Friday, 27 December 2019

Crocheted Barn for Beckett

This summer, my friend bought a book called Busy Baby Boxes featuring crochet patterns for both a Farm Block and Fairy Princess Block. I knew right away, I wanted to make the Farm Block for our niece's son Beckett for Christmas. I thought it would make a perfect gift for him.

Back in November, I took a break from crocheting Wild Animals to work on this Crocheted Barn for Beckett finally finishing the finger puppets just in time for a quick photo shoot before the big day. With such mild weather this Christmas, I even managed a few photos outside.

I took photos of all five sides showing the doors, windows, lofts, a roof, chicks in a basket and a sunny field with a mud puddle. There are also six finger puppets including a chicken, rooster, pig, sheep, cow, and horse which can be tucked into any of the built-in pockets around all five sides. Take a look and let me know what you think.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Happily this Crocheted Barn for Beckett was a big hit. Thanks to my sister-in-law for capturing the moment Christmas day ... so sweet.
Thanks also to my friend for letting me borrow the Busy Baby Boxes book ... such a fun gift to make.

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Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Crocheted Fawn

This Crocheted Fawn is the twelfth thing I've made from Vanessa Mooncie's Crocheted Wild Animals book. I love how this fawn turned out worked in various shades of beige. He was happy to pose for photos in the cold. Take a look and let me know what you think of this little fawn. 
 
To make this Crocheted Fawn, I followed Vanessa's pattern as written except for adding two less spots to his back and substituting the suggested yarn. I used DK yarn from my stash in various shades of beige. As I ran out of one colour, I picked up another and kept going. 

Here's the complete list of animals featured in the Crocheted Wild Animals book with the twelve I've done so far listed below. 

Done:
  1. Owl
  2. Rabbit
  3. Frog
  4. Polar Bear
  5. Lion
  6. Fox
  7. Elephant
  8. Camel
  9. Flamingo
  10. Snake
  11. Monkey
  12. Fawn (aka Deer)
Not Done Yet:
  • Giraffe
  • Chameleon

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Monday, 23 December 2019

Crocheted Monkey

This Crocheted Monkey is the eleventh I've completed from Vanessa Mooncie's Crocheted Wild Animals book. He was happy to pose outside for photos last weekend even though it was a little cold. Isn't he sweet?
 
 
 
To make this Crocheted Monkey, I followed Vanessa's pattern as written except for substituting the suggested yarn. I used the same dark brown and light beige yarn as I used for the snake. When I ran out of light beige I substituted a similar yet slightly lighter colour on the tummy and one foot. You can see the difference if you look closely.

Here's the complete list of animals featured in the Crocheted Wild Animals book with the eleven I've done so far listed below. 

Done:
  1. Owl
  2. Rabbit
  3. Frog
  4. Polar Bear
  5. Lion
  6. Fox
  7. Elephant
  8. Camel
  9. Flamingo
  10. Snake
  11. Monkey
Not Done Yet:
  • Deer
  • Giraffe
  • Chameleon



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Friday, 20 December 2019

Crocheted Snake

I finished three more Crocheted Wild Animals from Vanessa Mooncie's book months ago and finally got around to taking photos of them this past weekend. Since each animal deserves special attention, I will share photos of each one in separate posts starting with the Crocheted Snake.

At first, I wasn't happy with my choice of yarn for this snake as it seemed a bit stiff. The body tended to fold instead of coiling smoothly as I imagined it should. Luckily, this problem resolved as the snake grew longer. This Crocheted Snake coils quite nicely around our banister now. 

Although not keen on cold, he reluctantly posed for a few photos outside as well. He's really rather cute and cuddly for a snake. Don't you think?
To make this Crocheted Snake, I followed Vanessa's pattern as written except for substituting the suggested yarn. I used worsted weight yarn from my stash in appropriate colours - cream, beige, dark brown plus a bit of pink for the mouth, red for the tongue and black for the eyes. 

Here's the complete list of animals featured in the Crocheted Wild Animals book with the ten I've done so far listed below. 

