Sunday, August 30, 2015

Scavenger Hunt @ Made With Love

It's been awhile since I took part in this fun scavenger hunt.  It's hosted by Greenthumb over at Made With Love.  If you have a chance, please stop over to Made With Love and meet some new friends.  I enjoyed putting this collage of photos together.'s a photo of a fruit seller walking his horse and cart down a street in Istanbul.  I was surprised to see this out of my bedroom window as I hadn't seen this horse drawn cart except during my travels in Egypt.'s the big fish my little grandson caught at our local lake.  He was so excited that day and in fact he caught two large fish.

Square...a photo of my easy tomato tart using puff pastry. I took a square of puff pastry, added some sliced tomatos, sprinkled with salt and pepper and crumbled goat cheese on top. I baked it in a 400 F degree oven until pastry was puffed and golden.  It's a simple dinner or lunch entree.

Diversity...a large selection of spices at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.  This was my first time visiting the Grand Bazaar as last year in Istanbul I visted the Spice Bazaar.  The Grand Bazaar is grand in all ways.  It was a most enjoyable afternoon.

Rough...the imposing rock wall at our property (do you spy the little cat?)  It's a huge rock retaining wall that has beautiful bouganvilla plants growing on it. 

Bow...My new little granddaughter's outfit with all the bows.  She came home in this outfit and was so tiny compared to this dress. little grandson as Spiderman..grandma's joy! We visited with him one afternoon and he quietly disappeared upstairs. He came down wearing this costume.  It was 90+ degree outside that day.  He loves Spiderman and Transformers.

Forgotten...a doorway from long ago in Turkey.

Crowd...a lovely evening at the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, CA.  We attended this performance for the first time this year and I must say it's probably the most favorite thing I've done in a long time.  This is the common area where the music and art show takes place. But, the actual pagent takes place in an outdoor theatre with the audience sitting under the moon and the stars.  It was an amazing evening.

Colorless...little feet of my grandchildren at the beach.  Last week it was 20+ degrees cooler at the beach.  They didn't stay long but just long enough to enjoy the water and cool off.

Friendly...I can't forget Lilly my sweet cat!  She is my constant companion.  I feel bad for her as she's had to be in the house this week due to the hot temps outside.  I guess as long as she's is fed, she is a happy cat.

Whatever...needlepoint is my new obsession.  Here's a picture of my current needlepoint project.  I hope to make it into a handbag after it's completed.  I completed the pastoral scene and need to block it and find a frame.  I really enjoy this new hobby but I find I need to work on it during the natural daylight hours since the colors fad into one during the evening.

I'd love to hear from you wherever you are.  I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into my eclectic life.  Lilly sends you all her best wishes for a wonderful week.

take care,


Friday, August 21, 2015

Patons Royal Baby Dress

Hello my dear friends.  First I want to thank everyone for your kind comments and advice from my last post regarding old friends.  It helped me a lot.  Wow, it's been a busy week here.  My little granddaughter, Sadie, was born on Monday, August 17th.  She is so precious and we are so excited to have a new member to our family.  I was busy babysitting (mansitting as he likes to say), my six year old grandson.  Grandma is tired after being on duty for these past few days...

The house is empty now as my son left too.  We've had guests these past two weeks as my son's acquaintances spent time with us here.  Guys who like to eat and splash in the pool.  The house is cleaned and is all in order now until next time.

I wanted to share with you the special gift I made for my granddaughter.  It's a pattern I found from Deramores and it's called Patons Royal Baby Dress. 

The yarn called for in this pattern is Patons Fairytale Soft 4ply which is an acrylic yarn.  I purchased this yarn from Wool Warehouse.  I see that right now they don't offer it in white, but it does come in white color.

I purchased three skeins of this yarn ...

The pattern was a bit of a challenge for me.  In order to keep track of the stitches, I used some markers to notate the location of the pattern section ...

I was so pleased when I finished the crown design for the front panel...

Here is the front view of the dress.  I really like the way the yoke turned out ...

And, here is the back view of the dress.  The pattern called for knitting the button placket and sewing it into place.  I picked up stitches and knitted it directly on the dress ...

