Thursday, December 30, 2010


Here's all the baking I did!  I made allot of cookies and gave out 12 goody bags as gifts this year.  Then I saved out some to keep and took the rest to my sister's where I spent a couple nights; Christmas Eve thru Sunday morning the 26th.  I also made a batch of Rice Krispie treats but didn't get a picture.

We might get some frost tonight and since my plants are all out on the driveway and not close to the house, the more fragile ones may not make it but when I got home tonight, I wrapped my Plumeria (Hawaiian) plant in bubble wrap hoping it won't suffer too much.

I didn't get the tutorial finished like I hoped I would.  Seems I have some super woman complex and think I can do more than I can!!  We were busy at the shop right up to the last days before Christmas with gift-wrapping and shipping.  I did get the pics done so I may get around to posting it this weekend.  Better late than never.  I'm taking the 3 day weekend and it'll be nice to have time to crochet and relax.

We had rain again yesterday and it seems it's always a bit slower at the shop when it rains so we decided to put away all the holiday decor and inventory.  This is the earliest we've ever done that.  Feels great having it done.  When I stopped by the grocery store this morning before work, there wasn't a single holiday item to be seen anywhere!  But guess what I saw?  VALENTINE CANDY. 
Spritz butter cookies using a press

Bar cookies, sorta tasted like choc chip cookies.  Guess who took a bite?

Two kinds of fudge and candied pecans up on the left

Peppermint meltaway cookies

Swedish cardamom spice refrigerator cookies

Swedish Glogg a concentrated spice drink to mix with juice or spirits
Wrapped up ready to give to my UPS, Fedex, and DHL drivers

Thanks for stopping by...I'll write again soon...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hello...I wish you a very joyful day and hope that you're able to spend it with your loved ones or enjoy doing something you like to do!

Our Christmas cactus in bloom


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And The Rain Comes Down

 Where is the sun?  It has been raining on and off for 5 days, gray, gray, gray.  It's become an unwanted visitor.  Sneaking into the crevices where it doesn't belong.  It has gone into places that I didn't want it to.  At the shop's back door, the carpet gets wet, and the ceiling where we thought we fixed it last spring it has gone there again.  Now I'm glad we didn't replace the ceiling tiles yet.  Drat, drat, drat it has come into my back room, a new ceiling leak!
The new leak :(

A new storm is supposed to be here tomorrow.  All I can say is now they can stop saying "DROUGHT".  I foresee more painting in my future.

I've been wrapping up the last of my gifts.  I'm putting together gift bags right now for my delivery men (Fedex, UPS and DHL), the real "SANTAS"!  I'll post pics soon.

Hope you are warm and DRY wherever you are, enjoying the season, being festive and eating chocolate or whatever floats your boat!  Have fun! oxoxox

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Hope your festivities are under way and you've been able to get all the gifts that you had planned on getting for those you love.  I've been trying to take some pictures of the busy corner near where I live that has a lighted holiday display.  We don't seem to get to stop at the light and be first in line where we would have a clear view of it so I keep taking pics as we pass by and even though you can't make out what is actually there the pics are kinda interesting to look at, IMHO!! 

There's only one tree, it's fake and really big!

I like this last one.  The lights look kinda like seagulls. 

I'm taking a break from my marathon baking right now.  I'm making cookies and some candy to give out to friends and customers and some to take to the family on Christmas day.  As I was sliding cookies off the sheet to cool, I was thinkin' of my blogging friends and then of all the women and men, too who are probably busily making treats for others just like I'm doing and that's cool!  Then I thought of blogging and so here I am.

It's been raining steadily since yesterday, late morning and that is ALLOT of rain for us.  It's a tropical storm so it's not very cold just allot of wet.  There is always a possibility of flooding when we get so much rain all at once so hopefully everyone will be ok.  It's nice to be sheltered and indoors baking...comfy and cozy. 

I haven't finished my other crochet projects but I've been having fun making snowflakes and creating different patterns as I go along.  Blocking them has made a big difference in how they look.  I got some spray starch and they look so much better.  I want to make a bunting of snowflakes so I just keep making them.  Wonderful mindless activity for sure!!!!

Hope you're cozy and warm and doing whatcha like best.  Hugs to you, Annie

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowflakes That Won't Melt

It was very warm yesterday, about 84 degrees so I worked in the yard for awhile. Sure doesn't seem like Christmas in a couple weeks!  It was too warm to make holiday cookies and fudge and I wasn't in the mood to sweat while making candy so I just have to do it in the evenings this week and next weekend.  I made some more snowflakes last night but it felt like I should've been working on a summer tote instead.  These are the ONLY snowflakes that we'll ever have where I live...
Click on the pics to see them larger.
Here's the crocheted snowflakes that I made using this pattern here.  I got the idea to make them from Clara and you can see hers here.  I didn't put the googly eyes or the face on them although they are cute like that, mine are plain. The first pic, I used fuzzy yarn with a size I hook and then for the photo, laid it on the piece of paper I was testing my new punch tool on.  The corners are tricky but I love the scalloped edge, it looks like eyelet lace.

