because it's christmas eve eve, and i cannot taunt people in person with their beautifully wrapped gifts that they cannot yet open, i thought i'd do it electronically.

so there. and since it doesn't have a name on it, the third one down is yours mom, didn't want you to feel untaunted.

clearly i can only wrap things that are in boxes. the unbox shaped things still remain unwrapped in the dining room. i'm boycotting them, so don't feel forgotten if you don't see a present.


reusable. recyclable.

the bag says it right on it. reusable. recyclable. it was really just asking to be made into christmas tags.

i cut out the pieces of the bag that i liked best. i then mounted them on various shades-of-white paint swatches i've collected throughout the years. they're hard to see in the picture, but it gives them a nice effect. you can see the little behr bear in the top center one if you try hard.

i then drew the words to and from on them. lovely.



one of these is conan. one is jon's lawn ornament pig. the other is angus the highland cow, all the way from england. i'll let you figure out the details.

thanks becca!



this was a couple of saturdays ago, but i think it embodies what saturdays in general should be like. for lunch (because who wants to go through this much trouble at breakfast time) we made pumpkin pancakes. and with the aid of a 97 cent squirt bottle, we made super exciting pumpkin pancakes. there was also a dinosaur and an elephant and an assortment of other semi-unidentifiable pancake blobs.

we used to do shaped pancakes on saturdays in college. i think it started with watching the lost room where in the opening episode the dad makes elephant pancakes for his daughter. those were good times. the pancakes didn't often look like much, but it was still a lot of fun.

*props to jon for the amusing photo styling. he's a silly guy.


paper snow.

i love winter. and christmas. and decorating for christmas. lately, i've had a small obsession rooms decorated with massive amounts of paper crafts. like gimbals on elf after buddy has his way with it. it's the perfect mix of winter wonder and beautiful simplicity. i don't have the time or patience of buddy the elf, but this is my small attempt.

this is now on the wall behind the couch in my living room. i used this tutorial on how to make paper snowflakes, but i liked the intermediate tear drop shape better than the final full snowflake. i strung them up on the wall along with some paper circles.

it's not quite as spectacular as gimbals, but it makes me smile. it will probably be up well past christmas.


more cider.

we made cider again. seven gallons this time, and in the daylight, for the most part. we got about 95 pounds of cidering apples from an orchard close by in addyston and spent sunday afternoon pressing cider. the tohline's came over to help too, which made it super awesome.

this is box 1 of 2 full of apples. we got a mix of four different kinds from the farmer. we didn't ask what kinds of apples they were, because he already seemed leery that we were aiming to steal his cider business when we asked to buy apples. we do look like the type to have an illegal cider selling ring.

because we use a garbage disposal to crush the apples, they have to be cut into manageable sized pieces first. for 95 pounds of apples, that's a lot of cutting.

after the apples pass through the garbage disposal, this is what you have. i think this 5 gallon bucket full of mush was from the first box of apples. looks tasty, eh?

for the press that we made, the apple mush needs to be wrapped in cheese cloth and stacked in the press. this keeps little bits of apple from ending up in the finished product. by this point the apple mush has already oxidized and turned brown. this is what gives the cider its final delicious color. its a sticky process and takes many hands. thankfully, starla was there to capture it in photos.

finally, after all this hard work, the actual pressing can begin. a bottle jack applies the pressure and the cider runs out a slit in the corner of the press, into an eagerly awaiting bucket below.

of the seven gallons, jon is making three into hard cider. the other four are almost gone. about a half of a gallon remains. so if you'd like to try some, stop by soon.


being british.

for two weeks jon and i were blessed to take an amazing vacation to visit friends of ours in england. its not every day that you know two fantastic couples in a foreign country willing to open their houses up to you. it was a ridiculously awesome experience, one that i won't soon forget.

the trip started at courtney and brady's place outside of huddersfield. this is the view from their balcony at sunset. i think i ranted for an hour about how i'm pretty sure they don't make colors like that in the states.

we took a day trip by train with courtney to leeds. we saw this sign near the royal armouries that i thought was pretty hilarious. it's evidently part of an art installation.

after huddersfield, jon, courtney, brady and myself hopped a short flight over the sea for a weekend in dublin where we met up with dan and becca. this was malahide castle. it was lived in until the 1970s, which is pretty crazy. the family had to sell it to pay the taxes so now it's open to the public. it's surrounded by some of the coolest playgrounds that i've ever seen.

this is a seal. he's smiling, even though we didn't feed him. he was just hanging out in the irish sea.

after ireland we went to stay with dan and becca in harrogate. this is where they live. yes, it's a castle. their apartment includes the tower at the front, which you access by a hidden door. it's pretty incredible.

there are cows right outside their kitchen window. just hanging out. its nice to sit and watch them while drinking your morning coffee.

this is what's left of middleham castle. it was really ruin-y and awesome. you could climb around and try to imagine what it once looked like. my favorite parts of england were the old parts. the parts that looked like adventures were once had there.

the views that day were amazing. so much green as far as you could see. we had very un-english weather while we were there. it was sunny and blue almost every day.

we took a day trip to york. the york minster was really incredible. its the kind of church that makes you keep quiet inside not because you're supposed to but because it takes your breath away.

clifford's tower, which is part of york castle, stood on its own tiny hill in the middle of the city.

