Sunday, October 29, 2006

I've been spoiled

Thank you Secret Pal!

My Secret Pal has spoiled me rotten. Saturday after going to the mailbox twice!! I discovered a huge box on my porch. No return address...hmmm but the post mark did say MD. A hint A hint! My package is filled with special touches only she could create. (1) Patons Self Striping Yarn (2) Pattern and fabric for my new sewing addiction (3) Wonderful burnt orange lace weight (?) yarn (4) thread (5) Bobbins *FULL* (6) measuring tape. All of this wrapped in a wonderful suitcase type 'bag' - you know how I love the BAG. Wow, what a wonderful surprise. I'm very impressed with your attention to detail Secret Pal. I think my favorite is the filled bobbins....only my blog readers could possibly understand this! Thank you very much. Now, about that lace weight yarn??? Can you help me with appropriate patterns? I'm your typical cook book knitter. I search for the exact yarn specified in the book - I'm too scared to substitute yarn.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In Honor of Halloween

Halloween, is my unofficial favorite holiday. I think it is because I love fall. In honor of October and halloween I've knit a basket. I plan to use this as my trick-or-treaters candy basket. I gave up trick-or-treating myself many years ago. Now, we spend the evening hanging out in the living room eating pizza and greeting the neighborhood kids.

This pumpkin is knit with Cascade 220 6 skeins in total at $7.00/ea (YIKES) and then felted. The strength it has is amazing! This could easily be used as a candy holder for trick-or-treating kids. The opening is slightly small - which makes it tough to locate the exact type of candy you want...but then we could have bigger problems right? The pattern is at MagKnits they have a much better picture on the web-site. I used slightly different colors. Mine is a bit more brown than orange and the stem is heathered green rather than St. Patricks Day green. I love it! I have it at work now sitting on my desk.

The Samba

We had so much wine this evening - I don't even remember what country/dance we were highlighting. I think it was Brazil and the Samba. Whatever was in the cocktail they were serving made the crowd a little rowdy! Much happy dancing was had and dessert too....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Not without Lava?!

Thank you NPR and Anne Gerrels. I LOVE NPR!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tough Choices

Carly Fiorina. This is a woman / leader I'd like to sit and chat with. She's seen the good, bad and ugly of the board room. I would bet she has a pretty good read on the male-ness of Corporate America. During her fishbowl she shared a story from her first sales job. The client wanted to go to lunch, seemed reasonable, unfortunately it was at a strip club. She paid for lunch then AND became the CEO of one of Americas largest companies. Quite a career path and oh ya, she started as an administrative assistant...

Her speach talked directly to me. I related to her comments about Fear especially. Check it out here - your own mini Fishbowl....

She is quite controversial for her choices, everyone I talked to had their own slant on her. I haven't made up my mind yet. She wouldn't discuss the book at all - too many juicy details! So this weekend, I'm going to dive and and learn all the secrets. She said the success HP is now experiencing are lagging indicators (trying to eeak some credit for it maybe?). Wonder what she thinks of Mark Hurd and Patricia Dunn's current situation.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Starfish or Spider

Do you like firm structured organizations? Apparently they are extinct. But what happens when a starfish tries to take out another starfish?

Today's Fishbowl was hosted by Ori Brafman a 31 year old MBA from Stanford. His bio along with his co-author is pretty fascinating. One of the funny points in his talk was about YouTube - to illustrate his point he showed this: Now you are one of the millions who have seen this but not the President's most recent TV appearane.

If you cut off a spiderÂ’s leg, itÂ’s crippled; if you cut off its head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfishÂ’s leg it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. WhatÂ’s the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, craigslist, and Skype? After five years of ground-breaking research, Ori Brafman shares some unexpected answers, gripping stories, and a tapestry of unlikely connections. The Starfish and the Spider argues that organizations fall into two categories: traditional "spiders," which have a rigid hierarchy and top-down leadership, and revolutionary "starfish," which rely on the power of peer relationships. The Starfish and the Spider explores what happens when starfish take on spiders (such as the music industry vs. Napster, Kazaa, and the P2P services that followed). It reveals how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the US government, are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success.The book explores:

    1. How the Apaches fended off the
      powerful Spanish army for 200 years
    2. The power of a simple circle
    3. The importance of catalysts who have
      an uncanny ability to bring people together
    4. How the Internet has become
      a breeding ground for leaderless organizations
    5. How Alcoholics Anonymous has reached untold millions with only a shared ideology and without a leader

Born in Israel and raised in Texas, Ori Brafman has been a lifelong entrepreneur. He holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford UniversityÂ’s Graduate School of Business. After the events of 9/11, Ori co-founded Global Peace Networks, which catalyzed a network of CEOs working on conflict resolution and economic development. These small circles of CEOs collaborated in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. There was no hierarchy or rigid structure. Rather, the circles worked independently on their own projects. His experiences with Global Peace Networks led him to write The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.
Wanna buy it? Go to The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Double Header - Who's Monitoring the Site?

