Monday, September 30, 2013

Back From la Belle France

Gentle Friends I got back to San Francisco a couple of days ago - and I have lots to share with you over the coming days....  there were lots of computer issues while I was away and lots of "catch up" at work so I have had to put off Blog posting until tomorrow.....

Take care,

Friday, September 13, 2013

Some Puppy and Framing Snaps

Gentle Friends since it's Friday it's gotta be a puppy snap day.... I was in the Castro last weekend and ran into a group of folks adopting out some sweet "puppies."  I also had my camera along withe ma and got these snaps....

...  he was a real hit and although it doesn't look like it he was really a bouncy little guy...

... this sweet little guy was totally worn out, I think it had been a big day for them all - and the weather was on the warm side...

... and here is a great little "Chug"....  a chihuahua / pug mix, a little older than most of the other dogs, but totally a love-bug!!  - and - if I hadn't had the who hound heard at home waiting he would have come home with me!!!  
- and -

... here's a snap of her Majesty The Peach perched on her "beds"... (there are three there)  she likes being up and comfy, I think Smokie ran by as I was taking the picture and of course that beats me for interest every time!

I took a few pieces in for framing and I picked a couple up last night...  sorry about the reflection of the glass..

...This piece was a "Group Travelling Pattern" that took part in, if I remember correctly it is stitched using Belle Soie and stitched on a piece of 36ct linen.  I was hesitant to used mat board, I generally do not like it with cross stitch, but this is such a small piece that it needed it for bulk.  I really like the added texture of the gold frame.

This piece is an older BBD Loose Feather design that I finished in July of 2011, It is stitched it on 32ct BoaF "Meadowlark" using my Belle Soie conversion, it's a great little piece.  I really like the plain black frame and to make it pop a little I had them add the gold fillet insert.

That about wraps up the week, only two more sleeps and I'm off to France, so I'll not be posting for a couple of weeks.  I'll be back up and Posting the week of the 30th, just in time for my big "5" "0."

Take care,

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thrifting Thursday

Gentle Friends as usual over the weekend we did our shopping and hit some of the regular shops and even a couple of Estate Sales.  Here in SF there are quite a few Antique Shops, and there used to be a few Antique Malls.  Now, we have only two smallish Antique Malls left, I guess the high prices for store space has driven them out of the city. With all that build up here's the few treasures I brought home....

... I picked up a couple of DVD's at the Goodwill, how could I go on without the Simpson's "Christmas 2" and a "Bugs Life" is a cute little film from Pixar.  The early 19th century teacup I found at a thrift shop marked $1.70, they were having a 1/2 price sale and got it for less than 1/2... .75 cents.  I was stunned, but happy.  I picked up the sterling dish at the Antique mall along with the demitasse spoon.  Both the bowl and spoon were made by Whiting.  The bowl is in the Poppy Pattern and the spoon is Heraldic.  The spoon is also a souvenir spoon from a college in Kentucky I have never heard of, but I collect his pattern and it is rare to see it anywhere.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by do stop again.......  4 more sleeps!!

Take care,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Some SF Snaps

Gentle Friends it's the high point of the week and I have some local snaps I wanted to share.....

Here's a couple of photos I took last weekend when we went to Rico's office to decorate for the Fall...

... his building has a couple of roof terraces and i just sort of wandered out and got this shot looking SW out of the CalTrain Depot.  All those apartments right up against the tracks are totally expensive places to live, on the other side they over look the Bay.....

... This shot I took looking NW towards Sutro Tower up on Twin Peaks....

... the snap I took in front of our building looking SE across the Bay towards the Mt Diablo Fire that happened a few days ago.  There have been lots fires lately but this is the first that was close enough to really see.  HERE's an article about the fire.

On the way home a few days ago we stopped off at our favorite Bakery...

... Dianda's Bakery down int he Mission.  We didn't need a whole pie or cake so we opted for a couple of slices.....

