Monday, March 30, 2009

Poppies? Where?

Today my mom, cousin and I took a drive out to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve to see the poppies and other wildflowers. I read on their website that this year there are not many poppies and that the grasses have taken over. I remember going about 20 years ago and there were poppies as far as your eye could see - it was spectacular. This was the first time my cousin had been out there and I was hoping it would be that way this year, but it was not to be. There were a few spots where there were poppies, but mainly what looks like what we call foxtails were everywhere. There was a meadow-like area where there was a large field of Goldfields that was beautiful. We didn't walk out that far, as the wind was blowing wicked strong and it was a brisk 56 degrees (don't laugh - that's brisk for us here - we're very spoiled). The flowers we did see along the trail we took were Bigelow Coreopsis, Blue Dicks (my cousin made a good joke about this, but I shall refrain from repeating it here!), Fiddleneck, and Pygmy-Leaved Lupine. It was awfully hard to get a good picture because of the wind, but I did manage to get a few good shots. I couldn't get many closeups though - the flowers were blowing around too much!

On the way back, we stopped for lunch at Camille's Sidewalk Cafe. My mom had the Napa Valley Chiken Panini, I had the Veganini, and my cousin had the Sonoma Veggie Wrap. We each enjoyed our selection (they were delicious) and we will definitely go back again.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Must-Have

I just want to give a shout-out for a wonderful must-have product by a super-nice lady. Rosanne Adreas, of the Beaded Phoenix, originally created the "Bead and String Reference Chart Poster" back in 1998 and has since updated it . I purchased mine about ten years ago and use it all the time. It really is an indispensible tool for beaders and jewelry-makers alike. It lists, among others things, sizes for beads, cabachons, wire, beading filament, etc. It is laminated, which makes it extremely resilient and will definitely last a lifetime of beading and crafting. You can purchase it at her website here. She was even nice enough to include my comments in her review section - thank you Rosanne!

I love mine and use it all the time. It is so nice to have such a wealth of information all in one place. I have mine prominently displayed on my craft cabinet where I can access it easily (and do so all the time).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Flowers

Here are a few examples of crocheted flowers that I'm making up as part of a joint "project" with my sister-in-law Maria. I'm using a #9 steel hook, which is fairly small. It was a little hard getting used to at first (my hand kept cramping-up on me!), but it's getting much easier. I've gotten about 25 flowers made so far. I make them at night while watching television. They are a pretty fast crochet and I especially love the effects I get with the variegated threads. The largest flower I'm doing is the size of a half-dollar and the smallest so far is the size of a quarter.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy "Official" First Day of Spring

Today is the "official" first day of spring, although we have been enjoying the signs of spring here for a few weeks already.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Spring is in full swing here. It was an absolutely beautiful day yesterday and my cousin "C" and I spent the morning at one of our favorite places to walk - Descanso Gardens. The lilacs were especially beautiful - the smell was unbelievable! I was wishing that my camera could capture their scent so that I could bring it home with me! I love autumn and winter, but I must say that there is nothing more glorious than the sights, sounds and scents of spring. It was just amazing to hear all the birds yesterday and to see all the flowers coming into bloom. Ah, spring!

On the crafting front, I've been busy finishing a couple of charm bracelets and ordering supplies. I've got lots of things in the works.

Here are a few photos I took during our walk yesterday.

Have a great week!

Monday, March 2, 2009

One More!

I am going to add this bracelet to my Etsy shop this morning. This one has a nursery rhyme theme. After listing this bracelet I'm going to finish-up my wedding charm bracelet and hopefully get some good photos of it and will be listing it soon.

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I've Been Busy!

These are my latest creations that I listed in my Etsy shop this afternoon. I'm working on a few others and should have them finished some time this week hopefully.

I think I may take a break from jewelry-making and take a walk. We are having absolutely gorgeous weather - it's in the low 80s and I can feel a slight breeze as I sit typing this. The sky has such beautiful wispy clouds again today - they were so beautiful yesterday. Supposedly we are in for a change with a chance of showers tomorrow. I do hope we get some more rain - we are still about two inches below the average. There is already talk of water rationing and it's only the first of March.