Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Springtime Tea Cup Exchange

The box arrived on Monday afternoon in the post.  I was so excited that I waited until the evening to open it.  It was my first time taking part in the Tea Cup Exchange over at The Enchanting Rose.

I carefully unwrapped all the wonderful gifts that my new friend Teresa sent me from Ohio.  This is what I received.  I was thrilled.

All the little items have a tea or tea cup theme.  Do you see the little teapot?  It's a measuring tape; perfect for my knitting!

And, Teresa was so kind to take the time to write me a hand written letter and little notes about her favorite teas that she also included.

And, here is the lovely English teacup she sent me.  Isn't it beautiful; from England! And, I love the little tea theme doily she also included. 

Pictured above is what I sent my teacup partner.  I made the doily and the little coasters.  As it was my first year in taking part in this exchange, I wasn't sure what or how much to send.  Maybe I should have included a bit more items but I do hope she will like this.

The fun part about this teacup exchange is that you send one person a teacup and a different person sends to you.  Thus, you get to meet two new friends.  I sent my box to Melisa in Alabama.  It was great fun and a wonderful experience.  I look forward to taking part again next time.

There's so much more I could share with you.  My anxiety over business is sometimes overwhelming but I tell myself, I really don't have anything to complain about.  I may explain later in another post.  I hope your post Easter week is going well.  It's been a bit chilly here in southern California with temps in the 60's and some chilly wind.  

I look forward to hearing from you when you have the time.  I read and appreciate each and every one of your comments.

My best to you,


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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Simple Crocheted Easter Baskets

The glorious celebration of Easter will soon be here.  There's still time to do some crafting if you wish.  I wanted to share with you an easy idea for crocheted Easter baskets.

Here are the two baskets I made for my little grandson and little granddaughter.  I crocheted a bow for one of them and a carrot for the other as embellishment.

You can use any type of yarn you wish; I had a large skein of Red Heart acrylic.  I used a size H hook.  You'll also need some type of plastic container which the basket will be crocheted around.  These clear plastic containers originally came with dried dates in them. 

I started at the bottom with single crochet in the round.  I increased the stitches as needed, measuring my work against the bottom of the plastic bin that I was using as the liner.

I then switched to double crochet for the edges, again crocheting in the round.  I inserted the liner into the crochet before starting the cluster stitch row.  To finish the top, I did a row of triple crochet cluster stitch.  The handles are single crochet and I crocheted some ears in double crochet. 
As mentioned above, I used Red Heart acrylic.  It was a large skein and you can see in the first picture how much I had left.  (I sometimes forget how crochet loves to eat yarn vs knitting :)

Here's the baskets all filled with their bunnies and Easter goodies ready for the grandchildren for Sunday Easter dinner.

I wish all of you a joyous holiday and I send you my best wishes, too.  Feel free to write and let me know what fun projects you may be creating.  I love hearing from you!



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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Meet Monsieur Pierre and Mademoiselle Pasclina - Knitted Easter Bunnies

I told you I'd share with you a crafty post this week.  The taxes have been delivered to the accountant; thank goodness!  The craziness of business papers is still swirling around but I'm going to ignore it for a couple of days and close my "office"!  So here goes...

On Tuesday I told you about my yarn club box I received.   Here is what was inside.  Three skeins of a marvelous 100% cotton yarn from South Africa, two tea bags, novelty buttons, washi tape and some pattern ideas.  I was thrilled, to say the least.  I signed up for a three month subscription so I'm expecting two more boxes in the months to come.  I wasn't disappointed.  Fun times ahead ...

It was delightful to receive my yarn club box from Little Woollie in Australia ...

Now, I'd like to introduce you to Monsieur Pierre and Mademoiselle Pasclina.  They are the official Lilly My Cat bunnies for 2016.  I've made a bunny each year for my little grandson.  Since this is the first Easter for my little granddaughter, she has a bunny, too!

I made little "bunny tails" for them, too.  It was so much fun creating these little creatures from my leftover yarn stash.  Pierre's eyes are the buttons I received in my yarn club box.

 I got around to decorating my little Easter tree. It's actually a goose feather tree made from real goose feathers and made in America.  I bought it a few years ago from a little gift shop in Tacoma, Washington.  The large eggs are wooden eggs from Russia. 

Before I sign off, I will tell you how I made the bunnies above.  I found the original pattern here. But, when it came time to make them, I realized that the pattern was knitted flat and you had to sew up all these seams.  What a pain :(  I took out my trusted DPNs and altered the pattern to be knit in the round.  I made the arms on DPNs too and added them to the neckline.  I did knit the head separate from the body.  It was fun to see them take shape.  I would have embellished Pasclina's dress a bit more but since it's for a baby, I thought I had better keep it baby safe.

I hope you have enjoyed this post.  I'd love to hear what you have been up to so feel free to share your ideas in the comment section.  I read each and every one and so appreciate your friendship. And, please try and stop by for a visit for this week's link parties listed at the bottom of the post.

