Friday, December 16, 2011

i've been incredibly busy lately, but a couple weeks ago managed to whip up some easy projects.   here are a couple bibs made out of my kiwi bird parade and chunky olives fabrics.   have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

kiwi? berry?

have you ever seen these before?

have you ever tasted one? 

have you ever tasted one??

my mom is forever introducing me to new foods, and this has been the latest treat:  KIWI BERRIES.  apparently you can get them at sam's wholesale club.  they are grape-sized but taste exactly like kiwis.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

crate and barrel marimekko store

crate and barrel has had a long partnership with marimekko, and every season i peruse their current line being produced just for cb clientele.  last year i heard that they were planning on opening cb marimekko STORES in select cities, one being new york (of course).  i immediately put it on my wish list of places to visit.

i finally made my way to new york recently (and really, what took me so long? it's only about 4 hours away, and if you're really really lucky you can get a $2 round trip bus ticket) and one afternoon, while wandering around soho, i found myself standing right in front of crate and barrel with marimekko plastered all over the windows. by found, i mean gps-ed my way there intentionally.

was i excited? you bet i was. walking inside, i realized that the marimekko store was within the crate and barrel store, and was very much like the individual stores you'd find in finland.

so bright and colorful. 

little did i know then, they also opened a cb marimekko store in boston, so i did not have to wait until new york.  oh well.

611 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

Sunday, October 9, 2011

on my way to becoming a new englander

it appears that one of the steps toward becoming a new englander is to go apple picking in the fall.   we visited shelburne farms, which is about an hour outside of boston.  we enjoyed apple cider and donuts, and brought home something like twenty pounds of apples.  the varieties included fuji, cortland, and mcintosh. 

on site they also had a cute little shop where you could purchase all kinds of apple and farm products.  

what kind of activities do you like to do in the fall in your neck of the woods?  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

packaging edison

half the fun of making a gift is deciding how to package it... for me at least  the elephant in the last post was a present, and i contemplated a while on how to tag him.  i made this card with edison's story inside (see story in the post below).  my lotus root pattern is printed on one side of a 3"x3" card that fits into a square envelope, also with my lotus root pattern printed on side.  the husband kindly participated by making me an envelope template.

my chinese is very limited and i made a typo.  oops.

unfortunately, i forgot to take a picture of it, but i cut slits in the envelope, slid a ribbon into it, and then tied it around the elephant's head.  it was all sorts of adorable. truthfully, deciding how to present edison was almost more fun than making him.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

my name is edison

i love to eat ramen, and bananas covered with chocolate and chili.
i like to sing, take bubble baths, and afternoon naps.  

on nights when the weather is nice, i often look out and contemplate the stars.   
please take good care of me, and hold me while you sleep, every night.

if you would like to make a ridiculously cute friend like edison, DIYfluffies sells a great pattern.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

barely autumn dress

autumn has snuck up upon us in the northeast, but not before i could make one last summer dress for the year (maybe).  i made this dress by copying a dress i already owned and adding an elastic waist to change it up a little.  the original dress was pink on top and black on the bottom, and a-lined out.  

i bought the floral fabric on our last trip to finland, and the maker is liberty- which i believe is a english brand.  the cotton is very comfortable and superb quality.

somehow the dress became shorter than i intended. i guess my legs aren't as short as i thought!  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


we spent the labor day weekend in the city of brotherly love.  i don't know why it's known as such.   do you?

we visited some historical sites. the husband learned what the liberty bell is.  i learned that what they taught us about the liberty bell in school is a lie.  

i got a little bit of a work out...

