October 20, 2018

Summer Hibernation is Over

Hi!!!! I really did not intend to be gone from this space for so long. Summer passed in a blink of an eye, and I can't say I'm sad about it. We had a lot of really scary fires here in California, and we still are not out of danger yet. I think it was late July when a fire started up in the hills behind our house! People were freaking out including us. We had no idea what to take first from the house as we saw the smoke so close. After an hour or so of uncertainty, a police officer drove by to assure people that it was contained and there was no need for evacuation. This is a part of why I don't like summer. My dad worked for the Forest Service, and every summer  I remember him fighting fires, but mainly in southern California. So I equate summer with fires, heat, more fires . Each year I worry, and this past summer was so scary.  My heart goes out to those in the fires in Redding and Mendocino this past  summer. Just a few more weeks until we start getting some rain, and we can all breath a little easier. Anyway......summer just came and went and pretty much tried to enjoy all the little milestones of little miss Ruby. She is the sunshine in all our lives as you can imagine. I love to take lots of pictures and videos of her, so I can enjoy them when I'm not in her company. I truly meant to do a better job on here with up dates on her, but it all ended up on Instagram instead. So, if you want to check them out, I put all videos in my highlights on there.

We didn't take a vacation or go anywhere this summer, so no news or stories on that. We did have a nice visit in August from some old college friends. The first picture was the table setting I did for our dinner with them. They brought their Italian exchange student with them, and we all had a nice time catching up and meeting a new friend.

On the Etsy front, I'm still dragging my feet guys! I've been filling cape orders off and on since September, and still trying to figure out what I want to fill the shop with. The pictures of the tiny clothing above went to Ruby of course, but I have been photographing them to put in my Etsy shop as made to order pieces. I'm kinda mad right now at Etsy for taking such a big percent of our sales, and on top of that a percentage of the shipping as well! Trying to figure out if it is all worth it in the end. As usual, I'll share what I will be doing with the shop, but right now I'm disillusioned a bit with Etsy.

Yesterday we took Ruby to the pumpkin patch. As you can tell from the photos it was very sunny! I have some memories of taking my girls to this very same pumpkin patch several years ago, and the sun beating down then hahaha. We only stayed for a few pictures, and after choosing a few pumpkins we left. Caitlin's friend Vanessa came with us.  I couldn't help but think about how much time has passed when I looked at them and remembered all the old high school days they shared. Time marching on....but in such a delightful way.
The photos of all the leaves changing and the apples are from the yard of course. This year the neighbors apple tree really pulled out all the stops. We pilfered some that hung over on our side of the yard. Normally I would not do this, but since I caught this neighbor last year with bag in hand cleaning out our peaches, I feel that we deserve a few of these apples!

I'm still working part time at the store, that I will not name, because last time I did, they found my post and I had to explain why I wrote what I did. It's been up and down is all I can say. There are days that I love being there and making someones big day special with the right attire, but then there are days I just wish I was at home sewing, because I'm not wanting to deal with some of the pettiness that comes with retail. It's tough because I'm the type of person that doesn't quit something easily, yet at the same time  there comes a point when you have over stayed in a position. I love my manager, so that is what is keeping me there, and the discounts on the merchandise truth be told hahah.

This post is becoming a bit all over the place. I just didn't want to leave the blog resting too long, but didn't want to launch into a big recap of the nearly two and half months that I have been missing. It's a small hi how are you, and yes I'm still alive I suppose :)

Next up for projects.....going to start on a Christmas stocking for Ruby, so on that note I'll end it there and I'll be back more, since it is my favorite time of year with more to blog about. Bye for now!

July 14, 2018

Summer and Lots of Pictures of Ruby

 Five Days old and out for a walk

 Eight days old

 Father's Day, and one week old

 June 20th, David's birthday

 Fourth of July,  Almost 8 weeks old

Hi everyone, I didn't mean to disappear for so long!  Starting to put pictures up of Ruby to make some kind of chronological picture story of her growth. Of course I could flood the entire blog post with just pictures of her, but I resisted and inserted a few family celebrations and fourth of July. I had to work on Father's day....oops forgot to ask for the day off, so David spent the time with the kids while I was at work for 4 hours. The night before I marinated some flank steak using my favorite recipe I found on Pinterest. Then Monday was our 35th wedding anniversary! We went to Chez Panisse for dinner and it was a really lovely ride over to Berkeley, as we went on the back roads. One day break in the celebrations, then it was David's birthday.  He decided he wanted to spend the day in Berkeley and Oakland having lunch and visiting some of his favorite shops to spend some birthday money.  We stopped by one of our favorite chocolate shops in Berkeley called Casa de Chocolates, ( click on name to check out this great shop.) and bought some Tres Leches cake to celebrate at home with Caitlin and Ruby...Cyrous is teaching summer school so could not be with us. We saved him a piece of cake though!

Ruby, Ruby.....what can I say? She is a delight and a dream come true, I'm really enjoying being a grandparent. We are fortunate to live so close to them that we can see her at least once a week. I have taken quite a bit of photos as you can imagine, so get ready for most of my posts to have pictures on this sweet angel baby. On fourth of July she wore that little knit onesie I made with my first adventure on my serger. She many not get to wear it very much, since she is growing so fast! She is already almost 12 pounds and almost 24 inches long. We think that she is going to have her daddy's long legs. It's fun to see each week how much she has changed. When I look back at the first few weeks of her life up until now, she is a whole different little baby! Her cute little personality is starting to shine through and she is now flashing real smiles at us. She also loves to stare intently at us and we have all had fun having staring contests with her.  She's a joy!

