Monthly Archives: December 2012

New Years Past

Last year I had some close friends over for New Year’s Eve. While I sit and ponder what to do this year, I thought I would share some shots from last year.

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Cupcake liners aren’t only good for baking, they’re great for decorating. I bought cupcake liners from the dollar store to make little flying-saucer-esque decorations. The package I bought had both silver and white which layered nicely together. I used some ribbon to poke through the middle and trotted through the apartment on a ladder to hang these orbs.

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Of course, to have a party, the whole crew has to be dressed appropriately. Cats included. To show off their dapper personalities, I fashioned these bow-ties using Manos del Uruguay Handspun. Please let me introduce you two my two main bosses – the brother and sister duo of the loft. The gentleman on the left is Lubalin (as in my favorite typographer, Herb Lubalin) who is constantly classy in his tuxedo. Her highness on the right is Costello (as in my old roommate’s favorite musician, named before we knew her gender). I’m sure you’ll read more on them as this blog moves forward.

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As an unplanned activity, we played shadow puppets with the projector and RockBand Pro. Look at these designers (Sally & Nick) rockin’ it!

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Dipped to Perfection

baker_bSome of my friends have noted that my personal style (both in home and fashion) is sometimes stuck in the 1950s / 60s. This is not because of trend or simply a love of vintage – it’s an immersion in family history.

I grew up 1.7 miles from my grandmother’s home. They built the house in 1950 (ish) and Grandma never EVER threw anything away. Each nook and cranny of that house was a treasure trove. Last year, I found boxes jam-packed full of all the greeting cards her family had ever received.

Most of my [vintage] collection comes from this house – including the silver, Cat Eye glasses I often wear. They were originally worn by my great-grandmother.

One of my favorite treasures is the KitchenAid Mixer. Growing up, whenever we baked anything, we always used Grandma’s mixer (from the 1970s … or earlier). It now lives with me here in Brooklyn. I still use it for any and all mixing needs and it runs like a dream!

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One of the most frequent recipes to run through the mixer are Babycakes Gluten-Free, Vegan, Baked Donuts. BELIEVE me when I say, these are some of the MOST delicious desserts. Flavors from coconut oil & unsweetened applesauce give these baked treats the perfect taste. By baking (and not frying) these donuts, the results achieve an almost crunchy outside and a wonderfully cakey inside. I highly recommend both of Babycakes’ books in both content and design!

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They dip perfectly in chocolate!

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a sweater for Mom

Greetings! I am rejoining the world and loving every new breath. I currently left a salaried position in the Big Apple with a Grade A Workaholic boss who, in turn, managed to start morphing me as well.

Luckily, my bright, outgoing personality couldn’t take the plunge! I am most enthusiastic about my new life doing what I love. Have I cut back in the hours I was pulling? No … but it’s such a different experience doing something that makes you happy and working with amazing, lovely people. I need to give a quick thank you to my parents, family, and friends who helped me to accept the decision to move on and make an honest effort to do what I love!

Aside from this, I’ve also been able to enhance my knitting production, a passion nurtured since 2006. Did I learn from my mother? No … but she did teach me everything else in life. For my first post, I want to showcase and thank her.

SanFranMom hails from Western Springs, Illinois. She was the perfect All-American daughter, never stepping too far out of line (to my knowledge …). As an adult, she worked in an elementary school district in a suburb South of Chicago running a Media Center. She met her next-door-neighbor when she went to vote. Their first date was to a Chicago Bears game. One fine day, he announced they were to wed and soon after Mom became step-mom to three young children who lived out of state. Shortly after, I came along and she had summers full caring for four kids within a 10 year range.

Mom moved to the classroom and taught second and third grades throughout the years. During this time, we adopted my little sister from China. Soon after welcoming Kiveran into our life, Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was a champ. She even fit treatments into her school schedule so that she could teach half days and be with her students. I remember knowing Mom was sick, but she still seemed so strong and healthy. It wasn’t until recently that I learned we almost lost her. I would not be the same bubbly character that I am today if we had. Everyone always tells me, “You are your mother’s daughter,” and I’ve never found anything to be more true nor more of a compliment.

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In high school, Mom became more of a friend and we were a team. She finished her career as Director of the Title One program for her district. She has spent retirement caring for her mother and being my sibling’s and my biggest fan. She says raising me was like living in a musical … probably not a very good one, but surely entertaining. To show Mom my love and thanks, I made my first sweater for her in 2010. I used Kim Hargreaves’ pattern, Olivia, published in Thrown Together. The sweater is knit with Blue Sky Alpaca’s Sport Weight. We took these pictures outside the house she grew up in – she lit up so brightly! These are some of my favorite pictures of her.

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