Sunday, June 25, 2006


I just saw the movie Signs by M. Night Shyamalan on TV. I saw it in the theatres but was not able to get as much of the message, on account that I was scared sh*tless. I love this film...

On the surface, it is this truly believable amazing alien invasion picture, but on a deeper level, truly the whole movie is about having faith. So of course it got me thinking and I realized that faith is a force that exist beyond religion (meaning it does not matter what religion you believe)

... Faith is the energy produced when you believe in something bigger than yourself. It is trusting the universe and believing that you have a place in that universe. The energy generated by faith will light the darkest of times, energize you when you think you can't go another step and guide you to a better future no matter how bleak your present may be.

So if your cup is running a little low do yourself a favor and see this film...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

To Craft...

My latest creation
I came to craft fairly late in life. Of course like everyone, I had my share of childhood popsicle stick creations, expressionist playdoh ash trays and macaroni sculpture. And although I am sure I enjoyed all of these projects, none were done for the reasons I craft today.

I came to craft in the weeks following my mother’s death; a beautiful woman with an infectious laugh, kind manner, optimistic outlook and the ability to create anything with barely any resources or supplies. For years I watched her transform; found junk into high end home décor, inexpensive generic clothes into runway fashions and simple everyday items into one of a kind masterpieces. Not exactly your traditional crafter, her tools of choice were a stapler, glue gun and a keen eye for style. When she passed on, the world crashed down around me and everything went dark. Suffice to say , we all take the death of a loved one hard… but I did not want to take it at all. If not for the love of family, friends and an amazing partner, I am not sure where I would be.

In the beginning, the first things to penetrate my darkness were colors. I had taken many of my mother’s things with me and I often fixated on the colors as I stared blankly at a vase, pillow or item of clothing. From there pictures, my mother had hundreds and I thought it important to share them with others. The problem, I didn’t want to part with any of them, and thought it pretty cold to just send my grandmother pages of scanned duplicates.

I found a scrap book and began to create a funny book of pictures and sayings. It took well over 100 hours and with each cut of the scissors, and swipe of the glue, I found myself smiling and laughing. And when I imagined how happy my grandmother would be to receive this, I felt even better.

Over the next 3 years, I fell in love with colors, textures, paper, cloth, yarn and glue. My partner and I opened a store and created a business. I learned to knit. I learned Photoshop. I started wearing bright colors. I took flower arranging classes. And I started to sketch. But most importantly, I found my mother again. She laughed with me while I created, she smiled at me when I wore a new creation, applauded me when I learned a new skill and hugged me when I gave a handmade gift.

We all come to craft for some reason. Maybe it is a desire for some thing we can’t afford a quest for some item that can’t be purchased or a need to work with our hands. Or maybe, like me it is a need to frame our sorrows and loss with a handmade gilded creation, to lift the darkness with a coat of fresh paint, wrap our aching spirits in a knitted shawl, to adorn our souls with buttons and glitter and to not only wear our hearts for all to see, but to also trim them with ribbons

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

We Never Really Blog Alone...

I love our pets, all 5 of them. HOWEVER one of our dogs has some "strange" habits. He can bark at volumes rarely achieved without a megaphone, he has a strange and unnatural love of pillows, despises humming and sneezing with a passion and thinks that every time he sees you it will be his last.

But the habit that perplexes me the most happens only when I use the computer. He parks himself behind a chair or stack of books and just watches me... Sometimes he will edge quietly closer and closer and when I look up, he is sitting a few feet from me, just starring. Don't get me wrong, he is sweet and affectionate, (especially since the meds have kicked in), it’s just a little unnerving when you are trying to write.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Inspired by the beautiful post on Detritus, here is my own loving post for my Dad...

When I think of my Dad, I think of his sick but amazing sense of humour (which I inherited), his ability to make everything sound fascinating (which sparked my own love of science)and Lamentations Of The Father:
Laws Concerning Food and Drink, and Household Principles by by Ian Frazier
(Beautifully performed on this episode of This American Life).

Happy Father's Day

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Happy Birthday to Me!

At some point in our lives we realize we have very little control of the world around us, but total control of how we interact with that world. If you are lucky, that realization comes at a time in your life, when you can make the most of it. I have been blessed with such luck.

There is a great saying, “That life may not be the party you wished for, but while you are here you might as well dance”. So, the thing we all must determine is what type of dance we will dance. Will it be a sedate and restrained two step keeping time with the popular beat? Or will we throw our hands in the air; spin, twirl and move with ultimate abandonment to a song we feel and hear. In this my 37th year, I choose the latter dance. I choose jubilation instead of sadness, zest instead of indifference, and celebration instead of regret. I choose to dance like I am a child, no one is watching and every song I hear is my favorite.