Summer so far has been quite nice, due to lovely weather. I can't even complain as usual. It makes for a nice gentle pace, and because of this I have been spending more time out on the patio enjoying the new humming bird feeder we bought. I use to have this really neat red glass feeder, but it leaked sadly, and it seemed not to be visited as much. So we bought this old school one and some really nice nectar with electrolytes and other nutrients in it. They sure are greedy little guys. The other day I took the feeder off the hook to replenish their treats, and one hovered in the empty spot and stared at me through the kitchen window quite disappointed and flitted off. Soon as I hung it back up, he was back in a matter of seconds. The feeder is near our neighbors giant apple tree, so I think they feel really protected while consuming their treat. In the mornings I love to sit on the patio and watch them zoom in and out. Lots of fighting between them as well, but for the most part they are civil.  Best money I have spent to date!

Last week I got two cape orders. It seems each year it gets earlier and earlier, and always is hard to cut hot wool on a summers day. After I got the orders, I realized those were the last two that I could make since I ran out of wool. I quickly called my supplier and thank the lord above they had a whole bolt of it. I raced over there and this time bought the whole bolt from them. Usually I buy a handful of yards as the orders come in, but I decided to be better prepared for the cape season and go for the entire bolt. I stopped by the sewing machine shop, that I bought my Bernina, to also by more special red thread for the heart embroidery that I do on them. The sales woman gave me a demo on the newest Babylock serger. Man oh man.....I was impressed and really want one now. I had told her that it took forever for me to use mine because the threading etc. She said that shouldn't be the case if you had one that worked as well as the Babylock one. She was right! So simple and endless creative ideas could unfold with it. Price tag is steep, but I think I'll start saving up for one. Plus they said they would take mine in as a trade in, so it could knock the price down a bit, not much I'm sure, as mine is a low rent Brother. Well.....it's now my new goal though to have one!
I'm still working on my new merchandise ideas...slow going, but it's getting there.

Well guys, I'm off to enjoy the day....hope summer is treating everyone well.

May 23, 2018

Ruby's Arrival

She's here!!! Ruby Valentina. Born on May 10th, at 3:13 am, weighing in at 9 lbs. 3oz.   The first picture of Caitlin was taken on May 3rd. They had given Caitlin two due dates, one being the 7th, the other the 4th. We still have no idea why they did this, because later Caitlin found out that it was always the 7th. We think the ultrasound tech had changed it to the 4th because of baby's size. When May 4th rolled around and there was no sign of labor, we started thinking that  the date of the 7th was going to be the correct due date. I really thought she would be born on the 8th. I was partly correct, as her water broke at 11:30 pm that evening. She had no significant contractions, so I thought we might be in for a long night. 12 hours passes by....I decide to go home real quick to take a shower, and when I was at home, they had decided to give something to Caitlin to hasten the contractions. By the time I got there, she was in significant discomfort. By the 24 hour mark, she was ready to start pushing. She was a trooper, and had no epidural or other  pain medication. They offered her nitrous gas, which is more popular in Europe, and now coming back into play here in the States. Other than this, she had a natural birth. Lots of other details, but it is Caitlin's story to tell. I was humbled and honored to be Caitlin and Cyrous's co-birth coach. Words can't really express the emotions I felt through the process. It was truly hard to see your baby in such pain, at the same time I was in awe at her strength and determination to push this baby out into the world! Such a beautiful experience to see your daughter give birth. I have been a co-birth coach for my sister with two of her children, but nothing prepared me for what I felt on Ruby's birthday. The next day after I had some time to sleep, I called my sister to tell her about the birth..... that is when I cried like never before. If I think of the day too much at any given time I'll get emotional.
She is beautiful, healthy and looks a lot like her mama. I see dad in the mix too, but when I hold her, I feel like I'm holding baby Caitlin sometimes. I look at her and wonder what her personality will be, what those little hands with create, where those little feet will take her. It's a wonderful feeling to be a grandparent. The circle of life is a beautiful thing.

April 4, 2018

Caitlin's Maternity Shoot at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

On Good Friday, we went out to Ruth Bancroft Garden  (click on name to read about this amazing garden!)  Caitlin loves cactus and succulents and wanted this extraordinary garden to be the back drop for her maternity shoot. I was honored, and happy when Caitlin asked me to do the shoot for her. We had a lot of fun taking the photos and discovering all these gorgeous plants at the same time. It's such a jewel box of a place and if you live out in the East Bay Area, you really need to go and check this place out! There were plants I have never seen in my life. My favorite one was the one pictured that looks like an eight foot asparagus!!!
I think the pictures turned out really beautiful and Caitlin was happy with them, so that makes me happy. I love photography, and since as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to do something in that field. When I was in High school, my dream was to be a photo journalist and work for National Geographic. That didn't pan out hahah, but photography was always in my life. In college I took many photography classes, and was in the dark room for many hours at a time perfecting my skill, and to this day those are my fondest memories of my University days. I had an excellent professor and learned a lot.  Of course now everything is digital and edited with fancy filters. The skill involved in making a print in a dark room took a lot trial and error, which I believe was part of the fun. I'm not saying that editing digital images is no less of an art form, it's just that it is much easier to do I believe.  The artistry in photography also is capturing that image right? Caitlin decided that instead of seeking out a photographer to do her shoot, she would have the closest person that knows her the best, to capture the most beautiful time in her life. I think the strongest photos tell a story about the people, and I hope that years from now Ruby will look at these and see how in Love her parents were and what beautiful souls they are. Her mother in full bloom with her, just like all the beautiful plants surrounding her in bloom as well. Her father in complete love with her mother and the beautiful life she is carrying.
Hope you enjoyed taking a peek at some of my favorite shots of the day!

****btw, I didn't use any fancy filters when editing these photos. Just a bit of tweaking in brightness and color correction.****