Wednesday, December 30, 2009

little universe

I went out into the garden the other day to check on things. I haven't been out there much in the past few weeks, what with all the Christmas hoopla and preparations and such. So I was kind of timid about going out there. I was sure that after weeks of neglect everything would be brown and dead. But I was wrong! Everything was green. Mother Nature took care of everything with all of that much needed rain. Even the brown spots in the lawn are gone now and it's even about time to bust out the mower. God bless the rain!

Lettuce is bountiful even in December!

Then I found myself with a thought that I always get when I'm out there- and then quickly forget until the next time. Being outside makes me happy. When I'm out there I'm not stressed, I'm not moody. Being outside, poking around at weeds and watering the bamboo is extremely satisfying and fulfilling. "I need to do this EVERY day," I tell myself. And then I forget. Until the next time. So I'm saying it here and I'm saying it loud- Get yourself outside EVERYDAY!

The Gingko tree has lost it's leaves for winter.

When I'm in the garden, I'm often inspired as well. I see a leaf or a flower that I want to sketch. I plan plots and imagine things I'll build to make the garden more intimate. I think about color. I promise myself I'll start some seedlings. Grow some roots! I'm very drawn to the notion of establishing roots. We've been in this house for over 6 years now and I'm finally feeling like we're establishing some roots. This is OUR home. Undoubtedly! There's the oak tree growing in the front yard that started as a seedling collected from the canyon behind my childhood home. A swing for the kids in the tree, the bench given to me by my husband for my birthday and the plumeria trees that started as cuttings from my Grandmother's plumerias. We're settling in. And that feels nice.

The Nasturtium seeds I scattered are finally growing.

And so as we begin a new year, I immediately start to think about this house- my little universe. I think I'm going to be spending a lot of time right here in 2010. I don't feel the push to go anywhere. I want to tend to my garden, do repairs and renovations around the house and work on my projects here in my "Craft Cave". (Snoop Dog was on Martha a couple weeks ago and he talked about his "Man Cave". I have a "Craft Cave"- and with shelves piled nearly to the ceiling it really does feel like a cave when I'm sitting at my table. I LOVE being in here!) And so I roll out my resolutions for Twenty-Ten...

1. Garden every day.
2. Sketch/Sew/Craft every day - keep my mind focused on creativity.
3. Cook from scratch - Whole foods - Sign up for an organic produce delivery.
4. Avoid negativity. Don't allow myself to get stressed out over things I can't control.
5. Write & illustrate the childrens' book that has been brewing in my head. This is the year!

Mostly, I want more focus in 2010. Keep my mind healthy (gardening), my body healthy (whole food living) and my soul healthy (replace negativity with creativity) so I can FOCUS on what's really important: my family, my designs and my little universe.

Happy New Year
to you & your family
in your little universe,
wherever that may be.

patchwork year

Wow, that was quick. Christmas gone, January a couple days away. Wasn't Halloween just yesterday? It was a busy couple of weeks- sewing lots of handmade gifts, baking, decking the halls and all. I finally dug my work area out from piles of fabric, wrapping paper and boxes. Actually got to sit down at the sewing machine yesterday to work on some new things. I have a pile of onesies that I purchased eons ago with intentions to silkscreen or embellish with applique. Finally getting around to that now...

I did some quilting for the holidays. I love matching up fabrics. Now that my fabric stash is organized by color it's much easier to do. Maybe it's going to be a patchwork year. This onesie is another way of blending different prints together. I'm pleased with how it turned out and am anxious to do some more. I picked up some WONDERFUL prints at Maisonette last week. I currently have my half yard of Echino "Quiet Yard" hanging in the workspace. It's almost too beautiful to use!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

some etsy picks

I've been doing a lot of Etsy browsing this week- searching for that perfect gift, getting inspiration for projects to come in the new year and updating my shop for some last minute shoppers. (This is a good week for making purchases! Next week will work too, but it's starting to push it in terms of shipping time... so start shopping now!)

There are so many wonderful things on Etsy, so I've decided to put together a little gift guide with some wonderful picks. So many to choose from, so maybe I'll continue this again in the days to come. For this edition, I've picked a lot of holiday inspired items. Additionally, there are some great stocking stuffer ideas as well. This reminds me of the year I made Christmas stockings for everyone and filled them with goodies as their gift. I might have to do that again next year. Stocking stuffers are so much fun to buy! But it helps to spend an entire year shopping for those- stocking stuffers aren't things you head to the mall in search of; rather, you pick them up here and there as you find them. Yeah, maybe that's my plan for next year.

