Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Have We Been Up To?

I have neglected my blog for the past week, but I'm back! What have I/we been up to? Here's a quick overview:

A trip to the dogpark in Mill Valley. This is Rosie - she has a tennis ball in her mouth. Rosie is a very dedicated fetcher :)

A visit to "The Scoop". The Scoop is our very favourite ice cream shop and the local hot spot. They use Strauss Organic milk and ALL organic/as local as possible ingredients. It is a tiny ice cream shop that on warm nights can easily have a queue out the door and down the block. Believe me - it's worth the wait. My favourite flavour is Mexican Chocolate. Yum.

My sister raced and won, this weekend at Redwood Shores, this is a picture of her Varsity 8 Lightweight team taking the boat out of the water (she's in the grey t-shirt). She is a very talented rower who has been recruited for the Stanford Rowing team. We are SUPER proud of her and we're so happy that next year when she goes to University she'll be nearby. My other sister is at University of St. Andrews, Scotland and I miss her terribly.

Spring has definitely sprung!

I have been doing LOTS of crafting. I'll take pics and post about it Wednesday. Tomorrow morning I am hosting our third Craft Circle, I'm crossing my fingers that we have a good turn out, wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Jaunt!

On Monday Max was off from school and we decided to take a trip to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. It was a gorgeous day, we have a membership, how could I resist? We arrived at the front door and lo and behold - it was CLOSED! Ack! I suppose I should have checked before we left......
As I said, the day was lovely and the Palace of Fine Arts (where the Exploratorium is located) is a great spot for a stroll and feeding the ducks and swans. Here are some pics of Max having fun :)

Max and this duck made fast friends although it may have been due to the crispy noodles that Max was snacking on.

He also found this wonderful Cypress tree to climb.

I remember playing here as an eight year old when we lived in San Francisco.

The Palace of Fine Arts, designed by Bernard Maybeck, was originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. They are currently doing a lot of repair and restoration work so unfortunately we were not able to play under the main dome, maybe next time.

I have not been working a lot on crafts for the past few days but plan on getting back into the saddle asap. I'm inspired to work on a new Waldorf Doll and continue to make my lavender gnomes. What next?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our Sunday Excursion..............

I am so grateful that we live in a place where so many museums, neighborhoods and cultural experiences are at our fingertips. I spent the first eight years of my life in San Francisco and then moved back on my own after for University. Max was also born in the City and loves to drive past the Hospital where he was born.

We live just a short 30 minute ride north of San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge - and yes it is even more spectacular in person. Often we go for quick jaunts into SF, which is what we did yesterday.

My mom, sister, Max and I took a trip to Japantown. This is one of Max's favourite places. He's 8 so for now he loves it for the food and the shops :) This year we plan on attending the 42nd Annual Cherry Blossom Festival (April 21st), George Takei will be the Grand Marshall. Remember him? He was "Sulu" on Star Trek and he's Hiro's father on the TV show Heroe's

Here are some pics from yesterday's trip:
This is the Peace Pagoda, it is the centerpiece of Japantown. The Peace Pagoda was designed by renowned Tokyo architect Yoshiro Taniguchi and donated to Japantown in 1968 by San Francisco's sister city, Osaka.

Max & my sister

At Japantown there is this place called PikaPika where they have dozens of photo booths. Each photo booth is different and offers different styles of pics. Once you take eight differentky themed pictures you can edit each one with stars, crowns, just all sorts of funny stuff. Here are our pics! For only $5 it's worth it!

No trip to Japantwon is complete without Sushi and a visit to our favourite shop, Ichibankan. Ichibankan is the most amazing shopped filled with just about everything. I love all of the funny logos and the style of their packaging. See the cookies shaped as mushrooms? Not only are they adorable but they are tasty too!

These are Max's favourites, little erasers that come in the shape of Pandas to Sushi

If you ever go to San Francisco be sure to visit Japantown. It is a lot slower paced than Chinatown but Parking is a LOT easier and the culture is amazing. They have done a wonderful job of telling visitors about the Japanes Culture in San Francisco, past to present through visual displays dotted all around the area.

