Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Are you ready for 2011?? I am. We had a wonderful year; everyone is healthy, happy and safe. Tyler is entering his pre-teen years and seems to  be venturing into the first tiny steps toward independence. He is willing/eager to go to the store either on his own or ahead of us to look at things.

Joshua will begin another season of city basketball so we hope he will have fun and gain more focus. I want him to be his sweet self forever. :)

I'm going to knit. I think I will try to focus on certain areas of knitting that interest me. I'm always trying to stashbust and when I do want to purchase yarn I shall have a specific project in mind for it. I used to buy yarn because I liked the color etc but now it should have a purpose otherwise I'll just keep buying yarn. ;p
I still plan on doing socks so I might start my own sock club (self-imposed) to get a pair done every month along with some socks from my Ravelry group. I also want to make more shawls too since they can be made with sock yarn (fingering weight) too.

Now I need to get back to a pair of socks that I definitely want to finish today before 2011. I'm at the ribbing (done toe up) so just a ways more. We are set with a 1/4 cord of almond firewood today in time for usually cold weather now. I don't know how those people can camp out overnight in Pasadena for the Rose Parade.

Happy New Year!!

I leave you with today's photo. A hazy dreamy focus of a flower (semi-backlit).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Coffee Break

The craziness of the holidays and Josh's birthday has passed and now I'm focusing on trying to get the house in order which is an ongoing, mostly unsuccessful (on my part) battle.

I'm trying to decrease clutter and little useless things that gather but first I need to do laundry, start packing up Christmas decorations and help Josh make his Star of the Week poster for Monday.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying my coffee out of one of the kids' Christmas coffee travel mugs. The sun is out although I can hear the wind and it looks like a beautiful day. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ice Skating

On December 23rd we had a nice outing to LA Live for dinner with the entire family. After that, Hector and Tyler went to watch the Kings vs Oilers at Staples Center while Josh & I decided to ice skate.

The outdoor ice rink set up was doubled the size of last year's rink which was really nice but still lots of people. I dressed Josh warmly in sweatpants under regular pants, T-shirt, sweater and hockey jersey. He didn't complain once and he could still move freely. :)

Ice Skating @ LA Live

For some reason, Joshua is really fearless at ice skating. If there were less people, he would skate much faster. He skated for over an hour and I had to pull him off the ice for a super short break after I'd see him fall a lot but he was eager to get back skating.

Ice Skating @ LA Live

I'm still learning the 50mm lens which was challenging among the crowds of people but I got some good action shots (learning panning along the way). Overall he had a great time and I just have to get Tyler up on skates so we can go to Toyota Sports Center for some skating on a huge rink. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Lotsa Things

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. We have a lot scheduled with both sides of the family so there is lots of excitement for the kids and just when you think you're done, we have to start preparing for Joshua's birthday on the 27th. :) He turned 8 today and his birthday still catches me a bit off guard.

We go to my SIL Lupe's for Christmas Eve dinner and have lots of fun with Hector's family. We usually have tamales and red chile (which I made this year) and also a big ham. There is also a gift exchange but somehow I failed to note it was white elephant so I gave normal gifts. Ooops. I'll be sure to remember next year.

We kinda rushed Lupe's schedule along this year because most of us have younger kids to ready the Christmas gifts and we have a long drive home. She wasn't too pleased but it worked out fine and we were able to leave by 10:30pm. I also told the kids to not wake us up until 8am Christmas morning. :)


The kids were so enthusiastic this year especially Joshua who declared it was the best Christmas EVER!! The big Santa gifts were electric scooters for both of them. Tyler was eager to try his out while Josh was reluctant. In the end, we all went to the park and they loved riding them. :)


More photos on my Flickr....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Seasons Greetings


Joshua and I hung out last night at LA Live while Hector and Tyler went to the Kings game. We had a great time ice skating and drinking hot chocolate. Joshua loves ice skating so we'll have to do this more often.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Annis v2.0

Alpaca Cloud Annis is my latest shawlette, in honor of the recent rainy weather. Super light and soft alpaca laceweight yarn which is lovely against the skin but so difficult to knit with thin, thread-like yarn.
Annis shawlette
Here is the shawlette completed. It doesn't look like much right now with no shape or definition. But that's where blocking comes in...
Annis shawlette

A nice soak in cold water and Soak wash for about 20 minutes. Gently squeeze and blot with towel.
Annis shawlette
A very damp blob ready to pin out on my foam garage mat that my sweetie picked up at Pep Boys for me. :)
Annis shawlette
Excuse the blurry photo but here is the shawlette all pinned out. I pinned the points out into a crescent shape and it's not perfectly symmetrical but I can live with that. The great thing about lace is that it dries really fast.
Annis Shawlette
And here is the finished item, all dry and blocked. The miracle of blocking!!
Annis Shawlette

Annis Shawlette
The pattern calls for nupps where I put 7 stitches into 1 stitch then knit them together to gather them up. It was my first time and I hear a lot of complaints about nupps but I knit loosely then use a crochet hook to gather them up so it's a but fiddly but doable.