First is a wonderful pouch for your iPod or iPhone from downstairsDesigns. I love that it even has a place for your ATM/Credit Cards. When you head out for a walk, this is all you need! Wouldn't these lovely knitted candy canes look so festive on a package wrapped in brown paper and tied with string? Made by BadAmyKnits, they're the perfect example of a Handmade Holiday. I love all of the things from HeyYoYo, but this cupcake container is the best. It reminds me of the sack lunches I used to take to First Grade. "Holiday Tree" is a precious sketch by Etsy artist naokosstoop. Love the wood grain and can imagine pulling it out every year to dress the house in the holiday spirit. This Eames inspired recycled wood business card holder by andrewsreclaimed would make a perfect stocking stuffer. And, finally, how about this vintage red and ivory ribbon? It's too special for gift wrapping, but this ribbon from SugaredSongBird would be perfect for making bows on a vintage inspired wreath or tree.

I hope you enjoyed these items as much as I did when I stumbled across them. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 07, 2009

baking is in order

Oh Boy! The Holiday Season is here!
And it's actually raining here in parched Southern California. What a treat.

Are you making it a Handmade Holiday? I'm trying. Busy making some last minute things for the Etsy shop... like these elves. (I've also got a great pocket calendar, so check that out if you're looking for some teacher gifts) Come back soon for photos of my amigurumi animal parade! It's so satisfying to crochet these cute little guys. Making a couple zoos for some special little ones.

Meanwhile, I think I'll try to make the beautiful pop-up tree that was made on Martha last week. I've already folded up one of the magazine Christmas trees featured. Love the way it turned out. And on a wet day like today, though, I think some baking is in order.
Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

winning birthday cake

I think I might have stumbled upon the birthday cake solution for all birthdays to come! This cake was a huge hit with the birthday boy AND it didn't take me all night to decorate. Here's my advice: save yourself the time- decorate the cake simply and throw a much-desired toy on top! It's even better if the toy correlates with the party theme as ours did- Star Wars the Clone Wars. Like my fondant planet? Our big six-year-old was so excited to get the lego ship off (which took me longer to assemble than it did to ice the cake) that it was a couple hours before he realized he never even ate a piece of cake!

In our household the time between Halloween and the end of January is major push time. Our oldest little boy (now SIX) has his birthday right around Thanksgiving, then there's Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year and finally the youngest little boy's birthday at the end of January. It's a concentrated period of time where most of our toy accumulation occurs. This is quickly becoming a problem in our overstuffed, small house. So now that the birthday party and Thanksgiving are over, I am desperate to start sorting through toys before Santa arrives. It's always hard to dedicate time to chores like these when I'd rather be making things. And I've got a long list of gifts on my handmade holiday list. So, I'll probably work in spurts- tackling one cluttered toy bin a day until we've got boxes and boxes of toys to give away and plenty of room for new toys. The question is, do I involve little boys in the process so we don't end up with any surprise disappearances? Or do I just move about independently and play dumb when inquires are made about a toy that has been passed on to the Goodwill? "It'll turn up," I've been known to say.

If I plan my time right, there should be enough hours between now and Christmas to get it all done. There are lots of crochetted socks and toys to whip up, the holiday baking list (I'll share soon), Christmas quilts, tote bags and personalized gifts to get busy making. So, maybe I should just stop sleeping. That would certainly give me the time I'll need. I'll sleep on Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Slowly getting the Etsy shop stocked up and ready for holiday shoppers. I've added some new pendant designs that would make excellent stocking stuffers! Check it out...

The weather has been absolutely beautiful. I'm feeling inspired. I'm anxious to start making some mobiles using a technique for transferring images to wood that Katie from Matsutake demonstrated in her tutorial. If you're thinking of giving it a try, here's a heads-up. Instead of prepping a piece of cardstock, coat a transparency sheet with the glue before printing. This makes it MUCH easier to peel off the wood.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

costume designer no more

Now why did I go and spend all that money on a costume when Finn could have just as well dressed up as a Home Depot bucket for Halloween?

