Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kitty Cuteness

Penelope is just so darn cute that I just can't stop taking pictures of her!

Here's a few of the newest ones...

She's always anxious to go to bed and patiently waits until she knows we're about to go upstairs.  Then, she races up and waits for us on the bed.  Sometimes she stays on the bed as we remove the comforter and pillow shams.  Here she is last night...looking like she was thinking, "come on, mom, hurry up, you're late for bed!"


She's a very snuggly girl but only with me.  She won't snuggle with anyone else in the family, no matter how hard they try.  She sleeps right next to me every night and has her own pillow that I put next to me for her to lay on.  Since it's started getting chilly at night, she's started to snuggle under the blankets.  She sometimes even puts her head on my shoulder or my pillow.  It's really hard to get a picture of her doing this because I have to do it with one hand on my phone, it's kind of dark, and she gets annoyed when she notices that I'm taking pictures...again.  But, I got one this morning!...


Since the weather has cooled, I'm back to knitting on this never ending blanket.  It works great because it's long enough to keep me warm...and, Penelope too.  ;-)


Does anyone reading this use PhotoGrid to size your photos before posting in Instagram?  Just yesterday the photos started having "PhotoGrid" on the corner.  That's kind of annoying!  Do you know how to prevent that?  Or, do you know of any other editing/re-sizing apps that won't do that?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lovely Leftovers

My recent weaving project left me with lots of left over yarn.  When I realized how badly I'd calculated and how much was left, my mind quickly started brainstorming about what I could do with it.  The idea of a doily popped up and it seemed like the perfect use for this yarn.

I started crocheting one this morning and I'm loving the results...


I'm using a size "E" crochet hook and the "Summer Splendor" pattern that's free on Ravelry.


I love it when I find a project/pattern that's a perfect match for stash yarn!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday!

Whooosh!  Another week has flown by!  How is it that they're going by so quickly?!  Is the world spinning faster?  I wish the days would slow down!  I'm trying to get stuff done here!

This week was a bit more productive in that I finished my weaving project.  And, I've started to get back to exercising everyday.  It's just walking with a little running here and there but it's a big deal that I'm getting back to it.  I was doing great earlier this year but fell off the fitness wagon months ago.  I haven't been all that enthused about getting back to it.  The heat had a lot to do with it.  It's VERY nice that the weather is cooling down now!  Mornings have been in the 50's and that's much more comfortable than 80's.  Especially when the sun is shining.

I snapped a couple pictures on my walk this morning.  I think it's interesting that these trees are covered in little yellow flowers when the calendar says it's Fall.  Looks a lot more like Spring to me!


Another accomplishment for this week isn't quite complete but what I've done so far feels really good!  I've been going through absolutely everything in my craft studio.  I'm getting rid of things (donating, trash and recycling) and organizing.  I'm finding so much more space!  I love that!

I also accomplished something I've been putting off...a dentist appointment.  Ugh!  I had all my old fillings replaced earlier this year and thought I was good to go and wouldn't need the dentist except for cleanings for quite a while.  Wrong!  During our June/July road trip some of my bottom teeth all of a sudden became very sensitive to cold and sometimes chewing.  The dentist checked it out and couldn't find anything wrong.  We decided to give it some time and use Sensodyne toothpaste. It's not any better and I've been putting off calling for months.  I just don't like going to the dentist!  The only  thing he found this time is that the nerves under two teeth look  inflamed.  So, I've been instructed to take Advil every six hours for three days.  He said it often fixes the problem.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  If that doesn't work I'll need to go back and get a "medicated filling" to try to calm the nerve.  If that doesn't work...root canal!  Ugh!   But, hey....going this week was an accomplishment!  Right?!  :-/

Ok....I need to get off the computer and back to work!  I want this day to be productive.

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Off the Loom

The weaving project I've been working on this week is off the loom!

After I was finished weaving and before taking it off the loom I added a hem stitch.


I love the results!


 I thought a hem stitch would be a good choice because of the limited amount of yarn I had. It made it so I didn't have to take length from the dish towel to fold it over and sew hems.  I was hoping that would help give me enough yarn to have a nice size dish towel.


However, I severely mis-guessed on the length of my warp.  I really should take time to figure out how to calculate and then actually use the math needed to do it right.  But, I hate math!  I've gotten by fine on all of my previous projects...until now.  Did I mention how much I hate math?!

