Wednesday, November 17, 2010

a couple of weeks ago we went camping

At the Pfeiffer Big Sur Park, we had so much fun, I didn't even get freaked out by all the bugs. Our campsite was underneath majestic redwoods and by the river so noise of water streaming down lulled us to sleep. We hiked during the day and went to Pfeiffer state beach to play and wonder at the purple sand.

Can't wait to go back. Perhaps when it is a bit warmer as it was freezing at night but we managed to avoid the crowds.

I'm hoping to get a small shop update for the 1st of week of December which will probably be the last for this year.

It's moments like these that make my heart melt :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

afternoon tea

 I don't know if it's because I'm getting older or it's having an Englishman for a husband but I have begun to develop a serious need for something sweet with my afternoon cup of tea. This almond wafer adapted from here was so easy, fast too make and really tasty to boot. I love the light crispy texture and the subtle spiciness which the kids love too. I didn't have any ground cloves on hand so I omitted that and used a 1/4 cup less brown sugar. I didn't blanch my almonds either, I just used as is. I also used Eagle Mills ultra grain flour instead of all-purpose; I always use this flour when making cookies. Once the dough starts to soften after cutting it will stick like mad so I placed the sliced uncooked cookies right away on silpat or parchment paper, placed the almonds and stuck it back in the freezer while the oven reached 400 degrees. I warn you these are seriously moreish.


I decided my bookshelves needed a re-org and so I've put some of my japanese crafting books in the shop. These books are in excellent condition, some of them with just minor shelf wear on the covers.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This little birdie is in the shop today and I hope to list a couple more by the end of this month.
I hope you are having a lovely weekend; we have got a bit of hot weather again in the bay area.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a much needed break

Thank you all for your comments on my last post! The mac book died we weren't able to revive it. Or the data. I learned a hard lesson there..always back up!! Thank you for the comments on my contribution to Plush You LA also. I'm glad you liked them.

The last week of August before Big C started his first day of kinder we went on holiday to a beautiful place on the Mendocino/Sonoma coastline in California called The Sea Ranch.
It's a 10 mile private area of land about 3 hours from San Francisco and an hour before Mendocino, and I really feel it is one of the most tranquil and beautiful places in California. Sea Ranch houses are built so that they don't detract from the surrounding scenery but they are also beautifully designed. Wild deer are everywhere, the night sky is dazzling with stars, and the tide pools are wonderful. And of course the coastline is just breathtaking.
We missed the whale migration this year but spotted lots of sea lions and harbor seals soaking up the sun.
We spent hours hiking through the majestic redwoods and the bluff trails right along the coast to watch the crashing surf. We woke up early every morning to bike down to two fish bakery to buy their delicious sticky buns and morning buns before they sold out, and kayaked in the beautiful neighboring Gualala river and ate our picnic lunch on the beach. The house we rented for the week was amazing and we spent every single night in the separate bath house located next to the house relaxing in the tub gazing at the stars ( I can't believe I don't didn't take more photos of the house to share with you!)
The best part about Sea Ranch is that it is very secluded and quiet and on all the hikes we went on we hardly bumped into anyone. What a contrast to somewhere like Disneyland. You see, I felt really guilty about not taking the kids to Disneyland this year as we had agreed that would be our holiday this year. They have never been to Disneyland and I feel sad when I hear his friends talk about their summer trip there. After such a busy year, we decided we needed a break where we could slow down and be truly rejuvenated.  It was nice being whole again, after being away from my husband for 6 months last year. We wished we could have stayed forever. and ever.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

finally! Plush You LA

I finished these two dolls for the Plush You LA 2010 show. Amelie's (blue hair) little jacket is made of Liberty fabric with a peter pan collar made of a vintage Japanese textile. She is wearing little wool pantaloons and I embroidered a little shirt placket onto her linen body. Since I had to pull out of the Luv-able Hug-able show last year, I am excited to be participating in this show. I know it's not really a cohesive collection, but I decided to send little Jersey birdie along too.

As I am typing this on my husband's mac, he is working away at my mac book. Because...I spilled a whole mug of tea onto it last week and it's basically fried and...

1) it's less than a year old
2) I've spilled coffee all over a few dolls last year and that has not taught me to keep liquids away from my desk
3) my daughter actually dumped about 1/4 cup of tea on it last month but it miraculously survived that incident and that has not taught me to keep liquids away from my desk
4) our external hard drive was over capacity and so I had not backed up at all this year which means most of my packaging designs I created this year is GONE!

I know I do not deserve any sympathy from you all at ALL. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the sneaky swiper

My 2.5 year has a habit of swiping all of my son's goodies. Especially when he is at school. I knitted this scarf yesterday for him but she loves it more. It helps that she isn't ticklish around the neck like my son is.

