Saturday, June 27, 2009


To start my 35th year off right, here are a few things that make me happy....very happy.

An organized fabric stash! (It is a rare sight, my friends!)

Sharing these with my family. What are those scrumptious morsels you ask?? They happen to be cookie brownies~~ make brownie batter, spread it in the pan and add dollops of chocolate chip cookie dough. Bake. {350 for 45 mins} We enjoyed them tonight sundae style.... topped with home-made vanilla ice cream and hot caramel sauce. I would have stopped to take a photo of my sundae before I ate it but, well, sorry... it is my birthday! (And yes, we ate them after reveling in burgers on the grill, big, juicy burgers, not the turkey burgers we normally eat! Could I indulge any more??)

A note, in French, in my birthday card from Brian.

This one actually brought me to tears! We are heading back to the City of Love. A place where I feel a connection like no other. What a surprise! I can't wait!

A little reflection on my birthday~~I will admit, I dreaded turning 30 (And yes, that was 5 years ago!) It seemed so old! 30. Ha! My 30's have been the BEST! So much better than my 20's. We are settled, moving through our life plans. Solid parents with a plan for today, tomorrow and forever. I know there will be bumps along the way, but I feel like I am the most ready I have even been to handle them. I am so fortunate to have a family that is supportive, smart, fun and most of all loving, to help me along in this journey. Strong, solid, 30's!

Au revoir!
I apparently have a trip to plan!


ps. If anyone has any Paris suggestions or favorite spots, bring them on! We were there last year but only for 4 days and it was waaaay to short.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Out the Door.

Lots of things out the door this week....and it's only Tuesday! I have been continuing on my summer cleaning craze and have moved to closets and my studio. Did I mention I hate to clean? Gosh, anyone would think I was pregnant and nesting or something. I am NOT pregnant... Just still on that aromatherapy high from a few days ago. I may do a studio de-stash in my etsy shop in the next few weeks. I have a huge stash of vintage linens and fabrics that have been sitting for along time. I use to sew with them a lot but have kind of moved on from that. They are beautiful though. Chenille and tablecloths and lots of embroidery. Lovelies....but I need to free up some space. I'll keep you all posted on that.

I sent the fab hubby out the door in this on Monday......his fathers day gift from me. Apparently it was a big hit! Complete with Gardenhouse label for the ever so important tie flip! I got the idea and the pattern here. I tweaked it a little as I wanted it to be a bit wider at the base. It was quite simple and really fun to make something for Brian. It is all hand sewn, which I am not the best at. But I think I'll be getting some more practice as I had a blast making this and am planning on more. Maybe a new tie a week!?! Maybe we could start a tie a week blog challenge. Won't he look fabulous? Lucky Him ;)

And I didn't really send him out the door. He leaves too early for "Summertime Simone." I could only manage to open one eye and mumble "looks great, babe" before I feel back to sleep...until 9 am. Thank you very much!

I sent this out the door today.

Another fun one. This brooch is to die for!

This afternoon, the girls and I went out the door to gather ingredients for this. I was reading the fabulous Heather Bailey's blog and she had posted the most delicious sounding ice cream recipe. We made it tonight minus the cream cheese and it was amazing. So good it's bad! Were heading to the beach tomorrow...that ice cream won't help with the bikini body, but whatever! It was goooood! And I ate over half of the candied pretzels (which have three ingredients-- butter, sugar, pretzels. mm hmm. yep.) before they even made it to the ice cream. Fabulous. Seeking some self control...apparently that went out the door too!

I'm out!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day.

Happy Fathers Day to a dad who knows how to laugh and play and make his girls feel like there is no one more special in the world. We love you baby!

{I could look at this picture all day. Shannon Stewart of Madison Ave Photography is a genius.}

We'll be having some family fun this Fathers day. Lounging and go-karts and ice cream and swimming (if the sun decides to come out.) We hope all the dads out there have a fabulous day doing whatever it is YOU want to do.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

Yesterday the girls and I went to Michael Levine in the city. I love going there....they have everything and are in the heart of the fabric district. It is the biggest most wonderful fabric store ever. And it has an almost raw feeling to it. It's not a quilt store or your standard fabric store, it has a lofty warehouse feel to it. All work, no play. (Although, really, lots of play!)

