So I was checking out Virgin America the other day because I'd heard they were going to start service between San Francisco and New York pretty soon. It looks nice and fancy, yet affordable...and it got me thinking about another airline that I've heard so much about, Braniff International. They went out of business before my jet-setting days, but I still see their name popping up in reference to so many fun things: Alexander Calder, Emilio Pucci, Alexander Girard...
I was so thrilled to see these new Orla Kiely-designed tents and sleeping bags on her site the other day! They were produced in collaboration with a British outdoor goods company called Millets, are affordable, and in traditional Orla style, they're bold, graphic and absolutely covetable. Makes me want to plan a camping trip right away!
We just received a shipment of 7 new Suspicious, Talking and Combination Paintings from J. Richel, and they're for sale in the Gallery section of the shoppe! They each have so much personality, and we could sit here for hours making them talk to each other and give each other sidelong glances by pulling on their tabs. I'm especially into this lovely lady with her cat-eye glasses. She looks timid in this picture, but trust me, she's a talker!
Ever since making that quilt a couple weeks ago, I've had quilt fabric on the brain. My mom and I spent a long time in Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley the other day, just ogling all the different prints and beautiful solid colored cottons they sell there. I decided that it would be fun to make one quilt per year (which is only way I'd be able to add quilting into the mix with all my other current projects/hobbies). That way you'd have an ever-growing collection of handmade quilts, you could take your time picking fabrics and piecing them together, and perhaps even hand quilt them.
The prints pictured above are from the "Katie Jump Rope" collection, part of Denyse Schmidt's latest offering from Free Spirit Fabrics. I'm tempted to purchase the entire Fat Quarters collection, which includes one piece from each of the 36 fabrics, since it's so hard to choose favorites!
We can't get enough of all the delicious fruits and berries that are in season right now! We've been making jam like crazy, and eating bowls of berries for breakfast every morning. (That bowl on top there matched my woven dishtowel sooo well that I had to take a picture of it!) Bon Appétit everyone- enjoy then while they're ripe!
Ever since I picked up this book a couple weeks ago, I haven't been able to put it down. It's a recipe book from the Rose Bakery in Paris, called Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and it is delightful! I haven't made anything from it yet, but I keep flipping through and admiring the beautiful photographs and type. Check out that cover!
My absolute favorite picture in the book is of the tea-time counter, filled with scones, breads and biscuits. It looks like they change the offerings on this counter all throughout the day, serving pizzas and salads at lunch, etc. Don't you just wish you could have tea there every day?
And check out this awesome video review of the café, which is all in French and oh-so-perfect.
A shout out to all the moped gangs that have been zipping around the Mission recently. Every gang deserves an anthem. Got this from the lovely folks over at ANP Quarterly who publish a wonderful free art & culture magazine that we've been missing of late.
I think I got my first pair of Converse when I was a freshman in high school. They were purple. Since then, I've gone through who knows how many pairs, replacing them when they become threadbare and the heels are worn down to the ground. (Pictured above are the three pairs I currently have in rotation, 2 of which are about ready to be retired.)
I usually stick with black and white, but I thought it would be fun to play around with the new "design it yourself" function on the Converse website to create a colorful pair. It's so much fun! You can get wacky with the colors, and can customize everything from the color of the laces to the color of the racing stripe. You can even add your name to the back. They cost a little more than normal ($60) but proceeds go towards the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, so you can rest assured that the money you're spending on your new kicks will be supporting a good cause.
What the?! How did we miss this? We love Modest Mouse, we use Apple computers...??? So evidently there was a contest put on by Apple where they posted a bunch of camera shots of Modest Mouse playing "Missed The Boat" and encouraged people to download the shots and make their own video "using Apple editing tools." Well, some of the best ones are now making their way around the blogosphere, this one was emailed to me this morning by a colleague over at ReadyMade who found it through the Wooster Collective. It's pretty darn brilliant. Check out the other entries and finalists here.
Last week I made my first ever quilt (pictured above) from a pattern in the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book, which is based on the traditional "Flying Geese" pattern. I just love how the triangles look like little pennants- they remind me of the flags that fly over christmas tree lots and used car dealerships (is it strange to be inspired by a used car dealership?? Anyway...) It is a crib sized quilt, and a gift for my sister who is about to have a baby. The process was fun, a little confusing and very exhausting, but I finished it in time for the baby shower yesterday and I thought I'd share some of pics of what it looked like in the various stages of construction.
My favorite part of the whole quilt-making process was laying out all the triangles of cut fabric and moving them around until I was happy with the design. Then I numbered all the rows and stacked them up so I would know what order to sew them in.
The numbered stacks of cut fabric. There were 14 rows of 11 triangles each.
Here is a completed strip, with all the seam allowances pressed towards the colored fabric pieces so they wouldn't show through to the front. (Good idea, right?). Those little triangles of fabric were snipped off before proceeding to the next step.
Next, I took all the numbered strips and attached them one by one, until I had my completed quilt top.
Then it was time to make the "quilt sandwich". I layed out my bottom piece, (which was a twin size sheet cut down to size) my cotton batting, and my quilt top, then hand basted all three pieces together so they wouldn't shift once I started quilting on the machine.
I quilted 11 vertical lines down the center of each triangle, and then "stitched in the ditch" around each white triangle, which took FOREVER! My sewing machine was not happy with this chain of events, but we made it through.
Finally, I cut a bunch of 2 1/2" wide strips and sewed them together make the binding. which was pinned into place, attached with the machine, and slip-stitched by hand to the back of the quilt, which Derek was kind enough to stay up and help me with until the wee hours of the morning on Saturday night. I learned a lot and of course have a whole new appreciation for the art of piecework and quiltmaking. I'm already looking forward to picking out fabric for my next one!