Time for 7 Days again! Let’s see if I can do a better job of staying on top of blogging my self-portraits this week than I have with my June Photo a Day shots.

Day 1 – stay gold:

Day 1 - stay gold

Yesterday evening, we went to a joint birthday party for our godson (this kid is SIX!) and his younger sister. It was in the town where we used to live in Southern Maryland, which is a three-hour round trip from where we live now. We spent a lot of time in the car, and after I finished crocheting this blanket:

finished!

for Sonja‘s Corbin, I played with the camera. Hello, golden hour.

7 Days alternate

Alternate Day 1 shot. I like all the layers in this one.

Day 2 – Ohhhh, I thought you said HANDscape:

Day 2 - Ohhhh, I thought you said HANDscape.

Day 2′s theme was LANDSCAPE. I was feeling silly and couldn’t think of anything better to do. The “trees” are rosemary and dill from my container herb garden.

Today is Sunday. Tomorrow will be a frenzy of laundry and packing. Tuesday, we head to Hawaii to meet up with Lauren! I can hardly wait.

But not the hippopotamus.

Photo a Day – June 6 – Hat: One of my favorite books to read out loud.

fancy-pants cat drinking fountain

Photo a Day – June 7 – Drink: Our cat Lily (the black one—the cat in the photo above is Katy) is over 16 years old. She’s in the very early stages of renal failure, but overall still quite healthy for such an elderly cat. We know this, because we’ve taken her to the vet several times in the past year to see if there are any physical reasons why she keeps peeing on every blanket and towel and piece of laundry that gets left on the floor, not to mention all our rugs. What we’ve been told, repeatedly, is that there aren’t any physical reasons. It’s behavioral. Also, she’s high-strung, so here, give her this Prozac. (Yes, really. Our cat is on Prozac. For the third time in her life, bless her anxious little heart.) Oh well. At least she mostly pees on things we can throw in the washing machine.

One of the things that is helpful for cats having problems with their kidneys is to make sure they drink lots of fresh water. Hence, the new fancy-pants cat drinking fountain. Both the cats seem to love it. And Elliora has developed a fun new habit of seeing what items she can sneak into the bubbling water without me noticing.

Six o'clock is chocolate-chip cookie time better chocolate-chip (oatmeal) cookies

Photo a Day – June 8 – Six o’clock: I’m pretty good at making chocolate-chip cookies. But when I read Stella’s suggestions for making better chocolate-chip cookies, I definitely learned a thing or five. I incorporated suggestions 2, 4, 5, 9 and 10 into this batch, and the results were delicious. And pretty to look at, too!

Chomp.

Like everyone else with a smartphone and an Instagram account, I don’t use my DSLR camera much these days. Partly because it’s big and clunky to carry around all the time, and partly because I’m very, very behind on doing anything with my photos. I have almost two months’ worth of photos—including our trip to Omaha, Annalie’s birthday, my mom and Aurora’s visit to DC, a couple of friends’ birthday parties—waiting to be edited and uploaded to Flickr. I’m reluctant to add any more to that pile, so I take photos with my phone instead, and Instagram them.

bomb pops in the pool

I rolled my eyes at all the Instagram/Hipstamatic people for a long time, but I totally get it now. It’s so easy and immediately gratifying! I can upload photos to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with just a few clicks! My only complaint is that there isn’t a way to upload photos from Instagram on Android (even though there is on iPhone) to Flickr. So I tend to forget about Flickr.

splash sisters

I’ve been remembering to upload my June Photo a Day shots to Flickr, but I have not kept up with the other ones, which is why I just bombed Flickr with a couple dozen photos today. Wanna see them? Keep reading.

this is what it looks like when Annalie voluntarily cleans her room, all by herself

This is what it looks like when Annalie voluntarily cleans her room, all by herself. She even cleaned off the top of her dresser! She dumped out all her dresser drawers and completely reorganized them, setting aside some outgrown clothes for Elliora and some to send to Bug. This has happened not once but twice since her birthday. So far, I love eight.

fork skillz

Elliora surprised us at dinner the other day when she picked up her fork and ate her rice with it instead of her hands.

Elliora, Self-Portrait with Brush mmmm, corn on the cob

One of a few self-portraits Elliora has taken with my phone lately. She’s pretty good! Think she should join 7 Days? (Just kidding.) And E’s first time eating (and loving) corn on the cob. Pinky raised, like a proper lady.

whiteboard drawing of our house

I love this drawing of our house that Annalie did. It’s fairly accurate, right down to the gel gems in the big picture window. Katy hasn’t been up on our roof lately, though.

Smelly McStinktree

Isn’t this tree pretty? This chestnut tree is the bane of my backyard. I call it Smelly McStinktree. Right at the time of year when the weather is the most gorgeous and we want to be outside on the deck all day, the chestnut trees blossom and smell so sickly sweet that I want to gag every time I catch a whiff. In the fall, the prickly chestnuts fall all over our backyard, like little landmines waiting to trip you up and make you twist your ankle. Sigh.

I squint in disapproval at your stink, chestnut tree

I squint in disapproval at your stink, tree.

broccoli thief

Roasted broccoli thief.

progress on Corbin's blanket showing a friend that I was talking to her from the pay phone in our basement

Letting Sonja see what kind of progress I’m making on Baby Corbin’s hexagon blanket. And showing Rainbow that I was talking to her from the pay phone in our basement.

lunch sisters geeklings reading on the deck

Elliora ate lunch at the little table with Annalie for the first time the other day. She was pretty excited about it. And Annalie was pretty excited about the arrival of the next Avatar: The Last Airbender comic.

dramatic clouds

I’m a sucker for big-sky shots, especially with lots of clouds.

protecting her freaked-out sister from the sudden rain

We were out on the deck the other day, playing in the pool, when it suddenly started raining. Elliora was a bit freaked out, so Annalie just scooped her into her lap, wrapped them both up in a towel, and quietly reassured her. I think I’m still Elliora’s favorite person, just barely, but once we’re done breastfeeding I’m pretty sure Annalie is going to tie with Daddy for the top spot.

artist at work

Artist at work! Elliora seems to have finally figured out how to scribble, and she likes doing it. A lot.

