30 July 2009

be the change.

this morning, in the solemn space of a cup of coffee, i read about the chief causes of global child mortality.

morning coffee

malnutrition and AIDS i expected, but those fell later along the list. the leading causes surprised me: complications of childbirth. pneumonia (really? pneumonia?). diarrhea. malaria. things that for the most part seem, well, preventable.

so here's what we're up to this week. i have some newish stuff up in the shop. you, perhaps, have a child or a friend (or a child of a friend) who might love a little handmade gift. let's you and i get together.

for the next seven days, the price of any purchase made from my shop will be donated to your choice of one of the following organizations: world vision, mercy corps, doctors without borders, or save the children.

i'd love to see everything in the shop go, so to sweeten the deal you can either take 30% off all items (when checking out, request an updated invoice from me), or you can make me an offer. if opting for the latter, please send your offers via email or through etsy's contact the seller button, and if the item has not been purchased at the end of the week (aug 6th), i will happily accept the highest offer.

not interested in my shop items? kindly consider making a direct donation to preserve the life of someone small.

grazie, my friends. i am so grateful to you.

26 July 2009

miscellanea. and stuff.

1. a kimono wrap for angela's much anticipated baby. (simple and free pattern from habitual.)


2. an ever changing list of Things To Love.
anthro's pressed flowers mug
squash jam jar
stolkholm floral apron
and also pretty much everything girlie at crewcuts

3. a winner (drawn at random) of the skirt.
number 6, ann, who left this kind comment:
This is so cute~! I love the cherry blossom top too, yummy!

ann, please email me so we can talk measurements and whatnot when you have a chance. thank you all for playing!

4. my first senior photo session, starring this stunning girl.

tay blogged

more to come. be well, friends.


25 July 2009

hold still, please.

nine today.

and oh, how time whisks by. when did the slope of your cheek lose that baby fullness? when did the lolloping cease, replaced by this deliberate gait, shoulders thrown back to an angle of coolness?

at nine


hiding a smile


i'd like to freeze you just here, but then i'd miss out on the person you're becoming. so instead i'll live in gratitude of the chance to bear witness to every small change that marks the way.

live tall, sweet boy. dream big.

23 July 2009

just like christmas.

the parents have arrived for a short visit, along with my aunt carol. when they asked what foodish stuff i wanted from oahu and kauai, i pretty much said one of everything, and they obliged.


assorted goodies from oahu.

pineapple taking over my hallway.

maki sushi roll.

so yesterday i polished off a roll and a half of tanioka's sushi, plus some macadamia nut crunchies from big island candies, plus chocolate dipped kona coffee beans. it was a good day.

it's probably a lucky thing that my folks only jet over about once a year, or there'd be quite a bit more of me.

21 July 2009

17 July 2009

a skirt for me. and one for you.

last week i stitched up a version of angry chicken's 5 minute skirt.

a bit of ruffle makes everything happier

admittedly, this skirt took me quite a bit longer than five minutes as it was beseeching me for a ruffled hemline in buttery yellow. and my ruffling foot and i, we are not on speaking terms, so all ruffling at chez owens is done by hand, which ends up quite visually pleasing but also takes half my life. give or take two minutes.

notes on the skirt:
--measure the smallest part of your waist, and not where you'd actually like the skirt to fall (drop waist) or you will end up with a skirt large enough to smuggle in small children at the movies. and you shall have to cut it down twice, and then end up with a skirt that is still a teensy bit large, which could actually prove fortuitous if one later eats her body weight in ginger cookies. hypothetically.
--the pieces are meant to be cut on the bias, but as i used a directional print this did not work so much. straight-cut works okay, but i'm guessing the drape of a bias cut would be noticeably sweeter.
--i dipped the hem quite a bit more than the recommended half inch...more like three inches or so i'd guess. i'm not sure if the skirt needed it because it wasn't bias cut, but mine looked handkerchief-style without the exaggerated dip (which is cute in its own right, but not the look i was after).


so. want one?

i'll sew a custom-sized skirt for one lucky person, crafted from this print in a deep blush colorway. leave me a comment and i'll draw a winner at random next weekend.

