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Dec 22, 2010

Caramel Pavlova

No, not this kind!
So we're off for a festive and relaxed dinner party this evening with some very good friends... I am taking the infamous Caramel Pavlova... simple to make but takes a long time. 2 hours to cook, 3 hours to cool and prep prior to serving! So a while... but all worth it!

Ingredients ~

6 eggwhites
1½ cups delicious dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
2 teaspoons white vinegar

2 cups whipped cream
2 cups strawberries, sliced
Bar dark or milk chocolate.... I use Cadbury's Chocolate bars because I luv them!

The Pavlova can be made one day ahead; just store in an airtight container. Assemble up to three hours before serving.


Preheat oven to 400°F (or 200 C). Mark a 10" circle onto baking paper and place on a large oven tray.

Place the eggwhites, sugar, vanilla extract and vinegar in a large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high speed for about 10 minutes or until firm peaks form. Spoon the mixture into the marked circle, the guide is just that - just plop it into the middle of the circle. Place pavlova in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200°F (100°C). Bake for about 2 to 2½ hours or until the pavlova is dry to the touch.

Cool the pavlova in the oven with the door ajar. Top with cream and strawberries. Using a vegetable peeler on the chocolate to form loose curls and sprinkle them over the pavlova to decorate. Could use a cheese grater too.

Don't freeze or microwave this desert!
And this is how I will look at dinner.... lol! Love those earrings Anna!

Anna Pavlova (1881 - 1931 ) 

So while writing this post I asked myself, why is the Pavlova named the Pavlova, and found that no one knows who first created the desert. However, the name and recipes first began appearing soon after the Russian ballerina Anna Matveyevna Pavlova toured Australia and New Zealand in the late 1920s. She was considered the greatest ballerina of her time and her visit abroad from Russia was an enormous event! It was said "... she sours as though on wings." Thus the light and airy desert!



Dec 6, 2010

Lottie Da Baby - by Amy Routh

Lottie Da Baby again... couldn't resist this image.

Three Yellow Starfish

How adorable..... Thanks 'Three Yellow Starfish' from Dallas Ft Worth area... very sweet! How can anyone resist?

Using Opal Owl fabrics... I adore these! And these little girls are too cute!

Nov 24, 2010

Cid Pear: Cid Pear Gift Certificates...

Cid Pear: Cid Pear Gift Certificates...: "Don't know what to get that special bride, mom-to-be or wonderful friend... then a gift certificate from the online Cid Pear store is just t..."

Nov 17, 2010

Cid Pear / new website

As you may know, I have a company called Cid Pear which has a creative philosophy of bringing beautiful tasteful papers and gifts to market. My stationery has been in the world for sometime now, and in fact it was my creative start to fabrics and so much more. So it's a first love along with the very many others I have... printing beautiful design on paper and then getting to personalize happy moments in life including baby announcements, bridal events and special birthdays and celebrations is so gratifying. Well, after many hours and months of preparation our new site is almost ready to launch. I am so very excited about it because it's pretty and fun and lovely to look through. Definitely an art statement with it's backgrounds, perfect imagery and the lovely stationery and products I have hand selected to bring to you. Including jewelry from my special friend Laurie Lenfestey of Bittersweet Designs. You will love love her stuff! Kids apparel from Biscuit & Poppet, and of course even some of my fabrics and sewing patterns from my studio! So watch, and subscribe for more detail. Cid Pear is definitely a lovely place to stop by!

The site launched next week so please stop by!

Nov 14, 2010

Artist: J Morgan Puett

Back in the early 90s I was introduced to an amazing clothing collection by a woman I'd never heard of, J. Morgan Puett. The clothes were extraordinarily free and beautiful in soft natural fibers including linen and washed silks... she'd dye everything too, so the colors were muted and earthy gorgeous. If you've met me, I am sort of ant-trend in my clothing.... I tend to wear loose long linen dresses with oxford boots, several layers of scarves and long necklaces... always a pearl or string of pearls.
Not a great pic of me but see the dress... I must see if I have another pic of this dress. 
I got many requests for this sewing pattern...

