Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the last day of March.
  • I made the sun-dried tomato and pesto torta on Friday night so it would have time to set-up.  I hadn't made it in quite a while, so I couldn't remember which recipe to use. I combined 3 or 4 recipes to come up with this one:

    Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Torta

    It was quite tasty! 
  • I made the biscotti on Saturday. The baking was not a problem, but it was a very warm day and the chocolate never did completely dry. They were still good, though!
  • The company party was so fun and the food was great! Our hosts made several appetizers that were quite yummy. My favorites were the deviled eggs with Fleur de Sel:

    Deviled Eggs with Fleur de Sel

  • I did manage to get the laundry done on Saturday, between the biscotti baking and chocolate steps. However, not much else got done.
  • On Sunday, I had very little energy, but I did manage to get to the grocery store and Target. I made a batch of chile in the crockpot and baked some cornbread and called it dinner.  :)
  • I wove a bit on the Dreams of Amethyst and worked a little more on the Tuscon Twilight needlepoint while I watched season 2 of Game of Thrones.
  • I spent a couple of hours working on the layout for the Stealth Commission project. 
  • No knitting or cross stitch managed to make it into the rotation.

Last Eye Candy Friday for March...

...that was fast!

The garden continues to bloom. The tulips are going strong:

Tulip 3

More fruit trees are setting blossoms. This is our Asian Pear tree:

Asian Pear blossoms

And these tiny lobelia are filling in a hanging basket:

Lobelia

Up this weekend: We have our company's holiday party. Our theme this year is: Italian food, ancient or modern.  I'm making biscotti (naturally) and a sundried tomato and pesto torta (a cheese spread layered with pesto and sundried tomatoes). I can't wait to see what other yummy dishes people bring.

What's left of the weekend will be devoted to chores and whatever project s catch my eye.

I've had a real motivation problem this month, both with my crafts and reading. I hope April will be better!
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WIP-it Wednesday with a Finished Object...

...I meant to post the F.O. yesterday, but I ran out of day!

This is my Meteor Shower handspun [Ravelry]:

Meteor Shower handspun

and a close-up:

Meteor Shower handspun, close up

Specs:
Started: 2/28/15
Finished: 3/21/15
Yak-silk (4 oz) top from Greenwood Fiberworks;
268 yds. chain-ply, 15 WPI

I had a fairly productive weekend. Besides finishing Meteor Shower, I worked on the Tuscon Twilight, the Stealth project, and the Dreams of Amethyst Shawl.

WIP Roll Call

Worked on:
  1. Dreams of Amethyst shawl (weaving) [Ravelry]
    Weaving away.
  2. Irisa Cowl/Scarf (knitting for Loopy Academy) [Ravelry
    13 inches completed.
  3. Stealth Commission Project (quilting)
    In research phase; downloaded an iPad app to help with the layout.
  4. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint) 
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
WIPs To Be:
  • Loopy Academy projects, with a focus on techniques
    • Striping: Striped Stockinette Snake [Ravelry]
    • Felting/Fulling: Oatmeal Bonnet [Ravelry]
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Eye Candy Friday...

...Happy Spring! It's been like spring around here for quite a while thanks to the sunny days and rainless skies. Everything is blooming early in the garden.

This pincushion flower plant is still blooming like crazy:

Pincushion Flower, close up

Our Australian finger lime tree is blooming away:


Australian Finger Lime branch

And we now have blue pimpernels:

Blue Pimpernels

Up this weekend: No specific plans yet. I have all of the standard chores and errands to run, but right now that doesn't sound appealing.

I have a bad case of start-itis, so I might cast-on for one of the other Loopy Academy projects that I'm supposed to complete by the end of May(!). While I like the current project, it's just taking forever to make any visible progress.

The other thing I need to address is the Stealth Commission project. I have one more local fabric store to investigate. Then I'd like to gather what I have and see whether a particular pattern emerges.
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...with a couple of photos for a change.

First, here is a bobbin full of the Meteor Showers yak-silk that I have been spinning. It is now ready for plying!

Meteor Shower handspun singles

I also managed to get a photo of the Dreams of Amethyst shawl that I'm weaving:

Dreams of Amethyst shawl as of 3/18/15

The lavender and amethyst yarns are both Makimo bamboo yard from Fiberlady. The ladder yarn is Mosaic FX from Berrocco and the white is Venezia Sport from Cascade. I wasn't too sure about the Mosaic FX, but I think it adds some texture the the piece. We'll see what it looks like when I finally get it off of the loom.

