Friday, December 17, 2010

Suzanna's Belly

I'm so excited to have the opportunity to photograph my friend Suzanna tomorrow. This is my first maternity shoot, and just a month from her due date, Suzanna's belly is beautiful. And to make things more perfect -- yes, it gets better -- we're going to have the entire Red Lodge School of Dance studio to ourselves. On the second floor, with great big windows, the light will be enchanting. I'll post a photo or two when I'm done.

Oh, and by the way, I did get my website going and gave my procrastinating self a deadline of Jan. 1. It's already been a lot of work, but I'm so excited to have this project underway. I'm using a template from BluDomain, a Denver company that specializes in serving creative professionals. The crew there have been awesome to work with. Can't wait for you to see it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

diving in

Lately, deadlines have been light and commitments have been few, so I've finally been tackling a few long put-off projects. Getting a website for my freelance writing and photography tops the list, but I have to admit I'm overwhelmed like never before.
I've been working as a freelance writer full-time for a year and a half, and, other than this little blog, have no World Wide Web presence. I hear everywhere that it's important for a freelancer to have a website.
I'm overwhelmed on two fronts. First, there's the idea of building my own site, or working with a template. How? And with so many options out there, just checking out my options has already sucked away countless hours, choosing one, I'm afraid, will take even longer. Then, there's the idea of defining myself. I don't know if I'm ready to sum myself up in a few kitchy paragraphs. It simply makes me feel as if I haven't done enough.
But this I know: no matter my shortcomings, deadlines work for me. Without them, I would most certainly be starving. So, today, I've given myself a deadline. Sunday by midnight, I've got to have a web presence. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm in Love!!!

Long time coming

 The obsession will not end... I am still caught up in the grip of the clutches.  I have a seemingly simple pattern that I want to design but perfection eludes me.  Not that I don't have enough plates spinning right now I get stumped by a simple pattern for a fabled clutch, that I have promised to make, yet have not gotten the dimensions and tension figured out yet.  If I were to describe the process of pattern making when it comes to a small nine inch crescent shaped purse frame one word comes to mind... Unforgiving.  The tolerances are tricky, too tight and the clutch only holds one coin, too loose and you have folds of fabric that clearly display your mistake.  To say the least each and every one of my clutches has taken some time, passion, and design.  The process of knitting/ crocheting a clutch began in December of 2008.  I made a small knit/ crochet clutch for my sister Jill.  With much thought and design I came up with this small beauty, adorned by a vintage broach from my grandmother's collection.  See all the design details here.

I return to the thoughts of that simple design often and wonder if it should be revisited?  I still love it and vowed to make identical one for myself, yet I am hemmed in by this elusive new design! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall back

Watercolor by Leontine May Greenberg

Everyone in these parts looks forward to the return to Standard Time from Daylight Saving Time, which starts Sunday. Although it means that the sun sets earlier, it also means that days start later, when the sun is up. Lately, it's been a challenge getting up before the sun.

I've noticed a few times this last week that I've struggled for hours, sometimes all day long, to write something or finish a project. It's very worrisome. Deadlines, folks, are for real in my little world. What I've discovered, though is that if I wake up at 6 a.m. or earlier to finish it I'm suddenly focused, and can zip right through a story or project.

Being a morning person seems so lame. I've always rejected the notion that I was an early bird. Early birds. Night owls. Who has more fun? Ah, night owls, for sure! But I'm getting so much done that it means I can have fun during the day instead of banging my head on my desk.

That's why I'm looking forward to this little extra hour every morning to get up earlier with less effort. I want to solidify this early-rising routine. Goodness knows, I've got a to-do list a mile long.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I don't often envy an others knitting.  I find that my way of thinking is "I can make it better".  Not in an elitist way, but much more in the vein of, I would rather carry around a purse I made then a Coach hand bag.  It is far cheaper if I make it and has more personality.  Yet browsing etsy this morning I came across something that I could NEVER make better or cheaper.  Knit deer mounts

Sounds weird. To be honest I don't really want to own one yet I am bewitched by them! The expertise and design is amazing.  And to think this knitter has found yet another way to incorporate modern knitting into daily life!!!  Amazing!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

home sweet journal

I'm always surprised at how the simplest, sweetest things are pushed aside so easily. The other night, I gathered up three of my favorite pens and cracked open a brand new composition book. I recently bought two cases, yep, two cases of those black and white, wide-ruled comp books. They were on sale for $2 a case, so I had to.

