Tuesday, December 19, 2006

it feels a bit like cheating

...but it felt so good.
this evening i broke down and ordered my groceries online from our local market. it is amazing how guilty and indulgent i felt placing the order. what with all of the holiday tasks that need to take place around here the last thing i wanted to do was walk into another store. so this evening i sat down and planned out two holiday menus, wrote up a grocerie list and then placed the order online. it is all done with and all i need to do now is pick the order up on friday afternoon in time for our first big meal on saturday. i guess i should not feel so bad. i love planing meals and cooking them but going to the store is always a bit of a pain. it just seems that it is always such a production to get everyone out the door while remembering the list, bags, drawing pad and toys for miss. A. so i guess when i look at it this way i feel great about what i just did and may start doing this with all orders. we will see.

on other fronts things are coming along but it seems as if time is slipping away faster then the energy put forth. there are still holiday cards to finish and send out but i keep reminding myself that the holidays last until new years, right...

i have been finishing a few little drawstring totes for gifts and a pair of knitted socks for Miss. A. other gifts are coming along but i am finding it hard to get things done during nap time these days. for some reason Miss. A has decided that now is a good time to get molars and so her nap is all over the board. i guess it does not help that i have been dealing with a headache for the past few days so anytime she goes down all i want to do is rest. but now that the holiday meals are planned and out of the way i am ready to get down to business:: tomorrow. for now i am going to bed. take care

Thursday, December 14, 2006

{thursday} thrifted finds

part of me would love to devote thursdays post to my thrifted finds. just tuesday evening i was thinking about all the Vera scarves, napkins, table clothes and more that i have sitting around that i need to document. well wednesday morning Blair wrote about her Vera find and again i was inspired to document. my hope is that i will use thursdays as a day to talk about some finds i have made over the years. a chance to rediscover what i have already found. for now i will talk about this weeks find.

i always get quite excited when i see things that match another find from weeks or months earlier. yesterday while looking around i found a few more mugs to match two i got a few weeks ago.

i found three more pairs of mugs. they are all stamped Japan on the bottom and have such character. my favorite thing about them is that they stack and so when Daniel tries to say that there is no more room in the cupboard i have a good excuse. plus they are only out for a short time of the year.

also sitting there was a tumbler glass that goes with this one. it is amazing because i am now thinking that the glasses are a set of the seasons. it looks like i now have what may be spring and winter. when trying to look up the maker on line i was not very successful. one of the glasses says Houze 1979 and the other just Houze. i love the tree design and would be interested in seeing some of their other work.

one of the things i love about the thrift finds is finding out the history of an object. i hope that by posting about these items i will learn both from my own research and other peoples knowledge.

{a fun little fact}
start time::3:22pm
end time::4:32pm

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

living better:better living

like many others i have been enjoying the pearls of wisdom fond in the pages of both Luhrs and Chumberbatch's books. a friend of mine has recently shown me another wonderful book to add to this set. the first two have not only inspired me but also forced me to rethink anew the way we live. Cumberbatch looks at ways to simplify the space you live in and make it one that is intentional and functional while remaining aesthetically pleasing. Luhrs meets people where they are and asks what means we can live within and gives ways in which we can meet those goals.

the third and most recent book to add to this wonderful collection is Better Basics for the Home. this book is amazing that like the cover states gives 'simple solutions for less toxic living. there are recipes from laundry detergent to milk paint, floor cleaner to basic soft scrubs and more. it is a great guide to doing your own home chemistry in order to use less toxic goods. the website associated with the books is a great resource to get even more ideas.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Originally uploaded by devinemom.
it feels good do be done with the calendar project. the whole process was a lot of fun and i truly enjoyed working with so many amazing woman. each day is exciting as i get a new package in the mail of work from someone. each month is different and unique to the artist that did them.

thank you marianne for putting this whole thing together. this was a wonderful way to meet some great woman around the world.

i am now quite busy with working on Christmas gifts. many exciting things are brewing around here and i am excited to work on many of them once the holidays are over. until then i am trying to balance all of the many things that happen during the holidays.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


so just now as i was getting ready to shut down the computer and go to bed i saw something i just had to check out. the wonderful miss Martha over at Uniform Studio just opened up her Etsy shop. her work is amazing. she has a wonderful eye for color and texture. one can tell from just looking at her photos that she is meticulous about everything she makes.

