Sew inspired (HA!) – Freehand

After seeing crafter girlpopcorn in this video on Threadbanger, I was inspired and got myself an embroidery & darning foot for my singer and some water soluble stabilizer. It came at the end of last week and decided to give it a quick try since the weekend was here. I am posting this in the hopes that once I get better with this, I can look back at this and see how far I’ve come. HA! At first I couldn’t figure out how to put the darn thing on! Once I realized that I would have to unscrew the shank that is on there now, I got a little nervous. I don’t like to unscrew things that I’m not familiar with! My manual also said I had to put the feed dogs down to do embroidery/free motion. I didn’t even know they went down! I didn’t know they were called feed dogs! LOL. Well, I still don’t really know if I put it on correctly as there is so much space between the foot and the sewing plate. I guess you need that much space in order to move the fabric around.

that’s a lot of space, dontcha think?

I pulled out some scrap sheets that I saved just for these practicing purposes. I decided to try and do Sienna’s name. I was so anxious, I spelled it wrong! HA!


I fiddled with the tension and realized the higher tension was not the way to go. I think this was somewhere between 5 and 7:


So I moved it lower to a 2. Yves’ name came out the best.


I thought it only fitting that I do Sienna’s name again but spelled correctly!


I certainly need a lot of practice with this and I’m guessing (hoping) the stabilizer will help. Hopefully my next post on this will be more successful!

To nap or not to nap…


So, ever since vacation at the shore, we’ve been trying to figure out Sienna’s nap schedule. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been trying to do away with her morning nap. I’ve been trying all these different times for the afternoon nap and this week have decided to try to get her down by 12:45 with limited success.  Actually on Monday, she was the one that wanted to go down at 12:45 by being a super cranky miss but at least she slept a good 2.5 hours. I tried to follow suit the rest of the week. We would do our errands or go to the park in the morning, get home and have a bottle and lunch and then I would put her down.  Most times she would fall asleep on the way back home, anyway between 11:15 and noon. Once she wakes up from this, she seems full of energy again as if 15 minutes was all she needed. I was thinking of pushing up her nap to between 11 and 11:30 (another mom also suggested this) but I don’t know if that schedule would work for us. Would I give her lunch before? Or lunch after? Sigh…I was wondering if I was overthinking this so today decided to go with the flow. She seemed tired this morning so I put her down a little before 9. I had a doctor’s appt. at 9:30 so when I left, I told my parents if she’s still awake by 9:40, take her out and go to the park or something. (The last few times I relented and put her down for a morning nap, she didn’t want to take an afternoon nap-I know that makes it 1 nap a day but I rather her sleep in the afternoon!) Well it turns out she did not stay down this morning. When I came back, we had lunch and so far, she is quiet in her room and I’m assuming she is sleeping at 1pm. Cross fingers!

On another note, here is a cute video I took of Sienna eating a nectarine. She’s really digging in! (I usually cut up the fruit into bite sized pieces for her)

Eating a nectarine from Lisa on Vimeo.

Five Guys & Otto


I met up with Joy and Pete for dinner Tuesday night. I don’t want to call it a band meeting since Tammy could not join us as they are on their first family vacation to Cape Cod. After throwing around some ideas about what to eat, we settled on Five Guys Burger & Fries. Was told it was similiar to In & Out/Fatburger although I was disappointed there wasn’t any onion ring offerings. I guess they can’t call it Five Guys Burger and Fries and Onion Rings? Well, I was quite pleased with my greasy burger and satisfied with my fries (I say satisfied because I did not eat them all and if they were fantastic, they would all be gone, no matter how big the portion was!)
(Pete prepares his area so neatly compared to me and Joy!)
We picked the Five Guys location on Bleeker and 7th because it was close to Grom, a gelato place from Italy that is supposedly fantastic. I was so excited to try it as I have never had any standout gelato since coming back from Italy in 2003. We sampled several different flavors including the mint, pistachio, Torrontino (italian nougat) and Stracciatella. We were all not impressed. I did enjoy the mint but not enough to spend almost $5 for a cup. Very disappointed! We were having a mini conference on what to do when Joy mentioned Otto‘s, on 8th Street and 5th Avenue. At first I did not recall the place but as we were walking over, I remembered! One of Mario Batali’s places and did remember reading that their gelato was really good. Excitement!
It seemed pretty crowded when we got there but noticed a sort of bar area with tables to stand up at. Pete asked the host if we could just get dessert and he said we can get served pretty fast at the bar area. Excitement! They had some insteresting gelato flavors and Joy heard the Olive Oil was pretty good. Can you imagine she was just going to get the one flavor? We convinced her to get at least another flavor and she let me pick the Balsamic Strawberry (it just seemed to be the right match.) I got the Peppermint Chocolate Chip, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate and Pete got the OLIVE OIL COPPETTA (OLIVE OIL GELATO, PASSIONFRUIT GRANITA, STRAWBERRIES, BASIL SYRUP, MALDON SEA SALT). It was delicious! Still not as good as I remembered in Italy but that can also be due to the fact that, hey, I was in freaking Italy! Joy and Pete got coffee as well and man, did it smell good! As much as I wanted to get a cup after smelling theirs, I was good! I had to sleep that night!
My three flavors!
Joy’s 2 flavors
Pete’s dolci
It’s funny how the dessert ending up costing the same amount as my dinner! Totally worth it! It’s times like these that will make me miss New York if we do decide to leave. But I’ll have to try their pizza before leaving!

