Saturday, September 29

Vintage Sewing Supplies

For the first time today, I took a good look at Etsy and what it has to offer. Wow. I'm so amazed by how creative and crafty the members of this community are. Before today, I've only been to a few Etsy shops that I've jumped to from blogs such as Shim + Sons, which is the "blog of the fortnight" that we're highlighting the next couple of weeks (see column to the left.)

As I browsed through the main site today, I found one resource that I know will be of significant interest to my sewer, knitter, stitcher or otherwise collector friends, and I wanted to share it with you: There is a whole section on vintage sewing supplies! Trims, ephemera, zippers, yarn, you name it. I had so much fun visiting--I hope you do too!

(P.S. I love these pictures that I found on her flickr and her flickr.)

Thursday, September 27

Some things I'm enjoying this week...

The photography of this catalog. These clothes--more about them here. A safe alternative to bottled water. I'm such a sucker for fresh vintage looks like this person's style--found via Simply Breakfast. Hmm, what else...

Some websites that Mama heard about: Tall Cow, Tea Map, Warm Biscuit Fabrics. And this cute baby one that Belle shared.

And...being part of a school group that promotes things like this and this.

Addendum: And this that I just spotted over at Amy's. Oh so cute!

Tuesday, September 25

Striped Pillows

I love stripes--and so does The Boy. From ties to shower curtains, placemats to skirts, we seem to have plenty of stripes around here...but also not quite enough...

A few years ago I fell in love with some French fabric that I saw at Vintage Home (my favorite shop in St. Helena--sadly no website). I never knew quite what to do with it until a few months ago when I made plans to move to Southern California and learned that I would be inheriting some seagrass chairs. Since I don't sew (yet), I bartered with Mama that if she'd stitch me some striped pillows, I would cook her a nice dinner. So...last week Mama delivered on her part of the deal.

The pillows look especially great with the ribbons on our bookcase storage baskets...

I guess it's now time for me to own up. Maybe I'll take a look through Dad's new cookbook for some inspirtaion...

Addendum--just found out where to get the fabric in Southern California. Sadly no official website, but thanks to blogs who needs those anyways? Thanks, Madre!

Monday, September 24

Banana Date Tea Cake

On Saturday we got some beautiful fresh dates at the Farmer's Market. They inspired me to bake, and there is one thing in particular that I love to bake with dates. The recipe comes from this cookbook, which was released a year ago and still remains my favorite cookbook of the year.

Everything I've ever eaten at Tartine Bakery has been a delight, so it's not surprising that everything I've baked from Elizabeth's cookbook has been an immediate favorite as well. In my year of experience with this book, I have to add that everything I've cooked has been a hit with everyone from young to old...this one is worth the investment.

Here are our lovely dates--all pitted and ready for chopping. Thank you, Paul & Jennifer!

And here is a sneak peek into the book. If you're wanting to bake the tea cake, you might get a better view of the recipe here. And last, but not least...voila....

Sunday, September 23

Who needs it all?

A month-ish ago I walked into Michaels to replenish the yarn supply for some of these... Craft stores in general are places I go to for a specific purpose--not to browse and not for creative inspiration. Seriously that may change as I cannot describe the thrill of my first encounter with the Martha Stewart Craft isle. WOW.

I felt this rising sense of panic due to the realization that having one of each (paper pack, sticker pack, cupcake wrapper or hole punch) wasn't in my crystal ball's future. Since my first encounter, browsing Martha online or at the store has become a frequent time killer...almost to the point of stalking those crafty supplies and tools!

Thinking it would appease the greedy desire to replicate the isle in my own craft corner at home, I purchased a few flower punches and a paper pack. Coupled with an assortment of cards and these adorable eyelets (already in my stash thanks to Paper Source), I could not be more pleased with my new note cards. Mailboxes across the U.S. beware! These cards may travel...

P.S. This post would not be complete without the confession that buying one pack of paper hasn't quenched the desire to have them all...

Wednesday, September 19

A Post About Toast

There is something about Fall that makes me wish I was in London...I'm not really sure why. I've actually never been to London in the Fall...but, it just seems like a Fall-ish type city.

The reality is that London is simply not in the cards for me at the, to get my fix, I'm taking you on a tour of some great British shops whose retail lines are available by catalog to we land-bound patriots.

Toast is a catalog that features both clothing and home products. Here are some of their recent home shots. Their catalog is beautiful should you wish to sign up for some free inspiration.

London Wrap is a catalog that my mom started recieving out of the blue about a year ago. I haven't yet ordered anything from them, but I especially love their skirts, dresses, sweaters and belts. Their catalog is also worth signing up for.

And last, but not least, Boden. The catalog is very J.Crew-esque with moving photography and lots of colors. A new feature to the website suggests outfit combinations (below). The company just released their baby section and have been offering kids clothes for a few years now.

Just remember that everything is in UK sizes, so a look at the sizing charts is a must. Enjoy, mates. I'm off to finish my spot of tea. Cheers!

Saturday, September 15

Organic Cotton

It's great to hear of yet another organic clothing company that is making garments alternative to throwing a hemp bag over your head (not that I really mind that look either, it's just that it is far more appropriate in other parts of the land than the OC.) I just heard about Stewart + Brown over the weekend and enjoyed perusing their website. This Fall they based their designs on early 20th century locomotive travel fashion...good thing there are pictures, because at first it may not sound very appealing!

Another interesting brand to check out, if you like this style of clothing it's claim as sustainable, is Velvet Leaf Organics which was started last year by the Carter Sisters - two girls who grew in Northern California.


Today I have thirty on the brain...maybe it's because I'm still lamenting that we missed Mary's 30th birthday bash last night, or myabe I'm anticipating Wade's 30th in November. Maybe it's because Mom & Dad celebrate their 30th this coming December...or maybe it's because this is our THIRTIETH POST!