and this i'm pretty sure was my favorite place of the whole trip, fountains abbey. sadly for the pictures we went on the only truely british day that we had--grey and dreary. i liked it like that though. it added to the feel of the whole place.

it was also ruin-y and incredibly large. the grounds that it was on went on forever. we spent an entire afternoon there and only saw a fraction of what there was.

it was originally a monastery. the monks there earned a living raising sheep. i think i would have been content quietly raising sheep in such a beautiful place.

it was a truly spectacular vacation. everything we saw and did was great and to be able to do it all with great friends that we haven't seen in a while made it even better. hopefully we'll go back someday. i feel like we only got to see a glimpse of england.


away we go.

going on a fun trip. sadly not by balloon.



my first color work knit. eunny jang's endpaper mitts. knit in a silk bamboo blend.

i'm pleased with the way they turned out. the color work went really quickly and the pattern was fairly easy to memorize. i even used proper yarn dominance using the one color in each hand technique.

i like fingerless mitts. i'm not a fan normal mittens and i'm not patience enough to knit gloves in a light enough weight that i still have full use of my fingers when i'm wearing them. these will be perfect for the winter when i battle between my cold naturedness and my stubborn refusal to turn up the heat in the house.



i have a strong attraction to the absurd.

the newest addition to our house. thanks to jungle jims. now if the weather will just do its duty and get cold already...



we went to asheville north carolina last weekend to visit family and breathe deep the mountain air. it was great. it's starting to feel like fall and there was an nice chill to the air, the type that renews the soul. and the apples were in season.

we went apple and peaching picking on sunday and brought eighty pounds of produce back with us. yep, eighty pounds. sixty of apples and twenty of peaches. fourty pounds of those apples were seconds--the ones the orchard deems unworthy of full price status. the small and bruised ones. apple 'unlovables'. so we got forty pounds for tweleve dollars. and with those apples we made this:

three plus gallons of pure deliciousness (which is evidently a word--who knew!). we spent last week constructing our very own cider press. its pretty rudimentary and involves a lot of beefy looking lumber and a bottle jack. we did the apple crushing part with a garbage disposal (new garbage disposal). i wish i had pictures of the process, but after all was said and done we didn't get started until around ten o'clock friday night--not ideal picture taking time. let's just say it was sticky and amusing. and tasty.

hopefully we'll be making more before apple season is over.



for my nephew roc owen, who is super awesome. hopefully soon i'll have pictures up of him wearing them. looking all bald and adorable.

designed and screen printed by jon and me.

update: those pictures.

looking awesome.

drooling everywhere! it's really incredible the volume he's able to produce. impressive...


wheel bug.

it's been a really long time time since we've screen printed anything, and i had forgotten how much i enjoy it. we did this shirt for jon's brother david. he studied entomology in college and i guess wheel bugs are his favorite. his super awesome wife becky asked us to make a wheel bug shirt for him as a surprise for their anniversary (and i didn't just ruin a surprise, we made this a couple of weeks ago).

we had a really professional set up with for this one--in the living room, on the coffee table. we did the alignment with masking tape and a good bit of faith. because we want to do more printing in the future, we went ahead and bought a one color printing press. a little too late for this one though. something about hindsight and perfect vision.

the design turned out well i think. i really wanted to add a top hat in the raised hand, but i refrained.

stay tuned for some more super awesome screen printing. i'd love to post about it now, but once again i'm practicing self-control and not ruining a surprise. silly restraint.



even monsters wear leggings sometimes.



i wouldn't even know how long this endeavor took us if it weren't for the archival nature of blogging. 160 days later (!!!) i can proudly say that it is done. and man does it look swell.

we put up a tin ceiling and build this soffit-esq box around it. it gives the ceiling a neat inset look and let us cope with fitting the tiles around the jut out from the fireplace.

we painted all the walls and the trim, and if you can even remember, retiled the fireplace.

i'm really pleased with the end product and i'm looking forward to enjoying the living room again. and because i realized the other day that i have no pictures of lucy on this blog, here's a gratuitous lucy picture. man she's cute. which is a feat, as lucy tends to look really creepy in pictures.



we have kitties. very fuzzy kitties. and hardwood floors. this means that there are many conan and lucy colored tumbleweeds about the house. so when i came across this pattern by linda permann, i quickly bookmarked it for the future. one lazy sunday afternoon and some yarn scraps later:

an awesome new, washable, reusable slipper for my swiffer. fun and functional. it has this nubby side as well as a smooth side, which is supposed to be good for wet use. i haven't tried it wet yet but it works great dry. i'd show you an after picture, but that's somewhat embarassing and disgusting. who wants that?


growing things.

the garden is becoming very exciting these days. it's like it went from tiny little plants that i had no hope in, to giant, garden-taking-over vegetation.

a few of the grape tomatoes are actually turning red. i picked the one towards the back today. i have it on jon's word that they're delicous. as i don't like tomatoes in the raw form, i wouldn't know.

i have grand hope for these guys. big dreams of salsa and spaghetti sauce and shelves lined with canned goodness for weeks to come.

and this guy may become tonight's dinner. i'm convinced that when i looked yesterday, he was half this size. i must have never seen or taken note of squash plants before, because i still can't get over how giant they are and how alien their leaves and stalks look. crazy.

there are also green beans, jalepeno and bell pepper, cucumbers, herbs and potatoes growing in a giant 4 foot tall barrel (yup). i'll save those for a later post.