Thursday, May 29, 2014

De-stashing, Creating and Packing

In my on-going attempt to de-stash supplies from my craft studio I made a couple of drawstring bags.
I used an old shirt for the top one.  I loved the colors of it so much that I couldn't let the fabric go to waste.  I used ribbon in my trim stash for the drawstring.  The other bag is made from a fabric scrap. 
I made a crochet chain with some brown cotton yarn for the drawstring on that one.  

I think they could be useful for lots of things.  However, I'll soon be using them as shoe bags in my suitcase for a three week road trip I'm going on with my daughter.  They'll work great to keep pairs together, keep the shoes clean, and keep surrounding clothes clean as well.  I have some fabric bags I've saved from sheet sets I've bought too (the sheets often come in bags made from the same fabric and have a drawstring at the top).  All together, I think I have enough for all the shoes I plan to take.

I've been thinking a lot about the supplies I have, ideas of how to use them, and things we could use for our trip.  One night, it hit me.....I'd knitted a market bag years ago that would work great to hold dirty laundry in my suitcase to keep it separate from the clean clothes and help my suitcase stay organized.  I happened to have another large skein of Handicrafter Cotton yarn that would work perfect for another bag.  That way, my daughter would have one too.  I mentioned the idea to her and she loved it.  That's all I needed to get started.  One week later and here it is...

I knitted it with a circular, size nine needle.  I added a few extra rows of knitting below and above the section with holes and at the top, above the handles.  It's nice and stretchy and should work out great.
And, best of all, my daughter loves it!  :-)  Oh, yeah...and I have a little less yarn in my stash.
Although, it didn't use the whole skein.  So, I still have enough left for something else.

My daughter finished up her Spring semester and is now home for the summer.  She's been busy sewing like crazy!  She loves to sew!  And, she's excited to make things to wear on the trip and over the summer.  In less than a week, she's already made two skirts and has a dress almost complete!
I'm planning to do a little sewing too.  I hope to have some stuff to post soon.

We usually camp in our RV when we travel.  However, we'll be taking the car on this trip and staying in hotels.  We don't like to drive for lots and lots of hours at a time.  So, on the way to our main destination and back, we've broken up the trip with lots of stops in fun places and to spend time with family in a couple different places.  We'll be traveling through nine states!  I'm excited and a little nervous at the same time.  I'm hoping it'll be awesome and that we'll make lots of great memories!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Date with the Dog

Last Saturday night, hubby and I went out on the town and took our dog Salsa.
What?!  A date with the dog?!  Yup!  She had just been groomed and just had to show it off.
We took her to the Lazy Dog Cafe in Temecula.  They allow doggies in their outdoor dining area.
They just have three begging, barking or biting.  They even have a menu for dogs.
Salsa had already had her dinner but she enjoyed watching us, the other people and 
other dogs.  She was such a good girl and really enjoyed her outing.

We did too!  The drinks and food we had that night were SO good!
We started out with a special drink they're currently serving.
It had moonshine, berries, peaches, mint and....hmmmm?...I'm not sure if it had 
anything else.  But, it was good and cute too as it was served in canning jars.
Looks like Salsa thought it looked good.  Looks like she was licking her lips!

This was super yummy....sweet potato tater tots with jalapeno aioli.  Yum!!!\

I didn't take a picture of our dinner but it was super yummy too.
It was a sweet and spicy shrimp dish with broccoli and rice.
It was flavorful and delicious!

I did get a picture of my dessert.  We decided to order more drinks instead of something sweet to eat.
I ordered a special drink I've only seen on their menu...a Phuket.  It's like an herb garden in a glass.
It's made with pepper vodka, coconut rum, basil, jalapeno, and candied ginger.  Yum!
Hubby had a Moscow Mule.  It was pretty tasty too!

Salsa has gotten a lot more snuggly lately.  While we were at the restaurant,
she went back and forth a few times between us to spend time next to each of us.
Sometimes she even sat down and leaned against me.  So sweet!
She never did lay down though.  I think she didn't want to miss any of the action
of people walking by and other dining doggies.  Eventually, I think she got a little tired.