Done:
  1. Owl
  2. Rabbit
  3. Frog
  4. Polar Bear
  5. Lion
  6. Fox
  7. Elephant
  8. Camel
  9. Flamingo
  10. Snake
Not Done Yet:
  • Deer
  • Monkey
  • Giraffe
  • Chameleon



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Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Cuba Back in February

I finally sorted through our photos from our trip to Cuba back in February. We have been visiting the same resort for the past four years. 

I've written extensively about the resort (Club Amigo), the area (Marea del Portillo) and what we love about it in these posts from previous trips.

Cuba Again (2017)

This year, for the first time, my Mom joined us on our trip to Cuba which was fabulous. It gave her the opportunity to experience first hand what we love about this quaint little resort.

We have already booked for 2020 ... all three of us to the same resort for two weeks yet again ... so excited. As I scroll through the photos from our trip to Cuba Back in February, it reminds me how much I love being there. Happily, my Mom loves it too.

It has been 8 months since these photos were taken. Our drive to the airport in an ice storm was stressful ... very stressful. We have booked hotel rooms close to the airport for our next trip. Although we love Cuba, getting there in the winter can be challenging. 
It is always a relief once our luggage is checked and we have made it through security. We can relax and grab a bite to eat before our flight.
At the other end, in Manzanillo our bikes take a taxi to the resort.
We take a bus. It's a long, tiring day of travel. 
But oh so worth it. These views never fail to amaze ... love them.
We walked the beach every morning before breakfast, stopping at the hotel on the hill (The Farallon) to admire the view.
Caught this lizard sunning on a shower head at the beach one morning.
Our days naturally fell into a comfortable casual routine. After breakfast, we did yoga taught by David (from Toronto) under the palm trees outside our cabana. We fit in one ambitious activity each day alternating biking with hiking either in the afternoon or morning depending on our plans. 

My Mom used this time to relax, chat with other guests, read books and walk the beach ... never a shortage of fun activities to pass the time.
The water levels were still too high to hike around the reservoir so we hiked out and back covering both directions on different days.
I was hot enough to enjoy a refreshing dip at the waterfall this year.
Our walk to the waterfall takes us past a farm where there was a dog with puppies this year. Who can resist cute puppy cuddles?
Sunset cruise ... this time with Mom.
And friends we met from Toronto.
Sunsets (above) are beautiful and very much like sunrises (below).
Allan and Elizabeth (long-stay guests) often play bagpipes after breakfast.
Market stalls are set up daily outside the hotel ... interesting stuff to see.
Our second floor cabana rooms shared a balcony. It was awesome, but we are hoping for ground floor rooms next time ... something with key card locks instead of a single shared key. Plus with no place to hang a clothes line on our balcony, we ended up draping our clothes over chairs to dry. Fingers crossed for ocean view ground floor rooms side-by-side next time.
I never get bored biking this coastal road ... one of my favourite roads.
Last year, we attended Anthony's first birthday party. This year we met his baby cousin Vanessa. 
Anthony turned two in January. He is full of energy ... walking, running, giggling, talking. I can't wait to see him again next year when he's three.
We also stopped by Fernando's house across the field from the farm where Anthony lives. Over the past three years, we made friends with Fernando who maintains the pool at the Farallon. This was the first time we visited him at his home where he and his wife maintain a big beautiful garden.
Although I prefer the South Coast road heading East from our hotel, we biked the other way to Pilon and beyond at least a couple times. 
Another day, we booked a trip to Cayo Blanco - a small island with white sand. This day trip is included with the VIP package at the resort. It's great for relaxing, snorkeling and enjoying a delicious barbecue lunch.
We asked to take the boat back to the hotel instead of the bus. It's a fun ride with big waves out in the open water. Happily, my Mom was up for it.
Hanging out in the pool with friends ... also fun.
Mom joined us for the shorter hikes to nearby farms.
My Mom also hiked the mountain trails to the top of the Reservoir wall ... a great introduction to mountain hiking in Cuba.  
We swam in the ocean a few times, but not as often as other trips. No real reason ... just busy enough doing all the other things we enjoy.
This year, we hiked with Marion and Larry past the stick bridge and up the mountain to a little village they had visited the year before. We met Marion and Larry three years ago on our first trip to Cuba. They are long-stay guests who also enjoy biking and hiking in Cuba. 

