Friday, June 30, 2017

After the trip...

For our 40th, Hubby decided we needed a trip...so, we went to Sonoma and Napa. We stayed at the Fairmont Mission Inn in Sonoma and had a glorious time!


We originally were in a smaller room, which was nice, but there were problems they couldn't resolve with the phone and the TV, so they upgraded us to a suite!
It was huge! A one bedroom apartment, without a kitchen....and there were two TVs for Hubby to play with.....
Our visit was  lovely, although there were three days of heat, and one day was 107!
Other than that we ate at lovely restaurants, and shopped and of course you can't go there and not wine taste....which we did and joined two more clubs! Sometimes, you just gotta.....
 These garden pictures are from Mustard's...a lovely restaurant in Napa that we went to for lunch...when it was about 98 degrees...These pictures do nothing to show you the size and amazing place that it is. They grow almost all their food they use...More importantly, they are always busy...and the food is simply amazing!

 This was the first winery on the tour we went on. A family run business...and has been for 130 years! We joined their club!
 This was another winery we went to...and where our tour bus served us lunch. The weather was cooler this day and we ate outside amongst the flowers....

 Our wine tour bus....Nate was the driver that day with GrapeLine (office based in Temecula), but they are great because the will not have more than 8 people. On our tour there were 6...quite lovely!
 Here I am at Cafe La Haye where we had an amazing dinner!
 This is my stuffed quail....superb! All the bones were removed except the legs and wings.....
 This is in the town square....
 Quaint building....
 This is Jarvis...and winery extraordinaire that is completely in the mountain. It is family owned and operated and not one wine is bad...all extraordinary.....and expensive.....
At the end of our trip, I found a Scala hat that I adored(at the Beringer Estate)...too late for the heat though....but all the same Hubby bought it for me as it was quite, quite affordable....
This was dessert from Sante, inside the Fairmont Mission Inn and Spa...it has notable write ups in Conde Nast and other top publications for their food.
Other restaurants included in our trip....
Sonoma Grill
The Girl&the Fig
The Sunflower Cafe
and we also ate a picnic that we bought at the Oakville Grocer in Healdsburg.
All in all...and fantastic trip...
Note to those who have never done wine tasting....
Don't drink every drop of what they pour. Swirl, smell, swirl, taste....then pour out. Don't feel the need to drink it all! Especially if it is hot out. And if you are driving.
That one ruins your palate to all the lovely nuances of the wines you taste, but also makes for dangerous driving and could make you sick!
We knew this already and taught the others on our tour about it.
Wineries know this, it is not bad or looked at as rude if you pour wine in the buckets.
True wine tasting is just that.....tasting.
There are so very many wineries in Sonoma and Napa.....
Also, the great ones, need reservations!
Wineries such as Cakebread, Jarvis, and several others need to have reservations...so call ahead and make a plan.
Also, don't plan on more than 4-5 in a day...
I know it seems like so little, but just your palette alone cannot discern between the wines after so many.....
And, be sure to drink lots of water all day and eat three meals! Yes, food is important...even with just sipping, with no food it could be deadly.
Not all wineries in the area serve food. Some have cheese and crackers to offer for a small picnic, but do not count on wineries for food. Take a picnic with you!
Where to buy picnic stuff?? Dean & Deluca in Napa....Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg....heck even a regular grocery store....
Enjoy!!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Party

Whew!
What a Party!!
32 People....and heck of a great time!!
We had people come from all over and share our Anniversary.....
Before we had guests arrived I shot a few shots....as we set up..
These are the 3 dozen roses I bought and baby's breath...Such beautiful roses....

This was the "bar" we set up before....It was a 3'x6' table....it was filled with glassware and everything...
 This is a little cart I have, I lined it with the fabric and rolled up some pashminas for guests, as our evenings get chilly on the patio....They were used by our guests....
This is our cake...shortly after it was delivered. I was so beautiful...
The numbers on top started melting! It was quite warm and humid...the red starting dripping down the side....and yet, it was a delicious cake!
This is the Main table...it seated 10 quite comfortably and could've even gotten two more in...it is 120"
The toile fabric was quite the find at a rummage sale....6 yards for $5! I used almost all of it for the party!
Then caterer arrived and it got very busy....
Yes, we used caterers....the only way to have a large party....
They did bar set up
They heated the food that was delivered and set up the table....
They cleared the dishes and glass ware and washed everything
All we have to do today, Father's day, is clear the tables outside....
Pretty wonderful.
Hope you all have a great Father's Day!!
Nancy