i am quite excited about my purchase and look forward to giving some rave reviews once it arrives. go check her shop out.

such great sorrow

the news of James Kim hit me like little earthquakes of emotion throughout the day yesterday. a great husband, father, friend and son was lost doing such a heroic act. may there be comfort and peace for those so deeply effected by this misfortune.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Originally uploaded by devinemom.
we have been quite busy around this house the past few days. the weekend lent itself to many hours of getting things done. it is funny to me that when projects are getting done everything in the house goes by the wayside. the dishes need to be done and rooms need to be cleaned but we were productive. i guess if anyone figures out how to balance everything they would make millions.

my calendar pages are almost done. i just need to finish packaging them and then off the the post they go. my other big task that got finished was the Advent calendar. we have been enjoying quite a few things these past few days because of that. last night we made a fort and played around in it. we have also gone for a walk and hung christmas lights on the house. all of this can be viewed here

we seem to be wanting to stay close and focus on one another since hearing the news of the Kim family. please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to search for James.

Friday, December 01, 2006

WIP friday

i am truly looking forward to a long weekend in here. looking at our family calendar i am excited that there will be a lot of time to get things done around the house. the only thing we have planned is to do whatever activity we pull from the advent calendar and today it is to go for a family walk, Miss. A loves looking at the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


yesterday was such a productive day. i felt like everything worked out well in order for me to get a few things done. Miss. A was more than willing to play around in my studio while i attempted to finally organize things. by the end of her nap things were looking good and i was able to breath a bit easier knowing that i could actually work in the space. last night Daniel and i set to work on the advent calendar. i had envisioned buying some vellum envelopes about CD size but when i got to the store and saw that they wanted a buck plus i decided that i would just make them.

it was great to work along side Daniel again. we used to do a lot of bookbinding together and so cutting down the paper and folding brought back quite a few memories. it was also quite nice to know when things were when he asked for say the x-acto knives etc.

last night the UPS man dropped off some printable paper i was waiting for in order to finish my calendar pages. i am looking forward to working on that during nap time. the bobbins are loaded and ready to go. it feels so good to be focused again.

Monday, November 27, 2006

17 days later

i guess life has been so busy that half a month has passed within a blink of the eye. it seems that the more time that passes where i don't blog the harder it is to get back into it. there are so many things that i have thought about writing and yet never got around to the computer. so here i am just jumping back into it with a few things that i have been working on. currently i am busy finishing my calendar page for the Calendar Swap.

it has been a wonderful challenge for me to create my page. we were given the choice of using any medium we wanted to create the page and so i am experimenting a bit. i am eager to see the end results not only of my own work but also of all the other amazing bloggers that are participating. for a glimpse at what other are doing look here. the other project i finished at the beginning of last week was my image for the Compound Word Project. there are some amazing images there so go check it out.

i have started to move into my new studio/sewing room but there are still piles of stuff everywhere. i am quite eager to start in on some Christmas projects and to test out my new cutting mat. it is quite exciting i just got a 70*33in cutting mat and it is going to make things so much easier. the only problem is cleaning everything off of the table in order to start working, but we are getting there.

i do hope that my next post will be sooner then later.

Friday, November 10, 2006

catching up

funny that i wrote the title of this post last night at about 1am and then did not have the mental capacity to even form a thought. the good news is that i was quite motivated to stay up that late and get quite a few things finished. for the first half of the evening i worked for Daniel, something i pick up now and then when he is slammed with deadlines and has something my remedial skills can do. well once done with that around ten i was surprised by the energy i had. so i finally photographed gifts i mentioned oh so long ago. the they are now all packaged up along with two others that needed to be done. now it is just a matter of writing the notes and getting to the postoffice.

yesterday afternoon i was reminded by a photo Lisa took. i had gone to the fabric store sometime last week for some blue fabric to finish Miss A's curtins. i was so good going straight to the fabric i needed and then up to the counter to get it cut. i even remember thinking to myself 'wow nothing else?' well there was not enough fabric left on the bolt and they needed to do an item check. so what did i discover but some amazing fabric set up right next to me.

