October 5, 2017

What Happened to September?

I have no idea where September went! After I uploaded my first few pictures, I guess I have been pretty busy sewing. I recently got this garment rack for my little outfits. I normally store them in a sealed plastic tub, but wanted to see them all lined up with cute hangers. I love how it all looks together, and will most likely keep them like this. I have a cover to protect them, and I find them easier to get to.
The first week of September, I sewed up two outfits for two lovely ladies at work who are expecting little girls. Since giving the gifts, one has already had her little girl! My other coworker is due in November and her little outfit is the one with the white collar Liberty fabric, and star buttons on the back. I made a cute pair of pink linen bloomers to go with the top. The first one was my classic signature baby dress I made out of Liberty of London fabric and silk organza ruffle collar. I loved making these. I just love giving gifts, especially for babies! Both were well received and I can't wait to see them eventually wear them, probably some time around Easter, since I make them to fit then.
I started with a couple of cape orders at the end of September, and usually I have had more by this time, but so far no orders. Lots of people favorite (ing) the listing, so possibly they will come back and purchase, but it's been lighter this year. Because it has been light, I've just started more fall/winter  items to put in the shop, like the white ruffle collar top and the little wool coat with flannel lining. I certainly have enough ideas to keep myself busy while I wait for more orders.

My birthday was lovely this year. The weather was glorious, as was the company for the day. Dave took the day off and we started out the celebrations with lunch. Caitlin and Cyrous joined us, then we came home and had cake! The dessert on the Chez Panisse menu this year was not very birthday worthy, as you can see in the last photo. However, it paired very well as a final course with the pork dish they served. Having the cake in the afternoon was better for this old gal too, as something like this rarely sits well on the tummy late at night!! Looking back, I should have just gotten some cupcakes, because even a six inch cake is too much. Lately I find myself not wanting sweets hahah.  
I also got to Skype with Nicole before I went to lunch, and that was fun, as she and David coordinated my gift this year. She designed a tote bag with her latest textile design and she made me some cute earrings as well.  
When we got seated for dinner, there was a book on one of the place settings ( seen in photo above). David had called ahead and purchased this book for me form the Chez Panisse site. He went one step extra and had Alice Waters sign it! It says "Happy Birthday Elizabeth!" really fun surprise.  My thoughtful husband, always makes my birthday special every year :)  Can't wait to read the book. Chez Pannisse for dinner always feels like being invited to your favorite friends house and being taken care of with the best food lovingly made just for you.  I don't think I will ever tire of going there.

As you know this is my most favorite time of year and I feel alive with ideas and general mood has lifted from the stifling summer months! Let the cozy months roll in with it candles, comfort foods, and holidays. hopefully I will check in more often than I have lately. Until next time my friends.....

August 31, 2017

Summer's End

Oh wow, I didn't realize I let my blog collect dust since August 3rd! I'll do a quick round up of what I've been up to. The first couple of pictures are at the Alameda Flea Market. We took our niece Natalia with us, along with Caitlin and Cyrous, to wander through 800 plus vendors of all sorts of goodies. I love going to this flea market, yet I always arrive around 1 and it shuts down at 3, so I never give myself enough time to really look at more than a dozen or so. It was still a fun day, and we ended up at the St. George gin distillery that was near by. We love their product and had lots of fun trying some of their other spirits.

Not long ago I came across a funny post on Instagram that read: August is the Sunday of summer. I thought that was pretty funny, and envisioned sad summer lovers kicking and screaming because the season is almost over. Meanwhile I'm already looking everywhere for signs of fall with joy in my heart haha. Caitlin and I took a little walk around Berkeley not long ago and I snapped a few pics of the beautiful leave that you see above. I know that technically Fall isn't official until late September, but soon as I turn the calendar to September....Summer is OVER hahaha.

We are finally finished with all the peaches on the trees!! Sheesh there were so many this year, that I just ran out of things to do with them and started giving them away for others to enjoy. They were so beautiful this year. I never ended up making a pie with them like I had planned. I think mainly because I made a lot of rustic tarts, and was just burnt out. I also don't like having too many desserts hanging out in the house.  The tomato tart that is pictured was so good! It was such a simple recipe from one of my French cookbooks, that I really wondered if it was going to be any good since it was so simple in the ingredients. I could easily make another one of those. They only taste good of course with those beautiful heirloom tomatoes, and soon those will be gone in the markets.  I also managed to make my favorite blueberry coffee cake not long ago, after I over bought some blueberries. It's what I do all the time...I go to Berkeley Bowl and have a zillion ideas for meals and treats, then over buy. I seem to forget there are only so many hours in a day, and I can't possibly be making elaborate meals and get other things done, like pieces for my Etsy shop, and my part time Anthropologie job.

Speaking of my shop, I just completed the little outfit above and it was very fun to make. The embroidery part turned out nice I think, and I want to do more pieces like this.
Today I worked on a co-workers baby gift, and tomorrow I'm making another outfit for the other lovely lady that is due a month after. Both are having girls, so naturally I had to make them something. I hope they like what I chose to make them. I see both of them on Friday and will present them with their little gifts.
The picture of my living room is the day of the eclipse. I didn't go outside to try and see it. I just watched how odd the lighting got in the house, and laughed when my little Riki bird got weirded out and thought it was time to go to sleep. He napped for a solid 20 minutes, something he never does in the morning hours.
 No other news from my camp, just chugging along. I'll share photos of the gifts I made for my co-workers in my next post. Right now I have to get in that room and get cutting and sewing the last outfit.  Catch you later!

