Busy Bike

An Ode to Bikeshare

I own three bicycles. I love Capital Bikeshare.

Thursday evening, I came home on the Metro, where I found the Capital Bikeshare 2015 #busybike. I don’t normally bike from the Metro station home, because it’s not that far, and I still have to walk from the bikeshare dock to my front door. But how could I not ride the #busybike?! Busy BikeIt’s so easy and freeing! No need to worry about a lock, a helmet*, bike lights, my clear glasses that I wear as protection, nothing – just me and a simple, sturdy red bike. It’s such a lovely feeling to push the bike in the dock, hear the locking beep, and walk away. Grab, bike, return. All things should be this simple. What’s not to love?!

 

 

*I prefer to wear a helmet because it makes me feel safer, but sometimes, I just don’t have one with me. This time I was riding less than a mile through neighborhood streets.

Snow Piles 3

Snow-covered Summer Dreams

The ground is covered in ugly snow, but The Mechanic and I are looking ahead to spring and getting ready to sell our road bikes.

Time to part ways, old friend

Time to part ways, old friend

I am sad to let this bike go, but thinking about it’s replacement, a folding bike of some kind, also means thinking about warmer weather, and all the potential trips we’ll be taking with folding bikes. And that always brings me back to our wonderful honeymoon bike tour. I really can’t wait to do another trip like that! I frequently find myself on the TripSite.com website, longingly reading itineraries and gazing at romantic destination photos. There’s the Danube Bike Path: Vienna to Budapest tour; the Passau to Budapest tour; the Magic of Croatia tour; anything in the Netherlands; anything in Germany; and some lovely tours in England, such as the Shakespeare’s Country tour….. the list goes on and on. Sometimes I look for short, inexpensive trips we could do easily, just fly in, bike around, and fly home. No need to make it into a huge trip! But then I get hung up on the cost of airfare. Sigh.

The route for the Shakespeare's Country bike tour (image from TripSite.com)

The route for the Shakespeare’s Country bike tour (image from TripSite.com)

I have to dream about bike tours through European countryside, full of fragrant flowers and trees, with small pubs and cafes dotting our path, and a warm, gentle breeze guiding our way. It’s not very pretty around here these days. Despite the (somewhat alarming) warming temperatures, there is enough ugly snow piled up to last at least another week, if not longer.

This is the time when we should be flying to some tropical island, the way most normal snow weary people do, but no, we are counting down the weeks to our trip to Iceland! Yes, that’s right – we yet again travel someplace cold and dark while the weather at home is… cold and dark. But we are aiming for the end of the Northern Lights season, so if we see those, the trip will be worth it! I’m sure we’ll have a fantastic time either way – a new country is always fun to explore, regardless of the weather.

Regarding United States traveling, though, we are contemplating visiting The Mechanic’s father later this spring. He lives near the Missouri-Arkansas border, an area I am not familiar with. Because we are considering folding bikes, I discovered that Bentonville, AR, has almost 20 miles of bike trails, the Bentonville Trail System. Seems like the perfect place to putter around on folding bikes – not so challenging that we’d want something sportier – and new scenery. Technically speaking, we’ve been to Bentonville before, but it was right before Christmas a few years ago and miserably cold. Returning during the aforementioned warmer temperatures, with fragrant flowers and trees, and warm breezes, is what makes this seem so appealing. And how fun to bike in a new state! I feel like folding bikes opens up a world of bike travel.

Visiting when it is not cold and rainy sounds wonderful!

Visiting when it is not cold and rainy sounds wonderful!

Are you planning bike trips for 2016? Where will you go, and will you take your own bike?

Just a beautiful sunset on January 31, 2016

Just a beautiful sunset on January 31, 2016

 

Snowzilla 3

Surviving Snowzilla

The weather forecasters were surprisingly accurate with this past weekend’s blizzard. Multiple meteorologists said the storm would hit the DC area between 1-3pm on Friday, January 22, and just after 1pm, I saw the first snowflakes. By the time we went to bed, there were already several inches on the ground. Saturday, January 23, was a day of relentless snow and wind. Although I enjoyed peeking out the window, it did feel tedious after a while.

