Saturday, April 30, 2011

sneak peak

textile artist and clothing designer debby weiss has a new series of drawings, and i am in love. the pattern combinations, colors, and textures are captivating, pulling the viewer deep into narratives woven out of the rich history of different fabrics. everything is brought together by the layer of meticulously stitched lines. simply stunning!  the top image shows a detail of a macrame edge on one of the pieces (debby also makes the most incredible macrame jewelry). adam is currently working on making frames for a few of debby's drawings, and i am very excited to see them presented in that way. i like the clothes line presentation, but  the formality of the frame will encourage the viewer to see these pieces more as drawings. i can imagine these framed works living in many different environments and spaces. kotoa will keep you all posted with future showings of debby's work, it is not to be missed.  

deconstructed sushi dinner

deconstructed sushi, a recent favorite for dinner, came into the rotation because seaweed is one of suki's favorite foods, and sushi rolls are more difficult for her to eat. tonight, adam summed it up when he said this dinner is easy and fast to make, cheap, delicious, makes you feel good and it feels special. it is easy to maintain variety by changing the components. this version was with seaweed, sushi rice, avocado, tempura zucchini, and the spicy tempeh from veganomicon.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

happy green bee

we love the happy green bee clothes that debby gave suki. happy green bee makes soft organic knit clothing for children. if you are on a budget, check out the clearance store. most of the items are under $10! we recommend the super cute petal dresses.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

mother's day photo gifts

i recently discovered pinhole press, a website that makes beautiful photo gifts such as books, notepads, calendars, and framed photos. all of the products are very nice looking and high quality. i love having photo books but they take so much time to make. i started one for suki of her first year of life and was intending to finish by her first birthday, now five months later, it is still unfinished. the pinhole press books are fast to create and they look great! a perfect gift for a busy mother. it would be nice combined with a photo shoot by a professional photographer. if you are in the grand rapids area, i recommend colin wade. he has taken many beautiful pictures of suki including the photo above. 

spring day

we had fun outside today, drawing with sidewalk chalk and going for a walk.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

clock bracelet

suki recently has become fascinated with both bracelets and clocks.  it is incredible how she can spot clocks in books and when we are out places. we only have two clocks in our house and they are both digital so i am not sure she even realizes they are clocks. the interest in bracelets started with a stacking toy her great grandfather gave her, she started wearing the rings around the house like bracelets. i soon realized the perfect gift for her would be a watch (we call it her clock bracelet). i made her this out of fabric but was inspired by this porcelain watch. i made the closure with snaps, it is adjustable with four sizes.


for easter, suki received a watercolor set and some paint brushes. she has been having a blast with them.  this was one of her first paintings.

Monday, April 25, 2011

mother's day special

braided spiral pouches, braided spiral pins, my lady dolls and paula pockets all ship for free through may 4th. visit specks and keepings shop for more mother's day gift ideas.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

HRS gods eye mobile

suki's godmother, hillery, made her this BEAUTIFUL gods eye mobile for her first birthday. we have had it temporarily hanging on the curtain rod because we did not have the proper hook. we finally bought a ceiling hook for it, and it instantly brought the room together. it hangs over the chair i rock suki to sleep in. she loves looking up and admiring its splendor. 

Friday, April 22, 2011


i want to start making more of our home cleaning products. i have done this in the past, but they did not smell as nice as the products i usually use, so it did not last long. i like it when the house smells fresh and clean after i do chores, not like chemicals cleaners, but like flowers and herbs, so i usually use mrs. meyer's products. after suki was born i switched our laundry soap to charlie's unscented which works really well. the cleaning products we use are not necessarily bad for health or the environment but i feel bad about all of the plastic packaging. the charlie's soap is not available locally, so it needs to travel a long way before it gets to us, and ends up being a bit pricey after the shipping cost. my friend geoff loaned me a book on affordable and sustainable homemaking, it's called make your place by raleigh briggs. the laundry soap and fabric softener pouch were the first recipes i tried. they seem to work just as well as charlie's and they smell great, i made lavender calendula. i put together this little sample laundry kit for one lucky winner. i will also include the recipe so if you like it you can make more. 

1. become a follower of this blog
2. if you are already a follower leave a comment on something you do to reduce, reuse, or recycle. 

enter before april 25th 9am

Thursday, April 21, 2011


we let suki watch tv (on the computer) a couple of times a week. she usually watches a few sesame street music videos on youtube or 10 minutes of ponyo on netflix instant (this is nice because it remembers where we left off, so we just continue the story on our next viewing). her dad or i always watch with her and sing along or comment on what is happening in the story. it feels less passive that way. for some reason, i go back and forth trying to decide if this is a healthy activity for her. selfishly, it is nice to have a little ten minute relax time with her. on the other hand, the look on her face is so blank. it feels like the computer screen has put a spell on her. how do you feel about children watching television? can they learn from what they watch? is it destructive? how much is too much? i want to research this more, but i would love your opinions on this topic if you have any.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ANSCHTECKA by annika bloomberg

i often think about how artists can be wasteful and hurtful to the environment. i find annika bloomberg's work to be very ethical and inspirational. she gives a new life and purpose to otherwise wasted materials; the pins above are braided with scrap thread, and the backpacks are made with salvaged fabrics and umbrellas. objects that come from the would be trash are now beautiful creations with a rich history. more ANSCHTECKA is for sale at SPECKS & KEEPINGS, also check out what else annika has been making via her blog repurpose.

