A piece a week – A Summer Top

I found at some stretch fabric at FabMo recently and I thought to make a summer top – my wardrobe is lacking cute tops these days so I am on a mission to find the perfect one. So I found this book Casual Sweet Clothes when I was shopping at Powells book store in Portland – their collection of craft books cannot be beat. This is a Japanese pattern book that has really interesting basic wardrobe pieces to wear with jeans – my utilitarian wardrobe these days with the kids. The Japanese sewing books have so many patterns in them and if I can find 5 I like then the book makes up for the cost of a pattern. To copy the patterns you have to trace them onto kraft paper or whatever paper you have available (I save the brown packing paper and iron it and it is perfect for sewing patterns). This top is very easy construction and quite fun to make and learn new stitches like blind hemming on my sewing machine! I am now on a mission to create more pieces from this super cool Japanese pattern book!

Back view of the top – lovely draped sleeve!

I added silver seam binding to the neck – what a discovery seam binding is for stretch fabrics!

Hanging out with Mack

Captured my baby girl Bella!

Last Saturday we were meeting long lost friends / neighbors of ours for a hike but as we underestimated time from our Scouting event in San Bruno to Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz we met for brunch at Whale City Bakery in Davenport, just down the road from the scheduled hike! This place is a find for it’s bakery with all their goodies made from scratch. This eclair from their case of goodies was delicious and looking at their pastry case I could have eaten much more but I went for an omelet with an english muffin for brunch and it was perfect with their chai tea. Afterwards we wandered across Highway 1 to the beach and explored for a little while. This beach is popular for local campers – though hauling your stuff down the cliff does not look appealing to me but I am sure it will be beautiful and quiet at night with the added bonus of being free to camp!!! Anyway I took some pictures of the landscape and turned them into clothing – I just love the textures!

Amazing eclairs at Whale City Bakery in Davenport

Textured leggings with rocks and tags 
Graffiti rock 
Looking down into a tunnel that led to a forest of trees!

Sunday we went over to Oakland for a day trip to visit the Cat Town Cafe and have brunch at a Jamaican place down the road. It was a lovely hour with the cats up for adoption at $50 each or $75 for two with their shots and their microchip all ready to go. I love the time we spent there and the kids enjoyed themselves too. It was $10 for the hour with snacks and coffee outside the cat enclosure while you are waiting for your appointment – I really recommend booking ahead on the weekend at their website as it is very popular. 

Hanging in a cat tree using Oakland Architecture

You beautiful kitty pooping rainbows!

This week at school flew by with Market day on Thursday! Market Day at our school is a day where the kids make up projects in class and sell them for pony beads. Everyone gets 2 pony beads to work their “stall” for 15 minutes for their class. It is a wonderful morning out and the theme for the 1st grade class was a cardboard arcade, inspired by the Caine’s Arcade video. This is a peacock ride that cost 3 pony beads – made from cardboard and painted by Team Peacock and rolled upon a child’s sled engineered by one of our parents to make it safe for the kiddos to ride upon! Pulling the kids around the loop was quite a workout – volunteering and exercise what a score!

Wanna ride the peacock?

A piece a Week – Patchwork snakes and Sea creatures

Another week and more action – this weekend we had a date with the beach! We went to a place called Davenport near Santa Cruz for the morning. It was quite overcast in the morning but still warm, we even found people camping on the beach. Yes that is illegal & we asked them about how they went about it and as long as your car is out of the way and you don’t get a ticket you are golden! Still it is a haul carrying all your gear up and down the steep slopes. 
The feeling of walking in the sand is perfect to melt away any stress or worry after a busy week. Even playing in the cold water was exhilarating and woke me up, igniting my appetite. So the plan was to go to a favorite bakery of mine in Santa Cruz, Kelly’s French Bakery and I found the gooiest eclair with a custard filling that I had been craving for all week – it is amazing how the universe works! 
The plan for the Santa Cruz day trip was to go to a lecture at the Seymour Center at UCSC to hear about the book ‘The Extreme Life of the Sea ‘which was fascinating for everyone, I did feel somewhat sleepy after an amazing lunch of smoked salmon, avocado and poached eggs on sourdough toast. Ash  was so excited to get the book signed by the authors (a father and son team) and he finally met an ‘actual’ author of a book! Let’s hope that it inspires him to continue his writing in class 🙂 he has a very creative writing style and at 8 years old how lucky is he to be encouraged to write creative poetry about his loves in his life!
Kids enjoyed a wave waterfall
Love heart in the sand from Missy to Mamma
Kids create a path of rocks around their little creek of water
Ash being daring by the waterfall from the waves
Finding a ‘By the Wind Sailor’ or Velellla
We took this guy, in the above pic, back to the Marine Lab at UCSC to find out what it was and they are meant to be blue – this guy was a bit sun burnt! And as we talking about this guy there has been thousands of these them washing up on the beach along the west coast this year. Last time we saw one was our weekend away at Carmel 3 weeks ago. 
At the marine lab – a nudibranch creeps up the side of the tank, I loved the colors

A shark egg sac awaiting fertilization
A sea hare moves very fast indeed

After the lecture we wandered around the lab to check out the sea creatures that were on display and this guy the Sea Hare was enjoying sea lettuce and apparently they grow to 20 lbs – that is one huge slug! The volunteer we were chatting to was enjoying getting him fresh lettuce from the beach outside every day and watching him grow very, very fast!

This week’s projects are in production mode so slowly but surely the inventory will get there as I have less than 4 weeks to get it all together! I found these bows to experiment with and as they were huge and I wanted to jazz them up somewhat so out came the scissors and the metallic markers and what a transformation! They look like watercolor on silk and I just love them!

Bows Redux – a perfect size for your hair

 The other project I had on the calendar was to get these snakes made for the show. I had made a couple for the kiddos and I have a lot of scraps so to add to my quilt / patchwork theme the four of these came together.

A snake posse

A close up of the snake eyes!

And here is another patchwork bag nearly ready to go, it just needs the straps and then another 2 more to make for inventory… Step by step everything is coming together – yay!

Another bag for the collection, nearly completed!