Tuesday, December 8, 2009

this and that

maybe it's time for a new post?
whatd'ya say?

There has been so much going on around here these days. Let's see since my last post - 1 dog was bit by a black widow and survived. 1 dog tore open his side, had 3 surgeries and survived. 1 momma participated in a different craft show almost every single weekend and survived. 1 baby has gotten 4 molars and survived (not to mention grown unbelievably cute and smart). 1 daddy worked his tail off and helped momma with all her craft fairs and survived.

Thanksgiving was perfect.
My craft fair, Handmade Saturday was great.
My birthday (hello 29) was beyond perfect.

Just this week:
Now there is tons of snow on the ground - sigh - I love it when it snows.

Our pipes are frozen and have been for the past 2 days. I actually melted snow on the stove today to wash the dishes...

I can't even count how many silhouette orders I have this season. It's above and beyond a ton. Daddy's taking next week off from work and I think we'll have to teach Ray how to ship necklaces.

What can I say, life is good.


Friday, August 28, 2009

the fruits of my labors


one of those days

salty : sweet


Sunday, August 16, 2009

hurry for sale : 10 cents

I am [still] reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I try to sneak a little bit of it in whenever I can. I just read this really fantastic part that I thought I'd share with you:

"... whenever the religion of time-saving pushes me to zip through a meal or a chore, rushing everybody out the door to the next point on a schedule. All that hurry can blur the truth that life is a zero-sum equation. Every minute I save will get used on something else, possibly no more sublime than staring at the newel post trying to remember what I just ran upstairs for. On the other hand, attending to the task in front of me - even a quotidian chore - might make it into a part of a good day, rather than just a rock in the road to someplace else."

I think I'll put my hurry up for sale. Any takers?


Thursday, August 13, 2009

table for one

This may seem ridiculous but would it be too much to have a small library in my bathroom?

This seems to be the only place where I get to read anymore. Besides in bed at night but that puts me to sleep in 2 seconds flat and I never remember what I just read.

My grandparents have a large bathroom in their basement, in which there is a huge floor to ceiling bookcase filled with old books. I don't know if that was always the shelves' purpose but I love it. I always try to visit this bathroom at least once while I'm there. I currently have out on loan an old Alfred Hitchcock thriller, which someday I will finish.

Anyway, I find that on some days the bathroom is my sanctuary. I can take a long hot shower and shave both my legs or I can sit and read, I've even been known to bring my laptop and just zone out on the web for a little while (don't laugh, you know you do it too) and all this without the pitter patter of little feet. Of course that's only when Daddy's home, otherwise I have to leave the door open. 

Did I mention that Ray learned how to take the caps off of pens last week? That was a fun bathroom visit. I had squiggles and lines all up and down my thighs...

Well, whether it is a porcelain throne or a soft downy armchair I believe each of us deserves our own space from time to time.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

same tune, different song

We're on a new nap routine lately. It's called the "damned-if-I-will-ever-sleep-again" plan. I'm not sure where Ray picked it up but he sure learned it quickly. The poor guy is dog tired and he would rather do anything instead of sleep.
This is all curious because for 2 glorious days I actually had him taking 2 naps a day. Yes, 2 naps. One in the morning and one in the evening. It was lovely. Not because of the free time it gave me but because when he was awake he was outrageously wonderful and cute. Happy and bubbly, not a frown in sight.

Today, not so much.

Here's a new little ditty momma made up while trying to put him down for his morning nap:

little monkeys need to rest
so that they can play their best.
little monkeys need to sleep
not to scream and shout and weep.
little monkeys need to nap
so that mommy doesn't snap.

(repeat, like a mantra, over and over and over and over...)


and we're walking...

and we're walking..., originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Five little wobbly steps.
Three uncertain shuffles as soon as Dad left the room and two much braver strides when he returned.
Congrats my little man.


Affluenza. Or why Whitney is slowly turning into an old man.

We are remodeling our kitchen.
Which means it is the perfect time to buy a new 8 foot long antique cabinet for the studio.
Which means it's a great opportunity to finally organize and clean the studio, until it is just so.
Which, of course, means that it is a great time to rearrange my son's room.
Which means my house and my life have fallen into complete disarray.
Of course.

I am on the other side of the tunnel today.
Kitchen: built pantry, sold island, rearranged furniture, purged until all remaining items will fit in a reasonable amount of cabinet space. Chugging forward. Slowly but surely.
Ray's room was a quick fix, move the dresser, pivot the crib et voila! 10x more play room.
My studio. Ouf. That's not really a word but that is the sound I make when I think about the fact that I am still not done cleaning and sorting and purging and organizing. Almost, but not quite.

