Thursday, November 29, 2012

Trunk Show in Lafayette (Eek!)

Hello, blog-o-sphere! I'll be at the Yarn Boutique in Lafayette next Saturday (12/8) from 11 AM to 3 PM for a trunk show. Stop by and say hello! I'll have samples of my designs that you can try on, and I may even sneak a cat hat or two into the mix. Although, I don't know how people will react to a pimp hat. For my cat. And I'm not sure I'm up for explaining it, so I may just bring the beret and the fez and call them "baby" hats.

If anyone has tips on what makes a fun trunk show, please share! I'm such a noob. I'll be offering pattern support and I can demo a couple of stretchy bind-offs like the k2tog and the sewn bind-off. 

As a bonus, if you buy yarn for any of my projects, you'll get 10% off! Doesn't someone or some cat you know need a hat or scarf?

So, if you feel like inhaling some yarn fumes and you are curious if a person who designs cat hats for fun is as weird as you think she is, then come on over and introduce yourself! I can't wait to meet you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

La La La, Gualala!

The ridiculously peaceful view from our cottage
To celebrate the passing of another up and down year, some friends and I trekked up to Gualala for some quality time together. It's so easy to become engulfed in day to day existence and to not spend time with the people you never seem to see enough, and after losing Vespa, I didn't want that to continue. Life is too short, and we'll never regret taking "too much" time off. I made reservations at a cottage, and then sent the email out to some of my close friends, not expecting anyone to be able to have a weekend free so last minute. Much to my surprise and delight, almost everyone and every dog came!

Roula enjoying her dogness
It was a rainy weekend,  but when the main attraction is being together, the weather doesn't really matter. We cooked breakfast and dinner together, played games, knit (OK, so only two of us knit), and simply enjoyed hanging out around the fireplace.

Fritatta in progress, onion-free per my request
 Communal cooking and dining is my favorite part of vacation. I love cooking for my friends and setting a big table for all of us, even if it is a bit hectic in the kitchen before we sit down to our meal.

Roula and her person 
Next year, they may not all fit on the couch together

Jabba the Bunny. He has a real name, but I forget it.

How could I not be happy with all that freshly picked kale?

This looks like a photo from a lifestyle magazine

Mingus singing the blues or yawning. Or belching.

A makeshift vase for our rustic bouquet
There is something about the Northern California coast that centers me more than most places. The beaches are rugged and deceptively quiet, but I wouldn't dare take a swim in the ocean unlike the user-friendly warm and sandy beaches to the south. The Mendocino coast would be a fantastic place to retire, but until then, I'll happily spend any extra time there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The New Normal

So, it has been 1 month since Vespa was last here, and we're all adjusting in our own way. Thank you for all the kind comments - it was comforting to read them and I would often find myself reading them over and over when I was having a particularly hard moment. 

Mingus was in a funk for a few weeks, which gave us something to focus on other than our own grief. We bought him a bed of his very own instead of the pathetic old bath towels that we place around the house for him. The bed was a hit... With the cats.

Greaseball, now the undisputed lord of the house, especially enjoys the bed and is quite pleased that we abandoned the raggedy old towels.

These tiny woofers also enjoyed Mingus's toy box and his bed. One thing that we couldn't do when Vespa was around was have guest dogs to our house. She was very territorial, and we could think of few things less awkward than having to apologize about our dog beating up a friend's dog. Mingus isn't territorial about anything or anyone, so he's been a perfect host.

Perhaps because he is still not in his right mind, the boy volunteered to go to his first ever college football game. Cal lost (OK, we got slaughtered), he got heckled by a rabid Duck fan (but thankfully since he didn't care, the lady lost interest and moved seats), and he found it curious that I was singing fight songs and pumping my fist in the air at what seems to him random intervals. Being scrutinized like some sort of sociological experiment while doing things that I know are silly and stupid somehow makes the experience of the college ball game diminish, but at least my friend was there to look silly and stupid with me. Go Bears! We'll do better at basketball this season.

Crisp winter weather brings kimchi cravings front and center. I let my last batch age until it was really sour, and then made kimchi stew 3 times in the past couple of weeks and tried my hand at kimchi pancakes. My first pancakes were too loose, so my second try involved adding an egg and some cornstarch to make the pancake extra crispy. While version 2 was better, it's still not quite right. When I suggested making kimchi pancakes for brunch last weekend, the boy sadly asked if we could eat normal breakfast with regular pancakes and bacon and if we could please not have any kimchi in our brunch. Since my stock response is that I will eat anything he makes, we had pumpkin pancakes that day. How boring, but I guess we have been eating kimchi at every meal since I'm in experimentation mode.

This kimchi pancake only looked good in the pan. It fell apart when I flipped it.
Have you ever been to the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley? They have free tours once a month, so as long as you sign up early (we're talking months ahead of time), you can observe some cool classroom action and check out a sweet garden. The tour is mostly aimed towards the program policy, and while I was hoping that it was more about  the plants, I still found it all fascinating.

The man in the corner is made of playing cards
I have compost bin envy. And I want an army of children to help me turn it.
My knitting needles have been on fire lately. This hat was hastily knit because while trying to slink by the local pedicure place (I haven't been there in months), one of the owners saw me and followed me to the next door cafe. Although that soundes really creepy, she was being very sweet because she wanted to invite me to a baby shower that was in 2 days. Since I cannot bear to give babies store bought things, I whipped up a vanilla, stockinette cap and added a couple of crocheted flowers to jazz it up. Those flowers probably took me longer than the hat since I've been really tense, and crocheting was a challenge since I had trouble pulling my hook through the loops.

Another reason my needles are smoking is because I'm knitting samples for an upcoming trunk show! I was contacted by the owner of The Yarn Boutique in Lafayette to see if I'd be open to the idea, and since I was, I picked out some yarn and have been knitting away. Date is TBD since my crafting time has been rather limited due to work and life, but I'll let y'all know when it goes down. Stay tuned...


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