it was there just for those who have no selfcontrol. but they are great and i know just what Christmas gifts they are going to turn into.

yesterday afternoon i was finaly able to get out the the burbs to get some crafting books. it is always hard to make the trip because of traffic. it seems as if the time of day does not matter it is alway bad. so yesterday i braved it and was quite successful with my finds. i needed to get a book for a friend i was swaping with and since i was there i figured i would save myself a few trips and just get what i wanted then.

the books are amazing one is all on skirts and another is on jackets, shirts and pants, and the third is alot of felted pieces. i guess i hope to get sewing some clothing for myself sometime soon. if nothing comes from these books for awhile it is ok by me at least i know they are there when i need them.

Note: it has now taken me a good hour plus to write this post. everything takes longer with a kid.

Monday, November 06, 2006

rock the vote

our ballots went into the box today. it is that time of year to cast your vote. remember to exercise your right to voice your opinion whatever it may be.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


there are times when i forget to document the things i make and that was the case with this item. i had made this scarf a few weeks ago and then set it aside because i was not quite sure about it. this evening i wore it and now have fallen in love. the truth is that there are things that need to be modified before i make another for others but for now this is my fall and winter scarf. my intention was to make a gift for a friend. i decided to use the remnants from the pillows. the problem was that the gray suede was not quite as pliable as one might like. so after working on the scarf late in the evening with much excitement for the end result i was met with great disappointment when the thing did not wrap that well. so it sat around for awhile and turned into a table runner on Miss. A's dresser. that is until today. for some reason while i was sorting through her clothing today, something that needs to happen more often these days, i looked again at the 'scarf' and realized i wanted to give it another try. i love it. with a bit of finagling i got it to wrap well. so now i am inspired to go back to the drawing board and try it again with more pliable fabrics.

its funny how a little time can change ones opinion of a piece of work. there is something to be learned from this.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

a family affair

each year we enjoy the process of making costumes and dressing up. this year we went for the street vendor look. daniel and Miss. A were the organ grinder and monkey while i was the pickpocket street urchin. it seems that i lost interest in making a costume for myself after all the others. i went for the quick fix that daniel was nice enough to put together.

last year we dressed Miss. A up as a yard gnome, daniel was a lamp and i was the girl scout. Miss. A made the perfect gnome in both stature and spirit. who knows what next year will bring or how long we have until she starts protesting the costumes but until then we will take advantage of the situation.

Monday, October 30, 2006

sneak peek

so i have been absent from blogging for a good reason: productivity. this past week i have been working on the final touches to halloween costumes and other house related projects. Miss. A's costume is finished and for the most part she is accepting the fact that she is wearing foe fir. her trial run on Saturday evening went well and we hope for the same tomorrow. this evening i am finishing a costume for a friend of ours. he has commissioned me to make him a costume of Baseball Furies from the movie The Warriors. it has been quite fun getting paid to make something, i am at liberty to do as i see fit.

other projects that i am working on are window coverings for Miss. A's room. she is now moved into her room but it is a bit cold without shades. i am working with a pattern from Two Straight Lines. i love the simple design and i enjoy everything about it with the exception of the coral color which dominates and may be a bit overpowering for the room. i would love to get done with them soon but we will see what comes of them. i am also slowly working on getting my studio done and we are still picking out the color for our bedroom. so for now we are still sleeping in the den and my sewing and knitting things are in the basement or in boxes.

seeing that is it now almost ten i should stop procrastinating and finish this costume. the good news is that i have The Warriors playing in the background for a bit of entertainment and/or distraction.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Originally uploaded by devinemom.
i believe i have conquered the abyss of emails sitting in my in-box. this is an ongoing battle with me. the other day i started to sort through the five pages of well over five-hundred emails. quite a task to take on. in there were many unanswered comments from my blog and i am sorry for that. i do intend to get back to each and every person that writes but it is hard. the good news is that i have gone through all of my emails. i have filed, sorted, erased and replied to them all. some of you may end up with a few emails from me in the morning, sorry for the backlog but i tried. as for others i am sorry if i was unable to write but there are many of you who have 'anonymous' return addresses. many times i tired to track down your email via your blog but other times i was unsuccessful.

