CherryTree Threads

Alright – It’s time to go public.

No, I don’t have some big hairy secret or anything. I have an idea. Well, “We” (as in Anthony & I) have an idea. And that is to start my own run-from-home business. My “Arts & Crafts” have started to take over, and I’ve had several people (from friends to complete strangers) ask “How much?” for some of the things I make.

Most prominent of these items are the jewelry pieces I’ve made. Next are the blankets/quilts I’ve been making. The last item is a new venture, so we’ll see how it goes – Anyone interested in really cute, really flirty aprons? The baker/party hostess in me loves the idea of having aprons that match my shoes. Hahaha.

I’m working on a website through showitsites.com (Thanks Bri and Sandy!!) and working on everything from a logo to a mission. I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me, but I think it will be really fun. And if it works, maybe it will be something I end up doing full time. I’ve learned a lot from the small businesses around me – My dad, a few friends, and even the company I work for now. I’m going to start small and see where it takes me. I’ve got a couple of “Projects” (what I call each item I work on) going on in the Jewelry department, and I plan on taking pictures of what is available and putting it on the site. I’m hoping to have the site up and running by Halloween.

But the one thing I think will set me apart is that I don’t plan on selling just pre-made things. I am putting a page on my site where customers can contact me with ideas of their own that I can custom make for them – I mean, that is how this whole thing really started! I didn’t like anything I found out there for jewelry for me and for my bridesmaids for my wedding – so I learned how to make it! And it was perfect. Exactly what I wanted. I’d love to make simple little details like that easy for Brides coming down the pike.

I know that my ideas and concepts are a little “all over” at the moment. But it’s coming together. And I have a name! I knew from the word “Go” that I wanted to incorporate my love of Cherries into my logo and theme. Anthony came up with CherryTree Threads, and I fell in love. So there it is!! I’m excited for the adventre. Keep checking back for more news!

-Jen

Thousand Oaks Quilting Show!

We LOVE Quilts!
As some of you already know, one of my ever expanding hobbies is quilting. I got into quilting for my mom last year. We have this family tradition where every year we pick each other’s names out of a hat. They person you draw is the person you make a handmade Christmas gift for the next year. Well, last year, I had my mom as the person to make a gift for. She’d loved quilts for a long time and within recent years had started to learn to quilt. But I knew that she wanted a companion to do these projects with, and I thought – sure. Why the heck not? I’ll learn.

So, my good friend and co-worker (who’s been quilting, the old fashioned way (by HAND) since she was about 12 or so) agreed to teach me the basics. She was an AWESOME teacher. She made everything about this intricate art make sense.


This is a picture of a quilt sewn by hand in the 1930’s:


So, I made my first basic quilt: a purple lap quilt in a “chair rail” pattern and I gave it to my mom last Christmas. I told her the quilt was the tangible gift for her to hang on to, but the real gift was that I had learned to quilt so we could quilt together. She cried.

Here we are, and almost a year later, my mother and I have a real love and appreciation for this art, and we’ve actually been making quilts along the way! I’ve made 3 so far (the first, plus one for my nephew, Max, when he was born in March, and the largest quilt I’ve made so far was for my sister as a gift to commemorate her Graduation from CLU in May) and I’m currently working on the most daunting quilt I’ve tried so far – a queen sized bed quilt called a “wedding quilt” to have here at home for me and Anthony. Imagine! A quilt for me!!!!


Just one of the more intricate quilting patterns possible out there!

Well, my Mom found out that CLU was hosting a local Quilting show, so of course, we had to go. It was amazing! The quilts were fabulous, and the fabrics for sale were too cute to pass up. We had such a good time on our “Mommy/Daughter” day, and we learned some new things along the way! Plus, we both have new ideas for quilts, and some new projects, too! Check it out!

Trunk of trimmings!

A Quilt that my Mom and I bought raffle tickets for. Hope we win!!!

Hippo & Elephant Print! You have no idea how cool/rare this combo is!!

My mom bought the print in 2 colors to make totes for me and my sister.
Our favorite Animals are Elephants and Hippos, Respectively.