The only other projects in play this week are the Irisa Scarf/Cowl and the new Stealth Commission project.

WIP Roll Call

Worked on:
  1. Dreams of Amethyst shawl (weaving) [Ravelry]
    Finished the hem stitching; weaving away.
  2. Irisa Cowl/Scarf (knitting for Loopy Academy) [Ravelry
    11.5 inches completed.
  3. Meteor Shower handspun [Ravelry]
    Ready to ply!
  4. Stealth Commission Project (quilting)
    In research phase.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  • Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint) 
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
WIPs To Be:
  • Loopy Academy projects, with a focus on techniques
    • Striping: Striped Stockinette Snake [Ravelry]
    • Felting/Fulling: Oatmeal Bonnet [Ravelry]
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report.
  1. My Saturday morning meeting went well. I have taken on a commission quilting project that will be in complete stealth mode. I won't be posting pictures or saying anything specific about what it looks like. I know you probably think I'm crazy to take on another project, but there is no set delivery date for and that allows me some flexibility to work on it when my creativity is high.
     
  2. Spin-In was fun! I took some Irish cheeses and some crackers. A couple of spinners brought pie for Pi Day. The pie was so good!

    I didn't quite finish spinning the Meteor Shower singles [Ravelry], but I did finish them on Sunday. The singles are resting until I get a chance to ply.
     
  3. I did some preliminary scoping of online quilt stores and one of my local stores to check the availability of what I need for the commission project. A couple of yards of fabric might have made it home with me. (Pay no attention to the quilter behind the curtain...)
     
  4. I worked on the Irisa Cowl/Scarf [Ravelry] for a bit. Not as much as I wanted, but at least I got a few more rows done.
     
  5. On Sunday, I made a stellar corned beef in the crock pot that was terminally simple. I rinsed a corned beef brisket that I bought at Safeway and put it in the crock pot. I sprinkled on the contents of the spice packet that was included with the meat, and followed that with a 14+oz. can of Guinness. I cooked it on high for 7 hours and it was falling apart by then. I roasted carrots, potatoes, and onions for an hour and quickly blanched some cabbage. It was a yummy dinner!

Eye Candy Friday the 13th...

...again. Two months in a row. How weird is that?

As the Spring Equinox approaches, our garden is doing its best to ramp up. The tulips are emerging:

New pink tulip

and another:

Bicolor tulip

The freesias are popping up everywhere:

Lavender freesias

and the roses are starting up:

Pink rosebud at sunrise

Now if we only could have more rain!

Up this weekend: It's Spin-In for Pi Day! Unfortunately, I can't make a decent pie, so I'm going to stick with celebrating St. Patrick's Day early. I have an appointment earlier in the day, so I don't have the time to bake anything. I bought a nice selection of Irish cheeses and the crackers to go with them. I think that will work fine.

At Spin-In, I plan on finishing the singles for the Meteor Shower handspun [Ravelry] and then I'll start on something else.

So Saturday is all planned out, leaving Sunday for chores and other crafty things.  Sleep is also on the agenda. This darn time change has seriously messed up my internal clock and I'm awake when I should be asleep, and vice versa.

I think I'll help sleep along tonight with an adult beverage (or two), followed by the requisite two extra strength Excedrin to counteract the resulting headache.

I know how to live, don't I?! :)
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...blogging has been hit-or-miss so far this month, photos even more so.

Before the time change, it was difficult to take photos in the morning before work because it was too bright in the backyard and by the time I got home it was fully dark. Well, now it's too dark in the morning and it's too dark when I get home from work.  Make it hard to take pictures!

I finally got back to working on the scarf this morning while I waited for my turn at the Kaiser lab. It's time for blood tests again. I hope there are no issues...I hate it when I get email from my physician!

WIP Roll Call
 
Worked on:
  1. Dreams of Amethyst shawl (weaving) [Ravelry]
    Warped and started weaving. Need to do the hem stitching before continuing.
  2. Irisa Cowl/Scarf (knitting) [Ravelry
    10 inches completed. I'm using Socks That Rock Heavyweight--at 350 yards, this could be a long scarf!
  3. Meteor Shower handspun [Ravelry]
    About 3 of 4 ounces spun so far.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  • Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint) 
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
WIPs To Be:
  • Loopy Academy projects, with a focus on techniques
    • Striping: Striped Stockinette Snake [Ravelry]
    • Felting/Fulling: Oatmeal Bonnet [Ravelry]
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.


Top-of-the-waves Tuesday...