Lunch today with Barbara Fairchild, the Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appétit. Barbara discussed her book, The Bon Appetit Cookbook.
Didn't win the raffle on this either - bummer - she sold me on the includedrecipee for brownies (her mother's originalrecipei) and Thanksgiving Turkey (her choice for 14 years).
"Bon Appétit has been America's favorite food and entertaining magazine for decades, celebrating the culinary experience with recipes that have made cooking both a pleasure and a triumph for generations of home cooks. Now, for the first time, The Bon Appétit Cookbook brings together more than 1,200 of the magazine's all-time, best-loved recipes for every meal and occasion. These recipes represent the very best of the magazine's sophisticated, foolproof style: easy-to-make dishes that incorporate a variety of regional and international influences--recipes that are delicious the first time out. Like Bon Appétit itself, The Bon Appétit Cookbook is, as Barbara Fairchild puts it, "approachable, relevant, and fun."
The book is accessible and easy to use, and includes engaging headnotes and clear explanations along with nearly sixty illustrations of ingredients and techniques. You will also find invaluable tips, techniques, and advice from the experts at Bon Appétit. Throughout the book, they share test kitchen secrets in how-tos that demystify and simplify more than three dozen techniques—such as deveining shrimp, cutting corn off the cob, and frosting a layer cake."

Steve Wozniak - Silicon Valley icon, philanthropist, and Co-Founder of Apple discussed his autobiographical book, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It for a bonus afternoon Fishbowl.

"The mastermind behind Apple sheds his low profile and steps forward to tell his story for the first time. Before cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand and slim laptops that fit snugly into briefcases, computers were like strange, alien vending machines. They had cryptic switches, punch cards and pages of encoded output. But in 1975, a young engineering wizard named Steve Wozniak had an idea: What if you combined computer circuitry with a regular typewriter keyboard and a video screen? The result was the first true personal computer, the Apple I, a widely affordable machine that anyone could understand and figure out how to use. Wozniak's life--before and after Apple--is a home-brew mix of brilliant discovery and adventure, as an engineer, a concert promoter, a fifth-grade teacher, a philanthropist, and an irrepressible prankster. From the invention of the first personal computer to the rise of Apple as an industry giant, iWoz presents a no-holds-barred, rollicking, firsthand account of the humanist inventor who ignited the computer revolution."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Waltz

Waltzing makes you feel glamorous and delicate - except when you are traveling and switch feet, that hurts.

We dined on veal cutlets, spaetzle and chocolate cake. The mushroom sause was divine! Starrynights is doing a good job with this continuing education seris.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dear Secret Pal

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I'm so new to knitting I love almost everything. I like experimenting with different textures. I'm currently using EuroFlax Linen. Everyone said I would hate it. But I enjoy its structure. The one thing I tried and HATED was kidsilk haze. I think I went blind trying to keep it all straight. Made me crazy!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

A teacup from Harrods, a plastic mug from KAMs and my own home-made fabric needle/roll case. I store my double points in a store bought fabric case.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting since 2002 (I think) and consider myself intermediate skill level. I taught myself from reading books.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes I do - Amazon is near and dear to me and my checkbook!

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

My favorite candle scent is anything that makes you think clean - like rain, linen, lavender, white tea. I don't like candles or bath products that smell like food - just makes me hungry.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I enjoy candy but don't live for it. I hate chocolates that are all mixed up with stuff like nuts and flavoring. Keep it simple - chocolate is good all by itself.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

Currently I'm learning to sew, I like to cook - deserts only. I don't spin and at the moment have no interest.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Music is very important to me and I like a wide variety. I'm currently into international stuff - Girl from Ipanema is a favorite. I'm an NPR junkie and don't leave home without my iPOD.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

My favorite colors are warm autumn tones. Reds, navy, orange and greens. Not the circus orange and greens...but nice warm tones.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I'm married with one cat that bosses us both around.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I love scarves and mittens - hats mess up my hair and ponchos aren't my thing. I made one for my sister (at her request) and she doesn't wear it either...(just checking if your reading)...

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

My favorite theme is babies. The items are small and quick and really delight new mothers.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Right now - I'm deep into the Mason Dixon book - so I'm working on dishrags, linen handtowls and linen lace.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I prefer straight wooden needles. Bamboo seems too sticky - aluminum isn't sticky enough.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes I do - I inherited my swift from someone who thought it was a pany hose dryer.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Not more than a month - I pick a goal and go after it.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Halloween - but I hate scary gory stuff.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Nope - minimalist is my thing.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I guess I do collect something - knitting books. I buy them sometimes before they are released and pretty much have my own personal library.

I subscribe to Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I would like to learn an easy/fast cast-on. I just hate starting a pattern when it says cast-on 146. YUK.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I just learned to turn a heel and have finished 2 pairs of socks. The small yarn scared me away for a long time! I'm ready to try one of those self striping yarns. My feet are size 10.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

Jan 5 - Capricorn

Some EXTRA questions in honor of Tali's b-day.

1. Where is your favorite knitting spot?

A train or plane.

2. If you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead?

Take up exercising to get rid of all the weight I've gained sitting around knitting!

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?

At the moment - Liverpool. I'm sick.

4. When you were little - What did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?

I wanted to be a teacher and no I'm not doing it.

5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Chocolate Chip

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Home Economics 101

I finally used the sewing machine my mom gave me. Its been sitting neglected for almost a year. It was one of those buy the stuff and then figure out how to put it together. Not to mention a couple trips to the store to get the: seam ripper, pattern marker, and of course another project!

Everything worked out pretty well. My seams are a bit puckered but the iron seems to fix this. One of my corners is pinched - but I don't care. I never figured out how to fill the bobbin - so I just used one I had; therefore my seams are orange on the top and yellow on the bottom. Artistic right?

First project is done...and you can't buy mistakes like these. Now I have a cool knitting / crochet needle case to call my own. All JR said was - Cool now I don't have to buy one...does he know how much this fabric cost?

Now, off to build the business plan to start selling these at Pike's Market and quit the day job...