Working, working, working...

There's a new baby quilt in the works in my studio! This will be the first hand-pieced quilt I've completely finished. My other "first" quilt top, seen here, was supposed to be a twin-size throw with a double layer of batting and I'm not sure my machine is big enough to quilt it, so I'm doing this one first. The photo above is the back - a glorious vintage cotton print (which I also used to make some loop scarves from for my shop) with a little pieced row of scraps from the front.

I pieced it together ages ago in a bricklayer pattern and was afraid to start quilting it without a walking foot, but my new machine has one so I spent the day with a good friend teaching her to quilt and simultaneously working on it! The front fabrics are all shirting weight cotton voile, i.e. incredibly soft, and 100% recycled to boot! My dear friend Ivy, who I've mentioned before, is a fabric sales rep and gives me lots of old samples which I love using for quilts like this. I'm shadow-quilting inside each rectangle like I did on the grellow quilt. It's almost completely quilted, but now I need to choose a binding. Can't wait to show it off when it's done!

Also, in other news, I made this...

Granted, this was a little while ago, but look at it! Om nom nom. I use Martha Stewart's recipe with some edits: instead of thyme I use rosemary, and instead of putting the onions underneath I stuff the bird with one and chop the other to toss with my favorite edit... Potatoes! I cube red fingerlings, onion, summer squash, and carrots, add a huge handful of whole garlic cloves, a drizzle of olive oil, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss it all together in the bottom of the pan before setting the chicken on top. If I was stuck on a desert island with only one kind of food this would be it!


Here there be pirates!

Johnny and I are off enjoying the long Valentine's weekend in San Francisco, so here's another goofy filler post for ya!

My friend Glen (Check out his shop where he sells his wonderfully tiny paintings!) recently threw a pirate-themed birthday shindig for his lovely fiance. When we heard the words "costume contest" we knew we were shoe-ins, being complete nerds and already having epic costumes from prior events stashed away.

The party also boasted a rum drink contest, which we kinda sorta also won, but it was ruled we couldn't win all the contests so we had to relinquish the best cocktail title to my friend Vanessa and her vegan hot buttered rum. I made a version of my Drowning Mermaid cocktail, last seen at my housewarming party, but I substituted peach juice for the guava and it was delish!

There were also fun games like finding hidden pirate flags, a treasure map version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and a coin toss. Oh, and our prizes for the costume contest? I got a hobo knife (pocket knife on one side, little fork on the other - awesomeness), and a wicked cool skull tumbler for Johnny. Makes me want to throw my own costume party... Hmm...


Shop Update!

Happy Wednesday everyone! There are a bunch of new sets of fancy stitch markers up for sale in my Etsy shop, as well as some fun little crayon necklaces, so please stop by and check them all out!


Greetings from Tahoe!

Well I'm back from the winter wonderland of Lake Tahoe and feeling super pumped! The Woodcut Maps team got a ton of work done and there will be some exciting new things happening this year. And since I've been back I've been photographing some new stuff for my Etsy shop, but more on that later.

I wan't feeling stellar during the trip so we didn't get out to the slopes with everyone else, but we did get to frolic in the snow.

And lookie! I'm wearing a hat I finished during my new year's vacation! It's a pure merino aran yarn that Johnny bought me at a sweet little yarn shop near his house. Also he's wearing the scarf I knit him for Christmas! It's 3 balls of Noro yarn in seed stitch and it took forever, but he wears it all the time ^_^. I'll try to post more on those later!

 I haven't spent a lot of time around snow, having grown up on the coast of California, so seeing icicles and snow covered trees was pretty magical for me.

Anywho, there's some more frolicking photos on my flickr here, and stay tuned for some new goodies in the shop this week!


Gratuitous Kitten Post

Hi all! I'm spending the week in Tahoe on a Woodcut Maps work retreat, so I thought I'd share the photos I took of the new workshop kitten when my bosses first found her as filler and also because she is the best little kitten ever!

Oh Bandit, how I love thee. These were taken when Cat and Gabe first got her from a friend who found her on the street. She's big, fat, happy, and healthy now, and the most loving kitten I've ever met. I think she knows how lucky she is to have a good home now and is super thankful for it.


