Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hello and Happy Eid

Hope you are all well.  It's been nearly 2 weeks since my last post and the only reason for that is pure laziness.
For the past 30 days we have been in the midst of the Holy Month of Ramadan.  That means from sunup 'til sundown there is no eating or drinking in public so all restaurants and coffee shops are closed until just before sunset.
On Thursday, we were invited to fatoor (the breaking of the fast) at Movenpick.
It was lovely to see all the lights and decorations for Ramadan.
Today marks the first day of Eid celebrations.  Although my husband has off the next couple of days and we could go out, we are instead having a quiet day at home.  (Perhaps we'll venture out tomorrow.)
While he enjoys traditional maamoul, butter cookies stuffed with dates, walnuts or pistachios, I made myself some vegan pumpkin pecan polvorones (recipe from Cookie and Kate).
Eid blessings to all.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My First C2C

One of the activities planned for this past Saturday's Worldwide Knit-in-Public Day was a yarn swap.
I received the Happy Baby yarn above, along with many other little crafty items.  Sweet handwritten notes were attached to each gift giving tips on how it could be used.
(I've wanted a spool knitter for awhile so look forward to trying that out soon.)

In the meantime, I've started my first corner-to-corner baby blanket.  I've watched friends working on them for a couple of years now and always thought it looked a bit difficult, especially the graphghans (changing colors within a project is not my forte). But it turns out a c2c blanket is made only using chains and double crochet, which happens to be my favorite stitch.
So far so good.  Since I'm using the yarn I received, I will be doing a color change at the end of the row.  And hope the decrease is just as easy as the increase has been.

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

3rd Annual WWKIP Day

Thanks to Mini of Miniz Diary, Kuwait has now participated in its third Worldwide Knit-in-Public Day.
Since 2005, knitters (and now all sorts of crafters) have been gathering on the second Saturday in June with the idea of "Better living through stitching together,"
At our first event, we had 8 in attendance, and this time, I totally lost count.
So much amazing talent and creativity from knitters, crocheters and stitchers.  
In fact, I was so busy talking, that I barely did any crocheting at all.  I was distracted by so much inspiration all around.

Thanks again Mini for all your hard work in organizing a very successful event.

Happy crafting,

Friday, May 26, 2017

Five Flowers on Friday

Today I'm joining Carly and Tricky at Fast Blog for Five on Friday.
On May 22nd I posted about this child's board book of flowers that I recently got.  I love all the colorful illustrations so thought it would be fun to find real flowers to match.

Flower Number 1
Flower number 2:
I deadheaded my daisies and a few days later found two tiny little surprise blooms.
Flower number 3:
Buds and blooms on my balcony.
It's amazing how these two blooms are on the same plant and yet look so different.

Flower number 4:
Last year I had a red hibiscus that succumbed to the summer heat, so this winter we bought another one, in a different color.
It had an aphid problem several weeks ago but that's under control now.  One beautiful flower opened up this morning and many more buds are just waiting to bloom.

And finally, flower number 5:
I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me that's because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that's such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.
Helen Mirren
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Crochet Lessons

The joy of crochet is its simplicity: there is only ever one stitch in work and just a few variations of the basic stitches to master, but the possibilities of using and combining those stitches together are endless.
Erika Knight
A week and a half ago, my 11 year old neighbor, Malak, asked if I could teach her to crochet.
Lesson number one:  the chain stitch.  Once she felt she understood how to do it, she would go home to practice.
And the next day, she would bring me her sample.
Lesson two:  single crochet.
I was so pleased with how quickly she was able to pick it up even though she felt her work was messy.  I told her that she can't expect to be perfect when she just started and besides that, I've tried to teach adults who never got past making chain stitches, so I think she's doing great!
On Tuesday, she announced she wanted to make a scarf but I told her we needed to take it one step at a time.  I figured a much simpler project would be more satisfying.
So lesson number three was crocheting a circle that was transformed into a flower by using the stitches she had already learned.  At the rate she's going, she'll be crocheting that scarf in no time.

Happy Thursday,

Monday, May 22, 2017

Balcony Blooms

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.
(Liberty Hyde Bailey)

Aptenia cordifolia a/k/a heartleaf iceplant or baby sun rose.
... great ground cover, easy to propagate, tolerates infrequent watering.
The Hibiscus flowers best in temperatures between 60-90 F ... since we are already at 100 F during the day, and by next week will reach 115, I am going to have definitely move my plant to another location.  Last years's red hibiscus did not survive the extreme summer heat.
Moss Rose, native to South America. flowers in early summer and is able to survive in areas of heat and drought.
Thai Basil is left to flower and used as ornamental plants in the garden.  The bees love them and the best thing is they self-seed.  I have volunteer basil popping up all over the place which makes me very happy.
Another very good self-seeder is Vinca Catharanthus Roseus a/k/a Madagascar Periwinkle.  Human impact on the forests of Madagascar has caused dire consequences, yet the periwinkle has been able to survive.
Tradescantia Pallida, Purple Heart ... sold here as an outdoor plant which is where I've always had it.  Turns out it is great as an indoor plant, too.
Bougainvillea, a thorny flowering vine that is a native of South America so does very well in warm climates.  The leaves change colors and are the bracts that surround the actual flowers which are white, usually three clustered together.
  Being involved with The Secret Garden these past couple of years has sparked my interest in getting to know my plants.
I even grabbed this colorful child's board book from the pediatric playroom (they are constantly weeding out the donations they receive and this book made me smile).

"May flowers bloom in all corners of your world,"
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