19 October 2015

Tonto Creek Hatchery, Arizona

Well, this is more about our little off-road walk than the Hatchery... there were a lot of baby trout in the hatchery, though, they breed them and supply many of the lakes around Phoenix for fishing.  Pretty cool, and all up the road (Tonto Creek Road) towards the hatchery, you can go camping.  It was a very beautiful place to be.

There were a couple of car parks along the side of the road where we parked and decided to go for a wander along one of the marked tracks.

In the photo above, to the left, just out of sight there was a log across the creek for crossing.  To the right there were stepping-rocks which we only noticed on the way back (photo below).  These were much easier to cross.... without worrying that the kiddo was going to fall in.

One of the signs mentioned several types of local wildlife.  One in particular... black bears.  I didn't see any, I have no idea what time of  year they're more or less active, I have no idea how to be properly equipped in case we came across one.  So, in my mind, we were a little silly going for a walk, completely un-armed with pepper spray or anything else to protect ourselves.  Oops.  Next time, though, I'll make sure we're better informed and prepared.  The photo above is of, what looks to me, bear scratches on a tree.  You can tell quite easily that they're old markings and that the tree has had a lot of time to repair itself around the scratches.  These marks were about the height of my shoulders.

I couldn't help but stop every now and then, just to look up and take in the canopy.  It was gorgeous.  The fresh crisp air, the birds chirping, the different colors of the leaves as some of the trees were beginning to change into their 'fall' colors.

Oak leaves.  Now, all around Gilbert, around playgrounds and even in the closest playground to where we live, are oak trees.  They look a LOT different to these trees though.  The ones in Phoenix, where it's so hot and dry, don't grow very tall, the acorns are small and pointy, the leaves are small, about the length of my little finger and look more like a holly leaf.  Basically, the trees in Phoenix and around, have to rely on irrigation.  The sun is hot and heavy a lot of the year, and I get the feeling that oak trees enjoy cooler climates, rain and clouds.

But these oak leaves!  OH!  Big, round, oak leaves that were the size of my hand, reminding me of oak trees in New Zealand.  Each leaf looked so different from the next, I couldn't decide on one to take home, so I decided I could take them all home in a photo.

My 4 year old loves to play with the acorns around our apartment, the small, dingy ones.  He found an acorn in the forest here and called it a 'giant nut'.  I told him is was an acorn, and that's the way they usually look.

There were picnic tables at other rest-stops and even a camping ground that was located closer to the main road.  I am definitely looking forward to going back, either with a tent and ready to camp there, or with some food and supplies for a day trip.


12 September 2015

How to weave in the ends of your crochet project

I made an amateur video for my youtube channel.  It sounds so fancy, "My YouTube Channel."  I recorded it on my phone, the lighting was a little too yellowy (is that a word?), but hey, it's clear and you can view it in HD if you want.

How to weave in the ends of your crochet to make the join almost invisible, as you can see (or not see) in this pic below.

This is my favourite way to finish off my crochet projects, granny squares etc.  It's tidy, it's clean.

Next week I plan on sharing my favourite join-as-you-go technique.  The photo below is an example of this type of join, the cotton I used and how much crochet I managed to get out of one 100gm ball.  All of the joining was crocheted in the final round of the square.

I'm looking forward to improving my video techniques, too.  I'll have to figure out the lighting... I might need to "simply" move my desk to the window.

See you guys next week!!


13 August 2015

Pretty things

I've been carrying these old buttons around with me for a long time now.  Some are sentimental, others are just pretty.

I thought it was time to play with my watercolor paints, too.

I also had to solve a lost-coin problem, so I made a little coin purse for my hand bag.  Pretty coral.

This works like a draw-string, then I wind the pulled strings around the top and secure it to the button.  Simple.  It's strong.  I expect it to last a very long time.

Have a happy day!


10 August 2015


That moment when you decide not to check a pen color in the store, because it might be bad manners, then you get home and try it out... only to find it really is 'terra cotta' like it says on the label (and not the pretty coral color that was printed on the label).  Silly me.

I love peonies.  I bought this fake one... it's beautiful, it's going to stay beautiful, and I'm probably going to buy more.  Here it sits wedged in the edge of our couch... that I also use for a yarn/project shelf.  My husband is not amused.

