A piece a Week – A Back Pack Bag for my friend and the FabMo Textile Art Boutique

Finally I can breathe without all the deadlines of having to complete pieces for the inventory for my collection for the boutique. Last Saturday’s Textile Art Boutique was wonderful at it’s new location in Palo Alto on El Camino with over 900 people attending!! I was so busy at my booth all morning and the day went by so fast. It was great to see people coming by to have a chat and checking out my booth. Even better was having my friend’s visiting and saying hello! The boutique is so well organized and we were saved by volunteer ‘angels’ to come by and look after our booth for us so we could have a break and eat lunch. I sold around half of my stock with the rest for the next couple of shows I am having near Thanksgiving and also at school. I also have to give some to the Mountain View General Store

The backpack bag was suggested to me by a friend of mine and I decided to make a prototype for her just to see how it goes. I presented it to her at the show and she loved it so much that she bought it! What a surprise that was!! So here it is on my friend giving it a trial run and since the show she says that she loves it and it is very comfortable 🙂 I love the velvet fabric!!

My friend ME with her new poppypeach back pack bag
The Textile Art Boutique was such a success this year with many guests and an incredible array of artisans creating so many amazing pieces out of re-purposing FabMo fabrics and more. I found these beautiful earrings that have a fabric back on these beautiful faceted findings. Also at the end of the show one of the artists who worked with clothes offered me this amazing leather driving coat that she had added some lovely velvet applique to the front for a very special price that I could not refuse! That is the thing with being among such wonderful work you have to grab it when you can, and of course support local artists!!
My booth overflowing with my stock! The 8 x 30 table was too small so I had to use the space behind me.

With this hectic week of deadlines I also had a couple of events over the weekend – Trunk or Treat at school and Diwali, Festival of Lights on Saturday night. For Trunk or Treat I went as an ’80s witch with my padded shoulder bolero and vintage Gunne Sax dress I found at Goodwill – boy it was hard to breathe in all that boning in the bodice. It is so much fun to dress up for Halloween, my favourite time of the year!! I am working on my official costume at the moment – it is taking a bit of time but is fun to have a bit of a play with some clothes until the next show…

Trunk or Treat – ready or not here I come! 

Missy wanted to be a magic black cat this year and here she is in her costume of a cat suit and ears and a tail with a treat bag full of goodies!! She collected all the pieces for her costume including the face paint in a bag ready for Halloween – now that we have had a rehearsal it is time for the real deal this Friday!!

What’s new Magic Cat??

 Mr Ash was not so keen for a costume – so his idea for a costume is an elven warrior from Lord of the Rings. He is using his hat in his hand for a treat bag! He has his ragged shorts on and was supposed to have a scar on his face but decided last minute just to go casual with the hat. Let’s hope it comes together this Friday. But the good thing for him this week was that he won an art competition to draw a Halloween monster and was thrilled to get $50 worth of goodies from International Arrivals stationery. Check out his scary monster below!!!

Looking for treats with his friend the creeper from Minecraft

Ash’s art – the original on ruled notepaper 🙂

A piece a Week – More pieces for the Textile Art Boutique and checking out some Skulls at the Cal Academy

Another week flew by and I managed to complete a couple of bags in the minimal time I had available. I think because I had so many meetings last week that the week seems like a bit of a blur! The highlight was having our neighbors over for dinner on Saturday night – we can still enjoy the outside with some candle light and good food and wine until it gets cooler. We had a roasted vegetable quiche with salad (bought over by our neighbor, oh so good) and for the kids they had roasted pepper and cherry tomato with cheese tart – it had a crispy crust and was just like thin crust pizza. And for dessert we had an amazing strawberry and rose water ice cream – inspired by this recipe. I used a whole tin of coconut milk and a big splash of rosewater, oh my what an addition! We served it with macerated strawberries and pistachios – delish! 
The bags below was all I had time for this week as I had a ton of prep work to do. As it has turned out my neighbor had a serger / overlocker for sale and I bought it from her and that has helped so much! It has been wonderful to have one in the house and I am so looking forward to making some tunics for the winter – it will make clothing creation so much easier 🙂 
This large tote was something I started for the last show and did not get to finish in time so I quilted it and it came out to be a perfect bag for a picnic. The quilted cross body bag I finished from last week is now to hang for the show. 
Large Tote needs a bit of ironing though 🙂
Quilted X Body Bag – completed