So far I have purged one complete car load of stuff. About 3 large trash bags full of trash and 4 bags full of recycling. Among all of this debris, all of this clutter, I have come to the realization that I am a hoarder. A pack rat. I'm the old man with 27 baby food jars full of random screws and nails.
This troubles me more than anything else in this world. I never really stopped to think about all the extra weight I keep piling onto my mind and my body by never saying no when I am offered a box of old things. By never thinking do I really need this now?

No, my philosophy has always been, "oh, but I might need that 6" x 8.35" piece of black plastic someday" and "you never know, this vintage plug/phone line adapter, that might come in handy..." I have extras of my extras and backups for my backups. Enough is enough.

But wait here's the kicker: I spend even more time worrying about selling all of the no-longer-needed-things than all of this put together! Naturally, I blame eBay and her hippy brother Craigslist. I can see the inherent value in any given thing. It might only be a penny but I know it has value. Where I seem to go wrong is in making it my problem that this item and it's respective value get put into the right hands.

So here are a few things I have learned in this past week or two. Maybe you can glean a little wisdom from them, maybe they'll just make you laugh. Either one is fine with me:

1. Do not go shopping with someone that you feel even the teeniest bit of competition towards. Trust me you will come home with bags and bags of crap you do not need. And honestly it'll all be stuff that just makes you feel bad because you bought it with the wrong intentions.

2. Do not work at a store you would shop at. I've now made this mistake twice and I have all the rubber stamps to prove it.

3. Instead of asking yourself "hey, in this vast expanse of a world, is there a possible use for this item?" ask, "hey do I have a use for this item, right now in my life?"

4. Instead of thinking to yourself "ooh, but I could sell that." Think, "NO NO NO. I will not buy another useless item because someone else might want to buy it from me." (This one's personal. Your main source of income might very well be selling things on eBay and that's great, I used to do that too.)

5. There's an old saying that has come back into fashion these days and I don't think it's half bad. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

My new mantra.

6. And last but not least. Even if you spend your money on a kajillion used items and thrift store finds versus one brand-new shirt. $50 is $50 (right dad?)

I think the really deep meaning I've come to find in all of this is that for me personally, when life is in the pits and things are uncertain I used to feel reassured and calmed by my things. When life is grand and only getting better, I don't really need all that junk anymore.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

on the menu

::Thursday was the Crazy Ivan salad with Citrusy Black Bean Soup.

Lettuce - fresh from the garden
Onions - from the garden
Roasted Baby Beets - Wolf Moon Farm via the Food Co-op
Goat cheese - Haystack Mountain
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) - bulk co-op
Molasses-Balsamic vinagrette - recipe here

Soup - StaceyP, the magician behind the underground soup co-op

::Friday was Steak Salad with Gorgonzola and New Potatoes and Green Beans.

Lettuce - le jardin chez nous
Elk Steak - hunting last season
New Potatoes - grocery store
Gorgonzola - grocery store
Green Beans - Jess' Garden

::And today...

Buttermilk Pancakes with Momma's Apricot Jam (which the dogs stole off the counter - Rats!)
Egg salad sandwiches and left over potatoes.

::Other sweet treats tested lately:

Honey Nutters - SO GOOD. Best airplane food ever.
Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting - best recipe for cupcakes yet.
Punitions - French punishment cookies

Tomorrow Cherry Clafoutis, as soon as I can find my pitter...


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

new post.

We went on vacation.
The first vacation we have been on since our honeymoon 2 years ago (happy anniversary love). And it really wasn't so much of a vacation, it was a long weekend away from the house with everyone in Luke's family. 

This was a pretty low budget, quick little vacation and it's funny but we really did have a great time just being with each other. We hiked and explored and played in the water. It was really fun. I can't think of two other people I would have rather been with.

You can see all of the other vacation photos over there -> on flickr.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bon Anniversaire!

a very special happy birthday to my momma.
we love you.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

note to self

Hi self, I'm going to repeat this in case you didn't hear me the first time:

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. -Helen Keller

Small but grand accomplishments lately:

*new faux bois pants for Ray
I embroidered the left leg with a heart with an arrow through it and an R in the middle.

*I made Ray another pair of pants - in red, white and blue stripes - just call me patriotic.

*I made a new small zippered bag today, with my new oilcloth.

*I moved my zucchini from the front flower bed to underneath the corn (supposed to be good at deterring the buggers that like to crawl up the corn).

*I staked my tomatoes and gave my beans some new strings to climb up.

*I planted my new Ichiban Eggplant and my last pepper.

*I moved my lemon basil, which seems to be doing better these days.

*I planted my beets, swiss chard, spinach and some more radishes along the side of the house.

*I sold the display cabinet that used to sit where our new PANTRY is being built.

