Tuesday, September 28, 2010

how bout them apples?

Its apple time in Julian, Ca!  Growing up in nearby Ramona, we typically avoided Julian during the fall months as hoards of tourists hit the mountain roads to pay to pick apples and eat pie.  Don't get me wrong- its great!  You get a respite from our So Cal-lack of seasons and might catch a few glimpses of changing leaves and feel the crisp fall air (not this week- its been over 100F!!) and tourists support a super cute gold-mining town and lots of mom 'n pop shops.  But Julian is basically one street long, with a two- lane curvey road and I just typically can do without the crowds.

But I ended up in Julian during Apple Days this year... and I really didn't even mean to do it!  We took a friend visiting from Romania up the mountain during the week (highly suggested if you can take off work) for a little 'step back in time.'  She loved seeing the old buildings and eating delicious apple pie and cinnamon ice cream (yum!).  But us Ramona kids had a few tricks up our sleeves- namely, knowing the location of wild apple trees that don't have an admittance fee to pick from!

I just realized these two paragraphs are basically a preamble for me to feel ok about posting these photos... maybe I should just post the photos and let you live your lives without my ramblings.  Too late I suppose... maybe next time you'll get a bunch of photos without any of this nonsense...

A lovely apple just waiting to be picked!

One of those (free) wild apple trees... we lightened its load a bit.

Anyone know what this is?  It grew on a bush near the wild apple tree... it was much taller than a person and generally huge... and had these pretty little berries on it.  (don't worry, despite my lack of girl-scouting experience, I know enough NOT to eat unknown berries...)

All washed up and ready to be eaten...

And nestled in my favorite bowl that my mom has.  You'll recognize it in my Tomato Tales... if you've wasted 3 minutes and 30 seconds of your life with that craziness...

And one pear tree... a lone pear tree... all alone... surrounded by apple trees... weatherbeaten bark and rock-hard pears on this lone pear tree... perhaps someone should write a poem or song about it.  I'm kind of afraid to try to eat one of these pears but I do like this photo.

Anywhooo... go to Julian if you like apples.... and crowds... and try the cinnamon ice cream.  Yum.


Friday, September 24, 2010


Warning: This post is all about fabric.  And finding really good deals.  But I know this is absolutely NOT interesting to some people.  My heartfelt apologies :)

Last week I ventured into LA's famous fashion district.  We wandered through tightly packed little shops and stalls, taking in the plethora of patterns, textures, and cheap prices!  One of my favorite shops appeared to be a tiny stall along Olympic Blvd.  As we wandered inside, through piles of cheap polyester and stretch knit, we discovered the shop was actually the entire length of the building!  And the best part- nearly everything was $1.99/yard!  At the back of the shop there was every kind of trim, ribbon, elastic, and notion you could imagine!

We also made it to the immense Michael Levine store (also home to one of the only public restrooms in the whole neighborhood!).  We perused all the amazing fabrics but the real deals were found across the street, upstairs in the Michael Levine Loft.  This bare-floored room is comprised of giant boxes stacked on the floor filled with random shapes and sizes of all kinds of material.  You get to dig through the boxes and stack up your finds on the counter- where they sell fabric by the pound!  I believe it was $2 a pound... so fun!  Here's some of my stash from the day!

I came home with over 10 yards of different fabric and huge roll of black elastic for under $20.  We didn't even get to half of the shops and I already have a list of things to go back for... so... who wants to be my fabric friend and make the trip with me????

I also found some great deals closer to home...

It looks a little neutral for me I know but look at this interesting sweater-y material (anyone know what this is called? Or how to sew it?):

And some stripes:

And the best part?

$5 per bolt!!  There is supposedly about 5 yards on each bolt... $1/yard!!  And where did I find this stellar deal??  The Walmart of course!  I didn't know they did this, but our Walmart cleared out a bunch of fabric by marking it down and stashing it in bins... I happened to be wandering the brightly lit hallways of The Walmart late at night and discovered this.  Now, granted, there was a lot of stretchy, out of date polyester in those bins, but a few treasures in there as well...

Ok... that ends my fabric-deal-random post... enjoy... or not... or email me if you want to head up to the Fashion District with me!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

old stuff

I just finished watching the first episode of American Pickers- a History Channel show about two guys and truck who go through barns, garages, and back yards looking for rusty junk that they buy cheap and then resell for a lot of money.   I was turned on to this show after a trip last weekend to the San Diego famous Kobey's Swap Meet.  I picked up a few choice items from the Swap Meet, but also from a few less conventional places...

I've been looking forward to sharing some of these 'treasures' here with you all... until I watched another tv show- Hoarders.  Suddenly my vintage finds and rusty treasures looked a little, well, dusty, old, and cluttered... However, you all will be happy to know that I overcame my Hoader-induced panic and after I took out all the trash from the house and put a few things away that I had been procrastinating on, I am now back to embracing my thrifty finds and looking forward to fixing/restoring/and otherwise enjoying said objects.

Here's what I got!

Copper kerosene ship lantern... I bought it for $5 from a garage sale guy at the swap meet.

A box of twin-lens reflex cameras!  There are several cameras- a Yashica, a couple Mamiyas, and a pair of Rollis!

Not sure if they work... to be determined... grand total: free!  (or a lifetime of servitude to the person who brought these babies into my life!)

Leather cowboy boots... IN MY SIZE!!!!  The leather is in in beautiful condition...

But they were just a little stiff... so after spending the night in the freezer with bags of water in them to stretch a little, I think they'll work!

Hello Beautiful!  Grand total: $0!  Again, another unconventional find... from a bag of clothes destined to the second hand shop.

And finally, sitting inconspicuously at the end of a table piled with junk, this baby:

Its a fullsized wooden trunk with metal detailing:

And this great paint job on the inside:

And I paid a total of ten bucks for it!  Major score!!!

Hope this isn't the start of horrible downhill slide to hoarder-dom!  At least I'll have cool boots to show for it!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

another dog post

Its been awhile dear blog friends!  Mr. Incredible and I have been kind of busy, kind of trying to get back into a routine after all the summer fun.  We've had some interesting moments- talk of a new job, major life changes, and then ultimately a little let-down, but we're still here, still 'chuggin' away' at life as we know it.

Since this has been both an eventful and uneventful last couple of weeks, I've turned to what I always turn to- photos of Nora!

She's almost two now and has been honing her skills as a Dock Diving Dog!

Her partners in crime for this last weekend, Cody and Molly, joined in on the fun:

Wait for the ball, launch off the dock:

Extend through the air:


Some of the dogs were more committed than others to the game:

Namely Molly and Nora:

While others (Cody) were perfectly happy to watch from the docks:

Hope you're holiday weekend was wonderful- wether you spent it flying through the air or sitting back and watching the show!