Thursday, December 5, 2019


Almost 17 inches.
Thanks to our neighbors I have some fun pix to post.

A winter wonderland at out friend Chris' house
and a peek outside his kitchen window.

Our sweet jeep as the snow is beginning to melt.
We can really see the huge branch that fell on it.
Also notice that some little tracks where perhaps a squirrel is jumping from the branch to the roof.
Jim braved the rain yesterday and drove up to survey the damage.
It took him 5 times to get up our little hill and into our driveway
(glad I wasn't there to try that with him).
And the branch was too big and heavy for him to pull off jeep so he had to saw it off in pieces
to be able to even get to the porch to enter cabin.
Thank goodness the jeep was not damaged.
The electric was out for 5 days, 
so he had to throw out most of the food,
and I guess the yard is one big mess.
I'll go up this weekend to survey the yard work I have ahead of me,
and do a bit of stitching
while pup Sophie plays in the snow.

First big snow for this gentle giant.

Saturday, November 30, 2019


Our first big snow of the season.
Our neighbor took this pix as we can't get up there.
Apparently one of our trees fell on our Jeep.
Have no idea what the damage is yet.
Waiting for the plows so we can go up and check it out.
Took 4 hours for our neighbor to shovel enough snow to get out her door 
and to her driveway.
I think this may be the most snow we've ever experienced since we bought our little cabin.
Our pup Sophie is going to love it!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


I've got a revolting development soon,
running out of yarn and only about 1/2 done.
And I don't want to spent anymore money on these expensive handspuns,
and have too many projects going on to spin my own.
What to do?
I'll get back to you with the answers.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Our first storm of the season came in late last night,
and it was so sweet to listen to the rain as I slept.
My hubby is up at our cabin and he said it's snowing there and cold.
Hopefully winter is here to stay.

Monday, November 11, 2019


The yoke is almost done as I head into week 2 of the online Cardi workshop.
Love, love, love working on size 17 needles and using extra bulky handspun yarns.
They are yummy!
Plus it goes so very fast.
With this last black/grey/purple yarn I'm working with 
tiny little daises have been handstitched on after it was spun,
and it's so fun to see them pop up here and there. 
I'm an English knitter but in this workshop I'm also trying to learn the European Continental style.
Another global skill which means it''s very difficult and requires much practice.
But hey,
I'm retired and have got the rest of my life.

Saturday, November 2, 2019


So this is the cardigan I'm going to attempt to finish before Xmas
for a gift.
I'm enrolled in a knit-a-long online class that I mentioned the other day out of Ojai, Ca.,
 at a new crafts shop called Cattywampus Crafts.
I never made it up there last Monday because I'd forgotten I had a previous important doctor appt.,
so I'm going to try to make it this coming Monday. 
The owners just got back from a 2 week trip to Japan and brought back many lovely things
both textile related as well as ceramic.
So excited to browse.
Something about some silk kimono bracelets, and hand dyed stitching threads.
Never have enough of either, right?
And yarn, lots and lots of yarn!
Whoo Hoo

Here are a few pix of the yarns I will be using in my cardi.
These are the base or foundation yarns.
Most are handspun by either myself or my spinning mentor Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts.
And 4 of them came from the Amy who runs Knit Collage thru Caddywampus,
the gal who is doing the workshop.
And two of them are silk strips.

But I felt as if I needed a bit more pop to my color scheme,
so I added the red/orange at top (Manos de Uruguay),
and the stark black from Amy on far left.

Rolled most of the balls last night and checked my gauge.  
Of course it's off no matter what needle size I used.
15's were too small and 17's too big.
I've not seen size 16's before.
So I will knit tighter with the 17's, 
they felt better with all that chunky handspun.

I'll finish up the winding tonight and hopefully start knitting  before bed.

Friday, November 1, 2019


There are no trick-or treaters in our condo complex 
so if we want to see the little ones dressed up we have to go elsewhere.
This year my daughter and her boyfriend invited us over
and we all hung out and had a blast.
We started off before the Happy Halloweeners arrived by taking the pups out in their costumes.
Granger was a shark and Miss Tatum a little bumble bee.
These two pix were taken last weekend at a party for dogs in their outfits.
Who knew.
ha ha
Sorry they are a bit blurry.

