Nursery Art for Baby

I am in love with some of the artwork on etsy.com, but we have a huge blank wall to cover and forgot to include art in the baby budget. Plus, I have a very specific idea of the style for the nursery baby corner and couldn’t find just exactly the right thing. So I dug out my trusty colored pencils and watercolors, bought some frames (which include mats!) at a discount store, and am in the process of making four drawings. The idea was to find classic, simple, and colorful themes that will not scream “baby” but will coordinate with our adult bedroom furniture.

I’ve had my sights on a vintage hot air balloon theme for a while, so I tackled that drawing first. I used colored pencils for the balloon and then ever-so-carefully painted the sky with watercolors. I’m pretty pleased with the result:

And for my next trick, I’m thinking about drawing a biplane, a kite, or an Eiffel Tower. But first, I have some dissertation work I need to get done today!

New England Weekend

A week ago, Seth and I spent a 3-day weekend exploring New England. We’ve driven around Connecticut and Massachussets before, but this time we stopped in some new places on a slow tour up the coast.

Friday was a business day: Seth and I headed to Framingham, MA, to meet some of his colleagues at Computer World Magazine, for the first time in person! They were fun and had some great suggestions of things to do in the area. We took their advice and went to the Elephant Walk Franco-Cambodian restaurant in Waltham for dinner. Because it was restaurant week, we were able to have the most delicious 4-course meal for just $33.08. The fusion of flavors was divine, and I have nothing but praise for this restaurant (there’s one in Boston, too).

When it was time to do some touristy exploring on Saturday, we took the old highway towards Boston and first stopped in Lexington, the “birthplace of liberty” and where the “shot heard round the world” was fired and started the Revolution (they still don’t know who fired it or from which side it came).

This church isn’t as old as the U.S. (it was built in the mid-19th century), but I thought it was pretty and typical of New England architecture.

The next stop was Cambridge, which neither Seth nor I had ever had the excuse to see before. It was cool to see the campus of the country’s oldest university. Once again, the steeple seemed to be the prettiest picture to take:

Seth and I had been to Boston before, but never in the touristy center on such a beautiful Saturday. The area around Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market was packed. There were plenty of street performers out for the crowds, but this one-man band was my favorite:

After a seafood lunch we headed to the harbor and decided at the last minute to jump onto a ferry that would take us to one of the harbor islands to see an old fort. The sky started to darken on the way over, but it cleared up once we got to George’s Island.

The view of Boston from one of the fort’s watchtowers:

Fort Warren was first built by the French and was last used in World War II. It never saw any battle, but was an important station to protect Boston in wartime. What was especially cool about the boat ride to and from George’s Island is that we went right by Logan Airport, and had planes flying right overhead. I just had to hold by breath when the smell of jet fuel got a little strong!

We ate shabu shabu for dinner in Boston’s Chinatown and headed back to our hotel to watch some Olympics and swim.

Our first stop on Sunday was Providence, RI, another city we’ve driven past many times but never really explored. The riverwalk was pleasant and definitely the highlight of our walking tour:

The last stop on Sunday was Mystic, CN, the old ship-building city with a cute mainstreet filled with shops and little cafƩs. The bridge (built in the early 20th century) opens quite often, since nothing taller than a kayak will fit under it.

On the mainstreet, we checked out a pretty (expensive) baby boutique and then decided that the artisinal ice cream next door would be a more affordable treat. Seth and I split a mint-chocolate-chip cone and I liked the painting on the wall:

We headed back to the car and then back to the road. Taking a few more driving detours (especially to avoid some bad highway traffic), we got back to New York just in time to return our rental car. It was our last pre-baby trip, but we’re also excited to go back to show the baby all of these fun and historic places just a short drive away.

StitchMinder: an iPhone Application for Knitters!

I started a new sweater project last night: the classic Double-Breasted Seed Stitch Jacket designed by Elinor Brown (the pattern is free!). So far, it’s been a pretty straight-forward seed stitch rectangle, but I’m about to divide for the fronts and sleeves, which will require some counting.

