Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Peggy and her husband often hang out on the front porch and chat with passer byers like me. Once she shared lemons with me too!

Photoshop "photocopy" filter with a photo I took walking home from Trader Joe's.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spring Scavenger Hunt

Walked home from Trader Joe's with my camera last week. I only spent an extra thirty minutes stopping to look for spring in every other front yard.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Heading off to WWII from Camp Roberts, CA

Bet my father wasn't actually as jolly here at Camp Roberts, waiting to get sent off to Europe as he looked with that camera....

We're doing collages in my photoshop class this week. I used the cutout filter and created a partial duotone as a second layer on this, to bring out my father. Also eliminated a soldier! There were 5 guys in the original photo. I replaced him with vegetation using the clone stamp.

(click on the photo to see more detail)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sewing: Stash Busting Slinky Robe for my daughter

My Cal Poly daughter is in the area on a field trip with a group, and is spending the night here.I sewed up this robe for her this last week as a visit-home surprise.

She thought she wanted to learn to sew last summer and got as far as picking out this pattern and material, and cutting out the robe herself. Then, I think. she decided sewing wasn't really for her, when we started our simple sewing lessons. Of course that slippery material wasn't a good beginner choice anyway.

It's good to get another stash project done. And the little tag I put on to make it look even more elegant, was a good excuse to work on my skills from my new Photoshop class!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Funny Valentine

An egg a day. That's all we ask.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sewing: Knits and down with the stash!

I enjoyed listening to Lori’s “Sew Forth Now” podcasts so much, I have been inspired to improve my sewing skills with knits. I pulled two different types of knit out of my stash. It’s sure nice to put my sewing time into things that are really worth my while because I get so much use out of them.

The first was a thin green jersey-type knit. It’s very fluid and very stretchy. The second is a black, velvet-type. I think the type is something like a stretchy devore velvet.

I’ve written before both in my blog and on Crafster about my experiences pulling this pattern together. These tops are the fifth and sixth ones I’ve created with this concocted pattern or a variation of it. I expect I will keep working with it and intend to try more new ideas with neckline, shape, sleeve style and length. The more familiar I get with one pattern, the more it helps when I work with different types of material.

I make a neckline facing for this like a regular woven facing. I’ve been experimenting with how to sew down those facings. With the heavier knits, the rib knit and the fleeces, I did two rows of straight stitch, similar to what I’d seen in some purchased tee shirts. When I got to the jersey I ended up adding a thin voile ribbon all along the underside, a length of grosgrain ribbon across the front, also underneath, and three courses of stitching to make it stiff. The first line of stitching was straight stitch. The second two were a feather stitch. I did the black top second and did the feather stitching right off. That was enough to stabilize it. I also used that same stitch on the sleeve edges and hem of the two tops.

In the case of the green top I found that the neckline stretched out too much and it didn’ hang well. I decided to make the extra material a feature and made the little tuck in front. I really like that tuck now.

The pattern for both is same one I created and wrote about on Crafster and also at

1) Sewing: Goodbye Winnie-The-Pooh, Sweatshirts

More Stash Sewing: Three New Tops

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hooping: Yes, it's coming along!

Yep, I'm still hooping. I do it most days of the week and have gotten my typical session up to 50 minutes! It's been hard to move from 40 minutes to 45 then 50. I still log each attempt but I haven't been putting the data into excel. So I have little pieces of paper all around the house with dates and little grids on them... I know one day I managed to do over 2,000 without stopping and that was 25 minutes of non-stop. A few other times I've done over 1,000 but until I compile all those bits of paper I won't really remember which were 1200 and which were 1500 plus! Mostly I do manage 200- 400 plus swings before the hoop drops and that makes me happy!

I also started taking a six week rec center hooping class. It's a little intimidating because the other women in the class seem to acquire physical skills very quickly. The one person to whom it was new had it down about half way through the class. It took me a week to manage to do what she did. Still I did make some advances in the first class in terms of moving around while doing it. I'm sure it will help me to learn more. Frankly I feel brave just going to the class.

I'm particularly happy that I have something to do that makes me really SWEATY and yet still doesn't hurt my knees at all. Even better is having the nice endorphin rush during the day. It's nice to just feel happier.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Romancing the Walk : Ferns, Fungus and Furry Faces

We went for a three mile loop hike at Pulgas Ridge this morning. It’s part of the Mid-Penninsula Open Space preserve here in the San Francisco Bay area.

It’s just off Edgewood Road in San Carlos, near the 280 freeway. On the other side of Edgewood you can also hike in the county park. But dogs aren’t allowed there. Even though my pooches are no longer hike-able I still like to go where the dogs go.

January seemed kind of bleak. The last time I hiked here was fall and there were lots of bright colored berries and foliage then. Then I noticed the ferns.

and then the tiny, tiny fungus. There were tons of little mushrooms as well as other little saprophytic plants and other biota. I bet these mini-environments probably seem pretty big to somebody!

There were also a lot of happy dogs.

I put more ferns, fungus and furry faces photos on MegRose's flickr id

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sewing: Goodbye W-T-Pooh New Sweatshirts replace that irritating old bear

My daughter bought this Winnie the Pooh Sweatshirt at Disneyland when she was 8. I think she wore it there once. Then I acquired it.

That was 11 years ago.

Though the shirt it still perfectly GOOD, I have always disliked it intensely. Still I needed something warm when I’m done exercising, in the garden, or walking and it’s not quite light jacket weather.

It’s going into the donation bin today! After all it really is still perfectly good. Not even any stains.

I made myself two pretty new sweatshirts out of Joanne’s fleece. The flowered one came out of a yard and a half long panel. I enjoyed piecing out the sleeves and a small place in the back that doesn’t show under the elastic.

The lime green one has beads from Beads For Life (http://www.beadforlife.org/indexb.html). It’s an organization to sell beads for women in Uganda. They make the beads from recycled paper and some kind of varnish. I tested a bead by attaching it to a cork for several days and letting it float in cold water. No fading, no pulling apart. I cold water wash and hang to dry stuff like this so it should be OK. I will turn the beaded side to the inside before it goes into the machine.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Romancing the Birds

I'm feeling a little sad that my neighbors husband is back from the holidays, because I no longer have an excuse to go over nightly to shut the chickens coop door and chat with the feathery girls. The company of chickens really grow on you. Fully grown birds, raised and cared for by someone else are probably the most appealing. We really don't want the responsibility of more creatures. Still I enjoyed their company a lot.

Also I enjoyed the beautiful presents they left me in the coop most days! As I recently told my sister, I don't actually enjoy cooking but I like to eat good food. I made

a) Zabaglione with delicious Costco blackberries. They come from Mexico at this time of year. They used lots of yolks - I think I'll use Frangelico next time instead of Marsala.

b) German Apple Pancake. We make that a lot but it was extra tasty with those eggs.

c) Pear Souffle. This was the most delicious. It used seven whites and two yolks. I think I'll make some English style custard with the leftover yolks. But I am so sick of cooking, I'm going to hold off.

d) Macaroons - They take up leftover whites but I didn't want to fuss around making them properly and they were a little too rich.