Thursday, November 30, 2006

ah, the gypsy life

it's 6:00 in the morning. and i have just returned from the airport where i waved goodbye to a 50 lb. bag of merchandise (dubbed "the body bag," because that is indeed what it resembles), a rolling suitcase, and dabney. if you haven't noticed by now, we have adopted the divide and conquer approach to these craft fairs. dabney flew to milwaukee. i jetted to pittsburgh. and now, dabney's off to seattle. oh sure, it's fair.

flying to shows is a new thing for us. and we are just beginning to learn the good and the bad of such situations. perhaps the winter season alone gives us our main cause of celebration - no tent. the acquisition of our enormous tent caused us to outgrow our sedan and make the move to the new family truckster. now, it's possible for us to travel with stuff, tent, and dog. and despite its name, ez up tents are no small task to unfurl. heavy, awkward, and frequently finger-pinching - our tent is definitely a two-woman job.

now being relegated to world of indoor craft fairs and the limited area of a 6'x 4' table, there is just less square footage to show off merchandise. and this has proven to be our greatest challenge. we've gone to fairs where we've witnessed everything from broom handles to tree branches are used for display purposes.

having done a handful of shows that require a plane ticket, we like to think that we have streamlined our packing, but the truth is getting these type of items fit into a bag without causing the tsa agents to scratch their heads in wonder is always fun.

my sister calls us gypsies. at first, it made us giggle, but now, we realize how true it is.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

magic trick

i should say that the magic trick isn't so much that he appears out of nowhere, but that he actually came when called.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


no, we haven't drowned in a sea of gravy. nor has the tryptophan lulled us into a permanent slumber. the last of our houseguests has left and now, we face a mountain of sewing. but, yes, thanksgiving was a blast...

it all started wednesday with a last minute trip to the store, where the task was to find the largest turkey available to feed 14 hungry souls.

Sophie's Choice
why we had a vegetarian pick out the bird remains a mystery.

Big Can O' Green Beans
a traditional, yet the most controversial, dish in our household is always the green bean casserole. people either love it or hate it. this year, it was the first thing to disappear. i think that is testimony enough.

after its arrival home and short getting-to-know-you session, the turkey had to make its last outing to ashbloem's for brining (and additional sauna and massage treatments).
Turkey's Last Outing

Turkey & Driver
here is ashbloem with turkey in tow.

the gorgeous result.

Thanksgiving Dinner
dinner time.

here was our spread after about midway through the evening. check out all the pies!! why do pictures of food, no matter how delicious the meal actually was, look so awful?

this picture just cracks me up.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

homeland security requires mogo passport covers

U.S. to Implement Passport Requirement
By BEVERLEY LUMPKIN via Bud, Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON - The Homeland Security Department will require virtually all air travelers entering the United States after Jan. 23 to show passports encased in Mogo passport covers - even U.S. citizens.

Until now, U.S. citizens, travelers from Canada and Bermuda, and some travelers from Mexico who have special border-crossing cards for frequent visitors were allowed to show other proofs of identification, such as drivers' licenses or birth certificates.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff disclosed the effective date of the initiative in an interview with The Associated Press. The Homeland Security Department was planning to announce the change on Wednesday.

Chertoff said the change was a crucial next step to helping ensure the nation's security, and urged all citizens to immediately contact

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

paradise? lost?

hawaii is one of those places that you've heard so much about, it's hard to reconcile the actual place with what actually IS.

an overlook on the pali highway.

make no mistake about it, honolulu is a city. a small city, but still a city. when we first got there, there was a mini-assault on our preconceived senses. part of this was fueled by my mom, who, having moved from a very small town in vermont, is still reeling from the packed highways and parking lots. she's still firmly (and vocally) in the what-hawaii-should-be stage.

even when you leave honolulu, oahu is not pristine. there are houses on most every rise. the "protected" snorkeling bay is akin to disney world on the weekends and racks up one million visitors a year. when you take pictures, you inevetably shift the frame a bit to edit out some structure.

this was one of those shots. directly underneath the mountains is a parking lot swimming with tour buses.

Hanauma Bay
hanauma bay in the morning, before the beach opened for the day. usually, it's crammed with people. gorgeous without people though, no?

if i were spending hard-earned money on my one solitary vacation a year, instead of visiting my mom on a free ticket, i think i'd be a little bit disappointed. i'd want perfection. that's just me. (i think ann enjoyed it more than me -- perhaps it was seeing all the beautiful hawaiian wahine.)

but that's also just as a guest. after being there a bit, you start to realize what it would be like - as a full-time resident - to have both worlds at once. amazing restaurants, the chance for an actual career -- all at the same time as being a half hour away from the beach. you most likely won't be the only one on an unpopulated beach, but you can spend every weekend, and some mornings, in the water.

Waves Little Surfer Girl
all the little surfer girls just killed us. can you imagine if this was what you were doing at age 6? instead of jazz and tap dancing class?

do i sound negative? ungrateful? i don't mean to. i really did have a great time this week.

Sea Turtles Hangout
there are turtles in this bay! we swam mere feet away from giant sea turtles!

i guess i'd love to live there, but just wouldn't want to visit. does that make sense?

Friday, November 17, 2006

call it "shrimp 'stache in paradise"


yesterday, dabney celebrated her birthday here in the aloha state. we went swimming, watched some surfing on the north shore, ate some garlic shrimp (see picture), and pretty much just had a low key day.

more soon... when we can tear ourselves away from the pineapple and macadamia nuts.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


okay, we are writing this from honolulu. we can't believe we forgot to mention that we were going, but here we are. more tomorrow, but for now, a picture of my mom and i. my birthday is on the 16th and my mom turns 60 on the 19th. we'll be celebrating all week.


