Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Cape Cod Scarf

I've only been to Cape Cod once and boy do I love hunting for sea glass. This scarf was inspired by a photo of a picture frame made from salvaged painted shutters and boat parts. I love the weathered salty-kissed blues and greens. Good radio and a bowl of lentil soup provided the wind for my sail and I finished this scarf in one (long) day. Here are the photos that didn't make it onto etsy...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Pumpkin Scarf

I've been falling off the blog train lately. Not that I don't think about it- so many
projects to share, but mostly Christmas related... However, I did finish a scarf
last night and it is newly posted on my shop. Now that I have a place to post the photos that didn't make the cut on etsy, here they are:

This scarf had been partially complete for weeks- a spark of inspiration hit me last night and I'm happy with it again. I think I have enough warp for one or 2 more scarves and though I wish I'd finished them weeks ago for the holiday rush- better late than never.

Last night we went to our friends' place for homemade pad thai (the best I've ever had- thank you Brian!) and we ate like the little piggies that we are. I'm finishing up a pet portrait and have 2 more in line which is great for keeping busy while I brainstorm get rich quick schemes.. (mega millions?) I will of course post these post holidays.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pleats and Folds

Last night was Thanksgiving dinner #3. And I am officially stuffed with stuffing. I spent most of yesterday working on sketches for 3 new pup portraits- lots of staring at a computer screen and erasing with a nubby eraser.

During lunch break(s), I went window shopping on etsy and found 2 neat ideas from Carol at yorktownroad. I've got to figure out a place for me to sew pleats and folds- looks like fun. Maybe a scarf?

p.s. Spinto Band and Jon Moses are playing tonight at the Bug Jar!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bags, bags bags

The holidays are chasing me down and I've spent the past week wrestling between Christmas presents and pet portraits.. Unfortunately, no pictures of these goodies - until after Dec. 26th.
Instead, here's a great shop I am currently stalking on Etsy:

I really love Retrofied's color sense and playfulness with pattern mixing. It's funny to post about bags because I am not really a purse buyer- that would be my sister- but I love these!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Last night we had an impromptu dinner with friends and watched a beautiful Ukrainian movie (Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors). We made the pasta dish again- and this time I made the pasta (no written recipe! no Brian to help!) I think it was a success and managed to get some okay photos to post (Thanks Olga!).

My favorite part is folding the dough into a little envelope and feeding it though the rollers.

I think the dough turned out a little soft - I rubbed in lots of flour, but the noodles needed a little coaxing to separate into individual pieces. Next time- a stiffer dough. Here are noodles drying a bit on a broomstick held by me and Sam:

And the final dish on a plate from my childhood. This concludes the cooking chapter. More scarf and crafty posts next week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Veggie Broth

So much cooking in the past few days.. I made a giant batch of vegetable broth- made broth ice cubes and lots of frozen containers and potato leek soup. My goal is not to rely on bouillon cubes anymore (I love Rapunzel brand- no msg and they have a salt free version- but a bit pricey) even though they are convenient. We are lucky enough to have 2 good friends with a compost pit so we're able to freeze our compost in a paper bag and give it to them every week. (The paper bag mostly works great- no slimy plastic and it breaks down right in the compost. Do not dump tomato seeds and skins in this bag from an all day sauce making even as the bag will tear and pour tomato juice all over everything in the freezer and make a huge mess. Trust me.) Now we can extract the very most from our vegetables, cooking the good scraps into stock and then composting. The following 2 unattractive photos (how does one photograph food without making it look like a 1970's How to Cook in the Microwave cookbook?) document cooked broth bits (some great things to add to the mix to add depth of flavor are lentils, nutritional yeast, bay leaves, parsley root and dark green leek tops) and finished golden veggie broth:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Scarf

Here's the scarf I'm currently working on.

I'm using the color palette in this image (probably from Anthropologie) glued in my inspiration journal. Disregard the hot pink- those are carpet rags to get all of the warp threads lined up and evenly spaced when you start weaving. Seeing the pink always throws me off though- I should replace it with something neutral.

