I got one. I couldn't stop myself, I just had to. I've been mulling on the idea for a while, absolutely loving all the gocco projects out there, but I couldn't convince myself I needed one. Really, I don't need any more stuff. How could I justify spending nearly $200 on this thing? I send out cards once a year if I'm lucky, right? Until I finally realized that I already had the perfect excuse reason to get one. I promised my favorite sister a while back that I would make her wedding invitations. My plan, a la these kits, was to print them from my computer, cut the paper down to size, paste on individual backings, repeat the process for each insert.... wait a minute. Duh. I need a gocco!!


And now I'm in love. It wasn't love at first sight, unfortunately, and I'm glad we had those first spats on something other than my sister's invitations. No, that bit of trial and error came in the form of a hand drawn (yes, I drew something by hand, I was surprised too) valentine. The end product isn't the greatest, but it was a worthwhile learning experience. Like I've said, our families have a sense of humor, which is great since they'll all be receiving said valentine in the mail in the next few weeks. Naturally, these are in lieu of Christmas cards, which didn't make it out at all this year. More details to follow, and in the meantime, don't laugh at my poor drawing!




I feel like I keep showing you these.


And it's not like I don't do anything else around here! But I seem to be cranking them out. She's the sixth one I've made, and this one's number 7.


We're off to visit my sister for a couple days, and she ordered this trio for nephews and her boss's new son.


But 7 elephants! I'm kind of proud of myself. I keep on tweaking the pattern and the process, trying to get it just right. Somewhere in the back of my head I have this daydream that I'll make a bunch and list them on Etsy. Fred and I were talking about that last night. It's not the idea of selling the elephants that has my interest, per se, although that certainly would be a perk. It's more that I'd like to share them with the world. Really, I'm quite enamored with these little guys! And I'm so pleased that the people I've made them for like them as well. Isn't it worth spreading the love? I had no idea three months ago that this would go anywhere!


So that's life in my neck of the woods! Baxter is a monster, as always. The light box I made for photographing elephants is still, indeed, a box, and I can't keep him out of it. Sammich, who is unfortunately afraid of my digital camera, slept through this photo shoot yesterday afternoon. And I leave you with a shot of my amaryllis. I swear it opens a little more every time I walk past it! Those flowers will be like dinner plates when we get back to it. Hmm, maybe next week I'll take a picture every couple of hours so we can see the time lapse. Till then, have a good long weekend!




Lap Blankets

I can finally show you my biggest Christmas gifting project! (Note - that means the last recipient only just got theirs today, but that's besides the point.) You got a sneak peak earlier. I actually made two of these, one for my Dad and my step-mom, and one for my aunt and uncle.

Lap Blanket

First, major credit goes to brooklyntweed for coming up with this pattern. Please stop reading this now and go look at his blog. He makes the most amazing, jaw-dropping stuff. Really, go, you can come right back.

Lap Blanket

It's actually a doily pattern, knitted in the round, but when done in bulky yarn it turns out blanket-sized. Brilliant, seriously.

Lap Blanket

And shall we discuss blocking? These guys are between 4 and 5 feet across, and needed a decent stretching to allow the lace to open up. Enter homasote. Homasote boards are these giant slabs of recycled paper used for ceiling tiles and soundproofing. I had to get the nice Home Depot guys to cut the board into thirds so it could fit in my car. Upholster with a bit of muslin, arrange on the floor, and they're ideal for sticking pins into. They also hide nicely behind a door when not in use. And so much cheaper than commercial blocking boards!

Lap Blanket

The yarn for the brown one came from KnitPicks. This was my first time ordering yarn online, an idea I was wary of at first. Now I'm no expert, but they certainly have my seal of approval. Except that they called this color "taupe." That was clearly an oversight on someone's part, and I have since renamed it "latte."

Lap Blanket

Maybe next fall I'll break down and make one for myself. I love the idea of something afghan-y to curl up with on the couch. Or maybe my quilt will do the trick, when I get there. And the list of projects grows longer!



I'd like to announce my very first commission! (Thanks Dad!)

Jaxson's Elephant
Jaxson's Elephant
Jaxson's Elephant



Today the UPS man brought me . . .


. . . 30 yards of dupioni silk for my sister's wedding! She's having a medieval period wedding, and I'm making both of our dresses. The blue is difficult to photograph, as dupioni has so many nuances in color and shine, but is actually more peacock/turquoise than it appears here. I won't give too much away until dresses are made, but it's going to be fantastic. And for good measure, let's repeat - 30 yards of silk. Yowzers.

My Purl Package!

. . . And my very first order from Purl! Gosh, they sure do have my number. First they have the most beautiful fabrics I've ever seen, all in the same place. Seriously, I swoon. Then they send my package all wrapped up in bright pink tissue paper. Yep, way to cater to my inner 2-year old. That's enough to make me giddy right there, and I haven't even opened the darn thing!


Yay! Come on, you smiled just looking at it, admit it. The back row is for a quilt I've had in mind for a while now. I've been collecting fabrics a few at a time, and I finally just bit the bullet and ordered a whole slew. The front selections are for elephants. More on those soon.

quilting fabric

Here's the collection so far. This quilt was obviously inspired by my love for things bright and orangy, but there's more to it than that. I used to work at J. Crew. It was pretty neat, I actually learned a ton about color and style there. About once a month we would have to work overnights to roll out the new merchandise. Leaving just as the store was opening after too many hours at work, guess what I would buy on the way out the door? Of course, pajamas. That striped fabric fourth from the left used to be such a pair of J. Crew pajamas. They were my very favorite pajamas, and I literally loved them to pieces. So, I figure, what better way to get more use out of the greatest PJ's ever than to turn them into a quilt? You have my word, I won't start sewing a thing until I finish my last quilt. Expect that to happen post-haste. Ahem.



We have a lot of plants in our apartment. It started with an aloe plant that almost didn't survive dorm life back in the day. Next came the jade plants from my aunt. Then we adopted several ivies, left over centerpieces from functions at school. A few more jade plants and a spider plant came from Fred's aunt, a couple of rosemary bushes came as cuttings from a friend who swore they wouldn't grow, Fred got me a Christmas cactus, and now we're totally overrun. Actually, the biggest problem is that we replant anything we (or the cats) prune. A couple of ivies became six, my aunt's two jade plants are now seven, and so on. Really, I'm not complaining, the plants are a good thing. We're just out of window ledges. I'm hoping someday to convince Fred that we need a bigger apartment for the plants, and mostly hoping I get a sewing room out of that deal.

Anyway, It's January in Boston. We haven't seen the sun in days, probably won't for months more, and it's dark by 4:30 or so. And what do my plants think of this?


They think it's swell! Each one of those seven little jade plants is getting ready to flower. I didn't even know they could flower!


I've never had an amaryllis before, and this was a Christmas gift from one of my students. Neat, huh? I can't want to see what it looks like when it opens.

christmas cactus

And my poor Christmas cactus. The monster cat loves to munch on this guy. Nevertheless, this is the third set of flowers he's come up with this winter. Such a trooper.

So I hope your January is off to a bright start. Check back soon, I've got a lot of stuff in the works. Peace till then...