Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Drawing this morning

Sometimes I really enjoy the drawing. Even though I don't consider myself to be too good at it, I generally like the way things come out. Without intending to, people's drawings typically have they're own sort of 'handwriting' don't you think? My favorite its to make the most of one piece of paper, but I usually can't draw things right up close to each other (I need a certain amount of space...) so I'll cut each drawing out. Then I have all these little bits of paper to fill in with drawings! The BEST! I have a whole envelope of them. Maybe I should have a show someday.

I totally resort to the draw with pencil, trace with pen and then erase technique. I can never think far enough in advance to get my lines in order otherwise.

I wish I was small sometimes....

Monday, February 25, 2008

My new intern

Today dear Eleanor came over to my house and I noticed that she was really interested in my ball winder. I decided to show her how it works and after one skein she was totally hooked and kept going and going.

I think she rolled up 9 skeins for me. She probably would have done more, but i kinda ran out!

New pillows 2!

At Kj's request I'm showing the before ugly- came-with-the-couch-pillow:

Then these are the finished pillows I made last night. The inspiration came from the combo of two things... that for a long time I've REALLY needed nice new pillows and that after dance rehearsal and brunch with friends I just felt like a quick jaunt across town to buy fabric.

Sometimes you just have to do a simple project. Something easy that you know you can finish in a short period of time, just to remind yourself that you still can. That you still know how to use that sewing machine and turn some flat rectangles of fabric into something infinitely cuter than what came with your couch and have been settling for over a year.

The seams are loose (thank you broken sewing machine) and nothings perfectly square, but the job is done and I am pleased.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New pillows!

Today, out of the blue , I decided I finally needed to recover the pillows on my couch! Here's the fabric that I got at Purl Patchwork :

The bottom one is a super beautiful brown/black stripe from a Japanese company. It's just gorgeous and modern but also reminds me of homespun you'd find in a country store. I managed to whip up four simple pillow covers before the Oscars were over, I'll post a photo tomorrow in daylight.

Warning you, they're pretty basic... my sewing skills are limited and I didn't have a rotary cutter, so I improvised my straight lines using the wooden floor boards as guides. I figured, close enough for me! I've always been a 'settler' when it comes to sewing anyway. If it's not my measurement and cutting, it's a wonky seam from the sewing machine and somethings bound to go awry! They should hold up for a bit I think.

Maybe my new obsession...

I bought this celery favored soda the other day thinking it was ginger ale. It was pretty much the most awesome soda I've tasted in a while. I think I'll get really into it this summer. YUM! You should try it.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Betty Bryant: August 4, 1929 - January 16, 2008

Several weeks ago I lost my grandmother, Betty, and have since been trying to cope, recover, believe it, honor her and most importantly...grieve.

Why is grief so difficult? I get the whole sad part and I figured I was ok with that stuff, but when my mom called to tell me Gram had passed, I just went on with my day. Even at the time, it felt really wrong to do that because it totally downplayed her importance to me. But I was so far away and the things my mom was talking to me about: funeral plans, services, what the nurses said... became a nuisance and I could not deal. What bothered me most was that at that time, the hour before I was to go start babysitting, the only memory I could come up with was sitting at Grams kitchen table playing cards with her.

"Were you close?" people might ask.

Let me think....

Did we have heart to heart talks about the meaning of life? No.

Did we log hours and hours together playing cards? Yes.

In fact the running family tease was how she thought I was a genius because I always managed to win at the color matching memory card game we played. She told my Mom that I must be really something to hardly make a mistake and my mom of course pointed out that I was cheating by seeing the colors reflected on the shiny white surface of the table. Well, she thought that was just as smart since it tricked her.

I don't know why I think closeness with Grandma should equal Norman Rockwell pie baking and Thanksgiving Dinners. I mean, we spent a LOT of precious time together, sitting at that white enamel kitchen table playing games and watching soap operas. I don't remember a time when my gram walked without her walker, which made her a readily available babysitter for me. She was there, at her table, always, watching cars go by and sometimes picking up the phone to answer people's questions about fire permits. (My Grampa was the fire chief) For nearly twenty years after she was moved into the nursing home, her table remained in the same place, arranged just how she liked it, until the house was sold and torn down a couple of years ago.

I was so lucky to grow up with my grandparents living right down the street, within walking distance. They lived right on Main street, at the bottom of the hill to our house, so it was a natural gathering spot. On our way home, mom would always stop us in to say hi. Grams sisters Wilma, Colleen and Barbara who lived right in town too, would do the same. Whenever the "Chief's" car was parked outside, some fireman was bound to pop in as well. While tearing down the house was a family decision, it is still sad to make the drive home now and not see the familiar red house. Amazingly, my mom had the patience and stamina to empty out all of the precious objects, before the house was demolished. She saved a lot of great kitchen stuff just for me and I am so very, very happy to have it in my Brooklyn apartment.

I wanted to honor my Gram by posting all of the things of hers I use almost every day. I don't know how she truly felt about any of these things, but just the fact that they were hers means the world to me. I think of you Gram, every time I touch these.

For my sewing supplies

jewels and buttons
the best ice cream scoop ever!

mixing bowls

cereal bowls

dish towel and mixer

I remember these measuring cups clanking when we opened the cupboard! The pastry blender is awesome.

embroidery forms and crochet hooks

A slip and my favorite necklace... although Gram didn't know who the pictures were of. I asked her last summer when I visited. It's a big mystery.

