Saturday, September 29

Lost & Found

I seem to be having some issues of misplacing things. 

I could have sworn I took the charger for my cell phone with us in Montreal just in case my phone died.  When we returned I looked through all the bags.  No luck.  I was starting to think that I would have to upgrade my phone (I am due for a new one it just seems wasteful when this one still works well enough for me) because I couldn't charge the damn thing.

Mr. Lina asked to take the little camera I generally use for my blog with us to Montreal.  Given that I'm the last one to use it 99% of the time since he bought the fancy one, I really should know where it is.  Couldn't find it.

On Wednesday night, while snacking at the dining room table at the house concert break, I saw something plugged into the wall on the other side of the table.  We don't often have anything plugged in there so it stood out.  But with people around I made a note to check later.  Sure enough, it was for my cell phone.

It's getting chilly and to get our runs in, we're running a bit late mid-week.  I bought some stretchy gloves and wicking undergarments on Monday night.  I was searching high and low for the gloves on Thursday night and while I did not find them, I did find the camera sitting on the stairs to upstairs. 

So the benefit of me finding the camera?  My blog is not text only!  Yay!

I mentioned that I got a little twisted around when I got off the subway and went the wrong way on St. Hubert.  I didn't appreciate that the first place I went to had prices well labelled and you could see the fabrics.  It still felt like a lot of polyesters or I didn't care for the prints, but the notions were pretty cool.  The elastics were $1/m and his measuring was by the arm and rather generous, my 4m of strapping elastic measures out to 5m.  Aren't those zippers kind of cool?  I am not one to do exposed zippers but I thought at 50 cents I'd pick up a few, you never know and they sure look neat.  The bottom fabric is a remnant piece, very stretchy, soft.  A bit like tricot.

What I thought was really cool was the bra elastic.  This is a heavy elastic, satiny on one side and fuzzy on the other.  The kind you want for bra straps.  It's something I generally order from in standard black and white.  Sewsassy charges $0.60-$1.05 per yard for strapping elastic (plus shipping and the really low prices have a minimum of 10 yards).  $1 per very generous metre is a pretty good price.   To find it in an ice blue and mauve/purple was surprising.

I walked and walked before deciding that for sure I had walked too far.  Sure enough, just the other side of Jean Talon, every third store had "Tissues" in the window.  Honestly though, by this time my legs were rubbing a bit, my feet hurt and I was hot.  I didn't have the patience to lift bolts of fabric and harass people for the prices and fibre content.  This would have been more fun with other people to work as a team to identify prices and fibres.  Still, I found two pieces of fabric that caught my eye.

This is a pretty heavy fabric, cotton sateen with a little synthetic to add a bit of stretch is my guess.  It can't be much synthetic, it didn't bead up when I burned a little.  I've put a little penny to give some scale to those dots, the penny can cover the dots pretty much perfectly.  I thought the cream coloured background was really nice.  It's a bit stiff, not a whole lot of drape to this fabric.  I think it would be lovely as a Cambie dress, the A line skirt version.  It's way too heavy for the full skirt.

Now this fabric has a nice drape, see how it folds nicely where I opened it up?  I asked about the fibre content and he didn't seem to be totally sure but it does feel like there is likely some rayon in this woven and it doesn't feel like polyester.  I burned a little and it flared up like rayon and there was a tiny bit of beading by the dark purple stripes so maybe there is a bit of synthetic there but it mostly went to ash.  I love the shades of purple and there is a little bit of green woven into it.  I don't like wearing green so I know this seems lame to others, but it's a stretch out of my normal range of colours even if it's 90% purple.  I think it could make a nice Alma blouse, but I'm open to suggestions.  I have to say, the place I bought this had the strangest way of cutting.  He actually just brought a wooden yard stick to a table full of bolts of fabric and cut it on top of the bolts.  Weird, no?  There was not a single spot in this store that was not covered in fabric, not even a cutting table.
So I didn't go wild and crazy, but I have a few nice pieces of fabric to remember Montreal by. 
Now, to find where I put those gloves...

