Easter Round-Up

Easter has always been a special holiday for me. I'm not religious but rather I like to celebrate it as a welcoming of spring, and the simple ways we celebrate are such great symbols for the rebirth of the land. I'll be heading to a friend's house for a brunch of crepes and sweets in celebration of her pet bunnies' birthdays! I promise to myself and all my readers that I will NOT forget the camera!
Anywho, since Easter celebrations are usually so simple and sweet, you can wait till the last minute to start working on projects! I found two pages that have lists of links to all kinds of adorable Easter projects that take practically no time at all, or that you can do with friends and family on the holiday itself.

First, there's Brit + Co. with their list of 40 creative ways to dye Easter eggs. I still love dying eggs or making something funny with them every year, as evidenced here and here. If you think you're too old you are waaaay wrong, just try it and see how much fun you have! (Dip Dye eggs via Oh Joy!).

Then, there's a blog I recently discovered called Studio Sjoesjoe and their list of cute Easter things to make. I love these punched tin rabbits via Fellow Fellow. Check out both their blogs, there's tons of great stuff to enjoy!

Happy Easter!


Greased Lightning

I adore classic cars. My first car was an all-original 1965 Thunderbird and she was a beauty. It's a shame they're so expensive to keep up and drive, but the moment I can afford one again I'll use it as a weekend car.
Paso Robles has an amazing cruise night and classic car show every year on Labor Day weekend, and when I happen to be in town for it I head downtown to the park with my dad. He used to restore classic cars when I was a kid and has an encyclopedic knowledge of them all, and I love hearing all the cool little things he knows about these beauties. I snapped these photos at the last event and they're finally processed so I thought I'd show them. There's a ton more on my flickr, here. And if anyone out there is interested in purchasing prints of these I'd be happy to oblige, just send me a message!


Another Happy Customer

These sweet little baby bibs were custom-made for Johnny's sister. I made her baby boy one for Christmas and she liked it so much that she ordered more! I made a batch of these once before for craft fairs, and you can see them here. They never made it to Etsy because they all sold! I have the other 4 bibs from this round (I have to cut them out in pairs) waiting to be finished. If you know you want one send me an email & I can reserve them for you, otherwise it might be a while until they are finished and up on the shop. I've got two very large crochet projects I'm working on at the moment, and both are custom orders for weddings so they have strict time constraints! But more on those later ^_^!


Foraging in Spring

The Cottage Law class went swimmingly! Someday in the future I will hopefully be able to put what I learned to good use, which opens up so many exciting possibilities. A few weeks earlier, for our six month anniversary (Yikes, how time flies!), Johnny also signed us up for the foraging class taught by Forage SF. More specifically it was taught by a guy named Kevin, and you can check out his website, Feral Kevin, for more info on the classes he teaches.

That's Kevin, talking about sorrel. When Johnny and I arrived and I saw the other people we were taking the class with, I knew I was going to be that annoying kid at the front of the class that new all the answers. Turns out I was right, as I was the only one in the crowd responding when he asked, "Does anyone know what this is?". Luckily the teacher was excited about this rather than annoyed lol.

 Wild radish flowers. They also come in pink and purple.

 One of my fellow classmates sampling the wild radish flowers. The leaves and green seed pods are also delicious!

 Pine pollen. Apparently one of the most nutritional foods on the planet. Johnny and I snagged some and made a tincture out of it.

Wild spinach! This grows near the coast a lot and is very tasty and naturally salty like celery.

We also learned about the usual suspects: nettle, miner's lettuce, wild fennel and onions, chickweed, lamb's quarters, nasturtium, dock, clover, mallow, and crane's-bill. There's even a variety of hemlock with edible fruit! I knew about a lot of these, but it was great to learn that even more parts of these plants were edible than I had originally thought and to get preparation tips. I'm surprised he didn't mention anything about plantain, but we didn't see any good ones on the hike anyhow. You can see my other foraging exploits here and here.



A little while ago I spent some time with my parents while they were on vacation, and we ended up going to Petaluma. It's such a wonderful little beach town and if you've never been I highly recommend it. We arrived in the late afternoon, so instead of dinner we headed straight to the Petaluma Pie Company and had the best little pies with the biggest scoops of homemade ice cream ever!

Then, as we wandered around the little downtown admiring all the shops and antiques, this yarn bombing out front of the bookstore caught my eye:

And finally, we went to a very popular place, the Seed Bank. I didn't have the right kind of camera lens with me to capture this business in all its grandeur, but basically it's a specialty seed and garden shop that is in a big, beautiful old building that used to be a bank. So clever and so wonderfully fun to shop in!

That same weekend I went to the last-ever Underground Market in San Francisco, and ate my heart out with some good friends. My favorite dish of the night was Thai tea ice cream with bobas and condensed milk on top:

Forage SF put on these wonderful events and they do so many cool classes all the time as they work toward opening a commercial kitchen coop space. Johnny has us signed up for the Cottage Law class this evening, which I am super excited about. California was one of the few states that didn't allow people to have their home kitchens certified for food production. In January all that changed, and now I want to learn about the process because I have so many friends who make wonderful jam and baked goods that I'd like to start a collective of sorts.
I'm having trouble coming up with a name however, and was wondering if anyone out there in the world wide web had any suggestions? All that we have to go on is that we're all female fiber artists (knitters/crocheters), and we will be selling preserves and baked goods. Big prize if someone creates a name we end up using lol!


