Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weekend Recap and More!

Hello my lovlies....Happy Wednesday! Two posts in under a week...that's a record breaker for me nowadays. I thought I would come back to let you know about my weekend and a little bit of stitching.

I gave myself a 4-day weekend by using a couple of furlough days. I need to take 13 (!!) in the year so I have 11 more to go. Having days off during the week is wonderful but despite having a 4-day weekend, it flew by as if it was a normal 2-day weekend.

On the first day, I went to the Picasso Exhibit with a friend. Let me just start off by saying that Picasso was a strange, strange man with very strange taste in art. I had gone to a lecture at the library last month for a quick lesson on his style of art which was very helpful for me and my friend. For whatever reason, the DeYoung received the exhibit from the Musee National Picasso Paris under the agreement that there would be no chat boards. I really think that chat boards make an exhibit so not having any was strange. This also means that you walk the exhibit in under an hour since there is nothing to read! My friend was lost so I explained to him the things I learned in the lecture while we walked. The realm of "periods" Picasso painted...such as impressionist, blue, pink, cubism, surrealism, modern, etc. and how the wives and mistresses played as his muse. My friend got to the museum before I did thanks to a crapload of traffic and he picked up docent tour tickets so we walked the exhibit on our own first and then did the docent tour. It was helpful to hear a little bit of least for those people who didn't know much about Picasso other than he's famous and you have to go check out his exhibit! The downside to the docent is that they skip over a lot of the paintings. So if you want to go and see the Picasso exhibit here in SF, get the audio tour! I cannot stress that enough. I was fine with the self walking and the docent tour because I already had some Picasso background but for newbies, the audio tour is the way to go.

After the exhibit, we rested in the cafe for a little bit and then walked over to the California Academy of Sciences. This is a great place to visit if you have kids. Me...I have no kids but I have guy friends and they are like grown up kids so I sometimes get the chance to go see the fishies and Claude the albino alligator. They have a snake exhibit going on now so we went to see that. Frankly, the huge hairy spider on display scared me more than the snakes. I could barely look at that thing. It was huge and hairy and all you saw is web...I scurried past squeaking in apprehension. Ugh...can't stand spiders!!

After that, I met with Claire and we had dinner at Burma Superstar. This place is awesome but you seriously have to get there right when the restaurant opens at 5pm to avoid a long wait, it is that popular. We indulged in too much food but had a great dinner. After, we browsed the shelves at Green Apple Books. I need to go back with a list next time. Each time I go, I get overwhelmed with all the book choices that I can't even decide on a book to buy! Does anyone else have that problem?

So that was Day 1! It was a very long but fun day. Day 2 consisted of me going downtown for an appointment and then I met up with another friend and we went to North Beach for a cheap lunch. We went to Golden Boy for some Sicilian Pizza slices. I've talked up Golden Boy already so I'm not providing a link. It's a little hole in the wall place whose draw is square pizza sold my the slice. After that, I needed to go to Stella Pastry for my cannoli. My friend says that Stella is high-end and he refused to order anything. I have no idea what he's talking about but I'm dealing with someone who will go to hole in the wall places and refuses to go to any "yuppie or foodie" places. After that, I went to spend a little bit of time with the 80-year old set and see how they were doing.

Day 3 was quieter. It was farmers' market and errand day for me. I picked up some peaches, strawberries, fresh corn, plouts and grapes. No hazelnut croissant today...that's at Sunday farmers' market. I will have to get one this coming weekend and take a photo for many people commented on it on my last post. I've been trying to tidy up and organize my apartment so that was on the agenda too with a little bit of stitching.

Day 4 I treated myself to a movie and went to see The Help. Has anyone else seen it yet? I thought it was very well done. Lots of laughs and tears...bring tissue! I feel that considering the time constraints, they did the book justice. Be prepared...the movie is 2.5hours long. I tend to get fidgety in movies but the movie didn't *feel* that long to me. I really enjoyed it. After I got home from the movie, I stopped by the street festival near my house. It is held every year but this year, it seemed to have crept up on me unnoticed. I walked out and saw so much traffic and didn't know why until I saw the huge tents a block away! The booths could have been better but I enjoyed a yummy gyro and margarita while listening to some great music from the bandstand. I love street festivals!

I had it in my head I wanted to make a fresh peach pie entirely from scratch and so I did. It was my first time making pie crust. What a pain it is to roll that out...I need a larger cutting board to do that. I don't think the crust came out that great but I think that was because I didn't roll it off thin enough (small cutting board) and the dough got warm and overworked. But I still took the pie to work and everyone raved. I guess maybe I'm my own worst critic. It was tasty...I just wanted a crumblier pie crust. Here's my beauty queen but certainly tasty!