-enter by leaving a comment below. please be sure i can contact or identify you if you leave an anonymous comment.
-if you win, i'll will whip up a skirt in your size (or your daughter's size, or your mother's size, or your great-aunt tilda's size if you'd like it for giftage purposes).
-you choose the style of the hem: a clean double-turn, ruffled, bias tape, border.
-twitter or blog this giveaway to get a second entry (just be sure to drop back in with a second comment letting me know you did this, since i'll be drawing from the comments by order number).
-please have all entries in by 12 noon EST next saturday (july 25th). grazie.

cherry blossoms galore.

the hubby has been out of town all week and so i have accomplished much in the way of sewing and eating ginger cookies, as that is what i do best when the hubby is absent: make things and consume too many baked goods.

i have not photographed my expanding waistline, but here's a top i made for elle:

cherry blossoms galore

possibly my new favorite kiddly top. classic lines, swingish, vintage button closure, in a gorgey cherry blossom print. if only it would fit me.

red classic top

vintage button closure

little red

swing by tomorrowish for more sewing shares and a giveaway. happy friday, friends.

15 July 2009

we are boyscouts.

camping means squished hammocks and cookie s'mores and digging canals in the dirt and buggy showers and a coldish lake and playground tag and rain and 200 million card games and touch football and novels and wild raspberries on a hike and citronella and bullfrogs and going to sleep with the smell of campfire in your hair. rinse and repeat.













11 July 2009

new things. that will likely never happen again.

this morning, for the first time in the history of ever, i persuaded this old bag of bones to get up at the crack of insane for a run before sunrise. the beautiful thing about exercise at this hour is the whole lack of sun, which comes off as lovely as running in perpetual shade.

(i just wish sunrise wouldn't happen so early; we ought maybe to delay it till nine o'clock or so.) (okay, yes, i'm hearing you, i can always move to greenland if i'd like to mush my dogs around the block in the dark at 9am for half the year. that's most helpful.)

the sky was a mélange of smeared clouds and haze and leftover storm, with a hearty chunk of moon suspended just over my shoulder. and the oddest thing is, once i was out there--just my five o'clock self and the pavement and this orbiting lunar rock--i was inexorably happy i'd propped myself up on one elbow instead of pulling the sheets to my chin again in response to that pivotal question: wouldn't it be grand to sleep another ninety minutes? because the answer is sure. but nowhere near as grand as this.

more firsts:
::thinking to myself, less than half-way through, that this was going too fast and that i wish my day's commitments allowed me the flexibility to go longer (note that under all other circumstances and possibly this one as well, the word fast should never show its face in a post about me jogging, unless firmly tethered to the phrase not at all).
::having the sidewalks, the streets, the entire city to myself.
::witnessing the wonder of a brightening sky and thinking that 364 out of 365 days of the year i fully get the siren call of sleep, but on this particular morning? i cannot fathom the draw.

09 July 2009

bits and pieces.

1. the other day i caught a fragment of conversation between my offspring, em explaining to elle why she couldn’t marry him someday. i wish i could remember the specifics so i could embellish them here, but as i have not yet stooped to entire fabrication, we shall have to leave that exchange largely unrecorded. alas.

2. i often prefer british spellings over american, namely theatre, grey, and any word using an s instead of a z. s’s are more wholesome somehow, rounder and softer, while the american z comes off angled and sleazy. yes, i know. i take neurotic to new heights.

3. i finally got around to photographing a skirt i meant to share with y'all many moons ago. the nice thing about slowing down with the sewing biz is that my own kid actually gets clothed. she's thrilled.

springish skirt for elle

4. mothering is irony in motion. what mother can't attest to shooing the kids outside for a moment's peace, only to spend the next twenty-five minutes keeping vigil from the kitchen sink window, smiling and occasionally hollering long-distance directives ("put that stick down NOW, do you WANT to impale your brother?").

5. my madre is celebrating a birthday today. i will not report her age, but i shall tell you that after all these years she has taken up jogging for the first time ever. i love how someone you know to their bones still has the ability to surprise you every now and then. rock on, mom.

08 July 2009

romeo wouldn't change his mind.

