Monday, May 31, 2010

Drying Out

After a wonderful weekend filled with sunny days, warm and sticky kisses from my godchildren, laughter, eating, and hours spent on the lake, I am at home recovering. Unfortunately, my camera was victim to a wayward wave while out on the boat yesterday. (I know your asking, "A wave on a lake?!" It surprised us too!!) So, it is drying out and I am crossing my fingers and toes. Bare with me over the next couple of days, there may not be too many photos....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Hats

As I finish baby sweaters, neckwarmers, and cowls, I've be using the leftover yarn to knit up some very cute baby, toddler, and children's hats. These are so fun to knit. They are quick, easy, and immensely satisfying! I've finally gotten around to listing them in my shop. I wanted to share a few of them with you.

There is this one:

And this one:

And this one:
And this guy:

And others! Stop by the shop and take a look around, I'd love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Just a heads up, I'm about to blog about shampoo. Really. If this does not interest you, I totally understand, go about your day and I promise that the next time you arrive here, it will be a much more interesting post.

I've been thinking about shampoo for a while now, a couple of years at least. I am very lucky to have long, thick, brown hair. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I can wear it up, down, messy, neat, clean, dirty and it always looks presentable. (at least I think it does) I grew up washing it every morning before school. I vividly recall the cold mornings at the bus stop with icicles hanging down my back. After doing some hair modeling with Bumble and Bumble in NYC, (that sounds much fancier than it really is) I learned that I shouldn't be washing my hair on a daily basis. So I slowed down to a few days a week.

Then I started to read Angry Chicken's blog right around the time that she was talking about natural shampoos. I was all about that idea. So, I went out and stocked up on apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and lemons. For months, I washed with these tools. Ask the women that I taught with, I was the fodder for many, many jokes. And it worked ok, but not great. And truthfully, it wasn't gratifying. When you only wash your hair two to three times a week, when you do it, you want a great lather. Suds and all. And you want to feel squeaky clean. Reluctantly, I had to go back to shampoo.

But I kept looking for alternate options. In order to create less waste, I stopped using body washes a few years ago and went back to the bar soaps and washcloths of my youth. Yet I couldn't seem to find a shampoo bar. I would look in natural grocery stores, I googled it, I asked around and there never seemed to be a satisfying option. Then, one day last week I found it in Target of all options. I was actually looking for make-up, but decided to puruse the aisles to see what else was out there.

And I finally found it! It's called One Solid Shampoo and I think that it is great. It comes in a fully recyclable and tidy package and smells delicious. Fully natural and easy to use. Talk about gratifying lather! Just what I was looking for. I literally look forward to washing my hair now. If you are looking to make a change in your shower routine, go get this product. It is an amazing alternative to those giant and expensive bottles that you buy every couple of months.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Bain of My Week

I received an order for two baby sweaters last week. Great, right? I happened to have a green hoodie that just needed some blocking and finishing before it was ready to go. For the second one, I pulled out a lovely vintage pattern that I had been eyeing for a while. Perfect, right? Stopped by my LYS to pick up some chunky cranberry swirl and was ready to go. Keep in mind that this pattern indicated that it only needed one skein. Ha!! I got through the hood and the majority of the yoke before reaching the end of the skein. I was irritated, but I thought, "No biggie." The next day, I went back to my LYS to grab another skein and there was no more left!!! The owner was so sweet and looked all over for more, but it was gone. Just plain gone. Ahh well. I grabbed two skeins of the same color in worsted weight, came home and started over.

