Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pittsburgh, PA

The amazing thing about graduate school is I leave town for a week, to go to a conference, and I feel like I've gone on vacation. Several of my colleagues and classmates and I traveled to Pittsburgh, PA for the yearly Ecological Society of America conference. I presented a poster of my work and listened to many talented scientists and educators present about their work. It was an exhausting and reinvigorating week. I am feeling recharged and also overwhelmed by all the things I have to do now to finish my PhD. But I am reminded, and reassured, that I am capable of completing this phase of my education.

My roommates and I were able to inject some tourism, site-seeing and general (non-science) enjoyment out of the trip. We hit up the famous Primanti Brothers restaurant in the Strip District. We had to wait to get in, but we were quite pleased at the final result! We ordered both a roast beef and cheese and a cheese stake and cheese sandwich. Primanti's are known for having both cole slaw and french fries on the their sandwiches. Delicious! The cole slaw is not the usual mayo-y, sweaty stuff I'm used to. Rather it was tangy, and just had salt and pepper. The fries...well, let's just say I have never met a potato I didn't like, and these were no exception. I highly recommend a stop at Primanti's if you're in Pittsburgh. They have several locations through out town. Another good place to eat lunch: Wholey's Market. Fresh, fast food, good flavor and easy on the wallet.

And finally, it wouldn't be a vacation without a fabric store! We hit up Loom, also in the Strip District. The shop had an amazing assortment of both home furnishing fabric and unusual cottons for quilting. Lots of books, buttons and odds and ends too. The shop ladies were friendly, but they were super slow checking out customers. I think this could have been remedied with a better counter set-up and moving to an electronic c heck out system, rather than writing invoices (seriously? Why are we still even doing that?). But I bought some Charlie Harper note cards (love) and some bee hive print fabric (also love).

Pittsburgh, PA. Worth it.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010


Just some fried green tomatoes.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Teaser :: Wedding Quilt

What do you do when the quilt you are making as a gift isn't ready in time? Well, you make a second gift!

The wedding quilt I'm making for my friend wasn't ready in time. So instead, I made a quilt sampler. It's a 7" by 7" block with a smattering of the fabrics used in the quilt. I framed it (IKEA frame) with a pretty, complementary paper backing. And I typed up, and pasted a little note to the back of the frame.

As much as I wanted to have the real quilt ready for the big day, and be there when it was unfurled, admired and snuggled under, this was my next best option. And it fit in my backpack.

Monday, February 1, 2010


It began with an egg. Just an ordinary egg. That was washed, examined and then drawn upon. With pencil.

Then it was drawn upon with wax and dipped in a rainbow of colors. Each time more wax, applied with (semi) precision using an old Ukrainian wax-melting-tool (a candle).

And then, five hours later, it looked like this

The photos don't do it justice. Google "pysanska" to be inspired. The process is long but the decorated eggs are amazing! And you could use Luba's Ukrainian Easter Egg Decorating Kit. The dye can last up to a year once mixed. And pickle jars, apparently, work really well.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Christmas 2009 :: All gifts were made by hand :: I accepted crazymomquilts' challenge and made my mother a 9 patch quilt. It's not finished yet. I made my grandmother a ripple blanket from a thrifted bag of yarn. And I knitted my sister an infinity/cowl scarf. There were many other beautiful gifts made and received (and some IOUs). We're already preparing for next year!