Month: January 2014

an anniversary

Hi new blog theme!

The other day I realized that I have been blogging for a little more than a year. A whole year! That’s a long time for me to continue thinking that I am witty enough to spew my inane thoughts all over the internet.  While sometimes I feel guilty for not having the time, skills or cash (excuses: med school, med school, and ho boy, med school) to do loads of projects and make myself internet famous like so many of the craft blogs I adore, having this little chunk of WordPress has definitely helped me be more of a maker, and think about what I want to actually get out of all my making and blogging (besides more swants, of course).

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Sewing and knitting clothes for myself and others made me realize something: making clothes is hard.  What’s even more difficult is being a mindful consumer. So much of what I own is “fast fashion,” because that’s all I can afford. Global events (like the Dhaka building collapse) and then petty things close to home (cheap clothes fitting poorly and shredding themselves in the dryer) have made me less and less enthused about buying from big boxes. Even though I recently made some noise about not making any resolutions, this year I’d like to work on two things: clearing some of my stash (this goes for both fabric and yarn), and building a wearable handmade wardrobe.  I’m not sure if these two will contradict each other, but whatever, I’m giving it a shot.

My current plan is to follow the 3 out, 1 in 2014 challenge set up by a Bouquet of Buttons, which seems fairly realistic. Basically, my goal is to reduce both stashes to the point that David no longer notices them – because as far as I’m concerned, if he isn’t commenting on how much yarn I have then the stash is definitely a reasonable size.  As for the wardrobe planning, I’ve got a few resources: Bobbins and Whimsy is working on the same thing, and the Coletterie has just released  an interesting new series called the Wardrobe Architect.  Alsooooo, I was thinking about upgrading my sewing machine in order to sew knits (my current machine is very basic and does not really offer anything in the way of stretch stitches for knits, which is something I’d like to incorporate in this “wardrobe architecting” I am supposed to be doing).  The one I’ve got my Amazon eyeballs on is the Brother CS6000i (shoooo fansayy), but I feel like I should do a couple more projects on my basic Singer before I pull the trigger on this bad boy. Eeep! Big things ahead. I can’t wait (:

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cabin fever

I’ve reached the point in wintertime where I start to suffer from crippling cabin fever. Rather than run around outside to beat the overwhelming sense of nuttiness (too cold, too wet, too windy, too everything unpleasant), I’ve been staying inside and nesting. This means lots of half-finished projects and a huge mess (of course), but I do finally have something to show for my puttering: mini bulletin boards!

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I saw a photo for these somewhere in a magazine or on Pinterest and thought “how bad can it be?” The answer: not too terrible!  The only obnoxious part was the thin roll of corkboard I used. It was all Michaels had, and boy was it a poop to work with. So crumbly. Much swearing.

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I am excited that I can finally show off (and easily rotate) through my large collection of postcards that I have accrued over the years. This is all part of a larger project which I’ll hopefully finish (and blog about) soon! (I know – I’m sooooo exciting and suspenseful.)

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(not so) mean mugging

While David and I were at home over Christmas break, we had a family outing with my parents and sister to see The Hobbit (I forgot to bring the dwarf beard and I still haven’t forgiven myself), and then to glaze ceramic mugs at a local shop. Everyone got their own mug to decorate – myself, my mom and sister all chose a Harry Potter theme, while my dad did a Kokopelli mug and David’s took a turn for the gamer.

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David’s mug features the logo for his current favorite computer game, DayZ. He drew the design first on pencil and then painted it on. I think it looks super awesome.

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My mug, which is not quite so awesome as David’s, features a quote from Albus Dumbledore: “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”

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This was an awesome family activity, and considering how much coffee and tea David and I drink (respectively), it was seriously useful.

whoops.

I don’t share many medical school stories on this blog, for many reasons – HIPAA, they’re depressing or too gross to put on the internet, might jeopardize future employment, and most commonly, my life is actually too boring to discuss. But this one involves nothing humiliating for anyone but myself, and isn’t too gross, so I thought I’d share.

Today, we learned how to do the pelvic exam. Our “patients” were specially trained actors who also taught us how to do the exam. Regardless, I still felt pretty nervous. One of the key elements of the learning the exam is “talk before touch,” which is exactly what it sounds like. As I was going through this process, I very calmly informed the standardized patient that I would be inserting “two fingers into my vagina.”

I feel pretty confident in saying that when it comes to embarrassing myself in front of half-naked patients, I may have peaked early. But since my second favorite thing to do (after humiliating myself) is proving myself wrong, stay tuned.

the cat’s pajamas

(No CeeCee, don’t worry. I don’t mean pajamas for you – I mean cat pajamas for ME!)

Over the summer, Juanita sent me an amazing yard of fabric. When I opened up the package I chortled to myself and clutched it to my chest in glee.

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I immediately knew this would become a new pair of Colette bloomers.  (Actually, I had a brief moment where I changed my mind and thought about making a Sorbetto top (for wearing out in public), but David said that he thought pajamas would be a better choice. I wonder why.)

CeeCee approved of this project right from the start.

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Construction was really simple, but the skinny bits of elastic in the skinny elastic casings were a terror as usual. At least it’s finally over.

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worn with a cat t-shirt. no, i’m not obsessed or anything.

While we’re on the subject of the greatest pajamas ever created, I just wanted to take a picture of my favorite pair of pajama pants, made by my mom as a Christmas present for me 7 or 8 years ago.  Yes, those are cats. In kimonos. Playing instruments. It should be fairly understandable why I cherish these so much.

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2014 cometh

I’m back! Actually, I came back on Tuesday and life has just been a bit hectic. Costa Rica was lovely and warm and exciting and full of sloths.  Thanks to all the dermatology lectures that filled me with a paralyzing fear of melanoma, I used loads of sunscreen and I am not tan at all.

IMG_6953Coming back to Chicago was a bit of a shock, even though we just experienced the tail end of the miserable cold (albeit without winter jackets). I can only imagine how terrible the two days beforehand must have been. Even though I now pine for sunshine and shorts weather, it’s great to be home – I missed CeeCee and knitting very much over the course of the trip.

IMG_5605Right now I’m trying furiously to crank out David’s cardigan (still nowhere close to done), but I’m going through a sewing phase at the moment as well.  Then there’s that whole school thing. All the gynecologic cancers look the same.

Every year, I normally make myself huge lists of resolutions that span just about every facet of my life, complete with categories and sub-categories and measurable objectives for each goal. However, all this activity hasn’t given me much time to sit down and plan for/resolutionize the upcoming year, but I’m beginning to think that isn’t a bad thing.  This is going to be a weird year.  If I make it to May with my happiness, sanity, and career prospects intact (and then manage to not screw up clerkships too badly) it will be a good year indeed.  So I’ve just got a few big goals: build my discipline, remember what’s really important (read: knitting. Knitting is the most important), and to not complain too much.  Here goes.