A piece a Week – Skirts to dance in for Diwali

Thank goodness last week is over – it was crazy busy with a mid week show at a local school in the Los Altos Hills. Starting off with a book club meeting and ending in a Diwali celebration with much more in between – I must say the weekend and time to breathe and just watch movies was heavenly. 
Continuing my circle skirt theme I experimented with some sari fabric and this amazing sewn striped fabric from a shower curtain – this skirt is a beauty! 
Made from a shower curtain this skirt will swing at all the holiday parties
This is the best dancing skirt as I tried it out at the Diwali celebration at school on Friday 
I had a show with my friend Savi from Recipe Sack at Gardner Bullis Charter School up in the Los Altos Hills. Certainly a very “special” crowd lives up there I was very happy to come back down to Mountain View that evening when it was all over. It was an experience in cultural differentiation that I will live and learn by. 
My booth at the show of about 8 vendors
Thursday I taught the Arts Focus class and the kids enjoyed learning about quilting and some even made a fleece pillow to take home with yarn tassels. I came home and could not get into my house as the lock was jammed and what a drama that was – keep calm and carry on as my son would say…
Friday was the Diwali celebration at our school hosted by the South Asian Families including myself as I have Sri Lankan roots! I helped out with the Rangoli with a friend and saw beautiful designs & color created by the kids. 
Creating a base design (pic by A. Son)

My friend Lavanya made this outside the principals office – I love it! 

Saturday was Caturday for us with a cat party for two of our little friends who turned 1 year old and 5 years old. There were cosplay cat ears and cat tails for the kids to wear and Hello Kitty made an appearance to play with the little ones.

Missy the cat

To end the weekend with some rain Jonathan (from FabMo) and I made a trip to Barnes and Noble for their Mini Maker Faire at their store in Eastridge, San Jose. Jonathan the co-founder of FabMo, 2 other makers and myself presented the FabMo story to the customers and inspired them to make with fabric – all it takes is a needle and thread! It was a interesting concept and people were interested in coming to visit FabMo at their next distribution event – yay!

Be inspired with these amazing fabrics!

A piece a Week – Spring Forward in a Japanese Silk Shift Dress

I am off to Portland this weekend to visit my friends and to go to visit an art exhibit at the Portland Art Museum – Italian Style, Fashion since 1945. And as it is just me going on a weekend away, this week has been so busy with lots of happenings, maybe just too much! Mama has to work hard for some time off with friends and cocktails 🙂
The clocks went forward on Saturday night and it sucked getting up early on Monday at 6am as it is dark and cold. I was just enjoying getting up early and watching the sun rise but now no dice 😦 So with an early morning and a busy Monday – Exercise, Creative Advice Meeting with a friend at the library, Lunch at Chef Chu’s with the exercise ladies and errands I was beat. On top of all that my husband and son were off on a school field trip to Sacramento by train. With the inspiration of a lunch date I wanted to make a new dress (as you can never have enough dresses in your closet!!) I found this Japanese silk fabric I had been saving forever, I cannot even remember where it came from but I dearly love it. I found a dress pattern with pockets in the front that I enjoy making and is very versatile so I used that and came up with this cute, short shift dress. I wore a lemon vintage cardi as it was chilly and ombre tights with mary jane heels. It is always fun to get dressed up especially for a 3 hour weekday lunch with vino!
Japanese silk shift with beads from Prague
At Chef Chu’s – the outfit after a couple of glasses of wine
Lunch was pretty amazing and presented beautifully! We somehow manage to always visit Chef Chu around Chinese New Year and it is such a pleasure to enjoy the food, tea, wine and friends. Chatting to someone new each year and sharing common interests is fun in a class of around 40 plus ladies. 
The appetizer – shrimp with a lotus root chip in a martini glass!

Deep fried Rock Cod

I loved my fortune from dessert
This one thing I love about spring and that is the smell of flowers – imagine the scent of jasmine in this picture, ahhhh!
Going back to Sunday we celebrated Holi with some friends of ours – unfortunately we got there late and caught the tail end but lucky there was still color ready to be cover everything! I loved the effect of all the colors mingling together, what a beautiful way to celebrate spring!

Hey who did that?? There is pink all over my face!!
So with the boys out of town we had another field trip with the younger grades to Deer Hollow Farm – this has to be my favorite field trip for 1st grade! This trip focuses on animals and products. The meat side of things is something I do not really appreciate but the fibre and textile arts is my cup of tea! See this little lamb named Pepper she just made my day!! 
Baaa – what a cutie you are Pepper!!

Weaving strips of fabric after my knitting and crochet demonstration

And to top the day off I was not cooking for two we went out to sushi and dessert at Alexanders Patisserie. Any excuse to go to Alexanders, it has to be my favorite luxurious outing downtown. To sit and enjoy a cup of tea and an impeccable dessert is just heaven.

