Wednesday, December 03, 2008

what I have been up to...?!?

what-a-mess coal mine
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
I've had this idea for a project since last year about this time. With all the lead toy scares, I wanted to contribute handmade toys into our Christmas and also to those locally. My goal was to get some local crafters together and start a collective which would showcase the artisans work, support local artists and also a portion of the proceeds would go toward lead education.
It didn't get off the ground last year, with Nate being so young & I came upon the idea pretty late in the season. Than this summer my friend Juno and I chatted about it, and decided to give it a go...but we were waylaid by life...
So while chatting recently with a local store owner, Ali, I told her my idea & thankfully she was all for it! So I bustled up some enthusiasm and tried to contact local crafters of handmade toys to sell at her shop over the holiday season. Happily Juno turned up with some goods, and I managed to get some bean bag sets there as well as, (although not for kids) some bird hat pins. I still have some more things I need to finish for the store and also for my etsy shoppe, Santa Lucia's Eyes & Ends....So if you live locally, come check out some of handmade goodies at Bohema located at 6152 Ridge Avenue...
A word on Ali and Bohema, she is wonderfully supportive of the local arts & artists and also fundraising, please check out her store...and remember this season to buy local, buy safe!
I am still searching for a local lead education organization to donate the money too....if anyone has a suggestions, pls. leave a comment...I became interested in lead safety when I was pregnant with Milo and living in Portland with all its old apartments shellaced with years worth of lead paint. I became involved with Lead Safe Kids in Maine and worked on passing a law the obligates landlords to give sufficient notice to tenants when a repair or renovation is going to take place in their building. (We had issues with that while living in Portland).....
....I will post soon some new handmade goodness and am looking forward to opening the etsy store this do check back, ya hear!

Monday, December 01, 2008

as fast as lightning meets the garden gnome

the gnome
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Halloween has come and gone, true, but I never got around to blogging those pesky costumes!
Nate charmed us all with himself as a garden gnome, inspired by The Gnome Book. Red felt Hat, Belt, pants, tunic and wool felt beard even the boots which were a bit small....all proudly made. It was my first endeavor into a shirt and I must say it didn't go so bad.

Milo was "As Fast as Lightning" for his costume. He was inspired by a little video game character, who had no name and not much by the way of costuming except that he was a silver ball with a face. There was no way Milo would have gone for wearing anything bulky so I improvised with this....he didn't seem to mind.

inspecting the candy.....

posing for a group shot with the cousins on Halloween night. It was a lovely fall season indeed!
Johnny Five where are you?
We also went to a Halloween Party and Wendy and her date Josh joined us.....johnny-five where are you?
the drummer and dancer goofing off
Chris and I goofing off before the party....
and a little Phillies fever thrown in! My Aunt and Gigi whooping it up the night the Phillies won the World Series....
thanks for back tracking with me...
maybe tomorrow I will post that Thanksgiving message I have saved...
I am truly one tardy blogger!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the modified gnome hat in action

Made this hat over the summer for Nate. This is the hat, finally getting some action out in the fall leaves. Its a bit cockeyed in these photos, but, him in the hat is divinity...that boy! He is too cute....

my first meme

Read Punky Mama and was tagged in the process to do this meme. Secretly I have wished to do a meme for a long time & lucky me!
This also goes along with my vow to blog more, so here goes...
the instructions are to highlight what you have done on this list, I have decided to use italics for emphasis. I love lists, by the way.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld
8. Held a praying mantis
9. Climbed a mountain
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total lunar eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
>53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Monday, November 24, 2008

when your minds made up...

Often, when I am seeking inspiration and the need to be moved, I come to this video. Frisson occurs and I am transported.
I hope you enjoy it too!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Book for Nate

nate's new book
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
I made this little book for Nate over the summer.
the books front flap
it has a front flap...
and it opens up, like all good books should...
under the skirt
and my favorite bit, you can lift the ruffled skirt and reveal a polka dot heart...
the back
& at the end they sail of into the moonlight on a polka dot sea....

