Sunday, March 30, 2008

Crafts and cocktails

After a awesome girly brunch at Amy's bachelorette pad this morning, I scurried home and vacuumed before Sandra came over—with her Kenmore in tow—for an afternoon of sewing and drinks (check out her Go2Girl custom-designed aprons here). After four hours, we were still sewing away and brainstorming book ideas, but we were also doing spot-on impressions of swollen-lipped Daisy on Rock of Love 2.

"I, like, want to be with Bret for ever and ever. Like, why can't he see that? What is the big deal with living with my ex-boyfriend? I have crazy-ass feelings for Bret, not Charles. BRET."

"I want to get down and dirty with Bret. Like, Sin City, HELLO?"

Good times.

Before I drank too much, however, I ironed and cut out pieces for a cute tote bag from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing. I didn't have all the notions I needed so I set that aside and I whipped out another checkbook cover instead.

It was a great Sunday.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Talented ladies

I sent out my monthly newsletter yesterday, and one of its great benefits is that my friends drop me e-mails and fill me in on what they are up to. I was just astonished at some of the handiwork that two of my friends are creating.

Melissa Wagner is a dear friend, author, and former coworker from my Running Press days. She started making softies after getting a copy of the aptly named The Cute Book. She has started designing her own softies and they manage to be both adorable and edgy at the same time. Check out her work at her flicker page (she and her husband Chris do really imaginative photo shoots with the little guys). If the link doesn't work, her flickr name is "melingo wagamama". I know; cool, right?

Then there's Evelyn Taylor. Ev has beautifully merged her clay work with an artful jewelry design (and she's an accomplished photographer to boot). She is showing in galleries and shops in the Northeast. You can peruse her wares in her etsy store (she goes by "evinglenside") or on her flickr page. I thought her scarflace was particularly bomb.

Melissa and Evelyn are such an inspiration. I want to think up some seriously cool stuff now but taxes are calling. Grr.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I wish I knew how to quit you, after-Easter, half-price Cadbury Creme Eggs!

Until she retired in January from Rite-Aid, I could always count on my mom to send me a little Easter care package full of Cadbury Creme Eggs. I am now forced to be my own Easter Bunny but that's okay. I got a 4-pack for $1.12 at Bartells today.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sew obsessed

Just made a checkbook cover. I am over the moon about this chicken fabric and my new chicken checkbook. Very Easter-appropriate, don't you think?

Saturday, March 22, 2008


The tunic is done! How cute it this?

"Why no, I didn't get it at Anthropologie. Actually, I made it."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Flower therapy

I got back to Seattle on Monday night, after an emotional roller-coaster trip to Michigan. My stepbrother Paul passed away unexpectedly, so we were all grieving even as we gathered to celebrate my dad and stepmom's 25th anniversary. I thought once I got back here, I'd be able to pull myself together and refocus on my writing and business.

It hasn't exactly worked out that way.

I'm doing dumb things like walking the wrong way down the sidewalk or layering a pizza in the wrong order. After finishing a big deadline on Wednesday, I totally lost it and slid into a self-indulgent stress spiral. I've snapped at friends. I went to a women's networking party last night and had to slink away after gritting my teeth for an hour. A master wheeler-dealer, in that moment, I knew talking to strangers was the last thing I wanted to do.

I'm feeling better. I'm regrouping. But I haven't been exactly motivated to write.

Until I saw the daffodils.

I'm sitting in Cupcake Royale and there's a bouquet of mixed daffodils at the cash wrap. And as soon as I saw them, I thought of my grandma.

Growing up in a ranch-style house next to my grandparents' farmhouse, I would often walk over to their place to get away from my brothers (usually, it was because I wanted to watch The Waltons and they wouldn't relinquish control of the TV). The grassy path took me between the shed and the barn, past oak and pine trees, and, in the spring, by bunch after bunch of daffodils. My grandma liked crocuses just fine but it was daffodils that I remember trumpeting spring. She had every variety, too, from the palest white petals with an orange center to bright yellow ones. I hope the barista didn't think me too weird when I sniffed the bouquet, for even the smell brings back comforting memories of Michigan and searching for Easter eggs in the flower beds.

I have never liked the color yellow but cheery daffodils always get a pass. They remind me of home, and that always puts a spring in my step.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What the hay?

Why is it that in the past couple of weeks comments are being left on my blog posts that direct me to virus software? Is this happening to you? If you are the one or ones leaving me these messages, please stop. I do not appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Almost there!

It's still not done (deep sigh) but I can smell really cute success. I just have to add trim to the armholes and put in the buttonholes. I so can't wait until someone asks me if I got the top at Anthropologie.

"No, actually, I made it."


Sunday, March 9, 2008

It's still not done

After another sewing class yesterday, I can taste victory in the form of a really cute top. Alas, however, it's still not done and I am going to need additional assistance to wrap it up. It's going to be mad cute though, right?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

If you want more "Prairie"

If you're not sick of me or all things prairie, there's a nice Q&A with me about The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life in today's Seattle Times. And they also excerpted a few projects from the book, including making furniture polish and hosting a tea party. Sweet.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Four words

Zinfandel grape jelly doughnuts.

Healdsburg's Zin is bomb.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sewing hiatus

Sadly, I did not finish my Amy Butler tunic during my class on Monday night so I signed up for some instruction on Saturday. I'm champing at the bit to finish and wear my customized garment but alas, I am on a press trip in the heart of Sonoma.

I'm staying in a two-story suite that is in a converted water tower at Honor Mansion in Healdsburg. It's phat and I'm fat from the wine tastings (those are Dutcher Crossing vines at right) and over-the-top meals. Last night was Syrah in Santa Rosa (stuffed peppers!), tonight was Santi in Geyserville (butternut squash ravioli! braised oxtail ravioli!). Promised more of the same tomorrow.

Life is so hard.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My first solo project!

After brunching with a friend and then teaching another gal how to knit socks, I finally got to sewing. I just made my solo foray into sewing with my new Brother 6000. I made a pair of nice heavy cloth napkins. Civilized, n'est pas?

A sampling of my books