february makes

Lola_lavender1

Lola_lavender2

My dear friend Lola loves the smell of lavender, so I made her a set of sachets for her birthday. (Quite a few ladies got these for Christmas, too.) Simple and sweet, with a loop long enough for a clothes hanger if so desired.

Cali_three_dresses

Cali_grey_jacket

And then Miss Cali Hashi turned two, prompting a trio of jersey dresses and a little Aster Cardigan to go with them all.

Felix_alien_shirt

Cali_alien_dress

When I heard she was having an alien/space birthday party, I whipped up a tshirt for her brother Felix to wear at the celebration. But why should he be the only one in alien garb? Cali obviously needed yet another dress, to match the birthday theme.

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Then there was some very utilitarian sewing: blackout curtains and a ‘cozy’ for the electric saw. Projects like this aren’t exactly thrilling, but still provide their own satisfaction.

Coming up in March: Sew The Perfect Fit with Lynda Maynard on Craftsy. Wish me luck.

dan blocker to the pier

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About to be swamped

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My girlfriend A and I took a little break from beach hiking while she went and got married. We were back at it this past weekend, hiking from Dan Blocker Beach to Malibu Pier. The tide was rising, which was not ideal. But we didn’t want to wait another week so we went anyway. It meant a lot of rock scrambling, and some unsuccessful wave dodging.

Some folk who live beachside on the Malibu coast strongly discourage ‘trespassers’. But it’s our legal right to traverse the beach/rocks up to the high tide line, and even higher if it is unsafe closer to the water. Which it kinda was, in a few places.

We happened upon a baby sealion up on the rocks, who we hope was OK. No mama in sight, but it didn’t look injured, as far as we could tell. We clambered on, getting wet up to our crotches. How we laughed.

lap duvet

Lap duvet

Lap Duvet

I finally handed over the last Christmas gift yesterday, a simple whole cloth quilt made of a couple of yards each of soft swiss dot cotton and a linen/cotton blend. Bamboo batting is sandwiched between; quilting is simple bar tacks. It’s just right for covering the lap while knitting and watching tv.

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Or, it seems, for their little Lucy to lie on.

walkabout malibu to mexico

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Untitled Untitled Inspired by this book, my girlfriend and I spent a second day walking the coast, over rocks and tidepools, under soaring bluffs, along empty sandy stretches between point and pier, past stinky seals lounging in the warm winter sun. Counting our blessings with every sandpiper, every anemone.

new years hike

Flowering plant that looks a bit like Pacific Wax Myrtle

At first, he said he didn’t want to go anywhere too steep. But then he urged me to the summit, when I might have turned back earlier. We got a great workout and the view was lovely. A perfect way to start the year.

friends and food

At last my longtime friends came for sunset-viewing and dinner. About time :-)

I need to feed more people in 2014. There hasn’t been enough of it lately. But cooking and serving up to a table of friends just feels right sometimes. A lot of the time. Except when I don’t want to :-)

pip

Tunnels under the Georges Head battery #military #history #sydney #australia

My last half-day in Sydney was spent with the favourite-family-that-is-not-my-own. As a teenager, I babysat my neighbour Pip in Weetangera. Decades later she moved to Pasadena and we became adult friends. She now has three kids who, for some reason, regard me as a fairy godmother who bestows them with unique handmade gifts.

Snakes and Ladders

Blue thing

Hopscotch

Car caddy

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As always when I spend a night with Pip’s family, I felt very hugged.
It was a wonderful ending to a full-on two weeks.

at long last: a dress

Wrap Dress

I’ve realized that, while I love to sew, I don’t really like sewing apparel. It’s because my size fluctuates so much; fitting is a real drag. Those dresses I made last summer? They are currently a bit, ah, snug.

Enter the knit wrap dress. It’s stretchy — duh — and it wraps … thus accommodating minor changes in girth. Back in October 2012, I tried on one of Elizabeth‘s versions of Butterick 5454, and it fit me very nicely, thank you. We have similar body shapes, though my shoulders are narrower and waist longer, I think. But really, with a pattern like this, and a busy print, who can tell? ;-)

She was sweet enough to trace off her modified pattern and send it to me. Then she was kind enough to gently nag me for a month or two, eager to see my version. I’m ashamed to say it took me many more months to finally sew this baby, and then another few weeks to buy steam-a-seam and a twin needle so I could finish the edges. And then it was too hot to wear it to work.

But today, oh yes, today! I wore the sucker! And I kinda love it.

I got half a dozen unsolicitations, and I was extremely comfortable all day long. So much so, I was inspired to spent an hour trolling the ITY knits at Michael Levine’s. Four more versions, some tights and scarves, and I reckon I have my winter work wardrobe set.

wife and wife

#wedding on the #beach @lolalynneandlucy

Thank you, SCOTUS, for finally allowing my dear friends to become legally wedded wife and wife.

yielding

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Her nickname was Lolli, and she was a juicy sweet woman who dressed inappropriately for this community college language class. She was maybe in her early 30s, and I learned one day that her third marriage was ending.

“Well,” I primly assumed, “I guess you won’t be going there again.”

She looked at me guilelessly, her freckled face open. “Why not?” she asked. “If there’s love, why not? Why would I close myself off to love?”

I don’t think that marrying everyone you love is a wise idea. But the thing I remember the most: she wasn’t mortally wounded. She wasn’t building walls against future intimacy and commitment. She still believed that love was a good thing, even if it only lasted a season or three.

She wasn’t scared.

Lolli, I haven’t thought about you for years, but tonight I raise a glass to you, and the example you give me. I won’t show as much cleavage or belly as you loved to, but in other ways, I’m lowering my defenses.

We are all flawed, and love is a good thing. Mazel tov, my friend.

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