Anyway, so I fall in love with the J M P line and the next time I went to NY I had to stop in her, then Soho studio (then moved to Tribeca, which was a likely move because she is not what you'd call a 'commercial' artist and designer). Well, her studio was a dream for me. Within utilitarian rustic cement walls, she collects pieces of NY implements and artifacts ~ sort of a museum type retail experience, the store was accented with installation-inspired art. An amazing store, with hard cement counters and metal beams. The sewing machines were upstairs in a balcony overlooking the shop downstairs, and you could hear the low buzz of their work.

She had curtains outside of the shop and of course a beautiful metal shaped signature dress as her store sign. I was in heaven. She was not there unfortunately, but her staff were wonderful and wrapped my purchases in brown paper with a raw burlap string! Perfect.
Inspired I'd found a designer and clothing I absolutely loved... she decided to go 100% retail and not offer through my local fabulous shop her found her. Oh no... so every time I went to NY I took a b-line to the store and found my favorite delights. Eventually it was offered online and now can be offered on ebay....

A little history on J Morgan Puett ~ she received her Masters in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1985. From 1993-1997 she ran her business which she names as a multi-disciplinary project taking the  form of a small business in New York's SoHo, and other collaborative ventures with artists and designers; from 1998-2001 she collaborated on a New York-based experimental, retail-clothing manufacturing project. Her art has recently been shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and Wave Hill Glyndor Gallery, New York; she is currently working on a collaborative project with Mark Dion for the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. (from the J Morgan Puett site).

In 1997 she actually moved to establish an artists' colony in Pennsylvania. It continues to evolve today. It's called Mildred's Lane on almost 100 acres, and is a modern take on simpler times. Everything is truly a simple way of life but she styles everything in her signature baroque alchemy. Silver, glassware, vintage fabrics, gorgeous luggage. Her fridge shelves are covered in old table cloths (the cold preserves them!) The main house is built from local wood and is amazing with a sleeping porch, hinged pop-up windows and slated wood walls feel as though you're in a treehouse!
Surrounding the house are small outbuildings were artists and writers can stay plus an old barn housing the petrified clothing archive. Mildred Miller by the way was the former owner of the property and she lived in an old 1830s house that still remains, she lived there until her death in 1986. Puett named the colony after her.

Puett's life by her own words 'is art'. Being is my practice - eating, making, building.'
She's against throwing anything away and resuses everything from her wool jacket wearing it upside down, her dressing room tent from a store, now hanging over the bed as a canopy, she readapts old things into new. A nightgown becomes a table cloth, flour sacks slip-cover the dining room chairs. Obviously a collector, she and her best friend 'Peabody' collect things all year round and then give them to eachother at Christmas time. In fact I was in her first store and along the back wall were these beautifully simple wrapped brown packages with string, all with her name on them. I asked what they were, and the ladies informed me 'Oh those are Peabody's gifts to her from his trips around the world!' Hmmm....
Puett cleans with delight. It takes her a week to clean the house and she loves doing it because she rearranges everything... forever emerging, unfinished....

 Some of her pics from Cottage Industry, see more at her site HERE

Sep 30, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

Isn't she sweet! I have had the absolute pleasure to design a series of ornaments for Dept 56, and I recently received the 3-dimensional sculpts from Dept 56, and of course I had to repaint everything because I am a maniac... and they were just not quite there yet! The sculpts were incredible and the detail is spectacular... I am thrilled! From Believe Bunny to One Man Band bunny, Santa Bear and of course an amazing snowman with birds on his hat and in his arms... what fun. The collection is called CRUMPETS... and yes, you guessed the theme.. a forest filled with little creatures full of character all dressed up to dress up their snowman. The patterned glass ball, onion shape and teardrop ornaments are beautifully done and I can't wait to share more with you.
These are launching at market this January for Christmas 2011... and if you're visiting Atlanta and Dallas visit the Dept 56 showrooms because we're working on an amazing exhibit...I will no doubt be there to see my little creatures come to life....


Just visit the blogs listed below comment and you will have a chance to win the book, fabric 4 yards of multi prints, 2 boxes of stationery and 2 sewing patterns for kids... oh lalala....
Kisses, hope you win!

