Sunday, December 30, 2007

Where did December Go??

It was a good Christmas.

Most years I struggle trying to get/find/make the perfect gift for everyone - and most years I don't quite make it. But this year was satisfying.

I did a lot of sewing, but this is the only thing I actually photographed. It's a portable, washable "thuper fatht rathe car track" for Makaio.

I used this road trip fabric and ironed on little images - hotels, cars, compasses, and this little camp site! So cute. And then I finished the whole thing with iron-on vinyl so it's protected against little messes.

Here was the conversation with Makaio before opening every gift:

Makaio, it's a gift for you!
What is it?
I don't know. Let's open it to find out!
Is it a super fast race car? (said with a lisp)

And about half the time, it was a super fast race car.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

True Romance...

D says to me, "I went to Costco, and I was going to buy you flowers, but thought you'd probably rather have a roasted chicken instead."

Sadly, he was so right.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I made these stockings from a Goodwill sweater. The sweater had holes in the elbows, so I didn't feel so badly about cutting it up.

I lined them with some fabric I already had in my stash.

I love 'em.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't Be Jealous...

Are these not the loviest lovies ever??? I can hardly stand it.

My brother-in-law has had bike races every 3 weeks in the City so that means I get to see my family every 3 weeks (in MY 'hood!). I'm so lucky.

Malia, 6

Makaio, 2

Maile, 5 months


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Baby it's Cold Outside

Well, at least your coffee won't be cold! Check out my new coffee cozies...inspired by this awesome chica (mine are not as cool, but be patient, this was my first draft).

How green, yes? Reusable cozies. And what a great use for all my scraps!

Babies, Babies, Babies

Oy, ve! Everyone is having babies!!

Don't let the drama fool you - I am LOVING making baby gifts. Here is a little something I made one of my coworkers:

Little embellished cloth diaper burp cloths and 2 onesies. Heather Ross fabric is PERFECT for these onesies.

What I thought was very cute was that in her thank you note, she mentioned how much her husband liked it. Awwww....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ballooning in Tuscany

I can't believe I've waited so long to blog about Italy! I've been very bad. I'll try to highlight my favorite parts little by little.

For my birthday, D took me on a hot air balloon ride in Tuscany - can you even stand how gorgeous this is?? There were 4 balloons - 3 of which held the wedding guests. We got up at 5:00 and drove an hour to this picturesque plot for our sunrise ride. Once you're up, it's so quiet and peaceful. And the view was exactly as you'd imagine Tuscany would appear - lush, green, rolling hills speckled with stone farmhouses.

Our view from the basket.

Here is the groom's father, D, and me. In the basket with us was Greg, the "photographer," and Stefanino, our pilot. The ride was concluded with an outdoor champagne bruch with delicious Italian meats, cheeses, and pastries. Mmmmmmm....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Loose Lady

from Real Simple Magazine

Ok, I know my last post was over a month ago (and my last GOOD post over 2 months ago), and there is so much to tell you about the in-between happenings, but I'm starting here. And don't worry, you'll be filled in.

Last night I auditioned for a group called Loose Interpretations, an all-female performing a cappella group... and guess what? I'm a "Loosie" now!!

My friend, Sydney, heard about them in Real Simple magazine (I read the article too, but didn't think to time-activate) and joined a few weeks ago. And then she convinced me to try out as well. And, well, there you have it.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Buon Viaggio!

I'm off to Italy for 10 days!

Miss me!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Get Out of My Kitchen!

Well, it was actually Trista's kitchen, and Gina did most of the cooking (both were fab-u-lous). Kate took all the photos, and I just showed up for world's most awesome 1950s housewive-themed 30th birthday brunch (yes, we're still celebrating, and I'm not complaining).

Thank you ladies for being so good to me!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Alemany Farmer's Market

The Alemany Farmer's Market is THE BOMB.

Look at all the goodness we got last weekend:

My favorite part of the day was when, upon entering the market, D says to me, "Now Sara, let's remember that we don't have a lot of space, and we're only 2 people, so let's not go crazy buying things." ...and who do you think ended up going crazy? Mmmhmm. Hey, no complaints from this camp!

Birthday Handbag

Remember this post? Well, this one's a bit similar.

