Monday, October 31, 2011

leah's flapper costume

Leah's mama Kim had the best idea for her Halloween costume this year. A little flapper girl.

She got all the supplies, and designed everything - long sleeved onesie, white and gold long fringe, gold sequins, lacy leggings, and a feather headband. All's I did was sew the fringe on. And it turned out so perfectly, except that both her and her husband need to team up to get it on her. Sorry 'bout that.

Can you even stand how cute this girl is? She always has a great big smile on her face!

So perfect for her age- not too much, warm, fun to play with, and stylish!

Great job Kim! Thanks for letting me be a part of it! (and thanks fro the photos!)

Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011

tiny earthquakes & other nonsense

Last week was a doozy.

On monday, I awoke with a bladder infection.

On thursday, I was clobbered with the worst case of PMS I have ever had in my entire life. 

To top it off, there was not one but two earthquakes, ones that actually shook our apartment. They were 4.2 and 3.8, respectively. Other minor ones that have happened since we've moved here we could just hear the rumbling. 

Friday evening while I was still acting like a psycho we had another earthquake.

On sunday my psychotic mood had finally evaporated, but was replaced by terrible cramps. Thanks Aunt Flo! But I'll gladly exchange physical pain for emotional pain any day.

So far this week...

I caught a cold.

I woke up very early yesterday morning to Matilda jumping on me howling guessed it, another earthquake. I slugged Danny in the arm and yelled "earthquake!" and fell back asleep. 

Then while Danny was walking to the train to go to work, he noticed that the drivers side window of our car got smashed in. Oddly enough, nothing was taken. There was a bunch of paycheck stubs with very personal info stuffed in the console and Danny's lefty golf clubs in the trunk. Glass half full?

But I tell ya. This week was far better than last. 

Having those crazy hormones running through me making me so angry, scared, full of despair. I totally flipped out on Danny, and thankfully he wouldn't have any of it, making me realize that something was just not right. For the next few days I felt like I had been drinking, my feelings were so out of control and for no apparent reason. It's never that bad- and really I only get PMS once or twice a year. 

I've worked so hard to maintain and keep on top of my anxiety and depression, that when stuff like that happens and I'm in that dark place again, I get so mad and I think "No no no no! I'm not supposed to be here again!" and I feel like a total failure.

But I'm not a total failure. I'm just fine. My hormones got the best of me, and it was not fun at all. But I'm not back in that dark place- I'm exactly where I want to be. Exactly where I deserve to be, living my dream, in a city with no snow, sewing to my hearts content with my ever loving, supportive and non-bullshit taking husband. 

In other news, I have officially quit drinking Dr Pepper. Yes, after a lifetime addiction, I have finally given it up. And let me tell you- it was SO hard. Like harder than when I quit smoking. Ahem, yes I was once a total idiot and I can't even believe that I ever started. Anyways. I think about it every day. It's been almost a month, and I still think about it daily. Funny, being a recovering alcoholic I've never thought about booze since quitting drinking. Funny strange.

This weekend we have planned a geeky outing, going to the computer history museum. I am both excited and somewhat bored with the idea. I'm sure I'll be fine, if Danny and his geek friends go all crazy on me and stay forever, at least I'll have my iphone to keep me entertained. High fives for technology!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go blow my raw nose and feed the wailing cat.

Friday, October 21, 2011

this one's for you, mom

(Family photo, 2000. Me, Loo-loo, Mom, Dad, Maloree, Nick)

Years ago, and I mean years ago, like when I was still vegan and working at Starbucks, my mom had the idea that we should start an internet shop with handmade stuff like baby quilts and jewelry. It was when we first started sewing together, making quilts, and when I mean we, I mean her.

(this is a quilt she made for her BFF Stephanie's daughter, Jessica, for her wedding. Gorgeous!)

(and I made this one for a friends baby- yellow and green because they weren't finding out the gender. Turned out to be a boy. And yes, she hand quilted it for me.)

 I could draw out patterns and figure out the measurements, cut all the fabric into neat little piles of squares. Arrange the rows in order and bring them to her when she was ready. But it was her that sewed them all perfectly together, matching seams. And when it was all finished, she would set it up in the living room, and hand quilt it all alone. I never had the patience, nor the interest to learn to hand quilt. A few baby quilts and a gorgeous full sized one for me, with picos all along the edges (those are teeny tiny interlocking triangles meticulously placed and hand sewn in) before she gave me my very own sewing machine for Christmas in 2004.

(See the picos? I adore this quilt. We found the fabric one day, and died, then bought a ton to make me a quilt. Aren't moms the best??)


That's when I really started to sew on my own.

