Fav Pics: Blooms

It’s been a while since I posted a Fav Pics. And I was inspired by the blooms in Cora’s garden to look back at my flower shots from my garden in NJ. All the shots are of annuals from the garden center, nothing too fancy, probably on the distress plant rack.

I loved these shots of these pink geranium buds against their velvety green leaves. The buds look like a rosebud. I tried to get a geranium every spring after Mother’s Day. I’d bring them in for the winter with hopes of them surviving till next year.

This is the self-seeding Pentas, which most likely came from the distress plant rack. They are always great to have as they keep blooming.

I bought these garlic chives, so I didn’t have to buy them from the store. They are also self-seeding, like the pentas. These flowers can be eaten, though I haven’t tried them. I used garlic chives in Oisobagi Kimchi (stuffed cucumber) recipe from No Recipe, which is so good. Or simply added to an omelet. Delicious

Here’s a sneak peek of more blooms from my stitching project I’m soon to begin. This is the Hexagon cushion kit from Kate at The Last Homely House. This is an English paper piecing (epp) project, my first. I’m using it as a gauge to see if I enjoy doing epp. Kate made a beautiful quilt for her granddaughter that inspired me to try out this kit. I hope I like.


WIP (Works in Progress)

This is where I stand with my WIP. I like to work on multiple projects at a time. It helps me not to be bored. For me, boredom equals mistakes, and mistakes mean ripping work out. It is always frustrating to go backward. I am trying not to put down a project too long so I don’t lose the flow. It’s hard to get back into a project. I think this is why I like to knit hats and mitts. I can get through them quickly without too many distractions.

Zig Zag pillow

My current distraction is Matthew Schrank’s Zig Zag pillow from Noro Knitting Magazine #17, made with 2 colorways of Kureyon. I dreamed of working on a colorful project, and this pattern fills the bill. I love how the two colorways are playing out in this pattern. I just pulled the colorways that I had 2 skeins of. I’ve loved it since cast-on.

Starting with purple was a happy beginning.

Travel Mini Blanket/Shawl

This Travel Mini Blanket/Shawl pattern by Sue Keola was an unfinished project gifted to me. The project came with beautiful deep green lace weight yarn, a circular needle (I think it’s an Addis), stitch markers, and needle caps that look like socks. I continued with the shawl as the lace pattern wasn’t too complex. Well, I guess I was wrong. I found a bunch of mistakes and ended up spending so much time unknitting. And then I dropped half a row of stitches and lost the red sock needle cap somewhere in my unknitting process. This is probably where I decided to take the whole thing apart and start from the beginning.

I was making significant headway, and I’m past where I was when I ripped it apart.

Left: where I’m at now; Middle: new cast-on; Right: the unfinished project

Hawaiian quilt potholders

I’m working on another gifted unfinished project. Two Hawaiian quilt potholders that I’m unsure what plant/flower they are. I’m using these as practice stitching. I wish I knew what plant/flower this design is. It would help with my stitching pattern. I will wing it and do what I think looks the best.

Any thoughts on what plant/flower this design could be?

Hippy Slouchy bag

I picked up this Hippy Slouchy bag from the thrift shop. It was a mess, with holes and stains inside and out. But something about it spoke to me, and I decided to pick it up and give it a go with slow stitching and mending techniques.

I started on the inside covering up the stains with stitches. I love how the mending of the fraying seam looks.

I got a text . . .

. . .the other day from “C,” “. . . we harvested some strawberry guava . . . do you want some?” Of course, my answer was yes.

It arrived the next day in a large plastic container. Oh my. Wow, their trees sure were productive this season—4 pounds of guava.

Thank goodness the birds alerted her that the guava was ripe.

Here’s a brief explanation of how I make my guava jam. It’s easy if you can get the guava. Most of the time, we (the hiking crew) forage the fruit from one of the hiking trails. Or if you have it growing in your yard. I got this recipe from my cousin “E.”

And “E” still makes the best guava jam.

According to my mom, Cora


I started processing the guava, cutting off the flower ends and any imperfections. I used the food processor to turn the cleaned-up fruit into a puree. I then strained it through a food mill to get rid of seeds.

The lovely pink pulp waiting to be jammed


Measure out the pureed pulp to figure out how much sugar is needed. I usually start with 1 to 1 pulp to sugar minus one cup. Place everything in a wide pot, mix well, and boil. Stir the mixture so it doesn’t burn on the bottom—lower the temperature to simmer.


Keep stirring the mixture as it cooks. The color will deepen, and the consistency will thicken—taste to see if the sugar fits your liking. If not sweet enough as sugar, a quarter cup at a time till you get the right sweetness. If too sweet, add some lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

For this batch of jam, I used 5 1/4 cups of sugar to 6 cups of pulp. No lemon was necessary. It made seven 8oz., two 4oz., and one 6oz bottle of jam.

Right out of the water bath