This pattern has a fitted yoke but a wide skirt.  I'm hoping that Sadie will wear this as her christening dress.  It was a fun project to make and I learned a lot.  I used a size 3 cable needle.  You can find my Ravelry notes here. 

I'm almost done with my first needlepoint project.  It's been very enjoyable but the backside of the canvas looks so bad.  I've order another needlepoint kit and I'm hoping that what I've learn this time can be put to use and that my next project looks much better.  Do you have any suggestions to help me?  I found out that I should not "knot" any yarn; instead thread it through the existing stitches. 

It's still a bit warm here in southern California.  The news has been saying that we are in for a super el nino this winter (I wish) but who knows.  And, the wild fires in my home state of Washington are horrendous.  I have lots to be thankful for so for sure I can take a little warm weather - nothing to complain about.

Have a wonderful weekend and I wish everyone the very best.

My best wishes,

Pat xx

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Discovering Needlepoint

Hello my friends.  All is well here at Lilly My Cat.  We are anxiously awaiting the appearance of my new little granddaughter.  She's expected to arrive in about 9 days.  I have finally put down my knitting needles and crochet hook and discovered a new hobby.  Needlepoint!

I was watching on TV a British show called Cash in the Attic. It's a bit like Antiques Roadshow but with a twist.  There was a clip of a lady doing the most beautiful needlepoint on a frame.  I had never seen a needlepoint frame before.  It turned out the canvas she was working on was by a famous designer.  That's when I discovered Ehrman Tapestry. They carry the most beautiful designs but they are a bit pricey.  I needed a beginner's project so I bought just what I needed on Ebay.

Above is a photo of the canvas I am working on.  It's from Germany and I paid $20.00 for the complete kit! My dear friend Nadia, who is an expert in this field, got me started on how to do the stitches.....

Years ago, my dear aunt gave me this tramme needlepoint canvas.  I think it was meant to be a chair cover.  I just kept it in my craft closet but now I'm thinking of making it into a handbag...

Here's a needlepoint canvas and thread that I bought in Egypt back in 1976.  It's quite a popular hobby there but I never had the patience to learn how to do this.  Nadia worked on it but after all these years the cotton yarn has faded.  So, I'm just going to keep it as a keepsake.  It only has a few stitches completed on the leaves...

I've collected needlepoint pictures for years. This Mona Lisa I won at a church auction....

And here's one that I bought at a church bazaar.....

The piece above is probably my most favorite.  It's from Egypt and was hand made.  I purchased it at the Hanging Church in Old Cairo probably over 20 years ago....

My grandparents were from Denmark and this was a popular hobby there years ago.  My grandma gave me this dog and flower needlepoint.  I had them framed in Egypt many years ago....

 When I was in Denmark back in 2004 I purchased this piece from a thrift shop.  It's professionally framed.  It seems as though no one wants these types of art anymore since they are old fashioned...

 Lastly, here are two needlepoint pillows from Denmark that I received from my family members there.  I cherish them since they are from the family.....

There's not a lot of info out there in regard to doing needlepoint.  I didn't watch videos since I don't have the patience; I prefer to see the pictures and/or read about how to do something.  If you have any pointers for me, please let me know.  But, I find this hobby so relaxing (no counting which I kind of miss) and it's like seeing a puzzle come together when you make each stitch that fits in it's place.  I think I'm addicted to needlepoint!

Before I sign off, I'd like your opinion on something.  Have you ever met old acquaintances and they don't care to have anything to do with you?  Here's what happened.....Years ago when my son was in the Midwest going to the University he got a job at Starbucks.  It turned out that the manager was related to my family (her mother was my cousin).  Small world....anyway, there was no rapport at all with the manager in regard to being in the same family.  When I say family, my own dear Mother took care of this manager when she was young.  I found this very odd. 

Fast forward a few years and I recently heard from a friend I knew from high school.  I had sent a text message to her and she answered.  Our families knew each from the small town we grew up in.  I had lost track these past few years so I thought I would say "hello".  I was looking forward to catching up on our lives since we were both empty nesters, grandmas, etc.  But, it went flat...nothing.  She said she would call but I know she will never call me. 

