About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mirror Lake in Eden Park, Cincinnati, Ohio

Good Morning,

Cincinnati's Eden Park is a perfect place for photographers.

As a child, I remember going there often to feed the ducks as my father took pictures.  In addition to the lake and surrounding landscaping, there are spectacular views of the Ohio River.  This image was taken in early December, 2009.

More pictures of Eden Park will surely appear here in the coming weeks.

Happy New Year to all,



Monday, December 28, 2009

Duval Street, Key West, Florida

Good Morning,

Today I'm sharing an image I find quite pretty.

These glass wind chimes of subtle colors were found hanging in an outdoor shop on Duval Street, Key West, Florida on Christmas Eve.  Just lovely.

Duval Street is where you can find many artists selling their unique work.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quick Crochet Project - Pony Tail Holder

Good Morning,

Yesterday I wrote about learning to knit from my third grade teacher. I learned many things from my Mom, too, such as how to cook, sew, garden, and tat to name just a few. When my brothers and I got home from school, the house was always filled with aromas of a full dinner being prepared and some wonderful dessert to follow. As I look at Mom's recipes now, I note most start with a cup of sugar. Needless to say, I've adapted some of those to be healthier, but sometimes still have to make them "right." Every ballet costume I wore was sewn by Mom and her tatting decorated countless linen handkerchiefs. I was lucky to have grown up with the concept that a little bit of love goes into everything that we make with our hands.

Here is the quick project I promised yesterday. This is a good project for a craft boutique. It's perfect to do with young crocheters in your household and a great project if you have children visiting for the holidays, too. When we grow up some of our fondest memories are of the things our parents and grandparents taught us to do. Now is a good time to use the special time the holidays provide to share some of our talents with the kids.

Fancy Crocheted Pony Tail Holders

Gauge: Not very important, but your work should be snug around the elastic pony tail holder.

Materials:  Small amounts of just about any kind of yarn. Novelty yarns can produce great results.

Size G, H, I, or J crochet - experiment and use whatever is right for the yarn are using.

Commercial elastic pony tail holders in colors that blend with your yarn. It is important to get holders that have no metal parts so your yarn will slide all the way around without catching.

Round 1: Make a slip stitch on hook and pull tight.  Working into the inside and over the holder, join with sc, *ch 3, sc over pony tail holder. Repeat from * around sliding the sc together and covering the holder without stretching. Join with ss.

You can stop here if you wish. The lavender and red holders in the image are just one round.

Round 2: ss into ch 3 space, ch 2 (counts as first dc), 3 dc in space (4 dc in space), *4 dc in next ch 3 sp of round 1. Repeat from * around, join with ss. Break off and weave in end.

The grey and blue holders in the image were made with these two rounds.

You're finished!

But, now it's time to make the next one truly yours by first threading some beads on your yarn (pony beads work fine on worsted weight yarn), and sliding one bead up to the hook on the second chain of each chain 3 made on the first round. Or, change colors between round 1 and round 2. Or, use ribbon instead of yarn. Or, use your imagination to do something else!

Enjoy! Comments? I love to hear from you.



Saturday, December 26, 2009

Back in Miami, Florida


It's "the day after" and here we are back in Miami.

I'm sure the kids at home are spending the day playing with their new toys and the adults are recovering from too much food.

It was a beautiful Christmas here on board Majesty of the Seas.  We'll be here for the New Year, too, so the holiday fun is not yet over.

I learned to knit from my third grade teacher.  She was knitting while the kids were out for recess and I asked if I could stay in and learn to knit.  The next day I brought knitting needles and yarn.  Mrs. Fox taught me to knit and purl which was all I needed to get started.  After making my first scarf, I made clothes for my Ginny Dolls.  That will date me!  Does anyone else remember Ginny Dolls?

Through the years I picked up every knitting and crochet book I could find and taught myself something new with every project.  Now I enjoy designing toys, clothing, and household items which fits right in with my left brain accounting thought processes and right brain love of creativity. Knit and crochet both have to do with numbers of stitches, sizes to achieve, shapes to be made, spaces to be filled.  Add to that the unlimited variety of materials that can be used and and the possibilities are without limit.

Now that I'm retired, I have the time to devote to designing and the grandchildren to wear the sweaters, dresses, scarves, hats, mittens that flow off of my knitting needles and crochet hooks.

Last September I made this outfit as well as several other different outfits to fit the American Girl size doll.  I gave this crochet sweater, knit skirt outfit to one of my granddaughters for Christmas.  I didn't happen to write down the pattern as I made it while holding my work up to my traveling doll used just for the purpose of being my model while designing.  I'll be making more, though, and will note the patterns as I make them.

I have other projects in the works and will share a very quick and easy one tomorrow that will be fun to share with the young crocheters in your household.

Comments?  I'd love to hear from you.

Very best,


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Good Morning, Everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas wherever you are. 

Here aboard Majesty of the Seas the morning is quiet after a long night of good food, fantastic entertainment, all wrapped up with Midnight Mass. 

Egg nog is being served and the Executive Chef's crew are busy preparing a giant table in the Centrum as we are awaiting Santa's arrival.

Happy Christmas to all!



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Aboard Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas - Meet the Officers

Good Morning,

The Christmas spirit is alive aboard Majesty of the Seas.  Here we see an image of the introduction of officers by Captain Per Kjonso at his formal Welcome Aboard party.

Today's Christmas activities are planned for kids of all ages including Holiday Caroling, the Christmas Story, and Midnight Mass.

