Saturday, September 9, 2017

Crafting Happiness

Beautiful things come together
one stitch at a time.
We never know how many people will show up for our crafty mornings, but had a great turnout with 14 very talented ladies in attendance today.  It's always fun seeing what everyone is up to.
 The mall where we met is currently decorated with a candy them for an event taking place later in the week.
Thinking of everyone who may be in the path of Irma.  A childhood friend in Houston was evacuated and lost just about everything in the flooding there.  I certainly can't complain about the weather or anything else knowing the devastation and destruction that's taking place all across the States and around the world.
Count your blessings.
Take time to do what makes your soul happy.
Stay safe and blessed,

Friday, September 1, 2017

Welcome September

August seems to have just whizzed on by and now, here we are, the first of September.
Today marks the first day of Eid Al Adha celebrations for Muslims.  Ironically, just as I was finishing up a little stitching this morning, our neighbors sent over a plate of homemade Eid cookies which provided the perfect backdrop for an Eid greeting.
So many people are posting about how they are starting to feel a chill in the air now that Fall is around the corner, but unfortunately, September and Fall weather do not go hand in hand in the desert.  It continues to be hot as heck with temperatures still above 110 F most days.
One of my poor little jasmine bushes is trying to bloom but the tender little buds dry up before they can even fully open up.
Today is also "Ginger Cat Appreciation Day" and the month of September has been deemed "Happy Cat Month" by the CATalyst Council whose aim it is to achieve a cat-caring society through "connecting and collaborating to advance the health, welfare and value of companion cats".  I will be making an extra concerted effort to do what I can this month to help our little feline friends.  Kuwait has a huge feral population and the rescue groups have their hands full trying to help so many animals in need.
As I watered plants this afternoon, I was able to spot the moon from one balcony.
And watch the sunset from the other.

A new month full of possibilities.

Happy September,

Friday, August 25, 2017

With Love

About a month or so ago (time is really flying), I made salt dough ornaments with my little neighbor who was 6 at the time (she's 7 now).   It's been years and years since I made salt dough and I learned at that time that winter weather didn't exactly provide the right conditions for  it.
We made small hearts and big hearts and then left them outside for 24 hours to let solar energy do its thing.
They dried perfectly and then it was time to paint.
 
 
I let her have all the fun and only kept one of the bigger hearts for myself.
Crocheted hearts are often made with bits of leftover cotton and gifted to friends.
 
And it's not only my love of crochet that I'm passing on to the younger generation, but I've also got them stitching, too.
This past Saturday my newest little craft friends came for another visit.
And on Wednesday, my neighbors came over and since they are always looking for something crafty to do, I got them stitching, too.
Some freehand embroidery by me using the running stitch from this week's slow stitch sew along that I posted about Wednesday evening.

Let everything we do and say be an expression of the beauty in our heart, always based on LOVE.
(Don Miguel Ruiz)

Blessings to all,

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Slow Stitch and Avocado Plants

Embroidery is something I've dabbled in since the age of 10, but it's not something I ever consistently worked on or stuck with.  So when I saw a slow stitch sew along on Instagram hosted by Jill Wignall, I decided to join in.  My hoop is filled with muslin and will become a sampler of all the new stitches we learn.  Monday started off the first week with the running stitch.  
I then remembered a kit I purchased last summer while in Leesburg, VA.
It's a stamped dropcloth sampler kit so I figured this was a good time to dig it out and finally work on it, using a running stitch and whatever else I felt like doing.
I'm happy to say I finished it yesterday.

I know a lot of people who say that handstitching is very relaxing for them.  I really love the look of Indian Kantha and Japanese Boro stitching and that may be something I could enjoy.  I think the reason I've never really done embroidery is because of all the fancy stitches and feeling like they have to be done just right.  I prefer to just play around and not necessarily follow any rules or feel like things have to be perfect.  
The striped material above reminds me of ticking.  It used to be a button-up shirt for my husband, but after a big gaping hole developed in the sleeve, it became material for me. So today I played with threads and stitched a little plant scene just for fun.

Speaking of plants, I'm very, very happy that for the first time I've had success with growing plants from avocado pits.  
And not just one, but four.

Wishing you a wonderful day,

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Crazy Coffee

Today we woke to some very humid weather.
My friend, Emina, and I tried out a new restaurant this morning called Majnoon Qahwa which literally translates to Crazy Coffee.
The restaurant has a nice ambience with a beautiful blue decor.
Unfortunately, since I don't eat meat or dairy products, my food options are often quite limited, so I ordered zaatar manaeesh and a fruit salad (which I thought was very overpriced).
My coffee was a Brazilian pour-over blend.

Speaking of crazy coffee, yesterday, my friend, Melissa, whom I've know for about 17 years now, invited a couple of us over to her new diwiniya for breakfast.
Diwaniya means gathering place and traditionally was used by men but, of course, with time, everything evolves.
She recently visited Indonesia and brought back some of the most expensive coffee in the world.
If you've not heard of it, the civet cat eats whole Arabica coffee cherries, but only digests the outer layers surrounding the coffee bean.  The fermented beans are then excreted, collected, separated, sun-dried, roasted and turned into coffee grounds.
The verdict:  I've definitely had a much better cup of coffee, but now I can say that I've literally tried some very "shitty" coffee.

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Granny Square Day

On Instagram, August 15th has been declared Granny Square Day by @suregal27.
Crocheters are encouraged to post a traditional granny square with the hashtag #grannysquareday2017 so these are the squares I made to celebrate the day.

Last night a very good friend of my husband's came to visit and showed me this hoodie/poncho that his mom just gave to him for his newborn son.  She told him it was his when he was little and is at least 40 years old now.
He doesn't remember wearing it at all, but it's certainly a wonderful thing that his mom saved it and a lovely gesture that he shared it with me.

When his son was born a few weeks ago, I sent them several presents ... a blanket, teddy bear, and gift bag with soap and washcloth .. all crocheted.  He called to thank me and said his youngest daughters, after seeing everything, really wanted to come see me for a crochet lesson.  
Of course, I enjoy sharing my love of crochet.  Zain will be 7 years old next month so I set her up with a big hook and chunky yarn and had her chaining away in no time.  She kept going, and going, and going, until she had a very long chain to take home.
In the meantime, I had shown 12 year old Ghina one of my granny square baby blankets so she asked if I could teach her how to make a granny square.  She had taken an after school crochet class a couple of years ago and still remembered the stitches, so it took her no time at all to whip up a 3 round granny.

Happy Granny Square Day!
Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Second Saturday Meet-up

A new day:
Be open enough to see opportunities.
Be wise enough to be grateful.
Be courageous enough to be happy.
(Steve Maraboli)
This morning my craft group (Kuwait Crafters) had a very successful meet-up at Starbucks, Boulevard Mall, which is just a few minutes from my home.  With a total of 10 in attendance, there was a new face and some I hadn't seen in a while, so there was lots to catch up on.
For the first time, instead of coffee, I had a matcha green tea soy latte, and Zahra provided us with a very, very, very delicious (did I say very :) vegan lemon cake.  Oh my, was it ever good.
She also made us sweet Friendship Day cards.
Mini from MinizDiary took a break from knitting to continue with her cross-stitch project.
Karen and Leanne were knitting away,
while the rest of us crocheted.
It's always nice to see what everyone is working on.  We have some very talented ladies in the group, that's for sure.
105 degrees and humid but it's all good when the day starts with friendship.

Happy Saturday!
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