years as a punishment and then could apply for a visa to live with her husband in the US. No bother that she doesn’t have anyone to return to in Mexico. She’s the baby. Everyone else is here and well settled.

M’s story is that of countless illegal immigrants living in the US. I’m not sure about amnesty, but I am certain that immigration reform is absolutely necessary. Living in a border state, having friends on both sides of the issue, it is crucial our leaders sit down and discuss openly how to create some solutions to this huge problem. With the recent economic craziness, issues like immigration reform get tossed aside in the national debate. I hope our next president does make immigration a top priority. While I am not sure how to make any of this better, I know the children who are brought to the US only to become hard-working, adults with character deserve better than a boot back to their home countries.

I wasn’t sure yesterday what smarted more — my pink, sunburned skin itching underneath my dress from the recent Mexican beach time (ironic?), or listening to the lawyer tell M to consider marrying and having babies to stay in the country. She is 21, bright and has so much she wants to do professionally. There simply must be another way.


Posted in
Arizona, Community, Journal, Politico
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Chanchito and the Stretchy Pants

October 12th

Nacho libre anyone?
Ray o Sting

Yep, Mexico was fabuloso. From introducing my friends to Nacho Libre and hearing them use “chanchito” throughout the weekend, to eating thoughtful, wonderful meals, to swimming in the ocean and screaming in delight at each wave — this was the best Mexico trip yet. We danced, watched movies, played bocce, rummy, Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase, drank mojitos, margaritas, Dr Pepper and Mexican sugar cane Coca Cola. We ate flour, corn and whole wheat tortillas, ate green tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, bufalo salsa and a shot of hot sauce or two too. We rocked everything from skimpy bikinis to stretchy pants with style only acceptable on the beaches of Puerto Penasco. We swam, dove, laughed until our sides hurt and made fun of each and every one of our insecurities. By this afternoon we were ready to get away from each other and yet, I’m certain we’ll soon be talking about the 09 reservations.

She'd later regret that shot of tequila
Not Starbucks but...

I love Mexico. I love time with my friends. This was just the best trip I’ve taken in a very long time.
My head hurts, my skin is a wee bit pink but mostly just tan, and my heart is happy. This was exactly the trip I needed and I can’t wait to get back to the gym, work, and the American routine in the morning.

Group Shot
Bed head

Buenas noches amigos,

Posted in
Journal, Travel
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Nido Means Nest en Espanol

October 8th

Japanese frenchy

A friend in email this week asked me if I am nesting. I’ve never considered the fact that I love to cook, sew, knit, garden, etc… is my psyche’s way of saying, “NEST!” I figured it was more my brain’s way of saying, “Martha. God, I love that crafty bitch. She can do anything! Be more like her.” Either way, I’m back in full domestic-mode, including cooking up a feast for my Mexican get-away, finishing up some additional Frenchy Bags {pattern review: Brilliant. Amy continues to rock it!} sewing up some zippered pouches and stamping Fall stationery. There was also a bit of road trip activity planning: I rented Nacho Libre, got some new and old board games packed (Apples To Apples, SkipBo) and have a knitting project packed.

Slouchy Frenchy

I love this Mexico trip more than I can explain. We do absolutely nothing that is remarkable, and that in itself is what’s remarkable. I grew up with these six girls and if there is one word that describes each of us perfectly it is: overachiever. Or perhaps: hyper. To get us (and the better halves) in one place, on one beach for four days of nothing? Unbelieveable. Our Blackberries don’t work. We don’t have the Internet. We don’t have to worry about Petite Ya Yas and the furry four-legged children left behind. The only thing we think about is who has the pitcher of margaritas and is it time to put on another bikini? Plus, as you can imagine after the loss of Judy last week and the funeral this weekend, we all need a breather. We need time to sit, talk and just be with each other.

We take turns cooking meals and I’m sure will spend a time or two on the mechanical bull and Manny’s happy hour. I’ve been thinking of and planning for this trip for more than a year. I simply cannot wait to leave tomorrow. I am so glad we are still going; there was some question last week whether or not it would be appropriate to go, but once we all got together we realized we needed the escape. Everyone is still mourning, but at least we can go and be together. One of the beauties of living in Phoenix is we are just four hours from Mexico or 6 from Los Angeles. When you really need a salty beach get-away, it is easily within reach.

