April 21, 2015

New in the Shop

I had so much fun making the newest little outfit above. Lots of pretty details and truly a sweet little heirloom for some lucky little girl. I wish sometimes that I could really convey the feel of the fabric and how the two pieces work so well together, as in the drape and twirly aspect of the fullness in the skirt of the dress. I'm hoping that my photography shows it, but sometimes I wonder how it comes off. The pinafore is all cotton. Often times when you see this type of eyelet, it is a cotton poly blend. Because I avoid any synthetics in my pieces, I tired to hunt down the prettiest cotton eyelet for this project. Both pieces can stand alone, which I love and I hope people who view them realize that they can have two cute out fits! The dress is a beautiful light weight cotton lawn and the peachy color of the flowers happen to match the little silk vintage rosettes on the pinafore. I love when I look through my trim box, and realize that I have the perfect thing to make the  garments that I'm working on, just a bit more special. The vintage silk rosettes are from 1930. It has such a nice look to it, and not as shinny and bright as new versions of this trim.   I had originally listed this with a choice of possibly splitting up the two and selling them on their own. The minute I got an email from someone who wanted to do this, I got a bit sad and knew that I shouldn't have done it. I quoted the price, and never heard back, so I quickly edited the listing and now it is selling as set. They are just too perfect for one another!

The yard is changing everyday. Roses are reigning supreme at the moment. On my side of the yard there are yellow, purple, white , pink and way too many red roses for my taste, but they are all beautiful. I have been clipping many of them and bringing them into the house. The citrus trees still have many, many blooms and the humming birds are constant visitors. Today I went out to pick a lemon to squeeze over my roasting chicken, and while under the lemon tree in the  front yard, a little humming bird buzzed in and just sat there. I didn't dare move, because I really wanted to stare at it for as long as it would let me! Birds constantly fascinate me, and I never tire of watching them.

Are you wondering what that egg thing is up there? It's my take on a Spanish tortilla. I remember eating these in Spain and loving the thinly sliced potatoes and herbs in this egg dish. A couple of weeks ago, we bought this pan. It's called Scanpan, and made in Denmark. We happened to be at Sur La Table when they were demonstrating it. I was super impressed when I saw the woman cook an omelet with no oil, or fat. Just bare pan on a med setting, and it came out beautiful! Plus they are safe and not made with creepy things, so we splurged and bought one. I highly recommend them. It's weighty and you can use metal on it as well as put it in the oven. My tortilla turned out perfect in it and I can see this pan being used A LOT!
Saturday we met some friends for a polenta feed. It is always so very tasty! Caitlin and Cyrous joined us. My friend always says if you sit to her left during the raffle you will always win, and she is right. We have gone to this event three times and sat on her left, and each time one or both of us have won a prize! This time is was both of us. My prize was a huge bottle of Jack Daniels!! Those who know me thought it was quite funny, as I rarely drink! Anyway, it was still a lot of fun with lots of good food to eat.

Today I received a request for a cape! I rarely get orders in the spring/ summer season, so it was a bit of a surprise. I was really proud of myself today though and cut, sewed and jumped in the car to ship it with five min. to spare before they closed the post office! I never get tired of making those, they always come out so darn cute!

Tomorrow I'm working on a special little project request from Cyrous' mom for her little nephew.
After this project, my sewing machine is going in for a tune up, so I'll have a bit of a rest for a few days. I hope the wait time isn't too long though!

April 10, 2015


I've been taking down the Easter decor little by little. Some of it is so cute, that I can't bear to see it put away yet, so I'll let is sit out for a few more days. I bought those beautiful peach French tulips at Berkeley Bowl for Easter. Even though I loaded the house up with flowers already, I just had to have them.  They of course continue to grow, and you can see just how tall they are when they are up against the size two dress I just finished making! I even clipped a good five inches off of them before I took the picture with the dress. I'm a huge sucker for that peachy pink color also. When I lived in France, I planted about fifty or more of these in our yard. I'm not sure really what inspired me to plant a bunch of bulbs there, since gardening isn't my thing, but when they popped up in the spring it sure was a glorious site!  I sure hope  the tenants that are there now love them as much as I did. I just can't live without flowers period.

The dress.......It took a while to make this one, and I love how it turned out, with the full skirt and the tucks for an added fun touch. I'm making a pinafore to go with this, and boy oh boy, the cotton eyelet fabric is so pretty! I find that when I look at clothing in shops, my eye always goes to lace and eyelet pieces. I don't own a lot of pieces in those fabrics, but I sure do love them, especially in children's clothing. I started the pinafore today and hope to have it done quickly since it isn't as labor intensive as the dress. They will both be in the shop hopefully Monday.
Once Easter is over, don't you feel as if things fast forward a bit? I use to find that even more when the girls were in school. Most kids get out of school late May early June, so right after Easter it always seemed like it would zoom past and then the summer months were here before I wanted them to be. Not because the girls were home, but as you know it isn't my favorite time of the year.  This summer though, we will be having fun doing wedding things though :)
Wedding  planning has been fun so far and we have now completed all the major decisions, so appointments have slowed down. Caitlin graduates from college at the end of May, and she is super excited to do all the fun details for the wedding, like incorporating some art work in some of the reception decor.  It's going to be such a beautiful day, although I think I'm going to need some heavy duty waterproof make up, because there will be more than a few tears shed that day....Hahaha. It will also be nice to have Nicole State side, even though it's only for a week. She hasn't been home in 4 years! Well, I'm off to cook dinner and have a relaxing Friday evening.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

