It Starts.

August 31, 2011 § 6 Comments

I’ve heard it said that we Portlanders live for the three or four weeks of balmy sunshiney summer we eventually get around to in August.  I suspect for many of us that’s true – only in Portland have I witnessed such a dramatic change in behavior due to sunshine.  Suddenly, people are out everywhere doing everything and wearing very little.  It’s neat to see (sometimes more neat than others),  but the California kid in me gets bored with warm and sunny as quickly as my popsicle melts, and I find myself skulking around in the air conditioning waxing poetic about what’s coming next.

Because this Portlander?  She lives for fall.

photo by the incomparable Shannon Hannon. Click through for her work.

And fall is coming.

Isn’t that the best combination of words you’ve ever heard?  No phrase is as sensorily evocative for me as “fall is coming.”  A change in the wind, a chilly day, a grimace from a sane, warm-weather loving friend, and I’m in an altered state of giddy apple cider drunk anticipation.  I can smell fall – cinnamon and woodsmoke, dried leaves and fresh pumpkin, wool and late tomatoes and bales of hay – number 2 pencils and new shoe leather and pure anticipation.  I love it so much I write basically the same blog post every year in an attempt to convince you that you love it too.

By far the greatest thing about this coming darkness is the huddle.  The days get shorter, the clothes get infinitely cuter, the air gets cooler, and people start to touch again.  Suddenly, pairs walking on sidewalks will link arms to fend of the wind.  Hands will be held, no longer sticky from sweaty afternoons and berries and cotton candy.  Couples will creep to the same side of the bed again, after months of fan-assisted languishing on opposite ends of unbearably cozy mattresses.  Dogs and cats will be invited back on to laps.  Blankets will be shared.  People will huddle.  It’s the loveliest thing in the whole of the world.

This fall, I want you to live it – to smell it, taste it, embrace the heck out of everything and everyone.  Engage in those nutty hayrides and silly rituals and that fabulous color palette.  Plunge your hands ungloved into the ooze of gutted pumpkins – bake something that smells like home – spend hours marveling at the impossible many colors of leaves.  Meditate on the folding phase of the seasonal cycle put in place by an infinitely creative and scandalously beautiful God.  Cozy up to Him, cozy up to everywhere.   Breathe deeply.



Cheap Thrills: $5 Etsy Finds

August 30, 2011 § 3 Comments

And now it’s time for Cheap Thrills: $5 Etsy Finds – the part of the blog where Karyn finds five things on Etsy that she thinks are cute that cost a mere $5 and all the people go “eeeeeee!” at the cute cheapness.  Click the pics to visit the Etsy listings.  Today I offer you:

If you live in Portland, they make you do this.  May as well get some cute typography involved.

The three times a year I use a checkbook, I’d like it to be wearing this.

I firmly believe you can never have too many felt flowers.  Never.

Practically, this idea is a dud – glittery clothes all day every day.  But aren’t they so, so pretty and shiny?  I know, right?

These are cute, and orange.  Win win, I say.

How about you?  Find anything good on Etsy lately?


In Other Words

August 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today’s In Other Words is a blog kept by one of the most talented writers under 21 I’ve had the good fortune to meet.
Despite my obviously tendency to write borderline Disney-esque prose, I’ve always had a pretty deep affection for the brooding writers – writers who can harness the grayer, grittier pieces of life and turn them into something beautiful and worth keeping. Such is the talent of one Dashiell Finn, whose haunting, provocative, and unexpectedly lovely poetry and short stories you will find here: (sorry no link…our interwebs are on the fritz, so I’m attempting to blog from my phone)

Also, here is a picture of cake. Maybe. If it shows up.


New Winner!

August 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

Due to the lovely generosity and pay-it-forwardyness of my knitty friend jazznjava, we have a new winner – randomly chosen commenter #8!

Congratulations, Aubreylaine, and happy almost anniversary!  Just let me know what color you’d like, lovely, and I’ll send it off to you soon. 🙂  You’ll have an email from me shortly.