In the second photo for the larger one (about 5" wide), I used a strand of worsted yarn and Vanna's tinsel yarn (the name is Glamour a #2 fine yarn, color: Diamond) together with a K hook .  I used a G hook for the smallest one (about 2.5" wide), using a single strand of Glamour yarn and played around with the pattern a bit and did a back post single crochet stitch in the center stitches just to see the result and the stitch looks raised and more defined.  I like it either way.  I added a chain of about 18 sts. to make the loop so it could hang on the tree.

Here is the first true flower of the peach rose since it got transplanted into the new garden.  It had a few weird ones and I think what caused it was transplant shock.  This bloom took forever to open up.  It seems to have a petal missing but it was just stuck upwards and I hope that rose bush does better in the spring.  I don't prune my roses until mid January, that way I have a few blooms through the end of the year.
The 2 smaller ones in front are my new minis and they're blooming now.
The mini flowers are about the size of a dime.

I'd better get back to work. Hope you all have a very merry week and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shopping and Shop

Howdy!  I finished my holiday shopping last Sunday; 7 hours from leaving the driveway to arriving home.  Tired? Yes.  Glad I was DONE? Yes-siree!  Now I can concentrate on helping bring the holidays under control for others with gift wrapping, packing and shipping.  We haven't been super busy at least not yet, which is a sign of this economy right now.

While out shopping on Sunday about midday I grabbed a cup of coffee and I sat down on a bench outside next to a lady that was not social at all.  As I was sipping my coffee it went down the wrong way and I started to cough and choke...eyes bulging out and tearing up and so glad that I didn't ya know, upchuck...luckily it was just a small amount but I kept having to cough and then she got up and left, like in a huff.  She didn't even ask me if I was ok.  After I got my composure back I was walking past a lady that had left the store and had 3 boxes stacked above the cart and she was headed down the small ramp so I asked if I could help her and while doing so I just did by reaching out to keep the boxes steady.  She acted like I might, heck I don't know, mug her or something?  Then when I didn't seem too threatening, she thanked me.  I was trying to be friendly and in the holiday spirit and most people were not, a few were.  I did have a nice/happy sales cashier lady at Michaels.  Los Angeles used to be more friendly, what happened???

Here is a pic of our shop tree with the couple of new items I got from Target that I wrote about a couple of posts ago.  The star on top is actually a hanging ornament with glitter and rhinestones held on with a twist tie and then I purchased a string of iridescent light bulbs instead of using the mini-lights.  I should have bought two strands but I was thinking it would be enough, either that or I'm cheap!  The stockings you see on the tree can hold a gift card.

Here's a couple shots of the shop all ready for Christmas.

I got a couple of gifts for the shop from Michaels since I had a couple of coupons that were burning a hole in my pocket.  Really these are for me but I got them to make fancy edges on the signs that I make for the shop but I'll also use them for card making.  While I was at Michaels I also picked up some of Vanna's tinsel yarn to make the crochet snowflakes that Clara was showing us on her blog.  They are easy and fun to make and I'll post some pix soon.

Hope your holiday shopping and baking is going well for you and you are getting in the spirit of the season!  Take care and I hope to post soon!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Time

Hi There, it's been awhile since I last posted.  My poor shop was seriously and I mean it, really in need of CLEANING.  Yes, I put out all the holiday inventory and decorated this week but first I needed to clean up.  I've spent so much time browsing the net and visiting all the lovely blogs and have neglected my daily chores.  Before (fast) internet, my shop was OH so much more clean and organized.  I worked hard this week doing my best to make the shop very inviting.  I'll post a few pics soon and I still really want to post a couple tutorials, too.  Here's hoping I make more sales this year!

Here are some pix of Thanksgiving at my brother's in Alta Loma which is part of Rancho Cucamonga, CA.  He has a mini farm and it was a bit like being out in the country for a day.  It was very relaxing and great seeing everyone.
Looking North to Mt. Baldy, he has snow!   


I tried to get a pic of the chickens but as soon as the new dog arrived they went into hiding! 

They have the new fangled Iris, the kind that bloom more than once a year.

