purse refurb

Posted in knit, projects on January 29th, 2007 by fabienne

skull logo

this weekend i refurbished the inside of a purse that i bought at a flea market back in the early fall of 2006. the gross lining and pocket material had to go; it was smelly sticky and positively disgusting. the purse however, is an awesome shape and i needed one in black. it also fits my subcompact laptop: a consideration i never overlook. i finished all the lining and pockets (fake leather is tough to stitch into). the next project is making the purse as teched out and interactive as possible. mods that will happen to this black handbag include: wifi sniffer embedded in the strap, mp3 next track button for my nokia embedded in another strap, headphone port in the front pocket so you can store headphones there too, and more. you can check out the photos of the purse mods as i complete them at the blackpurse keyword on smugmug.

at the same time this weekend i decided to make myself a knit insert: a bag that can go in a bag but that can semi-stand on its own. it’s simple and black but the inside is slippery to not damage yarn fibers. check out the knit insert here.

sock-making thou art tricky.

Posted in knit on January 24th, 2007 by fabienne

not that ugly

i suffered a couple of major setbacks in my mission to make some pairs of socks (cursedly inspired by the seemingly simple TechGuy socks). the knitting stores conspiratorially closed early today so i sprinted and managed to grab both the yarn and the double pointed needles required to make socks.

my first mistake was losing one of the five double pointed needles from my smallest set five minutes after opening the package causing me to curse and rummage around the house only to find the missing needle a half hour later nestled in my g4 keyboard right in front of my face. the second mistake was thinking that i should force myself to switch over to continental knitting with this piece instead of my usual gimpy style. thirdly i picked out aluminum double pointeds which apparently are not recommended for lam3rz like me. the aching in my hands is a testament to the pain of knitting in a new way with tiny gage thread on slippery needles, not to mention sharp double pointed knitting in the round.

at least i have the satisfaction of knowing that i may move beyond my huge collection of scarves to something a little less beginner. i’m embarrassed each time someone brags about a scarf i made them, because frankly before today i didn’t have the faintest idea how to read a knitting pattern. you hear that scarves? you have been demoted.

take me there: dellis cay

Posted in take me there, travel on January 23rd, 2007 by fabienne

dellis cay

i’m going to start a new feature here called take me there. first up is dellis cay: an island in the turks and caicos. the island is renown for its seashells and relative obscurity. i found zero shots in flickr, and no info in wikipedia. knowing my childhood obsession with islands and seashells and sailing, i’m fairly sure a visit would be a safe bet. add in modern architecture and i think i can stay for quite a long while.

i saw the island thanks to Harry at MoCo Loco who highlighted the architectural marvels being built there by the likes of Zaha Hadid et al. if you go to the dellis cay site please be forewarned that the annoying flash presentation about the astounding architecture will take over your entire monitor. google maps wasn’t responsive with a search for the island so i am linking to their coordinates instead. i figured out which island was dellis cay thanks to a map here.

che faro senza formaggio?

Posted in food, photography, travel on January 23rd, 2007 by fabienne

pizza capriccioso: feeling capricious

a pizza without cheese is still a pizza. a pizza consumed in rome is more pizza-ey than pizza itself. this past weekend’s visit to rome was intriguing. my s.o. and i went without expectations except to eat some delectable meals. unfortunately, the food wasn’t all that great. the stellar pizza pictured above was at a small pizzeria down the hill from the vatican museum entrance where we had lunch on our last day. by this time we had pretty much given up on the dream of great italian food; i was even ready to eat at an indian restaurant that afternoon. please don’t think i didn’t love the trip, but just be prepared to hunt a bit more than we did to find a great restaurant in rome.

january is rome’s off season but the town was still teeming with tourists. the locals zip raucously through the narrow streets and alleys on scooters and mini coopers (old and new) and mini buses. faded paint peels off the buildings and carved latin inscriptions remind one that rome thrived BC and not just AD. christian symbols in the form of crosses and framed saintly figures adorn the outsides of buildings. i don’t think i’ve ever seen as many nuns per capita as i did in rome.

taller than imagined

il colosseo (pictured above) was dark and dank while waiting in line under the lowest level of arches, but once we got inside the sky cleared up. it was smaller in size but taller in height than i had imagined. we went largely without any guidebooks or history in hand, mostly so i could shoot as many photos as possible, but also i think it’s nice to wonder what things are and learn about them later. the small piles of seemingly discarded capitals from columns found in various places throughout the city look more like architectural salvage lots than archeology sites.

i understood a lot more italian than i ever expected, probably due to the excessive study of operatic scores i undertook while working on my conservatory degree. thanks gluck, you helped me order pizza without cheese.

video of annalee newitz

Posted in blawging, conferences, video on January 19th, 2007 by fabienne


i just finished a video interview of annalee newitz and a review of annalee newitz’ book she’s such a geek. check out the video here. i caught up with annalee at the 23c3, thus the hackers milling in the background during the interview shots.

frenchified = flowery?

Posted in blawging on January 17th, 2007 by fabienne


so it has been bugging me lately that when certain francophones pass articles my way to read, i can’t parse the language.

basically, if you know me, i speak fluent french. this isn’t me boasting, i learned french before english, just ask my parents. why is written french so distanced from the spoken dialect?

perhaps a small clue can come from some of my ex-coworkers at ircam in paris a few years ago. when i asked how to spell french slang no one knew because on n’ecrit pas l’argot [one doesn’t write slang]. my current language partner (she is helping me with my german) speaks with a fantastic accent in french, but can’t understand a darn thing i say en francais parle’. i like to think of myself as a sort of word snob in english, so why am i not that way with french?

i could go the route of saying that obscure cultural references and my lack of post 1970’s french pop culture is the culprit. i could say i’m lazy and that my french is rusty or never was that intellectually inspired. i could mention that i firmly believe that my brain houses french and english in two separate lexicons. or i could simply gripe about french run on sentences with their grandiloquent use of vocabulary and old fashioned poetic undercurrents that would undermine even the most rambling of american journalists while still evading the dispassionate swipe of an editor’s cursor resisting instead to exist in the realm of gorgeous but unreadable prose meant to evoke fields of supercilious coquelicots in a red not-quite-vermilion bowing their heads in a ripple of silent percussion from an errant zephyr.

…or it could be i absorb massive quantities of written-by-americans news each day.

working on the bed project

Posted in projects on January 7th, 2007 by fabienne

bed project: box of the right side

sometimes projects take longer — much longer — than anticipated. one such project is the bed project, aka the bed project from hell. well, today, on my first day off that came consecutively after another day off, i managed to get back into a woodworking mood. it helps that i no longer have people over after a rash of houseguests, but the two consecutive days off were the clincher. thanks dear employer, i couldn’t imagine getting things done without this highly esteemed gift: the weekend. (if that sounded sarcastic, it wasn’t, i love my job and yes i do love my new two consecutive days off!)

pictured above: what i finished today is the right hand frame of the bed, all of this will be covered with foam and dark grey fabric and will fit on the frame/legs that i completed months ago.

pictured below: the frame (that came with a mirror) that will be the frame of a purple tufted satin headboard mounted landscape-wise behind the bed.

frame minus mirror

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