Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Capelet for my sister

 I know, I'm not very exciting because I made the same capelet twice this month. The first version was for myself, but when my sister saw it she requested one of her own. We went to a fabric store, battled some terrible customer service (don't get me started), and she ended up choosing this lightweight canvas for the lining. It's pretty cool, I've never seen anything like it.

I found this black somewhat stretchy fabric for the outside of the cape at a local store. It was my first time sewing something so stretchy that just cutting it was a challenge. When I sewed it I used tons of pins which seemed to make life easier.

As I mentioned in my last post, the "hood" is definitely more fashion than function, it is not going to fit over her head.

I tried it on to show all of you :) I can't wait to give it to my sister!

New glasses.

I never posted a photo of the glasses I got a couple of weeks ago. Well, here they are. They are a light lavender color and they have rhinestones across the top. So icy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quilt binding drama

I am almost done with my quilt! Last week I thought to myself, "all I need to do is attach the binding to the quilt which should be easy." Famous last words, attaching the two loose ends of the binding is a lot more complicated than I remembered. As this is my second quilt, I have only done a binding one other time, so I am far from being an expert. Last night I brought my unfinished binding to class and the instructor showed me how to attach the two loose pieces (the starting and ending points) together flawlessly which was tricky, but she made it seem so easy. I took notes, so hopefully the next time around things will be a bit easier.

Are any of you working on any exciting Christmas gifts?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday - Elvis

This Vintage Photo Friday is dedicated to my Grandma Linda. She is a HUGE Elvis fan.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A list of things I am thankful for

 I am thankful for Luke, the love of my life.

 I am thankful for Stella, the cuddliest cat I have ever met.

I am thankful for Lebron for always making me laugh.

I am thankful for Kelly and Collin for being my best friends.

I am thankful for my mom for always being there.

I am thankful for my other best friend, my sewing machine!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Japanese cooking class

I like to go on adventures to meet new people and do fun things that I don't normally do. Saturday I went to the Buddhist church in San Luis Obispo. My husband has done work for them and he always tells me how beautiful it is on the property. It did not disappoint!
 Beautiful landscaping.

 I sat in the sun for a while and took in all the beautiful plants. The church location is somewhat secluded, so it is very quiet and peaceful.

Three women who were originally from Japan taught the class. They spoke very little English and chose to talk amongst themselves in Japanese. At one point I could see them looking at me while they were talking. One of them asked me if I was part Japanese. They were so happy when I told them I was.

We made a huge amount of chirashi. The photo above doesn't even show the half of it!

 This is made up of rice, seasoned vinegar, shiitake mushrooms, fresh bamboo, gobo, eggs, green peas, carrots, and things like soy sauce, sugar,  Mirin, and Dashi-no-moto.

Lunch was delicious! I am so glad that I went even though I didn't know what to expect going in. It can be so easy to stay in a bubble and not get out and experience new things. Do any of you try to make an effort to put yourself out of your comfort zone? I think it's going to officially be on my New Years Resolution  list.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


So, I brought my sewing stuff to work (not my machine) and got a little prep work done between customers. Does that mean that I am a sewing nerd????

Monday, November 21, 2011

I've been sewing, I promise.

The reason that I have not posted photos of my sewing projects is because I haven't finished any. The quilt I am working on has a deadline that is approaching quickly and I am in the middle of quilting it. It is consuming my life! Yes, I am quilting it myself because I want to improve my skills (I have only quilted one other quilt) and because I don't want to pay someone else to do it :)

Actual quilting involves sewing together the top (all the colorful stuff you see in the photo), the batting (the white layer to the right of the my colorful border), and the back (the little strip of baby blue that you see peeking out from the batting). For the majority of the quilt I chose to stitch in the ditch, which in my case means sewing along the straight lines where the blocks and pieces are connected. 

For the thick border area I chose to outline the blue areas using a free motion piece for my machine. Yes, my technique is FAR from perfect (it's hard following the lines!), but I have improved so much from my last quilt. My stitch size is more consistent and the stitches look nice on both sides. It takes a lot of patience, so I give props to people who do this for a living!

After reading Colette Patterns book I got pumped and felt like I could tackle any project. I started the Rooibos sewalong months ago, but never got farther than cutting out the pieces. To be honest, I was overwhelmed by the project. After finishing the book so many things made sense to me and I finished the top portion of the dress in a night. I probably won't get to work on this until after Christmas because I have so many holiday projects to finish, but I can't wait!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday - Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood

Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood. 

On the Today show this morning I saw that detectives are reopening the case of Natalie Wood's death in 1981. The story is here. Now, thirty years later, the boat captain admits he had lied in the past about what happened that night and believes that Robert Wagner is responsible for Natalie Wood's death. I'm sure we will be hearing more on this story in the upcoming weeks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Random stuff

 I had all this for breakfast. We still love juicing! Coming up with different combos everyday is fun and something to look forward to. It's amazing the way fresh juice smells and tastes, so different from the store. The mango wasn't as sweet and flavorful as I had hoped though :( My favorite combination so far is cucumber, apple, and a little bit of lemon. Very refreshing.

