Friday, May 27, 2016

Get a Grip!

Our kitchen cabinets don't have knobs.  They're just as they were when the house was new.  And, we've learned that we should have changed that a long time ago as the finish is messed up in a few places from wet hands, drips from working at the sink, etc.  So, I started looking for knobs a while back but haven't had much luck.  I wanted the metal on them to match the hinges so we wouldn't need to replace them.  And, I wanted the knobs to be interesting and pretty.  This week, I think I found some that will work.  They're ceramic, colorful, a great size, and they were affordable.  I still need to find handles for the drawers but this is a great start!  Yay!

I also found this pretty door knob that I plan to use on our pantry door.  Isn't it pretty?!

Our kitchen and house is decorated with accents of reds, oranges, and even splashes of turquoise.  So, all of these knobs should look great!  Can you tell I love color?!  :-)  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Tombstone and Bisbee, Arizona

In my attempt to get back to blogging and to catch up a little with what I've missed posting, here's a throwback post to last December and a trip we made to Arizona...

We had gone with our RV to visit our daughter who moved to Arizona last year.  The weather turned really cold with freeze warnings at night and quite a bit of rain.  Hanging out at camp was great....lots of reading, knitting, hot foods and drinks, and I even got my Christmas cards done.  But, we eventually got cabin fever and decided to head out and do some exploring.

First, we headed to Tombstone.  It was a cute little town.  There were old buildings and horse drawn buggies and stagecoaches.  This is the courthouse.  I thought the horse going by made for a great photo opportunity.

Since it was so cold, the ghost town lived up to it's name that day and looked very empty, with very few visitors.  The wind was bitter cold and it made it hard to stick around for very long.  We quickly walked through some of the main part of town.  There are some fun little shops there.  But, overall, we were a bit disappointed.  There seems to be a charge for just about everything.  The O.K. Corral was walled in and you had to pay to see it.  There were people in the streets and on the corners talking at everyone who walked by in an attempt to get them to pay for historical information.  The stagecoaches traveled around with loud speakers inside telling about the area.  That didn't seem like a fun ride.  And, those speakers and microphones definitely didn't help with feeling like you were stepping back in time.  But, who knows, maybe it would be a lot more fun on a warmer and busier day.  The lack of crowds made it good for photos though.  Here's the main street...

Since we didn't stay long in Tombstone, we still had plenty of time left in the day.  We'd heard about the nearby town of Bisbee and decided to go see it.  It turned out to be fantastic and even magical!  The moment we caught a glimpse of it, we were gasping and ooohing and aahhhing over how adorable it is.  The weather that day added to the charm.  It made the town less crowded and we often felt like we almost had it all to ourselves.

Many of the homes are built into the side of the hill, they're old, and the narrow winding road made me think of photos I've seen of old European towns.  It was charming!  This photo almost looks like an old painting.  I love it!  That's hubby and Salsa standing on the sidewalk...

There were surprises everywhere we looked....even down on the sidewalk...

Beautiful stone or glass tiles had been set into the concrete and it looked as if they had once been lit from underneath.  That must have been beautiful to see!

Even some of the manhole covers were ornate and beautiful...

The sun was shining when we arrived in Bisbee.  I took a photo of this old church shortly after we pulled into town...

We walked in a building to see a weaving guild that was meeting that day and when we came out the sun was gone and the sky was completely cloudy.  We went into a cozy little restaurant for lunch and it soon started to snow.  That's something we rarely see.  So, we were in awe!  It was magical for us!  The waitress told us that it rarely snows in Bisbee.  She said it only happens once every few years or so.  We were lucky to be there to see it!

Here's that same church a little while later...

We enjoyed walking around some of the little shops in town.  We also stopped in for a drink at the old Copper Queen Saloon that had been there since 1906!  We sat in the back, had a drink and enjoyed watching the snow falling outside.

We headed back to camp with lots of great memories from a wonderful day of exploring.  I hope to go back someday when the weather is dry and take a LOT more photos!

It snowed again overnight in the mountains next to the campground.  Cold but beautiful!

And, to our surprise that next morning, we found that someone had decorated a tiny tree outside of our trailer the day before.  Such a fun and touching little surprise!

The ornaments were covered in frost and snow.

And, some had blown off in the high winds.

There were some sunny days while we were there though.  We bundled up one day and headed out on the "50 Year Trail" at Golder Ranch for some mountain biking.  It was a beautiful day and a fun ride.  But, I have to say that cactus along a single track trail adds a whole new dimension to mountain biking!  I kept a much closer eye on the trail and everything alongside it!  One guy parked next to us at the finish was pulling cactus thorns out of his leg!  Ouch!

