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Monday, August 21, 2006

A belated birthday gift

My mother, who is wonderful, just left after spending a weekend here helping me paint, redecorate and generally spruce things up. I could write a novel about what makes my mother so great, but I'll keep it simple. We have fun just drinking coffee and watching the Today Show and can make a day out of a trip to Target. She's supportive of my decisions, even if they are slightly hair-brained, because she has faith that things will work out for the best. (Like when I up and quit my job in Connecticut and moved into a hovel in Manhattan with a woman who owned ferrets, just so I could go to grad school, without any clear career path. She simply smiled and said, "Ok, sounds great!")

Well, enough of that mushiness. The main reason that mom's great is that she forgave me for finishing her French Bistro Top from Interweave Crochet nearly two months late. She's shy, so here's a neck down shot. (Please click for a better view -- I'm having serious photo issues today.)

French Bistro Top for mom

I used seven balls of Coats Opera 5 in ecru and a size D crochet hook, which is teeny teeny tiny. So that's why this took so darn long. It wasn't a complicated pattern once you memorized the stitches, and seaming was actually a breeze.

French Bistro top for mom

The only modifications I made were crocheting the sleeves in the round (why wouldn't you?) and only putting the picot edging around the neck. It seemed too precious to put it on the sleeves and bottom hem.

French Bistro top for mom

And here was our other big project -- we painted my downstairs half bathroom. (Yeah, I just like pointing out that I have a downstairs half bathroom.) When we looked at this place, the bathroom was painted a baby blue to match the tile, but when we moved in, it was all painted white -- including the tile! It was madness and looked so nasty and barren. So we stripped the white off of the tile using something called "CitruStrip" stripping gel, which is allegedly less toxic than turpentine. Then we painted the walls a color called "old pickup blue." We were up until 12:30 a.m. Sunday, but isn't it cozy?

My bathroom

Yes, another shot of my bathroom is probably excessive. But here it is anyway.

My bathroom

But in typical Carrie fashion, something did go wrong this weekend -- some lunatic broke into my car and stole my radio. Not something I wanted my mom to see, you know? But, mercifully, the jerk somehow jimmied the lock and didn't break a window, and he didn't think to steal all of my insurance and registration documents. I plan to address this more in a later post, but I had an identity theft issue in July, so my main concern was someone else getting my personal information. I just don't understand what would possess someone to break into this crappy car. Honestly, it's a bucket of bolts. I had been snitty with my insurance agent when she pleaded with me not to move to Brooklyn, the car theft capital of the globe, but looks like I owe Esther an apology!


Blogger amanda said...

Your bathroom looks great - very tranquil and cozy. Sorry to hear about your car :( Odds are in your favor for not being a victim again, though!

3:58 PM  
Blogger jenna said...

Your mom looks great in the top! Well done. LOVE the color of the bathroom---the red accents are a nice touch!

4:26 PM  
Blogger nat said...

I love the color of your bathroom. :)

5:17 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

The sweater is so nice! And fits your mom perfectly - good job!!
I also love the color you chose for your walls! I wish I had an eye for home decorating...

5:34 PM  
Blogger Veronique said...

What a lovely shade of blue. It looks very soothing. And polished!
Oh, and I'm super impressed by your French Bistro Top!

5:36 PM  
Blogger Karin said...

I love that top! I am so sorry to hear your car got broken into. Your bathroom looks nice too.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Liz K. said...

What a nice tribute to your Mom. I hope to be a mom like that to my girl (and son too) someday.

Love the blue. My living room is that color, although I like to call it "Tiffany Box Blue," rather than "Old Pickup Blue."

6:19 PM  
Blogger gleek said...

the french bistro top is just gorgeous! you did a bang up job on that! congrats!

the bathroom is the perfect shade of blue. it's very tranquil.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

The sweater looks lovely on your mom! It fits her so well! And I adore the color of your bathroom - nice choice!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

it looks great on your mom. it was all worth the wait!

sorry to hear about your car! i wish people were able to keep a car in the city without having to worry about it 24/7. luckily, the only mishap I have had was someone slashed my tire - although it really wasn't that lucky i guess - it cost me a couple hundred bucks to replace! oh and did i mention this was when we had all that snow? blah!

8:00 PM  
Blogger Sachi said...

Sheesh! Your mom's got a hot little body on her! And that top is just fabu! It fits her perfectly.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Beautiful top! And I LOVE the color of your bathroom--it looks like a big Tiffany's box! So lovely.