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

swiss dots

swiss dots
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Recently sent out some gifties to friends that were so gracious to us this past August during our visit to Maine. First up, these orange swiss dot curtains. Have I shared my love of swiss dots? I keep snatching them up, every time we cross paths hither and thone...I am just happy to send them to a good home....
A photo of a group of gifts....
& my favorite part of our thank you gifts....harvested from our garden & all....
hyacinth bean vine seeds

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

hi-ho cherry-Os

Milo at work painting cherries
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
So I bought this game, Hi HO Cherry-os at a yard sale this summer & it was missing a few of the cherry-Os. So Milo and I decided to make some cherries of our own. Paper Clay came in quite handy and some red paint & now we can continue on with our cherry picking....
I was really digging these pre-painted cherries, very interesting...pre-painted cherries
and our finished product...

Sunday, September 28, 2008


spanish doll
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Once upon a yard sale I stumbled upon this doll. She comes from across the ocean, where she was nestled in a tiny courtyard on a crisp evening,

keeping her wits about her & her castanets in hand,
castanet detail
she tilted her head,
lifted her skirt,
let the bows on her shoes shimmer in the candlelight
& began the dance
doll legs
& with one gallant yelp....
"Viva Zapatero!"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Welcome to Philadelphia

Wanted to give a warm welcome to Wendy and wish her well on her Philly adventures. Wendy posted a few photos of her room here with us on her blog, celery's green.
Its been lovely having her here with us and jeesh, Milo is beside himself with joy having a new friend.
Tonight Wendy and I enjoyed a Rita's Water Ice Gellatichocolate, vanilla and cherry....yum! Its exciting to share some of what I love about Philly ..... the fringe fest, & discover some new events.....Soapbox Derby.
Viva la Wendy!
(photo credit-Wendy; which is a great shot! Reminds me I need to take some photos of our lovely home......perhaps studio shots soon?>)

Monday, August 11, 2008

what the ?*&!

Just wanted to add this tid-bit from work today. One of the Doctors asked what my name was, and I when I told him, he said, "Jenna, like the President's daughter. Good, I really like the President." Geesh! Like the President's daughter my ass. Of all people to be associated with! To say the least I was highly insulted. Now when I see that particular doctor all I am going to think is, President Bush & his slag daughter.
On another note....tis only a few days to Goddess
& I figured out what Nate is going to be for Halloween. No dishing as of yet.
Happy Monday, ya'll.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

"All mixed up with the Making and the Baking"

Bend the Rules Bib
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Hello there dear ones,
I am sorry to be so late in posting. Its been summer here, which has meant many long afternoons in the park, some little trips and a bedtime that is stretched and stretched like the frantic elastic mama that I sometimes am. Truth be told I have been enjoying the boys soo much that they are waring me out by the evening when I finally get them to bed, I am just to pooped to post...
I have managed though, to get some crafting in...with still a long list to go, indeed...
so without further ado, another Bend the Rules Bib, for a neighbor, who named her new little girl, was endearing and a little wrenching to hear the name, we have been planning a "Lucy" twice now...
& the second creation, the gnome hat, another Amy Karol pattern. I had to adjust it a bit, but it came out cute...
Nate in the Gnome Hat
gotta run, Nate awakes!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Ah, the sleep,
the sleep of babes.
Its true,
he does sleep with his bellybutton out.
Maly pupek.

Not too much to report, a short visit from a dear friend...a happy fourth of July.
I even saw a shark in the bay...
on our shorter trip to the sea shore,
more photos to come,

