Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lanes Cove

This is the cove near my house. Isn't it beautiful? We can see it from our second floor windows. When you are out there, you hear nothing, but the ocean's waves crashing against the rocks. It's so relaxing and peaceful. It's a great place to go for a picnic in the summer and, if you can brave the cold water, to go for a swim. But I like to just go and listen to the waves.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Furniture shopping

We went furniture shopping on Saturday. We finally found a couch we love. We moved into our home last August and still don’t have a couch because we hated all the ones we saw. But this one…this one is beautiful! We also got a tufted chair that will be upholstered in gray leather. I can’t wait!! Our library will look beautiful painted in warm grays, with a gray leather chair and sea-colored couch. Our place is coming along!

Monday, January 28, 2008

House plants

I have always loved house plants. I’ve always had at least one, if not two, but never more than that. Our apartment has always felt too small for any more, so I’ve always limited myself to two. When we bought our house, however, the previous owner had a serious green thumb. She had dozens of plants of all shapes and sizes. Plants I had never seen before, even, and she asked me if I wanted to keep them. They were moving from Massachusetts to Oregon, so it was impossible for her to take them. I said yes, of course, because they were just so beautiful! Here are a few photos of some of the ones she left me. This little guy is at work right now keeping me company.
The obligatory spider plant and this beautiful begonia.
Cacti for good measure.
I don't know how she could've parted with these beauties!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Small favor to ask

Life is full of unexpected interruptions. But we try our best to move past these events and do the things that are required of us. There are a lot of people out there, however, who feel that their needs are the only thing that matters. That as long as their demands are met, no interruptions or difficulties in another person’s life matter. It leaves people feeling as if they went out of their way to make things happen, only to be slapped in the face at the end of it all and asked why they didn’t have it done sooner, knowing full well it wouldn’t have been possible. I ask that you not be one of those people. Say thank you when someone does something for you and be understanding of the circumstances under which the person was working, because without people like that, the world is a very ugly place.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Amy Butler pillow

I was off last Monday for the holiday and had a fantastic day. I spent the entire day crafting. Is there anything better? I really don't think so. I ate fruit and green tea midmorning in the peace and quiet of my home on a Monday. Deep breath.....AAAAAHHHH. It was heaven.
I've been meaning to make some nice pillow covers for the pillows in the living room, so I started sifting through all my fabric to make one. I found this gorgeous Amy Butler fabric I bought a while back and decided to recover an old Ikea pillow with it. Here's the end result:
I gave the pillow these cute pearly buttons as well, which go perfectly with the fabric.
I was very happy with the result. Sewing is not easy for me, so this was a true accomplishment! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wedding Album

My friends recently got married in Monterrey, Mexico. Unfortunately, I had just started a new job and didn't have the vacation time saved up to go, which was a total bummer. From the pictures, I can tell we missed a great party!! :(
Anyway, this past weekend, I made them a photo album. It looks like a little tuxedo because it's this gorgeous silky black bookcloth with white on white floral paper inside.
It's horizontal, as opposed to vertical, which I prefer. They seem to have more room for pictures. I packed it up last night for them and shipped it out. I hope they like it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Treat for the neighbors

I found these recipes online for different types of cocoas in a jar. I thought it would be a great idea to make some up for the neighbors as a New Year's treat. We chose the mocha hot cocoa and they turned out so pretty. Kurt whipped up (literally! in like 5 minutes - the man is insane when it comes to designing something!) these awesome two-sided tags for them that fold and fit perfectly under the lid ring. The other side says "Happy New Year from Kurt and Jenny! Thanks for welcoming us into town." Cute, huh?We never actually tried the mixes ourselves, we just kind of chose one that sounded good, so our neighbors will either love us or hate us for them! :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pizza night

We listened to the football game last night (can't believe the Packers LOST!) and made homemade pizzas. We used my dad's special crust recipe which yields a nice crust, not cracker thin, but just the right thickness. We laid down a thin layer of corn meal under the dough to give it a nice, crunchy texture. (Another of my dad's tricks)We brushed a little olive oil over the top for extra goodness. :)

We topped it with spicy pepperoni, fresh basil leaves, broccoli rabe* (see note at the bottom of the page), veggie cheese, and homemade pizza sauce.Whenever we want to make something with cheese, we choose this brand of veggie cheese. I'm lactose intolerant (you probably didn't need to know that) and we've tried a lot of fake cheeses. This one tastes the best and melts. None of that yellow tofu stuff. Yuk!
We baked the pizza at 350 for 25 minutes and VOILA!
* Note: We didn't have broccoli in the house, which I love on pizza, so I substituted broccoli rabe. Broccoli rabe, however, is very bitter and a bit tougher than broccoli. It overpowered even the spicy pepperoni and I ended up picking it out. :( So, if you make homemade pizza, skip the broccoli rabe!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Double Dragonfly

An Etsy customer of mine requested that I make him a double thick journal so that it would last a bit longer than the ones of average thickness. This is what I came up with:
It’s red Italian linen with a marbly orange, red, and gold endpaper. The text paper is a soft cream color which goes nicely with the warm tones of the endpaper.