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Preparing For The Party

It is our 40th anniversary....tomorrow.
We are celebrating tonight!
We are having a big party...with 34 people and having it catered!
It's a big deal.
Lucky for me, my Hubby likes to party too!
We have gathered all our linens, our china, our glassware and silverware and planned and collected more...
More lanterns....
More lights.....
More wine....
MORE everything....
to celebrate....
Yesterday we set the tables and most of the chairs (our dining room chairs are going out too....but not until this afternoon....
I set up a seating area under the tree....
wired small lights on the arbor...
flameless candles in most of the lanterns....
here is what we have ...





At the end of the day....we were pretty pooped...I think we will be tonight also...
Belle said she was tired too....and needed reassurance and cuddling....funny dog...
She is nine years old....and having some major health issues and just needed to cuddle...isn't it sweet?
Anyway, I'll post pictures of the party after....assuming I get pictures....
Nancy

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Treasure Hunting

Yesterday, my friend and I went treasure hunting. We go almost every week, but some days are definitely better than others....
Yesterday, I did find treasure...like this awesome soup tureen made in Italy....
I found it at Goodwill, and it was up on a top shelf, only its handle showing....
It was the second time going down the aisle, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the tip of asparagus...my head did that little swivel one does when one thinks they see something....
and sure enough...It was worth the unpacking of stuff on top and reaching....
Not bad for $7.99...


Isn't it sweet?? No, I probably won't use if for soup...I hardly ever serve soup that way anymore....and no I didn't need it...but I couldn't resist the asparagus spears....
Nancy....

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Another Finished Quilt and a Happy Customer

I know you all are tired of my quilts....I am sorry....but it is what I do....
I had another customer who is a dear friend...she became a Great Grandma (how did that happen??) and wanted a quilt from my "shop" for the baby. But, what I had wasn't what she envisioned and she wanted it embroidered.
So, I showed her the fabric stash...still nothing tickled her fancy....
So....I took her to the fabric store....
Before hand we went over patterns in my pattern book so we could be focused...because if you aren't you end up buying lots of fabric but still don't have the right choices for the quilt....(because I've been there....)
Anyway, the trick was, she needed the quilt pretty quickly to mail...so.....
I went into over drive...
In about 14 hours, I had these lovely little 6" squares...which meant I had been working with 1 1/2" squares or triangles.....
I laid it out on the table...and she wanted to see...so she could be a part of the quilt process....
She played with the squares and remade a couple (did I tell you she is an artist???)
Then, I got to work putting it together.....
From this solid piece I added another solid border and then it was time for quilting.
Now, if you haven't read my blog before, let me tell you.
I do not have a long arm quilting machine...(would love one, but no no no space)
All the quilting is done on my home sewing machine...it's a fancy machine, but it isn't a long arm.
Doing quilting on a home machine requires basting the three parts; the back, the batting and the top (as seen here) all together to be sewn. (On a Long Arm, the pieces go on rollers and are rolled to together...as sewn...
So, my dining table is my basting area as well...
After basting....
It gets quilted....
And it ends up looking like this....

It turned out quite nice, even though I know all its foibles....I aim to make them perfect, but I do declare, if you know quilting, that some quilts take on a life of their own...
In any case she was happy...
The baby's name was embroidered on the front (before quilting) and I embroidered a label for the back letting anyone who reads it, know who it is from....
I had permission to put my "tag" WildOakDesigns on the label as well....
I am quite happy with how the quilt turned out and with the speed I was able to get it out.
I took me start to finish a week and a half....and that was because life still has to happen...
All in all....roughly 8 yards of fabric....
600 yards of thread (before quilting)
and I lost count how many hours of work....
Well, on to the next one....which is being quilted as we speak...
A patriotic quilt gift for friends who are also celebrating a 40th as we are....
Oh, you wanted to see the quilt I finished for our 40th?? ...Well, next week...that can't be displayed anywhere until the party ....
Have a great day!
Nancy
I am off to finish the quilt in the craft room......