Monday, December 29, 2008

We Had Christmas:

We travelled back to NJ as usual for Christmas, and had a very busy series of visits. It was all very nice. Rayona was given some wonderful wooden toys by her relatives, as well as some much enjoyed books. The favorite gift by far, however, was the (ahem...) pink plastic princess shoes from our cousin. We have not been able to separate her from them for very long so far. They seem to make her quite happy.

It is good to be home, though sad to leave everyone as usual.

In other news I will be most likely putting up one or two waldorf dolls in the shop this month -one of whom will be African-American if anyone is interested in that. I am excited about it. I hope they will sell, as they are not inexpensive to make. I think I will stick with knitted clothing for them for awhile for a few reasons. One being that I have anxiety attacks about sewing tiny garments, and the other being that I think knitted stuff is better for grabby little ones -at least it seems to hold up better to my daughter. Plus, there's almost nothing cuter than the sight of a dolly in a totally hand knit outfit -no?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Waldorf Doll For Ray -Love Mommy:

This doll was a real labor of love. I now completely understand why they cost so much ready-made. Not only are the materials expensive, but the process requires a lot of muscle. That said, I LOVED making this for her. I think she turned out to be very cute:

One thing I'll say about being a beginner at this whole Waldorf Doll thing is that there are a few things you probably can only know from experience. For example: how to make a neck that doesn't wobble. I didn't worry about it too much until I started to make her wig. I chose worsted weight wool/mohair yarn, because I had some already, and it was pretty, but HEAVY. So then the head wobbled a little more. I reinforced the neck with a band of knit fabric left over from the body, then another. It wasn't terrible, but I still didn't feel confident that in a year it would hold up. I then decided to take the plunge and re-do the neck. Oh, I forgot to mention that I had to make her head twice, but that's another story. Anyway, anyone who makes these dolls can probably attest to how involved a process it is to remove a head and rebuild a neck once the doll is finished. It was a task, but well worth it, as she now is solid as a rock. I think that this is my favorite project so far, and apart from a few snags I can say that I may have a knack for this. In fact, I am considering putting one up for sale in the shop soon. I wonder if anyone will buy it...we shall see. I could sure use a cheaper source for supplies if anyone knows of one.

Monday, December 15, 2008


There is a pair of tiny wool pants in the shop .

More creative stuff soon. I've had the flu.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We had a lovely time:

Though I see my parents every few weeks, I had not visited their home in almost a year. I needed a dose of cozy, and I got it. If you'd like to head over to Flickr, there is a large set of photos of the house in which I was raised. My parents gave me my appreciation for the old, and the ornate.

We sat down to our traditional vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner, which is my favorite meal of the year. As a matter of fact, we all love it so much that we repeat it for our Christmas dinner. Although we have a large gathering with all branches of my husband's extended family at the holidays, my parents and I have promised each other to always have a separate meal that maintains our own traditions a few days afterward. You see, there are only three of us on my side, and it is easy for our celebrations to fall away over time, or to be overshadowed, and squeezed by holiday schedules. Especially given how they differ from the rest of the family's. This feels really important to us, and we will always return to it. It is always the same.

When I returned home this year I was really struck by the warmth and glow inside. My mother makes a real effort to surround herself with meaningful art and decorations. Most of them are religious and medieval. "You've gotta tank-up on beauty" she says. My father's work is evident in every corner of the house as well. Church music, early music and classic literature are his world. Both of my folks are highly creative, and I must say that they sort of create their own reality. Their house is like a museum, and I appreciate that they exposed me to so much history as a child. I too tend to live in the past, and ignore present day intrusions whenever possible.
So I felt really lucky to be there, and I am grateful to them for keeping our history warm for me.

Monday, November 17, 2008


There are a few things in the shop now -finally! It's a start.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tiny Bird:

Look how a slice of toast is almost as big as her head:

Friday, November 14, 2008

We're still here:

-Just trying to get a couple of knits together for the Etsy shop for this coming week. A few more things will trickle in shortly after that. There will be 0-6mo baby cardigans in some really nice colors, and a few pairs of kids' mittens, and then some soaker pants like the ones Ray has. I am also open to suggestions.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I've been hit:

I've been tagged by Darling Petunia, so here goes:

The rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


1. I was born and raised in NJ, then I moved to the Adirondacks for reasons which are now totally irrelevant.

2. I am really REALLY unobservant when it comes to local landmarks -as in -when someone gives me driving directions, and tells me to turn left at the McDonald's I'm like: "There's a McDonald's in Saranac Lake?" However, I know every street in my town, because I have walked them all.

