Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I don't hold with resolutions, so no lists here: they're hard to live up to and why should you only resolve to do better once a year?

It would be much more beneficial to resolve to do more fun stuff; add several extra hours per day to just have fun, not watch what you eat quite as closely, find a permanent designated driver and drink how much and when ever you wish and, best of all, have an unlimited budget and storage for all the yarn you could possible desire!

When I was young (under 40) I never understood the curse, "may you live in interesting times." Now I'm happy to answer, "Nothing" when someone says, "What's new?"

May 2007 be kind to you
and uneventful.

Friday, December 29, 2006

My First Calendar Dishcloth

I could hardly get folks out the door Christmas evening so I could start my first dishcloth from my new Dishcloth Calendar. Since I'm a big fan of Andi's lace pattern dishcloths on Monthly Dishcloth Yahoo Group I started with March's Little Shells Pattern by her. I used Peaches & Creme.

Also finished the Mid-December Kal from the same Yahoo Group; in Peaches & Creme

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bloomin' Tree

Christmas is two days past, I KNOW, and here I am with my Holiday Post. First the knitting content.

I tried my hand at two-handed fair isle with Knitty's Center Square hat. Everything worked but my floats so the hat is a tad small. Suppose to fit an adult but ended up fitting my 4 year old great nephew.

Our animals are very hard on full size Christmas trees so for the last few years we've had a rosemary tree. Never before has it bloomed while in the house.

Do you see the purple flowers? They sorta clashed with all my red themed ornaments. Different don't ya' think??

Christmas Eve morning we visited the Hillcrest Farmer's Market to buy flowers for the table. It was a beautiful day for a morning stroll through the vendors' tents.

Finally Annie with her Christmas Rawhide bone. She knew that she should have a present too and wouldn't leave us alone in the morning until she got hers. I have no idea how she knew since we kept her presents out in the car, never bringing them in the house!

See that tongue action?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Frost Advisories in Paradise

Those new to San Diego say we never have any weather here; that it's always 72 degrees F and sunny. Here are pictures to prove them wrong - yeah I had to wait several years to photograph the evidence but whose counting.

We had a cold winter storm passing through here since Saturday; rain, wind frost advisories and actual snow in our inland mountains! This is a big deal in San Diego; it was the lead story on the local evening news tonight - I'm not kidding, lead story!

Headed home after work today the Eastern sky was something to see. The light was right out of a Plein Air painting; gorgeous warm pinks and soft oranges. I was sure it would be gone before I could make it home and into the house to grap my camera. Here are two of my shots taken at 4:30pm PT. I was so lucky it lasted until I could take these pictures

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The lower center of the clouds you can see it raining. Soon to move east and turn into snow in the Laguna Mountains.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cooking Tuesday

Youngest Daughter had a day off from work and offered to come over and help decorate the house for Christmas. (Yeah, I don't care for the decorating part of the holidays. It's not a bah humbug thing it's just that it's time away from knitting and sewing.)

I had a table full of ingredients that I'd bought to make the Cranberry Orange Bread recipe that I found in the December 2006 issue of Sunset Magazine. When Youngest Daughter saw the flour, sugar and dried cranberries she decided she'd rather bake than decorate.

Fine with me!! She started measuring and mixing while I grated orange rind and squeezed them for juice. (She pointed out that this was the first time we'd done Christmas baking where I was the Baker's support team which has traditionally been her role. She did a couple decades of helping Mom and Grandma bake for the Holidays. Time she took over I'd say!) I enjoyed the supporting role; and the whole day.

Here you have 9 mini and 1 full size loaves of Cranberry Orange Pecan Nut Bread and 5 mini loaves of Lemon Poppy Seed Bread. (I should have cleaned up before taking the picture; they're still on the racks we used for cooling and glazing.)

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That wasn't enough cooking. I then made two trays of beef and cheese enchiladas. Here's the tray we baked; the other went into the freezer.
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The day ended with the following score: 15 loaves of Nut Bread - two trays of enchiladas - and three dishwasher loads.

Oh, and we did get the living room decorated too.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Willy Boy

We have a 16 an-a-half year old orange classic-tabby cat named Willy. (named for Willy Wonka) He has perfect bull's eye circles on both sides.

My older daughter got him from a friend whose cat had kittens - remember back when you could easily find a kitten from a home that you knew? He was cat-food-commercial cute.

Here he is at 4 or 5 months old sampling my catnip plant.

The house we lived in when he was young was a two story with an open staircase with rug covered steps. Willy use to race up the steps, around through the rooms on the upper floor then duck under the top step on to the huge cat tree's upper perch and then jump 8 feet across to the sofa and then he'd be off for another lap. Sometimes he reversed direction. My youngest niece use to come down and ask if she could come watch Willy fly.

(This huge cat tree was a real tree that had been removed from my sister's front yard. Carpet covered squares were attached to several of the larger limbs to provide padded perches for sleeping and observing.)

