Fall Finalé

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I am into a knitting groove obviously because the weather has a lot to do with it but I have really been inspired by the UK television series ‘Outlander’ with all the amazing knitwear in the costumes. This big cowl capelet was inspired by the main character and knitted flat and double stranded so it is super warm. It can be worn bundled up or as a capelet around the shoulders. As I was wandering outside with it the other day I managed to catch a Japanese Maple leaf.

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One thing I love about this year is the Fall colours the leaves of the gingko fallen to the ground are like moth wings.

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This week it was the finale of teaching the Arts Focus Sewing class and we finished with the kids making pipe cleaner dolls. I love the creativity of the kids when they make this project, some just want to make a naked superhero with a cape or others want to dress up their doll and even braid their hair. 12 out of the 26 kids I had in the class were K and 1st grade and having to sew with all the fine motor and focus these kids did a wonderful job and were so enthusiastic!

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Friday we enjoyed our holiday boutique at school from 3pm to 5:30pm – the turnout was fabulous! I really enjoyed chatting with friends I never see anymore and the focus this year was on kid vendors. The adults were there to inspire the kids and it was so good to hear that one of my sewing students had her table sewing scarves and accessories inspired by the scarf she purchased from me last year. It is so good to see sewing skills passed on and the kids create their own little ventures.

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Yes Bella just say what I mean – I have been preparing packages for Christmas to send to Australia and yes it is always a mission to do but once it is done, party! Here is Bella ready to go on a priority mail trip somewhere fun! Well, we will be too when we head on over to Whidbey Island this Friday, looking forward to some rest and relaxation and looking after 3 kitties but we will be missing out little fur babies 😦

Riding into the Holidays

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This weekend was a bike celebration weekend starting with a SVBC (Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition) party on Friday night and then our own Safe Mountain View holiday party on Sunday. I found this great poster from when I was in Australia where “A metre matters”  when driving by a cyclist that is 0.09 less than a yard so maybe here in the US they can start creating posters where ‘A Yard Matters’ and have a picture of a SUV next to a cyclist to promote bicycle safety on the road. First we need to see more green paint and some protected bike lanes which leads me to….

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Safe Mountain View (who I vounteer with) who is an independent pedestrian and bicycle advocacy where “We envision a network of safe trails, and bike boulevards that enable children and families to get anywhere in Mountain View and beyond by cycling or walking. This network will connect neighbourhoods to schools, parks, the public library, nearby shops and restaurants, and public transit”. I joined my friends Cherie and John on this mission and we are trying to make this a reality in the future. In fact our night ride the other night to the party was loads of fun and I suggested we have our board meetings on the bike 🙂

We had our party on Sunday at a friends house (who were generous enough to offer their house for the event). We had about 30 or so people come and chat about the dream of having protected bike lanes in Mountain View and to have 35 miles of connected trails by 2025. We have a council member chatting to a founding member of Safe Mountain View, Pat on the left and John on the right is chatting to my hubby about the future on the roads with protected bike lanes. So many European countries have this in place so to have protected bike lanes on the road is possible – let’s make it happen!

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Thursday we had our LED Cuff making day in the Arts Focus class and the kids absolutely love it. We always need extra volunteers with this project as it is really important to follow the directions carefully so the light comes on and the project works. This green LED cuff is by one of the kinder kids who embellished it with a little heart – he was so happy!

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I have been sharing making skills with my friend Cristiana from Pebble and Fire we have been sharing ceramics and sewing tricks. This time Cristiana wanted to make a table runner with a little pocket for a napkin and the cutlery out of this super beautiful fabric from Harts Fabrics in Santa Cruz. It looks fabulous with this setting and it came out so well, to be honest I did not know how it would look or sit on the table until I saw the pic and it’s perfect.

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Saturday was another holiday show over at Graham Middle School with friends of mine from the community who make these super cool craft kits – check them out at Kraft Kaboodle. I wanted to buy a gift for one of my sewing students who had a birthday party on the weekend. The added bonus was that I bought their next kit which is a beautful flower petal ball that is perfect for the holidays, I think I will take it with us on our winter break and make it for the tree. The excellent thing about it is that it teaches the running stitch by using pins to pin the petals on the stryfoam ball and it is such a beautiful finished product. As for my booth down the end of the aisle with my textile bags, hairbands, glasses pouch, coin purses and clothes with $5 infinity scarves and 20% off still could not draw in the crowds – it was a quiet day but the fact that my product was not in the stocking filler bracket of $5 and under it was a tough sell. Still each show I will learn from my experiences and with my plate full of study at the moment as soon as this stock is done so am I. It is nice to be walking a different path – time to sew just for fun!