Salsa, hubby, and I had a great time!
I even got to sear my new, high shoes!  They're actually comfortable.
I didn't think it was possible to have comfortable heals.  But, these really are.
I've been working on improving my wardrobe over the past year or so and platform
heels are something that was on my list.  I'm not sure the style of these would have
been tops on my list but when I tried them on it was no question....I had to get them.

I also wore a whole new outfit and I finally got to wear my Diamond Flowers Shawl.
It was perfect!  So pretty and just a tad bit of warmth that I needed in the evening breeze.

We topped off our outing with a stroll around the shopping and a little window shopping.

I love evenings like this!  It was wonderful!  :-)

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Is that even a word?  It has to be a word because it perfectly describes my
adorable little kitty girl.  Just check out her adorableness in action...

She loves to have her belly rubbed!

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Fairy Garden and a Week on Instagram

Wow!  Last week flew by and I didn't get anything posted on my blog.
It was kind of a weird week.  But, I did get a few things posted on Instagram.
Here they are...

My daughter came home from college for part of the weekend.  When she arrived on Friday 
night, she asked me to close my eyes.  She had a little Mother's Day surprise for me.  
What a sweetie!  She bought some adorable little plants and a little arbor
and gates to start my very own little fairy garden!  Aren't they cute?!

I've wanted to make a fairy garden for a while now.  In fact, my daughter and I went shopping last Spring to find containers and supplies.  Life got busy and I never got any further than that.  But, I finally got around to making one this weekend...thanks to her!  I used the old roasting pan that I found last year at a thrift shop.  It was the perfect size to hold everything she got for me.

Here's a close up photo.  I've since added a little bunny tucked in close to the bush on the right.
I'll be watching for a few more things to add a little more character and cuteness to my fairy garden.

We've been careful not to use insecticides around our house for the past few years.  I don't want to hurt the birds or other wildlife that my live here.  By doing that, we now have a great insect control system...lots of lizards. There are several different kinds and colors.  And, we sometimes have tiny babies running around.  Some of the lizards are getting big.  And, some are very colorful!  I found a couple of them on Saturday that were bright and colorful in the sun.  One of them had glistening green and blue on it's back.  This one had glistening blue.  It's even prettier in person.

Sometimes, I just NEED to crochet.  And, sometimes, it just NEEDS to be on a rock.
It might seem a little weird but it's so much fun!  I enjoy the creativity and problem solving
required to design something and make it fit nicely and snuggly on the rock.

I treated myself to a little ball of turquoise crochet thread on Friday.
I've been eyeing it for a long time but hadn't bought it because of my yarn diet.
Sometimes, a girl just needs a treat of new yarn!  I came home and quickly got started.
Here's what I came up with...

Here's the back...

Little Nellie (Penelope) is a big part of every week and everyday!
I love this little girl!  She was very snuggly last week.
She hopped up on my lap a lot and just wanted to be held and snuggled.
How can I resist taking more photos of that?!  She's so cute!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I Did It!

I'm getting it!
I got some advice from other weavers (thank you!) and found a video that helped a lot.
It actually looks like inkle weaving now!

I found THIS video and it made all the difference.  I'm a very visual learner and seeing
how she laid in her warp with a little loop on the side that she could pull to adjust after beating
in the weft made a huge difference.  My selveges are really straight and nice now.  Yay!

Also, I decided to try using something with a finer edge (I used a Panera Bread card)
to beat in the weft may have made a difference too.  It seems to work really well.
Although, it's a bit hard on my hand.  I'll be looking for a better shuttle that has a good edge.

Here's the edge of the shuttle I have now.  It's thick and rounded.
I don't think it does a very good job of pushing the weft into place.

I'm so excited to finally be inkle weaving!
I've seen so many great designs and fun ideas of things to make with it.
I think I've got a good start now and it'll be fun to try different designs and projects with it.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Inkle Irritation!

I was excited to try out my new inkle loom and decided to start tonight.
I watched some videos, compared photos of the same loom, and got it all warped.
It looked great....right?

Well....the video failed to mention how to set the tension before warping and I didn't think it through.  It all looked great and I started weaving.  I realized when I needed to advance the warp that there was no way I was going to be able to.  I had warped it firmly on the loosest setting. So, there was no way to loosen it so the warp could slide.  I had to cut it off and start all over!  Sigh!