Have a great week!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Say Hello To My Little Friend...........

Welcome to Spring!

The little brown bulb lies quiet and warm,
Sheltered from wind and sheltered from storm.
“Awake, Little Bulb,” call the rain and the sun,
“Wake and unfold
Your green and your gold,
For winter is done.
by Paul King

I have two separate posts today so be sure to read on...................

Last week I bought a Magic Cabin Mermaid Waldorf Doll Kit. The person who I bought it from had already started the head and torso. Let's just say that I can see why she was selling the kit. :) The head and torso looked like a pillow/pancake! I was happy to rescue the 'Mermaid to be' and voila! Here she is!

It was fun to take pictures of her with one of my favourite old paintings in the background and the shells/coral that we have collected.

For my first try on a Waldorf Doll with proper arms and a torso I am very pleased. Attaching the arms was not as difficult as I had thought it would be although they do stick straight out! Any ideas on how I can 'relax' them? My one issue with building these dolls is the face/expression, I'm still struggling with how to structure the face.

All in all a successful project - time for the next ..............

Getting My Mail....................

When I lived in San Francisco I always wondered "who in the heck uses PO Boxes, since mail is delivered to your house?" Little did I know that, duh, a lot of small towns don't have mail delivery service and you HAVE to get a PO Box - if you want mail.

After four years I'm still getting used to going to our PO Box and probably only go three times a week - unless I'm waiting for something important, like a package! When you have a package that won't fit in your box the PO gives you a little card to let you know you have a pckage. They must have forgotten my card because I discovered yesterday that I had had a box waiting for me for almost a week!

It was my package from Angela for the Winning Hand Swap! This is a swap that we participated in, in which we had to craft/buy items that represented the four suits - hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades. Below is a picture of what Angela sent to me.

Check out all of these fun goodies! You can see the hearts, the clubs are the St. Pat's clovers, the diamonds were in a little heart box w. chocolates (Max snagged those!). The spades were represented in the decorated box in the bottom right corner

This little box is great. The little jester is holding an ace of spades card and inside the box is filled with picks depicting all four suits.

I hope that she enjoys what I mailed to her. It was actually a pretty hard swap to do once I sat down and really thought about it. Another successful swap! Yippee!!

Thank you Angela!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wee Ones..........

At our last craft circle (which I wrote about last week) we talked about new projects, and skills that we could teach other parents. One skill that I have wanted to work on is the Waldorf Doll Head. My last two attempts were ok but definitely needed fine tuning. So, now that I have practiced building the head I have started to make Lavender Wee Ones. These are the first three that I have finished although I have several bodies and heads pre-made. With allof those bodies and heads on my craft table it looks a bit eery :) For me, attching the head is the hard part, right now they just kind of flop around - any advice on how to remedy that?

These have been a fun new project for me! Their bodies are made of upcycled velour from pants. jackets and dresses (hooray for the 50 cent rack)and stuffed with wool and lavender, the heads are wool, recycled t-shirts and organic outer skin fabric.

Recently I found and bought a Magic Cabin Mermaid Waldorf Doll kit on Craigslist for $5. Once I have assembled my Lavender Wee Ones I think that I will tackle the larger doll.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Great Swap.....

Last week I had writer's block and this week I have to much to write about! First, I must say Happy St.Patrick's Day!

