archive for the ‘flotsam and jetsam’ category


Monday, June 6th, 2011

polish (i'm partial to the sparkly ones)
i have franken-toes: my second toe, on both the right and left foot, is a full quarter inch longer than my big toe. i usually don’t like drawing attention to my little piggies. but lately? i can’t walk into target without walking out with a new bottle of polish.

last summer, the only polish i used was a pale pink, which gave my toenails a finished look, without drawing attention to the freak show. but meghan turned me on to gold polish over the winter, and i’m hooked on metallics & bright colors. i am celebrating my franken-toes! it’s summer! they want to be out!

merry go round : photo

Friday, May 27th, 2011

amsterdam : bike on pastoorsbrug, brouwersgracht & keizersgracht
it’s the last friday of the month, which means today’s post is a part of merry go round, a group of 11 artists/craftwomen from around the world that gather to share their thoughts on the same topic. this month’s topic: find a photo that affects you in some way.

the photo i’ve chosen is a polaroid that i shot in april when i was in amsterdam. out of all of the photos i took, this one of a bike locked to a canal bridge… this one captures what amsterdam is to me.

see what everyone else has to share:

laura at blue terracotta
monika at red 2 white
ruth at birdland creations
kim at vilt a la kim
sara at crafts of texture
samantha at vintage is for lovers
mariana at florcita
agathe at le bar du vent
mitsy at artmind
bethany at dirksen dabbles

happy weekend, all!

object of affection no. 3

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

my glue brush
this is my glue brush. i bought it for my first ever bookbinding class, which i took during my last year of college, which was (oohboy) 15 years ago.

my glue brush has held up pretty well. it’s the only brush i use for gluing, and when i have pARTies, i make my friends use the cheap $1 hardware store brushes and i rarely share my brush. the metal around the brush head is rusting a bit, and the head is starting to come loose from the handle… a little super glue might solve that last problem. i will take drastic measures, if necessary, to keep this brush in one piece!

object of affection no. 2

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

big scissors
the second in my exploration of odd objects that i have an attachment to… the first object of affection.

these are the “big scissors”, and were my mom’s scissors. they are rusty. they are dull, but they still cut. they are more than 25 years old. but i can still hear my mom say “go get the big scissors in the middle drawer.”. the big scissors are now in a drawer in my kitchen, and they will move with me to future kitchens until i am no more.

. . . . . . . .

my dear friend anna lives in queensland, australia which is under water. her family lives on a hill and so far are unscathed by the flooding, but she has family, friends, and colleagues that have flooded homes. anna is running a raffle for those that donate at least $5 to the premier’s flood relief appeal. visit her queensland flood relief auction post for more details.

giveaway : natural handmade goods idea book

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

natural handmade goods idea book
i try not to impulse shop. really, i do — i can be pretty frugal. but sometimes, i fail…

natural handmade goods idea book
when i was in manhattan in early october, i met cindy at kinokuniya, the japanese bookstore. and all logic apparently stayed outside on sixth avenue, because i certainly don’t bring it into the bookstore with me.

natural handmade goods idea book
i bought a book based on its front cover, but once i had the opportunity to sit down and really go through it, i realized it wasn’t for me. natural handmade goods idea book is beautiful, and comes with a CD that contains photoshop element files that you can use to create the projects featured in the book, and a 2nd CD that appears to have photoshop elements 6.0 for windows.

natural handmade goods idea book
the projects are super-cute! but not me. also, it’s in japanese, so you’ll need to think a little harder than normal to follow along. but it’ll be worth it!

natural handmade goods idea book
so, leave me a comment to give this book a good home. and to make it fun, leave me a comment about your worst impulse buy. spill it! i have no social life right now while i prep goods for the holidays, so give me some good stuff to laugh at. i will have my pal, random number generator, pick the winner next wednesday (november 10) morning, around 6:30am central time.

updated 11.10.10: the winner of the natural handmade goods idea book is comment #6, aimee!


