Tabs - pages

Saturday, December 22, 2012

McBride's time to relax....finally....

  Wondering where we've been for a while? Oh, we've been here all right, just cheating on this blog with Finch's Boutique blog...
  It's that time of year, when we completely tear apart our house, stash away our personal decor and bring in other people's stuff - 70 local artist and designer's stuff to be exact. Our largest Finch's Boutique to date was a big success - even if Day 2 was hindered by a ton of snow - it's was still a lot of fun, but mostly a ton of work....not sure if it will be happening here again next year..... we'll see....
  Here's what I mean...
We move most furniture out or re-purpose some - like one couch and the coffee table -
and bring in all the display apparatus...
Would you believe we had over 200 visitors come through our place?
That's a few more than we typically like to entertain at once...
This year got so big, we opened the smaller guest room down the hall to accommodate the Kids/Baby/Pets product.
Luckily, we have the two best shop dogs ever....
Okay, 1 really good shop dog....and then there's Rigby....

"This is my 7th Holiday boutique - no big deal" - Finch
Oh Man, being shop dogs is REALLY hard work...
   NOW! We have the house pretty well put back together, people's product is *almost completely gone and we're ready for some relaxing. We're definitely pleased to have finished the bulk of our Christmas shopping before the sale, but that doesn't mean we're sitting still for too long....
Still lots to be done! On to 2013!!
Happy Holidays from The McBride's
Kevin, Elisa, Finch & Rigby

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Magic Nugget Sponge Sets!

  One of my new creations for Finch's Boutique - under the name Yellow Finch.Gray Day (blog/etsy shop to come...some day....) - is Magic Nugget Sponge Sets!
  I've been making Nugget Wash Mitts for kids - sewn from terry cloth - for a few years now, and I guess I was thinking of ways to expand cute options for gift giving, and a way to make everyday routine tasks, like baths, a little more fun :)
  Take a peek!
From online, I ordered a multi-color pack of composite cellulose sponges
- they're flat and hard, like little card boards
I sketched and cut out a little pattern from a cereal box! ha!
I traced/cut around my pattern to get my Nugget shape!
The picture I don't have is me sewing all the bit together, but basically, I used a hole-punch and X-acto knife to cut out the little eye holes, and I doubled up my thread to sew on the the little square patches and owl beaks.
Here are the packages all set for the sale!
When you add the little, flat composite sponges to water - they INSTANTLY grow into squishy, fun sponges ready for bath time! IT'S MAGIC!
  * Later I emptied all the little round sponge bits my hole puncher - and let Brooke and Owen drop them into a bowl of water over at Grandma Bonnie's - Brooke proclaimed them to be "Magic Beans!!!"

  Other ideas for these sheets of composite sponges: cut them into alphabet shapes or numbers, animals or fun shapes - circles and stars, hearts, oh my!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yellow Finch.Gray Day for Finch's Boutique

  So I have been spending most of my time preparing for Finch's Holiday Boutique 2012 - coming up on Dec. 8th & 9th - it's a full time job (on top of the one I already have!) I've been working on my own product - under the name Yellow Finch.Gray Day - and updating the boutique blog once, sometimes twice, a day.

  My product list so far:
- Plush Toys like Jimmy Dolls, Pocket Nuggets, Tooth Fairy Nuggets
- Terry Wash Mitts
- Tea For Two Play Sets
- Finger Puppets
- Magic Sponge Sets
- Pieced Fabric Pot Holders
- Tea Pot Framed Art and Pot Holders
- Squeaky Bone Dog Toys
- Jingle Nugget Kitty Toys
- Felt Ornaments
- Re-usable Coffee Cup Cozies

+ Kevin is getting ready to start making his Peppermint Bark and Green Apple Bark pretty soon here too!

  I thought I'd share a peek a some of what I've been working on! Framed tea pot illustrations with matching pot holders (My mom is working on the tea pot kitchen towels to complete the collection!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I Heart SF! - Part 2

  So one of the sweet shops we visited was Paxton Gate. My co-worker Alyssa was SO pumped to visit this store - it was super cool and really fascinating :)  I lifted this from their site, but it pretty much sums it up "...Treasures and Oddities inspired by the Garden and the Natural Sciences. We're known for our mix of neo-Victorian delights, eclectic animal and plant ephemera, taxidermy, bones and skulls, framed and mounted insects, jewelry, affordable art, fossils & minerals, and more..."
  Its a must visit when in San Fran :) Check it out!

Loads of crazy taxidermy
Stones, corals, taxidermy eyeballs, beakers, test tubes, under the sea finds + a PIRANHA!! Scary!
Everything for your terrarium needs + a sweet backyard garden area full of succulents and cool plants we can't grow outside in MN...
Bugs and skulls and fossils...
+ these cool lamps - one made with an alligator head (far right side)
If you find yourself in San Fran - def check it out!

Friday, November 9, 2012

I Heart SF! - Part 1

  It's been a few weeks since my visit to San Francisco - and we've been so busy, I haven't had a chance to share some of the great shopping and sites!
- Shopping - check!
- Eating - double check!
- President Obama was in town - it's true!
+ a tour of Chronicle Books HQ! So cool!

  Here is Part 1 of my San Fran trip highlights!
Walking *down the steep hills wasn't so was the walking up that just about did me in.
For real: I almost died

The Painted Ladies!! The most famous row of houses ever!
LOVED all the San Fran Style homes - even this Barn roof style home was quirky and fun!
 PLUS! My favorite part = the sweet whale weather vane!
So much good food - including a quick lunch at Elsy's - a Salvadorian restaurant where I had my first Pupusa!
( a thick, hand-made corn biscuit-like flat bread that is stuffed with good stuff - Mine included carnitas + cheese!)

