Wednesday, September 30, 2009

i made bunting

And simultaneously conquered my fear of the bobbin. Good job me. This is called bunting, right? I never know if I'm confused or not.

Though I didn't end up using the sewing machine I have at my house. The one from 1965 that's been lurking in our guest room closet, behind our luggage and sleeping bags and old stretcher bars from when I used to paint. Yeah. I lugged it out. It weights approximately 75 pounds and I'm convinced is made of either lead or steel. And even my mom, who happened to be passing through town, couldn't figure out how to wind the bobbin. You have to wind it in place. Like under the foot. It was kooky.

So instead I went to The Urban Craft Center (where I took my sewing class) and happily sewed away using a brand new, easy to operate, unmysterious machine.

(Cannot recommend this place enough, LA locals! You can pay to use studio space and supplies whenever you want. And it's super cute and the girls are really nice and helpful. And they have laminated printouts demystifying the bobbin.)

I've already put in my request for the exact machine for Christmas.

Clearly, my favorite part about sewing is the fabric and patterns and colors.

I also think I may have made the most complicated, time consuming bunting ever. I realized after I already had everything cut and pinned and ironed that I could have easily just used pinking shears to make the flags and strung them along a length of yarn and the effect would have been the same.

But I was sooooo excited about sewing something. And these are a present so it's nice that they might be a little more permanent.

Also, I'm digging these colors for a gender neutral baby room. Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

shower invites for Katya (by way of gocco)

Our friends Andy and Katya are getting married next month and because nearly all of Kayta's bridesmaids and family are coming in from out of town, we decided to have her shower just before the wedding. It seemed important to have the key members of her posse there, right?

Their wedding is on the beach in Del Mar, and even though it won't technically be summer anymore I decided to make her invites feel a little summery. Especially because it's the only season Katya likes. She's a professional triathlete with a major aversion to cold. If I had to ride my bike and swim and run for 8 hours a day I wouldn't like the cold either.

Back to the invites.

Here they are. After a nearly fatal gocco disaster (as always brought on by user error) I managed to squeeze the printed area into half of my stage to I could use my last 2 bulbs to burn the screen.

(Side note - I can't keep up with the gocco drama, people. First they quit making machines, but were still making supplies. Then they started making machines again. Then they decided to shut down the entire operation (turning thousands of plastic screen printers into paper weights), and now it appears that supplies are back on the market. Of course none of that matters when the only place to buy supplies is online and you need bulbs this minute. Plan ahead people. And always assume you'll mess the first screen up.)

I pondered using vintage stamps for these, but here's another tip. Counting them out and licking them and arranging them, even for just 40 envelopes takes, I don't know, at least 3 days. Soooo time consuming. And the king and queen stamps are just about the cutest things available right now. Aren't they?

Which reminds me, I should stock up before they sell out.

Monday, September 28, 2009


This weekend after a little jog (a prenatal-friendly jog), and trip to the farmer's market in Santa Monica, we stopped by Huckleberry for some take away bread and treats.

The line was huge so I took a few photos while we waited. The space has such nice light and lots of little details, very hard to resist when the camera is near.

I should first say that we've never actually had a meal at Huckleberry. We're in the habit of picking things up to take home so I can't properly review their food. But I always get this roasted carrot salad and it's never that good. The idea is there... roasted carrots with cumin, avocado, and cilantro... but the flavor isn't. Poor carrot salad. I actually bought carrots at the market so I could make my own version. I'll let you know how it turns out.

HOWEVER the white bean dip we tried this time was delish. And their country boule is really lovely. And their scones are good and buttery. Apparently it's loosely inspired by Tartine (where Zoe, the co-owner learned to bake), a very necessary stop on our Bay Area road trip. Soooo excited.

One of these weekends were going to get there early enough to avoid the brunch crowd and actually have breakfast.

And now that the baby news is out, here's the belly progress so far...

Just slightly obscuring the laces... But after dinner it's quite a different story.

Friday, September 25, 2009

when gardens go neglected

First, thanks so much everyone for your hearty congrats! New adventures are always fun. Especially when they involve making babies.

Next, as further proof that things this summer have been very distracted, the vegetable garden I was so excited about has seen better, more tended days. But I think this might be the weekend to clean and mulch and sew fall seeds.

Look what I found this morning among the leaning zinnias:

Those are bigger than they look. And the green one had flowering tops ~3 ft tall. Eek.

Luckily radish tops rank right up there with watermelon rinds and overripe tomatoes when it comes to chicken food. I haven't figured out what it is, but they go absolutely crazy for these particular greens.

The breakfast radishes went straight into the coop, but the watermelon radish, oh lovely dear fall member of the Brassica family, had to come inside. I'm hoping it's still edible. I've definitely found myself coming home from the farmer's market with a bag full of them this big.

