Saturday, August 02, 2008


Hey. If you ever get the overwhelming urge to cross stitch an alphabet sampler with perl cotton and burlap early on a beautiful Saturday morning, here is a great website of much resource: /xscharts/aphabets. I stole the idea from a Leisure Arts book I was flipping through (called I Can't Believe I'm Cross-Stitching! Neither can I, to be honest!) when I was supposed to be working. If you don't get that type of notion, well, clearly you and I are two different people. And I hope you are having a good weekend so far. Over here, I need coffee, STAT.

(image from used without permission, to illuminate my own eccentricity. Who wakes up on a Saturday and says YAY A DAY OFF! I THINK I WILL CROSS-STITCH!? What have I become? Don't answer that.)

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Dear Bill Shatner circe 1968,

You are such teh hottness. If it were 40 years ago, you'd have to get a restraining order against me.

Love, erin.

Saturday, June 21, 2008



(at eQuilter, Park Slope from Free Spirit. I must be the trendiest. Park Slope. Come on now. This shows growth, doesn't it? It's not Alexander Henry!)

Friday, June 13, 2008


Dude, I had an idea.

Crop-circle quilt. Don't they look like patchwork as it is? Crop-circle quilt. It would be awesome. Google crop circles, they're heady.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


What's up, blog?

1. Thank you so extremely very much for the kind comments and e-mails about Norton. He is, I am very happy to report, doing awesome. It was quite scary for a while, and Nort absolutely HATES taking pills, but we've rounded a corner and he's doing fabulous. He still has to wear the dumb collar for a bit longer but he'll manage. Thank you so much for the love : ) It makes a difference.

2. The other day I was going through my vintage sewing pattern stash to sort out the wearable and the unwearable, and I found this dress pattern, with a pocket and a facing cut out and stuffed in the envelope. Vintage fabric bits when you're not expecting them are a wonderful surprise. Copyright 1966. A nice little surprise that made me feel exponentially better about life on this planet.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


X your fingers for Nortie.
Originally uploaded by Erin Or Die.

This is Norton. You've seen him before. He is my most bestest cat friend. On Wednesday when I came home from work, he was acting very strangely. I knew something was wrong when he didn't come running at the sound of the cat food hitting his bowl. He was hiding under furniture and making those awful, heart-breaking cat yowlie sounds. We rushed him to the animal hospital that evening. They told us his urethra was blocked so the poor thing couldn't pee, which can be deadly if not treated quickly. They put him on a catheter and on Friday he had surgery to widen his urethra. This is probably too graphic and I'm sorry but oh well this is what is going on. He's been at the emergency animal clinic since Friday night and we're trying to stay hopeful, but he won't eat, and he's having trouble emptying his bladder without the catheter. We went to visit him yesterday and it was so sad. He has a big cone around his neck so he can't get at his sutures or the catheter, and he's all shaved and dirty and his eyes are all wild and red. He kept hiding in the corner and he wouldn't even eat with us there to feed him. He kept stumbling into shit with that big dumb cone around him. It is the most saddest thing ever to watch normally happy-go-lucky, super-friendly Nort-Nort in so much obvious discomfort. We feel very helpless and awful and all I want is him to get better and come home safe. Please keep Noodle in your thoughts or something, and wish him a speedy recovery. It doesn't feel right without him here.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Davenport Public Library
Main Street
Check Out Receipt
Customer name: HOLST, ERIN M

Title: The best American nonrequired reading 2005
ID: 30050056655540
Due: 5/28/2008,23:59

Title: Valley of the dolls, a novel
ID: 30050020737119
Due: 5/28/2008,23:59

Title: Bergdorf blondes
ID: 30050051531530
Due: 5/28/2008,23:59

Title: Budget living : home cheap home : a room-by-room guide to great decorating : 500 ideas
ID: 30050051583648
Due: 5/28/2008,23:59

Total items: 4
5/7/2008 2:54 PM
Checked out: 4
Overdue: 0
Hold requests: 0
Ready for pickup: 0