Well, that's it for now.  I'm going to go and crochet awhile.  Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm hoping you have a special holiday and you get to enjoy being with family and friends or whatever is it you want to do and there is no STRESS!  I'll be in Rancho Cucamonga at my bro's and be with whatever family shows up.  My contribution this year is: making my candied yams with walnuts that the family requests every year, regular whole berry cranberry sauce and using a recipe for pecan bars from Pammy Sue's blog instead of pecan pie.

Yes, my shop is open today and I might close a bit early since I don't have any food for sale, hee-hee.  Then it's back to work on Friday to be a retail ANGEL and then I'm going to get out all the holiday decorations and inventory for sale.  I picked up a couple of holiday deco's from Target last night that I'll show you soon.

These are all pictures from our day trip to Carlsbad Flower Fields last Mother's Day.
My sis' kids and me

             HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Hi and thanks for your get well/better wishes!  I'm much better today.  I plan to go to my dance and Pilates class tonight but I'll take it easy.  Over our rainy weekend I did clean, yeah I said I wasn't but I can't sit still and look at everything "in it's less than optimum condition".  BUT, I only cleaned my sewing machine, kinda detailed it and put some oil in the bobbin runway.  Then did a little mending with it, some laundry and polished my boots that I haven't worn in years that I plan to wear on Thanksgiving. 

Last night when I closed the shop, boy it was really chilly outside.  Finally feels like it could be Thanksgiving on Thursday.  Where in the world did this year go???

Things I'm loving right now:
Yesterday's breakfast

I got these individually wrapped biscotti at Ralphs and they are sooo good and so are the lemon kind.  I'm gonna go get some more tonight for gifts.  They aren't as hard as some kinds tend to be, ya know like they're gonna break your teeth, so you have to dip 'em.

Today's breakfast
I love these cookies, they taste allot like home-made and I got some Pumpkin Butter to put on them.  I love that stuff and get a jar every fall.  Usually I put it on toast.  I ate the cookies and they are really rich with the pumpkin on it.  Too rich really, better on toast.

I've had her for years and she is so pretty right now.

So many blooms on her.

My new garden gloves!  My others started having cracks in 'em.  These are bamboo fabric and rubber.

Kris my new blogging friend who lives close to one of my brothers, here in SoCal, gave me the inspiration to do a post on some stuff I know how to do just in time so you can use the info for the holidays.  See her pretty tissue paper party pouf balls tutorial here.  I'll be posting my tutorials as soon as I can get to it.

Hope you're having a terrific day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Heat's On and a Crazy Week

Whoa, whata week...but I turned on the temperamental heater this morn for the first time since last spring  when I got in the shop and it actually worked!  HEAT, yay!  It's been a blustery day and a sorta cold rain.  That's ok since I'm warm and dry.
This week has been like this:
After I moved the fridge back against the wall, I forgot to turn it back on until I found my uh-oh the next morn.

I was getting a new cold and then I got an ugly cold sore on my lip.  1) I'm thinking all my customers are looking at my fat lip and grossing out. 2) It hurt like the dickens.

I get up on Wed. morn and my upper back seizes up on my left side while I go to brush my teeth and then like an idiot, I think I'll just twist and make it better, MISTAKE.  It starts hurting so bad and pinching on my nerve that I go into tears spontaneously and carefully go downstairs to tell Big Al that he needs to drive me to work but  take me to the Chiropractor first.  I take my magnesium drink to control the spasms it helps and then down 2 Tylenol.  I have to be hurting to take any meds!

Their morning is filled with patients (what?  I have to wait? ahem, I'm hurting here) so they make me an appt. for 3:30.  I fill the time with half work, take 2 more Tylenol and half space out while leaning my back on a heating pad attached to my chair.  This is when having your own business really IS the pits.  Big Al and my son came in to help but can't take over completely.  Customers are understanding, I really do have great customers.

Ahhh! time to go...sat in the reception room and slowly crocheted a bit and then thankfully it was my turn.  Yup, the disc had slipped a tad to my left and he adjusted it and ta-da it went back in and immediately felt relief.  But since I spent several hours with the nerve being pinched, it is now Sat. and it is still sore but better than yesterday.  I've been babying it and as I write I'm leaning against my trusty heating pad.

NOTE: If you ever hurt your back don't wait.  Get to the Chiro quick.  The longer you wait the more damage it does to the nerve and takes longer to heal as well as more pain.

That same night, my daughter called me with the news that her dad's mom, (my kid's paternal Grandmother) passed on early that morning.  What a crappy day.  Dear Eunice we will miss you.  She was 93 or 94 and bless her heart, was nearly blind, was hard of hearing and just recently been admitted to Hospice as the doctors said there was nothing they could do for her any longer.  She had pains in her body that started every afternoon.  Her heart wasn't able to pump the blood to the extremities something like that.