Monday, June 30, 2008

siki siki baba

this just makes me so excited!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

a visit

Yesterday, I visited my former college campus.
It was a picturesque day, the dappled light filtering through the trees, large stones building ermerging from amongst the grassy hills. Memories lazily floated in my mind....triumphs, laughs and occasional regrets.
This past week Rosemont hosted a writer's retreat in conjunction with the literary journal, Philadelphia Stories. I was keen to attend the retreat, but other responsibilities claimed me. Fortunately I was able to squeeze this free lecture in by a very favorite poet of mine, Anne Kaier.
Anne was one of the associate editors of American Writing, A Magazine while I was an editorial assistant there with Alexandra Grilikhes the magazine's creator and editor.
This past November, I had seen Anne read at another venue in November with a very new little person, it was our first real outing. It was wonderful to see her read. She is arresting. & to hear her speak yesterday about her process, what poetry is like for her, where she is coming from...her humor....all were amazing. I related with her so much that my soul was just giggling the whole time. I think we share the same process. She didn't come out and say this, but I got the feeling that poetry just happens for her, which I really relate too. The visuals appear in my mind. It links things together and the language just comes. I loved her honesty. That was one of the things she spoke about yesterday, honesty. How truth is left to the poets, perhaps one of the reasons that doesn't make us very popular in the culture. She, in her words, is a confessional poet & I am very much in the same vane.

Since my visit to Rosemont yesterday, I have been visiting with ghosts. Alexandra, died, 6 years ago. Sandy Crimmins, a former associate editor with the a magazine, died almost a year ago. The two were my connection to Philadelphia and poetry. I was a naive student when I met the two. I remember feeling some of the time, that I just didn't get the conversation. After seeing Anne yesterday, hearing her moving work, thinking of myself and reflecting on what was said all those years ago, I am starting to get their meaning. Beginning to understand the depths of who they were as poets & women. Who I am becoming.
Its overwhelming, waves behind my eyes.

In my search to provide some links to these amazing poets, I came across these from Robin's Bookstore in Philadelphia, Anne Kaier, reading Skull a poem for Alexandra
& poems by Alexandra. A poem by Sandy Crimmins.
These ghosts are reminding me of who I am, someone who rings herself out again & again...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Did I mention I made it to the Art Star Bazaar?

Celebration Candle
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Yes, in my perpetual tardiness I think I may have failed to mention that I made it to the 2nd Annual Art Star Craft Bazaar last Sunday here in Hotdelphia (yes, I know we are no Hotlanta, but it accurately describes this fair city)
I do believe fun was had by a few....
I met and purchased a small object, this here celebration candle.
Saw some friends over at Erika Ebert's booth
& hung out with some lovelies who provided a video expose of our adventure...
fun was had by all & it was wonderful to see such creativity and inspiration all around.
Since the Bazaar was at Penn's Landing along the Delaware River we got to see a boat safety exhibition along the river complete with a helicopter dropping off two officers on a barge while it was moving....

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Bike Race, evidence that I am old

I have been pretty quite of late on this blog. I definitely didn't make it through the post a day in May....but I am still here....kicking it real...(I can't believe I just wrote that.) Its been a bit eventful around here, started back to work this past week, which was a bit unexpected. Its nice to be at work part time, but I miss my little. He has taken the growing this week leaps and bounds; sitting on his own, a new tooth and standing while holding on to something. He even called me "mama" He is just growing so fast & I am trying to enjoy each and ever moment. So mixed in with all that growing has been the start of a heatwave....we are in the midst of it. & this weekend was the annual Philadelphia Bike Race we live a block away from the route. The route that sits atop the infamous Wall The Bike Race here means throngs of drunken young people traipsing through the streets & this year especially they were minimally clothed. In my time away from Philly, I grew used few young people being around. In Maine, youngin's (18-25) left to stake there fortunes somewhere more promising & the ones who stayed, seemed to enjoy that the others left. Coming back here its a smorgasborg of bubbling drunken youth. Especially our town which is the Lenape indian word for "a place to drink" Welcome to Manayunk, Can I get you a drink? Check out this little slide or these party people.... This weekend is the neighborhoods peak of drinking. I used to be one of the revelers...& indeed I had fun. I was at the first Bike Race in 1985, a wee youngin' hanging out on the wall with my family, when virtually no one else was around. I contend that they were probably the Bike Race's first hardcore drinkers.... The Bike Race this year definitely brought home the reality that I am in my 30's with two small children. I had to slap on the sunscreen, hats for both the kids and could only stay out for a brief period of time, for it was too hot for the kids. & as for drinking....I will take a water please...
As a side note, its 11pm here & there are still drunken people wandering around. I just found a young couple on my stoop sucking face, they leapt up when I turned the light on! Geez, I just might very well be my grandmother!

