Saturday! And a little soapbox...

Wheeeee! A lovely day off WITH my sweetie. This week was another long 40-hour work week but I was able to start on my regular schedule (ie. had 2 days off to resemble a weekend, yesterday and today) which made a world of difference. It's an absolutely perfect fall day here - crisp temps, warm sunshine, and lovely leaves in bright colors everywhere. Fall is my favorite season!

Today I FINALLY get to do so some sewing. It's been way too long (thanks, new schedule!) so I'm really thrilled to finally get to work on my projects. A friend who lives in Scotland just welcomed a new niece to the family and I made a quilt for her and am shipping it off today (after only a minor incident with printing fabric paper that may or may not have resulted in ruining my laser printer...ugh). I'm also going to tackle some more stippling, basting, and working on holiday presents as Hanukkah is only a month away! No Halloween plans for us - meh, another year!

On a completely non-crafty related note, I wanted to include some personal info here. I definitely am not the type of person who likes to leave their personal life out of their blog but I do like to mostly try to make this blog about crafting. Lately though, I know that hasn't been the case and I appreciate all the kind and supportive words people have offered to me during this difficult transition period in my life. I really want to share with you a little more insight into my professional life and WHY not having a job that uses my master's degree is such a big deal for me. During the summer between my first and second year of graduate school, I was fortunate enough to work as an advocate at a non-profit organization in South Africa that addresses the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)*. I was part of the seminal team, a coalition of NGOs that examined an ad hoc presidential pardon process that appeared to be leaving out victim input. When the TRC addressed the atrocities that occurred during the apartheid regime, a key part of the process was including testimony by victims. Technically, the mandate of the TRC is expired but South Africa continues to try to uphold its legacy by governing with many of its principles. During the later years of President Mbeki's term, a number of special pardon requests were submitted that directly referred to crimes committed during apartheid but were - for one reason or another - not addressed through the TRC. A special parliamentary committee was selected to review these pardon applications and make recommendations to the president. The problem was, the victims were never given a voice during this process. On behalf of the victims and with the greater interest of the whole country in mind, a coalition of respected organizations - including the one I was interning at - came together to make recommendations to include victims when deciding whether or not pardon requests should be granted. Flash forward 2 1/2 years and the advocacy was a success! You can read all about it on the International Center for Transitional Justice's website as well as on the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation's (this was where I worked).

Soo...you can only imagine how incredibly psyched I am, not only that the government listen and favored the victims but that I was fortunate enough to contribute to this victory! This is why getting a job in my field matters to me.

Now, I'll be stepping off my soapbox.

Oops, before I do, don't forget to VOTE THIS TUESDAY!!!

(By the way, the blog header picture is me at the Cape Point, which is right near the Cape of Good Hope, the south-western most point of the African continent. Approximately 40 miles out into the ocean from Cape Point is where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.)

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects the freedom of others. ~ Nelson Mandela

*For more info about the TRC, check this out.



This year I plan on making most of my holiday presents. In fact, many are already in the works (I'm such a planning geek). I also really want to try to beef up my Etsy shop. With my new full-time work schedule, that leaves little time (or energy!) for sewing. :-/ Hopefully I'll adjust to it soon and will be able to work in more crafting time.

My fabric stash is pretty full so I'm really trying to not buy any new fabric. I've been doing really good and have only bought little things here and there (little by little I'm collecting all of Little Folks voile). I think that there is one collection I want to get for myself (probably in a big fat quarter stack):
(Read more about Tula Pink's "Parisville" here.)

What collections will you treat yourself to this holiday season?



- Quilt Market is happening this weekend in Houston, TX and I wish I was going. To all those going, have a great time and take lots of pictures!

- Another 40 work week done. WHOA, tired.

- Fall is in full swing = must make time to take pictures of the trees in the various parks.

- Less than a month 'til I head home to my folks' for Thanksgiving. Squeee!

- Making wish lists for Hanukkah/Christmas and my birthday, not to mention things I'd like to buy myself. :)

- SEEERRRIOUS job search push in full swing. Anyone work at a nonprofit in NYC want to give me a job? Just throwing it out there... :-P

- Need to make a list of soups/stews for slow cooker meals. Mmm, cozy.

- Gotta get my butt in gear on gift quilts - holidays will be here before I know it!



I haven't sewn a stitch in over a week.

My feet are kiiiilllllllling me. Ugh, 8 hours standing up, walking around, running up and down stairs will do that to you.

Haven't gotten to spend much time with my sweetie or Louie.

Feeling cranky.

(I'm sorry - I know that we all have our own problems but I just needed to vent out into the void. Thanks, void.)

Tell me good things that are going on in your life!



I made it through my first 40 hour work week (not first one ever, but first one in a very long time). I can't even describe how tired I am.

Fortunately, there's no better way to end a long week than with the latest issue of InStyle magazine, a slew of DVRed shows, and Zabar's chocolate babka (before dinner, of course).

