Wednesday, July 26, 2006

current project

I decided to make memory books to give to all the relatives flying over to Hawaii for my Grandmother's memorial. (16 total!) Using the fabric I dyed with the red dirt (from the town she grew up in), I used the gocco to make the image for the front of these little books:

In Honor of
Yosuka Shirley Yonomine Jensen
1921 - 2006
Kauai, Hawaii
August 2006

These pieces of fabric will be sewn onto felt covers with some other fabric acquired by cutting up one of my grandma's skirts. It took me several days to make the first cut - the thought of cutting up one of her precious skirts was horrifying to me! But, then reality sunk in...she was so tiny, I don't think any of us could ever possibly wear it and my mother insisted it was the right thing to do. Rather than having it just sit in a box in somebody's garage, it will be part of something that everyone will be able to enjoy. Here's a picture of her in the skirt:

Just off the plane (see all the leis?) to visit her family that was still living on the islands - holding my mom, my aunt at her side. The tag of the skirt says Miss Hawaii on the front and the manufacturer on the back is Kamehameha Co. I still feel like I've committed a crime cutting it up. Vintage island clothes seem to be worth something these days...but what's done is done.

The covers will slip over little photo albums, In the first few slots I'll insert some stories about the history of the town she grew up in, Hawaiian legends and a description of ancient Hawaiian beliefs about the spirits of our ancestors - what happens after death. Then maybe some photographs of her - and the rest will be open for everyone to include the pictures that they take on this trip.

Stay tuned for some pictures of the final product!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Strawberry Sorbet
1 lemon, seeded + roughly chopped
2 cups sugar
2 pounds strawberries, hulled
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons

1. Place the chopped lemon and sugar in a food processor, and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Puree the strawberries in a food processor, and add to the lemon mixture, along with the juice of 1 lemon. Taste and add more juice as desired. The lemon flavor should be intense but should not overpower the strawberries. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn until frozen.

Monday, July 24, 2006


One thing I'm experiencing, which I remember from my first pregnancy, is my gestational super-appreciation for books. I read a lot the last time I was with-child and I sure am burning through books this time round as well. Finished and loved On Beauty. Now I'm a little more than half-way through The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. And it just got really good. I've hit that point where I just don't want to put it down. And while I'm tempted to take the little one to the park and plough through to the end, I'm opting, instead, for savouring each little bit slowly - as if each page were a delicious piece of chocolate from a box of the world's most fabulous confections - don't want to consume it all in one sitting!

[Which makes me think of these wonderful chocolates we got from a chocolatier in belgium. Wish I could remember the name of that place. I'm sure I could order some online if I could just remember the name of that place.]

[[Which makes me think about how my last pregnancy had me craving delicious rich things like ice cream and chocolate and this one has me craving frozen sweet treats like sherbet and sorbet. I've been trying since last night to make strawberry sorbet, but it is so hot that the bowl of my ice cream maker thaws before the sorbet has had a chance to freeze! Now I'm doing it the old fashioned way - it's in the freezer where I'll give it a good stir every couple hours. Tonight we eat sorbet!!!]]

Saturday, July 22, 2006

bun in the oven


Well, I have a little secret that is largely responsible for the lack of energy I've been experiencing lately. And if you're a close friend, please don't feel dissed because I didn't tell you in a more personal manner...frankly, I just haven't had the energy for anything - not even a simple e-mail! That's right folks, I'm pregnant! We waited the standard 3 months before letting the news out. It's been good so far - but this comatose state I've been in is unique from my first pregnancy. Of course I was working in the office back then, so maybe I just forced myself to plough through it. In any case, Hawaii in a couple weeks will be a very nice treat. I think I'm up for just sitting back and watching the morning rain shower pass through. Unfortunately, I will not be able to partake of the mai tais. Boo hoo! Hawaii without mai tais!?! Who ever heard of such a thing?!? I've been enjoying blended drinks of the non-alchoholic variety lately - what with this heat and all. Smoothies, virgin strawberry margeritas, slurpees. I've never gone to 7-eleven in so many consequetive days to buy slurpees as I have this past week. Yummy, chilly goodness! So I'll just have to enjoy plenty of virgin mango margeritas, paypaya and passion fruit smoothies and banana slurpees while in Hawaii. Come to think of it, I had my very first slurpee ever while in Hawaii. I must have been around 5-years old and my aunt came with us. She got my sister and I a slurpee and taught us to use the spoon/straw (is there a name for that? "spoonula" rings a bell - or am I totally making that up?). We stirred and stirred ours so that it would melt because we thought then it would taste like a melted popsicle. Ha - so funny that I just remembered that. And, wha do ya know, my aunt will be on this trip as well! It all comes around, it all comes around.