...gosh that's heavy.

we also indulged. heavily.  i recommend a visit to morimoto (a restaurant of one of the japanese iron chefs) if you ever make it to philadelphia.  if you don't know what an iron chef is, i'm not sure we can be friends.   

just kidding.  

kind of.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

marimekko guest post

i'm guest blogging today on marimekko (surprised?) over at
pop on over and take a moment to meet ana.  she has a fabulous blog, and also believes in the minimal use  of her shift key.   my kind of gal. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

another laptop case...

this time for my macbook.   

the outside (canvas) fabric is made by another finnish company, finlayson.  i have it in two color ways, and felt that a laptop case would be a worthy use of this grey, brown, and white one.  the inside is lined with a basic purple cotton fabric.  i padded it with stiff interfacing and two layers of felt, much like in my kindle tutorial. 

on the "front", i chose to pleat it the same way i pleated this clutch, thanks to noodlehead's tutorial.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

stripes, stripes, and stripes

as i was unpacking my bags during my last vacation, i surveyed what i brought, and realized that 95% of the clothes in my suitcase had stripes.   horizontal. diagonal. vertical....  multidirectional.  thin. wide. colorful, monotone.  they are all different, yet all the same.

i felt the need to further expand my stripe collection by sewing a loose knit top.  i bought the knit during our last trip to finland.  the store had a huge selection of nice quality knits, and i visited several times admiring their collection.  i traced another top (also striped), and altered the pattern a little to create this shirt.  i keep on forgetting that my shoulders are narrow, though, and made the neckline too wide.  seems to be becoming a habit of mine.  i'll just pretend that i meant the shirt to fall off one shoulder, all 80s-esque.  

i forecast that my next clothing obsession will be tiny floral prints (which is so unlike me).  what trends do you see in your current wardrobe? 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

strawberry mango mint iced tea smoothie

sometimes it's just too hot to eat real food.

the temperatures are cooling down here in the northeast, but i know a great deal of people out there are still being tormented by insufferable heat.  when it's exceptionally hot, i often opt for smoothies in place of solid food. a few weeks ago when we were in the throws of summer, i blended a strawberry mango mint iced tea smoothie.

you need: 

8 oz of frozen mangos and strawberries (because the fruit is frozen, it's not necessary to add ice)
3-4 oz silken tofu (excellent source of protein and makes the smoothie filling)
8 oz cold brewed green tea with mint (twinings makes cold brewed iced tea packets)
preferred sweetener, to taste (i didn't need any)

blend. blend.  BLEND.
cold. refreshing. filling. ahhhh.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

la provence macarons

it's been a great two weeks.  i've been on the road again, and then immediately afterward had friends visiting us from LA.  

and they brought us this!

a box full of GIANT macarons. i have never encountered macarons so large.    and yes, i ate some for breakfast.  go ahead, judge me.  i don't care.

these have a nice texture and flavor and aren't too sweet.    thank you so much, laura & tim! my taste buds applaud you. 

la provence patisserie & cafe
brentwood gardens
11677 san vicente blvd
los angeles, ca 90049


beverly hills plaza
8950 west olympics blvd.
beverly hills, ca 90211

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

chihuly exhibit

note to self: waiting until the second to last week to visit an exhibit before it closes is a bad idea.

second note to self:  waiting until the second to last week to visit an exhibit before it closes is a bad idea, especially when temperatures in the northeast have been 100+ and everyone in town is looking for indoor entertainment (with a/c).

this past weekend we decided to finally see the chihuly exhibit at the boston museum of fine arts.  we found ourselves in lines.  lots of lines. line to get into the parking lot.   line to get into the museum to buy tickets.  line to get a snack.  line to get into the actual chihuly exhibit.

but once we made it, we were pulled into the world of dale chihuly's through the looking glass exhibit.  his work was impressively grand and whimsical.  i have never seen glasswork quite like it.  

apparently inspiration for some of his pieces was drawn from a trip he took to finland in 1995 -- such as the piece above, called ikebana boat.  unfortunately, i did not bring my baby dslr.  but how amazing is that boat!?

a small part of one of his "chandeliers".  these hung high up on the ceiling and were many feet long.


how in the world they managed to move and reconstruct all these pieces without damaging them is beyond me.  the insurance on his work must be incredibly high.   

despite all the lining, it was a nice way to spend an uncomfortably hot afternoon.  how do you like to escape the heat?   