Friday, November 10, 2006

post office: 1923-2006

you know when you frequent a place for a number of years, its demise is like losing a friend. today, our post office closed for the sake of progress.

Post Office

this building, built in 1923, is being razed in a number of days. in its place, a skyscraper will be built to make space for more, ta-dah, luxury high-rise condominiums. the post office will eventually return when the construction is done in three to four years. but no longer will the place have that familiar, musty, attic smell that old post offices always do. instead, the future venue will look like a strip mall-type post office with fancy automated kiosks and lcd screens.


vernon will no longer be selling soda, chips, and the globe in the lobby. he, unlike the rest of the mail carriers and sorters, will have to find a new job come monday.

Vernon's Lobby Shop

it seems that this is the way of the world; out with the old, in with homogeneity.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

handmade junction

ann is off to pittsburgh, pennsylvania - home of this weekend's handmade arcade. last year we had a ball at this event, partially due to its unusual setting inside construction junction. part salvage/part home depot, construction junction is the place to go, let's say, if one needs to find a not-so-new and tremendously charming mantle, doorknob, or bathtub. this time last year, there we sat among a congeries of recycled toilets and castoff light fixtures with our table of goods. part of the fun was watching customers roll by with their carts full of tile and random buckets of paint. this year, ann hopes she gets a seat in the vintage wallpaper section.

on a related note, we're always asked about whether or not we make knitting needle cases, so lately, we've been trying to refine a recipe for one with a slanted pockets and flap. we've sewn a couple just in time for the holiday season, and we'll see how they do this weekend.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

we just can't let the holiday die.

we love craftster. the ideas, the advice, the information. it's all good.

after stalking for awhile, we finally went and entered our halloween costumes in this year's halloween craft challenge. you might recall these:

Matryoshka Dolls

right now, our russian asses are getting kicked by a giant ball of yarn, a creepy somethin' or other, and a couple of monster heads. all worthy.


oh, and if you choose to visit the site, take a moment to become a friend of craftster. the website's founder and upkeeper extraordinaire - leah kramer - is a real sweet girl. she runs the site with her own blood, sweat and tears, and deserves a lot of kudos and money for keeping such a great forum up and running for so many years.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

mogo update

considering all the craft fairs we have been doing in the last few months, it's nice when the wholesale side of things heat up. we don't know how they found us, but we are grateful nonetheless...

we'd like to welcome the following fine retail establishments to the mogo family:
  • exhibit a - a brand new store in the providence, rhode island

  • home anthology - a home furnishings store specializing in mid-century modern in catonsville, maryland

  • general home store - a gift and home accessory shop in east hampton, new york

  • ruck rover general store - a cool clothing store for girls, guys, and babies in perth, western australia

lastly, while dutifully sitting behind the mogo booth over the weekend in milwaukee, dabney leafed through a complimentary copy of craft magazine's premier issue (thanks, craft!). lo and behold what does she see? MOGO - in vivid color (click photo below to embiggen). what a great surprise! thanks to the folks at etsy for picking little ole' us to feature.


Monday, November 06, 2006


while walking around town on another beautiful fall day, one of the stops on my afternoon agenda was the boston public library to return a book. i love the bpl. you never know what (or who) you might into there - it could be a presentation on the hungarian revolution, a showcase featuring ancient maps, an exhibition of teen photographers. yesterday's encounter was this... CANSTRUCTION - a national competetion between design firms to determine who can build the most amazing object or scene using cans of food. all materials are later donated to local food banks.

here's a jack-o-lantern...
Can Pumpkin

made out of pumpkin, of course...
Pumpkin Cans

check out last year's winners - amazing!

Friday, November 03, 2006

non-traditional: check.


dabney is off to milwaukee, wisconsin for this weekend's art vs. craft show. this hip alternative craft fair showcases emerging and established artists working in traditional and non-traditional mediums.

i guess you could say that we are more of the non-traditional variety. here is a picture of mogo's latest item: an eye mask (kindly modeled by feidler).

Mogo Eye Mask

Thursday, November 02, 2006

small town news

one of the perks of small towns is that when a new family moves to town, it's news. here is a picture* of me and my parents circa 1976 that appeared in the local paper (the only local paper; average size = two pages).

crazy bride, my sister, didn't come along until a few years later.

1976 Newspaper Clipping
*thanks to my cousin, aviation boy, for sharing.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

white rabbit halloween

for halloween this year, we were a little lackluster about getting candy to hand out to kids.

first, i'll just say that halloween in boston's south end isn't the neighborhood candy bonanza of my youth. at the age of 10 or so, when i still lived in florida, i remember having to head home halfway through the night in order to get another brown paper grocery bag, because my other one was already full of sweets. my brother and i would return home and spend what felt like hours doing a marathon candy swap, an event only slightly less contentious than most trade union negotiations.

now in boston, ann and i pass out candy to a small handful of kids who brave the streets of mostly darkened windows looking for the few lit ones. you'd think the kids were mormon missionaries* the way our neighbors hide. the first year i lived here - before i knew the deal - i sat on the outside stoop at sunset with a full bowl of candy looking up and down the street for the hordes of kids that i knew MUST be coming at some point. after a couple of years of getting jacked up on sugar and waiting around fruitlessly for the costume parade, i've resigned myself to the fact that halloween here isn't what it was in my subdivision of talahassee. most kids don't even dress up. in a group of three, only one younger kid will have a plastic mask on. the other two will just stand there in their regular clothes, then open their backpacks to receive the candy.

for this reason, i only grabbed a bag of white rabbit while at super 88 yesterday afternoon. i can only imagine what the kids thought when they got home and saw chinese candy in their plastic pumpkins.
White Rabbit
* or cookie man for you fans of noah baumbach's "kicking and screaming"