Archive for September, 2006

Shades of Earthtones

Log Cabin Pillow

This was my parting gift to Aja, my best friend who is now very far away in Connecticut. She had asked me for a log cabin pillow some time ago. It’s very very difficult for me to work in this realm of color–all those earthtones–but I’m happy with the outcome. I think she is, too. I miss you Aja.

8 comments September 27th, 2006

The Story

New Haven

I am missing the way things used to be. How familiar the doors were, the pink tins in the kitchen: one for flour, sugar, and tea. There was rot on the street and familiar pathways to get supplies that kept us warm and fed. There is a piece of me in Kansas, where the wheat fields glow like embers, where I learned to ride a bike and say hello, where my father lives. I have spread like seed across the world; bits of me carried by warm spring air, pieces of me swept up in straights and currents. At times I will remember myself riding horseback with the scent of ragweed and hay rising like bread in the Oklahoma summer. I will remember what I loved then, which smiling faces made my heart turn, taught me how to color the rainbow. I feel the tug of New York as strong as the pull to have children, to love, and to make peace. It is my tall buildings, my anonymity, my dirty streets, my fit in the puzzle. At 653 9th Avenue you will see where my dreams changed, where my ideas about the world shifted, a piece of me. There is distance now between the Pacific and the Atlantic, the beaches of Seward Park and the beaches of Guilford that did not exist before. I have been to both, have left dimples in the sand and dropped bits of me like a trail that leads to a nowhere home, the place that I live. I remember you for your laughter, for your kind heart, for your generosity, for your love. I remember you for your gunshots, for the trash on your streets, and your long winters. And I will remember which piece of me you have tucked behind ivory walls, behind sisterhood. It is the one that is simple and sweet and true. The one that is pure and will continue to burn years from now, when I am gray and you are here, a century after I learned how to say hello and color the rainbow.
I can see the Cascades from here, already with snow-capped tops. There is the blue curtain that I know, bought at Ikea five years ago, when I lived here last. Home will grow with time, when the pink tins are placed in a new kitchen, with new paint. I will build new pieces of me here and store memories in the cupboard like stewed tomatoes and pickled cucumbers from the garden. Summer will come again, pathways will be found, and pieces of me will lay tucked in tree stumps, in wheat fields, in dirty streets, in tall buildings, in you, all across the earth.

4 comments September 24th, 2006

Life in a Box


Well, we’re here…maybe a little worse for the wear. That was a long drive. Not recommended. We had planned to drive across the northern rim of the country, but a death in the family detoured us to the Midwest, which, if you’ve been there, is not pretty after 10 hours of flat, open country. Between the packing, the driving, the family, the grieving, and the uprooting, I’m exhausted. But I have a computer! I’ve missed this outlet. More soon.

2 comments September 22nd, 2006

Seascapes and Hassles

Log Cabin Pillow

Log Cabin Pillow

I did manage to squeeze in a little crafting before I packed up the sewing machine (which was a really sad experience. It felt like packing up my cat!). I wanted to make a few farewell gifts for friends and colleagues. I think this is the happiest I have ever been with one of my craft projects. I love the colors and patterns–it makes me think of a dreamy seascape. These really don’t take long after the cutting and pattern choices are nailed down. I’ve made a tutorial to help you on your path here.

I don’t usually use this space to rant, but I have a sharp one today. I’ve had the worst experiences with eBay. Nothing ever seems to go right, whether I’m buying or selling. This time around, we decided to auction off some media items and ran into an obscene customer and are having Paypal issues. Have any of you noticed the annoying ads and propaganda to get users to “upgrade” and use credit cards? I had no idea that this was no longer a choice each buyer could distinguish; if you use Paypal and your buyer decides to pay with a credit card, you may not ask them to pay with a bank account to avoid the charges. Between charges on eBay, shipping at the post office, and charges on Paypal, I am vowing here and now to never use eBay again. Craigslist, baby, that’s where it’s at. I would like to note that I received a very snooty email from Paypal after the nasty user (I sent a very sweet note reminding him that our eBay notes said Paypal bank payments only, and he fired back cursing and contacting all online authorities) lodged a complaint with Paypal instead of working it out with me. I’m a nice person! I’m easy to work with! Why are people mean!? Paypal is not my friend!