.... Rico got the strawberry and pineapple fruity concoction and I got the Chocolate Rum one...  by getting two different slices we can.....

.... cut them in 1/2 and have a taste of each - and with getting only two slices there's not a giant cake calling my name for another slice later in the evening!!

I think that about does it for today sports fans - thanks again for stopping by do stop again......  only 5 more sleeps!!! 

 I was sent this snap of the Brittany Coast taken at the house my friends rented, from "my" bedroom window, just waiting there for me to arrive.....

... I am really getting excited now!!!!

Take care,

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Summery Cake

Gentle Friends over the weekend the weather here in the City climbed to a sweltering mid 80+ and I actually had to haul out a fan.  We are having our Summer now and although the temps plummeted on Sunday, back down to the high 60's and it got foggy - we can expect a few more "hot" days to come.  With all the heat I was feeling I should make a less Fallish thing and bake a more summer cake for Monday....  so to my Mom's trusty recipe binder I went and found my Great Aunt Sue's "Apricot Nectar Cake."  Aunt Sue was married to my grandmothers brother, Uncle Wilson, and live in Newport News Virginia.  Although they were married for decades they never had children and when Aunt Sue passed she left the bulk of her estate to my Mom - which in turn I inherited quite a few things from my GGgrand parents via my Aunt Sue.  She also passed to my Mom this great (and easy) recipe for a super Summer Cake.  I may have posted it before but it is worth posting again!!

My Aunt Sue was no great shakes in the kitchen, she always had domestic help in that department, she could turn her hand to baking - and - this simple cake is one of her easiest.....

Apricot Nectar Cake

Ingredients - 
1 package Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
4 Large Eggs, room temperature
3/4 C Apricot Nectar
3/4 C Vegetable Oil
3tsp Lemon Extract

(at this point on the recipe card it says..) Glaze must be thick and cake warm when glazing

Directions - 
Blend all ingredients, beat fro at least 4 minutes.  Pour batter into a bundt pan (I used a tube pan and buttered and floured it before pouring in the batter)  Bake for about 55 minutes in a preheated 325 degree oven.  Let rest for about 5 minutes or more before removing from the pan.  After taking out of the pan poke holes all over the top.  (I used two skewers in two hands to cover more territory faster)

 GLAZE:  Mix juice and grated rinds of 2 lemons with 1 1/2 C Icing Sugar.  Spoon over the top of cake.

..... I usually will glaze the cake once then let this set up for about 45 minutes and then go back and reglaze so that there is a double covering of glaze....

Then let the cake cool completely and the glaze to firm up before cutting.....

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by do stop again!!  Only 6 more sleeps!!!!

Take care,

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Little Chocolate

Gentle Friends usually on Mondays I talk about a film or do a catch up on some stitching I working on.  Well, although I have seen a few films recently there is really nothing to talk about there... and for stitching the pieces I have at the framers are not completed and for actual stitching I am working on an exchange piece I am trying to complete before I take off to France for two weeks..... so that leaves me without a Monday Posting.... except, I did bump into a couple of treats over the weekend...... chocolate treats!!

I found this "Wild Ophelia" bar at Walgreen's and was immediately drawn into its delicious dark chocolate web of tasty inclusion.....  BBQ chips!!  "How Interesting" I thought, and so I snatched it up off the shelf and it came home with me.

Inside a broken bar you can see the chips and to me the addition of BBQ chips was interesting, but not a great addition.  I did like the nuance of BBQ smokiness but the extra crunchy bits was not a great as I had thought they would be - there is a whole line of WO bars and I think I will try next the New Orleans "Chili" and then move on to the "Sweet Cherry Pecan" just for comparison sakes don't you know!!  I know I will skip the granola as I really do not like the stuff and can not imagine that even with it being enrobed with delicious dark chocolate that it will improve the basic "outdoorsy crunch" that granola inevitably has.

The second bar is far more delicious, at least to me.....