So pretty. And spicy and delicious.

And just because we haven't had a chicken picture in a while...

Happy friday, yo.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Baby news

Finally! This post has two parts. One that's very exciting right now and one that will be exciting in February. So if you know what's good for you, you'll read the whole thing.

First, Laura, my dearest most loveliest most thoughtful most midwife-in-training-knowledgeable-about-birth friend had her little one on Friday.

In the midst of wedding chaos, I didn't see the text until late that night and then missed her call on Saturday while we were taking photos. BUT STILL. He's beautiful, he's a boy!

Judah Alexander

Isn't that the cutest thing ever??

And luckily I had already determined that the bunting flag card was for her, so it's all ready to go. But now includes his name:

(cutting out words in cursive is harder than you think).

She's a little preoccupied with figuring out the breastfeeding/infant care thing, so I'm pretty sure she won't see the card here before it arrives in her mailbox. But if you're out there Mama Laura, here's your card!

Next on the baby news front. There doesn't ever seem to be the perfect time to post this particular piece of information, but now that we're on the subject of babies...

I'm with child.

Haaaa. I love that saying. But yep, I'm pregnant too. I'm just about 19 weeks (see, I told you I've been mysteriously holding out!) and we're so super excited. And nervous, a little. And we have to come up with a new #1 boy name because ours was too close to Judah. Friends can't have sons with nearly the same name. Of course we might have a girl. We'll find out in February.

So there you are. Now perhaps my aversion to cooking all summer long, my hiatus from shopping (with the exception of maxi dresses), my uncharacteristic pass on those AWESOME blue shoes, my flighty posting, and other unexplained things are more understandable.

This also calls for a new blog category! But what should it be? Temporary one in place and I shall ponder further.

if i were dressing up

I'd be pretty tempted to make one of these bird masks from this month's Martha.

The october issue is not normally a favorite of mine, I have to say. Perhaps I'll appreciate it more when I have kidlets to dress up or the urge to throw a party for our friends (with kids too). But since that isn't the case just yet, there are only SO MANY pumpkin decorations and fake creepy food ideas I can handle. And I think I hit my limit 5 years ago.

HOWEVER. Aren't these bird masks cool? It looks like the blanks are actually paper mache and only cost $3.00. You can get them here. And see Martha's tutorial here.

We're going to be in Napa, dining on fine cuisine on Halloween so I'm not convinced we're going to partake in costuming this year. But we'll see.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

okay fall, maybe just one wreath

Yesterday evening there was a distinct, breezy chill in the evening air. And admittedly, I kind of liked it. Maybe it's nearing the time of squashes and apples and beautiful shifted light. And wreaths.

The terrain online shop is all over the blogs and frankly it's kind of ehh. I mean you should go look for sure, but it just doesn't have THAT much stuff available. And a good portion is furniture. I don't think I'd buy an $1800 wooden sofa for our front porch online without seeing it first. But I imagine the actual brick and mortar store is amazing. I want to see that amazingness available on the internet, for those of us who live approximately 3,000 miles from Philadelphia.

But I might buy one of these beautiful wreaths.


millet - which smells really good when it's dried. I still have some leftover from our wedding arrangements.

magnolia leaves and poppy pods.

Now now protea wreath. I haven't made up my mind. You're still in the running.

Monday, September 21, 2009

the weekend: wedding

I didn't take all that many pictures, actually. When you have an awesome photographer on hand, it seems silly to take photos yourself, you know? But I did take a few during the actual rehearsal because Michèle hadn't arrived yet...

a rather large wedding party, all lined up and waiting for instructions

the beautiful bride

the happy couple

sunset over the ocean

here comes the bride (and her dad)

I can't wait to see their real photos. So excited so excited so excited.

Michael from the Flashdance was the dance party DJ and he was in. sane. Like totally killed it. I haven't had that much fun in months, seriously. Blatant, shameless promotion here, but if you're looking for a DJ you HAVE to hire him. I'm certain that if someone else had been on the tables, the party would have been way less fun. As Melanie said, he's like musical crack. And if our wedding was next year, instead of last year, I would hire him in a nanosecond.

While we were milling about the lobby, waiting for photos to begin, one of you lovely readers stopped me and said hello (What's up Melissa!). OMG. I cannot believe that there are people who read my blog often enough that they would recognize me. Thanks so much for saying hi Melissa. The wedding was amazing and you should totally plan yours at L'Auberge, if you can convince them to squeeze in a few more people for the ceremony. And hire Michael!