Trying out the “Quilting Chair” which is ergonomically correct for quilting!

Historic Themed Quilt! How neat!


I took a liking to the next quilt:



Very cool concept: Bicentennial Celebration of a town, this quilter went door to door collecting neck ties from each family! She embroidered the family names on the ties, then quilted it together – naming it “Ties that Bind” and displayed it at the town celebrations. How great is that????

You can TOTALLY see that it is made of neck ties!
Totes!


Quilt made of old Jeans! How cool! I’m never throwing another pair away again!

Just some more beautiful quilts that I loved:






I can’t wait until I’m good enough some day to have one of my quilts in a show. That would be so awesome! But I’ve got a ways to go before then. This was so much fun, and I can’t wait to get started on my next quilt! I promise to blog about it, and a couple of other sewing projects in the works, when they are complete.

-Jen

Expanding our horizons

Anthony and I recently started to really look at our daily diets and how it effects our lives. If you weren’t already aware, I am SUPER picky. I don’t eat things that are green, except for green apples and celery. I don’t eat vegetables except for corn, celery, & carrots. I don’t eat seafood of any kind. I don’t like potatoes, or meatloaf, or most soups. I don’t like tomatoes, or onions, or mushrooms. And I’m not a big cheese person at all. But I still HAVE to have cheddar cheese on my hamburgers and Parmesan on my pasta. Oh – and my foods are almost never allowed to touch each other on the plate. I hate that. Bleh.

When Anthony and I met, I felt wonderful because I’d finally met someone who ate a lot like me! Plain, simple, and carbo loaded. But a few years ago, Anthony started to branch out, and he has FAR surpassed me. But maybe not in a good way – he hasn’t been eating all that healthily. So we decided 2 things. That I needed to branch out more, and Anthony needed to eat better. So, we’ve been trying. And it’s been going well! We’ve almost totally cut out Soda (and Anthony has already lost a pound or two because of it!) and there are more fruit and veggies in the house now than I think there has ever been.

So, in honor of making this new lifestyle a routine, Anthony (the cook between the two of us) made us dinner last week in our brand new wok! (Shout out of Thanks to my parents for buying it for him for his b-day! It’s coming in handy!)

We marinated lean steak strips in a Baja Chipotle sauce overnight. Anthony threw the meat, along with an orange bell pepper and some shrimp into the wok, and voila! A pretty hearty meal! We put that over rice, and had at it. It was so tasty! And much healthier than what we normally eat! Check out the pics!


Now, I could just stop there and pretend I ate it like it looks above. But let’s not kid ourselves here, folks. First, I don’t eat shrimp. Second off, I’m pretty sure I don’t like bell peppers. And third – IT’S ALL TOUCHING!!!!

Nope… This is what my plate looked like:Now, I did eat the pepper! I didn’t like it enough to say, yea – I’d eat that all by itself! Or even enough to say I’d eat a lot of it in one dish! But I can tolerate it enough to eat them if they were mixed in with a dish, say at a Chinese restaurant or something. So that is a start. I didn’t get the shrimp down. Smelled it and gagged. So Anthony ate it for me. But the meat and the rice were great together! And no soda, either. I had propel water. So while I’m so not saintly yet, I’m doing well on the trying new things!!! Let’s hope I can keep it up!

-Jen

Things I want, but Cant Afford…

Impulses and I don’t always get along. I’m totally guilty of doing the “impulse buy” when I’m out and about – bringing things home that I know I don’t need, but still just “HAD TO HAVE.” Anthony loves to roll his eyes at me for it.

I do this thing when I’m in stores with Anthony where I see something I want, but know I don’t need – I tug on his arm or sleeve, point at it as if I were 5 years old, and pout, “Anferneeee! I want that.” 5 years together and it’s still never worked. Ha! I guess that is a good thing. Because if I’m honest (and I should be), Anthony rarely deprives me of things I want when we can afford it. It is always the things I want that would break the bank that he turns me down on, and I can’t really argue with him on it.