Later years Willy got fat and slept most of the time. He was so lazy he wouldn't even hold his head up he just lay there.

Friends gave us an ornament that looked like Fat Willy

These days Willy Boy is moving much slower. He's lost a lot of weight due to a Hyperthyroid condition which also makes him meow VERY LOUDLY. We're always having to get his attention to stop the hollering; his volumne is permantely stuck on HIGH.
He's still a sweetheart. His favorite spot now a days is a laundry basket full of clothes.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Starting to Feel Like Christmas

That Christmas-y feeling got it's toes in the door last night.

We went to see Cygnet Theatre's Holiday Play, It's a Wonderful Life, A Radio Play. We are season subscribers and bought the extra tickets for their Christmas Play just because we support this Theatre to the best of our means. I didn't expect much from "a Radio Play" - what's that? A group of actors just reading a script?

Well, it was much, much more! They re-created the 1947 setting and atmosphere of a NYC radio studio; clothing, hats, nylons with seams, huge face-covering microphones and best of all a sound man with all his gadgets that was a delight to watch.

You know the Movie - you know the script of this play; only thing missing was Jimmy Stewart's stammer.

We thought the play started 15 minutes late but it wasn't until afterwards that I realized watching the actors on stage visiting and preparing as we entered the theatre and found our seats was part of the play. A few of the actors came down in character and visited with the audience. That was a little weird - what do you say to a make believe person?

I realized I really miss the old time singing commercials after hearing the three performed during the "Broadcast."

If you're in San Diego this month forget the movies and try and get tickets for this very nostalgic Christmas piece.

And here's a not to be missed synopsis of the story!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Cedar Fire - Three years later

October 26, 2003 was the scariest day of my life. I live on the rim of a Canyon that the Santa Ana winds were driving a fire westward right toward us. Luckily the winds died down and the fire stopped a mile east of us. They named it the Cedar Fire. It will always be know to me and my family as THE FIRE!

That fire burned one of our favorite spots in the county, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Yesterday we drove up with Annie, The Dog. (That's her full name.) Here are pictures of what a horrible wild fire driven by Santa Ana Winds looks like three years later. It's heart breaking to see.

Color in the East basin of Lake Cuyamaca.
One of the few unburned spots.

And I finished a pair of socks done in Opal's Rain Forest Chameleon. How's that for total juxtaposition?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Three Dishcloths - Finished

It feels so good to finally be finishing things. I seem to always have lots of projects going at once; lots of starts very few endings. Then all of a sudden I find I'm finishing lots of projects at once. As of this evening I finished three dishcloths and a scarf that needs to be blocked before I decide if I like it. (Do I win the prize for using the word finish the most times in one paragraph?)

Here's the Darrell Waltrip Cloth that I did in Peaches and Creme followed by a close up so you can see the slipped stitches. I really like how the variegated yarn worked in this pattern.

Next is Victoria a Danielle Cote pattern (Note: this is an extremely difficult site to access. She has very small bandwidth; don't be discouraged, keep trying at different times.)

This is such a lovely and easy lace pattern.

Last is my Mid-Nov KAL on Monthly Dishcloths' Yahoo Group. I hope you can see the textural poinsettia pattern. The group had quite a time with bobbles but as you can see they came out rather well.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wonder Bread Years

Last night I saw the funniest play at the Old Town Theatre called The Wonder Bread Years.
I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face faster than I could wipe them with a tissue!

If you grew up in the 50's and 60's I urge you to see this play. If you know who Colonel Sanders is you'll understand the life and times that the show is based on.

Pat Hazell was a writer on Seinfeld and at time you can hear Jerry Seinfeld's TV character in what Pat is saying on stage. (I think Pat Hazell may be responsible for all the rules of conduct that Elaine, George and Jerry were always talking about.)

This show is more a stand-up observational comic than a play with acts and such. Although there are lots of nostalgic props.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Yep! Fall is my favorite season.

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Charlotte's Lace Shawl

Here it is - finally finished and blocked my Charlotte's Lace Shawl. I used KnitPicks's Gossamer in the Caribbean colorway. For my first lace project this went well; gave me confidence to try more involved lace.

I'm currently working on the Forest Canopy Shawl in a discontinued colorway of Primero from Brooks Farm Yarn. I won this yarn in a Scavenger Hunt during the Lace Symposium on Knitting Beyond the Hebrides Group. That was one great week! So much information was put out there that I'm still reading and re-reading it all. Not sure if it's still posted on KBTH's Home but if it's still there it's worth joining just to read all their lace information and tutorials.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Southern California Handweaver Guild's 2006 Festival

Last Sunday I had a wonderful day at the Southern California Handweavers Guild's Festival .
It was held in Torrance, CA, (if you don't know the area it's close to Los Angeles International Airport.)

I was disappointed in their "show", all I saw was a couple woven placemats and a huge chess set but to be fair I didn't stay for their Fashion Show which must have been the main event. There were two big rooms to their Market Place.

