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…

Photographing Southern Utah – Desert Perspectives

I like desert places. Places where life is scrappy and small and leaves bare the raw geology of the earth. In southern Utah there is a place that has been molded by ancient seas, its sediments crushed to stone by time. An old place uplifted by tectonic forces and cut back by the Virgin River….

Amigurumi Reindeer – Good November

November brings gray skies so thick even our brilliant sun can’t break them. She brings the first of the bare trees, frozen in waiting, for better times. She trails the spiced scent of woodsmoke, a warm relief, but also a reminder, of brother October’s hungry wildfires. In this way, she seems to slow the turning…

Amigurumi Fox – On Making the Best of Things

The year I turned eight my parents split for good. It was a difficult time in its way. But it also had its own kind of magic. My mother decided to be the one to leave what was once the family home, opting instead to pack my brother and I up to housesit for a…