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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For my friends named George:

and for the ones who don't know Shel Silverstein, yet:

God, the interwebs are cool.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

The Everything Post: Sewing, Moving, Wonder Twin Powers & Fabric Porn

Since I can't seem to write a proper post these days I'm just going to put down some random bits. I have been slightly more active over at Twitter if you want to follow me there, too.

Everything Tote
I sewed the Everything Tote from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing and I love it! I pack it full of clothes, food, sunscreen, and take everything everywhere. The Joel Dewberry, decor-weight exterior is holding up well, as is the cute, Japanese Bambi twill lining. At Quilt Market Melanie Falick told me that it really helps book sales if people review books at different times, not just when they are released. I'll keep posting as I sew all the cute stuff Heather designed. I did just break my fabric buying freeze to get some of her Far, Far Away before it's all gone. I follow WhipStitch Fabrics on Twitter and couldn't pass up a 15% off code (I think she's out of FFA). Am currently wondering if a 41-year-old woman can pull off a purple unicorn tunic. And from the shameless self-promotion department, did you know my blog is mentioned in the inspirations section of Weekend Sewing? Guess I need to get to work! Wonder Twin powers activate! Shape of an inspiring craft blog!

Without a dressform
Frustrated with always having to do major adjustments to store-bought patterns — and wanting to copy a specific and deceptively simple-looking child's dress from Mini Boden, but not having a proper dressform — I decided to do a self-draping. It took three labor-intensive drafts (wrapping myself in fabric, pinning, basting, taking apart, making adjustments, and drafting paper patterns) but I'm very happy with the result. It's so fitted and comfortable in the bust that I can imagine making my own non-stretch bras like in the olden days (I've been having boob trouble from underwires). The hardest part of the pattern making process was having to rip out the sewing on the last, well-fitted version, so that I could make the final pattern. Here's a funny, jazz hands picture with me wearing the final dress for Lorimarsha's visit.

Do you own, rent, or live with your parents?
Seven years and two babies later, we're finally moving out of my mom's house (the house I grew up in) and down (30 miles south) to the ranch that used to belong to my husband's grandparents. If you can pull it off, I highly recommend trying the multi-generational household. Imagine the foundation of love, when every day you have your mom, dad, grandma, and auntie available for hugs, as well as help.

Our plans have always been to move to our cabin in the woods when it finally gets a bathroom and a kitchen (still not done). During the ten years we've been remodeling, our family has outgrown the 600 square feet before we ever got to live in it. We'll be looking for a very special person or two to rent it, someone who will love it as much as we do.

While it will be sad to leave the auntie and grandma, we are looking forward to exploring the ranch's ten acres of coastal scrub, having adventures with horses, cleaning out the greenhouse, learning about animal care, native plants, and bees, and generally having the physical space to match the endless energy of two active boys. I see bike tracks, forts, archery, and lots of general digging and hacking in our future.

We'll be near this awesome place.

Like I need more fabric.
Next weekend, Susie Bright — famed writer of sexual politics, erotica, feminism, and popular culture, who also just happens to be a fellow craft blogger, dressmaker, and neighbor — is de-stashing! Makes me all hot and bothered just thinking about it.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friends & Fungus

Thanks to our new friends for hosting one of our best, easiest, most natural playdates ever. Who said the internet takes away from human interaction? Without it we wouldn't have found you.


More about the turkey tail mushrooms here and here and here, as well as many other places. I once saw a talk by Christopher Hobbs where he listed turkey tail as one of the top five medicinal mushrooms. I dry mine to use in soup stock, removing it before making the soup — it's very woody.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Imaginary Friends No Longer

Thank you all so much for sending kind words and thoughts to my friends. They read my blog, so your words will reach them directly. They are amazing people, strong people, funny people — and wonderful parents. It was a privilege to attend the service and to get to spend time with the family. I crave the day when we live closer.

My trip wouldn't have been possible without the help of many. It took four people to cover my shifts as mom. No wonder I'm always tired! My sister picked up the necessary slack to make the largest shift do-able for my mom. My brother-in-law put in some good physical time, letting the big bro ride on his shoulders so he could do some slam dunks. And, my husband, who works six days a week, ten hours a day, made some delicious meals to fortify the team. Thank you, family!

And, then, there was that one special craft blogger, Steph from Ruby Crowned Kinglette, who answered my call out for a place to stay. People at her work thought she was crazy for letting someone she'd never met stay overnight — but we knew it was OK, we were already friends. Steph was working the day I got in, but, there was already potato salad and tabouleh in the fridge. She threw some chicken on the barbecue when she got home and gracefully served up courses as the crafty guests arrived through an open front door. We sat in the backyard on one of the most beautiful days of the summer and shared stories while nibbling on Padrons. Alcohol was consumed. The next day, Steph arranged her day on the fly as I gave her updates on where I was and what I needed. She was a sweet, grounding influence as I floated around in a dazed state. Thank you in big capital letters, Steph.

It's Steph's birthday today, so please go cheer my no-longer-imaginary friend on into old age. ;)

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Saturday, August 09, 2008


I want to be quiet over here for awhile.

