A piece a Week – Spring Break – a Maker Faire outfit, Gardening and Camping

Spring Break last week caused me to put projects on hold for the week as with entertaining the kids with trips to the park, library and their friends hamster sitting took up a lot of the time. It was hard for me to focus so I took solitude in my garden when the sun was shining. We also visited a friends community garden at the senior center and made Kale chips with this recipe which were delish!

So I am posting a project I made at the end of March and have not had the opportunity to wear it – so I need an outfit for the Maker Faire. I will be volunteering with FabMo this year and I will be able to say that I made the top out of the fabric found at a distribution of theirs. This is a corset top made from a cotton jersey screen printed fabric and the skirt is fabric from a sari a friend gave me to repurpose. I loved the colors in the sari fabric and have been saving it for something special so this is the perfect opportunity.

The colors in the skirt are that beautiful! (even though a filter has been used here)

Here it is on my model – I love how it works together

I had the library workshop on Tuesday night and I was at the park cutting fabric with my rotary cutter and mat prepping while the kids were playing. They decided it would be fun to use my scraps and tie them together to make a pulley so they were completely entertained while I cut out 15 sets of fabric for the workshop. I am happy to say that it was a complete success and everyone completed their bag!  Each one I do now I learn something new myself how to gauge the project so it can be successful for everyone as we do only have a limited amount of time. A big thank you to my friend Nicole from nicoleathome.com for letting me use her tutorial! Now I need to create the next project for May – the wrap around pencil case…

The instruction sheet and a completed bag – a success
This is a lovely little find from the hardware store that I put up using my husbands drill and a couple of hooks on the fence. We first had to remove a renegade tree (with the help of my 10 year old and his Dads axe) that was taking up valuable real estate in the garden to make way for the trellis for the vine. I was wondering how this is going to work out with such a small garden but I am going to make it a succulent garden with the passionfruit climbing up the fence. I cannot have many deep rooted plants in this mini space as the redwood is right next door and with its veins of roots distributed throughout the soil so the succulents with the shallow root systems work well. I used mason twine in neon colors (an idea from my sister who uses it for macrame) for training the branches up the bamboo trellis and will add to this as time goes on – but for now we will see this little guy reaching for the sky! 
Go passionfruit go!

Friday and Saturday we went to a group camping trip to Big Basin Redwoods State Park with our camping group from school – I did not know many of the families before the trip but by the end we are all sharing our pics on Google drive and will now chat to each other on campus. Group camping is fun with the kids hanging out together and entertaining each other while the adults get to know each other and enjoy snacks and wine in between prepping meals and the like.

Kids on a big fallen redwood log

Saturday we had no real plans so we ended up hiking with the kids and what a hike it was! We ended up going on the Berry Creek Falls hike which is around 11 miles (17 kilometers), by the end my feet were so sore as well as my whole body from the traveling down the falls and once you travel down you have to come back up again! See the sign below, I really should have taken note but the kids were so excited to check it out that we powered on ahead and made it!

Strenuous hike – I can agree with that! 
Wandering on the fallen redwoods

Home of some spectacular redwoods

A banana slug in action

We stopped by Tim’s Creek for a snack – really it was lunch and I was so unprepared!! We had rice cakes, sesame snacks and chips in our backpack with only 3 bottles of water – for a 6 hour hike that is not too good at all. I ate as many sesame sticks I could handle and tried not to think about food. The water is a huge issue on such a long hike on a fairly hot day – lucky for us one of the parents is super organized and carried 2 backpacks full of food and extra water saving us from dehydration and starvation. That may be a bit exaggerated but even though there was water in the creek bed do not drink it due to the microscopic bacteria that can make you very sick. We made it back to camp in the end with my motivation to have an ice cold bottle of kombucha waiting for me in the cooler.

Snacking out at lunchtime

From our lunch / snack time break we ended up hiking the last 1.1 miles down and down into the falls area. The scenery was so beautiful as we were wandering the trail but you have to be super careful and look out for stray tree roots and also fallen trees from the recent rains we have had. One part of the trail I had to climb up and around a fallen tree root to get back to the trail. Finally I turned a corner to a little vista point and there I found my daughter sitting and looking at this beautiful waterfall – she was complaining that she wanted to go straight away and I said wait for the rest of the group to come back from viewing the falls from the platform on the path further down. So off I went to check it out close up and take some pictures. It was so beautiful and super shallow too. It is a highly recommended hike but if you go be prepared with lots of water and snacks that will help you power through the many ups and downs of the hike.

The kids made it back to camp together with one of the other adults while I slowly made it back with the motivation of getting back to relax with a drink by the fire. What a super cool camp trip with one spectacular hike.

Berry Creek Falls in the afternoon sunlight

A close up of the falls with a rainbow

Using the platform to keep me standing – man we have to walk back uphill now!!

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 😀