I really like this pattern and shawls in general so maybe I will make 2011 a year to work on them.

Finally sun!

Last moment knitting which means I started these about 10 days ago and finally got around to finishing them up. I used leftover sock yarn so make camera 'socks' that I guess can double as cellphone socks too. Very utilitarian to protect screens from scratches and also be more visible when thrown in a female's very large purse.

The sun is out and my mood is brighter which will help as we need to go grocery shopping for this busy weekend. The kids will be spending the night at my mom's tonight while Hector and I get to see the Kings game tonight. Yay!

Gonna go out and soak up some sunshine!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shutting down

Today is our 6th straight day of rain. Steady rain. We've made minimal trips out during this time and tomorrow the rain should stop. I expect that everyone else that has procrastinated along with us will be out in full force the next 2 days.

We are pretty much finished with the Christmas shopping but remember Josh's birthday is the 27th so we will try to take advantage of the sales to get more things for him.

Meanwhile, I'm completing my gift knitting. I truly believe that this will be the last year for that because it is becoming bigger than it should be. I will make things for the boys' teachers for sure but that most likely will be it.

I love knitting. I love the process of having a yarn, trying to find the right item  and pattern to knit for the yarn.  The whole creative process. I really wish I was a faster knitter that I could knit all the things that friends and family love and want but for my sanity, I'm gonna stop. Because I still want to love knitting and not make it become a chore. I usually put up my FO's (finished objects) here and on Facebook and Ravelry.  Mostly to show off my work, I admit but not to hear everyone chime in, "Oooh, I want one!" Of course, you want's absolutely adorable! But I'm not an assembly line so when I give you a handknit, it'll be from me because I enjoyed knitting it and I wanted to give it to you.

I have a few more projects that I need to complete and that will be it. I'm sure that I will still be giving handknits away  in the future and you'll have to content with what you get.

Conversations with Joshua: Part 5

This account was related to me by Hector so I might not get the exact words but here goes:

Hector walks into Tyler's bedroom where he finds both kids sitting on the bed talking...

Hector: Who wants a Hoo-ha story tonight?
Joshua: Can you come back later? We're kind of busy right now.
Hector: Oh! (pause) Okay.
Joshua: I'll call you when we're done.

That's the main gist of the story but my little boy is growing up...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

We didn't get to see it since it's been raining since Friday but here it is.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jingle Hat


Another baby jester hat that I finished with Noro Silk Garden. It is for a boy about 2-3 years old and it even fits Josh. He likes the bells I attached. Ho ho ho.


Angry Kitty style

Sean Avery annoys me but this is very funny when he mocks Talbot's fighting style. See for yourself...


Pretty nifty move, I'm just happy he scored although this is the stuff we usually see at the All-Stars game with diastrous results.


Another leisurely stroll home through the park and neighborhood. Today was a nice change from the bright, sunny days to gloomy overcast skies.  I took some pics of the same things to see any differences in mood and details.

Lots of leaves on the ground which would make a great pile to jump into.


You can see the full set on my Flickr page. Thanks for looking and comments are welcome!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Experts Only


I should have spoken up when I saw that sign...Go back to the 90's I can't remember the exact year but I'll guess around 1995 Hector and I went to Lake Tahoe for a snowboarding vacation. Back then we could stay in a run down motel for a week with breakfast daily and $7 towards dinner too with discounted lift tickets to any of the ski resorts around Tahoe. It was pretty fun, trying a new place every day.
I'm kneeling by the sign because my legs were probably too weak to support me.

This time we went to Kirkwood. I learned to ski here when I was at UOP so I was familiar with the bunny slopes. By this trip I figured out that I didn't like skiing so I took up snowboarding a year or two before because it looked like so much more fun. Hector was way more advanced than me so I should have been more suspicious when he took me on a new lift. Before we even got on the lift, a big noticeable sign was posted saying, "Experts Only" but silly me pushed that thought out of my mind thinking there must be an intermediate run too. Yeah, that skull and crossbones should have set off my danger alert but hey, I laugh at danger. Not really.  As we got higher and higher and the run got steeper and steeper, I got nervous. I get off the lift and there is only one way down and it's not even a run but a drop of 5 ft or more to start the run. YIKES! Oh my, what am I going to do! Hector assures me that I am ready for this and if all else fails, I can slideslip down which is the snowboarding version of a snowplow.