**SPOILER WARNING: the following post contains info gleaned from NEW MOON, the novel, so if you are patiently awaiting the movie and desire to know nothing from the book which might ruin your theatre experience, please go eat a crumpet and come back to this post sometime after november 20th.**

so i'm not a frenzied fan of meyer's NEW MOON. in fact, i can't seem to muster enough personal enthusiasm to be even a sluggish fan. i do, however, enjoy stephenie's brand of dry, ironic humor, so it should come as no surprise that in spite of my general distaste for this installment of edward + bella (which is actually more like edward + bella - edward + sometimesjacob), i still crack a smile at the pithy one-liners.

fave quotes from NEW MOON
Alice: How strongly are you opposed to grand theft auto?

Bella: Even the voice in my head was making no sense today.

Edward: Bella, the last real birthday any of us had was Emmett in 1935. Cut us a little slack, and don’t be too difficult tonight. They’re all very excited.

Bella: Reckless in Forks—now there was a hopeless proposition.

Jacob: Here’s to responsibility. Twice a week.

Bella: Jacob, you are absolutely, without a doubt, the most talented and wonderful person I know. You get ten years for this one.

Bella: I’m an easy bleeder. It’s not nearly as dire as it looks.

Bella: Was I dying again, then? I didn’t like it--this wasn’t as good as the last time.

Jacob: Look, do you mind saving the stupid stuff for when I’m around? I won’t be able to concentrate if I think you’re jumping off cliffs behind my back.

Bella: Romeo wouldn’t change his mind. That’s why people still remembered his name, always twined with hers: Romeo and Juliet. That’s why it was a good story. “Juliet gets dumped and ends up with Paris” would have never been a hit.

Alice: Trust me, Bella. If anyone sets up a roadblock, it will be behind us.

Alice: Try not to trip. We don’t have time for a concussion today.

Bella: I’d forgotten that I had access to a toothbrush. It brightened my outlook considerably.

Bella: His irises were pitch-black, with bruise-like shadows under them. This surprised me; my hallucinatory Edwards were usually better fed.

Edward: You should probably know that I’m breaking the rules right now. Well, not technically, since he said I was never to walk through his door again, and I came in the window… But, still, the intent was clear.

Edward: Well, I’m nearly a hundred and ten. It’s time I settled down.

ps so good news! now that i've just gathered all the redeemable parts of the book into one post, you don't even need to see the movie. i've just saved you like $7.50 plus a box of junior mints.

06 July 2009

more with the quilting fiendishness.

so i've finished my seventy 9-patch blocks for the crazy mom quilts one-a-day quilt-along. phew.

in theory, a one-a-day quilt is sheer genius. you sew for five minutes a day, and before long you have enough blocks for a whole quilt, lookie there. the reality, though, is far from inspired: start three weeks late, miss ten days in the middle whilst out of town, and (due largely to an absence of the gene allowing one to not meet a known deadline) end up piecing the last nineteen blocks on saturday. methinks this plan leaves something to be desired.

nevertheless. i'm done.

all 70

(i will show you more of the blocks at some point, but as we are leaving for a camping expedition during which i'd prefer to change my clothing on a daily basis, i'd best get packing.) toodles.

04 July 2009

happy fourth.

bring on the light

History does not teach fatalism. There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads. ~Charles de Gaulle

01 July 2009

why i'm partial to my brothers.

nate can affect just about any accent out there, a talent which renders me strangely proud. you'd think i'd instead choose to be proud of, oh, maybe his natural ascendancy in flight school, but here's the thing: while i do not doubt that he is a phenomenal pilot (given that he is overarchingly Good At All Things), i like for my pilots to be anonymous entities. as opposed to, let's say, the entity who used to tell me to hold still so he could see how many knuckle punches administered in precisely the same spot on my arm were required to produce a visible bruise.

still. amazing with the accents.

noel has the bestest sense of humor, mostly because it is an exact replica of mine, which upon reflection is probably more eccentricity than ought to be unleashed on the general public at one time. we ought really to have been alive in separate eras (dibs on the seventeenth century). i have fond recollections of long car trips (clarification for anyone who did not grow up on a small island: long car trip means forty minutes, tops), the nonstop banter and singing pretty much rendering the ride indistinguishable from forty minutes of Last Comic Standing. except that we were sitting. with seat belts buckled. and the jokes were clean and we weren't on tv and also nobody with a healthy grip on reality was laughing. but other than that, it was EXACTLY THE SAME.

these here are the guys:


and also me being all 'froed out on the left because hey. someone had to sport the 80's poodle perm. it's cool, i've got it.