Monday, March 22, 2010

Look, Mom, I'm Helping...

I think that's what my dog, Salsa, was thinking when she started chewing open a bag of garden soil. And, who can be mad at this adorable face....

Notice the dirt in her teeth, on her tongue, and in her beard. lol Here's what she did...

We had just brought home some bags of soil and a bunch of plants for our back yard. We went inside for a moment and when we came out we saw Salsa hard at work. She's such a funny girl. She always tries to help and we truly believe that. When we pull weeds she starts trying to pull them up too. When we trim plants, she starts tugging on the branches. When I trim old roses off the rose bushes, she bites the roses and pulls them off. It's like she really understands what's going on and wants to help. So sweet!

I made sure she understood that she could hang out but that we didn't need her help and I went on plant my 2010 herb garden and some flowers for our patio. She went back to playing, running a-muck and checking on us from time to time. The weather on Saturday was beautiful and we spent as much time outside as we could to enjoy it as much as possible. We gardened, dined, and relaxed in our backyard a lot. It was wonderful! I tried another recipe with lemons from our tree too. It was sooooo tasty! It was Meyer Lemon Sorbet. It was super easy and so good.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


A couple of years ago I planted a few Nastutium seeds. Nothing grew. Then, last year, I decided to plant the whole packet of seeds to increase my odds. Boy! Did I increase my odds! I think they all came up! And, they've been growing non-stop ever since. They grew alongside my herbs last summer, cascading over the sides of my half wine barrels. So pretty! I also planted them around the perimeter of our big, galvanized water trough that we use as a raised-bed garden, surrounding our squash plants. The squash came and went and the Nasturtiums kept growing and over the winter the plants became huuuuge!

The plants are pretty with round, green leaves and the flowers are bright and cheerful in yellows and oranges. They're blooming like crazy right now and I decided today to cut a few to enjoy inside....

I love to look inside at all the pretty details (click the picture to enlarge it and see what I mean)...

We'll need to take them out of the water trough garden soon to get ready to plant our spring/summer vegetables. It'll be interesting to see if they keep coming up from seeds or if I'll need to get another packet. I sure enjoy seeing them every time I look out the window.

I've heard of Nasturtium tea and I thought the flowers were edible but I had no idea the leaves were too! Check out THIS link.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saint Patty's Day Fun

I haven't gotten into the green spirit for a few years now but I am this year! I put corned beef into the crock pot this morning. It's smelling so good! I'm about to start cooking some cabbage and carrots. And, I picked up some Irish beer...Guinness. Yummm! It's chillin' in the fridge!

And, last night I bought this t-shirt...

I like it because of the sheep but the green and Irish theme made it perfect for today. I wore it to meet with my knit friends this morning for knitting, coffee, fun and a little shopping in Old Town Temecula. It's such a beautiful day...88 degrees, sunny, the flowers are blooming, the fields are green and life is grand!

Happy Saint Patricks Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fashion Show Flop

If you've been following along on here you may know about the workshop I did a couple months ago at a local yarn shop about mixing and matching yarns. It was a big success and so much fun. Over a dozen ladies showed up and had a blast mixing, matching, tying, and rolling different yarns into "magic balls". I talked to the group about getting together again in a month or so to for a little fashion show, to see everyone's projects that they were going to make with these beautiful, newly created balls of yarn. We decided on a date, March 13th. I got everyone's phone numbers so the yarn shop could call and remind everyone. Everyone seemed excited. However, hardly anyone showed up. It was such a disappointment to myself and the three ladies that did come. We were so excited to see what everyone had created.

However, the ladies that showed up did not disappoint! One had put together a gorgeous combination of oranges with little pops of turqouise, purple and other colors and wonderful texture. She knitted a vest with it and it's beautiful! She's working on the edging and then she'll just need to add a button and it'll be done. Here's a close up of's MUCH more beautiful in person...

Another lady mixed pinks, browns and varied her stitches to make this beautiful scarf. It has some garter stitch, stockinette, and even some lace. It's beautiful! Here's a close up of it...again, it's much prettier in person...

