Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One More Birthday Post

And I promise you won't hear another word about it for another 350ish more days. Cool? Cool!

This post goes out to my darling husband, Sean. Because he's awesome. And because he listens, even when I think he's not listening. I tend to blabber (you may not have noticed, I tend to keep things short around here-snarf, bwahahaha.... yeah, so anyway...), so it's pretty incredible that he actually hears most, if not all of what I say. A few days before my birthday, we were sitting on the couch and had a conversation that went something like this...

Me: Seaaaaan? (in my sweetest voice)

Him: What. (in his I'm-watching-MMA-woman-leave-me-alone voice)

Me: Ok, so I know I got a Vespa, which I totally love, love, love and that it's my birthday, anniversary, Christmas, Easter, Boxing Day presents for the next several years, and I'm totally grateful for that...

Him: And? (looking back at the TV)

Me: But there's a couple of things I'd like for my birthday anyways...

Him: ...says nothing, but turns his head and gives me "the look"...

Me: No really, honesty, just two. See there's this teapot, and this book... (commence blabbering about said teapot & book) ...and you don't have to do a thing, I'll pick them up myself...

Him: ...still says nothing, turns back to the TV...

Me: So is that ok?

Him: Sure. (he's so excitable)

Me: (clapping & bouncing) Thanks babe!

So the teapot, I wasted no time & grabbed it quick. I was shocked they still had it. It's cute, I dig it. The book on the other hand, I didn't get yet...I've meant to, but and I'm lazy and don't like shopping. Plus, it's brand new, I figure it'll be in stock next time I force myself to go shopping...so it's still sitting on a shelf in the book store.

Or so I thought...

Then one evening, I got home late and this package had arrived in the mail...
What the?

He was listening!

Not just listening, he did homework!
He went to her website and discovered that if you order it from her studio, she'll personally inscribe it for you! I think this might be for a limited time, so if you want this, you'd better hurry. 
And she sent a couple of extra post card goodies too!

Oh my gosh! This is so special to me for so many reasons. I love Alicia's work. Sewing, knitting, quilting, embroidery, stories, photograhy, writing style. She does it all, and I love every bit of it. She writes in such a calm, tranquil way. I know her life is probably just as hectic as anyone's, but but it never seems that way to me when I read her blog posts, and now her book. I love that.

I aspire to be more calm and not such a giddy dork all the time. I'm working on it.

There are so many great projects in this book, I want to have a go at all of them, but I think I'll start with this one. I've wanted to try my hand at blackwork, and this seems like the perfect starter project.
Did you know that Alicia herself writes both the stories and the patterns for her books. She also does all the photography using her friends and family as models and makes all the items in the book herself. This really is HER book, like a craft diary/journal. It's amazing. I'm so glad she shares it with us.

Sean is better than I deserve.
He also got me a few other goodies, little things he knows will make me smile.
And this.
I love that man.

Thank you Sean!

And thank YOU all for so many birthday wishes here in the comments section and by email! I love hearing from you, your words always make me smile really big! You peeps are the best.

p.s. This is totally unrelated... but I'm sharing it anyway. Last Sunday I got to meet a friend at her charming little nest and had a delightful afternoon of tea, wonferful food, loads of yapping and then some time on her comfy sofa, stitching away the afternoon.
Thank you friend, everything was beautiful. You're aweome too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Hi Girls! Thank you all SO MUCH for the birthday wishes! You really know how to make this girl smile! I'm still reveling in the birithday afterglow.

I like my new teapot too, I haven't used it yet, I'm thinking I will break it in this weekend :o) I have a pretty good sized collection of Mary Engelbreit tea cups & saucers, (remind me to show you sometime, they're super cute!) and in cooler weather, those are the ones I use most often when my peeps pop in for a cuppa and a chit~chat, and I think this teapot will go with all those "Mary" cups really well. That was one of my excuses valid reasons for buying, yet another teapot.

Quilting... well, I'm still a little nervous to get it started, I'm afraid once I put it on the machine and start the quilting process, I'm somehow going to jack it up and it'll be wrecked. So right now, even though it's not finished it's still "perfect". Ugh... what a dork. I don't have a quilting machine, just a regular sewing machine... but that'll work, right? I'm over thinking this, right?

