Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Beth's shirt--Christmas gift

I got the idea for this project from MyMamaMadeIt, specifically the ruffled jersey rosette project. I'm quite pleased with it, I think it is my most successful refashion to-date (apologies to Michelle, recipient of the tranny-top) I found the base shirt at the thrift store a couple of blocks from our house. It is some kind of cotton blend or another. A nice enough shirt, but kind of ho-hum if you ask me.The gathers/ruffles are not jersey in this case, but a polyester type shirt of a slightly brighter red that I cut into strips, sewed up, ruffled, then tacked onto the shirt and (full of frets) sewed onto the complete shirt. It looks really rumpled here because I wrapped it up after I finished but before I remembered that I wanted to take pictures. I get overly excited sometimes.

And here's a close-up of the ruffle once it was sewn on.
Chris voted (and I agreed) to keep the shirt asymetrical and only apply the ruffle to one side. Now I can only hope that Beth wears it!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baking Day (a little late, part 2)

And, everyone's favorite, the sugar cookies.

Why is it that the confection on which we spend the most time only yields about 8 cookies? How does that happen? Anyhow, the meringue powder yielded another beautiful batch of frosting even if we did forget to mix a yellow. Oops.

And the final product. Looking at this, maybe we should just use clear saran wrap, the green is doing weird things to our vibrant cookies.
Another year of sisters baking, and another year I did not take a nap! Mark THAT on your calendars!

Baking Day (a little late, part 1)

Baking day! It actually occurred a little over two weeks ago, but I was quite busy with Christmas things so I didn't get around to posting the pictures from it.

All (most) of our materials for the day.

Jenn's crinkles. Which ones met the floor? Can you tell?
Fudge and magic bars, easy peasy.

Evil truffles, of course. Possibly my favorite item on the plate, and not just because of the cocoa powder I blow everywhere

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas decor! (part 2)

Ooh, there are pine bits alllll over the house!

Our weaselly swag

Our rascally wreath (it looks kind of like any Stephens girl in the morning)

Our tree before the ornaments found it (is there a skillful way to put lights on a sparse tree?)

Our tree after the ornaments hung themselves in joy. Another year of tinsel, yes!
I think it all turned out pretty well. The only downer is that it is kind of too cold to hang out in the room with the Christmas tree, but that hasn't stopped me in the past.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alameda flea market

By the way, the monthly Alameda flea market is awesome!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas decor! (part 1)

We have our tree! It isn't decorated yet, but it is standing. Plus, we cut many boughs off of the trunk bottom and the man at the tree farm was kind enough to let me take home some extra boughs. From that point, it was the natural action to bunch them together with found ribbon and hang them on people's doors.
Extra boughs=extra swags!

The work table.

Bryce's swag of terror.
I'll take some pictures of our swag and other stuff tomorrow, hopefully the tree too!

Macarons REQUIRE parchment paper

This is sad, possibly the saddest thing in the world. I wanted to try my hand at good looking macarons. I've made some ugly ones in my time (twice) but I was really going to step it up this time. But after the last bits of powder sugar were sifted and stirred, I realized, "Oh snap, we're out of parchment paper! How did this happen?" Well, surely there must be a way around this.

You might notice how I tried to compensate for the lack of parchment paper by adding another French item to the mix, the silpat sheets. The cookies did look pretty well formed on the sheet, but the sheet was not about to let those cookies go without a fight.

Macarons require parchment paper. There is no way around it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fashion "week" re-cap

Fashion week yielded only one new thing for me to wear. No, I didn't take pictures. Why? I can't really tell you that.
But! I did get the new ironing board cover which opened up a whole world of shirts since I could then effectively press them and not look quite as homeless as the look I had been rocking. I finally hemmed the dress into a shirt and have received several compliments on it. I also sewed the basic parts of the ruffle/fuffle shirt (capped sleeves, new neckline, fuffle border), but now I need to tailor the bejeezus out of it as it is baggy in the bust and waist, tight in the hips, and droopy in the sleeves. What a mess! I had to call it quits on that project for the month of December so I could focus on Christmas crafts/gifts.
Oh, and the sister gift theme for this year is "dazzling". Yeah, I'm unsure of where to take that too, there are a lot of viable directions. and my sister is--

Magical holiday times!

