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!


November 10, 2017

Hello......
















For those who follow me on social media, you probably already know that Caitlin and Cyrous are expecting in May! To say we are happy is an understatement.  As I type this today, she is 14 weeks and 4 days. Of course I can't wait to find out the sex, so I can start sewing up little outfits. I have some really cute ideas for either, so as soon as I find out, there will be no stopping me hahah.

I have many thoughts on becoming a grandparent. My first thoughts are how I want to be the grandparent that is always present and always spoiling them, not with material things, but with my time. I just can't wait to tell this little one, how we prayed for them to come down from heaven to join us and how we were all excited when we found out. It was a super hard secret to keep. We were invited to dinner at Caitlin and Cyrous' place on the 1st of September, and right before we dug into our Friday night pizza, Caitlin came out with a small thin box. In it was the pee stick with the word "Yes," and the due date. When you find out this early, it's tough because you hope that it sticks, and as much as you want to tell every single person, you just can't. On their second wedding anniversary, Caitlin posted the sweet little picture of the ultrasound on Instagram, so it was the go ahead to shout it from the roof tops hahah. I can hardly believe their wedding was two years ago when I see the above photo.

I'm always sad that my girls had absentee grandmothers. My mom is checked out as a grandparent and my mil checked out soon as my sister in law started having her kids.  I myself didn't have a grandmother figure around. As much as I loved my grandmother, I lost communications once my parents divorced. I have very little memories with her, but the ones I do have are sweet. Both my mom and mil had no excuses, except for being self absorbed I suppose. I could write a lot on this, but I'll spare you because it's just too sad. At least the girls did have good grandfather figures, and my step mom has been great.
My sister lucked out with her mother in law, and she is a woman that I seriously look up to as a role model on how to be a grandmother. Her name is Christina and she has 13 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, soon to be 14, and one great great grandchild. All these kids range from adult to babies. The times I have visited, I'm always impressed with how engaged she is with all of them. No favorites, because all of them are special. I've seen her play and talk to the real little ones, then have funny conversations with the teens and twenty year old kids. She is super grandma. They call her G mama. She even took my kids under her wing, and every birthday, no matter how tight things are for her, she sends a card with a five dollar bill in it. She always remembers my birthday too.  This is who I would love to be like as a grandmother. She is beloved, and when her days are done, will be remembered with love and respect. So.....I'm ready to embark on becoming the best grandmother I can be. The cycle of absentee grandmother ends with my mom and mil.

On another note, I got caught up in making many capes these last few weeks, and why I have been absent from this space. This year all my orders came very late, and was surprised with so many people reaching out in desperation for rush orders. Mostly for parties the weekend leading up to Halloween!  Anyway, I was one order short of the normal 10 that I seem to average. I just finished dusting my studio of red wool, and now I'm on to making some pieces that I've been wanting to make for a while. Stay tuned as always.
Speaking of Halloween, this year we went over to Caitlin and Cyrous' house for dinner and to help pass out candy. Their neighborhood is more trick or treat friendly than our place, so we thought it would be more fun to spend it there. Caitlin made a yummy pot roast recipe that topped polenta. She also made red velvet cup cakes for dessert.
Thanksgiving plans are swirling in my head, but mostly of dessert recipes and table top decor. I rarely  stray from the classics on that day, so I know what I'm making for dinner. I usually introduce a new dessert on top of pumpkin pie of course. I was hoping to use some persimmons for my Thanksgiving table, but the ones above, I gave to a friend, thinking I would go and pick more a few days later. I just went out there and someone stripped the tree bare! Really annoying!!! It had to be someone with a picker, because there weren't even any on the top. In the summer I caught my neighbor with her friend helping themselves to peaches! Why are people creeps? They just  better keep their mitts off the avocados in the front yard!
Lots of changes at work.  Both managers have moved on. One on maternity leave, and the other found a better job. Our tight little band of ladies at work has slowly been dismantling with only four of us originals left. Not sure how much longer I can stay on, as some of the changes have not been great, and it hasn't been as fun to go in as it was in the beginning. Once I hang up my hat there, I'll have to spill a bit on how that company runs. I'm constantly shaking my head. I'm only there three days a week, so most of what has gone on really doesn't affect me. I just don't like seeing good people being knocked down. I'll save the details for another post.
Last weekend I made a super yummy apple galette. I used my stepmom's crust recipe and Alice Water's recipe for the apple part. It was so good! All summer I made galettes instead of pies, and now I'm hooked.
Ok, well that's my recap of October, hope everyone had an enjoyable Halloween!

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.....