Glass Etching!

Monday I went to craft night again at Etsy Labs. They were doing glass etching and thought it would be fun to do. I’m really glad Etsy Labs are doing these craft nights. It gives you a chance to try out crafts that you might have an interest in but am not sure you want to buy a whole bunch of supplies for! So I took one of my plain pint glasses and headed on over!

You use contact paper to make your design. I was too lazy to cut out a design in the middle of the contact paper so I cut out elements of a design so I had to cover the whole glass with the etching cream. I made a heart with a cut out M (the M wasn’t too bad to cut out) and then 3 bunny heads and some hearts. You plop on a thick layer of cream for 5 minutes and then rinse it off. Since I was doing my whole glass, I had to do each side separately. If you stand there too long, you really start to smell the cream and it stinks!!
The finished project! It only took an hour. The longest process was probably thinking of a design! If you look closely you can see the cream wasn’t put on very evenly. But I’m fine with that, it adds character! I tried to rush home in hopes to catching Sienna before she went to bed. I would have made it if I didn’t forget that I was on the B train (express) and missed my stop to transfer to the Q (local). DOH!



Saturday we took Sienna to the New York Aquarium. This was her first visit so we weren’t sure what her reaction would be. We were hoping she would get excited and amazed seeing all the fish and underwater life. She was more like ‘yeah, that’s cool. What’s next?’ or ‘I wanna run around!’ I guess she won’t be a marine biologist! HA! But she is still young. I can’t remember the last time I was there or if I ever even went there but it was relatively small. I actually got excited by the fish and seals and walrus sightings. I could have stayed a little longer than the hour and 20 minutes but I’m sure we’ll go back once Sienna is a little older. We wanted to get tacos for lunch but the taco stand I had in mind didn’t open for another 30 minutes when we got there. Sienna had fallen asleep so we didn’t really want to wait around. Instead we headed over to Golden Krust bakery for patties. She woke up when we got on the subway and tried hard dough bread for the first time. I’m not surprised that she liked it!

Sienna touching a big hermit crab!
We got Sienna a super soft stuffed turtle
Asleep at Golden Krust!
Enjoying Hard Dough bread

Dim Sum with Grandma


Wednesday me and Sienna had dim sum with my parents, my grandmother, my 2 aunts and uncle. They came into Brooklyn and we went to the same place we had gone to on my birthday. I think the name is East River? Or something like that, I forgot to take notice. I remember it because it’s in the old Saturn dealership building. Sienna had been cranky earlier in the week with not wanting to go down for naps and her molars coming in. She was her usual self at dim sum. The food tasted a little better than when we first went and seemed to be more variety. The place was totally packed, which is so surprising for a Wednesday!

Dim Sum with Grandma from Lisa on Vimeo.

I think it is totally cool that Sienna gets to meet her great grandmother! She was acting her usual shy self when Great Grandma came up to her. It’s a shame that I am not as close to my grandma and aunts as we could be. When I was younger, I want to say around 11 or 12 although I could be wrong on the age, my mother stopped associating with her parents and brother and sisters. The reason is still unknown to me to this day. No one would tell me why all ties were cut off. They did not start speaking again until maybe around 2000? It was right before me and Yves got married (as my aunts invited themselves to our Vegas wedding.) Our first dinner back into the family was held in Queens and pretty awkward. Some hellos and idle chit chat with my aunts and I’m not even sure I got hellos from my cousins. But whatever. I figured as more get togethers were held, the awkwardness would go away, I mean I’m not surprised. It had been years! They don’t know me and I don’t know them. I confess that I envisioned being able to finally have aunts to go shopping with or just to grab some food or just to bitch to about my mother. That never happened. And the awkwardness never went away. For the most part, dinners consisted of idle chit chat and then they would just converse amongst themselves. After awhile it seemed pointless to even attend these functions. We started turning them down more and more and accept just once in awhile to show ourselves. Which is such a shame really. I realize that my family is very private and that’s fine, it’s just too bad I’m not part of the family.

Hmph, well I don’t mean to be debbie downer, I kinda went off on a tangent a bit. Happy fun times will continue in the next post! HA!

Alone time


Last week I had a couple of hours of alone time, well, time without Sienna. Monday night was craft night at Etsy Labs and I was interested in going because it was a recipe slam where participants send in their favorite recipes and we make a little booklet out of it AND Sweet Tooth of the Tiger were co-sponsoring it. You know what a sweet tooth I have! I couldn’t resist their mini strawberry cupcake and peanut butter cupcake. Very rich (I was warned), a little too rich for even my sweet tooth. And since I did not have dinner yet, I ended up with a little tummy ache! Danielle taught us how to put the booklet together and I’m pretty sure I did this before but a refresher didn’t hurt. Everyone was nice and into their project and it went so quickly. They had another project afterwards (stenciling onto a tote bag) since it was so quick but my stomach demanded some food! And I knew there was a Golden Krust by the train! Yves was surprised I was home as early as I was and was jealous I had some patties but was glad I brought him some Ting!

