Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I think rounded corners make all the difference, don't you?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Craft Fair Prep

I took a break from knitting and flying around the room...aka dance rehearsal... today to do some much needed prep for the upcoming Brooklyn Flea.

Hopefully my table will be full of map & stamp jewelry, trees, craft kits and harfs. Probably not too much knitwear, considering the change in weather.

The Brooklyn Flea is going to be a huge flea market in Fort Greene starting in April, every Sunday from 10am -5pm. You'll find it at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School on Lafayette Ave. between Clermont and Vanderbilt Ave. There are about a zillion vendors listed... crafts, clothes, vintage, antiques, food, furniture... gosh, the list goes on!!

Come visit me!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Plam Sunday

I made this today out the palms that were handed to me on the street. It now has a home on my inspiration board.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Almond Chicken

He picked me up at Port Authority and went with me all the way to Brooklyn, my new home. I had moved just one month ago, in January, but was getting back from a quick trip home to visit or maybe do some dance thing. Moving to NY was a big shift from small town Maine and I was thrilled to have him there, even if it was only for a few weeks. I clung to his company during this transition to new life. My new, urban, what-am-I-going-to-do, life.

Once in Brooklyn I did the usual: popped off the train, asked what he might like for dinner and went shopping for supplies. I don't remember him having had any preference of what we should eat, so needless to say, Almond Chicken was my decision. It also happened to be the one 'new' recipe I was kind of good at. I ripped it out of my Martha Stewart magazine to bring with me before the move. Being just out of college, any type of cooking was pretty darn impressive and my mind was set to knock his socks off- either with the outfit I put on after my shower or me cooking in it, whichever affected him first. Typically he could barely contain himself, jumping the gun before any key could unlock a door, but not this time. I guess that should have been a warning.

Quietly he sat while dinner was prepared, enjoyed and cleaned up after. Thankfully, before I started throwing myself at him, he launched into his speech, the speech he had obviously been trying to not get to all evening. Yeah, he dumped me. I'll spare you the details but let me stress- if you're going to break up with a girl, please be kind and do it before you spoil one of her favorite recipes!

Tonight, many years later, I gave it another shot and found it's still a great recipe. A favorite, even. Am I healed? Well, writing this story might prove something, but I'll leave it to the reader to decide.

Almond Chicken
from Martha Stewart Living magazine with my words in parenthesis

1/4 cup bread crumbs (mixed with coarse salt and pepper if you want)
2 lg eggs
2 tsps water (I forgot this oops)
2 boneless,skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
2 tbls unsalted butter
2 tbls canola oil (definitely use canola... I tried olive oil and it burned too quickly!)

(If your frying pan is not fit for the oven... like if it has a plastic handle or something, make up a baking pan with a bit of oil an butter in it also. You can transfer the chicken to it in order to bake in the oven. This is what I do and will always do. That is, until someone awesome chooses the new pots and pans for me off my future wedding registry...)

Preheat oven to 400. Place breadcrumb mixture in a bowl (plate.) (Place almonds on another plate.) Crack eggs into a bowl (big enough for the chickens!!) and beat lightly. Dip chicken first in egg, scraping off any extra with your hands (duh) then dip in bread crumbs. Dip chicken again in egg and then coat with almonds.

Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until nicely browned, about three minutes, and turn over. Cook one minute more then transfer to oven. bake until chicken is cooked through, about 10 more minutes. (I usually go a bit longer than that.)

Tonight I completed my meal with mashed potatoes, orange cranberry sauce and a watercress, bacon & blue cheese salad. Yum.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Rainy Evening catching up on LOST...

Meet Toothy

Umm, guys... there is a whole bed here

When ever I block anything, no matter where I put it, the cats seem to find it. Here they are snug as bugs in the rug, ignoring the rest of the big comfy bed. They'd rather sleep on pins, apparently. I wonder what the draw is? This yarn is alpaca/wool and when it gets wet, it does have quite a strong animally smell that maybe they're attracted to. Or maybe they just need to initiate the new object into their lives. Whatever the reason, I'm kind of pleased to see them cuddled together rather than chasing each other around fighting, even if it is all over my knitting! Make knitting not War!