*I made the yummiest tuna salad for dinner (I added 1/2 a cucumber and a bunch of green beans) with fresh berries for dessert.

And my to-do list continues...



Jimmy Buffet

More new photos on Flickr.

Friday, July 3, 2009

what's in a name?

Sometimes I have these small, mini-life-crises; wherein which I struggle to define myself with a title.

Mother, Wife, Daughter. 
Artist, Crafter, Creator. 
Artisan, Chef and Gardner.
Friend, Companion, Tourist.

I suppose these titles are all worthy and plenty. They don't fit on a resume; but I don't even have a resume. Besides a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Daily Log ~ Dlog?

Ray bear is still getting up in the wee hours of the morn. Usually around 3am but lately it's been twice a night. I could go for a full night's rest. But it's getting hot here and I never sleep very well when it's so hot. Yes, we have AC but it's still not the same.

I worked out in the garden all morning. Put the cucumbers out. Planted the sweet corn. Pulled weeds and thought about where to plant all the rest of my new flowers. I discovered that I have purslane growing in my garden beds, a pretty common "weed" I understand, but also edible and delicious! Chock full of vitamins, minerals and more omega 3 than any other leafy vegetable.
This had me thinking, hmm.. what else can I eat out here. So we went to the Library and I got a couple of books on foraging and eating "wild" foods. Yum! Yum!

That was about it for today. Ray bear is seriously considering walking and I need to seriously baby-proof! I'll tackle that tomorrow.

We've been going on bike rides early in the mornings before it gets too hot. My new bike trailer is awesome! And I really like being active.

I re-stacked the wood pile yesterday and Fat ol' Charlie bear, a.k.a. the-escape-artist is still finding a way out. I think I'm onto him though and I should be able to block his route.

Busted out the crochet hook today. I'm going to make a new net-like tote bag. I'll post some pics. New things in two of my etsy shops. My debut as a fashion model :)

More dlog tomorrow. I figure if I can't think of something deep and insightful to say I should at least write about what's filling my days.


Friday, June 19, 2009


A new addition to the family. I'm thinking his name should be Ernie, because it sounds like the word Ear and his ears are my favorite part of him. I made him from a vintage pattern I found at a thrift store. He's a mix of old and new fabric. I added the tie. I think it makes him look dapper and distinguished. He still needs a pair of shorts. They're on my cutting table right now, along with a matching pair for Ray.


one step

First steps today thanks to this fantastic new gift from Ray's auntie Jennifer.



The power went out the other night and besides giving us all the perfect excuse to go to bed early, I was able to catch a couple candle-lit shots of the little man. 


Thursday, June 18, 2009

oh, go take a hike!

And so we did.

ray with buddy parker

race you to the top.

too cute. just too darn cute.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

luscious chaos

Great story up at story people today:

"I'm beginning to think peace is something we made up to keep us from being satisfied with all this luscious chaos"


Monday, June 15, 2009


Sometimes I feel like I love you so much that I just want to fold you up and carry you around in my pocket.


Monday, June 8, 2009

helping hand

Sometimes I just wish someone would tell me "hey, I think you are doing the right thing." It doesn't matter what the thing is, I think a little reassurance goes a long way.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

daily quote

"If you can organize your kitchen, you can organize your life." -Louis Parrish

I am so screwed.


Friday, May 29, 2009

happy birthday my boy

Birthday no. 1

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver

"Alice laughed: 'There's no use trying,' she said; 'One can't believe impossible things.' 'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.' 
-Alice in Wonderland.

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn't, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." 
-Shel Silverstein

"You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything." -Winnie the Pooh

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." -Dr. Seuss

"The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful." 
-E.E. Cummings

Happy birthday my sunshine Y


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

These things I've learned


(I like to start my posts this way because it makes me feel like I haven't been away, like I'm just starting a great story mid-sentence...)

So anyway, It's been a um. hectic past month. 
I don't even really know where to start. I guess I'll begin with what's bugging me most. 
I trusted someone and I let them into my personal life and they turned out to be a bad friend. I don't know how I missed this one. I don't know why I didn't see the flashing lights. I know it's dead and over with but I'm having a hard time fully letting it go. I find myself driving down the street replaying our last conversation in my head and feeling my blood pressure rise until I am all riled up and ready to fight... My husband thinks that like any relationship it will just take some time to get over but I still feel very angry about the whole situation, which isn't like me at all. Maybe that's what pisses me off the most, the negative-ness of it all. I think I need to forgive her. I'm sure this would all go away and I would feel better if I could just forgive her. But it's hard...

note to self: work on forgiving her.