To my past… triumphs, mistakes, losses, joys and pains, I have nothing but gratitude; because regardless of where I could be without them, I would not be here. To the ones I love but at the moment can’t reach, know that you share my journey and are with me every step of the way.

This year I promise:

  • To erase the word “can’t” from my vocabulary

  • To rejoice in the simple pleasures of everyday things and sensations

  • To savor every bite of food and eat what I love, not just what I crave

  • To never go a day without gazing at the sky

  • To acknowledge the real severity of every situation and act accordingly

  • To remember that with time & attention my own life is more exciting than anything on TV

  • To secure my own air mask before helping those around me

  • To drink water like a fish, stretch like a cat and sleep like a baby

  • To not give apologies unless they are requested or warranted

  • To remember that the best things in life aren’t on cable or on sale

  • To practice love as a verb

  • To share my gratitude and happiness with the universe in whatever way feels right

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Stop me before I watch again....

Yes!!!! I am addicted... I watch at least 5 episodes per week which is an improvement over my 10 show per week habit I developed last winter. What am I talking about?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Confession Time: Yoga Will Change My Life

You ever just know that something will have a profound effect on your life. You sense it, feel it... that thing pops up all the time and your sub conscious just knows it has an important meaning for you.

Okay, so here is the thing. At my deepest core, I KNOW that Yoga will have a great and positive impact on my life. This has nothing to do with anything I have read or seen on TV, I just know it. A strong unrelenting sense... an understanding that if I follow this path (take up Yoga) good things will happen. "So", you ask "do I practice Yoga?"
I am sorry to say, but the answer is no. When the signs would pop up, or I felt strongly pulled towards it, I would ignore it or find an excuse why I could not possibly take up Yoga.

But now... I feel myself once again strongly drawn towards Yoga... and that little sense of mine is telling me this is the last chance. "Ignore this at your peril" my little voice says "This is your last chance to take this particular road to health". So I am relenting and embracing Yoga as my path back to health.

From how I understand it, I live mostly in my head and my body has become this cranky chauffer that just carries my thoughts around. Friends tell me that Yoga will help me to unite the two (body and mind) and learn to live in the present.

Wish me luck....

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Becoming Your Own Media Mogul

Who says you need the backing of a network to become a media mogul. I just got turned on to Pink of Perfection from today's post on

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

My New Addiction

Help, I am stuck on I can't look away... Damn!!!! There is some serious and scary talent out there.

More Proof of the Power of Pink

This song by Pink is beautiful and powerful. A fitting anthem for scary times.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Quelle belle langue

French is such a lovely language. Aside from ordering coffee (café svp) I don't speak it yet, but plan to learn more sometime soon. Imagine knowing how to speak it, but being forbidden to do so.... Last week's nytimes article a constant reminder that discrimination knows no color, age, shape, size, sense or reason.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Pink "I"

For a long time the colorpink was a my secret joy, a color I loved but would never wear or embrace for fear that others would find my love of it proof that I was not to be taken seriously.

Thanks to various pink colored incidents and the words of those wiser than me, I have learned to embrace pink a color of soft quiet power. Pink, the red of passion tinged with the white of innocents.. what a lovely blend... Need a dose?

Friday, June 2, 2006

Art Lover

There is something about paint on canvas, color calling forth an emotion, form evoking memories.. Here is a great site to dabble a bit, without the mess... Try it, you'll like it.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

The Link Less Clicked..

My apologies to Mr.Frost, but ....

Two links dangled on the web and I..
took the one less clicked
and this has made all the difference..

It amazes me how a click of a mouse can lead me down a hidden path dotted at every spot with delightful sites I never knew existed. And who gets the blame for my delightful hour long jaunt down procrastination lane??? Why Suttonhoo. So in the interest of fair play I am here to return the favor...

So here in exact order is an hours worth of procrastination FUN!

  1. It started with a harmless email.. "thought you would like this and all". Of course on my end it was love at first sight

  2. A click away and I am off again.. Buttons seems to be a theme this week

  3. Then tucked away at the bottom of the page, I spied

  4. And like a dieter in the candy aisle, I was off on a blogging binge ...

  5. Just one more... the dogs don't really need to eat

  6. Must... *sigh*.. #Gasp# tear myself away.. !arghhh the blogs are too strong

  7. Just one more.. I will quit on Monday I swear... well maybe not Monday

  8. *help*

  9. That can't be the time?

  10. And... finally I am free....


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Simply Amazing

Button Chandelier
One thing I love is taking simple things and using them in a completely different way. On a recent afternoon trek to Bainbridge Island to visit Churchmouse Yarn and Tea, I came across an amazing fabric store, Esther's Fabrics. It was there I saw this button chandelier created by a customer. I looooooove buttons and constantly wonder how to display these little gems without destroying them...