Oh, sweet journal. How good it felt to write, to scribble and allow for such freedom to write without a care for conventions, spelling or even legibility. I wrote for pages, ideas flying. I had to wonder why this wasn't something I did daily? Why isn't it right up there with eating and sleeping?

Our grandmother has kept a daily journal since 1957. I know of no other person who has maintained a journal for as long a stretch. She started as a young woman and believe it or not, she uses the same journal each year. It's become hard to find, these days. It is always red or black, always with the year stamped on the front cover and a page for each day. Just one single page.

As an occasional journaler I always thought, wow, one page, I could never do it. But my grandmother is a different sort. Her journals are efficient accounts of her days. Though the one-page entries may not seem like enough, they somehow always are. With nothing to hide at 90, she allows me to browse her journals. I go to the day I was born, the day my parents married, the day my grandfather's dog died, the day my nephews were born. In so few words my grandmother never once failed to capture the emotion of each day.

Once in awhile she'll call after looking back into her archives to read to me a fond memory that she's run across. Our conversations always end with her telling me that she plans to give her journals to me, and that she hopes I'll appreciate them. Oh, god, will I!

Friday, October 29, 2010

adventures in winemaking

While floating the Yellowstone this fall I happened to notice the rose bushes along the railroad tracks were bursting with new color -- rose hips! The tiny fragrant berries were the inspiration. What followed was my first-ever foray into winemaking.

Start with a two pounds of fresh rose hips, which is way more than you think. Then pluck the blossom ends off and grind them up in the blender.
Add a lot of honey and boiled water and a bunch of other more technical ingredients (because there's way more to winemaking than I thought) put it in a mesh bag and let it ferment.
After about a week, siphon the wine into gallon jar (thanks to Martha at Cafe Regis) and wait....

...and wait, and wait. That's the hardest part. Wine needs to mature, and clarify even after the yeast has done its thing. My rose hip wine probably won't be done until early next summer, but won't it be fun to pour a glass on the river next summer and toast the rose bushes in full bloom?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blog of Note

Blogs of note.
I see the blogs of Note everyday.  I go to the blog read a little and check the links.. Fingers crossed!  I would love to have my blog be a featured on the list of blogs of note some day. I love the chance to see a blog I might otherwise have missed.  That is when I found the Beta Dad Blog.  It's funny but I would never had stopped and read a blog about a stay at home father yet the blogs of note made me do just that. This blogger struck a note with me. His first post was thanking blogger for taking note of his blog.  Then the subsequent post was blasting another daddy blogger.  The post was extremely well written and littered with humor.  At the risk of sounding scared, I hope he never reads my blog.  Still struggling to find a voice and content I feel my blog lacks the oomph he desires.  Although that is my definite goal.. Oomph.  I'm certain this blog at some point will grow up and become the beautiful well rounded idea I desired when I first started.  So stick with me for a little while.  Let's see what may come?


    Motivation where does it come from?  Right now I seem to be suffering from a serious lack of it.  This afternoon I set out to  do a small work out.  Most folks visit a gym or run a mile.  Well this evening's workout started by pumping up my giant "workout" ball.  "How in the hell did this go flat again"?  I thought as I ripped apart my house  looking for the specialty air pump sold with the ball.   "Didn't I just use this last month"?  After inflating, then, ever so slightly, deflating the over-inflated ball I tried to exercise.   The sudden realization I don't know any "good" giant ball exercises hits me.  Pissed that I have never hired a personal trainer I decided to google ab workouts, see if I could narrow down how to loose this flab... You may be wondering... Well this all seems very much like motivation to me but herein lies the problem. In the process of searching the web for good ab workouts I got lost.  I finally found myself two hours later, caught in a self imposed marathon of watching Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe on Netflix.
      Obviously I have a problem with a lack of motivation. Now how does a person motivate oneself?  I saw a guest post on a blog I follow and thought it was quite clever. This gal had fallen in love with a great pair of boots.  Then each time she bettered herself by working out or running she gave herself money towards the purchase of the boots.  This is an excellent thought.  I would very much love to see a great article of clothing or shoes that would I pine over.   Although there is a problem... I don't shop at all.  See I am stuck in the land if crappy shopping otherwise known as Hawaii.  Granted if needed a new bikini I would be set.  Or better yet a cute sundress I would have plenty selection.  But no, the items that make me swoon are a pair of chocolate colored suede boots.  This seems like any fashionista's wardrobe essential, right?  Wrong!  If  I showed up to anything with a pair of boots on let alone anything that is not within the aloha casual attire code of conduct I would be gawked at or asked "why are you so dressed up"? So fashion is not so fashionable here.  So where does my motivation come from?  So the search for motivation never ends.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I have been a little bit distracted.

