birthday week, day five: books and grocery lists

Posted by on April 5, 2009 in cook, craft, stitch | 25 comments

Let's just drag birthday week out as long as possible, shall we? I didn't get home until nearly 9:00 on Friday night, after running all sorts of errands, and I was still so pooped on Saturday that I took a three hour nap. That may have had something to do with the fact that I also cleaned out the chicken coop, and swept off another big section of driveway. Enough with the excuses, however, I have another giveaway to tell you about.


I felt the need to make something with paper today, so I made a little set of pamphlet-style notebooks, and experimented with an accordion book. The accordion book is a little wonky, but I like how it looks standing up like this, and the pages are my favorite printmaking paper. I know I've talked about my old red book for sketching and ideas and quotes, but I also usually have a little notebook in my purse for to-do lists and grocery lists, and other sorts of temporary scribblings. So I hope you will find these handy, and very usable. They all have Amy Butler cardstock covers, and two of the notebooks have brown paper pages and for the third I used ledger paper. 

Speaking of Friday night errands and grocery lists, lately I'm all about visiting ethnic grocery stores. This week I did the bulk of my shopping at 99 Ranch, a local Asian grocery store. It's gigantic, and they have all sorts of interesting things, including a deli with my new current obsession, banh mi (Vietnamese/French-style sandwiches). I also got ingredients for my gyoza and vegetables for a couple stir-fry dinners this week. Last week I visited a Mexican grocery store and made a big batch of Chile Verde. Their produce was so cheap (tomatoes for 59 cents a pound!), and I even treated myself to a carnitas taco from the taco counter at the front of the store that was one of the best I've ever had, and only $1.50. Of course I can't forget my favorite ethnic grocery store, Mitsuwa Market, home of all sorts of wonderful Japanese deliciousness. Between these three, Trader Joe's and Fresh & Easy, I almost never have to go to a regular grocery store, and I definitely spend less. So today's giveaway question is: Where do you do most of your grocery shopping? Any hidden gems to share? 

I'm also really excited to show you this book (Quilts, Baby!), which arrived this week:


I think the official release date is May 5, but Amazon says it's shipping in 1-3 weeks. I have two patterns in here, but even if I didn't, I would still want to buy it, there's a whole lot of cuteness inside. Here are my patterns, a bubbles quilt, and one with little crosses:



And here are some of my favorites by other quilters:


I think I'm going to use this pattern for the bird baby quilt I'm making, and will use the bird print instead of solid yellow for the big rectangles. And holy moly is this one adorable:


I love this one so much, those little cats climbing the stairs just kill me:


Okay, thanks for looking at all those pictures of books. There might be one more giveaway tomorrow, I'm working on something and I'm not sure if it's going to pan out, fingers crossed!


  1. Let’s see – I mostly shop all the places you do! Just had lunch with my hubs at Mitsuwa last Thurs. and we bought some Japanese tomato plants for just $1.99 each. I love Mitsuwa! I also love Trader Joe’s and Whole foods, of course. 99Ranch is great, and there’s another Asian market called Zion that has all sorts of other little stores in it (kinda like Mitsuwa). Here’s there funny little home page: That’s so neat that you have patterns in the baby quilting book! I haven’t read many of your older posts, so I don’t know yet if you’ve authored books yourself! I’ll dig soon. :o) Please enter me in your giveaway! Thanks!

  2. CUTE! Love love love the notebooks! The accordion book turned out really well, I reckon. You should be very proud to be in a book again, I don’t know how you clever chooks get in there! Its so exciting. ๐Ÿ™‚
    And am I losing my marbles or did I hear the word giveaway? hehe

  3. Lovely book! I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. Your projects look fantastic.

  4. Cool- your patterns are in a book! I love the bubbles quilt, what a fun idea. You seem to have lots of choices for groceries out by you- we have not so many. I end up at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods (no deals to be found, but yummy stuff). I have found in the south that the choices are a bit limited. Those are cute books you are making for the giveaway. I am a fan of moleskin- I have to make myself walk away from them or I just will buy more. I have one filled with fun info from blogs and another with recipes from blogs. I love going back through them for stuff. Heading to the beach today- wish we were in sunny San Diego, it’s supposed to rain today and Friday and be 65ish Tuesday and Wednesday. I am thinking we will drive up to Charleston for one day- I’m taking lots of photos to use if I can get my blog going…..

  5. Why haven’t I heard of this Zion Market?! A friend and I are having lunch at Tofu House on Thursday (we have a half day at work), I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if we take a detour over there. I’m so excited to find a new place! Thanks!