Highlights from Summer Renegade, Part 2.

You got to see some of Woodcut Maps' booth here, and now I want to gush about Leafcutter Designs' booth! I am soooo jealous of her space. She recently redesigned it to make it easier for people to shop since most of her items are super tiny, and the construction and layout is perfect. I forgot my kit lens that day so it was impossible for me to get a shot of the whole thing, but here are my favorite parts:

Lea collects tons of awesome vintage and new pieces to showcase and play off of her objects. She found this tiny writing desk that's the perfect size for displaying her tiny mail kit.

A little antique metal flatbed truck hauls her tiny packages, and the vintage mailbox bank is too cute!

A vintage metal child's fridge holds her recipe dice! Ugh soooo cuuute!

Probably my favorite part of the booth was the clever use of  working gumball machines and sewing drawers as structural supports for the wood shelves. Also, not shown, are the lovely tablecloths sewn from vintage flour sacks.

Thoughtful vintage trinkets that inspired her products bound all over the booth. Her attention to detail and thoughtfulness is unparalleled.

And displaying the fortune teller napkins, which need to be ironed into shape, on a vintage kid's ironing board with the little iron?! Killing me here!

Notebook paper embroidery kits in a vintage Playskool sewing box. I might have to find one of these on eBay someday.

Cocktail dice displayed in, what else, a vintage cocktail shaker. They're also on and in an old wine crate.

I really need to get my butt in gear and make a really great single table and large booth design for this year, because hers is just too inspiring! More on that later hopefully! There's some extra photos of the fair on my flickr, here.


Highlights from Summer Renegade SF, Part 1.

During Renegade Craft Fair this summer I was able to work for both Woodcut Maps and Leafcutter Designs simultaneously, with their booths only being a handful of spaces apart. Mostly I worked at WCM though, as we always like to have some maps in various stages of assembly to show people how it's done. I introduced you to my lovely bosses in my post about Maker Faire, and Renegade was just as much fun! We made a giant map with our logo as our signage, and behind it is a customer testing out the website, which we have up on a couple of laptops and a big screen that passers-by can see too.

All of the pre-made maps we designed were hung on these crazy graphic screens. The one above right of the bay was one of our top-selling designs, it was so lovely!

Cat is such a lovely lady to work for, we are having a work retreat in Tahoe this week and I am so excited!

We also made greeting cards and tiny "prints", which were just simple map cutouts mounted on colored paper for framing. The response was great, and we hope to do Renegade again in the future! I've got some lovely photos of the Leafcutter Designs booth for my next post, so until then!


Welcome to America.

With Superbowl Sunday coming up this weekend we're constantly being bombarded with ads for all kinds of snack foods, crazy "manly" and "crowd-pleasing" appetizers, and a plethora of different kinds of dips served in vats as big as the Superbowl itself. I'm not a fan of the event, in fact I can't recall the last time I watched one (no, not even for the commercials), but someone turned me on to this glorious monstrosity and, well, one thing led to another and Johnny and I ended up making something similar today. I give you, much to our shame, our 27-layer dip.

While not quite as impressive as the original inspiration of a 47-layer culinary Frankenstein, ours has the same spirit and many of the original absurd ingredients. In truth, we tried to make it a healthier version. Whether we really succeeded or not may never be known. Here's the breakdown, in order from bottom to top:

Yellow Rice
Black Eyed Peas
Sour Cream
Chili Con Carne
Salsa Con Queso
Pickled Jalapenos
Crushed Fritos/Doritos
Refried Beans
Sweet Green Chiles
Shredded Cheese
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Olive Tepenade
Artichoke Hearts
Pickled Sweet Onions
Bell Pepper
Black Olives
Pork Sausage
Fried Onions (Cheddar Flavored)
Tater Tots

At about this point I was starting to get frightened...

And at about this point I started to get excited...

Dear God, what have we done?

...And then this happened:

...But we finally managed to get all 27 layers out onto a plate. 
Final verdict: Daaaaamn. Pretty magical. There's definitely something for everyone and it had a great combination of spicy, savory, and slightly sweet. Almost makes me like the Superbowl... Almost.