So a while back I mentioned the Handmade Mushroom Swap that I signed up for. I made 5 felt mushrooms, sent them off and in return I was to receive 1 different mushroom from 5 other particpants. Well the long awaited box has arrived and my new mushrooms are amazing! I was so excited that I opened the box right at the Post Office. What I love is that they are all so different, made using different textiles and different crafting styles. Take a look!
From Sonja at HappyGoCrafty. I think that this mushroom is
made from clay and paper, then painted. Check out the great detail!
A crocheted pencil topper from Val at YarnisGras.
This is the exact reason why I HAVE to learn how to crochet! LOVE IT!
Needlefelted 100% wool mushroom from Logan.
The perfect new addition to our nature table.
From Lisa I received this papier mache mushroom.
The two halves actually come apart - it is a little treasure box. What a great idea!
This mushroom came from Rane. Isn't it wonderful? I was so excited that I removed it fom it's cellophane bag before I could take a pic of it all. The mushroom came with the wonderful yarn, tiny shells, acorns and maple leaves.
My intention today was to tell you about my most recent crafty project(s) but with the arrival of my new mushrooms, that will have to wait till tomorrow :)
in gratitude,
PS. Wish me luck at our School Board Meeting tonight! We need to hire a new Waldorf Kindergarten Teacher but the School District wants to make us take a Middle School Teacher with absolutely NO Kindergarten or Waldorf knowledge/experience. With the economy the way that it is the last thing we want is to see a teacher laid off, but we also need to keep the integrity of our Program intact - how can you have a Waldorf K without a Waldorf Teacher??????

Monday, March 16, 2009

Long Lost Relatives......

Yesterday I was visiting The Magic Onions. While reading about their big Garage Sale Day I noticed that one her favourite finds was a little red vintage elf. What was so amazing was that I too bought a very similar elf on our garage sale day. The similarity is uncanny, I believe that we have two long lost relatives! My elf is green and does have some condition issues, a chip, rubbed off paint there but he's adorable.

Do you know anything about these elves? I have never seen them before but they are so cute that I could easily see them becoming one of my "must look for" items. Oh geez, no collectibe figurines! I always said that I would never collect figurines ............

I am working on tomorrows post, it will be all about my most recent crafting and future crafting aspirations. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Great Weekend..........

We had a wonderful weekend starting with a FAB Estate Sale that Max and I went to on Saturday morning. This has become a tradition for us, Max calls it "adventuring". We adventure around for a few hours and the husband gets a quiet house . Well this Saturday we found a treasure trove of wonderful items which you can see below:

This is all of our booty, actually not all of it.
The rest was still waiting to be unpacked!

How GREAT is that poodle?

When I spotted this mushroom motif three piece Franciscan set I was hooked. I had a feeling that it would be way out my price range but was thrilled when she only wanted $3 for all three pieces :)

So, for all of what is pictured above plus two large quilting hoops a huge stash (about 100) skeins of embroidery thread, a rotary cutting set, hundreds of sewing and embroidery needles, three rolls of vintage satin ribbon, and several other bits and pieces I paid $7. Great right?! With my crafting circle still in the works I will let the moms use the stash that I just bought. It was getting costly for me to give new crafters embroidery thread and needles from my personal stash.

Saturday night Max was in our local St. Patrick's Day Talent Show Fundraiser. He and 13 of his Waldorf School classmates sang a song and played their flutes in front of over 150 people. We were so very proud of him! My mother and sister were also there so it was an extra special night for Max. Pictures of the event are forthcoming. That's it for now. Sunday was a great day too but I'll save that for another one of this week's posts. I have been crafting a lot and will also give you a peek at my new project(s).
Hope you and your family had a great weekend.
Yours in gratitude and appreciation for family and friends,

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I went to my mailbox today and what did I find? A padded envelope overflowing with natures perfect little hats - acorn caps. They were very generously sent to me by Tammy. Wow, I am so very grateful for such a kind gesture.

In gratitude.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Do you know about Craigslist? Have you experienced the wonder that is Craigslist? Have you ever received from the bounty that is Craigslist?

What is Craigslist? Craigslist is an amazing forum to sell things (cars to toasters), look for a job, rent a house/apartment, adopt animals, find friends, look for events/garage sales and EVERYTHING in between. I know that it is bigger in some areas more than anothers but from the list of cities it services from San Francisco to Singapore, to Edinburgh, to Sydney there’s a pretty good chance that you could use it in your area. I know that it is free to list items to sell, I think that they charge to list job openings.

