On Appreciating the Body – All the Craftcation Crafts

Can we talk for a minute about the pleasure of using our hands? Of plunging hungry fingers into damp soil, across bolts of fresh, clean cotton, over the cool and dangerous weight of a hammer’s forged metal helve? Can we talk about how good it feels to move the body in practiced rhythm? Can we…

On Grief – Amigurumi Bee

My husband’s grandfather passed away recently and I found myself surprised at the depth of my own sadness. It didn’t feel unfair, after all, he was granted 99 years. What a gift! It didn’t feel sudden, we had all watched him fold into himself these last few years, a withering blossom. I wasn’t even particularly…

Love and Fear in Equal Measure – Amigurumi Wolf

Life, lately, has been a little bit unkind. An old friend’s father suffered a stroke last week. The news has me thinking of my own father’s cancer, diagnosed early last year. I suppose this is the problem with your 30’s. All around you, the giants of your life begin to tumble. My father’s cancer is…

On the Fragile and Out of Place – Amigurumi Fox Doll

When I was a very little girl my mother took me to a place called Apple Tree Learning Center for preschool. I remember snippets. The chain link fence overgrown with honeysuckle. The naptime cots and their green fabric liners we decorated with puffy paint. The wooden kennel on the playground lined with sawdust where an…

On Quiet Spaces – Crocheted Poncho and Bear

Downstairs my neighbors are once again making Panlasang Pinoy garlic fried rice and the scent alone is enough to send me straight to heaven. I like to listen to them in the evenings, laughing and shouting at each other in Tagalog, or on the weekends, waking up early to blast 70’s rock and tend to…

Amigurumi Pansy – On Doing Things Differently

In the winter of 2008 I lived a boxed life. The apartment I shared in West LA with my husband (then boyfriend) was a white cube just under five hundred square feet. I left that cube every morning just after 7 to hop the red brick 704 bus into Century City. I then exchanged that…

Amigurumi Octopus – On Surviving Illness

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about illness. Perhaps because of the flu raging around. Perhaps because of the novel I’m currently reading on the 1918 epidemic. But mostly because I saw my psychiatrist last week, and we decided together to have me try weaning off the medication I’ve used for the last year to…

Amigurumi Llama – On Unnecessary Burdens

There is so much of our lives that is out of our control. That’s a cheerful first thought of 2018, Cass! Way to go! But in all seriousness, I think much of my struggle in life has resulted from my misguided attempts to control the uncontrollable. I do not control whether or not someone else…

Amboise Cable Scarf -Peripheral Highlights

When I was a little girl, most weekends my brother and I were packed into my father’s dusty silver Ford Ranger along with an orange cooler filled with Corona beer, Diet Coke, and ham and cheese sandwiches to set off for the mountains. You see, it was my father’s greatest joy to fly. Over the…

Amigurumi Sunflower Doll – On Light

Normally I lament the winter’s early dying sun, but this year I find myself embracing it. I like the way the old amber streetlights come on, all at once, a shimmering chorus, after the sun dips into the ocean. I like, too, the multi-colored Christmas bulbs that come on more slowly, as each neighbor makes…

Amigurumi Doxie – On the Cost of Beauty

From the top of my green flecked hill the setting sun is as yellow and fat as a fried egg yolk. The sky that surrounds it creamy as orange sherbet veined with a swirling raspberry ribbon of clouds.  Terrible things can appear beautiful, given enough distance. People the world over marvel at the loveliness of…

Amigurumi Harp Seal Pup

In December the sun goes down and the lights go up. Store entrances chime with little gold bells and the smell of pine and sugar cookies and cold, damp concrete transform me into the small girl I sometimes forget that I still am. That little girl loves this time of year. She loves the feel…