Saturday, May 31, 2008

Baby Season

I have been busy trying to keep up with baby season. My friend from work had a girl...Caitlyn (I think that's the spelling). She's so teeny-tiny, it might taker her a while to fit into these puppies.

My other friend who I used to work with is had a girl too...Miss Lilly. She's already struttin' the cupcake, I hear.

(those are burp cloths underneath to match the onesies)

When is someone going to finally name their baby Sara? Sheesh...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quilt in a Day (almost)

I haven't been super motivated since returning from all them vacations. You'd think I would be an absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder type of thing, but no.

Anyhow, I think the lull is over - I got inspired by this magazine ad:

Crafted a really sophisticated pattern/instruction set and gathered some fabric I purchased for a different project:

Laid her out...

Sewed her up...

And I trekked to PeaPod and got me some yummy cotton/bamboo fabric for the back (I'll show you the finished product later). I'm still hemming and hawing (I don't think I've ever spelled that out before...) over the binding.

I'm going for the "chic city baby" look here - how'm I doing?

p.s. Super easy pattern - no corners to match!! Love that! Truthfully, I like obsessing about precision a little bit, but rarely achieve perfection, so this was good for me.

Boston Common in Bloom

I just remembered these photos I took in Boston Common. It was supposed to rain the whole weekend, but we happened upon fabulous weather instead. Strangely enough, I was soaking it in so much that I hardly took any photos.

This gardener is SO fired...

And that's it for Boston, sorry y'all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Boston Baby

We just got back from a wee trip to Boston. I think we're done traveling for a little while - I feel so spoiled.

Anyhow, we stayed outside Boston in a little town called Norwood (Nah-wood). And thank goodness D had his thinkin' cap on - he remembered that Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger restaurant was nearby in Wellesley. We made the rainy trek into this adorable, charming little town (lots of women's clothing stores - go figure). As we're approaching the restaurant, I asked D, "Do you think Ming actually ever cooks at the restaurant?" And before he could reply, guess who is standing at the reception desk? Hello!! (I verified the name on the jacket just to be sure)

He buzzed around the restaurant (totally not in a schmoozy sort of way) the whole night - and don't think I didn't stare a little. We had a delicious dinner (and a kick-butt cocktail - passionfruit & pear - ooh, yeah!). On our way out, we passed Ming and thanked him for the dinner. He asked if everything was good, and yes, of course I said it was. *sigh* SO AWESOME!

Sorry I have no photo...we were too chicken. But I know he would have been gracious had we asked. Next time...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Da Rest

This will be my last Hawaii post - promise.

We had such a great time and there was so much to do in Honolulu! I felt guilty just plopping myself on the beach and reading a magazine when there were craters to hike, sunken ships to explore, and shave ice (lots of it) to be eaten.

Here are few last highlights of our trip:

The view from Diamond Head - worth the trek up the hill.

Our guide at the Dole plantation - is he not so adorable?

And a loverly hibiscus. D tried to convince me they had a lovely fragrance. Right. Don't mess with a girl who has taken Environmental Horticulture 101 - we know EVERYTHING there is to know about plants and will take every opportunity to share that knowledge.

The awesomeness of this is self-explanatory...

And our first little dip in the Hawaiian waters:

And f you go to Honolulu, may we recommend two fabulous restaurants? One fancy and one less fancy. Alan Wong's was incredible!!! Start to finish, everything was ridiculously delicious. And we recommend sitting next to some friends of the owner (like we happened to be) who get plates and plates of desserts on the house and offer them to you. That was the best part!

The other more casual restaurant, Town, served local, seasonal food. So tasty!! We went the multiple appetizer route, which I recommend. And they used old menus for their coasters, which I loved.

So, there you have it! Our little Hawaiian vacation in a nutshell. Aloooooooo-ha!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Speaking of SPAM

(which I learned is short for "spiced ham", by the way)

We happened to be in town for the annual Waikiki SPAM Jam - Yes, this is a real fesival...see?

(thank you, D, for always indulging me)

From a reliable source (friend of D's who used to work there) SPAM is actually "composed" of rather high quality "parts" and is said to be preferable to a hot dog. So, we went for it. It would have been rude of us NOT to participate in all things SPAM, right?

D had a SPAM burger and SPAM fries:

And I had one of those slabs of SPAM on a mound of rice wrapped with nori...can't remember what it was called (update: it's called a musubi - thank you, Tracy RN, MSN, PHN). And something weird happened, as I was about to take a bite, some girl walked by, smiled, and asked if it was the first time I had tried one of those. I wonder if there is SPAM/rice mound etiquette that I was breaching? Or perhaps I just had an apprehensive look on my face. Hmmm.... Or maybe I'm just Miss paranoia. Whatever.

There was even Spamghetti - I would totally eat that.

And there you have it - a SPAM fest. Pretty cool.

Sidenote: Darren Benitez, a Hawaiian singer was performing at the SPAM Jam, and he was pretty freakin' talented and fabulous. And you can download him on iTunes - I'll see you there!

**I failed to mention that the SPAM was actually quite tasty. I'm probably not likely to buy or prepare spiced ham ever (deviled ham is another story), but I am not above partaking in a dedicated SPAM festival now and again.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Honolulu Quilt Show

Many of my hater friends have rolled their eyes at me when I told them I went to a Hawaii Quilters Guild quilt show while in Hawaii. I suppose that's not typical for a 30 year-old gal on vacation, but whatever.

I found myself taking photos of basically every quilt in the show, but these were my favorites. Very few of the quilts at the show were of a style I have ever created (or thought to create - or COULD create), but I was quite inspired. Do click on the photos and look at them in finer detail.

This was a showcase piece. I couldn't capture the texture with my camera, but it was beautiful.

A "stained glass" wall hanging.

If you look up close, every single piece is appliqued onto a black background. It was STUNNING.

Holly Hock

Another meticulous wall hanging

A beautiful variation of the Hawaiian Quilt


Sunday, May 11, 2008

McSpam & Eggs

I seldom eat fast food, but at McDonald's in Hawaii, they serve a spam, egg, and rice plate for breakfast. We, of course, had to sample the local fare.

Me likee.

D, not so much.

And check out the trash receptacles. So polite.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Hawaiian Quilting Class

Surprisingly (not), while on vacation, I took a Hawaiian Quilting class to learn how they make those incredible quilts. I bought a pattern book about 5 years ago, but do you think I've opened it? Well, maybe I will now that I sort of know what I'm doing.

The class was run by a couple of native Hawaiian women, daughters of this man who used to design the patterns for many Hawaiian quilt makers. He was there still designing patterns for those who wanted them. Here's a photo of him sketching one out:

And the final product:

75% of the women (and one man!) quilting were regulars working on huge bed spreads. This quilter was kind enough to pose for me:

This one shows a better contrast (yes, it's sideways):

I was at a small table with out-of-town beginners. Here's the "breadfruit" pillow cover I was working on. I wanted to show you the stages - pinning, basting, and then pin-turning.

Maybe someday, if I ever finish it, I'll show you the finished product. If you're in Honolulu on a Saturday, I recommend checking this class out. And what's extra-great about the class is that it's held at Iolani Palace, so you can cram a little tourism in there as well....and the little bagel rolls pre-filled with cream cheese.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


D and I just got back from 5 days in Honolulu. Aaaaah. I needed that. This week I'll update you on the goings on of our wonderful little vacation. There was a lot of good eating, sight-seeing, a little SCUBA, a little shopping, and never as much lounging as you want.

First item of business, shave ice.

Waiola was closer, so we tried this one first. The ice was finely shaved, the line was short, and delicious.

Matsumoto, a 1 hour drive away, had a coarser shave, long line, and cheap! The coconut flavor was hot pink (why?), but also delicious.

My study was very scientific - always passion fruit and coconut, with no ice cream or beans (what is that all about??). And the result? Well, when it comes to sweet treats, I'm not all that discerning. Both delicious and refreshing, and both better than other shave ice places I tried.

Maybe I should bust out my Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine and recreate....