3. I cannot make Saran Wrap work for me. I am totally confounded by it.

4. I have never been able to sleep as well as other people.

5. I am not in any way a religious person, and I believe in nothing except the feeling I have that people take a while to go away entierly after they die. I feel that people attach themselves to their places and belongings. However, if they believe very strongly in Heaven, I believe that they go there, because it exists for them. -if that makes ANY sense at all.

6. I knew what my daughter's name was as soon as I knew about her, but had not given it any real thought before that (she is named after a character in a novel). I also know what my next daughter's name is -(I just still need to bring her into being!). I believe that these two people are inevitable, and that there is also a third. No, I'm not crazy, but I feel strongly about children.

7. My husband and I have not addressed each other by name in eight years, and we never will, because it somehow feels uncomfortable and embarrassing to both of us.

Sorry all, but the rules are the rules:



Psychic Seashells

Red Dirt Mother

Blue Yonder

Little Home Blessings

Eat Play Love

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So Anyway...

...look behind the cat. This is what I woke to this morning.

-There you have it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


A bread recipe I can handle.

To be found here. It's very good, and substituting butter for the shortening did not seem to hurt anything.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We have a nature table this year:

Last week we went walking in the woods together for a few hours. It was warm and sunny, and just heavenly. My girl is big enough to walk with me now instead of only being carried, and she was picking up all these tiny pinecones and putting them in the bag we brought. She also loved the milkweed we gathered at the edge of a field. She said: "OOOoooh!!" as they floated away on the breeze. (It is worth noting that wool pants are excellent even for kneeling on the forest floor, and repel dirt surprisingly well.) She likes the nature table, and points to it saying: "PINEcoh!" -so cute.

So today we have light snow:

It's time, I suppose. I love early winter, but detest late winter -which is understandable, since fully half our year is winter here. Oh well, time to get working on some more woolens -gotta fill up that Etsy shop.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Well we went Rhinebeck, and it was great. This trip was bittersweet, as we are remembering Josh's mom a lot right now, and the sheep and wool festival was the last place we saw her. Never-the-less, we had a wonderful time together as a family. The weather was considerably colder than last year, but still gorgeous -as was the drive there and back.

Ray is much better able to appreciate the animals this year and had lots of fun. She particularly liked the alpacas ("Hi-pAca!" is how she says it).

As for stuff around here, there is a new pair of yellow wool pants running around:

I love these things. I decided to change up the pattern a lot this time. I have also been knitting baby cardigans for sale on Etsy soon, and I may add some of these pants too.

Today felt like a day to not go anywhere. It's raining and bitter, and grey. The house feels big, and empty, and cold, and dark. Except for the kitchen. I keep that warm by closing all the doors to it, and keeping the light on, and the various coffee and breakfast smells linger there which is a comfort. It feels like a soup night to me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A new video...

...for a song I had not heard before by one of my favorite musicians. What a treat.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This made me cry a little:


by Grace Noll Crowell

I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room,
a nut-brown loaf of bread
A cup of milk,
a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through a door.
I have found such joy in things that fill My quiet days:
a curtain's blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared,
a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.
Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might Tell every woman who goes seeking far For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things--old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What I'm making:

...well it's already made, I guess. I knitted this in the last three days for a baby shower today.

It's just my same favorite baby cardigan pattern, although because it's been a longish time since I've made one I botched some aspects of it royally. Oh well, the end result is pretty nice, and the recipient is not a knitter, so I'm sure it will be appreciated.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Is there anything cuter...

...than a toddler in homemade pants?

I don't think so.

This is the Tiny Birds Organics wool soaker pants pattern, and it's a good one, except for the seams. I hate sewing seams. I believe I will make more of these, but I will adapt the pattern for in the round. I hate sewing seams -did I say that already?

Also, I seem to be drawn to purple things right now. It's one of those situations where I suddenly realized how many purple things I have and I just sort of put them together. The result is very cozy and pleasing.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Shot From Today:

I am enjoying the Leaf Peepers group on Flickr. Thanks for the invite -you know who you are.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just for Pretty:

This is a tree in our yard. I have wanted to get out and take more foliage pics, but I'm just feeling so out of sorts and very tired. I hope this is over with soon whatever it is.

