Thursday, January 25, 2007

New timewaster

Check out my library
You can have one too.

Thanks Nik!


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Two extremes

I just had the most gluttonous birthday weekend (#31!) in two very different settings. On Friday we had dinner at Savona in Gulph Mills (a suburb of Philly). The food was great, the service was perfect, etc. But it was way overpriced (especially the wine), and we were the youngest couple there by probably 30 years. Kinda stuffy. Afterwards R. and I agreed that "atmosphere" and "french-speaking staff" were factored into the bill. We had a great time, but there are so many other reasonably priced places nearby serving wonderful food minus the attitude! Two of my favorites: Citrus and Django.
Last night we cooked in... fresh fetuccine with mushrooms and tomato cream sauce (note: if you decide to make this one, you can cut way down on the cream and it's still quite good) and an herb salad with toasted walnuts, apples and goat cheese.

My original plan was to make sticky toffee pudding for dessert, but R. talked me out of it since we were both stuffed, it was pretty late already and we had Memoirs of a Geisha to watch (verdict: 3/5 stars).
At one point my brother and sister-in-law stopped by with my gift:

It's a stunned red blood cell and a malaria parasite! I'm not sure I've mentioned it here before but my dissertation research is on malaria. I can't resist pointing out that this is a gametocyte (extracellular sexual stage parasite); the asexual stages are the ones that infect RBCs and are associated with disease. Anyway, these are from Giant Microbes. I think T. brucei is also really realistic looking.

I made another bag in between chopping and stirring last night. This one has a tab instead of a fold, because I forgot to cut out the fold part and was too lazy to do so once I started sewing. I think I like it... what do you guys think?

My friend Karissa has a big exam coming up this week, I think I'll give this to her as a good luck gift.
OK, time to work... hope everyone had a great weekend!

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

version 2

This is closer to what I wanted:

I changed the size/shape, added interfacing, and squared off the flap. I'm still having trouble with the right side, and I obviously need a lesson in patchwork placement, but it's getting there!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

# 3

I really like these little wallets, so today I tried to make a prototype of my own:

I think I have the general concept down, although there is something bad and puckery happening on the sides where the flap meets. Also, I think the shape of the flap needs to be less oval and more squared-off. Next I'm going to:
1. Make a smaller, more rectangular one
2. Make one out of wool (like this?) or linen
3. Try a stencil using this method
In other news, R. is camping, so I pretty much have the weekend to myself. I really meant to work on yet another presentation I have coming up (Immune evasion mechanisms of Hepatitis C virus-blah) but alas, I am still in my pj's and my main concern at the moment is what I'm going to make for dinner. Spicy peanut chicken? Beet and walnut salad with goat cheese? Can't decide.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tentative 2007 to do list

In no particular order:

1. Re- introduce myself to pilates and yoga
2. Make a skirt from the Built by Wendy book
3. Figure out how to make a little snap bag (like this one)
4. Take more walks
5. Cook dinner more often
6. Make myself a soft hat and scarf to match my orange coat
7. Re-read The Red Tent (possibly my favorite book of all time)
8. Clean out the extra bedroom closet and get rid of clothes I don't wear
9. Re-vamp my wardrobe
10. Join the co-op near our apartment
11. Visit the dentist
12. Start a new journal
13. Maintain my date book so I can look back on 2007 once it's 2008
14. Plan our SF trip in June
15. Work on this
16. Make a quilt
17. Take more photos (and put some on flickr)
18. Cut down on my refined sugar intake
19. Start saving $$ for another european trip or Lake Louise
20. Speaking of saving $$, I need to be better about saving for taxes this year!

Looking this over I realize that many of the goals I've listed are things I enjoyed very much in 2005 and that 2006 has somehow passed in a school-related haze. And that makes me kind of sad. And a little panicky because I can't remember exactly what I've been doing for the last 365 days, other than... lab work and a large trip to Italy in June. So I guess in 2007 I'd like to figure out a way to balance academia with craft, activity, loose organization, friends/family, and travel.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

We have just returned from yet another successful New Year's Eve spent with The Lipcans in New York. We ate too much, drank too much and laughed a lot.

On Sunday night we decided on surf and turf: sesame tuna, filet, spicy shrimp, steamed brussels sprouts, and arugula simmered in buttermilk. Topped off with ultra rich molten chocolate babycakes and LaLoo's vanilla snowflake goat milk ice cream. Mmmm....... so good.

We also visited The Met, which was great because it was my first time there. But we'll have to plan another trip since we barely scratched the surface and hardly had any time to check out our original destination.

And I also admired Elaine's Totoro collection.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.
What are your resolutions for 2007?