Monday, October 5, 2015

apples: picking and baking

There's nothing quite as spectacular as picking apples on a beautiful fall day. We're so lucky to be surrounded by farms and orchards. I take advantage of our proximity with lots of little trips for a peck here and a peck there, but yesterday was autumn perfection. The sky was deep blue, the air was crisp, but the sun still kept you warm. The fragrance of ripe apples and wet grass makes every picking experience throughout the years be part of the present moment too.  As I called my over 6 ft tall son to help me reach for the high ones, I couldn't help remembering his tiny toddler hands grasped around fruit on the bottom branches. Scents do that to me… connect traditions into one continuous strand of memories. 
I've got fall baking fever and a daughter who's growing like crazy, so I'm certain these will be on this week's menu:

Happy Monday, sweet friends!
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015


There is absolutely nothing like the full body, open hearted, mind blowing experience of opening up the first box of your just printed very own book. And then with your breath barely flowing… lifting a copy into your hands. Ohhhhh! And my daughter captured a bit of this pictured below! Didn't she?! 

This book. My second book. The book I wish I had found when I desperately needed something to hold onto. So I wrote it. For myself. And most definitely for YOU! It still isn't reaching bookstores or Amazon until the end of December- a perfect beginning to the New Year.  But, I have a surprise! Roostbooks (Shambhala), my beyond amazing publishers, do something a little differently than most. Hope, Make, Heal is ready right NOW… EARLY for anyone that orders directly through them.

 I still can't believe it! Think of this as a quiet opening before the big grand throwing open of the doors and blowing the trumpets in December. If you, or someone you love, could use this right now… there is no need to wait! I will be sharing so much more from the pages, behind the scenes and what this book is truly about in the coming weeks and months…

But right now I want to sit quietly and lovingly turn each page. 
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Friday, September 25, 2015

rope baskets at craftstitute

 At Craftstitute  on 10/21 at  6:30-9PM

Yes, it's on! I'm teaching at the end of next month. What a great opportunity to learn how to make the best holiday gift ever… if I do say so myself!
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

lake equinox

We went to the lake for yesterday's fall equinox. The morning had called for slippers and sweaters and mugs of hot beverages, but by afternoon the sun was shining high and the temps were in the 70's. It felt essential to soak up and savor the last bits warmth with bare feet and legs. So down to the water we went. I gathered stones and driftwood for future projects. My daughter gathered memories of wading and climbing for the colder days that are coming. 

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Monday, September 21, 2015

baskets, blues and birthdays

Just a quick hello and warm welcome to anyone visiting from Amanda's today. If you've caught the rope stitching bug… rest assured that the contagion only leads to happy making and grateful receiving of beautiful baskets. I thought I'd leave a few links here to remind you of previous posts and to give you some inspiration:

 I'll be teaching a new rope basket workshop at Craftstitute at the end of October. Stay tuned for the exact date and time!

I'm currently up to my ears in chocolate frosting and blues that aren't just made from indigo but the kind of weepy mama emotions that come from watching our children grow. Today my first born turns seventeen and it's brought all kinds of feelings to the surface. Luckily our favorite deep dark chocolate cake will soon soothe my tender heart!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015


 This morning I sat down and poured through the latest pages of Taproot. It's filled with so many beautiful and fascinating articles. Get an idea of the wide range right here. What a thrill to have my rope baskets featured in this FOLK issue! I offer instructions for both sewing and dyeing them. And after a basket hiatus over the summer, I'm so excited to return to making more for fall harvesting and early holiday making.

After I fill a couple of baskets with apples, you can bet I'll be trying out this Salted Caramel Apple Pie!!
 There were no shortage of captivating stories, but I was especially excited to read about Blue Man, the indigo dyer.
And how to host girls a empowerment retreat is dog-eared!
 Leave it to Amanda and Taproot to gather together a volume of thoughtful, intelligent and timely reading for all of us. Taproot Magazine is independently published and ad-free. You can subscribe or get this issue right here.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

