Sunday, August 31, 2008

Peaceful Sunday

There are so many interesting touches in the coffee house, The last time I was there a father and his daughter were playing chess on with this rather large set.

I visited my favorite coffee house and knitted away the afternoon. It is such a peaceful place, no loud music blaring at you or cold air conditioning blasting away, just the gentle ocean breeze drifting thru the front doors, overhead fans silently whirl away assisting the naturally cool air further into this haven. I sat there in the well worn and comfy wingback sipping on my beverage and taking an occaisional bite of their Catalina Cobb Salad while busily making progress on the Persephone scarf (it may even be done this week). Resting my hands as needed and picking up this marvelous book called Journey to Ixtlan, it is beautifully written and is the third book in a series, I have come to learn much from these books, your perceptions may change as you see the world thru different eyes.

Petunias are such dainty flowers, they remind me of petticoats, the stiff breeze made this a challenging photo, the petals were being dashed about, almost being closed by the wind. I was actually turning away when there was a break in the breeze and I quickly snapped this photo.

These geraniums were so very showy, begging to have their photo taken, There was a stiff ocean breeze blowing, but they stood there posing picture perfect, I took several photos thinking one might be a little blurry, but they all turned out.

I came upon these succulents while strolling thru the same shopping center, the variety of plants was unusual, they looked a little hodge podge, but when looked at individually were enjoyable. I must admist that succelents are not my cup of tea, but I can appreciate their steadfastness in drought situations and they are quite diverse in appearance as you can see from the photos above.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rocks N Socks

While strolling thru the parking lot on my way into work I noticed these rocks and immediately recalled a yarn in my stash that had similar color qualities. Blogging has been an amazing experience, I look at the world with different eyes and see possibilities everywhere to share with you. (Some I am sure will be more successful than others).

This has been one of my favorite yarns for awhile now, it has been sitting in my stash, waiting patiently as my sock knitting experience grows so that I can do this yarn justice. I already have a friend in mind as the recipient for this and will be diligently looking for men's sock patterns for it in October. If anyone has worked with this yarn before and knows of a great pattern for it I'm all ears!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flashy Things

OK the Flash did not do this chocolate justice (unlike the photos below), but I just couldn't wait until tommorrow to try to get a decent photo, I had to try a piece tonight (ok actually three pieces), its Green & Blacks Caramel with Milk Chocolate. To tell the truth I liked the chocolate very much, but there is something about their Dark Chocolate that is really decadent.
What is it? A giant ruby? The twinkling lights of Las Vegas? Well I got a little creative this morning while at my desk (no I was not on the clock yet). I spotted a small container of Asian Hot Sauce and wondered how it would look with the flash on and here it is. Pretty don't you think?

Oleander is a beautiful shrub, but I won't have it in my yard as it is much to dangerous for my Standard Poodles who love to chew on foliage. I took the following plant photos while walking around the parking lot prior to work this morning. The light was dim so the flash went off and gave a different view of the plants that I actually like. I've tried several times to take photos of the Oleander when the sun is out, to no avail as either the flowers are wilting due to the harsh sun or a breeze is moving the shrubs and they're just a blur.

Marigolds are normally such brightly colored flowers, I like the way the water had settled into the center of the flower - very sparkly
The Dusty Miller looked very festive, proudly diplaying the tiny drop of water like fine jewelry.

Monday, August 25, 2008


The aroma of Lilac is so enticing, I saw this last spring while on a stroll thru the Huntington Library, it becomed me to linger awhile to enjoy its fragrance.

Progress on Persephone Scarf

For the first time I deleted a post! I had written it this morning prior to leaving for work and could not get the photo out of my mind, the dinginess of the picture was haunting me - it had no stitch definition and just looked terrible. So I took photos in the parking lot at work using the back seat of my car (it is a little better and shows some stitch definition) and even more photos upon my unexpected arrival at home (the sunlight was too harsh and washed out the stitches just like the flash this morning). I will definately have to think of creative solutions for my blog pics as daylight hours are getting shorter (mostly while I am at work) and good lighting will be much harder to come by.

