I am 38 weeks pregnant and was in need of a warm sweater to adjust to my ever-expanding belly. In the fall I designed a stylish white “maternity” jacket (posted on November 19, 2012) to wear throughout the winter. I wear it all the time and decided to recreate it with this incredible soft wool/cashmere blend material. It wears more like a sweater than a jacket and is just perfect. It will look great post pregnancy as well!

1_brown sweater


4_brown sweater 3_brown sweater 2_brown sweater

Yesterday was a beautiful day on the Vineyard, crystal clear with a slight chill in the air. We spent the afternoon in Chilmark at a friend’s party and then documented my latest piece on their gorgeous property. My husband did an incredible job capturing the lighting, the setting, and my jacket.

I am 23 weeks pregnant and was in need of a comfortable yet stylish jacket that could be worn with my expanding belly yet wearable post pregnancy as well. Last week I finished designing and sewing my first piece of maternity wear.

Wool jacket with lining.

The jacket went perfectly with the sterling silver bracelet I made this summer.

I knitted a soft wool scarf to finish off the look for a chilly day.

Hand-etched sterling silver barnacle bracelet that I made this summer for my art show. For sale at etsy karenblackerby.

My brother introduced me to the works of Natsumi Hayashi. She is a teenage girl from Japan who set out on a mission to take portraits of herself levitating.  Using her Canon DSLR, the self timer button (sometimes a friend), and a lot of patience, she would jump over 100 times to get the perfect shot. It’s amazing that she was able to capture herself at the exact point of stillness…in her expression, clothing, and position! She has a great eye for composition too!

To see more of her cool levitating positions go to

“Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can have. It’s much sexier than any body part . “Aimee Mullins.

The other day I came across an article about Aimee Mullins, the amazing Athlete /Model / Actress / Superwomen and the latest L’oreal Paris spokesperson. Listening to her story literally gave me the chills. It is absolutely remarkable what she has accomplished in her lifetime this far!

Aimee is best known for becoming the first amputee in history, male or female, to compete in the NCAA, at Georgetown’s Division I track team. She was outfitted with woven carbon-fiber prostheses that were modeled after the hind legs of a cheetah. She went on to set World Records in the 100 meter, the 200 meter, and the long jump..

Aimee became a muse to Alexander McQueen ,walking the runway in his London show using intricately carved wooden prosthetics.

And those are just to name a couple of her amazing accomplishments. I highly recommend watching the links below to learn more about this amazing woman!

Aimee Mullins: How my legs give me super powers – YouTube

Making-of Aimee Mullins – YouTube

{via Studio Thirsty Crow}


We had so much fun making the final touches….from signs to potted plants.

Derek and I made these signs out of the reclaimed wood from the old outdoor shower.

{photo taken by Pearle Johnson}

Rock cairns were the symbolic element at our wedding, guiding us on our new adventure. We found these rocks on remote beaches that we kayaked to this summer.

We collected white rocks throughout the summer to decorate the tables.

VINEYARD GARDENS, Inc, my cousins’ nursery and landscaping company, generously lent us 3 truck loads of plants to decorate our tent.

Four days before the wedding Derek and I went to the nursery to make the center pieces. We spent the morning potting a combination of herbs, deep purple Oxalis plants, and deep purple Violas. The plants made the space! The best recommendation from them was to borrow their Angel Trumpet tree, which was in full bloom and amazingly fragrant at night. It was the best addition to the space!! (image below)

The Oxalis plant on the table and Angel Trumpet plant in the background.

{photo taken by Rachelle Taylor}

To make the wedding even more complete, nature stepped in and gave us a full harvest moon!

{Pictures taken by Vermont Wedding photographer | Bear Cieri Photography}

One of the many things Derek has taught me is that you can learn to do or make anything. That “do it yourself and try it out attitude” that he has shown me (through example) has gotten me mountain biking on things I never would have imagined to making my own wedding dress.

I knew wedding dress shopping was not going to be my thing so I figured why not just make it myself. I have only been sewing for a couple of years but I didn’t question this undertaking at all. With advice from a seamstress friend, I decided to take some lessons during the process. I met Donna Pirraglia from  Blaine’s Sewing Machine Center who became my angel; taking lessons from her was an invaluable experience. I wanted a dress that had simple elegance and a length I was able to manipulate since I was going to be kayaking and biking in it. I am overwhelmingly happy with how it turned out. Just perfect!

Bear Cieri, a mountain biking and wedding photographer from Vermont, was our amazing photographer. I love his photojournalist style. He truly captured the feeling of our wedding!! I can’t stop looking through the pictures!


My friend, Judy Callaghan, made me this gorgeous clutch out of my mother’s wedding dress.

The ceremony was at Edgartown Lighthouse.

We kayaked away from the ceremony…

…and then biked to the reception

…through town

…down country roads

…the dress was perfect!

…to the pond

…through wooded trails

…then to the reception!!!

…and I could even dance effortlessly in it!


After I finished making my dress I had leftover material so I made a flower girl dress for my niece. {I posted it on May 10}

My super cute niece, Miyako, was the flower girl.

…to be continued

Yesterday afternoon the lighting was just perfect so Derek and I went snowshoeing in our backyard to document the two new “shawls” I knitted and a pair of earrings I made. The wool shawls are so cozy and I love how they hug my body, as well adding a nice texture and warmth to any outfit. The amazing light captured the gorgeous warmth of the wood house contrasting with the cools of the birch trees, which cast wonderful shadows on the house.

I came across the song “Flying Overseas” by Theophilus London…it’s a great beat that you want to hear over and over. Watching the video and listening to the song puts me in the mood to travel and explore!  Check it out- click HERE.

And some art to go with it…

Photographer, Tim Lisko‘s  abstract photographs are the incredible result of leaving his shutter open while on a high-speed bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka.

{via The Best Part – A Daily Art and Design Blog}

A few weeks ago (Nov. 4) I posted about Nau, an outdoor clothing and apparel company that I really like. Tonight I was on Cool Hunting‘s website and was happily surprised to see them post about a great project that Nau is working on called “Portraits of our Friends”…it makes me like the company even more!

“Identifying 12 people that truly represent the Nau spirit, the Portland-based brand created ten compelling profiles of subjects spanning writers to butchers. As part of their ongoing project called “Portraits of our Friends,” Nau’s Provocateurs live by codes in keeping with the Nau ethos and serving as a benchmark for the type of people for which they design their products.” {via Cool Hunting}

Below are some of the some of Nau’s Provocateurs:

Jeremy Pelley of Official Manufacturing Co. (OMFGCO) & Camas Davis, writer and founder of the Portland Meat Collective


Jane Beebe director of the gallery PDX Contemporary Art & Dee Williams founder of Portland Alternative Dwelling


Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney, the team behind Truck Farm & Shannon Holt of Super Relax Concept