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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If you parked it then you shoulda put a pin on it!

I just had the most wonderful, refreshing day ever. I won't bore you all elaborating about the deep funk I was in recently (boy, that was a really bad one), the important thing is that I have surfaced and I feel like my old self again. I'll be posting tutorials, and stories, and writing more regularly again. Do any of you ever get that way? I mean, to call it a "funk" makes it sound like you're just a little blue. But we're talking dangerous, deep dark depression here. My poor family. There was even a day where I closed the dogs out of my room *gasp!* and literally spent the day under the covers watching tv. No crafting, no nothing. Just snarling at anyone who dared poke their head into my room. My sister came in to ask a question and gave me a tentative sideways hug, and I think if I could have sprouted porcupine prickles, I would have. Sorry, family. I love you.

Anyway...... Today!

Ain't we cute? We could totally be sisters. 
I got the day off of work (thank you, work!) and drove up to Los Angeles to hang with Laurie Perry (Crazy Aunt Purl). Chatting over twitter a while back, she mentioned something about being in the garment district. I tweeted back that I've never been, which soon lead to future plans to meet up and make a day of it. I was beyond excited, since she's a personal hero of mine. She wants to hang out with ME? ME?! We only briefly met in person at Literary Orange, but it felt kind of like running into an old friend. From the moment she climbed into my car at the train station, it was an easy comfort that we both commented on later in the day. So what did we do?

First, we had lunch at a little mexican place that had excellent street-style carne asada tacos. Their lemonade was light and tasty, and hands-down my favorite I've ever had. Most lemonade is too strong and too sweet, but this was perfect. We meandered past a bunch of fabric stores, and little shops with cute dresses and tops and such. Laurie told me to feel free to stop in anywhere I wanted to, but I hadn't planned to do a TON of shopping (very limited budget) and didn't want to be tempted. But then...... the shopkeeper said "dresses $7!" Wha-WHAT?! Uh, yeah. I wanna go in there. Cute dresses, but nothing I couldn't live without. But the next shop, I got this:
Cute, no? $7. Seriously. I'm in love. I'm still wearing it from photographing it. So comfy! I have to buy a slip for it though, because it's definitely on the...ahem...sheer side. Next came Michael Levine. Laurie said this was her favorite place, and I can definitely see why. Hoooly moly.
Just a tiny portion of the warehouse-sized store!

Aisles and aisles of quilting cottons.... drooooooool...


This is what I wound up with. I showed INCREDIBLE restraint. 
 I was amazed at the selection. We're talking "up-to-the-minute" designs. Like "just came out last week" type fabrics. I could have cried with everything I wanted. 

After Michael Levine, we wandered a bit. As we all know, I have absolutely no sense of direction, so it was pretty much up to Laurie to figure out where we were at.
Laurie figuring out where exactly we're at. SHE had the foresight to grab a map. Me? Not so much.
While Laurie was figuring out where we were at, she was narrating the street names and directions, mostly thinking out loud. All I can hear when it comes to directions is "wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah" ala Charlie Brown's teacher. I try to listen, I try to pay attention. I really do. But my brain is a funny thing, and directions and geography just don't stick around in there. She said something about hoping she could remember where we parked. A moment later, we saw the parking lot (alley) we were at, and I said "Oh! I'll stick a pin in it." Referring to the iphone map feature where you can drop a pin to mark where you want to get back to. Being a giant dork, I started singing "if you parked it then you shoulda dropped a pin on it!". Laurie thought this was hilarious. We both admitted that we make up silly songs all the time, and especially about our pets. Have I mentioned how very much I love Laurie?

We passed a place that sold cheap hats ($5!!!) and I bought two. I wish Laurie would have bought the black one she tried on, because it looked FABULOUS on her. Don't you think?
She so byoooteeful!
These are the two I bought:
Yes, it makes me look very distinguished and sophistimicated.

A red and white hat? I had to. You understand.
The hoodie I'm wearing in those photos was picked up for $2.99. $2.99!!!! And it has teeny tiny owls on the inside!
Rowan approves

Then I found this for $5. YES PLEASE!!
Rowan assumed I was photographing her. It's all about Rowan.
It's like nice pockets, is a weather-resistant type of fabric, and has a cute matching coinpurse on the inside. $5?! Seriously?! It's my new knitting bag. I already have everything all transferred over.
We were making our way over to the farmacia Laurie's written about (far better than I could). I promised my best friend Morgan I would look for some of those cool Santa Muerte candles she wants for her house for halloween. What do you think, Morg? I couldn't resist the chicken one. She and I have a thing with chickens. I couldn't pass it up.
It's not just a chicken, it's a BLACK CHICKEN. Chicken of DOOOOOM!
There's a series of running jokes. "Morgan's so goth.....*fill in the blank*". Well Morg, I found you a goth chicken. Cluck cluck, motherfucker. ;)

Hmmm...what else? Oh yeah! On the way back to my car, we passed a hot dog stand I insisted we try. I'm so glad Laurie was up for one too. It made me feel less guilty. I mean, come on... Could you pass up:
Bacon wrapped hot dogs give me El Big Happy tummy. YUM.  There's Laurie ordering for us.
So we ate our bacon wrapped goodness, then made our way back to my car. Or so we thought.

Me: "I dropped a pin! I can get us back there!"

......two blocks later......

Me: "This isn't it ?"
Laurie: "Nope." 

We were going in the wrong direction. I couldn't even follow the freaking pin I dropped to mark where we had parked. Typical me. Sorry, Laurie! 

So that was our day, and I had the absolute time of my life. It was such a badly needed breath of fresh air, and I feel totally inspired and recharged. Laurie is the kick in the pants I needed to start blogging in the first place, so I suppose it's appropriate that hanging with her was the kick in the pants I needed to start writing again. I feel like I've known her all my life. Love you, Laurie! Traffic on the way home was horrible, so I pulled off to get a vanilla cone from McDonalds. Traffic is infinitely better with good 70's tunes and a vanilla ice cream cone. Try it sometime. 

Well, I hear my embroidery calling me, and I have a glass of wine with my name on it waiting.  I'll leave you with one final photo of the embroidery I've been working on:
They're going to be panels in a quilt
By the way, I want to publicly gush with gratitude about the Cath Kidston sewing box my AMAZING friend Jenna of SewHappyGeek sent me. It's my embroidery box now, which gets used and squeed over on a daily basis. It makes me ridiculously happy. More about embroidery tomorrow. Goodnight everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful day too!