More Zoo

I gave Naia her choice of ceramics painting - which she'd been asking to do - or going to the zoo . . . .  
and the zoo won. 
So as soon as Leia finished her hip-hop dance class, we were on our way. 
The hit of the day? 
Feeding Michael the giraffe, 
while pretty Audrey looked on.
The girls are getting to be pros at the feeding thing. Guess it's good we have an annual membership, so they can keep practicing. 



Confession - I shamelessly stole borrowed this idea from my blog friend and fellow alumni, Petunia Pill
I saw her pictures and fell in love with the leaves and twinkling lights. Fall is my favorite season, so why save all the house decorating efforts for Christmas??
Fortunately, hubby agrees. So after a quick run to Michaels, and a little help from our junior supervisor,
we now have seasonal decorations on our staircase too.
Thanks, Annette! Got any more ideas I can steal borrow?


Weaving Class

It's been a while since I've done any weaving but I fixed that this weekend. Two workshops, two projects, two looms back in action.

Saturday's project was a woven scarf made from self-striping sock yarn on a rigid heddle loom.We only had 3 hours in class, so most people made a small sampler. Yeah, not me. I warped up a 72" long x 10" wide full-length scarf. I didn't get it done in class but I finished it tonight while watching teevee.Pink's not my usual color but this yarn's been in my stash for awhile and I wanted to use it up. The scarf took only half the skein, so I may be making another one soon.

Today's class was six hours, which was a very good thing considering that this was the project -  
Our instructor's Stash Vest was published in the latest edition of Handwoven and I love it. You take 4-6 yarns from your stash,  
put an 8 yard warp on the loom (this is 5.5 yards; I'll do a separate 3 yard warp for jacket's last piece), weave, cut, sew, enjoy. Easy, right? 
Surprisingly, it almost is that easy. We started at 9 and I had the loom warped by lunch. By the time 4 o'clock rolled around, I'd woven over 30".
Of the eight in today's class, only three are doing the Stash Vest. 
The others chose the sane route are doing a stash scarf, a much smaller project.(click pix to see bigger)

And since I'm back to weaving, I need some new tools, right? And it matched  yesterday's scarf; how could I leave it behind?Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  


Seat Belt Pillow

One of the first things I pinned when I joined Pinterest was this seat belt pillow from Super Jenn
The baby grands always look sooooo uncomfortable when they fall asleep in the car, either leaning forward against the seat belt or slumped to the side with half their body held upright by the belt.

So before our Reno trip, I made a pillow for Leia. 
The blue inside layer holds the shredded foam and can be removed for laundering. The flaps on either side
fasten around the seat belt with the pillow facing out, so the functionality of the belt is not compromised.
Leia thought the pillow was great, both before and during the trip.

She didn't like it on her seat belt but it was just the right height for her to use on top of the drink tray from the center seat back.
See? Much more comfortable. 

Things I'd do differently next time - 

  • make the tabs longer; they baaaaarely reach around the seat belt.
  • consider putting the shredded foam directly into the fleece tube and sewing it shut. Stuffing that blue tube into the fleece cover was definitely the hardest part of this project.
 Hmmmmmm, I wonder if Addy would like one of these . . . . 


Treasure Hunt

Usually when hubby and I go to a flea market, he comes home with lots of treasures and I'm empty handed. Not this time! I found a bunch of very cool stuff at Wednesday's free (free! and free parking too) flea market at the Ventura Fairgrounds.
All my friends have baskets like this but I've just never found the right one.  Love the leather handle - it's super comfortable to carry. Now I just need to keep from over-loading it and breaking out the bottom.

My favorite find was this little thimble. I bought it because it fit my finger (hard to find one that does) and I liked the gold detailing. 
Then I took it out into the light. Wow!
I was calling this 'stained glass' but it's actually plique a jour* (open to the light), a variation of the cloisonne technique. Darn it - now I have something else I need must want to collect. At least they're small!

