Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jenny and Johnny - First Listen

Jenny and Johnny, aka Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice, are getting ready to release their first duet album together titled, " I'm Having Fun Now ". Yesterday NPR Music has begun to stream the album in it's entirety and I have been listening non-stop! The record sounds totally awesome. A perfect marriage of the two performers, awesome melodies, perfect harmonies, catchy pop tunes without the fake smiles and noxious auto-tuning. My only complaint about the record is that it is being released on the last day of August - the end of summer - when it has all the things anyone could ask for in a fun-loving-good-time-rock n'roll-summer-time album. I guess I better hope the rock n' roll groundhog climbs out of his hole only to be frightened by his shadow and grant us 6 more weeks of Summer thus 6 more weeks of Summer-time tunes.....or something like that....

Listen HERE
I can't stop listening to THIS song!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Alley Philosophies....

This is how I feel on Monday mornings.

This is Jeff O's photo btw.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Easy Camera Bag Pattern

I recently bought myself a new digital camera. My previous one was six plus years old, so I decided it was time for an upgrade, especially on the day that the Casio Exilim went on sale on Woot.com. My new toy was about half the size of its ancient predecessor, so I needed a new camera bag. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to store my small electronic devices in a sock until something better comes along.

Working without a pattern, I decided that I’d try out this fancy yarn I bought about a year ago. At about $10 per skein, Tango by Universal Brand Yarn makes a self-ruffling yarn that is a cinch to use, if you have a bit of patience. I was prompted by the sales clerk when I purchased the yarn that you are supposed to stick the knitting needle through the middle of the yarn and knit within the webbing (wow, it is a lot harder to describe what I am talking about than I realized!). The Lion Brand Yarn website has a fairly comprehensive how-to guide for knitting with self-ruffling yarn.

Anywho… here are my instructions, from memory, not a professional pattern by any means:

Ruffled Camera Bag (Fits Casio Exilim Camera)

1 Skein Tango Self-Ruffling Yarn (22 yards/50 grams)
Matching, DK Weight, Non-ruffling Yarn for sewing the edges and the Strap (use one of your stash scraps)
Size 4 Knitting Needles
Size G Crochet Needle
Embroidery Needle
Sewing needle
Matching Color Sewing Thread
Complimentary Style/Colored Button


The Bag- Knit
Cast On 15 (wrap entire yarn ribbon around needle, do not implement ruffling affect)
Knit 18 rows in Garter Stitch using the ruffling method (No need for fancy knit stitches)
Cast Off
Sew in ends.
Fold in half, right sides touching, and sew the long edges together with a matching DK weight yarn. Sew in ends. Flip bag inside-out so that right sides are now on the outside and sewn edges are hidden.

The Strap- Crochet
Chain 12
Row 1: Insert hook into 3rd chain from hook . Single crochet across. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 2-12: *Insert hook into back of stitch and single crochet (This makes a “ribbing” pattern). Repeat from * until end of row. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 13/Button Hole: Single crochet 5. Chain 2 (more if your button is bigger). Skip next single crochet (skip 2 if your button is bigger). Single crochet across. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 15-16: *Insert hook into back of stitch and single crochet. Repeat from * until end of row. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 19: Cast off (wrap entire yarn ribbon around needle, do not implement ruffling affect)
Sew one side of the strap into the inside of the bag at the second row from the top.
Using sewing thread and sewing needle, sew button onto the bag, centered and approximately 3 rows from the top. Using yarn to attach the button is nearly impossible, sewing thread is better.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sew Shoe Me Shop Update!!!

New items have been posted and many more to come! Check it out!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Lory took these photos of Jeff and I each holding the same 32 oz bottle of Miller High Life. He's 6'7, I'm 5'3. Pretty funny.
Jeff O Holds Miller High Life
Kortnee Holds Miller High Life

Big Bend Camping = Big Fun Camping

Yet another summer camping trip has been completed. At the behest of some of our friends that didn’t make it to previous camping trips, Kortnee booked a group site in the Tahoe National Forrest, to which I immediately said, “No way, that’s too cold!” and she subsequently told me to stop acting like a baby and grow a pair. I never grew a pair, but I did manage to procure some snow gear from a Tahoe-local friend of mine. With parka and snow pants in hand, we drove 5,000 feet up to one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever camped, Big Bend Group off the Yuba River.