The next morning was when I went down to Newburyport to see Kay Gardiner. As I am ohhing and ahhing over her and her work, I started to poke around the shop and all of the amazing yarns. And what do I come across.......five skeins of the cranberry swirl. Of course! By that point, I was too far in to the worsted weight sweater. Funny stuff, right? Regardless, I finished up the sweater and am loving the yoke of this sweater. It reminds me of smocking you would find on a cute sun dress! So, here it is. I will definitely knit it again (and next time with the hood) and will always buy more yarn than I think I will need!!!! Lesson learned.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mason Dixon Comes North

I made an impromptu trip down to Newburyport this morning to visit one of my favorite LYS, A Loom With A View. The lovely Kay Gardiner from Mason Dixon Fame was going to be there talking, knitting and signing. It felt like the perfect way to spend my Saturday morning. I've been reading Kay and Ann's blog for a couple of years now and although I will never be the knitters that they are, I enjoy keeping up with all of the projects they work on. Kay brought with her an amazing shawl that she recently completed. Really shawl is not the right word for this piece of art. It is actually called a Volt, and it is something that I will never have the brain power to achieve. Regardless, it was amazing to look at, feel, and understand it's complicated nature.

Kay was lovely. Despite being surrounded by envious knitters, she was completely normal. A fellow New Yorker, she talked about why she chose to stick with the black and gray color scheme of the Volt, busily worked on her Courthouse Steps pattern, and explained that she wore the same blazer for her appearance on Martha Stewart. Delightful, really.

After chatting with an employee who I'd met the last time I was there and would really like to make my new friend, I drove home. As I always do when I leave Newburyport, I got turned around. I blame my father for this frequent occurrence, but that is a story for another day. It might be because I get a bit distracted in new surroundings. For instance, there was this! How beautiful, almost magical, right??

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Liquid Sugar

Here is my simple journey to Caramel Sauce. I highly recommend that you take this journey as well. It's quite gratifying.

Three simple and healthy ingredients, that is all it takes.

From solid to liquid.

This is where the magic will happen.

Yields three small mason jars.

And then you reward yourself for all of that hard work.

Next time, I am thinking of adding some sea salt.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

From Skein to Sweater

I was very excited to get an order for a pink baby sweater last week. I also thought that it was a good excuse for me to document the stages for you.

Here I am after casting on and half way through the yolk of the neck.

After the front and sleeves are finished, but no back.
I decided to block before sewing up the seams.
The finished product, buttons and all.
(And I have just enough yarn left over to knit up a pom-pom hat!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Farmer's Market

Last Thursday our local Farmer's Market started up again! Today I took a few photos of the goings on....
Golden Maple Syrup
Roving blankets from Riverslea Farm
Handmade fireplace brooms

The crew team from PEA.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I compiled many pro and con lists in the two years it took me to decide whether or not to leave New York City. The pro's list always had things like n
o more sitting in traffic on the FDR at 6:30 in the morning or no more being woken up by unbearably loud music at 3:30am on a school night. Things that had really begun to wear away at my sanity and things that I had no control over. But the con list, although considerably shorter, always made my heart tug. See, after seven years of living there, it was where my people were. By 'my people' I mean the folks who became a part of who I am. The people that I connected with. I loved the diversity of who these people were to me. I loved how frequently I would come away from time spent with them feeling surprised by how much they filled me up. But those relationships couldn't compete with how miserable the actual place of NYC was making me. And so I had to leave. It was the right thing for me to do. And although I miss them terribly, sometimes horribly, I don't ever regret the decision that I made.

But I do long for the connections. See, in NYC I didn't have to look far to make them. Somehow, I landed a job at a school where I met many of the people I am talking about. And those folks were the added bonus, I already had a great group of friends to begin with. Lucky, right? I mean who really gets to work with people that they call their friends? The people who share the same passions, fight the same day-to-day battles, and experience the same victories. Well, I did. And I think, subconsciously more than anything, I realized what a big loss that was going to be. (One day I will tell you all about how I always oversleep on last days of important events. Like high school)

