Thursday, February 28, 2013

Home & Away: Tacoma

Even though this is a winter bee, it was definitely starting to feel like spring when I was in Tacoma a couple weeks ago. While Mom was at school, I wandered around the yard, taking in the sunshine as well as the flora and fauna. It was all SPRING, GLORIOUS SPRING! And I do admit to having a moment of twitterpation. Not exactly what happens in Bambi when all the loopy birds fall in love with other loopy birds, but more like I was falling in love with the backyard and everything in it. Twitterpated...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Peanut & Purls: Knitting in the car

Bring your knitting to your aunt's house on the lake!

I always think it makes the most sense to knit on the go. Why wouldn't you get some knitting done while you're riding in the car or a plane or just hanging out? Well, if you knew what was good for you (and your knitting), you would carrying your projects with you all the time.

Brief Musical Interlude: Marissa Nadler

OMG, Marissa Nadler, ever since Maya gave me a copies of Ballads of Living and Dying and Song III: Bird on the Water, I've basically wanted to live in your sleepy, lyrical, mysterious, ballad-driven dream world. And if you think slightly desperate-love-me dancing in a video is going to change my mind you are exactly WRONG. You just stand there in your black tights and heels while that girl dances her heartache out. 

Also, know that I listen to your rendition of "Annabelle Lee" and cry sometimes. Yes, as previously stated, Anabelle Lee makes me cry. Sometimes.

Go on and sweep the floor with your hair, girl. It'll be all right.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Make: Favorite things

So, I've been super busy lately (as have all the sisters). I spent the weekend with Catherine in Olympia, just to come home Sunday night to get up for work Monday morning. To top it all off, we are preparing for the arrival of Dawn and Jay this Friday, so we need to eradicate clutter and reorganize to make our little house a bearable home.

That's why I wanted to take a moment to think about all the fun stuff I made in the past year, and be calm...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Report: Weekend

I decided to conclude my month of love stories with a happy ending, or at least a happy feeling. "Weekend", from Tumble Home, a collection of short stories by the incomparable Amy Hempel, is simple and warm and bright and happy. And it makes me happy. Of course, when I say simple, I mean deceptively so. If you've ever read anything by Amy Hempel, you're probably aware that she has the gift for making big moments small and small moments big. Some people find her style a little off-putting, but I adore her...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

DIY: Crayons + Watercolors = Prints

Inspired by the cool crystalline shapes of these rubber stamps by Extase, I decided to make a little geometric art this week. I know, I know. You're probably like, Great. More geometric stuff. Soooooo played out. Just like brushing your teeth. BUT the straight lines and clean graphic quality of geometric shapes lends itself handily to this sort of project. AND geometric shapes are fairly easy to handle, even for straight-line-a-phobes like me...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Home & Away: Getting ready in Burbank

So very soon (as in next Friday soon!) Dawn and Jay will be arriving in Burbank. Not only are we super excited for our friends to be living in the same town as us, we are equally (perhaps misguidedly) excited for them to be living under the same roof as us (until we find our new large castle to commune in).

So last weekend I spent some time doing some cleaning, arranging and beautifying the homestead to get ready for their arrival...

(new welcome mat above, I think it should do the trick)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Peanut & Purl: Cocoon Me Cowl

I've been working on this project for a while now...which is to say that I started it over a year ago and haven't picked it up since. There's nothing wrong with it, I love the yarn (alpaca), and the pattern is easy to memorize and knit whilst doing other things...

Brief Musical Interlude: Major Lazer

Have you heard of Major Lazer? I had not. At least, not until I wandered onto the Vintage Hunters blog and saw this video and immediately fell in love with the song. (The author {authors?} of Vintage Hunters has some awesome musical interests because I actually fell in love with most of the songs featured on her blog.) The vocals here are by the wonderfully talented Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors. Aww, I love the Dirty Projectors!

As for Major Lazer, I'm not 100% sure how I feel about him on his own. I don't want to say I don't like what he's doing in everything but this video, but I fear that might be the case. Rude of me!

Psst! Might you be interested in following Vintage Hunters' pinterest? I'm digging it. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Make: Paisley Skirt

There is nothing more satisfying than finding an amazing patterned skirt or dress at the thrift store. On the other hand, there is no bigger bummer than discovering that your find is a bit awkward, too big or too small.

Recently, I found a great (but terribly matronly and awkward) paisley skirt at the thrift store. It was way too long, and the waist was about an inch too small...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Report: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Here's the rundown of Raymond Carver's story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love": Friends drinking gin & tonics in the kitchen discuss the meaning of love. Dangerous, violent, crazy love. Transitory, sweet, brand new love. Dedicated, serene, forever love. I can't say too much about Raymond Carver except that reading him makes me feel a connection with my fellow human beings that, honestly, I don't find everywhere I look. You will love him on the surface; you will love him on a subterranean level; you will love him even when you hate what he's telling you...

Saturday, February 16, 2013


This is another gem from the Museum's Library and Archives correspondence collection. I went through all the Valentine's Day cards, the Easter and Thanksgiving, and most of the Christmas cards. Now I have a nice little collection of vintage inspirations for all my future card-making attempts. Get ready sisters...

Friday, February 15, 2013

DIY: Chair Runners

I am not sure if these are actually classified as chair runners or not, but that's what I am calling them. Also, the title to this post would be much too long if I were to say DIY: some cute hand embroidered fabric to drape on the back of your chairs to spice things up a bit.

So with that, this is how I made my chair runners...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Home & Away: Move to Dumont

Move to Dumont--good idea or great idea? All of the sisters love Dumont, MN. We just can't help it. It's where our mom grew up and a place that always makes us remember those summers as little kids. There were always kittens on a farm either in North Dakota or in Minnesota. 

