Monday, January 31, 2011

By Georg(ia)!

In my last post, I mentioned I found my first Vera scarf, and was (and still am!) very excited about them.  I knew about Vera textiles from a book that I bought a year ago, Bend The Rules Sewing, by Amy Karol.  She had two beautiful butterfly napkins that she used to make a table runner.  This book, by the way, is one of the few books I will be showing projects from this year as I work my way through them to learn more crafty skills.  Amy also has mentioned Vera on her Angry Chicken blog that I love to read.  She just recently got a book on Vera that I'd love to check out.  When I got the scarf, I knew it was the same Vera she had talked about, but didn't know last name.  I assumed (and you KNOW what happens we do that...!!!) erroneously that it was Wang, which was the only Vera I knew.  I'm so thankful for the lovely people who did know exactly who it was.  WHICH, brings me to this post.   Last year I picked up this bag, which I actually think might be a small appliance (blender?) cover, because the designer's name is right-side up when the open end of the "bag" is facing down (make sense?).  I absolutely LOVE the print on this, and was wondering if anyone knows anything about it or the designer.   It says "by Georgia" on it.  Any info would be so much appreciated!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Table of Awesomeness!!!

Color, color EVERYWHERE!!!

Everyone needs a little shopping therapy every now and again.  Yesterday was my day.  We went to the thrift store, and I had a Pyrexy feeling before we got there.  I walked in and spied a colonial pattern divided dish.  I picked it up to look a bit closer, and Sophia came up and said excitedly- Mom, is this Pyrex?  In her hand was this beauty:


Sophia is on the hunt if she knows I'm looking for something in particular when we go thrifting.  She has even been known to follow people (inconspicuously) around to see if they will put a wanted item down. :)  This is my first orange bowl, so I was thrilled.  In two thrift stores, we found lots of treasure!

Old wooden spools with fabulous colors!

My very first Vera scarf!!!  SO exciting! :)
Love the colors and pattern!

Almost too pretty to use...ALMOST!!!
 I'm so thankful the kids love to go to the thrift stores as much as I do!  They scored a dart board with a cool wooden case:

For the older ones, of course!
 All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good thrifting day!  For more of the Pyrex story, you can visit  the Pyrex Collective   .

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Stitch (JUST) In Time!

My neighbor gave me the "plum" table runner underneath- I just LOVE it!

This weekend it was a race against the clock.  Olivia had her second loose tooth wobbling all over the place, and I knew Saturday that it was hanging by a thread, and I would have to pull it soon.   I found this pattern last month on the Martha Stewart website and knew the girls would love it.  It's supposed to be in felt, but since this was a rush job, I used what I had.  As I was cutting out the fabric, Sophia came over and was watching.  When she figured out what it was, she opened her mouth and said, "Do I have any more baby teeth left?!"  Of course, she can have one whether she does or not.

My friend Katie (who is very skilled and crafty!), who's son is just Olivia's age (and coincidentally, her best pen-pal!), just made the most adorable pillow for Miles (who's first tooth is getting ready to come out).  You can see it here.  Mile's pillow is a bigger pillow.  This bear is an under the pillow friend, smallish in size, and perfect for me to try and whip stitch my way around in a hurry.  I'm definitely a beginning sewer/embroiderer, and one of my goals for this year is to learn more, which means practice more, and do more projects.  So far, so good.  I've picked up some really cool books I'll be sharing soon.  So, back to the bear.  I had to re-do the pocket, because I didn't like the color and thickness of the thread I used the first time around.  Also, the fabric of the pocket is hard to work with.  For you more experienced sewers, why is it that some cotton fabric just shreds apart when you try to work with it?  As I was trying to stitch the pieces together,  Olivia came running in and showed me her tooth in her hand!  She had pushed it out with her tongue (I told you it was loose)!  The pressure was on, because bedtime was fast approaching, and I really wanted to give it to her.  She didn't know what (or who) the bear was for, and thankfully was distracted with playing.  I used stuffing out of a pillow that was already coming apart (sorry, Gabe- I'll fill it back up!), and worked with a knitting needle.

