Monday, July 20, 2015

No smoke, no water

The smokiness only lasted for about a week, and then we had some rain and things seemed to have gotten better for those of us in Metro Vancouver, but the heat wave continues and they've just upgraded our water conservation to a level 3 - that means no lawn sprinkling, no sprinkling, only hand held watering. Of course, no pressure washing or washing of cars. Next step, no watering at all -not even food crops. I've already lost a bunch of plants in my garden and have held off going to the garden centre because I don't know if the new ones would survive being replanted and then not getting much water.

There are several garden projects on hold;I had wanted to bring in some dirt to improve some areas of my lawn, but with an active labrador , loose dirt just gets brought into the house. So that DIY project is also off the list.

And healthwise, I'm having a bit of the same issue I had last year: tight muscles on my upper back and shoulders. Last year it got so bad that I had migraine type headaches almost everyday and seemed I was living on Tylenol or Aleve on an almost daily basis. After trying massage therapy and acupuncture (that was a disaster), I feel that physiotherapy has been helpful. I have some exercises I can do, but sometimes I still need him to "jump start" the healing. Plus he can crack my back which really helps. I'm doing my exercises and trying to work in more yoga to keep myself pliable.

We're still going through the heat wave, which is fine for me because I like the heat. But now our air conditioner has crapped out (it's only 19 years old , sheesh) and so it's a wee bit hotter than it should be in the house. This morning our thermometer said it was 19 degrees celsius outside and 25 degrees inside. I guess we know our insulation works!

So what I'm saying is - I'm moving slowly and therefore have less to share with you. But rain is coming and then watch what happens!! I'll be swinging by your blog soon to say 'hi'!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Barefoot Sandals + Fire!

When we had our little heat wave, I didn't feel like doing too much yard work and I certainly didn't want to be be inside anymore than I had to so I spent some time in the garden working on projects like these - are you familiar with barefoot sandals? There is a loop at one end to go around your second toe and then long straps to go around your ankles in a variety of tying patterns.

They can be worn on the beach, for a beach wedding, they can be worn to festivals (Hello BASSCOAST!!) or on stage for performances  plus worn under or over flipflop straps or other shoes.

This is the most recent pair I just finished making - they have a beautiful soft blue trim and a textured cream section in the centre. (In my shop, ready to ship if you're interested)

Currently our heat wave is over and a little rain has fallen. Hopefully more rain has fallen in the mountains - the Vancouver/Whistler area is known as one of the wettest places in Canada, and parts of the area are even considered to be a  Rain Forest, yet during this last heat spell we were on fire. Smoke filled the skies from Whistler to Chilliwack. And crews came from many places to help fight the fires. This is one time many of us are okay with seeing the rain, in fact, we welcomed it. Especially if it means that our precious forests may be spared from being destroyed by fire.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Camouflage Dog

Didn't you know that not all dogs are white, brown, grey. etc ? Nope, some service dogs need to be camouflaged, just like this guy, he will be in my shop ready to go to a happy home. Where he may or may not blend in

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Smoke Gets in Your Eye

We went from having the most amazing weather on sunday for the final FIFA World Cup Ladies Soccer/Football championship (Congratulations USA) to hazy, dark, smoke filled skies.

The Vancouver area is currently clouded with smoke from wildfires coming from Whistler and many other areas. There are plenty of warnings for people with respiratory issues, the young and the old to not be outside.

Following our current heat wave, the cooler weather is welcome but I certainly don't want to open my windows to cool off the house if it means it will fill up with a smokey smell.

I think it has affected me because my eyes hurt and my nose keeps running.

We went from this: 

To this - the streets of Vancouver look like, from CTV news: 

Monday, July 06, 2015

TV and the Granny Square Afghan

This is a really good article about the Granny Square Afghan and it's presence in TV shows - read this now. If you are a crocheter (or a TV Sitcom watcher), I am sure you will enjoy it.

Although I like the black border on many of them, I do really like the fresh springy look when a white border and bright colours are used. Just google the words "granny square afghan" and you will see that literally thousands of variations have been done. The blanket has been made by many crocheters across the world of 40+ years.

There are two other styles of aghans that I really like. One, I guess, could be considered a variation of the granny square. It is called the Babette. I love it because of the large and small squares and the way the colours are exchanged from one square to another. If I was going to make an afghan, I think I would start with the Babette. Here's just one example of one still in the process. This is probably about 1/4 of a full blanket.

The second style I like, currently flying off people's hooks right now, is the 'graphghan". This is where an image is charted out and then the whole afghan is crocheted like a large pixelated image. Again, you have to google it to see the incredible pool of talent and variations that have been done - everything from Walter White of Breaking Bad, to Disney princesses, sports team and college logos, to images of pets or family members. Computer programs and/or apps can help you create your own personalized images and some will even chart out the colours you need.

Of course there are many, many other styles of afghans done including Tree of Life, Ripple  and the list goes on. Did you have one in your house? Or do you currently have one? What's your favourite TV afghan? 

(all photos courtesy of the web, for demonstration purposes only)

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Face Palm Moment

<--A friend gave me this hummingbird feeder*

The box said it was ant proof which I liked because I am currently in the middle of a turf war with a bunch thug carpenter ants.  I read the instructions, I fil it up and hang it in a tree where I hope hummingbirds can find it.

A couple days later I go and check on it, and there are no ants inside but a bunch of dead earwigs. (Side note - I hate earwigs - so gross looking. What is their purpose in the food chain? Who eats them??? )

Any hoodles - so today I had some time to kill while I waited for train that was blocking the road and popped into a Birding store. I tell the lady that I had this ant-free hummingbird feeder and that it has earwigs in it. She asks me if I fill up the centre moat compartment with water. Um-no.   - "Well there's your problem" (a la Adam Savage of Mythbusters)

*(not my photo)

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Almost Christmas (yup I said it)

Ha! As many of us in Western Canada are going through a heat wave, and thinking about swimming pools, lakes, boats, mojitos and sunscreen, I am thinking about Christmas.

Why you ask?

Well I have a little shop - check out the pictures and the link on the right side of the page --------->

Last year I knit my little heart out and continued to steadily fill orders until March. It was glorious!

After that, I took some time getting ready for my trip with my mom to Holland and France. Then I had a big dance show to prepare for and then I worked on some other projects - a sweater for my mom, some socks etc.

But now I must think about Christmas items. Since it is only 6 months away and I my selling cut of is around the beginning of December, so there is time to ship it. I would dearly love to bake in the sun all day but apparently there's this thing called skin cancer that scares the bejesus out of me. So I can only sit in the hot hot heat for a while and then I must sit in the shade. There you will find me knitting or crocheting.

I have some ideas I need to get working on - and fast. The last couple of ideas I had were scooped by others or something in the news happened that changed how people would receive the item - I shouldn't procrastinate. Creatives - do you have ideas like that? Some are time sensitive aren't they?

Well, enough typing I guess I'm better pick up some yarn and make something.

Don't forget your sunscreen!