Who do you think you are?

30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

What? You want my life story?

My Shop


The Twitter


 In Your Reader

 In Your Email

Entries in printable (18)


Geek love: just because

Because today is Thursday. And because I am a geek.

© 2009 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist

I designed this geek love printable last year and sold it in my short-lived Etsy store. To, like, one person. But I know there are other geeks in love out there. So. Have at it. The download includes the folded card and envelope shown above, a plain graph card for you to get creative with, and graph wrapping paper (shown below).

© 2009 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist

Download the whole package here. Instructions for printing, cutting, folding, and gluing are included.

As always, please be nice. Do not sell, modify, or redistribute for anything other than personal use. And if you'd like to link to the printable, please link to this post!


Pumpkin Spice Muffins

© 2009 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist

I accept the coming of Fall only reluctantly. Though my ancestors all hailed from rainy, gloomy, Northern climes, I was born for sun and heat and Summer. Still, even I can acknowledge that fall does have its charms. Leaves changing colors. Glorious, glowing harvest moons. The incomparable coziness of the first sweater of the season. Those are nice. But, let's face it, for me to get excited about the Fall I have to focus on the food.

Sunday afternoon was crisp and cool and sunny. While le kid took an increasingly rare nap, I was gripped--gripped, I tell you!--by the need to make pumpkin muffins. There were a couple of reasons for this. One? Pumpkin + spice + cake-y, muffin-y goodness? You really need another reason? Well, alright then. See, I was feeling guilty because for most of the past week I had been sending the kiddo off to school with nothing more than a crummy pop-tart (organic! non-frosted! he calls them "pastries!") in his belly. By Friday I was feeling guilty, and I made eggs and bacon before leaving for work. Realistically, though, eggs and bacon just aren't going to be a regular week-day occurence in our house. Did you know that the sauté pan does not magically clean itself while the rest of the world toils away? Enter my new friend, pumpkin muffin.

I reasoned that if I enriched pumpkin (practically a superfood, no?) with whole wheat, I could feel really good (bordering on smug) about my food-based parenting skills. But everytime I've ever made muffins with whole wheat flour they've come out leaden and sawdusty. What to do? After some tinkering, I came up with a recipe that is very heavy on pumpkin and combines whole wheat flour with white cake flour (compromise, people!). The result is, if I may say, gloriously moist, light, and chockablock with pumpkin. I also used a mixture of white and brown sugars. The little bit of molasses from the brown sugar, combined with the ginger/cardamom/cinnamon gives these a gingerbread-y taste, too, of which I am very fond. Also? They come together easy-peasy and make a minimal mess. I'd say these are a keeper.

© 2009 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist

If you'd like to download and print the recipe, I've made it (as well as three blank recipe cards) available as a printable PDF.

Also? I cannot guarantee my accuracy (as my calculations are based on information gathered from calorie counters all over the Internet), but I think the nutrition info for these muffins breaks down like so: 220 Calories • 3.6 g protein • 6 g fat • 2 g protein.


Do you have a favorite autumnal recipe? Are you looking for something you can't quite put your finger on? Head over to the new discussion board (!) to share. Triumphs and failures welcome!


An elephant never forgets

Though it may seem I've forgotten this wee little blog lately, I promise I have not. I have several projects swirling that aren't quite ready for prime time, but in the meantime, I wanted a way to showcase some of the patterns I have made that I really dig but that probably won't be making it onto fabric anytime soon. It seems like everyone I know is about to have a baby these days, so I've been thinking about the sweet stuffed elephants my mom's friend made for me and my sister when we were babies. Of course, I have neither her sewing skill nor her patience, so stuffed elephants will not be making an appearance at any baby showers in my vicinity anytime soon. Instead, these elephants are ready to be printed, trimmed, and framed (each is 8"x10") for gifting.

But you know, I can never let well enough alone. I had so much fun with the elephants that I wanted to do another animal. I stuck with the exotic theme for these crocodiles. Well, exotic in a preppy kind of way, I guess.

And last, but not least, these are my favorites. I love giraffes--I think they are great for kids, but these are so sophisticated (if I do say so myself) that I'm thinking I might hang the triptych somewhere in our house.

Click the image above to see detail.

Of course, you can pick and choose the images you want to print--or print them all if you or someone you know is raising the next great animal adventurer and isn't afraid of a whole lotta color and pattern. I'd like to do more of these, but first I'd love to have your suggestions in the comments for animals/color combos.

