where's my summer?

oh how i miss sticky, hot summers. i lived on a sweet little island in new york with one of my oldest friends a few years back. everytime june rolls around i start thinking about that island and that summer- wishing their wasn't so much space between here and there. below is something i wrote while i lived there. . .

The liquor room smells like a crotchety old lady but I have to go in there at least twice a day and to be honest I kind of like the smell, musty and damp, a quick rush of alcohol going to your nose as soon as you enter. It feels safe in there and towards the end of the summer when I start to tire of needy customers I spend more time stocking than I should.

There are cases of beer up against one wall, stacked in towers and hard to get to as if someone started a tetris game with the boxes and gave up halfway through. I can never understand why the Coors Lite is always stocked closest to the wall, buried behind boxes of Amstel and Corona. We go through 12 cases of Coors at least every two weeks and towards the end of the two weeks when there are only one or two cases left I always feel like a child moving the boxes as if they were giant wooden blocks preventing me from getting to the two squares I need. I am sweaty and tired by the end of it but I love the struggle for the strength it gives my upper body. I love using my body again. Using muscles I haven’t needed in years, the muscles in my wrist for opening beer and bottles of wine. The muscles behind my shoulder blades, that I can feel when I carry two full cases of beer from the liquor room to the bar. My legs are getting stronger from standing all day and pivoting and running from one end of the bar to the other without slipping.

Sometimes the Coors Lite doesn’t even last two weeks, due in large part to the carb scare everyone seems overly obsessed with this summer and our kitchen staff-- a group of 12 men all from the same town in Puerto Rico. The men work at the hotel summers and go back and live in Rincon like kings during the year. At least this is what someone in the hotel tells me, although I question the living like kings part, not out loud but it’s an expression that sticks in my head. All of the men have families back in Rincon, wives and children and mothers they take care of and love deeply. Less than half way through the summer it is clear to me that they are working their asses off in the thick sweat of the kitchen not to go back to Puerto Rico and sit fat on a throne, sipping ice cold Coors and waxing their cars, but to see the sweet satisfaction in the faces of those they love when they can buy them anything they want. When I ask, they pull out their fat wallets stuffed with pictures of young wives and sweet looking daughters.

I like the amount of space I have on the island. There is so much outside. And outside there is so much water and sky and land. And I love it all. I love no buildings eating up the skyline and I love being on an island far away from anything I've known for the last six years.

Magic ponies always have the prettiest things.

I adore these amazing porcelain objects by Coe & Waito. They're made by two women in Toronto (Alissa Coe and Carly Waito) but their site says they're available here in the city at Rose and Radish, a delightful little place on Gough street.

Coe & Waito's porcelain jelly fish are currently on display in a shop window in Toronto called Magic Pony, ummm- can I please go to a place called the Magic Pony and be surrounded by these amazing creations?

Read their blog here.


18th near South Van Ness

This guy reminded me of something I wrote a while back, here's just a piece of it:

My street stinks in the rain. The rain doesn’t clean the city up it just grounds the filth into the sidewalk. And is that why you left the rain this time? So I could see how ugly San Francisco can be? Well it didn’t work. Because just yesterday I saw a man fall asleep in the rain on my street and instead of waking up his body just became part of the sidewalk. The rain pounded him into the shitty cement and it’s all sparkly where he used to lay.


the birdies are back!

i had a fit of making this weekend and it felt pretty good. my little birdy earrings have been on a bit of a hiatus but i'm happy to say i brought a whole flock over to Candy Store yesterday, i also brought some of my duct tape wallets by... they've been sitting around waiting to go somewhere for a while now.

Jennifer kept me company while i worked on earrings and we had such a nice long day, going from my house to her house and back again to my house. it kind of felt like we were little kids on summer break. i made her this little pillow stuffed with some really fresh lavendar, it has cats on it because she has lots of them. i also found out that Jack really likes the smell of lavendar.

and speaking of Jack he's starring in a journal we're publishing at work! i won't tell you anymore than that but i will tell you how i felt like the craziest cat lady ever when i saw it today, thank goodness for my equally crazy cat lady co-workers who were just as excited when they saw their cats in the journal.


a good day.

