I'm a huge fan of Japanese style, and this is one trend that I was happy to spot on a recent visit! Reminds me of the 1980's when I mixed and match crazy bright stuff all the time. I saw these throughout Shibuya and couldn't resist these more kitchy versions. Now I'm inspired to go through my collection and mix it up!
Today was surreal... I had the honor of accompying my sister in the delivery room for her third baby and had the misfortune of attending one of my husband's best friend's brother's funeral. If I was a poet or philosopher I could come up with something meaningful about seeing both life and death in one day... but I'm not.
A few things today I can say is you may not always agree with the way others live their lives or how they do things but there's not much you can do about that.... it's just there's few people that you can truly call friends and the best you can do is to be there for them.
I'll start with my sister, my total opposite yet deep down the same. Her life is difficult but she tries! I admire her strength through the adversity she's faced in her young life. I was honored today to be the first to hold her daughter (the whole 10 1/2 lbs of her!) and be there while she was born. Holding this new being it's so difficult to remember we were all so tiny and vulnerable at one time in our lives. So fresh, innocent; new to the world. Even though I'm sure I was a terrible choice since I have no maternal instinct and get sick at the sign of hospitals, blood, any type of medical procedure! She let me in and I'm grateful to have been able to have been there for her!
Then later the service for our family friend... was tough after a minor falling out with said friend last week. In the end none of that matters, deep down there's such love and admiration for the family that we will be there with whatever they need. My favorite thing from the service was from our friend's friend, Tony when he described there nights at a local diner there until 3am talking about life and their plans for the future and how he looks back on that so fondly. Reminds me that's what life is all about, those simple moments shared with friends.
Our friend Bill's card had one of my favorite poems on the back by Robert Frost, "The Road Less Traveled". I took comfort in the fact that his short 34 year old life went this route and I hope the same for my sweet neice that was born on this day.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads
on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling
this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a
wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the
New 2013 models being packed up outside of Harley-Davidson Headquarters.
The Milwaukee Harley-Davidson motorcycle rally is starting up today, and continuing through Labor Day weekend. 2013 models that debuted to dealers last week at the Harley-Davidson Summer Dealer Meeting will be on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum just in time for Thursday's Bike Night. Check out the Milwaukee dealerships for tons more events this weekend.
The rally also officially starts the 110th Anniverary Kick-Off, which includes a year long celebration!
Official events for Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary celebrations around the world:
Date Event Location
August 30 - Sept. 2, 2012 110th Anniversary Kick-Off Party H-D Museum, Milwaukee, WI
September 4 - 9, 2012 110th Anniversary Kick-Off Party European Bike Week, Faaker See, Austria
January 25 - 27, 2013 110th Anniversary Experience National HOG Rally, Goa, India
February 14 - 17, 2013 110th Anniversary Experience Auckland, New Zealand
March 9 - 16, 2013 110th Anniversary Experience Daytona Beach Bike Week, Dayotona, Florida
May 2 - 4, 2013 110th Anniversary Experience Qian Dao Lake, Zhe Jiang Province, China
TBD 110th Anniversary Experience Mexico City, Mexico
April 26 - 28, 2013 110th Anniversary Experience Africa Bike Week, Margate, Africa
April 12 - 14, 2013 110th Anniversary Experience Melbourne, Australia
TBD 110th Anniversary Experience Sao Paulo, Brazil
June 13 - 16, 2013 110th Anniversary Celebration Rome, Italy
August 3 - 10, 2013 110th Anniversary Experience Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis, South Dakota
August 29 - September 1, 2013 110th Anniversary Celebration Milwaukee, Wisconsin
September 14 - 19, 2013 110th Anniversary Experience Asia Harley Days, Kuala Lumpur
And a few more details on the Celebrations in Rome and Milwaukee:
Rome, June 13-16, 2013:
I'm totally in love with my 2011 Zero S electric motorcycle!... so much that it had my curiousity peaked to go check out electric cars. Now I don't do anything half way so no hybrids for me, I want full electric like that cycle I love! I will admit I jumped on the electric car craze right away last year (must have watched "Who Killed the Electric Car?" too many times!) and pre-ordered a Nissan Leaf. A few months later I came to grips with reality and cancelled the order. I was sad but knew someday I'd be in an electric car!
Now with the availability of public charging stations and a year of production on the Leaf I considered it again. After test driving it I told myself I'd get one this year. We have a trusted dealership we work with (family member works there) and they ran us through all the features. If I was going to do this I was doing it all... top of the line SL. It has navigation system, XM radio, rear camera for reversing, heated seats, regenarative braking system and a solar panel on the back to charge the accessories so it doesn't drain the main battery.
I enjoyed the test drive and figured by fall I'd go for it. My current car (Nissan Altima) was getting old and needing some work but I just got new brakes and figured I would wait. A few days later I was advised of some incentives Nissan was offering through the end of July on the car. And of course they don't do that often. Ugh!... so fast track the paperwork to get the deal and I added in a sunroof and we were a go!
They had the car I wanted in stock so within a week I had my new car (took a few days for that sunroof!). I was intimidated once I got home trying to understand remember all of the features. It's a very smart car, so smart from a smart phone or computer I can program what time the car will turn on (while being plugged in and not draining battery power) to get the air conditioning or heat going. Crazy, since I am definately not a gadget person and this car is one big gadget. Luckily, I married a gadget person and he loves figuring out all the features and teaching me how to use. I can repay him by telling him which XM stations he would like since I've been a long time subscriber!
There's a carwings online service you are supposed to register with to help customize things further but we have been unsuccessful in getting that to work. It ties into the navigation as well. The highlight of the navigation (because I said "why do I need that when I can't go that far?") is that it will show you where the nearest charging stations are. The bad news is that it's updated based on drivers so none of the chargepoint stations in my home town are listed on the map yet (I'd like to have them so I know the distance from where I am while driving). That means once I plug my car into a station the car is so smart it will remember and update the navigation map for all users. We're planning to get to them in the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see if that really works since we had problems registering online with that carwings program. We're not sure if that will be affected. Stay tuned on that!
Since I drive 5 miles one way to work this car is perfect for me. It will get 130 miles on a full charge for city driving; 100 for faster freeway speeds. It comes with a 120V cord for charging which will take 24 hours to charge. We purchased an upgraded charger that has both 120V/220V and are getting the 220V upgrade in the garage. The 220V will take about 6 hours for a full charge. The car tells how many miles left based on your current driving habit, and also how long a full charge will take in hours and minutes. Charger is nice and compact, kind of looks like a bigger laptop plug, and comes in a carrying case so you can keep it in the car.
And I am happy to say the car is kinda cute! I'm keeping an eye out for some fancy accessories, I think I might want to pimp my Leaf? Maybe some green rims or something crazy!?... we'll see what we find!
A few weeks ago I traded my first motorcycle (Buell Blast) for something crazy different.... 2011 Zero S, electric motorcycle. Not only have I been referred to as a crazy hippie but I also have a motorcycle enthusiast husband that loves new technology. So it's no suprise that after a year of studying and test driving electric bikes and motorcycles that we finally went for it.
Our local Zero dealer (Schlossman Power Sports) had a beautiful year old black with metallic red rims greatly reduced. The 2012 models get much greater range but were double the price (80-100 vs my 2011 with 40-50). It was a big decision, but in the end I loved the way the 2011 looked way better. Plus, I already do not travel outside my 5 mile radius of home to work very often. I think my previous longest trip on the last motorcycle was 20-some miles (my butt gets sore and again I don't really go far anyway!).
I get lots of questions out on the road, and a few stares and even "what is that!?". The motorcycle has no clutch and makes no noise! I have scared a few birds on some suburban highways. There is no engine, just a motor and a giant battery. Under the battery is a short cord. Under my seat is a cylinder that holds a folded up longer extension cord that plugs into the battery which in turn plugs into a standard 3 prong 120 volt outlet. Also, the only liquid onboard is break fluid.
Charging time is about 2.5-3 hours, but I rarely run the battery down that low. For me I'm usually at 3/4-5/8 power and a charge to full is about an hour. They saw the cost to fully charge this bike is 95 cents. The city of Milwaukee has installed some ChargePoint stations, but they are not ideal (most are 220 not the 120 I need, one my cord doesn't reach the plug and another is in a reserved parking lot). I found better luck just asking businesses that I see an outside outlet. They are so intrigued they agree to let me plug in while I visit their establishment. Or I find friends along my way and ask to use an outlet in their garage.
I know it's not a vehicle for everyone but for me, it's perfect. Besides cheap to run, it's lots of fun to drive this stealth dirt bike-ish ride! My husband even enjoys taking this out for a spin and maybe will eventually trade his gas guzzling Harley or Yamaha in! ;)
Dress in front window before ceremony.
As a sewer, you get asked to do all sorts of things... "can you make curtains for my living room?", "can you hem my jeans?", "help me with Halloween costumes?", "will you make my dress for the big dance?" and the biggest request ever, "would you make my wedding dress?". No question brings such mixed emotions like honor, fear, joy and even a little nausea! This came from my husband's niece and my immediate reaction was "Yes, of course!".... then the brain kicked in to remember to say "as long as it's simple"! As I know really there's no such thing as simple when it comes to this topic!
So we get started trying on tons of dresses with the family so we can get a sense of what works on her hourglass shape. Magazines are browsed through, sketches are created and fabric is purchased without a plan in mind (couldn't help myself, I was in NYC!). We tried on tons of dresses and finally narrowed down that high waisted halters are very flattering on her. I would have loved to make the pattern but the clock was ticking so we found a Vogue pattern (V8556) to reference (but in the end was altered so much I probally should have made that pattern!). After 3 unglamourous fittings in scrap purple taffeta I thought we were ready so I cut into that dutchess satin from Mood and got to the sewing just 3 weeks before the wedding.
All went well so we had our final fitting 2 weeks before and I'm not sure how the bust was a little big (no problem; taken out at side seams and blended to waist) and she was no happy with the skirt shape. It was bias cut and very clingy on the hips. So a last minute layer of tulle was added to the lining. And I had a silk chiffon waistband that was not working for me. I tried to had stich it down to lay nice but finally ended up taking scissors to it and making a self fabric belt with the last remaining scrap of fabric (I was kind of regretting making a wrap and a pruse out of the same fabric at that moment!). Purse is Vogue V8628, wrap a simple double layer rectangle. Both have beaded lace applique from a beautiful fabric I found at Mood in Los Angeles.
3 years ago today, life changed forever... my sister's 3 month old baby passed away. Sudden infant death, I remember learning about this in high school but never thought anything like that really happens to anyone I would know. Wow, life changes after seeing your family go through something like that. I'll never forget my sister calling me at work with the news, my dad crying over a crib, my mom calling the doctor about stopping my sister's milk production and seeing our baby in that casket. Nothing I would wish on anyone. I tell my sister her life is like a Greek tragedy since this is not the first time she's had devasting circumstances... but her strength amazes us all. I guess since then we've learned life truly is short, you never know what the future really holds for any of us so make the most of the time we do have here. Baby Stevie, we miss you every day and never forget the lessons from your short life.
As 2011 comes to a close I'm realizing that I need to DO more instead of making lists or sitting around thinking about things I should be doing. Like this blog... many people have told me I should write a blog. Yeah, I love to write, love to do crazy things and take lots of photos of said crazy things. So here's my attempt to DO more and share more... hope you enjoy!