Monday, November 18, 2013

Travelog: New England Aquarium

I was in Boston a week ago. I got to check some things off my "to do" list like go to the New England Aquarium and I discovered some new and cool places to eat/drink in Boston and Salem. Otherwise, it was a chill weekend. I binge-watched the first season of Banshee (Cinemax) - 10 episodes - with my friends in Salem, and that was enjoyable. 

New England AquariumThe New England Aquarium is quite a bit larger than the one at the Pittsburgh Zoo. They have a very large penguin pool, segregated into three different types of penguins: African, rockhoppers, and little blue penguins. They are all so adorable. 

They have several different kinds of sea turtles, and they do sea turtle rescue.

The neat thing about the big ocean tank - it is several stories tall and surrounded by a winding ramp. The tank is open at the top and there are a couple of big projection screens where they do an interactive Q&A with the audience and human divers in the tank. That was very interesting. I learned that predators are lazy. They keep all the predators in the big ocean tank very well-fed, so the predators don't go after the prey animals. 

No sharks. I am told that they had sharks in the big tank, but I didn't see any while I was there. 

I also got to pet the rays in the touch tank. They were so soft and smooth!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Monday, September 09, 2013

Please help: Donations needed for sick rescue puppy

I am posting this on behalf of a dear friend of mine who is foster-caring for a very sick puppy, and they are facing a very high vet bill as a result. The dog has every chance of getting through this illness, and then finding his "forever" home. I would like to see that happen, so I'm asking that you read this story and consider making a donation, however small, because every little bit helps. Thanks!

"Max" is an adorable Corgi-Shepard mix
Poor Max at the vet: they sewed an oxygen tube to his snout!
 Read Max's story:
"As many of you may know, one of my volunteer activities is with an animal rescue group called Animals Against The Odds. The organization was started by a then 10-year old girl (she's 13 now) who wanted to make a difference in the lives of shelter animals, but wasn't permitted to work with any of the local groups due to her age (you must be 18). She and several friends started their own rescue group, and have helped hundreds of animals in the 2.5 years they've been in existence. One example of the types of projects they work on is the Annual Winter Warm-UP: every winter they provide straw, insulated dog houses and cat houses as well as other supplies to animals left out in the cold.

Recently we had a puppy come in to foster (and that Mike and I are fostering) who became very ill. He was fine, then all of a sudden he was deathly ill with pneumonia, a temperature of 104.3 and needed to be rushed to the emergency vet hospital, put on oxygen, antibiotics and fluids. The estimate the vet hospital gave us was a minimum of $2700 (see attached). He's doing a bit better today, but I am helping to fundraise and cover the cost of this bill. To that end, if you can help us at all, it would be GREATLY appreciated. You can call donations in directly to PVSEC (the emergency vet hospital) at 412-366-3400 and ask that they put a credit on our (AATO) account or you can give via our You Caring fundraiser link below. If you would prefer to mail a check, that information is below as well. If you could also forward this on to any of your animal loving friends, we'd really appreciate it. These kids make a heck of a difference in the lives of so many animals, I love supporting them.

Thanks !


For Checks:

Make payable to Animals Against the Odds
PO Box 97890
Pittsburgh, PA 15227

Donating Online (You Caring)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Some memorable garb moments from Pennsic 42

Standing in front of Shauna's medieval mobile home.
An old Italian Ren dress - still a favorite and so easy to wear.
Turkish coats
Turkish garb
2013-07-30 20.40.41
Elizabethan cross-dressing
2013-07-26 21.07.20
Here's that lovely long-sleeved Turkish Kaftan
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Spotted at Vlad's "Drag Races" - this gown was impressive.
2013-07-26 21.05.21
Once again, I had a wonderfully relaxing and fun Pennsic, because my camp is awesome. I took some photos and videos to try and capture the beauty I see at Pennsic and some of the experiences that I would have difficulty describing otherwise. 

Here's my flickr set -

And, here's a playlist of videos on Youtube -

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Another Turkish coat

The Pennsic sewing continues. I'll just keep making stuff until time runs out. And my stash is far from running out. Husband doesn't have that much garb and he requested more ottoman Turkish stuff.

This is another men's kaftan, with too-long sleeves that can be worn scrunched up, or just hanging back without putting your arms into them. Once again, I used the pattern from

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Westmoreland Arts Fest 2013

Shane Speal - cigar-box guitar maker/playerIt was a beautiful day at the Twin LakesCeltic band Seven NationsCeltic Band Seven NationsFire-brick oven pizzaMobile pizza oven
Creepy planterParrotColorful birdsPetting zoo turkeySearch and rescue dachshundSearch and rescue dachshund
llamasllamasClassic carClassic carClassic car

Westmoreland Arts Fest 2013, a set on Flickr.

Poof! You're an Afghani nomad dress

Most of the time spent was sewing the trim and buttons on, otherwise this was an easy pattern to use and clever way to use some stuff from my stash that I sat on for a long time.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Next Project: Afghani Nomad Dress

I sat on this Folkwear Pattern for a long time. The fabrics I chose are mostly silk dupioni - some big pieces left over from making Japanese garb, but not enough to do more, so this pattern works out nicely. I'm also recycling mustard yellow linen tunic that has holes in it (I'll work around the holes). There's a piece of fancy Calontir trim there, and I'm still trying to scrounge up more. The rickrack and buttons are from an old thrift shop sewing box. All this stuff was in my stash.

I'm going to start with the pieces that will get embellished - the bodice and sleeves. The Afghanis tend to use buttons more often than shisha mirrors, so I'm covered there. I just don't do embroidery, so I'll have to improvise. I might do something creative with the rickrack.

Getting ready for Pennsic: medieval fashion accessories

I made this hood last year, based on the pattern in The Tudor Tailor book, to go with an early Tudor gown, and I just got it out to tweak it a bit before Pennsic. There are several layers, precariously pinned together.
I also got out the curling iron to reshape my Elizabethan ruff. It was very droopy, but a little starch and it's springy again.
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