From Away


For Memorial Day weekend my friend Kasey came out from Chicago for a visit - we got to do some catching up, get in some shopping, eat some seafood, and soak in the sun.

Baby Mallard

We had a picnic at Evergreen and saw baby ducks and snapping turtles.

Can't believe Mom let me get this close

Played a string of candlepin and a few bucks worth of pinball.


Caught the sunset at Prout's Neck

Sunset at Prout's Neck

Picked up lupines and local food from the farmer's market - including some tasty greens from my favorite farmers.

Lupine Lady

Hula Hooping Skills

We did some shopping for clothes in Freeport.


And some shopping for shellfish in Portland

Selecting Steamers

Caught a game at the ballpark (the first time I ever saw the Seadogs win!)

At the Ballpark

Beer at the Ballpark

Made a fabulous local feast - including  Mr. Cleaver's scallops, Kasey's lobster and clam chowdah, and my first (quite successful) attempt at crab cakes

Ready for his closeup


Local Feast

Lobster Tail

A trip to the chilly beach and a slightly warmer lighthouse.

Braving the Icy Waters

And don't worry - Mr. Cleaver didn't miss out on all the fun - he just didn't make it into all that many pictures!

(and thanks to Kasey for the great time and the use some of your photos - you're welcome back anytime)

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Finished Object Roundup #2

This finished object round up to you by nearly fall weather, a willing photographer, and the letter 'B.'

ZickZack Tunic

This number was completed and worn for the first time yesterday.

ZickZack Tunic

The pattern is the Zick Zack Tunic from the Spring 09 issue of Interweave. I was in love with the pattern, but wasn't sure how it'd look on my body type. I can happily say that I love the way it looks.

ZickZack Tunic

Obviously I didn't stray too far from the magazine's  version here  in terms of look, but the yarn used was 1 cone of Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel in Grey Blue and 1 card of shell buttons. The yarn has a lovely sheen and drape, it was perfect for this project and I'd definitely use it for a laceweight project again. All in - project cost about $25. Not too shabby, considering the results.

Bumblebee Socks

And just so ya'll don't think I only work in shades of blue, I've included my "Bumblebee" socks.  Just a pair of ribbed socks in knit picks palette (which I don't like and still have another project worth of yarn to knit in).

Bumblebee Socks

Because the whole sock is ribbed, it has something around 50% negative ease. When I was working on them, no one believed they would fit, but they do, nice and comfortably snug.

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

A Day at the Beach and a Walk in the Park

This is the time of year when I'm going to try and make everyone jealous that I live in Maine. For reasons, see the following evidence:

Exhibit A: (Sunday - Ocean Park Beach)

Ocean Park Beach

Little surfer girl

Toes in the Water

Ah the open ocean



Exhibit B: (Monday - Evergreen Cemetary (half a mile from my apartment)



What you lookin' at?

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

It's a Mod Mod World

Oh, I'm Tresspassing

I really think I'm at my best when I'm sewing dresses. This dress, which is the Zoe pattern from Burdastyle, is the first piece I've done that I feel looks 100% professional, inside and out.


The pattern itself is pretty simple, with a total of seven pieces. I did have to make a few alterations to make this dress work for me though, something I'm slowly getting better at. 

Zoe Dress

I added about three inches to the length of the skirt, because I wanted it to be work-appropriate. And really, can you imagine if this was three inches shorter - yeesh! It would be positive indecent on someone of my height. I also, like many people, had to add a pair of darts down the front, because I can't pull off the "sack" look. The material is a fantastic wool or wool blend that I snagged from the remnants section of Vogue Fabrics back in my "stock-up-because-I-don't-know-what-my-fabric-store-selection-will-be-like-in-Portland" phase. It's fairly stretchy and oh so soft. I used the material "wrong" side out because I loved the slightly fuzzy nap of it - it seemed so fall/winter-appropriate that way. I think I may need to knit a black beret just to go with this dress.

Zoe Dress

And boy is it fall. The colors are peaking right now and its absolutely gorgeous - it's like the trees are on fire (in a good way).

