Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Caught in the headlights

Husband just called me outside, there was a deer in the back. He shined a flashlight and the deer came down the hill towards us. I didn't want to move to get my phone and take a picture, and pretty soon it ran away.

Embroidery floss

This is a pile of sorted embroidery floss, ready to be made into crocheted earrings. This plus the tv show Parks and Recreation for the 458475th time sounds like a perfect,  low key night.

Friday, April 26, 2013

the oaks

Yesterday a few residents came and asked for a Smokey Bear comic that the interpretive rangers pass out to kids -- so I got husband to bring me some, and I took a hike up through The Oaks to deliver them. I got the chance to explore a side of the neighborhood I haven't spent any time in --  and I was stunned. It's so beautiful up here. Amazing, huge, expensive houses - a neighborhood I would never be able to afford to live in, if it weren't for our caretaker status. The best thing about rich and fancy houses is that they don't skimp on the landscaping. Also - this neighborhood is all hilly, so lots of the houses have had very creative layouts to accommodate that. My eyes aren't big enough to drink in all of this. I love hiking through the park, but I might like hiking through the neighborhood even more...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

flowers at the trail cafe

Went up to the Trails today for a sandwich... the whole patio is full of flowers and herbs. On the weekends the line goes out to the street, so it's my "yay I live here and can go on weekdays" treat. Today was one of those hard-to-get-up-and-out days, and having this nearby place to go get a sandwich and take a minute to look at these flowers was really good for me.

passion berry

A friend of mine in San Diego sent me a beautiful package - and it's a gift that keeps on giving, because it included a variety of tea bags. So I am here, enjoying my evening, working on my marathon crochet flowers, drinking passion berry tea, out of a ceramic mug I made. Feeling sweet and thoughtful and loved.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I applied for the Renegade Craft Fair - which is a giant craft fair in LA. If I get in, it's a two day show and I'll need lots n lots of product... so it's time for some marathoning crocheting. These flowers will be turned into hair clips, rings, and earrings. I also sell them here, on my etsy shop. I have a bunch of photos of them as finished products on my facebook page.

someone asked me for a pattern -- so here goes

using the magic circle technique I then do 10 half double crochet stitches in the circle, and pull tight. (If you want a smaller center, do single crochets. If you want bigger, double crochet.) 

Switch colors, and attach with a slip stitch to the top of one of the hdc's. Chain 2, and attach to one of the stitches with a slip stitch. Chain 2, skip 1 stitch, and attach to the top of every other hdc. So you should end with 5 chain2's. Attach to the nearest Chain2 space with a slip stitch. Then, *single crochet, half double crochet, 4 double crochet, half double crochet, single crochet* in the same space. Repeat from * in each of the 5 chain 2 spaces. Finish off, tuck in strings, and you have your flower!

I use embroidery floss and a tiny little crochet hook for these - but you can use any weight yarn or size hook, it'll just change the size of the flower.

Friday, April 19, 2013

yo yo's part two

Figured out what to do with all those fabric yo yos!!! Rings and hair clips! I sewed buttons to each one and am waiting for my supplies to get here from my ebay purchases before I finish them all off. To be sold in my etsy store soon! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

zen doodle

I run a challenge group on facebook, where everyone picks something they want to do every day for 30 days.  One of the group members does a 'zen doodle' daily. She inspired me -- my paper journal is now full of them! It's awesome. I zone out with pen and paper next to husband who is watching tv or playing computer games... it's meditative. I wouldn't've thunk it, but it is.

For the record, I also bought a few new micropens at Blue Rooster - a small and local art supply store on Vermont. It's not a huge store, but it's got paint, pens, journals, markers, charcoal and canvas. And it's nearby. Score.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

california history

Today I discovered a new trail, and I love it. Well - it's the trail that husband and I went up the night we did the crazy Mt. hollywood hike - but I discovered it in the daylight. It's this great trail that's tucked into this canyon, and is kind of meander-y, and there's enough distance between it and any roads or buildings, that I can kind of pretend that I'm really out in the wilderness all alone, but it's close enough to civilization that if I got hurt or something, I could still get help. Husband says that it'll get just FULL of mustard -- which is my favorite flower. I'm torn about my love for mustard.. since it's technically a non-native. But it's been around for so long, that it feels like part of California. For any of you non-natives, the deal is that when the Spanish missionaries came to California and built their missions, they scattered mustard seed between, to mark the way. Each of the CA missions are about a day's horse-back ride apart, and the mustard is part of CA history.  So I love it, both for it's look and for the lore.

I also noticed lower down on the hike, that all the conifers have new and bright green needles! I remember when I was in Alaska I would take the new spruce needles, steep them, and make tea. It's nice to see spring in the trees.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

yo yo

Was weird and twitchy and needed a new project last night... so learned how to make fabric yo-yo's. Now to decide what to do with them....... there are a lot of suggestions online, but I'm not sure. I have a huge fabric scrap stash, so I'll just keep making and making and making yo yo's til I decide.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Los Feliz farmers market

Another farmer's market! My mom, sister and I just happened upon it, tucked in on Vermont in Los Feliz. We bought ALL THE GREENS. So many bags FULL of chard, spinach, kale, celery, cucumbers... soooo much goodness. We then took ourselves and our crazy purchases to El Greco, had a really yummy Greek lunch. Wonderful day exploring my new home.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

circuit training

Despite having the whole park open to me.. I've been weirdly staying inside all day and then at night realizing I haven't exercised yet. So... I made this awesome circuit inside the house. I used a tabata timer app, so I switch activities every 30 seconds.. and I just go around and around for an hour! Making my wooden floors creak - but hey. A workout is a workout! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


My aunt and uncle came up for a visit, and brought this new addition to our house. I love this little dude. He sits in the freesia plants on the front porch. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

granny square curtains the sequel

Well. I have a few more of the squares made. This is going to take a long time.

Monday, April 1, 2013

up on the ridge

Sister-in-Law came up for a visit! We went on a drive through the park so she could see everything -- stopped and walked up to the Old Zoo. We are sad. We are stuck in cages. 

Afterwards we went on a real hike -- parked up near the observatory, and hiked down a ridge down to where the batcave is in Bronson canyon, then back up and over to the car. It was not an easy experience for me -- I felt paralyzed going downhill on these little, rocky footpaths with cliffs falling on either side of me. There were multiple times that I fell or slid down on my butt. My husband and SIL are like mountain goats and did the whole thing easily. It was discouraging for me. I cried. 

But I haven't been able to stop thinking about it -- there was one point up on the ridge where we saw three coyotes. The land was beautiful. And after I got over feeling angry and embarrassed and ashamed for falling apart, I was able to think about how neat it was that I accomplished it, even if it was hard. I'd like to go back. 

My SIL took these photos - and I love them. The hike was hard. It tapped into something deep, this fear of being weak -- and I wasn't proud of how I handled it. But I love these photos and the whole thing was evidence of how much impact outdoor recreation can have.