Thursday, December 20, 2007

May Your Days Be Merry

paper roll ornament

Wishing you Peace Love and Joy in 2008.

we are scurrying about preparing for our first annual neighbourhood progressive dinner on friday night (we are in charge of the "main course"); a trip to see the los angeles ballet perform the nutcracker on saturday; a belated family hanukah party on sunday (hard to believe i have nieces who are in college! hence the party had to be rescheduled to cooincide with winter break), a traditional mexican christmas eve with friends and neighbours (the two are really the same) on monday; and of course the big day on tuesday (dinner at sam's - can't wait!); then off to "our island" on wednesday (oh i hope the weather cooperates and maybe we can even fit in a pit-stop with these lovelies!).

See you in the New Year!

p.s. just got an email that I received a Lowe's Toolbox Grant for our school - yay!!! yes, 2008 looks to be a good one... xo

Thursday, December 13, 2007

all i want(ed) for christmas

my early christmas gift (the shelf)

an early gift.

guess i will have to think up something else for my stocking, eh santa?..

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

so good my teeth hurt

e is definitely ready for christmas.

wee house

she (alongside 119 other first graders) constructed this at school yesterday. i am amazed the little sister hasn't dug in yet. makes the whole house smell like frosting... mmmmmm

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

checked off the list


lights up

wreath hung

decorations made

and decorations found

presents to give

and to receive

holiday cards designed (this year again by e)

and printed

trees purchased (yes two this year. couldn't help myself)

and decorated

getting there...

(still have to make a few more gifts, address a few more envelopes, and make a trip to the post office!)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

oh Hanukah oh Hanukah

come light the menorah

come light the menorah

a favourite holiday of mine that i had never celebrated before meeting d. love the food. (latkes and jelly donuts my personal favourites!) the pacing (candles, dinner,small easy presents, a game or two of dreidel), and the quiet and reflection that eight nights of candlelight brings to my table.

wishing you light, love and peace

Monday, December 03, 2007

it went something like this

"Mama, is it Christmas today?"

"No baby. Christmas Day is on December 25."

"But Mama, why is it Christmas for everyone else now?"

"It's not honey. Everyone celebrates on the 25th. Some people start earlier, on Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day is always the same. All over the world."

"But Mama, Elijah's house has green lights that are all the same green and I know that is is Christmas Day for him now."

"We have lights too honey. Daddy put them up last night, remember? They are all different colours. And we have some of our decorations up. Our little houses. And this weekend we will get our tree and put up more decorations, ok?"

"Oh yeah.... Then it is Christmas for us now too. Thanks Mama. I love you."

"Night night sweetie."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

yes leslie

we really do have a cabin of our own - well, in conjunction with my mom and brother, and with the hopes that all our friends and family will join us there! - on galiano. my favourite place in the world. it is small. but that is ok. it is on 5 acres, and d and i dream of building something of our very own there. someday. we will be heading up there to ring out 2007 - and welcome 2008.

in the meantime, we look forward to lots of days like this...


oh - and of course you are not hounding me too much ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


in no particular order


a little head sleeping on our new pillow.

a piece of heaven of our own to get away to.

this face gives me hope

and all remind me to

be thankful.


happy thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

me-RRR-y christmas


taking on a personal challenge of
this holiday season.

and getting the kids on board too. we have been having a lot of discussions on the difference between reducing, reusing and recycling - and the hierarchy of prefer-ability here. our words became actions yesterday.

last year we spent time cutting circles out of our received holiday cards as they came down off the piano. (handy 2 1/2" circle punch was a big hit with the kids and the activity was a perfect quiet distraction for a post-holiday afternoon.) this year we are reusing them in the construction of some holiday balls (oh elementary school memories here!) - to hang along our diningroom light fixture. while i thought i would remember how to do this - when i sat down it escaped me. a tutorial was found here.

with hanukkah just around the corner i am looking for something quick and easy to do with the bag of my father-in-law's ties i still have stashed in the cupboard after my belt-making of a year (or 2!) ago. i am thinking headbands and cuffs... any other ideas?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

a better day


my kind of saturday


Friday, November 16, 2007

the end

packing up the house and studio. like little pieces of him leaving again and again. i am finding this much more difficult that anything i can think of.

so looking forward to next week. thanksgiving. quiet. being with those i love. some time to start in on various holiday projects...

sorry if i am scarce these days. continuing to post green gift ideas over at two green chickens. and don't think it doesn't mean i'm not checking in on you.. ;)

just looked at the date - then checked my archives - and realized that tomorrow i will have had this little space for 2 yrs. hard to believe. i had no idea what i was getting into. no idea how it would make me think, do, create, act, speak-up and so on and so on. but you have certainly touched me, inspired me, supported me. and i thank you!

