February 12, 2018

It Was Ten Years Ago Today.....

Before I launch into what I have been up to since I last popped on here, I'd like to reminisce a bit on having a blog for 10 years. 10 years! I can hardly believe it has been that long, and yet when I scroll through my archives, I see a lot of life lived in those ten years. I miss people actively participating on personal blogs like they use to when I started back in 2008. I think the blog that started it all for me was Alicia's blog, "Posie Gets Cozy." Her blog sparked my desire to start my own and document my ordinary life, and also to share some recipes and sewing projects. Having this blog has come in handy many times when I want to remember what I did for a holiday or a flower arrangement I wanted to do again etc. I have also made many good virtual friends as well!  Do you also remember when blogs were super popular and we had giveaways? I loved participating in that. I won some pretty good stuff and  I also gave away some great prizes. I also loved "corners of my home" posts, because who doesn't like to snoop in homes and see how others live? Instagram really put a big hole in people writing personal blogs. I do love Instagram though, but I like writing my thoughts in this format a bit better. I would have liked to do a giveaway of sorts for my 10 year anniversary, like I did in the past when I hit a milestone with this blog, but I feel that people are shy to leave comments and participate  on here, so it would be a bit odd to do one. I just want you to know that even though I struggle to get on here and write posts, I will continue doing my best even though it seems like I have disappeared for an eternity.

Ok, enough on that topic. Since I last posted, I had friends over for dinner, which I haven't done in a while so that was fun. I made Osso Buco, and an epiphany cake. This cake didn't turn out as good as last year. Not sure what happened with the pastry, but the flavor was tasty at least.  The main reason for my absence is mostly because I have been working on Caitlin's baby shower. I can't post very many pictures of what I have been working on, except the little flower letters that are pictured. That little project was super fun to make, and I'm impressed with how far silk flowers have come! I usually shun them, but for a cute little project like this, they can't be beat. This will be part of the decor for the shower and later for little miss Ruby's bedroom. I can't wait to show you all the details of the shower when I can. As you might have already guessed, I'm also sewing up a storm for baby girl too. I'm trying not to get too carried away, because I want to see what her coloring is and how big she is so that I can better gauge what to make, but of course I have to make something tiny for now :)

This past weekend we went to St. Helena for brunch with Caitlin and Cyrous, to a place called  Archetype. It was pretty good, and I loved the decor of the restaurant. You can click on the name and it will take you to their site.  I really love the drive to St. Helena, because you get to see all the beautiful vineyards and everything is in bloom right now. Fields and fields of mustard flowers and cherry blossoms. I was hoping that the horrific fires we had this past fall didn't damage too much. I was pleased to see mother nature has began to carpet the landscape with green grass and wild flowers. You still could see the scorched trees, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would look. On our way back home, we stopped in Napa to visit the "Ox Bow Public Market." I had no idea this wonderful place existed! Now I know where I'll be going for lunch next time I'm roaming in that neck of the woods. The photos above show a little bit of the market place. There are quite a few restaurants that will have to be tried. We were short on time when we walked through, so I can't wait to go back and take some more time looking around.

The patterns pictured are a couple I purchased last week, and I can't wait to sew a little something for myself once I finish my Ruby projects. The pattern on the right, I'll be making the blouse version instead of the dress. For the "Tea House" dress I'm trying to find some nice rayon or really soft linen. I'm not sure yet. I bought some cotton lawn ages ago, and I might practice with that fabric before I commit to something on the more pricey side. The fabric store I go to in Berkeley, sews up samples of these indie patterns and it's so fun to see how they turn out. I really loved the Tea House dress, so I'm looking forward to making it. The liberty fabric came the other day in the mail. They had a sale of sorts on Fabric.com, so I decided to grab some of the ones I have been wanting. Also, there was a print called "Lillian's Berries" that I use to have, and made a little top out of it ages ago. I loved that print, but sold the shirt and thought I could get more. Nope, it was no where to be found in all my searches. So, I decided to ask around on Instagram to some fabric IG people to see if someone had some in their stash that they might want to sell. Bingo! Some sweet person in England had a yard and sold it to me, and I received it today. I'll be hoarding that for bit, and will be making something for Ruby in the future.
Well, I'm off to watch a bit of the Olympics.

10 years people......10 years. Lets hope I'll still be on here for a bit longer!

January 19, 2018

Hi.....Lazy Blogger is Back

Hi there!  Happy belated new year wishes. The holidays went by like a blur this year, and I feel like most of that was due to me working another year of retail. Too tired to do very many special things like menu plan for Christmas dinner and decor for my table, as evidenced by the above pictures. All of us this year were so focused on opening that red envelop to see the gender of Caitlin and Cyrous' baby!  It was the most beautiful gift of the day and if you follow on Instagram, you saw their happy faces revealed on the video I put up( It's a GIRL, just incase you didn't see it). So I'm sure you might guess I'm busy planning all the cute clothing I'm going to make, and also planning Caitlin's baby shower. I'll tell you though.....that was a long week to wait and see what the gender was!! I went to the ultrasound with the happy parents, and the technician would tell us to look away when she was nearing the private area.  The technician slipped though when she scanned near the face and said "Oh Angelina Jolie lips." When we left the office we both realized that you wouldn't equate a female face to a male, so we both thought "girl" by that slip. The technician even tried to back peddle and say...."Which doesn't mean it's a girl..." We are all thrilled to welcome a sweet baby girl. Her name will be Ruby Valentina :)

I worked on Christmas eve until 4pm and had high hopes to cook dinner when I got home, and even menu planned for it, but leading into that day, I was already tired. We decided to go to our favorite Paella restaurant in Oakland called "Duende." It was tasty as usual and lifted a bit of the load off of me. Christmas morning Dave made his infamous buttermilk pancakes and we tore into our gifts after that. I managed to capture a few nice pictures of the soon to be new parents. Caitlin truly was glowing that day.