This year was all about store-bought costumes. A Star Wars Clone Trooper for one and Scooby Doo for the other. *Sigh* Is this the end of mommy's homemade costumes? Maybe one of these years they'll let me create something like a two-headed monster that they can both wear together. Hmmm... on second thought, that sounds a little dangerous. It's not like they need an excuse to hurt one another and if they were bound together? That would be nothing but trouble!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

pumpkin patch with my pumpkin

A day at the pumpkin patch.

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold,
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.
I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.
But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.
I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?
Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.
Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
The harvest shall stop?
- Robert Frost

Monday, October 12, 2009

holiday preview

Some holiday crafting going on...

(perhaps an Elf on the Shelf?)

Amigurumi Monkey Ornament

Monday, October 05, 2009

time for another project!

halloween wreath

I saw a cute little Halloween wreath at the store a couple weeks ago. I've been itching to get a wreath of any kind up on the door. I don't know what it is about something decorating the door. It makes me happy. But I just couldn't justify spending the money for one, so I hit the craft store and brainstormed a way to make one of my own instead. How hard could it be?

Well, it wasn't hard but it was slightly more time-consuming than I imagined it would be. This, of course, makes me wonder if it really was worth it to make my own, because time is money, after all. I do love having my own little jack-o-lantern faces to get the house in the Halloween spirit. So, yes, it was worth it. This wreath, along with my ghosts in the trees outside (they've actually weathered pretty well over the last 5 years!), has me very excited for All Hallows' Eve.

Make one yourself! It's easy.

Here's how I did it:

To start, I picked up a bag of sticks to use for the pumpkin stems and to connect all the pumpkins. You'll also need about 10 wooden circles and 4 wooden ovals. (My craft supply store didn't have a wooden pumpkin shape that I liked. If yours does... lucky you! Feel free to improvise with whatever materials you find.) You'll also need some paints, paint brush and glue.

1 - Using acrylic paints, I started by painting the edges and then moved on to painting the fronts with orange and blending in some brown for shading.

jack-o-lantern2 - Paint the stems. I used a light and dark green and made stripes. Use a darker orange to paint the groove lines on the pumpkins. (wait to do the faces after the pumpkins are all arranged in their circle - because some of them in the background won't need faces)

3- Once the paint is dry lay the pumpkins in a circle with painted side down. Using popsicle sticks (or, as in my case, the same sticks used for the pumpkin stems) connect the pumpkins together. Keep 5 or 6 pumpkins aside and glue these on top of the first layer once the wreath of connected pumpkins is dry enough to flip.

halloween wreath4 - Cut and glue on stems.

5 - Paint faces. I found a jack-o-lantern sticker that I loved and that's where I got the inspiration for my toothy grins and googly eyes. Have fun with it.

6 - Once the paint is dry, give the wreath a coat of gloss varnish. I even used a coat of sparkle varnish to make it glittery.

And now it's time to bring out the Christmas crafts. Yes. I said Christmas. (I've been waiting all year for this)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


"Organize Now! A Week-By-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life" by Jennifer Ford Berry is one of those books that, once I stumbled across it, I couldn't resist buying. I am guilty of judging a book by it's cover... and this one is so cute. It also had me with the words "week-by-week guide". I'm a sucker for anything that promises a week-by-week plan. Love the idea of someone else planning all my time and guiding me through the week.

I'm not too far in, but yesterday it prompted an exercise to help prioritize your time and it's just so simple that it's quite possibly brilliant. For this week's goal, I'm to make a list of my top ten priorities. Simple, right? But once I numbered a piece of paper from 1 to 10 and began the exercise, it was a little more difficult than I expected. I scribbled out the first few rather quickly...

1) baking/cooking healthy, whole food meals for my family
2) involve my boys in creative & stimulating projects
3) create wonderful memories for my family
4) nurture my creative outlets

And then I drew a blank. Wow, ten is a lot! After a lot of thinking I came up with the rest:

5) organization & clutter control
6) gardening (creating a comfortable outdoor space for the family to enjoy)
7) sew my own wardrobe
8) a healthy & fit lifestyle - lead by example for my children
9) fix up this old house
10) dedicate time to a book idea