I don't remember if I've shown you the completed top... here it is.
I so appreciate your suggestions, thank you! I too was thinking stitch-in-the-ditch, but the lady at the quilting shop said that since all my blocks are running in long straight rows, and that because my base fabric is white, that if I wiggle and come out of "the ditch" on the machine, it's going to show up quite obviously and might look weird. I see the logic in that, but I wasn't even remotely scared about the quilting part before she mentioned that. Now I'm worried.What she suggested was to stitch across the white squares diagonally in an X, and not stitch the colored fabrics at all. Starting in the middle and working my way out to the edges... like this... truth be told, this seems scarier to me.
(sorry for the terrible photo & quicky sketch)

I'm totally open to ideas, so if you quilt wizards out there have more suggestions, please, by all means, speak up. I know I could just have this professionally quilted and leave well enough alone, but since this is my first quilt, I want to do the whole thing 100% myself. I may not do it again, or I might if I get good results.

Anyhoo, that's where I'm at... decisions, decisions...

I have some swapy-stitchy goodness to share soon too! I'm chomping at the bit!!
Hope you're having a terrific Thursday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tiny Bunting... Makes Me Happy

Hi All~
Just a quick little postie today.
(I woke up singing "Tiny Bubbles" today, hence the title of this post)

I love bunting!
It's pretty and festive...
And it makes me happy!
So I made some tiny bunting yesterday... for myself...
For my birthday!
Oh, and I bought myself this cute teapot too, because I've been trying to talk myself out of it for at least six months, and I still loved it.
So I bought it!

Mom, Sean and I are going to the Dancing Fox tonight for dinner, yay!

And in quilting news, I've finished the top and it's now layered and pinned! Now for the quilting!
Eeek, I won't lie, I'm more than a little scared...
Do any of you have any hints, tips, tricks for this first timer??

Hope you're having a happy day too!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Handmade Book Mark Swap

Hi everyone! Ready for some more swapy goodness? I'm really growing quite addicted to Swap-bot! This here is another little swap I recently did, this was for a handmade book mark. Here's what I sent to my partner...
Similar to the ones I made my book club friends back at Christmas.

(I stitched these little flowers at a baseball game :o)

It's true... we're ALL worth hand made.
Magnetized so it clamps down on your page and won't fall out. I hate it when that happens.

Here's what I got in swap!
My generous partner sent me not one, but two handmade bookmarks!
Both very pretty.
I've never had a book mark like this, I think it's called a "thong". It's so pretty & delicate, I love it!

This one is simple and pretty, silk ribbon woven through plastic grid and beaded at the ends. I think they're both terrific.

Now, if I could just find the time to sit and read a bit more... I better get to it, we have a book club meeting in two weeks, and I'm hosting because it was my turn to pick the book. I've only read about 20 pages, yikes!

I have several more swaps in the works, all of them embroidery based. I'll be sharing more with you guys as my partners receive their packages. I never like to post anything before then, I'm always afraid my swap partners might stumble into my blog and see their surprise here before they see it with their own eyes in the mail. I like to be extra careful because I myself LOVE a surprise.

Speaking of surprises! I arrived home night before last and found a box on my porch...
My best friend bought me a new Vespa for my birthday!!
It's a 1:12 die cast model, isn't it adorable?!? I love it! I took it to work, it now lives on my desk
(so I can drive it over my paperwork when I get bored).
My birthday isn't until Monday, the 16th but this was a great way to start the weekend, thanks Melissa!

I hope you're having a great weekend too!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lisa & Jill's Big Day In The City Part II (finally!!)

Hello Beautiful!
Ok, I've been wanting to share this since the day Jill and I got back from the Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, but it seems like one thing or another has been preventing me from sharing all the yummy, tea fueled goodness that Jill and I got to share. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll let them do the talkin' and only interrupt when I can't help myself.

Have you heard of The Crown & Crumpet? It was featured in the July/August 2010 issue of Tea Time Magazine, but I've known about it for a long, long time and have been dying to go! The C&C  is located in San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square, which was incidentally was just a few blocks from Ft. Mason where Renegade was held. We got in with just a few minutes reservation, which was lucky!
This was the view from our table...

What lucky little ladies to celebrate a birthday at the Crown & Crumpet! These tiny beauties were all dressed in fancy tea dresses, adorable!

This is deceiving... they give you a lot of food... you'll see...

Real silverware. I love the old soft glow of real silver. I do believe I'll have a new collection starting soon, it's so beautiful.

For our tea selection, Jill and I decided on The Marie Antoinette and After Seven Fifty-Nine
Both were delicious.

A cute tea shop makes for a very, very happy Lisa.

We had the Tea For Two...

The tea sandwiches were tea-riffic! Roast beef, chicken pesto, egg salad, cucumber, ham & cheese, and marinated red pepper. Can you say scarf?

