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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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

so much sewing

The sound of the sewing machine is a constant in our house. These days, it's not just me! My daughter has FINALLY been bitten by the sewing bug. Foxes, kitties, pouches, bags, backpacks, owls… the list goes on. Every day there are several new projects completed. Above is the teeniest smattering of her prolific-ness. 

I've been teaching her friends to sew for years, while my daughter has reluctantly followed along. Her heart has never been in it,  she just wanted to make her friends happy. She's a good egg. But something happened last week in Stitch*Craft, and that girl may never be the same. She sees the potential in every piece of fabric, sliver of ribbon, awaiting button. Over the years, she's been tucking away mad stitching skills and neither of us even knew it. I'm trying to contain my excitement, in case her new passion is fleeting. But as you can imagine, this mama sewer is quite thrilled! I set up a space in the sunroom with her own machine, and she sits there for hours. She even had to sew her chair a little cushion… or butt pillow, as she calls it. Oh, to be ten again! I'm organizing my thoughts around a blog post on sewing with the 9-12 year olds. I've learned so much! 
Today we are heading to my mother's sewing studio at her barn. Grandma has just arrived and my girl has her first date on the machine that I learned to sew on… with my first sewing teacher. Oh- it's all so good!
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sew Green field trip

 This week's stitchers have all been with me for numerous summers. They each now have their own  machines and all are quite passionate about sewing. Taking our annual field trip to Sew Green was high on all of our priority lists.  I love how my eager young crew is always welcomed in with enthusiasm. They carry and wear in bags, purses, and clothing they've made in past years and are always so proud when asked about them. All of their purchases were tidily bundled in a fabric scrap- just tempting them to do a happy balancing act as we left, ready to grab our thread and get to work.
But wait! We forgot about the stuff a sack bins- we almost missed the opportunity for foraging for fabric treasures in odd sizes and assortments. So much fun! If you're ever in Ithaca you must visit  Sew Green.
 Sew Good!

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Monday, August 3, 2015


Last week was filled with lots of needles and thread, but my favorite part of camp was watching these girls weave with t-shirt scraps. I had been wanting to try a hula hoop rug project (spotted many of them on Pinterest) for such a long time. The original tutorial is impossible to access, so I used this one from my buddy Anne over at Flax and Twine. She used her son's finger knitting for a gorgeous result! However we stuck with recycled-'shirts cut into long strips for weaving and loops for creating the "spokes". 
 The cutting was their least favorite part, but they did love the leftover t-shirt parts… discarded hems morphed into necklaces, sleeves into kerchiefs and the upper torso became vests! By week's end I found myself helping to do lots of the strip cutting so they could get on with the weaving. 
The colors and patterns that they chose were such perfect representations of each of them. This was the ongoing work that they would come back to in between other projects, but I also would reserve a some time for just weaving to music. Jazz, piano solos or my daughter's Colbie Calliet pandora station were all in rotation depending on what mood I hoped to foster at any given moment.
They went home with the skills to complete their rugs, and I can't wait to show you at least that middle one, when my daughter is done. We need to make another trip this week to the thrift store. About a dozen t-shirts are needed for this project. So worth it too… look at how stunning they are already!
I plan on making one for myself, now! It's a great project to take to the lake. I even think it would make for wonderful work in the winter while watching movies or sitting by the fire… but let's not go there yet. August has only just begun!
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Cal is coming to town!

I have the most exciting new workshop to announce today! For the first time ever, Cal Patch and I are teaching a class TOGETHER! If you are free on August 29th- 30th you real need get yourself over here for a lovely weekend workshop filled with printing fabric and then sewing it into a new dress- right here in Ithaca at Craftstitute! Cal and I have been teaching at Squam together for many years… but never together! She's one of my favorite people in the world and a simply amazing teacher- this is bound to be an incredible workshop! We've been dreaming about doing something like this for a while, and then all of sudden the location and time fell into perfect alignment thanks to Craftstitute's Robin and Lisa and their excitement to get us together too.

You can read all about it at Craftstitute and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. Hope to see you in my neck of the woods soon!
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Friday, July 24, 2015

birds, trees and toast

The above "indigo" bunting was dyed and hand stitched by a 10 year old who had never sewn before, but had a burning desire to make a bird. Amazing right?! Thread and needle were not going to be part of the first week of camp, but everyone got the itch to work with their beautiful blue fabric. Next week the entire focus is sewing and a bit of weaving. I'm fired up and ready for teaching some brand new projects- like this nature weaving in a Y stick.
I'm also trying to figure out if there is any way we can use parts of the giant white pine that landed on our barn/garage earlier this week in a freak storm. It was quite traumatic, since my daughter and I were standing at the back door watching the rain pour down and the winds pick up when it came crashing down a few feet away. We were extremely lucky, and now are looking for ways to celebrate such a special tree that we looked at each day from our dining room window for the last 14 years. 
An hour after it fell, the sun had returned and the mail carrier drove up with my copy of Pixie Lighthorse's brand new book- Prayers of Honoring. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as there was a blessing called "Honoring the Forces of Nature" on page 33. Pixie's wisdom has been a guiding force in my life since the first day we met and it's wonderful to have a volume of her words to reach for when looking for meaning and ways to recognize important moments in life. 
 And now it's time to start the weekend with my current favorite meal- avocado toast. I love it for breakfast, lunch or dinner! I know it's the current urban trend, but there's a reason- perfect deliciousness! There are so many variations- but they all start with a good piece of bread and a ripe avo. This is actually gluten-free- but I am eating wheat again now and then.  I take a sliver of garlic and rub it over the warm toast. A little drizzle of olive oil comes next. Mash avocado directly onto toast and layer it with whatever's on hand. Heirloom tomatoes here, but the other day it was topped with shaved radishes, and goat cheese. Finish it up with coarse salt and fresh pepper.
Have a super weekend, friends!
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Monday, July 20, 2015

last week...

Rock*Paper*Scissors was a wonderful first session of Creativity Camp. We immersed ourselves in flowers, leaves, and even a feather or two. Blue was also the color theme- with sun prints and lots of indigo dyeing. Details to come, but right now I'm still lingering over my very sweet birthday weekend. Lots of pics to the right on instagram. Hope your week begins with clear skies, time for creativity and lots of great summer food!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

down by the lake

 We went collecting driftwood, stones and feathers yesterday. This point on our lake has been my sweet spot, my sacred place and my home away from home since moving to the east coast. It's where I've watched my kids grow up, and where I go to soothe the ache of not having the ocean close by. It's the source of many treasures- some that I can gather in a basket and others that happen internally when I get quiet and look out at the expanse and into the depths of an ancient glacier filled body of water. My daughter felt it too. In a different way than the splashing and frolicking that have been part of summer's past. We talked of dreams and deep things. We laughed and painted with lake water. It was the best kind of day.
"live life like a feather"- her words
Medicine was gathered by the shore. And next week we'll share it with other intuitive and strong girls in the first session of summer camp: rock*paper*scissors.
We'll share it with you too!

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