I discovered Craigslist here in the SF Bay Area about six or seven years ago. When we were getting ready for a move I had all of this great baby equipment in excellent condition and I was not sure what to do with it. We did not have any friends with kids so it could not be passed on that way and we knew that more babies would not be entering our fold so holding onto it was not an option. Well, I sold it all on Craigslist. ALL of it within two days and had cash in hand! What you think is junk may very well be a treasure for someone else J

When we decided that our old SUV was no longer what we needed I insisted that we sell it on CL – my husband though that I was crazy and that it would never sell for what I was asking. Wonder of wonders I sold it in less than 24hrs for asking in cash. Yippee!
Have anything to sell? Got a garage full of stuff? Have an extra crockpot from your granny, a giant untouched box of legos? Maybe sell it on CL?

I trawl Craigslist almost once a day – you never know what you’ll find. I am looking to buy a Sizzix machine so right now that’s my new search item. I frequently check the FREE area where people list stuff for FREE. Two of my kitchen chairs were FREE on CL, I think that they were originally from Pottery Barn. I have also bought a brand new trampoline, furniture, antiques this list goes on. Below is my most recent SUPER DUPER find!

13 yards of Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabric bought for only $3 a yard! These are some of my favourite patterns and colours so I am thrilled. I even have some projects in mind for them.

Not only am I finding great deals but I love the idea of recycling things. I get a great deal and the seller gets some cash, easy peasy! I could tell you a million wonderful things acout CL but you just have to see for yourself. So, take a look at Craigslist (after clicking the link look for your city, or one near you on the right hand side) and see what you can find!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Project.................

I've not been in the mood to blog this week and this is why:

This past Monday a fellow school mom and I hosted our second craft morning. I sent out an email to all families and announced it at last weeks parent meeting. 1 MOM ATTENDED, again. Yes, just 1, again. My initial feeling was disappointment, then I was ticked off, then I was frustrated, then I was confused. As I explained to families, the purpose for these circles would be to get to know one another, make crafts for the program to sell at a future craft sale and also to talk about our program for next year. Both the other mom and I are on the Administrative Council so we know a lot about admin and finance at our school.

I know just as well as anyone that we all have busy schedules - heck I work on Monday and asked my boss if it was ok that I came in late so that I could attend the circle. It's just hard when I KNOW that there are mom's who could come but choose not to. Do we give up? Do we keep scheduling these? Ack, I am just so frustrated. Our Waldorf crafts are very popular in our community, help to promote our program and raise LOTS of money for us - which in this economy with all of the cutbacks is crucial. I know that I need to get over this, I am SUPER dedicated to Max's school, I attend probably 5-8 meetings a month, and I need to realize that to many people it's just not that important and that's ok. It's not ok, but it is :)

Well, the three of us forged ahead. We taught mom #3 how to make the Waldorf Doll head and we are now in the process of making lavender gnomes & babies. Right now they are all just heads and bodies, once I put them together I'll put up a pic. I have a subject in mind for tomorrow, just have to plan it out in my head.

HOPE & PATIENCE are my words for the week. Lately I've been wearing a necklace that says Patience one side, the other side says "Patience is a tree with bitter roots that bears sweet fruits" - my new mantra.

Friday, March 6, 2009

News, News, News........

Recently I have suffered from writer's block. I've done tons of projects but have not been able to put pen to paper. Let's see if I can get past it!

Home: Things have been plugging along at home. Max has had a great week with two after school playdates and a visit with MoMo (grandma, my mom). My sister is an accomplished rower with Marin Rowing Club (next year she'll be a rower at Stanford), she has a race this weekend in Oakland that I think we'll go to. The weather will be beautiful, it should be a great day. No matter what we have to go, my sister is Max''s most favourite person on the planet and he'd hate to miss it. During a playdate I showed Max and his friend how to make people using pipecleaners, now he is figuring out how to dress them. It has been a great project for him and a good lesson in trial/error and patience.

My creative space aka "Treehouse" is moving along nicely - I still have to re-home my husbands sport stuff. With the new set up I have been able to move my sewing machine in. It's been great to not have the machine in the kitchen and have to run up and down the stairs to sew. Now I can just turn from my cutting table to the sewing machine!