i truly love reading and responding to everyone who writes. my goal is to try and stay up to date a bit more. maybe reply within a week. i will at least start with that goal in mind.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


my remnants basket filled with fabric is a good sing. i feel good seeing that because it means that i have made time to sew. this past week i was struck with inspiration and time which resulted in productivity. Miss. A had decided to not sleep so well at night but took to compensating naps during the day. this was to my advantage during the day. i dove right into a few projects that i have wanted to get to for some time now. the first of which are a few gifts that i am sending off so i can not reveal a full photo until they are safe in the hands of the receiver. i am quite excited about these items because they are a bit of a prototype of things i want to start making along with a few other items. my biggest road block in getting things off the ground is a company name and logo. both of which are getting narrowed down but it all takes time.

along with these gifts i also got around to making some throw pillows for our living room. they are about two-thirds done but i ran out of steam, just for a short time.

Miss. A's unfinished room was calling to me. yes that is right i am still plugging away on that room. the good news is that the closet is all finished and i only need to paint a second coat on the windows and doorway. this weekend it will be done and she will be moved in. at least that is my goal.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

down and back::down and back

this past weekend my sister and i made a trip home with the kids to visit family. her son and my mother share a birthday so it was quite fun to go down there and spend time with family. we were able to explore around town a bit with the kids and took them to places we enjoyed playing when we were little. it is amazing how things have changed over the years. my mother was quite excited to take us to a new park they had built and the kids loved it.

Miss A went straight for the sand and insured that she got quite filthy. i was sad to see that they had taken out the old equipment such as the horses that rocked on a giant spring attached to the ground. it was nice to see that they had not removed a few of the stultpures that i fondly remember playing on.

the weekend felt long in a good way. despite the short amount of time we were there it felt relaxing and drawn out. i was able to also visit with friends in the evening and even hit a few thrift stores with my mother. every since moving to Portland we have been disapointed with the thrift store selection compared to back home. in one thrift shop i spotted a wonderful mid-century dresser. it was the exact style i had been looking for. up here they are going for a significant amount more but i figured that since we had the kids in the car there was no way to transport it. i wrote it off but took photos to show Daniel when we got home.

upon returning home sunday evening Daniel convenced me that we should indeed buy it. so the next morning i tracked down the store and called thinking it would not be there two days later. to my surprise it was and they were having a sale. the savings from the sale covered the price in gas so i knew that it was to be mine. so back down I-5 i went to get the dresser. it felt strange doing the drive again just for a dresser but i think it was worth it.

since returning home i have found myself a bit sick but have somehow found a way to get to the sewing machine and make a few things. i have even been sketching the many ideas that are running through my head. yesterday i started on Miss. A's halloween costume. last year we dressed her as a Yard Gnome and this year we think the costume will be just a fun.

the idea for this year has been rolling around in my head for the past nine months and so it will be interesting to see how it is transformed into a costume.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

the feeling of fall

the other day i received my latest issue of Everyday Food and was surprised by the selection. i usually find just a few menu items that are appealing to me but this time everything looked so good. maybe it is the cooler weather and the prospect of soups and roasted fall vegetables. i am not sure but it was enough to inspire me to plan a few weeks worth of meals.

last night we enjoyed the roasted fall vegetable and ricotta pizza. the flavors were amazing, nothing beats roasted potatoes and squash.

today is a cooler day and so i was able to test out my new sweater. i am pleased with the outcome and still wonder why it took me so long to finish. i guess if i did not have so many projects going on at once i would have completed it by now. if only i had a bit of the Type A personality in me. oh well i will settle for my Type Z personality any day. this is the title i give myself since i am so far from Type A. i guess the correct term for it would be ADD but oh well.

miss A had a few shots today and is napping so i am off to take advantage of the time i have.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


today was the day for finding things.

i found the yarn today. a friend of mine informed me this past week that a yarn shop in town had one skein left of my color. i had forgotten this information until today as i was unpacking a box in my studio and came across the sweater again. yes that's right i started to unpack a box for that room but it got put by the wayside as i flew out the door to the yarn shop. you see i have to do things like run to the yarn shop when i remember or i will forget for weeks. it was amazing the shop had the yarn. when i got home Daniel asked if it was from the same dye lot and i said it didn't even matter i just wanted the sweater done with. once home i started working on it and did not want to stop.

