August 16, 2016

For the Love of Textiles

It's no secret that I love all things textile. While studying art history in college, I was fascinated with the preservation of paintings and textiles, and would spend a lot of time looking at all the vintage clothing in the theater department of my university. Preserving textiles can be complicated to do on your own as you can imagine, and this is why after Caitlin's wedding we wanted to make sure this wedding gown and veil got preserved in THE best possible manner.  We wanted to be able to do this as a gift for Caitlin and Cyrous. I remember after our wedding, we never seemed to have the funds to take my dress to the cleaners and so it got put in a garment bag and forgotten. Caitlin's dress is gorgeous and has two layers of silk lining along with  Alencon lace, which is sometimes referred to as "the queen of lace." The veil also has this lace, and in itself is an heirloom.  The process of choosing a wedding gown, then going through numerous fittings and then to not take care of such a investment, when the big day is over, is a crime in my book! Last week I contacted Marina Morrison where Caitlin bought the gown and veil, to ask where the  best place was to have the gown cleaned, preserved and restored. They sent me info to contact J. Scheer & Co. (click on the name if you would like to read more about them.)  After spending time on their site, I placed the order to start the process. I received a phone call immediately and spoke with a very nice woman, who walked me through the steps and what they do. I must say though, that shipping the dress and accessories, via UPS, had me a little nervous, and as you can imagine, Caitlin was too!! Today I'm happy to say it arrived safe, and now the process begins. They will test all the fabric to find which organic solution they will use to clean the dress. I'm happy that they will be able to mend the torn tulle as well. The process will take up to three and a half months.  They will clean the belt as well, as Caitlin got a little bit of honey on it from the Persian ceremony. I was panicking about that since the satin ribbon was so thick and lustrous and worried how something like that could get cleaned.  The really cool thing about how the gown and accessories  will be boxed, is that it will not be sealed like most cleaners do. They encourage you to open it and look at your gown once you get it. Included with the box are white gloves to handle the dress, as to not get oils from your hands on it. Even if the dress never gets worn again, it will be a treasure and memory of the most beautiful day, which I cannot believe was now 10 months ago! Speaking of which, you should clean your dress no later than six months it said....oops.....Luckily Caitlin didn't spill anything on her dress and only has light soiling on the hem.
When the dress returns, I'll snap a picture of it.  All wedding pictures above were taken by Erin Prado, for JBM photo  Incase you are wondering who Caitlin's dress is by, it is Liancarlo  and her veil was by Homa Bridal (click on names to go to the sites) Belt was Anne Barge
This is our anniversary gift to them, and I sure hope it arrives close to the actual date!!
Seriously though, if you love textiles, go on the J. Scheer site and read all the fascinating things they do for Bridal, Couture, and historical textiles.

August 8, 2016

Hello August!

Wow, it's been a few weeks since I have blogged! One day seems to meld into another over here with routine and summer time laziness.  Since I last blogged, Caitlin and Cyrous moved to their really cute new place. On the Sunday before they got back, we built an Ikea TV stand for them, and got them a cute little patio table and chairs for their front porch. I think they were surprised with their house warming gifts! In my next post I'll put some pics of of their place, it's really charming.  It's nice to have them home after being away for a month.
A week or so we were suffering with a heat wave, as evidenced in the first photo. Not much gets done in this type of weather for me, which as you can see, there are no photos of anymore sewing projects! I did however complete one special order, and spent some time getting some inspiration for some fall projects on Pinterest. I went to my favorite fabric store in Berkeley last week and bought some really fun fabrics that inspired me to begin my fall/winter looks. I was going to work with a real bright color palate this fall, but changed my mind when I found this one particular print. I'll take some pics when I get some things cut out, which hopefully will be this week.

This past Saturday, we met Caitlin and Cyrous for breakfast and then checked out the vintage fair they were having downtown. I found a cool 1930's print to frame for my bathroom. Last year I found some really great vintage patterns, but this year I didn't see any vintage sewing supplies.  We stopped in at States Coffee for an ice tea and then headed home.

One of our summer guilty pleasures has been watching "Six Feet Under" on HBO.  This is the first time we have ever had HBO, so just now we are watching shows that everyone else already saw back in the early 2000's hahaha. The series began in 2001 and it's funny to see how that already looks dated. This started airing around the time we were getting ready to move to France.  I heard all about it when we moved back to the States, but like I said, no HBO until now. We are on the next to the last season right now and have really enjoyed the series.  Now we have to try and fit in the Olympics with our HBO viewing hahaha. Speaking of Olympics, as I type this I just saw the US win the mens swimming relay!! Michael Phelps really was incredible to watch. What are your favorite events to watch? We love swimming, gymnastics, and beach volleyball.