 ....  this bar by "Chocolove XOXOX" has a bit less cocoa content at 65% than the WO bar but the inclusion is so much better....

.... big hunks of crystallized ginger, I love me some crystallized ginger.  A little sweet heat for your tongue!!!  I love just about anything with ginger in it, and the addition of crystallized ginger was a stroke of genius in my book!!  I have seen these bars a different places, but I picked this one up down on 24th Street at the Whole Foods Market.  

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by do stop again!  Only 7 more sleeps until I leave for la belle France!!

Take care,

Friday, September 6, 2013

Stitching Update

Gentle Friends I think I'll wrap up the week with a little stitching update on "BiCO."  Here's the snap....

Heartstring Samplery "Baby, its Cold Outside" 36ct "Ale" my Conversion to Belle Soie

... as you can see I made another tweak with the snow and an additional line of "Icing", other than that the trees are all on track  - I may have to put this aside to finish up an Exchange piece I need to get completed and mailed before I leave on vacation - only 10 more sleeps until I leave!!

That's about ti for today - have a super weekend and thanks for stopping by!!

Take care,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday Thrifting

Gentle Friends here in the City by the Bay we are in finally having our Summer - were the weather warms up a bit and no jacket or sweater is needed.  We have had great sunny days with the temps reaching into the upper 70's every day - sweltering.  By the early evening the wind usually picks up and some cool air blows in from the Pacific so we still have our cool nights.

Saturday we ran around and even hit a smallish estate sale and I was able to pick up some pretty inexpensive things that I just couldn't live without......

... here are the treasures... notice not a DVD or Blu Ray, there were none to buy that I didn't already have :)
From  l to r - I picked up the "Kon Tiki" book at the Estate Sale, written by Erik Hesselberg (1914–1972) who was the navigator and artist. He painted the large Kon-Tiki figure on the raft's sail. This children's book Kon-Tiki and I appeared in Norwegian in 1949 and has since been published in more than 15 languages.  What is really odd is I had just seen the film "Kon Tiki" - 2012 - a few days before I found the book, and I would highly recommend the film!!

It was a fascinating journey that I had known very little about,before watching the film and have read lots about it since then.  I was really happy to find the book and see the journey from his point of view.

Moving on...  the little grey thing with a mesh filter is a new "My K Cup" is the reusable filter to be used with the Keurig machine - we really enjoy Stumptown Coffee, a coffee roaster from Portland Oregon, and so we like to make our own "K cups" out of that coffee.  We already had one of theses things and I was thinking about getting another one, but they run about $18 and I found this one at a thrift store for .75, now you can't beat that price!!

I picked up the Myott vegetable bowl in the "Heritage " pattern for a couple of dollars, you know me and transfer ware.  The three books are just going to be so me interesting reading.  I have already read a good chunk of the Keno's book and it is just a good as I had thought it would be.  I really enjoy them on Antiques Roadshow.

There you go sports fans, a few fun things, I think that will wrap up the day.  Thanks again fro stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shoppin' and Eatin' in SF (Lots of Snaps)

Gentle Friends thanks again for all your kind comments for yesterdays post - it does brighten my day immensely to read them!!

Over my very long weekend I did have some plans and ideas and things I wanted to try and accomplish.  Two of the things I got a wild hair about were shoes and tea.  I wear (almost) exclusively Converse All Star shoes or Chucks.  I like them, they fit well and are classic sneakers - IMHO.  I also prefer loose tea to bagged tea, I like the control with loose tea when making a pot of tea and I like to see the leaves I am steeping - The brand I really like is called KUSMI, and it comes from France, but originated in Imperial Russia.  Now, I often do quick searches for both these things on the Internet, I look at the Converse web site to see what sales they have and then branch out to other distributors and other sales.  And, the tea, I have been ordering from a tea company in Boston, but often look to see if I can get elsewhere and closer.  Well, last week before the weekend I did some searching and found both of these things here, in SF.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  I had never seen a Converse store.... and did not know one had opened here in the city. ( I found out it just opened up in July)  I also had never found Kusmi tea here locally, but now found it being sold downtown at Bloomingdale's.  So, with this information in hand I used last Friday to venture to were I never go, Downtown SF.  I never go as it is too crowded with out of towners and too much traffic, too many of the streets are torn up and impassable and just too much.  Living out in Noe Valley it doesn't feel like a city, but when you are downtown you can't help but feel how much city there actually is....

