Sunday, August 31, 2008

She sews! OK, she sews sheety stuff, but she still sews!

I decided today that it was time to fire up the sewing machine once more. It has been over two months since I've attempted a sewing project after all!

My project of choice...this skirt, made using the instructions in the book Sew What Skirts!
I'm fairly pleased w/the outcome, but really I doubt that I'll ever wear this skirt anywhere in public. It is a piece of sheet after all. Here's a closer look:
A while back I got really excited over a post over on Lisa's blog about a sheety skirt that she made. Lisa's turned out totally cute and it fit her very well. Inspired, I started looking for old sheets immediately. I found this one at a local thrift store for 50 cents(I also found a SMURF sheet...Smurfy apron anyone?) and it's been patiently waiting since then to become a skirt.

My sheety skirt fits kinda funky. Either it's too big or the elastic waist made everything waaaay too bunchy right under the waistband. I can't really tell what the problem just doesn't look right, ya know.

I've made one other skirt which also has a funky elastic waist, but overall is cuter and more flattering than the sheet skirt. Perhaps I do better w/a premade pattern than trying it on my own. I'm still going to try again...especially if I can find some more 50 cent sheets!

Hmmm. Now I'm wondering what other sheety projects I could make...Any ideas?

***6p.m. addition***I was showing Mark the skirt(I'm still wearing it) and discussing it's ill fitting nature (like he would care) when he said...and I'm not making this up..."It's cute, though". In 20 years he's never said any of my clothes were cute. This sheety skirt however, he thinks is cute! Hilarious!

Ah, Vienna...

While I enjoyed and was blown away by every place we visited in Central Europe, I must say that if I could only visit one of those cities again, it would be Vienna. Both old and new, quaint and metropolitan, relaxing and exciting, it is truly an incredible city.

Here are some random impressions a month later. Why did I not keep a journal while I was traveling??? Anyways...
  • The city was extremely clean and neat and orderly.
  • We were out fairly late and rode on the subway quite often and I never once got a creepy or unsafe feeling. I get those feeling in the parking lot at WalMart here at home.
  • I did a lot of people watching on the subways and I think(or perhaps want to think) I was pretty good at distinguishing folks from Vienna vs. the German folk and tourists. Austrian people are pretty people y'all.
  • GREAT food!
  • Expensive. Expensive. Expensive.
  • Cultural experiences are literally around every corner.
  • Some of the most beautiful architecture I've ever seen was in Vienna.
  • A day and a half is not nearly enough time to experience this marvelous city.
Despite the fact that ours was a whirlwind tour and we saw only a fraction of the city, I was completely taken in by Vienna and if I could, I'd be back there tomorrow.

Now, for some photos. Waaaay too many to photoshop and straighten. Just tilt your head slightly if they look a little crooked.

This is one of my favorite photos...I have no idea what this building is, it looks like a hotel to me...we were waiting to catch the bus that goes around the Ringstrasse when I snapped it.A film festival was going on while we were there. We meant to go back and catch a least a bit of it but got completely distracted by the Wurstelprater. Which was AWESOME. Photos to come...
Parliament building. Absolutely gorgeous.

Taking a break from sightseeing on the Parliament stairs.

One of Vienna's most famous residents. When I make it back to Vienna, I'd love to visit the home of Mozart.Speaking of Mozart...Jackie and I had a full body shiver inducing conversation w/a creepy man who was most likely NOT Viennese(dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes) in a Mozart costume outside the Vienna Opera House. His wife(also dressed as Mozart) was equally creepy. I won't go into details but let's just say this guy was into "open marriage". Blech...there I go full body shivering again. Let's get that whole scenario out of our mind w/a nice photo of the four of us as we approached a palace, shall we...OK. That's enough for one post. I have a ton more photos from Vienna, but I'll save those for another day.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Smocza Jama!