Is there something wrong with me or is it just the norm in this day and age?  It doesn't bother me but it puzzles me.  The ironic thing is that both of these people where in my wedding party 40 years ago!  Isn't that funny?  Maybe I wouldn't have anything in common with them but I feel I'm a good listener and would be polite to respond to them.  Anyway, I'm thankful for the close family and dear friends I do have.

I wish you a wonderful week.  Please say hello if you have the time.

My best to you,


Linking to the following parties:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Zaizaf's Almond Cake via Five on Friday

Yesterday evening my husband and I were invited to dinner at our friends home.  It was a pleasant evening sitting outside and the food was great.  I wanted to take something for the "party" and I came up with the idea of making an almond cake using marzipan which was sitting in my frig from Ikea (haha, the marzipan is from Ikea, not the frig)...

A couple of months ago, I made Nigella's almond cake. But, it take like six eggs and the flavor wasn't that great.  So, I remembered that I used to make a cake using Solo almond paste.  I shuffled through one of my recipe files and I found the recipe; I hadn't made it since the 1980's I'm sure!  On another hand written sheet was a almond cake recipe from my dear friend Zaizaf. ( I have written about my friendship with her before in this past blog post. )

I'm always keen to try new things and I had just the right amount of ingredients to make Zaizaf's cake. Following are five photos showing my accomplishment.....

Here's my original handwritten recipe from way back when.....
(that's my my new "vintage" sugar canister from Turkey in the background)

I used my kugelhopf pan and it was just the right size for the cake....

After sitting for about 5 minutes, it came out of the pan beautifully.....

You can glaze this cake if you wish but I opted for a little powdered sugar topping.....

You're probably wondering, where is the recipe!  Here it is along with my instructions on how I made it:

1/2 cup Crisco (vegetable shortening)
1/2 cup sugar
1 package almond paste or marzipan (7 ounces)  (room temperature)
2 eggs - separated
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

 Grease and flour the baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until they are stiff.  Put aside.  In a large mixing bowl combine crisco and sugar and mix until well blended.  Add in almond paste, in small pieces, until it is mixed together with the sugar mixture.  Add in two egg yolks, milk, vanilla and salt.  Gradually add in flour and baking powder until mixture is blended.  Fold in beaten egg whites by hand.

Pour cake mixture into prepared baking pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Let cool on a baking rack before unmolding cake.  Let cool before slicing.  Enjoy!

I said five photos and I just had to share this picture of Lilly with you.  I was going through some old photos and came across this one.  She was much younger then but isn't she the cutest sitting there like a little person?

I hope you have had a good week.  It's hot and a bit humid here in my part of the country.  We hope to get a few rain showers.  Enjoy your weekend!

my best to you,


I'm linking to the following parties:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five on Friday"ness"

We received some glorious rain this past weekend.  It was so nice to sit outside under the clouds and enjoy the weather.  But, it has been a bit humid as a result (which is not normal for us here on the west coast).  Anyway, my garden looks refreshed but we are still in need of more much needed  moisture for our parched area.

Today I'm linking up with Amy at Love Made my Home for Five on Friday.   So, here is my take on this week's Five on Friday.  And, I'm also linking to:
Handmade Monday.... 
Yarn Fanatic Party......
Yarn Along...... 

*Please take a moment to stop by the above links to meet some new people and see some great craft ideas.

Awhile back I purchased one skein of Katia Jaipur mercerized cotton yarn.  I've made a couple of items, including this doily.  I like this thread as it has a little sheene to it but I had to cut the thread after doing the center medallion so that the green would start at the correct area.  It's kind of a no brain crochet project.  I'm about to start knitting a sweater for myself but I don't like having to do the measurements, swatch for gauge, etc....

If you like like the pattern, you can find it here. 

I follow quite a few blogs and I so enjoy reading them and learning new things.  Last year, while I was in Turkey, I was looking for a blanket pattern.   From my searching online, I discovered  A Creative Being hosted by Wink.  I always looked forward to her blog updates as they featured such beautiful patterns that she created. This past May, I almost joined in with a CAL she was hosting for a shawl.   It was with a sad heart that I heard about her demise due to depression.  I was in Turkey when I read this news, just a year since I had first discovered this very talented artist.

