Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I've been paging through these housekeeping books looking for schedules or forms to add to my planner. There's a chapter on canning in So You're Going to Get Married that reminds the reader to ignore snide comments like, "I thought Mr. Dole canned pineapple!" Whenever we are discussing making anything from scratch (mustard, bread starter, yogurt) I hear that voice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wishful sewing

The current Selvedge has an article on Alison Taylor's SULA clothes. I love this tunic. I love these pleated clothes by Issey Miyake and the many ways you can wear them. This is what I want to be able to sew.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Telegram to myself

For my daily calendar/project planner, I want to be able to send notes to my future self. The usual lessons learned/best practices lists hide in drawers and are never delivered in time to save Christmas or prevent a back-to-school mishap. I want a telegram with specific warnings or shopping lists to arrive two weeks before a holiday or deadline. I'm making a stack of telegram forms in my planner that can be written out and then filed in the correct week of the following year. I also need weekly reminders. These Arctic Rose nectarines were heaven. The pluots were so-so. Why didn't I buy eight more? I sampled them. I knew they were wonderful. On Thursday, buy way more nectarines than you think you need!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blue blanket

I've settled on a stash buster blanket project using all the leftover blue I can find: pick two shades, cast on a lot of stitches and join in the round, knit a fair isle pattern or Kaffe pattern or some stripes with a few steak stitches until the yarn is used up. When I have enough rectangles to make a blanket, I'll lay them all out and join them with interesting little odd bits filling in the gaps. Nothing to get bored of, no leftover yarn bits. This is strictly a use what you have project.

The paper hearts are another stab at something I've been thinking about - newsprint templates as applique. I'm imaging a tshirt with a small newsprint fabric cutout heart embroidered right on the front. Imagine if some clipped bits were randomly sewn falling down the front of the shirt. I would leave the edges all raggedy. I can't find the right shape. This is haunting me because I recently bought the Alabama Stitches book and I'm seeing things differently. I like early American embroidery and fraktur decoration and I want to bedazzle it with beads and sequins.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer rental

Sometimes when we're not going anywhere, we pretend we're holiday renters in our house. It gets you thinking. The Summer appetizers in the July Martha are inspiring me to throw together elegant little hunter gatherer experiments - food jaunts. 

Summer reading stack

Sometimes when I am collecting my books from around the house I realize how well suited they are for each other. This week I will be known as Mustard-Maker. 

We have been talking about the history of keeping time and wondering if Summer lasts longer without a calendar. Our "sequence of nows" can be counted so many ways. I began with a draft for a daily planner but I am drawn to a weekly bead bracelet, like prayer beads, on which you keep track of all the "nows", or mornings you can read in bed, market days, afternoons when supper is early, evenings in the studio. 

What a nice way to capture a favorite week - and then walking to work, you reach into your pocket and begin counting the beads of "now": this was the morning we walked in the rain, this was the market beneath the tracks, this was the lunch chosen off the grill, this was the washing machine in the alley, this was the snow cone that saved our lives, this was the bridge we decided to cross. Next week I will be known as Vacation Bracelet-Maker.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yakult Swallows beat the Lions!

We saw the Yakult Swallows beat the Lions at Jingu stadium. As the Japanball site explains, when the Swallows get a run, the fans open tiny umbrellas and sing a song so that the opposing pitcher knows it's time to hit the showers. At one point the game was tied and the Lions fans began a huge cheer and ran back and forth across their section across the stadium from us. Today's New York Times has a travel story on baseball in Japan. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quilted Sails in Tokyo Museum

The sails on this model ship at the Edo-Tokyo Museum would make a great quilt. They remind me of this Dolce & Gabbana bag I saw all over Tokyo and momi paper. I saw some women wearing cardigans that looked like momi paper. I still have this image of a waterproof nylon momi bag with some origami folds. My drawstring backpack made from a pair of jeans worked really well, but I had to wear it beneath my rain jacket. The next version is going to be pieced from scraps with more thought given to interior pockets.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kawai Kanjiro's house in Kyoto

This beautiful old wooden house belonged to the potter and sculptor Kawai Kanjiro. You naturally whisper here. This is the most wonderful place that we visited in Kyoto. We bumped into the Art Deco Nintendo building on the way, and got lost in an alleyway lined with diminutive mint green washing machines. Afterwards we walked through a cemetery that quietly led to the Kiyomizu Temple side entrance and then out the back gate to hike in the hills. Even in June, there are ways to navigate the city so that you feel you are among dozens of tourists, not thousands.