Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rockabout Saturday Night!

Do you remember about 3 years ago, an artist created some incredible cairns on the beach in Cardiff? All the rock formations, including arches, were made with only gravity to balance them. It was remarkable. We got up early one morning to take photographs of them when the light was misty grey. There were already cars lined up along the beach road with other admirers shooting pictures.

When I saw these cairns at the July gift show in L.A., I couldn't believe my eyes! (This photo is from their catalog). The rep who tended the booth said that I was the 5th person from San Diego that told her about the beach sculptures. Well, of course, I had to buy them.They are all natural beach pebbles and river rocks from Indonesia. They are organic and rustic and beachy and I love every one of them.

When the shipment arrived yesterday, Jo Madden of Go-Go Paper Arts, one of our resident artists, helped me create the display pictured below. She said that Saturday Night's Walkabout should be renamed the "Rockabout". Haha! Oh, yes, did I mention the Fall Walkabout is on Saturday night? Karen Baumeister from the Kitchen Sink is serving homemade chili (who knew it would be so warm?) and demonstrating the kitchen gadgets used to make it. It's bound to be another fun, fun night. So come early and get the cairn of your choice!!! They come in candle holders, votives, and sculptures. We also got a slew of engraved beach pebbles with symbols and words engraved in them. Words like "create", "inspire", "do it", etc.!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Portland's Knit/Purl!

I just got back from visiting my daughter, Estes, and her beautiful family in Portland. When Viviyan's second grade teacher asked her about her dreams and hopes, my granddaughter replied, "to learn to knit". Well, you can imagine my delight! So the idea of visiting Knit/Purl made both of us quite happy.
When we first arrived at the shop, there were several people, including one or two sitting in the small knitting circle. It was church-like quiet and Viv and I were whispering as she went about selecting the yarn of her choice. She loved the Habu display but understood that those weren't beginner yarns! Ultimately, she chose a lavender Malabrigo worsted yarn which was bright and cheerful, just like her and a pair of bamboo needles. I could tell it made her feel important and special to have her own materials. I explained to the staff that I lived in San Diego and couldn't be there to help my granddaughter through the rough parts. And they graciously offered to help her pick up dropped stitches in my absence.In this picture, Viv has spotted a spool of ruffled ribbon and knows that it would be the perfect finish for the Blue Sky Brushed Alpaca scarf I was knitting her. She has an eye for color and is quite a fashionista. So I promised her that I would finish her scarf while she slept that night and that when she woke, it would be hanging on the door knob of her room. Good for my word....
And before I left, I took her measurements and promised to make her a purple sweater for her 8th birthday (November 28th). I have plenty of ideas now that she was able to show me samples and photos of what she liked. It was so difficult to leave each other and knitting that sweater will help me feel closer to her.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Finishing Is Hard to Do!

Let's face it. No one. Not anyone, not no how, likes to finish a knitting project, including me. I make it known to all my customers that I don't finish...cuz I dislike it just as much as they do. But you're so good at it, they say. Well, just cuz I'm good at something doesn't mean I like it. (I did practice law for 13+ years and taught it as well!) Recently, though, I agreed to finish Holly's granddaughter's sweater. Holly is a beautiful knitter but that finishing thing's got her beat. She printed directions for buttonholes, watched videos on You Tube, knit practice ones and was always miserable with the outcome. After all the work she put into this darling sweater, I couldn't bear to not see it finished. So I broke my rule and hired on to do it for her. I just finished sewing on the last polymer clay button and am relieved that it is done and satisfied with the outcome. Now, on to knitting for my own grand babies who I will be seeing in Portland on Monday!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The $73 Egg!

This absolutely perfect egg was laid by Ginger, a full-grown chicken who is currently acting as a role model for Frankie & Betty. Ginger is on loan temporarily to be with the chicks. She was a little ruffled for the first few weeks and wasn't laying. But yesterday, she finally felt comfortable enough to pop one out! (Either that or it was my recent threat that if she didn't start laying eggs soon, her head would be on the chopping block!) Celeste has kept track of all expenses associated with the chicks. This one egg cost $73!

The watercolor chicken in the background was purchased at the Watercolor Society at Liberty Station. The two vintage chick ceramics were Celeste's mom's and the egg basket, well, that was my contribution. Can't wait 'til we drop one of Frankie's in the basket!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Jo's Bowl & Coaster Set

All I want to do these crisp Fall days is wrap wrap wrap and sew sew sew. I never thought I would discover another passion as deep-seated as my love of knitting. Never say never.

With the guidance of Susan's Brier's book, It's A Wrap II. I have now gone beyond the precut fabric strips known as honey buns and am into cutting my own strips of judipatuti fabrics to make these bowls and coasters. I am getting more proficient at sewing staighter zig-zag seams. But I still find it a challenge to get a good join. And that is what embellishments are for! Judipatuti's rick rack is perfect for the edging.

The coasters look so darling with the fabric strip bows. Since the edges of the fabric shred a bit, I zigzag stitched two strips together (wrong side to wrong side) and trimmed the edges close to the stitching. It produces a neater looking bow, with no right or wrong side.

What I have really enjoyed is having my friends pick their own fabric from judipatuti's collection. Each set is unique to them. I think that if you put them all in a pile, I could identify the person who chose each one...that's how personal they are. For example, I would know instantly that this set was Jo's since she loves pink and brown!

I've gotten so many requests for these that I am going to be making them for the October 2nd walkabout. Currently, they are priced at $19.95 for a set of 4 coasters, or $4.95 for singles and $28.00 - $32.00 for the bowls. I've got some Halloween treat bowls in the works which I hope to show you soon!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Tweenies

Do you believe how big the girls have gotten? Betty's feathers are just gorgeous. She looks like a quail. Frankie's apricot baby feathers have all but fallen out and her adult feathers are a dark rich brownish red. Here's a close-up of Frankie who is stomping tomatoes as if she's trying to make wine!

And here's yet another Frankie close-up showing her oh so delicate little feet.

And here she is pretending she just laid some tiny red eggs.

Can't wait for the real ones!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Salute Hat

There is a wonderful Ravelry KAL in progress for this darling Salute Hat. Designer Kate Oates is parceling out the instructions a bit at a time. So far, we have done the brim and are on the body. Her directions are clear and precise and there are plenty of tips including links to directions for picking up stitches, creating buttonholes and more. This is the first online KAL I've participated in and it is so much fun. It's like having a bit of homework to do ... not too much and not too hard! And there is some suspense involved not knowing what the next set of directions will be. I am using Sweater by Spud & Chloe in Firecracker which is a dream to knit with. I'm getting the exact gauge on size 8 needles. Kate stresses that this is a beginners' project so don't be afraid to give this pattern a try.