I've never had a problem identifying what it is I enjoy doing with my time. But most of the time I find myself always feeling guilty for doing this and not that. Yesterday, I took the boys to the park and filled a bag with some crochet projects to do. On most occasions, I would find myself sitting at the park feeling guilty because I wasn't at home. Maybe because I left the breakfast dishes in the sink or I knew I should be on the computer working. But yesterday it occurred to me that I was knocking off two whole priorities by going to the park: creating memories for my family AND nurturing my creative outlet. No guilt! Done, that was all it took. This simple little exercise was nothing short of enlightening for me. Try it yourself. Especially if you're quite often riddled with guilt like I am!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

pumpkin to start the weekend

While looking for a can of soup the other day I found a can of pumpkin puree and haven't been able to get it out of my mind. Technically, it's Fall. But with Santa Anas followed by heat and humidity, the last thing I crave is pumpkin pie. In fact, I never could understand why Starbuck's introduces their seasonal pumpkin spice latte before the end of our hot weather. I know it's cooler in most parts of the country and Starbuck's rolls these things out franchise-wide, but we live in an age computers and technology for Pete's sake! Surely they could probably adequately handle introducing seasonal products when it's appropriate to specific geographic regions. But, I diverge... point is, I was starting to vaguely crave something resembling pumpkin pie. So this morning, using the fog as my inspiration and excuse for baking, I made some pumpkin muffins before the sun could have a chance to make the kitchen miserable.

The recipe is adapted from the "Deceptively Delicious" recipe for Applesauce Muffins (I substituted pumpkin for squash/carrot puree and added salt & vanilla) :

2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats (I used steel cut oats because I used all my old-fashioned oats for the topping - worked perfectly)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg

1 - Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep a 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray or paper liners.
2 - Make the topping: Stir together the oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and use fingers to work the butter into the oats mixture until it has a coarse consistency.
3 - Make the batter: Combine the dry ingredients and stir to mix. In a separate bowl, mix the applesauce, milk, pumpkin, sugars, oil, vanilla and egg with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients, and stir until just moistened.
4 - Pour batter into prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the topping. Bake until topping is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the muffins - about 18 to 20 minutes.

pumpkin muffins

Friday, September 25, 2009

end of summer

Summer is over, right? Around here, the weather hasn't quite figured that out yet. I'm waiting for anything even closely resembling Fall.

The end of Summer was particularly significant in this house because it marked the start of Kindergarten. Now that we're several weeks into the rhythm of waking up early, rushing off to school and finishing homework before going to bed at a decent hour, I'm thinking that the undeclared break I took from blog posts should come to an end. I don't know if ANYONE out there even notices (friends and husband excluded)... but this little blog is also a scrapbook for me. It helps me feel like I've accomplished something when I have a photo and a story to post. So I'll try to get back on the blogging wagon. I think it will be good for me - get me out of my funk.

Last weekend I planned a big birthday feast for the husband. We started with a breakfast of Migas (Chilaquiles) followed by a lunch of Currywurst. The Chilaquiles was in memory of the incredible breakfast we had on a trip up to Washington state a few years ago at a long-since-gone cafe in White Salmon. For years I've tried to recreate this scrambled egg with bacon, tomatoes, peppers and tortillas concoction. When I was browsing through The Gourmet Cookbook, I came across the recipe! (the recipe on looks pretty close to the Gourmet recipe) It was right there on my shelf all this time. Go figure. The Currywurst was on the day's menu because I do believe it is quite possibly the husband's favorite meal. I was happy to stumble across this recipe on I've tried several recipes for curry sauce and I believe this one actually tasted pretty close to the Currywurst stands we've been to in Germany. And for the piece de la resistance, for dinner I prepared Beef Wellington, grilled shrimp and homemade spinach pasta with heirloom tomatoes. I didn't quite get enough prep done in the days leading up to the birthday dinner - so I looked like I was in an episode of Top Chef with the clock ticking, things bubbling over and me dashing back and forth from stovetop to cutting board. In my haste to get dinner served, pictures of the final product didn't get taken. So use your imagination. But this photo of the cake is much more telling without the chocolate glaze. This was a recipe for a layer cake from a German cookbook we have. This was a very time-consuming cake - but worth it. For each layer, a few tablespoons of batter were spread in the pan and then cooked for a couple minutes until the top was golden. Then another layer of batter was added and cooked before adding the next layer, and so on. Pretty.