Renew by phone (888) 542-7259

Thank you for visiting the
Davenport Public Library

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I guess Friday there was a tornado. It touched down, again, I guess, a few towns over from where I live, and was supposed to hit here. Only it didn't. I was on my way to work. I took the bus because it was raining. I cut through the mall to get to the shopping plaza across the street where JoAnn is (in the Village Shopping Center at 391 W. Kimberly Road, blah blah, I can't remember the phone number). I stopped at Barnes & Noble to buy some Moleskin notebooks and a present for my mom. And I guess like, moments after I headed out into the Dillard's parking lot to cross Northwest Boulevard, the mall went into lock-down for fifteen minutes. But nothing happened. I passed Steve & Barry's and the guy in the window mouths "We're closed" at me, and I'm like, "Great. Ok. I wasn't planning on stopping here anyways, bro. Please call Jo-Ann and tell them to close, but they have to pay me anyways." So it just rained a lot and I stood around for a few hours, helping what few people were determined enough to go out and buy last-minute prom stuff or whatever.

The point of this story was I got my Moleskins and my scanner and you can peep into my sketchbook here. My notebooks have always been a lot more fun than my blog.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


My secret pal at school is approximately four months pregnant. It is hard to spoil her because we work in the same classroom and I also am reasonably sure she knows I have her, and despite that, the only things I can figure out that she digs are pretty much Coca-Cola, candy, cats, and her three and a half kids. So I am giving up trying to be sneaky and I am going to give her these bibs on Monday and totally blow my own cover. Because who else at school is a weirdo that sews. Oh, well. They're from Bend The Rules Sewing by the lovely Amy Chicken, who I am not even going to bother linking to because probably if you have ever read a crafty blog in your life, you know who she is and where to find her. The bibs go together very quickly and are very sweet and I think I will make some more for the seemingly-endless number of women I know who are expecting. Seriously. Another reason to make more is because setting snaps is the most satisfying feeling. If I could get a job setting snaps, I would take it. I like when sewing involves hammers.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

FAVES 04.03.08

FAVES 04.03.08
Originally uploaded by Erin Or Die.

Uh-muh-gawd. Hello again. We were out of batteries. Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous, with wonderful sunlight. The fort looked alive with possibilities. Aaron found some AAs for me last night, after the sun set. Today, armed with a juiced up camera, it is pouring rain and grey as all git-out. It's just as well. Since we last spoke, I sewed something annoying that doesn't fit, I knit something annoying that doesn't fit, I ponied up 8 bucks in fines to the library so I could use my card again, and I baked a cake that collapsed. So here's a flickr favorites mosaics. Cheers. I'll be back soon with more!

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Dude, I just saw a rad Pac-Man baby quilt on craftster, and it has opened up a world of heady patchwork ideas in my brain. Consider the geeky possibilities! This picture is a screenshot I Google-Image'd of Yar's Revenge (Aaron knows what it is, I don't-- A. I was about a decade late for Atari, and B. I'm only here for the quilting)-- that field of colors and stripes would be totally easy to strip-piece! Time to start hoarding cotton solids! Cos that is what I need to do, is start another fabric stash. Because I have room for that, and no other projects in the queue OH MY GOD, TETRIS QUILT. Dude! Have another cup of coffee and talk to yourself on your blog some more, Erin!! Yeah ok.

P.S. Fierce.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Becoming A Quilt.

Becoming A Quilt.
Originally uploaded by Erin Or Die.

How To Make a Quilt, If You Are Me.

1. Check out the entire shelf of Kaffe Fassett quilting books from the Davenport Public Library, Main Street branch, several times over, on your delinquent library card. Carry them home, about half an hour on foot, past the high school your imaginary kids will go to if you never move again like you said, until you think your fingers are going to break off from the weight of all that color. Wear big sunglasses and listen to your ubiquitous white headphones. Think about the segment you saw on the Today show about the white headphones being a dead giveaway that you have an iPod in your pocket and makes you a target for theft. Realize that if anyone did try to jump you, there are maybe two quarters in your wallet and about ten JoAnn sales receipts.

2. Spread out all your Kaffe books and your mom's Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework with the cracked binding and sketch pads and Sharpies and calculator and doodle until you come up with something. Calculate your yardage. Realize that this is going to take something like fourteen yards of calico. Get a stomachache when you think about how much this is going to cost.

3. Spend the next four months or so buying a piece of fabric here and a piece there, mostly at work, sometimes from eQuilter. Diane gives you a vintage one when she comes over to help you with your overambitious X-mas gift hand-quilting, and it goes perfectly with a Tracy Porter print you already have in the pile. Think about how quilting is sort of magic.

