Saturday, July 07, 2007

Recovering.

It's been a long time since I've posted, and a really long time since I've blogged about anything substantial. Coming back from Cancun with the worst cold I've had in a while really took the wind out of my sails for a while--I couldn't even dredge up the energy to knit, and what's the point of a sick day or two if you can't indulge in some knitting?

I'm also admitting to myself now that I think I lost some of my blogging mojo for a while there...posting joyless little entries that don't have much of the same energy and gusto I used to load up my writing with. Looking back over earlier entries, I couldn't believe the way I used to go on, and on, and on...and on. (You get the picture!)

I imagined that maybe my blogging style was evolving to shorter entries, more to the point, and while that's true, I also think that I wasn't very juiced up about the writing. You know the state of mind, where you get this great idea for a post and think of the clever title and start composing it in your head long before you actually fire up the laptop?

Luckily, I've had all of you to draw inspiration from and keep me interested! I feel that things are about to take a turn for the better, which probably also means good things for my dissertation-to-be, since any kind of writing feeds the professional writing I have to do. Anyway, I hope to post more often, and with more joy.

Here are a few things to update you on:

Cancun! I've already shared a few pictures, but here are a couple of highlights:



These are pictures of Tulum, taken by Jennifer and her dad. These Mayan ruins are, in a word, astonishing. I'd been to the Aztec ruins of Tenochtitlan before, which are spectacular in their own way, but I was in no way prepared for the magic of Tulum. It's a walled city overlooking the ocean, so before you walk through the tiny doorway in the stone wall, you have no idea about what lies behind it. The claustrophobia of the passage only intensifies the astonishment at how the city opens up in front of you.

Iguanas sat and posed regally for us. I imagined that they were ancient Mayan princes who remained to dwell among their ruins and keep guard. They so obviously gave off an air of ownership.


The city drops off at the edge of a cliff, opening out to the Caribbean. The water is the bluest, warmest water I've ever seen. I wish I were floating out there right now.

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Another of our outings was to Isla de Mujeres, where we scooted around the island on a golf cart, had lunch, and did a little shopping. I took some pictures while trying not to bounce off the back of the golf cart (watch out for those speed bumps!).

Isla Mujeres

All in all, a truly wonderful vacation.

In crafty news, I didn't have a chance before I left to Mexico to post about the tote bag I made for Jennifer. This is the All-Day Tote from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing:


How happy am I that I finally broke down and bought a self-healing mat and a rotary cutter? That made cutting out all the pieces for the tote super easy, since everything was basically a square or a rectangle.

I'd found this Alexander Henry fabric, the Sexy Wrangler Cowboy Pinups, at my local quilting shop last year after having seen it on the blogosphere in a few places. (I think it's out-of-print now, but you can still find it on Ebay occasionally; I just checked and saw some fat quarters.) I instantly knew I wanted to make something for Jennifer out of it, since she was leaving Texas to move back to her home state of California and, well, I wanted her to have a little something to remember us by.

Ha! Well, it's almost been a year since she moved away, and I finally got around to making the tote. I decided to use the fabric for the lining, and found some pretty denim to complement it for the outside. I love the way the red stripes make it look a little tailored, and completely fail to prepare you for opening up the tote and finding this:

(That's Vanessa Minillo on the cover of Lucky in there, looking utterly content to be surrounded by all that beefcake. Ahem.)


The cutting of the pocket was utterly serendipitous. I swear I cut this piece without any kind of planning.

The surprised scream and giggling when Jennifer looked inside was totally worth it. She also loves the tote in general, and used it on the beach, and has brought it with her for her summer visit back to Texas. A success!

One thing, though--I think the tote could use some reinforcement, in the form of interfacing or a cardboard bit on the bottom, and Jansdotter doesn't mention either in her instructions. But since I wanted to make this tote very packable and washable, I decided to leave all that out.

Next time, I'll update you all on my lace tank from the Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2007 issue. I've realized that knitting complicated lace while watching Buffy leads you to only one place: Tink City. So it's coming along, but a little sloooowly.

6 Comments:

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere. I suspect that blogging and knitting are like everything in life - sometimes you're into it, and sometimes you're not. Those photos from Cancun are gorgeous, prompting me to ask yet again why I haven't been to Mexico yet. And I love the cowboy totebag! Especially that pocket - hee hee.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Your vacation looks like it was a lot of fun, despite the bad cold. I love the tote. The pocket is inspired!

 
At 5:42 AM, Blogger Karen said...

The tote came out awesome! Now I'm dying to make one too. Guess what, on Friday I broke down and bought a cutter and mat too. LOL Now I have no excuse not the make the tote. Thanks for the tip about the interfacing . . . I'll make sure I put some in.

 
At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Leigh said...

dude, i love tulum. that place is so amazing. AND i love your bag, too! way to rock it, lady!

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Pete said...

Great vacation pics. Lola and I just saw this same beefcake fabric at a store in C/S!! We were looking for something to make curtains out of and, well... we decided to pass on that one.

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger meg said...

Great pics of the vacay. If you get a chance, email me with some tips about things to do around there. I was thinking of putting together a day trip for the guests to Tulum the day before our wedding and wanted to hear about it. I am worried it may be hard on my 84 yr old Nana.

If not, we'll go when the honeymoon starts. It's going to be so hard coming back home.

missmegkellyATgmailDOTcom

 

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