Monday, September 30, 2013

My bad

I didn't write a Book Report post for today. I mean, obviously.

I was feeling really lazy and and procrastinatory earlier in the week and accomplished nothing.

Then I got sick, which only exacerbated the laziness and procrastination.

Then it was the weekend, and I was sicker.

Then it was Sunday night and there was a hellacious windstorm. The power went out--briefly--and when it came back on, I was like: Done-zo. 

So I went to bed, and Catherine tried to wake me up at 10:59. I told her I was asleep.

At 4AM it thundered so loudly that the house continued to shake even after the thunder was over, and I thought, completely unrelated to the thunderstorm, that we might be having an earthquake. I wondered if I should find something sturdy to crouch beneath, but I decided I was too tired and sick and preferred death to getting out of bed.

You see how it is.

I'll get my act together eventually.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Peanut is like my small, floofy shadow. I can't even sleep in on a Saturday without her copying me! (I kind of love it...)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Top 5: Summer Jams I Already Miss

I know I've made a couple whiney remarks about the end of summer, but really, I'm an autumn girl. I like crisp, cool weather; tights and scarves and lightweight jackets; chimney smoke; and darkness. Still, summer has some key components to my happiness: lots of light (for me, part of being an "adult" has been recognizing that while I don't necessarily like light, I require it), hot and dry weather (on a good 90s day in Spokane, when the skin feels all hot and tight on your face: love it.), and the opportunity to drive around with the windows down and listen to happy, jammy, sing-a-along, good times music...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Made and Found: L A Natural History Museum

When Catherine was just here visiting we made our way down to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, where we explored North American Mammals, African Mammals, Minerals, Dinosaurs, and much more...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Peanut and Purls and Jared Flood

I've blogged about it once (read: three times) and I'll blog about it again. I freaking love Jared Flood and thereby I love Brooklyn Tweed (and vice versa).

Brief Musical Interlude: Jessie Ware

A little mellow chillness for your morning. Check her.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Handmade Home: Ugh! As If!

Clueless Cher Watercolor, by Oh Gosh, Cindy!

On August 23rd Catherine and I received a text message from Christine that said, "I know two sisters who will be receiving a treat in the next week!" It was partly a lie because it didn't arrive until two weeks later, when Catherine was visiting, but it was amazing! Christine got both Catherine and I a watercolored print of Cher from Clueless, by Oh Gosh, Cindy!

I had only taken it out of the envelope a couple times because I didn't want anything to happen to it prior to me getting it safely behind glass, and I finally did...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Report Inspiration: Tuck Family Dinner

One the things I love most about Tuck Everlasting is the strength of the Tuck family's bonds. Through an accident of Nature or Providence, they're consigned to live forever, but even though the two sons wander away from home, the family reunites every ten years. They reconnect by telling stories of their adventures, giving each other small gifts, and eating together. And when Winnie Foster finds her way into their cabin, she also ends up at their table...

Saturday, September 21, 2013


This may look familiar to you if you caught my post on making charm bracelets earlier this week, there sister beads! Well sort of, they're some beads Catherine and I bought when she was visiting last week and we did some beading. If you haven't guessed it already these are going to be sister visit instagrams, so get excited!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Top 5 greatest Kennedy Center Honors performances!

I know you're probably thinking, what the... But just stay with me. If you know me, you know that I can get sucked into youtube so easily. I'll start by clicking on a link or watching one video, and the next thing you know, it's 3 a.m. This has happened at least once a month for the last couple of years. I just can't stop! It's not just one kind of video either, the other night I watched "best of Seahawks" clips for 45 minutes. I've never watched a Seahawks game in my life, I couldn't think of that one players name and instead of Richard Sherman or Russel Wilson, I could only think of Russel Simons. Not the same person. Anyway, I still spent almost an hour watching this nonsense.

What I'm about to show you isn't nonsense. Some of these performance I've watched 30 or 40 times. Take a couple minutes and watch them. These clips have everything--crying, laughing, presidents dancing, and Jon Stewart.

1. Bruce Springsteen...sigh (and swoon)
Jon Stewart introduces him and it's really funny and really touching and just pretty much perfect.

Eddie Vedder sings My City of Ruins. This is also great and haunting.

2. Paul McCartney. 
I don't particularly care for No Doubt's performance, and I was a big No Doubt fan. The first CD I every purchased was Tragic Kingdom. Also, my mom insists that President Obama loves No Doubt. I tried to find some proof of this, and I actually did. It's just really bizarre to me. I still recommend skipping ahead to 2:40. I really, really enjoy this whole set.

3. Led Zeppelin

The final Kennedy Center Honors clip comes from last year's ceremony. I actually watched this one as it aired...and then re-watched it a bunch once it was on youtube.
I think as far as single performances go, this is the best of the bunch. 