As a result, her Fat Bottom Bag inspired me to remake this bag I had created last year.  I know the colors are not as muted but Wink was such a talented fiber arts artist. This bag has been in my Etsy store but there were not takers.  I think I will relist it now.   May her memory be eternal.

My succulent garden is doing quite well with the drought conditions we are experiencing.  Here's a picture of one of them blooming.

(I had to take this photo again since the first one was not clear due to the humidity in the air)
I've always heard stories about the desert blooming.  I would love to see this one day.  Our deserts here in southern California really got a drenching this past weekend.  Luckily, no one was hurt in the flash floods that occurred about 100 miles east of my area.

I think this picture says it all....Lilly is always content as long as she's been fed! 

 She loves to sit in the outdoor sitting area....

You probably will think I'm a bit crazy, but I ordered a book written by my favorite TV personality, Venetia Stanley Smith.  She's a British woman* who immigrated to Japan 40 years ago and has adopted Japan as her country.  She's a very talented gardener and herbalist as well as being an accomplished artist.  This book is in Japanese (which I can't read of course) but the illustrations are all done by Venetia.  
Above are two of my watercolors taken from her drawings....
*Venetia's great great uncle was Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905. She spent her early childhood years at the family's ancestral home,  Kedleston Hall.

I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into my week.  Life is good here at Lilly my Cat.  I really have no complaints and I'm so blessed to have met such wonderful friends via this blog.  Until next time, have a wonderful weekend and my best to you.

take care,



Friday, July 17, 2015

Turkish Handicrafts

Hello my friends.  I hope you had a great week and that you enjoy your weekend plans.  It's going to be a bit humid here in southern California.  Hopefully we will get some rain showers this weekend...we will have to wait and see.  It is so dry out there due to our drought conditions.

I love handmade needlework items.  I have so many of them but they just call to me...Here's a glimpse of the items I picked up while I was in Alanya, Turkey. 

These are hand knitted socks.  I love the way they are constructed.  I bought from from a little, old Turkish lady who was selling a selection of these and also regular socks.  She had made them herself and I think they are so special.....

This table runner caught my eye and I just had to get it for my collection.  I think it's a type of crochet - maybe Clones lace?  If you know the proper name, please let me know.

This is a crocheted doily made with regular crochet thread but I thought the pattern was so beautiful  Maybe I can recreate it one day.....

Speaking of recreate, I crocheted this doily almost 40 years ago. I look at it now and I don't think I could do this type of work again.  The thread is so thin and it hurts by hands now to to this.  The joys of getting older......

I'll leave with you a photo of the beautiful lillies I bought from my local grocery store.  They were $5.00 and lasted one week!  I always love a bargain.

 Have a wonderful weekend and it's always a joy to hear from you.



Linking to the following parties:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Discovering the Turkish Riviera - Five on Friday

It seems that I have have been away too long from my beloved blog.   My family and I were in Turkey for three weeks.  It was my second visit to that wonderful country and this time we discovered a new area.

So, there are a couple of items on today's agenda.  First, I'm linking up with Amy at Love Made my Home for Five on Friday.   If you have the time, please drop over to this great link party.  And, I'm going to share some pictures of my visit to Alanya, Turkey.

We flew nonstop from LAX to Istanbul and then took a flight to Alanya.  It's a beautiful city situated on the southern coast of Turkey.  Here's a view of my son's home up on the mountain overlooking the sea....

They say that Alanya can get quite warm but it was much cooler up high....

 Our first sightseeing adventure was to see Alanya Castle. It sits high upon a peak overlooking the Mediterranean on three sides.  It was built in the 13th century.....

The view from the top was amazing.....

Here is a door in one of the castle walls...

If only the ruins would "talk".....such fascinating history

The castle was built over Roman and Byzantine fortifications.  Seeing this ruin of an Byzantine Orthodox church was amazingly heartwarming to me, being an Orthodox Christian.  I was surprised to see the dome is still intact.....

