Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Day in the Life of a Garden

The Clematis adjacent to the back door had 5 blossoms on it today ...

Aren't these spikey gerbera's unique?

The above gerbera plant is our current favourite with it's delicate colouring and hardy growth

This is the view from my kitchen window.
The tag associated with the above Delphinium stated that it would grow between 2-4' tall. At the present, it is over both my and my husband's head, and is pushing 7' tall. It is the most vivid velvet navy blue colour, with a peacock blue centre. Once the other buds bloom out, my view will likely be totally blocked! I think I see some transplanting on the agenda for next Fall ...

While I was sitting admiring my garden this afternoon, I managed to finish knitting my Bonsai Tunic ... yeah!!! If I can get off my stick and get it sewn and blocked, you might even get a glimpse of it in my next post.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

5 1/2 Months

Our daughter was over for dinner tonight, so took the opportunity to get a current 'bump' shot ... too cute! Just had her ultrasound this week, so we got to have a look at all the photos of our grand-baby-to-be! It's amazing how defined the images are. She didn't ask what the sex was, so we're going to have a 'surprise'! At the end of this week she'll be done at work and then next weekend, she and her hubby will soon be off to Mexico for two weeks for rest and relaxation. The last beach holiday for a while :)

I had the day off today, so I puttered in the garden and then read a book in the shade. Was it ever hot ... not that I'm complaining! The dog has been desperate for a bath for some time, but neither of us had the energy, so today was 'the day'. He's now so fluffy and pretty smelling -- we'll see how long that lasts!

I'm feeling a whole lot better, although still a little sleepy from last week's flu. Hubby is now on antibiotics as his flu turned into an infection. No wonder he was so zonked! His poor body was working double hard to attack the infection. Although the drugs are helping, he's still pretty wiped out and needs to take lots of naps/breaks from work. Good thing he's able to work from home ... thank goodness for Blackberry's.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Flu

Who gets the flu in May???? Well, hubby and I have had it since Tuesday and it's all we can do to stay awake, even for a few hours. All we want to do is sleep! He's got it worse and is barely functioning ... I'm supposed to work a 4 hour shift tomorrow evening ... good luck with that! I've been doing a lot of knitting (when I'm awake!) so you should see some significant progress on my bonsai tunic -- when I get enough energy to take a picture. I'm off to bed ... yawn.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One Skein Shrug

I decided to keep it all one colour (although the colour represented in the photo is more yellow, than the actual colour of acid lime green). Talk about a fast knit! I think the finishing took more time than the knitting. The sewing up/putting together of a project is my least favorite part ... I think that's why I prefer 'top down' knitting ... hardly any sewing at the end! Just need to block it and then it's ready to gift. I'm not impressed with this yarn (Phildar Aviso) ... boy, does it ever separate/split easily! I had to redo and twist a couple of stitches, due to threads that were left hanging :(

I worked 5 shifts this week, which was more than I'd planned, but am starting to feel a little more confident. I finished off 170 name tags for the Chamber of Commerce's "Spring Fling" and am now working on a wedding book to display in the store, which I may use it as a course project to teach next month.

My flights are booked to Winnipeg for July 6-12 to attend my BF's daughter's wedding. I'm going on my own and hubby is staying home to take care of the dog and water the garden. I was able to get a flight using points, so that will save a whack of money. Found 3 (count them ...3) cocktail dresses on EBAY this past weekend and am hoping at least one of them will work for the wedding. The wedding is on the 7th, my birthday and my BF's 25th anniversary party are on the 8th, and then I'll stay a few days longer to spend some time with her. Yeah! Can't wait to see her and catch up.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


A year ago today, at the young age of 44, I had a heart attack. Hard to believe. I spent 2 weeks in ICU waiting on a priority list to have an angioplasty, and then had two emergency angioplasties within a month after. Not a fun time, let me tell you! Life for me has certainly changed in that it is much more laid back (not optional) my energy level is much lower and I have to take a lot of medication, but the bottom line is ... I'm still here and gratefully so.

I've mentioned here, previously, that 19 years ago I was treated for Hodgkin's Disease, with both chemo and radiation in the chest area. What the doctors either didn't know, or chose not to tell me was that the treatment would ultimately scar the lining of my arteries, causing blockages. So, even though I was physically fit, and ate healthfully, it didn't seem to matter. I was very fortunate to have a GP who was well informed and let me know that I should be aware this was a possibility. My faith in God and the prayers of friends, family and even people I've never met carried me through (along with a lot of knitting, to fill the time!).

My life, after surviving cancer, took on a different glow. The smallest things gave me the greatest pleasure. Now, it has been amplified even more. Thank you, Lord, for each and every new day that I'm able to wake up and simply breathe and enjoy your creation!

Baby Shrug and Bump Update

As seen above, I'm in the process of knitting the Baby Shrug from One Skein, by Leigh Radford, in a yummy shade of my current favorite 'green', made by Phildar and called 'Aviso' (purchased for a 'song' at the LYS closeout previously mentioned here). It's a cotton/acrylic blend, very similar to my much loved Rowan All Season's Cotton (RASC). It called for a provisional cast on, and as I was deliberating over having a contrasting border (the rib border goes all the way around the bottom, front and neck edges) I used a creamy colour of RASC to see if I liked it together. Still haven't decided .. care to weigh in? Note: I'll be making a hat to match, so the border would also surround the bottom of the hat.

Below is Kala, at the 20 week mark (over 1/2 way there!) on Mother's day. How cute is that bump?!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tiptoe Through the Tulips ...

These tulips were supposed to be a pinky, apricot colour, according to the picture on the front of the bulb package, when I planted them last October. They're basically a pale yellow, with the tiniest hint of a pink edge at the top. Definitely not what I was going for, but they're starting to grow on me (no pun intended.