Saturday Saturday

I feel today will be a lazy Saturday. It is snowglobe snowing outside and I have a lot of vegetables to process before we leave for Pennsylvania on Wednesday. I'll make a big pot of veggie stock and maybe some Thanksgiving recipe dry runs. Well, green bean casserole doesn't really require a dry run (how can you mess that up?), but I really like making it the week before just to eat. There is something about mushy green beans and soggy onion bits that I just love. The real motive is to satisfy my yen now so I can properly focus on other tasty dishes next week.

On Thursday, Albert and I went to our friend Olga's house for a Ukrainian dinner- lots of tasty new foods and pierogies with homemade sour cream. No photos for any of this as well- I need to bring camera with me.. Here's a photo of my Friday- napping with Pidge, nursing the beginning of a cold, wearing my unfelted wool mittens.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I love lemon and garlic together!

I've been busier in the past days and it feels great. I'm more than half way finished 3 pet portraits I'm hoping to get the go ahead to share here before Christmas, I finished a pair of wool mittens I have to felt then wear, had a fun knitting night with new friends and last night learned to make pasta with my pasta roller thingy I picked up at a church sale for $ 2.00. (Thank you Brian and this amazing recipe!) I wish I'd taken a photo of the finished product to post but will the next time. More posting soon... (photo from warmer days when I didn't need to wear sleeping bag booties and a fleece blanket tied like a toga around me)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pumpkins and Paisley

Here's the linky link for the Spinto Band video, "Pumpkins and Paisley" Albert and I made a few weeks ago. How exciting to be right up there on the front page of youtube!

True Love

I spent the morning sewing buttons on more little matchbook notebooks. I heard scratching at the glass out on the fire escape and turned to find a squirrel poking around, looking in at me. Moments later, Pidge was beckoned (crying, "bug-ggy" will send her flying into the room from a deep sleep in search of a tasty moth or spider- in this case squirrel) and hoisted to the window sill. The two shared some special moments as documented below. Click on the second photo for a close up view of baby paw on glass.. He seems to be saying, "Please. Let me in."

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Scarves!

Two new scarves updating to my etsy shop shortly.. I had a lot of fun weaving these. I chose a pattern called, "Bird's Eye and Rose Path" which has several options as well as a plain weave. I found this pretty silvery yarn I got at a huge garage sale this fall and got color inspiration from a photograph of a white fireplace with silver and yellow frames and wooden letters on the mantle. The second scarf is inspired by this beautiful floral wallpaper I had glued in a sketchbook.
It is beautiful outside today and I was able to photograph outdoors. A man walked up to me and said, "I give up. What are doing?" as I was setting up.. He thought I was using the dressform to climb into the first floor window.
Last night was our turn to work the distribution shift for our CSA. It was a lot of fun weighing potatoes and helping other members.. there was enough veggies leftover for us to grab some extras- lots of potato leek soup is in my future.

Also... stay tuned for the new Spinto Band video that I think debuts on youtube tonight! I will link it here as soon as it goes up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ready, set, go!

I've gathered my inspiration photos for color, finished dressing the loom, organized the yarns and am ready to go. Just thought I'd share this photo of my working space during a moment of cleanliness. I got the loom from craigslist in Baltimore, the stool from an old roommate, the yarn mostly from a huge lot I got on ebay and a good chunk of leftover fibers from my mom.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yay Red Prairie!

Congratulations, Rachel on your mug (and business) scattered across bunches of newspapers U.S wide! I was so excited to find this article all over google promoting craftiness as a successful job.

Apple Pie Cook off

LinkYesterday afternoon my friend Rachel and I made 2 apple pies. The goal was to finally overcome my pie crust making fear. And, despite the photo's unappetizing appearance, they were quite tasty. Rachel made her gram's recipe and I tried (again) the Cook's Illustrated Vodka pie crust recipe (thank you smitten kitchen).
We found both crusts to be very similar in taste and texture- I thought the vodka crust was a little more buttery (and it did have more butter) and was a bit flakier. Two smoke alarms went off during the course of cooking with minimal burning- and the most important part was that I made a crust!

