Monthly Archives: January 2007

wardrobe refashion!

I’m so excited to follow kayte‘s lead!

I, karinajean, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 4 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings!

the rules are:

  1. No buying new! (handmade is excepted; So this allows for Etsy purchases etc!!) All clothing must be Recycled, Renovated, Preloved or Thrifted, or Handmade only for the term. Employment related and special needs clothing (ie sports, school), shoes and undies are excepted from the rules, although you are encouraged to have a go at making these.
  2. In extreme circumstances, maybe a special event, or the worlds greatest and most amazing never to be repeated sale that you simply can not pass up, you may use the Get out of Refashionista Jail Free card. You are able to use this card once during the 2 month part of your contract; ie 1 for 2 months, 2 for 4 months etc. Of course you need to fess up on the blog and display the button!
  3. You must post on the blog at least once a week to let the community know what you’ve been up to. This will not only give you brag points, but inspire and encorouge others! Of course you need to display the button on your blog and have copied the pledge in at least one post, and provide a link to your pledge under the button.
  4. You need to be honest and admit when you’ve fallen off the Refashionista Wagon! Go directly to Refashionista Jail, do not pass GO and do not collect $200! Apply for parole once there.

and the exemptions are:

  • underwears
  • bras
  • socks
  • pantyhose, stockings, and tights
  • shoes

I’m so excited to not have any excuse *not* to make really cool things. I’ve been getting by on very little in the new clothing arena for a long long time, but not buying anything for (at least) 4 months will force me to really work on my spring wardrobe. my goals are to do more repurposing of clothes and fabric, and to develop more fully my own sense of style. stay tuned! sign up, while you still can! and expect to see lots of cross posting of things I actually make!

you will be missed

Miz. Lois C, also known as michelle’s mom, also known as the reason for Team Lois, passed away on Wednesday morning after her marathon year+ battle with cancer. It’s so very sad. Michelle’s parents have always been so kind to me, and I’ve felt close to them over the decade+ that I’ve known them. Michelle and her family are in my thoughts and prayers.

And Godspeed, Lois C, on your latest run. I hope the wind is at your back, and I’m so glad to have known you.

marathon weekend starring daniel james

last weekend daniel, dan aaron, and meredith came down for a visit. of course, it was either so cold or my camera really didn’t like being dunked in thai food, and my batteries vanished almost as soon as I put them into use. so I don’t have any pics of the weekend.

they drove down on friday night and we got the card table out and played flinch. I love that game. I have so many good memories of sitting with gramma and dan aaron at her dining room table at, like 9PM, when it felt so late because it was pitch dark outside and we’d been running around all day, playing flinch or rummy or muggins until we were so sleepy gramma sent us to bed. then we all went to bed early, because we had a big day ahead of us.

after a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs and a blown circuit and dan aaron getting a new one, we were finally out waiting for the bus at 10:40. once into nyc dan aaron and meredith went to the motorcycle convention and daniel and I had cupcakes at the cupcake cafe. then we were off to the natural history museum, where we saw dinosaurs (cool, but not interactive enough for daniel), the ocean life exhibit (he didn’t want to look at the giant squid but the whale was really awesome) and the space show (cosmic collisions – a hit, b/c it was technologically more in line with what daniel is used to, and also, because we could sit down). then back downtown where we met dan aaron and meredith on the train platform by port authority, and off to walk across the brooklyn bridge.

from meredith: us walking across the brooklyn bridge.

once across, we went for pizza at grimaldi’s. yum. they were refreshing the oven so we had a nice chance to look through flyers and pick out our motorcycles for our future motorcycle gang. I’d tell you the name, but it’s got our last name in it and I try not to put that on the internets. here, though it’s not as funny as the real thing: we’re going to be called “The Big LastNames.” heh.

pizza was great, and then we walked around the corner to Jacque Torres for the incredibly thick and sweet hot chocolate. we couldn’t finish it! and we’re all into sweets! then we took the train back to the bus and took the bus home and played yahtzee until daniel was so wiped out he was looking at us cockeyed. and then he slept for TEN HOURS.

such a lovely weekend!

real food

I’m so jealous of the meat party that jesse and aurora had at their house last week. they got their hands on a giant slab of cow and had people over to divide it up. I’m even more jealous of the community that they are part of (that I left behind) in pittsburgh, where I lived near a bunch of people who, through jobs and circumstance and graduate work, have put an emphasis on this kind of attitude, and who are able and willing to quit work at a normal time and go over to someones house for a big raw cow party.

Jesse also posted a follow-up entry listing his reasons for not wanting to eat regular industrialized meat. I posted my comments there too, but I wanted to stick them here as well.

