Not Your Mama's Flute

Wow! Maybe I still have some band geek left in me, but I'm totally inspired by this guy. Tim and I have been "jamming" together on the flute and guitar, as one of our New Year's resolution, and I wanted to show him how the flute can be cool. So we looked up Ron Burgandy's flute solo on YouTube, which lead to a search for "Jazz Flute" and we found Dirko Juchem. 

Dirko, where can I learn to play the flute like that?!? And after that, I could take some lessons on videography ;). 

what's in a name?

There seems to be new press on my Church published daily. And understandable so, what with (up until recently) two high-profile members vying for the GOP presidential nomination. Some of you may have seen this cover not too long ago...I happened to spot it on the coffee table of a doctor's office waiting room. (I found the image here, her comment on the cover art is good for a chuckle.)

One of the senior execs on my team (who I don't directly assist and happens to be from New Zealand and is very boisterous--just to help paint the picture) plopped himself down in the chair next to me this morning and excitedly said, "I have just found out some wonderful news about you, and that is that you're a Mormon!" He went on to say that one of his clients is Zions Bank, a detail which I knew, and that he probably knows more about our faith than the average person AND that he teaches the high school aged Sunday School class at his church. He gave me a clipping from today's New York Times titled, "Why Evangelicals Don't Like Mormons."


It is the year of the dragon, but I was born in a sheep year...and here is my horoscope for 2012.

You are connecting to the dragon year quite well. Hence there will be luck for you, together with new projects and opportunities. New projects and opportunities are on the horizon. You will succeed in the fields of medicine, art and design. Your money signs are strong, and investments will do well. New sources of income are on their way. In general, your relationships will be good. An older man will help you. Pay attention to your digestive system. Eat healthily.
Highlights for people born in sheep years:

(specific to my birth year) Things you do tend to be ups and downs. Hence be conservative. If you are employed, stay put. If you are self-employed, do not expand.
Of course, there will always be new projects on my horizon. In fact, I'm hoping that my hubby will have time between classes this week to pick up a rocker/recliner that I saw at the thrift store on the local Army base that I am dying to reupholster. I even have the fabric already (I used it for the big pocket on the inside of my new shoulder bag).

As for everything else, it sounds pretty good to me. I don't even mind the warning to be conservative. Well, 2012, year of the dragon --  bring it on!


Apparently, I'm not the only one with the aforementioned dilemma that comes from looking sideways...while browsing Apartment Therapy, one of my favorite down-time, go-to blogs, I found this quote:
Reading through my favorite design blogs can create a sense of inferiority in even the most talented and ambitious homesteader. My online peers seem to be the most design-savvy, motivated and ingenious folks in the world--they have the prettiest homes, eat the most delicious food, wear the best outfits, and manage to blog about it regularly on their super stylish blog!
Hmph. Right? But also, as she says, you just have to remember to get real and remind yourself of what's really important. And sorry to say my friends, that it's not usually comparing ourselves to anyone but ourselves.

Look up

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2012 (and every year, let's be honest) is to increase the regularity with which I study the scriptures (and this year, I'm including the Ensign -- the monthly magazine circulation by my church).

I've started reading on my iPhone (the Gospel Library ap works well for me!) on the subway during my morning commute. It may not be the most ideal time-slash-place to study--it is loud, I'm standing or rather stumbling around half of the time, and the highlighting function on the touch screen is a little tempermental-- it's just the best time for my current phase of life.

Long introduction to the point of this post, this morning I read a few articles from this month's Ensign and this entry was particularly poignant and in-line with some things I've been thinking about lately.

video kick

I was just browsing Black Eiffle, listening to her Music Monday's and found this peppy number by Theme Park (click here for an encore). It's got me bouncing side to side in my chair, so I though I would pass it along.

Weather for I-Bankers

I got this internal email with the weather report and I was looking forward to getting an update, but was greatly disappointed. I guess this is how bankers analyze the weather. Trends, no specific forecasting of degrees or prediction of inches or type of precipitation, just "above", "below", "much above", "much below".

it's all about taste. and time.

I'm a huge fan of Ira Glass...and I love his quote on not quitting, but doing a lot of work to get through that beginning phase when nothing you create is really all that great...very inspiring. For anyone who is trying to start something creative or's all about taste and if you've got it, just hang in there and keep creating until your product is successful. When you work FULL TIME doing something else? Well, the time you have to do the work you really want to is short, so I imagine getting to that point takes even longer. So, patience my friend. Patience and persistence.


I just watched this and feel a bit inspired. Great harmonies.

Bumb Grab!

