Happy Birth Day!

My niece had her baby today. Anna Michelle - all 4 pounds 2 ounces of her - decided to make her appearance 6-weeks early via unplanned C-section. Anna obviously had her own opinion about when her birthday should be, and she arrived expressing that opinion loudly. Fortunately, Mom and baby are doing well. Happy Leap Year Birth Day, Anna!


i can haz red walz

We finally made a paint choice for the living room (remember the indecision?) I really wanted red so we went to Home Depot, got a bunch of red paint chips, threw them on the carpet, and chose one. And the winner is (drum roll, please . . . )
Behr's Sly Fox.

Looking at the paint chip reminded me of the wallpaper we bought for the bedroom but haven't put up yet.
I pulled it out and - surprise - it's exactly the same color as the new living room paint. (Lighting makes it look different in these photos.) I guess that means we really like this color, yes?

Dick broke out the ladder
and by shortly after noon, we were seeing red. Two walls are red; the remaining dining room wall (the yellow wall on the left in this photo) and the facing living room wall will be a different color, probably a light gold. Very Tuscan, very warm. We're loving it so far.


A Little Rain, A Little Sun

And here come the flowers. The plants in the front yard exploded into bloom this week. We're expecting temps over 80 by Wednesday - I wonder if that will encourage more blooms or make them, especially the iris, more short lived. Can you tell which flowers are my favorites? So pretty, but not here for very long.

Tomorrow: Paint decisions have been made. Finally. Whoohoo!


New Yarn


Lisa Souza BFL in Shade Garden; 4 oz.

became this

and is now this -
258.3 yards of 2 ply, plus a strand of black silk sewing thread for shine, at about a fingering weight. Love it!

Awareness Funny

Saw this bumper magnet on a car yesterday and cracked up.

Good cause + humor = increased awareness.



Or not.



To Boldly Go

Where only geeks have gone before.

Recognize the guy in the captain's seat?
No? How about now? Oh, yeah. The hubster and his buddy (in the blue jacket) - spent the day at the Star Trek Tour in Long Beach. Dick's been a fan of Star Trek - and Star Wars and Battle Star Gallactica and every other sci-fi space geek show you can think of - for years. Having the tour's first stop almost in our backyard was just too much temptation.

And apparently he's not alone. On the weekends, the exhibit hall is packed with people. The 40,000 square foot dome that used to house the Spruce Goose is too small to hold all the exhibits; there are about 40 shipping containers full of trek-abilia that will be displayed in the tour's larger - 70,00 sq ft+ - venues. And the VIP packages, including the $1500 Q Pass, are completely sold out.

Lucky for me, all Dick brought home was these two pictures - photographic evidence of his geekness. His buddy also got a DVD of himself 'acting' with the cast, using blue screen technology. But both of them passed on the $30 'beam me up, Scotty' holographic photo.
Hey,Rachel, guess what? The tour is coming to Denver, so John can get his very own Trek photos to decorate your house too.


Ravelry Destash

I love Ravelry, especially the organizational tools, but it's turned into a real danger zone for me lately. I discovered the 'destash' pages - books, tools, yarn and especially spinning - and I'm spending way, way too much time there, even though I've gotten some great deals from my fellow Raveleers.

My absolute favorite stash enhancement is this -
Merino/Mohair roving in the Ravelry colorway from Twisted Fiber Art. I also couldn't pass up this 'Scorched' roving in my favorite fall colors. I normally don't like blues but this one caught my eye. This is 100% Mohair roving in 'Crocus Crochet' by Sakina Needles.

gratuitous cat photo - AJ does love her boxes

Yarn-wise, I just received this soft, gorgeous Zephyr laceweight Merino/Tussah Silk blend - 1260 yards in the "Martian" colorway. It's so red, it glows. I'm thinking this would make a great crocheted lace shawl.

And 10 skeins of
purple - so predictable, right? - Manos Cotton Stria that hopefully has enough yardage to make a short-sleeved sweater. For less than half the retail price. Score!


Progress Report

I'm making progress on Anna's blanket. It's a fun pattern, although I'm dreading weaving in all these threads. I know I should do it as I go, but I also know that's not going to happen. Will it be finished by Saturday? Crossing fingers . . .


Ceramic Painting

Marie and I took Naia pottery painting today. I had so much fun painting in Colorado, I wanted to do more. Firefly Ceramics is in Ventura, close to where I used to work (no website that I could find).

Naia started with an Easter bunny (named Bunny Bear), then moved on to a small monkey. She also painted a plate for Marie. We told Naia she could paint it anyway she wanted and she really got into it, as you can see from her concentration.
Marie chose this witch, the most intricate project of the day. It took her a full 3 hours to finish but it really looked nice when she was done. I forgot to take a picture of my gecko soap dish; this is my second project, a grandbaby plate. We won't get the finished pieces back for at least a week, which disappointed Naia. I can't wait to see how they all turned out.

Doesn't Naia wear her paint well? You should see her jeans . . .


More Crafting

Addy's knitted Baby Surprise Jacket is coming along nicely. I started it in class on February 1 (details here) and worked on it during the Colorado trip so I'd be ready for the 'hard' part by tonight's second and last class. And the 'hard' part turned out not to be so hard, although I was glad to have the instructor holding my hand while I slipped 30-odd stitches onto a holder for the first time.

I'm thrilled that it actually looked like a baby sweater by the end of tonight's class! I'm so pleased with it that I signed up for another knit sweater class, this time an adult top-down v-neck sweater with the same instructor. I really enjoy Anne's classes; she's a great teacher and I 'get it' when she explains things. If I keep this up, I may turn into a knitter yet.

While in Colorado, Rachel and I tried out a new pottery painting store.
Rachel made a beer stein for John, while I chose this silly thing - Fred the endangered Sponge-holding Kitchen Fish. We spent about three hours there and had a blast. They will fire the ceramics for us this week and Rachel will mail Fred to me after that. Can't wait to see how he turns out.


Colorado FO's

Addy needed a new hat and scarf, so I put my other projects on hold and cranked these out while we were in Colorado. Just in time too - the weather went from 65 and sunny on Wednesday to a high of 20 degrees and 2 inches of snow on the ground today. What a difference a day makes.

This was a sample I made for the last bobble hat class I taught,
using Plymouth Encore; it's a great, versatile baby yarn that's hard wearing and easy care. The hat's a tad big on Addy, but that's a good thing since she'll be able to wear it longer.

Rachel asked me to make a hat and scarf set for Addy. I knew I wanted to make a key-hole scarf so it would fit snuggly around Addy's neck and be easy to get on and off. I found this adorable ladybug button at JoAnn's and had to get it for the scarf; smaller matching buttons are on the hat. I put ringlets on the scarf ends so Addy would have something to play with if she got bored. I thought about putting ringlets on the top of the hat, but Dick and Rachel both vetoed that idea. (I still think it would be cute.) I'm going to write up the pattern shortly and offer it through my LYS and Ravelry. Right after I get a good night's sleep. Air travel is just not fun anymore.