Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I'm heading back to Romania tomorrow.  Small team this time.  But big plans.

Games and activities for our orphanage classes.  Cooking lessons, art projects.  Rhythm games with the Monkey Music Class, programatic music and introducing jazz to the recorder classes.

Oh and a dance class... no idea what that's going to be like.  And its Easter while I'm there.  And that's a big deal in Romania.

Looking forward to seeing friends and family.  And meeting some new faces too.

So the blog will be intermittent.  But I'll do my best for you faithful 4 readers ;)


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Contest Winner!

Finally we have a winner for the 'Name this Photo' contest!

I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to post the photo one more time though, so in case you're wondering what I'm talking about, here it is again!

and the winning caption/title:

"That wasn't just gas."

Congratulations Uncle Scott!  Here's your monster:


And our runner up is the FungFam...

"NOW they tell me that they're only 97% effective!?!?!" 

FungFam has won a CTF "lonely heart!" 

Fung's- Visit my shop and email me with your pick!!

Thanks for playing everyone!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Title this Photo Contest!

So many things I could title this post...

...but I think I'll let your imaginations run wild...

Comment with your best title suggestion... and maybe you'll win a prize! 

EDIT: Person with the best title/caption for this photo will win a personalized CTF Creations Monster!


Thursday, March 18, 2010


My to-do list is going slowly... but thankfully that's only my 'at work to-do list.'  So at home I've been free to experiment!  Here's a few recent creations made for some friends.  (I sell stuff like this here!)

Blue Monster combo... the onesie is a regular old Gerber Onesie that I hand dyed in our kitchen sink- kind of cool- huh?

These are for a baby girl... yellow and orange are hand dyed... the middle one is so funny- I can't wait to see it on her!

I have a lot of babies in my life right now... guess its good I like to craft- makes baby showers much more affordable!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010


So, I figure as long as this post goes out before Sunday, I will be ok... at least within a week of posting about our weekend adventure.

If you're lost, last weekend, Mr. Incredible and I took off on an a weekend get-a-way up to Northern California.  We stayed at a lovely resort in Napa, explored gardens in Sonoma, ventured to the Charles Schulz Museum, ate good food, and even sample jelly beans and the Jelly Belly Factory.  On Sunday, our last day, we did this:

We left our resort and drove to Muir Woods State Park... the drive was beautiful!  We traveled through coastal marshes, up winding wooded roads, and then down to a grove of very protected coastal redwood trees.  All I can say is , 'wow....'

Ok, not really.  I can say a lot more than that... here's the photos and obligatory comments:

It could quite possibly be impossible to photographically capture the enormity of these trees.  Coastal redwoods can grow to be nearly 400 feet tall.  Here's my best attempts!

I realized during our hike that I am a little obsessed with moss.  I think its because I live in a climate that does't grow moss very easily.  Moss is... green... I know, insightful like usual!

Looking up one of the giants... way up!

These trees grow very close together, blocking out a lot of sunshine and dropping the temperature in the woods quite a bit!

I took a ton of photos of the tree... but also resorted to the standard people shots (we were here!)... and I don't know what I'm doing with my mouth- is that a grimace?  I think so... sorry about that...

Mr. Incredible pushing two giant redwoods out of his way- yeah!

Me between the trees... probably making that same face but you can't really tell from that far away... thankfully...

Other interesting things in the woods.. like clovers!  We looked for four-leaf clovers but couldn't find any...

And mushrooms!  Really cool, odd-shaped mushrooms! (I am administering a lot of self-restraint by not posting all the photos I took of mushrooms... let's just say Mr. Incredible finally put his hand over my lens and dragged me away....)

Big tree, little man...

After our hike through Muir Woods, we drove down the hill (well, actually up the hill then back down the other side) to San Francisco!  We had a few hours to kill before our plane left.  We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, down Lombard Street, ate SF Sourdough bread for lunch, and walked down Pier 39.   Here's the photographic evidence:

And that's a wrap!  We headed back to Oakland over the Bay Bridge (which is highly underrated- its a very cool bridge and just because it didn't get a snazy paint job like the GG, doesn't mean it shouldn't be so excluded...even though I inadvertently did just that by not bothering to photograph it... arghhh).


