Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 1 - Walk v2.0

I'm keeping this picture small because it ain't the prettiest one, but it IS of the fiercest Nips in action and let's be honest - fierce is not always pretty. I'd say Day 1 went pretty well. The weather was absolutely fantastic. We made REALLY good time and had a pretty good pace going until those pesky blisters came to haunt Kerry just like they've done before! She was such a trooper!!! They bandaged up her feet and she managed to go another 5 miles where we passed the 16 mile mark. At this point her feet were hurting so bad that she had to be swept off to camp and I (yes I wimped out) followed along with her. Kerry and I pitched the tent and made it all cozy back at the Wellness Village while Erin, though she was experiencing major acid reflux, carried the Nips flame along by herself for another 4 miles! WHAT AMAZING LADIES THESE ARE! I am so priviledged and honored to have these two in my company all along the way. Thanks girls. You're simply the BREAST! (I stole that line, by the way.)

We've had dinner and showers and massages and now I'm about to curl on the couch with Steve while my other two Nippers are safe and sound in the Wellness Village at the park.

Oh also, I have to say, I am not a baseball cap kind of girl. But I am so so so soooo happy that my mom's friend Chris was so sweet enough to send me this awesome hat with a pink ribbon on the side and I LOVE IT! I'm so glad I have it. I think it really keeped me from getting a headache in the bright sunlight. Thanks, Chris!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008


Just a few random thoughts and points I'd like to mention before I go get my beauty rest for the Avon Walk TOMORROW. Yes - tomorrow is the day we've been waiting for all these months of fundraising and er... training... yeah training!

Last weekend was amazing. During two different fundraisers we raised another $400 for the Nips Ahoy team. (There are still shirts left if you want one!!) I completed two training walks: Saturday, 6 miles; Monday, a whopping 10.4 miles on the hottest most humid day of this year to date. And I got a lot of cleaning done! Super hero... i'm tellin ya!

I know we will do well on this walk. I experienced instantaneous enthusiasm today at event registration after my 2 hour trek from Evanston to O'Hare (where registration is located). The weather looks like it will cooperate, too. Sunny and high 70's.

I spotted a baby opossum today outside of Kresge. Such a sweet little creature. I hope he was not harmed by the construction going on next door.

Well that's it for now. I need to be at Soldier Field at 5:30am tomorrow.......ttttthhhhhhhfffpppp!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Tragic Story

Today whilst I was riding along the North Channel Bike Path I noticed that one of my beloved hand warmers were missing. I turned around to retrace my route, riding slowly, scouring the lawn with my "botanical eye". But alas, my attempts only left myself and my other hand warmer devastated. (I think we deserve a cupcake! What do you think?) I will just have to make another matching hand warmer... I think I still have some of that yarn. On the bright side, at least I did not lose something more valuable like my wallet, my phone, or (God forbid) my engagement ring! Which, btw, has been resized and cleaned and is sitting here beautifully sparkling on my hand. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The yard sale was a complete SUCCESS! We were extremely lucky with the weather. When I woke up that morning it felt so much like summer and continued to be perfectly sunny and breezy the entire day until the sale was over. Kerry decorated the porch with balloons and streamers. Erin made homemade chocolate chip cookies. Many people stopped by with their kids and dogs. And we even had a cat visit us! We sold lots of our junk (and other people's junk), pink lemonade, pink cupcakes, cookies, puppy chow, and our team tees. We also received many a donation. All together we raised over $400!!!! Click on the photo to see more.

We are now at 78% of our team goal!!! But there are still TWO more fundraising events that you can attend.

Friday May 23rd - Bluegrass Trio Show at THE ATLANTIC
5062 N Lincoln Ave (Lincoln and Foster)
Starts at 8pm
$10 cover
Featuring Kerry and Mike Semrad and special guests
(we will also be selling TEE SHIRTS at this event)

Saturday May 24th - Pink Martinis will be sold to benefit Nips Ahoy! at Mars Gallery
1139 W Fulton Mkt in the West Loop
6pm - 11pm
in conjunction with a MARTIN SORRONDEGUY exhibit
photography images of the punk scene from the early 80's til now

Thursday, May 15, 2008

get your Nips Ahoy! tees here!

Get them soon before they sell out! The Nips Ahoy! team tees are finally available. I had them printed at a shop because I couldn't get the ink to work out right... I thought this would be the case but I wanted to try anyway.

About the shirts:
*Brown American Apparel 100% Cotton
*Unisex Sizes - Small, Medium, and Large
*pink Nips Ahoy! Chicago on the front
*small pink ribbon and the words Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on the back
*You can show your support for the Nips Ahoy! team by proudly sporting your shirt around town!

This tee is yours for a donation of $20 or more - in other words, each shirt is $20, but if you can give more that would be great!

ALL of the proceeds from these shirts go toward our fundraising goal of $6,700.

Here's how you can get yours:
*DO NOT DONATE ONLINE. You will have to purchase the shirt directly from me in order for our team to pay for the shirt cost and put the rest toward our goal.
*Just send an email to
nipsahoychicago AT gmail DOT com

and include your name, size, donation amount, and mailing address. If you need the shirt shipped to you we can do that too!

