Friday, April 30, 2010

Here's why I don't get much computer time during the day

Well, actually, I get exactly 1/2 hour, since that's how long a tv show lasts... As soon as that's over... "Momma! I need lots of kisses. I want to sit on your lap!!!"
(ps... Don't forget the giveaway!)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mother's Day Alert...

Did you realize that we've got just over a week before Mother's Day arrives?
I don't know about you, but Mother's Day is a working holiday around our house. J is usually in the season of delivering season finales of the TV shows he works on and has even had to skip out in the middle of Mother's Day dinner to go work. I earn my salt as a mom on Mother's Day - (**please don't mistake this as griping... my man does his BEST to treat me well in May as soon as the TV season is over... remember how he took me to Italy last year? Here's 2 pics to show I AM NOT COMPLAINING)

...but - in addition to often having the kids mostly on my plate for Mother's Day... I also get lots of last minute requests for the hand stamped charms... Daddies asking me if I can ship to them via Express Mail on the Friday before Mother's Day... or random people asking me to drive all over LA to meet them with orders.
And because I am me, I always am hand-making something for ALL the moms in our family - including my sister and sis in law - since we all celebrate together.
So .. here's my own warning to myself... and also to you...

Don't forget to do something special for MOM!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I have the coolest friends - Fierce Handbags (and giveaway)

I've known the awesome couple behind these new bags for years and this is a new venture for them, so I am super excited to introduce you to Fierce Handbags... the brain-child of my pals, Chris and Niki.
We have many impromptu Saturday morning breakfasts with their family and recently they started picking my brain about a new line of purses Chris was making made of duct tape. Not ones to make anything that's already out there, Chris has designed his own styles and he handmakes these bags the way a man's man would... with baling wire and grommets to keep the bag's shape - "fierce" colors that suit Niki's wild colorful style and great details to boot. Niki kept getting - in their words - "stalked" for her bag, so to keep his lovely wife safe (yuk yuk) he opened his etsy shop!

When I ordered mine, of course it HAD to be in red and white... I mean, their whole deal is that you get to pick from a bunch of colors and pretty much style it as you like... so I requested "mostly red" with touches of white that could pass for squarish polka dots (teehee). The extra white stripe on the flap was his idea, I'm glad it's there - it made for a nice balance.

Can I tell you I have gotten STOPPED for this purse. Everyone wants to know where I got it, what is it made of, how can they get one??? So I've been pressuring Chris to get that etsy site  up and running as soon as possible and now it is and you too can order and wear your very own Fierce Handbag.  You know you think it's cute and you how much are you wanting to design one for yourself, too?

Oh, and in case you are wondering, mine was the biggest size handbag. I'm kind of a big bag girl these days. Niki - who is also a mom of two carries the smaller handbag as her purse. So head on over to their site. The bags are super well made (s-t-r-o-n-g) and you'll be supporting an awesome family... tell them I sent you and when they pass on that info to me... I'll send you a free gift from me to say thanks for supporting my pals!

To win a clutch of your color choice, post a comment here saying which bag is your favorite, which colors you'd choose and how you'd design it... One lucky person will get a clutch... my treat.
ENTER by May 5 at midnight.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Skirts for Haiti

I had 4 girlfriends over tonight to sew skirts to send with my friend Suzie when she goes to Haiti next week. We made 15 skirts tonight... Complete with lots of little girl details like pockets, appliqué, ribbons and beads... I hope the little friends love them and can feel pretty and know we are sending our love...

(I'm so glad that Sewing Seeds gave me this idea last year!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Life gives lemons

Ever since our lemonade stand, I've been wanting fresh squeezed lemonade... Something I'm a huge fan of... So when I saw my in-laws neighbor had a tree that was overflowing with more lemons than anyone could possibly consume, I "offered to take some off their hands"... We were given permission and Z and I went today to fill up a bag of happy yellow goodness. Yay!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

City Lights

I was asked by the leader of a group at our church to make a logo for his young adults meeting, which he's entitled "City Lights".  He'd seen a few of my collages and this is what we came up with. It was fun to head to church today and see this in all the bulletins and really big in poster form around the large campus.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Come to my yard today!

