Saturday, March 30, 2013


Part of the moving process entails packing up my delicate snake sheds and collecting the creatures adorning my succulent pots. Luckily, Matilda already collected this small ceramic roadrunner and deposited it in her bed. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

DIY: Easter Cards

Okay so if your family is like mine, they have an endless supply of amazing vintage cards, that you are eternally jealous of and pretty impressed that they have found so many. If you are like me, you don't have any of these cute vintage cards (except the ones graciously given to you).

But guess what! You can make your own and be the envy of your friends...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Home & Away: Home...again

Well, I'm home again. Peanut is super excited each and every time I come home, and I am certainly happy to see her too. I apologize for having such lackluster posts lately, it's a transition week, and therefore nothing too exciting is happening.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Peanut & Purls: Moving

So I've been extremely busy doing everything but knitting. Don't worry, there will be plenty of knitting (and plenty of Peanut) in the weeks to come. This week marks the final move out of my home for the last 3+ years. Exciting things are happening though...everything is coming up Milhouse!

Brief Musical Interlude: Eurythmics & Aretha

This one's going out to Catherine. Sisters are doing it for themselves. True that. 

Plus, that white blazer is bangin'. Double plus for Dave Stewart jumping around and kicking like a maniac. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Make: Dawn's French Linen Tea Towels

From Austin, Dawn brought me a little handmade treasure, french linen tea towels. They are super sweet, oh so useful, and easy to make. Observe...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Report: Murder, She Wrote

Murder, She Wrote is something I'm happy to watch, but not half as happy to have described to me on the page. Otherwise known as read. Sigh. I think Murder, She Wrote: A Slaying in Savannah is the first book that I've chosen to post on without loving (or at least mostly liking) the story or writing. I don't want to be a snob, but honestly, there's no way for me to get around it at this point. I'm just going to admit that I'm a little snobby...

Saturday, March 23, 2013


So this installation of Insta-sista is dedicated to my recent trip home to Washington to help Catherine move. I flew out in the afternoon on Friday so I could squeeze in some Monika and Olive time. We took a lovely little stroll and she did so well...

Friday, March 22, 2013

DIY: Tiny felted earrings

I've been thinking for a while that I should needle-felt some earrings--this week I decided to go for it. Turns out, it's a super-simple project, even if you've never needle-felted a day in your life...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Home & Away: Moving Home

In front of Mom's house.

As Monika said on Tuesday, we're all sort of in transition right now. I'm preparing to leave Spokane after almost seven years. SEVEN! I'm as shocked as anyone. It seems the west side is calling, something I never thought would ever, ever, ever happen--especially considering that I'm allergic to everything that blooms on the west side during the spring--but there it is...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Peanut & Purls: Knitting Roundup!

Greetings fellow knitters! I haven't had time to knit much lately, but I've still been spending time perusing Ravelry to find creations to add to my queue. I love the gray sweater from Purl Bee...nice and simple and classic. I always like the look of the chunky cowls, but I've never made one. I like the lavender shade of the cowl above. And this heart socks are just plain precious!

Brief Musical Interlude: Langhorne Slim & The Lumineers

Violent Femmes cover ya'll. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Make: Easter Table Settings

So lets talk a bit about Easter. There has been a terrible lack of bunnies, eggs, and chocolate on the blog this month... but as you may have noticed we are a bit behind (still have our valentines day pics and banner up, whoops). Mainly it's because all of the Nicolai sisters are tied up in some big life things currently involving a lot of travel, time and giving up plastic bags, scraps of fabric and various things that we were going to use for something... someday. That's right, it's forced spring cleaning due to all of us moving in the next few months.

So now that I have spilled the beans on why we aren't singing about spring and Easter (also, Easter in March is really throwing me off), allow me to offer up some really fun Easter table setting ideas (well a lot of them have come from wedding blogs, but the ideas are still super cute and easy). So start planning your brunch menu...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Report: The Hidden Staircase

Yes, it's time for Nancy Drew! Even though the writing styles are vastly different, "The Girl Detective" (from last week) and The Hidden Staircase fit quite well together. Absent mothers, secret passages, paunchy middle-aged men with secrets, concerned housekeepers, dress up, dancing, and super-nosey young ladies....

Friday, March 15, 2013

DIY: Fern watercolor

As you may remember from my post last week, Monika recently turned 30 (and boys can also be jerks). As part of sister Monika's present, I wanted to paint her a little outdoors that she could bring indoors. Cue the ferns!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Home and Away: More Home...

First and foremost, allow me the opportunity to apologize for the following offenses;

1. There are many instagram photos in this post, but it is not an insta-sista installation.
2. This is yet another post about a. Burbank and b. Jay and Dawn now living with us.
3. There are many furry faces in the following post

Now that I have apologized in advance I don't feel any recourse for asking you to observe Olive's cute neck accessory (pink and white stripped tea towel) that makes her look like such a lady. Enter, my current life...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peanut & Purls: Wheat baby booties

Disclaimer: there won't be any Peanut in this post because I, Christine, am taking it over this week. Catherine is working a few wretched fourteen hours days as the legislative session draws to a close, and I volunteered to step in with a little knitting post. Such a nice sister! 

I made these wheat booties for my dear friend Abbie, who added a charming lad to her family this February. Little Ralph! I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him yet, but soon enough I shall make his acquaintance, whereupon I plan to cuddle him mercilessly...

