Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I realized tonight that I've never posted about the bike bags that I used to make under the name FESSup!  I say used to, because although I still make them now from time to time- it's not anything like it once was.

I started working on a bag tonight that I'm donating as an auction item for CARW's Duwamish Fundraiser this coming weekend, and it got me feeling a little nostalgic and inspired.  I've toyed with the idea of regularly making bags again, but haven't quite sold myself on it.  If I do start up again I won't be taking custom work, and will only being selling items as-is.  I've never done it for the money- so when all I was doing anymore was custom work- it took all of the creativity out of it for me as well.

I'll try to get some pictures of the bag up on my Flickr page before I send it off to its new home.  Here are some of my old favorites:

This was the first bag I ever put up for sale!  I ended up trading my friend Kyle for a bike wheel.

This bag is still spotted around Seattle from time to time.  If you know Ponch- you'll recognize it.  It's got to be at least three years old by now, and I can't believe it's still in one piece!

I actually cried while making this bag.  And they weren't tears of joy.  I was sick, and running out of time, and I realized right as I finished the last stitch that I had sewn one of the straps on the wrong way.  I love this bag now- but I hated it then!

Super giant custom bag for my friend Dustin- made to match his bike.

Custom bag for my friend Walker.  The checkered pocket in the front is made out material with titanium threads woven into it.  Super functional!  

Have you ever stopped doing something that you loved, only to pick it back up again years later?  Any words of wisdom? 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tart & Lovely

I love the inside of my freezer.  It's full of wild berries picked mid-summer, cubes of stinging nettles, freezer bags full of fair trade chocolate pieces, and bulk packages of udon noodles.  I am constantly shuffling them around amongst the packages of coffee and assortment of fish and game meat that I've horded away.

I also stash bags of cranberries in my freezer as if November only comes once every three years.  Right now cranberries are all that I care about.

While homemade cranberry sauce is an absolute requirement for me come Thanksgiving- I am never one to say no to cranberries in most any other form.  For whatever reason the internets have been exploding with beautiful cranberry dessert recipes this year, and I am not one to resist.  I still haven't decided which I'll be making for our actual Thanksgiving dinner- but with a "practice" dinner tomorrow night, and Wednesday just hanging out doing nothing- I think I'll be able to fit more than one into my week.

- Cranberry Shortbread Cake from The Way the Cookie Crumbles is November's answer to out-of-season strawberries.  It sounds like such a fantastic combination and comes out looking rustic and lovely.

- Persimmon Cranberry Sauce is my sauce of choice this year.  I usually just stick with a basic cranberry/citrus/spices combo- but I'm exited to mix things up a little with star anise and the texture of persimmon.  

- Smitten Kitchen gets me every single time.  No matter what.  Deb is talented beyond words, and even when she isn't overly in love with a recipe it still turns out beautifully.  Upside-Down Cranberry Cake is no exception.

- Nantucket Cranberry Pie from the very well known Pioneer Woman is not a pie.  It's cake on top of cranberries.  And I really, really don't care.  Apparently it's a pie when you're in Nantucket.  I can live with that. 

- Cranberry Liqueur from Vino Luci would make a great gift for your host/ess or your own guests.  Just make sure you spell it right.

- Lastly- because a straight-forward simple cranberry sauce is still so good to have- The Delicious Life has a great recipe for Basic Cranberry Sauce which also includes notes on using the leftovers to make cranberry sorbet.  So damn witty.

How do you feel about cranberries?  What are your favorite ways to eat them?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Owl Lover 2011 Calendar

This is too great not to share!  My Owl Barn is hosting a beautiful calendar for 2011- put together by 30 different artists- it's free to download, and you get to choose which picture you'd like to use for each month.  It would make a beautiful gift, or just a charming addition to your own home.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Simple Sugar Scrub for Winter Skin

Even though, technically, the first day of winter isn't for another month and then some- my face doesn't seem to have any idea.  As soon as the weather and humidity changes my face turns into a lovely mess of dry patches and red splotches.  It's really a lot of fun!  Last week I contemplated taking a sheet of sand paper and a stick of butter to it- but decided instead to make a simple sugar scrub.  It took me only a few minutes and my skin is soft and happy. 

My ideal scrub simply needs to do three things: cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize.  Anything beyond that is just an added bonus. 

This recipe can be made using a combination of whatever you have on hand at home and is easily modified. 

You will need:

- 1 cup of whatever sugar you normally bake with (I prefer the coarser texture of organic cane sugar).
- 1/2 cup jojoba, olive, almond, apricot kernel, or other unscented body oil. 
- 2 tablespoons of castile soap, or your favorite gentle cleanser.  I love using Dr. Bronners peppermint or lavender liquid soap.
- A bowl, a spoon (or your hands), and a container to store your scrub in. An old jar is perfect!

Gently combine all ingredients, and transfer to whatever container you plan to store it in.  Feel free to add more of any of the ingredients, depending on your preferences.  To use: gently apply scrub to your dry face using your fingertips in small circular motions.  Don't scrub too hard, or apply after a hot shower as this can irritate skin more.  Rinse off with cool or lukewarm water and pat dry!

Keep in mind that while essential oils smell nice- many can be too harsh for the sensitive skin on your face.  If you would rather make a body scrub- feel free to add other fragrances and oils.  Brown sugar is fine to use as well and has a smoother texture from the additional moisture.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hanging In, Hanging On

I am so exhausted.

I hadn't realized until last night that I haven't updated in actual WEEKS.  That wasn't supposed to happen!  Life is a little sneaky that way sometimes.  I have just been going going going non-stop for weeks on end and I really hadn't even thought about how long it had been since I'd written anything.

I'm doing what I can to get back on track, but you'll have to forgive me if posting is a little slow for a bit longer.  I have been: training for a half marathon (it's in two weeks!), trying to make it through the last month of school this quarter, still getting into the swing of my new job, fighting one crazy mess of  a head cold, celebrating lots of birthdays and baking lots of cakes and pies, hanging out with my mom for the past week eating lots of good food and drinking plenty of wine to go with it.  I haven't had time to do laundry, cook, or really even sit down and breathe.  I am completely tuckered out. 

I took this picture of myself + cat a few weeks ago to include in a silly e-mail to Brittany.  I feel like it perfectly sums up the way I feel right now.  Notice the dying plant in the background.  It's dead now.  I killed it by not blogging.

I need a mini-vacation.  But even that sounds like too much work right now.  Maybe I just need a nap and a bath.  Please send reinforcements in the form of tea and fleece socks.
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