Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Creative Space: Little White X's

I've been working on a little cross stitch sampler from Alicia's amazing book Embroidery Companion: Classic Designs for Modern Living.

See more creative spaces here.

Dreams of the Lake District

Photo via Yvestown
One day I will go here, take in the air and the magic of this place.  Read about Yvonne's travels in the Lake District here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

List Fourteen: My Morning Cup

Here is a list of a few of my favorite teas I brew at home:

1.  New England Harvest by Bar Harbor Tea Company

2.  Chamomile with rose buds

3.  English Breakfast

4. English Rose Tea from Jewell Gardens in Skagway, Alaska that my in-laws picked up for me while on a cruise.  (Sadly it doesn't appear that they sell this tea online and I have a very tiny amount left which I hoping to use to figure out exactly what's in it so I can reproduce it myself.)

5.  Organic Nighty Night Tea by Traditional Medicinals for bedtime.

6. World Peace Blend from Perennial Tea Room

7.  Other assorted loose leaf teas from Everything Tea in Snohomish, WA.  (A great place to buy wonderful loose leaf teas, taste a few samples they're brewing while taking a break from antique shopping.)

PS.  I learned of a fun new flickr group which celebrates the Morning Cup found via Nova from a cuppa and a catch up.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I heart Vera Bradley

The Vera Bradley winter catalog arrived in the post yesterday and I had a smile from ear to ear while looking through it's pages.  Now I realize that Vera Bradley bags may have become a little cliche to some and certainly I realize I could make similar bags of my own design.  But why when these are so beautiful! 

The first thing I love about this catalog are the shooting locations.  How lucky are these girls to be standing in a canoe looking out at the mountains, riding in the back of a vintage pick up through the valley, or dancing in a field.

That smile... that's the same one I had!
Vera's new bag designs are beautiful.  My favorites are the Versailles, (pictured above), twirly birds navy (the girl in the canoe), and buttercup (not pictured here but imagine a brown background with big pink and yellow flowers.)   Oh, Patrick I think I might have to get myself into trouble.  Seeing as I already own a few of Vera's lovely bags... a few in Calypso and the On the Go handbag in Sittin' in a Tree.  A girl can't own too many bags right? :)

Do you think a carriage ride comes with a purchase?  Oh I hope so!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Creative Space: Covered Buttons and Rose Bud Booties

These covered buttons are so easy and fun to make that I don't know why I have never done them before.   The little "pop" sound as the backing fits into place is very gratifying.   The anticipation as you pull the button out from the mold to see if it all really fit to together right is exhilarating.  Many more little covered buttons are in my future I can tell already! 

I will be putting  put these little guys onto the (now corrected) crocheted baby booties.  See my Raverly notes here.

PS.  Thanks to this handy dandy tutorial on the Purl Bee which made covering buttons seem easy peasy compared to scary directions on the back of the button kit package.  I going to have to try doing the little embroidery they show next time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Memory Walk

Last weekend I traveled to Colorado to participate in the Alzheimer's Memory Walk.  The walk was held in City Park right next to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The morning was crisp and cool, perfect for walking. 

I walked in honor of my Papa, Jack, who has been suffering with Alzheimer's from many years.  He has such a sweet spirit.  Alzheimer's reveals the deepest character of a person and I am in awe of his.

 Papa greets everyone with a smile and warm hello.  He offers you a little chuckle in a form of a simple joke.  (Unfortunately as the disease progresses these jokes become harder to come by.)  Humor is ingrained deeply, along with the music and the appreciation of the beauty of the day at hand. 

My Uncle getting a ride. (He's a jokester, wonder where he gets it!)
Margery, his wife and my grandma, is never far from his thoughts.  His love for her overflows.  Sometimes I question weather he remembers my name but I never have to question his love for his family.

My hope is that one day, somehow we can find a cure for this horrible, destructive disease.  No one should have to lose themselves or their loved ones so slowly, painfully, bit by bit, memory by memory.

If you like to learn more about Alzheimer's Association visit their website here.  Or if you're interested in finding a Memory Walk near you head here.

(Once again I forget my camera and am forced to use only my iPhone to capture the events.  That little phone of mine is a work horse!  Sorry I know the quality could be better.)

List Thirteen: Lastest blog finds

Thank you for all your kind comments on my little, slightly wonky baby booties.  I'll post the new pair later in the week as they are still in need of some buttons!

