summer’s early end (and more embroidery)

Well, here it is again: the first day of school. I remember when I was of school age, summer vacation began at the start of June and didn’t end until the after Labor day – a full three month stretch. Now, where we live at least, it’s right around two months, which seems painfully short to me. It was a great summer this year, though. It was the first summer since Bella was 17 months old that I was able to spend it at home with her. Being home with the kids is fantastic and hard and fun and exhausting (did I mention that I’m tired?), but mostly it’s wonderful, and really is just what I have always wanted. I am extremely grateful to be here with them, and to have been able to be fully present for Bella’s summer break.

Our last little trip of the summer was to Portland, Oregon. My youngest cousin on my father’s side was married in Salem, so Bella and I took the trip up with my parents to attend the wedding and visit for a few days with family afterward. I love it up there. It’s cool and green and wide, wide open, with rivers, mountains and farms, all near the beautiful city of Portland. I have long dreamed of leaving California for someplace farther north, and this area in particular is very appealing to me.

We had wonderful visiting time with my lovely Aunt, Uncle and cousins who live up there; they are warm and generous, and so much fun. I so wish we were nearer to them so that our connection could grow deeper – they really are some of my most favorite people on Earth.

For my cousin’s wedding gift, I wanted to embroider towels like I did for Nat & Buck, but I couldn’t seem to come up with a design that I thought was appropriate. I am not at all sure of their personal tastes, since we live so far from one another and the age difference between myself and my cousin is relatively large. They had designed their wedding invitations in a very particular way though, using symbols and styles that I though must be expressive of their taste, since it was all so unique. So, not really knowing the meaning of all of the included designs, I decided to use them, in their chosen colors, on the towels instead of the usual girly stuff I would be inclined to include.

I drew the designs from the invitation at a larger scale onto tracing paper, then went over the drawings with a transfer pencil. I then used an iron to transfer them to the towels. Easy.

Though to me they’re not necessarily the prettiest towels I have ever seen, they were made with love and I hope they are meaningful to Kara & Kevin.


knitted scrunch scarf

I recently made this cute little scarf for Bella from a skein of soft green yarn she picked out at the craft store. It ended up being a great scarf for her to wear over the last couple of weeks, during which we have had some cooler days and even a little rain.

I adapted this pattern from Spud & Chloe, making it a little smaller overall, since it would be worn by a child. Bella wanted a button on it, so I added that as a final touch.



fox girl cross stitch

Last summer after I had back surgery, I spent several weeks in a recliner. I read a lot of books, did a ton of crossword puzzles, and I also started a cross stitch. As I searched Etsy for patterns, I happened upon this one of a fox girl. My sister, Lindsey, just happens to be marginally obsessed with foxes, and, well, she is a girl, so I thought she might like it.

I changed the colors a bit to suit my own taste, and gave the girl black hair, to match Lindsey’s.

I finished stitching months ago, but I have been fruitlessly searching for the perfect frame. I had something specific in mind, and of course couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally last week I decided that it was time to just get it done and give to her. It ended in a simple black frame with a red mat, to match her shoes.

Fox Girl Cross Stitch

Fox Girl Cross Stitch

Here is another fox gift I gave to Lindsey for her birthday a few years back.

Check out more of Marisol Spoon’s beautiful artwork on Etsy.

Girl and Fox, Mairsol Spoon

Girl and Fox, Mairsol Spoon


fun easter eggs

Last Sunday B and I spent the morning decorating eggs for Easter. It was fun, but sheesh, it took forever. There were a few glitter explosions (our kitchen is still sparkly) – we never could really figure out a good way to glitter the eggs, but the ones we did finally succeed with came out cute. I think even the mama hen might be proud.

Sprucing up the dyed eggs with yarn, string, buttons and ribbon was quicker and easier, all with the aid of a low-temp hot glue gun.

egg quartet

We decorated a shelf with the eggs, placed in these awesome polka dot holders given to me by my sweet aunt, along with some daffodils B picked from the garden and the kids’ baskets.

We’re ready for the bunny!

easter table

easter table