Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maker Fair Shenanigans

Ah, good times at Maker Fair this weekend. This was my third time to go (twice in San Mateo, once in Austin) and there is a good amount of repetition between years (high altitude kites, those Monkeylectric rims I covet, the Lego league members desperately trying to ignore those tall-for-their-age 8-year-old boys reaching over the guard rail to cover Legometropolis in stickiness), but I still enjoyed wandering around and taking in the sights.
Who am I kidding, the real highlight was that I finally got to ride one of Cyclecide's crazy bike rides. Claire and I became one with the pedal-powered ferris wheel of sorts.

Also pretty tremendous, I saw (heard? The place was seething with stolid giants) the OK Go show, where they all submerged themselves in water. Fishtanks on the heads of members playing non-submersible instruments... 
and a mobile watersuit for that dream of a lead singer.   

Quite the concerted effort to liberate him from that blobby contraption after the show.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Folsom:0, me: 1ish!

Yes! The trip to Folsom was more or less a success. It was completely a success in that I got there right as Chris John was getting off work, so Huzzah for me! Around 27 miles in two hours and five minutes, here is the recap.
I could not find my lil' bike pump, so I took off with all the other listed items from last post and some chapstick. I figured that in the worst case scenario, I would have to walk a fair amount and call someone to pick me up or find a bus route that would suit my needs. I took off at 3pm because I lost  a fair amount of time looking for that rascal of a bike pump. By that time, I had been running around in my helmet for ~1/2 hour, loathing it the whole time but fulling expecting to leave the house any second.
For those unfamiliar with the American River Bike Trail, it is nothing short of lovely.
It is well paved and more or less flat with some gentle rolls that would not ever be called hills. When I first heard about it, I thought it was some gravel path perilously close to sheer drops into the American River. It is like I was living on a different planet back then, or I was just simple.
These pictures give you an idea of how pleasant it is. The river is off to your right in this shot, there is a healthy amount of tree cover for most of the trail, and some crazy looking birds with yardstick long tails and urban squirrels who were tired of the rat race at the Capitol. Wild turkeys too. 
Previously, the farthest I had been on the ARBT was to Sac State with Chris. This is me, a fire in my belly from covering new ground!
For most of today's ride, I was as regal as a sack of cement in my bike saddle--I could not tell you why I was sitting so un-pretty, but I'm sure I'll feel it much more intensely in the morning.
By the way, the river looks freakin' wonderful right now. I repeatedly considered taking a tumble into it, in spite of the beautiful mid-60's weather. 
Looking a little worse for wear somewhere around 15 miles (in skinny leg jeans, I might add). No, I'm not drunk, you can tell because both of my eyes are open.
Things were straight wonderful until I got to where the ARBT ends and where the Folsom Bike Trails are supposed to pick up. Here is a shot across the five lane highway where Folsom Bike Trails were supposed to make an appearance.
WTF, Folsom? Anyhow, it took a little bit of resolve to bounce back from that, I got my adrenaline levels amped up by biking on Hazel and Iron Point on a scabby looking shoulder with the occasional faded bike emblem chipping away from the pavement. It actually wasn't that bad except for the first part when I was acclimating to being off the trail. It was like being in detox, very scary and painful. But after that, it wasn't too bad except for the terror of knowing that most of the drivers overtook me without seeing me at all. 
I made it to Intel, though. Glory days!
Chris gave me a ride home (he drove in case of any emergencies with my bike plans) and we went to Moxie to celebrate me living through my mission. :)
Now I only have to log about 18 more miles on the May is Bike Month site to meet my goal of 100 miles!


Yes, I'm aware that "Folsom" is not typically followed with "!" unless it was proceeded by "Get me out of--", but this is still exciting for me. I'm going to bike to Folsom today after my COG time to meet up with Chris and then...come directly back home. This is monumental because I've never biked this far before (~25 miles) and, well, I've never biked that far.
Things I'm going to take on this trek

  1. patch kit, complete with wrench and small bike pump
  2. helmet
  3. camera
  4. water!
  5. snack-ums (sugar snap peas and an orange?)
  6. cell phone
  7. bike map (I hope to find one at the COG this morning)
Did I forget something? Tell me before I leave around 2 this afternoon!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Canada/USPS:0 Me: a powerful score of 1!

Awesome! Incredibly stoked right now!
You see, last week I purchased some Echino fabric on etsy from a Canadian seller since no other shops were carrying the lion design I fancy. I found the fabric, fell in love, asked for a special listing, then was saddened to learn the seller was Canadian because that meant I had a two-three week delay in shopping gratification because shipping from Canada takes FOREVER! Seriously, I'm not exaggerating, it takes two-three weeks. So when Timber, Olive, and I encountered a package this afternoon, I assumed it was Chris's dorky Latin book which he ordered from Amazon. But no, what is this?!
My fabric came in! Way earlier than expected! Yes!
The double-weight gauze lion is supposed to be used for a shoulder bag...for me. Yes, I will finally make myself a bag. I've been thinking about it for far too long. I will need to put considerable forethought into this to make sure the lion is prominently displayed. I will also need to reinforce the bejeezus out of it, this fabric is like putting your face into a pile of puppies (you should really try that). I might have to select a different purpose for it, so soft. Hrm. 
And this is supposed to become a bag for Cate's birthday. I need to pre-treat the fabric and start running on this one. This is a nice home-dec weight fabric, quite sturdy.
The fabric's hasty arrival also means that I won't have to buy other fabric from Sew Mama Sew (15% off sale right now) for Cate's satchel. To the laundromat tomorrow!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Last day at Vet Med!

Well, this is exciting! Today is my last day at the VMTH, after three and a half years of working here. Timber and I are here for the last time, at least in the capacity of employee with (former) blood donor dog, and we are leaving some parting gifts.
(one candy box is bigger because it coincides with a birthday)
Yes, dishtowels from Thelma! I got these back in November and I told myself (and anyone who would listen), "I'm going to give these to the girls when I quit Vet Med." Six months later, I'm finally going through with it.
Adios, Vet Med!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book: A New Hope

As I recover from Sunday's embarrassing, completely uncalled for bike accident, I have been trying to organize all of my upcoming projects and ideas. Last week I received a boon from Michelle in the form of our mother's 1970 edition of the 1961 Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book, an item that survived one house fire or another from the looks of the spine. 

This is exciting not only because of the book's history, but it is also my first technique-based book. I have a few project-based books, most notably Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing, and I have balked at acquiring more books of the like because it seemed limiting. This sewing book, however, compiles alteration tips and problem solving techniques alongside chapters devoted to special fabrics and recommendations on which fabrics are good for which projects.

I look forward to reading it cover to cover, in spite of the spiral binding's separation (curse you, Better Homes!). I feel like that would probably be a better approach than waiting until I screw up and then seeing what I should have done.

The first project I have in mind which uses this book's knowledge involves a dress I was thinking of making for Brian and Vanesa's wedding, or possibly Claire and Nick's summer "this isn't a wedding" event. I was likely going to use Simplicity 2588 again, though with a full skirt, without sleeves, and hopefully without the mini-hunchback bubble my plaid dress suffered. I want to use the chapter on alterations to fix that hunchback bubble, and the chapter on interfacing to line the dress since the pattern doesn't make any mention of lining. Oh, and it will be in Amy Butler's martini in green fabric.
image courtesy of Cotton Candie Fabric
I will continue to ignore that pile of shirts I mean to alter. I will ignore them for some time, until they magically disappear. Or until Chris alters them for me, wouldn't that be a dream?