On Quilting…and Gratitude

It’s my birthday. I recently starting quilting and so this year, my grandmother’s standard birthday card came with a gift. You can fit a lot into a 12 X 12 X 6 Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box. A completed lap quilt. Two finished quilt tops ready for me to

Making that Lemonade – Amigurumi Lemon

I wanted to be a writer. Really, I wanted to be an author. If I’m quite honest with my deepest self, I wanted to be the next J.K. Rowling. I wanted to create a world where a person like me could escape to. Because that’s all I wanted growing up,

On the Need for Art – Amigurumi Moon

And who told you you weren’t an artist? Who took that from you? Shame on them. Did they forget our legacy? That our bodies are made of each other, of the earth, of that great, limitless, black-diamond sky? Did they somehow miss that our very personhood, the very thing we

On Loving – Amigurumi Octopus

Don’t take it for granted, your capacity to give and receive love. Do you know what a learned skill it is? To be vulnerable before another? To accept (wholly) the tangled heap of another’s humanity? Do you know how difficult it is to be gentle in the face of our

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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