Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A little Free Form

Often I'm intimidated when starting a new project. Will it turn out? Will it be pretty? I rarely work from my own drawings, and mostly depend on patterns. I decided to take a different approach on this project, and be impulsive for once. I drew no lines, and only flipped through my embroidery books for inspiration. It gave me a good chance to try some new stitches without worrying if they fit into whatever pattern I'm using. So for your viewing pleasure...
I particularly liked this part with an altered feather stitch.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I worked on this dish towel on the train last weekend.  It's a Christmas present, and I think it turned out quite nicely.  I hope he likes it!  The little blue lines will wash away when I get around to washing this.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My new discovery

I've been toting around reading material, because I'm regularly the first person to class, and I get bored on the bus etc.  Reading was working really well, until I began reading a great big thick book of Louisa May Alcott's short stories.  This book is huge.  Really too heavy to add to my already over-filled backpack.  I needed something else.  You know what is fun, portable, light, and starts conversations?  Embroidery projects!  So I've been getting a lot of embroidery done.  Here's what I worked on yesterday during the super-Saturday orchestra rehearsal...
It's a handkercheif!  I'm doing the entire scalloped edge by hand, and then I'm going to add a monogram!  Then I will have my own personal handkercheif for those 18th chentury moments.  And Timm(ie), tomorrow I'm posting the thing I made you for Christmas, so if you don't want to ruin the surprise, don't check.  Or, you can just pretend to be surprised in December :).

Monday, October 20, 2008


Today I did laundry.  I miss the on campus laundry rooms, where I rarely saw another human being, and didn't have to worry about someone stealing my clothes, and it only cost me $1.50 to do a whole load of laundry!  Now it costs me $1.75 just to wash a load at the laundromat next door which is noisy, and full of people.  Then I have to dry my clothes (another $.75 at least) and lug it back to my apartment.  It is unpleasant.  I wish I had a clothesline...

Good Lord Timm[ie].  That's all I have to say.  Nice to see you found me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Taking the train!

Today I am on my way to visit my little brother across the state! Instead of driving, I decided to take the train! Of course, the train doesn't come to Santa Cruz, so I have to take a bus and the train. I don't like the buses well as the train, but it's definitely better for the environment so I'll deal with it. Riding the train is my favorite way to travel. I love the sound of the wheels and the gentle rock back and forth. I'll probably get an embroidery project done too. I hope.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I spent last night embroidering this octopus into the breast pocket of my dad's shirt. He had an ink stain in the bottom of the pocket, so it looks like this poor little guy inked himself. Teehee. Poor little octopus is embarrassed. It's alright octopus, we forgive you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How hot are we?

I got back from class today about 7:30 and my apartment was sweltering!  I live on top of a pizza parlour with great big, single pane, sounth facing windows.  Between the sun and the pizzza oven under my bedroom the apartment gets toasty.  I can't wait till winter when I'll appreciate the warmth.  Until then, we keep all the windows open hoping the breeze will pick up again for just a few minutes...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I bought two ghost shrimp recently to keep the fishies company.  They are soo tiny!  Hopefully they will keep the bottoms of the tanks a little cleaner, so the fish will be happier living in a bowl.  At least it will be a clean bowl.  I put the bigger one in the tank with the adult fish, and the smaller one in the bowl with the babies.  I am as of yet undecided on names for them.  Any suggestions?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Found some Pictures.

I used my camera yesterday, and found some photographs from last Christmas!  Check out these Christmas cookies!
And the little brother enjoying a Christmas Cookie! Isn't he cute?

Teehee, love you Kenneth!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Mask for Class or The Most Pointless Asignment Ever

So my theater history professor asked us to make a mask and bring it to class. I made this one! I had a lot of fun doing it, and really there's a lot to be said about an open ended project like that. What might it say about someone who goes all out and makes a feathery cat mask vs. someone who burns holes in a paper plate? But to my dismay I got to class and the teacher literally gave no opportunity for discussion. We all admired each others' masks, and that was it! We could have talked about how it changes your perspective when wearing a mask, or how masks effected theater's development or SOMETHING! But no. We saw some pictures of famous masks, looked at ours, and left. Masks are clearly an integral part of theater, but making one didn't bring any extra understanding. Pointless. At least I got a chance to practice some stitches I hadn't used before. Do you see that beautiful line of lavender feather stitch? I've never had feather stitch turn out well for me, but this time it did. I was so proud.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No Pizza?

