Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Nothing like a deadline to bring out the procrastinator in me. I was ironing T-Shirts, bundling wash cloths, tagging items and jotting down an inventory list this morning at 6:30am. For no other reason than the fact that I haven't been managing my time well over the last few days. The good news is that I got it all done before I had to go to work. I had a four o'clock appointment to go down to
Sisters We Three in Newburyport and drop off new tutus and some additional inventory for the shop. Of course it's still raining here and many of the nearby rivers crested this afternoon, leaving lots of roads flooded. Which causes school busses to run late, which in turn leaves me running out of school and putting pedal to the metal to get to the shop on time. I hate running late and all the anxiety that it brings with it.

But when I arrived breathless, I was greeted by smiles and welcomes and immediately calmed down. After chatting with the ladies and showing them the goodies that I brought in,
I had a chance to see my work on display. And it was really exciting. Everything looked so bright and cheerful; it all made me smile. One of the shop owners had placed my mini pins in
mini flower pots, which I thought looked so darling and appreciated that someone other than myself had put care into my work! It was really quite sweet.

After finishing up the paperwork and saying goodbye, I decided to treat myself to some yarn shopping before heading back north. I used my trusty iPhone to google "Newburyport, knitting" and was directed to this great little shop called A Loom With A View. As I walked to my car, there was a terrible rumbling that brought many shop keepers out onto the sidewalks. We all looked up and saw three, very low flying helicopters and quickly realized that they were carrying President Obama to Maine where he is scheduled to give a speech. A minute or two later, a forth helicopter flew overhead, just to confirm that it really was Marine One. You might think that I had the common sense to get my camera out and take a photo, but you'd be wrong.

Anyway, back to the yarn store. I knew it was going to be a good one before I even walked in. It just had that feeling about it. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Walls of yarn, lovely handknit items, books, needles, and an entire second room filled with looms of all sizes. They were gorgeous!! I had the opportunity to chat with three women, including the owner while I was there. It started as idle chit-chat about the weather (because that is the topic up here in New England) and then it moved on to why I was in town. When I told them about the shop, they had the kindest words to say about how proud I should be. It was exactly the confirmation that I needed at that time. Because sometimes good news is hard to take and easy to talk yourself out of. Hearing those words from a stranger reminded me how grateful and proud I really am.

Now I am back home and feeling relieved to have the weight of a deadline off my shoulders. I think some reality tv and knitting is in order for the evening ahead.

Monday, March 29, 2010


For me, this all started as a hobby. Somewhere between college and real life, I picked up two knitting needles and taught myself how to knit. Along the way, I have explored and experienced other forms of crafting and creating, but knitting has always remained my main squeeze. What I love about this world of craft is that there are no rules and no expectations. I am a solo knitter/crafter, thus I never have to share my failures with others, leaving people unable to place any expectations on my skill. At some point, I got it together enough to create hand-made gifts for friends and family. This was a minor risk, but one I felt that I could manage. It took me a while to get in to the rhythm of crafting for others. Meaning, Christmas Eve was not a good time to realize that I needed to knit up a scarf as a gift for a cherished friend. Basically, I got organized enough to plan ahead-which, with knitting, is no small feat.

With an etsy shop and now with selling out of a real store, the expectations have changed. The biggest one that I am struggling against, is the expectation of recreating inventory. This weekend, I needed to create a bunch of inventory for Three Sisters to have on-hand for when they (fingers crossed) run out of a product. No biggie, right? Just sit down and get it done. Well, how un-inspiring is that?! It felt like homework. Like a chore. And it took a lot for me to muster up the attention and interest that was required make all of these things. In addition, as I checked each task off my to-do list, I didn't feel the slightest bit satisfied. Not the satisfaction that I usually glean from creating something.

Perhaps I am just turning a page in this little craft journey that I am on. Has anyone else ever felt this way? I imagine when I drop the inventory off in Newburyport, I will feel proud and more than satisfied. I also imagine that this all just takes a little getting used to. And as I get better at managing my time, I will discover ways in which to create new things while still producing the old.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I have to tell you something. It's not a secret, but I feel that if we are going to continue to see each other like this, you should know. I am not a sweater knitter. For years, I was embarrassed about this and then I discovered
Grumperina. She is a really talented knitter and she is not a sweater knitter either! It was through her blogging about that I realized that not knitting sweaters does not make me any less of a knitter.