Other than that I went to France for 2 weeks with Ray to see my mom and dad and it was incredible. I had a small craft fair on May 1st and a big craft fair on May 2nd. Both went well. My necklaces were in the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens (eek) and my computer almost crashed when I got bombarded with orders for silhouettes for Mother's day.  I averaged about 4 hours of sleep every night the week before Mother's day and the orders are still coming in. I had another craft fair on May 16th which also went well. We finished building and planting the garden beds and we installed a drip system. All that's left is the mulch and the sod and the tree. 

Ray will be turning one on Friday. 


And motherhood's still the best gig I have.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I was here

Do you ever find yourself stopping for just a split second and thinking "What the hell am I doing?" (I'm personally talking creative-wise. Not life or love-wise.) I was browsing through Etsy, looking at handmade dresses when it happened to me. I don't know why I sew. I really can't put my finger on it. I just wake up everyday and feel like I need to make something and right now sewing is my outlet.

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I make things. I feel like there is a strong DIY current that runs under all of the kids my age, which I am very thankful for, but where do you draw the line? For that matter, is there even a line? I'm talking about the difference between craft and crap. I am thankful for every person who makes things but lately I've been questioning the value of making things for a buck versus making things because one must. 

I came to the conclusion that the reason I make things and the reason I support handmakers is all about choice. When I look at something that is beautiful I notice all of the choices that the artist made while creating that piece. Because really that's what art is all about, our choices. A decision to put red next to blue. 

I make things because I have to. I can't be who I am without it. And I hope that someday, someone will look at something I've made and not only recognize my choices but love them as much as I do. So I guess whether it's sewing clothes or making jewelry. Building terrariums or assembling collages. It doesn't really matter. The point is that I am leaving my mark on this world and as small as it might be it's mine. 

All mine.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

eastern mountain ray zone

Time is such an odd thing. At one point in my life I remember actually wishing summer would hurry up and end so that I could go back to school and see my friends everyday. And now I can feel the days slipping by. Ray has 2 teeth coming in and a third daring to cut through. He really made me laugh on this one. Back at months 4 and 5 I remember all the other yoga mom's babes were getting there first teeth and so every cantankerous outburst of Ray's became the latest sign of teething. Months of me sticking my finger in his mouth trying to feel the first signs of those two bottom teeth. Lo and behold my boy decided to do things his own way and he went for the right front tooth first. Personally, I've always loved that tooth, I think it was an excellent choice. Well, not to be outdone the bottom left decided to make an appearance next. And now, it's the left front that's floating dangerously close to the surface. Here I was waiting for him to get his teeth just like every other babe when I should have remembered that he doesn't do anything 'just like every other babe'. And I really like it that way.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

a stitch in time

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had the time to stop and write, much less think about what to write. I stitched my way into a frenzy last week and it all culminated with the Fashion Denver spring show on Saturday. In the end I did well but I didn't do as well as I wanted. The amount of work I put in to all of the clothing I made wasn't really proportionate to the amount of green bills I got in return. Oh well, some days are like that. My dad had a good bit of advice, he said that even though I may not have seen the return I wanted right now, I could very well have set things in motion for an even larger return later. Ah dads, they sure are good at making you feel better about yourself.

Here's a couple photos of our booth and some of my clothes:

from right to left (ish)
funny leg warmers, my friend Jess's beautiful hand-knit scarves, my favorite green dress (sold), my beautiful brown dress, my grey military-esque skirt, my brown knit dress, my floral dress, my lace shrug...)

booth shot. One of our mascot deer. Susan's awesome outfit in the back.

wide booth shot. My dress on the left, also looks smashing worn as a skirt.

All in all it was a good time. I'm still a little worn out from our sewing marathon but I have a bunch of new ideas brewing for spring! No rest for the creatives.

Isn't that the truth?!


Friday, March 13, 2009

anything but this.

I was on facebook checking the Handmade Militia group status when I saw it. 

"FCHS 1999 reunion"

There it was in all it's sans-serif glory. Staring right back at me. Taunting me. Judging me.
10 years?

There was a tightening in my chest, my breath becoming shallow.
Oh God.
I started scrolling through the members...
yep. yep. I knew you. mm hmm, you too. 
Then an overwhelming feeling came over me...


I vacillate.
I didn't actually graduate from FCHS in 1999 because my family moved to France and I graduated high school over there. So I don't know if I am technically invited which when I think about that I feel slightly relieved and then on the other hand I feel a teeny-tiny bit upset that I wouldn't be invited but if I was invited I wouldn't go, but because I may not be invited I have the smallest inclination to attend. 

oh high school, you with your vainglorious grip on my heart.

what's a girl to do?