I did manage to finish up this big ol' batch of pillows this week though. 15 of them! At the very least, I'll have pillows for the Carlsbad show coming up in August. I have two more weeks to crank out some more silk screened bibs, soft blocks, pouches and additional pillow designs. I just can't count on my energy level being up, though. Each day is a new beast. I desperately need naps during the day (sometimes even right afer breakfast!) and I'm in bed by 9:30pm. Um, hello? Like, I know my body is busy creating a human being, but can I have just a few of those hormones for myself so I can make a stupid pillow?

We are obviously very excited for #2 to bless our home. Robbie wants a brother - so at this point, I'm putting aside all my girly instincts and hoping for a boy as well. Hey, I can be June Cleaver! Names names names...that's what everone asks. If it's a girl, we've got a dozen names to chose from. But if it's a boy, we're really stuck. Robbie Clem's name (Robert Clement) is just dripping with meaning for us (Robert = my dad, Robert Zimmerman, Robert Frost, Robert many great Roberts Clement = Tom's uncle), so it's hard to come up with another name that has as much meaning as this one. Guess we threw all our eggs in one basket with that one. It's easy to pick a name, but to pick a name with history is a whole nother ballgame. We joke and say it'll be Clement Robert, or Clem Robbie. How insane would that make us? So I think we'll just wait and see what this litle lime turns out to be. (we call it a lime, because this week it is the size of a lime...last week it was fig...week before that walnut..."how's the little walnut today?" Tom would ask)

Wow...that's more writing than I've done in weeks! Guess I'd better attempt to get my day started. Today we're off to the horse races! Company picnic at the inflield in Del Mar. I want to cut some felt flowers for my hat. Gotta wear a hat!

Monday, July 17, 2006

red dirt dye

from here...

to here...

A little red dirt goes a looooooong way!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Where I want to be right now ~

Island of Kaua'i
North Shore
Ke'e Beach
End of the road, where the lush cliffs take their dive into the ocean - wonderful snorkelling spot where you are likely to come face-to-face with a green sea turtle. A little rain shower might move through - but that doesn't mean you have to get out of the water. Just come up for a taste of some freshwater raindrops, then go back under to continue exploring the reef. Those with little patience might not enjoy the drive here. It's a winding, 2-lane road with several 1-lane bridges. Live aloha, offer to let oncoming traffic go first! But here's what you do: roll down the windows so you can inhale the tropical air flavored by sweet flowers, moist earth and lush landscape and put some Iz on the stereo. This way, the drive could take some time, but what's the rush? This is Kaua'i!

I have a renewed excitement for this trip because my husband's work schedule cleared, allowing him to go to. Now I just want the day we see that green island in the blue ocean as we start our decent to be here. Still 3 weeks away. And, honestly, I need the time to work on my projects. The Carlsbad Art in the Village is the day after we get back from our trip. So, time to get busy, I suppose. Ho hum. It's hard to not sit around and daydream about being right there right now!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

mangos and dirt

When we lived in San Diego, there was this joint down the street that we passed on the way back from just about anywhere we were coming from. A juice bar with a couple plastic chairs, one table and an umbrella out front. Hand-painted, haphazardly, in bright paint upon a plywood sign hung askew above the door were the words, “Senior Mango!” Every time we’d drive by, my husband (in his booming announcer voice), would yell, “Scene!Your! Mang-GOOOOOOOO!”

I was just cutting a mango for breakfast and heard that clear as back-in-the-day in my head.

Waimea Canyon

We’re about 3 weeks away from our Kauai trip. (and for close friends who knew of our predicament…last minute development…Tom CAN go!!!) I’m trying to think of something special to make for all the family to remember my Grandma’s memorial. We’ll be spreading her ashes somewhere in/around Waimea, the town she grew up in. Waimea was a plantation town, harvesting sugar cane on the hot and dry side of the island. It is also at the base of the Waimea Canyon, coined the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain. And for those who really appreciate history, it is here that Captain Cook first stepped onto Hawaiian soil back in 1778. The soil here is a brilliant red. A company known for their
Red Dirt T-Shirts uses the dirt to dye their shirts this brilliant rusty color. On a trip several years ago I scooped up a bag of this soil and, to my surprise, I found it among my art supplies a couple days ago. Maybe I’ll try doing something with this. Something about this dirt and knowing my Grandma grew up here makes me picture her as a little girl, growing up barefoot on this Hawaiian island with the soles of her feet stained red.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