On Saturday we decided to go into Oakland for dinner, and while we were walking to the restaurant, we encountered this sweet little cat. It was just lying there minding its own business. As we walked by, it gravitated towards David like a magnate. It rubbed up against him in circles, then came over to me and did the same. I tried to pet it, but it just looked at me, like don't even.... then sauntered away. It still seemed that it wanted to pal out with David, as you can see how it is stalking him from behind. I miss having a cat.

The yard continues to bloom and bloom. The purple flowers on the tree are covered in bees and dragonflies. I really don't remember this tree all bloomed like it is now, last summer. I love seeing it out of my kitchen window. My miniature pomegranates are starting to form it's tiny fruit! We love sitting out in the yard on Sundays with our farmers market treats and coffee enjoying all the sights  smells of summer. Today we had a friend over to help us eat the farmer's market treats.

Oh I almost forgot.....Nicole got the coolest job opportunity that we are all super excited about! Unfortunately I can't say much about it, as I'm sworn to secrecy.... BOO! The minute I can tell more about it, I will be doing my proud mom moment. It's pretty cool :)

Off to do a bit more Olympic viewing before bed.....Catch up sooner than I did this time!

July 12, 2016

Summer Looks Like This....

Lazy days of summer are in full force over here.  We didn't go anywhere for the 4th of July weekend, just stayed home and pretty much did nothing but make pie hahah. I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining, because I'm not. I never like to travel anywhere on the 4th. I think there are just too many silly people out on the road, and I don't like crowds, so home and relaxing is fun enough for the independence day holiday. I was teasing Caitlin on messenger about being in enemy camp on the 4th of July. 2 years ago we were in the Uk for the 4th and I wore a U.S.A. shirt, which got sideway glances hahah.  They are now in Scotland and on their way to the coolest place. It's called Roulette Retreat. Click on the link to see this magical place! They have been sight seeing in Edinburgh for close to a week now, and this is the last leg of their stay in Scotland. They stayed in two different spots in Edinburgh, one was a cool B&B called Wallace's Art House and the other was a fancy place they decided to treat themselves for one night called The Witchery. If you want to check it out, click on the names. David called The Witchery the day before they arrived and told the restaurant to bill their dinner to us as a surprise! They texted immediately after dinner and said they were so surprised. The food looked amazing from the pics Caitlin took.  We all LOVE Scotland, so we are pleased that they chose to go there and picked fun and unique places to experience it in different ways.

As promised in my last post, I included a picture of the African violet that is spilling over the pot I transplanted it to. It's going strong with non stop flowers! I had to take a picture for evidence that I'm not a killer of house plants!
The blue berry pie was so fun to make, because I hadn't made a lattice pie in quite sometime. I also used  a different crust recipe. Still all butter, but different flour amount. It was nice to have extra dough to construct the lattice. The other recipe doesn't yield enough to do anything fancy. So I'll be using this one I think from now on! I'm making a peach pie this weekend to take to a dinner with  some friends, and I think I will do something different with that one as far as crust art. I have been seeing some fun crusts for pies on IG that I would like to try. The peaches are out of control in the yard, which is a good thing. I think I already mentioned this, but holy smokes they are so good and I can't stop taking pictures of them. Today I picked more and it filled the biggest bowl I own. I have some pics of it on my IG.

Are you wondering what Riki is doing? He LOVES looking at parakeet videos on Instagram. He tries to feed them and chat with them. It's kinda sad/cute hahah. His other new love is being sprinkled with lots of water. He also goes crazy when anyone is drinking water. So to humor him I fill a little dish and let him drink out of it. He almost can't wait for me to give it to him, then he drinks like he has never had water in his life(he has a permanent bowl filled at all times). He is silly, and keeps me company with his sweet little chatter and whistles. Did I also mention how he loves Pandora? His favorite all time band is "The Strokes." I think I blogged about it ages ago, but still to this day he goes crazy when their songs come on. Funny little guy!

The flowers on the mantel are from our farmers market. I literally begged the manager to get a flower vendor. There had not been one in years he told me because no one bought them. I found that hard to believe that no one would want flowers. Then a couple weekends ago, the manager messaged me on Facebook with pictures of the new flower vendor! I immediately went down and bought a bunch! Great prices and they are farm to market, so no middle man. The guy who runs it is so nice and I'm thrilled to see him doing well. This last weekend I didn't get down there until noon and everything was gone! I'm pleased that the new manager found this vendor and actually listened to me about this market having no flowers which is just sad I think. Flowers are part of making a happy environment in your home in my opinion.