A few years ago, the mother of a treasured student gave me the gift of a perpetual calendar of stitches. She (the mother) is an amazing knitter. She would turn out these gorgeous sweaters for herself and her daughter that I would drool over. Especially knowing that I would never achieve such work. And I swear, she would finish them in mere hours. Not days, not weeks, not months, not years, HOURS. But, back to the book. This book has come through for me on many occassions! I grab it off the shelf any time I am thinking of starting a new project or I get bored with simple knit and purl. Part of why I am not a sweater knitter is because I am not a fan of following a pattern. With this book, I can make a visually based choice and build a "pattern" off of that. Everybody wins. Friends and family get new scarves, wash cloths, hats, and mittens. And I save myself the frustration that I encountered over the winter. After finding some gorgeous yarn up in Concord, I found an A-symetrical sweater pattern that I was smitten with. It was worked top-down, in one piece and I busily knitted away for many nights. Once I got 3/4 of the way down, I decided to try it on. I knew it wasn't going to fit. But knowing and accepting are two very different things. So, after accepting that this sweater wasn't meant for me, I decided that it would be a perfect gift for a mama that I know. She is tiny- of course this great sweater would fit her! NOPE! But, don't despair. I have big plans for this amazing yarn. I will be knitting a number of chunky neck warmers over the summer to sell in both shops!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Time to make the

(you should know that I had a whole other blog post planned and then I made these donuts, and need to know about them.)

Somewhere along the way, I ran across a mention of making donuts out of biscuit dough. Now, I have a feeling that I am late to the party, but this sounded like an amazing idea to me. Perhaps that was because I had a value pack of biscuit dough in my fridge. So this
evening, after dinner I decided to give it a whirl.
I googled "biscuit donuts" and came a cross a recipe from Ms. Paula Deen. It felt right. I mean, if anyone should be creating a donut recipe, Paula Deen seemed like the right choice. Nothing against the other Food Network chefs, but I would exactly trust Giada with a donut recipe.

This recipe could not have been easier. Oil, biscuits, and all the fixin's to make a glaze. I popped holes into the center of the biscuits, dropped them into the hot oil and watched magic happen before my eyes. Raw biscuits with holes in the middle are not exactly a pretty sight. But, you pop them into hot oil and they puff up and turn a golden brown. After they are cooked, you put them on a rack to drain off the oil, dip them in the glaze and try to stop yourselffrom eating them all in one sitting. can do the
same with the centers! Little donut holes that you sprinkle with brown and white sugar. Yummers!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Did you know...

...that March is National Craft month?! I have come to realize that each month has about fifty-hundred different celebrations these days. (evidently March is also National Frozen Food month, that one might be fun to celebrate too!) I thought that you might enjoy visiting some of the great crafting blogs that I keep up with on a regular basis. These blogs have great ideas, good tutorials, and well designed websites. Check them out and let me know which project you will be doing this month.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Exciting News....

A few weeks ago via my etsy account, I received an email from a woman who expressed interest in selling my goods at her shop in Newburyport, MA. I, of course, was elated by this email, but quickly checked myself because of the many stories you hear about people who have screwed or taken advantage of. So, I did a little research on-line and discovered that I was being invited by a completely legit shop who had good press. Sisters We Three opened last April and sells only handmade goods and many of their artisans are local. In the midst of coordinating a showing with one of the three sisters, I made a covert trip to Newburyport to check out the shop in person. It is located on the corner of Pleasant Street and was really lovely. It was filled with an amazing range of goods. It was hard not to audibly 'oohhh' and 'ahh'!
During this time, I was also busy at home crafting and creating. For etsy, I typically make one or two of one object. I knew that I would need at least five examples of each piece that I presented. Well, that posed a hurdle for me. Knitting is not exactly a fast craft. I decided to limit myself to the cotton wash cloths in terms of new materials. Thankfully hats and scarves are off season! In addition, I wanted to bring my fabric flower hair pins, mini pins, baby barrettes, and T-Shirts. I was pretty stressed about all that I had to do. And then it rained. And rained. And rained. I was given the gift of two no-school days because of flooding, and let me tell you, I used them!

This is what I looked like this morning before I left. Knitting and crafting is something that I do by myself. I am not a part of a stitch 'n' bitch or a knitting circle or a crafting club, I give my wares as gifts and people always say that they are fond of them, but we all know that they have to say that! So, I was mostly nervous about my work being judged. And judged negatively. When I arrived, I was greeted warmly by
Leslie who showed me where to lay out my goods and that the sisters would be with me shortly. And they were lovely. Kind and business savvy and complimentary. I immediately calmed. And then it just became fun. They offered me a contract and accepted almost all of my goods with the exception of my baby barrettes (there was another artisan who sold something very similar). The only downfall was that they asked about my tutus and I didn't have any examples of them!!!! D'oh! I could have kicked myself. I agreed that I would bring some back before the end of the week.

