Sunday, December 5, 2010

A T-Shirt Quilt Repair Project

A woman saw us at the Ocean Beach fair and startred talking about the custom t-shirt quilts.  Her best friend had passed away at an early age leaving her college-age daughter behind.  This woman is close with the daughter and when the daughter wanted a quilt of her mom's t-shirts with which to wrap herself for comfort, the woman went out to get one made.  The result was a disaster (I'm not going to post the before pictures) and in despair, she brought it to us to see what we could do to fix it for the daughter.  My mom is a master-fixer and the result has made the daughter very happy.  This is a large quilt and we got in most of the pieces we salvaged.  Have a project for us?  Let us know!  :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipe: Cranberry Relish

While the big feast is only a day away and I'm late to the game to post this recipe.  We've been on vacation and came back to big catch-up at my full-time job (no, it isn't the sewing! although how I wish it were).  In case there are a few out there looking for a new cranberry sauce to accompany the bird, this is a recipe from the now-defunct Gourmet magazine that is super easy and has to be the best I've had.....I've had it made with 1/2 cranberry sauce and 1/2 cranberries.  Enjoy!!  And have a Happy Thanksgiving to anyone out there who still reads my blog - I have promised myself to be more blog-attentive. :-)

Cranberry Orange Relish
November 2009
by Ian Knauer

2 oranges
2 (12-ounces) bags cranberries (thawed if frozen)
2 Gala, Fuji, or Red Delicious apples, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar

Cut peel and white pith from oranges and cut segments free from membranes. Coarsely chop, discarding any seeds.

Pulse fruit with allspice and 1/2 cup sugar in batches in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sugar to taste.

Cooks' note:
Relish improves in flavor if made 1 day (and up to 3 days) ahead and chilled.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!.....and some new stuff.

Happy 10-31-10!  What kid doesn't like Halloween?  When younger, my brothers and sister and friends and I used to try to hit every house in our development.  There were 9 blocks and then houses along the main road.  I always felt confident we'd make it to every single one and then inevitably, when we'd be furthest from our home, I'd feel like I could not walk another step.  One good thing about where I live now - Long Beach - the houses aren't so far apart, but it isn't a private block, so lots of traffic.  I know years from now when Little Olive is trick-or-treating with her friends, I'm going to be a nervous-wreck.  For now, here she is choosing a pumpkin:

And some hot-of-the sewing-machine projects include a vintage blue chenille quilt (truly a one-of-a-kind gift and available on our website ) and some new handbags......Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Giveaway!! At "If I Had a Hammer" Blog

So glad she is back posting to her blog....and to top it off?  a giveaway!!  An adorable cherry ring.  Check it out here.  But, remember, I'm going to win it. he he he

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10 & Pumpkins & Bracelets - Oh my!

A Sunday in October, in 2010, but it isn't any old Sunday, it is the 10th.  I'm someone who loves numbers and special dates.  Even if it doesn't seem a 'special date' I always add up the numbers to see what I can see. I count steps when I know I'm walking far - and then the next time, try to do the same trip in less steps.  Or only step on a section of sidewalk one time and see how many pieces I can hit before having to take a second step.  Or, if I happen to turn the light off when the clock says "10:10 pm" then I will myself not to open my eyes again to see if the minute has passed.  OR - I'm just weird this way.  But - today is a very cool date.  Had I been engaged, I'd have pushed to have the wedding today (as I believe many other couples have done).  It would be cool to be born today, at 10:10 am or pm.  :-)

Other than the date, the day was beautiful here in Long Beach.  We took Little Olive to the Long Beach Fall Festival.  City hall workers put up a carousel, make a pumpkin patch in a drained fountain, inflate one of those obstacle-balloon courses, book live music, and feature food from local restaurants.  In all the years we've been here, the festival is gratis - except for the food and the pumpkin patch, but kids can get a free pumpkin for wearing a costume, otherwise it is $1.  THIS year, there are obviously minds-a-workin' in the offices of the big brick building because each obstacle and carousel ride was $1, and the pumpkins were $2 for a small and $4 for a large.  *sigh* nothing is free, but it was nice to get the pumpkins for the doorsteps.