(don't go)


(don't go)



I stand by the saying that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

I had an early meeting in town this morning and afterwards I popped into a nearby coffee shop because they sell these delicious concoctions called breggos. I haven't been able to find them anywhere else in town and this particular coffee shop keeps very odd hours so you can imagine how delighted I was to 1) see them open and 2) think about a delicious, warm breakfast. Well I walked up to the counter and asked if they had any Breggos and the guy working went off about how they were a terrible company and he will never do business with them again. He actually said "Now I never badmouth other businesses..." and then went on and on about how awful they were. He tried to sell me a breakfast burrito ("made with olive oil and fresh eggs") But I had to politely tell him that I really was in the mood for a Breggo. I left feeling disappointed that they didn't have any breggos but his bad attitude left me feeling more awkward than disappointed. Now if he would have just said "oh, sorry we don't carry those anymore" I would have left feeling just slightly disappointed. It's funny the difference a few mean words can make on someone not even related to the situation.

note to self: people don't like to hear about bad situations or negative emotions.

especially me.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

I have friends

yep. I have made new friends. Lots of them actually, and I have to say that life is pretty sweet with friends. I've been spending a lot of time with one in particular of my new friends, she is actually my new partner, helping me run the Handmade Militia. We have a lot in common and we both like to make stuff, which is great. I forgot how nice it was to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Don't get me wrong, my husband is great at listening to me and helping me make decisions but sometimes you just want some one to take one look at you and say "um, no". Then there are no hurt feelings, you do a double take and think to yourself "you know, she's right". So anyway, hug a friend for me today and thank the stars for getting to share your life with cool people who understand you.



I'm thrifty.
I like to buy things at the cheapest price (while not sacrificing quality) that I can possibly find them. There's some part of predator/prey drive in me that gets excited when I find something at a rock bottom price. "ha ha, you remote-digital-thermometer-with-alarm; I know you think you are worth $25.95 but I am only going to pay $8.88 for you!"

I'm part of this online group/site called freecycle. Do you know about freecycle? It's like craigslist only everything is free. Let me tell you there is a lot of junk out there in the world and even more frightening, there is someone out there who actually wants your junk. 

"Half eaten box of cereal. wasn't that good. nothing wrong with it". 
I mean really? 

Personally, I've always been a fan of reading people's screen names. There's JM2009, mom2five and countryBarb. Harmless, semi-normal. But then there's skinayoteef and dumpsterdiva. Um... The worst one I have ever seen has to be ilikecrack. I don't care what they're giving away, I'm not interested.

Anyway, right now I'm in line for a vintage sewing machine and I'm on the look out for a bike trailer for carting the little one around town this summer. You should have a look, at the least you'll probably read something that will make you chuckle.

"Stroller duel, seats two, like new." 

I'm so there. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

our gretta girl

Gone to that great game of fetch in the sky.
We miss you.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

one foot after the other

Sometimes I still feel like my body is not my own. Not so much that I'm not in my body but I just don't recognize it all the time. 
My feet seem to have aged. I always felt like I had delicate, little girl feet and now when I look down they are still small but they seem older. More stable maybe. The toes spread out a little further, the arches sit a little flatter. They're good feet and I've always been thankful for that. 

Sometimes I still can't believe I gave birth to a baby. And that that baby is now 8 months old. I'm a momma. 
I have a kid. 
I think I need a beer.

I love being a mom, I feel very lucky getting to work at home and be with Ray all the time. Lately he's been very content to just have me near him while he plays. I lay on the floor next to him and he plays with his books and his poker chips. We read about T'choupi and how he doesn't want to go to bed. He has the coolest, big wooden fire truck with a real ladder and a hose and everything. He loves to take the top off of the cab part and then the ladder off of the back. Then he sits there and puts stuff in the truck bed, then takes it back out. When he's not looking I sneak the top back onto the cab part of the truck and he gets this funny little puckered up face when he sees it sitting there. So then he carefully takes it back off again. It's our little game. Eventually he gives up and rolls the entire truck over and starts chewing on the tires.

I live for these moments. Watching him explore and examine. I'm amazed by his attention to detail. He can sit with the most ordinary of objects and look them like they are the most fascinating things he's ever seen. The other morning he kept reaching for the tag hanging from my tea bag, so I pulled it off and gave it to him. He carried that little green tag around with him all day. He'd sit there and look at it and then flip it over with those clumsy little fingers of his and look at it some more. Then he'd drop it and forget about it only to find it again later and be mesmerized by it all over again. 

I always knew the good stuff was in the small stuff.


