08 July 2010

hot fun in the city

Scan 3

What? You were expecting sunny skies and ocean views?

See you tomorrow!

fabric stores and photobooths,

07 July 2010

getting in the habit

The ladies at habit have thrown down the gauntlet. They have invited us all to be part of the reindeer games. They have started a flickr pool. They are getting more response than (maybe) they can reasonably manage. And why wouldn’t they? habit is a great blog (Do you all know how I feel about habit? I fruh-jeeking LOVE habit).

My first response to reading the open invitation was – I won’t lie – must! get on! habit! blog! Mostly because the opportunity to be part of it is a pretty exciting prospect. But also a little because these days I seem to run only on a hunger for blog traffic. (Don’t worry; it’ll pass.) But even in just these few days of playing along, I have found satisfactions with this habit that supersede all aspirations of glory and fame.

When I sit down at night to finally commit to my 30 words, I am sometimes a little surprised by what comes out.

For example, July 5th:
We laughed so much that my cheeks hurt.

All day I put the words in my head through acrobatics, trying to come up with just the way to poignantly summarize that Rick and I have been struggling with this idea of moving. That we have felt tugged by obligations – that sounds too severe – pulled by our love of family members who particularly need us right now, and, on other the end, by our surprising realization that we are, in fact, perfectly happy right where we are. But when I sat down to write, what I remembered most was that we laughed all day, and we played, and it was fun – a rare moment of lightness in the midst of all this heavy decision-making. This is a memory I will be glad to have. Only more so when I realize we are not nearly out of the woods on this should-we-stay-or-go dilemma.

This, to me, is the special genius behind the blog. It shares the smallest, most intimate moments. And many of them, all at once. habit's 30-word limit on posts seems only to coax careful observation, and the results are very often achingly beautiful. (It is this same celebration of the small that fuels my own blog, just maybe less adeptly.)

Anyway, please go check them out. While you're at it, take a look at their flickr pool. There are even more moments there to savor. I've started collecting my own in this flickr set. And maybe you will start one too?


p.s. The drawing in the picture is a portrait of me and Rick, made by a friend of ours. (We had it printed on our wedding invitations.)

06 July 2010


I have fantasies about being a homesteader. Primarily the gardening, the canning, and the chickens. Because really, how great would it be to pull a mason jar full of hibiscus-scented peaches that you canned during the scorching days of July from your fully stocked larder on, say, some gloomy day in January. Instant summer. (And maybe also a little instant smugness about your astute forethought, but you would be entitled to that. Hibiscus. Scented. Peaches. People.)

There are, however, a couple of things getting in the way of this:
  1. I rent. Which means no garden of my own, no larder (I'm not even sure where it would fit in such a tiny kitchen), and absolutely no on the chickens.

  2. I am completely, utterly lazy.

I had pretty much gotten over the sting of this reality – you know, I could probably buy someone else’s home-canned peaches and be perfectly happy and equally smug about my forethought – but then Rick, perhaps in a burst of Wheaties-induced fortitude, proclaimed, “I’m going to start doing things I never thought I’d do. One of them, every week.” And when you know Rick, you understand that when he starts talking like this, only good things to eat can follow. I am immediately on board with this plan.

First up: making butter. Ta-Da!

I would like to be able to tell you all that I was an exemplary assistant in this endeavor, that I admirably performed useful duties like scraping the whipping cream from the sides of the bowl, pre-chilling the ramekins, or setting out the sieve and colander to be conveniently ready when needed. Alas! My sole contribution was to exploit this unexpected photo opportunity by shoving nearly every camera I own into the mixing bowl in the hope of getting a good shot. Not only that, while the just-whipped (churned?) butter rested, I had the chutzpa the set the bowl, contents and all, on the floor.

Oh, just for the picture(s). Pinky swear. Please don't tell me if you spot a cat hair in the mix. (Also please don't notice that the fabric I used as a backdrop needs a bit of ironing. See “reasons I am not a homesteader,” above, number 2.)

So his first first is down. Mission accomplished. And I got more than a little excited about it. In fact, I felt a flood of motivation to take on a first of my own.


I present to you the first shot taken with my new Fuji Instax. (A surprise gift from Rick. And perhaps also a masterful ploy to get his digital camera back?)

It's ok; you can say it. It’s pretty much crap as a picture goes. Or at least as framing goes. (Oh well) So for my mission this week I have assigned myself some serious quality time with the Instax. That, and buttered toast every morning. (Don't worry. I'll let you know how that goes too.)

