Happy New Year

Hello and Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2016. My year ended with tons of knitting and sewing. Most all of November and December were spent working on Christmas gifts for family and friends. I was able to get done all I wanted to except for one item, but that just makes for a sweet after Christmas gift. I think it's fun to receive something after, when you're not expecting it.

I can't believe I made all of this in 2015!

I have lots of new projects in my queue for 2016 and am really excited for this year. What's at the top of your list to make this year?

At the top of my list are the Simple House Slippers by Temple of Knit. I've been eyeing them for a while and can't wait to cast on.

A goal I have this year is to finally learn to knit socks. I found this tutorial by Susan B. Anderson and I'm going to finally give it a try. I have some fun Arne & Carlos sock yarn that I want to use for them.

I'm in love with these gorgeous mittens by Melody Hoffmann called Woodland Tales that was published in the Autumn 2015 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly. I must knit these. 

I really want to do more sweater knitting and learn more about the process. As soon as I saw the Lila pullover in the Swoon Maine book by Carrie Bostick Hoge I knew I would have to knit it. It's a top down seamless knit and seems pretty straightforward. 

Wishing you a wonderful start to your year!

September Knitting Projects/WIP

September has been a very productive knitting month for me. I was able to finally complete the sweater I had been working on for a while for my daughter-in-law. I'm so pleased with how it turned out and it looks great on her. This is a pattern by Kelly Menzies called "Malana" and was published in the June 2014 Let's Knit! Magazine. This was the first adult size sweater I've made. It was a bit of a challenge at times, but I learned along the way and would definitely knit this again.

Lady by the Bay - Malana Sweater

To feel like I accomplished something (after working on the sweater for so long) I had to throw in a quick, fun knit, and I found this pattern for coasters by Purl Soho and just fell in love with them. I made a couple of sets for friends.

Lady by the Bay - Chocolate Bar Coasters

My favorite knit for September was this adorable Hudson Hat by Lindsay Baker. The pattern is sized for babies to adults. I know I will be making a few more of these as Christmas gifts, as they are a really fast knit. :)

Lady by the Bay - Hudson Hat

I have two work in progress projects. This one will come off of the needles today though. The yarn I used (Mirasol Hap'i) is textured and I felt it looked too 'bumpy' in the stockinette stitch, but when I put it on the dress form and saw it as it would be worn rather than lying flat, I think it will be fine. We'll see once I block it. This is the Bandana Cowl by The Purl Bee and I adore the pattern. I didn't want to stop knitting. This could easily be knit in just a few hours. A perfect Christmas gift! More will be made with smoother yarn, for sure.

Lady by the Bay - Bandana Cowl

Another work in progress is this feather and fan scarf. It's slow going with the thin yarn, but it's so gorgeous. It's a Christmas gift and I figure I'll need until then to finish it. The yarn I'm using for this is Schoppel Wolle Zauberball. It's the most beautiful yarn I've ever worked with. I made up the pattern in typical feather and fan style. I'd be happy to type it up and share it, but any feather and fan pattern would yield the same effect, I believe.

Lady by the Bay - Feather and Fan Scarf

That's all for now. I'm getting ready to cast on a Katniss Cowl for a friend. What project do you have going at the moment?

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay


December snuck up on me this year. I still haven't sent out Christmas cards or done my Christmas shopping and it's only 16 days away! I'm usually so prepared; I'm not sure what happened this year. I guess time just goes by faster and faster each year. 

I saw this pretty red, green and white bunch of flowers at Trader Joe's and decided to use them for my December calendar page. I'm purchasing flowers that are in season each month and creating something with a quote that represents that month. I started in October, so by the end of next year I'll have a complete calendar. November is here. Three calendar pages done. :)

Have a very happy holiday, everyone!

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

In the Holiday Spirit

There's finally a chill in the air here in Northern California, and everywhere I go there are Christmas decorations and all the holiday flavored goodies at the store, so it has started to feel like the holiday season for me! And what better way to get in the holiday spirit than crocheting some snowflakes. I started out with crochet thread and one of those teeny, tiny steel hooks and I wanted to stab myself with it! I just don't have the patience. So I found some lovely mercerized cotton and this cute little crochet hook that was attached to a kit on some crochet magazine I purchased. The two of these together are making the perfect snowflakes, and quickly. :) And just so I don't waste that pretty crochet thread I bought, I'm pulling in a strand of that into some of my snowflakes. I really like the effect it gives.