I ended my day with a fantastic meal with two dear friends. The food was OK- but really, it was the company that made it so great, broken glasses and all...

Also the Sampler interviewed me for their site today! If you're interested you can read it here.


why you gotta hurt the trees?

Saw this on South Van Ness near 21st.

Silly person-- walls are for vandalizing, not trees.


I've always loved the mafia.

My interview on the SF Craft Mafia is up on SFist, you can read it by clicking here. I really wanted to incorporate my Jersey roots and all the furniture we had in my house that 'fell off the truck', but it just didn't fit in the piece anywhere. My twisted Jersey side is really proud of the fact that my step dad had friends in the mafia. I'm not going to spend too much time analyzing that one.



Every morning I think about stealing my neighbor's paper.

I never do.

Well, except for that one Sunday when he was out of town.

But I put it back Monday morning.

I swear.



i'm trying to quit coffee. i've done really well all week. except for today. today i broke down and had half a cup. i needed it. i swear. i also swear i wasn't looking up coffee commercials, a co-worker sent this to me today, and i think these freaky little people were what made me give in. Watch this, it's pretty great.


i got mail.

Remember in my last post how I told you about Jon Carling's new Etsy shop? Well I bought a sweet little print of his called 'Peacock Girl' and it was waiting for me when I got home from work today. One of my favorite things ever is getting real mail, even if I paid for it. Look at the fabulous envelope and goodies that came along with the print.

Thanks Jon, she's going right above my crafting table.


i felt that.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing the fine ladies of San Francisco Craft Mafia for SFist. They let me sit it in on one of their meetings and then I asked them some questions and hopefully I'll be writing something that conveys how fantastic they all are and how giddy Craft Mafia's make me. Jamie, who runs Mary Jane's Attic, gave me a needle felting kit to take home. The rainbow colored wool all neatly lined up made me feel like a 10 year old girl, isn't it just lovely? I was so excited I forgot to take a decent picture before I opened it. I've been wanting to try needle felting for a while and this is a great starter kit.

Within the first five minutes of needle felting I knew it was something I would be doing again. You know the peace that knitting brings? That calm repetitive motion that lulls your brain into a quiet place? Well needle felting is like primal therapy for your hands. You begin by putting the wool on a foam service (provided in the kit) once the layering is thick enough you take the felting needles and poke the wool, repeatedly, in no particular order or pattern. You do this for a long time until the wool is flat and resembles something very different than the soft fluffy form it started as. If I was feeling any anger or frustration I took it all out on that poor little ball of yellow wool. But look, it sort of turned into something pretty.

After I had my yellow wool felted into a square I cut out petals and stabbed them all together and then felted in a circle of blue and then a tiny dot of red.

I worked on this for a couple of hours, listening to the radio and then watching a movie. Umm, I do not think that anyone should ever needle felt and watch a movie at the same time. As noted earlier, needle felting is very unlike knitting and I'm not quite sure what kind of pro I thought I was that I could put in The Departed, and continue needle felting while I watched Jack Nicholson covered in blood. All of the things I had read about needle felting prior to starting warned of the needles, "they are sharp", "watch your fingers"... well they are sharp and I wasn't watching my fingers and one of those long fine needles went straight through the side of my finger. That hurt. And now I can't really feel my index finger as I type this, mostly because I wrapped it so tight in a band-aid. A minor injury really, and once it was all cleaned up I went right back to stabbing that felt again. Needle felting is so very therapeutic, maybe it will make me drink less, instead of wanting to unwind with a glass of wine after work, I think I'll be much better served getting out that little foam pad and stabbing away at it, letting go all the days annoyances. I see an entire menagerie of little felted animals in my future.

You can buy this great starter kit on Jamie's site here.
And I stole the name of this post from Jon Carling's myspace page. He just opened up an Etsy shop full of his fantastically detailed drawings. Get there here.


cover your mouth.

saw this guy somewhere around 23rd and Mission. reminded me of the TB man. if i see anymore of him or Paris Hilton covered in the news I think I'll go on a tv diet.


