Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy New Year!

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From me and the commando kitty (who, just now, as she was trying to contribute to this typed message, rolled herself right off the edge of the sofa). I miss you all at home, and to my friends in Japan, あけましておめでとうございまーす!

Love,

Diane

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How Did YOU Spend Your Day Off??

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It says everything about a person, just about.  Or not.  Most of my days off I am sitting on my sofa surfing the net with a DVD in that I have already seen a million times and not really paying attention to, save favorite moments. Of course the basis of this blog- the last 4 months of my life (I wince as I say that and realize I have not actually sold anything yet) is that I am also spending some time at the sewing machine.  Yesterday I did nothing, well, not that I can remember anyway…  When Yo has a day off with me I can’t get anything done at home- mostly because he’s about the only thing in the world who can actually get me to put on real clothes and go outside for anything (hard to say no when it’s a movie!).

Today started out with a cat in my face.  When Yo has work on my day off, he has to leave at 7:40AM-  and just before that, he gets Norah out of her cage (she is still a kitten and if we let her run amok at night that is EXACTLY what she will do), and tucks her in with me and kisses us both before leaving for work.  Norah is totally my cat-  in the mornings, she stays put until I roll out of bed 3 HOURS later.  I think she thinks she’ll grow up to be a person one day.  She stretches out her back legs and folds up her fronts, and uses my ever-softening bicep for a pillow and snoozes away with me, all but her head under the covers.  She follows me for my morning trip to the loo and plays in the kitchen while I prepare my tea, and sits on the sofa as I drink it and follows me back to the kitchen and plays under the table as I do dishes or wash my face. She runs from everyone else, even Yo.  I can speak cat, that’s why. I learned from Desmond Morris and his wonderful books when I was like 12.  Changed my life.

So I woke up finally, and it was a gorgeous if cold day. No snow in Chiba yet- actually it just started to be genuinely cold a week ago.  I washed the blankets on our bed and hung them out on my fancy-shmancy drying device on the back veranda (see the post on green linen here).  After a nice shower (I have a Clarisonic now, and believe you me, it was worth every penny!), I made some brunch and then got down to business on my linen pajamas. I finished up the waistband on the M/L size bottoms I was working on, and proceeded to construct the M/L top. This set is going to be just like the one in my photos a few posts down, only of course sized for someone not so puny as myself.  I even got to sew my tags in!  That was a moment, right there.  Now I am just at the point of embellishing. Next up either a negligee style, or I am thinking of sewing a hand-shaped red patch to the ass off Yo’s linen PJ pants that I made.  He he he…  Part of my Valentine’s special (^^).

Around 5PM I finished all of this and a knock came to my door- the beginning of the next 5 hours.  Yesterday I told the neighbor girls that we could make Christmas cake for our respective men at my place, since I am the only one of us with an oven of sorts.  More like a glorified microwave, but I digress.  One of them is pregnant and has had a hard time cooking lately- the smell of steamed rice is making her sick, so sad for my poor Japanese neighbor! So she asked me if I would cook some pasta or something today, at 5 o’clock she asks this of me. For everyone. Party of 6 at my house? Sure… but I only got like $8 bucks.  So I dragged the both of them to the grocery with me to buy supplies for my new favorite pasta recipe~~  Lemon Cream Sauce Pasta.  YUM!!!  I am not used to having help in my kitchen, and not used to toddlers running around sneezing all over everything in my house, or trying to say “don’t touch” three times fast in Japanese AND being completely ignored. So I ran my kitchen like the control freak I am and the girls could pretty much chill and wait for our men to get home. But the food was good, all the guys were happy, the cake was sweet, the cat survived, the child didn’t break anything and I finished a good chunk of my current pajama set.  So there!

A productive day in spite of myself.  So how did you spend your day off?  Share if you like!!

Love~

Diane

Why “The Holiday” is one of my favorite Movies, ALL YEAR…

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Hi.  Its been awhile since I last posted. And I know, if you RSS, the last two have had zero to do with making pajamas. I know. I’m sorry.  It’s new to me, as is the discipline of making my own life from any work at home. Having a new kitten almost at the same time I began this undertaking has also been very distracting, as I LOVE animals, and have been deprived of having pets since I was 15 (about half my life now). Consequently, I am very enamoured with this moment in life, having such a fateful meeting with the kitty, although, I am desperately allergic to her. Doesn’t stop me from rubbing my face in her fur several times a day.  I made my decision- I took her in, I love her, and my allergies be damned. Some of you may recall my grip of death on the decisions I make.

