Friday, May 29, 2009

I Heard It Through the Grapevine


This product of the drying of grapes have been around since 2,000 B.C. in Egypt and Persia. The ancient Romans were said to highly value raisins and used it to decorate their places of worship, as currency for barter, and as prizes for sporting events. Today, raisins are prized not only for their sweet taste, but also for its many health benefits.
Studies show that raisins:
  • are rich in potassium which may help reduce the risk of stroke and some types of kidney disease
  • contain fiber and tartaric acid which prevent constipation and protect against some colon diseases resulting in healthier digestive and may prevent colorectal cancer
  • rank among the top foods rich in antioxidants which may slow down the aging of the body and brain thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer
  • contains oleanolic acid which inhibits organisms responsible for periodontal disease thereby preventing tooth decay and gum disease
  • with a low fat diet, can effectively lower cholesterol and "bad cholesterol"
  • are rich in boron which is important for bone health in women

The Wilen Sisters have discovered that a certain type of raisins relieve arthritis pain. The recipe for this amazing remedy follows.

The Amazing Gin-Soaked Raisin Remedy

* 1 lb golden raisins

* gin (approximately 1 pint)

* glass bowl (Pyrex® is good—crystal is bad)

* glass jar with lid

Spread the golden raisins evenly on the bottom of the glass bowl and pour enough gin over them to completely cover. Let them stay that way until all the gin is absorbed. It may take 5 to 7 days.

When the gin is absorbed, transfer the raisins to the jar, put the lid on and keep it closed. Do not refrigerate.

Dosage. Each day, eat only 9 raisins as specified on page 13 of Bottom Line's Secret Food Cures.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Good Beginnings and Better Endings

It started with a ball of ladder yarn that looks like this

then transformed into...

...a "Ladder Yarn Lariat!"

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Shaken, Not Stirred..." goes the famous line of the dashing, Brit agent 007-- Bond, James Bond. But this post isn't about him, neither is it about red martinis. It's about living along the Pacific Ring of Fire and being shaken by a ", a, a 4.7" magnitude temblor says Caltech. What do they know? Where I was it felt like a 6.9 or some big number like that. It also lasted 15 seconds which translates to "forever!"

I was in the bedroom checking emails when it happened. When it did, I was waiting for the floor lamp (above) to stop shaking. After it seemed like forever and still not stopping, I decided to run to the dining room to see the over head lighting (below) swinging away.

Despite that, I felt a little reassured finding my DH and DD, the only one who remembers what to do during an earthquake from all that drilling at school and took cover under our dining table (below). By the time my DH and I decided to join her, the ground stopped shaking.

There were a couple of aftershocks following that event, but our knees were still wobbly that we didn't feel them. All that mattered to me at that moment was my darling family and that they were okay.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Sound of Silence

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. ~William Penn

Ahhh, silence-- if you don't count the chorus of waterfowl on and around the lake. A few ducks waddled by me hoping for yummy handouts, of which I didn't have. But it seemed okay with them anyway as they later took a nap next to the bench I was sitting.

There still was a haze by the lake. It actually was an overcast day a perfect day to take pictures and to go fishing. DH did just that as I crocheted away.
It was early that day that, apart from the ducks and a jogger or two and DH, I have this side of the lake to myself to reflect on moments past and listen to the sound of silence.

Beaded Butterflies and Flower Buds

Beaded Butterflies and Flower Buds Bookmark by Mylyne De Jesus

Copyright © 2009

Supplies Needed:

America’s Best Perle Cotton (Baby Pink) or other equivalent No. 5 Perle cotton thread

US#2 (2.75 mm)

#6/0 Czech Glass E-Beads, 15 total (Crystal Pink Lnd)

Size 13 (0.85mm) crochet hook (or any size that would fit through bead hole)

Tapestry needle


yo = yarn over

k2tog = knit two stitches together

yo = yarn over

ssk = slip, slip, knit (Slip one stitch, then slip the next. Insert left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches and knit them together from this position (through the back loop).

pb = place bead (Pick up a bead with crochet hook and insert the hook into the stitch loop making sure the hook is facing you. Pull the stitch loop off the left needle and through the bead. Place the beaded stitch back on the left needle and knit.)

cdd = centered double decrease (Slip two stitches together knit-wise, knit the following stitch, and pass the two slipped stitches over it.)


CO 25 sts.

Bottom Border: Work in garter stitch for 2 rows (K right and wrong side rows).

Side Borders: Work first 2 and last 2 row sts in garter st throughout pattern unless instructed otherwise.


On right side rows, work stitches according to pattern. On wrong side rows, purl stitches (except for side borders).

Work Flower Buds as follows:

Row 1(Right Side): K.

Row 3: K3, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k5, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k3.

Row 5: K2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 7: Work as Row 3.

Row 9: K3, k2tog, yo, pb, yo, ssk, k5, k2tog, yo, pb, yo, ssk, k3.

Row 11: K.

Row 13: K1, * yo, ssk, k5, k2tog, yo, k1, repeat from * to end.