I finally finished the little bloomers and they are now available in the shop. I'll be cutting out some little tops next, then I think I will start working on some fall pieces. Still trying to get some staple pieces in there before I work on something more intricate. I have some really fun prints for the fall that I can't wait to cut into!
I have been thinking a lot lately about boys clothes again. I think I have finally come to a decision to not make them. I'm just not inspired enough. Perhaps if I had a muse I would, but I don't and it is a struggle that I don't want to keep thinking about. If someone wants a special order I could do that, but I don't think I will be filling the shop with boys clothing. I might change my mind later, but for now I think that is how I will proceed. Ok, enough rambling I need to close for now so I can get to work. Catch you all later!

July 1, 2016

Good Bye June Hello July

July is here!  No big plans for us this year as far as trips. Last year as I have mentioned was such a lost summer with moving and wedding planning that this year it has been nice to take a big deep breath and relax and play in the the yard and do some sewing for the shop.  We also love to explore our own back yard so to speak. There is so much to do in the Bay Area, that one can really have a fun staycation, and that is what we will be doing this summer.

As I mentioned in my last post, we dropped Cyrous and Caitlin off for their month long honeymoon, and here are a few pics of them so far. I love the one of them eating in Nicole's garden! I have been Skyping with them here and there, and took a few pictures of the day I Skyped on Nicole's birthday. The quality of the picture of Caitlin and Nicole isn't great, sorry about that, it's a screen shot. They were getting ready to take Nicole out to dinner. They are having a lot of fun visiting and exploring London. Soon they will be off to Scotland.
I'm anxiously waiting for these peaches that I took a picture of to ripen! Hurry up already!!! Last year I remember picking some around this time, but they were much smaller. David pruned them in the fall, and I'm not sure if this is what made them have way bigger fruit this year, or it's just that the trees are more mature. They are white peaches and they are like I said...hurry up already and ripen!!
A month or so ago we planted a fern on the porch, and I'm happy to say I have not killed it! It's looking so pretty and getting bigger. Ferns are so beautiful and for me so prehistoric looking. They also remind me of living farther north in Humboldt County where they thrive. I thought it would be too hot here for them to do well, but when we moved in I noticed some growing in the front yard and doing quite well, so I thought I'll put one in a footed urn and see what happens.  I might have to retire my black thumb medal haha. The other plant that I can't believe is doing well is the Trader Joe's african violet! It's so gorgeous it doesn't even look real and it's got so many flowers! I'll take a picture of it soon.

Ok, enough about plants. I just finished this sweet little sunsuit and it will be listed today. It's made with Japanese imported fabric. I love the print, because it reminds me of a Liberty print, and you all know how much I love Liberty! It's 6mo. size.  (link is on side bar).  Next up are some red and white gingham banded bloomers. I'm starting on those today, and I think after those I'll be planning fall and doing some basics.

Hope everyone has a wonderful three day weekend! Happy Fourth of July!

June 23, 2016

Happy Birthday David!

 Birthday boys brand new Panama hat from Montecristi Panama hats

And this is the end of the festivities! Laid back birthday for David this year. Since Caitlin and Cyrous were leaving the very next day for the UK, we decided it would be nice to just hang out at home and not do too much. More soccer watching and a nice lunch out.
We have wanted to make pizza in the gas grill for a while, and thought this would be a no fuss fun dinner that we could eat out side and just enjoy the evening. It was a whole lot of fun making these pizzas!  We bought some dough from our favorite pizza place and then got creative with the toppings. I used just crushed tomatoes and not a sauce. I think it's key to not load it up too much so that it will not be soggy. It worked so well and we can't wait to do it again.  We wanted to make an heirloom tomato one, but the tomatoes are at their peak in August, so we will try then. We heated up the grill to about 500 to 600F and those babies took no time to cook! We have always gotten good results in the oven with the stone, but it takes much longer to cook. I think we need a pat on the back for using our grill three times so far this summer.
 We lit all the tea lights and strung the outside lights up for a festive feel. Luckily it had cooled down by the time we had dinner and it was such an enjoyable evening eating out in the backyard.

We finished the dinner with a yummy ice cream cake from  Lottie's Creamery You have to have an ice cream cake for the summer kid right?! We still have a lot leftover, since they only had 8 inch cakes this go around.....Dave is just so sad about this, hahahah. Oh, how do you like our ghetto birthday candle? I have no idea where I put the birthday candles when we moved last year. I'm sure the wish will still come true!

I'm trying to get the house back in order after all the celebrations and have a ton of laundry and tidying up to do today. I got a cute video from Nicole of Caitlin and Cyrous yesterday having lunch at her place :) They look happy and tired, and I'm sure they will be snoozing for a while today.

Hopefully after the housework today, I will be able to make it into my studio to work. Check back for updates for new items coming soon.