christmas time

yes, well, I have not written a post in quite some time. Between exams, orders, and christmas I've had little time. But some good news is that I've started a Second Fiddle tumblr, which I have been posting on quite often. For awhile, I even had multiple posts scheduled to be published. It's mostly filled with pretty picture I find and such.
Christmas has come and it was lovely. My family and I slept late, which, while needed, was sad. When my sister and I were young we would wake up at about 5:30 am and wait in one of our rooms. Then at about 6:30 we would try to wake up our parents, who delayed us in 5 minute increments for maybe another half-hour to an hour. We were very odd children, as we didn't run down to the tree and presents. We waited quite a long time and slowly began a organized process (stockings, looking for the pickle, Santa gifts, family gifts, breakfast). This year was really the break off from our young childhood. No waiting and no order.
But we still enjoyed ourselves. Margaret and I got a new camera from mom and dad. I'm so very excited! This means better etsy photos! I haven't read the instructions, so while these pictures are far better than our past photos, they are not up to the camera's full capacity.

I for one had a very rugged christmas, besides the camera. I also received red long johns, a Stanley food thermos, and an old-man sweater (featured in camera photos). I don't know what to do with the red long johns.

happy holidays to all!



Christmas is here. papers, projects, exams, and etsy orders!
no time to for blogs!


old shoes; no matter how shabby, they're better than new ones

I'm in love with my shoes. My newest and greatest are a pair of vintage purple-ish grey suede minstrel heels that have a large floppy bow proudly sitting on top. I recently purchased these from lisazain on etsy

I was so very excited for the package and was giddy when it came. as a slight let down, they were snug. they sit fit, but were very snug in the toes. I was fully prepared to cut off my toes when my clever mother suggested we see a cobbler. we did, and he fixed them to utter perfection. Lisa was a wonderful seller and I wear my shoes anywhere I can. thank you, Lisa.

I'm more of a shoe person. Most of my clothes are basic and dully colored. I don't really have many accessories and lost the one ring I liked. But shoes... that's were I flourish. Scuffed up working boots, wooden sandals, pure white tennis shoes, black shoes that my grandmother has in brown (jealous), character heels (that I wear out- I don't go on stages), and now floppy bowed heels: love

thanks darlings.

PS - title paraphrased from Willa Cather


look, a post

oh hello.
it's been quite a long time (an embarrassing amount of time) since our last post, which is coincidentally about how little we post. I suppose I'm just not a very social person, so being social online is very difficult. But we will dwell on this no longer...
sister Maggie came for a weekend visit a few weeks ago and we had a revolutionary photo shoot for old and new etsy items.

Awhile back we found a new location for photos. before, we used the pine trees in the backyard, which was perfectly fine, but now we use a barn that sits behind a museum at the front of our neighborhood. I really don't know what it's doing there, but it has beautiful coloring. I like the new background, especially in the bag photos.

I have a concern: what is twitter? I know that it is a social network in which people 'tweet' small blurbs about their life, but, truthfully, I still don't understand. businesses have twitter... what do they 'tweet'? and what in the world is a hash-tag? I don't understand why they are used and if they do anything at all. however, I have been advised to start a Second Fiddle twitter account. would these short blurbs and hash-tags make it easier for an online introvert? or would it become one more sad account for me to update? frankly, I have no idea.


it has begun

I'd hate to bring it up, but school has started. This means less time, fewer posts, and more stress. I'm only halfway through highschool and it seems to be dragging out. Hopefully this year gets better, as I've heard. So far my teachers are fairly good and I got into the classes I wanted (it took me 4 months, but I finally got Satire class).
Last week I learned that my history teacher went the highschool with Jeff Tweedy. yes! Jeff Tweedy and my American history teacher.
So, I for one will not be writing as often. (However, Maggie has been doing remarkably well lately. Huzzah for sister Maggie!) But I bring good news! We have a newsletter!

See the small grey button to the right? That is where one could sign up. No one has yet and I wonder if anyone reads this blog, but it's there anxiously awaiting acceptance like it's back at the lunch table. Because we don't post that often, I figured it might be good to tell those who would like to know when we do. We'll also send product updates and etsy coupons.

And I just found out how to wash my wool!... but I have homework.

thanks for reading.


wall and piece

Last night I saw Exit Through the Gift Shop for the first time. If you haven't seen it, just do. Then go tag something.


plain geometry

Lately I have been spending lots of time perusing Etsy, and I thought I would share with you some of my favorite pieces. Notice the pattern: I have mostly been perusing jewelry. I love Son of a Sailor for its simple geometry. And look at those beautiful splashes of color! What a lovely, understated way to cheer up an ensemble!

A Merry Mishap makes charming little geometric shapes from beautiful plums, mint greens, and pale pinks. 

Kim Dulaney has quickly become one of my favorite Etsy designers. Her pieces have just enough edge. 



american wilderness

Ranger Doug sells reproductions of the WPA National Parks posters. I love Ranger Doug. Recently my dad sent me two packages of Doug's postcards (these are big packages; i have a lot of postcards hanging on my wall). The color palate and the block print aesthetic does a lot for me. I am particularly fond of the twilight purples burnt oranges. Also, the services the posters advertise: "field trips,""motor caravans," "nature walks". Oh! Adventure!

