Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Accidental Christmas Stocking

Thank you everyone for your warm wishes and congratulations on my sister's little one. I stopped by her place yesterday and saw the picture from the ultrasound ... oh my gosh! I think it is safe to say it is the cutest 9-week old baby I have ever seen :o)

I spent Friday night and Saturday morning knitting what turned out to be the biggest newborn baby bootie ever. I can't figure out why it turned out so huge-- I did a gauge swatch, something I almost never do. So now I'm thinking with a little bit of embellishing it can be a Christmas stocking for the baby.

My knitting mojo comes and goes. Do you ever get the urge to knit something new and exciting but just can't get started? That's what has been happening to me. I look and look and look at Ravelry and through my knitting books, hoping something will grab me, but nothing does. I did manage to finish the Yarn Harlot's one row scarf shown above. It's a little short, so I'm trying to decide whether to go ahead and bind off or order one more skein online.

came to visit today and we walked to downtown Willow Glen for lunch and a little shopping. I bought this crochet coin purse I've been wanting for a while. It's not as cute as Thimbleanna's blue beaded purse, but I had to have it.

We had lots of excitement around here this weekend ... in addition to the gynormous baby bootie and a visit from Dogwood, my new bed was delivered! Or maybe I should say Charlie and Apollo's new bed was delivered. Last night I found myself scrunched up on the edge of the bed because the cats were taking up the middle. I think tonight we are going to have to have a talk ...

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tears of Joy

Today it is official ... my little sister Hilary is having a baby!

She had her first doctor appointment today and gave me the okay to share the news. I've known for a while, but it is really hitting me right now because today she saw a picture of the baby and the heartbeat. I can't stop crying.

I'm going to be an aunt for the first time! We haven't had a baby in the family for a very long time and I am so looking forward to the arrival of this child. My whole family is ecstatic about the news.

Congrats Hil and Jeff! You will be wonderful parents.

PS. The photo is Hil on her wedding day a little over a year ago.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chilling, thrilling ATCs

The theme for my artist trading card swap group this month is "Things That Go Bump in the Night." I had lots of fun making my cards with scrapbook paper and stickers, but wanted to spooky them up for this post, so I used the cool Halloween effects on Picnik.

I went a bit overboard with the effects. It takes me back to years ago when I first discovered how to change the color of fonts and use clip art in Microsoft Word, before I learned that more isn't always better.

I've never been much of a Halloween person, but this year I'm enjoying it more than usual. While out for my walk this evening I found myself wishing I could go trick or treating.

The neighbors probably wouldn't appreciate a 44-year old Hannah Montana knocking on their door.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween in the 'hood

Brrr, it's chilly today! I'm wrapped in a flannel blanket on the couch, waiting for the rain to start. It's going to be a wet and cozy weekend (my favorite kind). I have some shopping to do, but I'm starting to wonder if I really even want to leave my home today.

I've been trying to walk every evening and wanted to show you some of the cool Halloween decorations I've encountered around the neighborhood.

Love those tiny pumpkins.

Big spiders are all the rage this year. Do you have them in your neighborhood, too? (I've been seeing smaller, even scarier ones in my apartment. Shudder.)

Good old-fashioned punkin' head.

Pretty clever with the heart.

This one is dedicated to Disney-lovers Kim and Hil.

Well, I'm off to the kitchen to make a bagel and coffee. I have Mad Men episodes to watch on DVD, a half-finished collage to work on, and want to find a juicy new knitting project to sink my teeth in to. What are your plans for the weekend?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Getting settled in

I'm so glad the move is over! All of the boxes are unpacked and I am getting settled in my new place. One of the best things about it are the gorgeous eucalyptus and redwood trees outside the patio and bedroom window.

The bedroom window has a nice view of the pool, too, which is especially pretty when it is lit up at night. From my bed I look out over the jungle that is growing up out of the creek (a crazy blend of trees, brush, and vines) and can hear the constant sound of water flowing.

We are getting lots of chickadees to the bird feeders on the patio. The cats are highly entertained-- it's like they have their own cable channel that they can't stop watching. (I'm getting addicted to that channel, too!)

It is fun exploring the new neighborhood. This place is right down the street and very, very tempting. They have the best custard-filled maple bars I have ever tasted.

I was completely exhausted this week after the move, but I'm coming back to life after having a massage and pedicure yesterday. The only knitting I've done is to work on a scarf for about twenty minutes and I will post pictures of that soon.