Saturday, February 14, 2009


"Love is love.
All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
Everything is, everything exists, only because I love."
-Leo Tolstoy 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

pretty bones

One of my favorite memories growing up has to be helping my mom organize her closet. She would ask me to come sit with her and tell her which clothes I liked and which ones were 'like, so last season'. I'd sit there, on the floor in her closet, and I remember she could tell just by the look on my face whether something was worth keeping or not. After we'd gone through each piece of clothing we'd go back and mix and match them all together, coming up with enough outfits for the next month. My favorite part was (and still is) how her closet smelled. My mom has the most wonderful smelling perfumes and lotions and her closet smelled just like them with a nickel sized dollop of her shampoo thrown in. 

I wish I had somebody to help me do that. Do you ever feel like you are trying to wear someone else's clothes? Do you know what I mean? Like your clothes are really meant for the person you wish you were, or simply even the person you used to be. 
I realize I have no idea what looks good on me. I have no idea what's in style this season. I can look through the pages of anthropologie or toast (the british version of anthro) and it all looks great, but when I actually go to the store and try something on it always disappoints. I'm trying something new in my closet, I can't remember where I read about it, but you turn all of your hangers backwards (I guess that assumes that all of your hangers were facing the same way to start with.. but I digress) Then when you wear one of the pieces of clothing you flip the hanger back around. That way you can actually see what you wear and what you just think you wear. It's actually pretty cool. I started it at new years. I know, I'm pretty dorky like that.

Anyway. Here's my theory on the store Anthropologie:
(side note: I think it used to be way better before Gap bought it.)
Once upon a time, this past Christmas season, I finally made it to the new Anthropologie store in a nearby town and I was so excited because it had been years since I had physically stepped foot in the store. At first glance everything was wonderful. There were sweaters with hand stitched details and skirts with appliques.  I saw pants that screamed "You will have a cute butt in me" and there was a general sense of happy embellishment about the place. 
Then I saw the tees and the tees grounded me. They ripped me right off my happy felted, chainstich embroidered cloud.
I did a double take. "They're how much?" Plain old t-shirts that must be expensive just because they have a nice tag in them. The prices were starting to haunt me...
"Look smaller, look smaller" I told myself, "Surely you'll find something you can afford".
There were tiny stuffed ornaments to the left and glittery garlands to the right.
Then, in one artificially lit moment it dawned on me that none of this stuff was truly handmade. Ok, sure it was handmade by someone sitting in a factory, but that person was chucking out hundreds of these things every day. Where's the originality? Where's the love?
And that's when the store suddenly became very depressing. I wouldn't be buying something special, I'd be buying some thing
I ventured back to the sale room (crazy, I know) and once safely tucked inside I heard the words that drove the final nail into my new wardrobe coffin. "I know, I really like it too, do you really think I should get it?" 'It' being a sweater. "You know I already have this one in blue and yellow..."

Aaaaaahhhhh! I left as quickly as I had come in. 

And so, on that fateful day, my love affair with the slightly askew yet still perfectly staged, vintage-esque store had come to an end. I'll be honest, I still flirt with the catalog from time to time but I don't think we'll ever meet in person again.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

body language

I have a bruise on my leg in the shape of a heart.
I think it's my thighs' way of telling me they love me.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

no, seriously

I have become a control freak.
A serious, grouchy, control freak.

I have a very big 'bad mood hangover' this morning. So bad, that I'm feeling guilty about how crabby I was with my husband last night. In retrospect he was doing everything he could think of to make me happy and I just wasn't having any of it.

I don't know what my problem is. I'm really not a very serious person but lately I find myself taking life and everything in my day-to-day existence as if it were a life or death decision.

I'm also finding myself getting upset when something [or someone] disrupts my seriousness. "How can you not take this seriously? There is a pile for the mail right here. It does not go over there!"

Ugh. what a bore.

I really need to lighten up.

I remember last summer when I heard Rahima Baldwin Dancy speak at our local sustainability fair, she is the author of the book "You Are Your Child's First Teacher" (a book I own and have still not read), she said that being a mother [and a wife] takes a lot out of you and you need to stop and take time to refill the well. She said that a happy mom is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. She went on to talk about how there is a specific type of energy that children zap from us and some of the best ways to replenish it are to do something creative or spend time in nature. 

I think my well has run dry.

I keep making things and doing things in the name of being creative and giving myself some time, but I've been looking at all of those things as entries on my to-do list. Things that need to be completed and the sooner the better. I need to do something for the sake of, for the love of, for the art of doing it, not for the final product.

For me, that is so much easier said than done.

I never thought I'd type these words, but I think the stress over this crappy economy is sneaking in. It's making our tempers shorter and probably contributes to my overall seriousness. I guess I feel like I'm wasting my time if I'm not making something I can sell or doing something that will make me some money.

Jeez, I might as well work a desk job.