Friday, March 12, 2010

Saturday, part dos

I'm not sure why these blog posts are suddenly out of order... hopefully you will be able to follow our excellent weekend adventure despite unorganized entries...

So after meandering through abstract art in Sonoma, we drove to Santa Rosa- a city to the west of wine country.

We had lunch at Johnny Garlic's- one of Food Network Guy Fieri's restaurants. It was very garlic-y... but good!

Then we went to...

The Charles M. Schulz Museum!  As I hope you all know, Schulz was the creator of "Peanuts" comic strip and characters and this museum is where his studio was for the last part of his life.  As an avid Charlie Brown and Snoopy fan (Good Grief!) this museum was terrific!

This mural was created by Yoshi Otani and is composed of Schulz's comic strips...

There's other fun murals and artwork as well as Schulz's original cartoons:

Outside in the courtyard, we found Charlie Brown's infamous Kite-Eating Tree:

And Austin found a few friends too:

Next door to the museum is the Warm Puppy Cafe, where Schulz ate breakfast and lunch every day:

And the ice skating rink that Schulz and his wife built for the community of Santa Rosa...

Even the Zamboni has Peanut's characters on it!  We stayed and watched a hokey game for awhile- 10 year old I think.  We loved learning how Schulz contributed so much to that community- from hosting ice-capades, playing pick-up softball games, to throwing elaborate charity Sweetheart dances every Valentine's Day.  And we loved looking at the original Snoopy artwork too!

We spent quite a long time at the museum and headed back to Napa for the night...


Ok... here's more details... just in case you didn't understand our exciting weekend get-away through my maps.

Although I can't believe anyone WOULDN'T understand after that detailed display...

So Friday we left San Diego bright and early.  Mr. Incredible still didn't know where we were heading until we got to the airport...

...But then I told him- we were off to...


Well, not really Oakland... but that's where the plane landed.

We picked up the rental car and drove to Fairfield...

Does anyone know what's in Fairfield?



The Jelly Belly Factory!  We took the candy-coated free tour... which was actually quite fascinating!  They gave out free samples, showed us where they tumble, sort, stamp, package, and do everything else you could possibly do to a Jelly Bean.  Unfortunately, no cameras allowed... so this is all you get.

But we did end up with a bag of Jelly Bellies flavored in honey (yum!), pear, various kinds of soda, orange sherbet, and a few gross flavors for my brother (ear wax, boogers, barf, dog food, and pencil shavings I think... and yes, they really do taste like that...don't ask me how I know...)

After our teeth were about to fall out from the sugar ingestion, we packed up our jelly bellies and drove to...

Napa!  And somehow I managed to find the one hillside in the entire valley without grape vines everywhere!  But look at that yellow- its mustard season in Napa and it was beautiful!

We stayed at winery/hotel/resort that was really beautiful... but nothing in comparison to this:

We grabbed dinner and turned in early for our big day of exploring on Saturday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Saturday we headed west toward Sonoma... again, beautiful!  We passed enormous Tuscan-style wineries, English estates, and numerous mansions/factories/gardens all dedicated to making fine wines.

But we were headed to Cornerstone gardens...

This very ecclectic destination houses several small gardens, shops, and resturants.  Cornerstone allows landscape artists, garners, and designers to create small squares of outdoor art.  Some of these squares are beautiful, traditional gardens filled with seasonal flowers...

 Or charming gazing ponds...

Others are more abstract...

Some are just plain quirky...

We spent a couple hours meandering through the gardens and then rummaging through an awesome construction salvage shop there too... so many stone pillars, wooden theatre seats, and concrete buddahs that would looks sooo cool in my garden at home.... but much too heavy to carry home on the plane :(

I highly recommend Cornerstone to anyone passing through Sonoma... a nice place to sober up between wine tasting at the very least!


OK- last weekend we did this:

Any questions?