blue bowls for your kitchen?

hi, lovelies!

♥ earlier in the week i promised a giveaway, and here it is. yay! ♥

check out these super great stacking mixing bowls! i really really love them… they are hand thrown and the nicest shade of indigo. i got them out thrifting and they’re in nearly perfect condition and just wonderful! i’d be tempted to keep them myself if it weren’t for my obsession with pyrex.

here’s the deal: leave a comment on this post and i’ll do the same put-the-names-in-a-bowl thing i did last time, and one lucky person gets the bowls. easy as pie. the only requirement is that you need to tell me about something tacky or trashy that you like, because that sounds fun. (weekly world news? fruit roll-ups? jerry springer? etc. be loud and proud with your secret tackiness, folks, you know i’m right there with you!) i’ll be back to announce the winner next week!

the linen tablecloth in the photo is vintage & was gifted to me by a dear friend. the drawers in the background were made from reclaimed barn boards by another friend. maybe one of these days i’ll tell you about my kitchen, and what it was like before it was bright and happy, and all of the work it took to get there.

but for now, all i want to think about is bowls, and a weekend, and how excited i am to wrap these babies up and send them to one of you.

good luck! xo


small potatoes.

yesterday, we went out to the garden and pulled up what was left of the potatoes. as you can see, there was one big girl, and a bunch her of freakily tiny sisters. freakily tiny, but delicious, it turns out, when roasted with onions and rosemary. naturally, butter was involved. (come to think of it, if i didn’t involve butter so much, i would probably be quite the sylph.)

this little harvest here really made my day. it got my mind to thoughts of bigness and smallness and comparison and that led to a whole lot of inner metaphorical rambling which led only to laughing at myself for getting freakily caught up in metaphors about potatoes.

we ate them for dinner, and they were yummy, and that is all.



it’s here, the cloudy and the damp, so today i’m baking bread. soulemama’s recipe for whole wheat oat bread is easy-peasy and warms up the house and the belly. maybe i’ll bring in the zucchini and make some muffins, too. there are more tomatoes to deal with, too. and the beets need pickling, and the laundry is piling up, and the yard needs raking… like, last week.

all of these smaller projects are very good at distracting me from the bigger ones on my mind. but projects are not problems, i’m realizing as i write this. projects fill me up as well as bread does; there’s some cheerfulness in that. even on this cloudy day, there is progress to be made, and the promise of a slice of toast with lots and lots of salty butter at the end.

how do you transition into these darker, shorter, colder days, i’m wondering? how do you hang onto your cheerfulness as the leaves fall? i want to get better at it this year.

thanks for all of the love and laughs around yesterday’s post. i’ll definitely maybe let you know what happens. i think i hope i don’t end up on national tv. oh, but the big money, it would be nice.


because i love a little tacky.

i hope i’m not blowing my awesome cover by admitting this, but it’s true. every now and then, the tacky starts calling my name, and i do something shameworthy– like go sturgis or watch bachelor pad. last halloween, i dressed up as tammy faye baker. i’ve even been known to wear a lee press-on nail or ten, back in the day, on a day that wasn’t halloween.

so of course when i found out that wheel of fortune was holding tryouts at the coast, we headed out there before you can say “i’d like to buy a vowel.” i wasn’t the only person excited about it, let me tell you.

oh, it was too good! the giant wheelmobile! the tent where throngs of prospective contestants waited, hoping our names would be called for a chance to audition! the outfits! the fake pat sajak emcee with his phony jokes and hugs! the fake vanna with the high heels and the plastic smile!

and then, as luck or fate would have it, it actually happened. the fake pat called out my name, and i let out one of those cliché game-show-contestant hollers and ran up to the stage for my shot at big money (or, in this case, a wheel of fortune coffee cup). it was over fast, and i headed out of there feeling lucky, coffee cup in hand.

i won’t know until the spring if i’ll get called back for a final audition, but i’ll keep you posted, folks.

i hope you’re feeling lucky, too, because later this week i’m doing another giveaway, and it won’t be a tacky one.


indian summer tomato love.

last year my tomatoes never ripened, so i made three gallons of insanely-salty-but-very-delicious green tomato salsa. three gallons might sound like a lot, but i gave a bunch away at christmas, we ate our fair share on rice and in omelets, and my neighbor ty took care of the rest of it, down in that sweet belly of his. got any more of that stuff?, he’d holler out across the yard, waving a bag of tortilla chips. just this morning he stopped by to ask if i’d be making any this year. his face fell when he saw me standing there cranking red tomatoes through a mill.

unfortunately for him, the tomatoes are all ripening this year. and unfortunately for everybody, i can’t seem to find the recipe anyway. but where there are buckets of red tomatoes, a sauce must occur, yes?

as i write this, there’s the warm smell of simmering red yum happening. soon, the canning. that’s my favorite part… the canning and the watching, and the knowing that in january, tomato sauce pulled up from the basement will taste like a small miracle.

♥  i’ve also finally finished up and sent the garland giveaway package for nel; i threw in a few surprise treats, too! i had so much fun with it that i think i might do another giveaway pretty soon, maybe even next week, so keep your eyes open!  ♥

i’ve got a mile-long to-do list today, but it’s sunny and i’m feeling contentedly occupied. i hope you are contented, today, as well, with whatever is keeping you occupied. have a happy weekend, people.


california loot.

i wasn’t too impressed with the “thrift shops” i encountered in northern coastal california ($16 for a mason jar; $300 for that ratty quilt? i think not!). like i really need another quilt, anyway. 