Not sure you'll get to see THESE polka dots, but there will be lots of polka dots present today...
(I dropped everything at the front door and ran over with my phone to get this pic yesterday...)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Last minute sewing

I don't love making these tees, but I love wearing them and have gotten enough requests for them that I'm making a few "I heart skirts" shirts for the sale tomorrow. (three to be exact). There will be loads
of necktie onesies and tees with my "hi" appliqué... But just a few of these!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Martha Stewart Dream

I dreamt 2 nights ago that Martha came through my house on a tour. (I have no idea why she would). The worst part was that we started the tour in the laundry room and she was too busy and had to leave before she ever got to the cuteness of any other parts of the house. All she saw was the mess.

I woke up laughing about that. Martha has a fabulous sense of style and color - though it's a little more subdued and pastel than my own... and she's truly impressive in what she's done for homemakers and also craft in general. But I don't like her ideal of perfection.

When I was speaking yesterday at the MOPS group, I kept saying that I just think that a B+ average is just fine with me. I don't expect perfection from myself in my personal life. (my skirts are another thing... that's why I have fabulous seamstresses sew them for me because I care about what I sell)... but when it comes to the simple everyday parts of life... "good enough" is indeed "good enough for me."

When I got home from MOPS and got to look at Sonja's pics... ... I was a little surprised to see these photos that she took. They are of the imperfections in my studio. The fabric not quite stacked perfectly, the books and whatnot crammed onto my shelves... and I remembered the dream and laughed again.

Sorry Martha. I'm not into being perfect here at home.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Momma Kind of Day

Today was a "momma" kind of day. I went to MOPS and actually spent a little time as the speaker - encouraging the moms and reminding them that no one is perfect... I read them this list from my blog a few years ago and we had some good laughs.

While I was there, Sonja, my photographer pal, gave me a CD with photos from our shoot she did at my house a few weeks ago. She's working on a project where she is documenting Artist Moms and their homes and we had such a fun time when she came over. It was about a week after the whole situation with Ace was ending, so the distraction was sweet and the time together was wonderful.

She took so many many many amazing photos that I can't possibly show them all now. Today you'll get the first ones I got - which were the ones of me, Mimi and Z. These are so amazing, they truly capture us in our life... at the door, on the couch... laughing and playing together. I can't wait to show you the rest!!!! (well, not all 250 of them... let's just say that you'll be getting a few PRETTIER views of my stuff over the next few months.)

The evening ended with me having to cancel my babysitter after M got (ahem) sick in the car on the way home from school. (definitely a Momma kind of moment)... so I am here at home tonight instead, sewing like a madwoman as I try to build up as much as I can for the sale on Saturday... and then eventually catching up with "LOST."


Monday, April 19, 2010

best dinner in a long time - Truffle Asparagus Cream pasta

ok. Tonight's dinner was so yummy that I ate dinner twice and forgot to take a picture of my beautiful and yummy dish. Folks... I DON'T COOK. But every once in a while, I get back on the wagon and though I don't necessarily love the cooking process, I do love the grateful look on J's face when I actually make something. (and I'm not a bad cook, I'm just hardly interested in food...) sigh.

Tonight I got inspired. I've been trying to cook more, especially in front of the kids so that they will be forced to try new flavors, etc. We've been banging our heads against the quesadilla, mac n cheese, pasta, nuggets menu around here - and I'm sick of it... little by little...

Tonight's big coup came from the back of a pasta box - well, the idea did.  I added and changed quite a bit. Here you go....

Cook a box of wagon wheel pasta
in a skillet, saute asparagus and chopped onion in butter, olive oil, and minced garlic until the onion turns golden brown. Put the drained pasta in the skillet. Add some cream (I used fat free half'n'half) and stir until the flavors mix well and the onion is brown (and yummy!)... top this with about a teaspoon of truffle oil and mix well. Serve with  healthy dose of parmesan.
Wow! YUM.
not exactly low in fat - but every once in a while you can splurge.... this is good enough to serve guests!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chuckling at my style

Sometimes I laugh when I look down at myself and what I'm wearing. One of Mimi's preschool teachers in Beverly Hills once said to me, "um, you don't dress like everyone else around here"... (no joke). Today is one of those days where I looked down at church and thought, "what would I wear and carry if I wasn't me?" In the past, I've blogged about this necklace, ring, tattoo, journals, skirts... And the paper filling my journal is the second half of the paper I use to print my mailing labels for orders that I ship out to all of you... And have I mentioned that this skirt (Coco) is my favorite other than Out & About? (well, it is)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Did I tell you I'm in a quilting bee?

