Monday, October 21, 2013

Cowl Day

Today I will focus on another type of easy gift giving. I always try to make gifts for the kids teachers and I try to make something special. Sometimes I get a bit too ambitious for my own good and end up having to rush to finish. After many years, I have now figured out that simplicity is good.

The easy, fast projects have included coffee cozys, fingerless mitts and scarves. This year I decided to make cowls which is like a scarf but circular so it's a scarf loop that can be worn hung or doubled up for more warmth.

I had some super bulky yarn (Lion Thick & Quick) which makes the projects a snap. The first project I knit is called Bulky Ribbed Cowl that is free on Ravelry.

It is so warm and cozy although not as practical here in SoCal but it will be a nice if you're travelling to a colder area. :)

Warm Ribbed Cowl
This should fight off the biting chill of winter.
Ribbed Cowl
This is the truer color.
I wish I could pull off the cowl look but I don't think they look so good on me. This would be nice when snowboarding or in the mountains. Hmmm.

Next up is the drop stitch cowl. It uses the same bulky weight yarn but with the dropped stitches, the cowl is opened up more for a less dense fabric and a more fashionable accessory.
Drop Stitch Cowl
Pretty sky blue yarn.
The openwork allows the cowl to be a lot taller so it can even be worn as a hood too. Multi-functional!

Drop Stitch Cowl
I still don't think I can pull off this look.
So I already started on another drop stitch cowl in pink for J's teacher who shall be totally rocking this cowl!!  :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hat Hat Hat

Time to post my knit projects! I got an urge to knit some hats and use some stash yarn so I dove into my big stash hall cupboard, pulled out some yarn and found the perfect patterns.

First up is some Bernat Mosaic yarn in a rainbow colorway. So baby hats are in order to take advantage of this bright cheery yarn. This free pattern is called Double Pom Earflap Baby Hat (minus the earflaps). I think these can be unisex since the pink is not too dominant but I guess that depends on the beholder.
Pair of Double Pom Hats

They are still super cute. Unfortunately, I don't have a baby handy to make sure they are too big/small/just right.

Rainbow Double Pom Hat

Babies will totally be able to pull off this adorable look. I have to keep this pattern in mind when/if I ever need to come up with a fast baby knit. I even got the 2 hats from the one skein of yarn!

Second Double Pom Hat

So  while searching for the previous yarn, I dig through about many many other balls of yarn and even smaller balls of leftovers so this calls for the Slip Stitch Stash Hat.

Slip Stitch stash hat

It works extremely well with contrasting colors which I chose after seeing the blue/green combo at the beginning. The hat can be subtle or make an impact with pops of colors.

At first, I placed the hat on the bed for the usual photo op then remembered my glass head that I bought at Pier One.

Glass head modelling hat
Much better presentation.

Another view of Slip Stitch Stash Hat
Nice & colorful.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Night at the Hollywood Bowl

My friend Julie and I went to the Hollywood Bowl Saturday night to see 30 Seconds to Mars with New Politics & Panic! At the Disco as the openers.

We had such fun and the Hollywood Bowl is a great place for a concert. Even though we were toward the upper 2/3s of the seating, there are really hi-def screens to see the guys up close.  I really appreciated that the sound was not super loud that leave your ears ringing at the end of the night.

We took a shuttle bus from Torrance and it worked out great. It drops you off up further on the hill so it's a short walk to the entrance and then it was very easy to find our bus at the end of the night and jump right on.

I think my new favorite current band is New Politics. They sound great with lots of energy plus the lead singer is a terrific dancer. I didn't know who the band was until they sang this song which is on heavy rotation on KROQ.

Panic! At the Disco has been around for a while since I overheard lots of young women exclaim that this band was from their high school days!! Ha, made me feel pretty that was about 6 years ago?

Anyway, the band was good although out of the 3 that I saw that night, they were my least fave.

Now for 30 Seconds to Mars...lots of hysterical screaming all night for Jared Leto. If you don't know who he is, Google him. He's an actor although I think he is singing full time now. He has a great voice and obviously inspires lots of people.

Overall, a highly entertaining evening. Concerts haven't been all that appealing to me in the past year or so but this experience makes me want to see some concerts now....

