Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Savoring what treasures are inside

Here are what was inside my precious box. Are they not perfect? J had to admit, Anita is one of the best gift-givers ever... He said, "even I would not have known that you'd love those. And yet, they are perfect for you" (and J is notorious for great gifts)
Again, thank you Anita! You made my week... I'm savoring...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Treasures inside

I received this box today. I haven't opened it yet because it is so beautiful that I could cry... It came in the mail. (I LOVE MAIL!!!) from my special pal, Anita, one of the best gift givers I have ever met. I'm sure I will love what is inside, but the joy of the gift itself is stalling me. I've never done this in my whole life... J is the one who savors things for the sheer joy of savoring. Is it my
Italian experience that taught me to savor? Like the wine? Or the sunsets on romantic bridges? Or was it the Arizona skies and the cooling evenings after long days in the pool? I don't know, but I'm savoring tonight. And it feels so good.
(thank you, Anita!)

one last desert post

Here is one last batch of desert beauty for you to love.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quiet sunset and me

I'm missing J while he had to leave vacation for a few days to go work. He will be back tomorrow, but tonight I watched the sunset alone (with my sis and her fam for a short portion of it) and soaked it in for my hubby, the sunset guy.
There was a full rainbow on one side and an outrageous sunset on the other. I sat out in the quiet of the desert and soaked it all in.
Thought you might like to join me there.

Desert palette

These colors are really so breath-taking to me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I already blogged this photo today, but I wanted to show off how great my iPhone apps for photos are... This photo was played with in Photogene and Camerabag... And now a simple snapshot turns into something special.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


When momma/auntie Lala takes the kids to the park by myself... I make no promises to their condition upon return, but they will have had fun...

Inspiration: desert

I've been really thinking about succulents and cacti lately... Loving their simple forms and hearty design. I love the big bold shapes and strong colors... We are on a family vacation in Arizona - where there is plenty of inspiration to behold.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On her own

The Design Director is slowly getting to the age where I can actually give her a project to do on her own. We are not there yet, but after today's "no sew fleece pillow" - her second one to gift this week, mimi is almost ready for me to leave her to her own devices and finish
it herself. I'm very proud of her.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sewing Seeds - finished product

It was a team effort around here, but I am happily tonight packing up the sweetest box of clothing to send to Sewing Seeds. I had a little get together this evening, to make the load lighter, and here are our contributions to little children in Costa Rica. Many thanks to those who came tonight - and those who donated fabric to the cause - I did my best to use some from each person who donated. All in all, there were seven skirts made tonight and I managed to make 5 pairs of shorts and 2 skirts in the days leading up to today. This warms my heart and I'm so happy to know that there are going to be 14 little kids running around in Costa Rica wearing things that are made with love right here in my home.
What a great cause!
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

my Italy photos... since you asked... or if you didn't

Okay - some of you have asked and some of you haven't.
Regardless... here is the edited collection.
(down from 1000 photos. of which I took maybe 6...)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Inspiration: Where does it come from and where does it go?

My head hasn't really re-engaged here in California yet. I'm still having dreams about Italy and cathedrals, adventures, and travel every night.  J is still off work for one more day, so the vacation hasn't HAD to end really...
Tonight, I dusted off the sewing machine.  I didn't expect much, just to get reaquainted, perhaps...
Especially when I didn't really even miss the machine, when I thought I would... so I began tonight with a stack of J's shirts that he'd given to me to get rid of before the trip. I literally had them neatly stacked in the hallway for the entire time we were gone, and for the 6 days since we've been back... but I got all these ideas... and I turned 3 of daddy's shirts into 3 skirts and 3 pairs of shorts tonight that are so fun for the kids. I didn't plan them this way, they just happened. (The blue set will stay with our kids and the rest will go to Sewing Seeds)
Here is tonight's question... how do these - and their lighthearted inspiration -  from a stack of shirts that have stumped me all week... come from THIS?

Sewing Seeds

Tonight's project is a little sewing for a great project... called Sewing Seeds. June 29th is the deadline - and a collection of handmade shorts (for boys) and skirts (for girls) is being taken to Costa Rica for children in extreme poverty. read about it here. and also here.
Last time 118 handmade articles were collected and I can't say how much I love the idea of children in poverty stricken situations running around in clothes made with as much love and heart as my own children wear.
There are bunches of tutorials listed on the second site - check them out. The Lazy Days skirt is a standby around here and I'll be making a few of those tonight. (they take about 1/2 hour each!)

I'm really thinking seriously about hosting a Sewing Seeds party - to see what we can do as a group to get as many items made in one night as possible. Anyone local interested? (It would have to be within the next week.)

The makings of a mermaid

Design Director lesson of the day:
If you bug momma to death about it, you CAN get her to make you into a mermaid within an hour of getting home with new fabric.

