Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Blog Day!

It's Blog Day. It's a day to celebrate our blogging community, and possibly discover some new blogs. In the spirit of new discoveries, I am listing 5 non-crafty blogs that I read and enjoy.

101 Cookbooks. This was the first blog I started reading, before I knew what blogs were. Heidi has fantastic recipes and delicious photos. She has also put out a cookbook that is definitely on my wish list.

Young and Broke. Very possibly the second blog I ever read. After reading Heidi's blog, I came across personal finance blogs that were really helpful for getting me out of my post-college-poor-money-choice phase, and planning for the future. Amanda has an approachable voice, very good advice and a helpful list of other personal finance blogs.

Unclutterer. Helpful and often humorous tips for cleaning up, organizing and making your environment more livable.

Dinner Daily. What's for dinner tonight? This is the daily dreaded question. This blog aims to prevent the hasty decision-making and (daily) quick trips to the store. Every weekend Jorth posts a list of the week's meals with a shopping list and kitchen staples. Then she posts the yummy and healthy recipes, like today's recipe Chilli Polenta Chips with green salad.

Sacatomato. For all the Sacramento locals! Great reviews of restaurants and food events in the area.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

V, W, X, Y, Z

V is for... very lucky to have seen these guys grow from this...

To this!

They look so different, so grown up! Well, Devin still makes goofy faces, and if Mike is any indication of the future, he always will. And they've even gotten older since then... I can't believe Ali is going to be starting 5th grade and Devin 2nd tomorrow...

W is for... WhipUp's long list of wonderful tutorials.

X is for... cross stitch. I used to do a lot of cross stitch during the summers for entries into the county fair. I'm really liking the new cross stitching I've been seeing.

Y is for... yard sales, of course! I love them, and I love Mike, Ali and Devin even more for loving them as well, because dragging them from sale to sale just wouldn't be as much fun.

Z is for... zippers. Here's a great article on how to put in zippers.

Ya-hoo! I'm done! And now you know my A B C's...

U is for...


U-handblog purse handles I won in this giveaway. I've been dying to make this bag, and now I'm one material closer! Just one more project to add to the ever-growing (and slightly intimidating) list...

T is for...


Tea. After living in England, I discovered that the stereotype of British people loving tea is totally accurate. We drank tea constantly. Our days were measured by intervals between cups of tea. It was marvelous. Ever since I came home, everyone's go-to gift for me is tea. I'm not complaining, mind you, I love a nice cup of Earl Grey. Before I lived in Bristol, my grandmother took me to England and we went to High Tea at Harrods. I still remember the little old ladies in hats and gloves sipping tea and eating dainty cucumber sandwiches from the three-tiered silver trays.
Picture found here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

S is for...


Soccer. Our first soccer season, and Mike is the head coach. Does he know anything about soccer? No, but apparently you don't have to. This is going to be an interesting couple months...

R is for...


Records. There's something about the scratchy sound and the whole process of getting a record into the player that is so wonderfully complex. My sister and I used to listen to my parents' records, and some of our favorites were Peter, Paul and Mary, Maria Muldaur and Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band. My parents got me a old fashioned-looking stereo with a record player when I moved into my first apartment by myself (you can see it in the second picture of this post). My first purchase was Ike and Tina Turner, and my collection has slowly grown, mostly from thrift store and yard sale purchases, and some Herb Alpert and Johnny Mathis donations from my parents. Mike dusted off this meager collection of records recently, and has been playing Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years round the clock (see his Current Book and Music Obsessions). This past weekend I picked up a couple more Paul Simon and Simon and Garfunkel records to mix it up a bit.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Embroidered Button Swap


How cool is this... Michelle of greetingarts has organized an Embroidered Button Swap based on a tutorial on Feeling Stitchy! I've joined, and so can you until September 1st.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Q is for...

Quarters. I used to collect quarters starting the year before I went to college until just about a year ago, when it finally sunk in that I didn't need them for laundry since we have a washer & dryer in our apartment. Devin now collects state quarters, and so far has all of them that have been made so far.


