Monday, October 29, 2007

It was his idea...I swear...

Imagine my delight when My sweet boy said...'Mommy, will you teach me to sew?'
I dropped everything and got that boy a needle and thread.

We used embroidery thread and a hoop just to make it as easy as possible. I sketched out a heart shape on the fabric so he could practice staying on a line. He actually stayed at it for about 20 minutes. I was grinning like a fool the entire time!

(note his 'concentrating' face in the bottom photo.)

Pumpkins and Not So Scary Crows...

We had a delightful weekend doing all things Halloween-y around here. What a truly Californian Halloween...carving pumpkins barefoot and shirtless.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

1 Years Time...

Last Year

This Year

Last year


This Year


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Local Harvest...

On of our favorite breakfasts, lunches or snacks around here...Plain yoghurt, berries and nutty granola.
We use frozen local berries most of the year as we generally try to eat seasonally. In the summer we get to indulge in all of the fresh produce from our area. Living in Northern California we have so much to choose from.

We will be beginning to receive our local CSA (community supported agriculture) box in a couple weeks, at the begining of the new quarter...and I am so thrilled. We really make an effort to eat seasonally and to support local farmers. Up until now we have purchased most of our produce from the local farmers market or the Co-op (which buys from local growers). But, we have noticed that we really tend to slack off in the winter due to not wanting to brave the weather for produce.

So, this year we will be splitting 2 boxes of produce, grains and bread among 4 families. This will guarantee we eat locally, make sure we get together with some of our closest friends on a weekly basis to divvy up our bounty, and force me to get creative with recipes as we work with what we get. Another advantage to sharing boxes is that we can all share successful recipes since we are receiving the same items.

We will be working with the Good Humus Farm in our area...have you looked into a CSA where you are? If you are concerned about it not being cost effective, how about sharing your box with friends or family?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Clementine Crazy...

We inherited this very prolific seedless citrus tree when we bought our house. I think she's a Clementine but am not absolutely sure. Every year around this time she is absolutely overburdened with fruit, to the point where I am sure the branches will all snap off one by one. I know I should probably be doing something to assist my poor tree through these fruit bearing months, when she is slumped over with offerings, but I've no idea what. Like some sort of thwarted Citrus Midwife.

The fruit from this tree is absolutely amazing...It's sweet and juicy. Perfect. The kids can just walk up and grab a Clementine right off the tree, peel it, and eat it with no worries because there are never any seeds.

And believe me they do.

No matter how many times I go out and sweep up, our lanai will be littered with little bits of orange peel from now until Christmas . Eventually, after Thanksgiving, when it's cold and rainy, I'll begin to care much less about there being orange confetti scattered about. It'll still be there waiting for me in the spring, believe it or not, as a little reminder.

Today we savored the first of hundreds of this season's Clementine' did not disappoint.

My new treasure...

You may have picked up from my around the house photo's that I just adore all things mid-century modern. Because of that I spend a lot of time hunting around on craigslist and in thrift stores for treasures. We own a few pieces that we are madly in love with and have a list of others that we are still coveting.

Last night I was able to scratch another piece off of the 'coveting' list. Meet my brand new Saarien style Tulip side table. We have the larger version as our kitchen table and have 3 of the matching white chairs.

Still on my list are a sleek mid century blond wood coffee table,
a great rug, a Walnut or Teak starburst clock, and a fabulous sideboard.

Here are a few of my favorite's

Our 60's era koo-koo clock from Germany above a fab. 50's vinyl chair.

Our magazine rack and fab 60's chair

My 50's Necchi sewing machine in it's original cabinet (with original manual and accessories case!) and 1 of our 4 vintage 50's danish modern Chairs.

Our accordian door sterio cabinet.

The 50's, in my opinion, produced the best homes, fashions and furniture of all time...

A Handmade Holiday Season...

(a couple 'in progress' photos of a Metro diaper bag I made for my good friend Lucia. for some reason it never occured to me to take any photos of the finished bag. (smacks forehead.))

I took the
Pledge this morning! So, if you are a holiday gift recipient of mine you have a bitsy clue as to what type of gift you may be receiving (as if you didn't already have a hunch it was going to be handmade!).

