Saturday, July 4, 2009

Santa Barbara...

Is totally awesome!!

Raul and I had a much needed weekend getaway last month, and I totally fell in love with Santa Barbara. Like I want to move there right now. Seriously.

We happened to be in town for their annual Summer Solstice parade. Santa Barbarians really get into their summer solsticing and parades. It was quite impressive. Take a look.

It reminded me of Iowa City, except without the snow and like a million times more expensive. And there's a dog beach!

Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm back!

Medicine conspired to exhaust me and kill my spirit since March, but no more! Intern year is behind me, and I am slowly starting to repress the memories of the last four months. I will say that my streak of going a rectal exam free intern year ended in May. And my streak of not physically managing anyone's fecal incontinence also ended that same day. Oh ER - you are the ultimate psychiatry appreciation rotation. But now I'm done!

Here is a project that I made back in April for this contest. I made the shirt within the allotted time frame, but I am just getting around to blogging about it now.

Here it is:

Oy vey. Intern year is bad for the waistline. So is all the good food in LA. It's almost cruel to put pack so many tasty hamburger joints into a 10 mile radius. Yes, I have eaten at nearly all of them.

Pattern: Simplicity 4589 (view A)
Fabric: The body of the shirt is Naomi Ito Nano Iro that Raul picked up for me at Purl in NY. I would link to the Purl website, but it's down right now. It's double gauze and very lovely. The neck is Robert Kaufman linen/cotton (purchased at the Purl Warehouse in Orange County - yes, it is akin to heaven.)
Musings: I had read online that this Simplicity patterns run big, thus it is generally a good idea to size down. So, I made the size 12 (instead of the 14). Good idea in theory, but I forgot to consider the sizing up of one's body that generally occurs during intern year. So, the shirt turned out a little small in the hipster area, but I quickly remedied that problem with these fancy triangles.

Hello, I am a fancy triangle. My twin sister is located on the other side of the shirt.

Then the back was a little baggy, so I made a back dart of sorts. And rather than hemming the bottom of the shirt, I left the selvedge on. It's really cute - it almost looks like Naomi Ito signed my shirt. All in all, I was able to make this shirt in about a day and it involved minimal crying spells. And it's comfortable! Thumbs up!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dog Beach

There's a stretch of beach in Hungtington Beach where they allow dogs off leash, and it is absolutely amazing. The beach is at least a mile long, and it's beautiful, and if you visit on a weekend day, it's packed with happy dogs and people. Few things can lift the spirits like a happy dog - and hundreds of happy dogs, well that's about as good as it gets.

A couple of weekends ago, we met up with some friends down in Orange County. It was a gorgeous, hot day, so on the way back we stopped by the dog beach.

We'd brought Flynn here when we first moved to LA, and at that time, he seemed to be quite frightened of the ocean. Now he's a CA dog through and through, and was fearless in the waves.

Flynn says, "Just give me a couple more visits and I'll be tackling these waves on a board!"

BTW, I am going to try to tackle some waves on a board -- next Wednesday, in a surfing lesson (!?!).

Friday, April 24, 2009

Eat your heart out Ralph Macchio!

As you probably know, Raul is a super trooper. I don't make many trips to fabric stores, but when I am ready to make the occasional pilgrimage to downtown LA to hit up Michael Levine, Raul is always my ready companion. So, when he wanted some handmade pajama bottoms, I was all over it.

I skimmed this tutorial and then kind of winged it. And it actually resulted in a totally wearable pair of pants!

The smashing headwear was his own design.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Raul and I have finished our step exams for the USMLE!

Here is some misc. baby stuff I made while on medicine for my cousin that's about to have a baby!

Hello. I am a flannel receiving blanket in the background. And in the foreground we have a bib, yellow lab onesie and burp cloth.

Details: I followed this tutorial for the flannel receiving blanket. I bought the flannel from Micheal Levine - they have really great selection of prints and colors. I think next time, I might try to do some bias tape sort of edging. For the burp cloth, I sandwiched a piece of cotton batting in between flannel and some white terry cloth material that I had in my stash. I used this tutorial to make the bib from flannel and the white terry. These projects were fun, quick and easy.

Last but not least - the yellow lab onesie, made during my labrador-themed-onesie-making-extravaganza! I am sure my cousin's two yellow labs are super excited about their soon to be arriving lil sis. Raul told me that some dogs rival a human two year old in terms of intelligence. I totally believe it. I think Flynn is super smart, and yet so like a two year old when he tears through the trash to eat raw chicken trimmings when he's angry at us for leaving him alone in the house for 8 hours. Sigh.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oh Happy Day

I survived that month of internal medicine. Hallelujah. Raul was on Labor and Delivery at the same hospital for the last two weeks of my rotation, and I called him for help on a daily basis. He is smart, and fluent in Spanish (very helpful with patients on my service that were always trying to die and did not speak any English.) In the end, three of my patients had heart attacks while they were on my service, and another 2 had cardiopulmonary arrests - while I was on call. It's really a terrible feeling hearing "Code Blue, Code Blue - 7East" and knowing that it's most likely your patient that's coding. But, I survived (and so did they), and it's over and I learned a considerable amount. I am very happy to be back to psychiatry. I'm on outpatient internal medicine now, but I've taken a couple psych calls. I saw a decompensated schizophrenic off meds that had smoked catnip earlier in the day. And another very agitated person that proceeded to call me all sorts of very rude names when I told him he was being placed on a 5150. Oh psych patients, how I've missed you. Crazy, but completely medically stable. I don't have to worry about your heart failure or your transplant rejection or your ischemic limb. Ahh (I am sighing in relief.)

