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Documenting my life – Day 4 – Your Kids Dressed UP

I didn’t forget about this. Just taking my time with this series and enjoying taking pictures. So the 4th in the series is all about KIDS and dressed up too. I am in a dilemma here. How is one supposed to select from over a thousand photos! No, I didnt take them for this blog, but I figured I have so many nice pictures of Dia (who just turned 1 btw) that I should just use those.

At her birthday party. She was an angel that day.

First Thanksgiving in a dress made by Gagan’s aunt.

First Diwali (Festival of Lights) – October – 2011

Blackberry camera phone. I just love the expressions on her face. I knit this red sweater for her.

Natural light filtering from the window in Dia’s room. It does wonders for this photo. I made this dress!

I think I am going to stop here. There are some of my favorite “dressed up” photos of Dia. At 15 months now she is super active so it’s getting harder and harder to capture her various moods and expressions but we are enjoying every single minute being parents.

Austin and SXSW Part 2

One of the other activities planned during our stay was visiting some of the awesome fabric stores which hosted our 10th anniversary party back in November last year. Benson of TexStyles even threw me a party. I was so flattered and honored. On Friday, despite the rain and chilly temps a bunch of us met at TexStyles and had a great time! This is one of the reasons I scope out local digs. I enjoy hearing the stories. The people behind the stores, restaurants and the shops. Their inspiration, their dreams and their life is what makes their store different from others. I enjoyed playing with fabric and trims at TexStyles while sampling some local chocolate and baked goods. These guye are awesome! I came home with a lot more fabric than I had planned 😉 (Thanks Benson). I enjoyed meeting so many of the wonderful PR members there. Thanks you guys! I can’t wait to sew up some of this gorgeousness.

You’d think that I’d had my full after TexStyles but there was one more stop which I had to make before heading back home. Fabricker! Such a happy place! Don’t let the strip mall fool you. This is a very well designed store with lots of open space, mirrors so you can drape fabric before buying. A really cool “Take a Pattern, Leave a Pattern” console is perfect for pattern-o-holics like myself. April has a daughter Dia’s age so she found plenty of things to keep her busy while Mommy explored 🙂 And we will give Daddy lots of credit for all this too because he is AWESOME! He was a trooper during my fabric store visits.

And here are some more photos from The Common Threads. Our visit there was brief but sweet. I wanted to take home the whole store. But instead, I bought this cute moda print (bottom right) for making a sundress for Dia. Even though the whole stack of Echino wanted to come home with me 😦

 

While we were in Austin, we ate really well at lots of local favorites. I had some of the best veggie burgers in Austin! My favorite was the beet (that’s right, beet) burger Leslie and I had at  24 Diner where I even indulged myself with some Mac and Cheese. Oh yeah, I was having fun. I had a great time with Leslie and Roseana at the Eastside Cafe and during quick lunches at the conference. Thank you to both of you for making this trip so special for all three of us.

Our last day in Austin, we decided to take turns watching Dia at the conference. Believe it or not, it was a lot of fun.  So yes, I couldn’t attend some of the sessions but who cares. Dia made a lot of friends and even collected some toys in the expo hall.

I am convinced that rain follows me wherever I go. How else can you explain 4 straight days of downpour in a state which is supposed to be in drought! And of course here at home it was beautiful and sunny while I was gone. All I can say is “You are welcome Texas!” But no, I am not moving there 🙂 And No, it’s not because you walk around with “Don’t move here” T-shirts on.

It’s because as much as I love to travel and experience other places, I am absolutely and completely in love, and at home right here in Boston.