4. Mostly your fabric will hang out in a market bag on a chair in your sewing room for a long time, until you have collected enough prints.

5. Eventually you will realize you have to start it or you'll never start it. You spread your collection out and you will be horrified by the visual chaos you have invested too much in to start over. You will ask yourself over and over why you didn't see this coming. You resolve to buy yourself a 6.5"x24.5" ruler and get moving on this thing, and whatever happens, happens. Most of you believes that matchy-matchy is the most boringest thing going, and that the things you are attracted to most will coalesce into a groovy, well-loved harmony. But a little bitty part of you is scared you are making a huge, drawn-out, expensive mess of a blanket. Norton consoles you.

6. That ruler makes such a huge difference it makes you want to shout it from the rooftops. It doesn't take long until you find a groove. You knew you would eventually, it's just finding initiative. You are making mistakes but you are learning from them. You leave what you can deal with alone, you rip out what you can't. Sew all night while your huzz is out playing rock shows that last longer than you can.

7. You have absolutely no idea how long this thing will take you, but you can wait. This is a gift to yourself. Treat it well.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


This is where I will be for the duration of the weekend. Because I need my floor back if I am ever going to get anything done. Take care, friends. xoxox.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Happy Valentine's Day, my squishies. I made these little guys for my kiddos at school, and for you, too. Have a lovely evening. Get some. xoxoxo.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Originally uploaded by Erin Or Die.

When I was home in July, Jenna took me to the most amazing country mall antique shop. I had like, four dollars left, and noooo room in my suitcase. We saw a darling set of these Pyrex nesting mixing bowls, and I squealed a lot (probably lots of cuss words) about how perfect they were and how in the hell could I possibly get those onto an airplane back to my new midwest home wow I hate my life. The memory of those bowls has been haunting me (HAUNTING ME I TELL YOU) ever since. I am currently purusing eBay and kicking myself. I should have charged them. It totally would have been worth the trouble of carrying a set of mixing bowls on an aircraft because $36 plus NYS sales tax with no shipping and handling is an excellent price for such a find. So, if you ever feel like buying me a present, it's called Amish Butterprint. If I weren't so hopelessly cheap, I would be making bad choices via Paypal right this second. Maybe I'll splurge and bid on the butter dish ; )

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Not Worrying.

Over the past six-ish months, I have been collecting brown and turquoise/blue-ish prints to make a snowball quilt for us, because all my quilts have been gifts and it's time for us to keep one! I took a lot of time collecting the fabric, I even got a new spiffy ruler (6.5"x24.5", it's great, I highly recommend it), and I finished cutting up all the little squares today (two freaking snow days in a row, can you believe? I'd be happy if not for the fact that my next paycheck is going to suck, profoundly). All laid out before me, my nagging fear was undeniable: the assortment I have accumulated is a bloody mess. There is no connective thread beyond the pretty loose color limitations. I always do this.

So I was going to post a photo and whine a bunch about my spazzy calico compilation and lack of forethought with regards to my quilt tops' cohesion, and dig for some reassurance, when I found:

Norton Likes It

and he says it's okay. What's the big deal. It's a blanket. Let's stay focused here. Quilt on.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Not that this blog is ever on-topic (knitting, what?), but this is going around and I wanted to play, too. So who do people tell you you look like? Post it.

In like, ninth grade, I got compared to Madonna a few times. Has to be the eyebrows. Lucky Star Madge is still my favorite. If in thirty years I look half as good as she does, I will be a happy girl. With some serious eyebrows. Mental note: must start doing intense yoga immediately. And possibly making films that completely tank. But I don't think that is her secret to looking amazing at 50.

My mom told me I look like Selma once. I don't know. She's cute. Someone (stupid) told me Naomi Watts once too, but I did a search and I really don't think so, so I left her off. Not even as Jet Girl.

My sister thinks I look like Amanda Peet. Kinda. I do not entirely disagree. She's cute.