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the town of fiskars

crafters, gardeners, or even those that have a particular affection for scissors (and maybe knives) may be familiar with the brand fiskars.  they make a wide range of products for the aforementioned group, but probably few realize that not only is it a finnish company, it is also named after the town of fiskars in finland.  its' history reaches as far back as 1649, where the company began by manufacturing a variety of iron products.  since then, it has changed hands several times evolved considerably into the international company it is now.

today, fiskars is a cute little artisan town, with cafes, restaurants, and many shops featuring unique artisan products.   you can also visit several artisan workshops, such as a blacksmith and a glass blowing studio.   it is an easy day trip, only about an hour and a half drive from helsinki.   this was my third trip to the town, and it was a chilly, cloudy day- a nice respite from the sunny, semi-hot days we had been experiencing.   between and after lunch and a coffee break, we leisurely perused familiar shops, studios, and an art exhibit.

i have horns.

i bought a 5 euro book about fiskar's history, and learned some interesting information about their signature orange handled scissors.  apparently, the color was chosen quite by accident.  the company had recently produced another product and was left with an excess of orange pigment, which was then used as a prototype for the scissors.   later the color was put to a vote, and the orange color was here to stay.  
good choice, i think, since orange is my favorite color!  

do you use fiskars products?  did you know that it was named after a finnish town?
did you also know that the company nokia was named after the town of nokia?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

marimekko unikko skirt

i have a tendency to buy multiples of clothing and shoes i am particularly fond of.  after making my marimekko samovaari elastic waist skirt (which, btw, had a dye-wash mini disaster... a story for another day), i thought it'd be nice to have two.  i whipped up one using marimekko unikko fabric and black elastic before we left for our trip to finland.  it seems so fitting to flounce around town and the cottage (as pictured here) in such a nationally recognized fabric.  for those of you unfamiliar with this pattern, it has been in print in different color and size variations since the 50s.  

these photos were taken in the woods by the family cottage (in finland), and is a very typical scene in finnish nature. i am always particularly struck by the beauty of birch trees.  i think they may very well be my favorite type of tree. 

so tall and sleek! it's difficult to say whether the finnish countryside is most beautiful at the height of summer or in the dead of winter... although i'd choose the summer temperatures over the winter in a heartbeat.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

land of the midnight sun

there is something nearly magical about finnish summer.  the hours of daylight linger on and on, never quite fading in some parts of the country, even in the dead of the night.    here, i am standing at midnight, on the pier of the family cottage.   it is the perfect place for quiet introspection, for joyful reflections, or melancholy brooding.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

hoop handled handbag

my friend (thanks, anna!) sent me the link to this great tutorial: hoop handled handbag by delia creates.
she made one.  i made one.  you could make one too. i used one of the fabrics i bought in taiwan.  

and a peek at the inside. i sewed in a lot of pockets.
one can never have too many pockets.

i wouldn't ordinarily choose this style of fabric for a handbag, but it just seemed so fun and so right.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

craft room revealed

one of the challenges and annoyances i've discovered as a renter is dealing with furniture.  it's hard to find pieces that are versatile enough that will fit in the next space, and even worse, hard to keep furniture in good shape after it's been moved from apartment to apartment. inevitably, things get dinged up, and once nice looking chairs and tables start looking pretty grungy.   nearly all the furniture we actually brought to houston suffered cosmetically and/ or structurally.

because of this, i have been generally hesitant to purchase expensive or long-term furniture.  with this most recent cross-country move, we decided to sell about half of our furniture on craigslist, and put the money toward our joint craft/office room.  the goal was to create a completely white space (please humor me and pretend the walls you see are stark white and not cream- our landlord didn't want us to paint) that was inexpensive, functional, and minimalistic.


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