05 July 2010

the super-pyrotechnic recap

Hope you had a happy fourth, friends! I have a little surprise for you:

So yes. There were fireworks yesterday. And I got a chance to put the fireworks setting on Rick's camera through the paces. (Fireworks setting?! Thanks again, Mr. Kelby.)

But I realize that fireworks are not a particularly surprising find on a day like the fourth, and in answer to your question: no, they were not the surprise I'd been hinting at.

Enough suspense already? Ok, here you go. Scroll just a wee bit further...

That's right. Fire dancers. (fire! dancers!)

And this picture was taken, for any of you digital photography enthusiasts out there, in "aquarium mode." Which was the surprising best choice to get a portrait-style photo.

Oh, yes. Yes, I hear you. This is a moment that practically begs for a long shutter release.

I obliged.


02 July 2010

the crux

There is a conundrum here at the heart of this new-found (re-found?) urge to write and keep up a blog and try to convince you all that I am interesting, clever, crafty and talented (how’s that working, by the way?). I have hinted at it already, but haven’t yet been able to really let go and just fucking say it. But I think I am there now, so here goes.

My hands were meant for making.

Other conundrums include what dress I will make to wear on that very special day when I take home my new, lovely, we-will-be-bestest-friends-forever bike.

Scan 14

Oh, possibilities. But more on this later. Because I need to get back to the point of this digression, which is just to warn that I am prone to exaggeration.

But the hands conundrum is, I think, actually big. And maybe less for what it is, but more for what it means. This conundrum gets at the core of fittingness, and raises the scariest question of all: can I pull it off? Because, last time I checked, there are not a lot of financially viable options for a person (I will say woman throughout, because I happen to be) who wakes up one morning – or over the course of several mornings – and realizes that what she really wants to do is make things. You know, with her hands. Oh, and she wants to take pretty pictures of the process. Um, on film.

What’s that headhunters? You are not about ready to burst through my door and offer your unique brand of corporate security in exchange for me living out my dreams? Well…you know what you can do? You can just eff---

Crap! Wait. Scratch that. I need you. Because I pay rent and eat food and enjoy cocktails, and – good lord! – I go to fabric stores and yarn shops and let loose. Whew! Girl gone wild!!! So I need your money. Though I am shameless enough to also try this:

How about I stay home and fiddle with the sewing machine (or the Kitchen Aid, or whatever else catches my fancy) and you rig some kind of unfortunate oversight that allows me to still cash the checks? Um, email me for information on how to make this happen.

(heh, heh. What do you think, readers? Snowball’s chance?)

But seriously, don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Email me and we can work something out.

Short of that, though, I will need to find a balance. It’s just that the nine-to-five takes up so much time. Eight hours spent subjecting my hands to pecking at keyboards and shoveling chips, pretzels, cookies, donuts, or what have you into my mouth (to make the time go by faster), and by the end of it all they have lost any lingering memory of what they are supposed to do. Or maybe it’s just that my internal sloth drive kicks in and I am completely unable to shake off the sugar coma and just get to doing everything that I have dreamed of doing all day long. Great things like making quilts, kneading bread, knitting the great, simple cardigan that will be perfect with everything, or sewing an entire wardrobe (oh yes, the dreams get awfully big around here). And then by the time the weekend comes, I get so focused on the reality that I am not required to be doing anything that I simply don’t. Both days.

You can see where this is going: my own special brand of circular logic.

the wheel

Ok. But stop. Really. The going round and round in circles is dizzying. Anyway, it makes me a cranky (and probably also exceptionally boring) person.

So this new (and by new, I mean reinvented) internet place is one I am dreaming up as I go. But if there is a singular vision or purpose here, I think that’s pretty much it: forward motion.

Go progress! Sis-boom-bah!


And here are some completely unrelated happy things for you. You know, before you click away forever.

perfect strawberries
and all the colors of summer
a list for the ages
an irresistible challenge
and a chance to speak your mind


Happy weekend, folks! It's a good, long one.

01 July 2010

so this is the goal

via Keri Smith

What a noble aim this is. My feelers are out for the perfect sewing/knitting/picture taking/writing/bicycling gig. (What.)

I am hoping for a miracle.

July: not to put too much pressure on you, but let’s get started on this. Shall we? (I am so glad you are here.)