365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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June Recap: Hipster Cities and Donuts

June was a busy month for me and Sean.  I went to work for a total of 12 days, and in that time I crammed in the same amount of work that I would normally get done in 16 days.  I took the rest of the time off to travel with Sean to Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland, three cool cities where he was scheduled to do readings for the release of his newest book, a collection of short stories about authors and their metaphysical ukuleles.

There are two things that I like to do when I travel:  shop and eat.  I also like taking photos of my snacks and meals so that I can continue to visually enjoy them long after they’ve disappeared into my belly.  So while most people might have vacation photos of the beach, the mountains, sunsets, sunrises, and tourist landmarks that they visited on their travels, I have photos of restaurant meals and donuts.  (Actually, I do have photos of some cool old landmarks, but I’ll try not to bore you too much by not including all of them.)

We spent the first weekend of June in Minneapolis.


We ate brunch twice at Hell’s Kitchen and enjoyed donuts from Angel Food Bakery.




So many choices, so little time!  You can see why I’m going back to Minneapolis the next time I have a chance.

While driving through downtown, I saw this historic building and had to snap a photo for my fellow knitters who would appreciate this.  Oh, to think of the days when knitwear was still made in factories in the USA…


Two weeks later, we flew out to Seattle.


We stayed at a hotel near the Space Needle, walked all around downtown, ate a bunch of yummy food, and checked out Pike Place Market.  Where we purchased and ate more food.  Sean did a reading at Third Place Books, a really cool bookstore and neat community space.  I could have browsed there for hours.

The next day, we drove down to Portland.  Naturally, we had to check out Voodoo Donuts.


There were so many good choices that Sean and I decided to each pick two donuts…


and split each one in half.  Then we had a little donut party.


Throughout all this traveling and eating and donut-merrymaking, I didn’t get a whole lot done on my crocheted afghans.  I brought along a sock to knit, but I might as well have left it home because I only managed to finish a few rows on it.

Now that we’re back home and settled in again, though, I’ve started a few new projects.  I really wanted to make malasadas, which is a Portuguese donut and my all-time favorite kind, but Sean wouldn’t let me.  He didn’t think it was a good idea to have three dozen fresh donuts sitting around when it’s just the two of us.

I guess he has a point.  But darn, I could go for a donut right now.



Week 14/52: A Bunch of New Projects and No Photos of Them

Yesterday after I got off work, I drove straight down to Ventura, and then this morning Sean and I headed out to L.A. for my annual eye doctor appointment.  Even though we no longer live in L.A., I’ve kept the same eye doctor over the last 12 years because she is the best optometrist.  Our appointments are usually about an hour long, and it’s more like a pleasant visit with a friend I only see once a year.  In addition to completing a thorough eye exam and answering all of my questions, she always takes the time to chat with me.  She remembers details like the fact that my husband and I have jobs that are 150 miles apart and that we commute back and forth between two homes and that we are childfree by choice.  She chose not to have any children herself and completely understands our decision.

Anyway, I brought a sock to knit during today’s drive to L.A., but I forgot to take any photos of my progress.  I also forgot to take photos of the three different scarf/wrap things that I’d been working on all week, and I left them all at our house in Morro Bay.  Luckily, my cousin J texted me a photo to show that she received the Golden State Warriors socks that I’d knitted for her.  So here is a photo of that:


Also, while Sean and I were leaving my eye doctor’s office, I saw this place and had to take a photo:


How hot is it?

I’ll post photos of my other projects next time, I promise.

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Week 2/52: Back in the Saddle


My cough went away, my energy returned, and today we were finally able to take my Christmas gift out for a spin on the Black Hill Trail.


It was a lot of fun.


I even forgot that I was wearing a dorky bike helmet.


It was good to get some healthy outdoor exercise again.


Maybe tomorrow we’ll hit the bike park at sunrise while the teenagers are still in bed and all the little kids are still waiting for mom and dad.





Week 1/52: A Little Late to the (2016) Party

A week ago today, it was newly 2016 and I could barely walk up the stairs in my house without getting winded.  I’d come down with a viral infection the day after Christmas, and there was pretty much nothing for me to do except rest and wait it out.  I had hoped to finish the Coastal Ripples afghan by New Year’s Day, but the virus had me so tired that I only managed to crochet a few rows in the last two weeks of 2015.

I went back to work on Wednesday the 6th.  It poured rain for most of the day, so there weren’t that many inmates out on the yard and my first day back at the prison turned out to be relatively uneventful.  The rest of the week was just as rainy and unremarkable (which is the way you want your work day at a prison to be, anyway).  The low amount of stress was exactly what I needed to start getting back on track for 2016.


That sky pretty much tells you what the last couple of weeks in Morro Bay have been like.