Hector goes down first and gets into position to take all these photos. You can see from the photos that this hill is steep and I manage to stay upright until the photo where my sunglasses are off and I'm squinting, probably some contact lens problem. The main point is that I survived and I didn't break any bones. It's a good story since Hector hoodwinked me and definitely got me out of my comfort zone. Story of my life! ;)
So far so good. Note that my board is pointed straight down the mountain which is terrifying especially to a aspiring  intermediate boarder.

Ack, you can tell how by my hands that I'm ready to eat the mountain.

I'm sure that Hector's photography skills increased the steepness of the mountain but hey, I look good.



Knitted Balls and Bells

I finished knitting up more Christmas ornaments and it's slowly making a dent in all these sock yarn leftovers. Okay, there isn't much of a dent but I'm making stuff!!


Also a very cute baby jester hat for baby Bailey in pinks/purples with the little jingle bells I added today. Currently working on a bigger one for her brother Aiden...too cute.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Homemade Christmas Ornaments



I found a quick stashbuster for my sock yarn. Cute mini sweater ornaments. My first one was the red sweater then I tried to use 4 different colors for the striped sweater. The result is adorable but no more stripes using all those yarns. I ended up with a cute little sweater with about a dozen strands hanging out the bottom and sleeves. Thankfully I don't have to be super meticulous at weaving all those ends since no one could possible wear these but I'll stick to solid colors and self striping yarns, thank you very much. I also had lots of pipe cleaners left from a kids project so ta-da....little hangers!! :)


Another cute ornament with beads. I made a mistake in the beading but turned it around. ;) I have plenty of these balls that over the years get chipped and scratched so this is a nice way of repurposing them. Win-win. Excuse the yucky photo, I took it at night with horrible lighting so I'll try again later.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Here are a few photos of my half Mexican jumping bean Josh. He is such a cooperative photo model and will do certain things over and over for me as I snap away. That's probably why I have about 5 times more photos of Josh than Tyler but it makes up for the lack of baby pictures of Josh.


I had the camera on autofocus so that threw it off plus add in the jumping Josh. I like these though.

In this photo, it looks like Josh is doing a triple axel and he basically is. He is pretty athletic for a 7.95 year old. If he was a figure skater, he would be awesome at it. :)



This morning I took my 60D out for a walk in the neighborhood. I've been neglecting my macro lens so I used it today to try to capture a few of the changing fall leaves.

Nature's Christmas tree with beautiful colors and ornaments.


My neighbor's Judy succulent plants. They really enjoyed the rain recently and have blossomed and grown.

Next to the same plants I noticed drops of water on the underside of the plant. I'm really happy how the photos came out on them with the manual focus.



What I like about the macro lens is that I can discover the tiny details that I might miss normally. Enjoy the full set on my Flickr site.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Santa 1 or Santa 2

I just realized that Josh has taken pictures with 2 different Santas and hasn't brought up the obvious why were there 2 Santas?

Santa at Wilderness Park. Bad wig/beard and very skinny for a jolly old soul.

Santa at Speedzone...more authentic beard, appropriate age and crinkly happy eyes.

I'll leave the answers to Hector if they ever come up.

Monday, December 06, 2010


We had a great weekend, how about you? Hector's dept had a holiday party at the Speedzone and the kids had a blast. Go-karts, mini golf, dragsters and games kept the guys entertained.


Tyler is finally tall enough to drive the go karts by himself and he tried them all as a single driver. :)

Meanwhile, Josh and Hector did the doubles.


Check out more pictures at my Flickr account...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Annis Shawl

Our long weekend is coming to an end and the kids go back to school in the morning. I had a rare morning where I got to sleep in until 10am  and might have slept longer if the phone hadn't woken us up.
I added clear beads which might be hard to see.

I finished my Annis shawl and it is gorgeous. I think I want to knit this up again in a laceweight. Even though the color is spectacular, it isn't really me so I will be gifting this to a lucky person on my Christmas list but the question is who? The coral color is not everyone's cup of tea but I'm thinking someone with dark hair and/or complexion? The item is a shawlette (as in not full sized) and would be nice as a scarf too.

I'll have to give it some thought. Meanwhile, the shawl is blocking nicely into a crescent shape with pretty points. It will look stunning and I will take more photos later when it dries.

10:50pm It's later now. The great thing about shawls/lace is that they dry really fast. :) T was a willing model to show off the prettiness.



Saturday, November 27, 2010

South Bay

The holiday weekend has been lovely so far with nice cool temps, sunshine with scattered clouds. rain is predicted later but so far it looks good. We could use the rain anyway.

I haven't tried the 50mm lens as much as I should but so far I like it. I missed the sunset at the beach but still got some nice shots with the remaining light.



We took a nice little stroll through Wilderness Park. It was pretty full since pet adoptions were there also. Bunnies and dogs for adoption.

This bunny did not move from this position.


In knitting news, I've started an Annis shawl with some coral/pink yarn and beads.