Monday, November 12, 2007





thanks for it all, hon.

{can't remember ever smiling so much before.}

Monday, November 05, 2007

chicken feed

Sam and I are working on putting out a daily post through November of gift-giving ideas... Check it out here. (If you have any enviro-friendly gift ideas - etsy or otherwise - let me know...)

Speaking of gift-giving. Have you checked out Sew! Mama! Sew!'s 30 Days of Gifts to Sew? I am flattered that they included my lunch bag tutorial amongst so many great projects. Thanks ladies!

Thanks for the pillow love. And have a great Monday.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

because melissa asked me

"girl, why don't you sew for yourself?!"

because melissa said

no, i can't wear it. but it makes me happy. and right now that's what it's all about. {thanks for the suggestion my friend.}

have a lovely weekend

{hmmm...something is seriously wrong with the focus on my camera..}

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

a good distraction

saturday morning i sat down at my sewing machine at 10:00 a.m. and barely left it until 11:00 that night. it was a therapy i had been searching for all week. and a chore that i looked forward too. of course the request for halloween costumes doesn't understand grief. or mourning. or heartbreak. all of which have been consuming me.

he was my - i struggle to find the words to put to it all he was - my employer, but also my mentor, confidante, companion, hero, inspiration, friend - a constant presence in my life for the last 8 yrs. he used to joke to people that i was his wife but we didn't share a bed or anything "like that". i met him 10 yrs ago and became his personal assistant soon after that. i have known him longer than i have known my husband. and he is gone. it is all so hard.

thank you for all your kind comments, emails and telephone calls. i will get back to you. right now i am throwing myself into all the minutiae that needs to get sorted out, and so looking forward to trick-or-treating with alice and dorothy.



be well...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

where i'm standing

turn right

whoo. hard to find time to put words in this space right now. though i have a couple of projects on my sewing table that i am quite happy with. our neighbourhood public school transformation is still the focus of my attention. two grant applications down (lowe's and city beautification) and one to go (kirk&anne douglas). fingers crossed please.

we had an amazing meeting the other day with an architect who has been "donated" to our parent group by a "westside philanthropist". he has this fantastic vision of what our school can be. it gets me all goose-bumpy. when our neighbourhood elementary school opened in 1956 disney came and filmed it for inclusion in their "circarama" production "a tour of the west". it was a school of the future. sadly - it pretty much stayed in 1956 and is in need of some tlc. (on the upside it maintains its 50's design, keeping with the 'hood.) so we are trying to recapture some of that initial pride in what our school can be. we have great teachers. great kids. great families. just need a little facelift to show the larger community that we care. to pique the interest of those neighbours who are spending thousands of dollars a year going to private school, and those who are writing big cheques to the pta-s of "better" public schools. this is our neighbourhood school after all! we can walk to it. we see our neighbours every morning as we trek along. some walk with us. some are backing out of their driveways for the long and tedious commute to some other school. (and you've heard me say it before - it is the school in our community, we need to be putting our community in the school!)

so back to the grant writing...

have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

sunshine and rain


feeling oh so inspired by a very sunshine-y and very generous stash of fabric and trim from lisa. (you are my superhero!) can't wait to see her show down in venice. i already have a selection pulled and have started in on a log cabin pillow (in homage) based on the tutorial found here. it's rainy and cooler and i feel very much like playing with my new machine. (yes halloween costumes are on the pile too!)

and i finally broke down and bought some shinzi katoh glasses. i had been on a thrift hunt for juice glasses for the girls - to replace their plastic ikea ones - and just couldn't find any. not quite true. i couldn't find any they would fight over. which may sound counter intuitive but, for some reason, k is very attached to the colourful plastic in our cupboard and i felt a need to go heavy on the cute quotient to draw her away from the "dark side".

it worked. they fight over them. though e prefers the animals and k the bubble girl.

there is another with a donkey that i am soft on. half filled with a good cabernet. a rainy night. my new fabric stash. and my sewing machine.


