Thursday, July 28, 2011

A little R&D

I warned you that I was about to get a bit obsessive about this friendship bracelet business.   These past few weeks, I have been busily learning and trying new patterns.  Once you get the hang of keeping the tension on double half hitch knots, then it is really only a matter of keeping the colors in order.  I found a wonderful resource online that I have been referencing called  

And now what to do with all these bracelets?  I suppose they are meant for friends, so....the first 9 friends to leave a comment will get one.  Bracelets are on a first come first serve basis and must be one of the ones pictured below.  Make sure to specify which bracelet you want and of course double check prior comments before calling dibs.  For those of you far from hear, never fear, I still hold you near and dear; I will mail the goods to you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weekend fun in Arkansaw Wisconsin

This past weekend has been full of good food, good friends and good times.  A group of us Minneapolitan urbanites, made a special trip to Arkansaw, Wisconsin to visit our lovely friend Kara, who has been interning during the farm season at Hog's Back Farm.  I was lucky enough to experience fleeting moments of farm living, but you can get a better idea of what it is really like at Kara's blog, Longhorn Colby, which was originally created to document all that wonderful farminess.

This weekend I....
 Drank my favorite Wisconsin Brew-New Glarus
Feasted on wood fired pizza at The Stone Barn.
 Helped hang 3,700 heads of garlic.....
all in the company of good friends.
Ate raspberries to my heart's content...
again with those friends!!
 Found 12 Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars feasting on fennel.
Decided I have the BEST friends when it comes to caterpillar harvesting. 
Picked some of the loveliest zucchini I have ever eaten.  It doesn't get any more local than this.
Was eternally amused by the hens.
Cooled off, relaxed and floated down a river.  Photo by Kara Raether It doesn't get much better than this.  I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Nostalgia

Remember these?   
Remember how hard they were to fill up?  How hard they were to tie?  How hard they were to resist throwing?  Even now, 20 years later the temptation was almost overwhelming, as we spent 2 hours filling and tying over 250 balloons.  

Every leaky balloon was an excuse to test out the goods.  Meris, my oldest nephew, got first dibs on all defective merchandise.  Each time we called out a "leaker" he would run over and execute a new water maneuver or experiment.  The first one, he requested to keep filling with water until it burst under the pressure, then he tried popping one over his own head, giggling as the gush of water trickled down his forehead.  Later he tried the same thing on Quincy the dog, who wasn't quite as thrilled about the whole ordeal. Other times he would simply cup the balloon in his hand, excitedly observing the steady stream of water until the balloon completely deflated.  

After all that work, all that patience and all that waiting; it took us a fleeting 10 minutes to completely annihilate the stockpile.  A giant tub placed in the middle of the yard wasn't the best plan, as bending over for a restock left your bottom in a vulnerable position.  My brother Ben spent a good chunk of time during the fight whaling balloons at me.  I too, spent most of my time trying to "get him back"  We found out quickly that simply squeezing a balloon on or near someone was also an effective way to play, especially when trying to incorporate the littlest members of our family.  Mom even jumped in momentarily.  Her first feeble attempt to throw a balloon at Ben ended up bouncing off the side of my face before bursting on the ground.  

Once all balloons were depleted, it was a race to grab either the tub of water or the hose as to use as further ammo.  In true brotherly fashion, Ben came running around the side of the house with a "hidden" stash of balloons.  When those were gone, it was back to the hose and then as quickly as it started, it was over.   

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chasing Butterflies

On, my recent trip to Wheaton, IL I....
 Found 30 Monarch butterfly eggs.
 Spotted 8 Black Eastern Swallowtails on the dill in the backyard
Met one BEAUTIFUL butterfly named Elodie, for the first time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Smelling Lavender

Lavender, in my garden, is blooming with abundance.  I have been harvesting little bouquets every day for the past week.   As each stalk dries and fades into a dusty periwinkle, I gather the fragrant buds to use later in potpourri.  The scent permeates throughout the rooms; a lovely summer reminder.  


Saturday, July 16, 2011

A foodie weekend

These past few weekends I have.....
Participated in a MN hot dish tasting.
 Was a repeat offender of grilled zucchini.
 Found something delicious to make and share, with that strawberry infused vodka.
 Perfected the art of S'mores making.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Harvest

This first harvest is meager; this first harvest is small, but it doesn't make it any less important nor enjoyable.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A blast to the past

On 4th of July weekend, a few friends and I went camping in quaint Taylor's Fall MN at  Camp Waub-O-Jeeg.  And really what could be more appropriate than bringing along a friendship bracelet as my craft of choice? As a child, I never quite mastered anything except the spiral so I have been extra pleased with my fancy chevron.  In true friendship bracelet fashion I fastened a safety pin to the end and toted it around with me all weekend.  I found that my water bottle works perfectly well as an anchor.  I have a feeling this may be my obsessive craft of choice for the rest of the summer. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lazy Boys

It has been in the 90's everyday for the last few weeks and despite my best efforts to keep my un-airconditioned home cool it has still been uncomfortably steamy.  My poor boys have been napping much more than usual and it hasn't been uncommon for me to find them passed out under the table.   

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Out with the old

I made a  New Year’s Resolution (don’t we all) to not buy anything new for the rest of the year.  I have held to my promise for a good 6 months until summer truly came around and I was facing a serious sandal dilemma.  I am sentimentally attached to my trusty old leather sandals.   I picked them up on a family vacation to Oaxaca in 2004 for the equivalent of 10 US dollars and they have brought me through every single summer since, so it was heartbreaking when the first strap popped off, followed by the second.  I might have lived with these minor adjustments, but then a hole developed in the sole and rocks started to puncture my feet.  

It was time to move on and as sad as I am to let them go, I was pretty excited to get my shiny new sandals from  Frye.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tin Fish

Summer in Minneapolis wouldn’t be the same without a couple of visits to Tin Fish (the closest thing we have to a shore view eatery ).  And while there may be some debate on who has the best fish tacos in town, it is undeniable that Tin Fish is a perfect place to pass a summer evening.  Even Bubbsie enjoyed himself.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Off the loom and off to Sweden

 How appropriate that I would happen to be finishing up my Scandinavian bread towels, pattern  courtesy of “Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave”,  the same week that I booked a trip to Sweden?  It has been much too long since my travel buddy, Melisa, and I have taken a trip together. 

I’ve known Melisa since 2004.  We met in Florence as foreign exchange students. Thus far we have been to ItalySicilyGermanyMoroccoIndiaGreece,  BelizeGuatemala, and New York together.  A wanderlust travel bug like me I was almost certain we would be hard pressed to find a destination that would be new to both of us. As it turned out Sweden seemed to be the only Northern European country that she hasn't traveled to and thanks to my relatively new weaving hobby I too am anxious to check it out.

I look forward to good eats, good conversations and good memories with my good friend.  I know, no matter where we are, we are guaranteed a good time.

 Santorini, Greece 2006
 The Palio in Sienna, Italia 2006
India 2006
India 2006

Friday, July 1, 2011

The First

I awoke on Saturday morning at 7:00AM.  My first chrysalis had started to darken the night before and I knew that my first butterfly of the season was scheduled to emerge that morning.  In lieu of my Saturday morning farmer's market routine, I stayed in with the hopes of observing the butterfly actually emerging.   I had already propped my phone up at an optimal angle to film and I had my digital SLR loaded and ready to start shooting at the first sign of movement.  And there I waited and waited and before I knew it, it was 7:30, then 8:15, then 8:30.  I finally started filming the chrysalis in stints of 5 minutes as I went about my morning activities.  At 9AM I still had no luck and was almost verbally cursing that darn chrysalis.  By 9:05, Emily and Danielle had arrived to go berry picking and woefully I dismantled my video set up and started getting ready to leave.  And then? And then, that darn butterfly came out!  Of course it did?  I didn't catch the entire thing on video, but I took some good shots and I got to share the moment with my friends.

And it's a girl!