Once again, I have to give a big shot-out to Mr. Cleaver, who helped with the photos (and it starting to get pickier with his shots :p). And here's a bonus outtake, just for fun:

Jumping Shots are always fun!

In other news, I have job interview #4 tomorrow, I now own a couch, and you should keep your eyes out this weekend for that surprise.

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Fall Sewing Begins

Kasia Skirt

So even though I still don't have a job, I thought it might be time to start sewing some work-appropriate clothes. This little number is the Kasia skirt from Burdastyle. I loved the way this piece came together, even if I still, still managed to iron the interfacing on the incorrect side of the fabric on my first try! 

Kasia Skirt

The jacket, which I swear seems a lot more like the same color as the skirt in real life, is part of the vintage jacket-dress combo I picked up a few weeks back.

Kasia Skirt

The skirt is made of a mid-weight linen and the pockets are lined with royal blue cotton, for a bit of fun.  Unfortunately these photos don't really show all the details: there's some rouching at the pockets and a sailor-pants-style button flap at the front. I need to rework the waist a bit for a better fit, but this is really a project I'm very proud of, inside and out. 

Kasia Skirt

As for the photos, I have to give extra credit to Mr.Cleaver for acting as my stand in as I set up the shots and hitting the shutter for me - We had a lot of fun taking these shots, which are outside the chapel at Evergreen Cemetery. And believe it or not, it was raining when we took these!

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly


When I moved to Maine, I decided that I wanted to walk more and Mr. Cleaver agreed. We both love to stroll together, in Chicago, we'd jaunt up to Andersonville. Here in Portland, we've ended up in a neighborhood tailor-made for the leisurely stroll. Then houses are lovely to walk along and the other evening we saw some little brown bats in action at the far end of street, there's also Baxter Woods which is a 6/10 mile loop through deciduous and evergreen trees, and then there's Evergreen Cemetery.


Now before you start thinking that I've gone all morbid and spend all my time hanging out in cemeteries, I say fear not. It's just that cemeteries are some the best keep green-spaces ina lot of urban environments, if you don't mind weaving between headstones. I always loved the idea that in the early 1900s people used to have picnics in graveyards. I don't know why the shift occured, but there are plenty of people wandering the trails at Evergreen, so I'm not alone.


I also love the history of graveyards. Who were these people, why did this one deserve a monument, while this person hardly a stone at all?  What happened to the wife on the headstone listed below her husband with a birth, but no death date; and how horrible to lose someone at sea.

Duck Pond

As an added bonus, Evergreen has a trio of duck ponds, filled with Mallards that will eagarly take your stale bread. We also saw what might have been a cormorant. I'd really loved to get a book on the local flora and fauna so I could identify it all.



And my favorite season is knocking at the door!

In a quick round-up of other news. I had my second interview on Monday, but alas, no job there, though the interview went (I felt) very well.

We found a great dresser for $10 at a garage sale this weekend, so I am no longer living out of a suitcase, which is fnatastic for one's pysche. I've also made what seems like an endless series of trips to Target and Walmart to get all the little things, like a toaster or a vacuum.

The book club is reading Watership Down, and I raced through it. I forgot how wonderfully thrilling that book is. Next up on my reading list is Richard Russo's Empire Falls, then I plan to do a survey of New England Poets - feel free to send along any suggestions.

I'm about a third of the way done with the first sleeve on my Forecast sweater and I picked up some lovely leather buttons for it on sale at JoAnn's yesterday. I'm also about halfway through sewing a Kasia skirt out of thick navy blue linen. I'm feeling very confident about my sewing on this piece, though if anyone has a trick for making sure you iron the interfacing on the right side of the fabric I'd love to hear it! I also managed to pick up a great vintage navy blue linen dress/jacket combo at Material Objects, it's an almost exact match in color to the skirt, so I can mix it up with the jacket. I'll post pictures when I get a chance.

I'm assisting my friend Peter on a reading of the play The History Boys for Mad Horse Theatre, I'm not sure the exact date of the reading yet, but I'm excited to be involved!

Our internet is supposed to get hooked up on the 23rd, which I can't wait for, and will hopefully increase the regularity of my posting. Until then - I'm off to enjoy the fall weather!

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly