Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I'm quite happy to be done with 2008. It was a hard year around here and for a lot of people I know. But the good thing about hard years is that they end. And thankfully so.

A few ideas I have for 2009:
I've got some new crafty projects in the works I'm excited about
I'd like to get a few new wholesale accounts
I hope to be blogging more regularly and keeping updated with Twitter.
Some budget planning is in the works
I also plan to do lots of organization and destashing

Here's to a whole new year of possibilities and handmade goodness. Hooray!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Seasons Greetings

I have missed my little blog these past few months. I thought I would pop in with a quick update and a link to me at Twitter
Keep up with me there and I promise to be back here soon.

I'm planning a big shop update today and tomorrow. New sewing kits, coffee cozies and some sweet little button sets are coming!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Things

Things I'm loving right now:
1::my garden

2::sewing for a new baby niece due next month. made using this pattern

3::canning jam
4::eating homemade jam on freshly baked bread YUM!
5::these plastic screw on lids for canning jars. they have changed my life.

Things I'm not loving right now:
1::new neighbors and their heavy metal band
2::cabbage worms
4::powdery mildew
5::scary noise my car is making when I turn left

Things I'm looking forward to:
1::figuring out what to do with the giant bag of blueberries picked this weekend
2::holding a new baby that arrived last month
3::starting on the new baby's quilt
4::buying some of the Michael Miller organic fleece for the back of baby's quilt
5::upcoming trip to Seattle, Beard Papa, here I come!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day

Have a safe and fun holiday!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Sweets

I made my first strawberry rhubarb pie last week with berries picked from a local farm. I used the recipe from this book. If you don't have this book, and you like to bake, I strongly recommend it. It's huge and thus far every recipe I have tried but one (and I think it was my fault) has turned out perfectly. I like that all the recipes are tested over and over until they are perfect. I also used the pie crust recipe from the book for the first time and it was great. I think it's going to be my new pie crust recipe, perfectly flaky and lightly sweetened. Unfortunately, said pie was devoured before it could be photographed.

I did make some donuts yesterday and managed to photograph them. The recipe is here. They were delicious. Not too sweet and definitely not as heavy as fried donuts. I dipped some in cinnamon and sugar and some in powdered sugar. The cinnamon ones were hands down the favorite.

In gardening news, I recently discovered a most unwelcome garden guest, the cabbage worm, happily munching on my broccoli plants. So I mixed up some natural pest spray and pried them off and now I'm on cabbage worm patrol. Other than that, all is well in the garden. I think we'll have some tomatoes within a few weeks. Yippee!

I hope everyone had a nice fourth of July. Ours was very low key except for the neighbors very loud party and the insane amount of fireworks in the neighborhood. Fireworks are illegal in the town I grew up in, so it's still a bit of a shock each year when I start hearing them in the days leading up to the fourth. I like fireworks ok, but I would not be in least bit sad if they were outlawed here. I know many little animals who would be fine with that as well.

I've got family coming to town on Monday and so much work to do around the house. Have a lovely weekend!

Me Hot

It's muy caliente here in Portland today, 97 to be exact.

Yesterday we drove to a local farm and had a picnic with friends under a giant oak tree.

It was such perfect weather, we could see Mt. Hood.

Another set of felted coasters is in the shop. I love these colors together!

I'm off to hug the air conditioner.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Friend Flax

More coffee cozies are in the shop.

I got some new linen over the weekend and have fallen in love with it. It's a bit darker than my usual linen. I find it funny that I have a "usual" linen. Anyway, it's very beautiful and has a really nice drape to it. I bought the last of the bolt, so I'm hoping I can get more. I think linen is the only fabric that looks as good wrinkled as it does nicely pressed.

A couple of new bags:

Some mushrooms, photographed on my new favorite background. I'm trying to use it sparingly so I don't get tired of it's rustic woodiness, though it does seem unlikely that I could get tired of such a thing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Some new wooly goods have made their way into the shop the past few days.
Mama Bird and Her Nest:

A Happy Apple Friend:

and some felted coasters:

I just added a new print to the shop also. I used chalk pastels for the first time and I really like the sort of dreamy effect they add.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Very Nice Day

After getting some work done, we were able to spend some time outside in the sun, it was delightful. It started with gelato and a cappucino on the patio at Mio Gelato down the street, then some time in the garden winding yarn into balls and knitting, followed by a walk to meet a friend for dinner. A perfect summer day. I'm always amazed at how much we miss when we're in the car. You really notice the little things when walking. Today, for example, I fell in love with peonies. Why haven't I planted peonies yet?

