celebrate the boy: preamble

reese Collage i was enjoying a leisurely recovery from the party that took over our life for the past month and a half.  i had just finally picked up my collette sewing handbook, which i’d not laid eyes on since early december, to perhaps learn how to sew something for myself.  but approximately 36 hours into this rest period, i received a friendly tip from my long distance partner in crafting crime, alyssa, that a new sew-along was slated to begin in just a week’s time.  (more…)

surprise

surprise

today i thought i would share some snippets of what’s really been occupying my time and attention since christmas.  all these posts you’ve been reading?  they were carefully archived over the holidays so that i could continue posting as i worked slowly and methodically on executing a rather significant event that, in a night, has come and gone in a flash of friends, flowers, and flan. (more…)

meyer lemon cake

PicMonkey Collage

there are many things to enjoy in northern california winters , particularly if you recently transplanted from the midwest.  with occasional rain, the rolling yellow hills turn lush and green.  temperatures continue to rest comfortably in the 50s (at least) with clear, blue skies. walks to the park, picnics in the yard, and flip flops remain a daily reality for us.  and as though this winter environment that smites any midwestern spring were not enough, northern california has one final bastion of eternal sunshine…the citrus fruit. (more…)

when bad things happen to good knitters.

sometimes, we take on adventurous projects with surprisingly satisfying results.  other times, we juggle a few (or several) balls too many and we set ourselves up for disaster.  is it just me, or is it sometimes hard to tell the difference at the start…sometimes even halfway through?  allow me to introduce to you my first major failure of 2013.  oh my, is it a doozy.

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convert brownies

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we are not truly a dessert family.  i do enjoy ending my meals with something sweet, usually a few dark chocolate chips, but we try to steer the kids clear of desserts and david doesn’t much care for them at all.   i have made it a bit of a personal crusade to revise favorite desserts into something appropriate for all of us to eat–substituting whole grain flours for refined, unsaturated fats for saturated, hiding all manner of fruits and vegetables within.  our “desserts” are thus almost all some version of a power muffin, just slightly sweet, hearty, and satisfying.  some people really enjoy this spin on sweets (thankfully, my family included), but best as i try to hide little punches of nutrition, true dessert connoisseurs can sniff me out without much effort, and generally don’t approve. (more…)

why craft blogs> cooking blogs.

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cooking blogs are high maintenance, even when they’re meant to display food that’s just the opposite.  i do love to cook, but when something goes awry, i can’t send readers off into sure failure and hope for the best.  so, posting on a cooking blog requires an undue amount of testing, tinkering, adjusting and perfecting even before all the photos and writing. (more…)

colorblock mitts

update 1/2/15:  hello friends, i apologize for the inconvenience, but i developed some storage issues on my current server just before christmas, and my gallery archives have been disrupted as a result.  i am working as quickly as i can to permanently correct this issue, but the process has been slowed with the holidays.  i thank you for your continued patience and promise to have the tutorials back in tip top shape as soon as i possibly can.  

i love stripes.  i mean, LOVE stripes.  at least half of my clothing is striped, and i don’t immediately see any drawbacks of making the transition to a 100% striped wardrobe.  back in july, i made the below wonderful homage to stripes for my sister’s birthday, both the pattern and yarns from my favorite favorite little purveyor of yarn, quince & co, out in maine.  not only do i love their message and mission, their yarn (all 100% wool) is excellent quality and in my favorite palate of colors i’ve seen from any single manufacturer.

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hello 2013 and echino peacoats

echinocollage

you might remember that i didn’t quite get the kids’ christmas gifts done in time.  these coats were to be theirs on the 25th, but would have been lost in the excitement of so many bright and shiny new things.  in our continued efforts to strive for simplicity in our lives, just like their parents, each child would receive precisely one gift that required thought and care.  the materials, a little more expensive and tailored not just to bodies but also to personalities.  it was precisely one year ago that i challenged myself to a year of handmade giving, and a challenge it was.  but full of so many rewards, lessons, gratitude and fulfillment.  i encourage you to consider a similar challenge, even if smaller scale, for 2013. (more…)

gift exchange

xmascollage

it’s DONE.  and i made it just in time.  you might notice the conspicuous absence of any gifts for children, namely my own children, which is precisely why everyone else’s gifts were completed on time.  given my kids don’t even yet understand what christmas is and they are royally spoiled by their grandparents, i knew they wouldn’t mind, or even notice.  so, you can expect to see a lot of kid clothes trickling onto the blog over the next few weeks as i slowly work through all the projects intended for this week.  in the meantime, check out the following tutorials and patterns that helped make this a handmade christmas! (more…)

december miscellaneous

decembercollage

i just spelled miscellaneous correctly on the first try.  it’s going to be a good day.  anyhow, i realize it’s christmas eve and there are a multitude of other things i could be doing as there’s no urgency to blog.  however, i have a little window (many visitors=many babysitters) where i can toss up a quick one about some of the things keeping us busy this december and the great tutorials/patterns to go along with them. (more…)