July 28, 2010

Lilly turns 1!

Earlier this month our darling neighbor, Lilly, turned 1! Living so close to us, Lilly is the recipient of all my "firsts" in crochet - like this pink sweater:

This is an easy pattern from Bundles of Love - though I had to rip out many, many rows at first when I realized that I had not picked up the last chain on all previous 6 rows. I would have appreciated a stitch count for each line, but I figured it out during the second go-round.

This sweater only took a couple of hours to crochet, but it took over a month to decide what button to sew on it.

I went with short sleeves instead of long, as it's July and I wanted to make sure that Lilly would be able to wear it before she outgrew it. I haven't seen it on her yet, but I hope it fits!

Lilly also got a set of "Forest Friends" finger puppets.

This is a pretty simple and basic design. For all you crocheters, it's:

rnd 1: 6 sc in magic circle
rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc (12 sc)
rnd 3 - 12: 1 sc in each sc (12 sc)

I added embellishments and changed colors where I chose to indicate clothing. I generally just winged it all. The mouths, eyes and bird feet were embroidered, and the dots on the mushroom cap were needle-felted on.

July 27, 2010

Oh my, how the garden grows

When we left for the East coast on July 16th, this is what our vegetable garden looked like:

When we returned home yesterday, this is how the garden looked:

July 15, 2010

Fourth of July: culinary adventures

On the 4th of July, Jessica, Bobby and his Mom came over for their first chance to use the pizza oven. Bobby was the genius behind the cob oven construction, so he was excited to use it, and to show it off to his mother. He also got quite attached to Mike's infrared thermometer...

While I prepped the pizza dough ahead of time, Jess and Bobby brought everything else for the meal (including some excellent beer from Ambacht). It was great to sit back and watch them work in my "kitchen".

Bobby brought a new dish to the table as well: cob oven roasted beets and carrots. The beets were boiled in vinegar and water for 25 minutes, then slightly smashed.

Beets have a great color - so visceral.

Then we threw them on a pan and popped them in the oven. They were fabulous - very sweet and tasty.

Creating pizza - lots of new toppings this time, including peaches, anchovies, yellow tomatoes and some excellent sausage from new seasons.

July 13, 2010

Party West Coast Style: Fiesta!

At long last, fiesta photos! This fiesta had everything that a good party needs...

A pinata...

Home-brewed beer...

Live music...



Fiesta photo booth!

Mike and I leave this week to begin our vacation, culminating in the actual wedding of Sara & Bobby!

July 4, 2010

Party West Coast Style - Preparing

As mentioned, two weeks ago was Sara and Bobby's Engagement Party. Mike and I took the train up on Wednesday night and spent the next 4 days preparing to celebrate and then celebrating.

The party was at the Bayview Civic Hall in Bayview, WA - just a few miles away from Mom & Mark's house. The theme of the party was "Fiesta!".

On Friday we began the set-up process. While Mom and Sara made horchata and sangria, Susanna diced strawberries to go with the 100 sugar biscuits made by Sara and Mom earlier in the week.

Mike and I attached flowers and streamers on the stage and windows.

Sara and Bobby cut designs into the white plastic tablecloths to resemble papel picado.

Sara, in Ohio, and Mom, in Washington, both made bags full of paper flowers. We decorated the entire hall with them -including the "fiesta photo booth".

On Saturday morning, after an indulgent breakfast at Calico Cupboard, we three sisters went to Envy Salon to have our hair done by Heather.

Finally, we are ready to Fiesta!

July 3, 2010

Party West Coast Style - Ladies Night

Two weeks ago Mom threw Sara and Bobby an engagement party in Washington. Since their wedding will be in New Jersey (in 3 weeks) and most of the people in Sara's life won't be able to make it, this party served as the West Coast Celebration. As her bridesmaids, Susanna, Carmel and I decided to take Sara out for Ladies' Night since we knew there wouldn't be time to do it before the wedding.

We reserved the balcony at The Flats in Fairhaven, a tapas bar with good wine. Mom hosted, Susanna decorated and I took photos while providing colorful commentary. We were joined by lots of wonderful women...

Leslie (mother of the groom), Sara and Mom

Mom and Patty

Sharon & Adrianne

Susanna & Angie

Many stories were shared about Sara - some of which she would have rather not been shared.

The party was not complete without a few "bachelorette" gifts, including 100 small candy penises (peni?), lingerie and pasties.

When dinner wrapped up we headed over to the Wild Buffalo to listen to music. We didn't realize that they were showing a snowboarding movie that evening with dj-ed music. As Susanna remarked, it was like being back in high school. Regardless, we didn't let it stop us from dancing, and as a result, we walked away with several free t-shirts and a couple of cds.

While we tried to make it ladies only for most of the night, we did ask the boys to drive us, and since they graciously responded to our beck and call, we let them join us towards the end - after all, there was a reason we married them in the first place.

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