happy wednesday!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

a little rumpled

a little rumpled

my mom always ironed our sheets. in fact i think she ironed everything she could. (didn't you?) she always loved ironing. i think the fact that she would set up near the family room where she could watch my brother and i was likely part of it. that and the warm good smell (you know what i mean) and the repetitive motion of it all. and really - is there anything better than tucking into freshly pressed sheets?

given that - i don't iron our sheets. i am lucky if my family goes out the door these days with their shirts ironed. (sorry d!) we are all looking a little rumpled lately. a little tired. it seems we are right back in the throes of the school year, and as is the way, it is flying by. (september where did you go??) i have requests for halloween costumes (dorothy and alice please "mom, they are sisters don't you think?") and a dining room table covered COVERED with pta "stuff" and half finished sewing projects. (dining room table where did you go??) and we are halfway done landscaping the front yard. (must say saturday spent at a plant sale and working the dirt did feel very good.)

then you have the long awkward pauses between awkward and pretty mundane blog posts. and my neglect of two green chickens and sewgreen.

this week i am going to try and establish a rhythm to it all. like that of my mom's ironing i hope. warm and good and with a gentle sway. i love the cooler temps that have finally arrived. and feel the timing is right to re-balance things.

and so, as a start, i will fall back on the exercise of documenting my week. (inspired as usual by carol.) no words. just pics.

enjoy yours. how is your fall rhythm?

(oh and the bunny on the bed - made with love by sam. for k. because when e got this for her birthday k fell in love... thanks hon!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


my gift to myself. by stephanie. upon opening the box i was so struck by the beauty and simplicity of this. it actually took my breath away. it feels to good to hold. the power of handmade. can't be replicated.

and sitting on my new chair - so good as well. (cross number 11 off my list!)

Monday, October 01, 2007

so many of my favourite people have birthdays in september

and dogs too


thanks for letting as share your day with you miss moki!
cake from three dog bakery)

and thank you for all your bday wishes to me!

happy october

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 things to do:

1. join treepeople
2. clean off my desk
3. repaint the office
4. paint a mural
5. bake bread
6. keep chickens
7. re-read daniel deronda
8. get out my old slr
9. teach a class
10 take a class
11. pay bills while sitting on this
12. reduce our produce purchases by growing our own
13. attend the pta state convention
14. breath more deeply
15. sit up straighter
16. take more local hikes
17. frame {some of} our unframed artwork
18. knit some wristwarmers
19. knit a bonnet for a babe
20. try to never use another plastic bag!
21. ask for a mailbox to be installed within walking distance of our house
22. send mail on time
23. visit here more
24. see some live music
25. eat dim sum downtown
26. add some variety to our dinner menu while eating seasonally
27. watch more movies after the kids are asleep
28. go out just - d and i - to a movie {have r & j babysit!}
29. ride the orange line
30. sew more clothing for myself
31. organize a block party {shut down the street}
32. draw up a planting plan for the backyard
33. apply for a grant for a literacy garden
34. visit the l.a. county fair
35. grow where i am planted
36. slow down
37. enjoy being {}

that's 3.08 things per month to do before i turn 38. perhaps too much. the slow part. the enjoy part. the most important part.

happy birthday to me. {thinking of you mama!}

Sunday, September 23, 2007

feeling autumnal


cooler temps (unseasonably cooler but much loved by me, and the girls) mean it is ok to go out with your tights, cap and scarf on.

we are revelling in the lower temperatures. a trip to disneyland in the rain. (choice of the birthday girl.) but all good for this family who only want to go on the carousel, small world, and eat gigantic pickles. it was a prefect day. (and when the rain cleared it was gorgeous.)

temps to rise up again tomorrow...

c'mon autumn - come back soon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

back{pack} to school

back{pack} to school

i had started this before e's return to school, but then ran into difficulties sewing through the many layers with my old machine. happy to report my new machine made it a breeze. so good! and ready to hold books and lunches. first grade has been a breeze so far too. so good! (she has an amazing teacher. which for me is so much what it is all about.)

the pattern by liesl. available through purl.

fabric left over from reupholstering an old chair and from superbuzzy.

off to a pta meeting! happy tuesday!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

now we are six


When I was one I'd just begun,
When I was two I was nearly new,
When I was three I was hardly me,
When I was four I was not much more,
When I was five I was barely alive,
But now I am six! As clever as clever!
And I think I'll stay six now for ever and ever!