So, let me back up by telling you that all my belongings are in storage, temporarily. I moved out of my old place, and am staying with D until I get new digs. Until then, I kept the essentials (clothes, shoes, toothbrush, sewing machine, fabric) and packed everything else up. Stupidly, I only kept one purse out - a Timbuk2... not that any of my other bags are dressy, but at least they don't look like I'm about to deliver blueprints across town on my mountain bike.

...Back to the story. I took myself to the mall for a little intended birthday shopping spree - from which I came home empty handed. I decided, with limited space, and with too many belongings to begin with (you're reminded of how gross you are when you put everything in boxes and fill a storage shed to the brim), that I would use my resources and make myself a bag instead (I still need an "adult purse", but this would do for now).

This is the little clutch from Bend-the-Rules Sewing, which is also packed away. I used leftover fabric from this project and this project (which I'm still totally obsessed with). And I stole the spare button from one of my coats (nevermind that I have 1 bajillion buttons in storage).

It was perfect for all my little necessities, and was a therapeutic birthday treat to myself.

30 + 1 day

Yesterday I entered my 3rd decade - yipes! And I am realizing more and more what fabulous friends I have.

Two of my best girlfriends took me to Twain Harte for a little weekend getaway this past weekend (photos forthcoming). We just relaxed, hiked, sat in a raft in the middle of the lake, watched a movie, ate, drank, and were in bed before 10:00. Now that's my kind of vacation (I have ALWAYS loved being in bed before 10:00 - it's not just because I've turned 30)!

And last night, we went to Thirsty Bear Brewing Company for a day-of celebration. The food was delicious, but the company better. And I got so spoiled!!! I got this book and this book (because I'm saving the planet), some scrumptious L'Occitane goodies, a new sewing storage box (it's a disgrace what I'm using now!), a recipe divider/multiplier, and (drum roll, please) a red Le Creuset round oven!! *high kick*

See what I mean about being spoiled? I am so grateful.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I'm so sad it's over!

Having the Bay Bridge closed and taking BART to work the last three days has afforded me the luxury of reading for 2 hours a day (a library deadline helps, too).

A couple of months ago, I finished (and LOVED) the Kite Runner, so I had to read this one too.

I'm no book critic, but I devoured this book - I loved and hated the characters, and learned so much about Afghanistan - I highly recommend both books (preferably accompanied by a box of kleenex).

I always get so sad after finishing a book - I feel like I've lost a friend. I need a rebound.... suggestions?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Makaio - King of My Heart

Guess who called me today to tell me he saw an airplane, "nyeeeeeeerrrrrr" (the sound of it flying overhead) and that he was going to the gym?

My little Makai-kai.

And so he takes the crown as king of my heart... (I am SO easy)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Miss Malia - Queen of my Heart

Yesterday was Malia's first day of 1st grade.

Do you know what she wore?
She wore the dress I made her.

Do you know why?
"Because Auntie Sara would be so happy if I wore this on the first day of school."

This is why she is the Queen of my Heart.

(photo to come - Monica's computer is in the shop)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ay, Chihuahua! "Messican" Brownies!

Here, try one...

Take one box of (not low-fat) brownie mix (or make your own) and add:
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or 1/8 if you're of the non-adventurous type)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

Voila! "Messican" Brownies

Serve atop a tablecloth made from this Dia de los Muertos Fabric:

(trust me, it won't taste the same without it...ok, just looking for an excuse to display my stash)

Friday, August 24, 2007

BIg Girls

Here's the video for Big Girls:

Click here if you can't see video:

Kinda makes you want to dance down the street in your fringed & sequined baton leo.

My New Favorite Song

Those of you who know me well realize that it's not unusual for me to have one CD in the player for months...listening to it over and over again and never get sick of it. The only reason it ever comes out is because I've found another CD to play for months.

Well, here's my new favorite song, from my new favorite album, introduced to me by D.

Enjoy (over and over and over again) Grace Kelly by Mika:

Isn't he so foxy?? Also try Big Girls and Lollipop.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Miss Malia's Dress

D and I spent the weekend at our Nacimiento Lake house with my family (photos to come). We had so much fun eating, hanging out, swimming, and going out in the boat. Except for the dead bat in my bedroom, it was a perfect weekend.

