Sunday, October 31, 2010


Pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pie, and a whole lot of other pumpkin things filled up my October.

Most of these pictures are from a soup-making adventure a weekend or two ago, when we walked to Whole Foods and carried two pumpkins home with us on the bus. If you didn't know it already, pumpkins are harbingers of happiness. If you want cheering up, just walk down the street with a pumpkin in your arms. People will smile when they see you. They'll stop you to discuss your plans for the evening. "It's that time of year!" they'll carol with Christmas-bright voices, as they did to us. Caught up in the festive mood, Brian balanced his pumpkin on his head and refused to carry it any other way. (Did he look awesome, as he claimed? Well... I don't know--but his goofy grin certainly warmed my heart.)
At home we unloaded our groceries and took a twenty-minute apple cider break. We congratulated one another on our purchases, then proceeded to gut them. I carved, peeled, and cubed mine while Brian sorted through two bowls of pulp for seeds.
After we dumped the cubed pumpkin into a pot of boiling water, I nursed my shoulder (the one connected to my pumpkin-cutting arm) while Brian prepared the seeds for roasting. Then he pureed our pumpkin while I cleaned up the table for Round Two: slicing and dicing cabbage and carrots and turnips and things--tasks that inspired Brian to sing a brief ode to his green knife.
Then hundreds of minutes of stirring. Or perhaps thirty. While we waited, we ate pumpkin seeds and celebrated our soup triumph by inventing a truly awesome dance that the world will probably never see unless we make a music video.
Sadly, there are no pictures of the finished soup. We ate it immediately and I'm afraid it's long gone.

*All pictures in this post are my own except for the third one, taken by Brian.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Purple unicorn

This unicorn and a cup of coffee are what kept me going during a five-hour meeting yesterday. Later I found unicorns in Borges's Book of Imaginary Beings and regretted not having given mine a small, curling beard. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Three masted schooner

I love pillows. Most of the time I have to restrain myself from buying and making them, because buying one pillow leads to buying more pillows. And that is pure excess. But just so you know what a lover of pillows I am: I keep two in my car for emergencies. While it's true that they've come in handy for picnics, mostly they just make my backseat look like a sad, sad couch instead of an actual, functional part of a car. But I digress. This is the pillow I made for Brian's birthday last month:

I drew the pattern myself, transferred it onto fabric with a white charcoal pencil, and sewed over it with a simple backstitch. I hadn't sewn anything by hand since last year, so it took a while to get used to threading a needle and pulling it through fabric again. But it was a lot of fun.

Another project I've had in the works for a long time is a soft flannel t-shirt. T-shirts aren't usually made from flannel, but I found the perfect fabric and improvised a pattern in my size, and I think it could work. I just need to start sewing.

In the meantime, stay tuned for photographs from my most recent project, which was nothing less than a weekend pumpkin extravaganza with the aforementioned owner of said pillow.

Friday, October 15, 2010


It has been a month of gusting winds and bending trees, and I find myself spending most of my lunch hour out of doors. After a fast meal, I've taken to rushing outside so I can have the bench along the back of the building all to myself. There, I drink a mug of tea, eat something sweet, read my book, and reconnect a little with the wildest bits of a not-very-wild part of town. It's the best.

My boyfriend and I were talking about our ideal careers the other day. I really think the life of an old-fashioned forest ranger would be perfect for me. Living in an isolated cabin on protected land, I would tramp about the mountaintop maintaining  trails, collecting and analyzing plants and trees, keeping an eye on the wildlife, and intimidating poachers with my rifle. In the evening hours when the forest glows under a sky of stars, I would read or draw or write letters. Brian would build a fire and cook us a giant rustic meal, and then I'd beat him soundly at three games of dominoes in a row. I'm pretty sure we'd live happily ever after.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Indian summer, Part I

Oh Monday. I put my To Do list aside (mostly) and enjoyed a rare day off today. I've been reading like crazy all month, so I began the morning as usual: with breakfast and a book.

But then the kitchen called to me and my stomach called back.

What kind of a breakfast person are you? Do you skip it, or eat enough to last you into the afternoon? Do you devour the same thing each day, or do you mix it up? Me, I have the same thing every morning: toast with butter, a glass of whole milk, a big mug of coffee, and a banana. When winter comes I switch to oatmeal. I love my morning same-olds. I am very loyal.

But when it comes to lunch and dinner and snacks and second-dinner, I love to experiment. Today I had cannellini beans with shallots and tomatoes from the garden. I toasted a hunk of rye bread. Then I dipped into a jar of home-made pickles to counter the sweet, warm heat of sriracha-infused tomatoes.

Then, in the evening, a quiet, softly rustling, almost-too-long-neglected bag of bok choy whispered my name. And a box of tofu chimed in longingly. Cook us.

All in all it has been a wonderful day of foods. And best of all, there's enough left over for tomorrow's lunch.

Dear friends, I have been the laziest blogger in the universe. My problem is, when I don't draw much I forget to write. And I haven't been drawing much at all. I'm putting so many hours into this new job, I haven't figured out how to fit everything into the time I have left over. How do you manage it? How do you choose what is important to you? Or do you suffer, as I once did, from a surfeit of free time?