So that's what's been cooking in the kitchen. Aside from that, I've been busy clocking hours for paycheck work. When I haven't been doing that, I've been crocheting. I crocheted my very first pair of socks and am working on another. One of my bad habits is to go out and buy tons of supplies when I start a new project. So now I've got a huge bag of yarn waiting to be crocheted up into socks, amigurumi critters and toys for Christmas. Speaking of Christmas...

I've decided to start early. I always hate to find myself on Christmas Eve with tons of ideas left untouched. So I'm starting on those handmade gifts, decorations and a baking plan. Going to make this the best Christmas yet! Last year was SO much fun with the boys - I'm really looking forward to another magical holiday season. Now if only the weather would cooperate.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

what are YOU lookin' at?!?

At Kindergarten orientation, parents were asked to fill out a questionare with responses from the Kindergartners-to-be. In answer to the question, "What do you want to learn in Kindergarten?" our little rebel replied, "I want to learn how to spell 'I hate Kindergarten'." Despite that, though, he's been having a pretty good time with school. That is to say, all except for picture day...
This photo SCREAMS, "I HATE Kindergarten!"
Love it.
WAY more interesting than if he'd actually been smiling. For the most part, he's a very happy child! You'd just never know it from this photo!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

hot glue + hot sun = no hula

Dear Hawaii,

Please do not use a hot glue gun to assemble your dashboard hula girls. You see, when the car is exposed to even the smallest amount of sun, the glue melts and our poor girl not only topples over but begins to lose her skirt as well.

Thank you.

Dawn from California

Sunday, July 12, 2009

my so called life

(The rambling and the photos have nothing to do with one another. This little frog (crochetted from the same pattern as THIS one, is on his way across the great wide pacifc to the cutest little Hawaiian Boy you've ever seen)

"My So Called Life" is the DVD-go-to whenever I'm searching to watch something while doing something else. (And by "watching" I actually mean "listen to" and "visualize" the screen because I've seen it so many times that I don't really have to stop what I'm doing and look up to see what's going on - I see it all in my head while I'm listening... does ANYONE else do this???) So I threw it into the DVD player today as I was getting ready to settle down and sew a skirt.

But something strange happened when I watched it today.

[For anyone who doesn't know about "My So Called Life"... it aired in 1994. It's about a teen (Claire Danes) who is starting to experience the shift from the good, Daddy's girl she's always been, to the experimental, open-minded, woman she's trying to become. And when it came out, I suppose I was going through similar shifts. I was in college, I was still living at home but spending a majority of my time on campus, at work and with my then-boyfriend (now loving husband). It really spoke to me. All the things Angela Chase (Danes) was going through, I felt like I was going through too. New friends, old friends who I no longer have as much in common with, rifts in the family dynamic (complications with the parental unit) and a new way of looking at the world - all big and wide and full of potential. So, until today, I always identified with Angela...]

And then, suddenly, I started identifying with the mom, Patty Chase (played by Bess Armstrong). Suddenly, I knew EXACTLY what she meant when she said, "Do you think I LIKE sounding like this? Do you think I ENJOY sounding like my mother???" And it just hit me like a ton of bricks. At the end of the first episode when Angela goes to her mom (after having just been picked up and takend home by cops at an over-age club with her drunk, new-best-friend) and tells her she's sorry for dying her hair "crimson rose" and for leaving the house when her mom didn't want her to go - for the first time, all I could feel was the overwhelming flood of emotion, as a mom, who is so absolutely relieved that her child really does appreciate her and respect her, who wants nothing more than the very best for her child, and only wants to wrap her child up in the biggest, warmest hug and fall asleep in bed ,together, until pancakes and bacon the next morning.

Shoot, I really wasn't expecting this when I popped in this DVD. Just goes to show you how powerful this short-lived series was. And here I am, about to hop on a plane, with quite a few things left on my to-do list, writing about a TV show from the past. Aw, whatever. It was an awesome show. It was an awesome diversion, but now back to sewing my beach skirt and packing up the last remaining odds and ends. Aloha, everyone. A L O H A !

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


"I'm going to be 40!"
"Someday! And it's just sitting there like a big dead end!"
(When Harry Met Sally)

dawn buettner huntington

So.... today I am 36. And, yes, it has me thinking A LOT about 40. Somehow, at age 35, I couldn't quite see it. But now I do... not that it really matters or anything. Whatever. As you can see, mother nature has granted me once again with the first blooms from my plumeria trees for my birthday. Just like clockwork. Little boys aren't happy with me on the computer, so I'm off. A very merry unbirthday to you! (unless you're a July 1st baby too)

Friday, June 26, 2009

in control

Two reasons.
Two reasons why my fingers haven't touched my sewing machine all week...