Buttons more precious than crystal. I love it!!! My little idea hamster is spinning... and I am certain to be hunting the library for books on chandeliers.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Gift Year: Mad Ramblings of a 36 Year Old

At some point in the last three years, I convinced myself I was a year older. I am sure it started with just rounding up a year when my birthday was only days away and then forgetting I had rounded it up and eventually, I and everyone else thought I was a year older than I really am... The benefit.. .I have an extra year.

Next month I turn 37, meaning that I am 36 now.. this is a big surprise to me, because for the last year I was totally sure that I was 37 turning 38.

A gift year... the possibilites seem endless, what do you do with a year you thought you had already lived????

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Where has April gone? More importantly where have I been? April has been this amazing month of passage for me. Passage from one career to another. Passage from safety and security to the unknown. Passage from a stagnant reality to a dream filled future.

Amidst all this passage, I made a wonderful discovery... Mindfulness, basically being in the present moment. (Better definition) When I was in college, I would often go to this amazing arboretum by my dorm and spend an hour or so walking around and looking at the trees. I would always end up at the stream watching herons with their slow dance or leaves floating and dancing on the water. I found so much peace there.. In fact I am sure this twice weekly habit was responsible for me surviving grad school with a full time job. At any rate, I was sure the magic was in the place, not in my actions. Then lo and behold while reading a blog(of course), I realize that the peace I experienced was from mindfulness... something I can do anytime and where.

I immediately set out to do 10 minutes a day.. Which I have revised to 5 minutes a day.. (Hard for me to sit still that long) I hope to work it up to longer time.. but so far I have discovered it is not the amount of time but the act. In short, mindfulness is like the Buddhist form of natural Prozac or Xanax.

I breathe, I sit, I am still, I see, I hear, I breathe, no judgment, I just am.... and for however long I do it, I am good enough.. stress free, judgment free and perfect..

Monday, April 10, 2006

Food as Art

There is something amazing about the fresh taste, scent and texture of simple dishes. So many dishes require items found only in catalogs or the "expensive" aisle of your grocery store and quite frankly don't live up to expectations.

I love simple dishes with basic ingredients I have on hand or can purchase within my food budget. Yesterday we set off in search of a coop owned grocery store rumored to be south of our home. Like some juicy gossip... Friends whispered to me how reasonable the prices and how amazing the meat selections. At some point in these gossip sessions, I should have gotten the address... Because as fate would have it we never found the place. Instead desperate for a new culinary experience we ended up in a large Asian grocery store. Taking home exotic snacks and some lovely green beans.

Tonight I will be cooking something warm and comforting for a friend who lost her mom. My mom was believer in the healing power of a well cooked casserole and I carry on her beliefs. The secret to a good comforting casserole is to have all the flavors blend into something soft, savory and soothing. Casseroles should be served very very warm and the texture should be even throughout with no strange crunchy things. My friend is a vegetarian with a wheat allergy, so this casserole contains cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and brown rice baked in a simple cheese sauce. I carmelize the carrots with a small bit of sweet onion and add a dash of cinnamon to the cauliflower.. Some how it all works and the result is an edible equivalent of a cleansing nap.

Currently for my own palate, I am on the hunt for sharp sweet fresh tastes to herald the approaching spring... Luckily I found this recipe for Asparagus Risotto with Poached Egg(click and scroll) on my favorite food porn site, delicious days...(by the way the whole point of this post was to share this recipe)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Our Lady of Haberdashery

Every so often I stumble across some little project I totally love... I have a handbag fetish.. No,not expensive Kate Spade leather things, but simple sweet not practical cute bags... So of course I was delighted when I tried the Tote Bag 101 Tutorial from Super Eggplant and the results were fabulous.

I have made 8 bags in the last two weeks... Most have been given away as gifts, but the one I made for myself is so cool I am going to make more in other sizes and colors. I have this total thing for vintage ribbons, buttons, handkerchiefs, trim and such... What the British so lovingly call haberdashery. And I am quite sure that with a little more practice these bags will be the perfect canvas for my little collections of haberdashery.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Church of Craft

There is something so spiritual about making something... I spent the better part of today making two gifts for a friend and a family member. Tote bag style purses made of upholstery fabric lined with bright cotton, one sporting buttons the other a fabric flower.

It thrills me to make things with my hands. I feel alive, useful and brilliant. Even if the finished craft is not perfect the sheer act of creating makes me feel wonderful..

Surprisingly my crafting is one of the few areas in my life where my desire for perfection does not exist.... Flaws are an important part of the creative process

Friday, March 24, 2006

What's in a name.. Contemplations on Color

You Know You Are A Color Snob When.....

