Monday, April 29, 2013

Easter Appears Again

Hello everyone.  I wasn't going to write a post today but I thought I should check in and say "hello".  I have been busy baking and getting ready for Pascha (Easter) which falls on May 5th this year for Orthodox Christians.  I wanted to send an "Easter Basket" to my husband's family back east.  So I made petit fours and kaak filed with sesame seeds and honey.  I went to my local post office and brought home one of their flat rate boxes:

I really packed this box with all kinds of goodies besides the cookies.  When I took it to the post office it weighted almost 7 pounds but I only paid the flat rate of $12.35.  The post lady told me it would have been $26.00 otherwise.  What a great deal!  I am old fashioned and I love my local post office.

We have  had nice warm weather the past few days and it's suppose to really get warm the next couple of days.  Here's a picture of my jasmine from last  year:

I have always lived in a cold climate before moving here to southern California so it's so much fun to be able to grow these plants outside all year long.  I have a succulent garden in pots but some of them are growing so much that they need to be planted in the ground.

Lilly is doing well.  She's going to the vet on Saturday for her annual check up.  I kind of dread it since the doctor will weigh her and tell me again how "fat" she is.  She's really not fat - she's just a large, large kitty.  My beloved Pumpkin was  Norwegian Forest cat and she weighed 15 pounds.  Lilly is a Maine Coon and she was this size when we adopted her so it's not because I feed her too much.  And, she has been eating reduced calorie cat food!!

As you can see, she ate a little lunch, took a stroll out in the back yard and now she's taking the first of her afternoon naps!

But, needless to say, she is my darling baby and I love her dearly.  She is really a joy to me and my husband as she keeps us company each and every day.

Please stop by Handmade Harbour and see all the wonderful ideas for Handmade Monday.  Until next time, have a blessed week!

P.S.  I had hoped to finish my knitted baby sweater, but I still have one sleeve to complete.  So, hopefully I will have a photo of the completed sweater to share with you next week.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Temecula Wine Tasting and Crocodile Stitch Crochet

I hope this post find everyone doing well and enjoying beautiful spring weather. I had a little excitement this week.  A few days ago I went to the beach since it was sunny weather.  Returning home I had a "floater in my eye".  I didn't think much of it since I'm near sighted and it sometimes happens to me.  But after a few days of not going away, I called my eye doctor.  I went to see him this past Monday and it was a good thing I did since I had a retinal tear.  He immediately sent me to a retinal specialist who did laser surgery on it and I was home in like 3 hours from the first appointment!  Wow, was I ever lucky. Everything is fine (although the floater is still there).  So, I just want to let people know that if you feel something is not right (as in your vision), please go and see your doctor.  The floaters I had this time were odd shaped like cob webs and black wires.  If I hadn't of gotten this taken care of, I could have had a detached retina which does require surgery.

Anyway, enough about my adventure, it was warm here these past few days, so we took advantage of this great weather and ventured over to wine country to do some wine tasting.  Temecula is about 1 1/2 hours away from where I live.  It's even closer if we take the winding Ortega Highway. 

This is a panoramic view of the Temucula wine growing area.  Those are vineyards out there but as they were just starting to branch out, they are hard to see. 

Our first stop was Palomar Winery in Temuecula.  It was a beautiful day and this winery has a lovely garden setting.

My little grandson, Oliver had a wonderful time walking through the vineyards and gardens and he saw one of his favorite creatures:

Geckos!  There were lot of them running around.  I'm glad Lilly wasn't there to catch them!

 Palomar Winery has not only wine tasting but also a small restaurant that serves great food. It was a fun day and we enjoyed tasting all the different varieties of wine.

Speak of variety, here's my latest take on crochet.  It's called the crocodile stitch and it's the second bag I've made with this stitch.

I used my Planet Penny cotton yarn and it worked great for this project.  I sewed in a zipper for the top closing and also double lined this bag.

The first bag I made using the crocodile stitch, I made two panels and sewed them together.  This time, I did the crocodile stitch "in the round" and it was SO much easier.   Here's the link that I used to create this bag.  

After you do the foundation row, it's basically two rows that you repeat.  The tricky part of this stitch is how you place your hook to create the crocodile scales.  There's many you tube tutorials out there you can watch.  I created the flower embellishment from my mind (my husband would say, "what mind"??) but you can get the the idea.  It was a fun project and I have more yarn left to do another one.

As always, I wish you all a wonderful week ahead.  We have so much to be thankful for, especially after all the tragedies that took place this week here in America.  Thank you for stopping by and don't forget to go over to Handmade Harbour and check out lots of great ideas from other bloggers.  Take care :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Losing my Patience with my Crochet Project!!

I have missed posting on this blog for a few days and I didn't expect to write today but I thought I would share my frustration with one of my crochet projects.  My family just returned from a weekend trip to San Diego.  It could have been a nice little get away but the weather was very uncooperative.  We had cloud cover the whole time and tomorrow we are suppose to get rain.  But, it's OK that we have a little change now and then.

As you may recall, I purchased some wonderful cotton yarn in bright colors awhile back.  I made a few items including this cute baby hat and bootie set:

The knitting pattern I used was quick and easy and I enjoyed seeing how the colors came together.  It was fun to crochet the embellishments.  So, after I finished this project I did some online searching for another project and came up with African flower motifs.  It's basically a take on the granny square.

There was a lovely bag pattern I found online to make from African flower motifs.  I began making 32 motifs from my bright cotton yarns.  I think it took me longer to weave in all the loose threads but I finally finished the motifs and was ready to put them together.


There was a diagram showing how to sew the motifs together.  I sat for hours at my kitchen table putting the motifs together as shown in the diagram.  When I was ready to join the last row, it looked horrible.  The motifs were stitched together per the directions but they didn't line up and looked horrible.  I had slip stiched them together so I thought that maybe this was the problem.  I took them all apart and then proceeded to sew them together with a yarn needle.  And I decided to use them for another style of bag.

After a few more hours working at my kitchen table, here's what I came up with:

Can you see the way the motifs "puff" out?  They don't lay flat!  Also, as you can see, this bag is still not finished as I need to complete the top of the bag, line it and probably put some type of reinforcement in the bottom of the bag.

I think I have lost my patience.............I always finish projects that I start on and right now, I have placed this bag on the back shelf.  Maybe, just maybe, I will work on it again.  But for now, I started on a lovely little baby sweater knitted with a blend of silk and angora thread.  I think it should be finished in a few days and I can post the finished photo next time.

I hope you all have a great week. If you have any tips for my project described in this post, I would love to hear from you.  Please remember to stop by Handmade Harbour.  I love to visit that website and get some great ideas.  Until next time, have fun!