I started Snowzilla (as it was named) strong, cutting out fabric, but didn’t actually feel like sewing, so I snuggled up on the couch and read all day, keeping an eye on the snow. Sunday, on the other hand, I was highly productive! The Mechanic had to work, so I accompanied him partway (thank goodness he can walk to work!) to see the results of the blizzard. (All the public transportation was shut down, so lord only knows how those poor people who *had* to work got around.)Snowzilla 3Everything was buried under fluffy white snow! And I mean everything! Once again, I was grateful that I am not car-dependent.

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Rabbit-meteorologist Edgar measured 19" in front of our apartment. Thanks Edgar!

Rabbit-meteorologist Edgar measured 19″ in front of our apartment. Thanks Edgar!

Bathed with some bright winter sun, and warmed up by trudging through the freshly-fallen show, I came home and tackled my sewing. I outdid myself – I made a blouse AND a skirt!

Working with this cheery, summery print made me happy, and long for warm weather! I made use of some of the reflective grosgrain ribbon I purchased ages ago in New York City for the ties, although I think it works better for the back tie than for the neck tie. And I had enough large scraps of the purple reflective fabric to get the cuffs made. Both the fabric and the grosgrain coordinated perfectly! The pattern is New Look 6187, which I plan to make again soon in the lower neckline with long sleeves.

I also tackled the Disaster Dress. I took out the skirt panels and simply created an A-line skirt with the chain mail Spoonflower fabric. I did add some reflective trim to the side seams, and I think I will add some elastic to the waist, even though it doesn’t really need it. I was torn between making it a pencil skirt, or just using the pieces as I had cut them for the dress pattern, and decided the later would work best. It’s pretty flattering, although I couldn’t get a decent photo of me wearing it. So now the Disaster Dress pattern is put away, never to see the light of day again. I just didn’t like the shape. But the skirt is wonderful! Too bad I ended up wasting about a yard of the fabric. Chain Mail Skirt 2 Chain Mail SkirtMonday was a snow day – just about everything was closed, schools, government, etc. I cleaned the house, and walked to “our” park, Lubber Run. It’s not that far away, but with all the snow piles, well, it was a hike. It seems like I have to have at least one snowstorm rant blog post, so here it is – how walk-friendly Arlington is NOT after a snowstorm.

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The streets are plowed. Most of the sidewalks are cleared. But no one has cleared the CROSSWALKS! Glebe Road is a very busy road, not just for cars but for pedestrians. It’s a major bus route (the bus shelters were amazingly clear), and the neighborhood grocery store, Harris Teeter, is located right there. These few blocks are always full of pedestrians, and post-blizzard is no different. So there we all were, forging across walls of snow, because there was no way to get to the crosswalks. Walking through the street behind parents with a baby stroller made me anxious for them, as well as for myself! Although most of the people I saw out were fairly healthy-looking, stable people (Millennials and low income families), I did see some elderly people cautiously picking their way over the snow. And what better argument for making ALL walk signals automatic than seeing how impossible they are to get to, once the snow plows have piled the snow up around them?!

I realize that the DC Metro area does not get this sort of snow on a regular basis, so it’s hard to know how to tackle the snow recovery. That being said, we’ve had enough snow storms to realize that people still need to get around after them, even if it is just walking to the grocery store or park. It seems like instructions on clearing crosswalks would be a good start, and encouraging sidewalk clearing all the way into the streets. Find a way to have those working the smaller, more nimble Bobcats pile the snow in other areas than the street corners. It’s a shame to promote our “car free” communities while not being able to support them year-round.

