Friday, April 24, 2009

bright side

Since my last post, I've been struggling to get back here. By struggling, I mean that the week was full of those kinds of conversations where one might remind oneself that when these kinds of things happen, thank goodness it usually only comes in threes. We're all fine, but there is some serious challenge and growth going on in and around the Nest. Believe me, I'd much rather be sitting here in my happy wooly nest than grappling with all the messy bits life brought this week. But I will deal with it all and come out the other end better, I'm sure. But on the bright side...

When I'm dealing with life's messy bits, my handwork helps to bring my heart to a steady rhythm, allows my mind to dig around for answers, and just generally soothes my soul. A lot of projects have been finished this week - that's part of the bright side. A pair of Ysolda's tiny shoes (still waiting for buttons and their baby). The Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in the colorway Goody Goody is perfect if you're going for a pastel baby item. [I notice that Goody Goody is not offered right now, it was a Sock Club color. I think that Grimm's Willow-Wren or Easter Scramble are very similar to Goody Goody.] A cache coeur knit of the softest handspun merino; it will be like wrapping the baby in a lofty cloud! Our son's class teacher will become a grandmother in a couple of weeks, and I just love knitting for babies.

Preparing food is also soothing for me. The methodical preparation and focusing my attention on getting everything just so really gives me a place to get lost in for a time. If you're looking for a good carrot cake recipe, I highly recommend the carrot cake from The Silver Palate New Basics. I cut the sugar by 1/3 cup, and it's still perfectly, deliciously sweet. The recipe converts right into muffins too, which are great for lunch boxes and bake sales. Yum!

And, it never fails, that when I'm feeling mired down, I can get a boost from watching or listening to my kids. Hana finding joy in painting a garden or chatting with her dolls. Koji playing his guitar and singing along happily. And then the messy bits magically fall away, and the bright side shines through.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Here I am. Spring break is over, we had a wonderful and relaxing time in Cambridge (thanks, Izumi!). When we got home, some laid-back busy-ness ensued, projects saved for a few days off: basketball hoop!, raking, planting, baseball, soccer, a musical. All fun, but I get to the end of those kinds of days wondering, "Where did the day go?!" Today is a so-called regular day, school for the boy, playdate for the girl & mom, work for the dad. This kind of day provokes an ahhh response in my psyche, getting back into the groove. I like it.

Sorry, no photos today. All the aforementioned busy-ness did not allow much computer time for me, and the computer did not feel like playing anyway (the dreaded word "corrupted" hurt the computer's feelings ;-) I did take a few photos of vacation and have a couple of finished projects to share, so when I really settle into my groove I'll post those with some stories. Ahhh...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

snow day!

I love a snow day! We got one yesterday. It seems the schedule just opens itself. With my new practice of grabbing those moments of "do it now" a snow day can include impromtu cupcakes! YUM! Then of course comes the tea party and some dancing....

To think, I was going to spend the day finishing laundry and packing for a trip to Cambridge. The trip is exciting; we'll see my sister, cheer for the Red Sox, walk and walk and walk, ride the train, and enjoy the get-away. Not to mention the plane ride which I'm reminded can be a journey in itself! However, making getting ready fun is a bit of challenge in my mind. But, I think I'll go print out a packing list for the Cupcake Snatcher (see her fingers up there?), grab a cupcake myself, and get to work!

There was a time that the cupcake-making might have been confused with procrastinating (my abilities there are stellar), but I'm choosing to view them as a carpe diem incident instead! ;-)

I'll be back next week with photos of our trip. I'll miss you while I'm gone!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I made this huswif after seeing one first at t does wool. When I saw this needleroll, I thought that surely one day I would sew one, probably many, as it is just the type of object I adore. Innate beauty in its utility, imbued with care with each stitch, each fabric choice, each embellishment. I sewed it completely by hand, as Theresa gently suggests, and enjoyed every stitch.

The fabric are treasures each: cotton ticking for which I have an affinity I cannot explain, natural linen repurposed from a too-long hem, a jewel toned shot cotton stripe, some Etsuko Furuya echino, gifted cotton velvet, good old denim, a loosely woven navy w/a dot-stripe. All of the pieces I used were from the scraps box, too precious to be abandoned completely. The buttons were chosen on trips long before I knew where they would be used, but knew I would love them wherever they landed. Now I get to admire them each time I use the huswif. Waxed linen twine. Cotton thread. Lavendar. Wool. Repurposed cotton tape.

Then each part of the huswif is so purposeful. A pocket in which to keep small tools: beeswax, thimble, threads. A wool felt needle keep. A ribbon to hold precious scissors. A pincushion filled with wool + lavendar.

When I look at the huswif, it almost beckons me to make something!

When I finally made this, the process became a gift to myself. The time I allowed myself to gather the materials, decide on their respective positions, to carefully sew each stitch. I consciously took my time and did not rush to get to the end product. Even as I write this, I'm pouring over each detail, not wanting to leave anything out.

Theresa inspired this project and graciously allows me to speak of it here. Thank you, Theresa!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Lately, I've been practicing "getting with my gratitude." I admit, I need to remind myself frequently. Once it occurs to me, it's not hard because I am a fortunate being. I'm getting better; catching myself before complaining (or whining), turning the situation around in my thinking, looking for that silver lining.

The cotton washcloth is a gift for a young girl who sees the silver lining just by virtue of being a child, even though she could rightfully find a bone to pick with Fate. I'll wrap it with a bar of handmade (not by me) lavendar soap and a book.

I've also been pushing myself to act on ideas that have been lingering on the list of "somedays." Asking myself, "Why not today?" And that has brought about the moss terrarium below and the one I made for a friend. Looking at it makes me smile and sends my imagination off into that forest of tiny-ness. Soil from my garden, moss from here & there in the yard... why did I put that off?!

It's not the clearest photo, but this post is not just about the pictures.

Here's to doing the To Do List and smiling about it!