Monday, October 31, 2011

Dress Makeover or A Tim Burton Love Story


In a practically unprecedented display of social participation, my husband and I went a Halloween party on Saturday. In anticipation of this event, I set about altering an old wedding gown to be more Burtonesque. Also to fit. 

It was meant to be black, but polyester does not take dye terribly well. I also extended the straps with black velvet, and added some vintage lace to the front to compensate. The back became lace-up corset style, with the help of some metal toggle loops found in the beading section, and painstakingly stitched up the back (24 in all.) 


We won't be discussing how beautifully this dress fit me when I first wore it. I was twenty, so it doesn't count.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lizzy's House of Cakes

Liz is one of those people that you just fall in love with immediately. She is genuine and sweet and adorable, plus she makes amazing cakes. I was super excited to work with her on her new website, which I am happy to announce is up and running. Check it out, and then hurry and get yourself some cake as soon as possible.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Some Beach, Somewhere

In an idyllic world, this is my summer. River banks with rocky beaches, straw hats, potato chips in the sun, Tom Petty playing on the radio from some dusty truck. This is not today, or even this weekend ; though I did spend several hours on Saturday lying in the shade on a blanket; but at some point this summer, I did spend an entire lovely afternoon at the river. The sun was perfectly hot on my skin, and the river was cold and clear. We had potato chips, and tuna sandwiches. I guess I can be ready for fall now.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Let Them Eat

Just like me to wake up with a craving for cake on the hottest day of summer. Butter cake with almond whipped cream and candied walnuts to be specific.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Death by Stereo

I guess that every generation has its vampire story. I like my Twilight as much as the next girl, but my heart will always belong to the Lost Boys. Every iconic line has me cheering, nineties fashion, classic soundtrack, surprisingly understated acting, and Jason Patrick still steals it every time with his heart stopping stare. Eat you heart out Cullens.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Evening Light

Today we:





Tonight, if someone has an extra glass of wine, she might not feel guilty at all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stripey Bag Share

For whatever reason, I have found myself not in the mood to share lately. It could be the lack of light we have been having around here or the past several months. It could be the thing where set Martha standards of gargantuan proportions for myself and fail to hire the crew of minions to do things for me. Whatever. Today I feel a bit lighter, and so to celebrate, I am sharing this stripey crocheted bag with you. It is no particular pattern, and is not a bag yet, but rather and large stripy loop with 5 balls of cotton yarn dangling from it. You may remember them from this. Or not. The colors, and the sunshine, and the green grass are happy, are they not?

Saturday, April 9, 2011


So, this is a new one. How do you deal with the fact that your ten year old is about to find out that Dumbledore DIES?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

All that She had Learned

A little project for your eyes to see. The quote is from the inestimable Leigh at Curly Girl Design via pinterest, of course. She beautifully works the English language to say just the right things, in just the right ways. Her work makes me happy, and inspired me to make this little painting for my girl Cas who has loads of potential AND cute shoes.

I started with this old canvas, pre-painted in my college days. Which is perfect because Cassi was probably jumping on my bed, talking my ear off as I painted it. Also, I like starting out with some texture.

The paint on the canvas is oil, so I layered on some tissue paper with layers of Arlene's tacky glue, and acrylic.

Added those perfect words.

et voila, instant Birthday present... if by instant I mean taking two weeks.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Best Parenting Moment Ever

My daughter was reading a poll in her American Girl magazine, "What do you do to relieve stress?" She leaned her head on my shoulder. "Talk to my mom," she said.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thin Line

This photo makes my fingers positively vibrate with inspiration. That moment when the calligraphy pen scratches ink onto the creamy paper. Ack! This is a shot from the Arcano Type Project a font completely designed by hand, Chinese ink on Japanese calligraphy paper. It is one of the things driving me crazy lately.

Crazy. Like when I start to consider creatives who obsess to the point of social disruption, and I think how easy that would be. Ok, I am just going to shut myself up in my studio now. You know, the one with the cement floors, high ceilings, huge windows, and the soft couch in the corner? Yeah, that is where I will be. So don't bother me. Because when your head gets so full of ideas, that they come out your fingers; and simple tasks like fixing dinner, and driving, and answering the question, "What are you doing?" become monumental (What do you mean, what am I DOING? Can't you see that my head is about to explode?)

See, there is a reason that creatives get a reputation. That they are considered cantankerous and strange. You don't get to be Georgia O'Keefe by say, being a good mother. I don't know for sure, I could not find any record, but the fabulous Milton Glaser does not strike me as a family man. How could he possible find the time?