Okay, rant over. Let’s turn our attention away from the ugly reality of snow removal to the beauty in the park. It really was gorgeous, and fun to see all the kids sledding down whatever hills they could find. It’s nice to have a place to go see the beauty of the season, rather than being bogged down in the increasingly ugly urban snow.

How did you survive Snowzilla? Or do you live somewhere where this sort of thing is a weekly occurrence? If so, how is the recovery managed? Snow Angel

A cardinal in the snow in Hyattsville, MD in 2010

Sewing Up A Storm

The Washington DC area is in for a real treat this weekend – we are expecting a serious blizzard! Yes, we are under a blizzard warning between 3pm on Friday and 6am Sunday. Forecasters all think that we should get about two feet of snow. This is pretty major, because this area doesn’t normally get that much. Metro is going to shut down the system all weekend (never mind how people who *have* to work on weekends and are transit-dependent are going to manage), and people are going on panicked runs to the grocery stores. After the commute meltdown last night in a mere inch of snow, I suspect that this impending doom will be taken more seriously. Word is that this could be as bad as the February 2010 storms – everyone remembers those too, even me.

I moved to DC from New York officially in February 2010; my parents came to help me move the last of my stuff out of my NYC apartment, and drive me down to Maryland, where I had been staying with friends since mid-December. My California parents were not thrilled when we got caught in the first snow somewhere in Delaware, and we stopped in the first motel we could find. After having been told that it rarely snows in DC, that month was a bit of a shock – two blizzards back to back, one of which ended up as one of the biggest storms in DC history! And after living in New York for ten years, I was appalled that Metro was paralyzed – that never happened during the snow storms in NYC!

I know it’s hard to gauge exactly what will happen with storms, even as they are thundering down upon us, so I’m not sure if I think the predictions are going to be overkill or maybe too conservative – lordy what a thought! I am hoping that we don’t lose power, because I plan to get a lot of sewing done! Or knock out some other chores, like putting together our 2015 Shutterfly yearbook. And I need to do yoga to make up for not biking to work this week – I can’t handle the cold, and don’t see any need to suffer to get bad-ass points.

I draw the line with the "feels like" is below 0*F and I don't care if you call me a wimp.

I draw the line with the “feels like” is below 0*F and I don’t care if you call me a wimp.

We could be sorry, since neither The Mechanic nor myself made a huge rush to the grocery store, but I did stock up on some things. I’m also sorting through my emergency preparedness kit, just so I know what I’ve got. It’s hard to know what things will look like on Sunday, after the storm passes – will we have power? Will the area be brutalized like it was in 2010? Will we be able to get to work on Monday? We could be stuck for a few days. There’s always one more day to stock up, however!

Storm Prep

Storm Prep

After a pretty crappy week, I’m looking forward to being at home and not talking to anyone. I am looking forward to being able to sew up a storm while it’s storming outside. Maybe then I’ll feel better.

Bike Route Sign

Comfort Biking: Headed to Seven Corners

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Comfort Biking blog post, because I haven’t done much biking beyond back and forth to work. But over the weekend, I needed to run by JoAnn Fabrics, in Seven Corners. The weather was nice and I needed the exercise, so I biked.

It's not far, but it's not comfortable, either

It’s not far, but it’s not comfortable, either

There is an official “bike route” for most of the trip. If The Mechanic hadn’t shown the route to me, I might not have found it. Well, I might have, but not as easily. The route runs parallel-ish to Route 50/Arlington Blvd. Because Route 50 is a major road, the bike route wiggles through the neighborhoods. Parts of it really aren’t all that bad, but the signage is lousy. There are a few awkward/potentially dangerous intersections, two in Arlington and two in Fairfax. And of course, once you arrive in Seven Corners, well, it’s a car-centric retail-haven of too many intersecting roads. Bad, bad, bad pedestrian design.