Brief Musical Interlude: Santigold


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Peanut & Purls: Kitty Valentines!

Don't forget your feline friends this Valentine's Day. Peanut and Genevieve (and the rest of the cousins) will be getting their valentines, and you can make some too! Follow my lead from Thanksgiving (and check out the Thanksgiving-themed cat toys I made). Using the same simple steps, the sisters and I quickly whipped out three different sweet Valentine's. As per the usual, Peanut assisted...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Make: Valentines (OMH Roundup)

As I am sure you are fully aware new content is sometimes hard to come by. I mean as much time as I honestly spend creating the days away, during winter, it's sometimes in vain if you can't get some good ole fashioned daylight to take a pleasing picture. 

Thankfully we've been hard at work for two and a half years, and we have plenty of past projects and posts that are fun to revisit; or if you are a new follower, check out for the first time. Reuse, recycle, be green, happy Valentine's earth! 

I hope you enjoy some of these blasts from the past (valentines day projects) as much as I do...

Brief Musical Interlude: Haim, Forever

I am f'ing loving Haim lately (thanks again to Chase for the kind introduction). I'm particularly feeling this little diddy called Forever.

You might also like:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Report: "Eros 7"

A story of unrequited love featuring a main character who just happens to be the first female in space? Why, I don't mind if I do. "Eros 7" (found in Jim Shepard's phenomenal collection Like You'd Understand, Anyway) chronicles the days leading up to the launch, as well as the orbit and aftermath of the Vostok 6 mission, which took the first woman into space. I'd like to point out that although Shepard's story is fiction, his characters and subject matter are real: Valentina Tereshkova, a Russian cosmonaut, piloted her craft through 48 orbits during the Vostok 6 mission. The story is told through a series of diary entries by Tereshkova as she waits, along with her backup cosmonaut in a cottage in Kazakhstan, to be shot into orbit and reunited with her cosmonaut crush, Valery Bykovsky. Bykosky is, even as Valentina preps for launch, orbiting the earth in his own craft, the Vostok 5...

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Beautiful flowers from Casa De Flores, in Encino. They were the centerpiece at a Mardi Gras event I went to on Thursday night. Also, I may have gotten a bit business drunk and found out one of my fellow attendees was friends with the art director on Murder She Wrote; so to answer your question, yes I will be following up with him to get the lamp from the set he promised me.

Friday, February 8, 2013

DIY: Happy Valentine's Day, No One!

I stumbled upon this recipe for 2 cupcakes on Pinterest a few weeks back, so I thought why not give it a go? In order to Valentine the cupcakes up a bit, I decided to make a quick and easy topper using supplies I already had...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Home and Away: Wish I Were Away

This week has been stressful for the Nicolai girls, and I'm betting we're all wishing we could get away for a spell. I'm feeling particularly deprived of all things oceanic at the moment and would love to take a trip to Washington's rocky coast, even if it's only 38 degrees and windy as the dickens. I'd also happily plant myself in an aquarium right about now. Nurse sharks, anyone? Anemones? Jellyfish?

I mean, these pictures are nothing compared to Catherine's shots of jellyfish and other invertebrates from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but still. I guess what I'm saying is if my tired eyes had to look at anything else this week, it'd be some moon jellies. Hands down...

Brief Musical Interlude: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

I have to admit that the sweet, calm beauty beauty of "Into My Arms" might make it one of my favorite Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds songs. And I love that Nick Cave does a little intro--his singing voice always sound so American to me, and I'm surprised every time I hear his Australian accent. Pleasantly so. If you're not familiar with Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, you might want to check them out. But don't let this dear song fool you; they, like most people, have a darker side.

So as the man says: Here I am. And we're going to do that. Yeah. Thanks.

P.S. "The Singer" is a cover of "The Folk Singer" by Johnny Cash. P.P.S. Isn't Nick Cave a doll?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Peanut and Purls: Dovetail Cowl

I'm guest posting for Catherine this week. I have a couple knitting projects that need a little blog time and Catherine is currently between projects (except for my scarf, which is still in progress). Hmm, maybe I should make her write my book report posts. Let's abandon that thought for the moment.

Before Second Christmas, Mom started dropping hints about how she really loves the knitted cowls from Catherine and Monika, but would like a brown one to...I don't know, go with her brown clothes? So, I found an interesting pattern on Ravelry and some lovely Eco Alpaca by Cascade Yarns at Paradise Fibers, my AMAZING local fiber store and...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Make: Spray painted cockatoo

For whatever reason I have a couple large cockatoo ceramic statues. I love as is, the other I have never really taken a strong liking, and since I never shy away from painting some glazed ceramics I decided to take a shot and go for it once again. 

(Do you love the bottlebrush trees? They were a second Christmas gift from Christine--she bleached and dyed them herself. I think they're swell.)

Here is my adventure in spray painting another ceramic piece...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Book Report: I Capture the Castle

I read I Capture the Castle for the first time in 2010 (it made my favorite books list) and immediately my heart ached for the whole shabby, artistic, whimsical, beautiful world of the Mortmain family, living in their tumbledown castle in Suffolk County, England. I only wish I had known this book existed as a teenager--it should definitely have a place on every girl's shelf next to Austen and Brontë and Plath. This gem's author, Dodie Smith, also wrote The Hundred and One Dalmatians--better known by its Disney title: 101 Dalmatians--a fact which amazes and delights me to no end...

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Nicholas and I went to Lady Gaga a few weeks ago. It was quite the ball! Paws up.

Friday, February 1, 2013

DIY: Honeycomb hearts!

I've been at the Museum's Library & Archives looking at old Valentine's Day cards again. And I've run across several that feature honeycomb hearts, so that's what I set out to create! For something that looks fairly complex, they're actually quite simple to construct...

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