I can only say that I'm obsessed. I can knit and sew but as of late all I can seem to do is make these medium sized clutches. I love the design, look, and quality. In the end you have a beautiful hand made piece of creativity that anyone would love to have.
I love the yellow in this one.  It is a Cascade Wool.

This Aqua Clutch is a pattern adapted from a pattern designed by Constructivism

This is a simple pattern I designed myself.  I found that I got rather obsessed about this simple looking pattern.   Truth be told there is quite a bit of thought behind tolerances, and pleating on this design.  Most often when I see this style of frame it is used for a sunglasses case not a purse.


This is my favorite clutch.  I loved the fiber and how it knits up!

This is the interior of the same Lilac Clutch.  You can see the embroidered name of my sweet and dear grandmother on the interior pocket.

So far I only sell my small collection of finished clutches at a friends store in Kailua Kona, Hi called Pueo Boutique.  More clutches to come, also I have been working on a new design of a flat fold clutch too!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I often find myself crying for no reason.  Not always those teary outbursts that men fear so much.  Most often they are just a couple small tears that fall behind my over sized sunglasses (so no one else sees).  I would like to think it is because I have to much emotion.  I have come to realise that I process disaster, love, commitment, and all major life moments different from others.  I find myself in this moment, a normal everyday moment, and feel nothing.  From the outside it seems normal or you look at it and think "Gee I'm glad that's not me" or "Wish that was me".  The one true thing is...  It is easier to be on the out side then feel all the emotion from the inside.  Then after  the "moment" has passed and I find myself alone I cry..  Or, on my way to work and see a double amputee running and training for a marathon and CRY!  I often wish I could reel in these crying situations and be un-flappable, but why? 

Moments from Everynone on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Antiques.... on Craigslist?

There is was moving through my daily ritual of memorizing the listings of value or interest on my local Craigslist when I see at the bottom of a post "more great items listed in Antiques Category".  WHAT THE HELL?  Craigslist has an antiques category?!?!  How did I not notice this!  I had assumed that for the last 2-3 years I was missing out on those "great finds" and "cool old stuff" cause I was not checking early enough in the day or I just wasn't clicking on the right listings.  (I maintain a policy of only clicking on listings with images... Come on even the worst technophobe has a cell phone with a digital camera!)  I have even sold oldish looking items on Craiglist and totally sold them for cheap!!  Most likely I lost good $$$$ cause I listed them in the regular furniture category!  And here I thought my life sucked because I don't own a pickup truck and a warehouse to repaint my Craigslist finds!  In reality I was truly missing out because I yet to discovery the antiques section.  Look at this great listing for this cute settee!

I have already emailed about this SUPER old listing and alas it has long since been sold for a whopping $50!  And I had such dreams of recovering it  like these beautiful settees at Squint.  I guess better luck next time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Small stumble

We oftern get lost on the web.  Clicking here and clicking there.  Often I find things that inspire me to create.  This simple video did just that.  Check it out!

Cours Toujours - animation short film from Cours Toujours Team on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a thing for words

You know you have a thing for words when snippets of well-said everyday language hang in your head for days. Let me explain with an example.
Saturday, Ben and I had the best of mini-road trips up the Beartooth Highway to Cooke City. Although Ben drives the winding highway at least 6 times a summer, I don't usually make the trip on my own. We packed a fly rod, a picnic and brought the dogs. I love fishing Soda Butte Creek outside Cooke. It's a cold, cold high-mountain creek that's as clear to the bottom as any aquarium, and you can watch fish dart up from the bottom to take your fly at the surface. Still I miss fish, somehow.
While I was casting, I heard Ben say, "We're into 'em now." I looked up and he was holding an agate that was about the size of a kid's tennis shoe. The jagged, clear rock was the second giant agate Ben has found in a week. The earlier one, a rounded stone about the size of a small loaf of bread, we found on the Yellowstone (photos unavailable due to technical difficulties/disabilities)
I thought the phrase "We're into them now" such an odd observation but fitting, too. It's something Ben says all the time on the river when he really starts catching fish.
I'm searching for an opportunity to use "into 'em now" in my daily discourse. But there's only a few opportunities to really "get into 'em"