Now you know with certainty, no McGifts from me. Depending on which side of the handmade fence you sit this may be good or bad news ;-)

*Pledge Bonus*

No last minute runs to the dreaded Mall. I have been to a Mall one time in the last year and it was absolutely under duress (and was closley related to my being a bridesmaid). I also have not stepped foot into a T@rget in the last 2 months or a Wall M@rt in the last 2 years (the T@rget addiction was harder to break, let me tell ya). It has been truly life altering. Really. Life outside the 'stuff for stuff's sake' realm is not as scary as I thought it may be. My goal is to never return...

I'll report back...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Our Morning Walk...

Here are some photo's from this morning's walk.

We live in your average 1950's California Ranch style suburban neighborhood, which I adore...but just across a little stream about a block from here you enter this etherial neighborhood that seems like it was carefully relocated from elsewhere. Like a movie set depicting someplace much more rural than this little city we spend most of our days in. I feel like I am walking across a bridge exiting Northern California and entering Vermont or Connecticut (I've never been, but this is what I imagine it's like). Like popping through the Wardrobe to Narnia. It takes my breath away every time and makes me feel so grateful.

The funny thing is that when we bought this house we didn't have a clue this little haven existed. Imagine our surprise when we took our first walk not long after moving in and stumbled on our little passageway. It was like discovering a buried treasure in the backyard.

Needless to say most of our walks take us across the little bridge.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Converted...

(Cute photos of my boys which are completely unrelated to this post. Kai is a frog and Luke is a dog for Halloween this year)

I have completely sucked two of my dearest friends in to the world of sewing. It all began very innocently with a simple sewing lesson here and there, then some simple gifts.

Now, they are full fledged sew-a-holics, fabric-o-philes, project-a-thoner's.

I didn't realize how badly I wanted a little sewing company until I got a taste of it...It has become my primary goal to keep them on the side of the converted. It shouldn't be too hard though...once you've been bitten by the sewing bug how can you go back?! You will never look at another cute bag, blanket, curtain, top or potholder without thinking... 'I could SO make that...and I could make it delectable!'

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Bounty...

As's of our Pumpkin Patch Bounty.
The 2 huge pumpkins are actually compliments of Nona and Grandpa's Garden.
I have the great fortune of having a father-in-law who is an amazing gardener
and a Mother-in-law who always thinks of her kids and grandkids when planting time rolls around. We also have a sweet collection of mini-pumpkins Nona thoughtfully planted so there would be enough for everyone she loves. They also keep us stocked up on all sizes of tomatoes and zucchini all summer long. We are a lucky bunch!
I appreciate these gifts of fresh, healthy food more and more every year. When I first met my Hubs I had never experienced the joy of a fat, red, juicy tomato fresh from the garden. Let alone chard, broccolli, zucchini, corn, squash and pumpkins. Ever since that first bite I have been a believer. I look forward to that first basket of tomatoes every year and kick off the season the same way each time...The first tomato is sliced into generous sized slices, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, then devoured.

On the topic of fresh, homegrown food I just finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I adored the book and highly recommend it. I think it is the perfect read for this time of year as we all prepare to celebrate the harvest bounty with our families.

Cable Knit Pillows

My newest quick project obsession...Beautiful knit sweaters repurposed as cushy throw pillows.
I have a feeling you'll be seeing a bevy of these around here!

A new Whimsy hat. for Jacob...

How cute can one baby be?!

My sweet little nephew Jacob needed a new winter hat...a custom Whimsy was the obvious answer. This was my first go with this many colors of yarn...and I was a touch apprehensive. Would I be able to keep all of the yarn tangle free and tidy? But, in the end, it was easy peasy. Everywhere I went I carried this project in my big knitting bag which I had loaded with the various skeins of yarn ( in a very particular order of course). I just started on another for our good friend Cole...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Preschooler Yoga Pants...

So, I finally got around to figuring out that serger I got for my birthday (5 months ago).
My first project....some yoga/lounge pants for Mr. Luke.
I used stretch cotton jersey and just traced the inseam from a pair of pants we have around.
Worked like a charm...I made actual pants on my first try.
I used this Tutorial over at Luckybeans.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Pumpkin Patch

We ventured out to the local Pumpkin Patch Extravaganza with the boys and had a great time. This particular Pumpkin Patch is the most elaborate (and populated) pumpkin scene I've ever attended...but it's family owned and they grow the pumpkins at the farm.You pull your own perfect squash right off the vine.

I much prefer this to arriving at some roadside field where the 'pre-picked' pumpkins sit all in tidy rows. I find that scene much more bothersom.

Mommy and Kai
Daddy and the boys in a train car
Mommy and Kai on a tractor tire
More tractor fun

Photo's of our bounty to come...