So now we are in January and I'm feeling guilty that I let my poor blog gather dust over the holidays and didn't document our celebrations in real time. I'm sure the last thing anyone wants to see is Christmas pictures in January, but as you know I only do this blog as a history of our family events mostly, so you will have to bare with me on my laziness.
I don't do resolutions, so you aren't going to hear me go on an on about what I plan to change or monumental things I'm going to accomplish, hahah. I instead, like to just live each day to my maximum and try and accomplish maybe a tenth of all the millions of things I want to do!
The one thing I am working on though, is how I want to go forward with my Etsy shop. I'm thinking on streamlining the styles I put in. I feel like the vintage styled pieced that I have in my shop aren't speaking to that many customers and are very time consuming to make.  I might be taking some of those out of the shop and giving them to Caitlin. She has had her eye on a few of the pieces that I have, and I would rather see Ruby wear them truth be told. So that being said, I think I'm going to concentrate on simple styles with special touches of embroidery and continue to work with all my lovely natural fibers. I'll save the fun vintage sewing for my granddaughter! I love saying that.
Although I feel like it's going to be me having too much fun sewing for Ruby and not Etsy as the months go by hahah.  Perhaps my blog will pick up more when Ruby comes, as I'm sure I will not be able to resist photographing her.
Again, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw me finally dust off my serger! I have had this machine for a about 8 years. I have never even powered it on. I forced myself to play with it a couple of weekends ago and actually got rid of my fear of using it. I feel though, that I will still not use it as much as my Bernina. I only want to use the serger where it makes sense to finish seams with it. I still prefer more of a couture  way of finishing. I'm going to play with it again on a sample knit piece I'll be doing today. Wish me luck!

I hope that everyone is having a good start to the new year, and may you have good health and happiness in 2018!

December 1, 2017

Good Bye Amber Month of November

A fond farewell to the lovely month of November in all it's gorgeous colors. October and November are always so fleeting in its beauty. How was your Thanksgiving? We had a very nice one per usual. I decided to not photo dinner food, as it's the same as usual hahah. I was so rushed towards the end of getting dinner put on the table, that I took no pictures of family! This makes me sad, as I wanted to take a cute photo of Caitlin's little baby bump and the happy couple together. I did manage however to snap a picture of Nicole and Ehsan on a Skype call. Nicole made a mini Thanksgiving feast across the pond. It always reminds me of our two Thanksgivings we spent in Paris. It's an odd feeling being an expat and trying to execute a Thanksgiving dinner. You rush around getting all the ingredients, and that is not easy to being with, and then you wonder why everyone is so calm and not rushing around with you. Duh, it's not their holiday haha. Since we moved back from France, I've heard that it is now easier to get some of the American favorites to make the feast, so that's nice. At least there is Whole Foods in London, so you can easily get the goodies, which is what Nicole did.
Our only hick up of the day was our fridge started to slowly die(luckly in the evening of Thanksgiving). It started with dim lights inside, then a funny sound. By Sunday morning it was dead! We were without a fridge for 4 days! You really don't realize how dependent you are on this major appliance. It was such a great day when the repairman came and solved the problem.
Over the Thanksgiving week I received a special order, that is pictured above, and an order for a cape. The cape order has me utterly frustrated at the moment. My listing is about as clear as I can make it, yet the customer did not choose the lining fabric. I have sent three convo's on Etsy, and two emails to alert them. It's been six days now and I have not heard back. I feel anxious about this. I guess I shouldn't, since I have done everything I can to notify them, but I want to make it and clear my orders. I'm very near sending a snail mail card to them!
While I wait for this person to contact me, I will spend the day sewing up a little jacket that I cut out ages ago and haven't had a chance to start. I gave up hope in actually doing a little capsule collection for fall/winter. I'm slowly working through the stack of fabric thought, that I wanted to use for fall winter. It will just come out slowly instead of in a big chunk.

It's been a pretty low key month, so I don't really have that much to blog about. Since my last post, work has turned around. When I wrote my last post, I was pretty annoyed and a bit upset with some changes taking place. Like I said in my last post, none of the changes really affected me, but seemed unfair to others. Now that the dust has settled a bit, things have fallen back into a nice rhythm. We have several new ladies that have joined the pack  and it's been fun getting to know them. It still never gets old to see the brides choose their dresses, and to see family members get emotional. Last week we had the cutest dad literally break down and sob. Kleenex was busted out and we were all sniffling right along side him.
On that note, I think I'll dive into my next project. I will try my hardest to post more, I know I say this over and over again, but I'll still be trying my hardest to bet back on here. I feel as though I've let my blog slip. I just realized that I have been writing this blog going on 10 years this coming February! While some have quit, at least I'm here, even though it's sporadically.
Hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving and here's to a fun and stress free Christmas season!