Saturday, July 31, 2010


"I grew these?!," he said.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

covered stones

I finally found some small, smooth stones to make the crochet covered stones I wrote about here.
I followed the "urchin" pattern from Resurrection Fern's tutorial and improvised another pattern. I used "fine" crochet thread and a size 10 hook.

I like how they turned out; they made a nice moving away gift for some of our friends.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Resurrection Fern

One of my favorite sites to check is the Resurrection Fern.
She creates little micro-worlds and photographs them. Using leaves, flowers, seeds, ferns, rocks, snails, kitties, water (etc.) combined with handmade elements like embroidery, crochet, knitting, and sewing she makes beautiful collections of objects that have a common shape, texture, color...or just look good together. Anyway, hard to explain, just check out her site.
What I wanted to say about it today is that she has posted a tutorial at The Purl Bee on how to make her most recognizable - almost trademark - object: crochet covered stones.
They are so beautiful.
If you know how to crochet, it's very simple. You can follow any doily pattern or invent your own. Crochet it the size and shape of a particular smooth stone. Once it fits over the top of the stone, use a strong thread in matching color to crochet it to the stone by making progressively shorter crochet rows as you round the edge of the stone and work your way to the underside. Hard to explain in words, but check out her site and tutorial for more information and inspiration.
Happy crocheting!
I was excited to find this tutorial since I have recently gotten back into crochet, as posted here.
Oh, one time, for Christmas, I made my sister a crochet acorn holder necklace as per Resurrection Fern's inspiration! It is adorable and hilarious; Briana got a kick out of it!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sweater update

I've been knitting a sweater for the last month. It is going to be a tight-fitting cardigan with elbow length sleeves. I am knitting in the round because I can't stand knitting back and forth (and because my stitches look terrible that way). It's a free pattern from Drops, here is a link. I like the lace pattern on the yoke. I think it would be cool to take parts of it and work it into a cute border on a knit hat...

I am almost ready to cut it up the center front and knit on the button bands!
I'll post a photo when it's finished :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mariners Baseball

We went to a Mariners Baseball game for LDS baseball night. The stadium is right down town and has a beautiful view. We also liked the way they mow the field.

The game was terrible, but we had fun eating garlic fries and dippin' dots (my FAVORITE).

Check out these clouds! It looks exactly like a dragon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

rock climbing

We are rock climbers now :)
Adam used to go all the time but we realized we haven't been since we first moved to Seattle in 2008! 2 years ago!

We have been 3 times in less than a week. We want to get really strong again...

Monday, July 19, 2010

sewn paper giftbags

For my first Christmas in Seattle, Christmas 2008, I made some nut mixes / snack mixes to give as gifts. I was missing my friends and family and I wanted to send everyone a gift to let them know I was thinking of them. I made spicy nut mix, sweet nut mix, soy-wasabi nut mix...everything. I soon realized I needed a way to package these snacks. My mom always keeps cellophane bags on hand for quick gifting. Anything, be it baked, candied, sewn, glued, or re-gifted looks great in one of those cellophane bags. But I didn't have any and I was SNOWED IN!
Sometimes, when I want to buy something I, I try to think "what would people have used before that was invented and sold at the store...."
I thought of cloth bags, like bank robber gold bags but I didn't want fuzz sticking to these snacks...
I thought of paper containers, like old fashioned popcorn and street vendor snack containers.
I ended up using parchment paper (baking paper) and my sewing machine. I sewed folder parchment a few inches apart for the side seams and trimmed the paper about 1/4 inch from the seam. I sewed corners so the bags could stand on their own. Then, I filled them with snack mix - could be anything, though - and sewed the top closed. Before I sealed the bags, I stamped a shape on paper to make a note and sewed it in while sewing the top seam.
I think they are so adorable and have funny personality.

I have resorted to these sewn bags frequently since that Christmas that I like to think of them as a trademark of a Tess gift :)

Need a quick Christmas gift for the Boss? Sew a few slices of dried porcini into a little paper pack, and voila, Christmas present.

Need to make a few quick bucks? Sew stinging nettles into paper packs and sell at farmer's markets (or the punk rock flea market).

And yet again: Going visiting and need a gift? Sew ginger snaps into a paper pack and head on over.

And good news about the visit: we will be welcoming a new member into our ward this Saturday when she is baptized!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

flying dove crochet bag

About a month ago I helped a friend sort through her deceased friend's old handiwork supplies. She was kind enough to offer me any of the supplies I wanted in exchange for the help and support going through the boxes.

I went home with a bundle of wool yarns and vintage crochet and tatting threads. Beside the wonderful colors and packaging labels, I love these threads for small crochet projects like bean balls/hacky sacs for kids, necklaces, flowers, etc...things I can do while riding the bus into Seattle for work.

I also came home with a stack of vintage patterns and pamphlets. These you already know I love....
After scouring the pages, I found 2 projects I wanted to start right away.
One is this cool leaf shirt and skirt. I think I will make the skirt narrower and lower waisted, and in green, of course.

The other is a mash-up project inspired by this lattice crochet corner hankie:
and this lattice crochet bag (via the House that Lars Built)

I didn't like how the dove looked in the hankie pattern, though I liked the dove idea. I drew up a pattern on graph paper and started to crochet the bag "by the seat of my pants" (Adam is convinced I do everything by the seat of my pants...)

I was so anxious to begin the dove part that in hindsight I began it too early, resulting in the dove way down at the bottom of the bag. However, the most obvious problem here is that the dove doesn't even fit on one side of the bag...oops.

Also, in my unplanned haste, I failed to add some rounding to the bottom corners of the bag, so there are little points down there. I don't like how it looks at all. Adam's opinion of it is "Why did you make it all Grandma-y in pink?" Good point. my defense is that pink is the only color of which I had two balls and I didn't know how much it would take and didn't want to run out mid-project.