This snapshot was taken from a theater seat with what I call my "baby camera," a Canon Power Shot DS750.  It's just the right size to carry in my pocket or formal handbag for a quick snapshot.

Very best,


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Hello Family and Friends!

The Christmas spirit, music, and decorations are everywhere, even aboard ships at sea. 

The image above was taken on board Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas.  If you haven't experienced a Christmas at sea, consider it as a very special way to spend the holidays.

Today my hands are busy with my Canon 50 D as I capture the beauty of the celebrations of the Christmas season at sea.  In the coming days I'll share some of the best of the images I find. 

Very best,



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sunset at Sea

Good Morning,

Today I'm sharing an image of a Sunset At Sea that I captured October 14, 2009.

The beauty and peace of this image just seems appropriate for this week that is so very busy in so many of our lives.




Sunday, December 20, 2009

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

I'm back in The Bahamas.

This morning it was a delight to capture these images of the dawn arrival of the world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, at the Port of Nassau, Bahamas. The ship carries more than 4,000 passengers and more than 2,000 crew. Oasis went into service on December 5, 2009, and this is the first time I have seen her in person.

She is just plain WOW!

The morning sun provided some gorgeous images.  The famous Atlantis on Paradise Island was dwarfed from my camera angle.

No, I'm not a travel agent, I just love the sea and the ships that sail on it.

If you like cruising, I have other Royal Caribbean cruise pictures and information on line.  If you're interested click here.

I hope all of you enduring the snow in the Eastern US are warm and safe today.

Very best,


Friday, December 18, 2009

Key West Historic Dockside


Lunch in Key West yesterday was great. We dined on the front porch of Alonzo's Oyster Bar where we've eaten several times before.While walking along the Historic Dockside we passed the dockside kitty who is the resident fat cat in charge.

During previous visits over the years, we've seen the kitty pictured to the right waiting patiently, then pouncing to catch very fresh tidbits as fishermen cleaned fish on the dock.

My hands were busy with my camera yesterday.  More images of our stroll around Key West yesterday are here.

I mailed the two hats you see in the posts below home to Cincinnati yesterday, too, and they should arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.

Other projects in the works are crochet critters Ollie the Octopus and Tillie the Turtle.  Knit projects happening now are a sweater for my daughter and a hat and scarf set for my husband.

I look forward to seeing you here tomorrow for something else new.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Knit Hat


I'm back in the good ol' USA today in Key West, Florida. My husband and I are going into the old part of town for lunch, some shopping, mail two hats home to my daughter, and definitely some picture taking. Our favorite souvenirs when we travel are the digital images we capture. My husband has a Canon 7D and I have a Canon 50D.

There is a yarn shop in the old part of Key West, but I haven't been in there. I've walked past a number of times and there has always been a "closed" sign on the door. Perhaps today.

Here's the knit hat I mentioned yesterday. This hat was designed as a helmet hat with no brim and no frills. It's so simple and so easy that it's a joy to make in just a few hours. Use it as it is, change it, add to it. Just enjoy.

It's fun to have a quick project between bigger ones. Until she changed schools, I made many, many small items for my granddaughter's school for her craft fair every year. I also donate items to my daughter's AKC dog club for their fund raising events.

Rib Knit Helmet Hat

Size 9, 24” circular needles
Size 9 double pointed needles
#2 fine Patons Lacette acrylic yarn 1.75 oz, 1 skein
#4 knitting worsted weight acrylic yarn, about 3 ounces
stitch marker
yarn needle

Size: 22” adult medium head size

Gauge in Stockinette: 16 st = 4”, 20 rows = 4”

Notes: Hold one strand of each yarn together throughout. The combination of the two yarns adds softness and texture to your resulting fabric. Alternative yarn can be any #5 weight yarn.

Cast on 80 stitches. Work in round being careful not to twist. Place marker at beginning of round.

K4, p4 until piece measures 7”. This hat is designed to be a helmet hat; if you want a turn-back brim on your hat, work to 10”.

Begin decrease for crown. Change to double pointed needles when needed:

Round 1: *K 4. P 2 tog twice over the next 4 p stitches. (2 decreases made) Repeat from * around.

Round 2: Knit the knit stitches, purl the purl stitches

Round 3: Knit the knit stitches, p 2 tog each set of 2 p st.

Rounds 4 and 5: repeat round 2

Cut yarn 18 “ from work and thread into yarn needle. Thread through remaining stitches, pull closed and make a few stitches to hold in place. Pull yarn tail inside.

Add a pom pom if desired.




Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Crochet Helmet Cap

Good morning,

I'm in The Bahamas now where there is surely no snow, but I'm thinking snow and cold. I recently talked with my daughter in Cincinnati who said she could use a hat or two for friends for Christmas. I made this little crocheted cap and am making a knit one, too. I'll be back in the USA in a couple of days where I can mail the caps home to Cincinnati in time for Christmas.

Crochet Helmet Caps in a variety of colors can be purchased at EvensensProductions.com.

All the best,

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Beginning!

Hi Friends, Family, and Others,

Here's the beginning of something that should be lots of fun for me and I hope you'll enjoy it, also. The image is of an afghan I designed. I've made this modified granny square, raised-flower afghan so many times over the years that I have lost count of how many of them are out there.

At the moment, though, I'm at sea working on some quick Christmas and Chanukkah gifts and some larger projects. I'll be back soon with an image or two of the current projects.

Very best to all,