Blog Tour and a few freeby projects available

To celebrate the release of Sew Tina! Lark Crafts is
throwing a little eparty! And you get the goods: three free projects, a chance to win a copy of the book (and other treasures), and a months worth of Tina – welcome to the first stop on her official blog tour!
Read on for the blog tour schedule!
Sew Tina! Blog Tour:
9/24 Lark
9/27 A La Mode Fabric
9/29 Quilters Buzz
10/1 Sew Baby
10/4 Sew Chic
10/6 Sew Mama Sew
10/8 Hazelnuts
10/11 Mama’s Pocketbook
10/13 House on Hill Road
10/15 WhipUp
10/18 Quilt Dad
10/20 HodgePodgeFarm
10/22 Pink Chalk Studios
10/25 Fat Quarterly Blog
10/27 The Jolly Jabber
I am so thrilled with these wonderful blogs hosting the blog tour! At each stop, you’ll hear from me (of course!) and get plenty of chances to enter to win the book.Visit Lark, they will keep you posted on all the fun happenings. Also, see the three free projects to get you in the mood.

Sep 27, 2010

Lottie Da Baby - by Amy Routh

Meet the work of Amy Routh... she crafted her own business from her passion to create.... This lady, is so fabulous.... A physical store providing a unique shopping experience... I can tell Amy is a woman of passion, loves her family and loves life in full color and texture....
She uses many fabrics in her designs, but I discovered some of mine and thought you'd enjoy seeing her work. She's so savvy with an additional online presence on etsy.... a lovely etsy store 
....I  adore everything she makes.
All items are 'handmade with love' in her little shop in Columbus Ohio, called, you guessed it
LOTTIE DA... cute cute... And she has a blog so check in and thanks Amy for being such an inspiration and creative genius... 

Favorite quote from Amy's profile....
"I decided to create my own opportunity and make my dream a reality!"


Sep 9, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge /

I stumbled upon this sweet blog called ElsieMarley and Meg the blogger has a kids clothing challenge this month... follow the link and find this lovely idea...  Basically for one week you spend an hour a day making clothing for a kid with the objective to finish the garment by the end of the week. How superb! I was just contemplating time and how we must make time for the things we love. And how to nurture our creative self... well this is one idea to awaken the creativity in all of us. And I challenge you to this challenge... email me if you are and we'll ship you some fabric and a sewing pattern... remember to tell us your kids age... we have sewing patterns for infant to about 7 or 8.... see on the tina site.

Meg congrats, love the blog and love the idea it's so wonderful.

Aug 31, 2010

My favorite book as a kid

I was asked a question today, 'What is my favorite children's book?" Of course I have several, and illustration is key to me.... however reading to my young children is always been a fun past time and sometimes the art doesn't have to be fabulous for the message can be more powerful!
Anyhow, my favorite book as a kid was Miss. Z the dark young lady by Angela Carter.... I have been on the search for a long time, and today I re-looked and guess what? Found it... used but still there! I can't wait to read it to my daughter who I think will enjoy it too. I'm remembering the fabulous watercolor art by Eros Keith... an award winning artist and author.  He also illustrated several other books but another by Angela Carter called I think The Donkey Prince which I should search for too.
Speaking of Angela Carter, she was an unusual woman who seemed to live at large and loved diversity, radical feminism and was curious about everything and everyone! An English woman who ran away from life in the late 1960's for Hong Kong... And returned a 'different woman'... and wrote and remarried and lived life out loud!
Thought I'd share... maybe Miss. Z, the dark young lady will be an inspiration for my next fabric collection.... parrots and unicorns anyone?

Aug 29, 2010

Eva Mei & Me

Karyn of Queensland Australia connected with me online and she has a beautiful children's collection of clothing.... some amazing people in Australia.... down unda! She recently took a trip off East and took a few shots in Singapore..... yes there's a Chinatown in Singapore! ISnt this shot beautiful, definitely a colonial history here too. eek. Beautiful!
 Thanks Karyn for your work and clever eye!

Aug 27, 2010

Peacock Park Design

I am a French Country addict at heart....

Images from       

A sale....

Check out Quilt Home special sale section
50% savings on all in-stock Tina Givens  fabrics (no coupon required)

Jul 29, 2010

Opal Owl has shipped

Stores now have my recent collection, Opal Owl.... and it's selling fast! So if you want to catch this already popular fabric visit your favorite quilt shop or fine fabric shop or online store and grab some of Opal!!!!