We played dice games and chess games (I didn’t lose to Ted). We ate steak and campfire balls (Kortnee’s camping specialty). We drank beer and whiskey. Our friend, Jeff O brought all of his own freeze dried food to test out his backpacking gear. His Jet Boil was an amazing contraption. I want one for myself. We spent an afternoon at Donner Lake and an evening stargazing (my favorite part of the trip). The Ol’ Man and I failed at setting up our new 20-man tent cabin (in our defense, there were no instructions, or even a picture of what it should look like). There was much napping and good times had.


Far away from any main family camp area so there was no threat of harassment from rangers for being too loud.

The site was literally right next to the Yuba River. With just the slightest bit of effort, one could find a good spot to swim.

Weather was extraordinarily beautiful. It did not seem like we were in the mountains. The nights were even reasonable. I didn’t need the snow pants, but the parka was a life saver.

It was only five or so miles from Donner Lake. Kortnee & Ted even rented a Kayak for an hour.

No serious animal invasion situation. We saw some mangy squirrels, but that was about it. There were bear warnings, but the ranger assured us that it was very rare for them to wander into that area.


Right next to the 80 freeway, so the sound of cars rushing by was hard to ignore at three in the morning.

Vaulted toilets smelled horrible in the morning, and was so strong, the stench wafted into our campsite, making breakfast smell like a dead dog that had been decomposing in someone’s ass (sorry for the description, but it was REALLY stinky).

That being said, it was still an amazing and beautiful camping trip, filled with friends, food and booze. That makes three camping trips down and one to go.

Good night camping, love Lory & Kortnee.

Friday, August 6, 2010

We're off to the Mountains!

We'll return with adventurous stories, full camping bellies and maybe a couple of photos.
Scott and Cathy
Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Mom is The Best!

I just have to tell this story, even though pretty much all of my friends have heard it already.

I was eight. It was third grade. Annie, the movie, had released that summer to great fanfare. Red and white Annie dresses were in the girl’s clothing section of every department store in America. Little girls in red and white dresses were dotting the streets of my home town. I wanted one. I wanted an Annie dress so bad I could taste it. But, they were expensive. We couldn’t afford it. Like any crafty and resourceful mom, mine decided to make me one. We could afford that. Mom was a wiz on the sewing machine. She hand-made Cabbage Patch- style dolls for myself and each of my female cousins on year for Christmas. She made mine and my brother’s Halloween costumes every year. One year, I was a lamb and my mom sewed hundreds of cotton balls to my leotards and made me a lamb’s hat out of a cut up milk carton. Brilliant!

Anyway, she made me the best Annie dress a girl could have. It was perfect! I thought I looked exactly like the orphan waif in my new red and white rags. I even had my own matching heart-shaped locket. I wore that dress every single day, all summer long. I was the bee’s knees.

And then, school started and third graders are sadistic. My dress was considered less than adequate because it was hand-made instead of store bought. I was laughed at for having a “fake” Annie dress. Musings of my financial status were discussed with vicious delight. I was ridiculed and shunned. My heart was broken. I was ashamed.

Crushed and defeated, I slunk home to mom and relayed the horrors of my day to her, tears streaming down my face and my dress crumpled tightly in my dirty, sweaty hand (I took it off the second I walked in the front door). Mom, with her nurturing insight, spoke only one sentence that renewed my love of the dress all over again. The next day that I wore my Annie dress to school, my resolve was strong and my confidence was high. When my callous classmates began their relentless taunting again, I responded with the wisdom of my mother’s words, “My dress is more real than yours. Annie would never have worn a dress with her own name printed on it.” Take that, you heartless monsters!

I love you Mom, and Happy Birthday!