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PR Weekend Philly 2010

– Smoking is prohibited on this flight, but if you’d like to smoke, please let us know and we’ll put you on the wings and say “Bye Bye Birdie”…
– If the cabin pressure drops, you’ll see the masks drop in front of you. Stop screaming and put one on. If you have a few kids, pick your favorite one and put on their mask before others.

I had a big smile on my face. And it wasn’t from the silly jokes the airline host cracked in a lame attempt to keep us entertained while sitting on the runway for an hour. Man… they will do anything these days. Its pathetic…

Ok back to the point. The reason for a big smile on my face was from having spent a fabulous weekend with Karen in Philly. Yes, I did make it to the PR Weekend, even if it was two months later. When I told Karen that I couldn’t make it in May, she invited me to come later and stay with her and “We’ll have a mini PR weekend for you”. And she was right!

You are not going to believe how much fun we crammed into just one day!

After a wonderful welcome from Karen and Mario on Friday we stayed up talking late (another PR Weekend tradition) and planned the next day.

We had a quick breakfast in a nearby cafe which had the most delicious coffee I’d had in a while (Yes, I know my java!) and headed straight to the Farmer’s market after a quick stop at a “Porch Sale”. Karen and Mario live in the historic neighborhood of Philadelphia which sadly is being eaten up slowly by the University but there is still a lot to absorb there. I was fascinated by the architecture and the personality of the houses. When I admitted to Mario that at one point in my life I wanted to be an architect, he took me to the neighboring lane where all the houses had painted porches. It was amazing!

As the mercury kept rising, we refreshed ourselves with some free samples at the farmer’s market and explored the adjoining Flea market. A teal necklace found it’s new home 🙂

We were now headed to the famous South Street where other PR weekend volunteers were joining us for lunch and some Fabric Shopping! Yup, it is PR Weekend alright 🙂

Ok by this time, we’re completely soaked and marinating in our own juices (Sorry for the mental picture). So we spotted a fountain and I encouraged Karen to go in! Wow that was awesome. We cooled off and by then it was time for lunch.

But wait, I almost forgot. On the way to South Street, Karen showed me the historic sites – The independence Hall, the old Tavern. We even saw the Sheraton where you guys were staying for the PR Weekend. What a great location.

At the fabulous Middle Eastern restaurant Mimi, Annette, Elaine and Lee joined us. What a great group you guys were! After a great lunch of Falafel and Hummus (one of the best in Philly) we headed towards The Fabric Row.

Our first stop was Kincus Fabrics and guess what? I found the ONE piece of fabric I wanted to take from this trip. It was a lovely teal and brown cotton. But since all the other stores were also on the same block, I kept it back and decided to come back if I didn’t find anything else.

Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet was awesome! “You never know what you’ll find here” said Karen. And sure enough, I found a couple pieces of remnant fabric to make this Burda dress 🙂 Karen convinced me that remnants don’t count towards my ONE fabric rule so I bought it. I’ll write a full review of these stores on PatternReview.com

Andrea joined us after a few hours (the queen of last minute sewing, she was working on a dress for dinner)

and while the others headed back, Karen, Andrea and I walked around for a few hours and saw one of the most amazing forms of art. The “Magic Garden” is the creation of Isaiah Zagar, a Mosaic artist. He proves that art has no specific form. It can be found pretty much everywhere as long as you open your eyes to the possibilities. What an artist! If you are in Philadelphia this is something not to be missed.

Here’s another thing not to be missed… If you are a shoe lover you just HAVE to enter this store Bus Stop. The owner of this store hand picks the shoes she carries and each one of them is drool worthy. We spent a GOOD amount of time in there trying many shoes. Karen in fact refused to remove the shoes she tried on and in the end, they had to go home with her 🙂 Oh this was so much fun!

We headed back to Karen’s house where we freshened up and changed into dry clothing for dinner 🙂 Mario and Karen had made reservations for us at their favorite Italian restaurant and we were famished by that time. When the owner brought us our food and I took the first bite, Karen exploded into giggles looking at the expression on my face. Yup, I was in food heaven. Never before had I tasted gnocci so delicious.
The lovely couple

We walked off those calories as the local crew showed me the old city of Philadelphia. And guess what? We ran into an open air concert at Penn’s Landing. What a beautiful way to end a fabulous day.

You’d think that after having had such a long day we would drop dead when we reach home. Wrong! A cold shower brought me back to life and this is my favorite part of this weekend – We stayed up till 1 AM talking!!! Yup it is after all a PR Weekend.

Sunday morning – we played dress up! I requested to look at all the awesome stuff Karen makes and she agreed. I even tried a few dresses on and I am now convinced that I need to make most of them 🙂 And finally you are not going to believe this. Karen said “You must try this dress on, if it fits you, it’s going home with you”. And my lucky stars… it did, beautifully, so now I have a new dress and the best memory from this weekend.