7 random things

i've been tagged by Susan so here are 7 random things about me. . .

- my cats full name is Senator Cowboy Jack, but at 4 months he started wearing an eyepatch and became a pirate.

- i'm italian but i hate pasta. i blame it on a really bad dish my dad prepared for me when i was 8.

- i'm neurotic about getting to airports early so i don't miss my flight. i also just love hanging out in airports and often lie about when my flight actually leaves so i can have more loitering time.

- my middle name is Cecelia, after my great aunt. i look like her and laugh like her.

- after we moved out of my childhood home my mom told me the teenage boy that lived in my room before we had moved in had hung himself in the closet. i always found burnt matches in the corners of the room, now i think it was him.

- i rearrange my studio and bedroom at least 4 times a year.

- i grew up listening to billy joel and i secretly still like his music. this has been the source of much ridicule from boyfriends and friends.

i'm tagging jennifer, molly, starryshine, and Nancy. (i know it's only 4..)


mission & new montgomery

shitty cell phone camera.. but didn't even notice the perfectly framed guy to the right until just now. kind of nice. maybe he's my missed connection.


a crafty exhibit you shouldn't miss.

One of my very favorite things I did while in New York this last trip (other than catching up with friends and family and hanging out with the Meng sisters in the Javitz center) was going to the Museum of Art & Design. A co-worker had told me about an exhibit she thought I would love there, and she couldn't have been more right. I'm telling you this now on the off chance that you are currently in New York or will be before June 17th when the show ends. The show is called Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting and features 27 artists from all over the world whose work is of the handmade variety in the shows title.

Some of the highlights for me included getting to see the work of Dave Cole up close, I had read about the giant flag he knit with cranes in CRAFT magazine before but it was such a treat to see the video of it and some of his other work. I loved his money dress expertly knit out of about 800 dollar bills and now worth $20,000. I stared in awe at those tiny gloves up there which Althea Merback knit out of silk thread. If I remember correctly she made the knitting needles out of very fine medical needles. You can buy the pattern for these gloves and tons of other tiny tiny sweaters on her site. How I love those mini things.

Another nice part of the show is the Wartime Knitting Circle, where you can sit and add on to scarves, hats and socks that have already been started and worked on by others viewing the show. My sister and I sat there for a bit and I tried to teach her how to knit. I'm not sure if I was successful or not, but it was nice sitting there and adding a few rows onto a knitting project in process, and knowing it would be completed by a series of strangers after me. It's also really peaceful to sit in a museum and knit. And even though it was encouraged it still felt really subversive to be interacting with an exhibit while the guards people walked through and monitored things. You could tell it went against their instincts to not yell at us for touching the artwork, and that made me want to just sit there and keep knitting all day. How nice it was to see a museum filled with skilled crafters, made me beam, made me proud to be part of it all...

A close up of Dave Cole's Money Dress


at the beachy with the d-o-g-s


gray 1 also grey (grā) Pronunciation Key
adj. gray·er also grey·er, gray·est also grey·est
Of or relating to an achromatic color of any lightness between the extremes of black and white.
Dull or dark: a gray, rainy afternoon.
Lacking in cheer; gloomy: a gray mood.
Having gray hair; hoary.
Old or venerable.
Intermediate in character or position, as with regard to a subjective matter: the gray area between their differing opinions on the film's morality.


things to do on a cold, grey day.

rearrange room
watch an episode of reality TV (any will do)
make a phone call to someone you haven't talked to in months
turn the radio off
put on an album you never gave enough time
write a letter to someone deserving
close the curtains to keep the drafts out
cuddle with a cat or two
start a book
start that project you've been saving for a cold, grey day.


moments of grace

I know I haven't given you much this week. But you know how it is when you get back from a trip - you hiccup your way back into your daily routine, work, sleep, eat, re-adjust to a new time zone, repeat.

One of my very favorite people and dear friends has started a blog. It has one of the best names ever. I think you'll like it- I know I do. Read it here.

I stole that image up there from Jennifer's blog- don't you love it?