Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

a space for making

i finally finished cleaning out the pantry so i could convert it to a making space. it is small and the light is shabby but it is so liberating to have a place to create again. when i was working during the day, it broke my heart to see our sewing/drawing/printmaking materials shoved into the closet. now they have some room to breathe.

immediately i started on a little project.

tomorrow is nico's little birthday party. we are having it in the morning because jason works in the afternoon. so today sebastian and i are making muffins and gingerbread cookies in preparation for tomorrow's brunch. i also have a polar bear hat and softy to put together for mr. 1's birthday gift. sebastian has picked out some material and is going to help me make a soft ball for his brother.
the only downside to this new space is that it is rather distracting. it opens my mind to a flood of ideas yet unfortunately i am experiencing a drought of time these days. luckily i have adopted the practice of keeping paper and pen within reach so i can jot down the ideas and free up some space in my head for focusing on what is at hand.
thanks for nico's birthday wishes. it is hard to believe how quickly this past year went. it has also been a year since i began blogging here so i just wanted to thank you for keeping up with us. i have really appreciated having this space for connecting with old and new friends alike.


in one year

we went from three to four.
we started here...

...and now we are here.

happy birthday nicolai augustus. you make our family whole.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

what a week. at the beginning i was a bona fide full-time employee and today i am sitting here watching our new black cat bat a piece a paper around, eating soup while nico naps. it's not that i don't like work, i do, but what i don't like is working a job that is absolutely unsatisfying for very little pay. my tolerance for working in the corporate world is minimal and that is only when the benefit is a decent paycheck. i really value my time and spending up to 13 hours a day away from the boys without due compensation was painful. so now back to the drawing boards. what next? who knows but i have begun applying for jobs in the social work field. i like helping people and i like jobs that keep me on my toes. so we'll see. jason's joining the job hunt too so hopefully something will crop up soon. i am feeling positive about it.
also, i finally applied for the teaching position in kyoto yesterday. odds of getting an interview are probably about 1 to 350,000 but i am willing to gamble.
today is rather quiet as jason is at work and sebastian went to my parents' for a sleepover. it gives me some time to be home and calmly organize and consider what possibilities lie ahead. we are open for anything at this point and ready to dive in.
hope everyone has had a lovely week.

Friday, November 09, 2007

sewing books+scones

with the cooler november air, i have been heating up the oven and eyeing the sewing machine.
when i came across these groovy books at my local used bookstore, i had to make them mine. these first two books are really sweet, with advice for busy mothers on how to find time to sew. advice that i truly want to heed.

this one was irresistible despite it being mainly girl clothes.

look at that red dress with the pinafore. i am lucky that i have friends with little girls so i can make it.

this book on smocks is great because not only does it have some crazy smocks but it also contains a rather exhaustive history on the smock. it also explains how to properly do smocking without that scary multi-needled spool.

now, you can understand why i used the adjective groovy before. this guy is far-out. there is also a low-cut smocked bathing suit in the chapter entitled modern smocks, but this guy really took the cake. i mean, look how happy he is buying his citrus at the market in his completely awesome outfit and fro. i think we would all achieve such heights of happiness if we too could wear our pants tucked into boots under an handmade smock, don't you agree?

and lastly, i leave you with a glimpse of one of the products of my short-lived domesticity. i'd thought i would share my recipe for gluten-free chocolate cinnamon scones with you for being such good sports during all my belly-aching recently (like, a whole year). i'll post another scone recipe that is vegan next week. hope you enjoy.

2 cups of flour (i used a sifted combination of 1 C rice, 1/2 C chickpea, and 1/2 C tapioca flours but you can use an all purpose flour instead)
1/4 C sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (or more if you wish)
1/3 C unsalted butter, cold
1 large egg, beaten
1 T vanilla
1/2 C milk or cream
1 C of chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 375 degrees F. Line pan with parchment paper. Whisk dry ingredients together then cut in butter (you can use that fancy pastry mixer or two butter knives like I do). Mix until it looks like crumbs. In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients. Slowly add to "crumbs" until just mixed. Add chocolate chips. Put dough on floured surface. It should be rather unsticky, if not you will want to add more flour. Knead dough then roll out. Cut into triangles or shape with your hands. Place them on the baking sheets, add a little cinnamon-brown sugar to the top if you like. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007