it was finished this evening as we watched some Netflix of Lost. i will have a finished shot of it soon.
while working in the yard today we found a few other more interesting items. moving into a new place is a bit like going on an archeological dig you find the remnants of people before you. we have found newspaper clippings of a small child, a sliver of comic strip tucked in the cracks of the floor, an abandoned spork left in the kitchen drawer, straight pins stuck in the wallpaper of the bathroom and more. all of these things reflect some small bit of the people who lived here before us. it is interesting how these forgotten items are shaping our perception of who they are.

today we added to the list of evidence a few more items. while i was dumping a house plant that had long been dead by the time we moved in i fond at the bottom a wonderful Melmac plate.

it had been placed at the bottom to help with drainage but as i washed it off i fell in love. it is in perfect condition and i wish the whole set was there. while daniel was sorting through a pile of wood he found a scrap of wood that someone had documented a design for wood steps. the person was meticulous on detail and materials.

to think of the life that was lived here before us... it is a wonder what we will unknowingly leave for others to find.

::a shot of Miss. A's room. it only needs one more coat of paint but we are getting there::

Friday, September 29, 2006

forward movement

progress is being made across the board. it feels good to be working on the house again and actually getting things done. i started in Miss. A's room this week and have finished one wall plus a wall in the closet. we are getting there and she may be in her room by Christmas, i hope before then... i have mentioned before about trying to pace myself with this whole house thing and it is hard. the balance is between the outside and inside. i figure if i have one major project going in each area i can switch between them while the paint is drying or Miss. A is awak. so along with her room i have been working on digging out the ivy from the planter at the front of our house.

yesterday afternoon after Miss. A woke up early from her nap i took her outside and we worked side-by-side digging. her with her bucket and shovel and i with the planter. it is now clear of all ivy infested dirt and ready to be washed out and patched. the brick on the facade of the planter is cracked and being pushed out so we have to redo the brick work. once that is done i will be able to actually plant all of my herbs there and not just have them sit in pots. the wonderful thing about the planter is that it is right under the kitchen window and next to the front door for easy access during cooking. just last night we were making a panini with basil, tomato and mozzarella and i needed fresh basel. it was so nice to be able to go out the front door and pick what was needed.

on the crafting front things have been a bit slow since there is little access to the sewing machine right now. but i have been working on some embroidery and knitting. i have started a birthday gift for Daniel's sister whose birthday was on Sunday. it is just that i have run out of inspiration for now.

i hope to get back to it this weekend.

the knitting on the other hand was quite gratifying this week. every Tuesday evening i go and knit with some friends. this is somethings that we have been doing for almost three years now. i had been wanting to make a fall hat for Miss. A and i finally bought all the items needed. including some needles i know i have somewhere around the house but can't track down.

it was so satisfying to see the had fly off the needles. i was able to finish it in one evening and then started a scarf to match since there was so much yarn left.

i know that there are a few of you that are waiting for me to get around to sending you some homemade items and they are in the line-up of things to do. but for this weekend we are going to focus on painting and trying to get my blog spiffed up a bit. for the longest time i have wanted to make a banner and personalize the site some. i hope that time has come but do not hold me to it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

home again

we are home once more and i am trying to get focused. it is so hard to be in such a constant state of transition. as i mentioned before we are all sleeping in the den. this makes for a fun experience for all. trying to get Miss. A down for naps or bed is quite hard and once she is down i have very few places to go and relax or do things. right now we are taking things slowly and trying to finish a room before moving back into it. the first room on the list is of course Miss. A's so that she can get settled again. yesterday i painted a swatch of wood to see if the color of green we picked out for her room even looks good. we are going with the green but it is only going to be for an accent wall and we need to pick out a contrast color. from there the trim needs to be painted and then the corner rounds stained, cut and installed. so as you can see this whole moving in process is going to take some time if that needs to be done in every room.

i have to remember that it will all pay off in the end but for the time being it is hard to resist the urge to be settled. i guess i should take advantage of the time and go wash the walls in her room since it is nap time and i always need to take advantage of that.