Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cupcakes, quilting and ten foot unicycles.

This past week, Thom and I held our first ever hosting.  Four girls from Rochester came up for a conference in the city.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it could have been, especially knowing that there were six people sharing one bathroom.  Eeek.

But we were troopers, they were troopers and I had a great time exploring more of the city with them and discovering new go-to places to eat and see, like this cupcake shop on O'Farrell St by Union Square called Cako.  They had delicious cupcakes in all kinds of amazing and yummy flavors.  I ended up buying some and eating them later that night with wine and season 3 of Dexter.  Probably a top 10 best night here in San Francisco.

O, and you might be wondering, how the hell did you host four girls in a two bedroom/one bathroom apartment?!  Answer:  We bought a queen sized mattress for the guest room that could sleep two, blew up an air mattress for one and offered up our full length couch for the last.  And, VoilĂ , instant hotel!

While the girls were here, I joined them on their last day sight seeing and touring Fisherman's Wharf.  Thom and I took them all to Buena Vista, our go-to brunch/Irish Coffee spot.  Later, we watched a few acrobats do some pretty nifty and dangerous tricks on the street.  I got scared by the infamous Bushman, for real.  [Sorry, no picture of me screaming hysterically]  We visited the sea lions on Pier 39 and then grabbed some o-so-delicious sour dough bread bowl crab chowder at one of the street vendors on Jefferson and Taylor.  YUM.

On the sewing side note, I finally finished cutting out my queen sized quilt and yesterday, I laid out the pieces to [hopefully] get the final pieced-together result.  Progress will be posted soon.

And finally, restaurant-wise, Thom and I headed to the Castro neighborhood and ate at The Woodhouse Co. on Market St.  Great place to go for seafood in the heart of the city rather than any of the acclaimed restaurants near Fisherman's Wharf.  (Which is quite a long journey for us, living out in Sunset.  Castro was our "meet in the middle" compromise.)  I ordered the famous Dungeness crab in a garlic butter sauce, Thom ordered the standard fish and chips, we both greedily ate some fried Calamari and washed it all down with some awesome Arnold Palmers.

Confession: I'm a sucker for any food were there is customer interaction, so when we received our Arnold Palmers, my mind was blown.  There was a glass full of chipped ice and lemon sour concentrate followed by two carafes of iced tea and liquid sugar.  By doing that, I was able to make my Arnold Palmer as sweet or as tart as I so pleased.  And for me, it was tart-perfection because I cannot stand the overtly sweetened Arizona's Iced Tea Arnold Palmers.

All in all, a great week with old friends, new places and a whole-heck-of-a-lot of food!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Projects completed, in progress and for the future

A few projects that I've been working on.  I received  a new quilting book the other day in the mail called Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky and I cannot put it down.  I already completed one of the easier projects, quilted potholders and now I'm about to try my hand at a full blown queen-sized quilt.

I've never sewn a full sized quilt before but I've done a few smaller quilting projects, each slightly modified to make them not a real traditional quilt.  I really don't have any interest in traditional hand quilting but rather modified and modern quilting.  [Or quilting with the sewing machine aka cheating] but hey, I've never felt so pumped for fabric!  I ended up going to Britex on a rainy day and picked out some of the Japanese fabrics I've been coveting.

Over the weekend I put together a dress from fabric I had stashed since living in Rochester.  I'm just about done, just waiting to see where I'd like the hemline to fall.  I really like that I put effort into the dress and added the proper edge stitching and interfacing.  I played around with the collar line too and added a simple drape on the sleeve.  A perfect Easter-like dress.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

LIAD: Alamo Square

This past Sunday, Thom and I headed out of our sea-side apartment and journeyed into the city to see the famous Painted Ladies by Alamo Square Park.  The whole trip felt like it was right out of the Audrey Hepburn film, Roman Holiday.  We scooted through Golden Gate Park on the Vespa and man-o-man, let me say how incredibly huge that park really is.  If it takes you at least 10 minutes to just drive through the park, imagine strolling around the gardens and discovering the lakes.  I'll have to visit the Japanese Tea Garden and Museum.  They even have a carousel there.

When we finally arrived at Alamo Square Park, it was all I had hoped it would be.  Cute Edwardian houses, lovely park full of flowers and people lying around reading/picnic-ing/dog walking.  Seriously, it was straight out of the opening of Full House.  Thom and I soaked up the last bit of sunshine Sunday had to offer and reminesced on the good old Full House episodes.  O Danny Tanner.  O family issues resolved in a thirty minute time block.  O Full House Theme Song now stuck in my head on repeat... Damn it.

"...Everywhere you look, everywhere you go..."