Friday, October 29th, 2010

last tuesday
that crazy storm that hit the midwest blew most the leaves off the trees this week, and now they’re shivering in the leftover breeze. we had our first official frost this morning, meaning it’s finally time for soups, blankets, and cuddling with your sweetie (which in my case, is a chunky little one-eyed mutt).

happy weekend, and happy, happy halloween!


Monday, July 12th, 2010


i’ve always wondered what it would be like to dig up old pottery in the backyard, and yesterday i found out: i was planting new perennials, and found the shard above while digging. i dug a little more to see if there where more pieces, but i didn’t find any.

this one is about an inch long by half inch wide, and needs a good cleaning. and then, i’m going to make a brooch.

happy monday!

420 garfield

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

i have this photo of my maternal grandfather:

420 garfield

that’s his handwriting on the back:

420 garfield

e.c. stands for eau claire, wisconsin. i drove there last saturday to spend the afternoon with a friend. i brought the picture, and she and i found our way to 420 garfield.

420 garfield

when i pulled up, i knew i was at the right address: the position of the front door had changed, and the house was blue instead of white, but there was no question it was the house my grandfather lived in briefly as a child.

420 garfield

i knocked on the door, and a gentleman with 2 young daughters answered. i explained that my grandfather had lived there, and i showed him the photo. i asked if he minded if i took a few photos of the exterior of the house. he asked if i’d like to come in, but i declined — it felt too intrusive, and my grandfather hadn’t spoken much of the home itself, so there was no emotional tie to the interior for me.

the owner of the home then excused himself for a minute, and came back with the home’s original title, which dated back to the late 1800′s. we searched for my great-grandparent’s names, but could not find them. ithen remembered that my grandfather’s father died in the 1918 spanish flu epidemic, and there was a good chance that my grandfather and his mother were renters in 420. i have a written history of that time period of my grandfather’s life, but it is buried away, somewhere in a box. he died 3 years ago next week, and even a few years have passed, i still think of him daily, thanks to the little reminders (like the photo) that i’ve saved and scattered around my home.

thirty six

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

thirty six
today i am thirty six.

thirty five was a pretty good year: i quit smoking (but promise to start back up when i turn 70). i spent an autumn weekend in new york alone (and think this needs to be an annual event for me). i ran a half marathon (and will do 3 more this year). i gave my liver a good workout in las vegas (dear god, never again). i had my living and dining rooms redone and emptied my savings to make my house me (i still need to show that!). i didn’t go to amsterdam (but will not let anything stop me from going for birthday #37). i drove south to meet aimee, jackie, and melinda; i flew west to meet jen; i flew west again to meet evalynn and martha and visit with chandler (i love that the internet has brought these amazing people into my life). i’ve surrounded myself with a wonderful network of friends (i am so grateful for all of you). i didn’t make much creatively (but i finally learned to not stress out about it).

i’m excited for what year thirty six will bring…

rhubarb ruching

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

rhubarb ruching
i’m in awe of spring’s early arrival, and still cannot believe it is here. i’m soaking up every little detail, because i’m afraid someone (old man winter!) is going to snatch it away… i’ve never noticed how much my rhubarb leaves look like ruching as they burst from the ground. makes me wanna learn how to sew! (never did get around to doing that — maybe next winter.)

spring yellow!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

spring is making a wonderful early appearance here, and my toes are itching for fresh air, and my legs want to see some sun. i can’t help but get excited for a few new pieces to wear on warmer days. during a trip to target over this weekend i picked up this dress… the print is a bit bolder than i normally wear, but i couldn’t resist the yellow!


Friday, December 18th, 2009

wrap is simple this year: kraft paper, baker’s twine, tags made with ledger paper.

i’m just not finding the time to get everything done that i want to get done before xmas. the gifts are wrapped, but the cards have not been sent. gifts to go overseas have not been packaged up. yummy goodies are only ingredients on a shopping list. hopefully this weekend i will get caught up!

happy weekend!


Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

the floor guy started sanding my floors yesterday. before i left for work, we both examined the first step to the second-floor stairway (it’s the step you see in the 2nd picture of this post). we agreed that it needed to be replaced: it was cracked in half, the finish was worn down, and there was gunked up paint bordering it from the old trim.

he called me at the end of the day to give me an update. he mentioned that he found a bunch of “neat papers” inside that first step, and that they were waiting for me in my kitchen. i assumed he found a some old newspaper scraps, whoo-hoo, big effin deal. but it was neater than that:

step ephemera

from what i can tell, a little girl named jeanne figured out a way to remove the piece of wood on the top of the stair, and used it as a hiding spot for her special things. a lot of the items had dates on them, indicating that it was early to mid 50′s when she lived here.

step ephemera

dresses for paper dolls, valentines, advertisements, playing cards, drawings, letters… i’ve actually purchased ephemera packages containing the same items. it’s even more fun to find them in your house!

step ephemera

(ugh, we have officially entered that time of year when we have about 1 hour of natural light for photography. apologies for the crappy photos.)

a deer!

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

a deer!
i recently found this little guy tucked away in a box. i originally found him in my grandparent’s basement. his tail has been reattached a few times, and there are nics and cracks. but with a gentle cleaning and a little moss he’s renewed. and he’s not going back into the box.


Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

404 | 612
my construction project is slowly coming to an end. i need to paint this weekend, and i’m starting with an off-white. but then i think i’m going to do one wall of grey in the dining room, and one wall of pea-green in the living room. not sure if it’s going to work, but it can always be painted over…

back-to-school giveaway

Friday, September 4th, 2009

this refillable book can be yours!
school starts late here in minnesota: most districts start after labor day, which is next monday. this 3-day weekend is the last blast for the little ones dreading the school year. and even though it has been years since i stepped into a school bus, i still feel that little pang of dread that the summer is over…

but i do love the ritual of school-supply shopping! so in the spirit of back-to-school, a little giveaway is in order: in the comments, tell me a back-to-school story. you have until tuesday (sept 8th) morning, and the random number generator will pick the winning commentor. the winner will be sent this refillable book that i made for last march’s pARTy.

refillable book interior
the book has half-moon envelopes in the inside covers, to hold little goodies. the interior pages are 8.5 x 11 office paper, folded in half, so you can refill your book easily (if you’re in the states!). it’s the crafty version of a trapper keeper. remember those?

happy weekend!


Monday, August 31st, 2009

button sunprints
buttons were on the brain over the weekend: a button popped off my bag on the same day a button popped off my favorite summer pants. both were successfully repaired, and i thought it’d be fun to test out my new sunprinting kit (from cali!) with a few buttons from my stash. i don’t think i ever did sunprinting as a kid, so i think it’s pretty neat. i’m saving my other sheets for more sunny fun…

stones. a giveaway.

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

i’ve put some stones in my etsy shop.

i’m not entirely convinced that they will sell, but the comments i received when i first posted the stones were so unexpected… i may as well see what happens. and eh, if they don’t sell, they are just stones.

so to kick things off, and to see if there’s still interest, i’m giving away the stones pictured above. if you’d like a shot at receiving the set, leave a comment (and include your email address, please!) telling me what herb you most associate with summer. i’ll use a random number generator monday morning to pick the winner.

updated august 3: we have a winner! comment #14 was chosen by the random number generator. thank you, everyone!


Thursday, July 23rd, 2009




yesterday when i crawled out of cube-land, it was bright and sunny, and the clouds surrounding the parking lot were stunning. it was storming over my house right that minute, but i was 30 miles away trying to grab photos without including the ugliness of the industrial park…

i drove towards the storm, but the sun stayed over me the entire way home. the garden got a good dousing, and i stayed dry.


Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

dill and thyme

oregano and lavender

india ink on lake superior stones. herbs from the garden.