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.
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.
. . .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.”
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.
I know it’s been a while. Life got complicated. I tried to write a post several times, but it didn’t feel right. I’m feeling better now and wanted to let you know I’m okay. I am working on learning how to deal with complications better.
Besides life’s complications, the weather has been wet, and last night’s storm was a whopper. It’s interfering with going hiking. It is genuinely mud hiking season. Remember last year’s mud hike.
A little muddy, Poamoho April 2022
But with rain comes beautiful blooms in Cora’s garden.
Top row, left to right: my pakalana is coming back; now there are clusters of flowers amongst the vines; the air plant has a reddish glow with orange-red blooms; the pakalana has a seed pod; pink and white bougainvillea from a plant that I trimmed back hard this winter.
I like to do these end-of-the-year recaps of what I finished in a year. It always makes me feel productive, and I even want to start more projects.
Hats were my thing this year. They are my go-to project when I need something to do. Several were donation hats, and the rest were gifts for friends.
Left to right, top to bottom: tape yarn pouch with vintage cloth lining, Antler toques for donation, Feather and Fern wrap, Year of hats, March hat, Scrapy shawl, Felicity hat for donation, Jelka hat, Kaarre hat, Maize mitts
I’ve also been slowly getting rid of my yarn stash. Luckily I meet “L,” an amigurumi crocheter, at the thrift shop. I’ve been giving her yarn for projects.
I’ve been using stitching in my upcycling project this past year. The stitching keeps me present as I usually don’t have a well-laid-out plan, and I’m letting the stitches inspire me on the subsequent placement.
Left to right, top to bottom: Stitching to cover up staining, bookmark, top stitching on the underside of the whale, stuffed whale out of a vintage dress, Hawaiian quilt pillow for donation, Aloha shirt patchwork, blanket stitch top of trivet, trivet made out denim scraps and hand stitching, cat toys made out of scraps of fabric from my cousins mask making venture.
I’m breaking this section down to savory and sweet, and I’m not including the jam I made this year. I’ll say the strawberry guava is always a hit and the cherry jam is also a favorite.
I’ve been trying to be more healthy for dinners. I need to use a lighter hand on the salt. Ahh, signs of getting old. My recent favorite is Mapo eggplant. Here’s the link to the recipe I used from Just One Cookbook: https://www.justonecookbook.com/mapo-eggplant/
Left to right, top to bottom: roasted tomato salsa, zucchini and caramelized onion quiche for Julie, my attempt at pad see ew, cheesy biscuits, tuna and tofu patties, pickled veggie slaw, lemon and capers halibut (thank you, Dave, for the fish), mapo eggplant, ginger pork.
I’ve been going through my mom’s recipe box, making my favorite recipes. One day, I’ll put them in a book for my family. I made several batches of Tanaka bars (a family favorite) for my holiday bake, and a few bakes came out too gooey. I googled “blondies too gooey” and found an article from food52 saying the batter needed more air. I need to return to my hand mixer to get the air into the batter. Here’s the link to the article: https://food52.com/blog/21928-why-your-blondies-are-raw-in-the-middle-the-stella-parks-cure
Left to right, top to bottom: Pumpkin bread, pineapple cookies, garbage cookies, lilikoi coconut pie, mixed berry creme fraiche scones, Nutella rice crispy treats, Tanaka bars, Laurie’s pear cake, cherry scones, lemon loaf cake, Tre Leche cake, apple crumb cake, apple vanilla pound cake, lemon blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate birthday cupcakes for the birthday girls.
To my surprise, I worked on a lot of stuff. It didn’t feel like it. I’ve been struggling this year to find what I should be doing with my life since my freelance gig has dried up.
I’ve discovered myy stitching is good for my brain. It lets me move through the piece spontaneously, letting the stitches decide for me. So I decided 2023 would be my year to sell or show more of my works. I need to be brave and put it out there. So there will be more to come. I hope you stick around to join me on my journey.