The third lady that came is still working on hers and I didn't get a picture. She's having so much fun that she keeps knitting to make it bigger. It's a combination of lots of happy colors and it's going to be so warm and soft.

I'm glad I had the deadline to finish these projects though. That got me to hurry along and finish my shawl. I'm happy with it and will likely try this again someday. It's a lot of fun, rewarding, and a great way to bust through some stash.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Side One

Here it is...side one of my vest...

This is the back side and I'm about to start on the front. It should have been done faster because it really does knit up quickly...much more so than I had imagined. I've just been busy with other things and haven't devoted much time to it.

I had set out to make this garment as a lead up to bigger and better sweaters. I had hoped I would learn a couple things from it. I'm actually learning a lot more than I had expected. It's very exciting. I'm sure I have a lot more learning ahead as I knit the "V" in the front, sew it together, and add the ribbed edging on the arm holes and neck. I'm still crossing my fingers though that it will fit, look good, and that I'll love it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kreativ Blogger Award

Sue, at the "Life Looms Large" blog surprised and honored me this week with this...

Thank you so much! It means a lot to me to get this and know that someone is reading and enjoying my blog. I enjoy every comment that I get too. It's great to know when someone has noticed my blog, read it, seen my pictures, and takes the time to share their thoughts. I love blogging but I have to admit that if it weren't for the people who read it and communicate with me I might not do it...or it wouldn't be as much fun. And, knowing that someone likes it enough to give me an award is like icing on the cake. :-)

Here are the rules for receiving this award:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who nominated you.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know.
5. Nominate seven 'Kreativ Bloggers'.
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

Seven Things About Me...This is the reallllly hard part to figure out...Hmmmm?...ok...

1. I love to travel but I hate the part of planning way ahead. I'd love it if we could just go places without making reservations. Especially because we love doing things on a whim.

2. I think recipes are great but I'm really bad at following them. I tend to just use them for inspiration. Although, with baking, I do follow them for the main ingredients...but, it's fun to throw in a little twist.

3. Even though I love trees, greenery and water, I've found out the past few years that I realllly love the desert too. It's awesome, beautiful and full of amazing surprises.

4. I tend to be a sensitive person but I like to think that I enjoy and feel life all the more intensely that way. It's not uncommon for me to cry during a movie, Oprah, weddings, and even when I visit a place with amazing Yosemite!

5. I love people and try to look for the best in them. I think we're all amazing and weird at the same time and that makes us all so special. I find it hard to understand why some people can only be friends with people who fit a small checklist of their interests. I'm noticing that a lot of people are like that and I think they really miss out. We can all learn so much from one another. And, where would we be without other people?!

6. I'm definitely not a hoarder type of person. I like to only keep what we need or love. I am always on the look out in our house for things we don't need or use anymore and have a bag of stuff to donate building in a corner of our office...or in the truck, on the way to donate it.

7. Some of the things I love...besides yarn...are transferware, quilts, antiques, art, hands (like glove forms and other sculptural things that look like hands), books, rocks, shells, plants and herbs...and so much more. Isn't life amazing and awesome?!

Seven Kreativ Blogger Nominees...

I have to say that some of my favorite blogs are ones that I've been reading for a while and have given awards to before. So, I'm going to nominate seven great blogs that I haven't given awards to before and have found fairly recently. One of them would have been "Life Looms Large" but I received this from Sue so I don't think I can give it back. But, be sure to check out her blog. She's always up to something fun. It's hard to narrow this down to just seven because there are so many great blogs but here we go...

1. Two and Six - The photography on this blog is simply stunning! So much so that I can get pulled into it just looking at the pictures alone and it's hard to leave. What a talented photographer!

2. Pineneedles4's - I "met" Vanessa through Ravelry when she wrote to me asking about California. We've been reading and commenting on each other's blogs ever since. She blogs about beading, knitting, travel, and lots of other interesting things.