Here is a photo of the sign telling about the church.....
Another day we ventured to the east of the city into the mountains.  After a short drive, we arrived at Dim River  (Dim Çayı).  The scenery was breathtaking.  Being from Washington state, it reminded me of the beautiful Cascade Mountains....

Dim River is a very popular area for the local people.  There were numerous "pik nik" areas with restaurants and water parks.  We chose one and had a lovely Turkish lunch, including this amazing bread hot out of the oven....

I loved this display of Turkish pots outside the pik nik area....

And, they also offered traditional seating for those who wanted to relax and take in the amazing view...

The downtown city of Alanya is a tourist town.  They have lovely beaches but tons of stores selling knock off items that really didn't interest me.  But, I found a beautiful little garden area next to the beach club we went to.  I thought this trompe l'oeil was quite lovely....

Here's a very poor photo of one of the beach clubs.  The one we went to was free (including umbrella and lounge chairs) as long as we ate or drank.  It was very inexpensive and the beach/water is very nice....
We had never had a proper "Turkish Breakfast" before so this trip we went to the Tepe Mountain Restaurant.  It sits high up on the mountain and has a lovely view of the sea. The breakfast consisted of homemade breads, hot from the oven, numerous kinds of cheese, olives, pickles, potatoes, omelet, homemade preserves, candied figs and quince and much more....

We saw numerous goat herds during our stay in our home.  This beautiful creature was grazing on the side on the road on our way to the breakfast....

Alanya and the surrounding area is a beautiful place.  For years my family has gone to Egypt for vacations.  But unfortunately, it has gotten harder each time to visit due to many factors.  For us, Turkey has become our new family destination.  There is a significant foreign population in Alanya.  Home buying for foreigners is quite easy; hence the purchase of my son's home in the mountains.  The beaches are beautiful.  The downside is that parts of the city are too commercial but you can find many non tourist areas and attractions that are great.

Here are Five Facts that you may enjoy:

1.  Alanya is surrounded by the Taurus Mountains
2.  The city has a population of around 100,000+
3.  Over 30,000 homes in Alanya are owned by foreigners (Russians, Scandinavians and Germans make up the majority of foreign owners)
4.   The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira.  At the time of my visit is was approximately 2.67 TL to $
5.   Modern Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal in 1923.  He was later given the title of "Ataturk" meaning Father of the Turks.  His photo is still prominently displayed today. 

I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into  travel and history.  At a later time, I will share one more episode of my Turkey trip.  My best to each of you and I would love to hear from you if you have a chance to comment.  Enjoy your weekend!


Note:  I wasn't sure if I should share this but I will.  As I mentioned, the shops on Ataturk Blvd. in downtown Alanya are numerous.  They are selling knock off brands of all types of clothing, shoes, handbags, etc.  They usually have a little section of Turkish souvenir goods but the selection is very poor compared to the bazaars in Istanbul.  As soon as they see you, you are aksed "where are you from".  It becomes very annoying.  Needless to say, we were in one of the shops (they all look the same) and the shop keeper was pestering us to buy and of course asked us where were we from.  When we answered, California (America), his demeanor changed completely.  He started on a triad saying how America is trying to dominate the whole word, his father who worked on F-16 planes, told him all this, and on and on.  We were a bit shocked to say the least.  We didn't reply and at that point he told us to get out of his store as he didn't want any "dirty American money" and any (I won't say the word) loving people.  

If I wasn't in a foreign country, I would have spoken up.  First,  just because I'm an American doesn't mean I always agree with my country's politics.  Secondly, if he hates American money, so to speak, why is he selling knock off brands of AMERICAN designers?  Why is his shop full of Michael Kors, Nike, and Disney designs to name a few?   It really doesn't make any sense to me.

After googling this episode, I found that one of the shops actually had a sign outside stating that there was a group of people who are not welcome in their shop.  I find this appalling.  I later spoke to numerous Turkish people who said that we should have called the police and that this is not the norm.  It was the only incident we encountered during our stay in Turkey.  All the other people we met were very kind and welcoming to us.  

Linking With:

Create with Joy....

Bella Rose Antiques....

Oh My Heartsie Girl.....