Sunday, December 12, 2010

Doily for my coffee table

Thanksgiving has been and gone and Christmas is just round the corner. I have been so busy. No, not busy preparing for the holiday festivities, but busy job hunting.

The company I currently work for is relocating further south. It would mean having to drive 35 miles each way, navigating through two major busy highways, every day. The move is imminent.

I have been so lucky. This week I have been offered a new job with a growing company which is just a few miles from home.

So this weekend no more job search and I can spend time to take care of my home life and do some crochet. Here is a doily I am making for our coffee table.
This is what it would look like when it’s finished (not my picture).
Thank you for visiting. Have a great weekend.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Flower Coaster

It has been a long while since I last wrote; I hope you are all keeping well. I am still here and I have been working on my needlework; just that I blog less nowadays.

I crocheted a few flower coasters for co-workers. I made 7 of these, all different color, but forgot to take pictures before giving them away. I did two more today and I remember my camera – pretty, are they?
They are so easy to make, just three rounds and you have a 4" coaster.
I found this pattern from one of my old books. I used 5mm hook and worsted weight cotton yarn. If you want the pattern contact me by leaving a comment with your email address.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Clearwater, Florida

I finally get round to sew my summer top. New Look pattern 6976; it requires a lot of bias tape. Lucky I have various sizes of bias tape maker from Clover, so I made my own and didn’t have to spend much on sewing notions.
I finished the sewing just in time for our getaway last week to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We headed north and drove through a storm. It was so scary. We could hardly see where we were going. There were thunders and lightning and they were so close to our car. The lightning bolts were striking down either side of the highway, with the light and the crack happened at the same time.
Once we passed the storm it was Florida weather again; hot and sunny with blue sky and white clouds. Our destination: Clearwater on the west coast of Florida, just west of Tampa.
One of the reasons we chose Clearwater was because it is pet friendly. This is the doggie beach at Fort De Soto County Park.
You could tell Poppy loved it, right? She was ready to go for her second swim before we finished setting up camp!
I purchased a few craft things on my travel, going to try them out now.

Thank you for visiting. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A natural swimmer

I want to tell you a story about Poppy and water. It happened when Poppy was very little. I was playing with Poppy one day and I noticed that there’s skin between her toes. I pointed it out to my husband and asked if Poppy has webbed feet. “O yeah” he said “Let’s find out if she is a natural swimmer.” So off we went to the seaside.

The sea was a bit choppy that day and there was a strong wind, so I decided to stay on land. I was a bit concerned that the sea might be too rough for Poppy, but hubby reassured me “Don’t worry. I got her. We’ll be fine.” He picked her up in his arms, carrying her like a baby and started walking into the water. Poppy was only eight weeks old. She was so tiny, all peaches and cream, and just a fluffy ball of fur.

Delray Beach seaside is fairly shallow. You have to walk quite a distance before the water is anywhere near your waist. I was arranging the beach towels and getting comfortable. When I looked up, hubby was far away and the water was about chest deep. He had just stopped and turned around to face me. I looked behind him and to my horror saw a huge wave with foamy white caps rushing towards him. I waved. He waved back. I pointed towards the big open sea. He didn’t see me, by then his attention was on little Poppy and had no idea what was coming. Exasperated, I got up and run to the water’s edge, cupping both hands around my mouth and shouted as loud as I could, “… the wave… hold on to her…”

Too late. The big wave washed over hubby and knocked him off balance. They both went under. When he found his footing and emerged from the water Poppy was gone. There were white foams all around him but no sign of Poppy. He pushed the white foams away to look under the water, no good. He dived under to search but came up empty handed.

Seconds ticked away. I feared the worse. The white foams had died down, and then a few feet away from hubby, out popped a little head and Poppy surfaced. Yeah, she’s a natural swimmer alright. She swam ashore, walked with me to where our bags and beach towels were, planted her butt on solid ground, and that was it. Poppy was done for. She had this fear of water, and whenever we go to the seaside again she wouldn’t even walk on wet sands.