Unrelated, I have been making our own yogurt again, and now that I have gotten used to the process it's going smoothly. I find that adding a few tbsp. of dry milk to the fresh does help thicken it up, and it's delicious. It doesn't last very long, but is cheaper than store bought.

I did a photo shoot the other day which went pretty well. I have had access to my business associate's D90 which is very nice indeed. I love my D40, but I need more lenses, and am NOT in love with the idea of buying the specialized CPU type needed for it. I may need to make the switch to another camera body one day. You know, if the house ever sells, and I can earn more than I owe again.

We have been using all the jars of beans and grains in our pantry in combination with bits and pieces of fresh stuff from the last few farmer's markets of the season. I can make really good soup out of almost anything, and it's nice to have this time of year.

I have been thinking a lot about patience lately. I think I have a good deal of it at this point in my life. I think I have had to. I am working on gratitude, and the maintenance of hope. These things are tough right now. I lose hope after long stretches of having to be so patient, and it seems the two go hand in hand for me. Patience turns into a sort grim acceptance of my situation. None of this is helped by the fact that I don't feel well, and that I can't seem to make it through the afternoon without a nap. I cannot afford to take a nap every day. I don't know any mother who can. I am also lonely, and at the same time I avoid my friends when I don't feel like I have the energy to be positive or giving. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Flash is Back:



Who knew it took so much artificial light to make things look natural? Also, I now have a child who is old enough to ride a little bike while eating a sandwich AND pretending to be a lion (see first photo bottom corner for sandwhich). She is an infant no longer. I like babies and all, but this is so nice. I mean, she's PRETENDING. That's so amazing, and she talks A LOT. Every week she has new words, and some of them she just picks out of casual conversation.

By the way, that cute little calico shirt came from Lulu & Bea and it's become a favorite of mine. I am trying to decide for myself if it's worth finally offering up some knitted kids items for sale. People have been telling me for years when they see Rayona's sweaters that I should do this, but I am not a fast knitter. I feel like the amount of time that goes into these items is more than what can be recovered financially. We'll see -I am faster than I used to be. I also may be teaching a beginner's knitting class at a coffee shop in town this fall. I need to diversify my income a bit. My body is telling me that I need to rest from cleaning, and I have not been feeling well at all lately. I have been very tired, and somewhat depressed on and off. I'm not sure what's going on, but it's really interfering with business as usual.

Anyway, I have changed my comments settings to allow anyone without a Blogger account to leave comments. I have heard that that was an issue for some.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why we live here:

In keeping with the whole "spending-more-time-together-as-a-family" thing we took a trip to Keene again -this time for a hike:

Those tiny blue and red dots are my family.

It was splendid -one of those really chilly Autumn days where the air is sharp and wet. It was misty out, but the sun did break through a few times. Days like this make me realize how much I have been missing my husband. I can't remember if I have mentioned it before, but he works rather far from here, and has to leave early, and come home late. This is one of the problems with our region -the lack of very much work close by. It depends, of course, on what you do for a living. For the past few years he has been doing layouts for a newspaper publisher. He is also finishing up his apprenticeship to become a tattoo artist -which is what he really would rather do. This commits him to a few days a week in addition to his full-time schedule. So time is a problem for us. I like our Sundays very much.

Anyway, please head over to Flickr for the rest of the photos -there are some nice ones. (I am still waiting for my speedlight, though.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We had the most lovely day:

We finally made it over to the Burlington Farmer's Market today. It's a 2-1/2 hour drive from here, but that gave me some uninterrupted knitting time. Please head over to Flickr for photos -there are some good ones.

The first thing I noticed is that food seems to be waaaay more abundant in Vermont than in the Adirondacks -for obvious reasons. We are not much of a farming community. We have the world's shortest growing season for one thing, and not much space that isn't occupied by lakes or pine trees. So it was really nice to see so much local food. I must have taken 10 different pictures of eggplants. It was exciting. Also, there were such beautiful flowers.

I like this shot:

One of the highlights of the day was the fact that I got to meet Diane ! She was very warm and funny in person just like she is on her blog, and I had a really nice time talking to her. She is my first "crossover" friend from the blogiverse to real life. That was fun. I also came home with an adorable (and well made, I might add) shirt for Rayona from Diane's shop -Lulu & Bea. I will provide photo proof of this soon.