Happy weekend everyone!


Ok, ok, I'm IN!

Originally, I said that I wasn't going to do the next round of the Pillow Talk Swap. Buuuttt, I had so much fun and got a GREAT pillow last time. I feel like this time as long as I start planning early, I'll be really psyched to do it. I think I was just intimidated last time! But seriously, it's so much fun and I get so inspired by the creativity of others that I can't wait to see who my partner is. Here's my inspiration mosaic for my secret pillow-maker:

Now I'm off to see one of my best friends get married today - yay! I also get to see two of my other really good friends. We all met while studying abroad in London 6 1/2 years ago (eek!) and while we've been all over, we still have an incredible bond. Mazel tov, Amy!

Have a great weekend everyone!

We are friends for life. When we're together, the years fall away. Isn't that what matters? To have someone who can remember you? To have someone who remembers how far you've come? ~ Judy Blume



This lovely stack of Anna Maria Horner's new Innocent Crush is calling my name. But I'm busy with lots of other things and since this is reserved for my personal use (ie. a quilt to be made for me to keep!), there's no rush.

But isn't it pretty?!

(FYI: my stack of 1/2 yards, purchased by my amazing mom, was bought here.)



Things are shaking up around here. While I still have not secured a job that utilizes my master's degree, I've decided to start working full time at my current part time job. It's retail, but I'm fortunate enough to work in a lovely store, with fun and interesting people, and am treated well. Bittersweet overall but this is simply my life. For now.

While my schedule still lends itself to time to craft, this space may be a bit quieter from now on, especially in the next couple of weeks as I get used to 40-hour work weeks. Keep checking back for what I'm up to...

Whatever you are, be a good one. – Abraham Lincoln


Yay Friday

I have officially been released from jury duty - hurrah!

On another note, had yet another first round interview...and didn't make it to the second round, despite a sparkling feedback email. Hmm. Seriously? ::whimper::

Thank goodness it's Friday, the weather is lovely, and my sweetie comes home tonight.

Unfortunately, I only have one weekend day, and then am working all day Sunday. But Saturday night we're going to see this guy (who we've seen live before, and is so much fun!):


Not inspiring...

...jury duty!

I have the utmost respect for our legal system and the importance of juries (uh, DUH, I live with a lawyer!) but the selection process is TEEEEDDDIIIOUUUSSSS. Not to mention a pain in the butt for those of us who don't get compensated by our regular employers.

Sigh. Unfortunately I have to head back tomorrow too as they haven't even gotten to me yet.

Tonight's agenda, filled with fun, comfy things (a little lonely - thank goodness my sweetie gets home tomorrow!):

1. Simple, delicious dinner
2. Warm apple cider (yay fall!)
3. Project Runway (though not that into it this season...does anyone else feel like it's gone downhill since it's been moved to Lifetime?)
4. Quilt doodling/planning/piecing/etc. (really want to make a value quilt...)

Oh! And so excited to see who gets the Nobel Peace Prize! (being handed out tomorrow)

Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. – Albert Einstein



When crafting, where do you find inspiration? I definitely have days when I'm not the mood to be crafty. On those days, I usually try not to force it, as I am fortunate enough to do this as a hobby (without deadlines...usually). However, sometimes I find myself in the mood to quilt/sew/knit but am sort of wishy-washy about where to begin. I love the daily inspirations over at Creature Comforts and am always poking around Flickr and Etsy. I listen to music, go for walks in this busy city, and try to pay attention to details around me (for example, the tiles on the floor of my bathroom are hexagon shaped!). Brooke is working on a second music-inspired quilt and I'm loving her approach.

My sweetie is out of town this week for work so it's just me and Louie. Had another job interview today which always emotionally exhausts me so I'll probably head to bed early. I'm making progress on a whole bunch of projects (as you've probably seen from my last few posts) so I'll get some more pictures up soon.


Today's agenda

Happy Friday all! It's (another) rainy day here in the Big Apple. No matter - I have lots of inside activities planned for today.

- The never-ending job search
- Quilt basting (a long-neglected top, a nearly finished baby quilt to add to the shop)
- Job searching
- Cleaning (ugh, basement mysteriously - or not so mysteriously, considering the weather and presence of patio door - a bit water logged)
- Laundry (erm, maybe)
- More job research

Ha, as you can tell, I'm stepping up the job search. As many of you know, I've been at it for quite sometime and while my yield of interviews is great (wow, can you tell that I'm a nerdy student at heart?), I'm still not seeing any results. In this tight economy, bursting with talented job-seekers, we're all fighting for a spot, especially in non-profits (my main focus). Any job search tips are welcomed! :)

Hope everyone has fun weekends planned! My sweetie and I are doing some major reorganizing/cleaning and then I'm working all day Sunday. Ah, the life of a grown-up...

It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot