Buttercup Bag

Buttercup Bag

I made a new spring bag. The pattern is a free design by Rae. Part of me frets that my fabric is too loud or tropical. Too orange, maybe. But it's cute and happy and springy, and I'll stick with it for a bit. I could use to be more brave in a bold direction. Isn't that true for most of us?

Buttercup Bag

In an attempt to feel more grown up I once purchased a $100 purse. Apparently there's some unspoken social code where you're judged upon having a good purse and a good haircut, and I thought I'd try it. Well thbbbbbbbttt. I've since decided I don't care, and that's that.

Buttercup Bag

Speaking of bold fabric, that outrageous striped lining is actually a vintage sheet, originally destined to become wedding napkins. As there will be no shortage of strong color there, I might as well get comfortable with it now. Bring on the spring!



I made bagels again this morning. Nearly 3 dozen, stashed in the freezer. Sesame seed, spinach, and sun dried tomato. Holy cow, the sun dried tomato are better than I expected! These are so easy to make, and they're way softer and tastier than store bought bagels. Please, please consider making a batch. You'll be glad you did.

Sesame Seed Bagels

Spinach Bagels

Sun Dried Tomato Bagels

(I sprinkled the sun dried tomato bagels with nutritional yeast. If we weren't vegan I might have used parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast kind of works in its place. Yes, it looks like fish food. We're ok with that around here because it's wicked tasty.)

Also, I'm working on #14 from my list. This is the first one. I'm trying to convince myself to finish the pair before I move on to my next knitting project. Fred says it's an exercise in patience, and I say I'm running out!

Hedgerow Socks

And finally, my amaryllis from last year bloomed again! We left it in the basement all fall, which I hear is what you're supposed to do with an amaryllis. I wish all plants were so forgiving.


I have to run off and play a concert this evening. I hope you're all having a good weekend!



Cape Cod
{Taken on the Cape while hanging out with my favorite Brass Quintet.}

Not really winter, not quite yet spring. Isn't this the weirdest mid-season bridge of all of them?



Homemade Bagels

Happy Saturday! I made bagels this evening. Recipe found here, on my favorite vegan recipe site, and I just threw in a ton of cinnamon and raisins. This was ridiculously easy with my pretty red Kitchenaid stand mixer. Love that. Have a good weekend!

Homemade Bagels


Oh man...


I want one. Badly. It's only 9". I hadn't even heard of these little guys till Caroline raved about hers today. Hmmm, pink, green or red?

(Disclaimer: we don't have a TV. These might be all over the place, but I effectively live under a rock. Ignorance is bliss, and keeps me from buying stuff. Until today, apparently.)


You know what it's like to get a wedding invitation in the mail. You don't even have to open it to know what it is. If the heft of the swanky envelope didn't give it away then the calligraphy did for sure. So you tear open the envelope with extra care and pull out . . . a second envelope. Round two leads you to a stack of ecru cardstock and vellum wrapped in a contrasting paper band, or maybe a brightly colored pocket fold enclosure, or perhaps one of those accordion fold invites. The couple went with letterpress instead of engraving, you notice. But all the usual suspects are otherwise in place. There's the main invitation, the two names in a swirly script standing out against all the proper small caps. Reception card, travel info, RSVP with stamped envelope, all present and perfectly coordinated. Props to the couple, you think. But you got the save-the-date months ago, you've been to their website to get the travel info, your hotel is even booked already, and they know you'll be there. With bells on, as the RSVP indicates. Oh well, they're still lovely.

Truly, I love wedding invitations. I get all geeked out over the designs and the pretty colors. I do take note when a couple goes out of their way to follow all the highest etiquette rules. But the problem with tradition is that so many invitations end up looking the same! At least, they seem a little too standard for the wedding we're planning. As I gather inspiration for my own invites I'm mostly drawn to those that just look different. My current favorites from Mr. Boddington's Studio:

Wedding Invite Inspiration

My cousin is helping us with the artistic side of ours, which totally rocks. I'll save those details till everything's done, but I know that part will be fantastic. In the meantime, I've spent the last couple of days wading through fonts. Thousands of fonts. I want something that splits the line between polished and familiar, something with a lot of personality. Here are some of my current favorites:

{Petras Script}



{Bayern Handschrift}


And I think I've narrowed it down to 16. Any votes?