So I'm going to pose a question to those of you who have gotten this far and haven't fallen asleep already. *poke, poke...hey, wake up* Sunday night, my apartment manager (I should say former because he got fired due to some shady new hiring of property management that I am not happy about), knocked on my door and told me to look at a chair and footstool he had in the hall. So I did. And I saw this.

He told me to take them otherwise he would have to throw them away. He's moving and couldn't take everything since his new space is smaller. He said he'd had them for 30 years and they were given to them. I couldn't let them be thrown in the trash! But I don't know what to do with them. Needlepointed chair and stool. It looks like they were done at different times since the wood on the two pieces don't match exactly and one fabric is darker than the other. Or maybe that's dirt in which case...ewww, and how do I clean it?!

So if you found these, what would you do to restore them and make them shine? I know they need some cleaning and new stuffing/padding especially on the chair. I do have an old friend whose husband does upholstering so maybe I can ask her what to do and if he would give me a good price on the work. That's not in the budget right now so it will have to wait another day. In the meantime I will hold onto them to save them from the trash bin. But I would love ideas!

So I obviously had a busy weekend. I think I've forgotten how to relax! But I got a bit of stitching in and finished the 4th "rule" in Christmas Rules which is Honor Traditions. I am almost finished with the 5th one but not quite.
This Saturday is stitching group and since I plan on going and stitching my little heart out, I signed up for IHSW on Joyzse's blog. International Hermit Stitching Weekend is the 3rd weekend of every month but this is the first time I'm joining in. I might actually get a lot of stitching done. Time will tell.

Well, I hope I haven't bored you all but thanks for sticking with me. Enjoy the rest of the week!

Until next time...

p.s. For those interested in my tombie hardware. It is manufactured by Images Stitchery Design and I ordered mine from Inspired Needle. I know that Attic Needlework also carries it too.


Gabi said...

Great stitching.
Sounds like you had a nice but busy weekend.
Lovely chair, but I wouldn't have any idea what to do with it. :)

Jackie said...

The pie looks delicious! I used to just roll the dough out on the countertops but I must confess to using the Pillsbury stuff from the dairy case for years.

Chris said...

What a great weekend Valerie.
The pie looks great and so does all the stitching.
I enjoyed The Help too.I thought they did a great job.
I hope that the short work week is an easy one for you.

Margaret said...

Wow, I didn't even know those things in museums were called chat boards lol! That really is weird not to have them -- they are so important to an exhibit imo. Busy weekend though. But also fun. And the chair/stool! I think what you said -- ie asking your friend's husband what to do -- is probably the best. He might know what to do. It's weird they're different colors and all. Love the stitching too! I think it's good to have busy weekends. These days that doesn't happen much for me anymore. Your pie looks delicious btw! I learned how to make pie crust in a 17th century kitchen as an historic interpreter. Fun!

Peggy Lee said...

OK so you lost me a little bit with all the art talk but soon gained my attention with that beautiful peach pie. YUM! I used to make my own crust but found out a few years ago the Pillsbury crust is just as delicious and much easier to work with!

What a lovely chair and stool. I hope you can find a way to make it shine...wish I could help.

Siobhan said...

Yumm, that pie looks good! It sounds like you've had a busy but fun time. I have no clue what to do about the chair and stool, but it's a nice set.

Love the stitching!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Whew I have to catch my breath after all that... and yes I read it all!

That chair and footstool do have charm, I know nothing about sprucing it up though.

Great job on your 4th Christmas rule!

Laura said...

I love Picasso. I've had a print of Guernica in my office for decades and still don't quite understand it. LOL!

Your pie looks great. I make pecan pie from scratch for Christmas and it's a ton of work but everyone loves it.

A good upholsterer should be able to tell you what can be done with the chair/footstool. I had some old needlepoint pillows that I took to the guy who upholstered my antique rocking chair and he was able to clean them for me and then I just bought new inserts for them.

Natasha said...

Wow you had a great 4 days off :) The pie looks delish Valerie!!

I love street festivles too, Mountain view is having their HUGE art and wine festivle in a few weeks, I can't wait.

I am still waiting to see the Help suppose to go with some girlfriends but might just go by myself, it's to hard to plan a time for everyones convience...

Speaking of,next time you have to use furlough days, let me know I will take a day off and we can hang out in the city stuffing our faces :D

Take Care!

Deb said...

It sounds like you've had a wonderful few days. Yes Picasso is weird, but I would have loved to see the things in the museum.

Love that chair and footstool you picked up. I'm sure that there is some kind of cleaner that will perk that right up. I think they're beautiful and free to boot.