It may sound a little bit like what happens when a pregnant woman walks down the streets of New York City. Total strangers feel entitled to share in the joy of the upcoming birth and will pat the belly, or so I've been told... BUT is SO much more appealing and you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home to enjoy. is a NY-based company looking to bring quality, specialized  products (aka: fun stuff for parents, babies and expecting moms) for a deal. Once it's lauched, it will work a little like Groupon. will offer a daily deal featuring products offered by participating sellers at a discount--for customers only! Who doesn't love that??

A couple of girl friends of mine are the co-founders of and are about to launch their site. To celebrate, they are offering a couple fantastic giveaways. So head on over to their blog The Grab Divas, like them on Facebook (not sure if that link will work or not), and give them some love!

One Year!

One whole year ago today I made one of the best decisions of my life! 
Happy Anniversary, Babe! 

Christmas Crafts

I think I went a little crazy on the Christmas crafts this year. What else are you supposed to do when you have minimal decorations and no budget for them? 
Our tree was decked with paper and felt and a few Ikea ornaments that I've had for a few years. Tim called it our Valentines tree because it ended up having so many hearts and a lot of red. I can't help it if I've been drawn to the heart shape since birth. Blame my parents for naming me Charity. 

Felt Mistletoe. Copied from West Elm and a fraction of the cost. 

Felt Christmas trees. DIY from Barbara at I used piece of our real Douglas Fir for the bases. Tim cut and drilled them for me. 

It was definitely a handmade Christmas. I cross-stitched sibling gifts and one for my mom and Scott (mom, will you take a pic and send it to me? I forgot to snap one before I wrapped it up). 

And His & Hers stockings. I've never quilted before, so this was a little challenging. I really really wanted to do mine in a chevron pattern, so I found a tutorial and figured it out. The fabric is from Moda's Twelve Days of Christmas advent kit--I bought on eBay since it is impossible to find quilting fabric around here that isn't either outrageously priced or a minimum cut of 1 yard or both. No thank you. 

 I think I'm Christmas crafted out. I'm sure by next year come November I'll be ready to start all over again. 

Mary Poppins' Carpet Bag

 I've been wanting a new messenger bag for awhile. In DC I just used my Marmot waist pack that has an over-the-shoulder strap, but it just doesn't quite seem classy enough for el manzana grande.  One can get away with being a little more out-doorsy down there. However, this new bag needed to fit a few requirements: 1) lighter weight than leather, 2) big enough to hold commuting essentials + lunch + gym cloths when necessary, and 3) be inexpensive--I didn't want to blow a whole month's fun money on a bag. Read on for my solution.

Some day I will have a craft room where my lovelies can stay out all the time. Until then, the straight stitch lives under an extra dining room chair in the corner and the serger lives in my closet. Per the Captain's request, they can only come out while I'm working on a project and have to be put away at the end of the day, whether or not the project is finished. I have come to appreciate this rule, since I seem to always be working on a project and it is nice to see our table top every now and then.

I'm sorry I didn't start taking pictures until I was well into this project. The guy at Dayton Trimming (oh gloriousness) cut almost a full extra yard of the green webbing I chose for the strap, so I decided to stitch it down all the way around the bottom of the bag. I figure it will give extra support since the strap will not be pulling directly on the fabric this way. 

I've been looking for the right fabric for months and finally found this fabulous brocade at a new-to-me shop here in Brooklyn--Fulton Fabrics. I also purchased 2 yards of another fabric that I ended up using for one of the interior pockets and will save the rest for another idea. I purchase the contrasting fabric at Bay Ridge's only fabric store from their $.50 barrel (same place I found some fantastic red velvet that I used for our Christmas stockings). One day, I will turn my projects into DIY tutorials, but for now I'll just explain what the photos are of. 

I basically made two identical bag bodies, one for the exterior and one for the lining (though I did end up cutting the lining a bit shorter so that the exterior fabric rolls down around the edge, you can kind of see this on the photo of the zipper tail). I ironed on fusible interfacing to the lining, cut out the size pockets I wanted, ironed interfacing to those and then top stitched them in place to the lining. After I had already sewn the pockets and zipper in, which was quite a lot of fun to figure out--using a bag from Banana Republic that I've had for years as a model--I put the two bags right sides together and serged around the mouth of the bag, leaving about 8 inches unsewn so I could easily turn it right side out (see above).  

You can see the opening that is ready to be pressed and top-stitched. 

The zipper tail, which will be tucked into the bag. Don't look too close, my machine doesn't do so well with a lot of layers. it zips near the top, but I attached the strap so that the whole top folds over, making it somewhat expandable. 

A look inside. Finally, I'll have enough space to commute without having to tote multiple bags. There is one big pocket on the left and the pocket on the right is stitched into three compartments, measured to fit my phone and other necessities like my metro card and security pass for work. 

Don't judge my outfit or the dishes on the counter in the background. I'm home with a nasty sinus thing today. One productive sick day for the year gone. Now it's time for a nap.