A piece a Week – Simple T-shirt experiment

A week of many things to do leads to a simple little project that I found in the Great British Sewing Bee : Sew Your Own Wardrobe. This is a t-shirt I have been wanting to make since I found it in the book as it is such a versatile piece, the bonus is that it has bias binding on the hems so that gave me more time to experiment with bias binding after last weeks project. This is an excellent demonstration piece and next time I know to make this a couple of sizes smaller!

The simple t-shirt in action

This weeks hike we wandered to Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve – another permit required open space managed by Mid Peninsula Open Space. It was an interesting place to explore with ruins of a Jesuit College which opened in 1934 – the college buildings were heavily damaged by the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. The Mid Peninsula Open Space acquired the land in 1999 and if you have a permit you are free to explore this space. Wandering the fire roads and through the forest  it was extremely fascinating to see what mystery unfolded. We had no idea what used to be there \ and it was interesting what we found and how we put the pieces together. In the end we looked at the Google Map and it said Alma College and we just wanted to find out more… In the link to Alma College it is really interesting to see what the future holds for this land. Also there are some great pictures on what the space looked like before the earthquake. It is now just derelict buildings and warning signs looking through the fences you can see that this was a place that has a lot of history to it, find more images here.

Do Not Enter this space is dangerous – graffiti added to the space 

The giveaway that this is an older building – look at the light fitting

Indeed… Explore More…

This looks like a garage that was destroyed 

Favorite parts of this hike exploration for me were through the ruins of old bricks and buildings nature still took over. I love how the grasses and moss grew everywhere, my son even found moss growing in an old green bottle we found when we went exploring down a hill to find the flowing creek.

Over time nature just takes over 

Moss and graffiti

I like the look of these concrete pipes

“Look, moss is living in this bottle”

We found beer cans, old bottles, tires, rusted oil cans from back in the day that enhanced the experience of adventuring into places where no one visits. I can get used to this kind of hiking with no one else around – in the couple of hours we were there we only saw one horse rider and two horses on the fire road.

Checking out a beer can from 1968 – check out the tab top (ring pull) on the can

When we made it down to the creek

Our snack spot by the creek massive chunks of concrete and rocks form this small waterfall

The ruins with nature growing everywhere
Locked in! The only way to enter is with a key combination

Where a fountain once stood – this bird stretches its wings
With all the rain the spring flowers are in bloom and today I went for a 9.5 mile (15 km) bike ride to Shoreline and found this amazing field of poppies. It was close to the middle of the day (lunchtime = hangry) so I captured what I could on my phone camera and rode on home.
Spring California Poppies Bloom
A bumblebee doing what they do best! 

A piece A Week :: Check Meowt Tee-Shirt

This tee has nothing to do with cats but a lot to do with checks! I found this check wool fabric at my fave place of treasure – FabMo, when they had their sewing sale. This is a tailors suiting fabric which I thought would make a great layering top. I found this Tee pattern in this great book The Great British Sewing Bee – Sew Your Own Wardrobe. It is a perfect layering piece and a lot of fun to play tennis in. As you can see I was out on the court again last week chasing those little yellow balls around though my son and I did manage a rally of hitting the ball 6 times – we were so excited!! 
Getting Sporty in this checked tee! 
Last week I also had my class at the local library making some felt heart pins with hand sewing and hot glue. There is something about the hand sewing classes that I love with everyone sitting around crafting and chatting. In this day and age times like these are truly enjoyed by all, so I am happy to be volunteering and making this crafting community happen and seeing familiar faces every month. 
A finished sock monkey from January’s sock monkey class

The How To sheet and one of the students heart pins

A heart pin in progress with diamond buttons – by a lady who recently moved to Mountain View 

The weekend was absolutely stunning and we got a taste of what spring will be like with some warm sunshine and blue skies! Saturday our family volunteered as part of the Boy Scouts community service with Save the Bay at Byxbee Park in Palo Alto. We were weeding out wild mustard and Ox Tongue Spiky Plants and planting in their place some native vegetation including California Poppies. We will have to visit or take a bike ride in the Spring time to see them in bloom.

A bike in the distance on this beautiful hill covered in telephone poles – I love the environmental art here!

Grown little Poppy grow!!

The kids playing after all their hard work weeding and digging

Sunday we had a planned family bike ride as it was Super Bowl weekend here in the Bay Area we enjoyed the peace of the trail and rode for a good 8 miles return trip. I picked up some spring blossoms on our way in my bike basket and enjoyed the quiet of the end of the trail at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, just a bike ride away.

I love my bike! With a pannier to carry the drink bottles

Digging deep in nature we found lots of ladybugs

My bouquet of local flora including a succulent from my garden