Right now I am feeling excited, but still a bit overwhelmed. I don't have enough back-up inventory, so I still have some crafting to do. Part of me was looking forward to coming home and reclaiming my house from the giant craft room that it has become. But, more than anything I feel validated. Sometimes when you say that you knit or craft or sell on etsy people don't think much of it. Today I felt like I was taken seriously, and that was pretty great!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Photo Credit:Margaret Sloan

Happy St Patrick's Day to you and yours!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Despite the warm and shining sun (is this starting to feel like a weather blog to anyone else?) we had another "rain day" today. It's like a snow day, but without the snow. I had mixed feelings about this. I love a good snow day, in fact I think that it is 75% of the reason I moved up here. In my seven years of teaching in NYC, I was not granted
one snow day. Last year, we were hit with an ice storm that gave me seven days off. An absolute god-send because I was working at a place that literally made me sick each day. But truth be told, the best kind of snow days are the ones after actual weather. Hunker down and hibernate weather. Today, there was no weather. I understand that there is significant flooding, but in my little corner of the word it was a beautifully clear day.

So, I woke with the 5:30am phone call from my principal. And I have to say that I've been relatively productive. I added these and these to the shop and feel like I can safely say that the cobwebs have been swept out and it is ready for spring (banner and all). Since it is warm and sunny and all spring-like around here, it is hard to resist a good spring cleaning. A self-clean the oven, remove all contents from the fridge to scrub and soak, mop the floor, dust the baseboards,
sweep the porch kind of day. Since moving up here, I have drastically limited my use of commercial brand cleaning products. (I can only imagine my mother's eyes rolling right now) I have officially limited myself to three major items: vinegar, baking soda, and occasionally bleach. (Ok, I confess, I also use swiffer wet pads. Listen I have light wood floors and cats!) And let me be the first to tell you, they really work. They work in the kitchen, in the living room and in the bathroom. I don't ever miss other cleaning products or feel like I am not getting the job done. With dishes, I still use dish soap, but use baking soda when I feel like something needs a little elbow grease. I also have to give credit to my sponge- go get these, they are the greatest! And so, with a cleaner house, I rewarded myself with an iced coffee, a chocolate chip cookie and a trip to the beach for high tide. A good day in all, but I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow.

Monday, March 15, 2010


So much rain. It has been raining for 50 hours straight. Cold, driving rain. As a result, there is loads of flooding in and around the Seacoast. School was called off, leaving me the day to keep things moving in my shop. I've added some new pictures and lots of new hair pins and really feel like I've lightened up the tone. It feels brighter and refreshed, ready for spring! Well, except for my banner. Still trying to figure that out. I had to take a break from working on it because I was getting irritated. But, I digress. I am really excited about all the new hair pins. Just looking at them makes me smile. And I've updated the photos of my Hand Knit Eco-Friendly Wash Cloths. I felt like my previous ones weren't doing them justice. They are so sweet looking. I think of them as an added detail to a routine, mundane task. They've made washing my face a little more special each morning. So come by the shop and take a look at all of the new goodies!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

work in progress

There has been a lot of creating over this rainy, windy, overcast weekend. Yesterday was spent working on labels and tags. When it comes to working out design on a computer, I've got no skills. I get frustrated and bored very quickly. Thankfully my friend has both a mind for computers and an eye for design and a place in her heart for me. Although it was a bit tedious (did I mention that I get bored easily), I am really satisfied with what we came up with. As soon as I put the final touches on them, I will share them with you.
I have been busy knitting, cutting, gluing, and sewing over the last few days. I have some potentially exciting news that I am going to hold onto until the details are solidified. That is mostly because I am a life-long Red Sox fan and fully believe in jinxes and as a result have trained myself to be cautiously optimistic. Anyway, this miserable weather has made it a perfect day to stay in and busy myself with crafting. Lots of soft, spring colors and textures surround me. So, stick with me, I promise to reveal more when I can.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blue Jean Baby

Ahhhh, Friday. There is just something about being able to wear jeans to work on Fridays. Mind you, I'm a teacher, so I am not exactly dressing-up the other days of the week. But when I wake up on Fridays, knowing that I can wear jeans makes that morning so much more tolerable. I just wanted to take a moment to appreciate the wonderfulness that is a pair of broken in jeans.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

We Have A Winner

Congratulations to
Tangerine Kitty who was the lucky winner of the give-away over at Rose Colored Glasses! Al and I had such fun putting this together, that there will definitely be another give-away coming soon!

This week seems to be taking its sweet time. I have been struggling with a cold all week which makes me hit snooze each and every morning and desperately cling to the nine extra minutes that come with each whack of the button! I am a terrible shot- no good at darts, basketball, baseball, etc, etc,etc. I have absolutely no aim, but somehow at 5:30 am in the dark with my eyes closed, I am able to zero in on that snooze button with ease. Needless to say, I am looking forward to this weekend and all of the rainy, dreariness that is scheduled to come with it.