I got this little....um...place mat?...cloth?...???...instead.  It's 14" long (not counting the fringe) x 16" wide.  I do love how the yarn and colors wove up though.  It feels really nice and looks good.


I ended up with at least a third of the yarn left over...maybe even closer to half!
I have an idea for something I can use it for though.


I tried and tried to get a photo that would accurately show off the pretty, warm, fall colors.  But, no matter what I did or where I took the photo, it just didn't work.  It's very pretty in person though.


My wonderful assistant that "helped" me with this project is seeing it all the way to the end.  She's sitting here, right next to me, as I write this blog post.  What would I do without her?!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Weaving!

I have a great little LeClerc floor loom that sits patiently waiting...and waiting...and waiting for me to use it.  I bet it's in shock right now because I actually am using it again!  I measured out some warp last week for a dish towel and finished warping yesterday.

I have a weaving assistant!  She supervised last week from behind the loom.  Yesterday, as I finished up, Penelope jumped up on my lap and looked up at me as if to ask what I was doing...


Then, she did a close up inspection to make sure I did it right...


Then, I started weaving!  Wooot!  It's so fun!  Why don't I do this more often?!


I'm just doing a simple plain weave for this dish towel project.  I love seeing how multi-colored yarn works up.  And, so far, this is looking great!  I have a busy day ahead but I hope to find some time to work on it today.  There's only enough yarn for one towel.  So, it should work up pretty quickly.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Woooosh! There went another week!

Wow!  Ya'll have been busy!  I've been trying to catch up on my blog reading and commenting and ya'll have been blogging, knitting, stitching, re-modeling, traveling, and doing all kinds of great stuff!  I'm amazed at all the great posts I saw this morning.  Unfortunately, the feed stopped working and wouldn't load anymore.  I'll try again this afternoon and see if I can catch up on some more.

I, on the other hand...feel like I've been spinning my wheels and can't seem to get much accomplished at all.  I've been so busy but my to-do list seems to keep growing faster than I can even start to catch up.  And, there seems to be little that's worthy of a blog post.  I keep hoping each week that things will turn around and I'll start to feel like I'm accomplishing things, catching up, and getting back to regular blogging.  In the meantime, here's a little snippet of last week...

I can't believe it's been a week since I posted this on Instagram.  It was Monday morning and I needed coffee badly!  The caption was, "Monday morning must have...please work your magic".  Luckily, it did and the day improved.  This Monday seems to be starting out better.


Exercise?!  Hah!  It's a good idea and I've been trying to get back to it.  I've been feeling more like Penelope on this subject though.  I like her way of using the treadmill!...


These aren't much of an accomplishment but they are some things I started and finished last week...two Kumihimo cords.  They're fun, easy and I can do it while I watch TV in the evening and don't feel like doing anymore that day.  And, it feels like an accomplishment...even though it's small.  This one is made with cotton yarn from my stash.  It's over two yards long.  I'm not sure what I'll do with it but it'll be great in the trim stash or for wrapping a gift someday.


My daughter made one in these colors and it was so pretty that I made one too.
Just used some leftovers from my yarn stash.  I love these colors together.


I measured out some yarn last week and started warping my loom for a kitchen towel.  Yup, one kitchen towel.  I really goofed when I read the yardage on the yarn label and may not even have enough for one.  But, I'm trying.  I even went to their store to get more but they'd sold out at the fiber festival.  I learned my lesson...read more carefully and ask questions!  I posted this on Instagram...Penelope was supervising...


I love that little girl so much!  She's extra snuggly lately since the weather started cooling down.  She loves to sleep next to me every night and now she's starting to snuggle under the covers.  In fact, she often stays in bed for a while after I get up.  And, sometimes, she even goes back to bed and has figured out how to cover herself up.  So cute!


We picked up our daughter yesterday at her condo and drove to Pasadena for the day.  She attended a harp workshop/class lead by a famous and amazing harpist named, Deborah Henson-Conant.  Hubby and I went for coffee while she was there and I did a little knitting.  The weather was perfect!