Anyhow, the dress... Malia had this cutest dress on from Old Navy. Poor thing didn't have it on but 10 minutes before I asked her to take it off so I could duplicate it. She graciously agreed. Here's the original dress (a bit wrinkled):

And here's the duplicated dress.

I used some Denyse Schmidt fabric I bought at Beverly's for $1.99/yard (Shhh...I don't think they know what's up with Denyse. I felt a little like I stole it... I should have "stole" more!) for an unknown project... I did it without a pattern (yay!), but I did have to redo the bodice twice.

Anyhow, I'm pleased with it... just don't look on the inside :) Soon I'll have a serger (birthday idea!!).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Love at First Bite

Let's pretend for a minute that I DIDN'T go straight from Chez Panisse and have and incredible meal (WITH dessert) to a cupcake shop around the corner...and buy a cupcake....and eat it.

OK, I'm a glutton! *hands up* I admit it. But can you blame me?? Look at this!

Love at First Bite was so cute - it was this quaint little place with cake/candy-related gifts, cake plates, and a cupcake case in the front, and a few ladies (including the owner) in the back baking and frosting the cupcakes right there. And there was this massive kitchenaid mixer... I was a little in love with the whole place.

I did practice a little self control by only getting one mini cupcake - a strawberry one. It tasted like fresh strawberry jam, and had the perfect proportion of cake to frosting. It was simply ridiculicious.

Next time, I'm trying the red velvet... which is really just chocolate cake with a lot of red food coloring, right? I hear it's (along with the strawberry) a best-seller.

Um, I have a lot of unfinished business in Berkeley.... good thing I work in Oakland.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chez Panisse

Guess where I ate lunch yesterday??

Thank you to my great friend Kat who time-activated this culinary adventure. It was rumored that Alice was lunching in the house. (wait a second...who cooked my meal??? Just kidding.)

I forgot to snap a shot of the appetizer, which was a tomato & eggplant soup with a swirl of yogurt. There probably wasn't time to take a photo, I devoured it so quickly. Trust me, it was as beautiful as it was delicious. (The photos aren't so great, because I was trying not to be a TOTAL nerd by turning the flash off - I was only a partial nerd for taking the photos in the first place)

Here's the California sea bass with morels and parsley served with turnips, carrots, and potatoes - heavenly!

And for dessert - peaches with creme anglaise and toased almonds

Mmmmmmmm..... time to take a nap.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

More Show-And Tell

Did I show you the pillows I made for the living room? (This was before I knew I was moving) was time for a change.

Mmmm - Tastes Local Harvesty

Remember when I quoted, "If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week." ?

Well, there you have it (from my Two Small Farms delivery). I did my part. And I do believe the air felt cleaner that day.


Ok, while I'm still very preoccupied with finding a place to live, I felt the proverbial fire lit under my booty to blog again with Kate's shout-out. Kate has a larger audience, so now I might have more than 6 readers (thank you to those 6 - I do love you so!) And chickety check her photography out - it's SO FUN!!

So, here's my latest creation - ta-da!!

This was the kit that Emily and I bought together at the Stichin' Post in Sisters, OR. It was a really easy quilt pattern (it helped to have a photo of what the finished product should look like). The hardest part was cutting out the fabric - I always get so scared of cutting something wrong (but I didn't!). I just laid the pieces out on the floor, and stitched them 2 pieces at a time, so I wouldn't have to keep clipping my thread (cheating? probably.) Kept on doing that until it was done!

I would (and will) definitely make this again, however, next time I will modify the length a little so that I don't have to sew 2 long strips together, just to get them 1 inch longer... hard to explain, check out what I mean. Sometimes I was good about matching up the patterns....

And sometimes not so much...

I think this is my favorite part...the little Russian nesting dolls print by Heather Ross.

I backed the whole thing with a light yellow Heather Ross floral, because her fabrics are just so stinkin soft! I wasn't supposed to bind it, but I thought it would look nicer - and I was right - ha!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I know I have been a flake lately...

I've been a little preoccupied. I am moving out of my house, and am stressing about finding a new one. I have, however, been keeping my hands busy sewing. So soon I'll have something lovely to blog make it up to you.