Then last night we had a special appearance by one of my daughter's neighbors
in his fabulous clown costume.
And of course a very special appearance by my ex 
who came creeping around the windows with this mask on.
He scared the be-gee-bies out of us!
Fun had by all!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Oh boy,
retirement is hard work
ha ha!

I'm piling so much on my plate,
 and I'm finding there isn't enough time in the day to do it all.

I'm participating online in more workshops like Knit Stars 4,
and I'm haven't even finished Knit Stars I yet.

I'm forming a knitting group in my condo community
(so far there are 3 of us).

Still working on my gorgeous eco-dyed baby blanket in my online workshop
with Australian artist India Flint,
and the blanket for the couch that I shared in the last post.

And of course the Knit-a-long workshop Cardigan
with the peeps at Cattywampus Crafts.

Oh my!!!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2019


Nine years ago when I moved into my new husbands beautifully appointed home,
he had this striking oil hanging over his couch.
It stills hangs there over a very masculine leather sofa.
To soften the look a bit I felt that I needed to add a knit throw.

So I began this lap throw after taking an improvisational knitting workshop 
with knit star Valentina Devine. 
I first became acquainted with her in the gorgeous coffee table book 
Knitting in America.
Valentia lives in Los Alamos, New Mexico and her background is fascinating. 

I have always knitted! Born in Russia and growing up in Germany, I can remember knitting all sorts of things from doll clothes to small garments for myself. In the early eighties I became a life-time member of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria Virginia. There I exhibited knitted one-of-a-kind garments and wall hangings. For the Folger Theater I knitted costumes for Macbeth. At the same time I started teaching a technique “Creative Knitting” and I continue to the present day. I have also knitted two major costumes for the road show of “CATS”; Deuteronomy and Gus, The Theater Cat. Some of my knitted garments have been chosen for the movie industry. I now enjoy designing for different publications. I have been a contributor to many knitting books and publications. As time went on I have added to the courses I teach. I now teach six different techniques. I show my art-to-wear garments in different boutiques throughout the United States. I cannot imagine not knitting and I hope to continue to inspire many more knitters here and abroad.

In 2011 I was able to get this far
which I posted about in March of that year here on the blog,
but then I lost interest and put it away
 and finally took it out this last week and have started knitting on it again.

I took it up to the cabin this weekend and have almost finished off that bottom row.

Please note!
I have not blocked this yet.
And it's all over the place lumpy bumpy and wavy.
I will tame it eventually when completely done.

I still have so many stash yarns to bust thru so I'm going to lengthen and widen 
and then probably put several borders around it.
At least that's my plan right now.
But knowing me I will get distracted with another project
 and this will wait another 8 years for me to pull it out again.

Speaking of that,
headed out tomorrow morning for a 2 1/2 hour drive up to Ojai
(inland from Santa Barbara but above Ventura)
to a new crafts shop called Cattywampus Crafts for a knit-a-long.
Going to be starting a cute little v-neck cardigan with all handspuns (some mine)
knit on size 17 needles.
Can hardly wait.

Poor little throw.

Monday, October 21, 2019


as I show you a bit of Autumn in the So. Cal. mountains,
as well as two new bears we found at garage sales recently.

Mums that came back from last year,
a minor miracle.

We actually met the man who carved this bear up in Running Springs.

One end of our Lake with the lone red maple,
and right across the street from lake this truly remarkable tree
changing from it's green to yellow to red leaves.
I made my husband stop on the side of the road to capture this it.
Nature is truly remarkable!
An Analogous color scheme my lovely students.
Know I haven't forgotten about posting your artwork.
retirement has really made me slow down and smell the roses,
and made me really appreciate all the beauty that surrounds me.
 Being with all of you Whitney art students was my Happy Place for 39 years,
and now just taking my time and really enjoying all that life still holds for my family and I,
is my new Happy Place.

Seems like I'm only averaging one post per week.
I will try to do better.
Hang in there with me,
and keep your e-mail updates coming in.
I so enjoy hearing form you.

Monday, October 14, 2019


Meet Chips.
We met him in Downtown L.A. in the Little Tokyo District
at an outdoor cafe.
He was irresistible, 
very patient while his owner ate dinner and super sweet-natured.
It was a bit warm out
 so his owner had a special cooling fabric around his neck and head.
And because his owner rides with him on a motorcycle,
of course he needed his googles.
Chips was also styling in his army fatigue harness his owner made for him.