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Bicycle advocates, bike-friendly urban planners, and savvy government employees talk all the time about getting the “interested but concerned” people out on bikes. I’m pretty sure this bike route is not the way to do that. It’s a shame, because it’s the closest shopping area, with a Target, Petsmart, Safeway, Home Depot, Barnes & Nobles, JoAnn Fabrics, Michael’s Crafts Store, Sears, and more – but they are all trapped in a maze of streets. The Mechanic lived right smack in the middle of this area before we got our current apartment, and he’s spent hours walking through questionably safe intersections to get to Target and Safeway. Try getting someone new to biking through this! Um, probably not. As short of a distance as it is, even I prefer to take the bus sometimes.

I've waited at this light enough times to know that it sucks - these people probably do it every day

I’ve waited at this light enough times to know that it sucks – these people probably do it every day

Arlington County has no control over Route 50, so there isn’t much they can do. However, I think better signage would be a good start. Perhaps Arlington would prefer people *not* go to Seven Corners to shop, since it’s outside of the County – maybe that’s the real reason why it’s uncomfortable to get there by bike!

(Also, I don’t think I’ve ever made it to Seven Corners and back without working up a sweat, regardless of temperature. It seems like it’s truly uphill both ways!)

There is really only one way to sum up biking from Arlington to Seven Corners: Bike Route SignThe bike route is there. It’s just not easy to find.

And with the reflective camo reflecting!

Disaster Dress

A friend said it was bound to happen – one sewing project out of so many ended up not so great. I suppose it’s true but that doesn’t make me any happier when I look at my disaster dress.

It's about 10 sizes too big!

It’s about 10 sizes too big!

Let’s review what the pattern is supposed to look like: Kwik Sew PatternThe sleeve cap should be a tiny bit over the shoulder, but not halfway down my bicep, as it is. The dress should be more fitted, the sleeves should be fitted, and the elastic shouldn’t sag. And I was so close to being done with this dress that day…

I think the biggest problem is that the solid lavender fabric is bamboo jersey, and the chain mail print fabric (my first Spoonflower purchase!) is a much heavier knit. The weights don’t match up. I think this contributes to the sagging elastic in the front and back. Also, I carefully tried to alter the pattern to fit, and again, didn’t do the dress any favors. I dropped the waist, because it seemed to high, and now it seems too low. I lengthened the sleeves, which was probably not too bad because once the sleeve seam is closer to where it should be, the sleeve length will work out fine. I wanted the dress length to be in between the two options shown, so I carefully altered for that, and now I think it’s longer than the longer version! At least that’s an easy fix. Beyond those things, I have NO idea why it’s so big. I cut out the size Medium and used the proper seam allowance (which I don’t always do, I admit).

Every time I *try* to do the right thing, it backfires on me!

Every time I *try* to do the right thing, it backfires on me!

Of course, none of this is irreparable. I just am not looking forward to taking it apart, especially considering my carefully serged seam finishing. I’m not sure I want to tackle trying to raise the waist from the shoulders. I am debating hunting for a heavier weight knit to replace the solid, but this lavender matches so perfectly that I don’t want to do that either. Guess I need to try to pull up the shoulders, make the side panels narrower, and cut the sleeve width in half. Shortening the overall length by about 4 inches will be the easiest part. I am considering adding an elastic casing around the waist on the sides, to pull it in a bit more and see if it helps take up some of the weight of the front and back elastic. I just hope I can save it enough to love it as much as I really want to.

While I think about this, I am tackling a new project – making baby clothes for a friend’s baby shower next week! I’ve never made baby clothes before and had fun picking fabrics. Not sure about tiny footed jammies and snap tape crotches, so we’ll see what happens!  Baby Clothes

 

Floral Print Swatches

Prints or Plain: Planning Perfect Projects

I’ve been soooo lucky to have two 5-day weekends at home over the holidays. Instead of rushing through life as we usually do, I’ve had the opportunity, with so much free time, to do things I don’t normally – I cooked two meals, baked, The Mechanic and I went to the movie theater (James Bond Spectre and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, woot!), and I was able to spread out my sewing projects and get stuff organized and completed.

