April 18, 2016

A Little Splash of Spring

As you can see from my photos, there are a zillion things blooming round our yard. Caught that pretty little butterfly floating over the neighbors apple tree one morning. I'm glad I was able to grab my camera in time to capture it! Since then, the blooms have dropped and you can see the apples forming. All the fruit trees have treasures hanging from them, including the abundant producing lemon and orange trees, which are also so fragrant and covered with buzzing bees. How do you like my tunnel of lemons?! They really need to be cut back from the house!  Since the weather has been beautiful these past few days, we got the itch to spruce up the back patio with some furniture and plants. We went to our favorite nursery and treated ourselves to that gorgeous hanging geranium, along with a fern that I'm planting in an urn on the front porch( this weekend maybe for now it just got plopped in), and a David Austin rose! I can't wait to see that bloom. David also wanted some tomatoes and other veggies, so he is in charge of keeping those alive.  The minute we hosed off the porch and put out the furniture, we had some visitors of the insect kind descend upon us! Wasps!!! We went back to the nursery to pick up a fake wasp nest, to trick them, and I think it worked. We bought a bunch of bug control items to get ready for the season, so that we can comfortably enjoy the back yard. Last summer we were so distracted with he wedding and some of the drama surrounding it, we had zero time to enjoy the back yard, let alone take a trip to the nursery to pick out some plants. Making the patio a small oasis, might make me less grouchy with my least favorite season heading our way.  We'll see......

Not too much else going on these days. I've been trying my hardest to get more items sewn up and into the shop for the spring/summer and so far I have a cute little dress almost done, and some other cute ideas that hopefully will come together quickly. I recently sold several pieces, so I really need to get cracking! I went fabric shopping for the season, and this always gets the creative juices flowing. I have also been trolling Etsy and Ebay for cool vintage buttons and trim. I love adding really unique notions to my pieces to set them apart from the rest. I'm also trying to sew up some basics also that I can make multiple sizes and not just one offs. This is sometimes difficult for me since it's just me sewing and there are only so many hours in a day, but I'm going to try my hardest. I have told myself many times that the minute it isn't fun or a good creative outlet for me, that I would stop. So far I still LOVE doing it, so no danger in me quitting anytime soon! I'll snaps some pictures of the dress for my next post, and some of the fabrics that I bought.

Gotta go and make some dinner now, so stay tuned as usual.

April 1, 2016

The Camellia Dress

I call this dress "Camellia," because that is what came to mind when I was sewing it. I plucked a beautiful camellia from the yard to photograph the dress with, and it just looks so beautiful with it don't you think?  I'm doing a post just on this dress since I put a lot of work into it, and I really want to remember all the details of it once it is no longer in my possession. There are some garments that I make that I really hate to let go, and secretly don't mind if it takes time to sell. It came out like I had envisioned it, and I want to gaze upon it for a while. I think it would be perfect for a flower girl in a cute vintage wedding, or as very special 3 year old birthday dress.
The materials used were: light weight linen, cotton lawn, and mother of pearl buttons. The straps are petersham ribbons.
If you, or someone you might know, is  interested in this little gem, go to my Etsy shop where it is now listed! Link to shop is on the side bar if you are new to my blog.
I'm now going to do my darnedest to fill my shop up with some fun spring summer items, that aren't as serious as this little beauty, because I think I need a break from couture sewing for a bit!

March 28, 2016

Caitlin's Birthday and Easter

Hello!  It was a busy weekend with Caitlin's birthday on Friday and Easter following so close this year. I think this is as close to Easter that her birthday has fallen in a long time. Because of this I felt very thrown off and really wasn't into the groove of decorating for Easter this year, just the table.  I got carried away and bought a bunch of flowers for the table. to make some really simple  flower arrangements in interesting bud vases and keep it sweet and light. I bought that really cool bulb vase at Tale of the Yak in Berkeley,(They don't have a web page, so I linked a write up of it.) I was annoyed that I bought my flowers too soon, and when I started to arrange them, they looked a bit fatigued. They looked and felt like I did yesterday. I made the mistake of taking an allergy pill and drinking extra strength Sleepy Time tea with valerian root in it. I was a tired mess, and I'm still surprised I was even able to cook dinner and set the table! I made a leg of lamb with yukon gold potatoes that were roaming with the lamb drippings, asparagus, and Chuck Williams favorite carrot soup.  The lamb recipe is my favorite from Fine Cooking magazine. Lots of chopped up mint, garlic, lemon zest. For dessert this year, I was going to make a strawberry rhubarb pie, but because the laziness seeped in, we bought a chocolate ice cream cake from here.  Every time we go to this ice cream shop, I get their chocolate, and have made the comment that it tastes like the best melted chocolate Easter bunny. So that's what we decided to have for dessert this year. Yum, and there is some left over for tonight :)

 On Caitlin's birthday we checked out the John Muir mansion near by our house. We have been several times, but not in the spring. It was such a gorgeous day! All the trees and flowers were at their most beautiful. Cyrous had never taken the infamous field trip that most of the kids living in this area do, so it was his first visit. We poked around the house and then walked up to the very top to the bell tower. It's a huge piece of property with orchards of fruit trees, and an adobe styled house. David recently found out that you can pick some of the fruit if you ask! I saw huge quince trees and got excited because the ranger said that no one knows what to do with them, and I could probably pick as many as I would like. I plan on doing just that! Later in the evening we had a beautiful dinner at Chez Panisse, always such a  nice place to end up for your birthday. The dessert course was my very favorite this time around. They made a pixie tangerine soufflé served with the best creme anglaise I have had in forever! The wine pairing with this was a match made in heaven. Great evening to celebrate my little chickadee.

Leading up to Easter I had a big special order that kept me busy. I had a customer buy a pair of Liberty of London bloomers from me, and then contacted me to make more times for her. She also bought one of my all time favorite pieces that I have made. I was very sad to let it go, but when she sent me an email to say how excited she was to get everything and wrote that her mom had handmade clothes for her when she was little, and that she wanted to do the same for her daughter, this made it a bit more easy to let that piece go.  I know she will treasure it the way it should be. These are the kinds of customers that I love. I have been lucky I will have to say with people who approach me for orders, which makes what I do all the more fun for me. 
Speaking of the shop, that sweet little dress I wanted to complete for Easter, is almost done, and now possibly could be cute for a flower girl. This too is one of those garments, that will be tough to let go because I LOVE how it is coming together. Stay tuned for pics on it. 

We just bought a new area rug for our living room, so I'm off to go do that. 

Have a good week!