Friday, February 29, 2008

Strangest thing I've seen yet today

So, it's a cake pan that is segmented to provide different size pieces of cake for each of your picky guests. Would it bake correctly? I would worry that the thick pieces would be undercooked while the thin pieces would dry out. But maybe I'm the one who is picky about her piece of cake?

Friday, February 22, 2008

7 little things about me

I was tagged way back when by sweet Anjie of studio wellspring and for various reasons (none of them very good), I haven't gotten around to writing up my list of the 7 interesting/unique/unknown things about me. I've thought long and hard and can't come up with much that folks don't know about me, so forgive me if you learned this all the first time we ever met...

1. The first time I sewed, I was three and it was in my grandma's sewing room. I have fond memories of that space, and it was the first that I knew of women having an actual room of their own. At the time, my mom had only a back porch that housed all her sewing. I am extremely lucky to get to have a wonderful sewing room of my own now!
2. Said sewing room is a current disaster area. I don't think anything has been produced in the sewing room since before the holidays. But somehow it is the dumping ground for all that has no other space in our house. We could really use some extra storage around here!
3. In college, I traveled a LOT. In '97-98 I lived in Germany and visited Austria, Switzerland, France (for an afternoon layover), Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Hungary. If I missed one in there, my long time friend and travel partner, Katy will hopefully remind me. What makes this a little interesting is that my most recent trip to Hawaii totally terrified me. I didn't know where to park at the airport or really how to take the shuttle into the terminal. I was mystified by security (what the heck that they don't allow WATER?!), and more than a little afraid of the logistics and details of boarding the plane and staying relaxed during take-off.
4. On my first ever date with my husband, I knew I would marry him. Six months after that date we moved in together. Six months after that we were engaged. Six months after that we bought our first house. Six months after that we got married. It took us another year to get a dog, and another year after that to have our son.
5. My husband brought a cat to our relationship that I have always hated. We have a deal that for as many years as I live with her (we're up to 6 1/2 now), I get to decide the cat-status of our household. Just to spite me, I think she'll probably live to be 22. Ironically, our son LOVES her.
6. I love my sleep. One of my (many) issues with the cat is the regularity with which she wakes us up in the middle of the night.
7. I'm 12 weeks pregnant. This contributes greatly to #6. :) So far the pregnancy has gone pretty well, I haven't been too terribly ill, except when I try to brush my teeth. So if I have bad breath, I'm really sorry! But my toothbrush makes me have dry heaves. It's really inconvenient!

So if you haven't ever done one of these, I hereby tag you!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


The new class list is available over at bolt!

There are a lot of very interesting classes available including Russian needlepunch, embroidery, pattern making, and the machine sewing classes that I teach. I was out of town when the list first went out, so many of the classes are already full, but it is ALWAYS worth it to be on the waiting list! We had a lovely break from classes in January and it looks like a lot of you are ready to start sewing again!

Also, if there is a class that you're just dying to take, I am still offering private lessons and am now able to give private lessons in Portland on Sundays, prior to teaching at bolt. Generally that means the lesson is 2pm-4pm, depending on how close to the store you live. For rates and other details, go to

Hope to see you in class!

I'm baaaack!

It's been a long absence for two reasons -- first I got to go on a vacation to Hawaii, while my son played at Grammie's house. And then when we all got home and got settled, we all got a nasty flu that we're still recovering from!

I'd never been to Hawaii, so didn't really understand all the hype until I'd been there for about 10 seconds and decided I could really live there!

We had a beautiful room that opened out to the ocean for gorgeous views and wonderful sunsets. We snorkeled almost every day and saw literally hundreds of different kinds of fish and coral. We took a sea kayaking trip that totally blew my mind. I'd never been on a kayak before and paddling in the warm ocean was amazing and thrilling and only a little terrifying.

Kealakekua Bay. photo by

photo by

But the highlight for us was snorkeling with the manta ray at night! We boarded the boat at about 5pm and watched the sun set as we motored about 20 minutes to the snorkeling spot. On the way, we saw a mother and calf humpback whale! Imagine the setting sun and two whales 50 yards away. We got to see the tail flip right before they dove down under the water, an image I'll never forget!
photo copyright Rolf Hicker

Once we got to the snorkeling location, we donned wetsuits and jumped into the water. There were four divers with us and they went down to the sandy ocean floor, about 35 feet down. They turned on dive lights to shine up toward us and each of the 10 snorkelers had dive lights as well, that we pointed down. The snorkelers all held onto a communal floating circle, so we stayed together. It created a sea of light, so to speak, that attracted fish and plankton. Mantas only feed on plankton and since the folks in Kona have been doing this for years, the Mantas know that there will be food there at night.
photo by Lisa Christensen for

The Manta swim in figure 8s, doing belly rolls and summersaults as they near the waters surface (where we were all floating). In the US, it's against the law to touch them, but they can touch us! And my husband got "blessed" by the manta (what they call it when one touches you) on one of its turns in the water. It about scared the pants off him at the time, but distanced from the moment he thinks it's very cool.
photo by Lisa Christensen for

Having transitioned to big black (Nikon D40X) from the slow and dinky little silver (old Cannon powershot) meant that the photos we took were beautiful, but that we were too shy to actually take the camera anywhere that could get wet. Since we were in the water every day, that means not a lot of pictures of the interesting things we did. But we got an underwater camera that we need to get developed and with it, there might actually be a photo of the two of us together. :)

For now, we're still working on getting well from the flu. We've watched a lot of movies. I've read a lot (I can't stand that much TV) and just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It really motivated me to work on eating locally grown food. In Hawaii that meant we got lots of citrus, papaya, mango, and bananas. Here that means apples and winter kale, which aren't quite the same. But we're trying!

edited for grammar, sorry!