I wore that dress to breakfast and folks THAT is the reason, I am still smiling 🙂 What a wonderful and memorable weekend to spend with friends, food and shopping! At breakfast when Mario pointed out that we were giggling like girls, I said “It is very important to keep the GIRL alive, so we are” 🙂

Karen and Mario thanks for a wonderful PR Weekend and thanks to Andrea, Mimi, Annette, Elaine and Lee for braving the 100 degree weather and hanging out with us. It made it so much more special for me!

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Rain Rain Go Away….

All this RAIN! I think my plants are dying because of too much water! But what the heck… I am EXCITED about my FIRST Trench Coat. A few months ago I never thought I’d need a trench coat. But now, I can’t imagine my life without it. At the PR Weekend Portland, I tried on some fabulous trenches and now I want one of my own!

This one actually belongs to Leslie, but I fell in love with it, so had to try it on. I think I pulled it off 🙂

And look at the fabric I scored from Mill End in Portland!

It’s a little too bright but that’s exactly what I need to get over the gloomy rainy days here in New England.

I also bought a Buckle from Pacific Trimming on my recent trip to NYC.

So what else do I need? Ah yes, the pattern…

Remember the coat I made back in October/November last year?

Well that pattern also has a trench version!

And Stacey’s review convinced me, that is the right pattern for my first trench.

See, I believe in setting myself up for success anytime I try something new. So for my first trench I want to keep things simple. So while this pattern may not have the traditional details like Leslie’s version, at least it has enough to pass as a trench.

Plus I know this pattern works for me so no fitting involved!

I am contemplating whether or not to make it knee length or mid thigh… decisions decisions.

I’ve spent a good part of this morning reading all trench coat reviews and I like the idea of putting in lining just in the sleeves like Leslie (loohoo) did on her Burberry trench. So I shamelessly e-mailed Cidell to help me find the same burberry lining! Fingers crossed!

So there you have it. Now that we have a record of this trench, I HAVE to make it 🙂 This will be my July project. And you know what’s going to happen don’t you? The minute it’s ready to wear, the rain is going to STOP!

PR Weekend and more…

I am notorious for not updating my blog. Its not that I don’t want to. It’s just that I don’t give it the priority I should. May was really busy too with the PR Weekend, and then the PatternReview book and now that summer’s here (sort of), I am busy working in my garden. So I’ll try to make this short. I really don’t want to go into the newsletter mode I generally do when I write the PatternReview newsletter 🙂

So this is what I’ve been up to in the last month or so.

May 15th – 17th
PR Weekend Portland

Highlights for ME
Meeting so many of you, I spend hours every day with.

Chatting with old friends from previous PR Weekends

Getting hooked on to NAIL POLISH!

making a lot of new friends

And having a blast in the school bus.

Seriously, one shouldn’t be allowed to have this much fun. I’ve written a more detailed report on PatternReview, so you can read it here.

Fun with my Niece
May 17th – 20th I was in San Jose, CA to spend some time with my cousin and my favorite (only) niece. Anusha, my 5 yo niece reminds me so much of myself when I was little. Not that I remember my childhood but I do remember being full of energy, vivacious and a handful and she is just like that. Whenever I go there, we have a ball. I shared my love of nail polish with her. She is only FIVE but she loved it. Cidell gave me this really cool blue nail polish.

So that’s May for ya. In June, I got busy with my garden. And it doesn’t look half bad, if I may say so myself. I’d better drop my gym membership. Its been months since I went and I’d rather spend time gardening than go to the gym. Actually I’d rather do anything than go to the gym 😦

My Garden Photos

On the sewing front, I haven’t made much progress since the skirt I sewed for PR Weekend which was worth every second I spent on it. I SIMPLY LOVE IT. This is also my May garment for One a Month Sew Along.

My Review Burda 8407 on PatternReview.com

On the sewing machine is another quick skirt from Kwik Sew 3032 and I am planning to make the Jalie Pants after that.

I must now go back to browsing more nail polish colors. I just can’t get enough of it. Thanks to Cidell!

Not enough time!

Do you ever feel there is not enough time to do things that you want to do? I bet you do! I feel like that almost every day but some days it’s just insane! Like today for example. I made a list of things I needed to do today but got nowhere near it!

Things need to get rolling for the first ever PR Weekend West Coast and I have no time to even think about it. I need to also set up the contests for next year and my sister in law was sweet enough to compile a handy list for the contests from the boards but I still need to finalize which contests will run next year and when. And lets not even talk about getting sponsors for the contest prizes. I keep telling myself – “Breathe!!!!”

I was thinking about making this really nice dish for dinner tonight which my mom made when she was here 4 years ago but the only thing is that it requires a lot of time so I guess that’s not happening today. Gagan, loves it so I am definitely going to make it sometime this week.

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