 

Makers Gonna Make

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Last week I was in a flurry of making for a show with the Mountain View Parents Association on Saturday. It is a new energy of folks so it should be fun and the bonus is that it is at the community centre. I have made a lot of pouches for your glasses plus little coin or credit card purses that fit neatly into your pocket or evening bag. As I was chatting with my son I found this great little tool box he made with the scouts and I bought it off him for my table display. I had some gold spray paint and here it is living a new life holding my handmade goods.

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Some information on the holiday show here that I will be doing this weekend – if you are coming mention this post and get 20% off your total order. Shop local this holiday and support local makers – all good for everyone!

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As I was a bit of a busy bee this week with the sewing and then teaching at the end of the week and then I had to cook as a long lost friend was coming over for dinner – the week was over. Then came the weekend and now I am focussing on my studies!

The pic above is an amazing Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad I made on Thursday.

Ingredients

Green Tea Soba Noodles

Zucchini

Carrot

Watermelon Radish / Radish

Red Cabbage

Chickpeas

Coconut oil

For the chickpeas

Miso

Olive oil

Warm Water

For finishing

Sesame Oil

Method

  1. Cook your green tea soba noodles in boiling water following the packet instructions – I buy a brand from Australia.
  2.  Cut up all your veggies – I like mine raw – add them to a big bowl. Reserving the watermelon radish for finishing the dish
  3. Have your chick peas cooked and ready (use canned chickpeas, otherwise soak them overnight and cook them in a pressure cooker) and in a bowl mix the miso, olive oil and warm water slowly to create a sauce consistency. Add to the chickpeas and coat them in the sauce.
  4. In an iron skillet add some coconut oil and cook the miso coated chickpeas.
  5. Keeping an eye on the roll them around on the skillet until they look cooked – careful they do not burn!
  6. Take the chickpeas off the heat while you are draining the noodles with cold water. Add the drained noodles to the big bowl of vegetables and mix together.
  7. Pour a dressing amount of sesame oil over the veggies and coat them until they are shiny.
  8. Top with the chickpeas and watermelon radish and enjoy!

Such a super easy recipe and great for a weeknight – the prep is what takes the longest. Of course you can sub whatever vegetables you have on hand for any season – all it takes is some imagination!

And to finish my post this week with some inspiration I heard on the radio this morning from a favourite place of mine in the world – Hobart, Tasmania. This little boy is sewing teddy bears for charity and he taught himself to sew, I was so happy to hear this story it gives me hope for all those little fingers I teach sewing that it will not be a lost art after all!

 

A piece a Week – My Signature Sari Skirt

Playing around with circle skirts I discovered that with the incredible drape that a Sari has it makes a perfect skirt. The hem on these lovely fun skirts are over 6 yards so it takes me an hour to apply the finish to the hem. This is my favorite as I love the colors and mix of the patterns. This was added to my collection for my final Holiday Gift Show last weekend – how good it feels to be able to relax now! 
Get swinging in this Sari – which sold to a friend for their grand daughter as a gift! 

At my friends house we had a holiday and gift boutique which was fun meeting some new people in a pocket of Los Altos I am familiar with my acupuncturist and grocery store there. Ideally I think with shows at home, publicity is key and maybe shoot for earlier in the season when shopping is on peoples minds. I think last weekend was just for last minute gifts with a lower price tag. Still it is always a learning experience with each show that I do. 

My table of goodies ready for sale

Last week was also the final class for the Fall session of our Arts Focus classes at school! It was so good to see the kids really enjoy making the pipe cleaner dolls – so much imagination in  making them. The first pic is of the group quilt project that the children made the squares for and they were quilting buttons on it to complete the quilt before binding. What an amazing achievement for the whole class to work on two quilts. Next up in January is the Art Show at City Hall and that is always exciting to see each art class present their works.

A pipe cleaner doll by a 2nd grade boy

Love the hair on this pipe cleaner doll made by a 3rd grade girl 

Oh and how can I forget on Thursday night last week the kids had project night and they each presented to me their projects that they have been working on in class. My son working on this amazing Family Trip Project and virtually booked all the flights, accommodation and activities using his math skills for us to go to Lanai, Hawaii (I don’t know how we can access the place 98% of it is owned by some rich guy). He also presented a 3D printed project which was a holder for his ear buds for his computer – they got to use engineering and design skills, how lucky is this 10 year old – working on real world projects!!

My daughter designed a habitat for a venus fly trap – check one of them out here, looking very healthy indeed. The project was fascinating learning about what the fly trap needs to survive. I had to try and catch a fruit fly with tweezers to feed this guy on project night – maybe I will have to employ my Karate and chopsticks next time to be successful (watch The Karate Kid).

Feed me Seymour!! (Little Shop of Horrors – reference)

I was so happy on Sunday I went for a bike ride but by the time I reached half way and turned around I saw this huge grey cloud I rode straight into and got drenched by the rain, it felt so good!!