Looky What I Made :: Gathered Clutch

To round out my crafting-for-BIL's-wedding urge, I made a purse using Noodlehead's gathered clutch tutorial. It is really quite cute and not as hard as it looks to make (like I've said before, I'm not much of a sew-er). Sure, it took me most of the day to sew, and I really should've been working on the wedding programs, but it was totally worth it :: it matches my dress, the materials cost less than $8 (with fabric left over), and it's big enough to hold most of the stuff I need for the evening.

I included the optional divider pocket and card holder; I like having compartments for all of my stuff. I modified the card holder so it has one wider pocket for my iPhone (sideways) and another pocket that's big enough for a credit card/key card (or lipstick for those who are so inclined). With the divider I have space for my point-and-shoot camera and a change holder.

I'm glad I bought more fabric to make another one for the fall; it's going to be brown with a retro-looking apple and pear fabric for the band across the middle.


Looky What I Made :: Ian's necktie

Rupert's brother is getting married next weekend in Sebastopol; the entire family (especially the bride's mother) has been working up a storm to pull off what is, no doubt, going to be a phenomenal wedding. Rupert is a groomsman, I'm the stationer, Maya is the flower girl, and Ian is the (quite possibly the world's oldest) ring bearer.

My mother-in-law took Ian shopping for a necktie but they weren't able to find anything in the wedding colors. So I decided to get a little ambitious and make one. After what seemed like forever at Joann looking at fabric, Ian and I decided on a dark brown with some pink and fuschia circles -- just right for the wedding without overwhelming the bridal ensemble with too much more pink (the flowers, bridesmaid dresses, and the groomsmen's ties are fuschia).

I made the tie using the Purl Bee's tutorial, which was really easy to follow. Believe you me I am not an expert sew-er but I managed to hand-sew the tie in a day. I believe the tutorial is for a boy younger than Ian (who is almost 10), but I think it's just long enough. If you're thinking about using the tutorial I wouldn't make it for a boy taller than 4'8" without making adjustments to the pattern.

And I managed to figure out how to tie a tie (this tutorial helped); at least now I know I can tie a basic four-in-the-hand tie if called to do so.

[I'll post pictures of Ian wearing the tie after the wedding.]



Friday night, 6pm.

Rupert and the kids went camping in Long Beach for the night so I went out with my "local BFF," Sidney. Since I rarely get out of the house for grown-up socializing, I had no idea what to do. Sidney emails me the link to Wurstküche in Downtown. Sausages :: what's not to love?

Wurstküche is practically next door to where I worked over 10 years ago. Gosh, east of Alameda has changed quite a bit since then. The restaurant (and its prices) definitely embodies the yuppification of that area.

What I ate :: Rabbit, Veal & Pork seasoned with white wine ($7.50); Klein (small) Belgian Fries with Bleu Cheese Walnut and Bacon dipping sauce ($3.50); Nesbitt's Peach Soda ($3.50); Toasted Apple Pie Ice Cream Sandwich ($4.50), not pictured.

I really wanted to like the place. Fancy sausages, french fries with dipping sauces, and fun sodas (I'm not much of a drinker so I like having alternatives) are right up my alley. You'd think this place fits the bill perfectly. Unfortunately, I can't give Wurstküche a hearty two thumbs up (sorry Sidney).

My suggestion? If you want to actually taste the sausage, skip the bun and push whatever toppings you order off to the side. The rabbit, veal, and pork sausage I ordered is mild to begin with; the sauteed onions and peppers totally overwhelmed the flavor of the meat. I could've been eating who-knows-what-in-a-casing and it would have tasted the same as my $7.50(!) fancy sausage. Frankly, the bratwurst I buy at Bristol Farms for $3.50 a pound is tastier and juicier, and there are sausages that are way better than Bristol Farms'. So that should tell you where I rank Wurstküche's sausage. (Sidenote :: as we were leaving the restaurant, I noticed a bumper sticker on the store next door proclaiming Wurstküche over-priced and over-hyped and I might have to agree.)

I gotta say, though, the fries were quite tasty -- just the right amount of crisp, creamy, and salty. But next time (if there is a next time) I'll choose a different dipping sauce; the bleu cheese, walnut, and bacon sauce didn't taste like any of those things. The Nesbitt's soda wasn't anything to write home about; the fake peach flavor, crazy pink color, and the $3.50 price tag weren't worth it. Bad choice on my part. They do have a big selection of beers that sound interesting ... anyone want to comment on the selection, flavor, and price of the beers?

The one thing I would write home about (if I had to) is the sole dessert they serve, an apple pie ice cream sandwich (with oatmeal raisin cookies). Yes, it's $5 and it wasn't big enough to share (well, I didn't share), but it's the one thing I'd consider going back for (but I probably won't).

We ended our Downtown jaunt at Yogurtland in Little Tokyo. Sidney is a big fan (it's her one dairy indulgence now that she's going dairy-(almost)-free) and I'd never been so it seemed like the right dessert to have. Uh, yeah, my second dessert. Considering all the money I spent on dinner (and first dessert) I'm definitely more enthusiastic about the $3.10 I spent on a fairly decent-size portion of all kinds of fruity yogurt with mango and mochi toppings. Is Yogurtland over-hyped? Maybe (I'm no frozen yogurt expert). But it's definitely not over-priced (the constant line of people in the store proves that).

There happens to be a Yogurtland down the street from my house (even closer than Pinkberry) so I know where I'll be going from now on for my fro-yo fix (Rupert thinks the term "fro-yo" is stupid ... it probably is but I use it anyway).

Wurstküche :: 800 East 3rd Street, LA 90013 | 213.687.4444 | www.wurstkucherestaurant.com
Yogurtland :: 130 South Central Avenue, LA 90012 | 213.687.0733 | www.yogurt-land.com


five years

Oh, wow ... I haven't blogged since the end of March! Uh, hmm, I guess I didn't have much to say these last four months. And, once again, I missed my blogiversary; August 10 marks five years since I started writing this blog. Despite my recent absence I still care about having my own personal space to write and share stories about my family and myself, so I don't envision this blog shutting down. I just need some inspiration + time to write about something new. Hopefully that'll happen sooner rather than later.