Austin and SXSW – Part 1

I started writing this post right after I got back from SXSW, Austin, TX but… Life Happens…

 

I just got back from attending SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas and all I can say is WOW! South By SouthWest is a two week long festival/conference/party in the heart of Austin, a cosmopolitan city. From what I hear, over 250,000 people attend this festival every year. This was my first time in Texas so I was really looking forward to it. 7 days is a long time to be away from home and work but we wanted to make it into a mini vacation as well so we stayed a few extra days to explore Texas. I now realise that not only did we not explore Texas, when you go for a conference you shouldnt expect to see the city 🙂 Unless of course you’re twenty somethings… Cause guess what? After the sessions were over, there were parties everywhere! Complete with drinks, music, live bands and good food! Us oldies however couldn’t wait to get back to our cute little cottage to the apple of our eye. Who was a champ by he way. We had an awesome babysitter, Lauren (thanks Leslie) who looked after Dia while we were at the conference center. Was stayed in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood for the duration of our stay. So close to downtown and yet so quiet. We loved it here.

We weren't allowed in the main B&B because of Dia so they gave us this stand alone cottage instead. Worked well for us!

About the interactive conference. I didnt really go with any expectation so I was completly overwhelmed and amazed at the magnitude of it all. Just the line for picking up our badges was a couple miles long snaking all the way around the conference center. It took us two hours just to get the badges. That said, it was beautifully organized with food stalls and refreshments everywhere and since we were indoors and had good company time just flew.

We have our badges!

 

If we were a little more organized we could have picked our badges a day before and saved ourselves a little time. But we were out having fun enjoying the “Tropical” weather. Here are some photos from our day with Leslie and Scot.

Sniffing the Texas Mountain Laurels – umm.. Grape Coolaid anyone?

We all like to smell the flowers 🙂

Doves at the Zilker Park. Dia loved them!

A fun day with Leslie and Scot

Enjoying an afternoon Cuppa Joe at Dominican Joe’s.

 

While Gagan hung out at the Startup Village I was mostly at the Intercontinental which was where most of the marketing and branding panels were held. There was some excellent speakers, some of whom I’ve started stalking. Dr. Pradeep and Derek Halpern to name a few. There was even an interesting panel about why women blog which I enjoyed quite a bit. Oh, and I learned a new buzz word – “Social!”

Every single panel and seminar I attended, focused on social media and social networking and social sharing and social progamming and social partying. I get it, but wouldnt it be nice to look up from your phone every once in a while to say Hello to the person seated next to you? But then again I am OLD.

Sea of people tweeting away!

... and more

I met a few nice people at the conference. Check out dishenvy.com, a new startup about rating dishes. (Not restaurants) Cool. At the blogging panel, there was a woman seated next to me who, did not have an iphone! It’s a miracle! She and I started talking and turns out she is also from Boston and works at the MIT Media Lab, one of the most awesome of labs I’ve ever been to.

We took a break from the conference to drive to Waco (yes, that’s the one!) to meet up with some of Gagan’s college roommates. They were driving from Dallas and Houston with their families to meet with us. Despite the crazy weather and traffic we had a great time! And since Dia was the youngest kid in the group, she got a lot of attention from the others which she absolutely loved. And we got tons of babysitters. Here’s the thing about old friends. Even if you haven’t seen them in the last 10 years, you just pick up where you left off. It was great meeting you guys and getting to know you.

I’d been wanting a pair of cowboy boots for a long time and since we were in Texas… Gagan spotted this huge boot store – Cavenders close to Temple, TX on our way back to Austin. I was blown away. I wish I had taken photos but I must have tried 20 pairs after settling on these ones. The sweet salesgirl with the cutest Texas accent was super helpful. I so adored her snakeskin boots! But for now, I am calling these mine 🙂

Wow, I’ve had a lot to say! It’s getting too long so next up. PatternReview party at TexStyles and other fabric shopping report…

 

Documenting my Life – Day 3 – Me and My Spouse

The whole point of this exercise (besides creating a photo journal) is to improve my photography skills. So I’ve been trying to step away from the “Auto” mode of my DSLR. I wanted to take some kick ass portraits yesterday for today’s post. Well, let me tell you something about my spouse. He does not like his photos taken. Nor does he like to take photos. Except of course if they involve Dia (our 1 year old). But he loves me, so he humors me every now and then. Considering these were taken outdoors with no flash at 5 pm, I think I did a pretty good job didn’t I? And just to prove my point how reluctant he is as a subject, here are some shots.