  6. Seems I saw that cross quilt at a certain house in Idaho almost a year ago!

  7. oops! it was me not Lucy that saw the cross quilt at a certain house in Idaho almost a year ago!

  8. I have a Whole Foods that I like to go to, even if deals aren’t abundant, but I’m also lucky enough to live in a mostly rural area, and our farmer’s markets are amazing: there are three big ones in my town alone, plus little ones that run kind of sporadically. And, on my commute to work, I pass so many farms — from spring through fall, there are always little roadside stands where I can get the freshest, best produce. I’m trying to lose weight and be healthier all around, so having such easy access to fresh good stuff is constant inspiration.

  9. P.S. How amazing to have patterns in a new book! Congrats to you! And that bubble quilt is too cute =]

  10. Love all the paper crafting!
    I’m afraid we don’t have any interesting stores like that around here, not even a Trader Joe’s.
    Hopefully one day…..

  11. Thanks for the preview! I’ve had this on my Amazon list for a while, but it’s nice to get a little sneak peek!

  12. We have three stores here in town. I mostly shop at CTC. The other store is Safeway and only with sales. The last store carries lower end produce that does not last and other items seem on the older side. Check expire dates often. So sparingly I shop there. Once in a great while, my friends have a yearning for a roadtrip so we go to Ranch 99 or another store in Seattle, the name escapes me. We are originally from Hawaii so we like those two stores for they carry many local items hard to find in Spokane.

  13. Beautiful notebooks! I do the usual grocery runs: Trader Joes, the co-op and Whole Foods. There’s a great Asian market down the road, but it’s nowhere near as extensive as the Asian Markets I grew up with around Seattle – sigh… ~H

  14. Wajimaija’s (SP) and Ranch 99 is our destination on road trips to Seattle and sometimes Portland. Otherwise local supermarket with sales.

  15. I pretty much do all of our shopping at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and the farmer’s market/Abundant Harvest but occasionally have to go to Ralph’s or something for my father-in-law’s groceries (blech — it makes me feel so AMERICAN and creepy shopping at normal grocery stores now. I’m a grocery snob, I think). I wish we had a 99 Ranch nearby! I’ve been to one in Arcadia and loved it.
    This book looks so amazing!! Love it!!

  16. P.S. I keep hearing about these banh mi and I NEED to try it! Look like I’m going to have to drive out to the Valley to find one though…

  17. A friend of mine visited us from CA yesterday and she gave me a box of chocolate covered peppermint Joe-Joes that she’s faithfully been holding onto for the last 4 months. I so admire her for not opening them and eating them herself at some point over such a long period of time. But it again made me so want a Trader Joes up here. *sigh* Our store selection up here isn’t nearly as good as yours, but they have some decent asian markets that ship in fresh produce each weekend from S.F.
    That quilting book looks SO cute. I love all the quilts you featured (especially yours, but that cat one kills me, too. So adorable.) and I am so tempted to buy the book myself. So do you get royalties from its sales?

  18. Hey, that comment was actually by me, Sijbrich. Why did it say it was from you? Looks like it did the same thing to Mom, too. What’s up with that?

  19. I keep a little notebook in my bag for my sewing projects.

  20. I love your red book (and the little booklets from today too)! I just started getting into hand-bound books (bought waaaaay too many on etsy) and want to learn coptic binding so I can try to do it myself. I loved the post about your red book….one of the new books from etsy is a re-bound vintage book just like that and I have been afraid to start writing in it. I’ll have to try what you’ve done! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Oh, you have to start filling it up! You’ll love it even more when it has
    stuff in it :o)

  22. What a lovely accordion book…fun, fun, fun. And congrats to your patterns being published. How very exciting!
    Let’s see, though I love shopping at TJ, and Whole Foods, I must admit–I do most of my shopping at Winco. They have the best prices! But they’re not found everywhere…

  23. We have a Trader Joes, and some little ethnic stores, Korean food market, and Polish food market! We also have a Stew Leonards, which has lots of fresh produce! Love your notebooks.
    Love that little quilting book…and your patterns are great! Congratulations to you! It’s your Birthday week AND you have two patterns published!

  24. Congrats on having patterns published in a book! They are very nice patterns too. I miss shopping @ Fresh & Easy – there aren’t any in the midwest. Maybe they’ll head east soon.

  25. I live in a small town in Utah. My choices are Wal-Mart and Albertsons. Kind of sad. I tried getting fresh produce and dairy delivered from winder farms, but they don’t deliver to my area. So sad. I do avoid Wal-Mart whenever possible though.

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