A dog with webbed feet should love water, not to fear it. We have to do something to fix this. Over the following weeks and months, I would get up very early and take Poppy to the beach. I didn’t force her into the water I just let her follow me off leash. Gradually over time she was prepared to walk on the wet sands… let the water touched her toes… this went on for about a year. One day, as usual, we went to the seaside, but this time instead of following me, Poppy rushed pass and hopped into the sea and the water was as high as her chest! I knew then at that moment Poppy has overcome her fear.

Now, you simply can’t stop Poppy from having fun in the sea.
Our furry daughter is 6 years old today. Happy birthday Poppy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baby Pink Cardigan

I have finished the little cardigan a while back but didn’t have a chance to take a photo of it. We have a lot of rain lately.
Now that Tropical Depression Bonnie is moving away, we have good weather today. The baby jacket is very cute.
I am slowly establishing a routine for my craft again, so hopefully I will have more projects to show. Till next time, hope all is well with you and yours, have a great weekend.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wild Life in Our Garden: a rent free tenant

It is summer. In Florida that means thunder storms and heavy showers. One day, my husband let Poppy out after they got rained in for a whole afternoon. Poppy rushed to the back of the house. She sniffed around the orchid room, lifted her nose, and started barking at the side of the roof.
The orchid room is an enclosed area with trellis doors, walls and roof which was heavily covered with vines. My husband couldn’t see anything, so he went inside the orchid room and looked up. Would you believe it? A raccoon has decided the best place to keep dry from the rain was the side of our house.
Despite Poppy’s loud barks the raccoon refused to move and carried on napping. That night my husband put a trap out and the raccoon simply couldn’t refuse the fish dinner we put inside the trap.
Raccoons have very sharp claws and they could do serious damage to our property so we don’t like having them around. We don't mind other animals, they live in the yards and stay away from the house. Creatures like this baby opossum can be our rent free tenant. They are cute when they are little, aren’t they?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Back to Normal

My husband’s uncle and auntie came and stayed with us for a week. They are both 60 this year and are celebrating their 40 years’ wedding anniversary. My husband and I booked time off work, took them to places, wine and dine them every night… and really pushed the boat out to make their visit in Florida special and memorable.

Here is a picture of them enjoying the airboat ride to see the Everglades. They were sitting at the left back row, the uncle in green shirt and the auntie was hidden by the man in blue.
We have done this so many times now that I was happy to wait in the car and to do some knitting. This is what I managed to do while entertaining the relatives. I’ve done the left front, working on the back…just the right front and two little sleeves to go.
When it was time for the uncle and auntie to say goodbye they gave me a surprise gift.
A money box decorated with an abacus for addition, a little drawer to keep the coins, so neat.
After a week back to work, this is the first weekend when things are back to normal. I have my first chance of spending some times in my craft room this morning. I selected my next project, knitting a swatch to test the gauge right now.
Thank you for visiting. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Poppy got expelled

Long time no blog. I still tried to keep up with blog reading but I have not been able to find time to write the posts I have in mind. Poppy has been a concern over the last few weeks.
Florida is in the rainy season now. When the season changes from dry to wet, the garden comes alive. Trees, plants, grass, weeds…suddenly wake up and sprouting new growth in earnest. The place is buzzing with flying insects, crawling bugs, snakes, furry creatures… before I knew it, Poppy was bitten by a bug on her butt. It happened last year and like last year Poppy made the little area worse by licking it and turned it into a sore patch.

One Monday morning 7:30am I dropped Poppy off at the Doggie Day Camp, they sent us home. They refused Poppy because of the hot spot on her butt. I had to take a sick day and stay home with her. Luckily my husband was working from home the rest of that week, so Poppy was able to stay home with daddy.

My husband and I know the drill now. We gave Poppy a summer hair cut, shaved and applied medication on the sore area, put an e-collar on Poppy and she healed quickly. So a week later off to Doggie Day Camp she went.

