Last Eye Candy Friday for April...

...and just like that, the month is almost done. Today has been a stellar day, though. Let's get to the eye candy first.

The hydrangeas are starting to bloom:

Hydrangea starting to bloom

There are some orange mums growing in the same container as one of our trees:

Orange mums

And the alstroemeria is blooming in the front yard:

Alstroemeria

So, on to today. PG&E was doing power work in our office building this afternoon, so I decided to take the afternoon off. By chance, my LYS was running a 25%-off sale on their in-stock Schacht looms. I've been saving for a Baby Wolf loom for over a year--I had about $1,300.00 saved so far. I had hoped to buy a used loom because they are quite expensive when new. With 25% off, a new loom suddenly became affordable.

I went to the shop, hoping they had one of the two configurations I wanted--either a 4-now-4-later or an 8-shaft. They had an 8-shaft and I promptly bought it. Here's my new toy:

My new loom!

I am so excited! I need to schedule a training session with the shop to learn how to warp it. In the meantime, I'll scope out what's available online. I can't wait to start my first piece!

Up this weekend: I need to catch up on some chores around here since last weekend was kind of a loss. I'm still trying to catch up on lost sleep, but I think that's a losing battle.

I'll continue to work on Costa del Mar [Ravelry] and the Friendship Star canvas work piece. I also want to finish plying Empress handspun [Ravelry]. At least I can finish that project this month.
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...this week has been a blur, mostly because I'm still trying to catch up on sleep that I missed on Saturday.

Saturday, we drove to Sacramento to attend our niece's wedding celebration. We took the Husband's parents with us. We spent Saturday night in a hotel as they were not up to diving back home (2+ hours) in the same day and, frankly, I was happier that we didn't have to.

Afternoon clouds

(Photo of the clouds on the way to Sacramento.)

The wedding celebration was great. It was good to see family member that we haven't seen in a while. Both sets of the bride's grandparents were able to attend, which made it very special. And the Daughter was able to be there, too!

The lack of sleep came from the Husband's snoring and the various hotel lights and sounds. It was not a restful night for me. When we got home, I managed to get the laundry done and not much else. I was tired, but I can't nap during the day, so... I was so tried I couldn't sleep well on Sunday, and I've been playing catch-up ever since.

The good part about being in on a car trip is that I got to knit the whole time...4+ hours total!  I worked on Costa del Mar [Ravelry] and finished the second wedge. I started the third wedge on Monday.

While I was doing the laundry, I worked on the Friendship Star project. I also started plying Empress. No update photos on either project yet, but soon!

*WIPs roll call*

Worked on:
  • Costa del Mar (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Started on the 3rd wedge
  • Empress handspun [Ravelry]
    Started plying
  • Friendship Star (needlepoint) 
    Working on the center motif
Works In Progress:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and I am so ready for a weekend.

It was raining too hard this morning to get photos of the new stuff in the garden.

I'm still processing photos from our trip to the aquarium and Carmel. Here's another photo of the ocean:

Carmel

The Pride of Madeira was blooming along the coast road:

Pride of Madeira

Today during a lull in the rain, I managed to get a photo of the clouds:

Morning clouds

Up this weekend: We are going to our niece's wedding reception. One of the tops I ordered from Amazon works with my skirt, so I'm all set outfit-wise.

Other than that, I have no plans. I need to pick up the studio and clean up the fabric and thread scraps. And I really need to do some general housework.

We'll see what I actually have time for.
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and yes, I did cruise right by Monday and Tuesday this week.

My weekend was filled with my sewing project. Here's the fabric I used:

Weekend project

It turned into a skirt (the paisley fabric) and a top (one of the teal fabrics). The skirt fits and is a good length for me. The top also fits, but I'm not completely happy with the way the fabric worked up. The skirt is soft and flowy. The top color is perfect, but it is a little stiff. I'm afraid to wash it without having a backup. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough yardage in my alternate fabric to make another top. At this point, I just need something for Saturday, so I ordered something from Amazon. I think the top that I made will work well for pants, so all is not lost.

I didn't do much else on the weekend other than work on Costa del Mar (knitting) [Ravelry]. I'm really enjoying this pattern. It's simple enough to knit while watching TV, but has enough variation so it doesn't get boring.

I hope to get back to the canvas work project soon.