So what am I going to do with all of these snowflakes, you ask? In my head I picture them as a garland strung across a large mirror in my home that I'd like to use to hang our Christmas cards on with tiny clothespins. We'll see how that turns out. I'll share a photo once I have it complete.

Happiest Holiday wishes to everyone!!

crocheted snowflakes

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

9 Instagram Accounts That Make Me Happy

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I'm sharing with you nine Instagrammers that make me happy each and every day. It sure wasn't easy to narrow it down to nine, as I follow a lot of talented people. These are some of the people who I always search for each day to see their postings. So be sure to check them out. You will be so happy you did!

From left to right:

  • alyfromuk2us - Aly sure knows how to capture California's beauty. It's always so fun to see it through her eyes. She is so talented and is the queen of sunset silhouettes.
  • missyjena - Jena has an exceptionally talented eye when it comes to capturing her lovely Vancouver. She has an impeccable fresh and clean style, and has such a warm and engaging personality. 
  • burnningbridges - It's always fun to see where the red umbrella will take you. Yuni takes the most mesmerizing photos with her daughter and the red umbrella. You just have to go take a look to see what I mean. Simply amazing!
  • idknowhowshedoesit - Gloribell's Instagram name says it all. I really don't know how she does what she does. The vignettes she puts together are incredibly gorgeous and classy, and I can only imagine how long they must take. You can see how much detail and love she puts into them. 
  • fatmumslim - Chantelle has such a fun, happy and colorful gallery. You can't help but smile when looking through her photos, whether it be her adorable children, beautiful Australian scenery, fun typography and patterns, or one of her delicious recipes.
  • o_reilly_s - Aurélie takes you on a beautiful journey through Paris on a daily basis. She definitely knows how to capture its beauty!
  • lefoxvintage - The way Vanessa uses Hipstamatic to capture the sky, flowers and nature is like no other. There's such a soft and dreamy touch to her images that is so beautiful, and you can always pick her images out of a crowd. 
  • ravenreviews - Samantha captures some of the most incredible landscape shots of the San Francisco Bay Area. Her feed is like a gallery of postcards. 
  • kodakmoments_bynina - Each and every one of Nina's photos tells a beautiful story that you step into and never want to leave. 

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

My Antiques Fair Finds

I don't know how so much time went by without me knowing about the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, but I did just learn of it and had to go check it out. I sure am glad I did. What an amazing event! It's held the first Sunday of every month and there are about 800 booths full of beautiful antiques.

We spent about 4 hours walking through and checking out the booths, and we didn't even get to see every single one of them. It's really overwhelming, but so much fun. We also enjoyed meeting some of the dealers and having great conversations.
This was a booth full of the beautiful colored bottles. I had to take a shot of it.

There was booth after booth that had beautiful items like this. So much to look at.

I really liked this booth with buckets of vintage buttons. You could buy a scoop for a dollar.

Some things I found and purchased are these pretty bottles and books. There's just something about old books that makes me so happy. I had a lot of fun styling these items and photographing them with some roses I picked from my garden.

My very favorite purchase of the day was this View-Master and reels from the 50's and 60's. 

And once we made it to the end we got to take in the beautiful San Francisco skyline view.

If you love vintage items and haven't visited this antiques fair then you really should. You will be so glad you did.

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

Products I'm Loving

Hey, everybody! I've been loving some products so much that I felt I needed to blog about them. There are also a couple new ones that didn't stand out so much for me, unfortunately, and I'll tell you about those as well.

I'll start with the good. There are five products that I felt deserved the time it took for me to photograph them and tell you about them...

1. Bioderma Crealine: This is THE best makeup remover, hands down! I've used lots and they never do what this product can. It removes everything, even waterproof mascara. And you don't have to wipe hard or anything to remove it. It's just an amazing product and is perfect for sensitive skin, which I have. You hardly use any, so it lasts you a really long time. I've been using it for several years. When I start getting low I always order another bottle because I never want to be without it. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find it in a store locally, so I just order it on Amazon.com.