Along the Cliff Walk last year in Newport, RI

On to this week's list...  I've been hunting around the blog world lately and have happened upon some wonderful blogs.

1. Flight of the Pook (Cassandra sews up the cutest little creatures.)

2. One Flew Over (A contributor to Fat Quarterly.)

3. thornberry  (Lovely crochet work.)

4.  1/4 of an inch (quilt, crochet, knit and sew)

5. food and life (Jude blends photography, cooking, and travel... it's just good eye candy!)

6.  Karuski (Minna is one creative gal.  I love her little teacup pincushions.)

7.  pigeon pair (sewing, quilting and craft never looked so beautiful.)

8.  Inspired by Charm (if you've ever dreamed of running you're own little B&B or need decor inspiration Michael's got you covered.)

9.  Enthralled by Beauty (Found Chrissy through August Break and have enjoyed seeing her world through the camera lens.)

10. White Cotton Tee (Lisa another fellow August Breaker shares photographs and lovely stories)

11.  flowing moments - photography (breath taking photos paired with words of inspiration)

12.  Blaze Bratcher (fun illustrations, life snapshots and she's from Colorado my home state. Her post on the sock monkeys is too cute.)

13. Green Rabbit Design (crochet and flowers in bounty)

What are some of your latest blog finds?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Creative Space...

is a bit wonky.

These booties Alicia made for a friend were too cute and I thought they would be a perfect gift for my friend as well until I can complete the quilt.  Some where along the way I must have miss counted stitches or something because the strap section is completely lop sided.  Perhaps I can simply take this section out and recenter it somehow.  You think?  Until then I soldier on with the next bootie and see if it comes together any better.  If you'd like to make a pair yourself you can purchase the pattern here.  (It really is a simple, beginner pattern, contrary to what you might see here.)  Hopefully yours won't turn out wonky like mine!