 "Stella and Dot" released some new items for the holidays.  I loved these wrap-bracelets and ordered a set:

 I also treated myself to the Petra bracelet as my SIL raves about it:

But, my Fall standby thus far has been the Vintage Twist:

Followed closely by the Vintage Link:
And then there is the slinky-like Bardot Spiral:

and the Cortez cuff:

Happy Sunday!  I hope you enjoyed the 10-10-10 day!

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Locks for Love"

Last Spring, when I literally let my hair down after months of leaving the house with it wet and tied in a bun, I was shocked at how long it had grown.  I really wanted to get it cut shoulder-length, but then remembered a couple of friends who had donated to "Locks for Love", an organization that accepts donated hair to make wigs for sick, disadvantaged children.  I went to the website to see the requirements (bc I do have a bit of gray in there now) and was happy to see that color didn't matter, but length needed 10".  Ugh.  I need more unless I want to go the way of Demi Moore in "Ghost" - BTW, I've always envied that haircut and wish I were brave enough to do it, but alas, I'm not.  So here I am at September 24th, with just the 10" to donate and still retain a decent length (i.e. able to put it back in a clip). My mom, the best in the world, gave me the cut, color, and highlights as my birthday present. 

Here are the results in pictures.  This was my first time going to this haircutter, but I trusted her - and she did a fabulous job!  Or at least I think so. :-) 

I hope this inspires some others who are near the 10" brink and itching to just cut it all off, to take the plunge and donate to the good cause.




Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th - Nine Years later

Hard to imagine what happened 9 years ago today, actually happened.  That morning I was up in the kitchen washing dishes - less than 2 miles from the Twin Towers.  I heard a plane go overhead and thought to myself "that plane is flying very low" because the sound was not normal.  Come to think of it, most plane noise isn't normal over NYC.  I thought about looking out my window, but knew I wouldn't see anything in the sky through my sliver of visibility.  So I went back to washing the dishes.  Mason was in the bathroom readying for work.  Then the phone rings and it's my sister telling me to put on the news because a plane just flew into the Trade Center.  She was driving her friend to work down on Wall Street before heading herself to New Jersey.  I thought it was a commuter plane with the pilot likely having a heart-attack. 

And then we all know how the story ends.  It is such a tranquil day here in Long Beach.  I'm happy not to have to go to work today - I am always nervous on 9/11.  Today we get to spend the beautiful day together.

My heart goes out to all those families effected by today - and the effects are now engraved into lives.  Elodie - I'm thinking of you....


Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1st...NY Resolution and New Owl Pillows

June and July quickly rolled by.....the outlook for August seems more of the same.  What to do to slow it down?

Back in January, when there was snow on the ground, I noted some of my New Years Resolutions.  One being "pare down" - i.e. eat out of the pantry before buying more; use up products before buying more.  My update is long overdue to those that care to know how we're doing....but there is noticeable progress (there had better be!) after 7 months.  Our pantry looks awesome!  We didn't necessarily EAT all that was in there - I found mustard with an expiration date in 2004 - and I couldn't bring myself to just toss it, like a normal person would do, but I was curious to what 6-year-old mustard would smell like.  So yes I did - I opened it.  I was thoroughly satisfied that it had turned and passed-up spreading it on my turkey sandwich.  It hit the can.  Likewise, in out bathroom, old mascara and make-up samples found the can, and the stockpile of shampoo and conditioner and soap is significantly used up, the result of purchases like "oh - it is on sale - I should buy it now" got way out of hand.  I also didn't think twice about tossing a shampoo that I didn't like after a week - If the natural seaweed formula wasn't making my hair silky-soft and I felt like there was no lather / cleaning going on, kaput, out it went. 

So as a bonus to myself for being so good, and the fact that I couldn't stand so many months without a product-purchase, I treated myself to the Burt's Bees grab-bag.  The cost? $25 and the deal is that you get about $50 worth of goodies.  I know - will I ever learn?  This is the shampoo story all over again.  But I was so excited when it arrived I actually took pictures!  :-)  BTW, that is a pumice stone, which Mr. Olive will be thrilled to have when I have him scrub my feeties.
We sold all our little owl pillows, so some fresh stock for the Ocean Beach Fair and to our newly-redesigned website,  What do you think of these guys??

Happy August 1st!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Stella & Dot" Jewelry....