I decided I won’t be posting an entry a day this time around.  I challenged myself to do that last year and it was certainly an exercise in creativity, but there were days when I was really stretched thin and posting a blog entry was just one more thing to check off the list.  I don’t want to feel like keeping this blog is a chore that I have to do.  So this year I’m focusing more on quality rather than quantity– fewer posts, but with no bullshit phoning-it-in filler content.

Back in December of 2014, when I started seriously thinking about creating a new blog and was trying to come up with a name for it, I kept getting stuck on “365 Days Handmade…”  Handmade what?  Socks?  Sweaters?  Afghans?  Napkins?  Quilts?  Table runners?  I knew I wanted to emphasize the idea of making things by hand, of being creative and doing something creative every day.  The problem was that I didn’t want to narrow it down to just one thing.

I asked Sean what he thought, and he said, “Why don’t you just call it 365 Days Handmade?  Because every day is what you make of it.  Three hundred sixty-five days, handmade.”

So there you have it, the philosophy behind my blog.  I kept meaning to explain how 365 Days Handmade came to be, and it only took me 374 days to get around to it.

Happy 2016!



Day 365/365: The Last Day of 2015

Thank you for reading and for all your support!  See you in 2016!

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Day 364/365: The Second to Last Day

I got home late from work tonight, and then I had to write out a grocery list, go to the supermarket, shop for food, come home, put away the groceries, and make dinner.  Poor Sean is sick with the same bug that I had a few days ago, but he is trying to be tough and not take any pills like I did.  Dinner was comfort food of homemade mashed potatoes, peas and corn, and fried chicken that I purchased from the supermarket deli.  By the time we finished eating and I tidied the kitchen to a reasonable state, it was 8:30 PM, half an hour away from my bedtime. I still had to write today’s blog post.

I sat and stared at the computer for a little bit, typed up a few words, read what I wrote, and then deleted the whole thing.

“I got nothing,” I told Sean, who was stretched out on the couch with a book.  “Day 364 out of 365, and I got nothing.”

Sean laughed.  “That should be your blog post,” he said.

I picked up my phone and scrolled through recent photos in the gallery.  I came across this one.  I thought it would be the perfect one to share with you tonight, on the second to last day of this year in which I made the commitment to post a blog entry every day for 365 days.


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Day 360/365: Boxing Day

I wanted to ride my new bike today and test it out on the Black Hill trail, but I started having a sore throat late last night.  When I got up this morning, I knew I’d caught a bug.  I tried to ward off further symptoms by downing Wellness Formula pills and Zicam tablets and Halls cough drops all day, but at this point now I’m pretty sure it’s a virus and I can’t stop it.

Sean and I did leave the house this afternoon to run a couple of errands and grab some lunch, and when we got back home, I noticed how much our little front yard has been thriving.  The rain from the past week did a lot to bring some life back into my plants.


I’m not much of a gardener– I prefer the overgrown wilderness look.  I think it makes a better habitat for my gnomes.

Wouldn’t you agree?




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Day 355/365: One Last Yarn Splurge

Sean and I left Ventura and drove back up to Morro Bay this afternoon.  When we pulled into our driveway, I saw the rocking chair on the porch and felt immensely grateful to be living in such a safe neighborhood.


Four of the packages were Christmas presents.  The large pillow-shaped one on top, though, was the Attic 24 Sunny Yarn Pack that I ordered online from Wool Warehouse just last week Sunday.  I was surprised that it arrived so soon.  It came from England, and I had expected about ten days for delivery.


I’d been trying to resist ordering it, but seeing Lucy’s progress with the Sunny Crochet-Along on her website Attic 24 totally sold me.

As you know, I am currently crocheting the Coastal Ripples afghan that she designed.  Having the Sunny Pack waiting in the wings is now a good motivator for me to finish the Coastal Ripples afghan by the end of this year.  Luckily, I have some vacation time coming up.  I am very much looking forward to the holidays.


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Day 354/365: Sunday in Ventura

This morning when I woke up, I had a moment of not knowing whether I was in Morro Bay or Ventura.  Then I remembered that we drove down from the Morro Bay house last night and that I was waking up in our Ventura apartment.

Sean and I were both pretty hungry, and we had two options:  Either go to the grocery store or go out to breakfast.  We chose the easier path.


Outdoor dining in the patio area


When the server brings you the check, you also get a post-breakfast treat of mini cupcakes.

Later, we walked downtown and I noticed these in the window of one of the shops.


I had to get close-up to this guy to try to understand the reason for his torn undershirt.


Officer, did you arrest the culprit?

On the way home, this sign caught my attention.


Live animals??!!!  What kind of live animals?

Someone please tell me.


In the meantime, I am back to my regular work schedule of four 10s.  So glad to have Monday off again.

Happy Sunday!