Fall red bike pillow

Girl’s Sewing and Crafting Weekend Retreat

Breakfast & Tassels

Our girl’s weekend began Friday morning when I picked Misty-Jade up from the airport.  From there we found a wonderful breakfast at the Henhouse Cafe in Gilbert where many traditional foods are served with a Mexican flavor.  We shared a Santa Fe omelete and a lemon blueberry mascarpone pancake.  The food was awesome and followed by a short shopping trip to the mall.

Later in the day Gramma and Misty-Jade made tassels for her blanket and the DIY tree branch to decorate her bedroom while I began preparing fabric for our pillows. The chunky tassels are super easy to make, and directions can be found on many internet sites.  We used directions from Design Sponge.  The tree branch was spray painted white before attaching tassels.

Marble Dipped Vases and a Blanket

Saturday morning Misty-Jade created marble-dipped vases.  It took a few tries to make it work, but the end result was perfect!  We did find that the nail polish will flake off, so we’ll see if we can find a sealant to spray on them.

After finishing the vases, we began working on the blanket.  One side was cut from navy blue fleece and the other was cut from white Shannon Cuddle fabric which feels very luxurious!   A monogram matching Misty-Jade’s bath towels was embroidered in the corner.  Then the tassels were tacked to the navy fleece before sewing both fabrics together to form a cozy blanket with just the right feel and weight.  I’m sure she’ll appreciate this blanket on cold, snowy Utah nights!

 

 

We ended our day with an outing to the Harkin’s Theater to see the “Lion King” followed by a swim in our pool.

Waffle Breakfast and Pillows

Sunday morning began with healthy Easy Oat Waffles.  We grind our own grains ensuring our flours are fresh.  One of my favorite sites for healthy and organic foods is Forks Over Knives.

The rest of the day was used for finishing the blanket and pillows.  My mom and I love pillows but have found that there’s not enough room to store all the different pillows for every season or holiday.  Envelope pillow cases solved that problem, so now we only have to change the pillow cases which are much easier to store.  The DIY directions by So Much Better With Age are super simple and easy to follow.  I also found a tutorial at sew4home that helps to maintain the square corners of the pillow.  You can see the difference in the corners of the beige pillow in the pictures.  Each pillow front was embroidered with a fall design before construction.  We’re making five more pillows before September with additional designs.

Relaxing and a Birthday Celebration

A girl’s weekend retreat would not be complete without relaxing, cooking, watching movies and just spending time together.

Our Completed Weekend Projects

Weekend Craft and Sewing Projects Completed
All of our projects for the weekend!

Shanghai

Last December Misty-Jade surprised me with the most awesome gift I could ever have wished for.  We spent Christmas break visiting Disney World and as always went to Epcot which is my favorite Disney park.  We saw the Shanghai Disneyland display at the China pavilion, and of course I was dreaming of the day we would return, and she could experience China for herself.  After returning to Iowa for her final semester, she called to say she wanted to take me to China as her graduation gift to me!  At the end of May we flew to China for the most incredible three week tour we will never forget.

We arrived in Shanghai late at night and were met by one of our former exchange students who was wonderful in helping us plan our vacation.  Jo took us to the Campanile Hotel near the Jing An Temple and helped to get us checked in.  We didn’t have time to recover from the time change because Jo kept us busy first thing in the morning until late at night for the next two days.  There was just too much to see, and we didn’t want to miss any of it.

 

History Museum

We spent the first morning at the Shanghai History Museum which had some amazing collections and beautiful displays.  I must have taken pictures of everything but of course can’t post them all here.   I’ve included a few that attracted my attention. I was very impressed with the detail of the printing plate and the resulting print it created.  The preciseness of the print is just extraordinary.  There was also a display about Chinese opera and several costumes.  Again the detail is exquisite.  I was also impressed with the tools used to eat crab.  I would never have thought so many utensils would be needed for that task!  One of the last exhibits we saw shows Shanghai as a refuge city for Jewish people during WWII.

I enjoy visiting museums in the US, and most provide excellent exhibits.  However, as is to be expected the same types of pioneer pieces, architecture, or art are found in many of them.  I believe people get used to seeing these items and walk through without looking very deeply at the exhibits.  The Shanghai museum offered new items as well as displays of familiar things, but seeing them from a different cultural perspective was very insightful.   There is so much to see, and I would enjoy visiting again.

 

Walking the Streets & The Bund

We did a lot of walking around Shanghai as well as taking the Metro and buses throughout the city.  Shanghai’s transportation system appears to work very well and seems to be easily navigated by everyone.  I always thought New York and LA were large, but Shanghai is gigantic!  Actually it wasn’t until visiting Shanghai that it ever occurred to me that Jo, who lived with us for a school year, must have thought Portland is extremely small without as much to do.

The Bund was one of the places on our list of things to see, so we eventually made it there.

 

Shanghai Tower

From the Bund we took a ferry across the river and took the elevator up the Shanghai Tower.  I think we landed on the 118th floor and then took the stairs up one more.  The view is incredible.  My only disappointment was the smog covering the city blocking what otherwise would have been a fantastic view.  That being said, China is trying to clean up the air and those who buy environmentally friendly vehicles are rewarded with less taxes on their car’s registration.  Those vehicles can be spotted by their green license plates.  We also found that China is encouraging recycling throughout the country.

Yu Garden

One of the last sites we visited on our first day was the Yu Garden.  I had expected a garden, but discovered it is more of a shopping area.  The buildings were beautiful, and we had a great time exploring the area.