This was seriously aided by a raid of Mike's piggy bank, Pistachio Pig.

Poor piggy!

Check out Ali's post on Q... I think it's my favorite Q so far.

P is for...

Paris! Mike and I are going to Paris and London in February!! I can't wait!!! I've never been to Paris and Mike has never been to Europe, so when we came across a fantastic deal that we just couldn't pass up, we jumped on it. It's going to be a bit of a whirlwind trip (3 days in each city) which is plenty of time, the way Mike travels.

At my mom's suggestion, P is also for the painting of Polly the pretty pussycat playing in the paper bag, painted by my dad. Whew... that's a lot of P's...

Polly used to be my cat until we moved into an apartment that didn't allow cats, so my mom whole-heartedly adopted her. She's named Polly because when she was a kitten she would perch on my shoulder. The first day I brought her home from the SPCA, she spent the whole day up there, all through my mom's summer party. She's now grown into a very independent kitty, and wouldn't be caught dead on someone's shoulder. That is SO uncool. Luckily my mom has Kismet, who is the cuddliest kitten I've ever met.

And I guess P is also for P dot, which is my preschool nickname. There were a couple other Sarahs in the class, so we all went by our first name and last initial. Sarah M. Sarah F. Sarah P.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

O is for...

Ouch. The sometimes title of the story I wrote in school again and again for various assignments about how my sister and I discovered my dad's severed fingertip (the other title being Darn It!). Why did I write it again and again? Because, come on, if something like that happens to you, you've got to tell as many people as possible, right? So here's the gist of the story:

My dad works in a cabinet shop. In that cabinet shop, there is a table saw. My dad is cutting on this saw and the wood slips somehow and the two middle fingers on his left hand make contact with the blade. Ouch. My dad looks at his fingers and says to himself "Darn it! I needed those!", which is possibly the funniest and truest thing to be said at that moment. So after my dad and mom make their way to the hospital, my sister Jessica and I are left at home (where the shop is) with my grandpa, who has the unfortunate job of cleaning up the mess. Now, while my grandpa is at the far end of the long bench that the table saw is attached, Jessica and I are standing by the actual saw end of the bench, investigating. Why? Who knows. Well, as you can imagine, there is a large pile of sawdust on the floor by the saw. Jessica kneels down and finds a rock on top of the pile. I dare her to turn it over with a stick, which she does, and surprise! It has a fingernail on the other side. We run away screeching and my grandfather tosses the fingertip into the dumpster, which Jess and I are convinced is haunted for months.

Thank goodness I don't have a picture of that to show you, but I do have a pic of my work in progress...


I'm doing a scrap quilt a la Amanda Jean. Mine is a little more, um, random than hers though. We'll see how it ends up.

Monday, August 20, 2007

N is for...

My sewing nook. You can see this shelf on the left and my thread rack on the right. I'm putting the new extension table to good use as well.

A bit messy, but not bad for a two bedroom apartment!

Mail, lovely mail...

Hey! That's an M too! I got this fabulous package from Leslie of Good-ness. SO great.

I received my 3rd place prize from Sew Mama Sew.


I was lucky enough to win a couple blog drawings from some very talented lades, and I received a lovely purple package from Wendy. I've already put the fabric to use in a scrappy Christmas present.

Sarah of allabouteden sent me this lovely bag and goodies with the pin I won in her drawing. I love the fortune fish! Tonight I am passionate... at least I'm not a dead one.

Thank you so much ladies!

And technically, this isn't mail, but here's what we picked up at yard sales this weekend.

Two pairs of Wiss pinking shears for $8... am I lucky, or what?

M is for...


Mike. He has his own blog. And without getting too mushy, he has my heart as well. He is such a creative, kind, funny, loving guy, I just can't believe how lucky I am to have found him. He supports and challenges me, and I probably wouldn't have gotten back into crafting and sewing as much as I have (and probably wouldn't have this blog) without his confidence and participation. And I most definitely wouldn't have traveled as much as we have since I met him. We have tons of these pictures at different locales...