It was wonderful spending time with my Niece, we had a leisurely lunch, then strolled to the all important candy store to satisfy my Niece's sweet tooth - casually window shopping (Old Towne in Orange) as we went and appreciating the beautiful weather. She is so patient with me, endulging me by posing for this picture holding a lollipop that I wanted to photograph and patiently waiting as I snapped away at the various candy trays (perhaps one or two more will appear in future blogs to add a little something sweet to a post). I love the vivid colors of this rock candy - it recalls to mind the brightly striped socks that I see on many fellow knitters blogs.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Something Sweet

There were quite a few sweets at the Farmer's Market. At the Candy Apple stall, there was a young man who really stood out from the crowd of vendors, he was alive with youthful energy and I think he represents our California boys pretty well.

He nearly made it into this photo, but the camera reacted faster than his dive to be in the picture (really quite funny). The candy apples just tickled my fancy, they had such color (the photo is this case did not do them justice)

These candy apples looked SO APPEALING, it was very hard to resist, I may have to give in on my next visit. There were so many different kinds, how does one choose?

Adjacent to the fair is a wonderful family owned candy store named Village Sweets, the owners really care about the products they sell and we received kind attention from the proud father whose daughter owned this store.

There is a plethora of fudges that they make daily, I'd brought some home only to have it mysteriously disappear without even getting a taste (or photo of it).

This is sure to bring out the kid in you, jars of delectable candies cover a countertop, it was such a feast for the eyes. Instead of the plastic bins you see now in most candy shops, there were glass jars of all shapes and sizes.

How in the world do you eat these HUGE jawbreakers! I'm sure that kids would be more than happy to attempt to figure out a way, holding them in your hand would be a sweet but messy endeavor.

This is a photo my stylist Kim took today, she is so talented and can make anyone's hair look great by just blowdrying! (I wish I could keep her in my back pocket so that my hair could always look this nice)


I had no intentions of stopping at at book store, but a friend needed a book to read at the coffee shop so being the self sacrificing creature that I am ( they really needed to twist my arm on this one) we located one on the way. I was perusing the knitting books, not expecting to find anything and found my now FAVORITE book on socks, there are so many patterns in this book that I am interested in knitting, I can hardly wait to get started, I have several projects going right now, still it wouldn't hurt to go to Suzoo's today and begin my hunt for some of the yarns I will need. Hopefully I will have photos to share with you if I locate any of the yarn.
Friday evening was quite spontaneous as a dear friend and I attended the Summer Festival at the Huntington Library in San Marino which was performed by Southwest Chamber Music. This was my first Chamber Music concert and I quite enjoyed it, but will admit that I really missed the soul stirring sounds of the violin. The following pieces were performed La Cheminee du Roi Rene by Darius Milhaud (1892 - 1974), Choros No. 2 for Flute & Clarinet by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 - 1959), Summer Music, Op. 31 by Samuel Barber (1910 - 1981), Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6 by Heitor Villa - Lobos and Mladi for Wind Sextet by Leos Janacek (1854 - 1928).

The concert took place on the Logia with the Chamber music playing to a background of lovely chirping insects (crickets perhaps?). I was fortunate enough to have a seat towards the edge and could look out and see some stars during the concert which made everything feel dreamlike.

This photo almost appears as if it were take with black and white film. It was dark and I could just barley see the outline of the urn (in the viewfinder all I could see was black so most of the photos were taken blindly and hoping for the best). During the day the urn is softer in appearance as it has sat out in the elements for a century or more, the flash brings out a starker quality and shows an interesting contrast with the dark night as the background. This urn sits on the edge of the balcony just outside the main house in the Huntington Gardens.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Local Family Fair & Market

I really do try to stick to knitting & gardening on this blog, but working full time with a long commute does not always allow enough time to complete projects in a timely manner blogging has been so much fun that I want to be able to post on a regular basis. So when opportunities arrive to share genuine beauty or something delightful then I hope you won't mind the indulgence of my postings.

There were some incredible flowers at the farmer's market, I'm not quite certain what these are, but they were a must share due to their beauty (if you can identify the flower please would you tell us in your comment). The petals were so amazing and they stood on rather tall stems. Could this be a sunflower?
These Gerber Daisies were so exuberant in their bright colors that I just had to include them in this blog, try as I may I could not get a photo of them without some one's arm, leg, or other body parts in the photo. (I also desperately wanted to rearrange them, but I didn't think that the operator of this stall would appreciate that) I thought it was humorous the sign looks as if a bunch would cost EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS .

Have you ever been enticed by the fragrance of strawberries on a warm summer afternoon? These beauties were also a treat for the eyes and they drew you into their stand - beckoning come and buy me!

Most of the stalls were occupied seem to be occupied by the farmers who grow the produce (they proudly displayed their beauties and gave out generous samples, the watermelon here was much redder than the picture showed and generously filled the air with its sweet fragrance).