Besides a lot of wedding fun, I went to a yoga class taught my first friend in san diego (we met in kindergarten), Wren. Anyone in north county looking for a sweet little studio with an excellent instructor should definitely drop by her class. She teaches Saturday at 9:00 am and Thursday at 7:00 pm.

And we managed to squeeze in a stop at Roberto's on the way out of town. I haven't had Robertos in probably 10 years. OMG it's good. Why aren't there taco stands like this in LA?

Melanie and Sky are on their way to the Maldives. Happy honeymooning you beautiful people! We have such a rad family.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

pumpkin babies + fig update

Hi hi. I'm down in San Diego enjoying a morning of pure leisure as I wait for the big wedding festivities to begin this afternoon. I find that I'm exceptionally gifted when it comes to mornings of leisure and that I should have them more often than not.

First, look at this:

That's one of the pumpkins from our wedding last fall that my mom has had on the deck behind my parents' house since October. And look what happens to pumpkins when you leave them be. They make their own little incubator for sprouts! It's kind of rotting and decrepit but I thought it was too cool not to post.

Next, Brock and I went back to the fig trees yesterday morning (after I made that card) and ravaged them. Okay, not ravaged but we took a fair helping. No one seemed to mind? I'm crediting you all for the encouragement.

So now what to do... perhaps I'll go for a swim. And then I have to go down to Cedros to see if they have anything new and exciting since the last time I was here. It's a ridiculous ritual really, but I can't seem to break the habit. And then we're doing a practice session of the ceremony with Brock's younger brother (who is Melanie & Sky's officiant), and then... Mariachis and mexican food and rehearsal dinner.

And today is my parents' 32nd anniversary. Happy Anni, 'rents!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

last minute card making

Here's how my day has been starting for the last few mornings. 6:00 - que the low but incredibly annoying squawks coming from the eglu. Curse chickens and their suspiciously reptilian ancestors.

Get out of bed, in underwear stumble outside to make sure there's not a cat or a hawk perched on top of the coop. Cat or hawk is a good thing, because once you chase it away, they shut up and you can go back to sleep.

No cat or hawk. Instead just ornery birds. Sigh.

Stumble back inside and start coffee maker.

This morning I had a surprising squirt of inspiration (after first sip of coffee) and decided to make a card (even though I bought one yesterday) for Brock's brother's wedding on Saturday. HOW FUN.

I don't care what anyone says, security envelopes and bunting flags are still cute. And they will continue to be cute until the end of time. Along with vintage mason jars.

I haven't quite decided how to finish the card. Or if I'll actually give it to them. It doesn't look like their wedding at all, which is black tie and fancy and elegant and things. But fun morning project nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

early morning walk with my camera

One of the few benefits to being woken v. early for no apparent reason by the chickens in your backyard is you have a lot more time in the morning to putter about before you have to leave for work. And when I say few benefits, I actually mean ONLY benefit.

The chickens are not being looked upon favorably at the moment.

But I did take a nice walk through my funky little neighborhood, enjoying the changing light of early fall mornings. It's still hot, but the light changes even when the temperature stays summery.

And before I forget, I made this last night (with a few substitutions due to ingredients on hand) and it was delicious. Make it, if you know what's good for you.

Strawflowers I've been drying to use for an undecided project.

scabiosa pods left over from our wedding.

Our neighborhood has a system of little alleys that run behind some of the houses and one in particular has been an urban farm plot, probably since the 40's when our neighborhood was built. It's a real victory garden! It's also fairly neglected these days, but still one of my favorite places to walk.

asian squash vines peek over fences.

fence. I love grey.

see, I live in a city! we have graffiti!


tiny spider thread.

workbench. people are very into DIY home projects in our neighborhood.

particularly pretty flower.

Those fig trees I mentioned yesterday. I only took what would fit in my coffee cup. Must return with a bag.

Monday, September 14, 2009

impromptu cheese platter

From the weekend. We had our friends Deja and George over for a little Saturday evening football. GAAAH. Football season is about to take over my living room. I am not a fan of football season. But I tolerate it.

The good thing about it is, you get to have friends over during games. And you don't actually have to watch the game, it turns out. You can put out stinky cheeses and chat with your girlfriend instead.

Anyway, back to the point. I scrounged together some bits around the kitchen to pair with a few cheeses we picked up for pre-dinner snacks. I do love a good cheese platter.

And figs. Our fig trees are just about done for the year but I found a secret stash in the neighborhood. Question: If 3 fig trees are growing in the easement between the street and the sidewalk, and they are full of ripe figs, and many appear to have dropped to the grass already, and no one appears to be enjoying them properly, is it okay to help oneself?

I'm voting yes. Technically anything in the easement is city property, right?

The figs were gorgeous and I'm debating whether or not to set out on a reconnaissance mission after dark to collect an entire bagful for another batch of jam.