My new favorite hat!

I wanted to talk a little bit more about the hat you saw in my Tahoe post! I started this little beauty  in mid December and had it finished by the time new year's came around. Normally I'm not such a quick knitter, especially when I have to follow a pattern that has some substance, but I was on vacation and had little else but sit around in my parent's cozy house and knit. I found the pattern via Ravelry, and it's a free Debbie Stoller pattern called the All-Day Beret. A very apt title as I have been wearing this thing all the time, I absolutely love it and I didn't even bother to block it! It's made from an aran-weight yarn Johnny picked up for me from his local yarn shop in Campbell, a hand-painted Lorna's Laces superwash merino. So heavenly soft and nice to knit with!
The hat's pattern confused me a bit because I didn't realize you are working it with the wrong side facing you the whole time. It's technically reversible, but while I was knitting I thought I was doing something wrong. I just missed the little blurb about this at the top of the pattern haha. I'd say if you're new to reading more complicated patterns this is a great hat to start with.
Also, on a side note, I got a Blythe doll for Christmas and am planning on using some of the leftover yarn to make a mini version of this hat for her and I will post the pattern when I'm done!


Social Networking

I just wanted to take a minute to mention the new social media buttons in my sidebar, under my little profile blurb. I am extremely proud of myself, because I learned how to write the html code for those all by myself! Granted, this might not seem like much of a task to some people, but I'm not super html or graphic design savvy so this is a big step for me!

I got this great set of social media icons from Carrie Loves Design. You can download all of them in 30 different colors, so there's bound to be one to match your blog's color scheme. She links to this site for instructions on how to build the code for the buttons, but it took a bit of trial and error for me because the instructions are not specific to Blogger and Photobucket has undergone a revamp, and I almost missed the bit about how to adjust the size. So I'll break down the process as best I can right now, in case anyone out there is like me and a little intimidated by html:

1. Download the file from Carrie's website. It will be a zip file so you'll need to open it and grab all the .png files and copy/paste them into a folder elsewhere.
2. Go to Photobucket and make a free account or log in. Upload the set of icons you wish to use.
3. Go into your Blogger dashboard and select the tab to edit your layout. Click the "Add a Gadget" link and select the "Text" widget, and place it wherever you want your icons to be on your page.
4. Now comes the fun part. You only need to know a couple bits of html to get this to work, so fear not! First of all, you need to know the address of the page you want the button to link to. 
Take, for example, Pinterest. My Pinterest page is http://www.pinterest.com/ohthecuteness. Now go to your Photobucket account and click on the Pinterest icon you uploaded. In the sidebar to the right there will be a box labeled "Image Links". Click on the "Direct Code" box and it will tell you the link has been copied.
5. For every icon you will need to know what page you want to link to, and have the image's url copied as detailed in step 4. 

In the text widget you created, be sure you are in the "Edit HTML" mode, and write the following:

Now, without any space between the first chunk of code, type this:

6. The icons you downloaded are 72x72 pixels, which I found to be quite a bit too big for my sidebar. If you feel the same and want to shrink them down, you do the same steps as before, but at the end of the image source code (that second line of gobbeldy-gook up there), you will type width="45px", or "30px", whatever suits you, and the finished code should look like this:

And that's it! Repeat the process for all the icons you want to use, just make sure your website matches your button and you'll be sporting some cool social media buttons before you know it!


Pinball Wizard

I got to go to a big pinball convention in San Jose, and now I'm totally obsessed! The vintage machines from the 1950's and early 60's have such wonderful imagery and colors, and I'm determined to have one in my house someday, though it will probably be quite a long time from now. Until then, to tide me over, I hear that here is an awesome pinball museum in Alameda that lets you pay $15.00 for as much pinball as you can play in a day! If you can't find me, you know where I'll be... And as always there's plenty more photos on my flickr, here.


Stitching and Bitching at the Fiber Fest

I don't know how I forgot to post about this (derp) but the stitch & bitch group I created over 4 years ago had a booth at the Oakland Fiber Festival this past summer. Unfortunately the fair is taking a hiatus this year, but will hopefully be back the next. We had about 6 of our members come together to sell their wares and it was a great success, not to mention a great time! We'd like to do another fair this year, so if anyone knows of a good one here in the bay area please let me know!

We did a free make & take, teaching people how to crochet a chain and add a button to make it a wrap bracelet. I spent most of the day manning this particular part of the booth and I had a blast!

 Carolyn stepped up as the main cashier when I got swamped by people for the make & take.

 It was so nice to see everyone's different styles come together to make an eclectic and crowd-pleasing booth. Go Oakland!

 Suzanne made these brilliant starched rainbow snowflakes. I love them so very much!
If you're interested in joining our meetup group, check out the badge in my sidebar.