Thursday, August 27, 2009

Meet the Stowaway

I've been on the road for three months now, but I haven't been alone. Meet Gulli, my stowaway. I'm not sure if I picked him up in North Carolina or before, but he's been traveling with me at least since early July. He tends to lay low during the day, but every morning when I get in my car the web is there; sometimes it gets ripped off by the wind as I drive, but it's always fixed by the next morning. The little guy is gutsy - He's only ever ventured out on the web once while I was on the road; I was on the highway, looked over, and there he was, hanging on for dear life. When I finally got off the highway, he hightailed it back behind the mirror, and hasn't tried that trick again. Sometimes I wish I could warn him that I'm going on a trip and he'd better hide (or find a new home) so that he doesn't get blown off at 65 mph. However, he did manage to survive the trip to my grandma's a few weekends back, so maybe he's smarter than I give him credit for.

Anyhow, Gulli and I are headed back to Michigan tomorrow. My summer adventure is pretty much done, and I am very much looking forward to being home and sleeping in my own bed. I hope Gulli is all packed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If a picture is worth a thousand words...

The s*x shop is next to the child care center. And both are conveniently open late!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Previous Friday Adventure

I actually started writing this post a while back (shortly after that particular Friday!) but never got around to finishing and posting it. So, here is another episode of Friday Adventures with Shannon!

We needed a break, both to get out of the studio and to get some fresh inspiration, so we spent some time driving around Cleveland. First we went to the Cleveland Museum of Art. It's currently undergoing some major renovations, so lots of it is closed, but they did have a really neat exhibit of Asian Art.

We drove by Franklin Castle, which is actually just an old fancy house, but is also supposedly quite haunted. Apparently any time anyone tries to fix up the building or use it for anything, things "mysteriously" keep going wrong, and every project and owner so far has failed.

Then we drove through the Lake View Cemetery, which is both huge and elaborate. There is a rather famous chapel there, Wade Chapel, which has possibly the most famous Tiffany stained glass window. In fact, the entire inside of the chapel was designed from Tiffany, and aside from the window, it features enormous biblical mosaics on both inside walls.

The entire cemetery was full of lots of really ornate monuments and mausoleums for some very famous and wealthy dead Clevelanders. The Garfield Monument is definitely the king of them all; it even looks like a castle, complete with turrets, gargoyles, and imposing iron doors. Random trivia - it is one of the first mausoleums (combination tomb and memorial) ever built.

We then finished the afternoon with a trip to the West Side Market, which has both a farmer's market of sorts as well as an inside hall full of year-round specialty vendors with amazing fresh pasta, meats, seafood, baked goods, and about a zillion other delicious things to eat.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friday Adventures

After our meeting on Friday morning, Shannon and I headed off for our Friday adventure. (We've actually had adventures most Fridays, this just happens to be the first one I've gotten around to writing about. We made a quick stop at UPS, to pick up some beautiful yarn that Buffalo Gold had sent her. This stuff is just amazing - it is a beautiful hand-dyed laceweight made of bison, cashmere, silk, and tencel. After that, we hit the road and headed for Morning Star Fiber Mill, to see just what kinds of awesome yarn-making they can do. The mill is in the middle of Amish country, and we did manage to get ourselves quite lost, of course while we were completely out of cell phone range. Turns out they do some pretty awesome stuff; they use lots of local alpaca farms for their yarn. They also make this crazy awesome yarn for BagSmith, another Ohio company.

Since it was practically right around the corner, we had to go to Lehman's before heading home. It's kind of like an Amish department store; they have plenty of stuff obviously aimed at tourists, but also some really cool, random stuff. We both got cheese-making kits (very random!) and I found a belt for my antique sewing machine that I hadn't been able to find online. They also had a huge selection of do-it-yourself type books, on topics ranging from the aforementioned cheese-making to tractor repair to grafting fruit trees.

They also have, by the checkout area, a wall of yardsticks. Which was even more impressive than the wall of cowbells we had seen earlier. I loved that while there wasn't a sign asking people not to ring the bells, there was a sign warning that the bells "ring very loudly." We didn't here a single ring while we were there. As we were leaving, a man dressed all businesslike got out of his minivan and asked us if this was a good place to buy a pie.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for the day, we met several other people at the Buckeye Beer Engine for good beer, strange burgers (they come topped with things like a fried egg, pierogies, or peanut butter and banana, aka the Elvis), and an extremely entertaining evening. We sat out on the patio, around back where no one could bother (or hear) us, and random conversation ensued. Many bad jokes were shared, tow truck drivers were confused, odd things were discussed, and, according to one random guy, we managed to "insult the entire community." We never did quite figure out why, but it must have been good.