that's better

Re-worked my larger hanging boggies that didn't sell too well at my last event. And, to be honest, I never really felt quite right about their wings. The felt worked well for the smaller critters on my mobiles, but at a larger scale it just wasn't working out. The pipe cleaner wings are definitely better. Just came back from buying more and the chenille pipe cleaner I like to use (because I like pipe cleaner where you can't see the wire) was all clearanced. Good deal...but, that must mean they're not going to be stocking this anymore. Translation = yet another one of those items I actually have to plan for by ordering online when I think I'll be needing it soon. Oh bother.
Speaking of online shopping, I'm in the market for ordering some really good (preferably woodfire, preferably montreal) bagels. We were eating our mediocre bagels yesterday when my husband remarked that I'm a bit of a bagel snob. I have yet to find bagels I enjoy half as much as those made in this bagel shop/bakery I worked at in L.A. It was called Woodfire Bagel Company and was on the corner of Venice and Beverly Glenn Blvd. The day we drove back up to L.A. to discover that the shop had closed up was just about the most disappointing day of my life. The owners had their bakers trained in Montreal where most bakeries use the woodfire baking process. I'd never even heard of a montreal bagel before I started working there. It's smaller, less bready. Delicious! Aside from the bagels, this place made wonderful soups, salad dressings, woodfire pizzas...everything from scratch, everything the best tasting whatever it was I had ever had. I loved walking in there at 6am, smell of the fire, warm bagels all lined up, brew the coffee, fix myself a very tall double shot mocha latte with orange syrup - before the customers started coming. Loved the food, hated the customers. Had my share of nasty L.A. brats. Also had my share of celebrity sightings here. Shall I drop names? Shannon Dougherty, who insisted we call out the name "Tom" when her bagel was ready. Fran Drescher, who had an itty bitty dog obscured under her sweater. (This was back in the day before everyone and their sister wasn't carrying a chihuahua around in their purse - back in the day when you were actually asked to leave the dog outside.) But my all time favorite was Richard Schiff - mostly now known as "Toby" on The West Wing. At the time, in 1996, he was on my favorite favorite show, Relativity, a short-lived show by the producers of My So-Called Life. So instead of simply calling his name when his bagel was ready, I walked around the counter and foolishy asked him if he was an actor. He wasn't incredibly "big" back then, so he smiled warmly at being recognized and said, "yes!" I told him how much I loved the show, asked if he was coming back, since he hadn't been on the past couple episodes, and he proceeded to tell me about the upcoming Christmas episode and thanked me for my support of the show. I was so silly. My only other celebrity sighting in my 3 years of living in L.A. happened while I was heading to a doctor's appointment at the UCLA Medical Center. I was in the elevator heading up when the elevator paused at a floor and the doors opened. A man standing there looked in, a little confused, then looked around the lobby before stepping back and going in the other direction. When the doors closed, the other woman in the elevator said, "Was that...?" "Yes, had to be Clint Eastwood!" Ha ha.
So...getting back to the point of all this is...if you live near an excellent bagel shop that has an online storefront, would you please let me know? I'm jonesing for a good montreal, bialy or onion, with lots of onions and poppy seeds baked inside, bagel.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

summer projects

What have I been up to???

Vacation clothes for the little one:

Sewing a lot for me as well - started this little journal for recording the patterns I like and the swatches of fabric I use so when I'm out, I have everything with me for matching and yardage:

*Fireworks* on the fourth always make me feel like...yep...summer's here!

In honor of that, I have a few summer goals I'd like to publish here for all to see - that I might actually be guilted into doing at least a handful of them so that come September I'm not writing, "whelp, summer came and went and I have nothing to show for it!"

1. Project back-yard. That dry, dirt spot is really getting to me. Needs some major attention.
2. Plant and maintain lots of beautiful green things in the yard so that I'm not completely depressed following our trip to tropical, lush Hawaii next month.
3. Eat dinner outside as often as possible.
4. Streamline my wardrobe by sewing my own clothes. Pick patterns I love, then stick to them - achieving variety in fabric selection. (I'm so sick of finding clothes with fabric I love only to discover it comes in a size 2 or was designed by someone with no concept whatsoever of curves.)
5. Work my way through the clutter and utter disorganization in this house. (Summer cleaning?)
6. Redo my son's bedroom. Can you picture a Buzzing Bog mural, silk-screened window treatments and flying elephant pillows?
7. Cook often from my new cookbook: The Healthy Kitchen - Recipes for a Better Body, Life and Spirit
8. Build a gate at the front walk to keep out those pesky solicitors. I feel like a grouchy old woman - go away!!!

I usually like to make my lists an even 10, but don't want to throw stuff on there just for the sake of throwing it on there. But I'm sure it will grow as the summer progresses.
Thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes. I still feel like I'm 20-something. Hmmm....