Wednesday, September 26

Too busy

Quick list to keep in touch...
  • House concert tonight.  We're hosting David Ross Macdonald for a second time.
  • Looking forward to that, David is such a great person and I love his music.
  • Sadly, my kitchen is not really up to guests yet. 
  • Must leave work early today.
  • This 4.5 days allocated to clients is not working for me.  There are too many other things pulling my time away from client days.
  • I think I'm going to be in my employers office 1.5 days in the whole month of October.
  • My password expired and because I had not been at my employers office, the warnings did not show up and Monday I just couldn't open up email etc.
  • But being at a clients office with a stupid wireless internet stick that won't let me VPN to change it, I had to phone IT to have it reset.
  • I booked a 9am meeting for tomorrow, not a wise move on the day after a house concert for the office that is the least predictable for drive time. 
  • I am going to have to leave an hour and a half early to be sure I get there.
  • Running is going well.  I bought new shoes on Friday so we're repeating the Week 3 stage to break them in.
  • Well, that and the second 3 minutes of running is still killing me.  The first 90 seconds of running feels short, the first 3 minutes of running is good.  The second 90 seconds of running feels okay but that last 3 minutes is freaking hard. 
  • Mr. Lina walks faster than I run by the end of the second 3 minutes.
  • I spent the weekend helping on the movie shoot for Tasha & Friends. 
  • As cool as the effects were for The Post Lifers, T&F is going to blow it out of the water.
  • I have never seen so much fake blood in my life.
  • I made whole chickens in my slow cooker, rice with tomatoes, garlic toast and a garden salad.  Second slow cooker had chocolate bread pudding for dessert.
  • I have been told that I can do craft services on any movie shoot that they are involved in.
  • Shiny gold star for me.
  • Seriously, quite often the cheapest meals are the ones that are like this, using what's in season or on sale rather than hamburgers. 
  • Helps that I got the bread and chocolate for free.  I had good timing for the marketing group to clean out their cupboards of chocolate.
  • I took my crochet with me and suddenly the directions for the last outside rows made sense.  It looks pretty cool and gave me a quiet activity while they were filming.
And this needs space to itself but I hope you all know about the launch of Cake.  There is a pre-sale going on for Tiramisu, buy it now cheaper and that will fund the first printing.  I think it's a great way to get a start without taking on too much overhead costs right off the bat.

Time to put my nose to the grindstone...

Friday, September 21

Friday Ramblings

Time to sit down with some caffeine of some sort and put a few thoughts together...
  • Went to get that warm beverage and got swarmed with people.  Apparently my day is full of work now.
  • Running is going okay.  Mr. Lina has a faster gait than me which leaves me either pushing too hard or him wondering where I went.
  • We're going to get new shoes for me tonight because I don't think mine are doing me any favours.  They never really felt right for my feet.
  • Mr. Lina is doing quite well with the weight loss competition.  The people who are starving themselves are not losing weight anymore (surprise, surprise) and he is losing about 2-3lbs a week.  He's not in the lead but he's feeling good about it and that's important to me.
  • We had a guest with us this week.  A friend of the musician we'll be hosting next week was taking an art class in the area.  She was awesome and a good guest.
  • I spent a little time in my sewing room on Wednesday tidying it up.  I need a little more elbow room for it to be a productive space again.
  • I was showing our guest some fabric and the Sewaholic Alma and Cambie patterns, I think the two pieces of fabric I bought in Montreal will work for each pattern.
  • A-line Cambie in big black polka dots with a cream background?  The fabric is too heavy for all the gathering of the full skirt but I think it will be great in the A-line version.
  • With a black shirt underneath and black tights it would wear in winter well.
  • This weekend is about filming.  Tonight is set up and prep for filming tomorrow.
  • I'm in charge of "craft services" aka food for about 10 people.
  • I keep hearing it like "Kraft services" like all the food should be Cheeze Whiz, bbq sauce and Miracle Whip.
  • Hmm, I can't eat any of those products as they all contain mustard.  We'll have to stick to Jello, Philadelphia cream cheese and Kraft peanut butter.  ;)
  • I'm going to take my crochet with me this time so I can be quiet and productive.
  • Dinner (roast chicken) is going into a slow cooker so it can cook quietly too.
  • Hopefully they get it all done on Saturday.  After having a guest from Monday evening until this morning and sleeping over for filming tonight, I want to be home alone for a while on Sunday.  I need some snuggle time with Mr. Lina.
  • I hate 9am meetings.
  • I generally get to work somewhere between 8:50 and 9:20.  My employer is not too fussed as long as I arrive before 9:30 and get my work done.
  • Somehow, knowing I need to be there for 9 makes it that much harder to get there for 9.
  • Looks like I'm going to be doing some training in late October.  3 hours with a client that is not one of my regulars.  I'm looking forward to it.
  • I think I'd rather talk about what I do than do it.
Okay, speaking of work, time to actually do it.  Have a great weekend, folks.  What are you up to?