The Crumpets! Oh Lordy, the crumpets! And the scones, good heavens, the scones! Can you believe I'd never had a crumpet before? It's true. I'm afraid these will be my downfall some day...

Desert!! No explanation needed. Every. Crumb. Gone.

After stuffing ourselves, we had a nice look around and got quite snap happy!
This is why you need a reservation. This tea shoppe stays packed most all of the time, they can rarely accommodate walk-ins.

The C&C also has a small gift shop packed to the gills with cuteness.
Hey look, it's Marie herself!

Of course I got a couple of small goodies for myself...
This is the same tea we had at the shop. It's quite good. A little pricey though... $16 for 2oz. The tea mug is very like one that I saw on Happy Zombie a while back and have been absolutely in love with ever since. I have too many mugs. It's sort of sick. But I couldn't help it, this one is so pretty and delicate, and it's china. It's my new favorite.

After our visit to the Crown & Crumpet, Jill and I strolled around Ghiradhelli and did some window shoppin. Then we took a walk down to the beach and watched the sun set, all the while chatting it up like we've known each other forever. Isn't it awesome when you meet someone like that? Kindred spirits... love it.
We headed home after a long day, and I slept like a log. It was a wonderful day filled with some of my most favorite things and people! The day couldn't have been more perfect.

Thanks for being so patient in waiting for this post, I hope you enjoyed the pictures. They truly don't do justice to the place. If you're ever in San Francisco, the Crown & Crumpet is high on my list of recommendations. In fact, it's shot its self straight to the top of my list of favorite tea rooms. Really.

Hope you're all well! I'm off now to catch up on some of your blogs!

The reason for my flakery... or a quick catch up.

Hello~hello! So sorry to have kept you lovely people waiting, I'm afraid the past couple of days have been packed beyond blogging capability. Let's play catch up real quick!

So! I moved my niece Ana down to Santa Barbara this weekend. I've never been to Santa Barbara before, it's a beautiful city! I think Ana is really going to have a good time there. Hopefully not *too* much of a good time, she is there to attend college after all... We drove down Saturday, met up with some friends for dinner and a walk up and down the pier, the beach, then State Street which was alive with revelers. We happened into town during the final night of the Old Spanish Days Festival, perfect timing! A lively fiesta was in full swing when we arrived, there was confetti, music, food and laughter everywhere! I told Ana the festival was being thrown in her honor, seeing as how she moved to town that day :o) She rolled her eyes at me if I remember correctly. Puh, kids...
This guy is ready to party!

Next morning we moved her in to her little apartment. She's sharing a 2 bedroom / 1 bath flat with three other girls. All college freshman. Oh, the fun they'll have!! But 4 girls vs. 1 tiny bathroom? We'll see... It was strange leaving her there. I knew I needed to hit the road, I had another 6 hour drive home, but when it came time for me to go, it felt weird not to have her with me. I'm gonna miss that kid. But look how happy she is!
My happy girl!

My drive home was long, boring and uneventful... nothing exciting to share. I made good time, six hours right on the nose. When I got home, I kept telling myself, blog! blog! blog! You promised you'd be back with Lisa & Jill's Big Day In The City Part II! But... girls, I just couldn't... I was beat. Driving does that, ya know?

Monday was fun! A quick morning passed at work, then a co-worker and I took off to the city for a San Francisco Giants game, it was Jerry Garcia Tribute Night!
As you may or may not already know, I am a Deadhead. Love those boys. I have a lot of great memories of music, laughter and friendship associated with that band. Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, two of the original members of the Grateful Dead were there last night to sing the National Anthem, as well as Jerry's daughter Annabelle to throw out the first pitch. Good times! In the 7th inning stretch, Phil and Bill Kreutzmann, another original member lead the crowd in a resounding rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" on kazoo! They were trying to break a World Record for largest kazoo ensemble. I don't know if they did, but it was fun anyway.

Got me some new GD swag too, yes I did! Some of it looks like this...

It was a long but exciting game with two extra innings due to a 3/3 tie. But in the end the Giants win!!
This superfan was sitting right behind me. I liked her sign. I think everyone in attendance had a great time last night, except the Chicago Cubs fans... boo.

Two extra innings resulted in a late, late night. I didn't get home until after 1:00am. Oi!

Today... not as much fun. I'm sick again. More summer sinus headaches, coupled with a runny nose, sore throat and ear aches. I've been told that I burn the candle at both ends...I think that it's caught up with me. But it sure is fun along the way!

Feeling (not so) groovy, but always yours truly,