Projects for this week: pick a pattern and finish the loom set up ( I managed to climb inside of the loom to get the 11 yard warp on with minimal headaches), get the curliques out of yarn (I unraveled a vest I almost finished last year but didn't like anymore), find a felted mitten pattern and start 3 more pet portraits.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Warp

I've wound a new warp for the next batch of scarves. I used up a few cones of cotton yarn and have 11 yards to work with. The process of winding a warp is easy, but just takes a while. My fingers get a bit carpet burned and arm surprisingly sore winding the yarn back forth over each yard 168 rounds. I hope to dress the loom today- although it may be a juggling act because it is easier with 2 people. Albert has buddies in from NYC for the weekend for a film shoot so I'm on my own for this task. The other photo is the view from our back porch. The yellow leaves change the light back there- all golden and glowy.

I've also started to make little matchbook notebooks for a change of pace. They're made with all recycled materials including pages from an old atlas and recycle bin paper and great to slip into your purse or pocket. I've glad there is finally a use for the drawer full of scrap paper that we usually write grocery lists and scores for card games. The first batch are up on etsy!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The funniest thing I have witnessed in a long time:

Look at that form- toes pointed, arms soaring high, effortless balancing and lifting by both.
I think Albert and Brian may have a future in cirque du soleil.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tank, Pig and Hottzy

Last night was so exciting! We went to an election potluck (we brought blue-berry cornbread and french Ba-read Obama), met some great new people and sat glued to the tv, staring at flashing numbers and graphics. And that speech!

Today is a beautiful warm fall day. I can't wait to go outside without a coat on! Pidge has spent the morning alternating between naps and catching lady bugs in the window. Later, Albert and I will walk to the post office to send off 3 pet portraits for a great gal in Baltimore (to the left- a regal pug named Hottzy, below- a playful pug named Tank who loves tennis balls and a lovey goofy american bulldog named Pig).

(shameless self promotion follows)
Do you have the best pup in the land? or kitty? Don't you want them embroidered in fabric to hang on your wall and make them feel more special than they do already? If you're interested in commissioning a portrait of your pet or know someone that might be, please visit my etsy shop or email me at

Deliriously Overjoyed (and a new scarf!)

I can't remember the last time I cried tears of happiness. Yes we can!

Inspired to get right to work, I finished a new scarf and the old warp. I'm pleasantly surprised by how this one turned out- I took a deep breath and threw it in the washing machine to see how the wool would behave. The pale yellow yarn turns out to not be wool and kept its length while the white wool shrunk in both length and width. This gives the scarf fun little ripples and really changed the texture of the weaving.
I think I'll return to a blue-green and blood red theme for the next series of scarves. I really love this combination - ever since a series of pieces I experimented with in my fibers class at college. I'm also planning on making this next set a bit wider and playing more with wool and fulling (felting).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Fall

I just love this little pumpkin. We found him on the walk to the library along with this gorgeous orange tree. It is a deceptively warm day- I had hat and scarf and mittens but needed none. I picked up 2 knitting books to find a project to start for a knitting brigade a new friend is hosting tonight. I always have the most trouble finding a pattern to commit to. The 2 sweaters I have made are both folded floppily in the closet, never worn. They're both a bit misshapen and I wonder, what was I thinking with the pattern. One has the most enormous cowl neck that doubles as a hoodie or shawl or skirt..

I'm halfway through a new scarf and haven't had any problems with the loom. yet. This one is shades of light green and yellow with bolder stripes of black wool I plan on felting when finished.

I'm also working on some other items to add to my etsy- small matchbook style notebooks (using recycle bin paper and book pages). Does anyone need little notebooks? I've used up so many post-it notes writing grocery lists- and they end up in a stuck pile at the bottom of my bag.

On my walk back from taking these photos, Pidge spotted me down below our 3rd floor window. We played a short game of me crying, "Pidge" and she replying, "meow".

