Miss Gioia

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Passing Time

No news yet on the travel approval. We are hoping we get to pick up our daughter before Chinese New Year. Nothing came this week though. So we wait.

In the meantime, we are trying to keep busy and get everything together. Today, we bought "Taiwanese" gifts for the orphanage director and nannies. We searched again for child proofing supplies without much luck (toilet security latches still needed: 2).

On a positive note, I discovered today that the hot stone massage at the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel in Taipei is one of the best spa experiences ever. I was beginning to lose hope of ever finding a good massage place here. The whole treatment took one hour and 45 minutes. It started with a private 15 minute steam sauna, which was followed by a foot bath and massage. The actual hot stone massage (one hour) was luxurious: slow, warm and relaxing. The therapist drew me a hot bath with rose petals at the end of the session, and then presented me with a ginger tea, little sandwich, and bitty chocolate cake. Travel approval? What travel approval?

Projects are being completed. Miss G's nursery is - I think - done. The curtains have been sewn and hung, and Chris installed the blackout shade. Chris' family's Dutch embroidery piece is hanging above the crib. All that work, and she will probably wind up sleeping in our room until she gets adjusted. Har.

Off now to circle the house once more.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Miss G's Nursery

All is nearly ready. With the exception of window treatments (a blackout shade and some curtains), the nursery is ready for our baby girl.

She has colorful art...

Squishy things to play and snuggle with...

Books to read, pop up creatures to discover...

Oh wait, how about a little tour?

Are you ready to come home baby G?


Sunday, September 16, 2007

G is for Gioia

I woke up this morning feeling like I just "had" to make a pillow for Miss G's nursery. We are moving soon, you see, so I have to rearrange the nursery plan in my mind. The new one has a big white chair in it (in my brain), and that chair needs a pillow.

Since I have been on this applique kick lately, I decided to try making a pillow with a big ol' G in the center. I am quite tickled that it worked.

The binding did not go on quite as nicely as I had hoped, and the center G needed some interfacing to keep the pink flowers from showing through. Enh. Lessons for next time. Still happy with it, regardless.

Everybody is pleased.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

On Letting Go

One of the things I have been careful about lately is making sure that I do not try to do to many things. I really enjoy crafting, sewing painting and handcrafting stuff, but sometimes it is much better for me to just say no and let someone else take over. I do work 60+ hours a week, and I am on a plane or in a hotel more often than I am home these days. So I try to do projects which make me happy. If something starts to stress me out, then I need to put it down.

I realized this summer that making a baby quilt for Miss G was too much. It would have been fun, but ultimately it would have made me cranky. And nobody needs that. Luckily though, I found this wonderful non-profit community development organization in Ho Chi Minh city in May. Vietnam Quilts brings employment and income to some very poor women in rural Vietnam. They learn new skills and can support their families with their income. I have a long history with the development field, and my personal philosophy lines up well with that of this organization.

With no regret at all, I sent the nursery fabrics I had bought and stashed away for my own quilt. Four weeks later, they sent back a beautiful baby quilt. It was, in truth, much better than I could have made myself. A custom order with shipping was something like US$50. The only problem was that they are pretty backwards with respect to foreign orders and could only accept a wire transfer. The additional bank fees doubled the cost for me, but it was still well worth it.

In letting go, I was able to support a wonderful organization, take one step closer to my nursery vision, and retain my sanity. All good things.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Time has Come, the Walrus Said

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"to speak of many things.
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
of cabbages and kings."

-Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

I have always loved this quote. In truth, I love all that is Alice,* including the very odd and dark Jabberwocky, but this poem makes me particularly happy. It is very twisted, actually, opening with dreams and fantasy and ending with trickery and - well - death.

This week I saw a link on AT the Nursery to a great site where you can order Wonderful Graffiti: custom vinyl text for the walls of your home. Here is my favorite example from the company's website.

I began to think about what quote I could use in Miss G's nursery, and my mind kept jumping back to the Walrus and the Carpenter. The "talk of many things" quote in particular alludes both to fantasy and to imparting of knowledge. It is my childhood and her potential, all wrapped into one.

When I told Chris, however, he said no. Hell to the no, actually. Too twisted, too weird. After all, the poor oysters did not fare so well. Well, OK. Perhaps a tale of deceit is not really the best reference for above my daughter's crib. LC was most likely a pedophile too, which is not cool either. So, back to the drawing board.

Speaking of Wonderland, I found some lovely Alice illustrations this week through a reference to the Rare Book Room on Whipup. We are all pretty familiar with John Tenniel's late 19th century illustrations, such as the one shown at the top of this post and below (courtesy of Project Gutenberg). But have you seen Attwell's art nouveau illustrations from an early 20th century edition? And the gorgeous Pease illustrations, with intricate borders around every page? And this fascinating (Polish?) version....

*If you are a math geek (like me), make sure you check out the Annotated Alice.

Obligatory Project Gutenberg language: This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

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