Archive for April, 2010

Family Photos

This past weekend we went out to the Landscape Arboretum and met up with Photographer Kim Monsen to shoot Daughter’s one-year photos. Kim is so talented. She took photos of my Brother and his family last summer and was able to wrangle his four kids, as well as their two cousins, and I’ve seen the photos that prove it.

We wandered through the flowers and she took dozens of photos of Daughter, Husband and I. When I downloaded the above shot from my camera, I remembered this photo my Mother took of me thirty-some years ago. Look familiar?

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Three weeks from today I’ll be on a plane to one of my favorite places with some of my favorite people. I’m heading to New York City for Jen’s Manhattan Meet-up and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m leaving Husband and Daughter behind, which will be more than difficult, but it will be nice to get away and hang with the girls.

On my list of Must-sees and Must-dos:

• Dumplings in Chinatown (see above)

• Any Farmers’ Market (to get local goodies)

Mood (!)

• Central Park (at least part of it)

Guggenheim (never been there, strange, eh?)

• A Bagel in Brooklyn

• A cupcake that’s NOT from Magnolia

Museum of Arts and Design

• And to wander

So, I ask you, what am I missing? What do I have to see that’s off the beaten path? Where do I have to eat? I plan to walk almost everywhere, so I’ll need at least four or 5 meals a day. Suggestions? Thanks!

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A friend of mine is a Writer. We worked together years and years ago at an Ad Agency. She was the writer, I was the designer. I loved working with her. She was creative and supportive and so much fun. And I’m glad to say that we’ve stayed in touch all these years. And now she’s gone a published a book! I’m so proud of her. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit excited when I asked for my friend’s book at Barnes and Noble. I’m still just barely started, but the book grabbed my attention from the first page. Can’t wait to see what happens!

Congratulations Carolyn!

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When I was walking Dog and Daughter last week I saw a woman at the park with the cutest little backpack. Just a simple little sack with a few straps wrapping around her arms. It reminded me that just last month Jen gave me an amazing book full of directions on how to make Bags. And yep, there was a simple pattern in there for a simple backpack!

When I got home and Daughter took a nap, I pulled out my stash of Ikea fabrics and got to work. By the end of naptime I had the body of the backpack complete. By the next afternoon I had a backpack! I love it. It’s just big enough for a bottle of water and a book, or a diaper and some goldfish, or some treats and some poop bags. Depends on whose turn it is!

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A few weeks ago I bought this pattern from the Little Blue Boo etsy shop to make Daughter a dress. I gradually dug up old t-shirts, cut out the pattern, bought starch spray, and started putting it all together. And it came togehter so easily and the dress was so adorable! But, (deep sigh), it was WAY too small. Like, couldn’t even get it over her head, small. Since she’s a big 13 months, I created my own pattern halfway between the 12M and 2T sizes. Guess I should have just gone with the 2T. I considered giving the dress away, but I really loved the pieces I put together. And since the dress is a patchwork of sorts anyway, I found the same gray t-shirt that I cut the straps from and add two inches on either side of the dress. Bingo! It fits beautifully! The top apron piece is a little narrow, but she’s young enough that it doesn’t matter. I can’t wait for a warm summer day for her to run around in it.

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A Lovely Reminder from a Lovely Blog:

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

– J.K. Rowling


Enjoy your weekend!

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Another friend had a birthday this week, and I made her a simple Coffee Cozy using the tutorial from House on Hill Road. It took me less than an hour to put together. It’s a great way to use up those scraps of fabric that are starting to accumulate in my studio and cut down on the cardboard cozys at Caribou Coffee. How are you celebrating Earth Day?

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Jen came downtown last week and we met at Black Sheep Pizza to celebrate her birthday. Black Sheep has been open for a while, but just recently opened for lunch. And I’m so glad they did. They’re just a few short blocks from my office and their logo is so cute it’s reason enough to just go there to check it out. But then we tried the food, and it’s an even better reason to head down here.

We started with the daily salad, which was full of spinach, beets (!), apples and blue cheese. ‘Nough said. It was delicious. I think it was sprinkled with some sea salt, which strangely I prefer on my caramels, but it didn’t bother me here. Yum, is all I could say. And then we moved on to the pizza.

We created our own, with tomatoes and mushrooms and it was perfect. To me, the crust of a pizza is the most important part. And Black Sheep didn’t disappoint. And unlike Punch, it didn’t dominate the pizza. There was just the right balance of crust, sauce, topping and cheese. Nothing overpowering.

I can’t wait to go back. If you’re in the Twin Cities and want to meet there for lunch, let me know. It’s that good.

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Here’s another easy recipe for a weeknight meal. A pound of top sirloin, a few pantry ingredients for a marinade and a box of rice noodles. Just allow 30 minutes to marinate the beef in a mix of soy sauce, sugar, garlic and chili paste, thread the beef on skewers, grill ’em up and enjoy. This dish was very flavorful with just the right amount of heat. We’ll be making it again. Soon. Let me now if you try it.

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I ran over to St. Paul to check out the American Craft Council Show this weekend. And WOW. I was impressed. The quality of work was just amazing.

Like this beautiful dress from EkoLogic out of Troy, NY. Check out their skirts and T-shirts too!

I also fell in love with the work of Deborah Foutch. I was so happy to find out she was local, because I’d love to spend more time gazing at her work. She paints a canvas, and then adds silk touches and sews on it. She sews on it. With a sewing machine! Sounds like something I could do.

Then there was the jewelry. The first booth I walked past had the most amazing necklaces, and bracelets. They were the work of Mary and Louann. They work with Sterling Silver, Polymers and Clay. The work is colorful and so much fun!

I also loved the work of these artists, but didn’t get a chance to chat with them.

Serena Design – Beautiful, light and airy work. Her booth was crowded the whole time I was there, I could barely get a decent look.

Ayala Jewelry – Cool and unique shapes, textures and colors.

Aaron Barr – Does amazing things with wood.

Unfortunately, I didn’t buy any amazing jewelry or a cashmere skirt,but I did buy a really fun paper flower! I pinned it to a jacket, yet forgot to take a photo. I bought it from a really fun couple from Indiana. Check out their work on their website. Woof!

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