The Design director does downtown

Mimi got her first trip to the fabric district with momma today. She's trying to convince me to make her a "mermaid costume with no space for feet to come out" from this fabulous turquoise sequined ($1/ yard) piece.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

we're home

I've peeked through the (amazing) photos my man took while we were in Italy about 3-4 times already and I can't find my favorite yet... so just as a little appetizer - here's one that I feel communicates how I felt and a few more... since this IS the Libby Dibby blog... of THE skirt, and the bag, in Venice.
And though I didn't read Tori's packing list before hand, looks like I followed it quite well with the hat, the skirt, the journal, the comfy shoes, forgetting just the right amount of toiletries (Labello, anyone?) and my expandable bag - which I wore a myriad of ways... I'd also have to add one more item... a big silk scarf (see mine below, that I bought in Thailand 10 years ago - in Florence, I upped my amount to 4 of these...) - they can be used for 1000 difference uses and I never leave for a trip without one.
(and now back to some very jet-lagged sleep)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

good Italian food... and a good reason to eat it: by Victory

As if I ever needed a good reason to eat Italian food… but, I have to tell you about Caioti Café, in Studio City –since some of us may not, unfortunately, get to go to Italy any time soon -(Lib said that I could be creative with how I work in the Italian theme). When I was pregnant with my first daughter (first of 3 girls!), I was miserably overdue by 10 days. My husband was kind enough to drive to Studio City to pick up a sure-fire way to trigger labor: the “the” salad, aka “the maternity salad.”

This is directly from the restaurant’s website : Caioti Pizza Café continues to offer the "The Salad" that has become legendary and a rite of passage for expectant or overdue Moms. The salad dressing can also be purchased bottled to go, or you can visit the Maternity Salad Dressing website at: (they didn’t offer the TO GO dressing when I was needing it most!)

I ate the salad for dinner, and went into labor at 9pm that very night. My daughter was born the next day. That alone would have made the salad worth it, but the best part was that it was SO tasty too!!

Legend has it, you have to be overdue. I wrote them a letter and sent them a picture of my precious baby girl. It still resides in one of their guest books. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend the café – nice ambiance and great food, even if you’re not overdue!!

This is the photo I sent in:

And, in case you are looking for a more upscale Italian eatery - Via Veneto in Santa Monica is out of this world. With close-packed tables and a loud atmosphere, you'll think you stepped right into Venice. AMAZING food!!! I've never quite experience "melt in your mouth" like I have here!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Italian Inspiration: by Tori Higa

One of my favorite things about being in Italy for a semester was getting immersed in studying art at SACI. There was just something about being able to study art in a country that has truly changed the face of the world through the Renaissance – largely with their innovative and masterful artists. There is such a rich history there and you just can’t help being inspired.

I took life drawing and art restoration. Life drawing was amazing because we got to sketch on location in so many picturesque places. I got so used to sketching from life that it became almost second nature. I also got a lot out of the art restoration class. We got to learn the art of painting a fresco as well as the basic techniques to restoring art. It was just fascinating to learn what goes in to art restoration. One thing that our teacher shared and stuck with me (and troubled me a bit as well) is that professional restoration artists only have a life span of about 37 years. She went on to tell us that they choose their profession knowing this because there is nothing better than being that close to an original Raphael or Michelangelo. (thank goodness that as students we never had to use toxic materials like the pros)

I love seeing Liberty’s photos from her silk painting class and so wish that I could find my own photos from class to share. I had to settle for this sketch I recently came across – it’s a pastel drawing of two of my favorite things in Italy: little old Italian ladies and cappuccino.

Monday, June 1, 2009

my "favorite" dinner: by Victory

I decided today, to share my go-to meal. My 5-yr old made an “about my mom” book for me in kindergarten for mother’s day. It said my favorite food was “luznyo” (lasagna)– not because it is, but because I make it SO often. It is the one meal that I make that EVERYONE in my family eats. Even the baby now. Yippee!! Isn’t that a great feeling – to only make one meal that feeds 5 hungry people (3 of them under 6-yrs old!) with minimal complaining!

This is also a great one to make in a foil tin, and bring to the newest mommies and daddies you know. I throw in a Caesar salad (with roasted corn for an extra yummy addition), some Italian soda. Mmm-mmm good.

Baked Rigatoni:

1 lb box rigatoni (or penne or farfale)

1 lb ground turkey (also fine with beef)

italian seasoning**

garlic salt**

1 26-oz jar spaghetti sauce

1 15-oz ricotta

1 cup mozzarella

1 egg

preheat 350 degrees

boil the pasta as directed. rinse.

brown the meat. add the sauce. simmer 5 minutes. (**I add some garlic salt and italian seasoning)

in large bowl, stir together the ricotta and egg. add the cooked noodles.

in 13x9, layer 1/2 of the meat mixture.

cover with all of the noodle mixture.

top with remaining 1/2 of meat.

sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.

bake 25-30 minutes.


The Leaning Tower: by Robyn Rudell

Elliot (Dad), Liberty, and I (Mom) went to Pisa. We got such a kick out of everyone doing the obligatory photos of holding up the tower. It looked so funny that Elliot ran around taking pictures of people taking pictures. In my scrapbook memorializing this trip I have a 2 page spread of this. Liberty and I were sitting on the steps laughing so hard we literally had to hold our stomachs.
Then we took a picture of Elliot and Lib pointing at the wrong building.

Tuscany: by Robyn Rudell

Tuscany is my favorite place in the world to vacation. Liberty took us by train to Sienna for the day during our time with her. The fields were filled with Sunflowers. This was taken from our train window.

The other is a picture of Liberty and me up in a tower in Sienna. Great view.



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