Falling for you!

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Despite my complete lack of time to be productive last week with a whole week of minimum days with the middle school child, I  did manage to make some tote bags as they are a project that can be completed in a 2-hour gap. The dress and skirts I have made over the last couple of weeks I finally completed them and wanted to style them for a photo shoot with a Fall theme. Check out my sugar pie pumpkin!

I have always loved the red fabric ever since I found it at FabMo and I have made a bag with it and it was beautiful, I did always want to make an item of clothing with it. I love the tunic dress and as this fabric is quite heavy it works as a dress for the Fall weather. And I love it with the booties I found in Melbourne when I “accidentally” wandered into a Camper store while waiting for my friend for lunch. They are very comfortable with a chunky heel and I love how versatile they are. When I came back to California I looked over my collection of Camper shoes – now I know what to say when people say do you collect anything? Yeah, Camper shoes I now have 6 pairs and 2 of the same style  🙂

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I also wanted to showcase the skirts I have been making and combining it with a vintage top I found. The tights are from Treasure Island Flea Market and the boots are a pair of Camper boots I bought 5 years ago! That is what I love about Camper shoes are their quality and their lifespan. I have found some lovely fabric in my stash from FabMo and each of these skirts pairs well with the top. The accessories are Swarovski crystal pieces my mum gave me when I was in Australia and they are rocking the outfits – get it!!

Here are some of the bags I completed this week using denim jeans for an oversize tote that I road tested the other day and they are perfect for carrying all sorts of goods such as water, sunscreen, and food. The pockets on the exterior are super handy for keys, smaller containers, and snacks on the go. As I was looking through my fabric stash I found the forest fabric that I found a very long time ago and wanted to make something that kept the fabric intact as it is a beautiful linen, another big tote came to mind and I found the perfect fabric for the back – see here on my Instagram post. The diamond pattern fabric is by a legendary fabric company out of Thailand Jim Thompson and this was a fabric sample I picked up which was too small for apparel but perfect for a bag. And I found the perfect pocket fabric sample in a chevron fabric to match.

Friday was busy with the school Walkathon at the end of the day. Whew, it was a big week but we gotta keep on walking or even dancing and maybe we can catch a Pikachu in the field – no Pokemon GO for us!

Missy walked 67 laps only 8 laps shy of getting the coveted tie dye t-shirt. She was walking and walking and not wanting to give up – the kids were allowed to run at the end but her feet were hurting. So I said to her, hopefully, next year we will have some better shoes for you and be prepared, maybe with some extra hiking! This year she threw off her Converse and walked in her socks and at the end of that, she said her feet and legs were so sore after walking many miles and she is still recovering today which is Monday.

Next on the agenda for the weekend, was a sleepover party for my soon to be 11-year old! I enjoyed a bike ride and yoga on the Saturday morning so I could be prepared for 6 boys sleeping downstairs in the lounge room. I made an amazing blueberry lemon pound cake as the birthday cake and it was delicious especially enjoyed by the birthday boy. The sleepover for the kids was a lot of fun but as for the parents with the interrupted sleep, it was all over rover – still, I remember sleepovers and how late we stayed up chatting to our friends. This time, however, the kids had their little electronic devices to play too, I think they all appreciated the freedom and the next day it was down to the park to play with zero screen time all day! (For my kids anyway).

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Keep on moving don’t stop…

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What a crazy week it was last week with 3 minimum days and the schedule totally upside down – I really felt like this doll, flat out by the end of the week!

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Still, the weekend was big and the 2nd Annual Summer Bike Ride was something Safe Mountain View has had in the pipeline for the last 6 months. I was a part of the ride committee as I volunteer for Safe Mountain View, to promote safety on the streets. Our bike ride on the weekend was a success with just under 100 people showing up with their families to ride their bike around the city of Mountain View.

We rode in ‘bike buses’ of groups of 6-8 people taking it to the streets and riding together creating this amazing feeling as cyclists on the road. To have that sense of empowerment and pausing traffic ever so slightly was the best! Even some of the motorist were keen to join in the fun!

To ride in a group the kids felt safe too and I am thankful for this ride as it really encouraged my daughter and gave her the confidence that on a bike you can go where ever you like as long as you are safe and aware on the road. Now she wants to ride to school, sounds good to me as I like any excuse to get on my red bike and ride around. After the ride, we had a picnic back at Bubb Park and enjoyed ice cream after our well-deserved picnic lunches. Everyone was happy to have some ice cream and there were even seconds for anyone who wanted more!

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On Sunday we met some friends who live in San Francisco at the Treasure Island Flea Market for the day. Coincidentally on this day, there was a vintage trailer display and the interiors were so inspiring. The only thing to get a family trailer in action you need some sort of big truck so our Subaru sedan will not do the job. The teardrop or canned ham trailers are perfect for sleeping two which means we leave the kids out camping in a tent, maybe not! I have to get my hands on the book that was being displayed at the sites just to get an inside on design ideas.

I absolutely loved the colour schemes of the trailers – mid-century blues, pinks, and greens. The Shasta trailer was a popular choice of the day with a cost of just under $10,000 with an original interior it seems like a dream at this moment in time!

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As it was a fun flea market I wanted to road test a new skirt I made last week for the upcoming Textile Art Boutique I will be a part of. The skirt worked well with the wind and just created a little bell when the gusts of wind came underneath – so no flashes of my leggings! The other bonus as Treasure Island is about an hours drive away in the car the minimal crushing of the fabric for the drive was excellent, so I will be making more of these this week and getting my inventory up and happening. I have until mid-October to get a bunch of new stock together so I better get moving!!