Picked up some spiffies and ran home to finish a few orders. I am finally caught up! I can't believe it! I still have more to do but am feeling like I am back to my comfortable delivery time. I do quote 7-10 days to make custom bags or made to order items but I hate to take that long.... It stresses me out! Plus, I hate waiting that long for things I buy and don't think others should have to wait either.
Since I'm feeling so good about being caught up I think it might be time to do a little spring cleaning this weekend....oh wait, it's summer....summer cleaning. One thing you should know about me is that I hate cleaning. Despise it. I like things to be clean, but it always works better if someone else can clean it rather than myself. Join the club, right? I don't know why this is...maybe because I feel like I already pick up and straighten and neaten through out the days so scrubbing and dusting is just the straw that breaks the camels back. It really does get me in a bad mood. Until I discovered this!!

The best smelling cleaning products know to woman....or man (if you know any that clean, and I'm not talking "do the dishes" clean. I mean "clean the toilets and scrub the tub" clean). It's like aromatherapy while you are cleaning the kitchen. No joke. Today I am a cleaning fool! A happy cleaning fool! Calm, aromatherapied cleaning fool. Which is a miracle, because cleaning usually puts me in a bad mood. (It should wear off by Tuesday which is when the cleaning gal comes so that's just fine!) So go get your self some Mrs. Meyers Clean Day. Just a tidbit for a happier, cleaner, more relaxed you!
While I was out shopping for aromatherapy cleaning products I somehow managed to pick up a few new pairs of shoes.....the shoe store was right next door and I did drive all the way across town, so I figured I'd save some money in gas and go in, since I was already there, ya know. And cleaning is always more fun in new shoes anyway!

I love good workmanship. And both Sam Edelman and Max Studio has that. Checkout the soles of these shoes...if you get lost in New York, you better hope you're wearing these babies. I am planning ahead for our New york trip, yes, I am . And that little gold buckle. LOVE! Tapping into my chic modern JCrew nerve. They have some fabulous jewelry that I am eyeing to go with these shoes.

Miss A loves the camera and when I am taking photos, she likes to try to get in them...even if it is just a finger or toe. So when I was taking these pics, she was sitting on a chair putting her feet on the trunk that the shoes were on. I looked up and the light was perfect! So here is Miss A today, with her bed head. Isn't she lovely?? She is good workmanship too!

Tomorrow will be back to the Gardenhouse for more of this..... Dresses, bags and and vintage buttons to boot!

It's been a busy few days!
Hope you have a wonderful today and an even better tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cute, clever, and just a little flirty.

Not my words, Anna Maria's. SHE is a genius! "The Ruthie Clutch, stylish shape & sensible size! Cute, clever and just a little flirty, the Ruthie Clutch is a nostalgic little bag with charming details" And she is correct. Not only is the little clutch fabulous, the pattern was honestly one of the easiest I have ever used. Do you ever sit down and read through (or try to read through) a pattern before you begin and it might as well be written in a foreign language? So many of them are too wordy and unless you have the pieces in front of you to turn, flip, flop and fold there is no way any of the written stuff is making any sense. Not Anna Maria's! I read the pattern to get a feel for it and honestly felt like she was there talking me through making it...and I hadn't even cut anything yet. It is amazing how simple things can be when patterns are well written! Thanks Anna Maria! So all ya'll head on over to her shop and get yourself a little cute, clever, flirty clutch pattern. (if you can make it past the picture of her 6 stunning children!) I think she'll even be kitting them with fabric soon too.....not the kids, the patterns!!

I had some fun the last few days making her Ruthie Clutch....a few of them actually. Like a little traveling band.

Cute, clever, and just a little flirty. Enjoy



Monday, June 15, 2009

Coffee Talk and Fabric Shopping

I have been M.I.A with the girls. We took a long weekend trip up to Northern California to visit family. It was fabulous. While I was there, I was lucky enough to squeeze in a visit with the most talented Bari J. She is just the sweetest and most open and inspiring gal. I "borrowed" this pic of her booth at market from her blog...thanks Bari! I got a sneak peek of her next line, which is going to be just as fabulous as her first one....extremely versatile and different from everything else. Our fabric talk landed us at Quilters Inn, her favorite fabric shop in Danville, CA. WOW, I must say, that's not your Mama's quilt shop! Chock full of amazing fabrics, and the MOST inspiring quilts. You really wouldn't believe the work these ladies do. This is where Bari perfected her collage style and techniques. I wish I had some pics to share with you but I left the camera sitting on my brothers counter. Uh!