Underwater at the California Academy of Sciences
On the Sunday we visited the California Academy of Sciences to see the Skulls exhibit at long last and it was so worth it! Ash had a bit of a freak out when he first went in and after talking about skulls for a while it did not seem as freaky 🙂 Admittedly seeing a wall of sea lion skulls was intense and beautiful at the same time. In amongst the skulls we had to find out other animals skulls by the sound of their howl, roar and the like and it was a very tricky game. The kids were really good at it and found all of the random animals on the wall. 

A wall of sea lion skulls
The skull of a hummingbird
Finally we visited the Planetarium and saw the show Dark Universe – in all our visits to the Cal Academy, the kids had not wanted to go. I was so happy to visit the Planetarium at last and the kids really enjoyed the 3D effect too! We had our picture taken at the Skulls exhibit with skulls that were created with a 3D printer. I said to the guy – Why is this giraffe skull so light?  It was made with a industrial 3D printer. The kids enjoyed the smaller skulls and really did love the exhibit too – it was so fascinating!
Good times with the skulls!

A piece a Week – In Production Mode and getting totes done!

This week the kids had a half day afternoon camp so we had the morning to hang out together and have some fun. As it turned out I volunteered to water the school garden for this week with my helpers – the kiddos! The school garden is in full summer bloom at the moment and is looking really wonderful with lots of pumpkins growing big and round with splashes of sunflowers up high towards the sky.

A beautiful ombre shaded flower

Find the caterpillar in the sunflower!

One of the many pumpkins in our school garden

We ended up running into some friends from our school at the afternoon summer camp so we had a pizza night together where the kids could make their own pizza at Pizza My Heart. Every Tuesday night the kids have a few toppings to choose from that are bought to their table with a rolled out pizza dough and the kids have the joy of making their own pizza complete their own little flag for when they bake it.

Mr Ash with his tasty Canadian Ham and Pineapple pizza

A rainbow of Lego made by Ash’s Play Well Lego Camp teacher

Mid week was our 8th wedding anniversary and the material for the celebration is pottery so I made this succulent planter in my ceramics class as our gift. I had so much fun making this pot and I had some inspiration from a class mate who makes a lot of garden decor with tonnes of textures. My teacher helped me with the glaze and rubbing back the colours to sink into the texture and I just love how it turned out. We all went out for meal to a local fancy Mexican joint downtown and had some drinks to celebrate later in the evening!

Jalapeno and Guava Margarita

Our new succulent pot made in my ceramics class

These are the totes I have been working on and managed to complete over the week in production and my new patchwork tote bag that I am now road testing. FabMo had another wonderful stock reduction sale this week and they were selling fabric bags for $2 (fabric perfect for lining) now I have a fair amount of fabric to build up a decent inventory for the show in October. I scored a unfinished patchwork quilt for $10 so that will be made into totes for the show – they will certainly be one of a kind and limited edition!

FabMo fabric and a feather turned arrow

Close up of the arrow

A blue version with the arrow

My new patchwork tote ready for road testing

All my goodies inside with pockets for organization
Stitching detail from the patchwork quilt
And to end the week we had a BBQ appreciation for the FabMo volunteers at a local park and I made a fig and strawberry tart with a rosemary cornmeal crust from epicurious. And friends of ours we only met last year who moved here from Portland are moving to Taiwan so they had a pool party farewell late Sunday afternoon – so relaxing to spend it in the pool and hot tub after such a busy week.
Fig and strawberry tart glazed with honey

Find the neon cupcake against Missys swimmers 😀

NaBloPoMo – Days 1, 2 & 3 – a Combo Post

A friend of mine reminded me by her FB posts that it is National Blog Posting Month! As I just finished this great instagram contest through SF Etsy called Craftobergram and had such a fun time posting daily – I wanted to challenge myself with doing a daily blog post.