That's my hubby in the photo...

Arizona is such a beautiful state with a lot to see.  We've been there a often since our daughter moved there.  We're heading back again this weekend.  I wonder what we'll see this time?!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Weaving, Warm Fuzzies, and Flowers

I started weaving on a second dish towel yesterday.  I thought it would be fun to change it up a bit.  So, I'm weaving this one in a twill pattern.

While I was weaving yesterday afternoon, my sweet little Penelope was sleeping soundly.  She was so sound asleep that she didn't even notice when I walked in the room and took pictures of her.

I took a different route on my morning walk today and saw some beautiful flowers.  Of course, I couldn't resist taking pictures.  I love the colors in this one...

The centers are interesting and the color combination is so unexpected.

The trees along this street change SO much!  At different times of the year they have green pods, bright pink pods, fall color, a little bareness, and now, they're exploding with tiny yellow blossoms.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Weaving in Progress

I started weaving some new dish towels yesterday.  They aren't turning out quite like I'd envisioned but they're growing on me.  I think they'll be even nicer once they're off the loom and washed.  Just for fun...and learning...I may try playing around with the treadling pattern on the next one.  I think I measured enough warp for at least three towels.

There's something so satisfying about creating something useful.  It also feels good to make it with materials I already have.  Yay for more de-stashing.  Although, these cones of thread seem to keep going and going and going!  I've already made so many things with these threads and there's LOTS left.  I'm sure getting my money's worth from these cones that I barely paid anything for!  Cool!

Monday, May 23, 2016

How was your weekend?

How was your weekend?  I hope it was a good one!

Mine was good.  It was filled with a little of this and a little of that.

It started off on Friday when I got back from the market.  I found a cute, little, spray bottle at Sprouts that I couldn't resist.  And, besides, I really wanted to try making some homemade air freshener/linen spray.  So, when I got home, that's just what I did.

I found a recipe online.  I cut it in half so it would fit in my bottle.  Here's what I used...3 tablespoons of distilled water, 1/2 tablespoon of vodka (all I had was pepper vodka but it has an earthy good smell and worked fine (vodka/alcohol is used to make the oil and water mix), and 20 drops of lavender oil.  It turned out great and smells sooooo good!

My husband got called into work early Saturday morning to take care of a problem.  I decided to go with him to keep him company on the drive and later do a little shopping and be-bopping around by the beach....he works in Carlsbad...just minutes from the ocean!  :-)

When he was finished, we headed to Encinitas for breakfast at the "Potato Shack".  Yum!  Then, we walked over to see the ocean.  It seemed extra blue and gorgeous that day and the water was so clear.  I wish I'd brought my camera.  Oh well, thank goodness for cell phone cameras.

After that, we hopped over to REI to do a little shopping.  I got a new backpack!  It's the green one on the right.  I had gotten one a couple of years ago (the blue one next to it) but it turned out to be too small for actual backpacking.  So, this time I got one that's probably the biggest I'd get for my small frame...a 60+10 litre.  It should work just fine.  I think I officially have a backpack collection now.  lol  The other two are a small pack for day hikes (the turquoise one), and the smaller one I use when I go biking.

Our garden seems to be noticeably growing each day.  We have a few more seeds that have sprouted over the weekend too.  And, we got our first two tomatoes of the season.  Woot!

I measured off a new warp a couple weeks ago....with the "help" of my sweet Penelope.  I've since been slowly putting it on my loom.  You know....a little time here, a little time there.

I finished warping my loom last night and it's ready to weave!

Hooray!  I'm so excited to see how this project will turn out.  I'm going to weave some kitchen towels with some thread/yarn I have in my stash.  Yay...more de-stashing!

Here's to a great week!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Floral Friday - Wildflowers

There's field in a neighboring town that surprises us from time to time with bursts of color.  It bursts with bright orange poppies almost every spring.  You can see pictures I posted of that a few years ago HERE.  Sometimes it blooms with a lot of yellow flowers.  This year, the poppies were very small and didn't last long.  Then, shortly after the poppies went away, it exploded in purple/pink flowers.  We were lucky to have noticed them one evening as we were driving by.


The field is along a busy road and I have a feeling a lot of people don't even notice the flowers.  The flowers usually grow further back, away from the road, and behind some little hills.  When I post pictures of it, locals ask where it is because they've never seen it.

Buildings and housing developments are slowly closing in on this beautiful space.  It may not be there much longer.  We're enjoying it as long as we can!