I've added a few new prints to the shop.
Small Town:

Business Bear:

and Bedtime Story:

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sun and Prints

The sun has been out for the past two days, and although it's still chilly, it's been so welcome.

I spent a good part of today working on some new art prints. These two are in the shop.

It occurred to me that I've only got a couple of months before I need to get into holiday stock up mode. Scary, huh? It's still hard for me to shift my brain to retail timing. I don't really want to think about Christmas card designs in August, but alas I must.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hey, It's Raining

Again. And it's going to rain until the end of time, I'm pretty sure.

Anyway, I've just updated the shop with some new cup cozies.

Sorry for the blah post, but I am rained out. I had to turn the heat on this morning, this June morning. WTF?

Happy Thursday! The weekend is coming hurrah!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How My Garden Grows

One of the things keeping me busy the past few weeks has been the garden. I have been craving the ever so elusive Pacific Northwest sun this year more than usual. We've been outside nearly every day planning and digging and planting. Every year the garden and backyard become easier to maintain. A lot of that is due to experience. I've had to move a few things that were planted with no real thought as to the size, shape and space requirements. Lesson learned, don't plant a hydrangea in front of an azalea bush in a 3 foot wide bed.

This year we built two raised beds in the garden bed. I'm so happy with them. They took half a day to build and are already making things easier. I've got pretty much all of my vegetables in and now we just water and wait. The only things I'd still like to have are spinach, brussels sprouts and some peas. This year I'm growing 2 tomatillo plants, 4 varieties of tomatoes (roma, amish paste, carlotta and cherry), english cucumber, butternut squash, pumpkin, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, and butter lettuce. I've also got a little section devoted to herbs.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Busy as a Bee

Here is my submission for Spiralling's Ice Breaker:

1. Jenn's birthday cake, 2. Diesel Fried Chicken, 3. Tamarack, 4. feathers and roses, 5. Flor de Cera!!, 6. Strawberry-Rambutan Boba Tea - Homemade Vegan Mix!, 7. Google Japan Vending Machines, 8. SWEETIE PIE, 9. done!, 10. laundry, 11. Mao~ What a beautiful gal?! CRW_3677, 12. Handmade Love 1
The Questions:
1. What is your first name? - Jenn
2. What is your favorite food? - Fried Chicken
3. What high school did you go to? - North Central
4. What is your favorite color? - Aqua
5. Who is your celebrity crush? - Michael Cera (yes, I know he's technically a teenager)
6. Favorite drink? - Bubble Tea
7. Dream vacation? - Japan
8. Favorite dessert? - Cake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? - Fabric Designer
10. What do you love most in life? - Linen
11. One Word to describe you. - Funny
12. Looked up my flickr name and found something about me - "chetanddot" Several sweet pictures of my handmade stuff (peanut).

And a new friend in the shop:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Hello little blog, how did a month go by so fast?

I haven't been in the mood for crafting for awhile but thankfully the craft fairy waved her wand and I got reacquainted with my darling sewing machine.

Some new pincushions:

A new Friend, Lyle who loves lemonade:

My favorite cookies, Lemon Sandwich, from Everyday Food:

Happy Friday to you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

I hope everyone is having a nice Earth Day!

I've been thinking about the changes I've made and the little things I do to make our earth a better place and thought I'd share them here.

::I try to use my own bags every time I buy something, whether it's at the grocery store, hardware store or fabric store.

::Reusing packing supplies as often as possible. I recently discovered a local source for used packing envelopes, they're just 25 cents each!