(but then there was a rummage sale.)

oh well, where there is motivation there is also, often, a spot for it to land. for instance, you might happen into chatting with an elderly couple in a park, they might tell you there is a church rummage sale down the street & ask if you would come. they just might even invite you to lunch, once they realize how much you like old people and old things! (don’t worry, california, i couldn’t stay mad at you after that.)

here’s what i found (and all for under twenty bucks, not too shabby!):

vintage hunting jacket from the johnson woolen mills in vermont! it’s too big, but i’ll wear it anyway… it’s warm and reminds me of woodsmoke & home.

sweet old measuring cups (clearly they need a good polishing), and a nice sharp pair of sewing scissors.

antique mirror, so heavy i can barely lift it. in love.

also: an encyclopedia of stitchery! a vintage bank bag for rolled coins. and something else you won’t hear about till halloween.

have you any recent thrifting news you’d like to share? what kinds of things get your heart all fluttery?

hope your week’s been going along swimmingly.



every september, tens of thousands of tiny vaux’s swifts roost in a chimney here in portland. and every september, thousands and thousands of people go there to watch, and i am among them. we went last night, and i got misty-eyed like i do every year, and felt the same wonder i do every year, the same inner quiet. for an hour or so we sat there on a blanket with our picnic, looking up, not saying much of anything. because there’s really not much to say besides did you just see that? i wish you could all see it for yourselves. if you’re interested, check out this short film by portland filmmaker kevin freeny. and if you’re really interested, get in touch with me next september and i will take you with me, and when someone asks did you just see that?, you will nod quietly, and smile.


best ever.

i have mentioned this bag before, and with good reason: it’s the bomb-diggity. seriously people, if you have a sewing machine and if you go on trips on airplanes and don’t want to check your luggage, and if you would like to have a travel bag that is both functional and pretty, this one is for you. it is roomy and sturdy and comfortable to carry, and fits plenty enough for a long weekend trip, even a week if you’re a light packer.

certain projects get me very excited. sometimes, the excitement is about process and sometimes it’s about outcomes. this time it was both. i try to avoid patterns as much as possible, but sometimes they’re essential. after a lot of hunting, i found this one from studio cherie on etsy. it’s great; very clear & thorough instructions. i also learned a trick or two & a new way to approach zippers!

a few notes:

* i used home dec weight fabric for both the outside and the liner. if i made it again, i’d go with a muslin or calico liner (cheaper and easier to work with). since the bag is quilted, the extra weight of the double home dec made working the seams a bit tricky. (my machine is a workhorse, but i pushed its boundaries with this one.)

* most materials were purchased at bolt fabric boutique, where everything is beautiful all the time, and the people are awesome. the jute strapping came from the depot.

* although you could probably make this without a rotary cutter, i would not try it myself.

* expect to spend some time; it’s not the quickest sew and you really can’t cut corners (i would have if i could have).

* there was enough fabric left over to make a matching quilted toiletry bag. (be sure to pre-shrink!)

* having a helper is a nice bonus, too:

* this bag might even make you a friend or two while traveling, because the cool kids know that the wild-haired girl with the kooky duffel is more fun to talk to than the suit with the black rolling samsonite. it’s plain fact.

i don’t think i’d be overstating my position to say that this bag makes my life better, because that’s plain fact, too (thanks, cherie!). if you make one, you’ll have to let me know!

thanks for stopping by, xo

i wish i was still on it.

road trips are for dairy queen, rainbows, and lots of coffee, for napping at rest stops and a town named wonder. for skateparks and surprise-here-is-a-rummage-sale & other mysterious destinations. it seems they are also for geriatric chihuahuas on a motorcycle, for telling secrets inside hollow trees, for remembering one’s place in the vastness. for fog & ash & trail & elk & ocean, new connections and old friends. they are for a wedding by the sea, for town halls and samba bands and dancing and generations and stories and easy-fitting pieces in the puzzle of love. they’re for losing five bucks in casino penny slot machines. for white-knuckled rides through cliffs and canyons. for talking to strangers and the one you’re with. for playing pranks and pushing buttons and dress-up mustaches made of moss. (and learning you are allergic to moss. that too.) road trips are for buddy holly and the pixies and this american life.

it was short but very, very sweet.

i missed writing in this space. i’ll be around this week, telling you about the trials and tribulations of making the perfect travel bag, and showing you some junk i picked up in cali!



today we’re driving to northern california, to sleep under old-growth trees and walk on the beach and be with great friends getting hitched!

the weather has gotten autumnal, so i’m pulling out warm things. & a dress & a slip from the palace & leather boots & scarves.

(i made this travel bag in the spring, and it’s one of my favorite things!)

the downside of packing is that i get kind of frantic about it. all of my unfinished business starts rushing in, and i’m distracted by oh my god, i need to rearrange all of this furniture immediately! the garden has weeds in it! i forgot to sew the button on that shirt! do it now! faster, faster! 

am i the only one this happens to? all of that frantic seems very unnecessary.

oh well. tonight i’ll be sleeping out of doors, somewhere new and strange and maybe even wonderful. there might even be an instance of mischief, who knows.

i’ll be back in this space on monday to tell you all about it. have a happy weekend, folks!