Star Wars SkirtI even ended up with time to start a dress I thought I would have to wait on – a Kwik Sew pattern, it’s going together very quickly indeed!

I love it when a pattern only has one page of instructions, don't you?

I love it when a pattern only has one page of instructions, don’t you?

I’m so excited to be using my new Spoonflower chain mail print knit on this dress! I hunted all over trying to find fabric that I would like in the contrast section of this dress, debating between two solid colors or a print and a solid. I knew I found the right piece when I saw that. I had a swatch of bamboo jersey in a color that matches perfectly, so it ended up being perfect. (I’m adding the sleeves, and adjusted the length so it’s in between the two options shown.)

The dilemma over this dress highlights the struggle I’m having with the stack of patterns I have awaiting my attention. I had assembled a “capsule collection” for the fall, but alas, I haven’t completed as much of it as planned. I did get the colorblock dress done, and the bow blouse, but the pants, jacket, cardigan and second blouse have evaded even being started. I simply can’t decide what fabric to pick!

I’ve picked a nice solid color twill for the pants, which are on task for this month. The color will be perfect for the bow blouse. I’m using the twill as my muslin, but still want to be able to wear them, so I chose carefully. Pants FabricBut I can’t decide what to make the coat and cardigan out of!!! Solid or print? A neutral or a fun print? Something that goes with everything, or a really stand out print that goes with only a few things? I have so many print shirts right now, and several navy and gray jackets, and everything more or less goes with something else (even if I’m not thrilled with the combo), so I could splash out and do something crazy – but what if I end up wearing it rarely?! That defeats the purpose.

The coat will have reflective camo on the cuffs and hem (but not a collar), but I can't decide about the rest of it. The cardigan I just can't decide.

The coat will have reflective camo on the cuffs and hem (but not a collar), but I can’t decide about the rest of it. The cardigan I just can’t decide. 

This will be a great spring jacket that will reflect like mad when I bike home wearing it!

This will be a great spring jacket that will reflect like mad when I bike home wearing it!

I’m definitely obsessed with floral prints, if you hadn’t realized yet, but I like the occasional abstract print as well. I found this shoe print in the bottom of my stash (which isn’t all that big, to be honest) and think it needs to become a fun summer blouse. I don’t have much of it so it will probably be a sleeveless something.

I found this Moonglow Mystery print on Spoonflower and am COMPLETELY obsessed with it. I just can’t decide what to make out of it. I love that Spoonflower has “performance” fabrics as an option, so I have been mulling over the idea of making a moisture-wicking tee shirt with it, but I think it calls for a more structured, Victorian style. Hopefully I’ll see the perfect pattern soon, so I can order the fabric. Spoonflower Moonlight MysteryBut then that brings me right back to the dilemma – a bazillion print tops and only navy and gray pants. And don’t get me started on skirts – trying to coordinate plain or print skirts with everything else is a whole different challenge! Augh!

Am I the only one worried about making things that don’t go with anything else in my wardrobe? To the other sewists out there – what do you do? How to you manage what you make, and whether or not it all coordinates? Or do you just not worry about it?

The struggle is real - solid swatches, but nothing I like

The struggle is real – solid swatches, but nothing I like

Benjamin Franklin, portrait by Joseph-Siffrein Suplessis, circa 1785. Wikimedia Commons

2016: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Happy 2016!

Yay, new calendars!

Yay, new calendars!

I love a new year. Like a blank slate, a brand new notebook, it has so much potential. What will happen in this new year? Some ideas floating around, but I have learned that no matter how I plan, things always seem to turn out differently…. Nevertheless, I love the feeling of starting over, of reinventing myself – who can I be this year?!

I love this "Line a Day" Five Year journal, and this year I get to start a brand new one. What will these pages hold at the end of it?!

I love this “Line a Day” Five Year journal, and this year I get to start a brand new one. What will these pages hold at the end of it?!