I used to collect vintage linens but haven't seen any lately that caught my eye.  
But these - $1 to $2 each -
were so pretty, and in such good condition, that I couldn't pass them up. 
A little cleaning, a little ironing and I'll have treasures that will last for years. In theory; cats and grandkids willing.
I also picked up a Beanie Baby Rhino named Spike for Leia,
a tiny, real leather saddle that - after a bit of cleaning and oiling - will become a present for Addison,
and a few trinkets from a vendor's $1 bin. 
I got one other bracelet, but it's already in my jewelry rotation and I forgot to take a picture of it.
Not bad for a couple of hours spent hanging out with friends. 
Next time we go, I'm sure I'll be back to finding nothing I like. But this week I was lucky.

*Plique √† jour (open to the light) -  a variation of the cloisonn√© technique. The cells are created with metal strips or wires, but the metal backing is temporary. After the enamel is applied and fired, the backing is removed or polished away and light can shine through the translucent enamel. It resembles stained glass and can be very fragile, thus making it a somewhat impractical choice for thimbles.   


Farmer Leanne

Yesterday was Leanne's turn to visit a local farm stand that has a small petting zoo and play area. I took Naia a few months ago and she loved it. 

Leanne was super excited when she got out of the car and saw animals! But the closer she got, the more hesitant she became. It didn't help that the goats charged the fence in excitement as soon as they saw PopPop heading for their feeder.
After that, Leanne was more than content to stand well back and let PopPop feed the animals. She liked looking -
and pointing -
at the chickens, goats
and alpaca,
but she had absolutely no intention of getting any closer. We had better luck with the play area. She loved driving the wooden car and kicking up a little sand.
Now we just need to get Leia over there. I feel a need for more fresh picked blackberries coming on.    



Mr. T, now 9-months old, came to spend a couple of days - and more importantly, a couple of nights - with us so his mom and dad could have a sleeping vacation. 
My Boy Travis is not a real good sleeper and a short napper (only 30-45 minutes at a time), so his mom and dad are perpetually tired. I didn't care why I lucked out, I was just happy to get my hands on Mr. Cutie.

Friday we took the best buddies to the Santa Barbara Zoo. 
It's perfectly sized for little people at 30 acres and about 500 animals. Plenty to see and do; not so big that kids get tired and cranky before they're done.

If you ask her, Leia will tell you her favorite thing to see is "Bodie" - she thinks all elephants are (or should be) named the same as the one she saw at the Denver Zoo. But the exhibit we visited three times? 
Running between the open air tank and the downstairs, underwater viewing windows? 

The penguins. She loves watching them. I think she'd have stayed here all afternoon if we'd let her. 

Travis and PopPop sat and did a bit of male bonding while I trailed Leia up and down the stairs. That PopPop is smarter than he looks - he was all rested at the end of the day while I needed a nap.

Next up was the petting zoo - goats, sheep, pigs, and rabbits. Leia said she wanted to feed the animals . . . but not if it meant she had to get close enough that the animals could touch her. She was making that poor goat crazy; he knew she had food - and he wanted the food - but whenever he got close, Leia pulled her hand - and the food - out of his reach. 
She finally worked up her courage and they were both thrilled.
Leia also got to feed a giraffe. (click the picture to see bigger.) How cool is that??
PopPop said she was a little hesitant - I couldn't see that from where I was taking pictures - but she quickly got over it.
We also saw sleeping lions (the dark spots behind Leia) 
a wide-awake gorilla,
and a energetic anteater that put on quite a show,
running around his exhibit and playing with his blanket, just like a big kid. So cute!
We rode the train, which Leia and Travis both loved, 
and hiked all over the place.
Travis stayed awake the 2+ hours we were at the zoo, fascinated by everything going on around him.
And when we got back to the car? He and Leia both zonked out before we were out of the parking lot. Perfect.