Monday, May 19, 2008

an evening stroll

Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Towards the end of what I read was called "the arsenic hour" last week, Milo, Nate and I decide to take a stroll around the block, to soothe our souls and clear our heads. I took some photos of the many sights we encountered in the are some of the favorites.

evening azaleas

Friday, May 16, 2008


Many moons ago, back in the early 80's I would wake at 6am on the weekends and catch
this show on CBS. It was about a boy named Chris who somehow through the television
found a girl named Ingrid in a space colony. They would speak through the TV & share
Laurel & Hardy shorts and a puppet show called the Edge of Time. It was an odd show,
& when I would ask my peers about it, they would not know what I was talking about.
It was really exciting that Chris knew the show. At least we knew that we didn't dream it up,
it was on quite early and the premise of the program was kinda wonky.
Well last night I implored Chris to go online to find some information, perhaps a name to
the show.....
Low and behold......Starstuff.
A show produced in Philly in the early 80's for one season.
Apparently we weren't the only ones who thought we were dreaming...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

bunny love

bunny love
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
This past Saturday I was turned loose on the sales & came away with some sweet finds. This little blue bunny (not to be confused with this blue bunny) has a real cotton tail....I've never seen a cotton ball dispenser quite so clever, although my Mom assured me they have been around for quite some time.

To compliment this little hopper I found this blue tray, which will match the blue room.

They hadn't quite made it to the blue room yet & have been hanging out in the dining room, where I found them this morning...not quite sure how the silk rose got there, but it was striking. I think altogether like that will look quite lovely on the bureau....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

our new arrival

Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Ray's Junkyard is filling up fast. This weekend Chris picked up this 1977 VW Westy from Maryland. What fun it is dissecting & cleaning 31 years of dirt & fun. I don't think the man who owned it cleaned it out once. There was a whole collection of "beetleskins" in the glove box, plus various bits of ephemera scattered under seats, behind cabinets & such. There were bottles, clothes, tools, books, a pill box with the alien from Borroughs Naked Lunch...
Here are some photos....a veritable feast for the eyes....

back side window
back hatch door

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Easy-to-Make Old Fashioned Rag Doll

Originally uploaded by zavodk.
For Milo's Birthday he received a birthday package from his Tanta Sue from a Toy Garden. In it was not only 2 kits for Milo to put together but a little gift for me, too The Easy-to-Make Early American Folk Dolls Pattern Book.  The book details 12 doll patterns & some history of primitive dolls and american doll history. It was an enjoyable read & bonus, the patterns weren't hard to follow at all.  I have an aversion to patterns generally but was eager to get started with this...only after I helped Milo with his kits first, mind you....
This was my first attempt in making a doll. Its been on my mind for about 15 years...I had been wanting to make one for my cousin Genevie when she turned she will be 16 at the end of this month....I am thinking it might be a bit late...
The doll making was a great learning experience and she turned out pretty good for a first try. Luckly I ran into some organic wool and cotton yarn this weekend at a flea market for 75 cents a skein so this little lovely can have some hair. Still flumoxed on how to add hair since it wasn't quite detailed in the pattern book. basically I just sewed it on with embroidery floss which seem to double as "barrettes".  I am enjoying the black cotton yarn, but if you look at her from behind, her hair appears to be dreadlocks, which I guess is kind of normal for yarn hair.... 

Here is a full was great making the dress too...It came together alot easier than I thought.  A lot of fun too!
We delivered little miss to Bayliegh, Tanta Sue's daughter, this afternoon. She loved on her right away.  Speaking of loved on her....

here is Chris giving her some love before we walked out the door. I must go now, I am itching to cut out some more doll parts before the little one wakes up for some milk....