What do you guys have planned this weekend?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Random Thoughts

**Today I came across this Mega Doily I would love one for my dining area.

**I also heard this quote today...does it resonate with you as much as it does me?
Courage doesn't always roar...Sometimes ...courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

**I posted a bunch of new hair clips in the shop over the weekend MB by Brigid

**And don't forget the give-away over at Rose-Colored Glasses

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring Fever

Dear Spring Fever,

Hi, it's Brigid. I didn't do the laundry this weekend. I didn't vacuum the carpets. I didn't wash the windows. I didn't make my bed or finish my book or knit much or scrub the bathtub or any of the things on my weekend to do list. And it's your fault. You brought warm we
ather with sunshine and fresh, clean air and a feeling of renewal. So, I tossed the list aside and instead enjoyed amazing breakfasts out. I sat by the Lamprey River with a friend as we watched
her daughter delight in the cause and effect of throwing rocks and sticks into the water. I laughed as the brazen ducks and geese waddled alarmingly close to me. I engaged in thoughtful and meaningful conversation with old friends who are going through new experiences. I smiled at the same couple's six month old son who is alarmingly cute and endearing. I took an impromptu trip to Plum Island and relished in having the windows down and the radio up. I stopped by the local air field and watched as planes that resembled toys magically took off. And now I am home and satiated and tired. But I wanted to say thank you before I settled down for the evening because that was just what this girl needed.
xoxo, brigid

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Give-Away!

A lovely and remarkable friend of mine writes an inspiring and thoughtful blog about her journeys through motherhood. I have been actively reading for many years now and always find myself looking forward to hearing the stories she shares about her three beans and her thoughts on life in general. Her most recent post talks about the spring fever and longing for fresh air that we all seem to be feeling these days. In hopes of making this last bit of waiting for spring more bearable, she is hosting a give-away of my gray on gray scarf and a print of my peony photograph. So please, stop by, leave a comment, and cross your fingers! Maybe just maybe a little springtime surprise will be headed your way!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tin Can Garden

Some time early last week, I decided that I was going to encourage the arrival of spring by planting some miscellaneous seeds that I had left over from last year. So, I pulled out a few tin cans that I have been saving, filled them with soil, dropped the seeds in, and placed the cans on the window sill of my kitchen. And promptly forgot about them. I would guess that I watered them over the weekend, but truthfully, I'm not sure. Tonight, while washing the dinner dishes, my eye caught sight of fresh green sprouts and I smiled. Because, although the day was gray and cold with scattered snow flurries around lunchtime, I remembered that the days are getting noticeably longer and soon enough spring will arrive.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


We had some wicked weather here last Thursday night. I had just returned from a three day visit with my dad and drove right into Portsmouth for dinner with a friend. It was windy and rainy and I had no idea what was coming! Got home after nine and the power was out by ten. Now I am kind of a dork. I love the excitement of New England weather, it was something I missed while living in Brooklyn. So, when the power went out, I grabbed my flashlight, lit a candle and continued to read my book. It quickly became hard to concentrate. The wind was like nothing that I had ever heard or felt before. I live on a reservoir that is surrounded by gigantic trees and the wind was so powerful that they just started to crack and fall. To be honest, it was a bit terrifying.
After not sleeping much, I woke early, grabbed my camera, hop-
ped in the car, and decided to drive around to see what the damage was. (To be honest, my highest goal was to figure out where I was going to get coffee.) It was clear within the first mile that the damage was significant and was going to take a long time to recover from. Top all of this off with a block-long fire that took place on the beach. It was quite a 24 hours. After enduring a 50 peson line at Dunkin' Donuts, I exited with two large coffees (I didn't know how long the power was going to be out for!!) and made the trip back home.
And I picked up my knitting needles. I was feeling uneasy despite the fact that I was safe, my home was safe, and my friends were safe, I was overwhelmed. So, I settled in on my couch picked up a ball of cotton yarn and cast on. I knew that it needed to be a small project that didn't involve much counting and wouldn't require my full attention. One that had an an easily achieved end point so that I could enjoy some instant gratification. I decided on wash cloths knit in the star stitch using colors like white, cranberry, and cornflower blue. With each stitch, my anxiety lessened and I was able to distract myself with quickly completed projects. And I haven't stopped knitting them. I look forward to giving them as gifts and have posted a few for sale here:

Monday, March 1, 2010


As I begin this post, I am listening to the Natalie Merchant Pandora station and it's kind of been sucking. Until now, as I sit and actually commit to this blog, she sings, "lately I've been satisfied by simple things like breathing in and breathing out." And well, that about captures it for me. I am slowly settling into a calmer, simpler lifestyle that involves much creating and crafting.

Starting out here today...