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Slowdown

The other day I happened to notice that the days are getting shorter here in Red Lodge. They once stretched until 9:30 p.m. or later. Now, sunset is happening closer to 8 p.m. On the 45th parallel, and at more than 5,500 feet in elevation, summers here are short, and so precious are these warm, long days that locals seem to go crazy in an attempt to fit all their summertime activities into this brief window.
I admit, I am among them.

Last Tuesday I had a plan: work, then get to the mountains for a quick hike with the dogs and home again in time for Shakespeare in the Parks. But something happened, and I'm glad it did. As I walked, I noticed the heavy smell of pine duff, soaked by a brief thundershower. I noticed the stream alongside the trail washing over its banks, the wildflowers starting to fade, moose tracks, and mating butterflies. And with each observation, my efficient pace slowed. I walked on and on, arriving back at my car hours later as the light was fading.

I would have liked to have seen A Midsummer Night's Dream performed in the park near my house, but nothing could have compared to the wonder and contentment I felt when I slowed down and enjoyed my hike.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Knitting... A life changed.

I have a few things that mark my life…. My nephew being born, learning to ride a bike, and sometimes sad things like my grandfather passing away.  One of those markers for me was learning to knit.  I know, I know, knitting right?  Little nerdy, but it kinda changed my life.  It gave me an opportunity to find a path to zen.  Sometimes a day can’t pass unless I knit.  In the beginning I had a couple inspirations to learn to knit.  My grandma was an accomplished knitter.  
 Here is a picture of her “trying” to teach me how to knit.
Sadly I was unfocused and had to many things going on.  Plus Red Heart acrylic yarn was not enticing enough to draw me in.  A number of years later I stumbled across an amazing hobby shop that had an enticing yarn room with complimentary knitting classes.  I would hover but never join the classes.  One day as I was hovering I found this magazine...

Sadly Adorn is now no longer in print, yet I snagged this copy.  Mostly I was inspired by what I saw in the magazine, but also this page made me want to knit…  Really want to knit…

I wanted to make that bag!  I bought yarn and joined the free knitting class.  Turns out I was a natural knitter.  It has been down hill since then.  Nearly three years later all I want to do is knit!  I will kit things that never see the light of day!  And my yarn stash grows weekly.  All of my closest friends and family have been knitted something special by me.  Here are some of my projects that did meet the light of day.  Funny thing is though... I never knit that little handbag.  I have the pattern.  My goodness it was a fun to find that!  I had to email the former editor of the magazine to find out that it was in One Skein pattern book page number 47.  I have the yarn, but still have not done it.  Maybe that will be my next project?

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Love is a quantifiable thing or is it? We as kids stretch our arms as far apart as we possible can then say “I love you this MUCH”. In that simple illustration we in our pure and simple childlike minds feel we know how much love we can contain. I even as an adult had a primitive view of love, until my younger sister got pregnant. I watched her belly grow and her life change. I had opinions and feelings about how her life would be after the baby came. Not once did I ever think that her pregnancy would change me and my view of love. She worked daily all the way up to one week before she gave birth. I remember that phone call, “the baby was on the way”. I rushed to the hospital, cursing at the slow moving traffic. The moment Desmond Allen was born I saw a beautiful boy and watched my lil’ sis become a mom. That precious package wrapped in a blue blanket was placed in my arms I looked in to the face of a newborn and felt an entirely new and amazing love that brings me to my knees. I was blessed enough to made an auntie not once but four times so far. Still to this day I miss my niece and three nephews all too much. Yet holding my lil’ sister’s hand as she gave birth was more than I can simply describe.  Love....   Regina
Desmond Allen, 3 years old snorkeling in a wading pool in Grandma's back yard.
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