Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lazy (but tasty) saturday morning

While I was finishing up my dissertation, I thought that as soon as I was free from the pain of daily writing and revisions I would be back at my sewing machine as soon as I defended, cranking out all the projects that I had been dreaming about but had no time to actually do. And now that I actually am finished, I find that all I want to do is make a nice G&T and watch some bad TV in the evenings. Normally I have to actively restrain myself from rushing through sewing projects, and now about one step an evening seems like quite enough work. On thursday I traced out the pieces for the new blouse that I'm making, last night I sewed the sleeves (yep, that's it!) and today I may or may not actually get around to fitting the bodice. At this pace it's going to take me approximately forever to get through my mental project backlog, but I don't want sewing to start to feel like a job rather than a hobby.

So what did I do this morning instead of fitting that bodice? Well, I made a super duper fantastic latte. A while back, a friend of mine was kind enough to give the SO and me a home espresso machine (this one here). It looks simple enough, but it's actually a pretty complicated little beastie and it took us a while to figure out how to produce good espresso with it. I took it with me when I moved to Montreal, and since arriving here my coffee has been terrible. Watery, sad coffee, making for a sad morning Biketopus. It's like the machine was protesting its relocation to Canada. I finally figured out that it was probably due to the grind of the coffee (the grinder stayed in Ithaca with my SO, so I've been using pre-ground). And after buying some new coffee at a finer grind, behold:

I seem to have my coffee making mojo back! In addition to actually being able to pull a decent shot, I'm also getting better at frothing the milk. This is obviously not perfectly "micro-foam"y, but it's close enough that I could make a pretty swirl/dot picture. It's not quite the amazing leaf and heart patterns that you get at gimme!, but I'm pretty pleased with it nonetheless.

I had just enough morning motivation to make some banana bread, too (using the Veganomicon recipe). Nom, nom. Now off to watch bad TV and be lazy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Long time no sew

Well, no sooner did I write that last post promising my imminent return to regular blogging than my life was shaken up rather dramatically! After a rather disheartening few months on the job market last year, I had finally made peace with the idea of spending another year in Ithaca (and in grad school) when I got a job offer in September. The job was fantastic but required me to be able to start in January, so I kicked it into high gear and started putting the pieces of my dissertation together to get ready to graduate.

Between writing, revising, preparing to move and other things, I had basically no time for any of my usual hobbies. I did manage to make a few things in the precious few days off that I had, like this houndstooth skirt:

After sending the full draft of my dissertation to my committee, I headed straight to the sewing machine and whipped this skirt up while I was waiting for their feedback. I wore it to one of my defenses (yep, that's right, our department has multiple exams!).

I intended to make a new skirt to wear to the final defense as well, but unfortunately I was too exhausted by that point to make it all come together. Even though I didn't have a snazzy new outfit, I got the most important job done: I passed! You can now call me Dr. Biketopus :)

The other big news is that my SO and I got married in a lovely, low key ceremony in Ithaca. Since I was rather stressed out with other things I had initially planned to just wear something I already owned, but about a week before the date I decided I really did want to sew something. A lot of late nights were spent making this dress come together, but in the end it turned out quite well!

I've already started my new postdoc position in the fabulous city of Montreal while my SO remains behind in Ithaca to finish up some of his work at Cornell. Since I'm now free from dissertation writing and alone with my sewing machine, I hope I'll have some new things to post in the near future!