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On this path no effort is wasted, no gain is ever reversed; even a little of this practice will shelter you from great sorrow. -Bhagavad Gita

In the midst of this busy, duty filled summer, sadhana  (practice) has sadly not been a top priority the last several weeks. I think it's pretty safe to say that the overwhelmed ride I was on felt more intense because of her absence. Thankfully she is back, I've reclaimed early mornings alone on the mat, not at the sewing machine, doing laundry or dishes, it can all wait. It's good to be home.

A Good Man


Drapery fabric from the 1960s rescued and renewed. A couple of weeks ago while at a show, Adam left to go to the store as I had forgotten the tissue paper at home that I normally stuff the bags with while they are on display. I was having a neurotic Virgo moment and couldn't imagine the day going on without properly fluffed bags (sad, I know). He so kindly offered to run out, no problem, find a store and pick some up. Oh thank you, thank you love.

He returned with the goods, and then told me I needed to go check out an estate sale up the road. They seemed to have a lot of fabric, thread, things like that. He'd take care of things at the craft booth, I should go, and take my time.

I need to interrupt here to say that all morning he was anxious to drive the 1 1/2 hours to the show, deposit me and my wares, and bid farewell quickly as he and Emily set off to hike a section of the AT that was close by. Maps were in hand, hydration bladders were filled, snacks were stocked, and the sky was sapphire blue. I delayed them at least an hour.

So off I went, and how grateful I was to have such a wise, supportive partner. I mean look at that fabric! A man that alerts his wife of a fabulous fabric stash, and insists she checks it out?! Oh yeah, a good man indeed.


And guess what? All five bags in the first photo came from one panel, there are seven more panels to work with... a very good man. Pop over to the shop for a closer look if you'd like, there are three in there. As always, thanks for stopping by, and I hope your day is full of fresh air and sunshine.

Update: Wow! Those went quickly, thank you so much. Maybe I'll get into those other seven panels sooner than later... ;)

On the Mend


Did yesterdays post sneak up on you with no warning? It did for me too, so sorry about that. The ebb and flow of this thing called life you know...

It did provide some perspective. I could be better about prioritizing my time, my commitments, definitely. I have a hard time saying no to things. I also figured if this is destined to be the summer of salty air and sandy car floors, then we really should commemorate with a little something special.  Something to symbolize this happily beach filled summer, and let go of my longing for the mountain air and the trail beneath my feet. As I've said before, they'll both be there waiting, they always are. So, how about a new beach blanket?


I've been collecting these vintage towels for a while now (you cannot buy towels of this quality today), not entirely sure what I would do with them, but wanting it to be something special. I've also been inspired by this beauty. I think I'll combine the two, a quilt made of vintage towels for the beach. Sounds appropriate enough... I'll back it with a vintage sheet, and who knows what sort of random pattern will wind up appearing on the front. Hopefully it'll be ready in time for a few September beach trips, to picnic and search for invertebrates, gently turning over rocks in hopes of discovering various critters. That never gets old.

So, one crappy day that reached the boiling point will result in a new quilt for our beach travels, allowing for even more beautiful memories to be made. Not bad at all.

Clearing the Negative, Making way for the Postive

I don't really have anything to write today. Well, I suppose I have a lot to write but only about things of the complaining variety. Some days are just like this. Some weeks, months or seasons are like this. For me, what puts me past my edge very easily is being overly scheduled/committed. And I fully recognize that I don't fall into any resemblance of "normal" as far as my tolerance levels for such busy times. Well, with all the daydreaming and tulip tip-toeing I have to save room for. It's just who I am.

It's been a very duty-filled summer. New jobs and tighter budgets, both keeping us closer to home than we are used to. Not that we are world travelers (Adam is not a fan of airplanes, still waiting for jet-packs to be standard issue for all passengers), but we always find our way to the mountains several times each summer. Not this year, so far anyway. I'm just feeling very aware of that, with summer coming to a close, as I've felt fall in the air the last few days, forgive me for rambling, these are just the things I'm noticing.

Going to the beach around here has been great, and I will miss it should I ever be lucky enough to return to Vermont to live. The Green Mountains have been home in my mind for 15 years, since Adam first started taking me to where he grew up. I breathe differently there. We do get little hikes in around here, but it is different, usually being more of a trash pick-up community service experience than communing with nature. I suppose both are necessary.


While this summer feels like it has slipped away with much more doing than being (especially this last month), my girl reminds me to celebrate the free moments left of the season. A rope swing in the backyard following dinner outside, that'll work

It's 6:30 in the morning as I write this, Adam has already left for work. He just sent me a text message; "I love you. You are working so hard, good things will come of it, hang in there." How did he know all that was on my mind in this moment? He always knows.