A couple hours later, we picked our daughter up, drove around and looked at some of the magnificent homes in Pasadena, and went out for dinner.  Then, we went back to the house the workshop had been held for an in-home Deborah Henson-Conant concert.  Well, actually, it was in the backyard, under trees and little lights, and only about 50 other guests.  It was great!  Deborah's amazing, talented, unique, and inspiring!

We'd seen Deborah on a PBS concert years ago.  She inspired my daughter with how the harp doesn't have to just fit into a classical box...that there are more possibilities.  Our daughter has been impressing us and others ever since with beautiful, unexpected, and amazing ways to use the harp.  Beyond classical to jazz, blues, Latin, rock, and other unique music.  Our daughter met Deborah and learned from her last summer at the harp conference we drove to in New Orleans.  Our daughter will be performing one of Deborah's pieces, "Baroque Flamenco", in her senior college recital this year.  And, she'll be competing with it in a concerto competition next month.  Exciting!

And, now, woosh!...it's Monday again!  My list has been started for the day and I'm sure it will grow.  But, I can cross blogging off my list for today.  Fingers crossed that it'll be a productive week and that I'll have much more to blog about very soon!

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fiber Fiesta

The annual Fiber Fiesta held in the northern San Diego County city of Vista was held last weekend.  It's a small fiber festival but one of the very few we have in Southern California.  I've been to it several times by myself but this year was extra special because my daughter went with me.  That made it a LOT more fun!  

We had a blast wandering through the weaving barn.  It's filled with looms and lots of them have projects on them.  This one was especially exciting.  Not only are the colors gorgeous...


...and the weaving is beautiful... 


...but, it's also a big dobby loom.  My dream loom!  I got to work on one of these years ago and I've wanted one ever since.  The pins on the wood bars create the pattern in the fabric and a new bar is advanced for each throw of weft thread/yarn.  It's fun and magical!  I love this kind of loom!


The barn is filled with looms...large ones, small ones, newer ones and very old ones.  We saw someone weaving on one from the 1800's.  I believe this one was from the 1930's.  I thought the handle on the beater bar was interesting.  I'd never seen that before.


One of the weavers told us about this old Jacquard loom the museum has inherited.  They're very excited about it and working hard to get it up and running.  It'll be the logo for their museum.  It's so tall that it almost reaches the rafters of the barn!  I couldn't get a picture of the whole thing as it was surrounded by other looms and things.  This is part of the top...


I peeked between some things to get a picture of the many threads running through it...


These red strips have holes punched in them and as they feed through the loom they control the pattern that will be created in the fabric...


The very long loop of those strips runs from the floor to the top of the loom and up into that part that's almost up to the rafters and then back down again...


Here's another picture of that top part from the other side...
Fascinating!


There was a table near one of the doorways/openings to the barn with some very nice ladies who were excited to show us how to do Kumihimo.  They had a basket filled with little kits with yarn already measured out and ready to share.  We were excited to learn.  Kumihimo is Japanese braiding and it's very easy and fun.  We caught on quickly and finished up our braided cords later that day and started some new ones.  I'll try to get some pictures of our cords for another post.


There were vendors/booths outside selling hand dyed yarn, tools, handmade clothing, etc.  We had a lot of fun shopping and could have come home with SO much stuff if the budget allowed.  We couldn't afford all the wonderful things we fell in love with but we still managed to spend a little too much on yarn.  So much for the yarn diet!

I got two beautiful skeins of yarn from my favorite dyer, Inner Yarn Zen.  I love this one!  The color is "Carmel Pumpkin Spice".  Just wait til I get started on a project so I can show the cool effect that's created with how she dyed it!  Yarn love!


There's just something about this one that literally makes my heart flutter when I look at it!  It's gorgeous!  Of course, all of these yarns are much more beautiful in person!


Newton's Yarn Country was there with their amazing yarn bargains.  I couldn't resist this time!  They sell huge skeins of yarn for six for $20.  Amazing!  I bought this cotton to make a kitchen towel.  Unfortunately, I read the tag wrong when I got it and I might not have enough.  I'm planning to play around with it today and see what I can figure out.


We got three skeins of this super soft cotton.  They said it works great for towels and just keeps getting softer and softer as it's used and washed.  I'm planning to use the red and cream for weaving kitchen towels.  My daughter is going to use the brown to knit a cowl or scarf.  


We got several other colors but they didn't photograph well to accurately show the colors.