So, I'm not really getting much in the line of holiday spirit from my UCD job, but look how pretty the foyer of the COG's building is!

This doesn't really capture how magical the entryway is, imagine more sparkle and light. Since this phone picture was taken in the evening, the glisten has gone to bed for the night.

After leaving the COG, I walked through downtown for some errands and happened upon the wonder of wonders, the ice skating rink!

Between the shimmering of the rink and the hazy fog surrounding the massive moon, midtown was straight up enchanting last night.

*an aside, holiday crafts are forging ahead! I'm not sure which pictures I can post because I wouldn't want to wreck someone's Christmas. Also, we're getting our tree either Thursday or Saturday. EEE!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Timber the glutton

It's raining like the dickens here in Sacramento and I had a long bike ride back from West Sac (where the ole truck is getting fixed), so Chris and I went to get some hot chocolate as my reward. We come back to our sweet dog, Timber. Timber seems to have found some mischief.

Oh, is that his box of chews on the ground? My gosh it is!

He's chewing on two at once!

Is that another one in his waterbowl?

What a glutton! We were only gone about twenty minutes and this is the damage he wreaked.

Friday, November 6, 2009

bike run-ins and the like

On my way to work, I witnessed a near run-in between a Range Rover type thing and a bike. The cyclist was on the through street running through campus and the Rover was turning right onto the street. The driver somehow over-looked the cyclist and started to turn in his (the cyclist's) path, but was stopped by the cyclist's yell. No-one was hurt but I'm sure the cyclist was jarred and the driver apologized. The cyclist then instigated a confrontation and expletives were hurled as the cyclist pedaled alongside the Rover for about 200 yards, taunting and goading the driver.
I've been nearly hit quite a number of times and I've been in the same position as the cyclist this morning. I have no doubt his reaction was largely fear based because what dork on a Specialized wants to take on a Range Rover? But I don't see what good can come from berating a driver to the point where he thinks all cyclists are asses that deserve any accidents they get. Couldn't that behavior easily result in escalating confrontations that end with drivers deliberately harming cyclists, like the Los Angeles physician stopping intentionally and suddenly in front of cyclists? Granted, not everyone will react quite as violently, but for moderate drivers the best thing we as cyclists could do is make our presence known in a good way.
After witnessing this morning's interaction, I hung back on my Nishiki and once the yelling cyclist had passed, I pedalled near the driver and told him that not all cyclists are angry and wished him a good day. It got me thinking, couldn't that be a way to increase the good interactions between cyclists and drivers? What if whenever there was a near run-in with a cyclist, instead of being showered with curses the driver was politely addressed "Hey, I know you didn't see me back there but please be on the look-out for bikes"? Fortunately for me, I don't have too many run-ins with drivers but I witness a number of them. I would like to make a business card with a little message to the effect of "bikes just want safe journey, keep an eye out for us" plus some well wishing and it could have a website with bike information listed. And some cute graphic. You know, to make it look nice. Then, whenever some driver has the near run-in with a cyclist, they could get some helpful information out of it instead of an antipathy towards bikers.
What do you think?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fashion Week!

This week is fashion week in my apartment, I hope we're all ready!
What it boils down to is that I'm disappointed in my wardrobe and I want to mix it up, but I still don't have the kind of money needed to buy new items. Thusly, I'm going to accomplish some thrift store/found clothes modifications that have been on my list for a while.
Today, I stop by Ace to get a new ironing board foam/cover thing so things I iron won't have chain link marks on them. Tuesday night or tonight (if I'm really with it) I start on the (slightly modified?) ruffle-edged shirt I saw on My Mama Made It.
After that, I'm going to finally hem this shirtdress I have into a shirt. I'm doing this because the shirtdress is a touch short and frumpy looking on me, not to mention how I am un-nerved by its uneven hem.
There is alson an old wool plaid skirt Michelle gave to me. I need to make it shorter and a little smaller on the waist--this task is complicated by the skirt's adorable flare at the bottom, meaning I need to make it shorter from the top instead of just sewing in a new hem. It should be worth it though!
Check out this skirt tutorial, too (from Craft Stylish)! The scalloping on it is too much for me to bear, I wonder if I could pull off trying to modify a thrift store skirt with this idea? Not likely, we'll have to see how successful fashion week is.
*These tasks will not all be accomplished this week because I don't have hours and hours to devote to sewing. But, fashion "week" will continue until I accomplish what I listed. Pictures will follow!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

more and more paperwork!