Today is the first morning we're not rushing off to swim lessons or summer school. Today is the first morning that little boys let me sit down at the computer - my window to the outside world - for a moment with my morning coffee. Still waiting for my laptop to be repaired, so till then I've got to sneak into my workroom to use the desktop. And I'm sure little boys have rigged up a silent alarm that I trigger whenever I come in here. I usually can't make it 2 minutes before I've got little boys hovering around me asking, "what you doing, Mommy?" and pulling supplies off the shelves and wanting paper and pens and glue for very special projects that they insist require no supervision. I've got adorable little Aloha shirts all cut and ready to be sewn for our quickly approaching trip to Hawaii. (yay!) And I want to sew some cloth bags for organizing our packing - yeah, like that's really going to happen. (bags to separate 2-year old clothes from 5-year old clothes and mommy intimates from daddy undies... good idea though, don't you think?) And I want to silkscreen. I want to silkscreen!!! (yeah, like that's REALLY going to happen) I guess I just hope that I still want to do all this stuff once these little boys grow up a bit and give me some time to do it all. Because I'm certainly not finding the time to do any of it now. No sir-eee bob. Speaking of Bob, you know you've completely given in to the little ones in your life when you start to find Spongebob funny. Found myself re-enacting a scene from Spongebob for the husband last night. When he gave me that look (head tilt, concerned eyes - "are you okay?") I realized that I should probably be trying to spend more time reading a newspaper instead. Yes, I am a grown up. Yes, yes, yes. I am in control. Yes. (just keep on saying it)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have become THAT person - the one who must have everything written down in ONE place or else her entire world will just crumble into a million little pieces. Sure, back in my working days I had day planners and calendars and... shoot, what were they called? Ah yes, PDAs. ("Personal Digital Assistant" - if only it were all that- that name makes it sounds so all-encompassing, like that just by owning one your entire life will be magically organized and orderd as if you were suddenly Marth Stewart) But once I started the stay-at-home-mom gig, I got lazy and there just didn't seem to be that much I needed to pencil in anymore. I'd occasionally scribble something on the Hawaiian calendar we hang by the microwave, every once and a while I'd update an address in Outlook - but that's about it. Then the Summer of '09 hit. We've got summer school, swim lessons for two boys, my own work deadlines, vacations and birthday parties galor. I quickly snatched up one of the pocket calendars that wasn't quite up to perfection for the OUToftheBOX Etsy shop last Christmas and began using it myself. It has helped tremendously! I was a signature away from signing a check for the youngest son's swim lessons before I realized they were in conflict with oldest's son's already-paid-for swim lessons when I saw the problem in my handy dandy little pocket calendar. And yes, maybe I should be methodically inputting all this stuff in a PalmPiolot or a PDA or Blackberry. But there's something about the scribble on paper - while it helps to keep my head from spinning, it also feels strangely wonderful to fill up those days. I'm here this day, there that, busy celebrating this then and dedicated to him, her or them on a week from this, that or next Saturday. Clear as day. And, paper won't crash. (filling up sketchbooks is equally as satisfying to me)

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Yes, another pair of felt booties. But what I'm trying to show off here is the photograph. With the new Nikon, I'm able to get so much more clarity - love how this shot came out. The weather here has been strange. It hasn't been the typical "june gloom". Woke up this morning and the ground outside was actually damp - those clouds DID look darker and like they were threatening rain yesterday! Gloom is just that - gloomy stuff in the sky that blocks out the sun - but not rain clouds, not the appearance of a brewing storm. Whatever this is, I hope it disappears by July. I'm ready for a bright and sunny summer.

I've been doing a lot of sketching lately and wanting to get back into silk screening. I love the yardage I've been having printed up at Spoonflower, but I'd like to start having some silk screened linen to sew with. While doing some googling to find a tutorial on silk screening a repeat pattern I came across a wonderful blog by Michelle SaintOnge called Print Cut Sew!. The series on screen printing registration is exactly what I was looking for. And, once again, I am so thankful for the wonderful world wide web.