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


The weather has cooled down quite a bit so I decided to make some Cranberry Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting. Ooh, these are yummy. The recipe called for a 15 x 10 baking pan which I don't have so I just subbed in a normal
13 x 9 pan with a small 5 x 5 pan. It worked out well since I can send the larger pan to Hector's work and keep just a small amount for us. :)

I've had a hummingbird feeder for several years now but have never been that successful. Once a year I give it another go but I guess we don't have any flowers in the backyard to attract the hummingbirds.


We have Bird of Paradise plants in the front of the house and sometimes I see hummingbirds buzzing around those, so I put the feeder out front.
Finally after several days, I spot the first bird yesterday afternoon. Yay! Josh was super excited and got his binoculars to see it up close.

Today the same little bird is back and guarding it like it's his own personal feeder. He really is a little bully. I saw him chase away a bigger hummingbird away or he sits in a nearby plant keeping watch.

I might have to get another type of feeder just to see what will happen.


This is my fave song of the moment...

I heard it before going starting my errands and about 2 hours later, I heard it again. Yep, it's on heavy rotation on KROQ but I love this song.

Then  I hear of this mashup and it's pretty awesome also...

Now I feel like dancing...

And here is the other band Capital Cities that is in the mashup.

Friday, October 04, 2013


Here are some photos of our vacation to Orlando in August.

Inside Epcot

At Epcot, where it was nice and not crowded at all.







Not as many photos as I usually take during a vacation. I decided to go minimal and took my older little Canon point n shoot. Somewhere at the 2nd day, I started noticing that the camera battery wasn't holding a charge. Hector took his digital waterproof camera and for whatever reason, it decided to completely die. So out of 2 cameras, both decided to bite the dust.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Rollercoaster Triangle

Another finished project! This has been hibernating in a Ziploc for who knows how long but I busted it out when we were on vacation since it super simple pattern to memorize and I just knit/purl till I run out of yarn.

I should always have this project on the needles because these make terrific gifts. I already gave this one away in exchange for a set of used golf clubs.


I've neglected my sock projects but it's nearing the holiday season and that means some gift knitting is in store. I have lots of worsted weight yarn to use up so I think hats will be the perfect item.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Fur Girl Portraits

I met Julie a year and half ago on the Kings fan cruise so we immediately bonded over hockey and the LA Kings. She has 2 cute dogs which she refers to as her "fur girls" which are her babies.

I wanted to surprise Julie with some pet portraits which takes some planning while she is away on a trip and Kat dogsits. Timing, weather and life always kept getting in the way but today was the day where we both had the time and the weather was cooperative.

Now for the subject of getting the dogs to behave. Ideally, I would try to try and portraits of the dogs together but normally they don't seem to hang out well next to each other so we had to do each one separately.

Lady is more patient and mellow while Raina is spastic and often clueless but both dogs are super cute. I originally was going to take them to a nearby park but the sun started getting hot and I thought the outside area of her place worked with the greenery. Plus we could pose one dog at a time while the other was inside the house and they switch them out. It worked great.

This is Raina a miniature Australian sheepdog.  She has gorgeous light brown/amber eyes with the cute ears. She is a snuggler/burrower that is so endearing then when you least expect it, she will launch herself onto you if you're sitting on the couch. Raina took a while to settle down and sit so I don't have many different poses with her. Yes, if I could describe Raina in one word, it's spaz. :)

Raina B/W
Raina in B/W
Next up, we have Lady (spaniel breed). Lady is the perfect lady as her name implies. For her photography session, she happily sat and posed in and out of the house. Raina was all over the place.
That's why I have more photos of Lady. She has more patience which helps me have the time to set up the shot and she has nice expressive, knowing eyes.

Lady is ready for her close-up.
Cute Lady
Cooperative & working the angles.
Lady poses
"I know I'm adorable."
Lady sits
Classic Lady.
Lady is a sweetheart
Lady thinking, "hurry up!"
Patient Lady
Okay, only one more photo.
Lady's Funny Lip
This is the photo that paparazzi takes and publishes unflattering pic of me biting my lip.
So that's the portrait session, then the fur girls took a nap after their exhausting shoot. It's tough to be adorable....woof!