perfect gift

i like hillery's etching with the market and fruit picking pack. they would make a great gift pairing.


i think i have a small obsession with bags. this is a collection of my current favorites. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

new passover tradition

last night we made a new recipe for passover: chocolate toffee matzo. it is simple to make and it's one of the best sweet things i have tasted. we decided that this recipe will become annual tradition. it is just too good to make more than that, but it will be something we can look forward to as passover arrives. check out the recipe; we topped ours with chopped pistachios and sea salt. 

finally finished...

this embroidery for suki's kitchen. adam made the frame. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

japanese orange peeling bird

a few years ago debby gave us this little bird orange peeler. i think she found him at the 98¢ store in los angeles, where she lives. i just found it online for those of you who have been wanting one of your own. this is such a useful tool for the rebe lunch sac. it makes orange peeling a lot more fun and a lot less sticky. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

birthday weekend

happy birthday to LAURA and GRETA! 
last night, i had a fun and relaxing evening at juan and laura's apartment. we played uno, listened to beach house albums and drank lambic framboise and crispin hard cider.

today, suki and i had the honor of helping greta celebrate her first birthday! she was adorable eating her personal cake and making a mess. she got so many fun presents, and suki had fun time playing with her. look at the cool wooden teether shaped like michigan's lower peninsula! 


make meal time more fun with these little treasures! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

best breakfast

fruit cereal! any combination of at least one dried, one frozen and one fresh fruit with soy milk, chopped nuts and coconut flakes. yum! my favorite combination is dried figs, fresh kiwi, and banana, frozen blueberries and raspberries.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

equadorian dresses

suki's uncles recently went on vacation to the galapagos islands. they always find the most beautiful little things for her on their travels; both of these hand sewn and embroidered dresses were gifts from them. suki and i have been enjoying looking at the pictures from their trip. she especially loves the giant tortoises. she asks them to come out of the computer. she spotted this toy tortoise at the store, and after seeing the look on her face i could not resist buying it for her.

i love the seal patch on this one. what a lucky little girl to have such thoughtful and loving uncles!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

fun day in a new dress

i just finished the last of the puppet show dresses i plan to make for suki. this is my favorite of the three that i have made. the fabric is covered with sweet little drawings. it's a japanese import i found on fabric worm

i think suki likes the dress. she actually kissed it when i gave it to her, and she had fun wearing it. 

our friend tracy rose ordered these fun wall stickers for suki. they can be arranged in many different ways since they are re-stickable, and if they get dirty you can even wash them! they are made of fabric and eco friendly inks in australia by the company mae. so fun and so pretty. thank you tracy!

while sorting through things to get ready for our neighborhood yard sale, adam found some fun toys for suki- all things that he played with when he was young. this guy seems to be her favorite. he is called the hoth monster and is from star wars. he seems pretty fierce from the description but suki is in love.

first ice cream

suki tried ice cream for the first time and loved it! we made raw chocolate soft serve, with banana, cocoa, salt, vanilla extract and almond milk. the detailed recipe is on the blog raw on $10 a day (or less). this was a fun way for her to practice eating with a spoon, since it is too difficult to eat with her hands and too good not to keep eating. what a treat!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

summer in spring

it was eighty degrees here today! a fun day to play outdoors, but i am not quite ready for it to last. the warmer weather has inspired me to get work done in my studio. i am currently making some warm weather clothes for suki, i will share photos soon.


today we celebrated our friend matt's birthday with a spectacular vegan brunch- fajitas, coffee, and tres leches cake.

suki and the beedle were glad to be playing together.

from the first moment that we laid eyes on Viva Vegan, we knew that the coconut tres leches cake would be the perfect dessert for matt. in fact, it is the perfect dessert, period. beyond all expectations!
happy day, matt.

Monday, April 4, 2011

WINNER!! for the cats giveaway

congratulations!! i am planning a monthly giveaway with some very fun items, so check back often. i hope you and your cats have a happy week. thanks for playing.

specks & keepings store

 the specks and keepings store is up and ready for shopping!
 hillery has such a natural way of collecting and displaying objects; everything belongs together. the shop features clothing, artwork and items for the home made by seven artists from california, maryland, michigan, and oregon. i might be a little partial but this is the most beautiful online store i have seen, and i have quite the habit of online window shopping. the photographs were taken by matthew yake, everything is perfectly placed and captured so well. please spend some time with these images and the lovely description of each item.