Archive for May, 2006

Beach Bag and a Summer Wallet

I bought this fabric from Target for $2.99. It was an oilcloth tablecloth in the summer section in its former life. I love the bold print and colors. I’ve been wanting an oversized bag for the beach for a while, so I just made one. It’s very basic – no pockets or anything, just a lined, large bag.

While sitting on the couch watching late-night TV, I starting making a pattern in my head for a wallet, walked over to the sewing machine and whipped this baby out. I stitched clear vinyl on two squares of fabric, added the pocket and then sewed it in half. I might put a tutorial up when I make one for Ryan. My poor little sewing machine had a hard time with the vinyl. Ryan was sitting at the computer behind me making comments like, “I don’t know much about sewing, but that sound can’t be good.”

Beach Bag

Wallet

Wallet

Wallet

24 comments May 27th, 2006

Wall of Yarn

I put my piece for Nikki-Shell’s wall of yarn in the mail yesterday. I hope it makes its way to Australia by the June 9 deadline. I don’t have much experience with international post and what I do have is with the postal system in Italy, which I don’t think is much to hang a hat from. It’s a six-inch knitted square made from hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn from my Second String swap. I painted a scrap piece of canvas and stitched it along with the polka dot trim. I think it’s pretty cute!

Some of you early birds have already sent in your gift tags for the swap. Thanks! I’m starting to get an idea of what 200 gift tags is going to look like to sort through. But are they oh-so pretty – so pretty! I’m amazed by you gorgeous creative women.

Wall of Yarn Piece

12 comments May 24th, 2006

Parcels!

I’m really starting to like the mailman. Of course, it’s not actually him that I like, it’s the packages that my dear friends send that make me happy. I got two boxes this week. One from my dear friend Stephanie in Seattle, who sent me a care package out of the blue. She included a gorgeous stamp that has an Italian poem written on it, fabrics, the lovely butterfly card, an iPod case, and the most delectable chocolates and tea ever. Stephanie doesn’t have a blog, but she should; she makes the most beautiful cards I’ve ever seen. Thanks so much, Steph!

Gift from Steph

And, my year-long swap partner, Marybeth sent me a package, too. She generously included lots and lots of fabric, some paper, Easter treats, stamps, and some gorgeous vintage finds. Thanks Marybeth!

Swap

Swap

7 comments May 23rd, 2006

Vegetarian Meatloaf

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 med. onion, chopped
1 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Salt, freshly ground pepper
1 package groundround
1/4 c. fine bread crumbs
1/2 c. fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a skillet over moderate heat, add the oil. Heat the oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, and hot sauce together. Add marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the groundround, egg-milk mixture, bread crumbs, and the cooked onion mixture.

In a small bowl stir together ketchup, sugar, and vinegar. Set aside.

Transfer meat mixture to an oiled loaf pan. Brush meat with ketchup glaze.

Bake in oven for about 35 minutes, until glaze has set.

Add comment May 22nd, 2006

A Weekend’s Doings and Some Tags

My husband took me to the Seattle opera for our first date (I know, how extravagant!) and it really was very surreal sitting there with him in the red velvet seats listening to the libretto and drinking wine at intermission (which was particularly thrilling as I was only 19). Thus, going to the Metropolitan Opera in NYC has been on our long to-do list since we met. Ryan has an affinity for Wagner, so we went to see Parsifal — a six-hour opera — on Thursday. The opera house is gorgeous and the whole performance was top-notch. I had a great time people watching during the two intermissions and I finally had an excuse to wear my red carpet dress (added below by request, although my husband took the photo and was feeling very uncomfortable snapping photos, so didn’t warn me, wouldn’t use the flash, and this was what I got. It’s lavendar chiffon with silk charmeuse underneath and matching shoes!).

Metropolitan opera

PICT1008

I finished my gift tags for the gift tag swap. I had about five failed attempts before I came up with these. I intended to make a linoleum cut and stamp some cute paper, but it was so not cute. And then I was thinking painted polka dots, which again looked miserable, and then these. I think they’re super cute and I’m putting a few sets up for sale on my Etsy shop.

Gift Tag Swap

Gift Tag Swap

15 comments May 21st, 2006

Layer Cake

I used to paint… a lot. I painted because I was depressed, because I had nothing else to do, because music inspired me, because color made me feel better, because I liked the feel of acrylic on my hands, and the way paint can cover everything ugly – everything you don’t want to be seen. And then one day I stopped. I think I got busy and, you know, it’s such a mess. Actually, that’s only a half-truth. My paintings didn’t come from a happy place. They were filled with haunting images, red like blood, and sour thoughts. And when my life started to fill again with light, I didn’t have the desire I once had for canvas.

The other day, though, the sun was shining, I had a fresh cup of coffee, and the pink dogwood tree outside the window was in full bloom, so I walked to the art supply store and bought a canvas. I started sketching and sketching and then came up with these, which I’m calling the Layer Cake series. They make me hungry.

Zinnia's Ribbon
Zinnia’s Ribbon

Cherry on Top
Cherry on Top

Tea for Alice
Tea for Alice

The Donut Hole
The Donut Hole

10 comments May 17th, 2006

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