8:33 PM  
Blogger elizabooth said...

The bathroom does indeed look great. So does mum's sweater! Sorry to hear about the car. If it makes you feel better, we live in the sleepiest neighbourhood in the free world and our neighbour had his windsheild busted by drunken 20-somethings on Friday. Don't blame Brooklyn -- just blame the jerks of the world.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

So sorry about your car! That happened to me multiple times back when I had a 92 tercel (the break in's were in 99). I even started leaving the doors unlocked but the genius criminal's didn't bother to check before they broke my windows. **Sigh**

I love the paint job in the bathroom as well as your french bistro top!! It fits your mom so well!!

8:40 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

The top looks great! And I love the bathroom color--I wish I could paint our place!

8:52 PM  
Anonymous yahaira said...

yay! you finished it! it looks great, I bet she loved it.

sorry about the car : (

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Sandra said...

love the bathroom, love the bistro top, love you, love everything in this post! (well, except for that creep tha broke into your car. Hmph. )

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...

I'm sorry to hear that happen to your car. It happened to me two days before xmas...but then again i was in a shady neighborhood in LA. Go figure. But get this, they couldn't even figure out how to steal my radio.

What a wonderful present to your mom! Late or not, I'm sure she loved it.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Great job on your mom's top. It looks incredible! That sucks about the car. It sucks to have someone think they have the right to take your stuff. (Don't get me started about some really elaborate, multi-tier planters I had stolen off my front porch. I'm still pissed about it nearly 4 years later.)

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

The top is SO cute! That is some fine crochet. And the bathroom is super cute.

I'm sorry about your car! that totally sucks - it feels like crap to get robbed like that.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Noeysmommy said...

Oh my gosh! My car stereo was stolen this weekend too! No broken window either, and taken from my old, crappy, bucket of bolts!! Maybe it's a New York to California crappy car theft ring! Your French Bistro Top is lovely, and fits your mom so well!

10:38 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Beautiful top! It turned out so well. Sounds like your Mom is very well deserving of it too. I'm sorry about your car. I hate that. I love the color you chose for the bathroom too!

10:42 PM  
Blogger Miss Scarlett said...

Wow - that sweater looks fantastic! It fits your Mom perfectly and you have done a gorgeous job on the stitchwork.

The bathroom looks really good too - much better than being all white - isn't that too dull?

11:21 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

The bistro top came out lovely!

Ugh, about your car, but you're right, if they had gotten your personal info, that would have been so much worse.

9:11 AM  
Blogger mayarn said...

You are busy, busy! The sweater turned out great--and I love the bathroom color. Who paints over tile? sheesh!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Wanda said...

It's gorgeous. I love how it turned out. Your mom should be so pleased. And the bathroom turned out so nicely. Bummer about the car, but thankfully no important papers were taken, right?

9:50 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

How beautiful is that top! And your mum does look really fab in it, too. How come I can't even knit something to fit myself, let alone someone else?

Bathroom is a lovely, fresh colour.

Sorry about your car. Mine was broken into on Christmas eve/day once, parked on my drive. It's horrid.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Lolly said...

Oh the top is just lovely! Your mom looks so stylish and so well-outfitted! :) Wonderful gift and lovely crochet!

The bathroom looks so great! Very cozy and relaxing!

7:27 PM  
Blogger KnittenKnots said...

Your mom sounds perfect and she looks great in her new top! Great job. I love the bathroom color.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Lovely bathroom - that print looks great against the blue walls!

Your mom looks great in her top - what a perfect fit!

10:22 PM  
Blogger schrodinger said...

The top looks fabulous (so does your Mum in it). I love the color of your bathroom, that hard work paid off.

Sorry your car was broken into.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Sharon G. said...

That sweater looks so perfect on your momma...I'm sure she'll wear it with mucho pride.

Your bathroom looks fabulous, too. So clean, so fresh-looking.

Sucks about your car - so sorry.

3:31 PM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

The sweater and the bathroom both look great - I'm so tempted to head over to home depot and do a little bathroom painting of my own! So sorry to hear about your car.

1:30 PM  
Blogger gray la gran said...

oh, that crochet top is fabulous! i was flipping through some older interweaves the other day and stopped to admire that design. you did a lovely job, and i will have to remember your tips for making a successful top!

12:07 PM  

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