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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Button, button, who has ...

… the buttons? Last week I showed you part of a tea cozy I was working on. Now I've finished it, except for the specialty buttons I need to add to make this look like a traditional gingerbread house. But finding those buttons is proving to be a real challenge; I'm guessing that this is probably the wrong time of year. So my tea cozy will have to be unadorned until I can find what I'm looking for, which includes buttons that look like candy or gingerbread men or anything else you might see on an edible gingerbread house. ;)

In the meantime, you can see what it looks like so far. I made it from a pattern put out by Bent Tree Hollow Designs; they have so many really cute tea cozy patterns!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I don't garden

Yes, I know that's practically a crime to some people, but I simply don't enjoy it. I'm allergic to something (several somethings?) out there, so whenever I've tried to garden, I've spent more time wiping my eyes, sneezing and dealing with my nose than actually accomplishing anything. Luckily for me, my husband loves to garden and is quite talented at it. His favorite kind of gardening is producing various vegetables, especially lots of varieties of chiles so that he can have salsa and pico de gallo. He also grows cucumbers, bell peppers, and whatever else strikes his fancy.

One thing he always grows is tomatoes, which is a challenge in our hot, dry climate. Large tomatoes are generally out of the question, as they crack and split before they can ripen. However, this year we had a long spring and late summer, which has resulted in a bumper crop of gorgeous tomatoes! :) The cherry tomatoes are smaller than usual, but they're sweet enough to make us remember that tomatoes are actually a fruit. The larger tomatoes are full of flavor and beautiful to see. 

Our only problem is getting the tomatoes harvested each day before busy little Bisou can go feast on the ones that poke out of the fence surrounding them. ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In progress

I've been working on a new project for the past couple of days. It's actually something I've been meaning to make for several months, but it was sort of on the back burner for one reason or another. I saw the most adorable pattern for a tea cozy and just had to make it! Here's what I have so far: 

It doesn't look like much yet, does it? ;) But the two gold pieces are just waiting until I can get to the store to get a specialty thread for some decoration, and the whitish piece is the main part — but inside out for now. I'm also going to be on the hunt for some buttons to add, but that may have to wait until the season changes. Stay tuned ….

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm back

I've been quiet lately, but it's because I was getting ready for our cruise and then taking it! :) The two of us had earned a free cruise, thanks to the points accumulated on our credit card, so we took off for the southern Caribbean. Summer temperatures in that area are low, compared to the desert where we live, but the humidity is so thick that you can almost cut it with a knife! I'm so used to a dry heat that the humidity was a real change; getting off the ship at each port blinded me briefly each day as my glasses fogged up at the first exposure to that humidity. LOL!

This first photo shows part of the interior of the cruise ship — it was really beautiful!

Our itinerary began and ended in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and included stops at five islands: Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten/St Martin, and St. Croix. This last one is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, though most of the others are independent countries.

When we reached Barbados, part of our sightseeing included a visit to an orchid "farm", where we saw orchids growing in thin air! There were some planted in the ground, but most were simply hanging from wires, and they were all colors of the rainbow — just gorgeous.

BTW, all of these photos are "clickable" so that you can see them a little larger.

This is a photo of our ship, taken from quite a distance away; we were docked in Castries, St. Lucia.

We also saw what looked like a replica of a pirate ship. ;)

Our next port was Antigua, where we toured an old British fort overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This photo shows part of the ruins; another step back, and we'd have been over the edge. ;)

St. Maarten/St Martin is very interesting, as it is half Dutch and half French. We did a bit of looking around on both sides of this island, but the most interesting part for me was a visit to the home of a former governor and its outlying buildings, many of which were shacks that had been inhabited by slaves. This signpost was fun to see. :)

Our last stop was in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. This island and the previous one were my favorites. The water around St. Croix is such a gorgeous shade of green/blue!

Here we are, ready to get back to the ship for our last night aboard before heading home. Look at that beautiful water!