I also thought while I was all the way down at Union Square why not stop in at......

... Britex, I hadn't been in a while and its always fun to stop in a pick up some trim....

... this directory is in the elevator.....

... this is only a small part of the trim wall....

.. and there are racks of ribbons.... these are two sided and jammed full of ribbon...

... a small section of the wall of buttons....  and every floor is like this -  full of stuff... bolts of fabric and more things than you can look at in one day.

Then it was a quick walk across Union Square and down to Market Street to the.......

... Converse store....

... every wall was covered in shoes and Converse stuff.....

... I liked these camouflage shoes, I already have a pair, but they are really old and need replacing....

... I thought these were a super idea, they had 4 styles with various SF things on them, and if I was a total tourista I would not have hesitated to pick up a pair..... I may just go back and get some.....

Then it was another quick walk across the street to the big and beautiful Westfeild Centre where Bloomingdale's is located  (basically a big fancy schamancy mall)...

.....  and downstairs I found this .....

...  the whole Kusmi line of teas...  I picked up a tin of :"Anastasia" - a citrus/orange tea and a tin of "Prince Vladimir" a citrus/vanilla/spice tea - these are two really delicious teas!!

On Saturday after our usually running around thrifting - we stopped off at a new (to us at least) hamburger place called "Super Duper Burgers."

.... here's the menu...

and over the place where you place you order is this great sign....

....  here is our tray......

.....  we shared the fries - and here's a close up of my burger...

... I loved that although they typically cook the burgers to medium they will cook to order if asked... and you know me I asked for rare, like I always say, "if it moo's ain't rare enough!!"  They have a "secret sauce" that is a kind of spicy aioli that goes on all the burgers that is tasty!!  In addition to the great burgers they also .....

.... make their own pickles, you get these at the condiment counter, where the ketchup, mustard and napkins are.  These are spicy, dill and really crunchy pickles.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Stitchin' Post

Gentle Friends it was a long relaxing weekend and now I'm "Back in the saddle" so to speak....  I did miss the Blog and my Blog friends, but like the weekends I vowed to not touch a computer the entire time I was away, and I didn't!!

Since this Blog did start out because of stitching, and it seems to me that I rarely post stitching stuff, I am happy to be able to devote this Post to only stitchin.....  I heard from Jayne over at "Jaynes Stitching Tales" that the ornament I made for her had arrived so it will be the first thing I will show. I made it for the HOE Prairie Schooler Ornament Exchange....

... It is "Snow Day" from Book 177 "January."  It was a really fun piece to make and so reminded me of growing up in Maryland and the Snow Days we had and all the sledding we did, usually using saucer sleds made out of metal, I think aluminum.  You soap up the bottom and they would fly like the wind down the "big hill" of snow - that bottomed out into giant fields so you could keep going and going

I worked quite a bit on the Winter sampler I started last week and have gotten all the words finished....

.... if you remember I am making this a bit bigger than charted to fit the antique frame I have, so I had to tweak the letters/words as I went along.  It is stitching up a bit faster than I thought it would so I pulled together another project - another sampler and all beautifully Fall.....called "Feast of Friendship" I pulled a great piece of my ever dwindling pile of BoaF linen "Barn Owl" and all the over dyed floss and so it's ready to go whenever I am.  

That's about it for today sports fans, I have a ton of emails to send.  Thanks for stopping by, do stop again.... only 13 more sleeps until I leave for France....!!

Take care,