Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ready for the new year

Clearing out clutter, making things orderly, means I can breathe in my sewing corner now. Big deep breaths that energize me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Need something serged? We have the technology.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


A delicious holiday project, finished tonight: creating a grimoire, as a prop for The Vampire Diaries.

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28

I'm tired of muddy footprints on the tile. Perhaps this will help; we'll see. I had fun making it, anyway.

And now I've learned the Magic Loop method for when your circular needle is too long. It's quite possible that I'm becoming a knitter.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 27

Possibly the best Christmas gift was one I don't know how to use. But I'll learn.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mookie's birthday

I wouldn't like to have my birthday so close to Christmas, but I'm glad Mookie does. It makes it so convenient to celebrate with her. Happy birthday, sister-friend.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Friends, family, food ... and baby Chelsea. Blessings indeed.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Star anise

Inhale. These perfect little stars smell like Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


She finally mastered multiplying and simplifying fractions. I think the new pink lap desk helped.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I don't know where half of the cloth napkins have gone, but with 21 coming for lunch on Friday, it's time to make more.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A night of firsts

Ian's band performed at The Roxy.

Before their set, we hung out at Book Soup, which would have been more delicious if we'd taken our glasses.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Getting there

A morning of last-minute sewing, and an afternoon spent gift wrapping. I'm getting there.

Friday, December 18, 2009


His shoes matched my bag. Wild.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


It was a very expensive iced tea.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shawna's new house has a Meyer lemon tree in the backyard. If I hadn't already fallen in love with the place, this would have decided it for me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


An accident in the canyon had traffic at a standstill. I waited, thinking of another crash nearly thirty years ago that changed our lives forever.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Colour and texture

Don't want to stop. Who needs sleep?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13

I didn't plan on it being a big cooking day, but I ended up making four dinners and two desserts.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chicken scratch

Even though I don't eat it, I like to make chicken soup from scratch.

Friday, December 11, 2009


We were going to go to a movie, but it was cozier to stay home.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


My very favourite part of Christmas is the tree lit up in a darkened room, with a warm fire flickering. We have a cold rainy weekend coming; so I plan on spending some time with this tree, getting all glowy and Christmas spirity. Ornament by Penny.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

shiny happy

The beach looked so shiny and happy after yesterday's storm, I just had to stop on my morning commute and enjoy it for a little while. I didn't care that I'd be late for work. Or that I got wet up to my ankles. While wearing shoes and socks. Oops.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The mothership

Leaving work on a chilly wet night, grateful for a job, grateful for a warm home to return to, grateful that it doesn't snow in L.A.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Rock Pockets

When is a picnic blanket not a quilt? When it has rocks in its pockets.


In the morning she hated me. In the evening she sang me love songs.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


$170 in postage later, the Christmas gifts are mailed to Australia. Except for Jesse's. As usual, I have no idea what to give him.

Friday, December 04, 2009


I learned to knit the two-circular-needles method. And I fixed the toilet.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Sometimes my heart feels like this. One firm grasp will collapse it into crumbs.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 29

At nine this morning a town car arrived to take Josh to the airport. He'll be in Atlanta till late April, working on Vampire Diaries. He'll be home for a few weeks over Christmas, so this first separation is really a test run. We all got a little teary, but I had a project ready in the kitchen to distract the girl: peppermint bark.
For lunch we ate Asian Noodle Soup, made from scratch, including the garlic broth. Very very yummy. I love that Lauren loves this kind of food as much as I do.
Then we headed out for an adventure: a train ride into Hollywood to see How The Grinch Stole Christmas at the beautiful, historic Pantages Theatre. I didn't take my camera; it's heavy and I thought they'd object to me taking it inside, though as it turned out, no bags were searched. The musical itself is B-grade and only some of the performances were excellent, but the costumes were fun and we enjoyed our outing.

I made time for a little hand sewing tonight. These $3 thrifted work pants (yay, love that!) were too long, so I hemmed them while Lauren peeled potatoes for dinner.

Weekends are going to be very different around here with Josh gone. Up till now, he and Lauren have mostly hung out together, leaving me free to sew and cook. The girl does not (yet) have many things she likes to do alone, nor does she have friends she wants to be with outside of school. So the two of them would go out and shop, see movies, eat fast food, and do all sorts of things I never or rarely do.

So it's going to be an adjustment for all of us. Lauren will miss Starbucks, In&Out burgers, the nail salon, the mall, and the movies. But she'll gain hikes, museum visits, picnics, art time, sewing and knitting lessons. I'll have less time to myself, but I'll get out of the house more.

It's all good, right? Especially the peppermint bark.

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27

Jess Ewens, please don't read this post.

I am on the home stretch with this year's Christmas gifts. As previously mentioned, I haven't made every gift this time around, but my sewing machine's still had quite a workout. When Jess was here, she asked me to design and make a car seat organizer to her specifications. She wanted it to be able to fold up when not in use, and not be too bulky. Here's what I came up with.

I hope it works for her; I made it fit my European car ... I hope it fits hers!

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

Au revoir, Rhea. My heart goes with you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22

I finally had a crack at making some fabric flowers using this tutorial. I've never really been one for fake flowers, but I quite like these!
Lauren made one too, and is pretty pleased with it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 21

Cleaning out the fridge in preparation for grocery shopping, I decided to cook up this recipe. The only change I made was to cook them for longer, more like 13-15 minutes. I didn't time it, but just kept testing until they were a bit tender.

Oh. My. God. This recipe is delicious. Brussels sprouts for breakfast? Yes please. The rest for morning snack? Oooh yeah.

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20

After a week when everything seemed to go wrong, the universe smiled on me today. Someone lent me a sewing machine. The repair shop called and said mine would be ready in a day or two. My car repair cost less than quoted. I won the flower lottery* at work. And I found these perfect bottles for my new project: home made vanilla essence.

*On Friday afternoons, they draw names to give away the four or five large office flower arrangements. It was nice to win one today.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19

My girl's going back to Australia (next Monday!) with an old laptop of mine; she needed a padded messenger bag for it, of course! Sadly, my lovely machine broke down in the middle of sewing this baby. I lowered the feed dogs to quilt the flap, and they would not rise again. This is a pretty major disaster in Hashiworld, especially as it's going to take many days (or weeks?) to repair at a cost of several hundred dollars. Ack! I do still have my decrepit old model that requires force feeding the fabric, and used it to complete the project, but it was a real struggle.

The laptop in question doesn't close all the way (victim of a past dive from somebody's ::cough::Ian's:: bed) so I made it a matching elastic band to keep it closed, visible here. I had some doubt about which way to orient the pocket, and decided it should be right way up when the flap is completely open. Thus it looks upside down in this shot, and now I'm questioning my decision.

Exterior fabric and zipper are vintage from an estate sale; lining is cut from a thrifted dress. Made with love (OK, and cursing).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17

These cuties are becoming my 'go to' baby gift. I bought a quarter yard of the fleecy suede (I forget what it's called) some time ago to use for the soles, and I have enough left to make another dozen pairs, I'm sure. Bring on the babies!