Random Recap


weekend::barefooted craft show with lots of wind causing a few scary moments::an hour stuck on interstate 95, made tolerable by this american life being on the radio::a gentleman next to us at the show who sold out of his "birdhouses on a stick", my girlfriend who is an artist has a theory that if you put anything on a stick at a craft show, sales will be 10x higher than if said items were not on sticks. we've tested this theory through careful observation over the years. she's right::we are going to now put all of my tote bags and purses on sticks for future shows::a bridal shower for a special friend::an incomplete gift for special friend because a BAT flew into my studio friday night as i was finishing it up, it was screaming, showing it's teeth, nice... bats flying around my studio do not provide good crafting mojo. if any friend were to understand this, it would be ashley::new library books::hooded sweatshirts::wool socks::corduroy::excited about swapping with nada of craft monkey, she's providing amy butler goods and a book i can't wait to read with emily, i'm providing the burnt orange patchwork and corduroy bag that was in my shop, we share the same lust for corduroy and yurts. though she actually lives in one and i just have living in one lust ::neighborhood kids coming and going::deck dining::sunrise through bamboo blinds::chocolate chip cookie making::andy griffith watching with popcorn and hot cocoa::rope swinging::bike riding::studio cleaning::home improvement projects of the electrical kind, the gutter cleaning kind, the shower caulking kind, and the fat lip producing kind, stitches not quite necessary::all of this and a new little corner created as well, nothing much, just a quiet space in my studio that floods with morning light (though today is a little cloudy). who knows what will happen here, but it is very inviting.



Are any of you like me? Do you get these bright ideas that seem so... whipupable... in your both feet to the floor thinking. Knowing that once the fabric is cut you'll make half a dozen of this particular project this afternoon easily, well, four definitely. You begin, it takes a full hour just to cut the fabric, not a good sign.


But the fabric is so sweet, and in your mind this design is delicate, the pieces need to be small and plentiful. You forge ahead, stay the course, as you work the afternoon away, and you complete one. That's right. One. Was it worth it? She thinks so.


Of course the prototype for any design is made for someone special, someone who is graciously forgiving about the whole learning curve. And in this case, a special someone who is very much in need of a new knitting bag.


Choosing an understanding soul as the recipient of a prototype is of the utmost importance. They need to be able to offer constructive criticism, and practical advice, with compassion. Together, my recipient and I made a few assessments.

The single strap with it's not too long length, is perfect. I was going for slightly wide, but it is a tad too wide, take it in 1/2 an inch. Kudos on the low-loft cotton batting in the strap, super comfy. Nice idea using it in the bag itself too. Makes it cozy but not puffy, apparently that's very important. The ties work nicely as a closure, a bit skinnier next time and maybe add a bead or two to the ends (ooh, good idea). The random scrap pattern lends an old fashioned feel (yeah! I was going for that!). The gusseted bottom is the right depth, and the overall shape and size feels right. Interior pockets get the thumbs up too.

Minor suggestions, gratefully accepted as the recipient quietly slips away to move her supplies into her new bag.


If I could now figure out how to make this more efficiently so it could be offered in the shop without people needing to mortgage their homes as the only option to own one. That's a tough one, I'll work on it.

Oh, we also agree that it's quite sassy, and I don't throw those kind of words around ever day. This idea is a keeper. A very time consuming one.

**Thank you all for your encouraging words yesterday about homeschooling, we really appreciate it.**

School Days


Emily's handcraft shelf, a corner of many possibilities. We've always been a Montessori family, which means we love things to be arranged in cute little baskets and offered up as a "choice", with all materials and instructions for each "work" located within said basket. True to the Montessori method, the work choices revolve every few weeks or seasonally, depending on the project. I look forward to expanding this concept even more fully into our lives and homes this year as we venture into the new to us territory of homeschooling/unschooling.

It's been quietly brewing behind the scenes for many months now, inspired by Emily, encouraged by her school and teachers. We would never have had the confidence to be here if it wasn't for them. Though I had for years secretly dreamed of homeschooling, knowing with every drop of maternal instinct I have, that it would suit the style of learner that Emily is. So, because of gentle nudging from all the right people to just try it, I'm very excited to finally begin sharing this new adventure in learning.


This little corner is the first of many that I am in the process of setting up around our home, though I expect much of our learning to take place out in the world as well. Currently, Emily is fascinated with the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. She could tell you more than you'd ever care to know about the deadly virus, you may not want to come for tea anytime soon...

She's got all the statistical information in her head, now she wants to make it real, feel it's impact. She's begun visiting graveyards, recording information of those who died in 1918, and will begin the next phase of her research at the town hall in a few weeks. Here she plans to look up the death records of these people and see if she finds a relationship between the virus and the deceased. She then wants to map out routes to the homes of these people, visit via roadside, notice and discuss the period and architectual style of the homes, imagine the lives of families that lived inside, and process the visceral experience of it all. Lives connected. Lessons learned.