So altogether, I am loving all this time off from work, but sweating finances big time. Ray and I clean two or three days a week, and spend the rest of our time at the park, and the library, and the coffee shop. This can't last. Oh well, we have a few more fun weekend excursions planned with Daddy. Next weekend we are going on a hike, and in October we will go to Rhinebeck . I'm sure we'll do some stuff in between. I love having a sane schedule, and I look forward to the day when our housing is affordable again so that it can continue.

So please check out the rest of the photos -I love the fall!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I was out in the yard sanding some of the paint chips off of Ray's rocking chair when I realized that I finally had a moment to lie back and LOOK UP. -So naturally I grabbed my camera first, but the important thing to note is that it's Wednesday, and I didn't work today or yesterday. Of course I didn't make any money, either. I need the rest, and it's good to have my schedule slow down. In fact, it turns out that I may be able to switch from cleaning to photography sooner that I had thought. It remains to be seen, though. I'm hopeful, and awaiting some information.

It's already beginning to look like fall around here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


From the side of the Road in Tupper Lake last Sunday:

I'm not sure what I'll do with the little yellow dresser right now, but who can pass that up? Maybe it will house my fabric stash, and the pink and white mirror will go in Ray's room over her dresser. I LOVE these two things. Now I have to have a yard sale to justify bringing more furniture into the house. Out with the old, in with, right? I sure miss my flash. it goes in the mail tomorrow which is scary.

Monday, August 25, 2008

All of these:

They're all blooming at once for the first time ever, and I've had most of them for several years:

There's another one I'll get to when it's all the way open. I think it's the one my mother-in-law gave me when Rayona was born. I also have the one that was hers -it bloomed right around her birthday. So sad. I miss her.
I have received my new 10.5" skillet in the mail today. I cleaned and re-seasoned it right away, and then baked a half-whole wheat-cherry-upside-down cake in it. Which is perfect. It has ground walnuts in it which make it super rich. That and the entire stick of butter that went in, but that's neither here nor there. I'd show you a picture, but my crappy on-board flash doesn't do it justice. The point is that this pan is the right size for regular cake baking. I love cooking things in a skillet. My Dad passed along to me a 7" one that belonged to his mother last night. It's just the right size to fry an egg, or maybe bake one of those tiny-dense-almond-flourless-type cakes. Maybe you know the ones -they're french, I think.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008's something at least:

Some meager offerings from my plants, and a nice cake I made in my skillet (apple upside-down). I hate on-board flash. What a brat I am that this bothers me so much. I guess I like taking photos more than I thought.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Speedlight quit.

Right in the middle of the job. The capacitor stopped charging, and the ready light would not come on, and no matter what freshly charged batteries I stuck in there it still said "batt". I looked it up, and there is a circuit that goes bad, and a new module needs to be put in. So this is pretty much exactly what I was so afraid of, and it happened. It was like a bad dream. I tried not to panic, but it was one of the single most stressful events in my recent memory. I had to finish the whole reception with my on-board flash, and the photos LOOK LIKE SHIT. I felt so bad about it I wanted to cry. At least I got the ceremony, and all of her wedding party photos. I will never do another wedding again without a backup flash. Not that I will ever be able to afford one. So it goes. I feel like a tool.

Anyway, now I have no speedlight for however long it takes Nikon to fix it and send it back. Where did I put that warranty card?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Anyone else know about this product?

It's one of my favorite things. I know you can't get it everywhere -I guess it's a nothern thing.

Toasted with butter and a cup of coffee. Yum!
I'm trying to enjoy these little things each day as I can. My schedule is absolutely killing me, and I've missed much of the summer. No action on our house still, and someone else is getting the beautiful little cottage we were so hoping for. My heart was broken for about a day, and then I managed to remind myself that anywhere is a good home as long as my loves are safe and sound. I need a break from the bills, though. Today I go to my first wedding as the hired photographer. I'm a little nervous, mostly because it's a once in a lifetime event, and if something goes wrong that would be tragic, and the bride will hate me forever. At least that's how I see it at about 4:00 in the morning when I'm wide awake, and at my most unreasonable. Whatever -I'm sure I'll do fine. Sort of.
Anyway, it's Saturday, and I don't have to be at work until three, and my husband is home too, and this never happens, so we're off to take a nice walk.