In light of this little rant, I thought I’d put a list of things together that I REALLY want, but can’t have. Or rather, can’t afford. I bet you anything several of these items will end up on my Christmas or Birthday list in the near future – but trust me. I’m not holding my breath. Promise.

1) RosettaStone in Spanish & in Arabic.
– Seriously people! Ant and I aren’t kidding when we tell people we want to be able to actually speak the languages of our heritage well enough to teach our kids. We have every intention of learning the languages, passing them on, and speaking them regularly in our home. But we gotta learn them first. Why does the darn program have to be so expensive? I’ll tell ya why – IT WORKS. And supply and demand says that yes, they can charge $500 for the full lesson because who else is going to teach you? That’s right. Nobody. Pony up.

2)
Coach Purse. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not all that “trendy” when it comes to designer things. But we all also know that I have 2 very distinct weaknesses… purses, and shoes. And not just any purse or shoe – no no! It has to be designer for it to really “wow” the crowd. Now, let’s face it. I have one guess purse, and about 20 knock offs, and NONE of my shoes are designer, unless you count Ann Taylor as designer. I don’t. I’m talking Calvin Klein, Gucci, Jimmy Choo – ok, I’ll stop drooling now… Which brings me to:

3) Calvin Klein Mary Janes. Mmmmmmm. Look how pretty they are!!! I actually want the gray suede version of this, but I couldn’t find a pic. But still… I want!

4)
J-Crew Black Dress. As part of my 101 in 1001, I’m on the search for the PERFECT “Little Black Dress.” Look no further, people! I’ve found heaven in black cotton cady (as they call it). I’ve tried it on, and if looks could kill, you’d be dead! I love it. Too bad it is currently $225, and Anthony won’t let me buy ANY one article of clothing exceeding $60. Hrumph!

5)
Elfa Storage Center for my home office. Yes, I have a home office. Actually, I share a home office with Anthony. And it needs help! We are organized people, no doubt! But there is just never enough space. I want to create a space for all of my beading and sewing projects so they won’t get mixed up, wrinkled, or start to overlap on to Anthony’s precious drawing boards. Help me Elfa! Help me!

6)
New Sectional Couch. Don’t get me wrong – the futon ROCKS! But let’s face it. We want a house. The Futon will rock the world of the office before too long, and we’ll need something to sit on!!! And I’ve always wanted a sectional. They are so comfy and inclusive, and they just fit me so nicely. Can’t you just see me, relaxing with a blanket, a book, and the dog on this? You know you can!

7)
Jewelry Armoire for my every growing collection. I make jewelry, people! My collection is starting to escape it’s tiny little excuse for a Jewelry organizer, and I won’t stand for it any longer! I need something like this, that holds it all, organizes it all, and matches our bedroom furniture. It’s beautiful cherry wood and contemporary look and feel is calling out to me – “Jen! Come organize me!” Oy.

8)
Victoria’s Secret Pea Coat. Just because. I’m the biggest cold wuss on the planet, and Anthony would indulge me with coats and scarves (my favorites!) when we lived up north as sort of a “Hey – Thanks for packing up your life and moving to a totally new place that is way colder than you ever expected so we could be together” gesture. Let’s just say, it worked every time! I want to go back! And dangit, I want to go back with this in my suit case!

9)
My Siberian Husky. Oh Pup, don’t feel betrayed. We love you to pieces. But let’s be honest. Pup, you aren’t a real dog. You are more of a dog/cat/mountain goat rolled into one, with the neediness of a small child to boot! I am a DOG person – through and through. I would never turn pup away, or get rid of him, or even think of such things! But I am fully aware that when his adorable/funny/crazy little life is over, it’s back to big dogs that know how to sit, stay, FETCH, roll over, and heel. And man, am I in love with this breed. Such stunning beauty. Can’t wait.