My best to each of you,

Linking to the following parties:

Monday, March 14, 2016

Wool, Waffles & Waiting

Hello dear friends.  It's Monday night here and I thought I'd share a few thoughts with you.  Not long ago, I signed up for Little Woollie's Yarny Love Club.   Last Friday, I received my first box and it was amazing!  I will share more of what is included with a later post (it includes three lovely skeins of wool plus more).

It was packaged so nice with a personalized card included!

Awhile back my dear son-in-law told me about a recipe called Pizza Waffles.  I decided to make them the other night.  I made a simple pizza dough and after it had risen, rolled out thin circles of dough.  I placed Italian dry salami on one circle aong with a drizzle of pizza sauce and cheese.  I placed the second circle of dough on top, crimped the edges. Then, to make it look nicer, I took a saucepan lid and cut out the dough into a nicely shaped circle.  I placed this directly on the hot waffle iron and cooked it until it was lightly browned.  They turned out delicious!  Downside is that I had to clean my waffle iron :(

 Here's my Pizza Waffle...

I felt I was running all day today.  I don't know how many of you can work, take care of children, your home and your family.  Maybe I'm getting old...Anyway, today was a day full of errands; mainly business.  But, I did go to the eye doctor today to get my eyes examined.  All is well, thank goodness.  But, as I'm near sighted, my bifocals were driving me crazy; I have to take them off to read my phone or look closely at my needlework.  The current prescription was from a different doctor I saw two years ago as my insurance changed and my preferred doctor was not included.  I decided to see him anyway  and pay out of pocket.  I received a new prescription but he fitted me with one contact lense.  He told me to see how I like it.  My eyes have been dialated all day so I can't really tell.  I'm not sure it's going to work.  It it does, it would be great not to wear glasses.  I've give it a try and I'm waiting see what happens.  Supposedly, one eye adjusts for near sighted and the one with the lense adjusts for distance.  So, if there's typos in this post, you will know why, haha.

Friends are coming over for dinner here tomorrow so I will be busy in my kitchen.  I'm going to fix chicken with mushrooms, Palestinian rice (rice with meat, spices, and garnished with almonds), lamb kofte (seasoned meatballs), eggplant salad, and for dessert, fruit salad and almond paste cake.  Wednesday is suppose to be in the 80's and the family has decided to go to the beach.  It's really  not my cup of tea but I'll go.  I'm a mountains and tree person but they love the sand and the sun.  I've loved the clouds and rain this past couple of days.  I'll be sitting in my beach chair with my beach umbrella shading me from the sun. 

If all goes well, I'll be back on Friday to share some Easter creations I have finished.  Take care everyone!  And, thank you for visiting Lilly My Cat.

My best to you,


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Egypt's Coptic Church via Five on Friday

Thank you dear friends who supported me in regard to my last  post. Life is good and I really shouldn't complain but sometimes it makes me feel better.  It's time to link up with Amy over at  Five on Friday.

Great Lent officially began on Monday, March 7th for those following the old calendar. Easter will be celebrated on May 1, 2016.  I thought you might enjoy a little insight into the Coptic Orthodox Church which is Egypt's largest Christian denomination and one of the oldest churches in the world.

What is the Coptic Church?
St. Mark the apostle and author of the New Testament Gospel of St. Mark,  brought the gospel to Egypt via Alexandria in approximately 42 AD.  Out of Egypt's current population of 90 million people, 10% to 15% are Christians.  The Coptic Church is headed by a Patriarch, the current one being Pope Tawardros.  It is a liturgical, apostolic church and core belief is centered in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.    Egypt has many non Coptic Christians but ultimately, they can trace their faith to a Coptic relative.  The Presbyterian Church was one of the first to have missionaries in Egypt in the late 1800's.  Since it was forbidden to convert those of the Moslem faith to Christianity, they converted Copts.  The western church was appealing to many in the study of the faith and the Sunday school, etc.  Since the early 1900's, the Copts have established many seminaries, a vast Sunday school program and excellent publishing houses with vast reading sources (both in Arabic and English). 

Handstitched art from Egypt

The Coptic Church in North America
The first church in North America was established in 1964 in Toronto, Canada, followed by St. Marks Coptic Orthodox Church in Jersey City, New Jersey and then the church in Los Angeles.  Today, there are many churches spread throughout Canada, United States, Mexico and many foreign countries.

The Copts are the fathers of monasticism started by St. Antony the Great in the late 3rd century. Back in the late 1970's St. Antony's Monastery was established in Newberry Springs, CA.  The choice of this area is pretty amazing in that it is located in the Mojave desert; a beautiful but barren landscape.  Much like the monastery settings in Egypt.  The monks there have worked very hard throughout all these years and a couple of years ago St. Moses the Black church was completed.  It's beautiful inside and features classic Coptic architecture.

