Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today I'm heading to...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pasadena Chalk festival

Here are some pictures of the totem pole chalk drawing I made as a part of the Pasadena Chalk Festival 2010.
It took ~ 14 hours to do on a not-too-hot Fathers day weekend. I quite enjoyed it, especially when my husband and the boys came to see me and we all went to dinner at Islands. It was a great night.

Le Creuset & CSN Review

Oh it came! And boy am I happy!
I've received a Cobalt blue Le Creuset batter bowl and a kiwi green au gratin dish to review from

So here goes nothing:The Le Creuset 2 Qrt batter bowl

Looks *****
Functionality ****
Durability ***

The Le Creuset batter bowl is beautiful. It has a pleasing shape and the colours are vibrant and stunning. It makes me happy cooking with it, however... it can be quite heavy when full of batter and hard to use in one hand. If you were to drop this, I'm sure the handle at least would break off. But the lip is beautiful for pouring pancake batter and maybe this beauty will inspire me to make smaller servings all around.
Le Creuset Au Gratin dish

Looks *****
Functionality *****
Durability ******

This little guy is a keeper. Beautiful colour, goes from freezer to over to table. Perfect size for individual anythings! I'm collecting these, I want all of the colours. I like to use them just for holding snacks are finger foods. Crackers and cheese! I think if dropped the au gratin dish would stay in one piece.
Website appearance ***
Customer Service *****
Search engine ***
Products carried *****

I was impressed with the wide assortment of products to be found on CSN. I did find that the search engine wasn't being very thorough however, things I'd find whilst browsing would not come up in keyword searches. They have good prices and even a price matching program where you can send another online price you've found from their competition and they'll meet or beat it, which is cool. They carry many brands I like, ones not normally found online too.
I found the website overwhelming, too many things and the layout looked scattered. I didn't like the colour scheme, it didn't make it feel together, you know? The Customer service however was really good, I see that's where their money has gone.
I would have liked to be able to choose USPS shipping, though maybe it wasn't available due to the weight of my order... see next review for details.

Branding *****
Customer Service *
Dedication to getting you your package ZERO

If you live in an apartment building (like millions of people do!) ordering from Fed Ex can be a real pain. Unless you have a doorman. I do not. They attempted to deliver my CSN order 3 times. The first time they left a note - no name or apt number on the thing. The second time there was a name, and the 3rd time there was an exclamation mark. If you live in an apartment, what's the likeliness of being at home during the day? Well, even after contacting them after the 2nd try and asking them to call a different apartment and the manager when they arrived, none of that happened. They told me I could pay $25 to have it routed to another address. Ummm, no? In the end I had to reroute it to my work address, I should have known better, but I thought that was their job... anyhow. The prompt delivery promised by CSN was therefore not fulfilled due to the lack of dilligence displayed by Fed Ex. So, CSN, perhaps you should investigate UPS or USPS.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chalk Festival weekend

This weekend is the Pasadena Chalk Festival. I participated in 2008, but not last year as I was still recovering from my c-section. I am excited to be an artist again this year. It is really physically demanding and I remember almost weeping and swearing to myself I would never enter as a solo artist again, but, alas, like childbirth I seem to have forgotten the pain and only kept the happy memories, so here I am for round two!

If you're near Pasadena, come by the Paseo Colorado and check it out on Saturday or Sunday.

Here's a slideshow I made after the 2008 Festival documenting the piece I created.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Le Creuset Product Review!

I've been contacted by CSN Stores and asked to do a product review on one of their Le Creuset items.... hmmmm???!!!! Which to choose, which to choose?

Have you heard of CSN? They're a collection of 200 + stores and they sell, well, everything. Track lighting, sewing machines, stationery, bed sets, Stand mixers and tons of kidstuff, I don't even want to look in to their kid stuff. Basically browsing their stores makes you realize that every one of your rooms are lacking :) Wow, I just spelled out my Christmas wishlist right there. Except the kidstuff - we have too much of that! They carry many designers that I like, including Marrimekko, Dwell Studios, Working Class Studio and Paper Cloud.

More to come when I receive the Le Creuset beauty - do you know Le Creuset? Do you love them? Which one do you think I'd choose?

Stay tuned for a Le Creuset giveaway from CSN via Fruit and Foliage coming next month!!! ( You don't really think I could keep this to myself do you - no, we need to spread the love!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Trimmed with Love Contest Entry and a new purse from an old dress

Alrighty, I've been busy using my last few free afternoons prior to starting WFT (Working Full Time) to sew sew sew.
And here's what I've got to enter in Melissa Stramel's trimmed with love contest :
A fully trimmed birdie! My 3 year old begged me for this rickrack 6months or so ago while we were visiting Jo-Anns, and now here it goes to good use. The pattern is a free download from Spool, check it out here. I'm creating a little army of them for the nooks and crannies in my house and office(s). A great way to display super cute fabric or, as in this case, embellishment.

My other entry and latest project is a new purse I've made myself from an old dress I found at the thrift store.
This project took about 2 hours and was quite straight forward. I documented it with pictures (below). Essentially I stole the zipper with fabric to spare around it, cut off the skirt, lining and all, and sewed up the bottom, added the zipper to the top, used the trim as both an accent and the strap. I also added some piping. I'm really happy with how it turned out, these photos don't do it any justice! I need a model, or a personal photographer... perhaps I'll ambush a friend at work tomorrow :)
I've had this idea in the back of my mind for months, but it was finally seeing Annekata's bag last week that lit the fire to get this done.

The dress.

The Cuts.

The Purse.

The Details.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Experimenting with fabric

I am currently taking part in Bree of Me and my 2 guys's International Fat Quarter swap. I'm super excited to be swapping with Viv from the Yukon (Canada) and Daisy from Portugal (any Arrested Development fans out there wondering if that's in South America? It's not).
So, I want to do something special for them and lately I've been experimenting with block printing, so, fingers crossed for me that something works out. I can't post photos as I want to surprise them, but photos to come, I promise!

In other blogger news, Mo Bedell of Lime Gardenias has printed her first line of fabric and fabric in hand she is now going to give some away. It's really cute and good for sweet little girl dresses (as you can see on her blog). I have few little girls in my life, so for me I'd like to make a skirt, or perhaps a bag. Anyhow, bottom line, I like it. So had over and enter to win. Even if you don't like it, you can send it to me when you win :)
Here are some photos of the fabric from Mo's blog:

Last but not least - I am intent on keeping up with Sew, Mama, Sew's June theme "Make it - Wear it" - this month is all about clothing. So I've started simple - jammy shorts for the boys because it's mighty hot in So Cal and we do not have central air conditioning.
Happy Wednesday!!!