28 May 2010

tiaras are for every day


i think everyone should wear a crown or tiara, all the time. sure they might attract dirt when working in the garden, get messy in a food fight, or crushed beneath your motorcycle helmet. really though, i'm sure you could figure out a way to solve those problems.

seriously! why wait for a special occasion to plop a tiara or crown on your head? children certainly don't feel they ought. do you have a royal headpiece sitting in a closet or drawer? if you answered yes, go get it, & put it on. i'll wait...

above are the latest tiaras for theshop - made from vintage samples, & fancied with vintage sequins. that sparkley rickrack on the center tiara came from my mother's stash of vintage bits & bobs.

this gold damask tiara was inspired by a friend. she showed me to see my creations in new & exciting ways. can't you just see this on a beautiful little flower girl, as she walks down the aisle?

perhaps at a same-sex wedding? i love that ethereal rainbow ribbon.
no more time for show-&-tell; the wee elfling stirs.

26 May 2010

which side?


elfling is 9 months old, & still i forget which breast he last nursed. friends suggested i wear a hairband on my wrist, switching it to the other wrist each time i nursed. this didn't work for me as i often would use it to tie back my hair. it did give me an idea though.

i tinkered with a tiny hairband, grosgrain, & various notions. i liked the concept, but had yet to come up with a bracelet i liked enough to wear. that changed when going through the vintage lace & trim in my mother's studio.

using some of her lace, i made a sweet little bracelet. i've worn it for 2 weeks now, & love it! it's pretty, soft, comfortable, & holds up to all the off-on-off-on action.

what you see in that photo up there are the first 4 created for theshop! woohoo, indeed. the 2 lacey ones are identical to mine. you know, in case you want to be my twin ;)

for now all the bracelets shall be backed with ivory grosgrain. it's what i have. if these sell well, then i'll buy black & brown ribbon.

well that's all for today. i've got a sleeping bébé on my lap, & a book waiting to be read. talk to you soon. until then, have a lovely day.


20 May 2010

thursday things - owls

photo :: property of polarbearcreations

this week i have owls on the brain. if you search "naturalkids owl" on etsy, you'll see more owls like the one above. i think they're all amazing, but this guy is my favorite.

here are a few owly (real word) links for you.

* buy some owl pellet kits to dissect. thehobbit loved this activity. if your kids are a bit squeamish, or you just don't want to buy owl puke, try the virtual owl pellet.

* the owl pages is packed with owl information for your budding orinthologist.

* what wiki has to say.

* learn to draw everyones favorite owl, hedwig.

* if you missed my birthday back in february, this is my size.

* wow, i had these bookplates when i was little!

that's all the time i have to chat today; my own little owl just woke from his nap. have a great day! hoot! hoot!


19 May 2010

journeys in, & with a tin


before i went to oregon, i asked them to wait on going through my mother's things. i wanted to help sort through it all, touch what was hers, find my way in this new version of my life. i also wanted to make sure that i brought back the things i most wanted.

once there, however, i was extremely overwhelmed. not only by the emotion tangled with the task i'd set for myself, but by the sheer volume of things. my mother wasn't technically a hoarder, but she sure did have a lot. what's more, lot consisted of things i love: books, antiques, sewing & craft supplies.

at first i followed my brother around, looking through the things he'd set aside, or wanted to show me. soon though i wandered, on my own, into my mother's studio. i just stood there, staring at everything, thinking wow. how was i going to do this? how in the hell was i going to go through her things, choose what i wanted, then walk away from it all? from her? forever?

silent tears poured down my face, as i faced the over-stuffed sewing room. just as i was about to fall to pieces, i saw it. the tin. the one you see in the photo up there. her tin. i cannot recall a time in my life where that wasn't in her studio, filled with all sorts of interesting bits & bobs. i saw it & the world around me melted into silence; the kind you see in movies. i knew in that moment that i had to have the tin. i also knew i could do this.

in the days that followed we sorted through their home. my father, brother, sister-in-law & i went through my mother's belongings, looked at old photos, shared memories, laughed, & cried. it was harder than i could have ever imagined, but we did it. we began the long journey of saying good-bye.