We said our goodbyes a few months ago because she was certain her time to leave was near (she's been living in Las Vegas, NV).  She knew that I wasn't going to attend her funeral and after that conversation, I kinda knew it would be our last one on this earth.  I'll see her again someday.  Years ago, after she found out I was divorcing her son, she called me and asked if she could still see the children and my reply was, "I'm divorcing your son, not YOU!" and then told her she would always be welcome in my home and she could see the kids whenever she wanted to.  We remained close after all those years.  She's no longer in pain and that helps me deal with her passing.

Yesterday, I stopped for coffee and lunch on my way in and filled my large cup with decaf by mistake, I've never done that.  Probably best though, since caffeine stimulates the nerves when mine should be kept relaxed!

When I got home on Thurs., my son had been sanding in my walk in closet (hallway) and all the work I did cleaning my bathroom and bedroom, laundering, mopping, swiffer-ing and vacuuming all for naught.  There was a film of white dust on everything.  Originally, he was only going to do a bit of patching and paint.  Any sanding was gonna be minimal by hand.  Then on his own decided to use the electric sander and what a mess.  It has gone through the sliding mirrored doors and onto all my clothes and needless to say, I was so upset especially because I think all my "AMBITIOUSNESS" with cleaning stressed out my back which caused it to spaz-out and now it's all a mess again.  I just broke down, cried and sobbed away on my bed like a little kid feeling so sorry for myself, angry at the stupid house, my son's mistake, my back injury and Eunice's death.

My son apologized and spent much of yesterday cleaning up.

I NEED A VACATION! **smiles**

The good news of the week is that my lovely cousin Jeff in Minnesota, wants my mom and me to come out next spring or summer to visit.  He had been here in CA for a short visit and was telling us about the addition he was putting in the attic and mentioned we should visit sometime.   Now, I just have to figure out a plan.  My mom will be 80 in 2011 and I'd love for her to visit with her family.

I'M NOT CLEANING THIS WEEKEND, except for some laundry.  Enough so I don't have to be naked next week.
The Lantana in the new garden is lookin' good

 If it's nice out maybe I'll go to Descanso Gardens, my happy place.

I know, this is a long post.  I'll quit now.

Take your vitamins and get your rest.  The holidays are upon us.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Cold

Hello!  I should be dancing/exercising at my class but I started not feeling so great last night and then a bit worse today.  Then I left this morning and forgot to take my mat, just as well since I don't feel any better right now.  I'm gonna let the traffic die down a bit and then go home and go to bed.

Over the weekend I got the bathroom together and finished cleaning my room and never made it down to the kitchen cabinets.  It was such a gorgeous Sunday that I just had to be outside.  Besides, I forgot I still had all those Iris rhizomes to plant in pots so I can take them with me when we sell the house.  Last year we had so many rainy Sundays that I couldn't get outside to garden and then last night on the news they said it might rain this coming weekend.

These pots made it back onto the porch, hee hee!

Close up of a Bromeliad flower

The Bromeliad plants are blooming right now and since  they can't be seen by passerbys, I plucked most of them and brought them inside to enjoy.  
All my vases are packed so I used an old plastic glass.  

I was really busy yesterday at the shop, it's like the beginning of the holiday season has arrived.  I need to get out all the Christmas decorations and inventory to sell since everywhere I go all the holiday stuff is out already.  I just don't feel in "the spirit of the season" right now.  I also need to order supplies and more bubble wrap & boxes just in case there is a rush on shipping.  

They say you can tell allot about someone by their trash.  Here's mine.  Right by the chair that I read and crochet in.  Candy wrappers and box, ice cream container and popsicle wrapper.  Hmmm, too much sugar last week?  Maybe that's why I got a new cold.  Gotta get the vitamin c and hit the sack early tonight.  I wanted to say "Thanks" for your compliments; to those of you who stopped by and commented on my shawl.  Hope you're all having a nice week!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nose to the Grindstone

Hi'yall!!  Busy Bee here to say that it's been a full week and I'm tired but I must keep going as I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Maybe the economy is improving since I've a small business and I was really busy on Wednesday and then I took off Veteran's Day (thank you vets who help keep us free) to work on the house and then on Friday I was really busy again.  In fact, I've been so busy that I haven't had time to regularly visit the blogs that I enjoy, boo hoo.  All my filing is getting backlogged, too.  I hate filing, ugg.  I can't seem to get ahead of it.  I file some and then the piles seem to grow on their own, damn it.  So, I've been working the shop extra hours and then working on the home, too.