I used the A/V setting on my camera and dropped the F way down.

 

You can see the background is more in focus (not what I wanted)

 

Finally! I can't believe this handsome guy is my husband!

As for my photos, I was not feeling inspired to take self portraits so I am posting some old photos.

Gagan took this picture on the portrait setting on the DSLR. Not bad!

Documenting my life – Day 2- The Inside of my Home

Home, a 4 letter word which means different things to different people. For me, its about feeling safe and being with my loved ones. It’s a place where I can kick back, relax and not worry about anything.Tricorvar istspan4 = document.getElementById(“istspan4”);var mySpanEmpty = document.createElement(“span”);istspan4.parentNode.replaceChild(mySpanEmpty, istspan4); It is a warm place where we welcome our guests and share a meal with them. This is my home. It may not jump out from the covers of a magazine but it’s mine and I am grateful for it.

 

 

 

 

My Sewing Studio

 

 

 

 

 

Documenting my Life! – Day 1 – HANDS

I am still here. Just not blogging. The other day while reading some blogs, I came across this really fun post. And just like that I am BACK!

Katie is right! We do need to document our lives. The other day when my Brother in law asked me about our Belize vacation, I forwarded him the links to my blog posts and I ended up reliving the entire vacation.

So, starting today, I am going to post photos of random things in my life and my friend Emily is going to join me in sharing hers too!

Day 1 – HANDS

Cutting up a storm

You’ve heard of “Sewing up a storm”. I am not sewing! I am cutting. Yup, that’s right, a cut-a-thon. For some reason I am enjoying the prep work more tracing, cutting, feeling the fabric more than the actual sewing. Look, I’ve filled up this whole bin.

I am not going to set myself any sewing goals this year but I am trying to sew more to fill the holes in my wardrobe. The problem is, they are all TNT patterns so while they are quick and easy to sew, I miss a challenge every now and then. I had a little one last night though. I had a yard of this really yummy bamboo knit I had bought years ago at Vogue fabrics in Chicago but never got around to using it.So I pulled it out and got to work. I decided to make this top. Kwik Sew 3032

Man that is an old picture! ok, moving on.. So as I was cutting I realized I am not going to have enough fabric for the cowl. Are you kiddin’ me? That’s the most important element of this top. So I decided to “Make it work”. I come from a family of frugal women who have always created wonderful things within their means so I closed my eyes and thought of them.

The problem with the cowl was that it was too wide and it’s cut on the fold and I needed two of these! I didn’t want a seam down the center front so I re-drafted the pattern to take some of the drape off so it would fit on my left over fabric. You can see in the photo below, the original cowl pattern is under the sheet. I took off about an inch, but marked another line in case even that won’t fit.

Look, it FITS!

Moving on to the next piece. I could just make this a one piece cowl since my fabric is the same on both sides but I decided to cut the other piece on the fold.  Since it will be technically the facing, the center seam won’t show.

Added seam allowances at the fold line

Problem solved! It may be a simple change but it allowed me to use the pattern I wanted in the fabric I wanted. The sewing… well that’ll take care of itself later on whenever I have time. Now what can I cut next 😉 ?

The year at a glance

January

Jalie 2909 I wore these pants a lot when I first made them but now I am not in love with the fabric. Its too polyestery for me and truth be told the waist is too tight. It barely fits me! I went a little overboard in interfacing the waistband. It has no give! A quick to sew basic pants pattern which I plan to make many more of.

February

BurdaStyle 12-2009-122 When I sewed this skirt, it was mainly to practice topstitching on denim before I made the jeans. This however became the most worn piece of clothing in my closet. I wore it to two PR Weekends, two vacations and wore it to work all summer long. It’s starting to look a little ignored now that it’s winter. Very comfortable and stylish. I got a lot of compliments on it.

Jalie 2909 – Jeans In the photo it looks like I am pulling up the jeans but it’s hardly the case. Almost a year later these are the most worn jeans in my wardrobe. I love em. If you haven’t tried this pattern you need to.