No, that's not quite true. That was the year that I lost my mind, and ended up in rehab for 37 days. I started sewing on my own when I had to move back home, when I lived in her basement, when my parents gave me a very generous second chance. 

(Loo loo the genie, and Maloree the frog. My mom tie-dyed the fabric, then make that entire costume.)

(me the giant M&M, Loo-loo the bee, and Nick the ninja turtle. How lucky we are to have such a talented, patient mom! And P.S- that M was heavy!)

As far back as I can remember, my mom has always had a project or 2 going on in her sewing area. In our first house, it was a table in the corner of the basement with a stained glass lamp hanging over it. She made us Halloween costumes, clothes, doll clothes, whatever was needed. In the house that they currently live in, she would bring it up from the basement and sew on the counter. Now of course she has the fabulous kitchen to sew in, until her sewing room gets finished in the basement.

But she would say, all the time, how we needed to get a booth at the arts festival or something. I was always like "I can't do that! I'm not good enough! Nobody wants to buy that stuff! We wouldn't make any money!" And so on and so forth went my excuses. But she never gave up. Even with my negative attitude, she simply and patiently kept suggesting her ideas. 

It wasn't until 2008, after getting married and moving into a new place that had room for a sewing table that I really, seriously started sewing. I worked at a baby store, and saw all the things that new moms went gaga for, and said to myself, "I could make that." (psst, my mom knew what she was taking about!)

Now, the first few things I tried my hand at were terrible, I mean really awful looking. But you gotta learn somehow. Hand dyed onesies with wool felt appliques and flower hair clips. I have kept them, in the deepest, darkest corner of my sewing room, so I can see just how far I have come.

We'd get new inventory in and I'd snap photos with my phone and show them to my mom- can we figure this out? Lets make this! And that! And every time, she would help me pick fabrics and come up with ideas about how things were made. And never once did she say, "I told you so!" (and she totally could have, BTW.)

She constantly encouraged me to try new things, supported me when I felt like a failure, showed me what to do when I did something wrong, and praised me when I finally got them right. 

I quit my job, because it made me unhappy. I started to sew full time, really developing my skills and honing my talents.

My mom knew- way, way before I ever did that I could be the person I am today. Today I have my own internet business, selling my handmade things. I have had a booth at an event, and have invitations for more. People actually want to buy the things I make! Granted, I don't make any money- I just make enough to keep going. And I could care less- happiness is payment enough!

I have finally arrived at a point in my life where I am so insanely happy doing what I do, that I almost can't believe it. And I have my mom to thank...

We are such a great team, having different strengths and different styles. We can finish each others sentences. You should see us in a fabric store- One of us will pick something up and say "Don't you think this is perfect for the..." and the other know exactly what project we have in mind. And then proceed to pick out the rest of the fabric and the excitement is incredible! We get big ideas and loads of inspiration, the perfect fuel for conquering the task of learning a new pattern, technique, or project.

We love going on day trips to far away* places like Ogden, or Springville, to find fabric and delicious places to eat, as well as antique shops to forage for treasures.

When my mom would call me and say "Wanna go to the fabric store?" it was like Christmas. I miss that so much. 

I don't go to fabric stores here. One- because I already have an insane amount of fabric stashed away, and two- I don't have extra money to buy more fabric. And the fact of the matter is, that going to the fabric store by myself is not any fun, and I can't pick good stuff without my mom. Period. Like I said, we are a great team. 

Can you even imagine the damage we could do here in San Francisco?!?

(squirmy Nick, my mom, and me.)

Mom, I love you. 

I have so much to thank you for. You built me up, so much- that now I am able to live my dream. Remember when I used to sit in the basement making clothes or furniture for my troll house? Or when I would sit on the floor of my room making beads and sculptures out of clay? I wanted to keep creating forever. It gave me such comfort and peace. I never thought it would be possible to continue doing it as an adult- but here I am. You made me, mom. And I will owe you for the rest of my life.


*ok, those places aren't that far away- just enough that we like to make a day out of it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

the loft

Welcome to our new home! It's taken me months to put it together just the way we like it, so sorry for the delay! 


Entryway, the stairs, and Danny's bike.

To the left of the front door.

Downstairs bathroom/laundry room.

Upstairs, our bedroom. 

Hallway, closet, attic. 

(we call the space covered by the grey curtain the attic, it's a small angular room that's full of stuff like suitcases, boxes, stuff.)

Upstairs bathroom.

I love the simple modern look, but there is nowhere to put anything! It drives me nuts! 

Another view of the hallway.

Looking down on the entryway.

Aw, Tilda noodle bug. That's one of her favorite spots. While I was taking these photos, she was following me, yelling at me, like "what in the world are you doing and why is the house so clean?!?"

