Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Layout

Per my momma's request, here's an "aerial view" of the plot. Of course it's not exactly to scale, but I did my best!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Drive Around Town

In order to get out of the house a bit, B took me to the mall to walk around and window shop. Of course I did buy some pao de queijo and a Bob's milk shake! So yummy! I snapped as many pictures as I could along the way to give you a feel of the streets of Rio (granted, we were not in "Manhattan" but rather "Queens").

Here is a picture of B backing the car out of the driveway while his Grandpa closes the gate behind us.

This is the view down the street. There's a fashion university on the corner of the block.

And we're back! Isn't this university beautiful?! With the palm trees lining the street it makes me feel like it's in California.

The Exterior Tour

I know I'm a little bit biased, but I do think that the close-up pictures are more interesting to look at. Here are a few that I took this morning. If you have any specific photo requests, I'm spending lots of time here, so I'd be happy to oblige. 

Okay, but also, for those of you who are more interested in the big picture, I tried to take some photos that will clarify the layout here.

When you pull into the covered driveway, B's family's house is directly in front of you and his grandparents' house is to the right. Their house is the original house, closest to the street, and has a little patio/garden in front. [Anything with white, iron bars is this house].

His parents' house is two stories with the bedrooms/bathroom downstairs and the family room/kitchen upstairs. Everything you need is there, but it's all very compact. [Anything with black, iron bars is this house].

Once you walk up to the front door of the big house, if you turn to your right, you see the door to the office/family company. They have a catering business and cook/deliver lunches to construction sites. Pretty cool! [Anything with green, iron bars over the doors or windows is this building].

If you keep pivoting to the right (and sort of look over your shoulder) you'll see the back of B's grandparents' house. His grandma and grandpa spend the majority of their time in their outdoor kitchen (pictured below underneath the slanted roof). They make "salgadinhos" and sell them in bulk. Today, they were working on finishing a request for 600 of these little snacks!

If you walk towards the green office door, there is a space between the big house and the office building, pictured below. The house is on the left and the office is on the right. This was all kinda tricky to explain, but I hope you followed! Even if you didn't, I'm sure the pictures helped to give a better picture of where they live.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

10 for Tuesday

I'm taking a cue from my dear Jackpot. Here are 10 random thoughts floating through my head:
  1. I've been hearing A LOT of Portuguese lately. Not sure how I feel about that... At times it becomes so much that my brain just shuts down. How do my ESOL students survive day in and out?!
  2. My brother-in-law is graduating from college this summer. Today he gave us a copy of his graduation photo - a group shot! Man, I so wish that were our custom here. I had many friends in my program that I would've liked to have a photo of. You know, something sentimental to look back on.
  3. Amarula is a yummy precursor to dinner! Why can't I have this every night?
  4. Last night I had a lot of good laughs with my hubby and his brother. Usually my BIL is quiet, so I don't feel like I've had many moments with him throughout the years. It was so nice!
  5. Thank god for summer break.
  6. Why even bother with dinner? Let's just skip straight to dessert every night!
  7. Tomorrow I'm thinking I'll take some time to play with my camera. Maybe I can get some cool shots of the architecture?
  8. Has anyone seen Bad Teacher yet? I can't wait! I know it's giving my profession a bad name, but I'm betting Cameron Diaz's character gets to do a lot of things we only wish we could do!
  9. Thank goodness I traveled with my computer! I was entertaining myself with Sims all day today.
  10. I wish I could hear what I sound like to native speakers when I talk in Portuguese. I imagine I say things like, "it was accident" and other little-kid sounding things. Oh well! At least people can understand me!

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Something Blue" (Post #5)

I promised this post a long time ago, but hadn't gotten a moment to put it together. I wanted to share some photos that I took while finishing my sister's wedding quilt, which I named "Something Blue." I gave it to her at her bridal shower, and needless to say, she loved it. Yay!

Here I'm pinning the quilt sandwich.

Quilting. I decided to quilt straight lines 1/4" away from the edge of each block. Essentially, I started at the edge of the quilt and then followed the seams. Since I had added a border, I had to eye-ball it from the edge to the beginning of the blocks, but that was only about 7 inches worth of "guess work" each time. I'm pretty sure no one can tell!

Check out the gloves I bought. I had heard about these texturized gloves to help with the quilting process, but I didn't own a pair for my first two quilts. I saw them on sale one day about a month before I was going to need them for E's quilt, so I snagged them. Boy were they a success! I don't know how I ever managed to get a grip of all that fabric and push it through the sewing machine.

In this picture, you can see how the quilting "framed" each block.

Another close-up view of the quilting pattern: two parallel, straight lines in each direction.

For the first time, I decided to use pre-made binding. What a time-saver! I truly think that this "cheat" alone is what allowed me to finish in time for E's bridal shower. My buddy Jackpot talked me into it (she's always so sensible!) and I'm so glad she did. Also, for the first time, I tried machine stitching the binding to the quilt, with mixed results. While it did save me LOTS of time and I do believe that the quilt will be sturdier because of it, it just did not look as nice as hand-stitching. I might give it another try on my next quilt, but we'll see... the jury's still out.