So, I consoled myself while on medicine by spending rather exorbitant amounts of money on fabric. I'm not going to admit to exactly how much I spent because it is rather embarrassing. I was apologizing to Raul about going overboard in the fabric purchasing department, and he said, "Don't worry about it, you're not buying heroin." And I realized that he was absolutely right, and my guilt completely evaporated because heroin is bad news. Over the course if this year, I have encountered many a heroin addict, and I have gotten into the habit of thanking Raul on at least a monthly basis for not being addicted to heroin. I am being completely serious. Thank you for that perspective, Raul. If everyone could spend their money on fabric instead of heroin the amount of suffering and devastation in this world would decrease a gazillion-fold, and there were probably be a lot more nifty handmade goods circulating around out there. Enough with the crafty grandma-style fantasies, let me show you some of the stuff I made with my haul.

Two quilt tops:

Numero Uno:

Made from a Moda Wonderland fabric charm pack (the fabric comes pre-cut in 5"x5" squares. What genius!) and the sashing is Kona Cotton from Micheal Levine (aka heaven.) I was talking to Quilting Grandma about how it was a little difficult to line up the sashing, and she said that there's a rule in quilting that quilts should be scrutinized only from the point of view of someone galloping by it on a horse. That's a good rule.

Numero Dos:

And this is a stripe quilt from the West Hill by Heather Ross fabric line. So easy and sew fun!! I became totally spoiled working with this fabric. It is so soft and so decadent. I don't think I will ever be able to use the Cheapy McCheaperson fabric from discount fabric stores again.

And finally, a visit from some favorites of favorites!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Good Stuff

Raul is enjoying a much deserved vacation (mostly a staycation, as he has been staying at home and helping keep me sane.) He did make a quick trip to NY last week to see his oldest friend and his wife and their cutie patootie of a daughter.

Here is Raul with aforementioned cutie patootie:

Before his trip, I teasingly asked Raul if he was planning on making a trip into Manhattan to buy me goodies from Purl. I have never been to NY, but I really aspire to go, so that I could visit this store. I'm a lucky girl - look at what he handed me when I picked him up from the airport:

Four skeins of koigu sock yarn (two in the purple color and two in the brown/black colorway) destined to make socks for both of us (me the purple and him the black/brown, in case you were wondering.) And 1 yard each of three beautiful fabrics! The yellow in the foreground is a handpainted fabric from Japan. And a little bundle of fat quarters. Que rico! He's a keeper.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Inpatient internal medicine is hard. And tiring. And scary. A few days ago, I admitted a woman that came in with vomiting. Turns out that in older people (and diabetics) nausea and vomiting is often atypical chest pain. And a couple days later, she had a heart attack while going to the bathroom. Not my cup of tea. I like my medically stable psych patients. I can handle crazy, but acute medical illness, that just makes me want to cry. However, I am learning a lot, and I have much more empathy for my darling husband, who has been oh so patient when I have demanded that he "hurry up and get [his] work done and come home!" while in inpatient internal medicine. Silly me, I really didn't understand. Now I do.

Here are some pictures of happier times. Just last month, I was paid a visit by my lovely friends from grad school. Good times were had by all. Here we are hiking in Malibu:

Along the way, I picked up an unwelcome hitch-hiker:

Hello, I am a tick. On Shannon's belly.

All my medical training came in super handy, because as soon as I noticed the tick attached to my stomach, I turned to the person closest to me and screamed, "get it off!!" I then came to my senses and called Raul. Good thing one of us has some serious medical smarts. He promptly told me to take a picture of the tick (so that he could later determine if it was a breed that carried Lyme Disease) and to pull it off ASAP. The little blonde in the picture above yanked the tick off without even thinking twice. It was pretty gruesome - I had to avert my eyes. She is hard core. After the hike, and the tick incident, we all had fancy cocktails and seafood at a beachside cafe. Yay for good times and good friends!

Oh - and for those of you wondering, no worries about the Lyme's Disease. I would have been at risk if the tick had been attached for >72 hours. And mine was only on there for like 10 minutes. If you do have a tick that's been hanging on for a couple days, pull it out (make sure to get the head) and go to a doctor so you can get yourself some doxycycline.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Night Float Craftiness

Vacation is over. Sad. And I am back to work on night float. 6pm to 8am. Yahoo. I've been lucky, though and have been able to sleep at least 5 hours most nights. This has allowed me to partake in some zombie-like craftiness during the day time. Again, yahoo.