...with a short weekend report.
  1. I managed to get a little vacuuming and mopping done on Saturday before I succumbed to the call of the loom.
     
  2. I warped the loom and started a new project that I'm calling this project Dreams of Amethyst [Ravelry].

    • For the warp, I used the new Makimo bamboo yarn [Ravelry] I purchased from the Fiber Lady at Stitches West. I didn't have quite enough of the lavender color to warp it full-width, so I added some off white wool-silk and a lavender-multicolor ladder yarn to the mix. It's still not the full 20 inches, but it will work.
       
    • For the weft, I wound 4 bobbins of the Makimo Amethyst yarn.
       
    • I wove the first few picks and stopped because I ran out of day and I wanted to have all my wits about me when I do the hem-stitching.
       
  3. Spun a bit more of the Meteor Shower [Ravelry] handspun. I still have about a third to go. I really love the color of this fiber!
     
  4. Did not touch any of my knitting or either of the stitching WIPs.
     
  5. I took a few photos of some new flowers in the garden, They will appear here when I get a chance to download and edit them.
     
  6. Work is getting back to normal, so I have a chance to get back to learning about WordPress and working on my website.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and March is well under way.

There are a few things to photograph in the back yard, but due to sunrise occurring earlier and cloudless skies, it's been too bright to take photos at my normal time after the gym. Once we chnage the clocks this weekend, I should be able to get back to my normal Friday routine.

Today's eye candy is from one of my walks in the neighborhood. Morning dew and a pink flower;

Morning dew

A pink rose along a white fence:

Pink rose along a white fence

and some coral-colored flowers (I have no idea what these are).

Coral-colored flowers

Up this weekend: Given that I found lots of little paw prints leading away from the food and water dish, I think mopping the floor is on the agenda. Tica's been playing in the food bowl in addition to the water bowl and making tracks.

I feel the lure of the loom and the spinning wheel, so at least one of them will be put into play...maybe both! I also need to spend some quality time with my needlepoint project.

I need to make serious progress on the Irisa Cowl/scarf, my first Loopy Academy project for this semester. I still have two more after this one and they all must be completed and pictures uploaded by 5/31. I have a long way to go...
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Random Thursday...

...it's been a long week.  Work has taken precedence over blogging and pretty much everything else.
  • I never did get around to a weekend report, not that it means much at this point. I did some chores on Saturday and a little spinning. On Sunday, we had lunch with the Daughter. That's it in a nutshell.
     
  • The spinning project is Meteor Shower [Ravelry], one of the Yak-Silk tops I purchased from Greenwood Fiberworks. No photo yet.
     
  • I'm making incredibly slow progress on the Irisa Cowl/Scarf [Ravelry]. I keep falling asleep in the middle of it. And over the last few days, my wrists have not been happy due to lots of work, so I've been letting my hands rest. However, it looks cool:

Irisa Scarf
  • No progress on Be My Baby, Tucson Twilight, or any other WIP.
     
  • Reading slowed down for a bit, but a lot of my favorite authors released books on Tuesday. I'm happy to be reading at my normal pace now.
     
  • I'm slowly learning how to edit Wordpress CSS and customize my theme to update my website. I'm taking the opportunity to get new photos and edit existing ones. When I started my website in 2001, my goal was to keep the photos small since I was hosting them on my site. Now that I use Flickr for my photos, I need to move some of the old photos over there.
That's all I have for now!
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February 2015 recap...

...blog-and-run style.

Finished:

  • 2/1 I'm Just Mad About Citron quilt (quilting)
  • 2/16 Ghouls, ghosts, and witches...oh, my! (cross stitch)
  • 2/16 Goat Rock handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Polworth-silver top (4.0 oz) from Royale Hare;
    204.7 yds., 12 WPI
  • 2/19 Beaded Knitting Sampler (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    1. 12th of Never, James Patterson 
    2. Unlucky 13, James Patterson
    3.  Eyes Only, Fern Michaels
    4. The Line, JD Horn
    5. Obsession in Death, JD Robb
    6. The Source, JD Horn
    7. The Void, JD Horn
Started:
  • 2/7 Goat Rock handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 2/19 Irisa Cowl/Scarf (knitting) [Ravelry
Worked on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
WIPs To Be:
  • Loopy Academy projects, with a focus on techniques
    • Striping: Striped Stockinette Snake [Ravelry]
    • Felting/Fulling: Oatmeal Bonnet [Ravelry]
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and a photo of my new toy. A year or so ago, my Mom mentioned that she had an old Singer sewing machine. She said it wasn't very bi...