31 December 2009

the year in reflection september-december

looking back at 2009, in pictures.
fall to winter:
a photo show at blue saucer cafe, a trip to the boistfort valley farm, meeting new friends and sharing an amazing meal at delancey, many walks through the fall leaves, a pentax k1000, the first frost, gingerbread, apples and winter celebrations.

happy new year to you. may this year (and decade!) be filled with much joy, health, laughter, peace, and inspiration. and, always, thank you for visiting me in this space. your sweet comments bring me little bursts of joy everyday.

29 December 2009

the year in reflection june-august

looking back at 2009, in pictures.
using the holga, expired film, summer solstice party, flowers in full bloom, walking across the brooklyn bridge, montreal, french, quebec city, 107 degrees, the ocean, farmer's markets.

*it's really overwhelming to look through all my pictures of the last year, but i think it is a good thing to narrow down one or two that sum up a moment or a time. it is also really nice to post pictures that never made it online. here they are now.

the year in reflection january-june


looking back at 2009, in pictures.
january through june:
a visit to new york, making new friends, visiting frog hill farm, seattle loses a newspaper, buds sprout at first sight of sun, picking the first crop of chives from the soil, getting a new film camera, the seattle tilth edible plant sale.

28 December 2009


it has been a full few weeks of gatherings and celebrations and festivities. i was lucky enough to be asked to make dessert for two parties. for my mom's birthday, i made the smitten kitchen gingerbread apple upside-down cake. (photo above, which i am now comparing to deb's photo and realize i probably didn't bake my cake long enough!) it was delicious with a caramel top and chewy apples and rich molasses cake. and on christmas day, we made a winter fruit pie from the rustic fruit desserts cookbook. (recipe here).

i'd say, these are both keepers when i need a great go-to winter dessert. i love baking seasonally, highlighting the flavors and fruits available at particular times of the year. neither of these desserts were too rich, but they did serve a lot of people. the winter fruit tart had apples and cranberries and pears and figs in it, the perfect combination of hearty and comforting fruits.

i'm looking forward to the new year, but before it, i'd like to do a post or two looking back on this past year.
until then...

24 December 2009

to those celebrating, i hope you have a wonderful christmas!

22 December 2009

papernstitch love

hello there!
as i mentioned last week, i am happy to be featured in the papernstitch exhibit this month. do you know about papernstitch? it is an online exhibit space for handmade artists, curated by portlander brittni wood, who also runs the papernstitch blog.

i thought i would do a little post on some of the shops whose company i share in this month's exhibit. 
a few of the many:

two awesome packaging companies are featured this month: nice package and olive manna. i got a fun little bundle from nice package for some of my holiday wrapping and i have loved every cute little thing in there. i'm excited to search through olive manna's wares and pick out some great packaging materials!

 i love this flying bird wall sticker, by blank cavas designs. i would love that on the wall of my bedroom to stare at and daydream.

embroidery is all around lately and there are some amazing embroidery prints from pink mist industry. i especially love the embroidered scissors.

jet set paper is super cool, selling trendy gocco stationary with a selection of airport codes or area codes. of course, i love the seattle set!

i am also in love with everything that wolfie and the sneak makes.
oh there are lots more great ones, i may have to do another post. for now, go check the papernstitch community out for yourself!

p.s. all the links i used in this post are to the shops' papernstitch showcases. from there, you can visit their actual stores.

p.p.s here's my papernstitch gallery!

21 December 2009

winter solstice

this morning was so dark and at first i was confused. did my three day weekend make me forget what 7:30 looks like? then i realized, yes, it is the longest night of the year today. isn't that sort of a weird thought? i find it odd. so much dark and then slowly days get lighter and lighter. and in the middle of december? it seems like january or february would be the darkest times. they certainly feel dark. (side note: how bout white strings of lights around the city all winter long, wouldn't that be nice?)

anyway, happy winter solstice. whether you hibernate, or light a candle, or celebrate or grumble i hope you have a chance to think about how cool our planet is and it's changing season's. (at least, i think it's cool).

thank you all so much for the birthday wishes. i felt like i could share a bit of my celebration with you through all your notes this weekend. i am now proudly another year older. not telling which year, though :)

take care.

19 December 2009

december 19

today is my birthday! i did some celebrating last night (see: tiara in above photo) and i'm off to do some more celebrating today and tomorrow. it's always good to elongate these types of things.

in this next year i hope to:
grow in my photography
revel in my youth
learn how to use this camera
go on an exciting trip that i couldn't even dream up at the moment
successfully bake and decorate a cake
have a long conversation in french
spend lots of time with my family
take more portraits
watch more movies
read more books
volunteer for something new
laugh a lot
and take long sauntering walks for no reason

i hope it's a great year!