Tuesday, September 18

Montreal is awesome.

Yeah, I already knew that.

The screening went well, people laughed at the right time and the applause at the end was genuine and more enthusiastic than other films.  Mr. Lina felt pretty good about that.  He also had a chance to meet Tom Savini and get his copy of Day of the Dead signed.  Last year they entered a costume contest with two of the zombies from the movie (one being Mr Lina) and Tom awarded them first prize.  Mr. Lina was pretty pleased to be able to give him a copy of the final movie.  It seemed like Tom remembered them (well, Humphrey costume, not Mr. Lina specifically).
Mr. Lina & Tom Savini
I did manage to sneak away for a bit on Saturday afternoon to find some fabric stores.  Sadly my sense of direction is not so good.  I found St Hubert and Jean Talon, but went the wrong way on St Hubert.  I did find a fabric store that was all kinds of crazy polyester, but they had some great bra strap elastic in colours other than black and white.  By the time I figured I had walked too far and turned around, it was getting late and I was tired.  In the end I did visit a handful of stores, but it was a little overwhelming at times.  Stacks and stacks of fabric, most without prices on them or notes on the content.  I bought two pieces, a remnant, elastics and buttons.  I'll post about them when I get pictures.  On the bright side, this leaves some birthday money to purchase Gertie's book.

I wore a lot of me-made clothing.  Sencha going there, Sorbetto on Saturday, a cloned tank top to the bar on Saturday night.  Mr. Lina took lots of pictures of me, but not many that show the me-made aspects of my wardrobe.
Honest, Sorbetto is under there.  At the steps of Notre Dame Cathedral, resting my feet.
I really should revisit Sencha.  I made two of them.  I like them, but after the "wow I did that" has worn off, I don't love them.  The neckline is too high.  I don't know if I followed the button placement for either all that well but I needed to add clear snaps in between the buttons to keep it closed.  I dunno, it's a good blouse, but I don't think I got either right. 
Senchs #2 with Annabelle Chvostek last Thanksgiving.

I wore the second one on Friday and I was so happy to take it off, it kept pulling forward and I found myself constantly trying to make it sit in the right place.  I'd like to revisit it at some point to see if I could make it right, I feel like it should suit my figure better.