My friends just lost their littlest one.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I *Heart* My Readers

gingham_detail with pearl floss
Seems like a good time to give thanks to everyone who hangs out over here at Green Kitchen. It wouldn't be nearly as much fun without you.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Mama's Got a Brand New Blog To Read

It's been a big week for fabric designer, Heather Ross. Her latest line, Mendocino — with all its mermaid-y goodness — finally hit the shops. And — perhaps even more exciting to geeky, blog addicts like me — she has a brand new blog: Weekend. I already love getting to read about the creative process and history that goes into her designs, as well as, getting a peek into her upcoming book, Weekend Sewing. I'm thinking of the blog as a temporary solution until the day when we can be same-town friends. ;)

Have a look-see and welcome her to the blogosphere with a comment or two.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Where We Live

Sometimes it takes old friends visiting to get us appreciating where we live.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Real and Imaginary Friends

I have my first, actual, real-life knitting circle friends as of today. [Hi, new friends!] A mom from our preschool found me on Ravelry and invited me to her monthly group. We hadn't said more than hello all the school year — but, after she recognized my avatar in a local Ravelry group, she sent me a nice note. You know when you meet up with one of your imaginary online friends it's as if you've always known that person. Well, it was like that, but even better, because they live in my town!!!! The night had all the best things: good food, funny stories, sad stories, felting lessons, and best of all, good folk. I worked on my Vintage Vertical Stripe afghan — only thirty or forty more rows to go. See that copyright date on this old photo — 2006! It's been a long time coming.

If you haven't signed up for Ravelry, I apologize for all the linkage. Now go over there and sign up for an invite, so you can make some friends, be they real or imagined.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Two Small Farms

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Today is the first day of the veggie box from our CSA. If you've never connected yourself to a local food grower, I highly recommend it. It's good for your tummy, the land, the farmer, the kids — and, sometimes you get to bottle feed a baby goat.

On a different vegetable note:
One of my goals this summer is to make home-canned vegetable soup. I've had a pressure canner for years and I've always been afraid of it. I've lost the directions, so it's even scarier. It's like these.

And, thanks to Julia for the photos. I don't get many photos of me with the kids, goat or otherwise.

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Friday, October 05, 2007


Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Future Farmer
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
ROOTS For Reading*
Once upon a time I worked on a very fun project, called ROOT, with my friends over at Mariquita Farm. It featured Andy's writings about life as it relates to food and growing food — he's a farmer with a philosophy major. Each issue was 18 pages and included a seasonal recipe or two. I had the unique pleasure of complete artistic control; from choosing the paper (yummy French paper and a cool sparkle paper that I forget the name of), to creating the illustrations, it was all me. I also got to employ a couple friends to take photos and make images — Blaize helped edit it. We even had a testimonial from Susie Bright. ROOT fulfilled my longtime dream of collaborative creative work amongst friends. We did one issue per season for four seasons.

ROOTS For Dinner
My favorite way to use up the leftover roots from my Two Small Farms CSA box, including the ones my family doesn't like, is to dice them up small; toss them with olive oil, salt, and an herb or two; and roast them at high heat until they're caramelized bits of perfection. I think I got the idea from this book. It's a great way to get turnips and beets into people who think they don't like them.

ROOTS For Fashion
I'm horrible with laundry and/or bibs, so we have a lot of stains around here. I remember seeing a cool stain cover up over at Little Green's Flickr. So, in anticipation of dressing my baby for today's harvest festival I did a root version of stain management.

*I'm sure Julia still has copies of ROOT that she would love to sell. You can contact her at julia[at]mariquita[dot]com.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Toes & Jams

Two days of

berry picking

with Bitter Betty.

I told you

I don't bathe



I was such

a grump,


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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Week in Review: June 17-24

Week in Review: June 17-24
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
This is a week late, but that's how life is these days — for me and many others — I guess. Highlights of the week were: going to a powwow with Sara & Aurora; H olallieberry picking with Becky & Blaize; a birthday party at Wilder; C learning how to feed himself; and an exciting, but not scary, visit to our street by the firetruck.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Showing Off My Talented Friends

I've got some talented friends who are doing fun things, so I wanted to share them here:

Bitter Betty
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Bitter Betty:
Bethany will be at this craft show up in Sacramento on Saturday, May 5th. She's also got a New Vintage Wardrobe thing going on where she and others are sewing from vintage patterns and/or fabric and posting photos at Flickr. Bethany stages elaborate photo shoots to feature her latest fashion creations, including this video that she made with her 11-year-old son.

Work of Bridget Henry
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Multi-artist Studio Sale in Santa Cruz
I know two of the four gals doing this home show on Sunday, May 6th. Bridget Henry makes wonderful reductive woodblock prints — a very interesting technique, if you've never seen it. I love her imagery, sort of magical mysticism-ish. Felicia Gilman, one of the vendors from that craft fair I co-hosted, sews one-of-a-kind vinyl wallets that are super cool. If you are in town you should definitly check it out.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Alice is now selling her extra cute octopus pattern (a.k.a. Octophrost: Santa of the Sea) online as a PDF. It's only $5, a deal anyway you slice it. Her illustrations are top notch and the octo guys and gals work up really cute. Add your softie to the octopus garden over at Flickr.

My Friend Blaize
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

St. Blaize:
Recently voted Best Independent Docent, Blaize gives super secret staircase tours around Santa Cruz. It's a great way to get some exercise, local history, and Blaize Facts™ at the same time. Keep an eye on the Santa Cruz Free Skool calendar for future tours.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Mariquita Farm:
Andy and Julia are part of a two-family farm co-op that provides weekly boxes of vegetables to subscribers through their CSA. I've had the pleasure of being a subscriber for many years and love it. Their distribution includes Monterey Bay area, Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Andy is a great writer, as well, and keeps a weekly e-newsletter, which is also posted to his blog.

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