Not Too Old

I took Naia with me today when I met a friend to pick up a few new-to-me bobbin lace books she'd found at an estate sale*. The meet-up was at a farm stand about halfway between our homes, in an area I used to drive through daily when hubby and I lived in Moorpark many, many years ago. (Do you need 3 "many's" when it's been over 25 years??)
I didn't realize just how much things had changed until we went into the farm stand to get a few things** and discovered they now have a small petting zoo and kid's play area, along with pick your own blueberries and raspberries.
Naia instantly forgot that she's now a sophisticated, grown-up 11 year-old (just ask her; she'll tell you) and started begging to see the animals - which lead to begging for quarters to buy food to feed the goats, sheep and one very uninterested alpaca. 
Naia got a little freaked when the sheep started shoving each other to get at the grain in her hand, but she loved the goats and their climbing gym that included a shed, over-head walkways and a separate tower.
What started as a simple errand turned into a really fun trip for the two of us. And tomorrow? I may just have to take Leia and Leanne for a little visit.     
*I love having friends who know my crafty hobbies and pick up things they think I might like. Thanks, Jill!
** Naia's choices? Big russet potatoes, asparagus, Granny Smith apples, and watermelon. My additions? Seedless grapes, corn on the cob (for hubby) and Gala apples.Yummmmmmmmmmmm.


To Block

'To block' - Latin for 'make pretty'. 

Yarn: Noro's Taiyo Sock. Pattern: variation on 'Bowtie Pi'. Hook: H/5 mm


Secret Project The First

One of the secret projects I talked about earlier this week has been gifted, so now I can post some finished pix. Remember this?
It now looks like this -
Back in January, a guild member issued a challenge for us to end - or greatly reduce - our use of styrofoam cups at our monthly meetings. Her idea, borrowed from a years-old issue of Handwoven, was for each of us to bring a cup to the next meeting, wrapped in a brown paper bag.
Everyone who brought a cup would pick a bag, take it home and make a mug tote - using the mug they chose as inspiration - and bring both the mug and the finished bag to the May meeting, where it would be returned to its original owner. 

This is the mug from the bag I picked. Muted colors, large flowers, elegant. But . . . . . 
THIS is the paper it was wrapped in. 
Bright, eye-popping color, showing a hidden sense of fun. 

So my finished bag was muted, with pretty flowers and elegant touches - like the decorative stitching on the handles and the pretty glass beads on the tie closures - and . . .  
bright, eye-popping color on the inside, visible only to those willing to look a little deeper. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out - and hope the recipient (who wasn't at the meeting and hasn't seen this yet) is just as pleased.

p.s. Everything but the beads and the ribbons for the ties came from my stash. Seemed appropriate, given the initial 'reduce and reuse' challenge.     


Basket Case

I'm a big fan of basket weaving (here, here, here and here). It's not something I want to do on my own - I definitely don't need to buy yet more supplies for yet another craft - but I love when the Guild or SCIART holds a workshop.
Today's offering was a random-weave basket workshop. The "random" was kind of scary - no directions, no pattern, no "you should's" - just a "here's the materials" and "do what you want." 
You don't realize how hard that is, especially for a bunch of weavers, crocheters and knitters who are used to following patterns and specific directions, until you've got the reeds in your hands and you think "now what?"
Turns out, you just start at the top and let the basket tell you what it wants to be. We all managed to have fun once we got going. I really like the interior of my basket (above), although I'm not that crazy about the outside.
Viewed bottoms-up, you can appreciate how really random this thing is. What do you think? A bird's nest beehive?
All the baskets were unique - different shapes, colors, materials, and sizes. (Click any image to see it bigger.)
Even one almost perfectly round basket (center right, below) that is 'random' because the weaver "didn't plan it out beforehand." 
I'm not sure random-weave is my thing - I like following patterns - but I very much enjoyed the process, the sunshine and hanging out with my fellow weavers. Plus I have a pretty little basket to remind me that not everything needs to be planned in advance. Random is good.