My husband was travelling this time, so I was relying on Doggie Day Camp to care for Poppy while I was at work. All was well until mid-week. When I collected Poppy in the evening, they told me that Poppy bitted an assistant. Not deep. She nipped the skin and drew blood. Poppy was expelled. I can’t believe it: Poppy got kick out from Doggie Day Care the second time.

I have no friends or families live nearby who could help. Luckily someone we met a few times who does dog walking as a hobby came to my rescue.

Over the weekend we went to see Doggie Day Camp and found out what happened. Poppy didn’t want to play with the other dogs in the big play room and she didn’t want to go back to her own cubicle. She was in a smaller relief room and when staff wanted to move her, Poppy told them no by going for the hand.

Their in-house dog trainer came to speak with us. She asked all sorts of questions…any changes in routines, food, medication, how we interact with Poppy, dog personalities…at the end she concluded that we should not use her crate as a punishment. Poppy is a commend dog. Staffs have to tell Poppy what they want her to do. They cannot man-handle her and should use treat to reward Poppy when she goes to her room. She gave Poppy a reprieve.

My husband said to Poppy, “Come on girl. You’ve been given a second chance, don’t blow it, ok?”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My shopping

The mail man delivered two parcels last week: 2 craft books and 2 magazines. I came across the Australian Homespun when I was blogging last Christmas. My local book store does not carry Homespun so I took out a year’s subscription. They have beautifully illustrated projects, I can’t make up my mind which project to do first.
I don’t have a lot of free time now, but my life is not the same if I can’t do my craftwork. I am slowly getting used to a new work routine and I even managed to spend time in my craft room this weekend…so nice. I made good progress with my knitting.

Till next time.
Good night and have a great week.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Very little craftwork done

This work business really isn’t helpful when it comes to my craftwork and my blogging. All I managed was a little knitting for the last three weeks.
I didn’t do any needlework over the last few weekends either. I used the free time to shop for a second car. You wouldn’t believe the number of car dealerships we went to see. Our search came to an end yesterday. We found a little 3 months old Volkswagen GTI we both like. I think Poppy likes the GTI too; she was checking out the inside of the car when we were looking it over. I will have to show you some pictures when we go and collect it this coming Thursday.

The other craft related activity I did was to order some craft books on-line. Two parcels are on their way, one by air and the other by sea, something for me to look forward to :0)

Winter is definitely over with us. It is warming up now, 84ºf / 29ºc for the last couple of days, and the rainy season is just beginning. When it gets hot outside, Poppy stays close to the air-con unit inside.
Well, I hope you're having an easy Sunday.
Take care.

Monday, March 22, 2010

White Gnome

It has been quiet over here, all because I accepted a job offer and have returned to work full time. It all happened so fast, by the time I have the chance to slow down and catch my breath, I have been working for two weeks and I took my first pay check home last Friday. It’s a great feeling, not just the money, but a sense of achievement. I work for a small manufacturing company; lovely people. They gave me such a warm welcome.

Poppy has been great too. I sent her to Doggie Day Care for 4 days in the first week. It was hard for her at first, but she was adjusting to the new routine. The second week was better because she could stay with my husband while he worked from his home office.

Even though it was hectic I still managed to find time to do a little knitting and carried on with my cross stitch. I kept up with my blog reading too. I learned that a blog friend has received my gift which was mailed to her in the beginning of January. Here is what I sent.
It is lovely to know that Ekaterina's children adore the white gnome.
Well, I hope I won't leave it so long next time.
Till then, take care and have a great week.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

I was reading a post called WOYWW on Diane.W’s blog and it was fun to look at her craft room. When I followed the link to the original author’s site I was laughing out loud as I read Julie’s comment about the “push back” work desk style. Anyway, here is my first WOYWW.

My work desk is hidden away. You will have to walk through the home office before you can go to my craft room.