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Sunday

We finished the Spinto Band video yesterday. Our most productive week- usually videos take a few months of long hours in front of photoshop. This video was definitely playtime- we utilized all the little bitties Albert (mostly) has been collecting for years: dice, paper cutouts, action figures, buttons, shells, berries from the spirea bush outside, slides... Many of this items are on our chotchkies wall. Mr. T in cross stitch also lives on that wall. Albert encourages me to put him on my etsy shop , but I think I might miss him if he sold.

Back to working on pidgepidge again. I dressed the loom and am anxious to finish the last scarf so that I can start the next series. While visiting my mom and sister last month I bought a bunch of new wools in vibrant turquoises, golds, reds and greens. I am really excited to experiment with them.
I asked my friend, Brian, for advice on fixed the grommet-y part on the loom that keeps popping off. He suggests using a hacksaw to cut through it- for now I'm hoping it will break off completely on its own.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The first snow!

It's easy to get excited for the first snow. What are those white things falling from the sky? It's as though I've never seen it before. There is a definite chill in the air (specifically an actual breeze blowing through the apartment) and last night I threw on the down comforter for the first time since last winter. Pidge spent the entire day beneath a fleece on the exact center of the bed. How she manages to sneak underneath leaving the rest of the blanket completely smooth is a great mystery.

More progress on the music video and I am really excited about it. So many serendipitous moments where things move on the beat. Our goal is to finish this week so I can get a move on some more scarves. My mom has snagged multiple smaller table looms from her work for me - maybe I can start a class to teach weaving!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Buttons Buttons Buttons

Another day working on our stop motion video. Albert and I spent a few hours working on a shot involving a pencil being sharpened down to a stump, a Muybridge cat chasing mini spools of thread and my hand tapping. We ended up not using it because there was just so much going on, you couldn't concentrate on anything and the lighting from the windows kept shifting.
Our favorite material to work with-- buttons!

Pidge is currently in loaf mode, all feet tucked in looking like a loaf of bread. She is facing the sofa. Her head is approximately 2 inches from it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Crafting with Pigeon

Much of today was spent trying to fix my loom. A little metal arm (in the toughest spot to get at) fell off of its hinge. I've had to cut the warp off of the loom today (ruining a scarf in progress) to get at the broken piece. I was able to pop it back on- though I think this is only a temporary fix. What I need are arms of steel to get this little bitty replaced with a screw. Sigh. This sets me back about 3 hours. I have to thread a new treadling pattern and finish re-dressing the loom. Tomorrow.

Instead, I worked on several commissions for a lovely girl in Baltimore. Three stitched pet portraits- which I will post here when they're finished. Pidge was a big help as usual. Here she is in the fabric...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rainy Saturday

Pidge spent most of the day sleeping, as usual. When she does have to get up (usually to whine for food), it's funny to watch her carefully step through the explosion of cut paper and trinkets (for the music video) currently carpeting our living room floor. Albert and I have noticed recently that when we leave the back door open going to our attic area, Pidge has a tendency to run through the apartment to the back and start meowing. The theory is she sees this large photo of a cat face hanging above the porch door and is trying to communicate with it. Albert took the photo down and approached her with the photo. She proceeded to walk sideways at it, with the largest poofy tail we've ever seen. Is it even possible she recognized a cardboard cat face as a cat? That would seem to suggest intelligence I wasn't aware she had. However, she is running to the back hallway to meow at something on the wall.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A new bloggy world

Hello there! This is it. I said I wouldn't do it. But I did. I realized I spend half my day on google reader reading everyone else's blogs. So, this can be my alterna-mass email. Self-embarrassment on a more public scale. And embarrassment of my fat brat cat, Pidge- as seen above letting it all hang out.
I'll get right to it.
Today, I fixed Albert's video camera. We spent a few hours working on a new stop motion video for the Spinto Band, only to find that nothing had, in fact, been recorded. Bummer. (Oh- Rachel Lee- you can be my grammatical editor (or forgiver)). Okay- back to the beginning. We've figured out the problem, ate some apples from Green Acres farm (34 more pounds to go) and off we go.
Several hours later- we are in full swing creative mode using buttons, fabric, yarn, cut out black and white photos, leaves, etc.