April 6, 2015


Easter was quiet and peaceful. We went to Easter vigil on Saturday, so we could sleep in and have a nice breakfast, and just lounge around and cook and eat chocolate all day! Caitlin and Cyrous joined us for both church and Easter day. It's always so fun to make beautiful memories with these two!
This year I skipped the lamb and decided to make it easy with a ham from Whole Foods served with spring veggies tossed in a warm vinaigrette and red skinned mashed potatoes with grainy mustard. I found some beautiful English peas that were such a nice treat to have. I was a bit disappointed that the vinegar turned them an odd green after I had carefully blanched them to keep them bright green, but they did taste good none the less! David and the kids had a cheese course, but since I'm not a fan I sipped wine until they finished :)  For dessert I made my trusty strawberry rhubarb pie from a recipe I have had forever. I love this recipe because it has more rhubarb than strawberries, which gives it more of a nice tart taste. It also has a lot of vanilla in it which perfumes it so beautifully and makes the house smell so lovely while it is baking.
Then comes all the chocolate......did everyone over dose on it yesterday? I sure tried not to! Today I'm trying to catch up with all the party dishes and it's a bit slow moving I must say. Thought I'd write this blog post instead of doing said pile of dishes hahah.

I've got THE cutest dress cut out and started on, that I'm excited to show all of you. Lots of fun things to do and look forward to in the coming months, and as they unfold I will try and share as much as possible.

On our weather front, we got a bit of rain on Easter and more is on the way! I'm sure it will not really help our drought situation, but it sure is a welcoming site. Another front is coming for tomorrow and I hope to get cozy at home and work in the studio.

Hope everyone had a beautiful Easter!

March 31, 2015

Caitlin's Golden Birthday

How old were you when you had your golden birthday? I don't remember mine because I was four. Golden birthdays are when you turn the age that your birth date is on. I don't think I knew this until recently when someone spoke of it.  Anyway, Caitlin had hers this past Wednesday on the 25th. It was a beautiful spring day, which sometimes this isn't the case on her birthday, because the weather is still a bit topsy turvy, but we were blessed with a gorgeous day this year. We had dinner with Cyrous' parents and a friend of Caitlin's later in the evening here.  After dinner we came back to the house to have cake and ice cream. The cake, oh boy the cake. I love this recipe and I've mentioned it before on my blog, but I gotta say, when the directions say active time one hour,  I just don't believe this to be the case! So I don't stress myself out, I do the cake the day before and the frosting the day of. The frosting starts out as a cooked custard, which when cooled, you add lots of butter and two types of melted chocolate.  This year I nailed the frosting!!! You can't rush this one or walk away to answer the phone hahah.  I hope she had a nice "golden" birthday :) Oh to be 25 again!!

Friday I met Caitlin in the city to check out the bridesmaid dresses and color swatches. We loved the dress and the quality. We had my niece Natalia come meet up with us so she could see it, and we could see how it will look on. I think in the colors Caitlin chose it will be super pretty on the girls. The dress she picked for them is by Jenny Yoo, and the style is "Annabelle." You can go here if you want to see it.  She picked begonia pink and cherry blossom. The colors are so pretty together!

I've been washing and prepping fabric to cut out the most darling dress that I'm excited to make, so stay tuned for that!  I'm also going to start making some things for myself, because I'm really discouraged with what is out there for spring summer for me. We will see how fare I get with this past haha, but I think I'll make some skirts and maybe at least one dress.

I'm also starting to look through a few cook books to get my Easter dinner together. I've always made a leg of lamb and seasonal veggies to go with it, but this year I think I want to make something a bit different, so I'm on the hunt.
All the roses in my yard are blooming, which makes me very happy and I love the color variety that was planted. This time of year is just eye candy for color isn't it?
Well, I'm off now to get some things done. Have a wonderful time preparing for Easter if you celebrate. If not, enjoy the beauty of the season!

March 19, 2015

Flowers, and More Flowers!

Hello! Sorry it's been a while. I've been busy wedding planning with Caitlin and sewing in between those times.  The yard as you can see is bursting with life. It's neat to watch it change by the day as there continues to be so much sun out this way. The lemon tree outside the family room is a busy hub for numerous bees and humming birds, which is always a treat to watch and to hear all the buzzing. A couple of weekends ago we secured the florist for Caitlin and Cyrous' wedding. We are super excited about it, because when we sat down with him, he totally got Caitlin's wedding ideas. Check out their website.  I have been the lucky recipient of some of their arrangements, and we always had them in mind for Caitlin's wedding. Nicole send me a Mother's Day bouquet from them the first year she was away and it made me cry, not only because of the sentiment, but because of how beautiful it was. The owners are a mother and son. The son has a wonderful eye and is a fellow artist, and you can tell by his uniqueness in composing arrangements. We have some fun ideas with beautiful colors and we can't wait to see them executed by him. All that is left now is cake tasting and invitations this coming Sunday. The grooms attire has to be done too. We secured the DJ and I think Caitlin and Cyrous really like him.

Needless to say, since I'm a flower nut, my whole house has vases of flowers throughout, and the ones pictured have now been replaced with daffodils and roses! How fun is this time of year with all the available blooms?!  What are your favorite flowers this time of year? The cute painted eggs in the first photo were a sweet gift from Cyrous' mom.

I just added this little boy outfit just in time for Easter. I haven't made a little boy outfit in a while, and while I had a devil of a time with those darn fitted sleeves, it was fun to take a departure from all things girl for a while. I just bought some really beautiful fabric recently. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw them. I bought three different prints of Liberty and various other fabrics that have inspired me for this up coming season.

Well, I'm going to go out in the yard and check to see if any roses have bloomed yet. Catch up with you later!!!