I'm pretty sure it is all of the above--and I feel a lot of pride in it all. 30 years is something special to celebrate, whether it's age or length of marriage--I really love seeing the developed maturity in those who celebrate thirtieth something.

As for our blog--when we decided we would do it as a way of keeping in touch with each other, I didn't know how it would go. I didn't know if we would really keep it up or not (considering my horrible track record on my last one!) But, we've made it to 30 and want to thank you for all of your emails and comments whether it's been online or in person. We're really enjoying staying in touch this way.

(I just learned of a new way to spell things using flickr photos, which is how I got these pictures above. Check out the basics here and a fun decorating idea here.)

Thursday, September 13

Drool Worthy

I am rejoicing that there are so many great craft books currently being released. I love the merging of 2 of my favorite pastimes: reading & creating. It is no great wonder why I want them all!

The latest that has caught my eye is Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, owner of Purl Soho. The Purl Bee (one of my favorite web reads & source of inspiration) has a fabulous sneak peak and great pictures--such a tease! I was enchanted for sure, but I'm pretty sure my heart raced when I saw this darling pincushion pattern:

The To Do List Grows:
Must buy this book, follow the pattern, and voila: have my own adorable pincushion...

Sunday, September 9

Brown Suit

I saw this card recently and it seemed rather Fall-ish until I realized that she's not wearing a jacket and boots, but a shift and heels. I think I need to get my eyes checked! Or, maybe they're not too bad, because I was able to spot this ensemble the other day when shopping for work clothes.

It was one of those fall in love and sadly leave it behind difficult to find decent arm lengths for a 6' person.Thankfully, Banana Republic came out with some very long pencil skirts this Fall, so I ended up with that instead...

Thursday, September 6

Crater Lake

It is unlike any other natural wonder in the world. It is the Jeweled Sapphire of the Cascades, set in a matrix of peaks and castled walls; we may look upon it but once then wear it in our hearts forever. Author and Poet Stanton C. Lapham, 1931

On their trip, my Mom and Dad really enjoyed visiting the National Parks and now I can see why! At the time, I thought it was slightly humorous how my mom got addicted to getting "stamps" in her National Park Passport (she has flowed into her second book). But now I must confess to being quite enamored with getting my Park Passport stamped as well. On Labor Day, Brett and I went to Crater Lake National Park with our friends Jessamy and Kyle and can now boast 3 different stamps, in 3 different states (Haleakala, Maui on our honeymoon and Alcatraz Island, San Francisco with my girlfriend Mimi). I really didn't know what to expect but it was incredible. So Blue! What a great outting for a long weekend...

Wednesday, September 5

Kid Food

Kids these days! They have it so good...especially in the toy department. I guess that's actually debatable, as I remember back to a conversation I had this weekend with a mother about how difficult it can be to teach a child value and resourcefulness when things are made to be so breakable and disposable in our current culture.

My appreciation for vendors like Hearthsong and Robert Maher Dry Goods continues to grow, even though I don't actually play with (those kind of) toys anymore. They're so well made and creative, not to mention safe. I especially love the Mahar website. I also learned recently that Montessori Schools offer a catalog you can order online and Waldorf Schools offer a website of resources for toys and activities too.

For fun, I created a little gallery below of some foodie toys (including an over the top retro kitchen) that I think I would have enjoyed playing with....I seriously couldn't believe the roast chicken. What a "carving"...

Sunday, September 2

I like Geen

At a very young age I informed my Mother, "I like geen, Mama"--and some things never change... Geen is still my favorite color, especially in the form of Fire King Jadite, an opaque pale green style of Depression Glass. Jadite, or "Thirties Green," is the predominate color in my kitchen, and someday, I envision open shelving or glassed-in cupboards to better showcase this growing collection!

I love actually USING my Jadite as well. Everything seems to be just the perfect size, shape and feel from the batter bowl, to the measuring cups, to the mixing bowls or creamer and sugar. 70 plus years later, everything is still looking great and totally usable. Even now as I blog away, I've got some tea in a Jane Ray Cup and Saucer in hand.

Fire King made three place setting designs: Jane Ray (small ribbing design), Alice (floral pattern) and Restaurant Ware (plain and durable). Other makers, mainly McKee and Jeannette Glass also made Jadite bowls, canisters, shakers and plates. Should I have been 'tiquing with Courtney, this is definitely what I would have been on the lookout for! (A dangerous but nonetheless great hint is that ebay is packed with Jadite, and usually much cheaper than when in an antique shop! Search "Jadite" under Pottery & Glass for the best results.)

So, now that you know my favorite shade of my favorite color, you will understand the thrill when my parents visited this past week bringing me a delightful vintage "geen" measuring tape (pictured below in a Jane Ray Cup) that Mama and Courtney picked up in Orange County. Ultimately, I plan on putting it in my knitting basket, but somehow it seems to be following me around the house as I just can't stop adoring it!

Saturday, September 1

Ready, Set...

This is my favorite way to set our table. Not that we've accumulated enough yet to really have a lot of options, but even if we did, I really love the simplicity of this look. The glasses and flatware are from Pottery Barn and the dishes from Williams-Sonoma. I got the napkins a couple of years ago at one of my favorite Bay Area chains, The Gardener. The place mats are from a few years ago too, from Nancy Koltes, a store that used to be in the Corte Madera mall in Mill Valley and left for no good reason (in my opinion.)

This is our tiny dining area. We're lucky to be storing Mom & Dad's old pine buffet, because it makes it look a little less aparmenty...

(The Boy has just announced that he's going to post a blog about making dinner for himself, so I'm taking this as my cue to sign off and cook some food...ciao!)