2. Abba Moisture Conditioner: This conditioner really does moisturize your hair but without making it heavy. I have fine hair so I steer clear of 'moisturizing' products because I'm always afraid of weighing my hair down. You don't have to worry about that with this conditioner. It leaves your hair soft and manageable and shiny. It has a peppermint fragrance, which I love. I also love that it's sulfate free and free of synthetic dyes.

3. Dove Visible Care Body Wash: I just found this new body wash a few weeks ago while at Target. It smells divine!! It also lathers up beautifully and it has little exfoliating beads in it. My skin always feels so soft after I use this. I just love it! And the smell. Ahhhhh! Oh, I already said that. ;)

4. Bumble & Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse: This is a fairly new product by Bumble & Bumble. I'm in love with it. I've always used the thickening spray but have recently been using this mousse. A little goes a long way. It gives lots of lift and volume and adds great texture. {Not as textured as the Bumble & Bumble Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme, if you're familiar with that one}

5. Method Kitchen Lemongrass Hand Soap: They say this is an "odor-eliminating hand wash." They aren't lying! This is my third bottle of this stuff. We love it in my household. I can smash and peel and chop loads of garlic and wash my hands with this soap and there's no garlic smell. I don't know how they do it but they do. It has a really refreshing fragrance and my hands don't feel dry after I use it.

Now for the bad. I don't like talking about the bad stuff but I'd hate to see people go out and spend money on these two products...

1. Clinique CC Cream: I have this CC cream because I took the BB cream back to return and they talked me into exchanging it for this. My complaint with the BB cream was that it didn't blend well on the skin. The associate at the makeup counter assured me that the CC cream was more blendable. Unfortunately it's not. Having said that, the color correcting part that they say it does, does work well. It evens out the skintone nicely, as did the BB cream, but it just doesn't go on well and doesn't settle into the skin very nicely. In order to use either of these creams by Clinique I have to spritz my face with some water first or mix it with a moisturizer. You just shouldn't have to do that.

2. Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer: I was so excited when I saw a commercial for this product. So excited!!! It takes so long to moisturize your whole body and wait to dress, etc., so I couldn't wait to try this. Anything to save time. Right? Fail! **big thumbs down** Sorry, Vaseline. :(  I had to use quite a bit in order to feel like I was getting something on my skin. Also, I had to rub it in right away. (Not spray my whole body and then rub in, but spray a part and rub it in, spray another part and rub it in, etc.) It was time consuming. Yes, it dried quickly (too quickly). And as far as moisturizing, I just didn't think it did a good job.

So there are my opinions on some products I've been using. Hope they help you out.

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

I Opened an Etsy Shop!!!

I've been participating in a group photo a day challenge for quite a while now, which you've seen me post about here on my blog several times. Well, this group has become like a family to me. The reason I say 'family' is because family supports you and encourages you to do the things you love, and this group does just that. I have made so many friends along the way and they have been encouraging me for a while now to open an Etsy shop to sell prints of my photographs and flower creations. So I finally did it!! It was such a great feeling to click that button to make the shop live and open to the public!

As of right now I have several photographs of nature and flowers, landscapes, city shots, some still life, and my flower creations in my shop. If you're wondering what I mean by flower creations, here is what I'm talking about.

To be able to create something out of flowers and have someone like it enough that they would want to buy it is so amazing and just motivates me to want to keep on creating. It's sort of an addiction now. :)

So I wanted to share the news with you here. Please stop by and take a look at my shop and let me know what you think. Thank you!!

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

Weekend Road Trip

This past weekend my husband and I took a little road trip over to Napa Valley. Not for any particular thing to do there, just to spend time together and let me photograph all the loveliness that area has to offer. We drove along the wineries and made several turns onto little side roads that had signs that read "No Outlet." We love those kinds of roads. We're not the 'do what the crowd is doing' type of people--we always take the road less traveled. Here are some photos of the beauty down those less traveled roads...

Spring has sprung!!!

We kept driving along and stopped for lunch at Gott's Roadside in St. Helena. We've been there before and it's a favorite spot when we visit over that way. Chis had a burger (which he started eating too quickly and I couldn't get a photo of it) and I had this amazing tuna melt. We shared garlic fries. Their food is amazing! Oh, and I had a glass of wine. ;) Yes, they serve wine at this roadside diner! Hey, it's Napa Valley!

And in all the times we've been over this way we've never stopped and seen Old Faithful. We finally did!