I got home late last night. I was working on homework in the library after orchestra. It made me lonely and hungry. Unfortunately by the time I got home (9:20) Lucy had already eaten. I am so tired of the leftovers we have in the fridge. I feel like I've been eating the same food for a week. It was Tuesday, so why don't I just go downstairs for all you can eat pizza? I grabbed a book to read and headed downstairs! I don't like eating at restaurants by myself usually, but I figured it was ok since I was 1) getting my money's worth and 2) I lived upstairs. But when I got down I was denied my heart's only desire! All you can eat pizza only goes till 9. It made me very sad. Now I'm procrastinating on a paper, so I apologize if this isn't the most interesting post ever. I'd rather be writing uninteresting things here than observant, well thought out stuff about Mozart.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dancing Dina!

I went dancing! Huzzah!

I cannot express to you how fantastic is was to get back out on the dance floor. Monday nights is ballroom dancing at the East Field house here at UCSC, Wednesday is swing, and Sunday is tango! I would love to learn to Tango! I think I smile more during the two hours I dance than the rest of the week. I am already looking forward to Wednesday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Survived the first Week

Tomorrow begins week two of Fall quarter. I survived the first week.

I spent last night at my high school watching the FUHSD Band Exhibition. It was fun, but a little irritating listening to the new parents say all the stupid rude things that new parents say. Word to the wise, never say anything negative about any youth band or sports team or dance team or anything at a public venue. You never know who is sitting next to you. Could be that ugly girl's mom, or the out of tune trumpet player's best friend. all you'll do is give your school a bad name for being negative. My band director drilled into our skulls that we were never to say anything negative about any other band ever. I noticed that while I watched, if I only said positive things, then I noticed the positive things more. When I focused on what the band was doing well, or the neat creative things that had a lot of potential, I enjoyed watching more.

The other thing that bothered me was that my alma mater (the smallest band at the exhibition) performed right next to the largest band there (who also happened to be our rival high school *sigh*). It's easy to sound good when you have 150 people out on the field and you use canned sound effects. It definately made my poor little band sound wimpy. Oh well, that's life. Sometimes I miss marching band... but I'll be glad to go to orchestra on Tuesday where people actually play dynamics and at least attempt to play in tune!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

First Day of Orchestra

Today was the first rehearsal for orchestra this year. We're doing Carmina burana by Carl Orff with the voice program. It's going to be quite the spectacle.

I'm playing the Eb clarinet part, and oh goodness is that thing hard to tune. It's itty bitty, and hard to control, and really really out of tune. But it's going to be fun. I enjoy playing with the orchestra more than most other things in my life. It's definitely one of my favorite things ever. It's pizza night! Mmmmmmm Pizza....

Monday, September 29, 2008


I woke up this morning and leisurely made breakfast, fed the fish, took a shower, and watered the... WHAT?!?! What is that? Oh my goodness, there is a bright orange flower in my planter! Someone left me a flower! How cool is that? Completely made my morning. That is all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Five minutes to chocolate cake?!?

OMG... I saw this and tried it, and although the cake isn't what you'd call gormet it is acceptable chocolate cake and even very good with a glass of milk. The best part is it took all of five minutes! In the microwave! You can too!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Today was full of adventure! Lucy, Robert and I packed a picnic lunch (baguette, artichoke dip, dried mango, and sparkling pomegranate juice served in champagne flutes) and walked over to Natural Bridges State Park. Instead of walking the usual way we shortcut through a school. It made me a little nervous. How did we know it would actually get us where we were going? We didn't. This is the kind of thing I need more of in my life. Trying new things, even if it's just a new route or sitting in a different part of the lecture hall. I tend to settle into my routines and habits and not change. I was thinking it would be neat to try to have a mini adventure every day for a year... but maybe when I'm done with school. School takes over my life and won't let go. As it should.

By the way, there were monarch butterflies in the park! Not as many as there will be come November, but a reasonable amount. They were fun to watch.