The grapes looked so delicious and ripe, but by the time I had discovered them my bags were quite loaded and heavy with goodies to take home, so I brought a photo of them home instead.
Well that's all the photos I can manage for this morning, I have a few more pics to share so I will continue sharing my Farmer's Market experience on my next posting.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tomatoes and Pomatomus

I've began the Pomatomus Sock (pattern is free and available on it is being knit on 2 circular needles with the suggested yarn by Shelridge Farm, I used the color Loganberry. The pattern is written for DPN's, and I was surprised how easy it was to convert to use with the circular needles. I have an appreciation for the circular needles as it is easier to take my project places without having to worry about stitches falling off the needles while in transit. The socks are destined by my niece who is away at college, she is now a fellow knitter and I know that she will enjoy wearing handmade socks made especially for her by her Aunt Jean. My next sock project for her will have to be warm winter socks in either a DK weight or possible a worsted weight. Sock pattern suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!
The tomatoes are coming! I had to go out and take back the volunteer tomato plant some, its as tall as the house and was quite wide, upon taking down some of the branches I came upon this wonderful specimen (there were plenty of others, but this one was especially appealing). If this is the same type of tomato that I planted last year it will reward me with large meaty tomatoes that are delectable with few seeds, they are great with fresh mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil.

My favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil right now is by Colivata from Tuscany, it will be wonderful on the tomatoes when they are ready, I use it to dip bread into, finish pasta, drizzle on lightly steamed veggies or on a salad, I'm sure I could find other uses for it, but these are great for now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just Flowers

Last night (after dark) I decided that I wanted to bring some Lavender to work so out to the garden I strolled and cut them in the dark, a little trickly, but they turned out fine as you can see from the photo below. I like to reuse bottles as I won't worry about losing another vase in transit, this bottle held Vanilla Extract and it seems to work just fine.

Bright colors are not usually my thing, but this past year has been an adventure in color for me, I may venture even further next year with larger blooms as I think they may provide the opportunity for interesting photos. The difficulty in photographing (at least for me) the tall spikes of this Delphinium is that I lose the flower definition when I try to bring the entire stalk into the photo so I chose to concentrate on a few magnificent blooms (they remind me of skirts with the petticoats peaking out).

This photo was taken on a slightly overcast day, yet the bright blue Larkspur still manage to pop with color.
It was last spring when I took this photo, The colors were so vivid and this one in particular really stood out from the rest of the Azaleas.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Most Incredible Yarn!

This is the most gorgeous yarn! It is sooo soft (80% merino and 20% bamboo) I feel almost guilty is using this lovely yarn to make a pair of socks. The colors really do remind me of living plants with soothing greens meandering thru the white. The artist who created this yarn had it available on Ebay under the seller Celticmemory and I have listed her as among my favorite blogs. Her blog is one I look forward to reading as the tales of her travel (along with good photos) transport you to places that I can only dream of at this point in my life.
I tried in vain to find a beautiful Birch tree to photograph to post with this yarn, there was a couple of sad specimens in my neighborhood, certainly not worthy to share space with this yarn. The closest thing I could find was the Variegated Hydranea in my front yard, the colors of the yarn in person is actually closer to the photo below than the actual photo I took of the yarn, for some reason the yarn did not photograph well.
The Catalina Coffee Company is the best coffee house I've come across (and I'm willing to drive to Redondo Beach - which is about 30 miles), Helen has invested so much of herself and it shows as it draws people there and has become a destination for many who crave great coffee and good food in a positive atmosphere that seems to stimulate creativity.

The clientele is eclectic, authors, students, cyclists, knitters, readers... There are artistic touches that contribute to this atmosphere, its not too chic, its lived in and comfortable.
Whoever heard of a coffee house with an actual fireplace! I can hardly wait for cooler weather so that I can curl up in one of the overstuffed chairs by the fireplace and read or knit away the afternoon. It's difficult to go back to the local chain coffee shops, wish there were more independant coffee houses like this one around where people actually converse, or are encouraged to just hang out and read.

I just found the greatest place to view films, its historic (at least for Southern California) and beautifully maintained, the seats are modern and comfortable with a great sound system (I hesitate to share this as it is such a jewel and no long lines!). The popcorn was fresh and hot (not what I'm used to at the chain movie theaters where the popcorn is so stale it almost resembles packing styrofoam)