I think I love these posters because I want to see the America they portray, an America beautiful and wild and various, in spite of the depression or the war. I want to roam across this America. Nature, big and eternal as it is, forgets war and poverty and suffering, and I, an American wanderer, clamor to be immersed in nature, to exchange self-consciousness for the openness of air, and to feel myself not an American citizen, but a part of the American landscape. 


fancy foxes

A note on Fleet Foxes: I love them and want to invite them to dinner.
Last week, Maggie and I attended the Fleet Foxes concert in St. Louis. It was most blissful and dazzling. Despite Robin's cold and desperate calls for Claritin, the singing was as clear as clean mountain air.
Afterwards, upon the request of Bob (fellow attendee who is a very tall ginger), we waited near the back of the building. I felt like a horrible person among those crazed fans waiting for autographs. I did receive one blessing from the event: I met J. Tillman, drums, and Casey Wescott, keyboard and mandolin. joys!

Again by the request of the ginger, we asked J. Tillman what they were drinking on stage (always a curiosity). He said Robin drinks tea (which we already knew because of the mug and tag), some drink Coke, some drink whiskey, all drink some water, and he was drinking pomegranate juice with vodka (not the norm) in a plastic red cup.
All in all, I had myself a wonderful time listening to some Fleet Foxes.


wizarding worlds

Yes, I am a Harry Potter fan. But who isn't? I've grown up with these kids and envy their lives more than any real person I know. But now that both books and movies are over, I must face the fact that I will not be receiving my "sorry we're so late" Hogwarts invitation.
Tonight I go to see the newest installment in my friend's defeat of evil for the second time (of-coarse I went to the mid-night showing). I like to watch all my movies twice.

Reading and watching Harry Potter has always made me wish I was a wizard. In contrast, Lord of the Rings makes me ashamed to be human. So power hungry, so weak, such greasy hair.
I am looking forward now to the Hobbit movie coming out sometime relatively soon.
Pippin seems happy here. But I am not because they left out the Ravenclaw common room in the last cinematic chance I had to see it (outside of my mind's eye).

Did you know brontosaurus never existed? 3rd biggest disappointment in life.


first yarn production

I have just recently received my belated birthday gift in the form of a Kromski spinning wheel. Even more recently I received the nitty noddy to accommodate it (this is necessary for finishing the yarn). And thus, within two days, I've finished two skeins of yarn, spun from jacob wool. As I will be leaving for a road trip to Colorado tomorrow, I think I will spend my time crocheting myself a scarf, made from scratch. Well, almost from scratch.

I did receive the wool already carded and processed, but fortunately my father's cousin has a llama and alpaca farm in Washington and has kindly supplied me with enough llama and alpaca wool to make an army of sweaters. This wool is straight off the animals - it still has the dirt, dust, and leaves. But now I am fully equip to scour, wash, spin, ply, set, and crochet this filthy wool. I am most excited. My next step is a sheep.
my first skein of finished wool

setting the twist (yarn soup)

I am most content.


favorites of favorites

Our blog has a new design: it is rustic and beautiful to me. I have also promised myself to write more often. Yet, I have no ideas for a post worth reading. Thus, I will share my favorite blogs (mostly food blogs. yes, I love food porn) and other favorite things. Yes, I am pushing you off onto other blogs due to my lack of online communicating skills. Here it goes:
To read:
  1. Joy the Baker - one of our favorite food blogs to steal dinner ideas from. Joy, we salute you.
  2. Orangette - We loved Molly's book, A Homemade Life and thus love her blog
  3. The Scout - one of the very few websites from whom I love to receive emails (subscription recommended)
  4. 101 Cookbooks - lovely lovely photography of lovely food. We also have fallen in love with Heidi's cookbooks and her Flickr
  5. Smitten Kitchen - best food photography
To browse:
  1. Nerd Boyfriend
  2. The Selby - most obviously
  3. The Devil's Dictionary
other favorites:
  1. Favorite trailer of the summer
  2. cats - calicos
  3. Cute Roulette - may have something to do with #2. just maybe.
  4. Most recent movie watched: Never Let Me Go. Depressing, but in a way a good depressing movie should be depressing. Also, Carrie Mulligan is my favorite cutie.

and finally, my new hair cut of the summer:
I have already been called "sir"


a homemade summer

Last week, as I browsed the shelves at my local library in desperate need of a light summer read, Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life fell into my lap. And oh, what a blessing it was. You might be familiar with Molly's blog, that charming spot of the internet with the loveliest of photographs and the tastiest of lemon yogurt cakes. Her book (regrettably lacking in photographs, though making up for it with illustrations) ventures into all the struggles and triumphs of adolescence in the Great Plains, love in Paris, and the most adorable engagement I have had the pleasure to read about, and still always comes back to the kitchen. Happily for us readers, Molly shares the recipes connected to her stories, and what wonderful recipes they are.