However, I, like so many others, find it hard to keep my resolutions. So this year I’ve decided that maybe a personal mantra will help me stay on track. I just need to keep repeating something to myself that will remind me of my goals.

I decided to adapt the phrase made famous by Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” into simply “Healthy, wealthy and wise.” This reflects all the different areas of my life that I constantly strive to improve, so it’s easy to group my specific goals under these three topics.

Benjamin Franklin, portrait by Joseph-Siffrein Suplessis, circa 1785. Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin Franklin, portrait by Joseph-Siffrein Suplessis, circa 1785. Wikimedia Commons

Healthy

I’ve been lazy with my healthy eating habits and regular exercise, and my pants are beginning to not fit quite as well, oops! Time to reset and get back on the bandwagon. There are many things I need to do to clean up my act, but two challenges in particular that I want to focus on:

  • Eight hours of sleep. More specifically, go to bed at 10pm, rather than 11pm or later. This is a bit of a struggle and The Mechanic and I practiced a bit this week (although not last night!). My goal is to be able to get up earlier and do some yoga before starting my day, and that means going to bed earlier.
  • Cut down on sugar. I’d love to say that I’m going to cut it out completely but I can’t give up lemon bars and pumpkin pie and chocolate chip cookies. I can, however, retrain myself to only eat them for true celebrations – Valentine’s Day, birthdays, holidays… I don’t want to eat it everyday anymore. I know it’s addictive, so this won’t be easy.

    Right after I eat all these champagne cupcakes that I made for New Year's Eve...

    Right after I eat all these champagne cupcakes that I made for New Year’s Eve…

Wealthy

Saving money, or rather, not shopping, is a huge struggle for me, and it partly stems from the constant need for excitement. New clothes, after all, are quite exciting! But I don’t need much, and I want more savings. So there are two things I want to do to help myself:

  • Rein in impulse shopping. I want to only make myself things, or buy from my Stitch Fix subscription, or buy really cool shoes, not all the cool shoes. I tell myself I’ll behave and then I find myself with something in hand. Stop it, just stop it!
  • Set up a “Family and Friends” savings account. I love buying stuff for family and friends, and this year I want a dedicated savings account and have money automatically transfer into it, so when birthdays and holidays and vacations roll around, I have funds specifically to spend on them. Having it separated will work better for me; I know from experience.
This is the Boden skirt that inspired my color blocked dress that I made this fall. The skirt was on clearance so I ordered it. I love it! Last purchase, I promise!!!

This is the Boden skirt that inspired my color blocked dress that I made this fall. The skirt was on clearance so I ordered it. I love it! Last purchase, I promise!!!

Wise

Wisdom comes from different sources. I’m thinking not only of being knowledgeable and fluent in current events, but also of being wise when it comes to my actions, especially in regards to sustainability and my purchasing power. I want to think about what I do and buy and how it impacts the planet. For example, I recently read that bar soap is more environmentally friendly than shower gel, and although I don’t really like bar soap, it is making me consider trying some. The Mechanic and I are already pretty green, so now it’s time to take it up a notch.

Sometimes a different perspective is all that is needed to want to make a change. Here, the National Mall as viewed from the Washington Monument, on a recent, perfectly clear day.

Sometimes a different perspective is all that is needed to want to make a change. Here, the National Mall as viewed from the Washington Monument, on a recent, perfectly clear day.

Even if you don’t create formal resolutions, do you find yourself resolving to do things better or differently in the new year? Or do you make resolutions at another milestone, such as a birthday? What prompts you to make changes or improvements in your life?

Here’s to a healthy, wealthy and wise 2016!

