Wake Up!!!

I am retired so most of the times there is no strong motivation to wake up early and prepare for the day but one reason that encourages me to get up early is gardening, specially these days when it gets so hot by 10 am. Thanks for the rain last night, it’s a bit cooler this morning but I can already feel the humidity.

My small garden is thriving well! The birds are singing, serenading me while I sit on our back porch drinking coffee. They sing louder when I put their morning seeds in their feeder, so it seems. I noticed that there are actually Chipmonks that share with the birds. I saw the other one coming from our neighbor’s yard run toward the feeder while the other one that lives in our backyard was already feeding.

One of these days I will buy a bird Cam so that I can get a good photograph of birds/Chipmonks that come to our yard. I can’t take good photos of them up close because they are wild and skittish. As long as I sit still they continue to feed but any slight movement will cause them to go away.

I have harvested fruits twice already from my Roma and Red Beefsteak tomatoes. The Roma tomatoes are doing excellent despite the fact that they are planted in a flower pot and only getting 4-5 hours of direct sunlight.

Roma Tomato
Two Roma tomatoes planted next to the wall.

How Time has Change

Actually, I am the one that has changed a lot this past few years. As an example, I used to garden all around our 2000 square ft + home. Now, I just have a few feet of gardening space and it’s just enough space for me to manage.

Although we live in the city, we are lucky enough to have wooded surroundings and with store bought seeds I’m able to attract wild birds to my yard and even Chipmonks, I never know if I have more than one of them coming to our bird feeder since I cannot tell one from another.

I enjoy watching the birds come and feed while sipping my morning coffee. Yes lots of things has changed for me but my love of nature, trees, birds and other creatures will never change.

SUMMER DRESSES

I have been looking for a specific style summer dress that is very simple and comfortable to wear but to no success so I decided to make my own. Luckily Walmart is selling 2-yard bundles of precut fabric for $4.00 per bundle. Some of these bundles were made out of stretchy cotton shirting fabric so they are perfect for the summer dress that I have been looking for.

I wanted a specific style so that the neckline and armholes matches my sport bra which I prefer wearing to regular bras. The bra strap will not show when I wear the summer dress. Below is the photo of how I laid the pattern over a striped fabric so that it creates a “V” effect on the front and back center of the dress.

As you can see in the photo that I only used the torso of the front and back pattern. I used my yardstick to shape and determine the length of skirt.

This summer dress is also comfortable to use as a sleepwear.

From Doily To Table Cloth

I decided to keep on crocheting and turn this doily into a table cloth using a pineapple crochet design.

One completed pineapple motif completed and another is starting.

I continue to work on this pineapple table cloth. I’ll have to order another cone of this blue cotton crochet thread size 3. Can’t wait to get this done.

Exploring Graphics Apps

 

 

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So, I was looking for a design program that will help me in designing crochet chart patterns.  I have not been sucessful!  There are all kinds of Apps but none available for manipulating crochet stitches.  But this one app called “Concepts” got me interested in working with.  I see possibility of my being able to use this app to produce a crochet chart pattern.  So far,  I am able to arrange things anywhere I want to on a canvas without difficulty, as you can see on the photo above.  I really like this app.  This app is more suited for architectural and interior designs, but maybe it can be used for other creative pursuit as well!

Another  artsy App that I found interesting is called “Assembly”.  I love it for its capability of letting you insert text in the style of your choice on any photo you select.  It comes with pre-made stickers that you can use.

How To Start Lemon Grass Indoor

Winter is a good time to start lemon grass plant indoor.  First, you must select a lemon grass from a grocery store that has main bulb or root bulb intact like the ones shown on photo below.

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Fill a clean flower vase with tap water halfway and put the bulbs in.  Put the vase with the lemon grass in a well lighted area preferably under a bright fluorescent light.  It will take almost all winter months for the roots to grow.  Change the water in the flower vase every week.  Rooting solution is not necessary for the roots to grow, just make sure there is sufficient water in the flower vase until the weather is warm enough to transplant it in a flower pot and put outside.  After the roots grow, some leaves will follow.  The leaves might be pale and wispy due to absence of sunlight but it does not take long for lemon grass to grow thick leaves once it is planted outside when the weather is good and warm.

I immensely enjoyed my lemon grass that I started indoor and I had abundant harvest and plenty to give away to friends!  See how the bulbs turned green on photos below?

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One thing I would not do related to lemon grass is – I would not plant it in the ground.  It is a very tough plant to dig out!  It is best to plant it in small to medium size flower pot that can be easily taken inside during Winter.  It cannot be left outside because it cannot survive cold weather.