I've missed you all and will be visiting your blogs today.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Aren't these Halloween bears adorable? The artist is my sister Lisa Berry, also known as Feltypants. After many years of quietly painting in her home studio, Lisa recently started showing her work at art shows, benefits, and galleries. I'm so proud of her for putting herself out there ... it's scary as heck to open yourself up to other people eyes.

My other favorite is her musical cat series, also available as note cards. I dig that "Lust for Life" cat.

Okay, I'm saying good-bye again, this time for real, while I move to the new place. Talk to you (hopefully) next week.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A few things I'm in love with right now

Both of my sisters and my mom have been Food Network fans for a while now, but I never understood what all of the fuss was about. Now I'm hooked. It all started with Cupcake Wars a few months ago, but the show that really got me hooked is Chopped .

Do you ever watch it? Guest chefs compete in three rounds to make an appetizer, entree, and dessert using mystery ingredients they find out about a few seconds before they have to start cooking. The ingredients are things that don't go well together and they get very little time to make each dish.

It is tense watching the chefs figure out how to make dishes with ingredients like sardines, watermelon, and pepper jack cheese, and fascinating to see what they come up with. The judges taste their meals and then select one chef to get rid of for each round with a blunt, "You've been chopped." I played Chopped in my own kitchen last Sunday night and ended up with cheddar cheese and potato soup and a dish with Asian vegetables and cold salmon patties. If I had been on the show I would have been chopped the first round. It was that awful.

Last week I watched a Masterpiece Theater production of Sense & Sensibility that aired in 2009. Oh, it was so good! I love the one with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet that came out about fifteen years ago, but I like this newer one even more. It's a mini-series, so the running time is longer and the casting is just perfect. I want to buy the DVD.

Have you ever checked out knitwear designer Jared Flood's blog, Brooklyn Tweed? He is a major talent, and although I've never tried any of his patterns, it's fun to just go to his blog and drool over the gorgeous photos of his work. I love his latest design, a triangular shawl called Terra. He calls the lace section an "undulating cousin-stitch of Feather-and-Fan lace motifs." Be still my heart.

So that's a few things I'm in love with this week. I'm working on a new scarf that I want to show you but might not be back until next week because of the move. Hope you have a wonderful week.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Goldenbird in transition

On the one hand, I hate moving. On the other hand, my heart flutters with joy when I remind myself I am moving in less than a week.

Welcome to my living room. I am in transition.

I've started to emotionally detach from my current apartment so I can say good-bye to it next week. Yet I can't quite connect with my new apartment because I only saw the inside for a few minutes a month ago. I'm neither here nor there, focusing instead on the process of packing and the logistics of moving day.

I have lived in my current neighborhood for over 14 years. I love the tall trees, the shopping center with both Trader Joe's and Barnes & Noble, and the easy access to the highway. I know where the hummingbirds perch on a hot day, the best place to spot a Barn Owl late at night, and where to go for a solitary walk.

The new place

The new place looks beautiful from the outside, but I wonder what is waiting for me inside. Insects? Noisy neighbors? Chilly mornings and sleepless nights? I'm trying to focus on the good stuff-- top floor, private patio, bird feeders, and the sound of the creek. But it's hard not to fear the unknown.

When I moved 14 years ago to my current neighborhood, on moving day I woke up with a migraine and cried and cried. I had taken the apartment sight unseen because my rent had skyrocketed due to a housing shortage, and I was certain I would hate the new place.

When I arrived and saw the inside for the first time, it was love at first sight. I stayed there for over a decade before moving to a larger apartment within the same complex 18 months ago.

Another shot of the new place

The new place has many of the things I was looking for in a new home-- it is lush and green with lots of birds and a walking trail close by. But I had pictured myself in a rural setting, or perhaps in the mountains or by the beach. Instead I will be in the heart of the city on a busy street. I wanted a cottage with walls that are not attached to another residence. Instead I am in another apartment with people living on either side of me and below.

Fortunately, I can move again in six months if I'm not happy there. But I am hoping I will be. I hope it will be quiet, that I will find peace in the redwood and eucalyptus trees outside my window, that the sound of the creek will be reassuring, that it will lull me to sleep at night. I hope the cats enjoy the view from the top floor, that I will soon be on a first name basis with the folks that own the Thai restaurant a block away, that I will quickly learn where to spot wildlife on the walking trail across the street.

That is my hope. Soon I will find out.