Morning people

You know what’s fun (and for “fun,” you should substitute absolutely any other word)?

Having a kid who is as crabby as I am in the morning.

Grace takes after her father. They both have the uncanny ability to brain immediately after waking (shut up, “brain” is too a verb), a talent that eludes me. It seems that Sam has inherited my level of functionality. He does not (yet) tackle the problem with gallons of caffeine, as I do. On a good morning, he simply stays in bed until he feels capable of facing the day. On a bad day, though.

Today Grace decided, almost immediately on waking, to play with her Playmobil family. She’s been setting up her dollhouse for them.

“Mom, will you play with me?”

“After I drink my coffee,” I tell her, guilt eating at my stomach lining. (Okay, guilt and strong black coffee.)

So she plays by herself until Sam stumbles out of the bedroom, yawning (he’s been awake for at least 20 minutes at this point), and collapses into a chair.

“Sam!” Her bright eyes turn to him like he is her favorite person on earth–which he is. “Will you play with me?”

“Ugh, Gracie. I don’t want to play.”

And just like that, everyone’s morning goes to shit.

And because I recognize in him my own failing, I have to work extra hard to keep from exploding with anger at him. Why can’t he just be nice to her? I know the answer, but I want him to hold it together in the morning, the way I often cannot.

Making Clothes

I recently emptied out my closet, removing everything that doesn’t fit. There was…not much left.
About a third of this is referee stuff, and another third is stuff I don’t really like, but will wear if I have to. There is some stuff in the dirty laundry (not much, though), and I have a pair of jeans (and underthings of course) that are not hanging.

I have a plan. Kind of.

First I freaked the fuck out on Twitter, because I have no idea how to build a wardrobe. I don’t know how to determine or build my personal style. I am just clueless. Kind friends talked me down from the ledge, recommending various style blogs, etc., but what I really want is a checklist that is for people like me, and that doesn’t exist.

As far as I can tell, my style falls into two general categories (three if “lazy slob” counts): rockabilly and hippie. NOT SUPER COMPATIBLE, but I am not going to listen to any ideas my brain might have about needing to stay consistent. Those are the styles I am comfortable wearing. END OF STORY. (Right? Please validate me.)

So I’m going to do some shopping, but also some sewing.


For years I have wanted a closet full of Simplicity 3835 tops. The pattern booklet looks super-dull, but a quick google image search should show you why I am smitten with the pattern. I will have to make full bust adjustments, which I understand in theory but have never actually done. Cross your fingers for me.

I only recently discovered Sonya Phillips‘ patterns, but I can very very easily picture myself wearing leggings and a linen Dress No. 1 every day. (I will have to get some leggings.)

I’m also thinking about Colette Violet, but not until I have pattern adjustments mastered. (And eventually: Tia dress.)


I also want to make myself some skirts. The Spin Skirt (WITHOUT THE RUFFLES) is my front-runner, but I am also looking for a simpler A-line pattern for corduroy skirts because I want to be Melissa Auf der Maur circa 1995, which the one on the right looks promising for. Possibly I could use the Spin Skirt for both, though.

I’ll be shopping for fabrics, but I also have these:

photo2 (1)

I originally intended to use the (top) blue fabric for a Sew Liberated Lola apron, but I am open to using it for something else. The strawberries were for Grace, and I feel like an asshole considering using them for myself. I don’t know for sure how much I have of the stars, but it looks like at least 1.5 yards. I planned, years ago, to use the pond print for the Trapeze Sundress from Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing, and I might still do that but I don’t have to.

I don’t have to use any of them, of course. Just brain-dumping. I kind of feel like I should be looking for small, subdued all-over prints, but maybe that is boring? I DON’T KNOW.

Please dress me.


I was still in bed this morning when Sam brought me an orange balloon and asked me to blow it up for him, which I did.

Later, he was playing a game of Don’t Let The Balloon Touch The Floor and I told him he needed to stop because it was turning into a game of Hit The Balloon Into Mom’s Face.

Later still, when I’d had some coffee, he asked if he might play with his balloon again. I said yes, and he did, and he had a good long run of keeping it in the air before it landed on me.

“Oh, why am I not good at this?!” he cried in frustration. “I guess I will not be a balloon thrower, after all!”

It’s amateur night again.

Oh, do I have a blog?

I woke up early today. Sometime not very far past 5:30, and I have a fairly strict rule that I do not get out of bed before 6:00 so I stayed there for a bit, listening to Grace snore. Sam was awake too, up in his bunk bed, kvetching that the fan Will put in the bedroom window (which I loooooooove) is too loud and he was too cold. I got him another blanket, and stayed up. Will got in the shower, and then we had an earthquake.

Earthquakes are loud. It sounds like everything is shaking, though it doesn’t always feel like it. I was worried about Sam, so I stood up to run back to the bedroom, only one really doesn’t do that during a quake. I sat back down involuntarily and waited it out. As I expected, Sam was a little freaked out and Grace was still fast asleep.