Louis like to 'claim' other new surfaces as well, see. I moved these out for one minute!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


The other day I took some photos of the kids playing hopscotch. The light was fading, so I put my flash on really low. I love the look of these action shots it's like they should be in a skater magazine! More on my flckr page!!


After much messy, messy, jumbled boards for so long... I decide to clean these up so they'd actually be inspirational again!

a paper cutout of me from one of the ladies at the Christmas craft party and my 1920's hosiery box. (the stockings are just as beautiful!!)

This great candid shot is from 1912! I love it because it shows a large group of young people having a picnic in Blue Hill Maine. Usually photos from this time are so posed and I love that the kids are goofing around! Some great red buttons and a drawing of muscle tissue from a gal I met in Montreal.

A tree, tree

Knitting swatches & porcelain cowboys

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Shirt, Shoes and Computer required!

Today Eleanor, Clarissa and I went to the coffee shop for some bagels. We do this often and I find myself constantly hushing them. Why? Because everyone there is on their darn computer... doing very important work I'm sure, that must take up every table in the joint. What is the deal? Every table tangled with wires and empty mugs? It makes me feel guilty for having a conversation! I think from now on, if I want to sing, I'll sing. If the kids want to dance, they can dance! If we want to sit together and laugh and giggle and have um.... human interactions... we're going to!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Walking Home...

Growing up I lived very close to my schools and in Jr. High and High school there wasn't even a bus to ride home if I wanted to. Although I didn't really appreciate it at the time, this provided me with a lot of freedom and responsibility (just think of all the trouble I could have been getting into!) because whenever I didn't have an after school practice or dance, I walked home.

In Jr. High my route led me up the small hill past the old Tannery, past the back parking lot of Ripley & Fletchers car dealership and carefully across Rt. 26 into the McLaughlin Gardens. There I'd sneak over the back stone wall and climb up the path through the woods headed to my dead end street. I always welcomed the open gate which gave me permission to go this way, since it was infinitely nicer than taking the road.

In High School, when I wasn't scoring a ride with my friend and her brother whose best friend apparently had a crush on me, I also walked home. This journey started with a long trek down the main drag of Rt. 26, then across the Woolworth parking lot. A six step climb through a patch of woods lead to another parking lot, this time of the place where I had girl scouts in elementary school. Then I'd scoot up the hill past Kim Davidson's house, whose mom had been one of my troupe leaders and if I dared, cut through the McCarthy's yard. All I had to do was speedily jump their stone wall and I was safe- home- but I pretty much always chickened out.

I can safely say, I love walking home. When the idea occurred to me today after dropping a pal off at the Fung Wah bus station, I seized it. I decided, since it was right there, to walk home over the Manhattan bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge, as you might imagine, is a lovely walk. It's wooden pedestrian walkway rises high above the traffic in the center of the bridge, giving you an unobstructed view of the whole shebang: lower Manhattan, upper Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty, you name it. It's stone pylons are completely awe inspiring in and of themselves. My first walk home over this bridge was quite transforming, in fact it inspired me to design Brooklyn Bridge Scarf for Son of Stitch N' Bitch (left).

The Manhattan Bridge, which opened in 1909, 26 years after the Brooklyn Bridge, is a different story. It's pedestrian pathway runs along the harbor side even with traffic and trains. Walking across it is gritty, loud, wobbly, distracting, desolate and dark. I highly recommend it.

As you embark on the path (see right) you have the unusual vantage point of being at the same level as the tops of nearby buildings. When on earth do you get to be outside, walking alongside the tops of buildings? You're camouflaged enough by the wire fence to really stop and gawk, taking inventory of plants on windowsills or undies drying on the fire escape. It feels like you're able to notice architectural details that might not have been paid attention to since their original construction and there's something incredibly serene about seeing a few scraggly wild grasses growing out of a chimney, with the towers of Wall Street in the background.