*WIPs roll call*

Worked on:
  • Costa del Mar (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  3. Friendship Star (needlepoint)
  4. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and it's going to be a busy weekend.

We have a lot of tomato plants waiting to be planted:

Tomato plants and seedlings

The flowering trumpet vines are going crazy:

Lavender trumpet vine
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The Spanish lavender in the front yard is very happy with all of the rain we're getting:

Spanish lavender

And the pink roses have taken off. Unfortunately, it was too sunny to take really nice photos of them this morning, so here is one that I filtered so you can see the petals:

Pink rose, filtered

Up this weekend: We need to finish our taxes! The Husband has the last pieces of information we need and then I get get them files and mail in our payment. I'm not sure whether he's up for doing that tonight, but I'd love to get them done. :)

The rest of my weekend will be spent sewing an outfit to wear to our niece's wedding reception next week. Right, I said next week. Fortunately, it's just a longish skirt and a top, and completely doable as long as I don't get sidetracked.

I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics last night and found a beautiful paisley fabric for the skirt and a silk-like fabric for the top. I bought the top pattern and two skirt patterns as I'm not sure which one will be easiest. My biggest criteria was finding a skirt pattern that uses a zipper closure rather than an elastic waist. I like my skirts to stay in place so I'm not worrying about it slipping down.

If I have any time when I'm done with that, I'll work on one of my projects.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and a first look at the new canvas work piece. This is Friendship Star:

Friendship Star, in progress

It uses a variety of pearl cottons, at least one of which is the overdyed thread you see in the photo. I love the projects in Laura's quilt series as they are mostly geometric and are quick to stitch. Once I've marked which side is the top, it's easy to pick up the pattern and figure out where you left off.

I haven/t worked on anything since Monday, but I hope to do some knitting during the Face Off finale tonight.

*WIPs roll call*

Worked on:
  • Costa del Mar (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Friendship Star (needlepoint)
Works In Progress:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  3. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

March 2016 recap...

...such as it is.

Finished:
  • 3/13 Leaf Monthly Musing by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • 3/20 Sweet Heat handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Falkland top (4.1 oz) from the Yarn Wench
    234.5 yds. chain-plied; 13 WPI
  • 3/29 Citrus Hat (knitting) [Ravelry
  • 3/30 Mermaid's Tale wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    1. Midnight Marked, Chloe Neill
    2. The Queen's Poisoner, Jeff Wheeler
    3. Fire Touched, Patricia Briggs
    4. While the World Is Asleep, Petra Durst-Benning
    5. NYPD Red 4, James Patterson
Started:
  • 3/20 Costa del Mar (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  3. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report.

  • I'm happy to report that the vacuum monster did his job on Saturday, finally!
     
  • With the mama birds nest (in the pot of chives) right outside the kitchen window, every time we do something in the sink, she gets scared and flies away, leaving her two eggs unprotected. We lowered the mini-blinds to make it less obvious when we were working at the sink. It worked for a while until the blinds decided that they didn't like being adjusted and all of the strings between the blades came apart!

    There was no recovering from that. Fortunately, we had to install two sets on the kitchen window because it's so wide. We moved the second set of blinds to replace the broken one.  On Sunday morning, I was headed into the kitchen to feed the cats and heard a crash that freaked out the cats. The second set of blinds broke in the exact same way.  I guess I'm not too surprised: they'd been up for a few years and they get the morning sun. The Husband has already purchased replacement blinds and will install them sometime this week.
     
  • It was a rainy weekend and I stayed in most of the time. I did go grocery shopping on Sunday, but that was it.
     
  • I worked on the Costa del Mar shawl [Ravelry] and last night at Craft Coffee. I have completed the second wedge and will start the third wedge in a day or so.
     
  • On Saturday, I started a new canvas work piece. It's another Laura J. Perin design based on the Friendship Star quilt block. I bought this as a kit in 2005 so it was easy to pick up and start. It's a small piece and should go fairly quickly.
     
  • On Sunday, I decided to try spinning some singles to see whether my ankle was ready for extended treadling. I was careful to take many breaks, which was good because it wasn't my ankle that bothered me, it was the knee on that leg. I guess I had been compensating for the ankle more than I knew. Anyway, I took the Empress handspun [Ravelry] that I started on the spindle and moved it over to the wheel.  I was able to spin all of the singles. Hooray! It's resting until I get a chance to ply it.
     