Jul 17, 2010

Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles

Kev and I are here in Los Angeles, multitasking various projects as usual. Between watching our oldest in his last club soccer National Finals, reviewing Biscuit and Poppet, my clothing collection with reps and stores here, visiting my favorite stationers here who carry my stationery lines including Cid Pear (one of whom I actually bumped into at a restaurant here in Santa Monica (at Ivy at the Shore no less)... how weird to bump into someone you know in the middle of LA....
Regarding kid style.....      The kids in Los Angeles (and I am sure along all the west coast in varying degrees) definitely have their very own west coast style. They are little stylish fashion divas with the most amazing sense of self. I wonder where this comes from? It's got to be an environmental thing, not the green kind but the social kind. Women here are short skirts or jeans, the highest platform shoes possible, hair messy and a lot of ponytails and strappy tops. No shyness about those busts or legs let me tell you! I have not seen a pair of Khaki shorts or pants for that matter!
Now the kids are in bright brilliant color, lots of little dresses and loose long hair! Layering of tanks and skirts, some in leggings although it's quite hot here this weekend.

Yesterday we drove through a shopping area in Los Angeles on Larchmont Boulevard, between Melrose Avenue and  and 1st street. The LB Association strive to maintain their village within a city.... and it is truly quaint and perfectly lined with shop after shop for clothing, home, salons and spas, with a homey down to earth feeling.... We dropped in to see an old customer of mine for stationery, Landis Gifts and Stationery... part of an old General Store, Edie Frere has a perfect little spot dedicated to stationery, invitations and giftware. Edie has been carrying my stationery lines including Cid Pear for many years now. After many giggles and discussion of the paper industry we headed off to visit FLICKA, the cutest little kids apparel and home dec shop ever. The tiny little shop was chockablock of apparel for infant to young girls, as old as 12 or 13 when they start refusing to shop at boutiques like this one! Darling for kids and wonderfully packed with customers looking for outfits for their little stylish divas.... and  little dudes. Labels seemed to be either local designers, Mimi and Me for one, Left Bank Babies of course and more; and of course some bigger brands too, but mostly the little home spun designers which is glorious to me.
For those store owners or thinking of a retail space.... This was an ordinary tiny long space which the Flicka owners creatively turned into a sweet and homey little space loaded with shelves, wood wracks of clothing, an island for hanging apparel and space for toys, puzzles, accessories and more. Butterfly mobiles hung everywhere. The ceiling was my favorite though. They placed beams into the ceiling creating artificial rafters meeting at the center point of the ceiling! The store was so busy I didn't take a picture, but so very clever indeed. Sort of amazing that by adding a simple architectural detail one can completely create a unique environment with personality!
I didn't approach Flicka owners who were busy with their customers but this would be a perfect store for Biscuit and Poppet.
For those of you who live in the LA area or are traveling through with grandkids or kids to buy for, stop by Flicka at 204 N Larchmont, grab a smoothie, see Edie at Landis at 138 N Larchmont for stationery and maybe a gift or two for friends back home. Don't forget the book store, Cottage Antiques at 562 N, and of course Crumbs Bake Shop at 216. Yummmmm......

Today is the Gift Show here in LA at the moment, The Apparel Mart and of course visit with a few fabric shops here who carry my fabrics....

Did I mention, our flight was canceled on the 2nd portion of our trip, and so were bumped to another airline, and of course the luggage was lost until this morning when it finally arrived 2 full days and 2 nights later!? Needless to say medication had to be reordered and picked up, early shopping for clothing... and cosmetics. I will not be packing my cosmetics and meds in my luggage again.

Missing the kids, we have another soccer game (final game) tonight at 5pm so wish the boys luck. The last game was so exciting they even had me jumping up and down and screeching. Something I don't ever do...... lol

Ok walk on the beach time..... Until later,

Jul 5, 2010

Biscuit & Poppet

The Biscuit and Poppet Kids clothing line is so beautiful. I am so proud of this little venture with Westminster Fibers/Coats... we launched it last October. Have a look at the new site at, it features a new form of catalog that I had fun working on. The clothing is scrumptious and manufactured right here in the USA in smaller quantities... a couture like apparel collection for kids from infant to aged 7! Have a look I just love it!