This is a very easy plant to grow but watch out for those razor sharp leaves!

Rainy Day Rose Afghan

Let’s get rid of our left-over yarn and make something beautiful out of them!  Crochet along with me in making this afghan of different colored roses!  Good Luck to you and me and Happy crocheting with the hope of finishing this afghan by the end of this year!

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Tools  And Materials:  Left over yarn,  Red Heart, medium wt., category 4;  crochet hook, 4.25 mm; yarn needle; small scissors.

Note:  When making a slip knot to begin crochet, leave at least 7 to 8 inch yarn tail so that this can be woven inside the stitches afterwards.

Ch4.  Sc on 4th ch from hook to form ring.

Rose Flower

Round 1:   (Ch1, 3dc -ch1- sc – over ring) 4x.  Note: 4 rose petals made.

Round 2:  Ch1, *insert hook at back of next rose petal between 1st and 2nd dc, [fold petal wrong side up so that hook is under the foundation ring, yo and pull up this yo on wrong side or back of the petal], make a (B)sc on the foundation ring.  Note: (B)sc = means beginning sc or first sc made on current round.  * Ch5, insert hook at back of next rose petal between 1st and 2nd dc, [fold petal wrong side up so that hook is under the foundation ring, yo and pull up this yo on wrong side or back of the petal ], sc on the foundation ring*.  Repeat * *  until there are total of three ch-5 loops,  ch5, sc on beginning sc or (B)sc.   Total of 4 ch-5 loops made.

[ ] = means fold petal wrong side up, yo and pull up this yo on wrong side or back of the petal.

Round 3:  (B)sc on next ch-5 loop, ch1-6dc-ch1-sc on same ch-5 loop.  *sc-ch1-6dc-ch1-sc on next ch-5 loop.*. Repeat * *  two more times.  Total of 4 rose petals.

Round 4:  Ch2,  insert hook at back of next rose petal between 1st and 2nd dc, [ ], make (B)sc; ch4, insert hook at back of same rose petal between 5th and 6th dc [ ], sc on same petal. *Ch4, insert hook at back of next rose petal between 1st and 2nd dc, [ ], make a sc; ch4, insert hook at back of same rose petal between 5th and 6th dc, [ ], sc on same petal.* repeat * * twice. Ch4,  sl st on (B)sc.  Total ch4 loop this row = 8.

Round 5:  *Sc-ch1-5dc-ch1-sc on next ch-4 loop * Repeat * *around.   Total Rose petals = 8.

 

Round 6:  Insert hook at back of next rose petal between 2nd and 3rd dc, [ ], make a (B)sc, *ch6,  insert hook at back of next rose petal between 2nd and 3rd dc, [ ], make a sc.*  Repeat * * until there are 7 ch-6 loops.  Ch6, sc on (B) sc.

Total of 8 ch-6 loops.  Fasten off leaving a 7 to 8 inch tail.   Note:  The tail will be woven within the dense stitches of rose petals with use of yarn needle.

Rose Leaves:  Use any shade of Green colored yarn or any color you prefer.

Round 7:  Attach new yarn next to a sc at beginning of any ch- 6 loop.  Crochet over the tail of yarn as you make the stitches. (B)sc-Ch1- 4dc- ch3- 4dc-ch1-sc on this ch-6 loop where new yarn is attached.  Note: 1 corner leaf made.  From now on LEAF = sc- ch1-4dc-ch3-4dc-ch1-sc.  * Ch5-sc on next ch-6 loop.  Ch5- leaf on next ch-6 loop*.  Repeat * * until completing the 4th leaf.  Ch5-sc on next ch-6 loop, ch5, sl st on (B) sc.

Round 8:  Slst on next 2 sts, *ch3, sc on next ch-3 corner loop, ch5, sc on same loop,  note:  first corner loop of this round is made.  Ch3, skip 2 dc sts, sc on next st, (ch3, sc on next ch-5 loop) twice;  ch3, sc on st between 1st and 2nd dc counting from right to left. * Note:  Always count from left to right unless stated otherwise. Repeat * *  around until 4th ch-5 corner loop is completed.   Ch3, skip 2 dc sts, sc on next st,(Ch3, sc on next ch-5 loop) twice, ch3, slst on 2nd sl st.  Fasten off.  Weave in ends.

Note:  First block of Rainy Day Rose motif is finished.  Second and subsequent blocks will be worked from Round 1 to Round 7 and  on round 8, the next block will be joined to the previous block.  This method is called “join-as-you-go”. Where a block just made is attached to previous block/blocks on last round before fastening off and starting another block.