Hope you end up watching these as many times as I do!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Made and Found: Hudson's Bay Company trade blankets

Mom and I visited an Olympia estate sale this weekend, where I picked up two vintage Hudson's Bay Company-style wool trade blankets for a song ($25 each!). Mine were made by the Shuler & Benninghofen Woolen Mills in Hamilton, Ohio. I told Mom that the blankets were probably at least as old as she was, and since Shuler & Benninghofen stopped manufacturing under their label in 1967, even if these blankets were the very last to come from the mill, they're pretty close. She responded with: Hmpf!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Peanut & Purls...and more Peanut!

I just got back from a nice little extended weekend to California to visit Monika (and Beck and one of the housewives from Real Housewives of Orange County). While I was gone, Christine was nice enough to keep Peanut and Genevieve company. In return, Peanut was nice enough to break plates and keep Christine up at night.

Brief Musical Interlude: Jordan Schlansky

Since my "Book Report" post this week was pretty heavy on the music, I decided I'd revisit my one true YouTube love: Jordan Schlansky from Conan. Jordan made his Conan debut during the 2008 writer's strike, and his dead seriousness, unflappable demeanor, and primo semi-robotic diction captured my heart instantly.

At the end of August, Catherine wrote a post dedicated to her Top 5 Conan Clips. Believe me, all of them are winners, but for me, there's no greater YouTube delight than watching Conan and Jordan interact.

Jordan's dedication to such causes as wine, artisanal desk food, the band Rush, and his red Vespa, coupled with the fact that he corrected Conan on his usage of biscotti when referring to a single biscotto, all make me a huge Schlansky fan. Or, as I like to call myself, Schlan fan.

While I would love to come to your house and spread the good word of Schlansky (that's what I did to Catherine and she, in turn, spread it to Monika), I'm going to ask that you watch, listen, and believe on your own. Just go to YouTube and type in Jordan Schlansky: watch everything that comes up.

P.S. Don't forget to prepare your body in various ways! (That will only make sense if you watch the video.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Handmade Home: Charmed I'm Sure

Catherine was just in town visiting me, and we did a lot of stuff, and when I say a lot I mean so much moving around that my calves are killing me still. I felt like they were going to buckle on me at work. Oh sister visit fun.

One thing that we did (and talked about) a lot during her stay was making beaded charm bracelets, and I have to say it went real well...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Report Inspiration: Soundtrack to Tuck Everlasting

Image via The Taste of Sunshine

I've run across a couple songs this week that have a Tuck Everlasting-ish feel, so I decided it might be interesting to create a soundtrack to the book for this week's edition of "Book Report." Creating soundtracks to books is something I did quite a lot as a teenager. It usually happened around the time I realized that I was getting into a book waaaaay too much and looking for a way to extend the experience. Granted, the soundtracks I compiled then were probably not good to the tune of: Oh, this Stabbing Westward song would be perfect for this Chuck Palahniuk book. (Not that there's anything wrong with that. I like Chuck Palahniuk, and I'm listening to Stabbing Westward right now and enjoying it in a guys-with-dirty-hair-wearing-chokers sort of way.) Wow, I just regressed so deep into 1996 that I lost my train of thought completely. Regrouping...

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Endless summer? Well, not quite. Even though we've had really summery weather this week (including a day that was in the high eighties), it has most definitely taken a turn towards September in the past 24 hours. Yup, it's getting distinctly autumnal up in Washington. And I'm finding myself in all sorts of conversations about the weather and how early the sun sets these days. This makes me feel really, really old. But seriously. A 7:30 sunset? And fog every morning? Come on! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Top Five: Cat Pictures!!

kemukujara, tumbler

Like any good person who uses Pinterest, I have a pin board dedicated to cute animal pictures, and like most, it is predominately and unapologetically cats!

There are so many cats that really hold down the board, but here is a selection. Enjoy these top five cat pictures...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Made and Found Tenenbaums

The sisters and I love some Royal Tenenbaums. This is a picture of when I watched the Royal Tenenbaums in Iceland, because duh, that's just what you do when you're in Iceland. I know that basically everyone loves the Royal Tenenbaums, we really do. Remember that time Christine blogged about who we would be in the Tenenbaum family? She called it Royal Nicolai's!

"Like most families with three siblings and a father who may have caused ruinous damage to his children, we have a very special affinity for the quiet and messy desperation of a family slipping in and out of turmoil. Even though the characters are steeped in darkness, there's goodness, too. They all want to be a family, even if they're unsure what that entails."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Peanut and Purls and Shelving

We all know it's true. Cats are the ultimate helpers when you want to organize, build something, or rearrange. Genevieve and Peanut were both on hand to help organize my new shelving wall upstairs. I've been thinking about what to do with the upstairs for a while now (well, like 2 months), and this last weekend, I finally made headway.

Brief Musical Interlude: R. Kelly & Phoenix

I don't think that anyone is probably reading this, but I am going to mention that after I read recent articles about R. Kelly and his alleged rapes, I'm dropping him from my life. I've said a lot of gushy things about his music and Trapped in the Closet series, but I can't listen to his music or watch his series or think of him without thinking of Jim DeRogatis' statement that "The saddest fact I've learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody."