I'm not sure if I've ever seen these flowers before.  If I have, it was just a few here and there and nothing on this scale.  I tried to find them in my wildflower book.  The closest I can find in the book is "Dagger Pod" but the description says it grows in areas much further north and not in Southern California. I'll stop in at the visitor center at a nearby nature preserve sometime and see if they know what these pretty flowers are.  Although, the name doesn't really matter, I'm happy just seeing them!

These photos were taken with my cell phone.  I was hoping to go back with my camera to get better pictures but this must have been the height of their blooming because they weren't nearly as colorful when I went back.  Oh well.  Hopefully, they'll bloom again next year.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spring Garden

Persistence seems to be paying off with our garden.  We have been surprised at how challenging it is to grow veggies.  We remembered elementary school projects where we planted a bean or potato and it grew in what seemed like no time at all.  And, we've had gardens in the past that did great.  But, our veggie growing efforts have yielded almost nothing over the past few years.  We didn't give up though and we've put lots more effort into it this past year.  We built raised garden beds (you can see a post about that HERE) and have worked hard and spent a lot of money on making the soil better, battling grubs, etc.  I'm happy to see that our efforts are starting to pay off.

The cabbage we planted over the winter is looking gorgeous and ready to harvest...

The colors are stunning!  And, I love how it looks in the morning with water droplets from dew or watering.

Our dog loves to pull tomatoes off the vines.  She even got to them in the raised beds last year.  So, we built another garden area with a fence in a back corner of a yard.  We even put some wire mesh to try to keep her away from them.  We have six different kinds of tomato plants and they seem to be quite happy right now.  Yay!

One of the plants even has little tomatoes on it!  Woot!

And, all of the plants have blossoms.  We have very few bees to pollinate them though.  So, I'm planning to head down to the nursery for some bee attracting flowers to help out.

This is part of that little corner garden area.  So far, we have tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, two kinds of pumpkins, and various varieties of sunflowers planted in this area.  The pyramid in the middle is for strawberries.  We still need to fill it with soil and plant it.

In our raised beds, we have Patty Pan (flying saucer) squash...

Bush beans...

Three different kinds of eggplant...

The first planting of radishes are sprouting...

We also have a bunch of pickling cucumber plants that have recently sprouted.

The onions and garlic we planted in the winter are growing nicely.  We enjoyed beets and beet greens over the winter and spring.  Our lettuce grew so well that we had LOTS of salad.  It's now big and about ready to harvest the seeds so we can replant.

We've added more barrels to our wine barrel herb garden.  I'll post more pics of that after I do some more work on it and get it growing more.  But, I have been enjoying basil again, along with parsley, thyme, oregano (that grows all year 'round), sage, and rosemary.

Our fingers are crossed that our current success will continue and result in a veggie filled future!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Together Time in the Craft Room

My daughter just finished her first year of grad school.  Woot!  And, she came home to visit as soon as it was over.  Double woot!  :-D  We spent a wonderful week together...talking, shopping, cooking, walking, rock climbing, and crafting.  It was awesome!

I thought I'd share one of our craft projects with you.  We decided to make dream catchers.  So, we went through my doily collection, did a little doily shopping at an antique store, gathered supplies, and got started.

We crocheted the doilies to the metal rings.  Then, we hung them from the chandelier over the craft table to decorate the bottoms.  We had so much fun and they turned out so pretty.

The sun was streaming through the window and onto our pretty creations the next morning when we went to get them for photos...

I found a doily at the antique store that made me think of a starfish.  So, I made mine with a beach theme.

I added shells to the bottom with torn and twisty fabric, ribbons, lace, yarn, and thread.

My daughter made a larger one with a crisp white doily.  I love the openness around the edges.  She used white fabric, lace, ribbons, yarn, and beads on the bottom.  Then, she made some fabric flowers to finish it off.  So pretty!

My daughter loves to sew and hasn't had time to do so in a long time.  She made sure to get some sewing time in last week while she was home.  She made a top, re-made a dress, and started whipping up another dress.  She amazes me with her confidence and courage to just dive in and try things.  And, the results are impressive!

We did a little yard sale shopping on day before she left.  She got a couple yards of red, floral fabric for just 50 cents.  She wanted to make a certain dress with it but was several yards short of what she needed.  That didn't stop her!  She adjusted the pattern and made it work.  She still has some work to do on the top to the bottom, sew in a zipper, and hemming.  It's looking fantastic!

Yeah, I'm a proud mama!  :-)