Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I never really think of sewing as art, at least not the kind of sewing I do. However, when I was asked to create a piece for The Tin Thimble's "All in the Family" exhibition for the Auburn Art Walk at Oz Gallery of Fine Jewelry, I had to rethink that notion. It was obvious that I wanted to sew something...or rather "sew" something, but fabric (that I could afford) just wasn't going to be artsy enough. After a very long and fun trip to Chico Scrapbooks I decided upon paper for my medium. I also obtained some of the paper from this incredible art store in Fort Bragg called Racines. Long story short, my dress has a regular muslin underdress, and then is covered (through tedious pinning, glueing and tacking) by pleated, folded and layered paper!

This piece, along with all of my Mother's and Sister's art pieces can be viewed at Oz Gallery in Auburn until November 30th. If you're local, you should go take a gander. Not to brag, but my family's pretty damn talented (ok, maybe I'm bragging a little). 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My (2nd) Favorite Time of the Year

If you didn't all ready know, I love Halloween. I mean, I really love Halloween. A lot. Also, it's a good time of year to be a seamstress. I get the wildest requests for costume help and I'm always up for a challenge.  This year (so far, that is) I've been a circus ring-leader and a sugar skull. I've whipped up a pretty sweat gnome costume to wear on Wednesday when all the little kids come trick or treating but I'll share photos of that later. 

Vest I bought at a thrift store, and embellished the crap out of. I added rick rack, epaulettes, pocket square, sequin trim. 

I added a couple red ruffles to my dance shorts to make a faux bustle. 

Sparkly tights! 

I did my makeup following several makeup tutorials on Youtube. I would highly recommend Kandee Johnson and Tanya Burr for similar looks. Elf sparkly eyeliner, L'Oreal foundation, Covergirl blush, Clinique mascara, Covergirl lipstick and Elf liquid eyeliner in black.

This was SO much fun to do. I received inspiration from Pinterest and then put my own spin on it. The white, black and red makeup is all from a cheap vampire palette I bought at Target for $3. I was called everything from creepy to awesome. Chya! 

 I can't wait to see all the little kids dressed up on Wednesday (lets face it, their costumes are always the best). Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Ocean Has My Heart.

School, work, school, more school, tests, intermediate bug-catching breaks (for an entomology class), school, work, and then... a trip to Mendocino. A real vacation in a bed and breakfast with fun people, good vibes and no stress. Aaahhhh. I don't have much to say for this post. Mostly just some lovely photos that speak for themselves and hopefully translate a bit of the incredibly peaceful weekend I just enjoyed with Matthew and his family. Hope you're all doing well! I have exciting things to blog about coming up. Stay posted!

The "sand" at Glass Beach

The B&B Matthew's family friends own and so generously let us all invade. It was gorgeous inside and out! 

I love a good foggy day (especially when it's 100 degrees at home).


The view from the headlands, a short 5 minute walk from the house. Sigh. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mr. Eisenhower Said it Best.

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field" - Dwight D. Eisenhower

As some of you may know, I am just a short 9 months away from completing my degree in Agriculture from California State University, Chico. Call me crazy, but when I day dream, I float off to a land  of planning field directions, crop rotations, irrigation systems, tractors and cover crops. Yes, I want be a farmer. 

My degree requires an internship, and I completed mine just a couple of weeks ago. Let me tell you, we do an awful lot of talking about farming while I am in school but very little actual farming. Mr. Dwight D. Eisenhower couldn't have said it more precisely. Talking and writing about farming is one thing, but doing it? HA! That's an entirely separate ball bark. In a different city. In a different country. Writing and reading and presenting about farming, heck even gardening, that stuff's easy. Farming is hard. I worked 40 hours a week and Steve and Lisa work faaarrrr more than that. It's hot and you're constantly dirty, varying body parts hurt when you finish the day, and the to-do list is never ending. And I loved just about every minute of it. Except for weeding, I won't lie, I didn't love weeding. I highly value my education, but after the experience and knowledge I gained this summer, I might value practicing my education more. 

I interned for an incredible couple, Lisa and Steve Pilz, at Pilz Produce in Penryn, California. I could not have paid for the amount of knowledge I obtained during my two months there. And wow, just look at the things I was lucky enough to see every day. 

A pensive looking sunflower.

A snapshot of a view of the fields when I first arrived. They look nothing like this now, they're all grown up!

The lovely view of Penryn, Rocklin and wayyyyyy out there in the distance, Sacramento.