StitchMinder is an iPhone application that lets you count completed rows, pattern rows, pattern repeats, and increase rows, with just a quick tap to keep score. It’s pretty basic, but that’s what makes it useful (and better than tally marks). You could probably touch the row count with your pinky without ever putting down your project!

Via Craftzine.

Some Things About Me

I’m it! I’ve been tagged by Andrea to complete the sentences below. Betcha didn’t know all of these things about me.

1. My uncle once: barbecued with an apron on but no shirt.

2. Never in my life: will I go sky-diving.

3. When I was five: I went to Culver City Presbyterian Nursery School in Los Angeles.

4. High school was: at first stressful, and then lots of fun.

5. I will never forget: the smell of the Manhattan air on September 11.

6. Once I met: Dee Snider

7. Thereā??s this girl I know: who will do any favor you ask.

8. Once, at a bar: I saw Monica Lewinsky hanging out with some girlfriends.

9. By noon, Iā??m usually: finished with tutoring and craving Thai food.

10. Last night: Seth and I had the most delicious seafood meal. (We’re trying to squeeze in some “dates.”)

11. If only I had: the money to pay off my friends’ and sisters’ student loans.

12. Next time I go to church: will probably be the next time we visit my best friend, Grace (who also happens to be a pastor).

13. What worries me most: is that something will happen to me or Seth.

14. When I turn my head left I see: a blank wall (we need some art in here).

15. When I turn my head right I see: Seth blogging at his desk with his beloved 30″ monitor.

16. You know Iā??m lying when: I say I liked the pizza even though it had anchovies on it.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: my Cyndi Lauper tape.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare Iā??d be: hmmm…the Bard’s editor? I don’t think I’m suicidal or dramatic enough to make the cut.

19. By this time next year: our baby will be learning how to walk and talk.

20. A better name for me would be: Dr. Rachel; I’m working on that.

21. I have a hard time understanding: how hating people will get you into heaven.

22. If I ever go back to school, Iā??ll: become a lawyer.

23. You know I like you if: I’ve told you about this blog.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: Seth.

25. Take my advice, never: try to hail a cab between 4:30 and 5pm. A black hole sucks them all up during those 30 minutes.

26. My ideal breakfast is: a cinnamon raisin bagel with plain cream cheese.

27. A song I love but do not have is: “You’ve got a friend” by James Taylor

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: go for a walk or ride along Lake Michigan.

29. Why wonā??t people: say “excuse me?”

30. If you spend a night at my house: you’ll be sleeping on the floor because our hide-a-bed couch still hasn’t been delivered.

31. Iā??d stop my wedding for: a hurricane.

32. The world could do without: PVC.

33. Iā??d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: the belly of a tarantula.

34. My favourite blonde(s) is/are: Grace, my grandma, my cousin Charleen.

35. Paper clips are more useful than: ball-point pens, because you can take out your iPhone SIM card with a bent paper clip.

36. If I do anything well itā??s: organizing small spaces

37. And by the way: I tag Grace!

Blue & White Baby Sweater

I finished this sweater a few weeks ago and am now finishing up matching sock #2. I had never attempted such a difficult pattern (what got me was the border for the button holes and collar), but am so pleased with the results!

The pattern is by Debbie Bliss and is knit in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, the perfect, washable blend of cashmere, wool, and a touch of microfiber. I picked up the pattern and the yarn in London (at John Lewis, in case you’re in the area). I’ve got a lot more, and in a darker blue also, so we’ll see what that will all become in the coming weeks! Isn’t there some law that babies can’t be born until their sweaters are finished?

Sunday Nature Walk

Yesterday Seth and I took a long walk and spotted some turtles (they’re hidden on the rocks). Can you guess where we took these pictures?

The second picture gives it away: You can see the reflection of 59th Street buildings in this Central Park pond. It was a beautiful and busy day at the park, and a pleasant break from the routine.

Seth and I remember this fountain almost always empty. But now it’s gloriously lush, complete with lilypads and carp!