Archive | January, 2005

Mandolin Strap

17 Jan

Since my band, the Barefoot Nellies, needed a mandolin player, I decided to take one for the team a few months ago and pick up the mandolin. I got a Kentucky KM-800 (“Bella Voce”–the most heavily inlaid instrument I own) F-style mandolin back in December and started looking for a cool strap to use with it. (I have an awesome red gingham guitar strap from Sparklecraft that gets lots of compliments).

I picked up a cool raspberry suede strap from the Fifth String over in Berkeley right before practice a few weeks ago, but alas and alack–the scroll on my mandolin is too tight! The opening isn’t wide enough to fit the strap.

What could I do but make one myself? I stopped by Jo-ann’s, picked up a 1/4 yd. blue gingham (44″ wide), 1 1/2 yds. 1″ white cotton belting (I wanted nylon, but the nylon 1″ belting was actually slightly wider), and 1/4 yd. black vinyl (I could have done with a scrap, really, or an 1/8 yd. at most).

Check out the extended entry for my how-to.

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Cassette vs. iPod

6 Jan

This startlingly insightful photo essay reveals the true winner:

Prentice and I were talking last night about the merits of MiniDisc (esp. HiMD) vs. iPod. She basically said, “With HiMD, why would anyone want an iPod.” And you know what? I couldn’t really argue with that. HiMD player/recorders are even cheaper (but they can’t store your calendar and contacts).

Kelly Bag

3 Jan

I’ve been obsessed with Kelly bags lately and can’t find them anywhere. I just found this Vogue pattern, #7982, for one, though. Maybe that’ll be my next project…

V7982-Kelly bag.jpg

Busy, Busy

3 Jan

I’m so busy for the next few weeks, between Nellies gigs, traveling for work, work being crazy, etc., I won’t have any time to start my sewing projects, which are the projects I most want to work on.

I should start on an iPod cozy to protect my Xmas gift!

I probably won’t be posting much for the next few weeks.

New Year’s Resolutions

2 Jan

Here are my fitness resolutions for 2005:
– workout at least 3x/week, sign up for personal training session
– become solid blue snowboarder by end of 2004-2005 season (and ride the blue route down the California face at Heavenly)
– run Nike half-marathon in October or do Treasure Island Tri in Nov., do organized bike rides and 5k/10k runs throughout the year

It’s been pouring nonstop since I came back to San Francisco on Wed., but I swore I was going to inaugurate my new fitness regimen by going for a run on January 1. I was all geared up to run in the rain, but looking out the window… Fortunately, Chad and I got out during one of the intermittent breaks of sun. We ran into the park together, then split off. He went left at JFK, back around to Stanyan, then up to Turk and home. I went right, taking my usual route.

This time, I’ve decided I’m going to try the positive self-talk right from the beginning. “Money in the bank, Solis, money in the bank.” That’s my new mantra. And I’m going to work on breathing, which was really a struggle before (in general, I think I need to breathe better. More deeply or something). I really appreciated my new running tights (I also wore my new running jacket, but it was a little too warm for that). My muscles didn’t feel as tight as when I would run in cold, damp weather in just shorts. And I ended up doing about 2.5 miles in about 30 minutes. Not too shabby, considering I haven’t run in ages.

I’ve scheduled my workouts on my calendar (which I have on my iPod). I really, really want to keep them up. In order to do everything I need to do for work this year, I need to exercise so I have a clear mind and lots of energy. Plus, we’re going skiing next weekend, and I’ll need all the strength I can muster to stay afloat in all this new powder we’re getting.

After-Christmas Sales

1 Jan

Everyone talks about the good deals to be had at after-Christmas sales, but let me reveal to everyone who has never worked in retail just why they are so good: returns.

See, lots of people (sadly, not me) start buying Christmas presents in September and October–and even earlier. They give the gift in December and it doesn’t fit, the recipient doesn’t like it, or for some other reason, it ends up being returned. Of course, in the three or four months since the original purchase, the item has been reduced in price three or four times, so you can pick up that item you thought was overpriced in September or October at a super cheap price. Also, you have the best selection of items in months, maybe not in size, but in style.

I love after-Christmas sales. I just picked up a pair of $128 Banana Republic shoes for $35, $60 black casual BR pants for $42, and $50 Gap cords for $25 (I love the modern fit there). Also, a few things I purchased right after Christmas have already been reduced again (thank heavens for price adjustments! I’m bringing my receipts back to the stores).

I think I’m going to make another new year’s resolution to save up a lot of money to spend in next year’s after-Christmas sales.