29 March 2008

vienna waits long enough for the coffee to brew

roasted apple strudel from The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl

This recipe alone is worth the price of the book, but we love everything I've made from it. I think collective wisdom comprehensive cookbooks are the best (like The Silver Spoon) and this one is probably my very favorite.

the dough stretched paper thin
ready to bake
just out of the oven

28 March 2008

true to life

a magnadoodleTM family portrait by my mom

Time to take Elio for a haircut.

24 March 2008

dragon's egg

a treasure-loaded, needle felted prize

I had an 11th hour inspiration about what to put into the Easter pinata for Elio. I took a fistful of purple roving and tucked a polished rose quartz into it and poked away with a felting needle. It really is that easy. You shape your object as you go. The only challenge was to keep the position of the quartz in mind so I didn't knock it too much with the needle. When it was nearly done, I wrapped wisps of greenish yellow roving around the egg and poked those to attach them in a spiral pattern. Elio got to snip the egg and pull out the quartz.

22 March 2008

eureka and hallelujah

What to do with shoe dye spray when you neglected to read the warning that the product is not for use on nubuck leather.

Fringe flowers from a paper-source kit. I added paper cut from a catalog to the one with a yellow center--I think I'll do more of those and use newspaper and old shopping lists and notes. Happy Easter!

15 March 2008


a patchwork tablecloth

Elio had his wooden figures lined up on the sill in what struck me as a Burghers of Calais arrangement. I felt compelled to put out a safety net. This one is inspired by the tablecloth pattern in Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. I wanted to work with remnants on hand, so I pieced it log cabin style rather than in strips and made bias tape to bind the edges instead of using rickrack with a folded hem. And now this will be folded away for Thanksgiving.

14 March 2008


a linen and cotton bag with leather straps

This is the simple drawstring bag with leather straps from Amy Butler's In Stitches. I modified the pattern slightly since I didn't want to use the exterior fabric for the lining. Bookbinding tools and methods came in handy for sewing the strap together. I used an awl to punch three holes in the overlapping ends of the straps. I went through the holes in one direction with a running stitch and then through each hole individually and around the sides of the straps with a figure eight.

13 March 2008


the hat Bruno made in handwork class at school

10 March 2008


a nice, big bag

This is the all-day tote from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing. The main exterior fabric looks like the bark of the redbud tree in front of our house when it's raining.

07 March 2008


a crocheted around marble

Because it was there (while I was waiting for water to boil for tea).

06 March 2008


Lisa Phillips Photography

A friend and fellow parent is taking candids and portraits in the Philadelphia area. Here's one I love that she took of my boys when we were helping out at our school.

05 March 2008


three crocheted motifs

01 March 2008


a bookmark

Cotton lace thread and a size 8 hook...a tiny granny square connected to a wee medallion and weighted with two beads. I was inspired by a crocheted wool medallion on a long chain Mrs. Lear made to wrap a gift she sent me. Artist Laura Normandin's crochet posts are inspiring me to see what I can do with a size 14 hook and tatting thread. That's a fake fur-bound copy of Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown and Garth Williams the bookmark is tucked into.

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