Download here: (right-click the link and choose "save link as" OR click the link and choose file>save as from there)
Elephants: 1, 2, 3 • Crocodiles: 1, 2, 3 • Giraffes: 1, 2, 3

As always, you are free to print these illustrations as many times as you like for personal, non-commercial use.



You are a blue four.

[If you've been reading this site since the very beginning (which means you are either my mother, father, sister, husband, or Courtney), you can skip this first part, as you know this story six ways from Sunday already.]

You are a blue four. © 2009 Cameron Blazer

When I was a little girl, my favorite color was blue. Dark, not-quite navy blue. And, because I was quick to exhibit my tendency toward firmly held convictions on pretty much every topic known to man, I had a favorite number, too: 4.

On the drive between our house and my aunt's house, we always passed the local NBC affiliate, WCIV,* aka Channel 4. Their logo was a lovely blue, angular four. Delicious. I looked for it every time and found such comfort and satisfaction in its perfection.

One day--I think I was 3 or 4 at the time--my mom and I were driving past the billboard and I was swept away by profound love for her, so I said the thing that I thought summed up my perfect affection, "Mommy, you're a blue four."


Last week, I wrote about creative drought and frustration. And about coming out on the other side. And y'all tuned in; you wrote emails and comments of support and commiseration. That is just rad. You are all blue fours. If I could send you each a card, that's what it would say.

Geometric Cards © 2009 Cameron Blazer.
Have you got something special to say? These printable cards are a blank canvas--express yourself! Just type your message in the white box and print!** There are four flat cards in this template--you can let your message speak for itself or jot an extended bit on the back.

As with all the free printables here, you can use this template as much as you like for personal, non-commercial use. Enjoy!

*They're an ABC affiliate now, and it totally messes me up. I developed a lifelong bias in favor of NBC because of the blue four, but now the NBC affiliate is Channel 2. I still hold out hope that they will switch back, thus restoring the natural order of things, and paving the way for peace in our time.

**Set your printer's scaling to 100% to ensure that you only need to make two cuts (down the vertical and horizontal centers). You can round the corners or not--they'll look great either way.


A pause for thanks

Y'all, I'm gonna just put it to you straight: Lately I've been feeling pretty sorry for myself, creatively speaking. I've felt bottled up and frustrated. I've started far more projects than I've finished, and I've thought about thinking about starting a whole lot of others I couldn't be bothered even to try at. I've gotten myself in a rut of thinking that every effort needed to be a slam dunk, a perfectly photographed, brilliantly executed specimen for this here little internet museum of moi. Well, today I say, "Dumb, Blazer!"

Some days (most days) I wish I could devote my working life to creative pursuits. I blame my job and its demands for my artistic limitations. I fret that I am missing out on a different life--an alternate version of me who cuts and pastes and grows and cooks all the time. And then I realize that that alternate version is just as frustrated as the real me. She gets stir crazy and wishes she had stability and office mates and fears she's not doing enough with her education. The trick I'm trying to learn is how to be a little of both of these people without overloading my circuits. There are plenty of books and loads of advice for how to be a lawyer, how to succeed as a criminal defense attorney, how to survive the slings and arrows of life as a public defender. And there is no shortage of good support for people (women especially) who are pursuing creative careers and becoming artistic entrepreneurs. What I'm looking for is the manual that tells you how to combine the two. That's not so weird, right?

Until someone writes that perfect guide to living my specific life, I have no choice but to keep trying to plow through when I'm all tangled up like I have been lately. In the last 6 months or so I have gotten blocked like this a couple of times. And at first, the mere existence of this blog feels like a trap--public evidence of my creative drought. But then slowly, slowly, knowing I have this place to vent, to share, to reach out is the thing that frees me. And that makes me thankful--thankful to the great wide interweb, to the people near and far who tune in to read my ramblings, and to myself for having the guts and the will to keep it up. While I was in a thankful mood tonight, I drew up these cards and matching envelopes. I hope you enjoy them, and I really do thank you for being here (wherever "here" is on the internet).

As always, feel free to use and print as much as you'd like for any non-commercial purpose. If you'd like to link to the cards, I'd love it if you'd link to this post rather than directly to the PDF. You can download the PDF here, and there is a page in the file of instructions on how to print and cut the cards.