3. Evergreen Knits - Karen at Elderberry Street recommended this blog to me recently and I instantly loved it and added it to my list of of blogs to follow. When I read her blog it reminds me of me!...knitting, the great outdoors, travel and lots of pictures of nature. It's a beautiful blog!

4. Deep End of the Loom - This one is a really new find. She posts about weaving, cooking and more. It's fun to visit.

5. Yarns from the Southland - I met Lenora at a local yarn shop a few months ago. She's a talented knitter and I've found out by reading her blog that she's also very talented with words too!

6. Nancy's Daily Dish - This blogger just found me and what's not to love about her blog?!...transferware, food and more transferware. A beautiful and fun blog to visit.

7. Live From the Backyard - I enjoy reading Jomamma's stories about her life and her family...knitting, cooking, music and so much more. Her daughter's blog, "Adventures of a Gypsy Pirate Wench", is fascinating too...she works on a sailing ship!

I never imagined when I started my blogging journey a few years ago how much I would love it and how I'd meet so many amazing people. I feel like I have a whole bunch of friends in blogland. I love communicating with you and I appreciate you all very much. Thanks for your friendship, inspiration and all that I learn from you.

Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Picture This

We've been having a little fun hanging things on our walls lately. It's something we've been needing to do and we finally got inspired. It started with a sale at Michaels...50% off of frames. I bought four 15 1/2" x 17 1/2", wood frames, picked out some photos I've taken on some of our favorite vacations, had 5x7's printed up, matted them, and hung them together in a grouping on one of our master bedroom walls. I think the whole project only cost around $50. It's fun to wake up in the morning, see them, and be reminded of some wonderful times and beautiful places. These four were taken in Zion, Pismo, Yosemite and Encinitas...

I couldn't get a very good picture of this because of the reflection. But, in real life it's adorable. I got it for Christmas...

These were already on the wall but I wanted to share a little trick. My mom made the bunny cross stitch for us years ago. I absolutely love it! I'm crazy about bunnies and these are so cute! The only thing is, the little girl bunny's shirt is pink. That doesn't go well with the colors in our house but I really wanted to hang it up and enjoy it. So, I hung a red transferware plate above it, which fools the eye and makes her shirt look more red. Great, huh?! I'm so happy it worked! I like the blue plate with it too. Things always look better in odd numbers.

I framed some inspirational Mary Englebreit calendar pages a few years ago. These are in one of our bathrooms and I have a couple more in our laundry room. They're cute and colorful. And, the sayings on them are inspirational. It was another afordable project to brighten the walls...

My daughter has been making a few changes in her room and recently bought this picture. She had her eye on it for a while at a local antique mall and finally decided to go for it. She loves antiques and things that look old. Isn't it pretty?...

I've framed a couple other pictures to set out on tables and I have more scenery pictures in mind to frame for the walls. It's a lot more affordable to print and frame my own photos and it's personal and unique.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

So Beary Adorable

Allow me to introduce you to my newest lil' bear creation...

This is a little black bear and we're trying to figure out a name for him. I think "Black Beary" is cute but I'm not sure if there might be a better name for him. Got any ideas?

I think he turned out really cute. My daughter and husband think so too. So much so that I'm not sure if they'll let me put him in my Etsy shop. But, that's my plan.

I love the shape of his back side. Adorable.

And, his cute little toes. I decided to put three on each foot instead of four. What do you think?

If you're interested in adopting this sweet 'lil bear, be sure to watch for him in my Etsy shop. :-)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where's the Rain?

A couple of years ago, my daughter wanted rain boots and we got her these for Christmas...

They're adorable and we thought she'd like them but we under estimated how much. She wears them every chance she can and even coordinates her outfits with them. She has fun walking in puddles. They work great at keeping her feet dry.

I've realized how nice they are when we've been out running errands in the rain. I dodge puddles to try and keep my feet dry and she just walks along, dry and happy. So, I've been on the lookout for some of my own. They're not that easy to find in Southern California but last week I got lucky and found these...