I warped it again and did so with threads I'd cut off...trying not to waste them.
That may have been a problem because I think it made my warp thread tension uneven.
I started weaving again and I'm finding it to be challenging.  Weaving on my much bigger floor loom is a LOT easier.  I'm not sure if the uneven tension is the problem but weird lumps are showing up and my right selvage is horrible.  I never have problems with selvages on my floor loom.

Maybe I'm just too tired from working on it so long.
It's 11:30 at night and I think I started this around 6:00.
I'm heading off to bed for some much needed sleep.
I'll try again tomorrow.  Wish me luck!
This is supposed to be fairly easy, right?

A Week on Instagram

I thought it would be fun to post my most recent Instagram photos today.
So, here it goes...

One of my favorite antique shops, Cottage Charm, has a monthly event called,
"Vintage Market".  It's always on the first Saturday of the month.  So, that means today was the day!
I headed down to see what I could find.  I'm sure glad I did!

I found this at a little shop next inkle loom for just $15!
I've been wanting one for a while but didn't want to pay $60-$100 to buy one.
Now, to learn how to use it!  I'm so excited!
(Ooops on the pink background!  I didn't realize I'd done that until I loaded it on here.)

One of the outside vendors had this old oil heater.  I've been wanting one of these for years
but I haven't wanted to pay the prices that are usually on them of around $100.
I was surprised and happy when they said this one was only $20!
The color is perfect for my house.  And, there are no dents on it.  
I like the flower shaped cutouts on it.  So cute!

I created a new version of "egg salad" this week.  
It's gluten free waffles, arugula/rocket, eggs, and salsa.  Yum!

I take so many pictures of my adorable Penelope.
I can't help it...she's so darn cute!
Here, she's waiting near my pillow for me to go to bed.
She likes to sleep up against me most every night.

 A little bit of silliness one evening on her felted bed.

Trying to wake up after sleeping allllll day!

She loves to hang out on the top of her kitty tree that's by the window.
It's warm in the sun and has a great view of the birds in the yard.

Lazy and adorable!

She likes to play in the bathroom sink.  
And, now, she seems to like laying in it.

I'm continuing to work on de-stashing my yarn.
I bought this yarn in Sedona a couple of years ago.  I love it so much and have been 
trying to find the "perfect" pattern for it.  I thought I might have found it but
I'm not quite sure I love it now that it's started.  It's a cowl.  I like the texture and the
pattern but I wonder if it will block out enough to show the pattern. Hmmmm?

We found little eggplants at the market and tried a new way of cooking them.
I drizzled olive oil on them; sprinkled them with salt and pepper; and roasted them in the oven until they were tender.  Then, I sliced them in quarters from the stem down so they could grab onto the sauce.  We dipped them in some homemade marinara.  They were so creamy and yummy!  
We ate them all!

Three X's in the sky!

I love Instagram!  I can't wait to see what pops up to post on there this week!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Wildflower Friday

I met a friend for a walk this week at Santa Rosa Plateau.
It's in the nearby hills that run between us and the Pacific Ocean.
It's a gorgeous area and I've spent a lot of time up there over the years.
It's always fun to watch the seasonal changes and see what's blooming.

Here are some of the flowers I saw this week...

I have no idea what this is called as I can't seem to find it in my wildflower guide.
The colors sure are pretty though.  They were even more brilliant a week earlier when they even had a bit of red on them.  The petals and leaves are very tiny.  They often grow in large patches.
The petals are starting to dry out and shrivel up now.

I wanted to get closer for photos but these were down below us in an area that
could have had snakes.  I wouldn't chance that!  I think they might be Monkey Flowers.

These were right next to the orange Monkey Flowers.
I think they were the same thing but more red.  Pretty!

I love the delicate little leaves and flowers on these.

I can't find these in my book either.
I think they're interesting how they grow in a horizontal row around the stem.

 Ok...I think I might need a better book.  I can't find this one either.
It was pretty waving in the wind.

I like lichen!  Just had to throw in a photo of some lichen.
It's so delicate and interesting.

Have a fabulous Friday!