I have the greatest life. I get to hang out with my son everyday and watch him grow and learn, minute by minute. And meanwhile, I get to make things that people actually like and want to give me money for. If that's not enough I have the choice to spend my day doing whatever it is that I please. 

I guess things aren't so bad when you look at it that way.

I'll end on a lighter note.
A classic, that gets me every time


Monday, February 2, 2009

I need a vacation

what is it about this time of year that turns the dial way up on the blah-o-meter?

I baked a delicious loaf of bread - blah
The sun is shining brightly - blah

I can't even think of what to write next.
I think I'll go to bed and start this post again tomorrow.



Friday, January 23, 2009

right now

it's starting to snow.

the dogs are playing hide and seek with the horse that lives behind us.

i'm finishing up a few silhouette pendants.

and ray bear is quietly playing.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

no, not really

so whip up has been having all of these studio profiles on their site lately and I have to say I am tired of looking at immaculate, perfectly organized spaces. I don't work like that, even if I did, who has time to keep their studio that clean? No offense to the owners of said studios but I thought I'd show you some pictures of my studio, just the way it is.

Sewing table but currently hijacked for the purpose of making new journals.

Sewing corner and the other half of the bookshelf is dedicated to old moldy books and half finished projects.

More sewing table and bookshelf. Back corner is computer nook and table to the left is the 'jewelry table'. Notice the chair in the middle of the photo? No, not the green one. If it wasn't covered in fabric you could see it and you would say "my, that is one lovely chair" I would reply, "thank you, I bought it at a thrift store for $12. It is one of my absolute favorites finds ever."
This chair is the bane of my husband's existence. The other day in fact, he turned to me and said, "you know what my favorite part of your studio is?" I said "no, please do tell" and he said "the fact that that ugly chair isn't in the house anymore."  ah. true love.

'jewelry table' on right and 'mixed media table' on the left. mixed media area is especially messy because I had to take everything down out of the window to fix/shut the window the other day and it hasn't been put back yet.

The photos are blurry and sort of bad but I just walked around with my mac and took them. 
So there you have it, a real, working studio (wink wink).

Trust me, I know where (almost) everything is. 
And if I don't know exactly where it is then I know what area it's in.
And even if I don't know what area it's in, I always know for sure that it's out in the studio.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

invisible strings

I get daily quotes sent to me by email and this one really captured my attention.

"When you tug at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world. "
— John Muir

Can't you just see the invisible strings?
I'd love to do an art piece based on this quote.
I imagine a little boy wading in a river picking up a rock and I'm seeing the water still connected to the rock, seeing the strings of sand running all the way back up the bank to the trees roots and then up the tree trunk, out the branches to the leaves, which are connected to the birds flying over head, which are connected to another tree further down stream et cetera et cetera...


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

16 things about me

found a new blog:
fell in love with the name and decided to join her in a friendly game of tag.

1. I hate nothing in this world, with the exception of water chestnuts.

2. I remember things in pictures. probably not a true photographic memory but still.

3. I bite my nails.

4. I don't exactly love football but if you name a town I can name the NFL team.  

5. Me and Ray dance together at least once everyday.

6. I feel claustrophobic when there is someone behind me in line at the grocery store. I think it's partly the fact that their food is so close to mine. And the magazine racks are so close. It's like a funnel.

7. I was named after a ballerina my mom knew in college. In my whole life I have had only one person say "you mean like the museum?" instead of "you mean like whitney houston?"

8. When I can't sleep I rub my feet together under the covers.

9. I have broken both of my wrists.

10. I like to eat peanut butter with carrots.

11. I love looking at the stars. I think it is fascinating that they are so far away, that when we see them we are in fact looking into the past.

12. When I eat, I tend to keep all of the different foods on my plate from touching. I don't know why I just always have.

13. I don't rinse my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher.

14. I get a stomach ache if I drink cola or chew gum.

15. I like going to the airport because I think it's neat that so many people can be going places at the same time. I like to try and guess where they are going and why.

16. I count in my head when I get nervous or flustered.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You can't have me

Awhile ago, after my cell phone was stolen I seriously considered getting an iPhone. I love them. I am so easily seduced by their clean simple lines and the promise of new and exciting "apps". My favorite? The one that tells you what song you are listening to when you hold the phone up to the radio. But the deal fell through (in retrospect, thankfully) and I found a free phone on freecycle instead.

Well, today I read this article and decided that no matter how alluring, no matter how sexy they are I will not own one.

(thanks to SouleMama for the link)

You all know my love hate relationship with the internet.
I declare here and now that in 2009 the internet will be my tool.
And not vice versa.


to hell in a handbasket

Right now my life is like the game jenga.
We're the strong tall tower of interlocking, balanced pieces and slowly but surely someone is pulling out the base from underneath us. We haven't fallen yet, but it seems inevitable.