It was a 4.7, not too shabby. Over on Twitter, half of Los Angeles was calling it a Shamrock Shake and the other half was fuming because they didn’t think of it first.

We are (probably) not Irish. I am Sicilian, Dutch, Welsh, English, and I think French (possibly some other stuff too). Will is mostly English and Scottish on his mother’s side, and we don’t know his father’s heritage (adoptions were closed in the 1940s and he chose to never pursue it). The red hair most likely comes from the Scotch and Dutch sides of the family.

For Saint Patrick’s Day we will be eating fish and chips for dinner and drinking a pint of Murphy’s. But I will not be wearing green, and don’t even think about pinching me.

Like Grapes on a Vine


Uva uvam vivendo varia fit.

Look, that isn’t a real Latin saying (it’s nonsense, basically), but it is a real quote from Larry Mcmurty’s Lonesome Dove. He claims that it means something to the effect of, “two grapes that grow together on the vine grow to be like each other.” Probably his description is more succinct? I bet he had more coffee than me.

Anyway, Will and I adopted it as our motto way back when. And it’s been more true than I’d ever have imagined. I mean, for heaven’s sake, look at that photo. We have the same damn hair. Mine is a little swoopier, maybe.

We don’t finish each other’s sentences so much as we say things in unison all the damn time. People must think we’re crazy.

To be fair, I think we probably are.

You seem an opinionated fellow.

Hi! I need your opinions.


These are my Posy and Paw Print Cardis. Right now they are offered as a buy one, get one 50% off, because the fit and instructions are very similar.

Yesterday I accidentally designed a bonnet to match. I’d actually intended to do that since I first designed Posy in 2011 but for whatever reason yesterday was the day the bee crept into my, well, bonnet. I intend to make a regular (beanie-style) hat as well.

Should I make an ebook of all four patterns, or sell the hats separately and keep the sweater deal as-is?

Cover Reveal: Face Time

My friend Stephanie has another book coming out! I suspect she is some sort of robot. This one is contemporary adult romance (I guess? I don’t know genres), along the lines of what we were calling chick lit a few years ago but with a twist: it’s told from both points of view. As with Removed and Released, I read an early version of the manuscript. I know a few major changes have been made and I can’t wait to read the final book! I feel pretty certain it will be just as sexy as the version I read. ;)

Face Time

Look, I’ll be honest. I don’t really like people on my book covers. But this one is so clever–it conveys exactly what the book is about, and the man ‘playing’ Lee is so cute! And I’m crazy about the skyline graphic at the top.

Want to know more? How about the book’s official blurb?

After the best first date ever, Lee thought Laura was funny, intelligent, and impulsive; a whirlwind of bright laughter and happiness. Laura loved Lee’s sweet smile and the way he expertly filled in every awkward pause. He held her hand and then pulled her in for the most perfect kiss she’s had in years. What could possibly be wrong? Just the 7000 miles that separates them the next day.

Even though Lee has gone home to Seoul, Laura can’t stop thinking about him. What starts as an innocent text thanking him for their dinner date becomes something much more: someone either of them can’t live without. But Laura’s got a live-in mother going through a midlife crisis, and Lee’s stressful traveling schedule means they’ll be apart for some time. Life, family, and a complicated past also get in the way, and they’re both going to need actual face time to figure it out.

Told from both Lee and Laura’s point of view, FACE TIME is a funny, romantic, modern-day story about two people who connect across the world.

You can find Face Time (Love in the Digital Age #1) on Goodreads.

And I bet you’d like a give-away. Enter below to win:
- 10$ amazon gift card
- e-copies of both Removed (Nogiku #1) and Released (Nogiku #2) –mobi or epub file
- e-ARC of Face Time (available March 2014) – mobi or epub file

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Olympic Pride

Human rights, and especially the rights of LGBTQ people, are very important to me. To say I am horrified that the Olympics are happening in Sochi, where the Russian government treats being gay as a criminal act (and don’t bother telling me it’s decriminalized, their actions speak much louder than their laws), makes me sick. I love the Olympics. Sure, I’m more of a summer games girl (GYMNASTICS!!!!!) but the winter games are pretty great too (ICE SKATING!!!)

I can’t boycott the games. I couldn’t watch them if I wanted to, so I have no leverage. I can try to boycott sponsors, but I don’t think that would be super-effective.

Lucky for me, my fellow knitwear designer Bristol Ivy hatched a lovely plan: during the games, I and several other independent designers will be donating a portion of pattern sales to a variety of organizations working for gay rights. Bristol has a complete (evolving) list here.

All of my self-published patterns are eligible. I considered offering a discount, but decided against it. Instead, I will give 75% of the full price to Lambda Legal during opening ceremonies (for simplicity’s sake, all day Thursday Friday PST) and 50% of the full price for the duration of the games. All fees (Paypal, Ravelry, etc) will come out of the remaining percentage, so if you buy a $6 pattern a full $3 (or $4.50 opening day) will go to Lambda Legal. You don’t need to use a coupon code or anything; I will count every sale.