Tada! The finished quilt top. I took this photo with the help of my friend MMC while at work. Yup, that's the school's football field behind the quilt! Wasn't it a beautiful day?! (PS: Neither one of us was tall enough to hold the quilt completely off the ground. I guess that means it'll definitely be long enough for both my sister and her tall fiance!)

That's me!

I tried a new way of signing this quilt. I typed my message, got my sister-in-law to help me reverse the image, printed it onto special ink-jet "paper" and then ironed it onto a leftover piece of the white fabric. I hand stitched the label to the bottom right-hand corner (on the back). I liked that I could personalize the quilt without stressing over embroidery or handwriting! What do you think?

 Here's the back. My hubby is standing on one of our chairs in order to keep it from touching the floor! The stripe on the back has one of each of the ten original fabrics, each set off by a piece of the white fabric. I think it turned out just LOVELY. If I hadn't already promised it to my sister, I definitely would have kept it for myself!

The happy recipient...

...modeling with her quilt,

...and lolling underneath it. I think she liked it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Uma "View" Beleza

We went to dinner at a friend-of-the-family's house today. He lives in the lake district and has a BEAUTIFUL view. Can you believe it?!

Just Like That

My sister is having a make-up artist come as part of the wedding prep, so she advised me to find a picture that I could show the woman. I've been keeping my eyes peeled, and I think I finally found what I was looking for. In this particular photo, Naomi Watts has a very natural look: her cheeks and lips have a bit of rosy color, but her eyes are really the main attraction. I love it!

So that's how I want my make-up done. Just like that!

PS: I found this while waiting for Bruno to get his hair cut. I didn't know if I'd be able to find the same photo again, so I ripped/stole it from their magazine! I felt so reckless (hehe).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sew Many Machines!

I wish I had taken a picture today. The back of my car was FULL of sewing machines. And I mean full. Nine machines in all.

And I am tickled pink.

Many, many months ago, my co-worker (buddy, partner-in-crime, bff), Jackpot, and I decided that because we've both been having so much fun sewing, we wanted to see about starting a sewing club at school for our students. It turns out that our Home Ec teacher didn't have any sewing machines in her department. It's the modern world, baby! And PS: she's not the "Home Ec" teacher anymore... she's the "FACS" teacher. That stands for Family and Consumer Science.

So, despite the minor set-back, we persevered. With the help of our FACS teacher, we got connected with her boss and found out that there would be some old machines being retired at the end of the school year. Yes, our school year is STILL going on. Today, we went and picked up those nine machines. So excited!

Tomorrow is the last day of school -- and that's a good thing -- but with these new machines just arriving, I'm secretly already chomping at the bit! I can't wait to get our club up and running next year. We're hoping the kids will be excited to put their sewing skills to good use! We'll be looking for sewing projects and ways to donate our handiwork...

...and maybe we'll make a few things for ourselves along the way, too.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You Want a "Real" Recommendation?

Read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

Part of the reason why I haven't blogged in 10 days is because I was hooked reading this book! It was a thrilling, timeless story that played on aspects of literature that I've always loved. Like, for instance, good ole Brit Lit. And gothic novels. Yet, it was surprisingly modern and at times, shocking! There was mystery and intrigue. Love. Despair. I couldn't put it down. It was a book that I had heard about years ago and then sorta kinda bumped into accidentally (it was on display in the library at school!)

So please, if you're looking for something fun and quick, consider this story. You won't be sorry you did!

[This book recommendation has been approved by Levar Burton].

Lisbeth Salandar

Wow... I can't believe it's been 10 days since I last posted! I'll just take half a second here to complain (yet again) how much I hate that my blog is blocked at work. Work is where I'm productive. Hellooo!

But back to the fun stuff. I finally finished reading the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy -- a Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law who read and loved them. I had a heck of a time getting into each one of the books. You would think that by the third book either the author would have gotten with the program a little faster, or I'd have at least gotten used to it. But no. Nonetheless, after I made my way through the first 100 pages of each book, it was always worth it! (Commitment, indeed!)

My favorite was definitely the last one. Probably because that's where all of the heroine's secrets finally came out into the light. She had a fascinating back-story, for sure.

If you're hooked by my rave review, but not really up for 1000's of pages of reading, you could always go see the movies. I hear the ones that were already made in Sweden are pretty good, and I'm definitely looking forward to watching them. Hopefully hubby will be interested in keeping me company!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another Baby (Blanket)

Another colleague is expecting a baby any day now. Since she doesn't know whether it's a boy or a girl, I decided to get a little creative with my binding colors. This was an excellent way for me to practicing sewing bias tape together (ugh, what a pain) and also a great way to use scraps!

Monday, June 6, 2011

E's Bridal Shower!

As my little sister's matron of honor, it was my job to plan her bridal shower. Luckily for me, she has chosen six other women as bridesmaids... and they all rock! Between the seven of us (plus help from my mom), the shower was amazing.

According to my grandma, we "carried it off with panache." Wow, what a review!

The trick for me, was that I wanted to have her quilt finished before the shower. As you may recall, I'm not the best with deadlines and was actually still hand-stitching the binding on my grandma's quilt after she opened it on Christmas.

So, classic me, I was pressed for time. But with a little perseverance, and one all-nighter, I finished! And she loved her quilt. Hooray! (I'll write more about the quilt in a later blog).

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