Thursday, January 31, 2013

Next Open Studio Sale

Come One! Come All!
I'm hosting my next Open Studio Sale
~ Sunday February 10, 2-5pm ~

I also made a website devoted to this project, which I'm calling gathered.
I thought the name invoked images of collections, get-togethers, and foraging in the woods...  Explore the website here.

I made this pocket with takeaway flyers to put on the bulletin board at work. Pretty cute, yes?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Get out of town!

Drew and I got to take a whirlwind trip together (sort of) last weekend up to Pennsylvania to visit some of our favorite friends, Matt and Zoë. The trip was based around Drew seeing three hardcore shows in three nights in three different cities. I was his valiant protector in the mosh pit for the first show in Baltimore (except in reality, being the shortest person in the pit, I was the logical stepladder/launch pad for the stage divers). Matt excitedly partnered up with Drew for the next two shows in Brooklyn and Philly, respectively. I got to stay behind with Zoë and Laika and go for long walks, drink a lot of wine, and make/eat a lot of food!

Look how hardcore I am!

Zoë made The Most Scrumptious Sour Cherry Pancakes I've Ever Had one morning.

Walking along her well-blazed trails...

Our second walk featured a surprise cameo by a larger-than-life Native American man emerging from a tree stump.

Zoë shared some of her chamomile and chocolate plant for us to take home to put in our garden.

Laika was very helpful during Craft Time.

We saved the sweet potato gnocci!

I must get this book. The original Winnie-the-Pooh story. It was the most warm and comforting thing I've ever read at bedtime.

Matt and Drew made it home in one piece (though my car is now one hubcap shy). Our hosts made us one last breakfast before we sadly hit the road back home.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Farm School

I've started a six-week long volunteer teaching position at the local Montessori school- people around here refer to it as the Farm School. It's 7th & 8th graders, and I've got about seven kids in my class. Every six weeks the students get a new option for their Creative Expressions class-- this particular time slot with me it's beading!

Two of the school's four sheep. They also have two pigs, a cat, and a flock of chickens. All the students share in the "chores."

This week we started bead embroidery-- they each chose a photo to embellish. I was nervous at first, but these youngsters are great; they're funny, learn quickly, have endless energy, but most of all they are really good at just being kids. I'm kind of sad for the day they finish Montessori and have to move on to a regular public or private school. It will be so different for them.

On another similar note, this is what I saw as I was leaving my meditation group leader's home on Sunday. Babies!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I always get an itch to make changes this time of year

Changing our 1970s (and not in a cool way) ceiling light fixture has been a dream of mine since we first moved in. I got this idea that I still wanted a pendant light suspended there, but it needed some serious updating...

And did I mention there were cracks in almost every pane of the glass? Who knows what this poor, ugly light had been through before we came along.

I knew our neighborhood Swedish housewares supply company that will remain anonymous must have the base pendant fixture I needed to personalize my ceiling. But nooooo, all they had were plug-in pendant fixtures! I may be handy, but I don't know how to convert a hard-wired setup into a plug-in one. Here's how my conversation with the store employee went, no exaggeration:

Me: Excuse me, are you helping someone right now?
Her: What?! Geez! I just got off my break! Yes I'm helping someone!
Me: OK.
Her: I'll be with you in a minute... (walks away)
Me: (Gaping at my friend Alyson, I wait. Then I see her walking away following another customer.) Um, excuse me, can I ask you a question?
Her: Oh, crap! I forgot about you. What do you want?
Me: Um, uh, I was wondering if you had--
Her: No, we don't.
Me: (Holding up a plug-in pendant fixture) But I was looking for a pendant--
Her: No, we don't carry it.
Me: But I haven't even asked my question yet!
Her: What?
Me: I was looking for a pendant fixture like this but one that's hard-wired.
Her: No, we don't carry it.

So I found what I needed at Lowe's. And I had this vintage lampshade in our basement that used to belong to my friend Pam. I've always wanted to do something with it, and now, ta-da!

Sooo much better. And now I know how to change a hard-wired light! I feel so empowered. Now all I want to do is update the mantle, paint the walls, find a bigger rug, maybe another plant...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A ton of photos of some wintry days...

One of many, many, many (no exaggeration) gifts I made this season. Woohoo!

My sister and I baked up a storm-- this is a double batch of my grandma's famous Date Bars. We made them with all-organic ingredients this year with scrumptious results.

On our way to Drew's family beach house in Rhode Island, we stopped at a stop sign just in time for this house to turn on all the lights. They must have known we were coming.

Westerly beaches, Rhode Island. 

Drew's Aunt Marcia at the Mystic Aquarium with her second-favorite animal: the Beluga Whale.

The entire Speziale clan hanging out at the local Pawcatuck coffee house.

The entire Mosch clan hanging out at the Pennsylvania-Dutch-inspired Country Cupboard.

The following photos are a succession of our drive through a progressively worsening torrential blizzard:

I love the holidays!