Sunday, July 29, 2012


It was (and will be) a super-busy week at work, so I'm still working on that rainbow cake post, my apologies. But I did take a little break this weekend:

The house needs painting.

Small improvements.

We told our girl that she could choose the day's activities on her birthday. She picked the beach...

...and pizza.

Also, it emerged that she had not been terribly impressed with last week's rainbow cake, on the grounds that it was not chocolate.

Well, okay then.

(Cake, frosting.)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekending: A rainbow birthday party

My girl is about to turn five, so we celebrated this weekend, with lots and lots of rainbows.

Rainbow fruit.

Rainbow veg.

Rainbow bunting, purloined from child's room. (By the way: I was really disappointed that some of the triangles started curling after I hung the bunting, but ironing the paper--a warm iron on the reverse side of the painting--helped a lot.)

Rainbow pencils. (And rainbow name tags--nice that my girl is now old enough to help out a bit with the preparations.)

Rainbow skirt and rainbow tank.

An invitation to doodle rainbows.

Rainbow top of cake. (Candles.)

I thought this would be another good opportunity to wear that dress.

And finally, drumroll please....rainbow inside of cake! This was seriously so much fun--a challenge, to be sure, but I think an accessible one. I'll write more about it tomorrow, and share some tips and tricks.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Date night.

Garden walk = grocery shopping: the best time of the year!

Disassembly. (Because unpicking flat-felled seams is where my commitment to reuse of materials ends.)


Marathon playdate.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday flowers

Something a little different today.

These photos are all from our trip to Long Beach--they were taken around the house where we stayed, mostly along the path between the house and the beach.

It was fun putting together this post and trying to identify a lot of plants that are new to me. This website from WSU has a lot of good information, though I'm still left with a few question marks.

First we have the clear winner in the photogenic department, beach pea (Lathyrus japonicus).

And seashore lupine (Lupinus littoralis), a close runner-up. This species is much smaller than most of the lupines you'll see in your garden, less than a foot tall including the flower stalks, and it is seriously adorable. I was practically cooing to it in baby talk.

Here is another sweet pea of some sort, a little pink one. I'm not sure of its species, but I think I've pulled some of these plants out of my perennial garden. Now that I see the pretty bloom, I'm kind of regretting that.

It's interesting how getting out of your usual environment can change your perspective about whether a plant is desirable or not. When you don't know what's a flower and what's a weed, you can just respond to each plant's color and form.

Though even known weeds take on a certain charm among the dunes.

On the other hand, I took so many pictures of beautiful waving beach grass, and it turns out that much of what I was photographing is probably invasive. So that's kind of a bummer.

But here are some familiar faces, all native plants that we have growing in our yard in Seattle, or closely related ones. Beach strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis):

Sword fern:

Yarrow (the leaves look very different from what we have in our yard, so I'm not sure if this is a different species or just a different growth form characteristic of the seashore):

Western spiraea (Spiraea douglasii):

On the foredunes I think I found two species of beach rocket (neither one native to the West Coast). I'm pretty sure this is European beach rocket, Cakile maritima.

And though I'm less confident about this ID, I'm calling this one American beach rocket, Cakile edentula.

But some of these plants will have to remain a mystery. Like this wee daisy-like thing.

Or this one, with leaves that remind me a bit of of woolly sunflower, but which clearly isn't.

Or this one, with inflorescences that look like mullein,

but with a very different growth form.

Well, figuring this out will give me something to do next time, right?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christopher Walken supports print

Do you have the same illness? Mine is a seriously bad case, I gotta admit.

(If you don't get the joke, go here.)

I used to generate the cross-stitch chart for this piece (font: Amsterdam) and some of my stash of vintage embroidery floss to stitch the letters. At first, I just planned do the whole piece in that staid dusty purple at the beginning there, but then I thought it might be fun to use a random rainbow of colors, like the spines of books on a shelf (no books arranged in color order here, so I think I am safe from Internet mocking). Note that I included a generous chunk of the color I like to call Penguin paperback orange.

Cracks me right up every time I look at it.

"I put my pants on just like the rest of you -- one leg at a time. Except, once my pants are on, I buy first editions."

"Really explore the literary space this time."

I have like 20 of these if you guys want to stick around.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Very long weekending

Dunes and hollows:

Bird life:

First visit from the Tooth Fairy:

Industry (by parties known and unknown):

Wave action:

Stitching and more stitching:






Undaunted courage: