Tuesday, January 24, 2017

...Like a Kid in a Candy Shop

Hello everyone from beautiful, green, rainy southern California!  Things has quieted down here a bit and life is getting back to a normal routine.  That includes knitting and crocheting!

I subscribe to Deramore's emails and the other day they were offering free shipping!  I'm always looking for a bargain but did I really need any more yarn/thread?  What caught my eye was this Scheepjes Maxi Bonbon thread.  At $1.49 a ball, it was very reasonable.  I believe there are something like 87 colors to choose from! That's why I feel like a kid in a candy shop. 

I only bought 7 balls of 6 different colors; snow white, bluebell, willow, rugby, old rosa, and linen (2 balls).  The thread is 100% mercerized cotton and it is a very smooth thread with no bumps.  And, it has a bit of a satin sheen.  So far, it's been quite lovely to work with.  I'm using a size 8 steel crochet hook = 1.5 mm.

I just finished a Valentine project for my grandchildren and will post it next month (I don't want their Mom to see it!)  And, I cast on this new shawl pattern, Nurmilintu, with Rowan Fine Art yarn in the kingfisher colorway. I love this yarn; it so nice to knit with and has not only a change in the colors but a little bit of sheen, too.

Maybe you're wondering about our weather and all the rain we received?  It poured on Monday.  Being from the Seattle area, I'm used to rain but when it rains down here, it is something else.  According to the weatherman, I think it was called an atmospheric river and it came from the south Pacific.  It rained so hard that the pool overflow couldn't handle the water and the drains cold barely keep up with the water!  The pool was overflowing.  It was a bit scary but luckily, we live in an area where there are numerous storm drains/channels and we were ok.  It was quite different for the people in the fire damaged areas like northeast of Pasadena.  They had horrendous floods and mudslides.  It was so sad to see it on the TV.

On a bright note, look at how green everything is now!  We've waited so long for this rain.  It's been 7 years this month since we had this kind of moisture.

Lilly is enjoying life as normal.  Sleeping whenever she can get in a cat nap.  How I wish I could be Lilly and have her posh life!

I wish each of you all the best.  Feel free to comment and share what you've been up to.

With my best wishes,

Pat





Friday, January 20, 2017

Storm Watch ~ Wind and Rain in Southern California

Hello.  We are on storm watch down here in southern California.  We had the first storm arrive on Thursday and we are experiencing the second storm today.  And, we are expected to get another one before it's over. I love it!

It's cold out there (at least for southern California) and the rain is coming down hard.

The pool is getting some free water!  Yeah...due to the severe drought we've experienced, we have had to be very cautious with our water use.  Luckily, the pool water lasts about five years before having to drain it (although we have top it off every now and then).

It's a perfect day for me although I am aware of the danger out there on the roads.  Rain is a common occurrence where I'm from in western Washington but down here the roads become very slick and dangerous.

In addition to the rain, we have a high wind watch in effect, too.  The hills around us are a glorious shade of green; the kind of green that only Mother Nature can give it.

Lilly is snug in one of her favorite chairs where she can sleep and watch the storm at the same time.

As for me, I will soon be snug in my chair finishing my knitting projects for my little grandchildren.  Here's a sneak peak of one of them. . .

Stay safe and warm dear friends wherever you are.  

With my best wishes,

Pat


Sunday, January 15, 2017

A New Friend via 12 Days of Christmas

Hello my dear friends.  Is your weekend going well?  I'm having a great time babysitting my little grandson while his parents are taking a little break.  My little granddaughter hasn't yet warmed up to Grandma and Grandpa so she is with her parents.  Either way, we will all have a fun weekend.  And, since there's no school tomorrow, we can extend our fun times!

Before Christmas, I joined in with Jo's Through the Keyhole 12 Days of Christmas Swap.  It was my first time taking part in this swap and I was not disappointed!

My swap partner was Tracy over at Mad About Bags.  She is a super talented person who loves to sew.  Each of the participants shared a little about their hobbies and likes.  Tracy hit the nail on the head as the gifts she sent me were amazing!  First up was this beautiful Downtown Abbey book that I just love.  (I received a companion book to this edition for Christmas, too).  

She was very aware of my love of cats and sent me this lovely little framed picture of an adorable cat.  And, look at the cute cat fabric!  It will be perfect for a future project maybe for my little granddaughter.

It was a joy each day to open a gift.  I love anything Victorian and the writing paper and notebook were perfect.  I was overwhelmed when I opened a pencil set from the Victoria and Albert Museum!

 
 And, the excitement kept going, day after day.  Look at this beautiful Victorian pin.  Along with some yummy candy and tea.  I'm displaying the little heart ornament on my teapot lid to remind me of this special time.

 
Tracy zoned in to my love of knitting.  I have never had proper stitch markers and now look what I have!  Along with a Downton Abbey coaster.  On day 12 I opened up this beautiful, perfectly crafted knitting bag with the Downton Abbey fabric!  I was thrilled beyond words. 

It was such a pleasure to get to know Tracy.  And, I thank you many times over for sending me such heartfelt gifts.  Tracy loves to take part in swaps and hosts many of her own.  Please take a minute and visit her site as you won't be disappointed.   

I really feel I have made another new friend through blogland.  There has been a bit of doom and gloom lately in some of the blogs I read and I feel that my own world of blogging needs to be uplifting.  Yes, we all have problems and the world has problems.  But, I like to look on the positive and start each day anew.  Thank you dear Tracy for the chance to meet you and for all the beautiful gifts you made especially for me.

For all you knitters and crocheters out there, I have some wonderful new yarn/thread to share with you hopefully next time.  Santa has been good to me this year.  Have a wonderful day and I look forward to hearing from you when you have a chance.

With my best wishes,

Pat

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Lot of New Books for 2017

Hello dear friends.  I hope your week is going well.  It's really the first full week after the holidays.  I know many of you are having inclement weather.  We are receiving some much needed rain and I love it!

Do you love books?  I do and my family gave me some wonderful new books for Christmas.  I thought I would share them with you so here goes. . .

First up is a Soviet era cookbook.  The  title CCCP stands for Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик in Russian or USSR in English.  It is not only a cookbook but true stories of the Soviet cuisine.  It was written by  Olga and Pavel Syutkin who are historians and culinary experts.  (Do you see my new tea kettle in the picture?  I received that for Christmas, too!)

I just had to share one of the photos from the book.  Doesn't this creation look amazing?  It is meat aspic.  I don't think I'll ever make it as it looks like something from a 100 years ago. This is a cookbook that you can "read" and also cook from!

Island Dairy of a Year on Easdale is about a couple who meet in their late 50's and move to Easdale Island in Scotland in the mid 1970's. Easdale was a stone quarry and the Waites buy an old cottage and live island life.  Vicky Waite was a serious painter and Garth Waite was a talented writer.  This book reminds me of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden. I googled this couple and from what I found, Garth Waite passed away in 2006 at age 89. The book not only has a wonderful story about their day to day life, but the illustrations are so lovely.
  
Here's another book that I received as I thought it was so interesting in regard to my art work.  It is Highland Journey written by Mairi Hedderwick.  Ms. Hedderwick recreates a sketching touring of Scotland made by an artist in the late 1800's.  I haven't had a chance to read this yet but I'm so looking forward to it.

Oh my!  Another book for my artwork.  These are coloring books but they are excellent reference books for my sketching.  I've already used both of these books for my watercolor cards. 

Last, is one of my favorites; Downton Abbey.  It's the perfect book to remember this wonderful series that is no more.  I look forward to sitting down with a nice hot cup of tea and remembering all the special scenes from this wonderful show.

I should tell you that I discovered the books Highland Journey and Island Dairy of a Year on Easdale on a wonderful website that I enjoy reading; Reading Scotland.  I bought these two books from an online bookseller for a very reasonable price.  The weeks leading up to Christmas, I had packages arriving from the UK, Switzerland, Slovakia and of course Amazon!

If you have time, I'd love to hear about what you are reading.  I really need to hide my knitting needles and sit down with a good book and do some serious reading.  I wish you all the best my dear friends.

With my Best Wishes,

Pat




Friday, January 6, 2017

счастливого Рождества. . . Merry Christmas. . .عيد ميلاد سعيد

 To all my dear readers throughout the world who are celebrating Orthodox Christmas, I wish you a blessed 

Feast of the Nativity

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!

Merry Christmas

 كل سنة وانت طيب

With my best wishes,

Pat


Sunday, January 1, 2017

***It's New Year's Day ***

Happy New Year dear friends.  I hope that wherever you are that you had a joyous celebration to start the new year.  My family and I stayed home this year for New Year and we had a great time.  It maybe was a good thing, too since our weather has been cold and it rained quite a bit last night but I'm not complaining as I love rain.

My son bought us a new TV subscription for Christmas.  He's always on the edge of technology and we now have Amazon's Firestick TV.  It's a bit different to get used to but we have Alexa who is always there to answer any of our questions.  Last night it was fun reminiscing about New Year's from my childhood when my parents and I always watched Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadian Orchestra bring in the New Year.  From our new TV set up, I watched Guy Lombardo's last New Year's celebration from 1976. Do any of you remember watching this show?  I know I watched him all through the 60's when I was a child up to the 70's.  I was interested to find out how much people payed to attend his celebration at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC.  I found the flyer above; $80.00 to $90.00 which is equivalent to over $300.00 in today's buying power.  I would have loved to be old enough to be part of that audience.  Sometimes, I think I was born too late as I always love old stuff!

Lilly wishes all of you a Happy New Year, too.  She had a blast yesterday eating some smoked sprats as a treat.  She just had a little bit as she is always watching her weight!  Have a wonderful day dear friends and I wish you all the best for this New Year!

With my best wishes,

Pat

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Getting Ready for a New Year

Thank you dear readers for your Christmas wishes.  I hope that you had a blessed holiday season.  I always feel a bit melancholy after Christmas.  Do you ever feel that way?  I'm in the process of putting away the decorations and storing the wrapping and boxes for another year.  I always wonder to myself what will transpire in the coming year before I see these decorations again.


I have wonderful memories from childhood of Christmas.  My Mom and Dad both worked full time but my dear Mom always remembered us and my dear Dad always let me pick our Christmas tree.  Luckily, my children got to grow up with their grandparents at Christmas.  My parents have been gone for many years now and maybe that's why I feel I need to do an extra special job at Christmas time.

We are a small family and I try to be generous with gifts for everyone.  At the same time, they are many times practical gifts that they can use or need.  Maybe I've been reading too many blogs this season, but there are a few out there who really were in a bah hambug mood.  These people were very quick to point out the excesses in Christmas presents.  And excesses in celebrating the holiday.  I don't know why these people are so quick to judge. (they weren't talking about my blog) Those who wish to spend excessively on Christmas are using their own money.  And, that dear friend or relative who invited you as a guest on Christmas day has probably worked at least two days in order to prepare for the Christmas festivities.  Even though you may have not enjoyed it, people need to remember to be thankful.

Don't get me wrong; I grew up in a working class family and we felt we were so blessed as there was nothing we were short of.  But, we lived within our means and money doesn't mean happiness.  With today's world, much of this has changed.  I remember my Mom joining the Christmas Club in January at the bank where she put $10.00 a month into a special account so that when December rolled around she has a nice little nest egg.  

After read so many holiday blogs, I feel that it is wrong to judge someone as to how they wish to celebrate the holidays.  If they want to have the finest food for their Christmas dinner or the expensive gifts for their family, who am I to judge?  It's their money and they have a right to do as they wish.

For my family, I didn't go overboard.  I really enjoyed finding Christmas gifts that my family could use.  And, of course I added a few little extras for fun.  I'm all for being thrifty but not so frugal as to be a Scrooge.  And, I did spend two straight days in the kitchen preparing the holiday meals.  Instead of being ungrateful, I feel people should appreciate the hostess, thank her, even though it may not be your cup of tea.  At least you were invited in share in the festivities at this special time of year.

My Christmas will be boxed up tomorrow and now taken out for another year.  I hope that the year is good to us and to everyone.

I always like the start of something new and the New Year will soon be here.  I found the lovely flower bulbs above today at the grocery store at 75% off; that's my kind of bargain.  Beautiful flowers to bring in the New Year and all the blessings that are to come.

Happy New Year Dear Friends,


Pat