We grabbed some late night ice cream from Smitten  in Hayes Valley - an ice cream shop within a huge cargo-shipping container. The owner developed this great technology they call "kelvin" to make the BEST ice cream in 5 minutes. They keep it simple: only 3 flavors available at a time - I had Salted Carmel - YUM! - and it was packed with people! But the great part is, it's not a long wait, and you get to watch them concoct your batch right before your eyes! Only 3 - 6 ingredients total (depending on the flavor) and ALL locally sourced.
Random I know. In one shop, there was a little back room gallery space where I found this great needle-point sushi artwork. It made me smile :)
I picked these out for Kevin! A seemingly ordinary stool from the front & side - but Storm Trooper business in the back!
and I opened up a health spa - no. that's not true at all - but it's funny to see my name out there. I can't even find it on a souvenir shop key chain - so I take what I can get!
I did a lot of shopping while in SF - look for my I Heart SF! Part 2 and Part 3 posts soon!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Uninvited Guest @ The McBride's

  We've had a visitor! A few nights in a row, Kevin chased this little baby possum off of our deck. Not really knowing whether he might be a threat to our pups, especially new little Rigby, we didn't want to take any chances!

We learned online that:
  - Possums aren't dangerous unless you try to grab them
  - Possums have fleas! That is the biggest threat they pose to pets.

  He must have really liked our place  - despite all of the dog smells I guess - because, it finally took Kevin and Brian poking him with a stick (not hard! Just herding a little) out the side deck gate and out of the front yard. He was last seen going into the neighbor's yard across the street (not the cool neighbors, the mean lady neighbor - she's the one that last year yelled at Kevin for raking leaves "The Stupid Way" - and her garage was open, so hopefully he went in there)

 He's *kind of cute because he's a baby I guess. But kind of not cute too.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Can You Tell Me How To Get...How To Get To Owen's Birthday Party!

  We recently celebrated our nephew Owen's 2nd Birthday - and my sister-in-law, Anna, spared no detail when getting the Sesame Street theme *just right! Owen LOVES Elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street crew - who knew their heads tasted so good? Anna's side business, Birdie & B's Sweets, really impressed us with cupcakes and cake pops!

   Party goers had a chance to play at the playground before the festivities were underway:
Owen & Brooke taking turns peeking for Uncle Kevin's photos

And then it was time for games and play dough!
The kids played with homemade play dough and Ernie's ducky game.

Anna asked me to make cute little Sesame Street signs for food labels (We found about 20 people doing similar stuff on Etsy for inspiration) + for fun = I printed Oscar and Elmo characters on card stock and taped them to color coordinating chip-clips to peek out of bowls
Anna really outdid herself with Owen's own personal cake and tasty cupcakes for all.
and as if the cupcakes weren't enough, Owen's favorite characters made an appearance as cake pops too!
Birdie & B's Sweets sure were busy!
 Big Bird + Cookie Monster were vanilla, and Elmo + Oscar were chocolate. Oh man, that Big Bird head was so tasty...
Anna knows how to treat us non-chocolate eaters: These Salted Carmel Cupcakes were hands down the BEST cupcakes we've ever had.
Anna painted buckets and filled them with lots of goodies as party favors
We found this great Elmo book tote at Target that fit the party theme perfectly!

+ just for fun, I made these Sesame Street signs to show guests to the party.
I printed out the signs I designed, reinforced them with a second layer of card stock, taped them to wooden yard stakes and added some matching curling ribbons to blow in the breeze.
The weather turned out perfectly and we had a lot of fun! Happy Birthday Owen!
+ be sure to come see what goodies Birdie & B's Sweets has cooked up for Finch's Holiday Time Boutique this December!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

McBride's go back in time.... yester-year @ the Minnesota Renaissance Festival! It's been a few years since we've gone - but it's a pretty fun time + so many tasty foods to try. We were joined by Jeff & Jenny and Brian & Amber on what turned out to be a lovely half-cool, half-warm day - sure beats super hot!

We watched the Morris Dancers perform!
+ Our brother-in-law Nick performed with Villification Tennis at the Bear Stage and kicked butt!
Kevin's sister Molly performed as well - looking all cute and getting all sassy - she totally schooled that lame-old "Sunshine" and won the match for her team!
While eating my beer cheese soup in a bread bowl, I spotted a familiar looking gentleman in the crowd - and I think he saw me taking his photo... My suspicions were right as I spied, when he turned around, that he carried a pink umbrella! It was everyone's favorite half-giant Hagrid from Harry Potter!! I was SO excited to see him!
Oh man this was a super creepy mime dude - when you put $$ in his basket, we wound himself up with the crank in his chest and moved around....
Kevin gave ax throwing a go - and he did really well.
It is important that I note that Brian ALSO gave ax throwing a try
and DID NOT do as well as Kevin.
Over at the pretty disappointing attempt at Oktoberfest, we played a round of Hammerschlagen and Kevin won!
Again, very important to mention that Kevin did in fact beat Brian.
Kevin's prize was a free beer from a super long line only to be told that they were out of Schell's Okoberfest and was given a Grainbelt Premium instead. Needless to say, Kevin was very displeased.
Here are the happy couples! Jeff & Jenny on the left, and Brian & Amber on the right.
Kevin and I were happy too I assure you, just not photographed.
We had a great time at the festival! Huzzah!!! Thanks to Molly & Nick for the free tickets! You guys rule!

+ in case anyone is keeping score - I can't think of who... - but Kevin won his lady a prize in dart throwing as well. Brian did not.

* special thanks to Jenny for snapping most of these pics!