Sunday, July 25, 2010

when's the last time you went skinny dipping?

Coincidentally the same day I was working for a friend in Sonoma, another friend asked me to come spend the night with her at her family's house in Napa. Timing was perfect, and so was the weather. We spent the evening chatting and drinking rose on the porch and after coffee this morning (a total treat since I'm trying to lay off the caffeine) we headed out to harvest plums. It's been a long time since I was in an orchard and it reminds of my childhood. I grew up with about 30 fruit trees and summers were spent picking and eating fruit and occasionally sleeping out under the stars to protect the ripening fruit from nighttime thieves. Why you send your kids out to scare away foxes and bears I don't know, but it seemed to work. Then again, we were teens at the time and my parents are hardly to blame for being willing to take that risk.
I must have come home with about 70 pounds of Santa Rosa plums. Jam is inevitable, but I'm thinking a nice bucket full of fruit will look perfect with our booth this weekend. It's going to be a hell of a week prepping, so I'm sorry if posting doesn't happen.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

must see sunshine

The fog never once cleared this whole week on the west side of the city (which is where I work) so by Thursday we were in major need of some respite. I took the girls to Fairyland in Oakland. Apparently it was the inspiration for Disneyland and while not as cool in many ways, it also is way more adorable and far less commercial which I like. The girls seemed pretty happy too, especially once E found herself a princess to show her love to.

Friday, July 23, 2010


The advantage to living with someone who can build is that we're going to have an awesome booth at Renegade. The disadvantage is living in the middle of a construction site. We really need a garage!

Friday, July 16, 2010

new at ciuccio

I've been sewing a ton this month gearing up for Renegade, filling some big orders and creating prototypes for a new project. Ties are officially for sale in the shop, more coming everyday and aprons (both small and large) are en route. I don't think they will make it into the shop before the show so if you're interested, either come shop there or email me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

summer food and banana bread

I glanced down at the counter last night while preparing dinner and was so pleased. Tomato season is so very close (you could argue that it's here) and stone fruit is in full swing. I've been eating yogurt with granola and a peach or nectarine every morning and they have been amazing, juicing down my arm as I slice them. I cooked up a quick pasta with summer squash and tomatoes plus major amounts of basil for dinner-a staple around here. That banana bread you see in the background? I'm going to share the recipe. It's by far the best banana bread recipe I've ever used. I'm not kidding. It might be the amount of banana (3-4) which is more than I usually use or it could be the dash of bourbon. Okay, we all the know that's it's the alcohol which deepens the flavor, and I think the extra liquid makes the whole thing more moist. Rather than type out the recipe, I'm sending you right to the source (well not exactly the source since she got the recipe from someone who got it from someone else) because you really should know about this blog. It's gorgeous and totally inspiring.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


How can it be that vacation is busier than regular working life? I've been off for about 10 days and haven't posted one single time because I've been so super busy. Having the craft fair just around the corner is what does it, every spare moment is filled with cutting and stitching and we've been building a totally rad booth. I've been catching up with old friends and we took a vacation. The real thing. One where we go out of town and don't work (with the exception of a tiny bit of hand-stitching which admittedly I love doing.) When I spent a weekend at Costanoa last Spring, my sister and I kept saying we'd have to come back with our significant others and friends. So last weekend we finally did. There were 13 of us all hanging out together and it was perfect. Evenings by the fire telling stories, laughing and drinking wine. Days spent walking through the bluffs to the beach and maybe a good long nap somewhere in there. You're camping, but you're not roughing it. They have heated bathrooms and gorgeous organic food you can buy. Everything you could possible have forgotten is available in the general store, and we even watched the world cup in the restaurant. Let me suggest to you all that you go and stay for a few nights. It's peaceful and beautiful and just what I needed.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

a day at the lake

Even though we live a few miles from the beach, we never go there. It's almost always windy and cold and unbearable. So when a friend told me about Lake Anza in the east bay as a good place to take the kids for swimming, I was intrigued. It's just what you imagine a little lake in the mountains would be like and it's just right for three kids that can't really swim yet. I think we'll be there weekly this summer.

another working "vacation"

The kids are gone for two weeks. I'm not saying this in a complainy way, but I have so much work to do while they're away. The ties are coming along, I have about 25 of them cut out and my goal is to have at least 30 for the fair. Last night, I worked on a special order bow tie and will declare it a success with minor flaws. I need to tweak the pattern, but it wasn't at all hard and for that I am glad. I think I'll whip up a few extras to bring along to Renengade.