Next up, this sweater. How cute is this? Can't wait to start. Oh and I'm making this one for her in case she tries to snatch that one too. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

thank you

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and sharing your experiences with me regarding my daughter's issues with her adenoids and tonsils. So...we had booked her to have surgery last month and then I got cold feet. I knew recovery wasn't going to be pleasant for her, however I discovered a blog where 100+ people had posted about their experiences and the vast majority of them was saying how awful it was.  Then of course she finally got over her cold and so her snoring got better.  A few weeks after that she got another cold and she is really suffering again, sleep apnea and all. I realized I must see past immediate period of painful recovery and look towards a great future for her..imagine her being able to smell her food! Walk up hills without struggling! Gaining weight for a change.
I booked her in with another doctor, the one we originally wanted to see as he is a very well known pediatric ENT here in the bay area who has conducted large studies using a surgery technique that that leaves the capsule in place resulting in less pain and faster recovery. My daughter would be a good candidate for this as she does not have problems with her tonsils getting infected. We are having to wait 2.5 months to see him but I feel less anxiety about this now.  So thank you, I really felt better reading your comments, I know we are doing the right thing.

 To help her with her cold, I made some chicken pho yesterday. Not the best thing to make when your house is 80 degrees plus inside, but it was delicious. Kids love it too.

I decided to make a set of patchwork coasters for my sister in law last night. I love patchwork and this was the perfect small project for a last minute gift. I should make more patchwork things as I have so many scraps, but sometimes I find the cutting and putting together different fabric combinations a bit daunting.

I wanted to do an update last month but I didn't have much time for sewing, sorry. I am in the plush you LA show this year so I am working on three pieces for that; I hope I can get some more things in the shop at the end of this month.

Have a great weekend xo

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


My 2.5 year old daughter has been snoring for about a year now, and constantly makes snorting noises during the day. Today we took her to a ENT doctor who confirmed that she needs to have her tonsils and adenoids taken out, poor thing. I am so sad that she will have to endure the pain and because her first visit to the dentist totally traumatized her, she terrified of anything or anyone that resembles a dentist chair and white coat. The hygienist held her down so hard that she tore both sides of her mouth and she cried so hard that she popped blood vessels in her face before I could ask them to stop. Today she was completely content in the waiting room but as soon as she saw that chair, she freaked out.  I am so nervous about the thought of her being put under...but I know this will help her in so many ways, her eating (or lack of), being off the weight chart and sleep apnea.

After spending hours reading about it on the Internet, I needed a distraction and dug out my yarn basket for some crochet therapy. I started the larger granny squares about 3.5 years ago when I saw an amazing cream granny square bed sized blanket in some french magazine. I got to about 10 before it got tossed into my yarn basket.
This infamous blanket got me excited about tackling it again so I started two squares using Yvestown's tutorial. Because it's so much smaller than my previous ones, it's really fun to do.
I used Lucy's tutorial to join the square as you go which is makes this so much more enjoyable!

That little piece of grey striped linen fabric was my little son's project today. I made little dots with the fabric marking pen and he sewed running stitches and attached buttons using a real grown up needle for the first time. He was totally loved using real needles and sewing like mommy! Then I noticed the running stitches he made all over our bed that he neglected to show me :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

happy mail

A big thank you for visiting my shop on the 20th for my update. I was amazed that it had been over a year since I've listed anything. I am really sorry for those of you who weren't able to adopt anything that day but I am starting work on another update in June hopefully.

It's a dull overcast day here so timing could not be any better to finally receive the lovely prints from the super talented Paola Zakimi. I've been a huge admirer of her work for ages and she is such a huge inspiration. On the days I feel blah about creating anything, I just pop over to her flickr stream and I literally run to my desk with a renewed vigor! I hope to adopt one of her beautiful dolls one day but in the meanwhile check out her tutorial for creating your own little loveliness.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

more pics for today's update

For today's update at 3:00pm Pacific Time.
So sorry for the not so nice pics. The best I could this morning! I will try for another update in June should you miss what you wanted today :(

Thank you! xo

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

shop update photo

These little birdies are for the Thursday update. Except I might have to keep Mr. Casanova at home.
The first grey birdie on the left is made of wool and liberty fabric that I bought in London last year. The linen birdie to her right is wearing a charming little wreath on her head. The sweet grey one on the right is also made of wool and is sporting a little green beret. All with hand embroidered eyes, beauty mark and needle-felted little beaks.