The home office. Computer on the right of the picture for all those blog entries. I cut out all my sewing patterns on this tile floor.Looking to the left of the home office. Door way to my craft room. The folding table is my spare craft table.
My craft room. The left side has 3 bookcases holding all my craft books and magazines. 3 baskets on the floor, each holding a project and they are all work-in-progress.The right side: work desk and my rocking chair.
Working on the lilac fairy cross-stitch at the moment.
Top view – right half of the work desk. My husband doesn't like that little blonde doll in pink. He said she stares... The sewing instruction at the back for the first summer top. Pink yarn and few rows knitted for a baby cardigan. A ball of white crochet thread (half hidden by the sewing machine) for a doily. Red embroidery threads, white and red fabric for the Wish Quilt by Bronwyn Hayes. Dark blue on white print fabric for the second summer top. The bundle of blue and red fabric near the front is for a fish appliqué…they’re kind of marinating at this little corner.The left half of the work desk. Big round glass jar at the back is my button jar. Animal Crackers card and paper pads for making cards. Small blue box is my table top bin for rubbish. It's Poppy, she is so nosey; I can't have a bin on the floor.My work desk is not normally this busy, honest. I have not put the sewing machine and the over-locker away because I am going to sew the summer tops... soon. They take up a lot of space, right?

OK, then. Thank you for looking.
Hope your week is going well so far.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My latest Projects

I finally finished the cross stitches of the lilac fairy and am working on the top happy.
I made a start on one of the summer tops; I cut the pattern pieces, just need to sew them together now.
I need something to do while watching the television in the evening and knitting is something I could do with dim lighting, so I cast on a cardigan for a baby.
I harvested the tangerines. I was going to leave the fruits on the tree for decoration, but after woken up by two raccoons screaming and fighting over a fallen tangerine at 4:00am in the middle of the night, I changed my mind.
Hopefully I will have a finished project to show you next time.
Till next post, take care and have a great week.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Flopsy Bunny

It has been a crazy sort of a day for me, did the random number this morning but didn’t have a chance to do the post until now.

So, hi Vicky, please send me your postal address and Flopsy will be on its way to you. You can find my email contact in my profile.
Till next post, take care.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Little Furry Pine Cone

I was gardening in the front yard the other day. I was just about to pick up a small pine cone when I froze and stared…this little pine cone was furry? What on earth…?
I turned it over with a stick, still not sure what I was looking at.
Then I saw its face. It must have dropped down from the pine tree because of the cold weather overnight.
Not wanting Poppy to come into contact with the bat or me stepping on the little creature, I moved it to a palm tree by the roadside. It was hanging upside-down and it was not happy of being moved.
After a while, it settled down and slept the day away in the shade. Came night fall it was gone.
I have never seen a bat up close before. I am relieved to find out that this bat eats insects and bugs, and it is not a blood sucker.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Name the Bunny

I was planning to post this on Sunday, but I might not have a chance to do it because it is Chinese New Year, so I will post it now.

It is not often you have Chinese New Year and St. Valentine's Day on the same day. February also marks my first year in Blogland (February 26 to be exact). So to commemorate all three events, I thought it would be a nice gesture to offer bunny girl to a good home.

Here's bunny girl with her little pink dress and red shoes. All 9½ inches tall to the top of her head. 11¾ inches with the ears.
So if you would like bunny girl to join your family, just leave a comment and tell me what you would like to name her if she is yours. Please note: I want bunny girl to go to a loving forever home. Please don’t name her if you don’t intend to keep her. The cut off date for naming the bunny is Friday midnight Florida time on 25 February 2010. The winner will be randomly selected.
Frances, Ekaterina, if you are reading this, you know you and your blog friends are welcome to name the bunny.
Bunny, dress and shoes are all knitted in the rounds, no seams, all embroidery stitched, no button is used.
Dress and shoes can be removed. You put the dress on over the head like you would put on a T-shirt.