Row 15: K2, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k2.

Row 17: Work as Row 13.

Row 19: Pb, * yo, ssk, k5, k2tog, yo, pb, repeat from * to end.

Row 20: P.

Repeat Rows 1 to 11.

Starting with a Purl row (wrong side), work the next 5 rows in stockinette st. to prepare for the next step.

Work Butterflies Lace as follows:

Row 1 (Right Side): K.

Row 3: K9, yo, cdd, yo, k9.

Row 5: K8, k2tog, yo, pb, yo, ssk, k8.

Row 7: K7, k2tog, yo, k1, pb, k1, yo, ssk, k7.

Row 9: K.

Row 11: K4, yo, cdd, yo, k7, yo, cdd, yo, k4.

Row 13: K3, k2tog, yo, pb, yo, ssk, k5, k2tog, yo, pb, yo, ssk, k3.

Row 15: K2, k2tog, yo, k1, pb, k1, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k1, pb, k1, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 16: P.

Repeat Rows 1 to 9.

Starting with a Purl row (wrong side), work the next 5 rows in stockinette st. to prepare for the next step.

Top Border:

Work in garter stitch.

Decrease right and wrong side rows by working end row stitches as follows: Ssk, k up to last 2 sts, end k2tog.

Continue working decrease pattern until 3 sts remain on needle.

Cdd remaining 3 sts, pull last st through loop.

Leaving a 12-inch tail, break thread. Cut 3 threads (of the same kind) measuring 12 inches each and thread through same loop as top border tail end and braid altogether to desired length.

Weave bottom tail at back of work.

Block as needed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An FO and some UFO's

The theme called for something oceanic for the month of June. I scratched out the original design in favor of this simple lined up shells of a variegated cotton thread in Shades of Blue and came up with the above piece called "Purly Shells." Just in time, too, for the deadline. Will it make the cut? Free pattern to come out next month.

In the meantime this unfinished object gets worked on at night as it doesn't put much strain on the eyes. I got used to the tight crocheting that making the thread miniature bear requires so that the first row stitches are snug as a bug in a rug. Hope it doesn't curl up like a rolly polly. :) Still trying to figure out how to sew the corners in to make it a thick, smaller square. Hmmmm.

Finally, a ladder yarn waiting on the sidelines. What will it be? A scarf, a belt-- any ideas?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hey, Wait a Minute Mr. Postman!

Yesss! Don't you just love getting something in the mail. Two things arrived for me today. The first is a package from Debi of Teds from Threads. Talk about very speedy delivery! We've really come a very long way since the Pony Express.

I'm so excited to receive materials and tools that miniature bear artists use. Among these are cotton stuffing, cotter pins, onyx eye beads, stuffing tool (not in photo), and a nap riser (brush). Debi even left her business card with some tiny buttons for embellishment. Thank you Debi!

The second is the most-awaited issue of Teddy Bears and Friends magazine. This issue has thread artist, Berta's, challenge "Bare Bear and Bare Doll" scheduled to start soon. I have not yet decided to join the challenge. We'll see.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

People seem to be in a great hurry to get somewhere that many rely on the voice from above, the GPS, for fast, accurate direction. Reaching one's destination is so important in our time that in a survey done by NASA on April 21, 2009 concerning what people think are its greatest achievements, finding your way with GPS ranks first on the list.
While my itinerary does not include traveling great distances, I too can benefit from some direction when it comes to completing my projects.
I have, at last, finished my WIP from a few posts ago and was surprised to discover its length doubled from what I originally had in mind, which is a good lesson in knitting a swatch first.

I have also managed to complete my entry for "What's Your Bear's Pursenality?"

Putting together a miniature bear involves crocheting the arms, legs, ears, and head individually.

Then comes giving the head a face after which the ears are sewn next.

Then, finally, jointing the piece together.

For this challenge, I paired Honey Dew bear with the beaded purse brooch from here.

Then out of the blue, my number 2 son decided that he wanted a laptop cover for his laptop and so I enlisted the help of "Cables Untangled" for this commission.

After measuring the dimensions of the laptop, I found a cabled sweater that inspired me to knit the cover.

The color of choice is black with a sideways design orientation.

The cover can be easily slipped on or off as needed.

Here's a close-up of the cross-over stitch.

I'm pleased to report that he is happy with his new laptop cover.
On the other hand, even with the help of a newly acquired book from hopes of finishing my

freeform crochet entry on time faded as I decided to join "Hot Pads! and Potholders-- the Swap" in spirit as their list is full and plan to use these yarns below to make a

pattern called "
My Favorite Easy Potholder," featuring this (front and back views) simple, but pretty potholder.

Did I tell you about the Thread Teds Workshop I joined to make a scarf clip? Here's my initial progress.

I forgot to mention that I'm also designing another laptop cover (this time with a hugs and kisses cable) since the first one is a hit among my son's peers.
So with so many WIPs, I can't tell where this is leading or where I am going. Can you? : )