The rest of my weekend was relatively uneventful, although I did have free music outside my window all day, courtesy of Dancin' in the Streets, a fundraiser for the AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland. Retro dance tunes and remixes for everyone!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This weekend...

My sister and I...

...spent the weekend in Brookville (PA)...

...with our Grandma.

(This is an old picture, no one else was around this weekend to take a new one.)
We had a great time. Grandma is 88, still lives in her own house, and insisted on cooking all three of the meals we had there. Actually, she stuffed us to the bursting point with really good food. And wouldn't let us do dishes.

She's on oxygen all the time, so she's not up for going out much, so we sat around and she told us stories about when she was growing up, among other things. It's amazing what kinds of interesting stories never get completely passed down, and what people assume isn't interesting to others. Apparently, I come by my love of fashion honestly - grandma loved clothes, and apparently was a bit of a trendsetter. She had a bikini back when they were brand new and more than a bit risque! She loved new American female designers, and had clothes by Bonnie Cashin, Anne Fogarty, and Lilly Pulitzer. Oh, and she graduated from Parsons (really good design school in NY) from their interior design program in the early 40's.

She's pretty cool, and it was fun to spend some time with her. She's our last living grandparent, actually the last of that entire generation in our family. (She had 3 sisters and a sister-in-law, most of whom were also pretty cool ladies.) It's really nice to have this chance to spend time with her and get to know her as an adult before she dies. Hopefully she'll be around for a while longer!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Bride Wore...Her Own Sheep?

wedding dress is insane. The bride designed it and had it made out of the locks from one of the sheep that she raises. I love it.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Bad blogger, no cookie!

I just got a call from my mom. Saying that she hadn't seen any new posts on my blog, so she thought she'd call to see what was happening. Oops. This weekend has been supremely unexciting; yesterday it was chilly and rainy, and today it's been so hot that even my fingernails are sweating. The lovely pre-war apartment building that I'm staying in does not, of course, have air conditioning. I've been trying to work on some new design ideas for fall knit accessories, but wool yarn doesn't really hold much appeal right now.

Last weekend, however was much more interesting! The boy was in town, so we did a bunch of fun stuff... Friday, we went to the West Side Market, which has a pseudo farmer's market outside and amazing year-round vendors inside. (I say pseudo because there was no shortage of vendors selling fresh produce that was not local. Caveat emptor.) Inside the market, it is full-on sensory overload, with any type of fresh meat you can imagine, fancy cheeses, seafood, fresh pasta, spices...all kinds of good stuff. We got stuff to make an amazing dinner (fresh linguine, basil, tomatoes, ricotta salata, and the driest scallops I've ever seen) and wandered around looking at everything for a little while. Saturday we packed up a picnic supper and went to see the Cleveland Orchestra. During the summer they perform at Blossom, an outside amphitheater/festival grounds out in the country. We sat on the lawn and had a lovely evening with wine, cheese, and Tchaikovsky's Fifth. There was even a couple near us who had brought their own candles. We were quite far back on the lawn, and I was quite impressed with both the acoustics of the space and the quietness of everyone seated on the lawn. (With the exception of a woman near us who spent over a minute wrestling with a plastic bag that apparently was not behaving to her liking.)

Sunday we headed over to the Cleveland Zoo. They apparently have "the largest collection of primates in North America," and it was indeed an impressive variety. Aside from the monkeys, saw spaced-out koalas (but they are so cute!), squabbling flamingos, a cheetah taking a leak (much to the amusement of the kids next to us), and plenty of other animals. They had a sea lion who was quite the charmer; we got to the pen shortly before one of the trainers came out to work with him. He reminded me of Zeus (my large, less-than-brilliant dog). He handled the game of fetch exactly the way Zeus does; he'd watch the trainer throw the empty plastic bottle, look at where it landed, and then swim directly over to the trainer for his treat. Without getting the bottle. At one point, the trainer went back inside to get something, and the sea lion slid out of the water right up to the door, laying there dejectedly with his nose to the bottom of the door as if he was trying to wriggle in after her, or at least see where she'd gone. What a ham.

Random: first on the NY Times paperback nonfiction list is "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man". Funny, that's exactly the opposite of the combination I would prefer. (What's the quote - well-behaved women seldom make history?)