OR you can stop by our Yard Sale this Saturday May 17th and buy a shirt in person!
Again here's the info for the yard sale:

Garage Sale & Bake Sale Saturday 5/17 9am-4pm

2228 West Giddings Street (one block South of Lawrence and Oakley)

All Proceeds go to the Avon Breast Cancer Walk via team Nips Ahoy!!

We will have books, electronics, furniture, CD's, DVDs, clothes, antiques, baby stuff, official team T-shirts and tons of funny random things!

Sweets and lemonade will be available to buy. Or, just come by to donate, chat it up and wish us good luck in the walk! We will dedicate pink ribbons to your love ones to wear in the walk. Pink ribbons will be available for all who want one.

See you there!!

Super Hero

Commuting to work on a bicycle is a little bit like being a super hero. During the rush hour periods of the day you are dressed in a costume of utilitarian gear and sun glasses. You rush into the office and inside of a small booth (aka bathroom stall) magically transform yourself into your professional persona.

"Smaller than an SUV!"

"More efficient than a Toyota Prius!"

"Faster than the CTA's so-called Rapid Transit!"

"Polar Bears near the arctic circle cheer her on as she zooms past sedans and minivans, running on the fuel of pizza and beer she consumed the previous evening (from Whole Foods of course) {belch!} she cycles on, fighting global warming AND terrorists with one swipe of her hand-knitted-arm-warmer-covered fist!"


By day, masquerading as a slide librarian.... well not even that.... just a digitizer in the slide library. Who knew?

Spring Chickens

I've been terrible at blogging lately and you'll see why. This spring has been filled with lots of time with family and friends and attending many events. You have to expect that this entry is going to be very long with lots of photos.

First of all I had my 27th birthday at the end of March. It was low key with a few celebrations sprinkled here and there. The highlights were having Easter with my Mom and sister, my engagement (I count that as a birthday celebration, too, because it was kind of a birthday present), my big fat candy bar cake, having pizza at Candlelite with some of my buddies, and I received these AMAZING bamboo bowls from Vietnam - a gift from Lacey M. Thank you so much - I LOVE THEM!!!! I'll take a photo of them soon.

Other birth news - one of my bestest high school friends in the whole world, Devin, had her 27th birthday around the same time as me, AND is expecting her first baby any minute now!!! I'm literally waiting for the news, it could come at any time. She would probably kill me if she knew this photo was up on my blog so let's hope she doesn't read this :)

At the beginning of April I drove to Michigan to attend her baby shower and to document it for her and especially for Eberly (her sis) who could not be there. It was so wonderful. I love taking pics of grandmas and little kids, and there were plenty of them there! After the baby shower I met my cousins for Cousins Dinner at Garfield's in the mall. It was pretty funny to be back there again.... such a strange place, that mall. We let the girls ride all the little rides there outside of the restaurant. They are growing fast...

The next day I did some driving around. I went to Ann Arbor and had brunch at Cafe Zola - my favorite brunch place!.... mmmmm..... crepes..... here's a pic of the place I met my friends Liz and Ryan there. After that, I headed off down good ol' I-94 to Albion dear Albion, where I was just in time for the senior art show. It was short and sweet and I got to sneak a peek in the printmaking studio where the visiting artist was working on her book edition - beautiful stuff. I picked up a couple packs of Oberon on the way out of town.

There was another kind of Albion reunion in Chicago the following weekend, when Crystal and Marybeth came to visit me and we dragged ourselves to the Aquarium through the rain and sleet. But it was definitely worth it, and we only had to wait in line for 20 mins. Here is some lizard guy that we saw..... can't remember which kind he is but he's pretty cute!

On a sunny, warm Sunday morning, I drove out to Lake Zurich to visit my friend Jennifer and her baby, Myles James. She made me brunch and we ate out in the back yard basking in the peaceful, pure suburbia of the day. Wonderful. Myles is completely adorable and I can't wait to see him in the Baby Surprise Jacket that I made for him.

Steve's mom drove to visit us for a weekend. I didn't take any photos but I will tell you what we did.... We kicked off the weekend with a nice dinner at a brand new restaurant in Andersonville called Big Jones. Yummy! Manhattans, Oysters, and Red Velvet Cake - what more can I say? We also visited the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute - a must see!

My most recent visitor this spring was an old roommate of mine - Camille! She was passing through Chicago and stopped to spend the night here. It was just like it used to be. Neither of us could stop talking we had so much to tell eachother because it had been almost 2 years. We cooked dinner together, went shopping, had some drinks, went for a walk... it was soooo nice. We visited Toguri Mercantile where we found so many interesting things. I bought Steve some saki cups, sushi dishes, and some cute chopsticks I found. I might have to go back there for some wedding decorations........

I have been knitting a lot even though I have not posted anything about it. A lot of my knitting has been gifts for people so I've been reluctant to talk about them here. But I'll do it anyway. I made this BSJ (my 5th) for Devin's baby, who will be named Grayson, and she absolutely loved it. The colors were perfect for her - bright and stripey. I am working on a matching hat.