I made it doubly thick, as promised, and added two black dragonflies to the front cover. I doubled the thread, using a yellow and white thread to make the binding more interesting.

I’m really happy with the way it turned out. Custom orders are always so much fun. They force you out of your routine and that can be very inspiring.

I hope you like it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Snow storm

This is the view from my kitchen window. As you can see, we had a snow storm yesterday. The first of the year. I don’t think people were expecting it to be as bad as it was, so although schools were closed, most offices were open at the regular hour. I called my work’s snow line in the hopes that the office would open at least a couple hours later, only to hear “good morning, it’s January 14th and the office will be opening at the regular hour.” BUMMER. I left my house at 7:15am, to get to the train station. I expected to be at work at about 8:45am.
I got to work at 12:15pm!!!!!
Let me explain what happened: First, the roads in my village had not been plowed yet so our little Civic was having a hard time making it up those hills with all that snow. Needless to say, I missed the train. I took the next one, an hour later, only to go three stops before we encountered a tree trunk laying across the tracks. Three rail workers went out to try to move the trunk, but it was way too heavy. The train then had to go in reverse, back into the previous station to let us off so we could wait for the next train, which was an hour later. By this point it was 10am. I thought about having my husband come pick
me up and just calling in to work, but I had an important meeting I didn’t want to miss later that afternoon. We waited for the next train and when it got there, it used a different set of tracks, which were clear of the trunk. (We saw the tree trunk as we passed by and men with chainsaws breaking it up into manageable pieces) The train, which usually takes about an hour to get to my work, took two yesterday because of the icy conditions and I didn’t get to work until 12:15pm. That’s 5 hours of traveling! Incredible. Could’ve flown to California in that amount of time!
I get to work, check my email, and the meeting I was so determined to make had been canceled.
Some days it’s just not worth getting out of bed.

But look at how beautiful the trees look all heavy with snow!

Monday, January 14, 2008


So much happened since July of 2007 that I went from writing a blog post everyday to writing not one. In the interim, however, I did move from Haverhill, Massachusetts, to Gloucester, where we bought a house. We did a bit of decorating, mainly removed the carpet by hand (ouch), had the floors refinished, had the house cleaned of all the dust, unpacked, had friends over for our first weekend in the house, had family over for Thanksgiving, went to Wisconsin for Christmas, and had friends over for New Years. Phew! I get tired just thinking of it!

But here we are. 2008. And to be frank, it's not starting out so hot. There are challenges I wasn't expecting, which have proved to be quite...trying. Nevertheless, I’ve got lots planned for 2008. I have a long list of projects I want to do for our new house (curtains, floor cushions, rugs) and some exciting plans for the website and shop (new books, textiles, totes and bags). I’m very excited to get started, although finding the time with a full time job, a part time job, and an hour and a half commute each way is…difficult, to say the least!

For Christmas, I got some great books from my family. I got the new Amy Butler book from my parents-in-law and it’s beautiful! There are a few instructions for how to make some of the projects, but not as many as I’d hoped. I guess I assumed it would include more project instructions than it actually does. But that’s okay. It’s still beautiful to look at and very inspiring.
My brother-in-law and his lovely girlfriend, Heather, got me the Amy Butler sew it kit which is nothing but instructions! It’s WONDERFUL and totally makes up for the lack of instructions in the other one. I will probably use them both together, one for inspiration and the other for project instructions.
My family also exchanges names every year and we all have to make that person a handmade gift. I drew my sister-in-law’s name last year and I made her a felt envelope clutch. It’s turquoise felt inside and brown felt outside with a pearly white button that has a black bird on it. Around the button, I felted three hot pink dots that add a burst of color to the bag. I of course forgot to take a picture of it before giving it to her, but hopefully my sister-in-law will take one and send it to me so you can see it.

I promise to keep in touch now that we're settled in to our house. Happy New Year!