Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I started a ceramics class several weeks ago. It's a great class with plenty of open studio hours. I try to stop by 3-4 times a week--if only for an hour. Those of you who have worked with clay know that it takes a lot of time and attention. This is my first time back at the pottery wheel in 11 years--I have done several campaigns of handbuilding since then, however. I'm still regaining my skills, and am very much at the small-bowl-stage, but hopefully by the end of the summer I'll be able to branch out a bit more.

The pots above have been bisque fired and are ready to be glazed. That's the step that always makes me a bit nervous--glazing is as much of an art as making the pot itself, and it can really make or break a piece. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I like most of them in the end!

Meet Sheldon

My first knitting in months--I finished him over the weekend and my wrists did not appreciate the quick pace of the project. If you haven't met Sheldon, he's a free pattern from He wears his shell like a little sweater vest, and it comes off. I almost think he's cuter without it, just this little green blob.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Craft book projects #2

My second craft book from the library was Bag Bazaar: 25 Stylish Bags to Sew in an Afternoon. Overall this is a good book, with a variety of bag styles to choose from. I decided to make a laptop sleeve, which is loosely based on the "Ellen" pattern from this book, though I changed it up by adding a flap. I used a nice canvas print fabric I found in Thailand, and vibrant blue fleece for the lining. It came together easily, and didn't take a lot of time.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Craft book projects

I decided that if I'm going to check out craft books from the library, I'd better actually make an effort to do some projects from them. Up first: Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

I'm a bigger fan of this book than I expected--there are a lot of really nice, simple, and elegant projects--many of which you might have trouble giving away when you're finished. I chose three projects to complete. It helped that two of these were things I needed, and already had fabric for. The third will make an excellent gift.

Quilted coasters made with batik fabric my mom brought home from Indonesia. My poor coffee table will certainly thank me!

Kelly's pincushion in an assortment of fabrics from India, Africa, and home. I've never had a pincushion before, and already it has come in handy!

Lastly, the super quick + easy baby quilt. Oh man, I was absolutely loving this quilt when I sewed it up--it was effortless and so fast...

...then I realized that I had four threads to knot and tuck in for each of the cute little satin diamonds that quilt the piece together. It took me the better part of my evenings this week to finish that. But, hopefully the little guy will love his blankie. The fabric is from Joann--pretty cute!

New Recipes

This was a pretty successful week in the kitchen. My new CSA (community supported agriculture) started. We got three kinds of lettuce, spinach, cilantro, and parsley. Very green! With the spinach I made:

Spanish white beans with spinach.
I made a few changes, including using butter beans instead of cannellini. It had a very nice flavor.

The absolute star of the week was this amazing savory mushroom tart. So good!

Also delicious: artichoke & white bean dip. I added some tahini, to make it more hummus-like. Fine Cooking Magazine is quickly becoming my favorite.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Aunt Meghan, actually.

My first nephew was born today. What a cutie.

Any favorite sewing/knitting patterns for baby boys?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Awesome weekend

It was my first free weekend at home in a month, and I got to do so much! My house is clean, I got to spend some time in the ceramics studio (bit by bit I'm regaining my old skills)...

I bought myself a ticket to see The National. They're not coming til October, but it should be well worth the wait. Check 'em out here, if you want.

Library loot! I got my library card--which never ceases to be exciting--and this is what I came away with for now. I've got a few holds on other sewing books. The Built by Wendy Dresses book has some fun ideas in it. Hopefully I'll have time to make something before I have to send the book back to the library. I'm hoping the Threads Fitting DVD Series will help me figure out how to get a better fit on this tricky vintage dress I started months ago. Bag Bazaar would be a good starter book for people interested in sewing bags. The patterns I'm interested in are fairly simple though, I could probably figure them out on my own.

There happened to be a street fair outside the library, so I stopped by and picked up some free Lara bar samples. Yum!

I also walked around the art museum for the first time, and snapped some pottery inspiration photos:

The handle and spout on this South American pot are so elegant.

And I love the simple yet striking designs on these pots.

Not exactly awesome, but I've decided, after all, to unpick the messy free-motion circles from my quilt. It's just too frustrating and slow to try to do this on a queen-sized quilt on my tiny sewing machine! I was pretty crazy to think this would be a successful idea for my second time quilting ever, but hey, I like to dream big. Once I finally unpick the edge I started, I'm going to machine quilt in a zig-zag pattern following the blocks. Hopefully that will be more instant gratification!