cherchez la femme

quilt x2

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on August 12, 2011

A year and a half ago, I made my first quilt for my first nephew…  This spring, with the addition of my new little niece, Esme, it came time to make quilt number two.  The design for this one was a little less ambitious, although I actually spent much longer perfecting it.  I used some old fabrics my grandma let me sample from her vast collection a few years ago — the royal blue is one of my favorites and reminds me of Esme’s blue eyes.

post-sewing, pre-quilting

working at the kitchen table… with a pretty nice view

before finishing the border

the quilt, where it belongs!
Tagged with: , ,

roast a veg!

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on July 17, 2011

We visited my sister-in-law and her family a few weeks ago in Princeton NJ.  It was a great weekend away from the late-June heat of Manhattan and, as always we had the best time hanging out with our nephew and his beautiful little sister, whom I got to meet for the first time.

Joseph and Nora share a CSA basket with some friends of theirs, and  our second or third day with them, the veggies arrived in all their glory. While little August began to demonstrate how many vegetables he can call by name (he’s due to surpass me in intelligence by the time he’s 8.) Nora started chopping things up.  Part of the excitement and challenge of having random veggies every week, she told me, is figuring out new ways to integrate them into the meals she prepares…. and this particular night, we were fortunate enough to watch her use them all.

“Roast a veg!” is the exact term.  Nora learned it from a friend of hers back in Cambridge, England… and aside from having quite the catchy name  (you might find that, like me, you’ll get the urge to roast a veg just so you can say you’re roasting a veg)  it’s so easy and so delicious and so good as leftovers the next day that, like me, you’ll probably become addicted.

Here’s how to roast a veg:

1. Buy a bunch of veg (zucchini, brussel sprouts, carrots, peppers, onions, shallots, potatoes, green beans… you name the veg…)

2. Chop it all up, toss it in olive oil and salt, don’t forget a generous serving of coarsely chopped garlic.

3. Roast it! Go for heat and go for time: the roastier the veg, the better.  You’re checking the 450 degree oven for crispy, caramalized, half-their-original-size veggies, an impossible-to-clean roasting dish, and probably-no-leftovers-because-its-just-that-good.

ready to roast!

Seriously, this is the simplest thing in the world, but it’s made such delicious summer meals for us in the past few weeks… as a side, or stirred it into some couscous or quinoa for a complete meal, I just can’t help being this excited about it. I would like to note that it’s highly recommended — if you have no A.C. and your kitchen is your entry way is your living room  is your apartment and your oven acts like a furnace bumping up the temperature in the entire place by 20 degrees — that you head up to your rooftop and have a cocktail or two while it cooks. Gotta get creative with enduring the summer heat.

forgot to photograph before we served ourselves & so excited to eat all the shots are blurry. eh.

Tagged with: ,


Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on September 16, 2010

Not that studying in the library at 1 o’clock in the afternoon on a gorgeous fall day  isn’t inspiring at the moment …

But I just had to pull myself away  to share: today marks the release of the premiere issue of a new online design publication, Rue Magazine… officially my new favorite thing. Not to mention that I am really good friends (did I say related?  No, I promise this isn’t biased familial promotion) with one of the talented photographers featured in this issue

Now click your way through inspiration heaven.

Tagged with: , ,

cross-country move : DIY

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on June 14, 2010

1. clean up one last time

2. throw a going-away party, invite some friends

3. begin to gather your belongings

4. pack them away

5. enjoy your last home-cooked meal

6. strategically fill the truck

7. check the weather. if its going to flood, get out of town

8. don’t look back

9. document the drive

10. split-up the drive, visit family, get some sleep

11. arrive, unload

12. settle in

13.  enjoy

Tagged with: ,


Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on May 25, 2010

Tagged with: ,

wicker park

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on March 29, 2010

Last weekend took me on short trip to my old neighborhood in Chicago. It hasn’t even been a year since we left, but I already feel a sense of nostalgia whenever I visit… In barely 24 hours, I had the chance to frequent some of our old neighborhood classics and was pleased to discover some new favorites as well.

Letizia’s, cappucino and muffin


My sister’s apartment, a sanctuary

Bagel on Damen, hello cream cheese

Big Star, new whiskey-tequila-taco favorite

Tagged with: , ,

whimsical debut

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on February 7, 2010

I recently made my first quilt for the birth of my (first) nephew, August.

Yes, I realize I  have set a tough precedent for myself here – with all the nieces and nephews to come. But what I fear the most is not the number of quilts I may have committed myself to making,  it is the thought that August, like any oldest child/grandchild, will grow up to see his siblings and cousins receive far more advanced versions of the same gift as years of practice hone my skills.

I hope he’ll realize how much greater was the emotion, the effort, and the pride that went into this one little quilt than could possibly go into all subsequent quilting projects combined.

A photograph, still unfinished:

For now, no other babies are on the horizon… but the quilting bug is upon me.

More to come on that note.

Tagged with: , ,