If this seems a bit stream of consciousness, it is. One of those chapters that flowed in my head on the drive home, but stutters when I sit down to write. It is not meant to be negative. I am not bemoaning my family life. It is simply the recurrent cogitation during my stretches of most inspiration, and continuing quest for balance.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Pie Hole

One thing you should know about me is that I don't make pie. I don't even like pie particularly. It is kind of boring. That being said, what I have to tell you may come as a shock. I made pie this weekend. Another thing is, I don't peel things. I don't peel carrots. I don't peel potatoes, not for soup, not for mashing.

I blame it on Pushing Daisies, a magical little show in which unrealistically delicious looking pies are made, served, and eaten with unnatural alacrity. We have been watching for a few weeks now so the craving has been building. Oh also, I am extremely susceptible to suggestion.

This particular apple pie recipe was quite delicious. Next time I would pour the caramel sauce just over the apples and not over the crust topping as it gets kind of hard on top. Minor point. We had apple pie with ice cream for elevenses, apple pie with ice cream for dessert, and apple pie for breakfast.

I think later I might make a lemon custard pie. We are just about to the finale of season 2. Don't ask for my crust recipe. Something you should know about me is, I don't make pie crust. A girl has her limits.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Random Quote of the Day

"Winifred Burkle once told me after a sinful amount of Chinese food and apropos of absolutely nothing, 'I think a lot of people would choose to be green, your shade, if they had the choice.'"

-Lorne, the green demon

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Second Project, Same day

But well, posted a bit later. This first image is NOT from my home. This image is from James Braund Photography via pinterest. Have I mentioned pinterest? I have. Perhaps that is because I find it so damn inspiring that I can spend hours just soaking myself in gorgeous images. You know, 'til my fingers get all pruney.

I had to post this image because the idea is so good, and my own images are so bad. It is really difficult to take a good shot of a wall, especially one with a mirror on it, especially in Oregon winter lighting.

Here is a close up of the "jewelry rack." So that you can see the beautiful finish (black enamel paint, brushed on and then wiped off. Pretty and FAST) and the imaginative hangers (tiny wire nails.)

Here is the finished rack, all decked out. It looks very pretty in my room, but like I said, hard to tell from the picture.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two projects, One Day

Yep, you read that right. Two Projects. I am only going to show you one today, though. So don't get greedy.

This is my Spiderweb Cowl, so called because of this amazing yarn which fades from dark gray to light. The pattern is called Fayfay, and was found on Ravelry. It was intended to be a scarf, but this morning I suddenly decided that it would be great as a cowl, and behold it was the PERFECT LENGTH. All I had to do was cast off and sew it together. I flipped the edges and made it into a mobius, which gave it a great shape. The Fayfay pattern is full of drop stitches which are fidgety and I do not love. But, the look is very modern and fun.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Don't you love how her gorgeous hazel eye peeps over the top. I didn't have time to get good pics of this cowl before it was wrapped, seeing as it blocked in front of the fire on Christmas Eve. Thankfully, Lizzy was kind enough to get me some good snaps.

This pattern is called Ptarmigan, and is by the incomparable Jared Flood who is talented and must be praised. It was a very fun knit, and doubly lovely in pale pink cashmerino.

Monday, January 3, 2011

More Gnomies

Yes, but these gnomies are SPECIAL. One of these gnomies is a gingerbread guy, and the other, completely by accident is a tiny cat-in-the-hat.

And these little gnomies have HOUSES. Yes, special gnomie bag houses with velvet lining for a very special niece and nephew.

The photos are not great, but that is winter light for ya, practically nonexistent.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


The start of the New Year. It always seems just a bit anticlimactic to me. But here in this peaceful recovery of a weekend there is still a lot of hope for new beginnings, and starting fresh. 2010 was lovely and busy. The best parts involved family and friends that are near, and some that are very far. Too far. I am certain that the best bits of the New Year will include those same special people. If I could, I would gather them all up, and we would live in a fabulous creative commune somewhere with gorgeous little houses for everyone, and one great big barn of a place where there would be dinner and dancing every night. Just a little impossible dream to start the year off.

I am sure you are wondering about the Adorable calendar you see here. Design Sponge had this great little tutorial for the calendar that I just had to make for some special faraways. The inspiration for the images that I used was gathered from the far corners of the web. Some I snagged from creatives on Etsy, others were much more random. I drew out the images with my fancy computer program, and then used fabric and embroidery to embellish. I don't like iron on transfers so I laid the calendar out in said fancy program, and printed it directly onto the canvas from my little HP after backing each piece with freezer paper. My printer did not like this part. It complained that the canvas was too thick. Well, that is just too bad for it. The printing turned out so cute that I persisted. Please see below for image credit.

January: from Embroidery seen on Wood, Wool, and Stool flicker stream, Flopsy and Mopsy are from Badbirds etsy store, So many pots is SeaSprayBlue Etsy, I can't for the life of me find the sweet elephants again. The other images found inspiration in several places.