Cameron Diaz in the Cottage Bathtub from "The Holiday"

Now, related to that, is this movie that I watch, without exaggerating, once a week, and usually several times on the same day.  Have you ever seen “The Holiday”, with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet?  The actors are important, because the script, the roles, were written specifically for these particular actors and actresses. It’s a total chick flick, really. But it’s not all that far-fetched.  Two women, Amanda (Diaz) in LA and Iris (Winslet) in England find themselves deeply disappointed in the men in their lives around the Christmas season. Iris puts her beautiful English countryside cottage (my inspiration for my own stone house that one day I will build with my own two hands!) up for “home exchange” because she needs to get as far away from her heartbreak as she can, as soon as she can, for as economically as she can. Jilted Amanda finds it on the internet the same day- successful, rich, charming and witty, and so emotionally tough that she can’t cry, no matter how hard she tries. They agree to switch homes, starting the very next day, for two weeks.

Cameron Diaz as "Amanda" in "The Holiday" - click photo for imdb.com movie page

Today, as I am watching this movie, I thought of how much Cameron Diaz/Amanda is my hero (or one of them, anyway).  I love her sense of humor, the way she combines elegant maturity and spontaneous youth, her sense of fashion, so classy in this film- I want to dress the way she does, smile as easily, charm as naturally. Be strong, mentally, physically, and, um, physically, and still be considered feminine by everyone including the guys at the same time.  A likable, formidable woman. She awes me. On screen and in the entertainment news. Would LOVE to be more like her. Anyone with me on that?

But the scene switches back to Iris, and I have to smile. As much as I would LOVE to be perceived much the same way Amanda/Cameron is, I think I share a lot with Iris. Kate herself is a bit more of a mystery to me, though she seems like a very sensible and reasonable human being.  Iris, reduced to a puddle of tears because of her “one-sided love affair” with her coworker. I think of the two storylines in this film, Iris is more interesting, more realistic and easy for me, perhaps many, to identify with.  Iris isn’t as rich or successful as Amanda, but she is doing well enough on her own too.  Her problem is quite different from Amanda’s- Iris puts others first, excessively in the case of the man she loves. Amanda put her career first, keeping a destructive distance between her and her long-time live in boyfriend.  Anyway, Iris dresses conservatively, comfortably yet attractively, packs lightly, lives in a small house (compared to Amanda’s L.A. villa). She has a real battle to deal with- falling out of love. Her problem- her coworker is always around, being charming and kind, intentionally or unintentionally messing with her head.  Despite therapy and years of the same situation, AND a trip to L.A. by herself, she still can’t put him away. Why do guys do that? Any clue? Keeping their options open, feeling “confused”?

Kate Winslet as "Iris" in "The Holiday" - click image for imbd.com movie page

As much as I look up to Amanda and want to be like her, I can identify more with Iris and her situation. And Iris is not a bad place to be at all. Only her situation for most of the film.  Here’s the kicker- guess which of the supporting actors (guys) actually comes across as a decent guy that you could spend the rest of your life with? Jude Law?  Nope! The movie actually makes me feel some attraction toward – get ready for this- Jack Black. Yes. Tenacious D, that guy. He actually plays a convincing, less than “10” guy with a great sense of humor and exhibits realistic feelings- even getting jilted himself in this film. Realistically.  He and Kate are ADORABLE together.  There is one shot at the end that really makes me beam- so happy for this fictional pair!

I watch it for the Christmas music and these two very admirable actresses. Look at what they, especially Iris, manage to conquer!  Shedding this thing holding her down and away from the greater things in life. Completely freeing herself, and getting that catch of a guy.  Oh I love this movie! Champaign and Christmas fettucine- the new break-up chocolate!

Not that I am gonna break up with my kitty. Not that I currently have an ex in my face. Not that I am lacking the wit and sincerity of real, good guy. I’m happy with all I’ve got. But watching this movie makes my own past seem a little more sweet than bitter. Now I’m gladly at a point where, I have no excuse to not be pumping out the pajamas, selling them and building my empire. No excuse! Except for the cat, lack of space, lack of exercise and reasons to out, or the desire to. Balance you know. But those aren’t excuses enough!  So after this posting, I am going to continue cutting fabric for some more PJs- just like the ones on the header and below in the photo. Also going to start working of Valentine’s Day editions, which I will need modeled off and photographed (^^).

So there we are- nearly at the end of the movie, round 1. Nearly lunch time and nearly time to get going. Must work!!  Thank you for your time, I am glad that I have this way to share with you. Wish me luck, cheer me on, or just say “hi”.

Love,

Diane