I think they're cute and I can't wait to wear them. We've had a lot more rain than usual this year and there was rain in the forecast for last weekend. So, I thought I'd get to try them out very soon. But, it only rained in the middle of the night on Saturday. Since then it's just been dry, cold and cloudy.

But, I'll keep waiting...I'm excited to go dancing through the puddles in my new boots! I might have to wait until next winter...but that's ok, I'll be ready!

Monday, March 8, 2010


My stash shawl is complete and ready for the upcoming fashion show/show and tell at Knit N Stitch next Saturday. It's going to be so much fun to see what everyone created with their magic yarn balls or coordinated stash collections since our workshop a month ago.

Instead of cutting, tying, and rolling my yarn into a magic ball. I opted to change yarns as I knitted the shawl. It was kind of like painting with yarn. Whenever I felt the shawl needed a little pink here, or a little fur or fluff there, I'd tie on a new yarn and knit along until I felt it needed another texture.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It can be worn like a shawl and even over my head and wrapped around my neck but this is how I like it best, like a cowl...

It's warm, somewhat elegant, and will add a nice pop of texture and a little color to an outfit. On the first post about this project, someone commented that it would look great with jeans. I totally agree. And, that works perfectly because I'm a bluejeans kind of girl! I'm going to be on the lookout for the perfect top to go with it.

I received some suggestions for naming this shawl. I liked all of them but Serenpinkadee (thanks, Jomamma) inspired me to name it Serendipity. The definition of serendipity is, "...desirable discoveries by accident; good fortune; luck. Seems perfect for how a bunch of stash yarns came together into this surprising and beautiful result.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Traveler

I realize I've been a little absent lately on my blog. That's because a lot has been going on...

Knitting? Yes. I'm almost done with my magic/stash shawl. That's good because the fashion show/show and tell is less than two weeks away. I've been working on my vest too. I'm almost up to the arm hole shaping on the back. The Olympic shawl has been in time-out since I fixed my mistakes. I'll need to get excited about it again. That'll probably happen when I finish the stash shawl. I didn't even come close to getting a medal for the 2010 knitting olympics. Oh well.

Needle felting? Yup, that too! I'm working on a lil' black bear. I'm so excited about it and hope to have him finished soon. I can't wait to see how it turns out. I'll be sure to post pictures as soon as it's done.

What else?! Buying a new camping trailer! Yay! We are soooo excited! We had our last trailer (which was our first one) for about ten years. We used it a lot and made a lot of wonderful memories with it. It's small, 19' size was great for towing and fitting into campsites. But, it was a bit cramped with three adults (our daughter is now 18), a cat and a 50lb dog. And, we became tired of having to fold up the table to make one of the beds, which was very uncomfortable, despite all our efforts and many bed toppers to try to make it better. It was time for something a little bigger and with a few extra features.

We have looked on and off this past year but the timing wasn't right and we hadn't found the right one...until last week. It's not brand new but the previous owners only used it three times. So, it looks almost new but it cost about a third of what a new one would and it fits perfectly into our budget. It has just about every feature we were hoping for and then some. It even matches our Yukon...

It's only about four and a half feet longer than our old one but it has a separate bedroom with a queen sized bed, a sofa, a really nice sized kiten, bunk beds, a separate door and storage area for bikes, a slide out dinette area, and so much more.

We picked it up on Saturday and, despite the pouring rain, we couldn't wait to try it out. So, we loaded up a few things, stopped at the grocery store, and went camping for the night at Vail Lake Resort, just east of Temecula.

Sunday was absolutely gorgeous! The sun was shining, it was warm, and everything was clean, fresh, and sparkling with drops of water left over from the rain. The trees are getting ready to bud out for spring and a few flowers are starting to show their pretty, colorful faces. We saw a gorgeous blue bird but it was very hard to get a picture because it kept flying away. This is the best I got...blown up to see it....

We had a lot of fun and we can't wait to go on vacation! We think this trailer is going to work out really nicely.

P.S. It has lots of extra storage to fit my knitting projects and any fabulous yarns I may find on our travels. :-)