Tag Archives: sewing

Hello Is it Me Your Looking For?

Remember me? It’s been a couple of  weeks since my last post, but I swear I have a good reason. I got a new job!! On August 1st I started as an Associate Editor at Entrepreneur.com . I’ve very excited to be working full time again, and I’m really enjoying it so far (I must know what I’m doing with this whole blogging thing, since a large part of my job is editing their blog!).

Of course this change in my schedule means that I probably won’t be posting here as much, but I love having an outlet for some of my many Katastrophic Thoughts, so I’ll try to make and stick to a revised posting schedule. I’m thinking twice a week is probably doable.

Anyways, aside from the new job, I’ve been pretty busy enjoying life:

1) I have crossed TWO more Life Long Goals off my list
I took a 5 week sewing class at Brooklyn Yarn Cafe, and learned to make a tote bag, pajama pants, an apron, and a skirt. I even bought a sewing machine and have been doing a few simple things, I’m by no means even intermediate, but I know how to sew a little now.

this is the skirt I made!

I also FINALLY convinced Mark to ride a bicycle built for two–we rented one on Govenor’s Island, but another couple stole it from us and we almost missed our chance–until Mark said “but it’s her life long dream!” It was fun, but it turns out tandem bikes (or at least this one) are inherently sexist–the woman HAS to ride in the back (talk about a metaphor on wheels) I will now make it my person mission to have this injustice rectified.

another life long dream–check!

2) I  participated in The Great Urban Race, it’s a large scale scavenger hunt all around the city–nearly 900 people competed. My team was the “Pre-existing Conditions,”   it was disappointing compared to years pass since two of the clues were printed wrong leading all of those 900 people to the wrong locations (this is why editors are so important!) and a lot of the challenges were more about the sponsors’ products than mental or physical challenges.
Our Team: Shawna, me, Mark and Bryan: Pre-existing Conditions
It was still a  fun day, and even though we finished in a not so great time, we won 64th place which because of a deal with a sponsor who I am not getting paid to name, means we could go to the national championship in Las Vegas (if we pay for ourselves…so no thanks). Since the race hasn’t owned up to or apologized for how they botched this year’s race, I think this might be our last year.

3) I attended my first roller derby! It was a double header starting with the Men’s team the New York Shock Exchange vs. some team from St. Louis that won, and then the main event: the Brooklyn Bombshells vs. the Bronx Gridlock. I loved it! I made a sign and cheered and had a fantastic time. The Boombshells won, and we plan to go see them in the League Championship in October. Also I may be adding another life long dream to my list: Becoming a Roller Derby Jeerleader

The Brooklyn Bombshells in Action!

4) I’ve been teaching yoga in the park. I’m teaching open level donation based Vinyasa classes in Prospect Park every Sunday afternoon in August at 3pm. If you are in the city, click the link for all the details. I’m donating all the money to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.

5) I’ve been doing lots of other fun New York City summer stuff, including seeing  Into the Woods at Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park. It was the best play I’ve seen in recent memory, if you are in the city, brave the early morning lines and get FREE tickets!

We also got our wedding pictures back–more on that over on the wedding planning blog eventually, but in the meantime here’s one.


What Really Happens When you Donate Clothes

At least 1/3 of my clothes came from thrift stores. I come a long line of thrifty people–“garage sale-ing” , salvation army’s 50-cent night, and “fill a bag for a dollar” church sales are family outings (even now when I fly back to Michigan to visit my family there is both a pile of clothes on the guest bed for me to look through and at least one trip to goodwill planned.)

Thrifting in NYC is different, it’s mostly stores like Housing Works, Beacon’s Closet, Monk, and Buffalo Exchange (yes there are several salvation army and good will stores but they aren’t as plentiful as they seem to be in the corner of the Midwest where I grew up), since New York is such a fashionable and expensive it follows that used clothes would also be more fashionable and expensive (although don’t get my started on the  idiocy of $30 t-shirts from some defunct softball league).


Still financial limitations, habit and fun have led me to be a life long thrift shopper. In the grand circle of life I’ve also been a life long donater of clothes and household goods. I’ve written before about how hard it is to donate items in NYC, but thankfully since that post, a clothes drop off bin has gone up a few blocks from our apartment, and I’ve become more vigilant about keeping my neighbor from throwing things that I put on the curb in front of our building (aka the Bermuda Triangle), my book club has also become a kind of a swap meet–although I’ve benefited more from that than I’ve contributed…

Anyways, because of my deep thrifting roots it was with great interest that I read this article about what really happens to clothes when you donate them. (also on Jezebel) The common naïveté that when you donate something there will magically be someone nearby who wants it , is exposed. I knew that a lot of our cast off clothes (like all those t-shirts of the losing team super bowl teams) go to Africa. But I had no idea about that the turn around time is so short, that there’s a “rag bin” since some things no one wants, and that soon the Africa won’t want our mountain of cheap tacky clothes anymore.

Reminds me of this excellent documentary from a few years ago about our addiction to cheap disposable crap and how we are drowning under all of the crap we feel the need to buy constantly. To this end I’m taking a sewing class (which fullfills another life goal) so soon I’ll be able to make new crap out of all of my old crap rather than add it to the “rag bin.”