This is my kind of cookbook. Food is always more than just food, and when people share recipes for berry pound cake or slow roasted tomatoes or potato salad, they always share more than just recipes. I have been doing a lot of cooking this summer. And not just because I like to eat food (which I do). Because I like sitting around a table with people I love and seeing them smile. Because fresh garlic and roasted onions and blueberry muffins make me feel so tangibly, so terribly, so beautifully human. Thanks Molly, for saying it all and for sharing.


summer teeth

Summer has started and at full speed. The other day I made some veggie sandwiches on multi-grain flat bread. It was a perfect complement to the warm (slightly hot) summer afternoon. My darling dearest mother caught wind of my veggie excitement and bought a fresh avocado at Anthony's fruit stand. What a doll!

And so we feasted on tomatoes so ripe the whole refrigerator smelt of tomato, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts (my favorite sprout), avocado, onion, feta cheese, and pine roasted hummus. Quick to make, slow to eat, and beautiful to look upon.

And thus summer begins. My summer goals (one must have summer goals because it is the only time available to self-expression and exploration): learn Tolkien Elvish, learn to spin yarn on my new spinning wheel (happy birthday), and stop procrastinating and get that license already.

I also plan on cutting my hair to look something like Carrie Mulligans. Wha! Pixie cuts are a big step and I'm not sure if I'm ready for such a commitment to a hair cut, but it's happening this Friday whether or not I'm ready. I can't wait to go back to school with the shortest hair in the place. What am I saying? I definitely can wait.
Yip Yip!



O Captain, my Captain

Ah... my deepest apologies in not writing in awhile. The school work has been an over load.
But alas! this weekend I found time to not only watch The Dead Poets Society but also to go to a birthday party.
In my family, we have never truly celebrated birthdays. I suppose we are just introverted people (which may be the cause of our long silences online). But last Friday, I visited a friend's house.
This certain friend, who is absolutely insane (and it's adorable), celebrates not only her birthday but her birthday month. For the past two months she has been counting down in algebra class until this iconic day. When the long awaited moment arrived, she left school in order to get her license. This may not seem odd to some, but to me, 16th birthdays don't inspire much interest. Yes, I am 16 (and have been for awhile) and no, I do not have any interest in driving (besides getting rid of a carpool).
Strangely enough, I do not find her enthusiasm annoying, I find it rather interesting and charming. Her insanity was echoed throughout her house. The outside was very dainty, taller than it was wide, and still displayed two Christmas wreaths. She told me not to enter the front door, because they never answer it. On the way to the attic, I walked up 3 stair cases, none much wider than me, and one painted bright red. As I expected, the entire house was covered in piles of stuff, crap, and dirt. I had more fun walking up the stairs than I did socializing.
Moving on to the next night: I watched The Dead Poets Society, featuring Robin Williams as an inspiring and unorthodox English teacher and controlling parents of teenage boys. After watching each boy break the rules, "seize the day," and follow his every whim (including one suicide), I felt like rebelling myself. Thus, I took hold of the orange juice bottle and took a swig. It felt very nice to break the rules (even if it was never really a rule) so I took a second drink. Then I made myself some chocolate milk and played Iron and Wine on the guitar until my right arm hurt.

That was my rebellious and out of control weekend: a birthday party with tiny stairs and a swig of orange juice from the jug.

Carpe Diem
(which Latin students know is actually suggesting young men seize something else)


powers of ten

Came across this marvelous video today on the Etsy blog, showing just how much heart and soul goes into the Eames Lounge Chair. This commitment to handmade will always makes Eames the best.

After I did a little research, I found at that, coincidence of coincidences, Charles Eames was born and raised in none other than St. Louis! My hometown! Charles and his wife Ray designed the chair in 1956. And aren't they a darling couple?

And don't they live in the most wonderful home?

With the loveliest book case?

Don't you just love them?


Museum of Wonder

I do love this house. and I do love these men.

Butch Anthony's Museum of Wonder from Etsy on Vimeo.


wooden ships

Our newest addition to the Second Fiddle Spring 2011 line: big sack in navy and cream.
It seems very nautical and is perfect for beach picnics.


california dreamin

Today we introduced our spring tote line on etsy. We really love the way these bags turned out: spacious enough to hold plenty of library books and plenty of fresh produce. The big sack makes a great beach tote, as well. Ideal for summer trips to California. We couldn't help thinking about Joni Mitchell and the Mamas and the Papas while taking some of these photos.

big sack in taupe and cranberry

Talk about spring fever. We're ready for strawberries, sandals, sunglasses, and picnics in the park.


something new is coming

introducing the spring 2011 line for The Second Fiddle.

including new crocheted totes and bags. coming soon.


the arts

Ah. There is such thing as the Art of Beautiful Beards. and it is on display in Portland. beautiful photography of beautiful facial hair from the World Beard and Moustache Championships. Photos taken by Dave Mead.
These are but a few of the fine examples.
Jerem of Alaska Jeremy of Alaska
Kyle of Toronto Max of California
Dave of Ontario Daniel of Michigan
Toot of Lake Tahoe, CA Reinhard of Neubausen
Adam of Chicago, IL John of Toronto
there is nothing like a good facial hair.