I guess I always thought me and my husband would be immune to the free-falling economy. 
I can make things! I can cook things! In my own head we practically live off the grid. 

But here it is, knocking on my front door and not waiting for me to answer before it comes barging in. 
Me still in my PJ's caught all deer-in -the-headlights style. 

What? wait, no job? 
Wait, what? the transmission went out in your truck?

I can't make a new one of those.

I can feed us and I can clothe us but the mortgage company doesn't take cookies.
There's an answer out there, just out of reach.
I think I'll go on a long walk today and try to find it.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

two weeks

Do you know the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut?

Two weeks.

I think I might have pushed the universe too far. On Friday I decided I wanted a haircut NOW. I went to this cute place I'd been eyeing. It was about 1:00 and she said she could get me in at 3:45. I stopped by one other salon on the way home to see if they could get me in sooner but no luck. I thought about canceling the appointment a hundred times but decided to keep it and just get it done. 


It's not a bad cut. It's a great cut. Very well done. But short, oh so very short.
I keep re-playing it in my head over and over and I have no idea how it got this short.
I showed her a picture of what I wanted, the same picture I used last time, but this time it is so very, very short.

I'm still getting used to it. I feel very self conscious, like I have nowhere to hide. Not that my hair was very long before but I guess I just feel a little exposed. Honestly, it is growing on me, I still surprise myself in the mirror though. One of the strangest things is that it is all my natural color now. I usually have highlights or dye it blonde. I'm in denial about how brown my hair has become. My husband loves it. He keeps calling me his brown haired-blue eyed beauty. He said I look like a model.

I keep telling myself to just own up to it. Be the haircut. Be bold, be confident.
But the other half of me thinks I should knit a new hat.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

mondo beyondo

I've been procrastinating in writing this post because I wanted to make sure I had just enough time and was in just the right mood, but that day will never come so I think it is better to just start. In retrospect, I think that is one of the most important things I have learned this year. Just let go, don't cling so tightly to the plan. Just do. Just be.


In the year 2008 I learned:
a lot. 
I had a baby, I have been learning things every minute of every day. 
I've learned that I am stronger, wiser and more patient than I thought I could be. 
I learned that it is always best to listen to your gut. 
I've learned that the smell of baby poop first thing in the morning is probably the grossest thing on earth. 
I've learned that having a child is a fantastic, wonderful, magical thing.
Most importantly though, I learned that my heart can hold an infinite amount of love.


10 things I am grateful for:
my husband.
my son.
my brother.
my mom.
my dad.
my inlaws.
a roof over my head.
my backyard sanctuary and the horned skull that guards it.
my studio and all the crap that fills it.
my brain and all of it's never-ending ideas.


In 2009 I want to:
Build a chicken coop and raise chickens.
Plant a food garden.
Ride my bike more.
Build an earth stove.
Bake bread.
Make more of my own clothes.
Spend more time outdoors.
Read more books and watch less TV.
Expand my custom silhouette business.
Knit an article of clothing for myself.
Go back to yoga.
Perfect my yogurt making skills.


My mondo beyondo list:
I am going to write/illustrate and publish a bestselling book based on my blog The Belly Chronicles.
I am going to create and publish a keepsake children's book for parents and grandparents.
I am going to sell my artwork internationally.


2008 was fabulous. a hell of a year.
I only hope 2009 can keep up.


Friday, January 9, 2009

my man

Jan28, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

I love the afternoon light in winter. It's warm but cool and crystal clear. I took mr. man for a walk to the nearby lake yesterday and it turned into an impromptu photo shoot! There are tons of pictures on flickr but here are my favorites.


almost a full smile

Jan2, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.


Jan18, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.


Jan21, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

hi momma

Jan11, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

ooh bugs

Jan3, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

baby blues

Jan1, originally uploaded by whitney leigh.

hammer and nail

Table, originally uploaded by whitneyphippen.

(written yesterday, posted today)

Here I sit and it is now 1:53pm. Ray bear has been napping since about 11:00
So far today I have paid all of our bills. I cleaned the kitchen and made green eggs and ham. I cleaned up all the wind blown debris outside from yesterday.
Then as I was getting ready to start my latest project (building terrariums!) I realized that it would be best to do such a project in our mudroom. Unfortunately it is the least hospitable area in our home. But I started to clean and sweep and dust anyway when I realized what I really needed was table.

So I made a one!

It's a little crooked and maybe not perfect. But I love it and it will work great. I cleaned up the rest of our mudroom, carried all of my vessels and plants out there.

Soon to be terrariums:

I made some little goodies to put inside too:

I'll post more photos when they are finished.