In my last post, nearly a month ago, I posted some photos of the Wawel(Va-vell, not Wa-well as I mistakenly called it to some students at school--such a dork) Castle in Krakow. While there, we discovered the dragon's den or smocza yama was available for public viewing. SO view it, we did!

The story of the Wawel Dragon goes something like this.

Many years ago a nasty dragon flew into the city of Krakow and inhabited a cave beneath the castle. When he wasn't inhabiting his cave, the dragon was wreaking havoc on the town. The townspeople were terrified and distraught due to the mean and nasty (dare I say dragon-like) demeanor of the dragon. So much so that at the advising of the king's royal council, they began to offer up sheep and goats as a sacrifice and to prevent the dragon from turning on and gobbling up the townsfolk. This satisfied the dragon, but not for long...he began to peruse the royal fields for dessert. The king sends out his bravest knights to try and kill the beast, but none are a match for the dragon. Just when the king is at his lowest and fears nothing can be done, a lowly cobbler knocks at the castle gate. The cobbler convinces the king to trick the dragon rather than try and defeat it by force. The cobbler takes a sheep as offering the next morning...but not just any sheep...this sheep is made from tar and sulfur. The dragon gobbles up the sheep and suddenly feels a horrible burning in his stomach...he flies to the Vistula and begins to drink from the river. Unable to satisfy his thirst or stop the burning, the dragon drinks so much that his belly grows bigger and bigger and bigger guessed it...he explodes into thousands of pieces. The king and the townsfolk rejoice, the cobbler is greatly rewarded and of course, the king gets a brand spanking new pair of dragon skinned boots.

This is the version I've been reading to the students at school other versions of the story not only livestock but also townsfolk especially young girls are the dragon's food of choice so once per month a virgin is sacrificed to the dragon. Ends up the only one left in the town is the king's daughter and she is promised to anyone who can rid the land of the dragon. The cobbler prevails and ends up marrying the kings daughter. For the kids at school, I've been sticking w/the first version.

The entrance to the dragon's den was about a million extrememly narrow stairs leading straight down a winding staircase into the cavern.I ask you, is it possible to visit a Dragon's Den and NOT ham it up a little? For some of us, it is impossible.
This is our dragon, Smok Wawelski.The kids at school were especially in awe of this photo of the dragon statue breathing fire. They did a lot of "ooohing and Awwwwwing"!
Now, I tend to have a runaway imagination and I absolutely love books and movies in the fantasy genre, so it was extremely easy for me to imagine that this cave was the home to a nasty, fire-breathing dragon once upon a time! While I did see some absolutely amazing and breathtaking sights in Europe, I will say that visiting the Smocza Jama at Wawel was one of the coolest things I've ever done.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Has it really been a month since I left for Europe? Wow. Getting back in a routine has been even harder than I imagined. I should have planned to be back at home for at least a full week before heading back to work, rather than two days. I had hoped to post photos of the trip and stories before now!

And sewing? crafting? cooking? housework? What's that? During the week my days consist of work and my evenings consist of getting home between 3:30-5:00 on any given day, falling onto the couch for an hour or two and going to bed. My weekends. Uh. more couch inhabitation.

That's it. My exciting post European/back to the real world life. Although I did walk more in the 16 days I was there than in my entire life, the real world is much more exhausting, y'all!

So, let's get to the world of my exciting European travels, shall we?

During my first week in Europe, we(Jack, Scott, Blake & I) went on a whirlwind trip. Our first stop, Krakow. Once the capital of Poland, Krakow is a beautiful city rich with Polish history. I could ramble on forever about how beautiful the city was and how much I enjoyed our time there, but instead, I'll share some photos. Photos which pale in comparison to the actual beauty and awe of being there. Apologies in advance for the "I'm too lazy to crop, lighten or straighten them" photos.

One of my favorite places we visited while in Krakow was Wawel Castle. We walk around the grounds for the better part of the afternoon.
In my next post I'll share some photos from Smocza Jama at Wawel Castle. It was so much fun, especially for a gal whose imagination tends to run wild!