Hope you like them. I think I only will have one bear girl this time but hope to have some more next month.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

next shop update

will be on Thursday, May 20th at 3:00pm Pacific time. Pics to follow next week.

Have a lovely weekend everyone :)


Friday, May 7, 2010

productive day

Here is another girl I am hoping to finish for the update next week. I don't make these very often because frankly the hair is a pain the butt to do and the painting of the eyes requires plenty of daylight for precision lines but they are my favorite. I am going to try needle-felting mohair onto her head next time...

I have a tendency to have multiple projects going on at once; almost finishing one then moving onto the next. It drives me crazy to see these unfinished plushes when they are about 80% finished but I can't seem to discipline myself from jumping onto the next creation. After finishing the hair a couple of weeks ago, I was so done with working on it for awhile, but I knuckled down and started on the body and limbs today and managed to almost finish her. Hooray! Now to the fun part: embroidery details and a dress.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.


p.s. thank you for the lovely comments on the last post :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

on my desk today

I am finishing up this little birdie with a leaf wreath on it's wee head. Still deciding on yellow versus brown beak but I still can't find my wool roving to make the needle-felted beak. I hoping get her and the chubby one on her right in the shop early next week along with a couple of bear girls.I'm finishing up a new illustration for the my shop's packaging too. I hope you like it.
I don't know why my text being underlined today. Maybe it's a blogspot glitch?
Sometimes my 4.5 year old is more computer literate than I am. Scary but true.

Friday, April 30, 2010

today I am

Cutting roses from the garden for little jam jars.

Still sorting this out from boxes. Moving from storage is really not fun. But my Louis chair from Room and Board arrived yesterday and I am so in love with it.

The mantle needs serious work though. I am trying to convince my husband to paint something large for it. That is his teapot he made in A levels (I think senior high school level? in UK).

I'm still planning for a early May update. My in-laws were here for about a month, stranded here actually for the last week due to the volcanic eruption. So now I have a bit more crafting time on my hands. Except the kiddies are sick again..I wonder when the endless colds ease up?
Hope you all have a lovely weekend :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

playing catch up

Remember this group I was supposed to send off to hijkids last year? I finally finished them up last night and hopefully they will reach Kristine by early next week.

I also hope to have a small update at the end of this month. Stay tuned for date/time info.

Happy Wednesday everyone :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

and the winner is...

#33 - Katie of Skunkboy Creatures! Needless to say, Ingrid is very excited.
Thanks to RNG picking the winner for me, and a big thank you to all of you for entering and leaving me such nice comments. You made my week!

This was so fun, I am definitely going to do this again soon. Hope you all have a great week.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

family portrait

family portrait - marker on cardboard

Little C has never been very interested in the art of coloring and doodling. I would see all his little classmates engrossed in their coloring pages at school but Cameron would give it maybe 5 minutes before he gets bored.
On the other hand, ask him a question such as how a dishwasher operates, or how gasoline powers cars, and he can tell you how in amazing detail. He astounds me with knowledge of such things. In his analytical and mechanically minded head, he really couldn't be bothered with the silly little drawing implements. Until recently, I never really pushed him to continue practicing, afraid he might develop a long lasting aversion to it. Meanwhile, my 2 year old has been able to hold a pencil correctly and draw basic shapes pretty accurately for a few months now. I started to get worried, especially since most of his classmates can write their own names now.

Then a couple weeks ago, I started to see a change. He will now spend a good hour just scribbling and I think all the practice has strengthened his fingers so that he can hold his pencil accurately, use the scissors well and also use these chopsticks effortlessly.

Anyway, little C drew this picture for me today. I almost cried because this is the first time he had drawn anything like this. He told me this is our family portrait and we are standing underneath a umbrella with raindrop kisses falling on top. I asked him why mummy had no tummy and he told me it's because since both babies are out of my tummy (sister and himself), I don't need one anymore.

I love this little man.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

ingrid - giveaway

A couple of nights ago, I accidentally nicked her with my scissors when I was snipping a thread. So aggravating since I had already spent many hours on it! You probably wouldn't notice it if I didn't point it out to you but of course I can't put her in the shop. I was very tempted to keep her for myself as I think is she very sweet but thought what a perfect opportunity for giveaway.
Thank you all for continuing to visit me here even though the posts have been few and far between.

Leave me a comment and I will draw a name randomly next Sunday, and announce the winner on Monday, March 22nd. Hopefully that will give me enough time to find all my packing material still in boxes somewhere!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

hello birdie

welcome back little one, it's been too long since I've made one of you..almost a year in fact.

We have finally found a permanent place for now back in the bay area. My hands have been idle for too long. I thought I would give this birdie a cheeky expression. I like it.