So I just finished the paperwork to change my name at SACOG.

man, paperwork sucks here! :)

In all honesty, I spent an hour and a half at DMV yesterday. Not cool, but at least it is done!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thank you's--the last wedding craft?

I have all this time now that the wedding is over. I started making thank you's based on this Design Sponge article, encouraged by the fact that Pulp Papery still has a bunch of Artoz materials (envelopes, cards, cardstock, etc) on sale. Also, I used my paltry quantity of Delta frequent flier miles to subscribe to "W" so I could have some striking pictures to use for collages and projects like this.
Here are some of the ads that we used on Friday night.

I found a "frost" blue card stock that, when folded, fit near-perfectly into cheery yellow envelopes which were also on sale. I think this is going much more smoothly than the invitation scene did, but that might be because it is the only project I'm working on right now.
Here are some of the end results.

I bought extra materials when I was at Pulp Papery, entertaining the idea of making note cards for Christmas gifts. You might be one of the lucky ones! We'll see if that pans out.
Chris and I have to make at least 15 more cards, but then we have to move on into the world of actually writing the thank you's. I've got mixed feelings about the enormity of that task.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Honeymoon day 5--no photos, but a map of the route!

After staying in Reno, we headed back to Sacramento by way of 80 so we could return our beloved Impala to the rental agency. It was all such a great trip, I would recommend any part of it to anyone!

View Larger Map

It was pretty awesome skirting the Sacramento Valley like that.
As a note, we don't have a whole bunch of pictures from the Honeymoon because we were filming most of it on the Flip we received from Chris's Aunt Marilee. Once I figure out how to take still frames from those, I might post some more. Or I'll post little videos from it.

Honeymoon day 4--quick run-through with photos

We went to the Lava Beds National Monument near Tule Lake once we crossed back in to California. There was some blown out scenery there and only very hearty plants remained. What a difference from the luxuriant greenery we'd grown accustomed too!

It felt like most of our day was spent weaving in and out of the Modoc National Forest. And that's the truth!

An extremely common sight--Chris rummaging through the food bag.

We stopped in Adin once we were mostly out of the Modoc Forrest and got a milkshake (yeah!) and fries. As we descended into Susanville, I saw so many happy cows out grazing. Beautiful sleek black Angus cows, chomping incessantly on grass. We also saw starkly dried lake beds as we passed through the wide valley. Quite distinctly beautiful.

That night, we made it to Reno and I only lost $3 at the craps table.

Honeymoon day 3--quick run-through with photos

I was really cranky the morning of day 3, luckily Chris recognized this and persuaded me to stop the car at the Simpson Reed Discovery Trail in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods. There were all kinds of fairies hopping about that morning, so we tried (unsuccessfully) to catch them.

It was a nice morning to new-boot-goof in the trees. It was a little chilly in the grove, but too pretty to pass up or rush through.

We passed into Oregon midway through the morning and that was pretty exciting to me! This was Rough and Ready Creek off of 101. Another nice short hike, I was really a fan of the wack-tastic geography there. Yes, I did play in the water a little bit, but mostly I just hopped around on the rocks.

We drove through the Valley of the Rogue (BEAUTIFUL!) starting from Grant's Pass and came out on the other end in Jacksonville, where we took appreciative photos of the fall color. We knew we wouldn't find anything so spectacular in Sacramento, curses! Chris gets full credit for directing us through the Valley of the Rogue, which is (I think!) my favorite part of our whole trip.