weekend wonders

This weekend was so wonderful!
There was a celebration so sweet and good at my favorite space. 
There were flowers in vases and fields.
There was both sunshine and cozy rainy days.
There was chicken sitting for newlyweds.
There was a collaged outhouse lovely enough to photograph (yes, that's right!)
There was yoga on horseback.
There were popovers with homemade jam on repeat.
And even some sewing!
The week ahead is busy and filled with the usual dose of unknowns we all share. I can guarantee that it's not all going to be flowers and popovers, so I'm grateful that I've been filled to the brim. Have a great start to your week, as well! Maybe there will even be popovers in your week?! Tried and true recipe here.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

circle skirt

There's always some excitement about what to wear on the first day back to school. For my daughter, at least. It was really about planning and anticipating the return to routine more than fashion when she was little,  but that seems to have shifted as she's grown. There was a very specific idea for this year. She is certainly not opposed to store bought clothes, but she didn't want to walk into class looking like anyone other than herself. In her words "In 5th grade, I want to be unique." Well, ok then. Anyone who is familiar with preteen girls knows that just thinking that way is unique in itself. Since she's turned into quite the seamstress, a hand-made wardrobe was a great way to have a one of a kind outfit for yesterday's return to school. This was here idea! Wahoo!
My daughter's BFF is a constant sewing inspiration, and has even begun designing her own patterns. This pillow case top and circle skirt are both based on her very own patterns- so she deserves a lot of credit. I helped- but not much.
The skirt is rather ingenious… it's a donut folded in half. The center becomes the curved waist, attached by a button. A little bias tape helps finish it, but the bottom hem is left raw. It's double layered and cut on the bias so all that's needed are to pull a few loose threads. Shorts or leggings are necessary underneath since it's a wrap style. I can see trying this in my size too. Linen has an especially nice drape, but she also made one in jersey. 
Hope your return to September routines is running smoothly!
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

botanical meditation

The gathering of flowers and leaves… the noticing… the arranging. There is a quiet and a sweet calm that come with honoring such fleeting beauty. This last day before school begins is the perfect time to cultivate a slow and peaceful pace to our day. Right now, while the colors are vibrant everywhere, I urge your take a moment and enjoy them. Consider celebrating all the leaves and flowers with some artful placement. It's a wonderful meditation. Capture it with a picture for the coming days when white is the most common color to be seen.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Happy September! I just finished up August with such a bang- what a fantastic weekend it was teaching with Cal Patch at Craftstitute with these amazing women! We carved and printed the first day and then sewed the next. By Sunday afternoon, everyone had their very own one-of-kind folk dresses and all the skills to make more in multiple variations with any print their heart desired.  Talk about satisfying work… for all of us!
 Craftstitute is such a great place to create in… the walls of windows, huge tables and tons of outlets are  a crafter's dream. And not to mention the fabulous covered porch so we could do all of our fabric printing and cutting outside on more big tables… so good! Lunches were delicious picnics… created by Macro Mamas and served on "the veranda", as well. We were all nourished in every way!
Oh Cal- how lucky we were to have this inspiring teacher make a guest appearance in Ithaca! And how blessed I am to have her as a dear friend. I dare say that she had enough fun to swing back for another weekend of sewing some time in the near future. Which is a good thing, because I'm not the only one in my family that adores her… how can you not crush on a brilliant and down to earth sewing teacher in a chicken dress?

Feeling so lucky to finally have such a fabulous local teaching spot! I'll be teaching some new Craftstitute classes very soon so stay tuned!
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Thursday, August 20, 2015


Quick pickles are the perfect addition to summer fare. They also make a great snack with a chunk of crusty bread. My mom often makes these Zuni Zukes. I grew up going to the Zuni Cafe in SF for special occasions, so I love when she brings a bit of home all the way to the east coast. Here's the recipe. I prefer how thin she slices them, but it's not a requirement. The pickled red onions are from a recipe from The Kitchn and are so good on just about any sandwich!  Do you have a favorite quick pickle?
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

mama blues

 Creating with my mom is always so much fun! Her granddaughter agrees. She loves working with all of my mother's materials and textiles. Her bunny was made completely by hand- that girl is a blanket stitch wiz! My mother was intrigued with all of our indigo dyeing, so we set up a bucket for her. She was all about dip-dyeing vintage fabrics, and now I want to do more of it too!
 My absolute favorite is this blue boho bag from a vintage bedspread and thick piping cord for handles. She sewed it and I dipped it.
She continues to be my greatest source of inspiration. My mother is my hero!
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