Brief Musical Interlude: DAVID BOWIE!!!!!

The universe has aligned, and David Bowie has a new album, and I'm freaking out a tiny bit. I love it! Bowie has always played with androgyny in a really interesting way, and there's pretty much no better representation of androgyny than Tilda Swinton. I dig her, but I'm also a little terrified/thrilled by her porcelain skin, ethereal eyes, and those cheekbones. Dear God, those cheekbones. 

So, that terror/thrill was magnified when all the young rock'n rollers started shaking things up (as rock'n rollers so often do). They're all Bowies! And Bowie playing the disapproving older man is quite excellent too. I'm just so excited. I can't even articulate my feelings. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Make: Spring Pennants

There have been high levels of crafting in our household as of late, which are just going to be amplified now that we have an extra hour of daylight to work with! I don't know about you, but I feel my creative motivation seem to deflate when the sun sets. Like I am a reverse vampire (No. That doesn't make any sense.). Like I am a flower closing up for the night (Ugh. No. Why would I even think that?). How about that as soon as the sun goes down my brain starts craving a blanket and some good ol' fashioned Agatha Christie. That. That sounds like a better depiction of why my motivation shifts in the evening.

Although I am loving some Death on the Nile, I still find so many reasons to celebrate the new daylight and put up some (more) spring decorations...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Report: The Girl Detective

Remember this morning when I said that Kelly Link's story "The Girl Detective" was a bit of a puzzler? Well, it still is. I've read it several times over the years and am still not 100% sure what's going on. The girl detective is both a specific girl and possibly anyone else, including yourself. She's a master of disguise, you see. As the reader, you're left to collect clues and puzzle out the meaning...if there is one. OK, there probably is one. Kelly Link is big on games and weirdness and hidden meanings and allusions to classic myths and fairy tales. And this story has all of that in spades...

Book Report: It's a mystery...

Girl detective via Melissa on Imgfav

It's a mystery easily solved because I plan to confess. The Monday morning installment of "Book Report" will be late. I traveled to Tacoma to help Catherine pack up her house and didn't leave myself any time to put together a decent post. Well, add to that the fact that two days of packing has apparently destroyed me physically and left me so utterly exhausted that I've stopped picking up my feet when I walk. I noticed this evening when I kept getting tripped up on the carpet and almost falling over. I'm in a sad state, let me tell you. I contemplated assembling a post all slap-dash, but the thought bummed me out.

So, this week's installment of book reports will reappear when I return to Spokane (Monday night-ish), with the appropriately titled Kelly Link story "The Girl Detective". I'll admit it's a bit of a puzzler. If you happen to pick up her collection Stranger Things Happen (in which "The Girl Detective" appears), be prepared to put your thinking caps on.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Here's a sampling of the recent events in my life: Recently, I rediscovered some vintage pillowcases that I embroidered.

Friday, March 8, 2013

DIY: Spring Garland

I'm trying to gear up for some massive egg painting, spring pastels, nature coming alive and more time in the day. So I have decided to make a garland to keep spring on my mind...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Home & Away: Road trips

Lady of the Rockies

Don't you ever just want to get in the car, turn it on, drive away, and never, ever stop? I want to do this pretty much every day, sometimes twice a day. My favorite road trip involves driving east and stopping at Minnesota.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sister Monika turns 30!

Today marks Monika's 30th birthday. Monika is the middle sister and some of the stigma surrounding the middle child probably applies to Monika (I think she would agree, she wears her middle sister badge proudly).

Brief Musical Interlude: Matt Luck & The Boss

Is this more about the song or the dance? I'm not sure, but after the lovely dancing in the Marissa Nadler video last week, I thought this was a nice complement. The choreography, by Matt Luck (the gent in this video), reminds me of marionettes!

The song is, of course, "Dancing in The Dark" by Mr. Bruce Springsteen, adapted here by Ben Howard and Yael Naim.

You can check out more choreography & film projects on Matt Luck's Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Make: Springtime come early

Is it springtime yet? In Burbank it definitely is, and to celebrate the season we (Dawn and I) are making our springtime nest bloom...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Report: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

The March edition of Book Report is all about lady detectives!!!!! And even though Nancy Drew might be the first female detective to come to mind (and will make an appearance, rest assured), I'm starting with Miss Mary Russell, the protagonist of Laurie R. King's novel The Beekeeper's Apprentice. 

This novel, the first in a series of twelve, was recommended by my favorite high school teacher, Mrs. Thomas. (She also happens to be the person who told me that thing about the Brontë girls.) Could be that her recommendation has a little something to do with my falling in love with these books, as she told me that the main character, Mary Russell--an astute, inquisitive, plucky, nose-in-a-book fifteen year old--reminded her of me. Obviously, fifteen year old Christine (flattered to be compared to any character in a book esteemed by Mrs. Thomas) had to investigate this Mary Russell--or Russell, as she's known by her dear friend and mentor, Mr. Sherlock Holmes...

Saturday, March 2, 2013


This insta-sista is full of lovely images, for instance, this beautiful print for Dawn's welcome to Burbank present...

Friday, March 1, 2013

DIY: Sew some knitting bags

I'm much more of a knitter than a sewer...but every now and again it helps to sew in order to knit. Like when I decided that I didn't want to spend upwards of $20 on some knitting pouches when I could just sew myself some in about an hour.
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