I totally respect my vegan friends and their commitment to nonviolent food. I’m concerned about violence and treatment of animals as well (which is why I stick to organic milk, some cheese, and eggs). However, I am personally more concerned about the environmental costs of factory farming (both animals and plants) and of long-distance transportation, as well as the social impacts of an industrialized food system. (I wrote about some of the environmental and social issues I’m concerned about back here.)

I used to say I’m a lazy omnivore because I don’t really like to cook meat (because it’s so much harder than cooking veggies, honestly, not b/c I can’t stomach the fact that it’s flesh – I was at lunch eating a roast beef sandwich recently thinking to myself “I am chewing another creatures muscles right now”) but this year I’m going to say instead that I’m a conscientious omnivore. This year I’m really trying harder to not order the industrial meat that is served at resturants, and I want to make a strong committment to follow those policies in my homelife as well. I don’t cook much meat at home, but I want to start bringing the meat dish to holiday dinners (like a big old turkey for thanksgiving). I want to slice my footprint, and I want to do it by eating food that I believe is healther, more humane, and something I honestly want to support. as I realize more and more how every single thing we do is magnified and ballooned by millions of people into serious environmental issues, I’m more committed to treading lightly.

All that said, please excuse me: I have to go make some cupcakes. I’m going to dinner tomorrow night and I am bringing them for dessert.

under water

after a long couple of drizzly days, yesterday evening everything looked like it was underwater. today was fine and dry and sharp, yesterday was dark and damp and soft.


it seems so inappropriate that today, the dry, almost sunny day, was the day that I felt like I couldn’t stay ahead lf the game, that I was paralyzed by stress, that I couldn’t even keep my head above water. I went for a quick drive to drop off my glasses frames for new lenses and felt the stress melt away. by the time I got back work I had a hard-knock afternoon, and had to put my head down on my desk and try not to think about how great it would be go to home to bed and curl up underneath my covers and stay there for two weeks. I can’t believe it’s only tuesday.

new skirt

yesterday I buckled down and sewed a new skirt. Maybe because I was watching TV at the same time, but it took about 5 hours. I would have listened to an audiobook, but the library didn’t have the book I’m up to in the amelia peabody series. I’d hope that if I weren’t eating nuts and talking on the phone and watching tv it would go a fair bit faster.
I used McCall Pattern M3341 which is a real workhorse – it’s an a-line skirt and I’ve used it to make my purple skirt and my fancy holiday party skirt. Also on the workhorse list is McCall M3830 – it’s a good pencilish skirt that I’ve used before as well.

Here is the fabric for the skirt:

I used some of the fabric bought from the fabric shop in belleville nj. I still have about 1 yard left of this stuff, and I’ve got two more pieces of fabric left from that shopping trip. I made sure to get matching zippers for the other fabric as well while I was out on sunday, so that’s all set up. now all I have to do is get down to it!

so, 2007 to date:

bought: pair of pretty wool gloves from target ($4.48) [[which I did sort of need, b/c I’ve lost one of each glove or mitten or wristers I have in the last 2 months, and also, it’s supposed to be getting cold this week, and also, I’m not allowed to knit for myself until I finish the corn baby.]]

made: one skirt, desperately needed b/c my other skirts are getting worn.


On this gloomy and grey Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I thought maybe I could take a few minutes away from work and list holidays.

Days the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT observes (11 total, from wikipedia):

  • Jan 1 (New Year’s Day)
  • Third Monday in Jan (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • January 20 every 4th Year (Inauguration Day)
  • Third Monday in February (Washington’s Bday/President’s Day)
  • Last Monday in May (Memorial Day)
  • July 4th (Independence Day)
  • First Monday in September (Labor Day)
  • Second Monday in October (Columbus Day)
  • November 11th (Veterans Day)
  • Fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving)
  • December 25th (Christmas)

Days MY COMPANY observes (7 total):

  • Jan 1 (New Year’s Day)
  • Last Monday in May (Memorial Day)
  • July 4th (Independence Day)
  • First Monday in September (Labor Day)
  • Fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving)
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • December 25th (Christmas)

[[plus 2 additional floating holidays]]

I’m pretty terrible, in that I’ve said to people in the past that consultants hate civil rights. which is not at all true, consultants are equal opportunity haters. also included in the hating are italians and veterans and presidents. mostly, consultants just love to get lots of work done. or make me look like I’m doing lots of work. something.

In other news I slept a lot this weekend and had a nice dinner on long island and a nice breakfast with rfrd friends and also sewed a skirt. I was thinking that I should use my digicam more, so I’m going to try and take a photo-a-day (nearly) to get back on that horse. Mostly it’s because my friend roz pointed out the calender view in the archive function at flickr, and the month that I DID take a photo a day (July 2005) is much more interesting than the months I didn’t (ex., December 2006).