One top I have been wearing a lot is the top from Butterick 5147

It's a lifestyle wardrobe and I bought this prior to blogging.  I've made the top up twice, had intentions to make a dress or the skirt and just never quite did it.  The first version I really made too big.  I think this was prior to the enlightenment of FBA.  It does fit my bust well, it's more that the shoulders are a little wide and it feels like there could be a fold at the neck.  On the bright side I got the waist darts right so there is great waist/bust definition going on.  I usually wear a heavy necklace to hold the neckline down and stop me from playing with the extra fabric.  The second time, I made it smaller, took that fold out of the neckline.  The fabric I chose had a little stretch so that was the second reason for making it smaller.  Too bad I didn't think about making the lining stretch too.  It has always been a little snug but okay, but I am rather certain I'd feel like a sausage in it at the moment.  As much as it is a tank top, it's lined and the fabrics I chose are polyester suiting (which are nicer than that sounds).  I find them too warm for summer, but in winter I put a cardigan or jacket over top and it's perfect.

The change in season has me looking at my wardrobe again.  With fall arriving, I feel bored of my summer clothing.  I don't want to wear socks, but it will be refreshing to pull out a few things I haven't worn in a while.  And it seems some are not as worthy of favourite status and B5147 is showing me that it really should have a prominent spot in my work wardrobe.

Friday, September 14

And we're off

Well, almost.  Still have some errands to go, work to finish and then the doctors appointment, but after that, we'll be hitting the road. 

  • Alma and Cambie arrived, my contribution to helping Tasia move
  • My birthday gift from Mr. Lina has also arrived, Season 4 of Castle.
  • That may have me crocheting more than sewing...
  • Nathan Fillion can drop by any day.
  • You know he's from Edmonton?
  • This also means I'll have to order Gertie's book myself.
  • I have birthday money to spend, hopefully I make it to Rue Saint Hubert to spend it.
  • My slacking off on medication has come back to bite me in the ass.  Now that I'm being more dillegent with Metformin, I'm getting the crappy gastrointestinal side effects again.  Not fun at all.
  • It's serving as a good reminder as to why I should take better care of myself even when it's not a fertility cycle, nausea etc sucks.
  • But it will pass when my body adapts.
  • Again.
  • My fertility doctor asked me to check my coverage for a drug.  It's covered by one plan but not both (likely mine and not Mr. Lina's) if I get him to fill out extra paperwork.
  • I'd be paying 20% and it still comes to $400 per dose.  I think I'd need 3 or 4 in total.
  • I get why he asked about my drug coverage first.
  • I think at $2,000 a pop I'd say no.  This is a Hail Mary thing that I'm not 100% sure of anyhow.

Okay, time to hit the bank, get some gas and return the empties.  Our bags are packed.

Tuesday, September 11

Fall - A New Year

I know New Years Eve is typically the time for resolutions.  It is the mark of a new year and all.  But I feel like September is actually more of a fresh start in a lot of ways than January.

In January, we've just come off some time off for Christmas and New Years.  It's generally pretty crazy through December with parties to go to, shopping to do, people to see.  For a lot of companies, it's year end that comes with a push to get last sales in (particularly if you're behind at the end of Q3).  It doesn't really feel to me like it's the start of something new, it's more the end of craziness.  Winter sports  continue on through to spring, the weather isn't changing all that much.  Maybe more snow, but December is pretty cold here.

As fall arrives, it's a real shift.  I don't have kids, but the start of school impacts my commute and changes traffic patterns.  At work, fewer people are on vacation so you aren't perpetually waiting for someone to return to make a decision.  It is the end of summer hours for a lot of companies so Fridays go back to a full day of normal.  Winter sports start up, new routines exist.  As the weather shifts to cooler nights, you can just feel the change happening all around you.

With my birthday being September 2nd, it's also a time I find myself a bit reflective I suppose.  It's another year gone by and I find myself thinking of what's happened in that year and what I thought might happen in that year.  That second half?  I really should not follow that line of thought, better to look forward. 

I've caught myself crying driving to work a few times in the past two weeks.  It feels out of the blue, like I don't know why I am crying, some song lyric just turns into tears.  And there is misplaced anger.  For example, there is construction on the highway entrance I generally use on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and last week it was closed leaving people to find another route.  I was ready to extend a middle finger to someone turning around who was ignoring my right of way.  I mean, it was stupid, but that stuff usually makes me shake my head, not yelling at them from my car and feeling such... hostility.  I spend too much time driving to be upset by bad drivers.  I suspect something is rattling around in my head and heart and coming out in weird places.

In our house, bowling starts tonight.  I am looking forward to it.  It will be nice to see people, bowling is a very social activity.  I am not very good (really and truly) so I am certainly not there to only throw strikes.  Hopefully my friend from aquatics can join our league, last I heard she was still firming up her kids schedule but it was looking promising.  Mr. Lina is getting a last round of golf in tonight, curling starts up for him soon.

This fall will be primarily about Mr. Lina and his movies. 
We were pretty excited to go to New Orleans, but they are airing it on the Saturday and it conflicts with the OCFF conference we've already paid for.  We found that out at about the same time as they got the acceptance to Boston so now we're switching gears to go there.  Neither of us have been to Boston so it's a good reason to visit a new place.  Google says it's a 9 hour and 20 min drive so we'll probably just tack on a day at either end and drive down.  Hmm, driving means no weight restrictions... 

House concerts are also starting up.  We'll be hosting David Ross Macdonald (drummer for The Waifs) again on September 26th.  We hosted David in May 2011.  He played oh, two days after arriving from Australia and he was a trooper through jet lag.  He is such a lovely person so it will be nice to have him stay the night again.  Well, and perform.  I suppose the first time we hosted him, it was the music I was keen to share because it is what I knew.  Now, I can't wait to hear him live again, see who comes for the repeat viewing, but it's going to be like seeing a good friend for the night. 

Again, I have not been sewing.  Part of what is holding me back is clutter.  With the birthday party and a friend of David's will be staying with us next week, my house is cleaner than it's been in a long while - at the expense of my sewing room.  Things have just been put there as a place to put it.  I really should find the push to clean it out (again).  The blanket for my niece needs the last two rows of shell stitch put on but it's going to be "thinking crocheting" to get that started, not the mindless repetition that is good while watching television.  It is another "should" at the moment.  In the summer, I'm not overly keen on being in my sewing room because it's just too hot.  It's not fun.  I want to see the return of fall as a return to the sewing room.  I'm not sure when I'll get to it with the trip to Montreal looming and a guest all next week, but the pull is returning.  The need for clothing will be an added push.

Yesterday was our first step up on the Couch to 5k program.  It wasn't so bad.  My legs don't hurt.  I wasn't having problems breathing.  Week two changes from 60 seconds of running/90 seconds of walking 6 times to 90 seconds of running/two minutes of walking 4 times.  We ended up covering about the same distance in about the same time.  I think the repetitions were harder than just pushing on the extra 30 seconds.  And on the big plus side in my books, one night last week after running, Mr. Lina said to me that he was feeling really relaxed.  I am not so worried about the specific weight lost as I am about his blood pressure coming down.  Hearing him say he's feeling more relaxed already has to be good for his blood pressure.

Speaking of weight, I mentioned he has a contest going on at work.  Week one is over and the leader at the moment lost 9lbs in a week.  Mr. Lina is not the leader because he's in this for the long haul.  Apparently one of his coworkers flat out didn't eat lunch yesterday and the guy in second ate carrots.  Men are crazy.  Meanwhile Mr. Lina went to work with a sandwich, nectarine, and Greek yogurt.  The sandwich wasn't as light as it could be, but it was better than the restaurant food he was generally eating for lunch.  Success by one metric does not always mean real success in the big picture.

I'll leave you with a little bit of David Ross Macdonald.  15 days until I hear it live in my basement...

Friday, September 7

Does it get better than Fridays?

Really and truly.  I love Fridays.  All the potential of the weekend ahead, people are pretty chilled out at work, sometimes traffic is lighter.  It is all good.

In other good news, The Post Lifers was a finalist for best horror/comedy at Dragon*con in Atlanta on the weekend.  We didn't go, but it's another feather in their cap and Mr. Lina is quite happy. 

I also had the BEST passport experience ever.  My passport expired last November, so if I want to go to New Orleans in October, I needed to renew it.  There is an office close to one of my clients office, like a block up the street.  When I got my passport 6 years ago, I walked up with my paperwork and pictures, got a number and the security staff thought it might be 2 hours before my number was called, maybe 3.  All in all, last time, it actually was well over 3 hours and I went back to work in between getting my number and being served.  I expected the same this year.  Not so.  Two people ahead of me to get the paperworked pre-checked, got my number and there were 9 people ahead of me.  Seriously I was in and out in half an hour.  A very high five for the passport office.

Day two of the couch to 5k program went pretty well yesterday.  I will be happy when my thighs are used to this because they are rather unhappy at the moment.  Mr. Lina does run faster than me but I just let him go ahead and catch up on the walk cycles.  It does feel good to do it together.

One week to seeing my fertility doctor.  Those weeks went pretty fast, didn't they? 

Wednesday, September 5

Weak Willed & Easily Led

I'm stealing the title from Little Toby Walker.

Sewaholic is having a moving sale.  You know I thought Alma was adorable when it was released.  Cambie is also very pretty.  But I bought Pendrell when I bought Renfrew and the most I've done is to take it out of the envelope and put it back.  I told myself I couldn't order the others until I did something with Pendrell.  My resolve only lasts for so long and a 20% off sale was too hard to resist.  Alma and Cambie are heading my way now. 

Mr. Lina is also leading me along in a good way.  I have mentioned a handful of pounds that I'd like to part ways with, Mr. Lina is in a similar situation and wanting to change it.  Adding to that, they are doing a weight loss contest at his work.  Each month you chip in $20 if you want to play, the person at the end of the month who lost the most wins the pot.  Mr. Lina also needs to get his blood pressure down.  So lots of reasons to lose some weight and get healthy.  We have far more success in losing weight when we both want to and work together, so he's dragging me along for the Couch to 5K program.  Last night was the first time running for me in a long time.  I managed better than expected and while I can feel a few muscles today, it's not so bad.  Last time we tried running together I ended up having to stop because my asthma was just out of whack and I couldn't breathe.  My asthma is usually triggered by allergies so it may have been bad timing, it didn't pose a problem when I was training for the try-a-tri 7 years ago.  We also have slightly different gaits, I'm not sure how well running together is going to work in the long term, but we'll deal with that as it comes.  I managed pretty well yesterday with the 60 second increments of running.

The birthday weekend was lovely.  We went to 5 wineries, Cave Springs (and lunch at Inn on the Twenty) and Flat Rock, then over to Niagara on the Lake area to visit Sunnybrook (fruit wines), Strewn and Hinterbrook.  We kept calling Hinterbrook variations of Hinterland Who's Who, I'm going to struggle to remember their name because of that.  If you're in the area, it's worth a stop.  They are super new, they have been growing grapes since the 90's and selling them to Hillebrand, but 3 years ago decided to set aside a third of their grapes for their own winery.  The buildings are still under construction, the staff serving on Saturday were the children of the owner of the winery, I enjoyed chatting with them.  My favourite was their Franc Blanc ($22), a white wine made from Cabernet Franc grapes, generally made into red wine not white.  It has a lovely flavour, mouth feel, not too sweet but it's still lovely to sip alone.  I'll be reaching for it with the next spicy meal we have.  I didn't buy enough.  If you are ever planning on heading to Niagara/St Catharines/Jordan area for wines, let me know and I'll give my two cents on where to go.  We tend to hit the smaller wineries.  I'd rather visit places that I can't buy their wine at the LCBO than the Jackson-Triggs, Hillebrands etc.  We now have a well stocked cold room, a very well stocked cold room.