Thursday, June 24, 2010


We got a new slipcover for our couch! It's white! Because I'm insane! I call it the Deathwish Couch!

Anywayzz, as any nutbag homemaker knows, a new couch requires new cushions because what kind of animal would leave grimy old cushions on a sparkling new couch? Not the kind that lives in my house (well, probably every other being who lives in my house would have been perfectly content with the old cushions, but because I am the keeper of the sewing machine I get to decide. I'm the decider.) Is this post starting to sound a little manic?

Oh! Hello you little bit of gorgeous softness and light! I crocheted you from wool and you are my very first granny square pillow. I think you might be my very favorite thing.

Although I may have to have a little torrid affair with you. I'm drawn to your morbid humor and sense of color. I mean, it probably won't last, but we could have a fun Summer, couldn't we?

Pirate face!


(Okay, not total fin. I want to note here that we have an Ikea Ekeskog couch that has been discontinued. I didn't want to pay to have a custom slipcover made, so we rolled the dice on a Hovas cover. It's a wee bit loose, but I'm 99% sure it'll shrink up a bit in the wash. I like it looking kinda rumply, anyway. So if you are in our same Ekeskog boat, give the Hovas cover a try. Servicy, yo!)

Okay, now:


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Josh & Dash had a little adventure in wizardry yesterday (oh those boys do have fun, don't they?)

Take one Wizard-in-Training

Add one volcano filled with magic (and baking soda)

Cast a spell (also: add vinegar)

And viola!

Fucking Voldemort

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ma Kettle

Ma's been puttin' up her pickles & jam. Also baking bread. I concede all of my former hipster cred.

The bread & butter pickle recipe is (very slightly) adapted from Smitten Kitchen. The coriander lends them a remarkable freshness. They're also much less sweet than every other bread & butter pickle I've ever tasted. I find them incredibly delicious (if I may say so myself).


1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon celery seed


2 lbs. Persian cucumbers, sliced 1/4"
1 sweet onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup Kosher salt
mix together & cover with ice for 2 hours at room temperature


combine spices with 1 cup distilled white vinegar & bring to a boil
drain cucumbers & onion mixture & add to the pot
return nearly to a boil
remove from heat & allow to cool
jar 'em up & store in fridge up to 3 weeks

P1010837 copy

The jam is from the batch we made when we went picking & the bread is the Dutch oven method from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. (Preheat the dutch oven for 20 mins at 500. Then add the shaped, rested, floured & slashed dough on parchment to the pot. Bake with lid on at 500 for 15 minutes. Then remove the lid, lower temp to 450 and bake for about another 15-20 minutes).

Saturday, June 19, 2010


You know what's a pretty stunning realization to make at the age of 39?

That if I got to choose anywhere in the universe to live it would be a tie between a hobbit house:

And a Thomas fucking Kinkade painting:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Perfect Record

You'll never guess what we did!

Oh, did you guess we went to yet another Angels baseball game and watched them whoop some Dodger ass? Then never mind. You'll totally be able to guess.

This time we switched things up a little and invited Aunty's fiance (!), Tio Erick, to join us. The Angels were playing game three in their series against the Dodgers, and Erick is a lifelong Dodgers fan, so...

Angels v Dodgers
Angels Fan v. Dodgers Fan! (is it cute or weird that I made them them play out these little skits for my amusement?)

Angels v Dodgers
Tori Hunter hits a homer

Angels v Dodgers
7th Inning Stretch

Angels v Dodgers
Angels win! Dash's record remains intact!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Can we just talk about Summer for a minute? Why is it that all Fall & Winter long I'm just a mean little hobbit hiding indoors and growling at passers-by, but the minute the sun stays up past 7pm I am full of nothing but glee and good will toward men?

Also strawberries.

And to that end, Hey! We packed up the kid and our friends, the beloved Kinkaid family, & headed to Underwood Farms for a day of fresh air and stained fingers.