There are so many baby things going on right now! We are expecting another nephew to arrive some time this month. I have finished a BSJ for him, and only have to seam the sleeves and find some buttons that will work.

AND THE TRIPLETS WERE BORN!!!! Which I have yet to mention :) Early on the morning on April 30th we became Aunt and Uncle again to three new beautiful babies in Columbus OH - Lydia, Eric, and Drew. They are all doing great considering they were over 2 months early. I know I have a while to make their sweaters. All three of them are about 3 to 4 lbs, and the sweater (in the gauge I am using) is meant to fit a 6-12 month old. So I'm thinking around christmastime.....

Someone else I know is having a little girl this summer and I need to start that BSJ ASAP! I've fallen in love with Bali by GGH. I think it is the perfect yarn for a baby sweater. It's cotton, so not too hot, but with enough acrylic in there to give it a nice stretch. Also it's pretty soft. I don't think I will be making any more cashmere baby sweaters.... Tavis, you should be happy that you got the only one.

Now for the adult sweaters..... no i'm not talking X-rated sweaters (though I'm sure there are plenty of those out there somewhere) - I'm talking about sweaters for Steve and I. Steve's sweater - the Avast cardigan - is sitting there on the shelf as I type this, looking at me, longing to be seamed. It has been in that spot for several months.... the only problem is, when I was finishing the last section of the sweater.... the band at the bottom... I picked up too many stitches. UGH. And I know how picky Steve is about his garments. I know he will not wear a sweater that has this little flared out part at the bottom. I think I knew when I was knitting it that I had picked up too many stitches but I kept going anyway. I was exhausted and lazy. But as we all know - Haste makes waste. I should have fixed it then because now I have even more to do. I have take out that entire portion (about 3 inches around the bottom of the whole cardigan) RE-pick up the stitches, and RE-knit it. Then RE-block it. So that's why I've put it on the shelf and moved on to many other projects.

Like MY SWEATER!!! I am so excited about this one. I'm knitting the puff sleeved feminine cardigan from Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits. It is an exquisite pattern (that Steve actually picked out) and I am using the most beautiful beautiful beautiful beautiful beautiful yarn. It is 100% alpaca, given to me by my friend Becky from her trip to Peru, and it is such a great color - a light turquois-y green. Since the sweater is short sleeved I think it will be great for those chilly Spring and Fall days and of course for winter with some layers underneath. Alpaca is supposedly a really really warm fiber so I don't think I would like a long sleeved sweater made out of it. And it is super duper soft! So, I'm over half way done with the sweater and I can't wait to wear it. I may even wish for a June cold snap if you can believe it.

So that is my spring in a very large nutshell. Possibly a coconut shell... or maybe even a shea nut shell....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Record time!

I made record time on my commute to work today! Biking from door to door in 22 mins!!!! Woo hoo!!!

In other news, the Nips Ahoy! tee shirts should be finished tomorrow and ready for me to pick them up. They will be for sale through ME and will also be available at our yard sale this Saturday. Please come visit us! Here are the details:

Garage Sale & Bake Sale Saturday 5/17 9am-4pm

2228 West Giddings Street (one block South of Lawrence and Oakley)

All Proceeds go to the Avon Breast Cancer Walk via team Nips Ahoy!!

We will have books, electronics, furniture, CD's, DVDs, clothes, antiques, baby stuff, official team T-shirts and tons of funny random things!

Sweets and lemonade will be available to buy. Or, just come by to donate, chat it up and wish us good luck in the walk! We will dedicate pink ribbons to your love ones to wear in the walk. Pink ribbons will be available for all who want one.

See you there!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Screen burning

I'm so happy i just had to announce this. I burned my first silk screen at home!!! I have done this many times at a couple of my previous jobs, but I was so unsure that I had the proper equipment etc. Actually when it came to the screen coating part I was very nervous but it seemed to go okay. It's a little blotchy but I think everything will work out alright.

Making shirts with our team logo to sell for Breast Cancer funds is such a great idea. But my original screen source fell through so I had to make my own. After dropping a hundred bucks at Dick Blick - I'm in business. Also I DID use inkjet transparencies to burn my screen and I doubled them up to make sure I got good enough coverage.

Now the next task will be printing these pesky shirts. I must have had a brain fart when I was choosing the colors because I forgot that it's very difficult to print light ink on a dark shirt. However I bought this "super opaque white" ink from versatex and I hope it does the trick. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Avon Walk v2.0

Just in case you didn't know.... I'm doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer again this year!! Fundraising is going well - I'm at 58% of my goal of $2500. So if you haven't donated yet, please click here to go to my fundraising page. It's so easy to donate with your credit card online. AND your contribution is tax deductible.

My team's name is Nips Ahoy! and we are working on some tee shirts with our logo to sell so be on the lookout for those real soon.

We are also having a yard/bake/lemonade sale on May 17th in Lincoln Square.

In the meantime I need to do some real training.... um... yeah...