Lots of weaving yarn and supplies

Stacks of Silk that were gorgeous in the outside light

I am fondling the merino silk roving (I look terrible in that side light - I should wear frownies all the time!)

Here I am choosing through the hundreds of batts offered at Nancy's Custom Handweaving Booth, I bought four bags of batts; two purple blends and two yellow blends.

I also bought two hand dyed roving braids of 50% merino/50% tencel from The Soap Plantation. I'd never spun this blend before but with help from several spinners in my Spinning Class it's a pleasure to work with. Very well behaved for such long, fly away fiber.

Here's a close up of my singles. Haven't decided if I'll use it as singles or ply it.

thanks to The Photographer for the Show pictures

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bird Watching at a Baby Shower

Attended my Niece's Baby Shower yesterday; look at the uninvited guest. He sat there for quite awhile

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sunset Picture

Sunset last night, November 3, 2006.
Courtesy of The Photographer

Friday, November 03, 2006

Proof that I have been knitting and quilting

Technical difficulties have been straightened out; not sure if it was me, Blogger or Photobucket but it seems to be working now. Here's a test post.

These are photos of my recently completed projects. First is the hat and scarf I made for Flagstaff. I decided the Monday before we left that we would need hats for the cold weather so I started this


and the close-up. When I finished the hat I found I had enough yarn to make a scarf; I just copied the brim pattern of K2, P2 with a slipped stitch at either side.

I am pleased at how my handspun looks knit up.
I also knit The Photographer a hat out of Encore; finished it as we drove through Phoenix on our way home. Luckily, the weather for our week in Flagstaff was warmer than we expected; his ears didn't freeze while he waited for me to knit his hat.

Next is the Lace Blanket I made for my soon-to-be new nephew Joey.

It looks more like a washcloth in this picture but the floor reflection and the yellow yarn being so shiny keeps shutting off the flash. The blanket measures 36" X 44"

And finally there's the Pirate Quilt I made for my niece's Baby Shower this weekend.

And a close-up of one of the blocks. (I don't know why this picture looks so strange. If you click on it to see it enlarged, the weird dots go away. Really I didn't quilt it that densly!) This was a quick quilt to make; four days start to finish.

Funny thing happened in the middle of making this quilt. Had the first few strips sewn when I discovered my iron had died. Had to go buy a new iron. (Did you ever hear of an iron just dieing in the middle of using it?)
It wasn't gunked up, wasn't the steamed stopped working; there just was no "on", no heat, nada! I've never lost an iron like that, usually one of the cats jumps up and the iron falls off the ironing board but that wasn't the case this time.

Speaking of cats...
My cats LOVE my robe; here's a picture two minutes after I laid my robe on the bed while getting dressed Wednesday morning. They don't usually tolerate being this close together but no one was going to give up one inch of their robe real estate! Left to right; Willy 16 years old, Sam, four years old and Ty, 9 years old.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

We interrupt this blog due to technical difficulties

The further adventures of our little cabin in the woods is on hold until I can figure out why Blogger doesn't like my picture URLs from Photobucket. I'm assuming it's a size issue but I've reduced the size and reduced and it still won't take them. Does Flicker work more easily than Photobucket?

I leave with this rant: Does it bother anyone else when you read a Popular blog comment section and the first six people all start their comment with, "I can't believe I'm the first to comment??" Who the H___ cares if you're first; most of the time I don't even know who YOU are!


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back from Flagstaff with Pictures

My new Canon camera has a feature I've never had before called image stabilizer. You can get a very good photo in a moving car! I kept shooting out the window even when I couldn't see through the eyepiece or see the LCD screen on the back.

Driving east on Highway 40 between Kingman and Flagstaff we had a stunning view of San Francisco Peak.
As we drove Monday morning, the changing view and sun angle on the mountain kept us entertained the entire drive.

The weather was beautiful on Monday; there was a storm moving in that pushed these wonderful clouds ahead of the front. We found ourselves just standing and watching the sky.

Tuesday morning we woke at 5am in our A-frame cabin to strange noises on the roof. (We're such Southern California weather dorks!) It was hailing and snowing; we didn't recognize the sounds. Luckily we had been to the store the night before and had stocked up on food and water and the Inn supplied us with firewood; so we built a fire in the wood burning stove, made eggs for breakfast and just sat and enjoyed the weather. I can't tell you how snug it felt to sit in front of a fire in your cabin out in the woods, drinking warm tea, knitting and watching it alternately rain, snow and hail. View of the hail on the porch taken standing at the cabin door. (Can you believe how enthralled we are with this weather? Wish I could say that we scheduled this when we made our reservation?)

It dried up about 11 AM so we got ready to go to our favorite restaurant in Flagstaff. (Save that for later) When we finally made it outside we found the top of the car still covered with hail

Wednesday morning we awoke to a frost dusted wonderland. The new camera has a super close macro setting so I braved 22 degrees to take ice crystal pictures.

Next post more Vacation less weather, promise.