31 December 2011

new year wishes and intentions

When I was young (or simply a little younger), the turn of a new year was major... it was a chance for transformation. It just took the right resolutions or dreaming up a new regimen. Remember the Seventeen magazine covers?--"new year, new you!!" Oh, the power of turning the calendar. And, it was exciting, right? When I was a kid, I'd always be up at midnight, even if that meant "napping" and then making my parents promise to wake me just before the ball dropped and our next-door neighbor fired his antique gun. Bang! New year, new you.

This year--little person willing--I'm sure I'll be fast asleep at midnight. Now, it's not so much about the clock striking midnight. Rather, a successful new year begins with little moments and actions leading up to the big moment. A clean home, laundry done, purse cleaned out of all the junk/receipts/little boy undies I have stashed in there. There'll be a nice meal: raclette has become our tradition. I like the idea of a clean start, emphasis on CLEAN. We'll take down the tree and clean out the fridge. On the first morning of 2012, we'll (hopefully) have a delicious and happy breakfast. We'll go outside in the crisp air. I might get an hour or two of solo garden-clearing time.

And then I'll turn to what's next. Not really resolutions, more like intentions? Hopes.

Here's what I have so far:

- Listen & focus when I'm with the little dude. Simple, right? And, not very original. But, oh, the last few months of 2011 were a doozy of over-scheduling for me. Classic year one of a new business. Way too often I was spending QT with Jacky and composing multi-threaded, crazy to-do lists in my head. And feeling guilty at the same moment, and then making more lists. Ugh.

- The garden goes (more) perennial. I'm getting a little more realistic with my garden-planning and a bigger chunk of the yard needs to be on auto-pilot. Out with quite so many from-seed, high-maintenance annual veggies, and in with artichokes (part deux), asparagus, raspberries, pretty flowers, etc. I was getting sad that I don't see a ton of gardening time in my future, but I'm really, really into this new plan.

- More blogging, and different blogging. Do you ever feel like a lot of blogging has turned into mostly advice, tips and recommendations? Actually, I love this in some people's blogs (and I've learned so much), but I'm guilty of believing that unless I have something to tell/teach/show, I don't have a blog post (unless I have a pic of baby buns or something!). Which is silly, and too much pressure. Some of my favorite blogs--like, the ones I absolutely check in on first, aside from those written by people I know or "know"--are more like a journal of thoughts and photos. The odd recipe thrown in, maybe a quiet link to a good idea here or there. It's more like what I want this space to be... more for posterity, more of a mood or moment, less like a magazine column. Am I making sense?? We'll see how I do.

- Better meal-planning. Pretty obvious! Lately, we've been down to pasta dishes A, B or C. Which are good, but still...

- A good read beside a crackling fire. Step one: get the chimney inspected (later, maybe get a gas insert); step two: try to get Toby to agree to one no-TV night per week. Just quiet reading time. It's heaven for me and I crave it.

- Quilting. A) finish Jacky's farm quilt; B) make a summer (I love a realistic deadline!) quilt from the Liberty of London mini rainbow fabric packs I gifted myself. I am too good to me sometimes :)

- Be more old-fashioned. Ha. But, I mean: send thank-you notes and birthday cards and just-because cards. Stuff like that. A birthday text is so these days, but I want to take a step back. I want to do unto others....

So, that's where I'm pointing myself for the big, magical moment. I'll be tucked in, cozy and warm, and the new year, new me can quietly begin. I hope your 2012 starts with a smile, a kiss or a nice dream, friends.

2011 was a pretty good one for me, especially since it included meeting (or re-meeting) or simply visiting with, a few of you. I have high hopes for 2012 to continue in much the same way :)


11 December 2011

jack's axe

a quick birthday recap, from the awesome handmade (by daddy) birthday gift department...

leftover baltic birch plywood + jigsaw + a bit of routing and sanding =


puffy doggy-head stickers are all the adornment needed.
did someone say guitar solo?!?

07 December 2011

guest post... edible holidays!

Peeps, my dear friend Nancy of The Goat and The Kid is doing an all-out Christmas extravaganza of guest posts this week, and today my post is up! It's about food, natch. Giving holiday food... my favorite type of gift.

the gift of breakfast!

06 December 2011

yin & yang | onyx & orb

Dark and light. Pain and pleasure.

It's been tough around here lately. Over the weekend, Toby's slightly sore back turned into a full-blown seize-up. The really bad kind: stuck on the floor, waves of spasms and pain. Fast-forward through an ambulance call, an ER visit and finally the right drugs. He's home and getting very slowly better. We're just trying to ride it out, but it's a tough to have my usually very able parenting partner out of commission. And in pain. That's been hard to watch.

So, today... the nanny is here, Jacky is off to the zoo, I can turn back to some making, and Toby can rest. We're stable and "normal" is making an appearance here and there.

And there's a nice distraction, a good way to start the day: Onyx & Orb, a Brooklyn-based online shop (and friends of my brother), has launched their Winter site, featuring some exclusives I created for them last month. It feels good to see work come to fruition. Things are moving forward.

01 December 2011

december: what's in store

Hello December! Woah. How did we get here so fast? Seems like I just quit my job the other day, though that was back in March. I threw my hat into the Etsy ring in September, and now... it's (gulp) time for my first official craft fair: Renegade Holiday!

I've done trade shows before (actually, just the exhibit design part, no selling) so I kind of know what to expect, but this is SO different... it's personal. It's nerve-wracking. It's SUPER exciting!

It would make my year if anyone reading this who lives in the Bay Area (or will be in SF for fun!) comes to see me and my little Willow Ship booth. Toby's been sawing and nailing for weeks in the garage, helping me build my "environment"... and I've been keeping myself splattered with paint, doing my part.

So, whee! Come visit me! Renegade is so fun and wouldn't you love to give awesome handmade gifts this year? I'll be booth #230. How official.

And, finally, I want some input. Is it OK for me to talk about "work stuff" on this blog? I don't want my blog friends to ever get the icky impression that I'm selling at them, as I started this blog way before I ever considered selling anything. I've been considering starting a separate site to just talk shop, but keeping two blogs is, frankly, a little daunting. But I would do it if necessary.

How about a little quiz? My first! Totally anonymous, though feel free to leave a comment too. (And does anyone know how to insert quizzes that look a little... nicer?)


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