We'll keep you posted as this study progresses, and others,  but we've decided a companion blog is in order. I can only have so much going on here before you all start to go cross-eyed, plus it'll be a way for Adam and even Emily to get some writing in. It'll take a few weeks, but I'll let you know. 

I also had to share this photo that I took as I was shooting a couple of bags to add to the shop. Do you see the blur that is in the background with it's brake lights on?


"Oh, a nice lady on the porch taking pictures of bags for who knows what reason... she'd probably like some ice cream!"  I'm telling you, we are up to forty drive-by's a day... do not make direct eye contact.

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Anyway, in keeping with my personal commitment to not neglect my shop again, I've added these two darlings to freshen things up a little. Thanks for peeking!

Shop Talk

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This weekend marked my fourth show of the season, located in the northwest hills of Connecticut. The show itself was on the quiet side, but did result in my first wholesale order from a rather posh yet trendy boutique in town. I'm pretty excited about that and look forward to sharing with you here in a couple of weeks the "line" that I am creating for them. I can't wait!

I also redesigned my tags/business cards... what do you think? They are not as light as they appear in this photo, but you get the idea. Who knows where this crafty venture will take me, I have no expectations really. The ability to "work" in little pockets of time here and there, creating my own schedule, very much works for me and my family right now. And the extra bit of income is appreciated as well. I've also greatly enjoyed the many conversations I've had at shows as the result of the bags with words stitched on them, what fabulous little conversation starters they've turned out to be... who knew?!



We finished off the day at Bohemian Pizza, sooo my kind of place. I think my town could use a restaurant with the sounds of Cream and Skynyrd in the air, album covers as wallpaper, and faux cow fur as booth covers. Definitely loved the cow fur.



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And don't you think all places should pass out fortune cookies at the end of the meal? There is no reason for this happy little custom to be found exclusively at Chinese restaurants. Leave it to the Bohemians to figure that one out. Brilliant!


Now I am off to deal with this... a Monday ritual around here lately!


He Probably Won't Notice


Who am I kidding?  He'll notice. But how many pairs of jeans does a man/person really need anyway? Shhh... don't tell.






It's our secret, okay? I'll just say I'm behind on laundry...permanently.

It's Hot and We Have no Groceries


You were all so sweet yesterday sharing your ice cream truck stories... Emily and I thoroughly enjoyed reading each one, thank you!

It has been too hot around here to cook much lately, now there is a "poor air quality alert" through Friday, hmm. I won't touch that, and hereby promise not to let this post be of the griping nature, I feel like I've been complaining a tad around here lately. Let's just blame it on the heat. Kay?

A family can survive on dinner of cheese, crackers, fresh veggies and ice cream for only so long. After a few days the veggies run out, and the body revolts, demanding to be nourished in a way that only a home cooked meal can offer. I'll graciously succumb and turn on the stove, but please don't make me go to the market, deal with the car, the asphalt, the crowds, the heat. As desperately as we need to go shopping, I just don't want to. I must have some ingredients of interest and quality around here.

The above is what I came up with. Inspired by the Spiced Peanut Sauce recipe from The Kripalu Cookbook, to which I tossed with cooked (rinsed under cold water), udon noodles, finely diced baby carrots (because we all have baby carrots kicking around no matter how low we are on groceries), and chopped fresh herbs from the garden. The herbs I used were parsley, chive, basil and lemon verbena which added a lovely, fresh Thai quality. You know by now I'm pretty bad at offering formal recipes, baking is one thing, but cooking sort of just shows up as I go along. Take the above list of ingredients for inspiration, change it to make it your own, and try the sauce recipe below, adapted from The Kripalu Cookbook.

Spiced Peanut Sauce/Dressing

  • 3 Tbls. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbls. ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbls. crushed mild chili peppers
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • tiny pinch cayenne pepper, or more for your taste
  • 1 1/2 cups natural peanut butter
  • 3 Tbs. tamari
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp, cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups water

In a small skillet, heat the oil and saute the cumin, chili, coriander, and cayenne for 1-2 minutes.

In a blender, slowly blend together the spice/oil mixture, peanut butter, tamari, salt, pepper, adding water while blending to desired thickness. Toss with other ingredients, chill for a bit before serving, the salad and you. Dsc04636_3                                                                                                                  

I also promised a recipe for Blueberry Buckle a while back, sadly I'm just getting around to writing it up. You will really love this, it is so dessert like, but go ahead, call it breakfast.

Blueberry Buckle

  • 3/4 sugar (cane juice crystals)
  • 4 Tbls. butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups flour (I use whole wheat pastry, heartier, preference is yours)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen



  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbls. butter

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cream the sugar and butter together. Add the egg.

2. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, alternating with the milk, ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the blueberries.

3. In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients, mixing with a fork until crumbly.

4. Pour the batter into a greased,  8-inch square glass pan, spread evenly, sprinkle with topping.

5.Bake 45-50 minutes, until golden brown.