New to the line up – bon bons with a chocolate ganache inside (kind of like a Lindt ball)

White chocolate Mousse with a vanilla pod, heavenly

A piece a Week – A Geometric top and a trip to the SF Symphony

The joy of field trips with the kiddos and this week was wonderful as we did a full school day trip to San Francisco to see the Symphony at Davies Hall. It was a splendid day though very tiring with so many kids to keep an eye on. We had all 3 classes of our 1st graders on the trip so it was extra busy! The day started off on a bus ride and then the kids made it to the line for their snack with another 300 kids from around the Bay Area – whoa chaos, yes!!
Inside Davies Hall is beautiful with the symphony at the front – I loved the lighting and the sound was just incredible. We were in the front so we got to see the musicians and the conductor way up close. The conductor was so good with the kids and the kids really enjoyed him too! 
Are you ready for the Symphony??

The SF Symphony warm up

I found this stunning watermelon radish in my CSA box this week and it is just delicious in this salad of arugula and carrot sticks with a lemon balsamic dressing. I loved the colour of the watermelon radish when I cut it and seeing how vibrant it is, it just had to be placed on a plate to look at and then devoured 🙂

Delicious watermelon radish jazzing up the plate

It was finally the weekend though it was no rest for the wicked with a Scouting event on Saturday – it was race day and the Pinewood Derby was happening. I volunteered with the decorations with some friends and we got the place looking fancy in no time. After all was settled it was time to go out for lunch and conveniently for us there was an amazing French Bakery across the road. It was serendipitous as I had read about Voyageur du Temps in the local paper that week and could not wait to try it out!  I had the Salmon Tartine with capers, french shallots and a hard boiled egg sliced on top of the salmon and slice of thick bread. With the lunch I had a dessert of a Marron Danish which was puff pastry with a chestnut creme in the centre and a roasted chestnut inside – divine! And to drink I had a Afghani Chai Tea with organic Indian tea, ginger, organic red poppy flowers, green cardamon, star anise, close, black pepper and organic spices – it was an hour well spent being happy with food!

A beautiful lunch for two – my hubby and me (he had the Salami Sandwich on a croissant)

Sunday I spent getting Meyer Lemons ready for something new – dehydrated lemons for tea over the summer time. Here they are though some may be a bit overdone. I had them in the oven on 170 degrees F for hours on end as I do not have a dehydrator – I tried them in tea and they are quite lovely hydrated again.

Lemons ready for summer

I bottled up my first batch of Limoncello as it was ready for it’s sugar syrup and as I was making up the lemons with the sugar, honey and water I used an immersion blender to squish up the lemons and oops not a good thing with squashing all the white pith into the sugar water making it a little bitter. My solution was to strain out all the white bits through a nut milk bag and hopefully getting the sweetness back – tonight I tried it and it is very lemony though not as sweet as my batch last year. Now I am trying it the Internet recipe way with Everclear Grain Alcohol and leaving the lemon zests for around 48 days – let us see how this batch turns out!

Woot 75.5% alcohol – do not drink this stuff! Though it is OK for Limoncello, apparently?!?

Sunday afternoon and the weather was still beautiful so we went on a 9 mile bike cruise with the kiddos along the bay trail. We saw lots of birds and a Great Blue Heron and its buddy the Snowy Egret on the trail. Unfortunately as we were cruising along we saw a few skeletons of birds from the land predators -bobcats, racoons and feral cats looking for easy prey.

Getting home before the sun sets!

On Friday I finally drafted my pattern for the Geometric top I have been working on – drafting and correcting with fabric is a job that requires a heck of a lot of concentration. Friday I had the time to fine tune the pattern and finally here is the top. It was certainly a bit tricky to put together but once I worked out the ‘tangrams’ with the fabric it all came together. I am looking forward to making more out of the sari fabric I have in my stash. This pattern was from the book Burda Sewing Vintage Modern – published two years ago but for me nothing but classic styles throughout. I am looking forward to making more outfits from this book.

The front with an abstract shadow

All Ready to go! 

Lovely back V of the top

25 days of posts #21 a cuppa tea and a good ol chat

Being the last day of school and the last day for mummy only time – I met a friend of mine at a place I’ve been wanting to visit for a while. Bumble in Los Altos, my neighbours have told me about it and I do like the fact that it is kid friendly and has an awesome fish tank. So over the holidays I will have to take my son for a cuppa and some time with the fish. I was thoroughly impressed with the cafe as the service was super and the food was delicious – my friend and I shard a GF waffle with plump sultanas and apple compote with maple syrup and whipped butter. I love the fact that the menu is local and organic and by the taste of this one meal, I think I would love to come back for more! I think we plan to as the parking is easy and it is worth the trip if you like cafes with great decor and good looking bathrooms 🙂 also it is close to a a park for the kids to play afterwards.

Organic Jade tea – perfect for a blustery day