The Fiber Fiesta is held at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum and it's always fun to walk around to see these magnificent old machines.  In fact, I think their annual show is this next weekend.  They actually start some of these up and drive them around at the show.  Amazing!


This might sound weird but I think this one is pretty!


There was a gem and rock show going on last weekend too.  And, the museum has classes throughout the year for various things including weaving and blacksmithing.  It's a little far away but I'm thinking of joining.  It's a wonderful place with lots of nice people and I love how it's preserving history.

Friday, October 10, 2014

FO Friday - Almost...

This has been a very busy week but I did manage to finish a project...almost.  I started crocheting some strips of lace a while back to sew onto pillow cases for my daughter.  I recently pulled the project out to finish it.  I got the lace done this week...two 36" strips.  The "almost" part is that I still need to sew them onto the pillow cases.  I'm hoping to get to that later today.

Here are a couple of photos I took with my cell phone...



I was on such a roll with de-stashing, finishing projects, and doing things around the house before my recent trip but I seem to have lost momentum.  I think it's picking back up though.  I had a more productive week.  I got a lot of yard work done....some trimming, took out two trees and cut them up, and filled the huge green waste and trash bins.  And, I did some more preserving of herbs, made a new batch of homemade granola, finished this lace, picked out some patterns and wound some skeins of yarn into balls.  It's not as much as I'd hoped to do but I had a pretty bad sinus headache one day and felt pretty wiped out for the rest of the day when I did all that yard work.

I've also needed to spend more time caring for my dog who's hurt ACL has gotten so bad she can barely get around.  We've ordered a brace that should (fingers crossed) help a lot.  And, I'm still giving meds to my kitty, Penelope, for a severe bladder infection that she had.  Penelope is feeling a lot better.  Yay!  Now, to get Salsa feeling better and bouncing around again like her usual self!  I've been giving both of them lots of extra love and attention.

There's a fiber festival this weekend that I'm planning to go to with my daughter.  That should add a little extra inspiration for getting back on a roll with projects.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Celebration Road Trip - Final Two Stops

So far, our two week road trip to celebrate our upcoming 25th anniversary was filled with surprises, incredible scenery and lots of fun.  From the beautiful and magical North Rim of Grand Canyon and the awesome time we had in Capitol Reef / Goblin Valley / Cassidy Arch to the spectacular adventure we had exploring slot canyons in Escalante.  But, we still had a few more days and two more destinations to enjoy.  Next stop...the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

We headed out early from Captitol Reef National Park and the scenery along the way was beautiful.  Part of the drive went up from the east side of Bryce Canyon National Park.  I snapped a picture through the windshield of some of the amazing roadside scenery.  I like how this photo even caught the reflection of it on the hood of our truck...


We had made reservations at one of the many campgrounds in Grand Canyon National Park.  That's a must because it's very popular and spaces fill up fast.  We got there around mid afternoon and set up.  Shortly after that, we headed over to the rim for the sunset.  The Elk were out for some late day munching.  Hubby got a picture of this guy with huge antlers.  He was bending young trees over to eat their tender tops.  The Elk made very weird sounds to communicate with one another...something we'd never heard before.

It was very cloudy but the sunset was still beautiful.

Here's a photo I took...


As the sun disappeared, we turned to walk back along the rim and hubby got this gorgeous picture looking east.  We could see rain storms over the canyon and they moved so fast that in no time at all it was pouring right over us.  Good thing I'd brought a jacket to protect my camera!  We got drenched pretty quickly but the rain didn't last long and we dried quickly too.  Another magical night at Grand Canyon!  I love that place so much!


The next morning, we had a good breakfast, loaded our packs, and headed out on our bikes to ride from view point to view point.  Our first stop was the visitor center to check things out.  There was a Raven in a tree there that had an audience of people watching him as he talked and talked.  I wonder what he was saying?


After a few stops, we arrived at the El Tovar Lodge.  It was built in 1905 and is one more of those amazing National Park lodges that are so much fun to see.  Since it was already mid-day, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch in their elegant restaurant.  It was beautiful and so fancy with staff that were extremely professional and treated everyone like royalty. We got there early enough to be seated near the window for an view of the canyon while we dined.  There was some old and interesting artwork on the walls that they're happy to provide a printout that tells about them.  Oh....and, the food was really good too! 