Also of note: my secret plans to send out Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Day Cards have not come to fruition. Which means I have to pick another holiday, and shucks, I don’t really like the next few. I’ll just pick a famous dead scientist’s birthday or something. I would say Happy August Strindberg’s Birthday, in honor of the hilarous Strindberg and Helium (SO VERY FUNNY. Click over POST HASTE), but it might be too esoteric for some of my friends and family.

swank swank gear

as much as I’m all “do it yourself” and “cheap as heck” and “no sir, I don’t need to buy an ipod, because it won’t play books from the library,” I think that apple has finally done it. When I first got a cell phone I was obsessed with small and really used the heck out of my cutsie wee nokia. after I got used to the windows based PDA, I was obsessed with small, and moved to the handspring. I thought maybe the treo would be the phone of the future but it just wasn’t, and cell phones have just gotten bigger and boringer as time goes by.

and then! I find myself at work still, late at night, and instead of working, I’m watching the video introducing the iPhone. and holy cow. maybe I *do* need an ipod after all. it’s everything I ever wanted from a phone, a camera, and a pda (sort of, it’s got a calender) and it’s all fully integrated! and wee small! and smart! and so sharp looking! and so fancy! and offered through cingular, my current cell phone carrier! (though you wouldn’t know it from their webpage tonight, way to not market yourself, cingular.) wowza!

[[though, at $499, maybe I am still kind of cheap as heck. by the time they start shipping maybe my contract will be ready to re-up, so maybe it’ll be less spendy for me…]]

awardwinning food blog

maybe I get ahead of myself, but friend jesse at corduroy orange has been shortlisted for the best food blog by a chef at well fed network! if you agree with me that he IS the best chef, please take a moment and go vote here.

new years goals

I have a few resolutions for the new year, but they’re kind of big ticket things like “floss and take vitamins,” “really remember to go to the gym regularly,” or “work towards a more just and peaceful society.” really, what I like is new years goals. it keeps me on track, but it doesn’t set me up for failure.

here are a few I’m thinking of. they’re not as specific as some of my monthly goals can be, but they’re a good set of starting points for the new year.

financial goals

  1. read your money or your life and implement important $ strategies
  2. keep track of all $ spent for month of january
  3. catch up and keep checkbook balanced

crafty goals

  1. finish corn baby stat
  2. knit a sweater
  3. use up skirt fabrics – I’ve got material for at least 6 more skirts, so get to it!
  4. really commit to buy vs. make – repurpose clothes rather than buy new ones
  5. use up CSA foods more efficiently

other goals

  1. read 100 books again
  2. inventory and sell off MK stock

this is just a simple list of things that I ought to be doing, or things that are important enough to get done or to incorporate into my lifestyle that I make a point of publically committing. nothing scary, and no big statements like “I HERETOFOR RESOLVE TO…”
y’all have any interesting new years resolutions or goals I should know about?

swimming with the bears

foggy rainy boardwalk

yesterday was so foggy and rainy! it was very warm, though, with temperatures between 50 and 55 degrees. I wore my bathing suit under my clothes and jaunted out to coney island. I caught a 10:20 bus, and got there by 11:45 – not too bad, considering I was coming from nj. I love that Q train. it is the best.

I met sangu, lisa, lorelei, and jenn at the beach. sangu knows a real polar bear! I don’t have a photo of him. at 1PM we all ran into the ocean like crazy women. it was amazing. so, at first it’s really cold. and then it’s really painful. and then it’s kind of like you’re on fire. but then the endorphins kick in, and it’s the most amazing fun experience you’ll ever have. Sangu and I ran in 5 times. We would get out, mill around, run back in, get out, dry off, run back in, rinse, repeat. I think I’m good for about 2 minutes in at 48 degrees before it wasn’t fun any more.

you can see how healthful and happy we look after our icy plunge. and PINK!
kari and sangu lisa and jenn lorelei and lisa kari and jenn lorelei and kari we did it!

After that was the fun of getting dressed on the beach. the skirt was no problem, and the shirt wasn’t much of a hassle b/c I’d brought a loose wool sweater to cover the top of me in and I had room to work with undergarments under that. and it was warm. wool is so great, what with the insulating when wet. the issue was that everything was so damp – the clouds were low that day, and I couldn’t get un-clammy.

rocco and xenia showed up and whisked sangu and I back to manhattan, where we met michelle for our semi-traditional first meal of the year.

xenia, me, sangu

rocco and michelle

happy new year!