I’m free to do what I want any old time – not really, though the idea is exciting!

It was the first week off for mama time in 10 weeks – it was just pure ecstasy to be able to have some freedom to create and work in my sewing room. My ideas were overflowing and the motivation to make something an all-time high, which is probably why I made two skirts and a top just to experiment! I really love the style of this skirt as I have always enjoyed the skirts my daughter wore effortlessly with zero zippers and an elastic waist – I love the waistband on the front of this skirt as it reduces the number of gathers in the front. I do really love the big floral skirt with the hand gathering at the front waistband, it is such a fun skirt to wear maybe a bit short for me!

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Repurposed waterproof skirt, score it at Etsy

The Polar Bear fox skirt is a beautiful print in a thin corduroy fabric. I was making a bigger size so I can have a range of sizes available. I love this fabric and am sad to let it go – so check out the sizing if you like animals and spoil yourself with a one of a kind skirt for next season. Both these prototype skirts I am selling at my Etsy store, so see the links above and if you want free shipping with that, go to the contact link on my blog and I will send you a code to use.

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As I love the yellow top that I wore for these skirts I wanted to replicate it as a top for all skirts – this is in a tee shirt style that I was experimenting with so I will try it with another fabric and see how it turns out. I have used a continuous bias binding on the neckline and the sleeve detail and I love how easy it was to create the bias binding using a tutorial from Craftsy.

I really enjoyed my time to create and  I listened to a wonderful audiobook I recently discovered called Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear which was an excellent resource to get me back into the swing of things. Now whenever I am working I will just put an audio book on and work away – as long as I am not writing! What a great way to multi-task! I am now listening to To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, so groundbreaking for its time and kind of surreal to listen to living here in the USA where times have “supposed” to have progressed in regard to racism.

On to a more food orientated topic and assistance with working efficiently. I found my fave cafe downtown sells a flat white. So I wandered in to meet a friend and talk about her summer vacation in Italy and our vacay in Australia. I ordered the flat white, check out the pic above and guess which one is the flat white? The American style flat white is the one of the right! Now to me coming from Melbourne I expected a flat white to look like the coffee on the left, which is a cappuccino! The flat white they made was perfectly fine but it was a bit low on the foam at the top and at least it did not burn my mouth which is why a flat white is my favorite. Now I know for the future that I will order the cappuccino with soy and see what I get, fingers crossed I can get it the way I am used to!

 

Adding to the fun of getting back to a somewhat normal week where the kids are at school and I am at home working on my creative projects – let me say it again, heaven! We have had to work into our schedule on a Thursday to go to the farm to clean out the chicken coop – which is a kids job and as their payment they get to hang out with the chickens and the pigeons and quails as much as they like. Hanging out with the birds is a great motivator for them and they get their job done – so far it has been an hour to complete the cleaning and feeding of the coop and the aviary and with some luck, they will reduce that time!

Here is Ruby in all her teenage glory looking good as the Production Little Red Hen that she is. We are looking forward to next March after the chickens are 12 months old they will start to lay eggs. Missy is in the aviary holding the cutest little male quail – we are looking for some females if anyone has any hanging around? Then we can have little teeny weeny quail eggs. The kids got to keep the pigeon eggs and bantam eggs as a cleaning reward the other day and enjoyed them for a tiny breakfast the next day.

What a week it was and I was so happy to have had a weekend of doing nothing after the holidays of planning stuff with friends and family over the summer – farewell to the summer holidays and let’s get on this hamster wheel of craziness!!

A piece a week – a wrap skirt for Urban Bike Riding

I found this very cool wrap skirt pattern from a vintage pattern scored at FabMo (you know that they have many treasures to find!). As I have a skort I found at REI that was good to ride in, I thought that a wrap skirt would do the biz. This skirt I embellished with some scraps I had for a bit of experimentation to mix up the dark grey corduroy. It is fully lined in gingham and since the first prototype I have added buttons and it sits more on the waistline which with an A line looks super cute! 
Fancy going for a ride!

As it turned out I took this skirt for a ride this week and it was a winner with having the wrap cover the front and not being too flappy in the winds due to the heavier fabric. I am planning to make more the FabMo show in October. I think with an element of sewing on your own buttons to custom fit the waistband.

The skirt with vintage buttons from my stash

I made this butterfly skirt ages ago from a dress I found at a thrift shop on the way to Mt Shasta. It was a vintage Hawaiian dress with a built in bra & halter neck- so not to my style at all. In the end I cut the skirt off as I love the print and made it into an elastic waist skirt. I took this skirt riding the other day in heels and it sat really well on the bike without any blown away skirt issue (I did not have any tights on underneath!) – so this is another winner I will implement in my range for the Fall!

Riding in a skirt and wedges – what fun! 

And to make the week extra special – being the first week with the kids back at school and my other half on a conference trip in Seattle I treated myself to this Thai Herbal massage – I remember these fondly when I spent time in Thailand. Sawadee is just down the road from our house and so convenient! It made me feel more grounded and after 10 weeks of looking after the kids it was time to look after Mama! After the massage I had sushi next door at Joy Sushi where I sat at the bar and had a very tasty well made vegetarian roll with brown rice with a fresh salmon sake nigiri and to top it off – the service was very fast for lunch, I think I will have to go again. As I don’t wander my local strip mall too often I discovered a hair & nail salon run by some very friendly Vietnamese women – I treated myself to a manicure and a pedicure and an eyebrow wax. There is no feeling like treating yourself to something good, it makes you appreciate these times and that they should be repeated often! So I was quite amazed at what I found in my local neighborhood strip mall!

I feel just like this Lucky cat!