We’re Tying the Knot!

Friends, I’ve been sitting on some wonderful news for the last week. I’ve been debating how much I wanted to share here, but then I decided it’d be silly not to tell you something so important about my life and just post about, say, the socks I started knitting on this trip. The real news is: we got engaged!

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We had a wonderful weekend, completely dreamy and romantic. These photos are from Roederer Estate, where Jason proposed and we had a wine and champagne tasting and a basket lunch afterwards.

130525-122606 130525-122445130525-131054I’m sorry; that was a pretty cheesy photo of the ring, wasn’t it? (Yep, literally.) Unfortunately all the arty close-ups I tried to take just made my hand look weird and alien.

Our trip started with my absolute favorite lunch in the whole world.

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My documentation of the weekend started to slide a bit after that; too busy enjoying myself! I did get some pretty nature shots as we walked around Mendocino working up an appetite for Wild Fish, which you absolutely must try if you’re ever in the area. Perfectly cooked seafood in a teeny-tiny one-room restaurant with two quirky British hosts and a view of the sun setting over the Pacific ocean.

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And, my favorite view. I love you, sweetheart!

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I anticipate having some more news to tell you in the coming months. (Hint: we’re not going to be a long-distance couple much longer.) But I promise not to subject you to too much wedding talk! Our regularly scheduled craft blogging will resume next week. :)

Lemon Picking

As an East Coast transplant to California, I sometimes can’t shake the feeling that I’ve stepped into some kind of fantasy land. I’ll be walking down the street and suddenly the smell of things blooming will overwhelm me. Or I’ll get interested in some weird new hobby, and when I look around it turns out: yep, there are people who do that here. (Once I was talking to a contractor at work about the Alexander Technique, and it turned out his wife teaches it for a living.) As my brother remarked when he came to visit me, “This place has a high concentration of all things that are awesome.”

Another example of the awesomeness: people have citrus trees in their yards. And they seem to think it’s no big deal. My friend Liz invited me over this past weekend to pick lemons from her giant lemon tree.

Lemons on a tree

Lemon Tree

I got more lemons than I probably needed.

Pile of lemons

I had some vodka lying around that a friend of mine had given me after taking a tour of Hanger One recently. It was a really sweet gesture, but also a little sad, since I don’t drink all that much vodka. So I was really excited to use it to make limoncello!

Limoncello

Many of the recipes I found online call for 100 proof vodka, and mine is only 80, but the worst that might happen seems to be that my limoncello might lack a little kick. That’s perfectly fine with me, since this is something I imagine myself quaffing outside, in a month or so, in the beautiful California sunshine. That’s going to be awesome.

Hawaii Dreaming

To preface this post, I need to come clean about something. Recently I’ve been going to Hawaii a lot. As in, maybe once a month. I know it sounds kind of crazy. But that’s what I am: crazy in love with someone who lives there.  (And apparently really mushy too.)

Lanikai Pillboxes

(Lanikai Pillboxes Hiking Trail, Oahu)

Over the past few months I’ve started collecting fabrics with the vague idea of making a “Hawaii” quilt.  Note I didn’t say “Hawaiian quilt,” which is something else entirely.  No, what I want is a modern quilt that reminds me of what it’s like to be in Hawaii.

My “Hawaiian” fabric stash started with some prints from the Cleo collection from Dear Stella.  Since then the stash has evolved a little bit, to the point that only a few of those Cleo fabrics fit with the others.  Oh well.

I’ve also been on the lookout for ideas for a quilt design.  The problem is that a lot of modern quilt designs are boxy, and that’s definitely not the look I’m going for.  I want something a little more organic, or maybe tribal looking. I think I stumbled on exactly the right pattern while I was at QuiltCon, the Marmelade Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. My plan is to make this quilt with three different colors of diamonds.

Fabrics for Hawaii Quilt - Orange

Fabrics for Hawaii Quilt - Blue

Fabrics for Hawaii Quilt - Tan and Green

Designing Some “Hawaiian” Fabric

The other element I’d like to incorporate into this quilt is some fabric I design myself. My main source of inspiration is the Hawaiian style of tattooing. (Here’s an example.) There is a rich tradition around these tattoos, and apparently if you get one from a real master, they choose the constituent parts of the design based on what you tell them about yourself and your life. Different images have different symbolic meaning. Shark teeth, for example, are for protection. I bought a book about Hawaiian tattoos and started playing around with drawing some of these symbols. As you can see, there are different levels of abstraction, from more lifelike drawings to more simplified or stylized representations.

Hawaiian Tattoo Symbols

I’d like to incorporate some of these into a really elaborate full “tattoo” design, and others I’d like to make into some simple coordinating fabrics.  I think that turtle might look really good just in a simple tiling repeat, for example.  What do you think?!?