Sunday, December 13, 2015

Oak Galls

We were on our morning walk yesterday, and I happened to look up into one of the California coast live oak trees by the sidewalk, and saw LOADS of oak galls in it!

I think they are marble galls, at least that's what they look like to my untrained eye.  There's another kind called oak apples, but they seem to be whiter than these that we found.
 This field guide put out by US Department of Agriculture has a chapter on gall wasps on 
p. 28.  They describe them as oak apples.

Looks like the wasps that developed in this one already left via the exit holes.

It's nice to know that if we ever need a source for making iron gall ink, we've got a great local crop!

Happy gall spotting!


Monday, November 30, 2015

Coyote in the Neighborhood

As we were walking home after our 2 mile walk this morning, 
a crow on a light post started yelling and making a huge fuss. 

I said to my husband, "He's cursing about something."

I saw a movement behind a knoll - it was the head of a coyote!  
He took off running up the street past where we were standing, and at the same time I whipped out my little camera and started taking photos.

Boy, was he fast!

He ended up in the brush at the foot of the hill behind our house
and turned around to take a look at us.

Coyotes sure have big ears!
He was a healthy big guy, the size of a German Shepherd dog.

As he went further up the hill, his ears were pointed back at us.

And with one last backward look, he blended into the bushes and disappeared.

Whoo-hoo!  Our first up close coyote encounter.



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sing Those Calories Away on Thanksgiving Day

This cute folk art tea towel from Italy posts all the calories you need to know about to make you feel guilty in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, ha ha!

But it also has a hidden message.....

You can SING those calories away while you're cooking...

or harvesting mushrooms...

or feeding the chickens...

or watching over the pig...

or picking flowers...

(just be aware you might frighten the local squirrel population)

or while you're picking apples...

or harvesting the wheat...

You'll know it's time to stop singing when you fit in that special holiday outfit again -

or when the hen refuses to lay any more eggs due to your racket.

Love and hugs,


Our Last Maui Preschool Graduation Program

I found this video of our preschool children at the last graduation program we did on Maui.

I hope you enjoy what these little three, four and five year olds were able to learn and do with great poise after a year under God's and our instruction :)

Blessings with love and hugs,


Friday, November 20, 2015

Joseph's Coat Climbing Roses

Wednesday we went to Home Depot and bought these Joseph's Coat climbing roses for our back garden.

I've been wanting some, but figured we'd just have to get some bougainvillea since I hadn't seen any of these gorgeous multi-colored roses.

I'm so glad Home Depot got them in stock!

This is my favorite photo.

They're waiting for my dear husband to put them into their holes.
The lighting on them is from the sun (behind) and the sun's reflection off our living room windows (in front).

We have family coming over for Thanksgiving, and are trying to get things looking nice and more finished in our garden.

Hope you are having fun planning for your Thanksgiving if you live in the USA.

Love and hugs,


Embroidered Alpine Blouse

I found this gorgeous embroidered alpine blouse on Etsy several years ago.
If I were the seller, I couldn't have been able to list it :)

I have it hanging on a vintage Russian wall hanger.

Unlike most modern tops, it was hand embroidered on the back

on white linen fabric.

I adore the peplum pleats!

Obviously done by a skilled embroiderer.

One of those clothing treasures that you don't see much of anymore.

Hope it's inspired you to excel at whatever you set out to do :)

Love and hugs,


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spakenburg Girl Klederdracht Perler

After visiting our local windmill and Dutch village, I was inspired to make a Perler Dutch girl from Spakenburg.  
I used photos I found online to design her dress.
I added the blue stripes to her skirt to brighten it up - usually Spakenburg skirts are all black. 

I used clear Perler beads to try to show the traditional lacework in her cap.

I changed the design of her shoes before I ironed her.
Here she is with all the beads fused.

A closeup of her bodice

Enjoying time with her Dutch friends that already live with me :)

Please feel free to use this pattern for your own personal, non-commercial use.

Love and hugs,


We Found Holland in Our Neighborhood!

We've seen this windmill as we go shopping, but finally had the leisure to stop and take some photos yesterday.

A Dutch family settled here decades ago and the father built this windmill.

The family built outbuildings like Dutch houses.

It had a gift shop that was open before the 2008 recession hit, and even held a Dutch Festival for a few years.

There's still a sign up, and it says they are open Thursday through Monday.

I'm going to go check it out tomorrow and see if they've reopened.
Can't wait!