This weekend I was struck down by a bad case of the-worst-timing-ever. More precisely, I was struck down by a bad case of the stomach flu, and it hit head on in the hour before my brass quintet recital. I had to call a friend (who shall forever be known as my Superhero) to come sightread the entire program with no rehearsal, while I listened from my unhappy vantage point in the ladies' room. I was so disappointed. I'm still sad thinking about it. Thank you to all those who sent happy thoughts our way on Sunday afternoon. There was still an awesome recital, my brass quintet is still the bomb, and I'll keep you posted on our next recital. Which, God willing, I'll actually be able to play on.

Felted Cupcake Pincushion

In other news, tomorrow's my birthday! And Rachel sent me a birthday present!! A felted cupcake pincushion!!! Seriously, I don't think it gets any more awesome than that. Fred brought me the package while I was still very much laid up in bed, along with toast and tea for dinner (again). And heavens, it sure brought me a much-needed smile! As Fred said, "Well now what am I going to get you? I just don't think you can top a felted cupcake pincushion!" And you know, he just might be right. Thank you, Rachel!! :)



A quick update. The J.Crew shoes didn't fit. I'm in between sizes. So I ordered these instead -


I wasn't sure I'd like them. But I do. They're listed as "burgandy" in color, but they lean more towards "plum" or "port." That's what I was hoping for anyway. Pretty, shiny, flat and comfortable, but still dressy. Mission accomplished. So have I just bought something to wear for my wedding?? Eeek, big decisions! Still no progress on a dress. Really, that'll happen this summer. Shoes first, dress later. Makes sense, huh?




Bala Brass

I know I don't usually post about "work" related things here, but this is totally worth the exception. My brass quintet, Bala Brass, is giving a recital this coming Sunday and I've been looking forward to it for months!

Bala Brass

First, I love these guys. Fred sometimes refers to them as my other boyfriends. But collaborating with people in an artistic endeavor is intense! Musicians are so committed and invested in our own personal music making that it's sometimes hard to work as a team when we get together. Everyone has to get along and trust each other and somehow manage to agree on the most intimate of details. But I think in those regards I've really lucked out with Bala. We have a blast together, and I think it comes out in the music.

Bala Brass

We're delighted to have a couple of friends joining us on this recital (hi Fred!) so we could expand beyond the standard brass quintet repertoire. Our program will be:

Benjamin Britten - Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury
Oskar Boehme - Sextet Op. 30
Ingolf Dahl - Music for Brass Instruments
Giovanni Gabrieli - Canzon per sonare a7

If you're not familiar with these pieces, they're awesome. The Boehme and the Dahl are the biggies. Boehme's sextet is a beautiful romantic piece that adds a cornet to the standard list of players. Dahl's sextet is huge and thick and stormy, and features the horn fairly prominantly. I've had my work cut out for me! These are such tremendous pieces. It's stuff that doesn't get performed very often, and we're so excited to be playing it.

Bala Brass

So if you're in the Boston area, or you know anyone in the Boston area and can send them, head on down the green line to Coolidge Corner on Sunday! We'll be at the United Parish at 3. Oh, and there will be a reception following the program. Seriously. I sent Fred to the grocery store yesterday to get 3 pounds of butter and 4 pounds of chocolate and I'll be baking all week. You'll not want to miss this one!

Bala Brass
{Pics by the lovely and talented Rachel Hadiashar}


Millinery Flowers


Remember I mentioned this handbag a few weeks ago? I'm still not sure that I can afford it, so the "mend and make do" voice in my head is wondering if I can make one myself. I mean, people make millinery flowers all the time. Half of my Etsy favorite sellers are doing something with handmade fabric flowers. The blog scene has absolutely exploded with their loveliness.

Millinery Flowers
{from Etsy sellers: foundling, frostingcouture, bonzie, houseoftelsa, myrakim, dinosaurtoes, modernromancepdx, deciduoussoul, and modernromancepdx again}

So I tried it. I had the hardest time finding a tutorial, so please chime in if you know of a good one! (If I were selling these on Etsy I wouldn't be divulging my methods either. But in this space I'm all for sharing the diy love.) I finally found this book from the 1930's, Millinery Processes by Carlotta M. Brown, that's online and fully searchable. She has a full section on making fabric flowers. And ta-da!

Millinery Flower

It's kind of a first draft, but I'm pretty stoked. This one's made from some leftover gold dupioni silk I had lying around. (That sounds kind of funny, now that I say it. Cause who has piles of gold dupioni just lying around? I had bought a bunch at a remnant sale a few years ago, and only used a bit on a dress I was making at the time. I gaze at it happily every time I open my fabric drawer.) I don't know if I'll make a whole purse out of flowers, or if maybe I'll create something to wear in my hair. And there are definitely some necessary tweaks to add to my process. But rock on!

Millinery Flower