Danielle showing us how to make our booklet as well as a live webcam (which of course I end up sitting right in front of so everyone in internet land got to see my pretty face! HA!)
My booklet!

Then Wednesday afternoon my parents watched Sienna while I went to have some lunch and browse Barnes and Noble on Court Street. I ended up having lunch at Layla Jones and got a chicken and goat cheese press sandwich. YUM! It was quite filling! After checking out the magazines and craft books, I decided to check out the newly opened Yogo Monster on Court Street. They had a grand opening special of free toppings! I was good and got fresh fruit with my blueberry and original flavor yogurt. It was good, better than pinkberry, which is a bit too bitter for me.lunchalongblog.jpgyogurtaloneblog.jpg

Celebration at Coney Island!


August marks the 4 year anniversary of the CD mix of the month group and we celebrated it in the daylight at Coney Island this past Saturday. What fun! Me, Robyn, Brenda, Alison, Carrie, Nuno, Alan and Gio were the attendees. Me and Robyn were the only ones brave enough to ride the Cyclone (Nuno was running late so he rode later). The Wonder Wheel was super (swingy) fun, the Freak show was goofy and not really so freaky (or maybe I’m just jaded?), the bumper cars were fun but I was disappointed Nuno couldn’t get on (the car he was in didn’t work and then all the cars filled up). There are more pics in my flickr here as I am too lazy to repost them here. I admit I was feeling a bit achy on the home later that afternoon but I would still do it again!


Playdate with Nico!

Today and Monday Sienna had a playdate with Nico. No pictures from today so these are from Monday.
This sequence cracked me up. There was an Elmo doll on the bench and we put them on the bench so we can take pictures of them. Top left: Sienna finds Elmo. Top right: Sienna shares Elmo with Nico. Bottom left: Sienna is chagrined, why did she give up Elmo? Bottom right: Oh Elmo, I’m sorry I left you! Nico: I’m outta here!

Sienna goes into the sprinklers. She never went into the sprinklers before, she usually would stand right outside the sprinklers and look at it. This time she went in. Starr said that Nico normally doesn’t get as wet as he did on Monday. We think they influenced each other. Notice in the next pictures that Sienna is wearing different bottoms. I thought she was done getting wet when I changed her. Clearly she wasn’t! At least I put her in water shoes.


Monday was also the 2nd day we tried the one nap a day schedule. It seemed to work out ok. After being at the playground almost 2 hours, Sienna was tired and fell asleep on the way home. Once home, we had lunch and then I put her down where she proceeded to stay awake for an hour before finally falling asleep and slept for 2 hours. Tuesday she surprised me by basically telling me she wanted a nap a little before 10am (she motioned up and then put her head on my shoulder, pointed and said go) Wednesday was also a 2 nap day. Today was a one nap day and showed signs of weariness by noon. I put her down after lunch around 12:45, checked on her half an hour later to see she was still awake (but quiet!) I told her nap time and I guess she fell asleep shortly after. So I guess I’ll just take each day as it comes.

A bunch of crafts!

I’ve been making stuff here and there and have not been good about posting them so here they are! Back in June I was obsessed with finding a nice headband pattern to crochet so I can wear it as a sweatband when I exercise. I printed out a whole bunch but did not get very far with a lot of them for one reason or another. I finally made this

I did have trouble with it because the pattern did not make sense to me. The creator of the pattern was kind enough to answer my questions on it but then never replied back when I had a follow up. I was told by a super knitter/crocheter from the craft meetup that I did it correctly and that the pattern was a little confusing! Whew! Not just me! I am also working on a blanket (starghan) for Sienna that is well on it’s way but I have not taken pics of it yet.

Yesterday I finished up the Year of the Pig t-shirt pillow. Most of Sienna’s old clothes were given away but there were a couple of things I didn’t want to part with, namely this year of the pig shirt. It’s a little lopsided but hey, I’m still a sewing novice. I realized after the fact that it would have been cuter and easier to keep it as a t-shirt and just sew up the openings. Oh well!

And last but not least, my Gocco projects. I finally relented and got a PG-11 that came the week after my birthday. I did not play with it until this past Sunday. It was quite humid on Sunday so I believe that made my original stick to the master. I was totally bummed about it. Questions posted to the yahoo and flickr group were made. It was suggested that I rub a little warm water to get the bits off. It worked!

I’m not totally happy with how it came out but since it’s the first print on my own machine, at least I got over the first print hurdle. Later in the week I made another one.
I ironed out some of the carbon in the printout before flashing the master and this time it didn’t stick! I tried 3 different types of paper with the lower right one embossed. It’s a little better technically but still not super thrilled. I’ll get there!

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