Planning My Garden

front of our house

There’s been a whole lot of daydreaming going on around here (from sewing ideas to wanting to make hats) since there hasn’t been a lot of doing, thanks to this pregnancy. My latest daydreams are revolving around my garden, and I’m pretty dang excited to show some absolutely massive changes that have happened to our yard and to share what I want to do now that the changes are in place. When we bought the house last year, we had a list of construction projects that we wanted to (eventually) do in the house to make it our dream house. What we didn’t realize, is that the property needed a major construction project as well. After living in our house for a bit, we discovered two major flaws in the property – 1) It was hard to get into the house. There were steep and uneven gravel paths leading to the …


Dreaming of Hats

the making of a milliner - jenny pfanenstiel

I’ve never been a huge hat person. With my very narrow face, I have to be careful about what style I pick, and I’ve always had a lot of hair that isn’t necessarily easy to fit under a hat. On the flip side, with my pale skin I need to be careful to keep out of the sun, and I’d usually rather wear a hat than sunscreen (or both, since I am that pale). I tend to steal borrow a hat from my mom when the occasion warrants it (like our trip to Hawaii). However, with Spring sun in full force here and visions of pushing baby in her stroller all around our neighborhood in the Summer, I’ve been daydreaming of owning a selection of giant brimmed straw hats. Once I start daydreaming of something, the first first question in my mind is “Can I make it myself?”. Enter The Making …


Book Review: Women in Clothes

women in clothes

For the first time in my life, I have a style bible. What I find amazing about this book, is that I believe it can be every woman’s style bible. Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton, & 639 others is a gem of a book and unlike anything else I have read. Most books on fashion or style are all about what you should do – how to dress for your particular age or figure, or how to emulate a specific person or designer, and rarely do I find one that rings true to me. Those “shoulds” are exactly what this book is not. Women in Clothes is a conversation with hundreds of women about their relationship with the clothes they wear. There are no “shoulds”, there are no judgements, there is simply an exploration. There are conversations with an amazing diversity of women – including women …


1960’s Bow Neck Blouses

pink silk bow neck simplicity 2154

Still looking for some bow neck blouse inspiration? Not sure you want to do the 1930’s, 1940’s, or 1950’s? How about the swingin’ sixties! I’ve put together an assortment of 1960’s bow neck blouse and dress inspiration, for your viewing pleasure. The best part? All of the pictures link to patterns for sale on Etsy! Start off with these giant bows from the early 60’s, bringing some interest to an otherwise generic dress from the period. I know I’m supposed to be talking about bows, but check out those gorgeous frogs! I hadn’t thought about how frogs and bows could be exchanged… Of course that cute, square bow is a great geometry to set off the slit at the neck and flared dress. It’s not often you see a pattern envelope feature all white garments, but it sure does make these great blouses stand out! Three bow neck options, all …


Sewing Summit 2013

New Friends from Sewing Summit 2013

Sewing Summit 2013 I miss you already! I’m still riding on a high from how wonderful the weekend was, how informative the classes, how delightful the other attendees. I stayed up until 1am sewing on brand new Bernina sewing machines (two nights in a row! I may or may not have had to call my mom and tell her to talk me out of buying a new sewing machine on the spot!), laughing, chatting, and getting to know so many friendly, inspiring, and welcoming sewists. Before going to the summit I was admittedly quite nervous, but the nerves were all for nought. Every. Single. Person. I met was open and welcoming and creative and inspiring. Not only was it a blast to meet such fun folks, I think attending the summit was also a great career move for me. I don’t talk about it much on my blog since it …


Vashon Quilt Guild Quilt Show 2013

larqe quilts

The Vashon Quilt Guild Quilt Show, where I learned to hand quilt last weekend, had an amazing quantity of beautiful quilts. I thought I would share a small selection of them. Many of the quilts feature Kaffe Fassett fabrics because the local fabric store, Island Quilter, specializes in his fabrics. This meant that there were lots of bright and colorful quilts, right up my alley! The community quilt was on display. Every year for many, many years, Catholine Tribble has put together a quilt that features blocks made by different community members and is raffled to support Vashon Allied Arts, raising thousands of dollars to support art in the community. This year the theme was businesses of Vashon and includes a block made by my mom (and blocks made by two other Quilty Ladies, her weekly quilting partners-in-crime). The quilt blocks are appliqued by hand and all of the quilting …

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens


Last week I was sent to the east coast to visit collaborators for work.  I decided I would fly out a day early so that I could visit friends in New York. While there, I spent hours wandering through the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens with a friend. The Japanese garden was lovely and tranquil. I enjoyed watching the turtles and koi in the murky green water. I was taken by this bright red flower. So bold, so bright, so cheery. I believe it was from the onion/garlic family, which I found surprising as I think of those blossoms as being puff balls, not striking individual petals like this one. Inside of the building hosting the different world climates, there was an atrium that had flower sculptures hanging from each of the roof windows. I loved this one, not just because it was bright pink, but because of how bold it was …

Take Pride in Your Accomplishments: I Rode the STP!

STP finish line

I did it. I rode my bike from Seattle to Portland on the STP bike ride this weekend. 140 miles on Saturday. 71 miles on Sunday. This was my first major bike ride and my first time joining a group of my family and friends that have been doing this ride for several years. There were times when it was great fun. There were times when I wondered why the heck I was doing it. This creamsicle at mile 100 was pure bliss. While you may not think a gigantic bike ride has anything to do with crafting or sewing (and in fact, it seems to be the opposite as training for this ride took up the majority of my free time for the last couple of months leaving little time for other activities), I think it does. I think there are three important things that can apply directly to …