Under the skylight. When it rains hard- which isn't often at all, it totally rains in the house. It's awesome. No really, it is! I miss the Utah thunderstorms. If it's raining in the house, I have an excuse to stand underneath and get pelted with rain.

We love the open floor plan.

And I love my little reading nook under the stairs.

Tilda loves sitting on the table and looking out the skylight.

This is where we spend most of our front of the tv! In fact, I'm sitting in that tan comfy chair right now! Watching tv!

We love the huge windows.

I didn't think we'd mind the non-view, in fact walking around in whatever with the windows/curtains open knowing nobody can see in is nice. 

But we can't see the sky. (because the building behind us is taller than our building) I never knew how isolating not being able to see the sky could be. So sometimes I stick my head out to get some clarity.

Our kitchen. It's a lot smaller than our last one, but it's perfect. I have enough counter space to work with, but not quite enough cupboards. We added that Ikea shelf thing to put food in. It doesn't hold much, but that's what the attic is for. I never realized what a food hoarder I was until I tried to unpack  all of our food when we got here. I guess that's what lots of Costco shopping does, right?

I was never a fan of yellow, and I thought I'd hate these yellow walls, and we'd have to re-paint. But I actually quite like them!

The double doors lead into my studio/Danny's office.

We weren't sure if we'd like the loft/no real walls situation, but it turns out it's perfect for our lifestyle. No matter where we are in the house, we can talk to each other without yelling. And I'm always having Danny drop down/throw stuff up to me. Once I had him chuck a can of Dr Pepper up to me...that was a diaster, it almost exploded. (because I didn't catch it, and it came crashing down on the floor. Boy was I relieved that it didn't explode!)


Danny's desk.

Door from hallway to the studio.

I installed lights above my desk and where I iron, so it's super bright in here. You kinda need bright light for sewing, and since my eyes are getting old it helps. Danny's always like "Holy crap it's bright in here!!" 

My desk...

A lot is crammed in one tiny spot, but everything fits perfectly and is easily accessible. It's like this room was built for me and my shelves/desk/stuff.

I love having all of my rag-a-muffin stuff to look at while I sew, as well as my beloved miniature shelf right above my desk. 

Shelves packed with fabric, notions, paper, supplies...

The closet has no doors, so I put up a curtain.

Danny's desk is never this clean...

And my closet is never this neat!

The last photo is an embarrassing one. 

I hate cardboard boxes. The feel, the smell. Ohhhh, the smell. 

We had to buy a ridiculous amount of boxes to move here, and I haven't quite figured out what to do with them. They were in the attic, but they take up SO much space! I wanted to be able to actually use that space for all our crap, make it easy to find stuff and get in and out without tripping on all these boxes. 

So I re-located them...

To the tub in the downstairs bathroom.


I'm not the only person in San Fran to use her tub as a place to store things. My friend Jane uses hers as a closet. 

So there you go- a little tour of our wonderful apartment in sunny San Francisco!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

cozy cozy

Just in time for cozy fall weather, I got this gorgeous throw finished.

The fabric is Prospect Park, it's designed by Kitty Yoshida, and made by Benartex. Every time Kitty comes out with a new line- I die. I LOVE her style, color palettes, designs. I can't ever pick just a few fabrics for a project- I want the whole line. So making a quilt is the best way to satisfy that craving.

Except that I don't need any more quilts. So for this easy throw I picked this fabric, it kinda looks like a panel. You know- "cheater" quilting. Squares of all the colors without the work or expense of piecing. 

When I bought this fabric last spring, I planned on having it machine quilted. Then we moved to California. So I decided to tie it with perle cotton, and instead of binding it, I make a teeny ruffle. Oh how I love that teeny ruffle!

And it cost me more than I'd like to admit, but the swirly minky for the back was a must-have. Since I was tying it, I doubled up the batting so it's super lofty and soooo cozy and soft. Little noodle bug can't wait to sink her paws in it!

(and since I doubled up the batting, I rounded to corners off so they would look nice and not bulky.)

It'll have to wait a bit to snuggle up in it though- even though October started out cooler, this week is back in the high 70's and it may just reach into the low 80's. 

I love California!

Monday, October 10, 2011

noodle bit my finger

I was being goofy last night, Tilda was sitting on my lap with her paws on my desk, so I thought I'd take some photos. 

I pushed the button and then she bit my finger! 

In her defense- I had a treat in my hand. For bribery in holding still. I think she won this round...

Hope you had a fantastic weekend, we sure did! And since Danny also has today off, we're going gallivanting in the city.

P.S. I know most of you have seen this video, but it's what I thought of when she bit me.