That nail polish.  But, that knitting.  Just a simple little project, garterstitch.

We went to our first ever Diamond Backs baseball game.  It was awesome.  Our 4yr old lasted the whole 9 innings.  Sadly though, the game was a draw and they went into the 10th inning.  We listened on the radio as we drove away.  D-Backs won!

I feel like it's been too long since I sat down and played with my dip-pens.  Honestly, probably about a week.  That's still too long.

I hope you all have an awesome week!


07 August 2015

Little Squares of Strength

I've been following the pretty pictures of Tea and Fleur on Instagram (@teaandfleur)  and was so excited to join this sweet project.  I can't remember who tagged me initially, but Thank You!

Little Squares of Strength
(quote from @teaandfleur via instagram)
"This project is about women from all walks of life, all over the world, joining hearts, and hand crafting a little square, symbolic of love and strength and encouragement, and acknowledgement that we are all on this journey together."

After Fleur (who blogs here) receives all the squares, she will carefully join them all together to make a beautiful blanket, which will represent "much strength, and the wonderful support that we have for one another."  People will send in their squares and others will send in nominations for whom they think deserves the blanket and one will be chosen.

If you look up #littlesquaresofstrength you'll find some beautiful pictures of what people are putting together.  There's crochet, knitting, embroidery, and who knows what else it'll be made up of.

I'm just a bit excited.  I found the pattern for this pretty heart through Pinterest.


05 August 2015

I miss you, Chch bloggers

I began blogging in 2011 when I was pregnant.  Since then, I've met a lot of bloggers, most of them through the awesome Miriam (who has a couple of blogs, one here) with the help of Sophie (blogs here), who both have a talent at getting people together, to just hang out and love on each other.  Some of the bloggers that would meet up would blog as a job, some would blog to advertise their makings and shop, others would blog to share how they manage life and kids, still, others would blog just because they wanted to, for fun, for a journal, for themselves.

On moving to Arizona and trying to find that same blogging community, it's been a little different.  I've been looking for the 'Miriam' of Gilbert, here, but so far, I haven't found her.  Either I'm not looking hard enough, or what I've learned is correct.  I hope I just haven't looked hard enough.

I have found a ton of bloggers, that's for sure.  I've found that almost all of their blogs are their jobs.  Having a blog as a job, an income, is awesome, don't get me wrong.  It's just that I find myself not really able to get into the blogging community here because it feels like all the blogging 'get-togethers' are about "how to make your blog work financially", "how to attract more followers", "how to regularly post to get the regular return readers", etc.  Even though I would like all of the above, it's not the reason I blog.  If I made it the reason I blog, then I probably wouldn't blog at all.

I guess what I'm saying is, Miriam, I'm just missing you and all the bloggy friends in New Zealand!  Even though you're now in Aussie.

I haven't found anything that remotely resembles a coffee-catch up like we had in New Zealand; one where everyone feels like they're instantly in the group of friends, where it doesn't matter if you post a blog once a day or once a year, you're still 'in', where you are included and truly feel like you are a  friend and an important person in the group of friends.

I don't know if I should try and organize one or not.  That would probably be too much pressure on me.  I seriously don't work well (or at all) under pressure.

I have made contact with a couple of bloggers here in Arizona, but not a lot has come from it and I don't want to email and sound desperate.  (Please be my friend, pleeeaaassee?) Tehehe.  BUT, if you're a blogger in or near Gilbert, Arizona, and you know of a few bloggers that hang out just because they're bloggers, then email me, please, I'd love to hang out, too!  OR if you might be interested in hanging out once a month or so, let's start something awesome!  It's been 8 months now, and I have one amazing friend.  Just one.  Maybe I'm greedy but, I want more.  

I might even think about starting a new blog that can link us bloggers up and get an online community together.  Don't worry, I'll keep this one going.  This blog is my special little thang.


23 July 2015

Holy Moly

We now have a 4 year old in the house!  What?!

Our boy's 4th birthday was small and sweet.  He was so overwhelmed at all the presents he got, he didn't know what to play with first and, over the course of a week, had several meltdowns.  Just too much was going on, the excitement, the tiredness.

Now, we're making fun stuff with playdough, k-nex, lego, going for rides on the bike (which now has trainer-wheels off), and running around being crazy, busy, us.