Jun 27, 2010


 Hmmm.... a sale at Rare, crazy and I love it. And they have a new inventory of that Pink polkadot from Fairy Tip Toes that everyone is crazy about.... so get in while the going is good!~
And remember to look up Kimono Suit and Angel Smock on my site for pattern enhancements. Just clickety click on the sewing pattern image and you'll find the download pdf.

I have attached the link to quilt home, but if it didn't work cut and paste the following into your brows-ah!

Sewing Patterns, some new some old, all with soul sist-ah!

Four little outfits from the booth!Top right is the Kimono Suit Pattern TG-K5029 which we have just enhanced with detailed technical illustrations and more.... Top left is a new pattern called CHAKITA GIRL which is coming soon, along with bottom left TeaTime Medly for infant to little girl! The tutu isn't mine it was a Target buy.... Love that color! To the bottom right is the infamous COOKIE COAT pattern TG-K5021 a must for any little girls wardrobe and reversible too. More details coming on new sewing patterns. In the meantime, we're working through some of our first series with enhanced illustrations, tips and know-hows... Also a 'basic' technique section because as you know Tina has her own way of sewing..... cutting, and doing just about anything!

Jun 17, 2010

Quilt Market Opal Owl 1

I promised some pics of the booth at Quilt market in Minneapolis, so here we go. More to come just wanted to give you a few to get started!

I enjoyed cluttering up the shelves with all sort of thing including my favorite little glittered birds. We used the 'book panel' fabric to make little sachet cushions... too darling. They were all over the display! We simply cut up the pages and created little rectangle cushions featuring the words and characters on the front side. I had three appliqued canvases on display, the green bunny here is TULA. She's super! I show you how to do this technique in my upcoming book, SEW TINA!

I loved decorating this booth! It was a much smaller space than we usually do so we ate up every inch! It was like my little shop! The carpeted checkerboard makes for great impact.... The yellow tall table bar you see on the right is a 'chunky bar' from West Elm and we paint it each show we do. This time it's yellow.... With the chocolate walls and ivory shelves I wanted to break the monotony and whalah, yellow it was! On that back wall you see the big new GAME DAY TOTE, and matching cushions! I don't know about you but my little butt needs some cush when I am watching soccer, gymnastics, baseball or really any time of day!!!! The ottomon sitting in front of the little closet is perfect for any room in the house. So easy to make.... foam, batting, fabric and your nimble sewing fingers....
The little closet housed samples of the patterns made up.... These all went off to Australia for a show there....

Again, clutter! My clutter though. There's Ella Pearl the dolly sitting ever so prim. I love fedoras and made this little one for my 8 year old Amelia. She loves it.... even though she's Ms Sporty, she wears it sans feather. The dolly shoes were cute ~ we added pompoms. I love that tray too! Oh and the 'A', Amelia painted that when she was 3, added glitter and all.

Everyone has an old ottomon sitting around I know it. So recover with a slip cover. It's so easy! I have had this little square ottomon for ever, and it's seen many covers. Simple measure, add your seam allowance, use a welting (I covered this with the same fabric) it makes a big difference, measure the sides, add top seam allowance and hem allowance, I pleated at each corner and you see the pleat at the front... well that's where I sort of had too much fabric and so made an arbitrary pleat - it works ey? I love this! It now sits in my home under a white table and Lolita, my fat cat has claimed the orange ottomon as her own!
I usually hate the hallway carpet the shows choose but this time I kind of liked that royal blue against all my color...

A nice little corner pic looking into the booth. Again the cubbies along the left there are from West Elm, and painted ivory this time. This was a fun little wall because we were on a corner. So making it open with a window, but closed off so we didn't feel like we were floating and gave me more shelving to clutter up with goodies....
Covered lamp shade added some warmth too!

Oh, that's me wondering around. This looks like first day and I am already exhausted. Looking at something I wanted to change or move or something.... ah, my work is never done. A little more planning went into this one because of the size difference, but usually we just made a whole bunch of stuff in the fabrics and when Kevin is done with the walls and shelving I go for it. Patterns did well and we f