That night we stayed in Klamath Falls. There are no falls in Klamath Falls, but I loved it anyways. Seriously, I really like Klamath Falls.

Honeymoon day 2--quick run-through with photos

In the morning, we ventured back to Mendocino for breakfast at a cafe (tea and coffee, scone and berry cream cheese danish) and to plan the next leg of our trip. We then walked along the bluffs to enjoy the ocean-y weather and avoid the car a little bit longer.

We took an ill-advised path to get back to the main part of town.

That day, we stopped for lunch at Richardson Grove, a very beautiful California state park with awesomely tall redwoods and lovely misty air.

That night we stayed in Crescent City. I think you're okay with me not posting pictures of that. :)

Honeymoon Day 1--quick run-through with photos

Timber gave everyone lots of "Good Morning!/Goodbye!" kisses.

At the Old Grist Mill where we attempted to have lunch. The rain thwarted us so we picnicked in the car.

Calistoga! California's old faithful.

We made it to Mendocino that night, and stayed at the Coast Inn in Fort Bragg. It was all centered around far east healing, pretty neat!

At dinner, I drew Chris on the butcher paper. I had a yummy seafood stew and he had some pasta thing with chicken.

Monday, October 12, 2009


We are now officially in the "post-wedding" era. I have time to look around me nervously and wonder what I should be doing.
Today, I introduced Chris and my husband (to my dad, I just wanted to see how it sounded), unsubscribed seven wedding blogs (!) from my google reader account, and signed in to my vscacciatore email account for the first time as a married woman.
Officially weirded out.
I also switched out the toaster, but that didn't seem quite as monumental as the other actions.
Wedding updates will come soon! I hear some people have awesome pictures out there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Michelle finally gave in

and m'lady bought herself some bronze shoes.

There they are! Can you see them? They're in the garden...

I also wanted to show what the completed organza flowers look like as referenced in the Fire+Synthetics post, which is why I totally covered Michelle's shoes. Not because I don't like them, just because I'm multi-tasking.
I need to make more organza flowers if you want to come hang out with a fire hazard of a girl. Please?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Barn update and pictures

So, I went to the ranch this weekend and got to check out the barn. It has been leveled and they are in the process of hardening the floor. I was of the opinion that they tease the floor until it has "had enough" and distances itself from its (the floor's) emotions, but apparently that takes too long. Instead, they will be wetting it down with the water truck several times over the coming weeks until it takes on the appearance and texture of packed mud. Or something close.

It was exciting to see the floor completely level! For those who didn't see it before, there were plenty of dips, valleys, and rodent holes waiting to capture your heels, but this? Beautiful! Level!
They also graded the area around the front entrance to the barn to make for smooth walking. I bet you I can still fall there.

You can see a smidge of the barn to the left in this picture, and doesn't the vineyard look nice? I hope Dad leaves Backy out there for the wedding, too.
And Pumpkin says "Hi".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Notes, updates

You know how people always say you lose weight before the wedding? You know, because you're so stressed? Well, I said it before and I'll say it again, those falsehood spreaders are up to no good, I've gained close to ten pounds leading up to this happy event. Woof. Hope the dress still fits!
As for the puppies, they have new names after a weekend of nomenclatural experimentation. Mason became Walter became Boy and ended up Dingo. Maddy became Perry became Girl became Olive. Those names are keepers, Dingo and Olive! I keep hoping that Dad will get too attached to them before he is able to successfully give them away.
Two days 'til the dress fitting.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Look at the cutest puppies in the world!
And they are going home with me! (en route to Dad's house)
Is Dad ready for this small dog world? Only time will tell.
They're actually a little over one year old, I've tentatively named the one above "Maddie", short for Madeleine.
And her brother is "Mason".  They had to be entered into the vet med computer as something, you know?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One month!

Today marks one month until the wedding!
It is pretty hard to believe it is only one month away.
I will celebrate by eating found food at work.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

wow! more quilling!

After I exclaimed "done!" this morning, I started looking at what other people are doing with their paper filigree arts and I happened upon Hila Rawet Karni on "All Things Paper".Hot dog!

Can someone tell me how to do this?