August 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

Thanks to my good friend the random number generator, we have a winner in commenter number 4 – yay for jazznjava!  Of course, as our jazzy friend may want to knit this headband herself, we’ll give her the option to claim her prize or declare a redraw.  🙂  Either way, lovely… let me know!

Favorite, Doggo, and I are wishing you an incredibly beautiful weekend.


photo by the incomparable Shannon Hannon.

Fall Knitsperation and a giveaway!

August 25, 2011 § 13 Comments

Good morning, lovely friends.
Back to school time always gets me super jazzed about fall (nerd.)  This is my absolute favorite time of year, early fall through early winter, and I’m looking forward to a chill in the air and wool in my hands (I know, I know.  Lucky for you I don’t control the weather.)
Here’s my dream list of things to knit for this fall:

Listeme by the  Berroco Design Team

Um, hello, birds on it?  Swallow Cowl by Hannah Fettig

Peace, love, and braided Winter Ear Warmer by Elisa McLaughlin

Ah, Truffle Cardigan.  You’ve been on my list a long time.

Newly obsessed with this Stripe Study Shawl by Veera Valimaki

love these.  love them.  Fiddlehead Mittens by Adrian Bizilia

Stripes for Favorite.  Emilien by Ariane Caron-Lacoste

Perfect over dresses: Elegant Grey Capelet by Bernadette Ambergen

Whose kid wants this? 🙂  Roo by  Kate Gilbert

Some crochet for practice: Calm Cowl by Suzana Davidovic

love.  Phinney by Cirilia Rose

Someone who comments on this blog will get a Braided Earwarmer from me.  Leave me a note and tell me what you love about fall.  Winner picked tomorrow!


Hey Karyn, why did you put that on your arm?

August 24, 2011 § 7 Comments

I figure if I’m going to do something that makes my parents say “oooooh” in that highly suspicious, we’renotpleasedbutweloveyouandwillpretendtolikeyourchoices way, I’d better have a good explanation prepared.  For that reason, I’ve a trifecta rule for tattoos: Anything I’m inking permanently on my body over the course of this lifetime has to have at least three points of significance/symbolism to make the cut.

A few truths about me and tattoos, for those of you who don’t know:  This is my second.  The first is a white ink “Believe” on the right side of my lower back that I acquired in Santa Cruz about 5 years ago.  I have exactly three more planned for the future, which I will get at least 5 years apart to keep myself from falling into the “ooo, give me another one!” trap.  When I’m done, 4 out of 5 tattoos will be text only – anything illustrated makes my undiagnosed OCD immediately kick in and freak about having to match my clothes to it for the rest of my life.  True story.

So, this tattoo.

First – The phrase “heart of my own heart” is a line from the hymn Be Thou My Vision, which is a favorite of mine, but the significance is deeper than that.  Those words are the clearest way for me to capture what I guess I’d call my spiritual ambition.  If I had one prayer, one persisting goal in my relationship with God, it would be to be of one heart with Him – to have my will so surrendered to His that I see things the way He sees them, feel what He feels for others, am saddened where He’s saddened, rejoice where He rejoices.  It’s difficult for me to explain without thinking it sounds hopelessly cheesy, but I wanted to be reminded of that ambition.  I want to remember to strive to allow the heart of God to be the center of my own.  I also love that I’ll obviously never fully achieve this goal on this planet…the tattoo will never be obsolete.  It’s a good reminder to constantly be asking God to be the center.

And – There’s an e.e. cummings poem I’ve always loved – i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) – which is essentially about someone’s life being not only theirs, but shared with a loved one they carry along with them.  It’s absolutely my favorite way to imagine a connection to people I love who are no longer with me.  Everything I do is done by not only me, but also by their influence, their shadow, their indelible mark on my life, permanently stored in the center of my heart and permanently part of my person.

And – One such person is my grandfather, who used to send me typewritten letters about everything from static electricity to ambition to God to talent to talking seagulls.  The choice of font, the intentionally aged typewriter lettering – that’s my memorial to him, to his heart that I carry with me (i carry it in my heart)

Also, this is the first tomato from our garden!  Yippee!


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