Lebron was sleeping in this patch of sun this morning. He is so cute. The morning is his favorite time of day. I know this because when he is happy he falls down a lot, literally he body slams himself on his side. In the morning he does this nonstop.

Luke and I this past Sunday. Can you tell that he likes his neck warmer?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm not a "beader," but I still like jewelry.

One of the cool things about Carl is the fact that she is very creative. She is very into beads and I am not, but that didn't stop us from hitting up some bead shops this weekend!

We went to a bead store on Sunday morning and I fell in love with these rose beads. I bought two sets of beads, clip on earring pieces, and some special glue.

I made myself some clip on earrings! The colors of the actual earrings are closest to the bottom photo. I LOVE the green ones, but I am not into the coral ones. Let me take that back, I just don't like the size of the coral roses. The clip on backing is much too large and shows more than I would like. That's ok though, I should just give them away to a younger girl that doesn't have pierced ears.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Old fashioned cocktails. Don Draper would be proud.

This weekend my friend Carly came to stay with us. On Saturday we thought it would be a good idea to watch the movie Tree of Life. That was a mistake, the movie wasn't very good (in our opinion). It was made more bearable by the fact that we made some awesome cocktails from this website.

Mister Luke playing bartender.

Old Fashioned Cocktails

2 oz blended whiskey
sugar cube
1 dash bitters
1 slice lemon
1 slice orange
Combine the sugar cube, bitters, and 1 tsp. water in an old-fashioned glass. Muddle well, add blended whiskey, and stir. Add a twist of lemon peel and ice cubes. Add slices of orange and lemon and top with the cherry. Serve with a swizzle stick.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lavender neck bag. Is that what it's called?

I ran into my friend Finney  at the San Luis Obispo farmers market. He and his wife make the most amazing lavender products ever! I mentioned that I was going to make some Christmas gifts using lavender and he was nice enough to give me this huge jar to share with the ladies in my quilting class. Thanks, Finney!!!

I made this quarter moon looking bag filled with rice. I like it much more than ones I have made in the past because the shape is perfect for putting around my neck and I used an extra layer of fabric, so it feels more sturdy. It's filled 3/4 of the way with rice and three tablespoons of lavender. When I heated it in the microwave for two minutes and put it around my neck it felt and smelled amazing!

Technically I made the neck bag for Luke, but once Luke put it down Lebron decided that it was his and sat right on top of it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scrap bag

On Sunday I made a little scrap bag. Don't you hate it when you are sewing and you cut off little pieces of thread, but there isn't a trash can near you, so you throw the thread on the ground?... I'm guilty! I knew that I needed to make this project in order to keep my house clean.

I used one fat quarter and from that cut a rectangle shape and two circles. From the cardboard I cut two circles. Only one circle was needed for the batting.

This is it! It stands up by itself and is next to me when I sew. The top is a 4 in embroidery hoop.

When it is twisted and folded up it looks like this.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I found this recipe on Pinterest

To me, cool weather means crock pot cooking. Thanks to Pinterest, one of my favorite inspirational websites, I found a recipe for Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken. Now, I am not really a meat eater, but I don't mind cooking for my husband or picking out meat so I can eat too. I do not want to be high maintenance.

The recipe turned out great and the leftovers were even better the second day. I poured the (watery) curry over rice and now we have dinner for a few nights.

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's here!!!!!!!!!!

It's here, it's here, it's here!!!!!! You guys, this is better than Christmas for me!!! The postman probably thought I was a freak for being so excited! Now, I'm off to read.

Fabric for an Americana quilt

Let's talk about fabric and look at pictures of fabric because that's what I like to do! I am very excited to make another quilt for a Christmas present. I won't say for who because it's a surprise :)

The quilt will be very Americana, so red, white (cream), and blue. The fabric pictured above will be for the main blocks inside the quilt.

 The gold star fabric will be a thin 1.5 inch border and the plaid fabric will be a 3 inch border. At least those are my plans for now.

This fabric will make up the main 6 or 7 inch border at the edge of the quilt.

I met up with my mom for lunch at Fig in Atascadero (melted brie, greens, and fig chutney sandwich on fresh foccacia bread = amazing lunch) after my fabric purchases and she couldn't really envision how my quilt would all come together. I think that a lot of people think the same when it comes to the color choices I use for my quilts, but maybe that's how it is for everyones quilts...?

There was an end of bolt sale, so I bought up the rest of the Michael Miller poodle fabric. There ended up being close to 2 yards. What to make, what to make...

Lebron likes the fabric too.

I got a couple of cool things to make my sewing life easier. The item on the left is used to turn long, narrow pieces of fabric to the opposite side. For example, this is used for skinny straps on dresses or tiny loops for buttons. I was cursing myself when I didn't have this to make ties on my cape.

The second purchase is used to keep my bobbins organized. As you can see, I don't have many bobbins to keep track of, but it is nice not to have them rolling around in my sewing box!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flowers from farmers market

I got the best tuberose flowers from the farmers market in San Luis Obispo. I couldn't find a vase, so I emptied out the little bit of cheap cooking wine I had, peeled off the label, and now I have a pretty flower arrangement and a house that smells lovely.