Archive for April, 2008

fun in the sun

California Fun skirtCalifornia Fun skirt

I pulled out some of my vintage stash and went through it this weekend and came up with this little version of a skirt that I secretly wish I could wear. I used one of those vintage map dishtowels for the the front panel – I love the little pictures on it, especially the mermaid. I had just enough of this green linen (used to be a table square, I think) to make the rest of it. I’m pretty happy with the final result! {Available in my shop.}


April 29, 2008 at 10:49 am 1 comment

sunday dinner

We had friends over for dinner yesterday. I don’t mean to imply that I cooked the dinner. Actually, most of the cooking was done by my friend, Niki. I chopped and she cooked. We had a wonderful spread – a perfect spring meal: sauteed chicken breast, rubbed with a delicious spice blend (I think it was called Northeast Woods) from Penzeys; cheddar cheese and whole wheat quesadillas; a yummy succotash (no Lima beans!); fresh fruit salad; and a hot and flavorful mango salsa. Niki is an amazing cook and her baked goods are to die for. And aside from the fact that she does all this with food, she’s also a very talented artist – check out these free-hand, machine-embroidered kids’ shirts she’s been designing and making for her recently-opened shop. I’m loving this one.

mango salsa

Niki’s Mango Salsa:

2 (very) ripe mangos, peeled and diced

1/4 red onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribbed and finely chopped

a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

juice of one lime

coarse salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together and let it sit at room temp for at least 30 minutes prior to meal to blend all the flavors. It makes a great accompaniment to chicken, pork or fish!

fresh strawberries

Fresh berries for the fruit salad, individually cleaned by Freddy.


Succotash made with summer squash, yellow onion, fresh-shucked corn, jalapeño pepper and Great Northern beans. Mmmm…

April 28, 2008 at 7:53 am 1 comment

in bloom

front yard in bloom

I had a chance to enjoy the front yard today…hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

April 26, 2008 at 10:55 pm 1 comment

a precious little bit

blockprinted cotton tape

I bought this beautiful block printed cotton tape from a very talented artist named jezze, who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide and she sells it by the meter. She also sells it in some different color ways. I bought this to use in my bedroom, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. I’m thinking of trimming a pillow in it…I only have one precious meter of it and don’t want to make the wrong thing with it, you know? Do you ever have a gorgeous little bit of something and then just keep it tucked away for a long while and not use it? Just get it out every once and while and think about what you might do with it? I tend to do that with some of my vintage fabrics that I know are one-of-a-kind, as well as my small stash of Liberty prints. They sit there in stacks and I look at them and cannot imagine what I could make that would warrant cutting into them. Things of this nature usually remain uncut for at least a year. That’s usually sufficient time for me to change my mind several times about what I’m going to make and then gather up the courage to whip out my scissors and go for it. Getting back to the matter at hand, though, I can’t think of what else to use this trim for except a pillow or two…something for my bedroom. If anyone else has any “cutworthy” ideas, I’d love to hear from you!

April 23, 2008 at 10:11 pm Leave a comment

a little progress

new white walls

This weekend was more productive than usual (when I say that I mean we got more than one thing crossed off the to-do list). Grandpa and Mimi took the boys Friday night so that we could paint our bedroom and do a little spring cleaning. Henry, at five, is pretty good at sorting through toys, tossing the irreparable ones and giving some to charity. Freddy, almost three, is less enthusiastic. He tends to keep broken toy parts and hoard them like little treasures. I find collections of things in various receptacles around his room. So, it was much simpler to sort without his help.

Above is a peek at a freshly painted white bedroom wall (primer + two coats over the old sage green paint). Not too exciting by itself, but it really brightens it up (we are surrounded by large trees, so our house seems kind of dark a lot of the time). I’ll post more photos of the room once it’s all put back together again. For now, I’ll leave you with Mrs. Hen and her chicks.

Also had a bit of time last night to make these dainty little britches for my shop:

Little Birdie Britches

April 14, 2008 at 3:30 pm 2 comments

a little something for my purse

inside viewpurse catch-allSpring bag

I’ve been carrying a massive, messy combo of coupons (mostly for the fabric store), business cards and scraps of paper in a broken-down date book for the past year. It used to close with an elastic band, many moons ago. I felt like making something for myself yesterday, so I thought I’d whip up a quick little “catch-all” before dinner. I used up my very last little bit of this Etsuko Furuya fabric (Echino), which I adore (I originally used it to make the above bag recently – a Melly & Me pattern). I lined it with some stiff interfacing and a scrap of an Amy Butler print. Oh, it’ll be lovely, I thought. Sometime after dinner, with kids donning plastic weaponry, I attempted to finish it. Three curse words, a broken needle, and several inches of destroyed bias tape later, it’s done. I just could not get the bias tape to look decent, so I switched to this triple-motion stitch (I don’t know what it’s called) to hold all my layers together, which left it looking a bit wonky, but sturdy. I decided snaps would be best to keep it closed, so I hand stitched those on. If anyone reading this has any tips on where to get a decent snap press, I’d love to know…I’ve seen a cheapy one (~$10) at Joann, but don’t know if it works well or not.

And for all that griping I just did, I do like it, and it’s a BIG improvement over the old one.

April 10, 2008 at 9:34 am 1 comment


backyard outta here

We had a great time out in the back yard yesterday…the boys were able to run around and not be on top of one another. Despite the piles of soggy leaves left to rake from last fall, fun was had. Every ball, bat, wagon and wheeled toy was used (if only for a few seconds each). All prehistoric beasts were hauled out of doors for a massive patio takeover. Even the sand table was opened up and played with, despite the lack of sand. Ahhh, Spring.

April 8, 2008 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

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