Talk about nose to the grindstone, JD, my sis' hubby came over to help with some fix-it stuff on Thursday and he and my son were putting in a new base cabinet, sink and faucet in the basement bathroom (pix soon) and of course they had to shut off the water to work on the plumbing and so I was told, "The water's off" and then I figured that I'd vacuum clean as I didn't need any water for that but then decided to check my email so I sat down and then since it's been so dry, my skin and nose have been itchy and my sinuses were already irritated from all the sanding dust so I started rubbing my nose and then it started to bleed and so I rush to turn on the water and then damn, no water.  Amazing how dependent we are on using the faucet for instant water.  Thank goodness I have a bottle of water in my room.  After getting that under control, I picked up my crochet and relaxed in the chair for a bit before resuming the chores of the day.

This is my bathroom at night all cleared out ready to paint the ceiling.  You can see some downtown Los Angeles skyline through the glass door.  That is scaffolding for the painters that you can also see thru the glass.  BTW, that sliding door opens into thin air, nope no patio to walk out onto; the second floor and it's a loooong way to fall.  Yeah, the people before us were crazy and did crazy things to the house like this red and black bathroom.

Here it is after painting the ceiling and the temporary old curtain put back up and before all my paraphernalia and plants fill up the place.  Remember the popular sunkin' tubs from the 80's?  Well, I've never used this tub for fear it would fall thru the floor.  Remember the movie with Tom Hanks, "The Money Pit"?  Yup, it's just like this house.

Different angle without flash

The renovations are coming along.   I used the refinish stuff on the masterbath's cabinets just so we could be all done with one room except for new curtains that are still needed.  This weekend I'll go back to working on the kitchen cabinets again. The part of the kitchen that is still left to do is where all the real cooking and cleanup occurs and so those cabinets are really way worse than those I've already done.  Nothin' like leaving the worst for last!

My goodness it's a gorgeous day here.  I would much rather be outside enjoying the sunshine instead of working, grocery shopping and then house renovating!  I'm getting close to finishing my Pilate's bag cover which is good since there are gifts to be worked on.  Now, if I just didn't have to sleep!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shawl is Complete

Howdy!  My Monet (Berroco brand yarn, named Monet) shawl of many colors is finished and I wasn't too tired last night (yeah) to finally take some pix of it.  I followed the pattern (Lion Brand Half Moon Shawl) pretty much, only I wanted it elbow length and had just the right amount of yarn to do so.  I didn't make it as wide since I wanted it to come together but not overlap in the front.  I will add a closure to it when I think of one that would work good. The yarn was a bit difficult since it was chunky then got thinner in places.  I accommodated this by doing single crochet instead of double crochet when it got thick.  I'm happy with it.

Still working on the mat cover and started a new project but that is for a gift and I have to be *hush* about it since that person may visit my blog.  I don't know how many handmade gifts I'll be able to make before Dec. 25th but I'll give it my all!

It's getting wild at home.  The workers are there almost every day and whipping the house into shape.  Last Sunday there was the scraping on the outer walls on both sides of the house and the noise was so nerve-wracking that I spent most of the day outside weeding the garden and moving around my poor plants that got banished from the porch to the driveway.  My bathroom ceiling is done except for white paint that got on the dark gray grout at the ceiling edge and there is still a fine layer of sanding dust on everything in my room.  So guess what I'll be doing this wknd?

I took down the sheers over the sliding glass door prior to sanding and painting and washed 'em and one ripped in the center of the panel.  They were original with the house only I took them down from a different window as it was to be temporary anyway and now the fabric became rotten from the southern sun on it after many years.  I'm going to put clear tape on the rip and hang them up again until I get some new curtains since the sun beats in there all afternoon long and since there isn't any curtain hanging there for the past week and we've had a heat wave, the damn bathroom is like a brick oven; tile from floor to ceiling, can't you just feel the heat?  All my stuff that was in the bathroom is still strewn about my bedroom and everything is a mess, yuck.

The elections have left me depressed and I know I have to get over it.  But, what is the definition of stupidity/ insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.  California's too liberal gov't is what has ruined California and the majority of the people voted into office, the same people and now what, do they expect a different result?  Barbara Boxer, senator for 28 years, hello...we need change not the same crap.  All in all, we didn't have really great choices to choose from.  However, some states made big changes and I salute you all for your effort.  We'll have to see what happens, meanwhile I'd better get back to work.  Now, where was I?  Oh yeah, filing papers, what fun.  But wait, I think I'll finish my lunch and crochet a tad, first.

Hope you are having a happy day despite the insanity of others!!!