And there on the property of the geyser are a bunch of different goats. We had a lot of fun stopping and visiting with them. How cute are they?!! :)

So that was our day. I hope you enjoyed the photos and your little virtual visit to Napa Valley. :)

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

Christmas Time

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. This is absolutely my favorite time of year. One of my favorite things to do is decorate my house.  I love pulling out all of the ornaments and decorations and remembering each one from years past, it just warms me inside.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with joy, love, and laughter!

Lady by the Bay

StickyGram Review

I just received my first order of StickyGrams and I am loving them! I wanted to hurry up and blog this and share a promo code with you "FRIENDFVUL" for $2.00 off so you can order some as Christmas gifts. I believe the ordering cutoff for guaranteed Christmas delivery is December 9th.  They offer free worldwide shipping!

StickyGram is a personalized printing service that turns your Instagram images into little 2" x 2" magnets.  They come in sheets of 9.  I'm impressed with the quality of these.  The service was really fast and the packaging was really nice.

My set is already on my fridge, and I ordered a set for my son and daughter-in-law for Christmas.  I will definitely be ordering more of these!

A tip for you if you don't have your own Instagram or you want to print someone else's Instagram photos for them as a gift (which is what I had to do to print my daughter-in-law's photos)...

Create an Instagram account, it's free.  Upload the images you want to create on your StickyGram sheet.  If they are your friend's images, view them on their Instagram feed, right click and save each one you want to create on your magnet sheet and save them to your computer.  Create a 'dummy' Instagram account--just make your photos 'private' and then upload the images you just downloaded from your friend's Instagram to your 'dummy' Instagram account. Link that Instagram account with StickyGram and you can order those images.  Once you get the confirmation email from StickyGram that your magnets have been printed and are on their way, you can go in and delete your 'dummy' Instagram account.  I hope all of that made sense!

Here are some closeups of the magnets...

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

Lily's First Christmas

Last night I did a photo shoot with my granddaughter for my son and daughter-in-law's Christmas card.  I thought I'd share my favorite photo with you.  We had a lot of fun.

Settings: f 1.8 1/80 ISO 1250

It was hard to pick just one out of so many, but this was the unanimous winner :)

Happy Holidays!

Lady by the Bay

SF Street Food Festival

So this past Saturday was the annual San Francisco Street Food Festival.  I've always wanted to go and finally made it there this year, with my friend Andrea.  We had so much fun!  What's not to love?  You've got food, sunshine, lots of people watching, and spending time with a great friend.

I live east of the city and don't get there as often as I'd like, but when I do go I'm always fascinated by the people and the buildings there.  I can never get enough of all of it.  Here are some photos I snapped while there on Saturday.  I think they're a lot of fun to look at and see what's going on all around.  I hope you think so, too.

Wax Moth Larvae Tacos????  Say what?

My friend Andrea posing for the picture :)
From Zella's Soulful Kitchen... barbecue chicken sliders and hushpuppies.  Delicious!

Ahhhh! Those houses in the background!  LOVE!


These guys were so neat, dancing to these amazing drum beats.

Cool cakes!

It's so neat how there's such amazing art all over the place, just in random areas.

It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday.

Things I'm Loving Right Now

1. My new single cup coffee brewing machine. Why didn't I get one of these sooner? I love that I can make one cup of Hazelnut and then a cup of Sumatra, and don't have to drink a pot of all the same. Genius!

2. Essie Marshmallow nail polish. This is now my go-to neutral polish for a clean, polished look. I love that it's not 100% opaque and it gives a milky look. It's just perfect and I it.

3. My new sneakers by Reebok. They make me and my feet happy while we're out taking a walk around the lake. :)

4. Blackberries! I have eaten so many blackberries lately--the lady at the stand at the farmer's market knows me by name now. I can't get enough of these things.  Bonus: They're pretty and I love photographing them.  Bonus-Bonus: They're good for you!

5. Peonies are my favorite flower (behind 
Ranunculus, but they're next to impossible to come by). There are so many varieties out there and every single one of them are gorgeous. Thanks to Trader Joe's I can get them all the time (for now anyway). Each time I go back to get more I get nervous that they may not have them. They're not in season right now, so I'm not sure where they get them from, but I hope they keep on getting them so I can keep on getting them.