So my secret is out... I have *gasp* white walls in my living room.. No it is not a cleansing soft white like Cloud or Snowdrift, it is more like primer. And the reason we have white walls... Because I can't seem to find the perfect shade for the living room. Right now I am quite partial to Devine Blue, but I am afraid it might be too light.. I also like this color, but suspect it might be too blue... So until I find the perfect shade.. I suffer with white...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Thing About Looking Ahead.....

The thing about looking ahead, is you don't often see the things that are at your feet. The same can be said to the future... looking to the future can keep you from seeing your present.

Today was the second day of spring. I was so busy, that I missed the first day Today for the first time I noticed that our lilac tree was sprouting little bits of green and that our ornamental cherry was raining blossoms like pink snow.Also noticed that our yard looks like an abandoned rugby field Note to self: fix this ASAP!

Normally I look forward to this time all year.. where every tree looks like a painting and the cold has subsided enough that I can actually taste and smell the sun in the air. Lately though, I have been so focused on my future.. that I have neglected to enjoy the moments that make up the here and now.

It's not what if, it's what now. ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Google on Mars

I imagine working at Google is like sitting around with your really cool, geeky friends and thinking up neat things to do... Not because these things make money, but just because it would be really neat to do them..

I think there latest little project is pretty nifty. It is just nice to know that when we actually get to visit Mars, it will really easy to find all the great tourist destinations.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My Secret Love Affair with Country

"Hello my name is Pamela and I like country music" ... Somehow I imagine saying this in a dimly lit basement and then bowing my head in shame, as I am welcomed by the other addicts at the 12 step program for Black people who enjoy country music.

Just to be clear, I don't like all country music, but quite often I find myself tuning in to CMT (Country Music Television) or scanning the dials for a suitable station. I love Alison Krauss and Leanne Rhimes and of course the Dixie Chicks. But there are others...

I love the stories the songs tell. I love how happiness and good times are often expressed in these songs as being with family, doing simple home type things. I love songs that invoke emotions and country music is full of these.

Now I like other types of music too. In fact my taste in music runs the gamut from flamenco guitar to jazz. Recently I have started confessing my interest in country music to others.. And surprisingly they don't run in horror, but give me a sympathetic nod.

In this country where so many have adopted the music, arts, and culture of others why has country music remained so elusive to the masses?

I just saw Walk the Line and will most likely buy the soundtrack. The Oscar nod and all the hype were in my opinion well deserved. Perhaps as movies like this continue to enthrall the general public, my interest in country music will be shared by others.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The best book I ever tasted....

I have never been one of those "I'll just have a salad" kinds of girls. I love food. I love the texture, taste, smells, preparing it, growing it, buying it etc...

Up until last month, I had been stuck in a food rut. It is amazing what 4 weeks of consecutive rain will do to your palate. By the 2nd week all I wanted was warm soup, bread and oatmeal. By week 4, pretty much oatmeal was the only thing that warmed me enough to be satisfying.

Enter Ruth Reichl’s Comfort Me with Apples, a book that will convince you that you have never really taken the time to taste food. In her book, food tastes of textures, places, history, colors and emotions. Flavors peak at different places in your mouth and invoke responses usually reserved for sex and other intense emotional experiences. I greatly suspect that reading this book will increase the pleasure of every culinary experience from now until the end of time. And yes, I know I am pouring it on thicker than oatmeal on a rainy day… But trust me she deserves it.

So once again, I am in love with food

My current favorite recipe this week, is Red Snapper in Crazy Water: Acqua Pazza . I tell my significant other that it is an Italian fish soup, some how crazy water does not sound too appetizing. The flavors are simply fragrant....The perfect mix of salty fish and sweet tomato. It tastes like sunshine in the Italian Mediterranean... sigh...

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Something to love, something to do and something to look forward to…

The other day after a night of restless sleep and odd dreams I woke up with the realization that something wonderful some good thing would happen this week. Experience has taught me to trust these feeling so of course I found myself excited and giddy.

Perhaps the good thing would be money, a trip or my dream job but the week progressed and nothing happened. I found myself fearing my good thing would be something lame and disappointing. I would find a parking space right in front of my destination and find myself silently hoping that this was not the good thing.

Then yesterday on my way from lunch, I was listening to the local NPR affiliate, KUOW. The program was about happiness (listen here). A caller recounted a card she had received, that said, happiness was:

Something to love,
something to do,
and something to look forward to…

As I considered what these things would be for me… I came to a realization and made a decision. (Which I shall mention another time...) Of course a split second later, I realized that this was my good thing….

So what was my point? Nothing, but it really does make you think….

Something to love,
something to do,
and something to look forward to…