Thursday, October 10, 2019


My little girl has gotten so grown-up.
Recently she attended her first Gala,
a fundraising event for CHOC,
the Children's Hospital of Orange County.
She and her boyfriend were guests of his father and mother  
who each year make a generous donation to the hospital.
It was dinner & dancing in a beautiful setting in Newport Beach. 
They even came home with door prizes they had won.
It's funny how she has done so much more in her young life
 then I ever did at her age..
I couldn't be more pleased and happy for her.
She makes me so very proud!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019


Son-in-law Mike in the upper left corner

Many of you have sent prayers and well wishes for my husband's daughter's family.
As you may have read a few weeks back,
our son-in-law is suffering from Stage 3 Brain Cancer.
He recently had a check-up and very little progress has been made
after all the radiation and chemo he has been thru.
So we feel fortunate and blessed that at least he seems to be feeling better
and has gone back to work,
and that the tumor has stopped growing in size.
But he still has a long ways to go.
My husband and I would like to thank all of you for your prayers for Mike and the boys.
We have been spending a lot of time with them,
especially enjoying those babies and watching them grow.
The two little men couldn't be more different from each other.
The baby is compact and strong,
beefy you might call him, 
showing a lot of personality and wanting to make us laugh.
He loves his big brother, the water and to eat,
and is crawling around the house like an unstoppable locomotive.
Syd is the more cerebral one so far.
 He is a sieve like his father.
He craves new information constantly;
he loves learning about everything.
He reads every night with his parents
and can name practically every car on the road,
even vintage ones.
His favorite place is the new Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
Syd is long and lanky,
and not very interested in food.
He just started playing soccer and is thriving in the sport.
And he loves school and his teacher.

Both of the boys love their Pop Pop like crazy!

Monday, October 7, 2019


Rose Garden at Whitney High

When visiting recently and lunching with my pals at Whitney,
I was surprised to see the garden in full bloom in the Fall season.
This is what it usually looks like in April around Open House time,
so this was a wonderful surprise.  
I wonder what the gardener's secret is?

Monday, September 30, 2019


I apologize for the cast shadow over these pictures.
It makes my old jeans look really dirty which they aren't.
ha ha
But I wanted to get something posted before you think I'm not here.
So tomorrow if I get better shots I will swap them out.

I wanted to try my hand at a bit of mending,
especially now that it seems to be so in vogue with lots of great books focused on it, 
and lots of cool pix on Pinterest as well.

Above I tried just the basics,
but it didn't do anything for me.
So I searched my Pinterest Stitch Board and found something I liked better below.
I also like the Indigo dyed eyelet fabric I found to use as background.

Sunday, September 22, 2019


The light has turned magical up at the cabin.
The air so fresh with the smell of pine wafting thru the air.
And the temp has finally dropped into the 70's during the day and the 40's at nite.
Down below at home is a different story.
Once again in the 90's this weekend.
The kids (my son and his wife) 
joined us this weekend and they pulled out the hammock
and took turns in it.

We took a 3 mile walk around our Lake Gregory
and identified 3 different  mountain native plants and 4 different pines
pressing the flowers and needles into our little books.
or as Google identified it a crayfish or crawdad.
First Zach tried his hand at capturing it,
then Nicole took her turn,
both unsuccessfully.
The little guy was about 4 inches long and looked so much like an ocean lobster.
And man or man,
could he scoot and turn on a dime to get away from us.
A first for all.
So much fun!

Monday, September 16, 2019


Chalk art by next door neighbor Jayden 
age 4

For any of you wondering how I'm enjoying retirement,
it's taken some getting used to.
The sleeping in, 
working with a trainer at gym,
changing my diet,
reading voraciously, 
rediscovering cooking and playing the piano,
slow stitching at nite,
lunching with ex co-workers and alumni,
hanging out with my daughter and her pups,
lots of gardening
and planting my fall bulbs,
playing in the pool with my grand boys,
and enjoying my husbands company - most of the time.
Ha ha!

But what I've noticed lots more are the small things.
Stopping to chat with the elderly in my community
and getting to know my neighbors,
watching the cloud formations when it's humid and threatening to rain,
watching cactus flowers open,
looking for dried seedpods of day lilies and using them in dried fall arrangements,
watching those day lily seeds push up thru the dirt after planting them,
playing with the babies in the community and watching them grow.
And noticing the sidewalk art of my next door neighbor
and having the time to stop and take a picture.
Wonderful moments everyday.