Veggie Delivery - Weeks 3 & 4

To remain consistent in my flakiness, I'm posting weeks 3 & 4 of our deliveries:

This week:
Tomatillos, leeks, little white onions (which I traded for more leeks - still had leftover onions from weeks past), serrano peppers, romaine lettuce, poblano peppers, romanesco, artichokes, squash, and basil.

Last week:
Salad mix, potatoes, rosemary, fennel, green onions (lots of them!!) red onion, and strawberries.

I'd better get cracking on some soup - all these veggies are overwhelming me! Plus, it's freezing outside right now. Soup would be appropriate.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ze Duvet iz Done

I time-activated that duvet business this morning - and though it took much longer than I anticipated it would, I am in love with it!! (p.s. that stripey pillow is not even finished - it's just laying over top the pillow for effect, until I can time-activate that one too)

I made 3 panels for the front, and see how the little patterns match up so nicely? (this is why it took me 4 hours, instead of the anticipated 2)

I just used a white duvet cover I already had for the back. I extended it with a leftover strip from the front. (Yipes, those shams - no so goot with the duvet)

The stripe can go either way - so fancy. I intended it to go horizontally, but I think I prefer it vertically.


...onto more projects...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Veggie Delivery - Week 2

Forgot to tell you about week 1 I'm realizing...

Anyhow, Darren and I subscribed to Two Small Farms, a Community Supported Agriculture partnership. Each week, a big box of locally- and organically-grown produce is delivered to my neighborhood where I can pick it up. I can actually get there by foot, it's that convenient (ok, so it took 40 minutes and was 100% uphill getting there, but at least the loaded walk home was downhill - and I didn't use any gasoline). You can subscribe for flowers too, which would sweeten the deal.

This week: red leaf lettuce, strawberries, peppers (the kind pepperoncini are made of), onions, spinach, celery, cilantro, beets, collards, and parsley.

Last week: romaine, bianco di maggio onions, summer squash, yellow chantenay carrots, new potatoes, strawberries, green beans, basil, green peppers, and cabbage.

I made cole slaw, hash browns, green beans with almonds, and have been eating salads all week. The newsletter actually includes recipes that incorporate your week's veggies. It's quite inspiring to get this "gift" each week and make delicious meals with it. And it feels good to be doing good by the community, farmers, and environment.

Forgive Me, For I Have Sinned...

I was a very bad girl at the Stitchin' Post this weekend...Here's a preview of projects to come.

Emily & I bought matching quilt kits - we'll have to keep each other accountable for finishing:

This quilt, I have been coveting since my last visit. I "had" to buy this kit too (had used loosely):


I can't even explain how HARD this store rocks! I could spend DAYS in that store. If you're any sort of fabric whore, like me, this store is the ultimate. Go there.

Birthday Pillows

Check out the pillows I made my mom for her birthday. She needed something to go with her fabulous new red sofa.

Sisters in Sisters

I just spent the greatest weekend in Sisters, OR with my best, longest-time (since 3rd grade) friends, Emily, Elyse, and Abby. You might recall I stayed with Emily and Abby a couple months back (rancher fantasy camp ring a bell?). This time, Elyse was in town for a bit between 2 years teaching art in Kuwait (yes, Kuwait) and another 2 years in Hong Kong. She's such a globe-trotter.

We had a lovely time hanging around the ranch, cooking, eating, reminiscing, shopping, walking around town, attempting hikes (too windy), and doting on Cade.

Emily (blue shorts) & Elyse (green pants) "swam the horses" while Abby, Cade, and I sat on the sidelines:

Look at this barnyard hottie:

Elyse, donning the new school apron she made holding the cutest baby Cade:

Anyhow, upon landing, I realized it was the Sisters 32nd Annual Quilt Show - BONUS! I was a very bad girl... more on that later.

Being with these girls is like being with family (I pretend I'm the 4th sister). Each time we see each other, we just pick up where we left off. It's the greatest luxury. And the best part was, I got bumped off my flight until the next morning, so I "had" to spend one more night with my girls! Waking up at 4:10 in the AM to catch a flight, however, is another story.... ha!