I'm packing up a few things and heading off to my friend's house for a lunch cooking get-together. FUN! What's on the menu? I sent 4 possibilities via email and my friend chose Menu 4: Bánh xèo (Vietnamese veggie-filled pancakes in a sweet spicy soy sauce) and the grapefruit salad.
[The recipes are from Plenty and Burma, respectively.]
The kids are at Hebrew School, there's still a light covering of snow in the ground, I'm tucking into a warm cup of tea to ponder plans for the rest of the day and then heading to the basement to work on the peasant blouse... But right now, the first sip and a deep breath in the peace of the present moment. This is so needed to calm the swirl of thoughts and the clench in my belly. Hoping with more sipping and more breathes all the knots will come undone.
Here are photos from Ryan's first few sewing lessons and the culmination of his first project: a cloth napkin to use at mealtimes. We started the lessons on Jessica's Janome sewing machine (her 5th birthday present) but it was acting wonky and after trying to fix it 2-3 times it was still acting up and I can't figure out why. We switched to my machine and he liked it MUCH better. The boy has great taste, what can I say?! Sewing on a Bernina is a dream.
He was so excited with his first sewing accomplishment that he brought it in to school to show his friends and teachers and to use at lunch. He even brought it to dinner when we went out to eat (!!). He started planning a tote bag last night!
If anyone can recommend any other beginner projects that would be good for boys please let me know. I've signed the kids up for beginner seeing classes that start in February but it's always good to have a few projects in my stash for days off and free time when the motivation strikes.
I've been inspired by my son the past few days. He's been showing an interest in learning to sew lately (perhaps he was desiring more testosterone-based patterned cloth napkins instead of the girly ones that I made a few years ago in pinks, oranges, greens... basically the leftovers of my duvet cover project for our master bedroom).
So over the long four day weekend we made a trip to the fabric store so he could pick out fabric, and then I taught him to sew - on paper first and then on the real deal... fabric. Jessica had also mentioned that she wants to learn to sew a tote bag, so she picked out some fabric too and now my mind, having been living in the land of colors, patterns, and shapes, is loving all of the inspiration and all I want to do is sew too!
I tried yesterday to get some seeing time in but am I the only one who can't get anything done when the kids are home?! The kids went back to school today and then I got down to business. The first project that I wanted to complete were placemats.
I made my finished placemats 15"x20" using odds and ends of fabric that I had laying around in my stash. I love the other side that you can't see in this photo (it's from Amy Butler's Ginger Bliss line) that were essentially 4 fat quarters trimmed slightly. These placemats are double-sided and have thin batting in between the front and back layers to give them some thickness and to protect the table when the plates are hot. We can now put our glasses and cups on the placemats and can keep our coasters in the drawer for another occasion (like when we have a drink on a side table or something like that). For now, I have left the the placemats I quilted but when I get better at this whole sewing thing I may end up quilting them since I always love how free-form quilting looks.
These make me smile.
I just found a little bit more to savor.
My next project is going to be a cute, little headphone case that can clip onto my wallet wristlet!
A few things of note on the counter: the bouquet of flowers I bought last week still going strong, pizza dough for dinner tomorrow, Great Northerns soaking for dinner Saturday (Ryan's favorite, white bean and sage fritters).
This was the view from this morning where I spent time prepping some things for dinner to make things go smoothly when I get in the door with both kids from their activities past out usual dinner time though this time seems to be becoming our new dinner time (chopping veggies, onion, garlic; cooking a big batch of short grain brown rice and also a wild rice blend because we need some of the former for dinner and I need to stock the freezer with some), making spinach pesto for tomorrow's dinner from the ginormous, Modernist Cooking at Home, and watching the raindrops out the back window.
My car is getting its 105,000 mile maintenance checkup at the service shop. I'll be (carefully) driving Mike's car this afternoon and trying to find parking spots where no one else is parked because I am not used to driving his car. Come to think if it, I don't think I've ever drove his new car. Eeeek, I wish I hadn't realized that. Wish me luck.
This morning Jessi tried a beginner ballet class at a new studio. We love the studio she goes to now and are planning on staying but they don't have a beginner ballet class that fits her schedule so one of the owners suggested this other one to us. She really enjoyed it too, so I'm happy that she gave it a chance.
Then we headed to lunch (and a girls day out) with our cousin, Paula, at a new Thai place by us that Mike and I ate at for our date lunch earlier in the week and loved. It wasn't yet open yet, so we meandered into the nearby local wine shop and browsed for 30 minutes until we could eat. They have a great selection of wines that I don't often see elsewhere so it's always fun too look around. I bought two bottles, the Mamamango (a moscato & mango blend) and the Lobetia Tempranillo. They told us they have a weekly wine tasting at 2. <<I'm in!>>
Then we went to lunch where I <gasp> forgot to take photos of our lunch (hahaha!). All of our meals were delicious! Paula ordered Pad Thai, J got veggie fried rice, and I had veggie Ka Prow. Yum!
After that we got our toes painted various shades of blue. Jessi picked all of the colors for each of us. It was fun to catch up on life and make plans together for upcoming weeks.
Then right when we were finished it was 1:55pm... Just in time for the wine tasting next door. We tried the 4 they had available and I had a hard time deciding which one to get. I liked the first three but didn't care for the last one. In the end, I opted for the Anarkos but I have a feeling I'll be back for the white too. I'm tempted to join their wine club. They are so nice there, and knowledgable, and not at all snooty or condescending. Is it wrong to want to pencil in Saturdays @ 2pm for wine tastings on my calendar?!
The boys had their own time too filled with Tae Kwon Do and Best Buy. And Ryan made the decision to forgo playing spring baseball (after 6 seasons). It feels like an end of an era. He loves TWD so much (and is really good at it) that I don't know that he'll ever go back to baseball. He loves being active and I don't think baseball grabbed his attention and kept it and allowed him to be as active as he likes to be (there's a lot of waiting and watching, after all) so for right now TWD is really working for him.
I'm looking forward to seeing the Lincoln movie on my date night tonight with Mike. This doesn't happen often so I'm really excited at getting some time together just the two of us.
It's pajama baking time in our kitchen. J and I are baking up Spiced Up Brownies. We're melting chocolate and butter and adding in cardamom, cinnamon, chipotle, and vanilla. It's about to smell really good at Casa de Cohen.