14 comments September 12th, 2006

Wallet Tutorial

I’m finally getting around to posting this. I hope it will keep you busy while I’m knee-deep in boxes and bubble wrap!

Wallet Tutorial

You will need one 9″ x 8″ piece of fabric for the outside, one 9″ x 8″ piece of fabric for the lining, and one 9″ x 8″ piece of vinyl. I bought the orange-grade of vinyl that is sold in the upholstery section of Jo-Ann’s. I’m not sure what thickness it is exactly, but it’s the middle-grade: not the thinnest, not the thickest. Someone suggested sewing this project with a teflon-foot, which is a very good idea if you have one; I don’t and it worked fine, but it does take a little force.

Wallet Tutorial

For the pockets, you will need four 4.25″ x 2.25″ pieces of vinyl and four 5″ cuts of ribbon to line the tops of the pocket.

Wallet Tutorial

You will need one 9″ x 8″ piece of fabric for the outside, one 9″ x 8″ piece of fabric for the lining, and one 9″ x 8″ piece of vinyl.

Wallet Tutorial

For the pockets, you will need four 4.25″ x 2.25″ pieces of vinyl and four 5″ cuts of ribbon to line the tops of the pocket.

Wallet Tutorial

To begin, pin the ribbon along the top, long edge of the 4.25″ x 2.25″ pieces of vinyl. Pin the extra ribbon behind the front side, for a finished edge. Stitch on in a zigzag stitch in a corresponding or coordinating thread.

The finished pockets should look like this:
Wallet Tutorial

Wallet Tutorial

Take the piece of fabric you wish to show on the outside and place the vinyl on top of the right side of the fabric. Pin to form 1/2″ seams.

Wallet Tutorial

Stitch as close the the edge as possible in a cooresponding or coordinating color.

Wallet Tutorial

Pin one pocket along the bottom, long edge to the top left corner of the right side of your fabric/vinyl. Leave about a 1/4″ between the pocket and the edge of the wallet. Stitch along the bottom, long edge. Do not stitch all the way around the pocket.

Wallet Tutorial

Pin the second pocket on, leaving about a 1/2 inch between the tops of the ribbon. Stitch, again, along the bottom edge only.

Wallet Tutorial

Pin the third pocket on, leaving about a 1/2 inch between the tops of the ribbon. Stitch in a U-shape to attach all edges of the pockets to the wallet.

Wallet Tutorial

Center and pin the fourth pocket on the top right hand side of the wallet. Stitch along all edges of the fourth pocket.

Wallet Tutorial

Take the 9″ x 8″ piece of fabric for the lining and pin in to form a finished edge with a 1/2 seam. Pin this piece to the fabric/vinyl top piece with wrong sides facing. Stitch along the parameter of the fabrics.

Wallet inside

Once finished stitching, fold the wallet in half. It should measure 8″ x 3.5″ and be oblong like a hot dog.

Wallet Tutorial

Stitch along the two side edges to close and finish the wallet.

Sushi Wallet


9 comments September 8th, 2006

Goodbye New York, Goodbye East Coast!





We’ve decided to say ciao to the East Coast and return to our roots in Seattle. It’s a big decision, but one we’ve planned to do when the timing was right. We had hoped to return last June, but Ryan was offered the job at ESPN and things fell into place to stay. I’ve been worried since then that our decision to stay would be a permanent choice and I would be raising babies far away from all family and in a state that is less than safe. I can’t say too much, but ESPN is not a good place to work. Plus, Ryan has decided that TV is not for him. I love my job, but neither of us have health benefits and we’re on year three without them. I’m incredibly nervous about up and leaving a perfectly stable lifestyle (and I feel absurd leaving two jobs to umm nada), but here we are. I’ve got just a few weeks to pack up our stuff and tie up loose ends. I’ll keep you posted!

15 comments September 2nd, 2006



How to Hem Jeans

Bird Skirt
Free Skirt Pattern

Log Cabin Pillow Front
How to Make a Log Cabin Pillow

Sushi Wallet
How to Make a Wallet

How to Make a Yo-Yo
How to Make a Yo Yo

Fabric Pears
How to Make a Pear Sachet

Tote Bag
How to Make a Tote Bag

Beach Blanket
How to Make a Free, Easy Beach Blanket (Pattern)

How to Make a Little Man Bow Tie

Makeup Case Tutorial
How to Make a Makeup Brush Case






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