While my SIL was on her family summer visit, she decided to do a Trunk Show of "Stella & Dot" jewelry, for which she is a stylist.  I really liked alot of the pieces, so I ordered a few.  I figured, I'd support her show and get myself some cool new pieces for work.  So a few days later my two necklaces and earrings arrived(everything is directly shipped to the buyer's home - awesome!!).  I am thrilled with the pieces - the quality is much more than I expected and I feel these will be with my for many moons to come.

While I'm much better with the sewing machine than actual 'face-to-face' sales, I decided to register myself as a "Stella & Dot" Stylist - in case I can introduce someone else to this fabulous jewelry company - so feel free to poke around the website through this link: or go to and where it asked for your stylist, if you'd be so kind as to enter my name, Jennifer Hicks, I'd be happier than a clam in the bay!  :-)

Who knows?  Maybe you'll find something you want to treat yourself to after a hard day or week or month...Here are some of my favorites:

Avery Necklace:

Baby Flower Earrings and Bracelet:

Starfish Earrings:
Stella Vintage Bracelet:
Sophia Cluster bracelet (on sale too!!):
Cosa Wrap Bracelet:
Rachel Necklace:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Dresses Modeled by the Cousins

Since the Indy-based family and the Florida-based family are in town for the unfortunate passing of my beloved Grandmother (cannot get into it bc more tears will spring from my eyes), I decided to take advantage of the girl-cousins.  We have some new girls dresses and I grabbed my SILs, our cameras, and our daughters and headed to the bay area on Fire Island.  Here is a peek...

Teal Madras as a Dress and as a Top + Ice Cream Halter:

Pink with Pastel Stripes Halter:
Raspberry Pink, Deep Blue, Yellow Madras:
Sea Blue Paisley and Pink Halter:
Pink Floral Peasant:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

June - Where did it go?

June is now gone and I don't even feel like I had those 30-days.  But, I know we did since I went to my college reunion at the beginning of the month and Little Olive turned a big 4 years old at the end of the month.  The days in between were spent working, cleaning, sewing for the Fair Harbor Pine Walk Fair.  Oh, and battling doctors as Little Olive didn't want the Pixo she put in her ear to come out (3 visits later, it is out).

We did a home birthday party for her on her actual day, followed by a "Birthday BBQ" which was really more for the adults to hang out and let the kiddos play in the water table.  As Mr. Olive likes to say, the day of the BBQ was "hotter than snot" - there was zero breeze - and that is unusual for living three blocks from the Ocean. 
She had an Oreo cake, which was delicious, and then a bunch of presents to open.  I ordered the afghan from the talented Alessandra of Just Be Happy!  Little Olive wanted a bunch of colors and then put together with "pink".  She and I absolutely love the result - although as you can see from the pics, Little Olive was more interested in the cool piggy amiguri Alessandra included.  Our nanny wanted to bring Piggy home with her one night to show a friend, and Little Olive flat-out refused to let it out of her sight! 

Little Olive's Florida family sent her a Princess Pack of gloves, necklace, bracelet, ring, and can bet she loved it because she loves the Princesses!  :-)

Stay cool..........July is starting out hot-and-no-rain.....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

College Reunion and New Bags

I always think there are endless hours to the day, but once the nice weather starts up and we can get outside, I find the calendar quickly fills and some stuff just falls off the list (cleaning, laundering, and blogging - oh my!).  We've been to some birthday parties, weekends away, a nursery school spring concert and moving up day, hosted and attended BBQs, and the other big time-suck, going to work.

Last weekend was my college reunion in central Pennsylvania.  We brought Little Olive since she is 3, and other friends who had children later in life also brought their tots.  I didn't seem to find enough time on this weekend to truly catch-up with college friends - said good HELLOS - but then I got home and said "I wonder if so-and-so is still doing blah-blah".  Good to see campus again - so many changes!  Students get air-conditioned dorms now??

Little Olive (left) and friend Fi on campus:

Sewing Business:  Had some good sales with the reversible totes, custom-order quilts, and baby boy flannel quilts.  Here are some pics of the finished new bags....

Happy Saturday!! 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

TREASURY: Wendi Winn of Vintage Umbrella

A big "Thank You" to fellow blogger Wendi Winn - She Likes Stuff, who chose my pink and white chenille teddy bear for her Treasury collection.  Her blog keeps me entertained, especially her 'garage sale tales', the results of which make it to her Etsy shop Vintage Umbrella.  There are so many items I love in this shop, I may just revisit once I have my June funds!