Anyway...before I even finished the first trial run, I started the second. I used orange thread and made the lattice squares 2X2 stitches instead of 3X3 stitches to give the bag more structure and prevent my items from falling out :)
I began the base with a few rows of single crochet stitches followed by a few rows of double crochet stitches to give the base more stability. I remembered to round the edges by increasing at the corners. So far it looks good; a little large, actually, but it will be a more useful bag that way, I suppose.

While making the first bag, I thought of all the fun things you can draw/write into your own graph paper pattern. I still like the dove, but I decided I also wanted to write Tree Peeps into the other side.
Updates to come!

Friday, July 16, 2010

ginger snaps

It's always a great time of year for ginger snaps.
I tested out my Night Moth cookie press (a gift from my sister Candice). It's not made for regular cookie dough like this recipe (I should use a special, thick dough to get the image to last through the baking) but I wanted to test it out anyway.
I used a recipe my sister Briana got from a friend:

Kick in the Pants Gingersnaps
¾ C butter
1 c sucanat
1 egg
¼ C molasses
½ tsp salt
Cream sugar and butter, add egg, molasses and salt then add dry ingredients (below)
2 ½ c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne pepper (this makes for a nice sharp "bite" use more or less to taste)

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight (or three hours)
Preheat oven to 350

Make into balls (or roll dough and cut out shapes). Flatten well with criss-cross fork pattern. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes. Cool completely for a nice crunchy cookie.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I got a surprise from one of my favorite teachers from BYU, Blaine Furniss. Beside being a great plant and fungi teacher, he is very important to me because his enthusiasm and knowledge of plants and fungi is what inspired me to learn more about the photosynthetic world and what is now - and will always be - my life pursuit...fungi!
Blaine likes to make candlesticks from wood he collects. Over the years he has made one for me and now I have three! I love them and I am thankful for his influence in my life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Le Smeagol

Audio update:
Happy Bastille Day! If you listen to the radio (KEXP) they've generously sprinkled in lots of Frenchy songs. Very fun! Reminds me how much I LOVED France/French things in high school. Actually, I still love France/French things but my love of Iceland/Icelandic things overshadowed all else in college.
Smeagol just bit off Frodo's ringed finger and fell into Mount Doom with The One Ring!!!!!!!

(I have been obsessively listening to the Lord of the Rings audiobooks and I'm almost finished...then what am I going to do??!?!?!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

snack bags

Check out these sweet washable/reusable snack bags. I sewed them from course woven cotton (from a laundry bag I got for free on my first day at BYU as a freshman 7 years ago! I told you I'm a saver....) and finished the seams with bias tape from my extensive vintage/garage sale bias tape stash.

Beside snacks, I will also use them for straining things in the kitchen.
These would have been very useful to strain passion fruit when Adam made me and Annalisa juice in the Caribbean.

Monday, July 12, 2010

bird whisperer

I came back from California to this:

Adam loved bird sitting "Wendy Bird" and had become a skilled bird trainer in the few days I was gone.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lake Sammammish

We went to the lake!
It was so fun! We dove off the dock, swam around, played paddle ball, and played Magic.
Ah, summatime :)

Friday, July 9, 2010


A cute pic of us enjoying the summer together :)

We were in line at Red Mill Burgers in Phinney. Delicious!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

cooking day!

cooking day!
Food, I love food!
It's been too long since I've spent almost an entire day making tasty food....ahh, feels good.
lavender caramel sauce
tofu-veggie stir-fry
nectarine and artichoke heart salad
honey balsamic bean salad
rosemary olive oil cake with chocolate!
Persian style pomegranate-walnut chicken (I made up a copy of one of my favorite dishes using various pantry supplies. I used cranberry juice, a little molasses, brown sugar, ground pecans-cashews-hazelnuts because I didn't have walnuts, bread crumbs, onions, zucchini, chili flakes, and chicken legs). MMMMM SO GOOD!
a few batches of homemade granola to get restocked.
Happy Summer!

(Have any good recipes/food ideas I should try?)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The summer has finally arrived in Seattle! last :)

We have a hit a record of 2.5 sunny days in a row since March and the 10 day forecast shows nothing but sun, sun, sun!

I have been in the best mood lately and I want to get caught up on the month and a half of unfinished blog posts.
I can't believe I haven't posted anything since the Caribbean trip!

I want to share more photos from the Caribbean, the Punk Rock Flea Market, a visit with my family in California, current knitting-crochet-sewing-craft adventures, tons of new food ideas, and scenes from the beautiful Pacific Northwest trails Adam and I have hiked.

I love summer! We have fruit everywhere, sunshine at 5 AM, sunset at 10 PM! vegetables aplenty, biking, inspiration and enthusiasm...and don't forget the cute outfits :)


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bedal Camp and Goat Lake

(Goat Lake)

Adam and I drove north to Mountain Loop Highway for a weekend of camping, hiking, and dutch oven cooking.
(Goat Lake)

The big picture:
Bedal Camp (the loveliest car camping we've done):

Adam's "black pot" in action:

A misty river bend:

Big North Fork Waterfall:

Green trails (better in real life):

Fire practice:

The little picture:
The Moss is taking over!

A white slime mold:

A banana slug:

A beautiful stump:

Bark filled with lichens and other fungi:

Blue staining pored fungus:

One TALL bryophyte (about 6 inches tall!)

Crustose lichen:

Pink fruiting structure of this green lichen:

Peltigera-style lichen:

Lycopodium, an ancient, spore producing fern-ally

Cladonia cristatella, the British Soldier lichen:

And last, but not least...Barlow Cut:

The famous Barlow Cut to allow a mining railroad up the steep mountain pass.