No teddy bears were harmed in the making of this pillow...

When I finished it up and called Olivia over, she was so excited to see her name on it!

It even matches her p.j.s!

See the big, two-toothed hole on the bottom?!
The tooth fairy left her some money in the pocket, but it was a bit hard to get out.  Consequently, the pocket did tear a bit.  It's ok.  This one is practice.  I will definitely use felt, tweak the pattern a bit for next time, and start on the next ones before there is a rush!  All in all, though, I think this was a successful project!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mid- Winter Cheer

Just thought I'd share a few sunny spots during the heart of winter (even though it was 73 and sunny here today!):

The Last of the Persimmons
Our Persimmon tree is very prolific, to the delight of all our neighbors.  I love the look of the tree at this time of year- it's really an odd thing.  All the leaves are gone, and the fruit is the star of the show.  I will be making Persimmon Coffee Cake soon - it's the best!

This is another of my old-time favorites: Double Dutch!

WAIT for it...
Did anyone else double dutch in their day?  Well, the kids are just learning, after getting special ropes from Grandma at Christmas.  We had tried much earlier with regular ropes, and it was a no-go.  The lure was too great, and I had to jump in and see if I still got my groove.   I actually got to the twenties, so I still got it!  No pictures to prove it though... :)

Today the girls came in with these from the garden- so sweet, I almost cried looking at them coming in a line with all these beautiful flowers picked just for me!  I'm so blessed with my kids!

We are also getting ready for Gabe's 13th birthday- amazing!  And also excited about Valentine's Day this year.  We had all the paper strips marked to cut out today to do a Valentine colored paper chain, and this morning I saw this from Stacey over at her blog.  What a great idea- just a small shape change.  We ended up with this:

That's a lot of lovin'!

We promised Gabe we wouldn't put up "girly" hearts until after his birthday (!), so we have to find a stash spot until next week.  Hope your winter has its own bright spots!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Catching up on the Pyrex front

Spring Blossom

I have been collecting Pyrex dishes for almost 2 years now.  Not aggressively, but I always look for it when I happen to be at a thrift store, and am always extremely THRILLED when I find it!  The green Spring Blossom bowl was my first find, and really, very fitting, because it was the pattern I grew up with.  My mom had a bowl just like it.  I was in love, and that set me off to find others.  I'm not a collector in the sense that they go in a viewing cupboard- I have a rule: Whatever I buy, I have to use, or it has to go.  I love these Butterfly Gold bowls:

Cinderella Mixing Bowl

4 Quart Casserole
And this Verde divided dish is fab!

So excited that it had the lid!

This Snowflake divided dish is my favorite to pull out for Christmas:

It looks great with Mom's snowball cookies mounded inside!

My friend Joy gave me these plates:

The one on the right is not Pyrex, but how awesome is that?!!

And my sister gave me the Gooseberry Yellow bowl:

On top of a Colonial casserole dish.

I am definitely looking to add some aqua, Friendship, and pink to my collection this year.  This little piece would definitely be fantastic to add, from this generous blogger: Pyrex Giveaway!  Cross your fingers and wish me luck! :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hooked on Crochet

Bag of Comfort!

Crochet is near and dear to my heart.  My mom taught me how when I was a wee thing, and I haven't looked back since.  Not that I get to do it all the time- there are a lot of things on my plate, and other things that I like to learn.  Like knitting.  And sewing.  And embroidery. get the picture.  But there is nothing else that after even a year or two of neglect, I can still plop down on the couch and pick up as naturally as breathing, and nothing so comforting as finding a good groove in a pattern, whether it be for a baby blanket (more to follow on that note!), or these envelope purses that have been finding their way into people's hands, whether for Christmas or birthdays.  The buttons give them a special touch (have I mentioned my LOVE for  buttons? Also a gift from my mom...).

My little jar of buttons :)

Sophia has learned to crochet as well, and Olivia is hot on her trail.  Sophia has also made these envelope purses, and also these soap holder bags:

Looks much better in your hand than in a picture!