August 3, 2017

Dog Days of Summer

When August rolls around I'm always looking for signs of fall. Am I the only one doing this? It's hot out, yet I see the light changing bit by bit.The peach and plum trees yielded a lot of fruit this summer, probably because of all the rain. I've made a few tarts with the plums and have so far made muffins with the peaches. We have been just eating the peaches off the tree outside the kitchen window.  I'm really sad that one of the peach trees became so heavy with fruit that two branches snapped. I'll be going out on Friday to pick a bunch of them off, then we can survey the damage to the tree. The deer are happy about it, and visit nightly to snack on the accessible treats. I've scared a few of them when I shut the windows for the night! When they bolt you can hear the force when they run and jump. In the morning I see the sidewalk covered in peach pits hahah. This year we have many, many avocados! They will not be ready until late fall early winter. They look so cute swinging in the wind like tree jewelry.

A couple of weeks ago I hurt my back making my bed of all things. Really nerdy and annoying, but it had me on the couch for a good five days. I'm usually really careful with my back, but one false move is all it took.  For long time readers you may remember that I had a full hip replacement back in 2010. After a lifetime of hip dysplasia, it messed up my back big time. It took me almost 6 month to recover from the operation and work on my herniated disc. I had a wonderful physical therapist that taught me how to take care of my back. Soon as I hurt myself a week ago, I went back to all the techniques that he taught me. Nine days later I was back to my normal. My normal is still chronic back pain and very fragile back, but at least I can walk and move around somewhat normal. It really scares me somedays thinking about how I'll be when I'm really old!  I'm back to work both at Anthropologie/BHLDN, and also back to making some of the pieces for my little fall line for the shop. I finished the cute little linen romper with the bunny as the final summer piece. I had envisioned this one day and decided to throw it in there before I start on fall/winter. It's ready to buy, just click on the side bar under my Etsy.    I had fun embroidering the little collar on the white cotton batiste baby top. I'm making some little winter bloomers in the fabric that you see paired with it in the photo. I just love this print. Normally I like working with small florals, linen, and Liberty of London, but I couldn't resist this print. It's designed by Rifle Paper Co. They recently printed an Alice in Wonderland book with these illustrations. The flower print, below the Alice print, is also theirs. I haven't decided what I want to make with the floral one, but the Alice one, I will be making bloomers, skirts, and possibly a top.  I always have many ideas, it's the time that trips me up as usual, along with the capes. Ah the capes....around now I start to get people favoriting the cape listing and I can usually get a count of how many I have to make. It's already started, and I'm ready with all my red wool and cotton Little Red Riding Hood prints...bring it on :)
Well, I'm writing this at midnight, and I need to go into BHLDN tomorrow. Catch you all later, and enjoy the rest of the summer, even if you might be like me where you are chasing the fall light!

July 9, 2017

Summer Celebrations and Summer Days

Our anniversary always kicks off the summer celebrations, and as the readers that have been on here from way back know, June is filled with family celebrations. This year our anniversary was on Father's day, so we decided to start the morning with a Father's day brunch. I made a baked egg dish from Jamie Oliver with merguez sausage and sweet potatoes. I really liked this recipe. It included a yogurt sauce with harrisa which gave it a little kick.  After brunch we let dad relax and later Caitlin and Cyrous joined us for a dinner out to celebrate our anniversary/Father's day. It was a restaurant that a coworker recommended we try called Trestle (click here if you are interested). We really enjoyed it and will try it again soon.  Next up on June 20th, was David's birthday. We went to our favorite restaurant Dona Tomas, and David got to eat his beloved tres leches cake. He worked that day so we didn't do much except for dinner.

We have been having some hot weather and some nice weather recently, and I'm really trying to motivate to get things done for the shop when we get these cooler days. I'm almost done with the little garment with the sweet bunny embroidery that you see above. I will start on Fall/Winter this week as well. I feel pretty proud of myself that I'm starting in July. I always say I'm going to, then don't, so this is a big step for me this year! I have some really cute ideas, so I believe this helps in getting more motivated to start. I'll be doing the same thing I did with the small summer capsule collection I made. Hopefully I can get enough made before the cape orders start coming in. I'm getting a lot of "favoriting" on it, and usually they come back and order. It's handy to know what I'm in for.

My dad and stepmother came for the fourth of July holiday. They had spent a couple of days with my niece to see the newest addition to their family, little baby Lila. We had not seen the new baby either, so it was very kind of them to bring my dad and stepmother this way, and that way we could visit and enjoy their kids.
I had a lot of fun cooking this year for the holiday. I decided to make three salads, carne asada, and a berry crostada for dessert. It's always surprising how much work the salads can be! The chopping and dressing making take time that you don't think about when you are planning the menu!  I loved how the carne asada came out, and will use the recipe again that I found on Pinterest. The salads were: classic potato, red cabbage with carrots in a chili infused vinaigrette, and fresh corn, tomato and basil salad.
To top the carne asada, I made a batch of my favorite condiment, chimichuri sauce. I could drink that stuff!
It's been quiet at work, hot weather has kept people away I think. I work upstairs, and they haven't fixed the AC situation in our section. Yesterday I was sweating the minute I got to work. I felt sorry for the poor brides and maids trying on dresses. Luckily my shift is short, because I don't know if I could take more than four hours. Sometime next week we are getting new gowns in! Always so exciting to see all the new dresses. It really never gets old seeing the brides try them on.

Well, nothing else new in these parts, so I'll sign off for now and hope everyone is having a relaxing summer.