 

 

Instagram 2015 Best Nine: Ironically, three are old photos I posted for a sewing challenge! (Top left, top right, bottom left)

2015 in Review: More Sewing, Less Biking

Hard to believe 2015 is already almost over! Christmas was barely over when every news agency and social media platform started trumpeting reviews of the year – hey, we still have a week! Nevertheless, I was curious to see what my nine best Instagram photos were:

Instagram 2015 Best Nine: Ironically, three are old photos I posted for a sewing challenge! (Top left, top right, bottom left)

Instagram 2015 Best Nine: Ironically, three are old photos I posted for a sewing challenge! (Top left, top right, bottom left)

Looking over 2015, I realized that I did indeed do waaaay more sewing than biking. I made 18 garments this year! Two pieces were for other people, but regardless, that is more than I made in 2012-2014 total (I made a total of 15 things in those three years)! That also doesn’t include the American Girl Doll things for my niece, plus two attempts at reflective bucket bags. Guess I was indeed madly sewing away. No wonder I’ve gotten so out of shape – I really haven’t done much biking beyond my daily commutes and errand running.

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As with most sewing, there are things I love and things I don’t. My favorites are the Liberty of London blouse I just finished and wore to Christmas dinner with the in-laws; the Bike word skirt; the color-blocked dress; the hummingbird blouse; the culottes; and the “antique” floral blouse. I love the way the reflective trim turned out in that.

It’s not that I didn’t do *any* biking – The Mechanic and I did the CASA River Ride in Shepherdstown, WV, again, and we did some mountain biking with friends.

I did participate in some bike events – BikeArlington’s Balaklava and Baklava sewing events; the Women’s Bicycle Forum during the National Bike Summit; a Ladies’ Night at Revolution Cycles; tested out Forest and Fin’s Bicycle Wrap Skirt; a bike rodeo for some elementary school children over the summer; and Reid Miller’s bicycle fashion trunk show.

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So it was a busy bike-y year – just not not as much on-the-saddle, long-distance bike riding as previous years.

My goal for 2016 is to figure out how to balance these out a bit more. Of course, I’m already planning 5 or more sewing projects for the near future, so no sign of slowing down there! And The Mechanic and I are going to sell our road bikes and replace them with something more suitable to what our interests are. I’m currently thinking we need folding bikes, so we can take them with us when we travel. And there there may be plenty of travel in 2016, depending on how things shake out!

I always enjoy planning, especially for a new year. Expect to see a more formal 2016 Goals blog post next week. I can’t help it – planning, dreaming, scheming, creating… These are the best things! Balancing it all out so that it ALL happens is where I tend to get stuck.

 

Christmas Tree Skirt

Ready for Christmas, Warm Weather or Not!

Balmy, warm and rainy weather is not the way the Washington, DC, Metro area normally celebrates the week of Christmas – 73*F with thunderstorms is far above normal. It’s hard to feel seasonal and get in the Christmas mood while digging out some summer dresses and covering them with my Cleverhood. I bought new Christmas PJs (yes, I broke down and bought them at Target for $10, when I could have a made them myself), but don’t think I’ll be wearing the long sleeve t-shirt for a while! My mom’s newly-arrived socks coordinate nicely. Christmas PJsNevertheless, it’s Christmas Eve! All the presents are wrapped, shipped, sorted and waiting to be opened. My mother knit The Mechanic and I some wonderful Christmas stockings, which arrived full of presents! Even Edgar got a tiny stocking complete with present. Time to retire my old stockings. StockingsChristmas Stockings

I finally got around to making a tree skirt for our tree. I picked the fabric last year, but now I don’t really like it. I guess I can make a new one next year. But it gives my childhood Hallmark figurines a nice place to sit. Tree SkirtChristmas Tree Skirt I decided to cook Christmas Eve dinner, since we will have Christmas dinner with The Mechanic’s family in Maryland. I’m going to attempt a vegetable Wellington, with mashed sweet potatoes and roasted Brussel sprouts. For someone who doesn’t like to cook, this is a big deal. Wish me luck!

I wish you a happy, peaceful, full of love weekend! May your Christmas celebrations be magical and your time special and meaningful. Christmas Tree