Elliora gobbling up chicken lo mein Miss "Just Egg Drop Soup And Rice For Me" tried and LOVED lo mein.

We had dinner at a new restaurant tonight, a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese place that specializes in healthy food. (There are big signs in the window proclaiming that they only cook with fresh vegetables and never use MSG.) Everything we tried was delicious, and the owner was super friendly. Elliora, as usual, ate the spicy tofu from Troy’s soup, rice, broccoli, chicken, onion, and lo mein noodles. The big surprise of the meal was when Miss “Just Egg Drop Soup And Steamed Rice For Me, Thanks” said, “Hey Mom, do you mind if I try some of your chicken lo mein? It looks good.” She ate about half of it before she was done, exclaiming over how delicious it was. And then we got to see a pretty sunset on our way home. It was a nice way to start the weekend.

Sunset over the Beltway
As Brenda said, if you squint, the streetlight kind of looks like a tall palm tree!

crocheted ketchup*

May 3rd, 2012

Take a picture of ME, mama!

How is it possible that I haven’t blogged any crocheting since October!? Oh, wait…I guess I did blog about some cup sleeves and crocheted golden snitches back at the end of February. But still! The lack of blogging about it certainly does not indicate a lack of crocheting. Let me show you.

grinning poser

This rainbow blanket is one of the most recent things I’ve crocheted, and I love it. It’s probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever crocheted. It was made it for my friend Joanna‘s sweet baby boy, but Elliora tried claiming it as her own. First she came over and plopped down on the blanket when I was trying to take photos. (That was only two months ago. Now she runs if I point a camera at her; forget her voluntarily inserting herself in a photo she wasn’t asked to pose for in the first place.)

"I'll just take this blanket over here now...kthxbai! Elliora approves of this blanket

Then she stood, gathered the blanket into her arms, and walked off with it. She climbed into the blue chair still holding the blanket, and hugged it, grinning at me, daring me to take it away from her. The goober.

happy thing: Teddy's rainbow blanket

A photo of the rainbow blanket before Elliora tried staking her claim.

sky blanket in progress
Photo taken two months ago. It’s bigger now, since the blanket is one-third done!

Have I told you all about the sky blanket I’m crocheting? You might have seen the sky scarf on Pinterest. I liked the idea, but decided I wanted a blanket, and went with my trademark spiral squares instead of stripes. I started just after the first of the year. Each day, I look at the sky around noon (or whenever I remember; or unless it rains or snows anytime that day, in which case the day’s square is sparkly gray or sparkly white), and that evening I spend about 20 minutes crocheting one three-inch square out of the appropriate color yarn and then attach it to the blanket. I’ll end up with 360 squares arranged in 20 rows of 18, and maybe a six-round border for the last six days of the year, which will make a decent-size blanket in shades of blue, gray, and white. It’s a totally different color scheme than my usual palette of brights. I’m surprised by how much I like it and look forward to cuddling under it at the end of the year.

happy thing: late birthday gift perfect for carrying my next crochet project

My sister-in-law Dana sent me this bag for my birthday. I love it.

two little blankets

These two little nine-patch blankets were made for our friends Lynette and Med’s twin girls.

fuchsia, green and yellow crocheted nine-patch

purple, yellow and green crocheted nine-patch

I didn’t notice till after I’d started working on the purple one that the colors were very Mardi Gras. Good thing Lynette and Med appreciate (and throw!) a good party.

Day 6 - ask and ye shall receive

This photo was actually my Day 6 photo from 7 Days this past December. (You know, that 7 Days week I never finished blogging about because (1) it was Christmas, and (2) I got sick on Christmas Eve. Sigh.) Summer complimented a similar coffee-cup sleeve in Mandy’s Day 2 photo, so I offered to make her one.

stripey coffee cup sleeve

Queta, another 7-Dayer, complimented the same coffee-cup sleeve. I made one for her too. (Apparently, all it takes is a compliment and I’m falling all over myself to make you stuff.)

peekaboo

Erin peeking over the blanket I crocheted for Indira Jane.

Indira and the blanket I crocheted for her

Two-month-old Indy, sleeping under her blanket. She’s EIGHT months old now, and I have not seen her since this picture was taken. That’s so sad. Once we’re back on the west coast, I think I’m gonna be visiting Oregon a lot more often. How else are Elliora and Indy going to become best friends?

happy thing: three stripey crocheted balls

Last but not least, some yarnballs! I’ve made a bunch of crocheted balls for my friend Rebekah’s kids over the years. Her husband Jason loves them (balls you can play with relatively safely IN THE HOUSE) and periodically puts in an order for more. Not long ago I made these three for them. And I just remembered, I need to make them a few more! I should add that to my crafting queue…

crocheted stripy balls

Mystery yarnballs! For the life of me, I cannot remember who I made these for. Was it more balls for Bekah’s kids? Did I make these for Jen‘s Preston? Did I perhaps make them for you? I honestly can’t recall.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get cracking on about three baby blankets, including one for a baby who is already several months old and another one for Sonja‘s baby who will be born any minute now. (ANY MINUTE, Sonja. I’m sure of it.)

What kinds of crafty things have you been doing lately?

*I have never actually crocheted any ketchup. But now I kind of want to.