I don't want to get too preachy, but if you have no idea what I'm talking about, read some of the articles associated with Jim DeRogatis and others who investigated Kelly. I'm saying this because I previously chose to remain unaware of the circumstances surrounding his trial and lawsuits, which I dismissively called "Kells' legal troubles (immortalized by Mr. David Chappelle)." Even though it probably impacts no one but me, my blind acceptance of and ardent admiration for a man who has ruined the lives of young women is deeply regrettable. 

So, no more talk about R. Kelly being an amazing musician who is delightfully wack-a-doo--what I originally said here about his work and his collaboration with Phoenix. I'm done.

The Kelly Conversations via WBEZ 91.5
R. Kelly's Twitter Convo via The Village Voice blog

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Handmade Home: Hammocks

It's still technically summer, so you have until September 22nd to get out there and enjoy the weather. These past few months were happily spent after being introduced to the luxury and relaxation that comes with a hammock, peaceful afternoon and your favorite book (and when you get sleepy it easily converts to a gently swinging bed).

Here are some fun ideas to bring the inside outside and set up a nice cozy habitat to enjoy the remaining days of summer...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Report: Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt is one of those little gem books that every pre-teen girl should have the pleasure of discovering. At the heart of this slim novel is Winnie Foster, a girl on the cusp of growing up, yearning for adventure and the chance to do something important. She's thrust into a mystery in the forest, a budding romance with a young man who will never truly grow up, and an exploration into the blessing and curse that is immortality. This would be vampires, just characters who are sweet, and earnest, and true...

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Anne got married. She didn't marry this man, but she is great friend's with him. I was able to capture the bridal sneeze sequence. It's one of my favs.

Friday, September 6, 2013

VSCO Cam Freebies

Image via VSCO Journal

Several weeks ago I wrote about using and loving the VSCO app, and I thought I'd give a little heads up about a limited edition preset pack (which sounds like something Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite would try to sell you--it's not) VSCO created in conjunction with the menswear designer Street Etiquette. The price? Why, it's free. You can download the SE preset pack from VSCO Cam's in-app store.

If the look of the app's presets has gotten you all intrigued about what Street Etiquette is all about, there's a nice feature on the VSCO Journal about SE founders Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs. You can also visit the Street Etiquette website or follow Joshua and Travis on Instagram @streetetiquette.

While we're talking free, VSCO is currently offering a free Levi's Commuter preset pack available for download through their in-app store. And, in general, their presets are quite reasonably 99 cents. Here are a couple Mt. Rainier pics I edited using the two free apps. Have fun!

Best of: Little Notebooks Under $10

Target letterpress notebook, Pistachio Press on Etsy, $7.00

I love a good notebook and always have one in my purse or pocket. As someone who is a bit absentminded, I find it incredibly important to write everything down. Besides, you never know when you'll need to make an impromptu list, leave a quick note, sketch out a map, take or give a phone number, or get an important idea down on paper. I mean, yeah, you could use your smartphone for all that, but there's just something about the act of putting pen or pencil to paper that will never go out of style...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Made & Found: Wednesday Night Visitor

After a long day at work I came home and found Dawn... and she had our business cards! Her friend Linda in Seattle does letterpress (her info to come) and she made us some lovely custom cards, and we decided to add a little flare to them and splash them with color...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Peanut and Purls and Seed Stitched Cowls

I finished the seed stitch cowl I was working on last week. I didn't really use any specific pattern, just cast on some stitches and knit away.

Brief Musical Interlude: Tame Impala

Love "Elephant" by Tame Impala. Not crazy about the video though. Doesn't it feel sort of like a missed opportunity to you? I mean, I get that it's cool and trippy and retro, but I'm not sure the video is adding anything to the song. I feel like it should. 

I've heard a lot of people comparing Tame Impala (and this song in particular) to the early Beatles, and Tame Impala cites The Beatles as an influence on their work. Being that my Beatles frame of reference is basically my mom's 45 of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," I'm not sure I hear The Beatles in "Elephant." But some of their other songs seem a bit more Beatle-y. Then again, what do I know about anything beyond the fact that they're quirky (in a non-annoying way) and funny and I like their music?

Dang. This all seems so grumpy. Forget the above. Enjoy this psychedelic little vid and have a lovely morning!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Handmade Home: Dream Catchers

After a long day of sitting inside with a overworked air conditioning unit and streaming Orange is the New Black, I finished my dream catchers. I love the idea of dream catchers, that if you hang it above your bed it will catch the bad dreams and hold them in the net, and only the good dreams would filter through and slide down the feathers (in this case braids) and reach the sleeper.

These lovely sentimental items can be dressed with meaningful charms, and natural treasures to bring good dreams and aesthetic charm to your house...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Report Inspiration: DIY embroidered notebook

Reading and writing have always been linked in my mind, so it seems natural to think about books and notebooks together. Growing up, I always had a notebook filled with stories and ideas, possible character names, settings, and quotes I loved from movies and television shows (many of which were from The X-Files and, as you might imagine, totally badass)...
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