  • Yeah, I still need to do a recap...


Eye Candy Friday...

...and it's all over the place today.

I still haven't finished processing the tulips photos. But here's another one from that shoot:

Tulips at Fremont High School

On my way home, I saw these roses in front of the vet's building:

Roses in the morning sun

In addition to the tulip photos, I need to process the photos from our Monterey Bay Aquarium trip. Here's a seahorse from the ¡Viva Baja! exhibit:

Pacific Seahorse

A couple of weeks ago, a mama dove tried to nest on my bike. We move the nest to the backyard and covered the bike so she couldn't try again. Well, she found a new place to nest...the chive pot:

Mama dove

The ranunculus flowers are still going strong:

Yellow and orange ranunculus

Up this weekend: Kind of boring, but we need to finish our taxes. We just need to calculate the home office expenses and see how bad the result is. I hate this time of the year!

I really need to get the vacuum monster out...this time for sure!

Craft-wise, I need to figure out what the next needlework project will be. I've already determined that I am not ready to revisit Tucson Twilight. It can stay on the UFO pile for now. Maybe I'll do some of the finishing work that is piling up!

Appointment TV: Outlander's season 2 starts tomorrow night. I can't wait!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and the first look at Costa Del Mar [Ravelry].

Costa del Mar shawl, as of 4/5/16

This is now my Craft Coffee project. I'll work on it at minimum on Mondays, maybe more if I can swing it.

Now I really need to get serious about what to work on when I'm not knitting the shawl!


*WIPs roll call*

Worked on:
  • Costa del Mar (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  3. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and a couple of finished objects.

On Saturday, the Husband and I headed out early for the Monterey Aquarium. My goal was to get there at opening so we could see the Baja exhibit before it got too crowded. This was our first time going as members. Two big perks of being members are getting admitted earlier than non-members and having a separate entrance.

We got in at 9:15 and were able to see the Baja exhibit right when it opened at 9:30. Yay! It was still busy because it's a new exhibit, but not as bad as it would have been if we hadn't gotten in early. We then went to the Tentacles exhibit, which wasn't open yet the last time we were there.

We have an early lunch at the aquarium's cafe and then did the rest of the aquarium. By that time, my ankle was getting sore and it was very crowded.

We drove to Carmel to go to the beach. We both got our hit of ocean breezes and waves. It was much needed! It was a wonderful day.

I took hundreds of photos, so it will take a while to process them. Here is one of the beach:

Beach at Carmel

On Sunday, I took photos of the Mermaid's Tale wrap [Ravelry]:

Mermaid's Tale wrap

and a close up:

Mermaid's Tale wrap, close up

Specs:
Started 2/21/16
Finished 3/30/16
Finished size: approx 70 inches, including fringe
Fringe: 5 inches on each end
Warp: A Hundred Ravens Iachos Mini Skein Set in Mermaid’s Tail; Baah! La Jolla in Brazilian Emerald
Weft: Lunatic Fringe Yarns 10/2 Mercerized Cotton in Blue

I finished the old canvaswork UFO I found a couple of weeks ago. This is Linda's Dream:

Linda's Dream canvaswork

Specs:
Started: October 1996 (?)
Finished: 4/3/16
Class project for Spirit of Cross Stitch Festival 1996;
Designed by Linda Barry

The only chores I managed to finish were the laundry and the dishes. The vacuum monster will have to wait!
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Eye Candy Friday...

...Happy April!

A few photos from the garden coming up. I still have over 100 photos to process for the camera walk I did a week ago, but I've had very little time this week to do so.

The garden is progressing nicely. The cherry tree is setting fruit:

Cherries in the making

The ranunculus are going strong:

Pink and white ranunculus, another view

There are a couple of new flowers. This is Sweet Kate, a variety of tradescantia:

Tradescantia

and this is tropical milkweed (asclepias curassavica):

Tropical milkweed

Up this weekend:  The Husband and I are going to the Monterey Aquarium. We don't know yet whether we are going Saturday or Sunday. It really doesn't matter to me as long as I get my dose of ocean! I;m taking my camera and hope to take many photos both inside and outside the aquarium.

I need to pull the vacuum monster out and clean up the leaves that someone has tracked in from the garden ;-)

I also need to take photos of the completed Mermaid's Tale wrap. It needs a quick press first.

After that, I'll fit in whatever crafts I can!
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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...