Super Secret Stuff

I've got several projects on the needle - sewing machine needle, that is - but they are going to be gifts, so I can't talk about them yet. This one - 
is now complete, except for some ribbon and a big bead or 2. And this one - 
is about a quarter done. The plan is to add borders this weekend and ship it to the long-arm quilter before we leave for Colorado in June. (fingers crossed)


Armed and Dangerous

I learned one lesson, at least, the last time I let Leia "help" me block a scarf - this time I took her and the spray bottle outside.
Last time we had a drowned scarf and a minor flood in the house. This time we still had the drowning and the flooding, but at least it took fewer towels to clean up. 

She works so hard at this and is so pleased with herself when everything is "all wet".
Guess it really doesn't matter that it'll take at least a week for my poor scarf to dry out.
She's having fun - and I'm building a future 'yarnie'.



Another class sample is done. 
Couldn't believe how much fun this was to make and how soft and squishy it turned out, a combination of the waffle-stitch pattern and my new favorite yarn, Liberty Wool.
I got this done in just 2 days since I literally couldn't put it down. Watching the colors change and the little waffles take shape was addictive.
I'm thinking this would make a great 'boy' scarf for hubby - maybe in a slate gray?? Using the Lord of the Rings yarn I bought several years ago? 
Hmmmm, I love it when a plan comes together.


In Which Crochet Happens

I actually finished a couple of crochet projects! Ok, they're Tunisian crochet, but still. With all the quilting, traveling and grand-kidding going on around here, crochet has been on the back burner for much too long. I'm thrilled to have these done - not least because they're both class samples . . . and the scarf class is next week. Nothing like leaving it til the last minute.

First up - Tunisian basketweave scarf.
So much more subtle than crocheted basketweave. I tried it with a variegated yarn but the patterning got lost. Love how this looks in madelinetosh Pashmina.

I also completed a pair of Tunisian fingerless mitts using sock yarn.
It's amazing how much Tunisian knit stitch looks like knitted stockinette. These are worked flat, then seamed together; they have shaping around the thumb and three rows of beading at the top.
Hadn't tried beading with Tunisian stitches before and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Next up - real, live, honest-to-goodness crochet projects.


Star Bright the 4th

I started another star block before we left on vacation but didn't have a chance to finish it until today. It's a bit more complicated than previous squares, so I was glad when my LQS scheduled a how-to class for this one.
 I'm beside myself with joy pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Four down, eight to go.



This sweet, adorable little child?
Has turned - almost overnight - into a computer monster. If anyone is using a computer, she has to be right there - turning the monitor on and off; banging on the keyboard; and her absolute favorite - pressing the main power button to off. This last one gets a strong reaction, needless to say, which is probably why she likes it so much. Tell her 'no', move her away, substitute other toys? Nothing works.

My little darling outdid herself this weekend though. She swiped my computer mouse - while Naia was using the computer - and very carefully dropped it into the cats' water dish. Oh, the irony.  And oh, the very dead mouse.

Fortunately, the mouse was very old and the little girl is very cute. 
But I'm keeping this new one well out of her reach.   


Dancing Princess

The little girls have had a great time these past few days, coming up with all kinds of things to do and games to play together. Last night, Leia decided they needed to dress-up and dance. She put on her favorite princess dress, then helped Leanne into a Tinkerbell outfit, adjusting her wings,and finding the perfect shoe for her. (Only one though; who needs two high heels, right? Maybe that's been my problem all these years??)
Leanne waited impatiently, banging on the door constantly, patiently and quietly while Leia took care of a little business  
 and then they were off -
twisting and turning, 
to-ing and fro-ing,
spinning here,
and twirling there,
while Leanne just kept grinning and grinning and grinning. 
Can't wait to see what they decide to do tonight. 


Wedding Pix

These pictures were taken by the wedding chapel's photographer. I'm hoping there are others out there (Rachel?? Bre???) especially of the reception. 
Flower Girl Addy. She was upset because she forgot to drop the flower petals on her way down the aisle. Think we could get a do-over?
Miss Leanne. She stole the show with her grin and baby steps.
Proud Dad, giving the bride away.
Rachel and Addison.
 "I do."

First toast.
 Parents with newlyweds.
 My favorite shot of the day. Leanne has learned how to steal the show, every time a camera turns her way.