January Blues

Dear January,

Bleak and freezing
I have little fun in you.
This year,
even the joy of lacing up my favorite tall boots
was nothing to lift my heavy heart.
Next year,
I think I'll meet you in the Bahamas.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Check Out

This blog that is called Inspiration Boards.

Not only will you find photos of peoples cool inspiration boards, there are shots of their homes, artwork and their answers to some great questions!

Which proves that

Blog+ snooping+ pretty photos of other peoples houses = the best!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A drawing of me...

A pal just drew this of me the other day.... Love my outfit, but do I really look that surprised?

Friday, February 8, 2008

New books!

Thanks mom for the new additions to my library!!
Pages already marked for future projects....

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


In our 2002 commencement speech, my friend and fellow (and brilliant I might add) Bennington graduate Jen White listed a few of the things members of our class hoped to do one day. I remember her asking me this question and though I'm not quite sure of my wording, my answer went something like this: "To start/live/work/be involved in a crafting community." I may have even used the word commune! Um.... so now, each day my life gets closer and closer to this. At the time, I kind of tossed it off... which makes me wonder how often these 'tossed off' hopes and dreams are actually quite close to our hearts.

I want to make it happen.

Anyone want to join me????

Brooklyn in the house

The new shower curtain

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The best things about Superbowl VVYXXXIII

  1. Tom Petty's ascot (see right)
  2. The baked/fried chicken I made: Dip chicken in a mixture of yogurt & mustard then coat in a mixture of breadcrumbs, oldbay and salt. (I'm not a fan of pepper.) Place on an oiled baking sheet and cook at 350 for about 50min or so. This sounds gross but was pretty good.
  3. Trying to guess who's girlfriend Pamela Anderson was.
  4. Garth being a genius and bringing Coca Cola with limes.
  5. Garth, Anne & Seth sitting on my couch.
  6. Anne bringing Choco Tacos.
  7. The cute Oboe commercial
  8. His royal hottness (see below)
Notice anything missing here people??? Like maybe.... I don't know..... the game???

Monday, February 4, 2008

Idea Day OR Why I'm allowed to listen to music

I'm a little amazed at how quickly I flip open my computer upon waking up. Or how soon I'll turn on some music. I know some people get dressed with the television on, watching the local news or what have you. Then there's the coffee grinder, or if you're lucky like me, a jackhammer outside that won't quit. Um..... why all the blasting distractions people?

We have a choice over these things and while they may seem small, it is my belief that they carry much weight. I can't do very much about the jackhammer, but the other day I did decide not to turn on music. I spent about 4 or 5 hours in silence, or at least the closest thing my Brooklyn apartment provides. I got my work done and it seemed a little bit easier to connect to my brain. I think of it more as time with myself, actually. Which makes me think....are we afraid of ourselves?

Today is different. Today I don't need to concentrate and write. Instead I want to come up with new projects for some books seeking submissions. I find it incredibly helpful in these moments to put on my favorite musicians and soak up their artistry and energy to fuel my own. So that is why today I'm allowed to listen to music, that and the jackhammer.

I started with a funny playlist called "Day". You can make one of your own easily in itunes by going to make a new smart playlist and typing day as a word in the song name. You'll figure it out. It's strange to see how many songs come up from your collection. Other words that are fun... love, the, way... please write to tell me yours! It's a nuanced way of music listening, in it's own random way. I'll then usually move onto someone that I've listened to a million times, so my brain doesn't have to think too hard. It makes it so I can hum along and know what song comes next and my hands can do their thing. I'm feeling shy about sharing those right now.

And yes, I am drinking my orange juice out of a wine glass. Life is too short to use a glass that doesn't feel right and the only one that worked this morning was a wine glass.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends

Dinah was really very excited to help me write today. She hung out on my desk the entire time.

She's usually a little fur ball, but we had her shaved the other day to get rid of all her dreads. She's such a skinny little baby underneath I was afraid she'd freeze so I gave her one of the dog sweaters I had hanging around.

I think she looks pretty cute, right?? She doesn't seem to mind this shape either. I first tried a simple pull over the head version, but I think cats can't really deal with the front leg restriction. She kept trying to back out of it.

Anyway, here are some funny shots of her being her D-Dog self:

Do Not Disturb

Last night I fell asleep before ten with an icky migraine. It happens. And while I'm sure it was caused by some combination of rain/pressure system (my usual explanation), lack of food or caffeine (another popular set) of perhaps even a the culmination of my recent list of sad events... I can't help but think this morning, as I wake at 7:30 to cheerily whip up some whole wheat walnut pancakes, that I had just been out of touch with myself. That I was just stuck in this go go go hamster wheel never stopping to stick my fingers in the stuff that really fuels me-- the making.

Stillness, my dear. I look forward to that quiet and slow cup of coffee. No radio, no tv, no music even. Just me and my own brain hanging out together. Maybe I'll write something, maybe I'll cook something, maybe I'll take photos or knit, whatever it is that needs to be done. Whatever is my joy that morning.

How quickly I forget this, inching out a few more minutes of sleep, grabbing food on the go or not at all, getting to where I need to be in zombie fashion. Not quite alive, yet not quite dead.

I'm pretty sure what needs to happen this morning... I've been needing to write for a while now as part of a proposal I'm working on. I find it extremely difficult to plunk down and write simply because something needs to be written, though. Yuck! And how could I possibly find my voice in a messy room, on an empty tummy, with music blaring??

All sounds muted but the soft purrs of my little fuzzy buddies. The room is clean (enough) and the coffee is hot. I rolled out of bed with a fresh vision, so I'm off....