Potato, Potaato

Noro calls this a strawberry lace scarf* -
but to me, it's a pineapple.
It's smaller than usual, so maybe that's where they get 'strawberry'? Or maybe they want it to appear more modern? 

Either way, it was a fast, fairly easy project, with an 8-row repeat that I had memorized the second time through, except for the start and finish of each row. Never could make sense out of those so the pattern followed me everywhere, as I checked off each individual row.
On the up side, that made it easier to count repeats and know when I was supposed to be done. As usual, I got bored three or so repeats from the end and decided to stop. I think it's plenty long, so if I don't mention it, I don't think anyone will notice . . .

A 'by request' arm-warmer/fingerless mitt for the daughter of a friend is also done. 
She has arm and wrist troubles that include wearing a brace and the cold makes things worse.
It's my usual mitt pattern, super-sized for length. Hopefully, it will help, at least with the 'cold' part.

*Strawberry Lace Scarf by Robin Chachula, published in Crochet Noro: 30 Dazzling Designs. My Ravelry project and info is here.


Teach One

The last time I was in Joann's, I spotted a little pillow - half price! - that was perfect for Leia's preschool nap-time. I let her pick pillowcase fabric from my rapidly growing stash and today we started sewing.
To say Leia was excited would be a big understatement. She was completely engrossed, concentrating on getting everything just so.  
In fact, we got so involved, we forgot about the time and ended up sewing straight though what should have been her gymnastics class. Oops!

I cut and pinned the initial tube, then Leia sewed it together. 
We pulled it inside out, ironed, trimmed and re-pinned it so she could sew the next set of seams - with just a bit of help from cousin Leanne, who wanted in on the action.
Once the sewing was done,  
we fit-tested,
then sleep-tested the pillow 
before Leia did her "I made a pillow" happy dance.
But we still had one more step to go. I had Leia write her name on the pillowcase (it took a couple of tries to get it just right, as you can see on the right below; a quick pressing with a hot iron will erase all evidence of that quickly enough)
and then I embroidered over her writing. 

Perfect. Both of us think so. 


Quilt Class Do-Over

You may remember the quilting sampler class I took last June (here). It was waaaaay just a little bit over my head back then, so when Debbie offered it again, I signed up for a re-do. Today's blocks were 'Fifty-four Forty or Fight' 
and 'Garden Walk'.
I'm feeling much more comfortable with sewing and was able to finish both blocks in class, with only minor oopsies. Yay! And I'm very happy to have my sewing machine out again. It's been put away since Christmas and I'm itching to start stitching.


Quilt Show

The weekend of 'try new things' continues. 
Took a bus trip with the local quilt guild to Road To California, my first ever quilt show. Hundreds of vendors, gorgeous quilts, and 8 hours of 'oh my, look at THAT!' My quilt teacher and show companion was highly amused. 
My little cell phone camera can't begin to do justice to the award winning quilts. They were beyond amazing. Stunning, impossible, intimidating, and just a touch of weird thrown in to keep things in perspective.

It took me three trips through the vendor halls - with breaks in between to rest my poor tired feet - to make sure I'd seen everything and to give them all my $$.
I came home with patterns, scissor fobs, hand-dyed fabric, custom printed fat quarters and this, the highlight of my day - 
They make me smile every time I look at them. Pretty sure this project is going to bump to the front of the line, just as soon as I quit dragon my feet (hee) and figure out how to use them to best effect.


Jewelry Makin'

I swore I wasn't going to get into jewelry making. Too many crafts already and not nearly enough time to do them well enjoy them. But then I started reading about French General
found out they are just a few miles down the road only 45 minutes away (or 2 hours, depending on LA traffic), and somehow let a friend talk me into taking a class there with her.
So. Much. Fun. Three hours, 72 charms and much laughter later, we both had finished bracelets. 
The shop is tiny but packed full of fun charms, beads, fabric, kits, and much, much more. The only thing that followed me home, though, was a giant pincushion. Simply could not resist it.

We're already planning on taking more jewelry-making classes, along with the felted bunny class in March. Yeah. So much for 'no more hobbies'.  



You know how sometimes - not often - the perfect yarn pairs with the perfect pattern to make the most perfectest project ever? This is one of those.  
Two colors of Tofutsie sock yarn that have been in my stash for a looooong time 
Pattern is African Flower hexagon (a variation on this pattern) with this join-as-you-go tutorial. Fast, easy and fun.

And the result? I LOVE it.
This is another class sample for February. Can't wait to show them all the different things you can make with this one motif.


Spring Planting

It felt like spring today, with temps in the 80's, so Leia and I did a bit of planting.
An amaryllis for me - a gift from Marie, Scott and Leanne at Christmas;

and an avocado tree for Leia.
Leia did all the playing in the dirt dirty work on the amaryllis, going back again and again, even hours later, to make sure the dirt was just so.
We put the avocado seed in a clear glass so she can watch the roots sprout and the stems start to grow. 
Given my brown thumb, that may be as far as we get. But hope springs eternal, right? Maybe these plants will beat the odds.


Last Day of Christmas

I know it's the middle of January, but I haven't posted the San Diego trip pix yet. So here goes . . . 

Disneyland and Sea World were tops on Rachel and John's visit wish list, so we headed down to San Diego the day after Christmas for a 2-day visit. Rachel had the bright idea of renting a double-stroller, even though the girls were a bit big for it. 
They didn't get as tired - or cranky - as the day wore on, so we didn't get as tired, or cranky, either. Genius.
It also saved us from having to carry Leia all day. The little girl is getting to be a big girl, size-wise.
The day was gorgeous, with temps in the 60's, and the girls had a blast.
They fed sea lions, petted rays and starfish,
and tried to pet dolphins, but they stayed just out of reach.
 We checked out the penguins 
and turtles,
before heading to the kid's area, where Leia stood in line for over 30 minutes to go bouncing
and another 30 to climb on the extensive overhead play area. She was in heaven.
The lines took so long, in fact, that the two of us missed getting into the dolphin show with everyone else. By the time we got there, there were no more seats.
  Leia standing above the Shamu holding tanks.

Good thing we went to the first Shamu show of the day, before it got so crowded! I'd hate to have missed that one.
Rather than sulk - or wait in the looooooong line to be 'escorted' to the seats hubby had saved for us - Leia had her face painted
with "Shamu the dolphin", as she called it

Dead-eye Addy was the big winner of the day. She played several games in the kids area and later while waiting for the boys to finish a 'scary' ride, and won two stuffed frogs (she gave one to Leia. Awwwwww), a stuffed turtle, necklace and more
Hubby and I were afraid Sea World during Christmas week would be too crowded and too cold to enjoy, but it turned out to be positively perfect.