Thom looking rugged in his new jacket.  No, I did not get a hair cut.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I hope you all have a great V-Day [on a Monday?!] or at least putting yourself in some kind of chocolate/sugar coma for the day....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Thom and I have a confession to make.  It's just started, we're hooked and we don't want to stop.  Because if you try and stop us, we might just become irrationally belligerent and rage upon you.  What I'm trying to say is that we've just recently started to juice.  Yes, we're juicers. 

But not the 'roid type.  We mean juicing fruits and vegetables in a positive and nutritious way.  Not only are we receiving our daily serving of f&v but also important vitamins and minerals that help you function in the most beneficial way possible.  Juicing allows you to absorb raw vitamins and minerals faster and easier since cooking usually destroys these essential nutrients.  You also receive many preventative health benefits that people start to swear that they have more energy, wake up earlier, notice clearer skin and shinier hair.  It's no wonder why research is showing new studies of the benefits of juicing against heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, digestive issues, stress, weight loss, etc.

Though it is an acquired taste when it comes to the vegetable part, Thom and I are happily surprised to find that we like a little bit of broccoli with our apples and some carrots with our grapefruit.  We're still not too sure on celery...

Today we created a citrus, apple and carrot energizing drink that was o-so-tasty and inspired by this recipe here.  We switched up a few things and tweaked it to our own [which is the best way to juice,
experimenting].  Our recipe included, in order of juicing:

-6 small and peeled carrots
-4 quartered green apples
-2 peeled oranges
-1 large and peeled pink grapefruit

Juice, stir and enjoy.

Our juicer, a Breville, is a centrifuge juicer.  It spins so fast that it separates the fibrous parts from the juice into two containers on opposite sides of the juicer.  It does a nice job and though there are many parts to clean out, it helps to line the waste basket with a compostable bag.  Eventually we'll be adding some wheatgrass and lettuce that I'm growing organically.  Beyond the super health food aspects, the juicer does make one hell of a freshly juiced and frothy orange juice.  Cheers to that!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Meet Chip

Our new LXV150 Vespa.  And Thom.  Out in Sunset at Ocean Beach.  An image provoked by an assignment for class with my advertising mentality still ingrained.  It'll be hard to break out that mold.  But for now I'm enjoying it as the eye candy that it is. 

Photo Info:

Shot with a 5DMII, 16-35mm f/2.8 L lense, hand-held 580EXII Flash[by me] and camera set to a timer to pop off the pocket wizard/flash.  Exposure set to around 1/10 @f/2.8. (Bumped the ISO up to 400 to get that "fast" shutter speed)

Some photographers regard sunsets to typical photos of children, pets and railroad tracks but I enjoy the challenge against time as you try to set up and take a shot within 15 minutes of natural light left.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Colorful Creations

Two projects just completed for the apartment.  A knitted throw and some accent pillow covers for the couch.  Both so simple and ordinary at first thought but then one comes to find that they were all handmade.  By me.  In total, costing me less than $50.00 or so.  Did I mention the handmade part?

I might just take this moment to feel some DIY/crafty-ness pride...

Aside from my over zealous attitude over a throw and some pillow covers, here's a little background info.

The knitted throw was of my own design after learning how to do the cable knit stitch.  Two cords running on each side in both the green and purple colored yarn and one cord in the center of the yellow.  The yarn is Lion Brand, Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn.  I used size 39mm needles.  And what started as a boring day with something to do, turned into a full on knitted throw project.  Unfortunately for me, knitting isn't what it's like in New York (with such lovely stores like Purl) and I had to order most of it online.  If you're still interested in the pattern, feel free to email me and I'll send you my formula. 

The pillow covers though are of great pride for me.  The main reason is because of those gosh-darn-dang zippers!  I hate zippers.  Let me rephrase that, I hate sewing on zippers.  I always screw them up and have this awkward stitch that doesn't match right.  This past week, I found out that I was doing it all wrong and using the zipper foot incorrectly.  I now like zippers.  (Or at least sewing them on!)  The pillow inserts were just some cheap buys at Ikea.

I followed a very simple and straightforward tutorial online from house on hill road.  (Specific pillow zipper tutorial link here)  It was so easy that I ended up buying another crap pillow at a department store and sewing together another cover in half an hour.  I love how clean and professional they look with the little zipper cover on the top side.  The fabric was purchased online as well, a gift from my sister really.  So thanks Kate.

San Francisco does do fabric unlike yarns.  The other day, I just about died and went to sewing heaven when I stumbled upon Britex Fabrics on Geary St by Union Square.  Oh.  Mi.  Gawd.  There were FOUR floors filled with unbelievable designer and high end fabrics.  One floor was for notions alone!  I couldn't believe it.  With my new pillow cover tutorial under my belt, I might just go broke buying all the luxurious and coveted Japanese and Swedish prints they've got there.  Love.  Love.  Love.

Conclusion?  I'm happy to know that I thought of some ideas, taught myself how to execute them and revealed some finished products.  They show my taste and style.  I'm creating my personality in a tactile form.  It's kinda cool.