Of course, I strive for Audrey. Hearing that makes my heart flutter. I should be so lucky. Mostly when my hair is colored darker, and long enough to be swept up, but still my nose is too big (see Madge, above). It's definitely not in the ever-so graceful way I carry myself. In slip-on sneakers, baggy khakis, chasing after kindergarteners squawking about making Green Choices and using Line Basics and Walking Feet, muttering about how I hate pancake and French toast breakfasts in the school cafeteria. Five year olds + imitation maple syrup + "MISS ERIN CAN I HAVE A HIGH-FIVE!?"= not very posh. I am a sucker for those durn kids and I got the chocolate milk stains and crusty icing on my sleeves to prove it. Education is not very glam, but that is okay.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Four day weekend.

Homemade pancakes (from How to Be a Domestic Goddess).

Thrifting (I love these weirdos, more fun finds in my flickr).

Making (Puzzle Ball from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts, extremely fiddly, but cute, "Congratulations you're pregnant!" gift for a friend).

Today we're going to Target and I am going to bake up a storm. It'll be 6am Tuesday way too soon....

Friday, January 18, 2008


Well, I finally finished this dear little sweater (more info over at Ravelry), but for Thee Very Life Of Me, cannot get Ravelry to let me add a photo. Am I missing something, Ravelers? Basically, I ripped the shape for this sweater off from SnB Nation and I like the Cotton-Ease a lot. I did not like sewing all those little snaps on and I am interested in adapting this pattern to be knit in the round. I want to make it in red with blue trim, and dots. So Ta-Da. This is heading off to Buffalo NY for little Ethan ASAP.

Oh my god. Kate Spade @ Bed Bath and Beyond. Frightfully expensive, and I love EVERYTHING :::::swoons:::::::. Speaking of babies, page five has some darling baby dish sets, for like, $75.  Seriously!?!!

Today is an In-Service Day, which means no school for me, so I'm gonna go watch Martha for as long as I can stand to (I rarely make it through the whole hour) and then I think I might brave the frizzing-arse-cold to avoid stir-craziness. Wish me luck. Peace.

P.S. Oh man, Martha's about weddings today. I already had one of those. Plus I hate crazy over-the-top $100k wedding crap (this whole post makes me sound like the cheapest cheapskate on the whole planet). Borinnnggg. Damn it. 

Thursday, January 10, 2008



I have been having candy troubles, friends.

It has become all too clear that I am no Alexis Stewart, candy maker-ess and reluctant heir to the throne. Back up: Ok. On New Year's Eve, I called my dad and he thought it was weird but I asked him to scan and email me a page from my mom's Betty Crocker Cookbook with a recipe for Penuche, the most wonderful food on earth. I made those lovely treat bags with penuche and peppermint hard candy that looks remarkably like broken glass for the W900 family. I wasn't thrilled with the penuche texture. It was kinda crumbly. So I made a second batch New Year's Day. Same thing. I made TWO BATCHES yesterday: first, the crumbliest yet, and second, a GRAINY, yet fairly solid, confection of mass LAMENESS. I'm hesitant to try again, because I have the recipe committed to memory, and I'm concerned I am getting sloppy because I am angry. But dang. Four failures in ten days. Not cool. Not freaking cool.

In other news, I got a yard of this for $3.50, for one of the three sanctioned projects outlined in my Epic List, and it's just perfect.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Posting some quilt porn from Christmas to distract you from the fact that I am probably crazy and there is no such date as Monday January 8. Um and since my "contest" received a whopping six entrants, you are all getting something. Cheers. Happy Tuesday, readers. By the weekend, I will have pictures of FINISHED baby present. There, I just set a goal. Nevermind it seems like every day I find out someone else is having a kid, and that the baby that this present is for is probably too damn big for his sweater by now. Nevermind all that.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Um, oh my dear lord. As my friend, you have to promise you will stop me if I get any crazy ideas about starting new projects in 2008 until the 32 items on this list are completed. Thirty-two projects that I already have most of the necessary parts for, scattered around the fort. Which does not even touch on the home improvements that dear huzz and I would like to tackle this year (hellooooo hideous kitchen and bath). Or even for that matter, projects involving yarn (I counted the granny squares last night. 113. So about 55 to go, and we're in business.) No, this list is just fabric. So in 2008, I am only allowed to buy, like, thread, and buttons, and interfacing, maybe a zipper or two, possibly batting, possibly elastic, Vecchio-purple calico for Bella, blue calico for Christopher, red and blue calico for a quilt I have made up in my head, and ummmm. Yeah. That's it. Nothing else. I was out of control, and now I am cut off.