Friday, June 11, 2010

Afternoon with Alabama Chanin

On May 2, I was looking foward to spending an afternoon with Natalie Chanin, author of the Alabama Stich Book and Alabama Studio Style at my fave fabric shop. Unfortunately, other more pressing matters got in the way and the class was cancelled.

Fortunately, Natalie agreed to make another trip to Nashville and I got to go to my class afterall!

Natalie, who is positively delightful, gave us tips on her signature techniques. The time flew by as we sewed and listened to her stories.

alabama chanin kit

My tee is still a work in progress, but there is something so cathartic about sewing by hand. Me, on the porch, with iced tea, sewing? Yes, please! Stay tuned for the finished product...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Round and round she goes

True confessions time:

I am not what you would consider an "athlete." I try hard, but I'm miserable at team sports. I lettered in marching band! Plus I'm not the most coordinated (we all remember the scooter incident, right?). Also, gyms kinda skeeve me out and running on a treadmill makes me want to poke my eyes out with a spoon. BOOOORING!

Until recently, this hasn't really been a problem. Sure I've carried a few extra pounds around my middle, but it wasn't enough to make me increase my exercise beyond afternoon walks in the park, hiking on the weekend, and the occasional pilates session. Then I wrote my dissertation, defended, and got a job where I sit all day. Suddenly those few extra pounds were getting friendly with a few more, and then a few more after that. Not the kind of friends a girl wants!

So I upped my walking, going at lunch with some ladies in the office and attempting to jog after work. Still boring, but I stuck it out. The scale budged almost inperceptibly, and I wasn't falling over myself to get home and exercise in the evenings. I needed excitement! A challenge! Something that doesn't require running! Or a trainer yelling at me (no, you do those sit-ups!)!

Then the most random thing happened. The daily Groupon (an online coupon thingy), which is usually for bum-expanding delicious food discounts, was for a hula hoop class. Seriously. I had vaguely remembered reading a Southern Living article about an East Nashville hooper, and here were her classes--on sale!

This gal can't resist a sale.

I was a bit apprehensive when I joined 11 other grown women for the first class. But that soon melted away as I hooped, dropped my hoop, hooped some more, and laughed. A lot. Folks, you have not seen ridiculous until you have seen a room full of women hooping! But the funny thing was, I haven't had that much fun in a long time, expecially exercising! Hoop class became the highlight of my week.

You'll never guess what happened next:


Yup, I'm the proud owner of my own, adult-sized (and pretty!) hoop. And yes, I do practice in my yard! (Well, out back. When the neighbors aren't home. And they aren't doing construction on the house across the alley. Baby steps, here). I'm officially addicted...I actually look forward to going home and hooping!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. My final level 1 hoop class was last week. But have no fear--level 2 starts on monday! You haven't seen the end of my hooping yet!