Wednesday, April 30, 2008

REI love you

The event at REI tonight was fan-flipping-tastic! The room was packed (I think the count was just shy of 60) and everyone seemed to get a kick out of the Backcountry Betty talk. REI did a wonderful job of promoting the event, even placing signage in the bathroom stalls. Imagine my delight when I sat down to relieve myself, only to find myself eye-to-eye with a picture of me!

Anyway, it was a blast and I want to thank REI and everyone who attended (and Luna Bars for supplying much-needed snacklets).

Remember, if you have the time on Saturday, take a scenic drive to Leavenworth. I'll be at A Book for All Seasons from 11am to 2pm.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obsession of the week

I'm collecting all sorts of found items for an upcoming book project and my friends have been roped in to help. My pal Kim keeps bringing these lovely pine cones to our work dates at Chocolati (I highly recommend the Cinnamon Almond Atzec truffle). It is not overstating it to say that I am obsessed with them and having fun figuring out various craft techniques I can bring to the table to best highlight their natural beauty.

I'd welcome any ideas you might have...

(In the palm of my hand, it sort of looks like the life crystal in Logan's Run that turned red or started blinking when you were ready for "carousel." Or maybe that's just me... By the way, they are remaking Logan's Run!)

Monday, April 28, 2008


I'm going to be talking about all things Backcountry Betty at the REI flagship store in Seattle this Wednesday. Get ready for the wilderness with this fun and informative evening! For more on the event, click here.

When: Wednesday, April 30, 7pm
Where: REI, 222 Yale Ave. N

And if you can't make that, think about a road trip this Saturday to the quaint village of Leavenworth for another Betty event at A Book for All Seasons. FYI, the drive is just over two hours from Seattle.

When: Saturday, May 3, 11am
Where: A Book for All Seasons, 703 Highway 2, Leavenworth

Friday, April 25, 2008

Small pleasures

Camille came over last night for crafts, Thai food, and a Flight of the Conchords DVD. I needed a small project so I unearthed some cotton yarn and started this dishcloth, from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I think this might be the new gift for friends: a hand-knitted dishrag and some sort of household cleaning product. I am considering knitting a whole passel of them for my mom and throwing her ancient gray dishcloths in the wood-burning stove the next time I'm in Michigan.


Friday, April 18, 2008

The slow-food breakfast

The menu from Marché's slow-food breakfast:

1st course
Kenny's farmhouse cheeses (with curiously tasty pickled onions)
artisan biscuit with strawberry-rhubarb jam

2nd course
two heirloom eggs any style (over-easy, thank you very much)
house-made breakfast sausage
stone ground white corn grits

whole-wheat graham cracker with honey crème

Thick French-brewed coffee

This was four hours ago and I am about to pop.

The meal was delicious and the company a delight. My only crabby comment is how eagerly the waitstaff refilled my coffee cup. Now, if it was empty, I wouldn't have an issue. But after I add the perfect amount of cream and sugar and drink maybe 1/4 of the cup, I am irked to be topped off. I have to start the process all over again and become ever vigilant whenever they are in my vicinity, pot in hand. It reminds me of a scene in the otherwise forgettable Coffee and Cigarettes. (Jim Jarmusch, I've tried to love you. I really have.)

What's even more offensive is that they often don't ask. They just go for your mug. I love a solicitous waitron but this just seems downright wrong unless you're clearly taking your coffee black.

Does this ever happen to you, or am I just being a sourpuss? (I also have to admit I don't like it when I'm at an establishment like TGIFridays and my pop or iced tea is automatically replaced with a fresh, full glass. Sometimes I like to monitor the copious amounts of caffeine and sugar I'm downing. Call me crazy. Seriously, go ahead. I know I'm a bit nutters about this but sometimes I don't want a fourth glass of Fresca.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A "full" day

Whoa Nelly, it's been a full day and I do mean full. I had a lovely lunch at the Loveless Cafe with author (and new BFF) Ann Shayne (that's her on the tractor!). I managed to stuff pulled pork, biscuits, mashed potatoes, and candied sweet potatoes down the hatch. It was a "yum"/"oy vey" combo platter, for sure.

After my lecture tonight at Belmont University, Gillian and Maria took me to Ted's Montana Grill, where in a feat of impressive gastrointestinal fortitude, I downed half a chili-cheese bison burger (with fries, salad, and rolls, natch).


I'm laying here like a beached whale, thinking about the breakfast at Marché tomorrow morning.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A meat and three

I just arrived in Nashville for a Worst-Case Scenario Dating, Sex & College lecture at Belmont University tomorrow night. Nashville is fast becoming one of my favorite cities, for the great music, culture, and yep, food. After wading through an avalanche of e-mails, I headed out to the corner steakhouse for some ribs, mac and cheese, yeast rolls, and sweet tea. Needless to say, I'm slightly illin' right now.

I was happy to see that my favorite "meat and three" restaurant Swett's now has an outpost at the airport. Since I have an evening flight on Friday, I will happily shove some pulled pork and three sides into my piehole.

Until then, I'm going to lunch with another author tomorrow. Ann Shayne is an amazing knitter, blogger, and author. Check out her blog with Kay Gardiner: mason-dixon knitting is the third-most popular knitting blog out there, which is saying a lot. But when you read Ann and Kay's hilarious, faux arch posts, you'll be quick to subscribe to the blog. I'm so excited about seeing Ann that I had a dream about her before I left Seattle. In it, she was wearing a knitted western-wear shirt, complete with fringe. I guess that's how my subconscious imagines a knitting author from Nashville. Go figure. Anyway, I'm looking forward to both lunch and good conversation.

And then I'm hitting a slow food breakfast (I don't know what that quite means, either) on Friday with another writer. Usually my lecture trips involve flying into a remote location, giving a lecture, hitting a drive-thru, and leaving at the ass-crack of dawn the next day. Luckily, I have a bit more time on this trip. I'll be able to savor a pulled pork sandwich or maybe some sweet potato pie at the airport, probably while listening to live music.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol

While watching David Cook rock it out to Mariah Carey music on American Idol, I finished this sparkly blue ring. (My photo skills are eroding.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Crafty Sunday

Okay, it's late so the photo isn't exactly great, but I wanted to show off the denim tote I just finished (just in time for the Rock of Love 2 finale). It has a punchy Amy Butler lining and should hold all of my stuff. I added a vintage bakelite pin for my piece of flair.

The stitching is a bit wonky but, hey, I'm still learning!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


The folks at Taunton Press (publisher of The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life) have launched an awesome new cross-crafty site. You can create a profile, share ideas, read blogs, and check out new techniques, no matter what your craft. Check out here.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I Heart Rummage was totes fun!

We had a great turnout at Chop Suey today. Doesn't my prairie-ish booth look great with the Chinese decor?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Heart "I Heart Rummage"

If you are in town this weekend, come visit me and dozens of other indie crafters at the monthly I Heart Rummage, now held at Chop Suey on Capitol Hill from 12–4pm. You can get brunch, look for funky mother's/father's day gifts, all while enjoying the dulcet sounds of a DJ in a dive bar. What's not to like?
I went last month with a couple other craftanistas and we were all amazed at the array of goods available. I'd tell you what I bought but it would spoil the birthday surprises for Liz and Ben, respectively.

Oh yeah, I'll be signing copies of Backcountry Betty and The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life, and selling a fresh batch of Prairie Girl Potions (guess what I'm doing on Saturday). Maybe next month I'll have a new line of farm-fresh checkbook covers. Until then, we must content ourselves with crème brulée body soufflé. Such is life.

A sampling of my books