Three Frenchies resting on the couch
The Next  Sewing Project
Ebay, I love you.
Fall stationery gifts

So, if you see a crazy polka dot bikini girl running around the beach in Mexico this weekend (who only wishes she’d ordered the boobs with the suit), with an icy refreshment in one hand and a pair of knitting needles in the other, you know it could only by my goofy ass. I’m certain to return with a hangover, sunburn and belly full of guacamole. Here’s to hoping we find some healing hidden among the shells on the beach too. Hasta luego!


Posted in
Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Journal, Travel
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Jars of Renewal: Pumpkin Style

October 6th

Jars of Renewal: the perfect October project

Wondering what to do with all those pumpkin seeds coming out of your jack-o-lantern? May I make a suggestion, including using up a few more of those jars we’re recycling? Wash and dry the seeds {handy instructions} and then consider throwing them into a batch of granola. Pumpkin seeds are high in protein and you are keeping them out of the trash, or compost, by enjoying them toasted instead.

Jars of Renewal: the perfect October project
Jars of Renewal: the perfect October project
Jars of Renewal: the perfect October project

This is my go-to granola recipe.
I simply substituted the coconut and craisins for the pumpkin seeds and a dash of pumpkin pie spice. Voila — a fabulous snack that has my coworkers and neighbors skipping this week. {Alrighty, it may be the cooler weather we’ve been dreaming about for months and not the granola, but still. Lots of skipping, smiling, and thanking the weather Gods in Phoenix this week!}

Jars of Renewal: the perfect October project


Posted in
Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk, Recipes, Reuse
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Weekend Wonder

October 5th

Frenchy Bag #1
Frenchy, newspaper edition
Enchilada chicken
Ready for the enchiladas
red chicken enchiladas
Red chicken enchiladas, ready for the oven
Pumpkin chocolate chip cake
Chocolate cake for Matt

{First Frenchy bag completed — Black, White and Red all over, journalist style; stewed crockpot chicken and cheese for the red enchiladas — post-funeral food, pumpkin chocolate chip cake for friends, chocolate chip bundt cake for Mattador. Just because.}


Posted in
Domestic Art, Journal, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk
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Previously Scheduled Programming

October 3rd

Fall French #2
Fall Frenchy #1
Fall Frenchy #3

Today I’m grateful for:

~My family and friends. In particular, I am very thankful for my family’s health. I think with loss, you can’t help but personalize and wonder, “What if that was my mom/sister/best friend?” I often let petty baloney make a mess of my relationship with my mom. In truth, she is the most important woman in my life and I couldn’t love her more. The things we don’t like about each other are the things we don’t like about ourselves. I am so thankful she is my mom, and even more grateful I have time to work on me. I can, and will, be better to her.

~ My faith. There is nothing that gets my head clear, my heart back at the right beat and my soul right like spending time in prayer. This week has provided ample opportunity. I always wonder what atheists think of the Holy Spirit? When I sit in meditation, I can’t help but feel the presence. I wonder if those who don’t believe in a faith feel this and ever wonder? Or if they read this kind of stuff and just roll their eyes. {I’m certain my brother is in that latter category. Hi Cody!}

~ Me time. I’m guilty of regularly overextending myself and giving less than 100% to the myriad of projects on my list. This week I’ve been saying no more often. It feels a bit strange to tell friends and colleagues that I can’t commit, but change is good. I had an invitation last night to attend the symphony. Instead, I curled up with a class of great red wine and my sewing box. I needed a break from debates, financial blabber, fancy clothes, etc. I just wanted to be at home in a t-shirt and sweats, eating a healthy dinner, listening to my iPod and sewing. I am so glad I listened to what I needed. I’m guilty of retreating when I am blue. This week I know I’m going to be hiding more than socializing.

~ This community. You’ve been incredibly supportive this week in particular. Please know how much it means to me. Thank you for your kind comments and email. I am forever thankful for these many friendships!


Posted in
Domestic Art, Journal, June Cleaver
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