I've seen this pose a LOT...


And everywhere we go, we see more than I thought possible in the limited time we have, and by the time we leave I feel like a local. I usually have this odd feeling when we get home, saying to myself "wait, I thought we moved to SF/NYC/DC/LA/Disneyland/etc... what are we doing back in Davis?".

I love you, Mike!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

L is for...

Lots and lots of great books! Mike and I raided my grandma's book stash (she used to own a book store) and look what we came home with...






Ok, so I know I went a little overboard with the pics, but they're so great, I'd show you each and every one of them if I could! And I did say lots and lots... Most of these are destined to turn into something like these at the hands of Mike and the newly repaired old Singer.

Thanks Gamoo!

K is for...


Kismet, my mom's new kitten. The cutest kitten ever. I promise.

J is for...

Yay internet!! We're all reconnected after a 5 minute house call. Apparently sometimes they randomly disconnect people to make sure they're supposed to have internet. They figure that the actual customers will call and get it reconnected. Nice, huh?


Mary Ann suggested that I use my last post about Jane's Apron as my "J" which was a really good idea because these ABC's are getting pretty hard, but Mike reminded me of a rather important "J" by getting me a new toy! Here's my Janome with its brand spankin' new extension table...



Do I have the coolest boyfriend, or what?

When I thought my old Singer was broken I researched a lot of different machines. For the money I was willing to spend at the time, this Janome was (and still is) perfect. It does all the things I need it to, has a buttonhole foot (SO nice) and a needle threader (SO SO nice). And now it has this awesome table top which is going to make my ambitious Christmas present plans a bit easier, hopefully.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Apronista/Jane's Apron Giveaway


I just came across a new (to me) blog with a penchant for aprons through Mary Ann, and they're having a giveaway! Go check out The Apronista and Jane's Apron to see their completely lovely postcards up for grabs. And if you can't wait for the giveaway, check out the etsy shop. How cool would this be on the wall of your craft area??

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Technical difficulties...

We apparently have a modem and/or line problem, and thus do not have internet at home. So I'll be a bit scarce until we can figure it out. In the mean time, don't forget about the Handmade Parade on October 13th!




And while you're over at Missy's site, sign up for her Owl Swap!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



ta ta til later...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I is for...

Ibig, which is Tagalog for to want, like, love, desire, wish.

No, I do not speak Tagalog, but Mike's brother's soon-to-be wife does. We got a call last night that they're going to be getting married tomorrow morning! They were originally planning for a wedding sometime in September, but now they're going to have this small wedding and then a much bigger one some time next year. So today we're preparing for the drive to Redding, attending the impromptu wedding, then the drive to Mariposa to spend the weekend with my parents, which was our original weekend plan. Whew! I'm tired just talking about it.


As for other I's, I also share Megan's sentiment...

H is for...

Hampton House, the house I lived in when I studied abroad at the University of Bristol in college.



It was an old homeopathic hospital turned student housing. They hadn't changed much about the building before they moved students in, so my room had traction pulleys on the ceiling and I had friends in both the nurses' station, with a fireplace and bay window, and the pharmacy, with a wall of drawers still stocked with test tubes and poison labels. You can see my room in the picture of the back yard, or The Grounds as I used to call them, trying my best to fit into a Jane Austin story. See the left-most triangle on the top floor (what do you call that?)? My bedroom was half the big window and the small window to the left. The house was on top of a hill in Bristol, so my windows afforded a pretty great view for an anglophile American student like me. The fountain was still there, but the little cherub was reduced to a mere foot on a rock.