I love the dishes they use there and they have some on display just outside the dining room...


There are a lot of stops you can make along the rim.  Some are simply a place to take in the view.  Others have a museum, an art gallery or something else too.  I fell in love with the amazing view from this stop.  I think it was the Yavapai Museum of Geology.  The building sat right on the rim with windows all across the canyon side.  What a great living room that would make!!!  I snapped a picture but everyone else was enjoying it too so it was impossible to get a picture with no one in it.  But, I like the silhouette of this lady in her cute hat enjoying the view...


I don't remember how many miles we rode that day but it was quite a few.  There were a lot more stops and miles to the end stop at Hermit's Rest than I thought.  It was a lot of fun though and nice to take our time and enjoy the park without using the park shuttle bus.  Although, it's a great option and I did take advantage of it and rode back from Hermit's rest to the El Tovar Lodge.  Hubby rode back to meet me there.  I locked up my bike and headed into the bar to order a drink and before they'd finished making it, hubby called me to let me know he was there.  That was fast!  He got a drink too and we sat on the front porch of the lodge to relax and take in our amazing time there.

I had a prickly pear margarita.  It sure was pink!


When my daughter and I stopped at Grand Canyon in July, we found a cafe in the Market Plaza (inside the park) with that was very affordable and had lots of food options.  I was pretty tired from our long bike ride and didn't really feel like cooking.  Besides, this place was so good that we couldn't miss it.  So, hubby and I headed over there for dinner.

We got up early the next morning and got one more look at that amazing canyon before we left.  Salsa got to go this time and we took her picture.  I think she likes it there!


Then, we headed back to camp to pack up, hitch up, and hit the road for our next stop.  One last picture before we left....the view from our campsite.  Beautiful!  And, now this place has so many awesome memories....from the wonderful time I spent there with my daughter in July and, now, the great time I had there with my hubby.  I was a bit teary eyed about leaving.  But, I'm sure we'll be back!  And, we were heading off to see and experience more places.


Our next and last stop of this trip was going to be Sedona, Arizona.  We enjoyed more beautiful landscapes and blue skies filled with puffy clouds along the way.


And, many more miles of golden yellow flowers...


We had a reservation on this stop too as the only place we know of in town is the Ranch Sedona RV park and we didn't want to chance not getting a spot.  It was pretty hot when we got there and we were pretty hungry.  So, we got all set up, turned on the AC for Salsa and Penelope (our dog and kitty) and headed out for lunch!  We went to the Oak Creek Brewery and Grill at the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.  It was a good choice.  It was nice and cool inside, we had a window seat with a nice view of the village below, the waitress was really nice, and the beer and food was great!

We ordered a sampler of some of the beer they brew...


The little mugs were so cute!...


We tried something we'd never had...deep fried pickles.  But, not just any deep fried pickles.  These were "Wicked Pickles" that had been infused with jalapeno.  YUM!!!  The rest of our food was great too!


The main thing we'd planned to do on this visit to Sedona was to go for a mountain bike ride.  So, the next day, we headed out for a late afternoon/sunset ride near Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte.  Trail parking areas now have kiosks to purchase a parking permit for $5.  We had no trouble at all finding spaces to park.  And, as always, the scenery there was spectacular!


That's Courthouse Butte that I'm pointing at.  We were riding to the base of it.


Fun!


But, watch out for some of the obstacles sticking out from the edge of the trail!...



We capped off the final night of our trip with an amazing meal at the Taos Cantina (funny name for a place in Sedona!).  Hubby had a "Dirty Sedona Margarita" with pineapple, orange juice and cinnamon in it.  It had a very unique flavor.  He loved it!  I had a Blackberry Lime Margarita.  Cheers!


I'm not sure if we were just hungry after our bike ride and because it was late or if the food really was really amazing but that meal was SOOO good!  Hubby had tamales and I had shrimp street tacos.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it all.  Incredibly delicious!


A perfect end to a perfect trip!

P.S.  If you haven't had a chance to see photos and posts from the rest of our trip, I've provided links at the top.  Just click on one of the places and it will take you to that post.  Once there, if you just want to see the photos, click on any photo and it will bring up just the photos and they'll be larger.  We had an amazing time and saw so many spectacular things!

Thanks for stopping by!  :-D