BurdaStyle 02-2010-104 The skirt looks sharp but because its sort of limited to be worn with purple and this being the only purple top I have, I didnt wear it that much. I do like the fit of the skirt.

Jalie 2921 After this top I fell in love with the color purple. I wore this so much that its starting to pill!

March

Sew Liberated Emmeline Apron We went to see a 50s apron exhibit at the Textile Museum in Lowell and this apron was made for that. Supposed to be a simple project but it took me over  6 hours! The reversible concept is nice in theory but it made the apron very bulky which is why it doesnt get used much in my kitchen. Pretty though!

April

New Look 6895 Oh gosh! This is another one of those tops which got worn so much over the summer that everyone must be wondering, is that all she has? Love the fabric and the style on me. And above all it is very roomy and comfortable.

May

— No Sewing Done —

June

Burda 8558 Morphed with Textile Studio Madison Avenue Dress It looks pretty but somehow I feel it also looks incomplete. I didn’t wear it much because I kept searching for a belt to go with it. Any ideas?

July

BurdaStyle 07-2008-108 Meh… Not my favorite top. Uncomfortable and weird on me.

August

— No Sewing Done —

September

— No Sewing Done —

October

Burda 8558 My first time sewing on sequin fabric. Never again! But I do love this top. I still haven’t worn it. I just keep admiring it in my closet 🙂

November

— No Sewing Done —

December

— No Sewing Done —

Before I started this post I was feeling guilty of not sewing enough last year and especially since I’ve been reading everyone’s blogs and how much cool stuff you guys made, but in the process of writing this post and collecting the photos of my work in the past year I realized, I loved whatever I sewed and it got used so mission accomplished. I will not set any major goals for myself this year and just sew when I want to and somehow I know,  I’ll end up with something I’ll love. And so,  I’ll leave you with this happy thought and wish you a very happy new sewing year!

Pretty comes with its own problems!

Happy New Year!

I am around! Just super busy with a lot of stuff. Plus I am notorious for not keeping the blog up to date.  So the last time I did a blog makeover,  it looked pretty no doubt but I didn’t realize a plugin or the theme sneaked in a code which generated a false malware warning which was scary no doubt. I got several complaints from you guys which I thank you for. I finally figured out the source of the problem but instead of spending time trying to remove it, I just changed the theme to a much simpler one.

I hope this will work for you. Please let me know immediately if this too is buggy 😦

… and the fun begins!

For most people this is a new beginning.

For us,  it’s a lot more than that. It also signifies the end of a 9 year struggle towards parenthood, difficult decisions, sleepless nights AND days, self reflection, research and DOCTORS. All that ends on February 15th when we will be PARENTS! Of course this journey brought a lot of good too. I like to think that we learnt a quite a few lessons in humility, empathy and patience but not only that, we also experienced kindness, love and support when we werent expecting. We made some friends who will last a lifetime and shared some of our stories with friends who were riding the same boat as us. But most importantly, it made us believe, yet again in MIRACLES!

We won’t talk about instances where we’d rather just hide ourselves in the closet instead of answering some difficult questions but that’s just part of the whole journey so it needs to be mentioned 🙂

Even though my mom would say I am writing this blog prematurely, I beg to differ. I am taking my friend’s advice instead who encouraged me to feel and express myself and let myself be HAPPY! I am going to be a MOM! And I cannot WAIT! And neither can DAD 🙂 who didn’t even flinch when it took me over an hour to come up with a paint color for the Little One’s room. Hours of homework ahead but somehow he decided to paint instead. And check it out. He did an awesome job. I was just doing the easy stuff, like peeling the masking tape.

Problem with painting one thing is that others start to look gross. So off I went to buy a can of white paint for the door and trims. And now it’s really bright.

We know that the road ahead is not going to be easy but c’mon we’ve waited for this day for 9 years so bring it on!

The room is ready! Even though the baby won’t have anything to wear (YET), they will have a place to stay 🙂 So since I was feeling guilty about not sewing anything for LO, I took the easy way out. I bought a pack of onesies and ironed on these cute designs. And now our LO has designer onesies!!!!

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