Looking at these pictures brings back memories of watching my friends play badminton by the fountain, and inflating a huge kiddie pool in the side yard and filling it with warm tap water from a hose stuck on the kitchen faucet, because summer in England was still a bit brisk. I must say, that was one of the best years of my life. I felt so at home there, and cannot wait to return. While I was looking for pics of the place online, I discovered that it is now a hospital again. That makes me a bit sad.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

G is for...

Good-ness! This is one of my new favorite blogs. Leslie is a Canadian in Japan and her photographs and stories are gorgeous. She just started an etsy shop full of wonderful Japanese fabrics and treasures, including Gocco printers, which I am definitely drooling over. Here is my first purchase...





And speaking of gorgeous, Design on Post via Love Forever posted about these absolutely wonderful paintings.

Anyone have an extra $2,000 knocking around?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

F is for...


Fabric. We all love and hoard it. These Joel Dewberry fabrics are my most recent fabric purchase from Fabric Stash. Though most of these aren't new to blog readers, I thought I'd share my favorite fabric sites.

Reprodepot
Sew Mama Sew
Superbuzzy
Purl Soho
Hancocks of Puducah
Fat Quarter Shop
Cia's Palette
Nuno Plus

F is also for Fuzz. No, I'm not talking about my hair again, but the movie Hot Fuzz! We just watched it, and it was great. Is Spaced ever going to come out on DVD in America??

E is for...


Embroidery. I love it! You don't have to have artistic skills, you just kind of trace the work of others with such skills, in thread! I want to put embroidery on everything. I just got Jenny Hart's new book and it's jam-packed with inspiring pictures. So far I'm a stem/outline stitch only embroiderer, but hope to branch out with Stitch School lessons from Primrose Design. Also check out this great free pattern library!

C is for...

Curls. I’ve got em. Loads of them. Thanks Dad.

My hair was a struggle for most of my childhood. For years I wanted straight hair, while every woman I came across would say "Do you know how much women pay to get hair like yours?". I had many nicknames ranging from Q-tip to Puff the Magic Sarah. Kids would throw things into my hair to see if it would stick and I would have to endure Ramona Quimby-esque boing-fests. I had dentist office dread associated with hair salons due to my share of horrific haircuts. My hairstyles ranged from a Peter Pan do to afro to librarian bun to bowl/mushroom cut to hippy long hair with center part. Finally I found someone to cut my hair that actually knew what to do with my unruly ringlets, and now I don't wish for straight hair.

C is also for curtains, which I will be making for my sister's new house! Which she totally needs... I'm still exhausted from sleeping in a room with two walls of windows with no curtains (but we did manage to take advantage of the early rising with some successful yard sale shopping!). I have the very lucky job of helping to pick out fabric, purchasing said fabric and making some lovely roman shades and curtains. Here's what we've decided on...

For the livingroom (from here)...

For the master bedroom (again from here)...


For a little girl's room (from here)...

And for one of the bathrooms possibly (again from here)...

I've found some helpful links for making the roman shades. One site has pretty thorough directions and sells the hardware as well, and another allows you to put in the window measurements and creates a pattern for you. Has anyone made roman shades before? Are they as easy as they look?

Friday, August 3, 2007

B is for...

Behind! Already! How did that happen?


Oh well, my real B is Busters, as in Mythbusters! Mike and I are going to see Jaime and Adam of Mythbusters at the Mondavi Center in November. We (Ali and Devin included) love that show. We don't have cable because it's just too expensive and we'd rather spend our money on other things (like what P will be for...), so whenever we go to our parents' houses and get a chance to watch it, that's what we look for. That and the Food Network. I can watch that channel all day (and have... several times) . But the odd thing about Mythbusters is that as infrequently as we do see it, whenever we happen upon it, it's one we've already seen. Besides our Discovery and Food Channel binges, we never regret not having cable, and are perfectly content with our bunny ears and Netflix subscription.

And isn't that an awesome bird magnet? I got it from Claire of Little Lovelies Handmade at the last Handmade Parade. She just added some completely adorable frames to her etsy shop. I can't wait for the next Handmade Parade on October 13!