Your pie looks great too. I'm with you on the pie crusts - even with a big enough board I mess them all up. So I cheat and buy the ready mades in the frig section at the grocery store (don't tell! LOL)

mainely stitching said...

Some dry cleaning shops also sell DIY cleaners so maybe if you asked for their gentlest product, you could try some spot cleaning. Usually the stuff used on furniture is quite heavy duty and is colorfast, but it's better to be safe than sorry. I'm glad you saved it from the bin.

Interesting stuff on the museum tour. I went to a Van Gogh museum in Holland that also lacked pretty much any info and found it a strange experience.

Joysze said...

Your peach pie looks scrumptious, Valerie!! Wish I could have a bite. ;)

Sorry to hear about the apartment manager. :( Hmm.... seems such a waste to sit on that stitched part of the chair, so once cleaned, maybe they could be display pieces? :)

Myra said...

You sure make the most of your weekends Valerie - long or not! I have no ideas for the chair and footstool but it sure is pretty. It would have been a shame for it to be thrown out.

Carol said...

Whew! I'm exhausted just reading about all of your busy, busy days, Valerie. When I was getting my hair cut yesterday, another customer was just raving on and on about how great the San Francisco trip she had just taken was. You surely never run out of fun things to do there, do you?

No idea about the needlepoint chair, but I'm glad you're rescuing them! And I love your pretty rug that they're sitting on :)

Katrina said...

Pie looks yummy!!!! Sounds like a fun, busy time off :-). Sorry about your apartment manager!!! I think before I did anything I'd have it cleaned, if you don't love the pattern, JoAnn has lots of upholstery fabric. Sweet of him to give it to you.

Michelle said...

Sounds like you've been having a lovely time! Glad you made it to the Picasso exhibit. He was for sure, a strange strange man. Some of his periods I like more than others for sure. Definitely talk to your upholsterer friend and see what their thoughts are. Your pie looks delicious - pie crust is such a pain to make, but it always tastes good regardless!

Melanie said...

What an interesting furniture set! I'm not sure I would know how to clean it up either. Can you unscrew the foot stool top from underneath? I would think that the fabric is stapled down so, theoretically, you could pry those up to take the fabric off to clean. I've done that with a couple old chairs before but only to completely replace the fabric, not to clean it.

Congrats on making your own crust! I can never ever manage it and resort to the pre-made rolls of it. :(

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Fun post, Valerie!

I wouldn't have let the chair and stool be thrown out, no way. I am a jumper in-er kind of gal and would probably just take the needlepoint off the chair and stool, take them to be cleaned. Paint the chair and stool, black maybe and then put them all back together. I'd probably put them in separate rooms if the fabrics are too different. But, ask an expert. I've ruined a lot of things, too!

Barb said...

Loved your chatty post. Kind of envious of all your adventures! Being a homeowner can kind of tie you down...always something that needs to be done.

The needlepoint reminds me of some pieces my mom has. Those pieces were probably purchased with the flowers already stitched and the purchaser just filled in the background. We used to sell them at a needlework shop I worked at in the 70's. Can you think of anything more boring than filling in all that beige? They are very pretty though.

So glad to get a review of The Help. I loved the book and was worried that the movie wouldn't live up to it. Must make it a point to see it soon.

The Maiden said...

I am glad you found time to stitch, it looks so cute!

Jeanne said...

I wouldn't mind a few furlough days actually - we had to take a week in 2009 but they tacked it onto our Christmas break so we got an extended leave - I didn't even mind the missing pay just loved having some extra TIME. Looks like you had a great day all around. That was so nice of the super to think of you for the chair and footstool. I hate seeing someone's hard work go to waste.

I am working on Xmas Rules -up to the Fa-la-la block and loving it!

Yvon (jioya) said...

The Christmas rules is looking good, i can't tell how to clean the footstool or the chair, but the look beautiful and if you have the space for it, why don't you give it a try?

Hugs Yvon.

Meari said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend. What a beautiful chair and footstool. I bet you can pull the covers off, wash them, and put them back on yourself.

Meari said...

P.S. I forgot... the pie looks yummy! I always roll my crusts out on plastic wrap that I put on the counter top. Then I don't have to worry whether the crust is going to be big enough.

Anonymous said...

What a find on that chair!!! You saved it!!! Lucky you. Love that Halloween you are doing...I'm working on it too, but you are way ahead!

Pumpkin said...

SO many things to see and do where you are! And more talk of food...ugh! LOL!

LOVELY! Oh yes, hold on to them. What a great find.

Your pie looks yummy :oP''''