oh how i wish you would my love! it is all passing by so quickly. but it does keep getting better and better. my baby is six. she didn't want a birthday party this year. so we had an unbirthday party last night with our neighbourhood friends. she didn't want a cake. so i made brownies. she didn't want anyone to sing to her. so we hummed the tune as she smiled that marvellous smile that lights up my heart. happy birthday big bug. i do love you.

thank you a.a. milne

Friday, September 14, 2007


i think that since meeting d, and marrying into his large, loud, loving family, rosh hashana has become one of my favourite holidays. i love the idea of possibility and new hopes that come with a new year. and there is something especially poignant about such ideas in the fall, with new beginnings in our lives and other things coming to an end.

shana tov

wishing you a sweet new year.

looking at these apples reminded me of a great article in the l.a. times food section this week - on heirloom apples grown locally. you can find it here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

in stitches

thanks so much for all the early well wishes. keeping with the birthday season idea (thanks cloth.paper.string!)

i treated myself to a new machine. (it has been a long time coming!)

in stitches

much to learn of my new toy.

so (hopefully soon) more to come!

Monday, September 10, 2007

happy day

early bday present for me

celebrated birthdays (mine and e's) a little early over at sam's.

she spoiled me with this bag (made by hand, organic cotton lining and thrifted linen, filled with vintage sunset books - which she knows i have a weakness for - and the sweetest danish modern cream and sugar set.

and e with this.

early bday present for em

(and you worried she might be too old - for this cuteness?? she loves it!)

thanks honey. you spoil us. xo

Saturday, September 08, 2007



i have just completed partnering everyone up for the kids music swap -- please let me know if you signed up but didn't receive an email from me...


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

back 2 school

first day

first grade

looking forward

walk.home {first grade}

hope all went well for all who had new beginnings today

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

because it is a l o n g weekend

i'll keep sign-ups open 'til tuesday. so if you want to swap some cool kiddie tunes drop me an email. (see below for more info.)

finally on the wall

finally got this up on the wall. and had to share. oh lisa it is beautiful!


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Corners of Our Home 26

did i say see you next week. too much good stuff. just can't stay away.


we finally hung this up in our front entry.

i love it. d crafted all of it - the hooks, the mechanism that makes them go in and out, the box that houses it all, and stained it a beautiful water-based yellow. it was inspired by a photo he saw. we originally thought it might go into the "new" bathroom, but in the end felt it belonged here. (closer look here.)

so now a place to hang all that stuff that used to sit on the bench below...

have a great long weekend! (stay cool!)

sign-ups still open for the kids' music swap - details below...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

kids' music swap part deux


because you suggested it mama urchin - how about a another kids' cd swap? i so enjoyed this last time... but will keep myself out this go around and just send out the cds i am already committed to. but i am happy to partner everyone else up. the "rules" again:

- it doesn't have to be strictly "kids' music" but can include music that your kids like - just make sure it is appropriate for swapping...
- there is no age limit for the children to participate - but when possible it would be fun to have them make up the playlist
- be willing to ship overseas (fun to hear an international mix of kids' music!)
- have fun with the packaging but no need to send anything other than the cd
- goal is to ship by late september(i'll pin a date down once sign-ups close)
- interested? email me with kid's cd swap in the subject to: t(dot)bartley(at)att(dot)net and include your name, name(s) and age(s) of your kid(s), your blog address (if you have one - not necessary), and your mailing address
- once i see the interest that is out there (please feel free to "spread the word"!)i will close the sign-ups and randomly match the households I will keep the sign-up for the kids' music swap open until the end of the week(Friday 31 August). Please sign up if you are interested! The more the merrier!!

If you would like a button for your website - you can find it here

my back is feeling a little better - day by day - thanks for your well wishes. back to packing for the beach!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

from here
sundress print (on arrival)

to there

put my back out and am starting to panic a bit about all that needs to be done before the return to school next week. did manage to finally get this sewn together. (the fabric a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law.)

off to the beach on friday for (hopefully) a few days of nothing but cool breezes and sunsets...

see you on the return

p.s. if anyone wants a copy of the below listed cd i'll gladly send out 3. (that doesn't include you hannah!) first 3 to request... xo