Then this evening we headed over to Fins Coffee House to try chai for the first time, (delicious!) and hear my friend Max on the saxophone! It was a lot of fun, and I was amused that my favorite piece of music was the one he said was the hardest. No accounting for taste I suppose.

Friday, September 26, 2008

School has Begun!

I went to all my classes and they are... ho hum. But let me take a moment to extol the virtues of the bike shuttle. I finally moved off campus this year, and decided that I wanted to bike. Biking has several advantages.

-It's better for the environment than driving
-It's better for me than driving
-I can take the short cuts across
-It's faster than walking

There is one big disadvantage though.

-There is a very large hill between me and campus.

A hill that by the end of the quarter I hope to be able to ride up, but at the moment I lack the strength and stamina. Thus the virtues of the bike shuttle. I ride two or three minutes to a side street near my apartment, and a friendly university employee drives up every fifteen minutes in a van pulling a trailer. I load my bike onto the trailer with little difficulty and hop into the van. Up the hill to campus we drive everyone chatting along the way. We stop at the very top of campus uphill of everything and unload. Then it's downhill to class and an exhilarating ride down the hill home in the afternoon. I don't have to wait for a bus to get home, I just hop on my bike and fly down a bike path that was recently paved through the middle of the on-campus farm. I fully intend on biking every day now that I know I can. Hopefully I'll be in good enough shape by the end of the year to go on a bike adventure! Now if only there were more bike lanes...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This morning I auditioned for orchestra. I think it went well. The director complimented me on my improvement, which I took as a good sign. I might even get to play the Eb clarinet! Wouldn't that be fun?

I also found this...

I had seen the videos of fish doing these things... but I didn't know you could buy the kit. I think it would be hilarious to have guppies that could do tricks, but I don't think my tank is big enough to implement this system. Also, I'm out of spending money. Oh well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Rollercoaster of a Day

Today began very badly. How can a day start with a dentist appointment and go well? Turns out I have two cavities developing in the back of my mouth. I've never had a cavity before. It makes me sad. It also means that I have to come back home next Tuesday to get them filled, so I'm missing pizza night twice in a row. Ugh.

Things did get better. I found a free side table on the side of the road that will be very useful in my apartment. That was nice. I went for a bike ride around the neighborhood. I am woefully out of shape. I am going to have to work really hard to be able to ride around Santa Cruz.

I worked on the memory quilt a little. I didn't have enough fabric to cover the back, so I gave up. I'll find a better solution some other day when I'm feeling more inspired and not so trapped. I did finish my silk blouse, and it is fabulous! So pretty!

Tomorrow I take my last load to Santa Cruz and stay. Just 18 1/2 more hours!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Three More Days

Well, the Hadron Collider switched on this morning and did not create a black hole or destroy the Earth. Guess that means I have to go to work? Only for three more days!

I worked on my blouse last night. I got it all cut out, and almost finished sewing it together! The silk proved to be incredibly difficult to work with. No matter how many pins I put in it it wouldn't stay where I wanted it. I tried ironing, and pinning, and pinning AND ironing. It resulted in the least accurately cut project EVER. Fortunately I was able to adjust a few seams so it fits nicely. All that's left to do are the hems on the sleeves and the hem on the bottom. I tried last night with little success. Maybe I'll do better today with a full night of sleep and the sun shinning.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I have this piece of silk that my mom brought me from China over a year ago that I've been meaning to use. I just haven't gotten around to it. Well, today is the day! I am going to cut out the pieces tonight and sew it together tomorrow morning. Just see if I don't.

Only four days of work left! I am enjoying playing with the babies, but I feel like I end up with the 2/3 s really often. Not my favorite age group. They hit and pinch each other and I don't like it. Sometimes I wonder if the other teachers are really lax about that kind of thing, or if I'm overly strict. I often feel like I would put a kid on time out when the regular teachers just let things slide with a verbal "that's not o.k." On the other hand, there are a lot of things that they don't let the kids do, that I would. Climbing on boxes or running around the playground for example. Am I just a weirdo? Do I have unrealistic expectations? All I know is if I'm overly strict, my parents were downright mean! Oh well. Four days to go.