::One of the things I get most excited about is when I can use the back of a letter or junk mail to print shipping labels. I have also configured my printer so that I can print 4 labels per sheet instead of 2 (very exciting)

::We recently started composting all of our food and vegetable scraps, I'm amazed at how much room that took up in the trash can

::Purchasing recycled paper for printing

::Using vintage and reclaimed fabrics and craft supplies

::One of the hardest things for me is trying to drive less and consolidate my errands but I am working on that

::And of one of greatest things ever is paying bills online! I think there are only two that I don't pay online because of the fees.

::Buying local whenever possible

::Using cloth instead of paper towels

::making products that are sustainable and helpful like recycled sweater cup cozies and cloth gift bags.

::Using natural and earth friendly cleaning products and laundry soap, still have a few to get rid of and add in this category

There is still much room for improvement, for example, I'm am planning to switch to using eco friendly fiberfill for my softies as soon as I can find a cost effective substitute, I am working on finding a good replacement hair conditioner for the Pantene I've been using for years, I'd like to have a more productive garden this year and water it with rain from a rain barrel.

What about you? What things do you do to make a difference?

Sunday, April 20, 2008


So I know I promised pics of the bread from this book weeks ago. I'm finally getting to it. I've made probably 6 or 7 different batches of bread and at least 5 different types. My favorite so far is the rye. It is amazingly delicious! The only problem I have encountered is that the loaves are coming out quite small. I just bought some fresh yeast and will try that to see if it helps. Anyway, here is yesterday's bread photo shoot.
Just out of the refrigerator:

After rising right before baking:

Hot out of the oven:


Sunday, April 06, 2008

For Baby

Hello Hello. I'm sorry for the long absence. I've been sick for a week but am finally feeling better.

My sister is expecting her second baby in August. We just found out it's another girl. This means that I've some sewing to do. This is the first installment of baby stuff. The next batch won't be so pink.

The little hats are reversible. I copied a vintage hat I'd found. I'm thinking about creating a tutorial for them if enough people are interested. They seriously take about 10 or 15 minutes each. Plus, they're adorable and perfect baby shower gifts.
The fabric I used on the hats and bib are actually flannel receiving blankets from the new Dwell line at Target. Adorable, no?

Of course, I'm including some little things for my 4 year old niece as well. I made this little apron from a vintage one I found. It was so easy and I'm really happy with the result. I even managed to sew on the binding on the first try and with the machine. Amazing!

I think I'm going to Gocco print the baby shower invitations and birth announcements. These are some sketches I'm working on. Babies are so fun! I wish they didn't live so far away.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

More Gocco

My extra Gocco screens came yesterday! I made my first two screen print. I'm pretty happy with it, though it was quite a challenge getting them to line up.
This is Happy Birthday Hamster:

and of course Happy Cloud:

The only ink I color I didn't get with my initial order was white. I had heard that you could only use Gocco inks and that Speedball and other inks were usually too thin. However, I had some white block printing ink on hand so I used that to mix colors and it worked perfectly. I think the block printing ink is thicker than fabric ink. So, if you're wondering if you can use other inks with Gocco, you can. I'm also looking into thickening some of the Speedball fabric ink I have to see it that will work. I found something called sodium alginate and I believe that will work. I'll let you know how it goes.

On a completely unrelated note, I got this book for my birthday. I was skeptical, how could you have perfectly amazing bread in 2 hours? I'm not quite sure how it works but it does and it's delicious! No pics of this one as I couldn't wait to shove it in my face. I'll get some of the next loaf. I love that right now I have a container full of bread dough in the fridge that I can tear a piece from and bake for instant fresh bread anytime. Magic!

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's still Spring, right?

Spring is here, with it's daffodils, flowering trees, longer days and snow. Yep, snow. It effing snowed here yesterday. See:

What happened to Spring here in the Northwest?

My Gocco came yesterday along with the snow. I wasted no time in making a huge mess and then falling in LOVE. I knew I would. I'm not sure why I waited so long to buy one. Those days are behind us now and it's me + Gocco forever! It's amazing! I drew this little owl and went through the ridiculously easy steps and within minutes had 20+ perfect, multicolor prints of Miss Owl. It only came with 2 screens and I've ordered extras but they won't arrive until next week. I'm not sure I can wait. If only there was a 24 hour Gocco supply store. The new cards are in the shop.