So now I am home to a pile of orders and fresh inspiration. And I'm itching to get some new stuff in the shop so head on over there and buy up what is left of the made to order bags, once they are gone, they are gone. Stay tuned this week, I'll be posting lots of lucious pics of the new goods.

Oh and one more thing, there are some really drool-worth posts on some of my fabric designer friends blogs this week. Jennifer Paganelli had her spring shop. Seriously ya'll...can she just adopt me. I need to move next door to her or something (although I think I would end up being that pesky neighbor who never leaves)....all that fabric, pillows, quilts, dresses, AND saddle pads with pink pom pom fringe...go check it out. DELISH! Enjoy. Oh, and if you'd like one of those fabulous saddle pads, contact Nancy here (Nancy Deweir Geaney makes these AND she used to be a super model...talented and beautiful... yep, really.)

Off to the Gardenhouse....on my pony with the cute saddle pad.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Here comes Sunshine

Can we talk about this weather???? We're in the "June Gloom," which comes every year. We have had glorious weeks of sun and swimming, maxi dresses and flip-flops and now down comes the gloom. I live in Southern California, it's JUNE and cloudy and chilly and I'm wearing Uggs. It's amazing how the weather affects my mood, especially at this time of year. Please. Someone. SUN. Here comes sunshine.

Before having 14 seven-year-old girls over to camp in the backyard last night, I finished this for a great client. This gal has such similar tastes to mine. She is a "more is more" gal, loves vintage, loves modern, loves mixing....and she lives in Texas--and we know what they say about Texas. It is always fun to collaborate with Amy. And it also happens to be Amy's birthday this week. So Amy, if you are reading this, Happy Birthday!! Wishing you a wonderful year of sunshine and fun.



Saturday, June 6, 2009

Still at it.

Even with a wrapped finger, I'm still at it. Moving at a more sensible speed now though!
I have a dear friend who has bought numerous bags from me, her older daughter has one or two and her younger daughter does not stop asking for her own. She just graduated from 6th grade and will be off to middle school next year. One of her graduation gifts was a messenger bag that she has been wanting since I did one for her mom for Mother's Day. Her mom brought her over last week and she picked out two fabrics, the Anna Griffin floral that I used on the main panel of the bag and the Amy Butler red dot. I got a call the next day that she also had her eye on the peacock brooch that was on my brooch board. It really is the cutest brooch and has been waiting for the right bag. If Geneva (isn't that the cutest name??) wants it, Geneva shall have it. Gosh that gal has good taste for a 6th grader! She loves all things mod. She is just as adorable and sweet and her mom and older sister!

So I am feeling better and back to work. Don't tell The Big B (hubby) though, because although I can sew, I certainly cannot slice anything, cook, clean, do dishes or do laundry. Just not quite there yet ;)

Have a happy weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

It's been quite a week here so far! Plenty of The Good-
Miss O's dance recital, which she rocked! My favorite flea market, which I rocked! And the last week of school, which just flat out rocks! We are all ready for summer vacation. The girls are looking forward to being in the pool until 8 o'clock at night. I am looking forward to no homework, dinners outside by the pool, breakfast on the back patio and lounging, gardening, and sewing with the girls. Miss O and Miss A will be attending a few afternoon camps, including one modeled after Project Runway complete with a fashion show at the end! For two girls who both have a "catwalk walk" it's right up their alley...and mine!
Sunday morning at my favorite flea market was fantastic. I went on a treasure hunt and found these--
Look for some of them to be adorning my latest bag designs. This one is my favorite.

The last week of school is always a bit chaotic for me...but it is always loads of fun. I am usually running around trying to coordinate fun school projects and teacher gifts (which usually includes loads of sewing on my part) I really love doing this. Our teachers are the best. they work so hard for our children and we are very fortunate to have women and men in our community that care for our girls as much as we do. So last night I was hurrying to get some last minute things done in the studio and got attacked by this: The Bad

Everyone should be really careful when using their rotary cutter. I have trimmed nails before but never actually hit my finger until last night.... Which apparently made up for all those close calls.-- To the ER I went! Thank you my dear friend Cindy for driving me! So this makes up The Ugly:

It says on there "the wound cannot be fully covered by sewing the edges" Whaaaat? You can't SEW it? How un-crafty of you! What if I bring extra fabric?? Needless to say, I will be resting my hand a bit for the next day or two. It will heal in the next 2-6 weeks. OUCH, that's all, just ouch. That end of year sewing will somehow get done..... at a bit more civilized pace than before!

Happy Summer and smooth sewing.