Saturday, October 27, 2007

Went to Mozart's Cafe on a crisp October day this past week. It was warm enough to sit outside with a light sweater and look at the gray Lake Travis and have a hot mint tea and not be sweating (for once).

This bird came to join us.

Apparetly this is a grackyl, which are usually brash and ugly and obnoxiously loud, but this one was quiet and cute, and a kind of greenish yellow and brown color I thought was cute.

After tea came cakes from Dhaba Joy. They are so cute!

They are vegan, and they are so good you'd wonder why anyone would think anything negative about vegan baking. SO GOOD. Also, they're the perfect bite size for someone like me, who never wants too much sweetness.

Well, maybe it was a little stressful to eat such a cute thing all at once :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This is going to get more about Austin in the next couple of days, FYI.

Today, however, it was all about staying at home. Had some tea and got some fabric out to make more things for my friend Kirsten's birthday. It's the perfect time to try new projects - I get to expariment, and she gets fun little stuff to enjoy. Today -

An apple shaped patchwork paperweight! It's filled with beans and small and hopefully resembles an apple.


The beginnings of a felt flower bouquet. This is all the flower prototypes I've created. I just have to add leaves and stems. I got the idea from the beautiful felt flowers at the Bella Dia blog. Cute! Those are far more detailed than mine, but they are so pretty and simple to make. I was going to cut the dark red one into an explosion of squared off ends, but it turned out so much like a rosebud I have to keep it that way.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall is Here!

You can tell it is getting cool because all the native Texans have put on their parkas and puffy jackets, despite the fact that a light jacket is barely necessary. This is to say that fall is here! After teasing for a little while, today it rained, then cleared up, and left a bright blue sky with puffy white clouds and a crisp brease in it's wake. There is little doubt that I'm going to have a limited window to wear cute sweaters in this deep southern climate, so I'm going to make the best of it.

After an ideal fall lunch (grilled cheese and tomato soup with Earl Gray tea), I opened all the windows and set about finishing and starting craft projects.

Here is a doorstop I made using the pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's "Simple Sewing". The fabric is Amy Butler from Craft-o-Rama, which is a fabric store I'll write more about soon. The project was begun about a week ago but stalled out due to a lack of dried beans with which I was stuffing it (to give it necessary door stopping weight). Of all the projects in the book I felt that it was necessary to start with this one because while I was out of town a few weeks ago, my puppy, Talah, locked herself in the hall bathroom between pet-sitter visits and tried to dig her way out. The result is a badly mangled door, of which 1/4 is now missing. So the doorstop seemed like a useful project.

I began a banner for my friend's birthday, using yellow and red quilting pieces. I got the idea from Decor8, where cute banners have recently cropped up to inspire me. We're going to celibrate her birthday and I thought one of these would be festive.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The First Thing I Loved

It's not the first thing that I loved in Austin. It's not even the first thing that I loved about Austin. But it's the thing I loved that made me look at all the things I love here, and create this blog.

It's behind the Blanton Museum, sort of on the University of Texas campus, not anywhere I would have found if a friend hadn't known it was there. But it's this amazing sculpture/installation piece/structure/playground thing, with a white steel beam frame and thousands of long yellow rubber tubes flowing like a 21st century waterfall. I'm not sure what it's called, or who it's by, or if it is even art at all (though it seems to have no practical purpose), but it's amazing fun.

It was Austin Museum Day, a holiday during which the city's museums forgo their entrance fees and let people wander in and out without charge, or restriction. Due to a late start, we had made it only to Umlauf Sculpture Garden and the Blanton, but had thorougly enjoyed both the art and the large number of people who had turned out to take advantage of the experience. We had almost gotten back to our car when my friend said, "Wait. We have to play on this thing. I want to do this every day on the way to class but I haven't because I don't want to look totally crazy. But you guys will play with me."

And we did play. The stretchy tubes lend themsleves to swinging, climbing, pulling and twirling. If I had to guess, I'd say it's a homage to childhood. We twenty and thirty somethings played alongside children, whose parents sat in the grass nearby.

This is what I love about Austin - that I can go to a museum and play, and that people show up to a museum and play, and that no one looks at you funny when you do.