So here goes… I wanted to talk about the booth I had at the FabMo Textile Art Boutique – exactly a week ago! It was such a fun day with meeting lots of new people and volunteers that I have met before. The beginning of the day was quite slow due to the weather being very foggy and cold. Soon the crowd picked up and we had a busload of ladies that had come from Sacramento just to go shopping at this event and that was when the energy picked up! I met a lot of people commenting on my work saying it was very colourful and chatting about what I was knitting while I was sitting at my booth. I sold about a third of my stock so all in all it was a successful day – I had made about 30 items and 13 of those were brooches. The larger bags were the bags I was wanting to sell and they all went – I think a large tote is a good thing to have. Here are a couple of pictures from the show.

My booth all good to go after I set it up!

The view from my booth – checking out the art on the walls

This weekend I was at a Qi Gong class – 2 x days 9:30 to 5pm working on the Moving Program of Life. We learn about working on a chart using our time of birth, year, date and month that will balance our life and we can move along our path in life smoothly. I must say it is wonderful being with such a lovely group of ladies and our teacher my acupuncturist Catherine Burns. Something I discovered today is that I should wear more green – here is one of my favourite shades of green.

Lovely green moss with teeny fungi

The Domestic Goddess

After much deliberating about what to name the collection of pieces for the FabMo Textile Art Boutique I realised that Domestic Goddess summed up what my collection was all about.

With the inspiration of hanging out in my kitchen most of the time – initially aprons came to mind. Not too long everything else came together with mamas being crafty there is a vintage style pincushion and we all like to relax on the couch with cool cushions so I made some of those too. I have also some market bags for shopping at the Farmers Market and smaller Totes for all those goodies when you BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag – not Booze!) out and about. Oh and of course how can I forget looking good with some silk brooches to wear on your jackets and tees.

It is very exciting to have a cohesive collection finally coming together – there are a few more things to make and then it is time to prep for the booth, yikes! Lucky I have bought a mannequin called ‘lady’ from craigslist this week to help out with the photography and the booth for the day. Well I will be by myself but it will be great to have a mannequin wearing the apron instead of draping it over a table. Without further ado here she is, apron and all…

‘Lady’ wearing an apron from the collection

And yes I have been playing around with filters – I suppose I can’t help it as I am taking pics with my phone! There will be a real photo shoot happening soon so I’ll post them when I have the shots all done. What a terrific process it is with only one month to go today!

Sewing away…

Since the kiddos went back to school I have been hard at work creating my range of goodies for the FabMo Textile Art Boutique on the 27th October! Anyhow for those of you that are not familiar with all the goodness FabMo do for the community here is the lowdown… FabMo (a non-profit) collect interior design fabric samples and other bits and pieces to distribute to the public once a month to purchase by the bagful! You are only limited to your imagination as to what you can make.

Talk about getting organised… Here are some pics of my Domestic Goddess range that includes aprons, cushions, pincushions, totes and bags – whew! There has been a lot of cutting and sewing going on in my little craft room.

A work in progress – this may have been a curtain in a previous life!

Here are a few of the bags and totes that I have made from cotton/linen samples and even a sample from Missoni, super special indeed.

The finished tote bag lined with cotton

A tote bag made from a stiff exterior fabric embellished with a pocket

A linen/cotton tote with Missoni fabric pocket detail

These bags are amazing – I could only make a couple as the raw silk was the size of a curtain length and these bags are quite large, perfect for the market.

Superstar raw silk bag with a gorgeous patterned pocket