Check out more creative spaces over at kootoyoo.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

~~~~~~~~Giveaway winner!~~~~~~~~~

The 100th post giveaway winner is Lily Boot:

lily boot said...

I love pink and brown - it's like chocolate and strawberries. And those Anna Maria fat quarters are so pretty. I have the one with the little houses in flannel. Mmmm ... must get that out  :-)

Lily has been contacted by email.  I know she will use them to create something beautiful.  You can follow Lily at her blog block-a-day.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One of my favorite places!

Victor's Coffee is one of my favorite places.  It's made even better when you get to go have some tea and a scone with some good girlfriends!

Monday, September 13, 2010

List Twelve: What I'm listening to ...

Whoops!  I realized I forgot to post my list last week so you'll be getting a double helping this week.

1. Steve Riech's Music for 18 Musicians

2. Kings of Convenience Quiet is the New Loud

3. George Winston's  December

4. Bobby Darin's Splish Splash on 45's in the jukebox!

5. Coldplay's Don't Panic from Parachutes

6. Ani Difranco's Out of Range

7. Tracy Chapman's Fast Car

8. Goo Goo Dolls' Gutterflower and Dizzy Up the Girl

9.  Some of my own flute playing.

10. The quiet, still breath of the house as I enjoy my morning tea and work some cross stitch!

Don't forget the 100th post giveaway.  Comments will close tomorrow and winner announced on Wednesday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Creative Space... (plus 100th post giveaway!!!)

is pink and brown.  These are some lovely half yards for a special baby girl that is due to arrive this month.  They will be worked up into a simple patchwork quilt if all goes well.  I'm hoping to follow Randi's helpful timeline to make the quilt come together before the baby girl is out of high school!

Check out other "creative spaces" at kootoyoo.

As for my 100th post giveaway... 

I thought about this a lot and finally decided on a few fat quarters from my stash.  My stash is humble and small compared to some (see Red Pepper Quilt's weekly Sunday Stash!) but it does hold a few goodies. 

Three fat quarters of Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks Voile will be sent out to one lucky recipient.  Please leave a little note saying how you might use the fat quarters or tell me about your latest crafty endeavors.   The winner will be drawn on Tuesday September 14th at 8 pm PST at which time comments will be closed.   Please include an email address in your profile or comment so that I may contact you if you should win.  Good luck and thank you for reading A Simple Breath!

Comments are closed and the winner has been announced.  Thank you all for participating!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

an island camp out

Over the long Labor Day weekend we went to the island to our friend's home and had an old fashion camp out.  They share a few aches with another couple that they have slowly been turning into a farm.  We threw out our tents around their dug out fire pit and enjoyed the slow life.

We cooked most of our meals over the camp fire.  (A few of us did cheat from time to time using the kitchen but we tried!)  For dinner it was pork chops, corn on the cob, and grilled zucchini.  Potatoes, bacon and dairy free/gluten free strawberry pancakes were on order for breakfast. 

The strawberries were picked from the farm as well as the garden salad we had for lunch.  Everyone shared in the duties of prepping the meals and enjoying in the deliciousness of it all. 

There were walks through the property with

beautiful flowers and many busy bees at work.

One in the group brought this great portable phonograph and we listened to old 78's!  The ducks, turkeys, and chickens clucking along in the back.  (Can you make out the duck pond/swimming pool back there?)  Patrick and I have a sore spot for old record players.  Now we are wanting one of these for ourselves!

After stuffing ourselves with all matters of deliciousness we ventured out of our camp and to the beach.

There was a half mile hike through the woods to get down to the beach with greenery, peeks of the Sound and a set of steep stairs that made you feel like you were going to walk right out into the water. 

We arrived close to high tide and had to move our blanket back once or twice.  The lovely Tati built us a little levy as protection!

A few of us dared to dip our toes in the cold Pacific Northwest water.  I on the other hand stuck close to the blanket.  I don't really care for the sand between my toes feeling.  Maybe it's because I am a mountain girl at heart.  But I'll admit the views from the beach are gorgeous to behold.

Of which no picture can do justice, especially not the hipstamatic app of an iPhone.  (Unfortunately we left our good camera at home.)

I hope you enjoyed a peek at our little island camp out.  We had a great time and look forward to more camping with the crew next summer. 

Come around tomorrow and I'll have a little giveaway for my 100th post!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

List Eleven: Blog posts that have inspired me this week

This pink and orange curtain brightened my visit to the doctor this week.

1. This wonderful video of an incredible love story. (found via Cup of Jo)

2. A quilt using one of my favorite color pallets - BLUE!

3. Alicia's lake adventure.

4. What a fun little camera strap.

5. These zippered cases look perfect for back to school. (found via Twig and Thistle)

6. These secret storage books are so clever and may come in handy in the office/sewing studio redo I'm planning.

7. These two posts reminded me of how much I miss my Art History class. 

8.  The sad ending of August Break.  Seen here, here, here, and here.  I didn't get to participate in it as much as I would have liked but I connected with a few really interesting and inspiring people. Thank you to everyone who commented on my photos.  It lifted my spirits!  Thank you Susannah!  Looking forward to next year and will definitely be doing a little ABC as well.

9.  Don't you wish you could be at this party?

10.  Double chocolate chip pumpkin muffins... Gotta try that!

11.  A lovely bedroom.

12.  Beautiful embroidery.

13.  This reminded me I need to get on and make this lovely blouse already!

What inspired you in the blog-o-sphere this week?

Hope you have a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Number 8: Blueberry Picking

Thank you all for your anniversary wishes!  Someone asked about traditional anniversary gifts here is a link listing both the traditional and modern anniversary gifts.  Now on to the promised blueberry picking post!

A few weeks ago my good friend Pauline, her son and I all headed out to pick some blueberries! This was my first time out to a U-pick farm aside from pumpkin patches. The blueberry field set out by itself next to some open fields where a horse show was going on. (You can see a horse there at the end of the row of blueberries!)

The blueberry picking season was drawing to a close when we were out but there were plenty of good berries left to pick.  The weather was beautiful summer Seattle weather.  Sunny, warm, with a gentle breeze!

The farm was kind enough to provide these handy crates to carry all of our blueberries which was great for me since I forgot to bring a bucket to haul my goodies out.

Adrian needed a little help to remember to pick the "blue" blueberries.  Most blueberries ended in his mouth instead in the crate and occasionally rocks and sticks took their places.  Poor mama, a few of her blueberries got pretty squashed!

After checking our loot we went back to the car and to grab our picnic lunch. The horse show made a perfect picnic spot!

There were tables right up next to the arena and we cheered for the horses and their riders as they leaped over the fences.  It was a beautiful day!  My blueberries have been a handy snack for a long car ride to California, blueberry scones (I need to share that recipe with you), and lots of wonderful smoothies for breakfast.

Number 8 off the list!