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 yummy.....so 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.

June 22, 2016

Part 2....Father's Day

Father's day this year was the next day after our anniversary, and it looks like next year they share the same date! Maybe I can consolidate those two next year hahah.

I can't remember the last time I spent Father's day with my dad. My parents divorced when I was about 9 or 10 and my memory fails for holidays at that time of my life. I reconnected with my dad after I got married, and since then he has lived too far to spend the day with him. I call and send gifts to celebrate the day. We had a fun conversation this past Sunday and it sounded like he was having a pleasant day. I threw some pictures of him when he was a young lad.  I love the baby one in the carriage, it must be 1938 or so. As a youngster he left Canada and joined the US Army and was stationed in Panama, where he met my mom. After serving they moved back to the US and my dad worked for the Forest Service until retiring. He loves nature, art, and consumes books like no one I know! Love you pops :)
To celebrate David for Father's Day, we went to brunch at Bull Valley Road House in Port Costa. I've blogged about this place before. Really cool eclectic decor and great food. Gifts were opened when we got home, and he relaxed watching "Copa America" most of the day with Cyrous. Later we had a casual dinner out.
Most of the weekend was spent lounging since Caitlin and Cyrous were gearing up for their month long belated honeymoon trip. The left yesterday and arrived safe and sound, as evidenced by some photos and video Nicole sent me. I hope they have a great time. They will spend some time with Nicole and then head up to Scotland for some fun adventures! I sure wish I was there now to avoid this heat we are having!  It's only two days into summer, and I'm counting down the days until fall. Why is it that when you tell people you don't like summer, they are so shocked? I won't go on about it, since I think by now everyone knows how I feel, but seriously, can you just wake me up when it's October?

As for shop business, I have an almost done little sun suit that should be finished this week. Stay tuned. Part 3 of celebrations tomorrow!

June 21, 2016

33rd Anniversary

I survived all the celebrations this weekend! Saturday was our 33rd wedding anniversary . We had a very nice dinner at Chez Pannise, with glorious weather thrown in for good measure! I love going to CP and never tire of it. The very top picture has no filter so you can see the beautiful blue sky we got to enjoy.

So hard to capture into words what 33 years married feels like sometimes. Honestly for us it's been effortless. Sure we have had life difficulties, but I can honestly say that as a couple we never have had a rough patch in our actual relationship. When I hear about people say that marriage is work, I'm always scratching my head wondering if I'm missing something. I guess we are lucky that we found each other's soulmate as cheesy as that sounds. Maybe it's because we balance each other well. I can be a bit of a worrier and David is there to calm things down and say it's ok, don't freak out. I think with my spicy nature I help him to see things in another way that can benefit him also. We truly are best friends and still have a lot in common, and the same goals.
What struck me this year when I was looking at our wedding pictures from 1983, were our youthful hands! I love hand pictures. I couldn't get enough of looking at Caitlin and Cyrous' hand pictures in their engagement pics and wedding pics. The hands tell the story of life I think. Mine are beat up from sewing pins, housework and well just older now! hahah. I threw in a couple oldie photos from our wedding this time. Cracks me up to see some of them and the dated aspect of them. The 80's were the worst years for fashion in my book, and of course we were victims to the fashions of the time. I always hoped that our wedding didn't look that over the top eighties.......

I was going to flood this post with pictures of all three celebrations, but decided to break it up into three and give them their own post. Last year there are zero pictures of David's birthday and we all sat around yesterday trying to remember what we did for him that day last year!!! We were so consumed in wedding drama last summer we can't remember, so I'm making sure that everything gets better documented.
Comeback on Wednesday for Father's day.........To be continued

June 12, 2016

Lovely Weekend

Nice weather and friends over for dinner last night at the spur of the moment made Saturday a fun filled cooking day. Our plum tree has exploded with ripe fruit, so I made a plum galette for dessert! I used two recipes for this one, because I like the fact that this crust had pecans in it. I found a plum galette recipe on Pinterest to get the right balance of sugar for the plums. It was a bit tart, even thought the fruit was ripe and sweet, but it was still pretty yummy. Our friends came after I pulled this out of the oven, and then we began grilling up dinner. The newest issue of Bon Appetite had some very good recipes for kabobs, so we tried the spicy lamb recipe with garlic yogurt sauce.  The couscous was from the "Plenty" cookbook. It was called "Green couscous."  I highly recommend this recipe if you own the book, it really went well with the lamb. We also grilled some zucchini from David's little garden, along with some cherry tomatoes.  Love having friends over and chatting over a good meal.

The three pictures of the deer are with my iPhone, so apologies for the quality. It's been a whole year now that we have been in this house, and my memory of our first few weeks here last year were the deer. They are out in the front of our house day and night. They eat off the wild plum tree near our bedroom window, as well as all the loquats that have fallen to the ground also near our bedroom. You can hear them ALL the time! Last night, I think one of them bumped into the side of the house (our room) and scared me! Last year while my sister was visiting, my nephew was walking out front, and one jumped right in front of him and almost knocked him down! They had just finished eating some of the peaches and must have gotten startled.  This seems to be only a summer thing, as I never saw them in the winter months. A few evenings back, I heard something outside our bedroom window, and when I peeked out, I saw one of them on its hind legs standing like a person, yanking plums off the tree, very funny site.  We also have what appears to be a little skunk family that has a path through our back yard. Yesterday evening, while our friends were here, a baby one casually sauntered by David on his way to who knows were. Thank goodness it didn't get scared because you know what that means!

I'm finishing up on a really cute sunsuit/romper as you can see above. It's coming out really cute and I just love this Japanese fabric for it! Next up are some gingham bloomers. I've noticed on Etsy that there aren't a lot of people making banded bloomers, so I'm going to put more of those in the shop. I have made some before and sold all of them, and was asked also to make some as a special order. I'm hoping that I can fill the need.

Well, I should be off now sorting out the mess from my dinner party.  Hope everyone is having a nice weekend.