10)
The iPhone… I know, I know… “Jen! You said you hated that thing!” And really, I do. If I had a dime for every time I tried to get Anthony’s, Phil’s, Gaby’s, Morgan’s, and now even Beckie’s attention away from that thing and failed, I’d take you out to lunch! But, alas, it’s functionality, dependability, speed, and convenience have come to outweigh all that. The world is a changing people, and my “media phone” that let’s me check email and my bank account and not much else just isn’t going to cut it. If I’m going to own my own business someday, I’ve got to get over it and get one.

BUT I STILL DON’T HAVE TO LIKE TEXTING ON IT!! So there. :-)D

So there you have it. 10 things I really want, but can’t afford at the moment. Anthony says that when I win the lottery, I can have all those things and more. Hahaha. I just have to remember, I have to play to win. 😉

-Jen

Art & Wine Festival

Two Weekends ago, Anthony and I traveled up north to visit friends and attend the Annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival. We flew up to NorCal on Friday night, spent Saturday in San Francisco with Anthony’s parents and good friend, Danny Greenia. We went wine tasting, had lunch at our favorite diner in Geradeli square, and wandered around for the afternoon. Saturday night, we went to the Sharks Vs. Cyotes Pre-Season Hockey game at the Shark Tank. Sharks won!!! Woot!!! (Sorry I don’t have any pictures of that! Left the camera at home).

Sunday, we attended the Festival. We met up with Danny again, along with our friends Kim, Morgan, & Mariel, and enjoyed the music, the food, and the art! It was great fun! And Anthony ran into many old firends (or their parents) and got to introduce me all day as “My Wife, Jen.” It was so cool to hear. Hahaha. Enjoy the photos!!!

Danny’s Great Smile to start off our day!
Beautiful San Fran.
On the way to the Wine Cellar, we saw this in a store window. Lauged really hard and agreed that this is the kind of thing we’ll probably dress our kids in when we have them. Too funny.
Ant & Danny in front of Cellar 360.
The View from our table:
The Boys, settling in.
🙂 Great photo of Ant and his Mom laughing at something they were talking about.
Gaby loves to share wine!
Here we go, people! I’m trying wine!! Well, sniffing first…
Savengion Blanc – I actually could tolorate this one. It tasted like grapefruit.
Check out the spread! 2 different kinds of goat cheese and one kind of cow cheese – the cow cheese (the really thin one with the purple line) is “Drunken Cheese” which means it is soaked in wine. And those crustini’s… OMG to DIE FOR!!! So Good. They were drenched in some buttery, salty, garlic-y goodness and we ordered a second plate! We ate every last one! Can’t wait to go back, just for those!
Some artsy photos Ant and I took of the glasses:


Ant trying wine. Also a big step for him. Niether of us really like wine.
Oh, Danny – my wino friend. He and Gaby loved trying them, and discussing them.
Second one I “liked” (which really means that I can handle/tolorate it enough to drink a glass – I still don’t actually LIKE any wine). It was about the 5th or 6th wine I tried. It is called Nightengale, and it is a dessert wine.

Napkin. Looks cool.
Wandering around SF means a trip to Boudin!!
The boys, checking out MORE wine. Hahaha.
Meet my new friend!
Segway Tour!!! I want to do this someday!
Sigh. I love San Fran…
Trolly!!!
Sunday, on our way to the festival.
How cute are parents? I love pictures like this of them and of my parents. I sneak them in whenever possible.
GIANT spider. Bleh!
Danny stole the camera for a while! It was a beautiful day, even if it was too hot!
Mr. Anderson’s Band – we always watch them.
Oh Morgan… Never without the Iphone.
Anthony (wearing Kimmi’s hat) and Kimmi!
The Group! (Minus me, the photographer)

We had such a great time visiting with everyone. A weekend up north after 6 months (or more for Ant) was a great treat! But it reminded us of how much we loved living up there, and now we miss it. Not that we didn’t miss it before – we are just more aware of it. We love the people here in SoCal – they are one of the greatest reasons for being down here! But we know where we want to end up, long term. In the meantime we’ll enjoy our mini vacay’s to visit there. It was a great weekend! Can’t wait for New Years!

-Jen