Crafts: After the sewing machine move, I did a big run of machine sewing. I ended up making about eight stuffies, some of which are pictured below. I really enjoyed making the skirts for the bunnies, cats and monkeys. I found the pattern for the monkey here and then adapted it for a cat and bunny. When we visited friends last weekend I took one as a gift :)

I borrowed a copy of Wee Felt Folk from a friend. I made this woman but she looks mad. I have tried several faces but they all look ticked off! Considering the amount of wooden beads that I have already put mad faces on, it looks like I'll have a lot of witches to make. I need to work on drawing more gentle expressions :) PS. I can't find an acorn cap big enough for her yet, so I just placed her hair on her head, I didn't want her to be bald in the pic - how embarrassing!

I also made this horse...........

and this kitty

There are a few new projects in the works. Once the schedule is set, I plan on signing up for a beginners quilting class at Sunflower Fine Fabrics. My hope is that a friend or two will do the class with me. My other project is getting some baby stuff made for friends. I found some great bib and burp cloth tutorials here and here. If I feel very brave, I may even tackle a blanket or some shoes. I highly recommend that you take a look a The Long Thread, she has a ton of great tutorials listed for all skill levels - a great resource.

Swaps: Check out the Easter Bunny Swap that we just signed up for. Max is excited to find out who our partner is and get crafting for this swap.

Fun Finds: This week I did take a trip to a few of my usual haunts. In addition to a stash of double sided binding (my new must have) I found:

This amazing large vintage heavy cotton tablecloth. Yes, it is covered in mushrooms of all shapes and sizes. I really love it and can't imagine cutting it up - if I found the right project though ....................

Four yards of this great vintage cotton ribbon/tape embroidered with "dutch" people and a heart/bird/flower motif. I am always looking for trims like this and finally found a stash. They had a lot more in other styles, hopefully the next time I return they'll still have some left.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good Night.......

The light has faded from the sun

And He who blessed your work and play

Will bless your sleep until the day;

So shut your eyes and fold your hands

And journey into starry lands

The love that binds us warm and deep

Will bind us closer while we sleep.

The earth is dark, but there the light

Eternal shines on us. Good night.

yours in reverence and gratitude,


Monday, March 2, 2009


Wow, my mailbox has been busy lately. I recently participated in two fat quarter swaps and a book swap.

This amazing package arrived today from Jennifer, you can find her blog here. I was so excited to find this in my mailbox, I had to open it when I got to my car! Inside I found three amazing fat quarters, (one is pirate themed, perfect for Max) a great little notecard (I think that it's of the Chicago skyline) and a resin tree pendant. Thank you, thank you Jennifer, you made my day! PS. Jennifer was my partner for the "Wishing it was Spring" fat quarter swap.

I also received these little lovelies in the Sew Mama Sew fat quarter swap. Thank you to my swap partners Alicia, Alice and Adrienne (love your name) for these great fabrics, I hope that you like what I sent to you!

Max and I were excited to receive a copy of Shel Silversteins' book of poems "Where the Sidewalk Ends" from my swap partner Kipi and her daughters. I remember having this book as a child but I'm not sure where my copy went so it was great to receive a new one. So far his favourite poem is Boa Constrictor. Thank you Kipi and family for the wonderful pick, we will enjoy reading and laughing through the poems together. This swap was organized through Reading to Know.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Last Minute Adventure..................

On Friday we planned a last minute adventure in Tahoe with friends. How lucky we are that the snow is just a few hours drive away! My husbands best friend and his family recently moved back to Tahoe after living in SoCal. Now that we moved south and they moved north hopefully our paths will cross more often. It was a big day for Max, his dad took him on his first snowboarding lesson, he ice skated and did some sledding.

Max and "Charlie the Monkey" on our drive to Tahoe. Charlie is one of my most recent projects.

Sledding and playing in the snow.

Our trip was last minute but very welcome. It was great to re-connect with friends. We were finally able to meet their little girl and Max loved playing with their son. :) What a great day!