Lisa let me pick sunflowers with her one chilly morning. All mornings should start with picking sunflowers. It's a lovely task to do when you first wake up. 

The incredible, cathedral-esque view from underneath the citrus trees.

Purdy tomatoes. 

Tractor practice always makes me nervous. That's my nervous smile. 

Candy yellow onions layin' out to cure. 

I was lucky enough to be able to work at the Auburn farmer's markets on Saturdays. Those days were definitely some of my favorite parts of the internship. If you've never been to a farmers market, you should go. I'll say it again, go to a farmers market. Meet a farmer, introduce yourself, ask them questions. And then when you go home, lay out everything you bought, revel in how good it feels to shop local and support (literally) the hands that feed you and then make a kick-ass dinner. Do it! 

Striped Armenian cucumbers. These things are crazy! They're like a foot and a half long! 

Did I mention we grew melons? Oh, well we did. More melons than I had ever laid eyes on in my life. Watermelons (orange flesh, yellow flesh, red seeded and red seedless), Crenshaw melons, Cantaloupe melons, Jenny Lind melons, Canary melons, Rockyford Greenflesh melons, Honeydew melons, Charentais Melons and Orange Fleshed Honeydew melons. And we were allowed to break open the iffy ones in the field and eat them right there. And when it's 102 degrees outside and you've sweated out all the liquid you've drank, a juicy watermelon that's been cracked open with a dirty pocket knife  tastes damn good. You may think I'm exaggerating, but it's an experience that brings you right back down to earth and reminds you of just how easy we have it. 

Persimmons taking their time to grow on the trees.


Dill. Yum. 

Juliette tomatoes. They turn a beautiful red color when they're all ripe and look like christmas ornaments hanging from the vine. Just lovely. 

Pomegranate blossoms. 

I could share hundreds more photographs, but then I might bore you. If I haven't all ready. Anyway, I can't wrap this up until I make an ENORMOUS shout-out to Steve and Lisa Pilz for their patience, understanding, willingness to share, and overall amazing-ness. Thank you so much. I had an incredible 2 months and I simply can't wait to return!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I can't say enough.

The Tin Thimble's 2012 Handmade Summer Wardrobe Fashion Show was on June 30th and it was an immense success. THANK YOU, thank you, THANK YOU to everyone who showed up, participated and supported us this year. We had 100 attendees! A HUNDRED! And 19 girls walked in the show this year, which is almost four times the amount of participants we had last year. I cannot express my exuberance, thankfulness, and encouragement enough. Not only do I work tirelessly for this event, but my mother, my sister and our supporters do as well. It was so completely, wonderfully, exciting to see all of our effort pay off at such a well attended event with so many lively and happy people there. That kind of attendance and support only pushes me to plan an even BETTER (thats right, I said better) show for next year. You just wait! Before I get way ahead of myself though, here are pictures from this years FANTASTIC show!

Mom and I went with a bit of a Carnival theme this year. The runway went in a circle which we accidentally realized mimics a circus ring! Peanuts, 1930's ads, ticking, pennant garlands, circus lights, antique fruit crates and 1920's music wrapped the theme up. 

I've gotta be honest. I really, reeeeally, like the poster Emma and I designed this year.

Me in my "Daisy" wrap top. Vintage fabric and a 1980's pattern. Made by me.

Emma in her reversible flirty skirt. Anna Maria Horner voile and pattern.

Me in my "Rice" dress. Lotta Jansdotter fabric and a vintage pattern. See previous blogpost.

The "Blurple" dress. New Look pattern, vintage fabric. See previous blog post. 

Emma laughing. Of course. In her cute ginger skirt. Lotta Jansdotter fabric and a Collette pattern. 

My mother in her cowboy wrap dress. Vintage fabric, vintage pattern. Only she could wear that and get away with it. 

New Look pattern, voile. See previous blog post. 

Emma in her "Crepe" dress. Joel Dewberry voile and a Collette pattern. Fit her like a glove. 

My mother in a great 1940's style halter dress. Vintage pattern, Alexander Henry fabric. 

Me in my "Keyhole" dress. Vintage and new fabrics, mixed patterns altered by me. See previous blog post.

My mom in her "Crabapple" dress. Great vintage pattern, Farmington fabric. My favorite piece of hers this year!

My mother in her overalls. Altered vintage pattern, new fabrics. Soooo my mother!

Mom, Emma and me. 


Just some of our guests!!