Sunday, November 26, 2017

Crafting and Gardening

Yesterday was a gorgeous day for being outdoors.
In the morning, I met my craft group at Miral Complex where we sat outside crocheting/knitting/stitching, having our coffee (and vegan cranberry orange cake complements of Zahra) all while enjoying a lovely view of the sea.
One of the ladies handmade these felt puppets for use at the preschool where she works.
So cute!

In the afternoon, it was time for community gardening from 3-5 p.m. where we planted, watered, spotted a gecko and did some rock painting.

A colorful, beautiful day well spent.

Peace and blessings,

Friday, November 17, 2017

Winter Warmth

In my previous post, I showed the two blankets that I crocheted for donation to a refugee camp at the end of the month.  
Blog friend Angie from Letting Go of the Bay Leaf mentioned that they looked to be pretty big baby blankets, but I think the photos are a little deceiving.  Both of them measure about 35 x 35 inches.  I used to make rectangular blankets but granny squares are so easy and rather satisfying to make.  I'm just never really sure what size they should be.  Any thoughts or guidelines in that regard?

In addition to these two blankets, I managed to crochet three chunky scarves using the Vanilla Bean Scarf pattern by Fiber Flux.
 And with some of the leftover yarn, I was able to make two adult sized chunky hats.
For these I used a pattern posted by my friend Teresa Kasner but knew that I wouldn't have enough yarn for a rolled up brim so shortened that portion of the pattern to 7 chains rather than the 13 called for.
I always find it difficult to crochet scarves for boys/men, but had two skeins of this variegated yarn that I wanted to use.  The scarf took one entire skein and is made using hdc in the back loop only which gives a nice ribbed effect.  The hat is made using Teresa's pattern, this time with the rolled up brim, and I think both should be suitable for a boy aged 9-11.
I also made three baby hats (again, I think the picture has them looking much bigger than they actually are).  I used a printed pattern that Val from Yarni Gras shared with me a few summers ago when we sat together at a Starbucks in Slidell, Louisiana and crocheted hats for a young lady who was working on getting her Girl Scout Gold award by collecting hats for children with cancer.  The original pattern found at Classy Crochet has a stripe and a bow but since I was using variegated yarn I just kept it simple.  This is the first time I managed the crab stitch on the edge so am quite happy with that.

Blessings to all,

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Winter Project Link No. 2

At 5:50 a.m. this morning I was out on the balcony taking these pictures; watching as the sky went from grayish, to golden with the rising sun and then it turned to blue.  
The bottom picture is of this evening's sunset.  Still warm during the day right now, but the approaching winter season is when we get the most colorful skies.
I'm happy to report that I completed the baby blanket I posted about last month for Jennifer's Winter Project Link Party.  
And also finished a second one, both of which are being donated to The Palestine Committee of Kuwait that will be taking donations of winter warmth items to a refugee camp at the end of the month.  (I still have a week to work on donations so next up is scarves.)

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Mushroom Mania

Yesterday we started clean-up work at The Secret Garden.
The first job at hand was to get to the compost at the bottom of this pile.
And this is exactly what we were looking for:  
nutrient rich soil considered black gold by gardeners.
One thing we've had growing most recently is, believe it or not, mushrooms.
They are growing along the swale we dug last year that was filled with horse manure, cardboard, newspaper, leaves, branches, used coffee grounds and kitchen scraps.
These are called desert shaggy mane.  
A sure sign that our soil building is working.
I also found some growing at the walking path in our neighborhood.
And a flat top variety growing in the gardens at Boulevard, a new complex that opened up near our home a year ago.
I even spotted a concrete mushroom outside someone's home.
So, of course, with all these mushroom spottings, I had to crochet a little mushroom doily.  

This is the first year that I can recall seeing so many mushrooms so I'm taking that as a positive sign that something good is coming from all the planting people are doing.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy November!

Belated Halloween wishes.
I hope the last day of October was good to you.
Now we start a brand new month.
New choices, new energy, new beginnings.
Thank you, November, for reminding us we have so much to be grateful for.
Today is also World Vegan Day.  And since it's the season for pumpkin, I made a Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan Crumb topping (the recipe is from Vegan Richa).  My husband usually complains about my vegan baking, but apparently this cake passes muster with him.
Went for a nice long walk today.  It helps to get the creative juices flowing.  It's still a little warm, but pleasant enough for wandering.  We are now in the growing season, my favorite time of year since there's always something new to see along the way.
If you are driven by fear, anger or pride nature will force you to compete.  If you are guided by courage, awareness, tranquility and peace nature will serve you.
(Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power)
Wishing you peaceful days.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Indonesian Batiks

Yesterday I was back at the Sadu House with a friend for an exhibition of Indonesian Batiks.  The opening of the event began with a speech by the Indonesian Ambassador and then there was a fashion show, bazaar and workshop.
We did not attend the workshop but did learn about the lengthy batik process.
Batik, the technique of decorating cloth with wax and dye, is considered both an art and a craft.  The process of adding wax and color is repeated over and over until the final result is achieved.
October 2nd is National Batik Day in Indonesia, celebrating the anniversary of batik being recognized by UNESCO as a "Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity".
Even the cake rolls were decorated batik style.  
I'd love to visit Indonesia some day but not sure if that will ever happen.

Hope your Tuesday is a good one.
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