Exhibit A:

More hand-stenciled onesies with a senior resident on night float. I love the sheep. I'm not sure what motivated me to make that giant red chicken. I must have been delirious. And yes, more baby fever. It's like a broken record around here.

Exhibit B:

Box bags! With this tutorial. The bag turned out smaller than I expected, but I am really happy with it. The tutorial is great and easy to follow, and now I have a handy dandy bag to hold my works in progress in my larger bag that I carry every day. This every day bag is like the pit of despair - random knitting projects, knitting books, toothbrush and dental necessities for when I am on call, snacks for when I get randomly hungry. This little box bag will now keep knitterly items away from my dental floss and potato chips. Yahoo.

Also, I am in love with the book in the background. New Pathways for Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi. If you are a sock knitter, it is a must have. For sure.

On Thursday, I start inpatient internal medicine. I have not done a medicine rotation in over a year. If you feel like it, send kind thoughts the way of my patients in the hope that I don't harm them in my ignorance.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Made a Quilt, and I Liked It.

A new hobby!

I spent some time with my grandma (aka quilter extraordinaire) on vacation, and I made a quilt, in like 4 days. We started the quilt last August, and I pretty much let it languish when I returned home. I had some of the cutting already done, but the project went so fast once we got started again. It has been my experience (my "sick" days spent sewing with Hilary in med school) that sewing is much more enjoyable if you have a buddy. And it really helps if that buddy knows what they are doing and can give you helpful tips throughout your project.

Pattern: Beefcake Fat Quarter Quilt by Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow
Material: Amy Butler fat quarters and various other stuff from my stash
Size: 66x80 inches

I sent the quilt top and backing off in the mail to a woman that does machine quilting. I should have it back in about 6 weeks. I thought about quilting it on my sewing machine (via stitching in the ditch) and quickly realized that this would take far too long, cause me many headaches and would likely result in the quilt never being finished. It's good to have help in life, especially it if saves you hours of time and headaches.

This quilt was made in my continued theme of baby fever. I think it's a little larger than twin-sized. The day is fast approaching when our schedules will be such that we could actually seriously think about having a baby. And babies grow up right? And he/she will need a colorful quilt for their twin-sized bed. Yes, I am insane. And I (and Raul) like it that way.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yummy part II!

I joined a fiber club a few months ago, and every so often, I get some fiber in the mail. I've been spinning some of it (like here) and some has been going in the stash.

Here is the stash that has gathered thus far:

I have eight ounces of colorways 'sleepy hollow' merino and 'smokestack' merino and four ounces each of 'pet rat' merino and 'smokestack' corriedale cross. What shall I make?? The possibilities are limitless!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hey Pretty Lady

I have a grandma that hearts hearts. I heart knitting. And my grandma. The sweetheart vest from Interweave Knits was designed with us in mind, I'm pretty sure.

I originally planned to finish it for my grandma's birthday in September. Well, that came and went, as did Christmas. But now it's finished and ready for me to hand deliver of my vacation!

Here is a photo on my table:

Here is a modeled shot by my lovely grandma:

Project details:
Pattern: Sweetheart Vest by Theresa Schabes from Interweave Knits, Fall 2007
Yarn: Plymouth Galeway chunky #722 tan heather, #16 red, #91 orange, #142 pink, and #712 dark brown heather
Size: Medium?
Needles: size 10 circs

Comments: I slipped stitches on edges. Note to self - never do that again. Other than that, I am happy with the pattern and fit and colorwork!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Yesterday was my birthday. Yay! And it was also the first day of a two week vacation, so I have time to blog. Also, yay!

As a pre-birthday present, we went to a local spinning and weaving shop to buy some goodies. I bought a little less than a pound of washed and picked fleece (wool shorn from the sheep that has been minimally processed.) I am blending it with some hand-dyed merino roving from my stash and make a vest for Raul (aka best husband ever.)

Here is a photo of roving + fleece:


I also bought some hand carders. You use these to separate the raw fleece and blend it with the roving to make it ready for spinning. That thing at the top is a rolag (the wool after carding), and it's ready for spinning!

Here is a shot of what I have spun so far. Very excited!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Blonde, a Brunette and a Redhead

Raul and I got to visit my oldest friends this weekend. They have the cutest 9 month old daughter ever. My friend and I stenciled on onesies using this tutorial, and our husbands played Wii.

Hello. We are A-dorable handpainted onesies.

I have known Shannon since kindergarten, and now we are painting onesies.

We (and Flynn-dog) are the inspiration for aforementioned onesies.

So fun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's going to be a long winter

This is what our world looked like last January:

Here is where we are now:

It is a tough life.

P.S. Thank you all for your kind comments about Pluto.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Good Night Sweet Boy

As some of you may know, Raul and I recently adopted Pluto from a local animal rescue organization. He was an 8 year old Irish Wolfhound/Lab mix, and he was really a prince among dogs. We found out last Friday that Pluto likely had metastatic cancer, and an oncologist confirmed our suspicions today. His disease was so advanced and his pain was such that putting him to sleep was the only option. To Pluto, we would like to say that the days we spent with you were precious, and we are better for having known you, even if it was for a short time. You will be missed.

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