in the end i chose to limit what i took for my own: some jewelry, photos, books, odds & ends, & that tin.

that's a photo of the tin's interior. my mother & i were very different people; quite often we did not get along because of this. what you see in that tin is a bit of what did connect us - the things that make a person swoon. in my family, i am now alone. there is nobody left who loves the things i love. who understands the pull of old things, the passion for creating, nor the driving need to write it all down.

in the days leading up to my mother's passing, i imagined all the things that would change. what i didn't realize was that everything changes. how i see things, what i think, who i am in the world! all of it changed the moment she took her last breath.

funny, isn't it? how much can be found
in a battered, old tin?


16 May 2010

into the wilds


this was as far into thefarm as i could get. the weeds became too tall & thick to walk through. & dangerous! do you see that plant on the right? i have no idea what it is, but it is covered in thorns!

before you oooh & ahhh at the the lush lilac trees, i must tell you: they are not lilacs. i know! i made the same mistake when we first moved in. they are, in fact, extremely aggressive, horridly nasty plants that we were told came from australia.

they too have nasty thorns, & they spread rapidly beneath the ground. because they come from an arid region, they thrive on my foggy little hill. did we not pull them constantly, they would turn into the gigantic trees you see in the photo.

those belong to our neighbors, fortunately. we do have a mini forest of our own in need of hacking down, but not nearly as tall as those. i think our tallest nasty plant is 8ft, whilst theirs top 15.

i took the photo to show how insanely overgrown things are back there. i was actually standing in a veggie bed when i took it. the longer i stood there, the more my heart ached. they do give the illusion of lilacs. my mother loved her lilacs. they were in full bloom the week we were at their home. how sad she was not there to see.

will i think about those lilacs each time i see the forest of nasties? i'm not sure how i feel about that. i'm not sure how i feel about a great many things these days. my mind is a wild tangle of thoughts & emotions, much like the plants in the photo.

this is all so much harder than than i thought it would be.


15 May 2010

through a train's window


just up the coast from thebelfry
look at those wildflowers

central california

northern california

she'll be comin' round the mountain...


waking in mount shasta

finally in oregon!

did we go through a wardrobe?



12 May 2010

a new career?


it was not easy, but i made it in! not only did i make it; unscathed; into the farm, i managed to get close enough to the beds to cut an artichoke! & oh what a choke! isn’t she a beauty?

perhaps i’m in the wrong business. should i close theshop, & start an artichoke farm? i mean, look at what gorgeous work i don’t do. i am excellent at artichoke neglect. the proof is in the photos, people.

now i need to decide how to prepare my harvest of one. you all left such delicious ideas - thank you. i was especially intrigued by the story about serving artichokes to the nazi soldiers. my first thoughts were no! they are evil! don’t give them your beautiful artichokes! then i imagined them chewing the leaves, and swallowing the choke - ha! little victories, eh?

so when i was in the farm; beneath the giant leaves of the artichoke plant; i saw some leeks & fennel growing. they must have been from plants that went to seed last season. i love when that happens. have you tried brushing leeks with olive oil, & putting them on the grill? mmm.

i would love to know: what is growing in your garden right now?

08 May 2010

it's an arti party!!


i have discovered that artichokes adore being neglected. nowhere in any of my gardening books did it say that one should have a bébé, then become a useless, good-for-nothing, farm-abandoner.

sure, occasionally thehobbit would water thefarm for me, but i imagine he spent more time spraying the garage wall, on jet mode, than actually watering the beds.

once word of my discovery gets around, fame & riches shall be mine at last. long overdue, if you ask me.

hey look what i found on google: click me. we passed a giant field of artichokes on the train, but i was too busy drooling to take a photo.
let's share our favorite way to eat artichokes. i'll start: steamed, and dipped in garlic butter.

06 May 2010

there's no place like home


photo :: constant companions on my trip

i have much to tell you, & many photos to share. too sleepy today though. instead, here are a few places kitb has been spotted of late:
see you all soon :)
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