Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Burlap Bag and a Thank You!

By now you know that I have a thing for burlap.  Well, I've done it again, gone and made another burlap bag. Fashioned after the original by I.Gant this bag is a "thank you" for all of the hard work Mary Reed has done preparing for my husband's retirement party. 

 I did a tutorial on a chocolate brown bag a few months ago and used the same basic pattern for this bag but changed it up a bit.  It's wider and shorter and has a large button instead of a shabby rose and I added a ring to dress up one of the straps.  Do you like this one better?  Here is the first one:

Burlap Bag with Shabby Rose Tutorial

Chocolate Brown Burlap Purse

I have been using this chocolate brown bag everyday since I made it and just love it.  Recently I added interfacing to the straps and an inside pocket for my iPhone.  For Mary's bag I made the straps a bit wider and learned how to install a magnetic snap.  That bag needed one because of the wider top opening.  I also rounded the corners a bit so they weren't so "dog-eared."  (see my tutorial for how to do this on a pillow here).  It's a bit different for a bag.  Perhaps I'll do a tutorial on this one, too.


And here is the finished bag. 

Do you like it?

Mary Reed...I can't thank you enough for all of the hours and hours you have spend ensuring that Michael's retirement party is a great success!  I hope you like your bag.


I Won the Giveaway!

hosted a giveaway this month and I won this book:
The French Inspired Home by Carolyn Westbrook

Here are some of the luscious photos Amy posted during the giveaway

 My new book!

Linen slipcovers for wing chairs 
Linen slipcovers and needlepoint pillows.
A sweet ballet pink table...a ruffled lampshade. I just bought 25 meters of fabric in Hanoi two weeks ago just like the darker chair on the left.  I'd better get busy making more slipcovers!

French Kitchen
Who wouldn't want a kitchen like this one?
French Chaise with Weathered Shutters
 Love those weathered shutters.  Still trying to talk my husband into liking them.  So far, he's at least agreed to a ladder in the lounge!  More on that later.

Shabby French Bedroom
  So sweet!  

Shabby French Slipcover
 Can you tell I'm excited to receive this?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi Celebrates 1,000th Anniversary 
This Month

We are enjoying our stay at the Hanoi University of Agriculture.  Ponds surrounding the main building are filled with lush water lilies and lotus flower.

Landing across the Red River.  One can see from the air how lush things will be here!

Who needs a truck when you have a motorbike?  This is the most popular mode of transportation here.  Almost everyone has one.  They drive safely but use their horns way too frequently!

A very local market.  A far cry from the glitzy shopping area of downtown.

Hoan Kiem Lake is right in the heart of downtown Hanoi, Vietnam
Hoan Kiem Lake is right in the heart of downtown Hanoi.  This temple is called the Tortoise Tower.

Traditional Vietnamese hat still seen all about town.

The Temple of Literature was founded to pay tribute to education and to those of high academic achievement.  It later became Hanoi's first university.  Stone stelae record the names of successful doctorates of the past.

Rice "paper" tacos.  YUM.

Our hotel restaurant chef getting ready for lunch

One of the lecture halls

Dr Michael Stuart Reid UCD teaching in Hanoi.
Dr. Reid and his eager to learn college students!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FiLoLi Gardens

"Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life."

Filoi is a grand estate located about 25 miles south of San Francisco in Woodside, California.  It is a lovely home set in 16 acres of formal gardens surrounded by a 
654 acre estate on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

We were fortunate to attend a retirement party there this last weekend at the home
of Lucy Tolmach (Director of Horticulture) on the grounds of FiLoLi.

 If this looks familiar perhaps you were a fan of the TV series "Dynasty."  Filoli was in the opening scenes each week at the start of this show.

FILOLI Gardens reflecting pool
 We toured the gardens at sunset after dinner.  It was breathtaking.

Filoli Reflecting Pool
  Reflecting pool and former carriage house 

hydrangea at Filoli Gardens
  The hydrangeas were enormous

Lucy Tolmach (Director of Horticulture) 
was our hostess and  gave us the evening tour.

The retirement cake was yummy.  It was made by Jim Salyards who works
at FiLoLi.  It was one of the most delicious cakes I have ever had.
It was layers of genois, dacquoise, marzipan, raspberry  jam, fresh
raspberries and homemade crème fraiche.  I can't wait to try making one of these!

If you're ever in San Francisco it really would be worth the trip to Woodside to visit FiLoLi.  You can tour the house or garden or both.  Let me know if you visit.  I'd love 
to see your photos and hear about your experience there.



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Wedding

Photos of my daughter's wedding.  The day couldn't have been more perfect. It was truly magical and I didn't want it to end.  I don't have many photos and the professional photographer's album isn't ready yet but here is what I have.

 The dress

 Ready to walk down the aisle

Mother-of-the-Bride (me!) and my husband (Deputy Commissioner of Marriages
for the day) who performed the ceremony.

David (the Groom) walking his mother, Annie down the aisle.  Annie, God love her, was so emotional just before this when her son told her he was taking her down the aisle.  So sweet!

Flower girls Rain and Ayla...precious and precocious! The Bride in the background.
The vows were so sweet

Mr and Mrs Nesting!

 The first dance

The music

The cake.  White chocolate and berries. Yum!

Proud Parents!

The honeymoon on isle St Lucia
 Good luck Brie and David.  You make a wonderfully special couple!


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