Outside view of St. Moses the Black Church

Language in the Coptic Church
Originally, Coptic* was the language used in the church since the church's foundation was long before the 7th century introduction of Islam and the use of Arabic.  Today, the church liturgy is still a mixture of Coptic and Arabic.  And, in America, it is a mixture of Arabic, Coptic and English (if you attend an English service).  And, a few parishes are strictly English which are highly popular with the younger people and their children. *My father-in-law knew and spoke Coptic in addition to Arabic.  

Book of Divine Liturgy showing English, Coptic and Arabic

Coptic Theology
There are many things I could share about Eastern Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox (which the Coptic Church is considered) theology as there are so many facets to the faith.  The Coptic Church is an apostolic church and follows the teachings of the early church.   There are seven sacraments, the priests can be married and prayer and fasting are an important facet of the faith.  The Copts follow the old calendar (Julian) for feast days and also have their own calendar in conjunction to using the modern calendar (Gregorian) for business.  The Coptic calendar begins in 284AD and is known as the Year of the Martyrs.  In this year, Roman Emperor Diocletian killed over 1 million Christians for their faith.  Currently it is year 1732 (+284 = 2016) in the Coptic year.

Divine Liturgy book

Coptic Art
Coptic art can take many forms such as icons, textiles and manuscripts to name a few.  Below is an example of a modern piece of Coptic art; the Coptic cross which has been made with pieces of straw.  Coptic icons written in the Coptic style differ a bit from their Eastern Orthodox icons.  You can see the icons on the iconostasasis (altar) depicting the Lord's Supper, The Virgin Mary, Jesus's baptism and others.  

Depiction of Coptic cross made of straw on a black cloth background

Interior of St. Moses the Black church showing icons on iconostasis

I hope that you have enjoyed this little insight into Egypt's oldest faith.  And, I thank you again for your friendship and kindness in visiting Lilly My Cat.  I hope to share with you some crafty ideas next time.  
Wishing you all the best,


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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Happenings at Lilly My Cat

It's almost Friday and time to join in at Amy's  Five on Friday. Today, I'm going to share five random thoughts with you.  To find out about the tea cup shown above you'll have to read to the bottom of the post.  So here goes...
I feel like I'm trapped in a tunnel and can't get out until my taxes are in order.  I moved them from the table last night and here they are.  How I wish it was an easy return.   Yes, the accountant will prepare the return but he needs the numbers in an orderly manner.  I like to run a tight ship and keep all my papers in order.  But, when you have numerous rental properties, along with selling property, it becomes a bit complicated.  Basically, we sold three investment properties on a 1031 exchange. We  sold the property and bought new property to defer the gain.  Since the beginning of this year 2016, we have sold three more properties which means... 

We have been looking for replacement properties.  We have viewed various properties with our realtor this week so we have a pretty good idea of what we want to buy.  It's going to be a rental and it needs to be a nice, well kept property that would appeal to anyone.  I think we have identified a couple of them and we will see what happens.

Enough said about business, I had fun too this week.  I bought the dress pictured above for $15.00 from Macys.  The fabric is pretty as it has a sparkle to it and the dress is lined, too.  I found a perfect pair of strappy heels with a wrap around the ankle strap but I didn't buy them.  Did you read that Macys are closing 40 stores and laying off 4,000 people?  Sad indeed.  This dress style is a bit "modern" for me but I plan on wearing my body hugging slip!  haha...

My yarn basket is full of items; a shawl that I'm working on but I put it aside to knit some Easter bunnies for my grandchildren and I been crocheting some doilies.    In the meantime, my dear sister-in-law introduced me to double knitting.  I followed the instructions as shown in the video except that I cast on the stitches separately for each color.  It's really quite a fascinating technique.  Here's the swatch I did; it's suppose to be a parrot but as my little grandson said, "it doesn't look like one"!  The reverse side has the colors reversed.  It's fun as it uses my brain (or what there is of it).  I may make a scarf like the one pictured here. Isn't this a fabulous pattern?

I'll leave you with a fun, exciting project.  It's the Tea Cup and Mug Exchange hosted by The Enchanting Rose. I had originally read about it on another blog site and I was so excited to join in.  I signed up as a follower to The Enchanting Rose and yesterday I signed up for the exchange.  As you can see from the photo above, I have a ton of cups and saucers.  Lots of them were inherited from my Mom.  It's one of my most cherished collections.  If you're interested in joining, visit the blog or fill out the sign up sheet which is here. 

That's about all that has been happening here at Lilly My Cat.  We're suppose to get some rain this weekend; I hope!  Tomorrow we have a family dinner planned, Saturday we will meet with the realtor again, dinner party with friends in the evening and hopefully attend church on Sunday.  I hope all of you my dear readers are doing well.  It's always a joy to hear from you.  Feel free to comment and let me know what you've been creating.

Hugs to all,


P.S.  Last week someone asked in the comment section what is Poilane bread.  Please click on this link for further info.