Below is the birthday boy, relaxing in the shade. Boy was it ever hot out yesterday and today! Feels like summer has finally arrived in the West Coast. BTW, the birthday hat lasted precisely long enough for me to take the shot, before it was swatted off.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vine Lace Baby Hat

This hat is made from the same skein of Koigu yarn used to make the booties previously posted here and shown below. I got the pattern from here. It looked to be about half the size before blocking, which had me a little concerned, but after soaking in 'Soak' wash and simply patting into shape between layers on a tea towel, it 'shaped up' beautifully! I think there's still enough yarn left to make an 'umbilical cord hat' ... bonus!

Here's the set shown together, just so you can see how cute it is! It was a nice change to deviate from the traditional baby colours.

Here's Brinkley, celebrating his 7th birthday today, in his most favorite position!

Yesterday the neighbours came over and asked if we wanted to go in with them in renting a lawn aerator ... which we did. Hubby was out chewing up the yard with this 'hog' of a machine ... his arm muscles were positively vibrating just trying to keep the thing under control. Now it looks as though an enormous flock of geese landed in the yard, did their business and flew off. It's difficult now to differentiate whether or not we're stepping in a "Brinkley deposit", or simply a aerated plug, which will hopefully decompose in the very near future.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Christine's Booties

These are so adorable, I can hardly wait to make another pair!

I got the pattern from here, and only made a couple of changes. I like a tightly ribbed cuff, so instead of stocking stitch, I did 2 x 2 rib and used 2.5 m dpns for the whole bootie. The only other modification was to do a 3 stitch I-cord, in lieu of ribbon. They took less than 1/2 ball of my cherished Koigu (KPPM) with sufficient left to make a matching hat, yet to be completed.

Dimensions: 3" long and 1.5" across (without stretching)

Shown here: Brinkley, looking less than impressed at having been made to model

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A Little Humour to Start the Week Off ...

Recently seen at a combination yarn/coffee shop ... hilarious!!!

This weekend I finished reading two books, both worthy of mention, but for different reasons. Firstly, "The Crossroads Cafe" by Deborah Smith. I spotted this on display at the library and thought it looked interesting ... I hadn't read any of this author's books previously. It is fiction, but so true to life, that you'll feel you are reading a biography. This book is about several people's lives ... how they individually experienced horrendous tragedy/adversity ... but more importantly, how they overcame it and how much richer their lives became because of it.

There are so many amazing quotes, sprinkled throughout the book, like this:

"I'm not happy, I'm cheerful. There's a difference. A happy woman has no cares at all. A cheerful woman has cares but has learned how to deal with them". Beverly Sills


"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within".
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

As someone who has survived cancer, heart disease, and heartbreak, my personal motto is, "you can choose to be the victim of circumstance in your life, or to be the victor over it ... you decide".

The second book I read is "Family Tree" by Barbara Delinsky. It focuses on a Caucasian family, with a 'pristine' family line/history, whose biological daughter is born with distinct African-Amercian features. Suddenly, everything they thought they were and knew is challenged ... are they as open minded about 'race & colour' as they thought they were?
(Part of the book is set in a yarn store and one of the main characters is an avid knitter who finds peace when she has needles & yarn flowing through her hands.)

I was very sad when both of these books ended, but feel richer for having read them.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More Cards

I've been loving using my new Quickutz diecuts and embossing dies. There are so much fun! The petals of the flower are actually the 'bunny ears' from an Easter related die! So versatile. I'm also into a bit of glitz lately, hence the rhinestones and my very favorite Ice Stickles (coloured glitter glue). Bring on the pretties!

This card is made using the Iris Folding technique (originated in Holland). This is actually the first card making technique I ever learned, over 5 years ago. And now, look where it's gotten me ... completed obsessed to the point where an entire room in the house is dedicated to card making; waking up in the middle of the night with a design I can't get out of my head and must complete immediately; and now, working part time in a huge scrapbooking/photofinishing store! It's a bit like an alcoholic working in a liquor store ... Moral of the story??? Follow your bliss ...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Eye Candy

Spent the afternoon in Tim Horton's having coffee with my "knitting gals" and catching up on the past two weeks of news and knitting projects. I brought along the finished back of my Bonsai Tunic which was 'o-o-h'd and aw-ed' over appropriately. Had fun showing the gals patterns from the new One Skein Book by Leigh Radford which I picked up at Michael's, using my 40% off coupon (I am half Scottish, after all!). I'm dying to get started on the baby bolero, but MUST finish at least the Bonsai Tunic, first.

Stopped by the grocery store and picked up all the makings for Mango Chutney, which I'll either do tonight, or tomorrow afternoon when I get home from work. It's so wonderful with either pork or salmon! I'll have to make a double batch, as the last one disappeared far too quickly.

What a treat! My friend came back from Germany with a wonderful present of 3 balls of Panda bamboo/cotton yarn in a yummy chocolate colour ... beautiful sheen and so silky soft, it's unbelievable! Love it! H-m-m-m ... I think I see a lace scarf in my future.

Also loving the colourway of my first ever skein of Koigu (made in Canada, eh?) yarn, found on ebay. Think I might make a pair of Christine's Booties and hopefully there'll be enough left for a little hat.

I was playing in my cardroom this weekend, with some wonderful new papers from a company called "Tres Jolie". They have the most amazing double-sided paper, in absolutely gorgeous patterns ... a bit 'shabby chic' in design.
Finally found a use for the rhinestone brads I had to buy ... they're perfect in the middle of my Quickutz daisy! I never seem to have a gift card handy for those tiny baby gifts, so used up my bits and pieces to make a few.