By going to the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild meetings, I've met somegals who've formed a modern online quilting bee. Here are the submissions I made for my first two months' assignments... I love the orange and grey color combo and the other (grey and patchworky) square is part of a spiderweb quilt - (look it up on flickr... the end result is beautiful!)... I really want to make one now!
I have a few months to decide my color scheme and pattern before having everyone sew for me... Lots of time to think...

Spring Ruffle Top Dress (#2 of 3 for the week)

Still a little too chilly to wear the dress like a sundress, but here's the dress which is the elongated top with a ruffle attached.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring swingy top (1 of 3 in a week!)

This week I've been following through on a idea I've had for a year... Remember when I made the green spring ruffle top and a matching dress for Mimi last May? (will post that later)...

I just love that tutorial (found on Sew Mama Sew) and after making a dress that I wore in Italy which looked similar, but was fussy and not fun to make, I thought, "I need to revisit the swingy top with some fun variations... No ruffles, no contrast, longer like a dress..."

So I spent all last weekend working on those ideas. The weather isn't cooperating for me to wear them as spring tops yet, so today I found a way to wear one of them. This red one is made with some fabric Amy sent me from Thailand.... It's been in my stash for a while and I'm so happy to have the perfect use for it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pajama scarf

Tonight mimi's favorite jammies broke. (tears ensued) The zipper was not to be fixed... So I cut out two long strips and turned them into ascarf that won't ever be outgrown.
"Now I have a FAVORITE scarf!"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Socialite Dress

This week's project was Anna Maria Horner's Socialite Dress. Tif came over and we worked on them together, making the major mistakes on mine and then doing hers. =) We both finished ours yesterday and were planning on wearing them today, I told her she should not plan on running into me, we'll look ridiculous!
We used the measurements on her website for not just the finished garment size, but the actual body size (which isn't mentioned on the pattern itself) and both of us opted for the Large. I used a heavyweight Amy Butler fabric and found it doesn't look good belted as I'd planned to wear it. Tif's is a lighter weight fabric and she found a belt she's happy wearing with it. At first, though I enjoyed most of the sewing part (didn't like doing the rather fussy neckline), I didn't like the fit at first - so I cheated and cut two inches out of the back of the dress around 11pm last night. I like it now.
A highlight is that the dress has pockets - which I've never sewn before and rather enjoy having on the dress.
I also had intended to make it longer but spent some time on Flickr last night looking at other people's versions of the dress and figured that it looked less like a housedress when it was shorter and cuter.
These pics were taken by my 4 and 5 year olds. Not too bad after a little editing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Our Easter pics

The past two days in Los Angeles have been summer weather - we spent today having a spring break lemonade stand with the kids and yesterday included a trip to the beach, but Easter weekend was very "spring-like" and I think we're headed that way tomorrow, too... Here are some sweet pics from our weekend.

Sewing in the car

There's a first for everything. Today in between having 2 of my nieces over for a spring break sleepover, "sponsoring" a lemonade stand and generally being crazy Auntie Lala... I'm sewing in the car. I told my sister that I'm trying to be the auntie I couldn't be over the last few tired months. So today I'm carting around 4 kids between 4-6.5 years old. (getting lots of awesome looks) In my 4 and a half down minutes in the car, I'm working on the final (hand stitched) portions of a dress pattern (Anna Maria Horner's socialite dress)... Hope to finish it today and wear it tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bergamot outing

We visited daddy today at one of his offices and since we were in Santa Monica, and it was spring break, and mommy was craving the green mint lemonade you can only get at bergamot station... Well... I pressed our luck and we had a great outing. We practiced our "museum walking" in the tiny non-threatening galleries (we only visited 2) and saw some art that actually really inspired the kids. Mimi wants to go home and draw "right now"! And we didn't have any tantrums or mishaps, we were even complimented on good behavior by a curator...
And I got my mint lemonade.

The design director and art

Mimi looked at this just now and asked, "hey mom! Where is the other half of her?" I explained, well, mommy's friend, Tori, made it for me... It's inspired by a picture mommy took (show her the pic)... "so then, that's you?"

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mimi's morning projects

Nearly every day now we are waking up to some new artwork from Mimi. Today is Z's birthday party and before mom, dad or Z were awake she'd made these crowns for them. She had designs for evereyone at the party to make them too. (if you haven't guessed, his theme today is dinosaurs...)



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