I stopped, for maybe fifteen minutes, to watch a flock of about sixty seagulls, circling and circling for no apparent reason. Compared to the grimy brick projects lined up as a backdrop, their creamy white bodies rivaled the unspoiled effect of an unglazed batch of porcelain. The flock would coast along, starting with huge oval loops at roof height that descended into consecutively smaller loops that took them down to street level. Hovering then, as if caught in a burst of steam from the sewer, they would wait until the last moment possible before flapping awkwardly and cycling themselves back up. Why they were doing this, creating this cyclone, I can't even begin to guess, but it was utterly mesmerizing. I admired them for quite sometime, until suddenly, all but two birds remained. Fairly quickly though, the pair decided to cast their spell elsewhere and I returned to my own migratory path.

In the middle of the bridge I had a very child like desire to throw something into the water. I just really needed to see if a small stone would make a splash or not. It would, I discovered after several tries and much smashing my face into the wire fence, in fact, make a decent splash.

Crossing over to Brooklyn was kind of strange. The bridge practically butts up against the Watchtower complex, a series of maybe four or five ominous looking buildings with covered bridges connecting them. Apparently the Jehovah's wittness' made this area their world head quarters in 1909, the same year the Manhattan bridge opened, but this building was built in the forties. I'm not sure what the deal is here really, but from the bridge you can spy in through the widows to see row after row of numbered cases. Archives, I assume? I hope.

My path continued through the MetroTech center, where I enjoyed some interesting public art installations. My favorite was by Tony Feher, who happens to be the first artist I 'discovered' on my own, loved and excitedly wrote about in college one time. When I saw this today I didn't know it was his, yet it reminded me of him.

Tony Feher's A Little Bird told Me
at the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn

Feher's bird-like habit of collecting of found materials, is particularly suited to this arboreal habitat. At first we see trash where say, a nest might be and in our exploration of that trash, discover the overlooked beauty of a plain old plastic bottle. Filled with a hot pink liquid that defines creases and baubles, the bottles stand out against the dark brown bark of the tree. Each clump of bottles hangs, discarded, like a pair of old sneakers tossed up on a telephone wire. And just like the sacrificed shoes, these everyday objects are suddenly of more cultural merit to us simply for being where they are.

I continued on and reached the massive stair case of Fort Greene Park. In the disappearing light, the place seemed more like a ruin and I, alone to unearth it's treasures. It was at this point that my thought process began to change. Before I had been walking in all new territory, places I had never stepped. But once at the top of the stairs, having tickled the fringe of my home turf, it was no longer about discovery and curiosity, but of relishing. Sounds became more dear: the father encouraging his sons in their game of football, the crumble from a child peddling his plastic wheeled tricycle, the thud thud of a passing jogger. Even the constant city background hum, made up of equal parts cars, trains, sirens and the clattering of dishes and silverware, seemed comforting. From this point on it was familiar. I was really walking home.

On the bridge I had this awestruck pause. I gazed out at the familiar skyline, which for some reason I was obsessed with drawing as a child growing up in Maine and said "I live here. I really live here." It always kind of baffles and shocks me that I could find a sense of home in the same place as millions of other people. My epiphany in the park was similar, but the sense of home much stronger. Why? Was it the proximity to my actual place of residence? The fact that I've been there a lot more times that the Manhattan bridge? Or was it because I knew exactly what lay ahead of me?

Standing in the park I have an instinctual sense of how much time it would take to walk home. I know this because I've done it, many times, laying my migratory path so to speak. Though, I couldn't tell you how many minutes, seconds or blocks it is off the top of my head. I just know that reaching that landmark changed my sense of time internally. It makes me wonder what birds think about as their biology drives them to relocate. Do they feel a sense of excitement, like I do, when they reach a familiar landmark and know they're close? My sense of home is typically wrapped up in towels and sheets, nice showers and good cooking. It's nice to be reminded that it may be a bit more biological than that.