Strawberry Picking Summer 2010
But first, there were some ponies to address (like you don't get all crazy with your camera phone apps, sheesh)

Strawberry Picking Summer 2010
Some tractors to master

Strawberry Picking Summer 2010
Some being handsome to do

Strawberry Picking Summer 2010
Some jumping to accomplish

Strawberry Picking Summer 2010
More handsoming

Strawberry Picking Summer 2010
And then, finally, the main event. We picked more than 15 lbs. of strawberries (we probably ate an equal amount in the field).

Strawberry picking & jamming 2010
Then we got home & boiled the ever-loving crap out of those berries.

Strawberry picking & jamming 2010
And made this. A little runny but delicious. If you get within 10 feet of me in the next six months you can expect to be accosted with a jar.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Laundry basket as pirate ship:

Yo ho yo ho, a pirate's life for me! / We steal the treasure / um / We love to eat dinner / love to eat cake / And ghost pirates are bad / Especially ghost pirates! / Yo ho yo ho a pirate's life for me! / Hooks & swords we love / We have hooks & swords / We have hooks & swords / We have guns & hooks & swords / We love to have coins and to be rich / Yo ho yo ho a pirate's life for me! / A kitten named Lou / He loves Guerrerro the fishy and Lou Kitty and Winnie Kitty are... / I love my animals! / I love my animals! / Yo ho yo ho a pirate's life for me! / Yo ho yo ho a pirate's life for me! [complaining]



On a related note, PIRATES! RUN!





Can you tell the difference between these two round objects?


First Beach Day of 2010

One is full of red goo & tastes delicious dipped in ranch dressing.

The other is a tomato.

What what!

(Our first tomato of 2010! We got it before the squirrels & I ate it in a salad last night. It was goddamn delicious. Fuck you, squirrels.)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I'll be 39 next month. Time to get rolling on this:

Life List

Visit Spain, Greece, France, England & Italy with Josh & Dash
See the Grand Canyon

Go camping
Make gazpacho entirely from veggies I grew
Read Harry Potter with Dash
Eat a truffle
Go on a wine tasting weekend with our friends

Go fishing
Take an art class
Take the boys to NYC for Christmas
Have a raingutter regatta
Host a mystery party
Knit a pair of socks
See the Nutcracker
Learn to ride a bike with Dash

Eat at Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur
Cure fear of heights
Create & observe new family traditions for Winter solstice
Get completely out of debt

Go to the LA Philharmonic
Spend a summer week at the beach
Spend a winter week in the mountains
Visit Savannah
Stay at the Ahwahnee in Yosemite

Make a lamp out of something nuts

Make ice cream
Enter a jam in a county fair
Run a 5k
Participate at least once in the Toy Society's toy drop.
Visit Hogwarts in Orlando (or here if it ever gets built!)
Go to the Hudson Valley in the Fall
Learn to draw/watercolor
Create an original doll to sell

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Here's a long story with no pay off. You're welcome.

Josh's dad is actually his step dad. He raised Josh from the age of five and eventually adopted him, but he's not his biological father and so Josh doesn't share his last name (Olson). Since Josh is his dad's only son and we wanted to make sure that Dash would carry the Olson name, we made it his middle name. We want to instill in Dash the importance of moving that name forward through his own kids, too.

OK. Olson, as you may be aware, is not so much a Jewish last name. He's actually descended from Norsemen and, we like to imagine, Vikings. I'm sure you understand the ferocity with which Dash has embraced his Viking heritage. It is just another reason (along with the convertible MG & law enforcement past) for Dash to idolize his Grandpa.

And so, in homage to my Olson men, I made this:

viking 001
I was deeply inspired by the work of Sandra Monat.

viking 003
Here's our Viking. I call him Ginger.

viking 005
The dragon is made from peacock feather fabric (the closest thing to a real dragon I can imagine). The ships are from wood grain fabric I had left over from the pirate peg leg doll I made for Dash (but never posted). The "ocean" is giant ric rac with a decorative stitch over the top. It's kind of a mess, but you know, it's how I do.