She really does an amazing job.  I'm so thankful to my mom for passing these things on, and so thankful to be blessed with little ones to pass them on to.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy, Happy New Year!

Looking back at 2010, it really was a good year.  It was the first full calendar year that we've been in Santa Paula We had all our birthdays  here- including Rob's big  BBQ & Blues party.  Mid year we took some time to really pray about where we were supposed to be as far as ministry, and felt God calling us to a small church right down the street from us.  We are so excited to fully be here in S.P., and to be teamed up with such amazing people.  We are very expectant to see what God has in store for 2011, as it has already gotten off to a very exciting start.

After Christmas we took a trip up north to mom's for an extended Christmas.  On our way we stopped at Bravo Cheese Farm, which is right next to the freeway, and has a gas station/produce stand attached.  We first went to Bravo last summer, when we went to see baby Simeon.  I forgot my camera- uggh!  This time I made sure I had it- this place is amazing.  From the outside, with the freeway traffic rushing by, you would never know what awaits you on the inside- a lush little escape, full of vintage things- some farmy, and some not-so-farmy (like the pull-slot machine with the oranges and lemons!), and lots of crazy signs.  As if that weren't enough, they also have a huge tree house that you can climb up, and they have a cool petting zoo with the typical goats, chickens and bunnies, and also two donkeys, turkeys and birds.  We love Bravo Cheese Farm! (And, yes!  They have cheese and sausage-y stuff, too!)

Yee-Haa for  Bravo Farms!

Gabe looks pretty good on a chopper...

I would love to drive this around town!

All original inhabitants

What a chubby cute head!  It's a donkey, btw ;)

Every kid's tree house dream!
 And Now For The Signs:

How Super-Cool is this?!  If only it worked...

After our detour, we were back on the road, making tracks for Grandma's.  The kids had been so excited about us going, and were really hoping for snow.  This is what met us:

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go
  There was just enough to look pretty and to play in a little.  It was freezing though!  Sarah, Eva and little Simeon drove up, minus Caleb, :( who was sick (it's definitely been goin' around!).
Together again!
Mom spoiled us, all the way around, as usual! :) She made fudge, and my favorite- her snowball cookies (so glad we didn't find the extra tin until late in the game...probably saved me a stomach ache!), and a new, old recipe of my great grandma's that was amazing.  It was a sugar cookie recipe, written in her handwriting (of course, I'm making copies!).  Very different than what I'm used to, they were very crisp.  Sarah thought they tasted a bit like those Danish butter cookies you get in the tins.  The kids loved them.  She made ribs, and chicken mole- oh yum!  She really needs to put in a treadmill.  This sign from Bravo sums up our culinary stay at Mom's:

For New Year's Eve we stayed up and watched Guys and Dolls until 2am, breaking at midnight for a toast and watching the ball drop.  Gotta love seeing Marlon Brando dancing around like that!  New Year's Day we kicked off by having breakfast with Jason and Schaunna- what a great start to the year!  Rob got an invite to play an instrument of his choosing at their church that night, which he gratefully accepted!  By going, he also got to see a few other friends as well.

Sunday came with more visiting.  Our friends Ben, Kristin and Andy stopped by and brought us a little travel pack of snacks for the way home- so very thoughtful and sweet!  Definitely need a longer visit. Then we had a carload (well, two!) of friends drive up from Galt to see us- we are so thankful for our great friends (and family)! :)  Mom outdid herself again with YUMMY chicken wings and a mess of finger foods.  When you visit, Mom- it will be your turn to relax...I'm cooking and spoiling YOU!  I can tell you there was much laughing, many pictures taken (even in secret- WHO got a hold of Ricky's phone and took 88 pictures without him knowing....??!)  Jodi, would you know anything about it?!    ME: "Hey, Ricky- on your new iPhone, does it automatically put the pictures into albums?" RICKY: "Here, lemme show you...WHAT??!!" HA!  They looked something like this:

But multiplied by 88!

We definitely played games- organized (like our word game!), and not:

Ciara, I think we have a rotten connection!

Jodi, Mom and I steal a moment...

Such silliness...

This New Year is looking to be one great year!