17 December 2009

the ways i have celebrated hanukkah

one year, i was probably 14, i went on a field trip to vancouver, b.c. for marine biology. it was during hanukkah and i, of course, was the only one celebrating. with the best of intentions, i brought three votive candles (it was the 3rd night, after all) and lit them in our hotel room (why 14 year olds got hotel rooms on a weekend trip is beyond me).

when i was young my auntie madeline would host our whole family at her house. cousins upon cousins running around, crawling, playing and lighting candles. we had a table full of menorahs that our grandmothers or grandfathers would help us light (see super cute photo of me above). and at some point, all nine or ten cousins would pile on the couch, get ourselves looking pretty and have a picture taken. those are great pictures.

for the past seven or eight years my mom and i have been invited to a family friend's hanukkah party. i swear they invite every person they've ever known and ask each person to bring a dish of their tradition. they provide the lattkes. we sing a round of songs, fill our plates with food, cram ourselves into some sort of sitting position amidst all the people-on the ground, on the piano, on the arm of a couch-and catch up on the past year.

i always celebrate with my dad and light the candles on his beautiful menorah that was his mom's.  it is ceramic and i love it. it's one of the few times i get to hear my dad say the blessings with his yiddish tint.

last night my roommates invited a few people over and we made an impromptu dinner all together. eating at the dinning room table, next to the hanukkah lights is special.

i remember hanukkah parties growing up, where women would be grating onions and squeezing out moisture in piles of potatoes.

tomorow is the last night of hanukkah for this year and i feel like i've celebrated well.

i have been really enjoying emily's hanukkah posts, they make me happy.

15 December 2009

working away

photos from my dad's house. (that old portrait in the top photo? that's my great-grandma anna who i am name after).

recently i have been working away at my own fun projects, and it feels great. for the past 6 weeks i was taking an  e-course for indie businesses by the lovely BAKERY ladies, jaime and erin. so much good info, it's exciting to digest it all.

i just got back some exciting new products for my shop. i can't wait to share them with you. newsletter subscribers will find out today...

starting yesterday, my shop is being showcased at papernstitch's monthly exhibition. there are some great artists whose company i share, go check 'em out and see what papernstitch is all about.

today i start working on the sales floor at the bookstore. i always help out during the holidays, as events are low and the number of people shopping is high (we hope--come on in and say hello!). i'm a little nervous to get back into the swing of tracking down books and ringing people up, but i can't wait to get out there and be helpful--i think i have some great book suggestions up my sleeve.

also, i'm more active over here. want to follow my tweets?

5th night of hanukkah. this whole city is out of candles, so i stalked up! i love to watch the candles burn low each night.

12 December 2009

happy hanukkah

last night was the first night of hanukkah, and we went to a friend's to celebrate. to me, hanukkah is a time to celebrate lightness and warmth in this dark time of year (for n. hemisphere folks). it isn't as big of a deal as other holidays in the year, but it is a great excuse to get together and celebrate. grab some candles, a dreidel, chocolate gelt and a glass of wine. here's to a winter full of light and warmth!

09 December 2009

winter berries

winter berries are in full bloom these days, and the cold is bitter. you might laugh at me for cringing at 18-25 degrees (f), but i'm from seattle! i'm not used to below freezing or even a temperature in the teens. i'm not used to snow, either. and i hate to be a party pooper, but i don't even like snow. in fact, i hope we don't get snow this year. last year, seattle had a long snow storm and, because we aren't equipped for dealing with snow (we really never get more than a day of snow a year), it sort of shut down the city for a week.and it was the week before christmas--yes, the busiest retail week of the year was practically dead.

this year, snow can come at an odd time for a day or two and i would be comfortable. i don't mind seeing the white flakes slowly and quietly finding their way down to the ground. i also don't mind putting on mittens and snow boots and big coats to take a slippery walk around the block. so, snow, why don't you just come quietly, have your fun, then leave quickly this year? sound good?

06 December 2009

holiday goals

how was your weekend? i had a great time; a mixture of fun shopping and socializing with quite reflection and down time. jon and i took lots of walks in the winter cold. it feels good to walk where you need to go and let the movement warm you up, against the icy air. i went to a friend's craft sale and smelled all of her amazing soaps and i went to the urban craft uprising, packed with people buying and selling and loving handmade goodies. i've crossed quite a few people off my gift list. my goal is to be organized and calm--and to not stress out.

my other goal is to buy all my gifts either handmade or from local businesses. so far, i'm doing an excellent job. i've gotten a lot of handmade items from cyber monday and the craft fairs this weekend. tomorrow i'm going to gather my book gifts at work and next weekend, i'm going to wander around ballard to browse all the unique stores. finally, i'm looking forward to finding a few fair-trade treasures here.

today, i'm dreaming of all the candy i could make for little holiday packages. peppermint bark and toffee and salted caramels and chocolate truffles rolled in hazelnuts. i wont get to them all, but i can still dream.

04 December 2009

winter thoughts

thank you all for sharing your december lists, i loved reading them! there has been a lot of inspiring finds around this online corner of the world. tifanie posted a beautiful maira kalman article, back to the land, that made me a little teary and very very happy. i love the cicero quote "if you have a garden, and a library, you have everything you need."

and gwen bell's 2009 challenge has been popping up all over as a wonderful way to look back on the year, reflecting on and remembering all the good moments 2009 brought. for now, i am accepting her challenge in my private journal, but i may share a few here and there in this space. i'm looking forward to thinking about the best new food i tried in 2009 and the best car ride i took.

this weekend i'm going to the urban craft uprising to look for some cute handcrafted gifts and scope out the scene. i've always loved craft fairs. i'm looking forward to browsing paula deer's booth and sprout studio.

have a great weekend!

01 December 2009

december 1

december is...
hold on! did november already fly by? i feel like it was just last week when i posted my november list. wow. well, anyway,
 december is...

my favorite month
red berries on trees
tights and big coats
gifts and cards and baked goods
the festival of lights
wood stove fires
lots of people and parties
family, friends
good food
cold noses
my birthday

what is december to you?