Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Custom travel guides

In June we are bound for Japan. We stretch out our trips by researching them - tearing out articles, writing down restaurant names, reading novels. And then I lose the notes. I like tearing out the pertinent guidebook pages and adding them to my own book with xeroxes of 100-yr-old guidebooks, internet printouts, copies of paintings.

Moleskine has a line of City Notebooks that include a map with tracing paper, blank pages and tabs, and a little pocket. Of course they have many notebooks in different sizes that can be customized. Imagine doing a river walk using the Japanese Accordian planner, a bike tour with maps pasted into the A3 folio, or a custom big city details with the mini notebook. Imagine making a custom guidebook for your everyday life in your own town.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Custom jumbo crayon

I saw this jumbo Crayola ballpoint pen at Flax this weekend. It has a nice weight in your hand. I couldn't decide between a purple crayon like Harold's or a bright red crayon, and so I bought blue. Imagine customizing the purple Crayola pen with a purple ballpoint refill and using it for doodling - or giving the red Crayola pen a red ink refill for editing papers. What a graduation present! Next I need to choose a color name and print a transparent sticker: indigo, midnight blue, denim, bleu, Kind of Blue??? 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Beach knitting

I finished all but one mitt at the beach last week. These are my Fetchings knit from some stashed Louisa Harding Kashmir. They are pretty; the microfiber makes them shine. But do you see how Miss Lear's stashed Alchemy Reservoir - a wool/mohair single - puts them to shame when knit up into the simple ribbed Maine Morning Mitts? They soak up the beach sun and warm your hands. 

Heirloom Beans

I heard about Heirloom Beans on As you can see in the photo, most of my experience with beans is drilling holes in them and stringing them. Last month I sampled some leftover gigante beans from Flora's in Oakland. Those creamy white beans mixed with goat cheese and bread crumbs and the Splendid Table podcast convinced me I need to get cooking.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fairy boat

What a wonderful and long week. We ate strawberries and roasted almonds. I wish we had planned better and grilled artichokes. I wish I had painted the farmers' markets. I wish I had found a book. I wish I had spoken to the Scrabble player who looked like my college professor. I wish this little boat would stay anchored so I could return and get my wishes.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Break

One Spring when I lived on the Hill I was walking home and passed a house with cherry trees behind a tall fence. They had strung little lights through the blossoms to make them glow. I could hear people and the sound of real glasses and dishes. I stood there imagining the perfect cherry blossom cocktail party, and I still do. We are heading to the beach for a week. I am going to concentrate on knitting mitts to wear while I knit more mitts.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Linen patches

In my quest to shrink my stash, I found a home for some linen swatches. These are Barbara Walker slip stitch patterns. I was planning to make a pillow or bag by knitting one for a while and then binding off and picking up and knitting another for a while. In one of her books, she includes the directions for a bag in this style.