Last night, after a weekend of feeling disconnected, I met a friend up in Maine for some dinner. I got to the restaurant first and ordered myself a Maine Lemonade from the Irish bartender. (One day I will tell you all about how amazing that cocktail was) S and I have been friends for almost ten years now after meeting in Boston. My visits up to her place in Wells were my respite from NYC for many, many years. And she is the kind of friend who asks how your doing and you say, "Fine, how are you?" and she responds with "Crummy, but are we being honest? 'Cause if not, I can be fine too." And that was the kind of night I needed. The kind of night were we can laugh and cry and problem solve over cocktails, chowder, and a brownie sundae (this is Maine after all.) And I left feeling connected again, and sometimes that is all I need to make things feel right again.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I attempted to be optimistic about the rainy, cold weather that was scheduled to dampen weekend spirits, but my optimism failed me. On my way to the doctor Frid
ay afternoon, I witnessed an accident involving an SUV and a bicyclist. Although the cyclist was "ok" it was such a jarring way to start the weekend! And let me say that it didn't get much better from there.

Saturday involved finishing off a few projects, taking pictures of them, and posting them in the shop. After that burst of early morning efficiency, my productivity went south. Sometime in the late afternoon, I made the diffi
cult decision to rest my eyes for a few minutes. Well, two hours and many vivid dreams later, I finally dragged myself out of bed. In my grogginess, I decided that a mint chocolate chip milkshake was a dinnertime necessity. Sometimes a girl needs ice cream for dinner. You understand, don't you?

Sunday wasn't much different. I engaged in some successful retail therapy and found a
couple of great display pieces for my craft fair table. I also self-medicated with some item's off of the Wendy's Value Menu and bought a lovely new book. After reading myself to sleep, I awoke this morning feeling refreshed and looking forward to my first glass of iced coffee. The optimism has returned.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lots of New Goodness

It's just 9:30 on Saturday morning and I've already completed one item on my Best Intentions List. There are many new items listed in my shop. I know, how annoying. Nobody likes those people on Facebook who post about the six hundred productive things that they've done while you (by you I mean me) have spent the day watching all of the John Steward episodes from you very comfortable couch. But, I wanted you guys to be the first to see, 'cause I know you are likely to appreciate it more than anyone!

There's this:

And this:

Then there's this:

Oh! and this one:

And finally, there's this guy:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Best Intentions

I had big plans for this weekend. Tag Sales, The NH Sheep and Wool Festival, a trip to the beach. And then I saw this:

So, instead I plan to enjoy these:
I put all of these outside for a good soaking:
Have plans to make some of this:
And promise myself that I will take pictures of these and post them onto my etsy site.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tangerine Kisses

A lovely lady that I know has featured me on an
Etsy Treasury! The thing about a treasury is that with enough views and clicks, it has the potential to make it to the front page of Etsy, which obviously boosts sales! So, if you wouldn't mind stopping by and clicking on my Sunshine Hat-well, I'd be grateful!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hump Day Highlights

Thought that I would continue with my Hump Day Highlights photoblog, hope that is ok.
A glimpse of Brooklyn.
Sweet ducklings
Leaving Brooklyn
The yummiest french toast that I've had in a long time.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Maybe it's because I was in NYC for five days, but I came home with full-on nesting impulses. I had projects on my mind. Each was a small little spruce-up that I hoped would brighten up my home.
The first was the smallest and easiest of the three. I have a lovely little porch that looks out over a lovely little pond. Last summer, throughout a season of guests, I noticed that when night fell, we really didn't spend much time out there. I blame it on two things, the lack of lighting and the mosquitos. So, while I was at Big Lots, I came across a set of holiday lights with big bulbs. Nothing crazy, I passed over palm trees, stars, and butterflies. Who knew there were so many lighting options!

The second was inspired by this. How lovely is this? I love that it is 3D, that is upcycled from old magazines, and how clean it is. Plus, I was thrilled to finally replace this twig and berry wreath that I put up because I couldn't find anything else. I pulled out my old Anthropologie Catalogs and my paper cutter and got to work. It took a bit of trial and error to figure ou
t how to best make these. But it all began to come together before I glued my
fingers together. And I am quite pleased with the outcome. I have a feeling that I will keep playing around with their layout, but for now I am content.

There is a third project, but I am not done just yet. So stay tuned!!