Who can resist sweet puppy cuddles along the way?
We showed our friends the view from the "Look Out" above the Reservoir ... beautiful.
Our friends showed us how to find "El Salto" - a little village in the mountains. This sign on the trail beyond the Look Out points the way.
 
It's a challenging hike to El Salto, but definitely worth the effort.
Our friends introduced us to Maria who treated us to coffee, honey and fresh coconuts.
Our friends delivered this photo they had taken of Maria and her husband the year before. Marion and Larry wanted to thank them for rescuing them from their long exhausting attempt around the reservoir in high water. Maria gave them food and her husband took them across the reservoir by boat as they were too exhausted to walk all the way back.
We enjoyed our hike to El Salto ... definitely on our list for next year.
Valentine's Day in Cuba ... sweet touch.
One rainy afternoon, we took shelter on the balcony.
Viewing a rainbow after the rain from our balcony was spectacular.
Another day, we returned to Fernando's house with my Mom.
Next year we look forward to meeting Fernando's granddaughter.
We also took my Mom to meet Vanessa and Anthony.
We biked almost every other day. We stopped by to see Lilliana and her mother a few times. We had decided to give them our bikes at the end of our stay as they live 15 km down the road from our hotel and would make good use of the bikes.
Another day, we set out to hike the other way around the reservoir with Marion and Larry passing this dog who blended in beautifully.
And this Sweet mamma and her puppy ... wonder if we'll see her again?
This hike takes us across the waterfall pond and passes by a few farms.
We stopped at the top of our climb for photos.
This man who owns the sweet mamma dog with puppies asked us to bring a tin of Bag Balm next year. We purchased a tin as soon as we got home and stored it amongst our things to take to Cuba.
One night we booked a horse and buggy ride with Juan Carlos into Marea for dinner at a local restaurant called Ferlin.
Juan Carlos who drives the buggy and lives down the road from Ferlin joined us for dinner then introduced us to his family afterwards. 
On our morning walk before breakfast to the Farallon, we usually stopped to greet Fernando as he cleaned the pool.  
This horse was a common sight on the beach.
Sometimes in the afternoon for a change of pace, we walked the beach to the Farallon to enjoy a blended drink at the poolside bar. Nice views too.
In the afternoons, we liked to ride our bikes along the coast after 3 p.m. when it was usually a little cooler and the lighting was spectacular.
Baby Vanessa (Anthony's cousin) lives her with her parents on the main road towards Marea. We stopped to take a photo of their house.
One morning, we walked with my Mom to the waterfall showing her some of the sites along the way.
Back at the hotel, my husband snapped a photo of his favourite Cuban hat alongside a poster he made to promote a Bike Tour he hopes to lead in Cuba next year.
We often sat poolside in the shade relaxing for a few hours after lunch.
This dog snoozed in comfort on our lounge chairs ... so cute.
We captured a full moon during our stay ... beautiful and bright.
On our last full day in Cuba, we rode our bikes down the coast road to give to Lilliana's family. We were treated to fresh guava juice ... so delicious and refreshing.
We have seen many bicycle tourists in Cuba. This tourist from Spain was traveling by foot ... much slower.
My Mom took a taxi to meet us at the bicycle drop off. She arrived late in a cloud of dust ... quite a ride over rough roads with music blaring.
We climbed into the taxi to ride back to the hotel. First though, we drove further up the road and up the big climb we hadn't managed on our bikes this year to show my Mom spectacular coastal views.
Our driver knew where to stop for the best views.
We passed Lilliana and her mother riding together ... so sweet.
Socializing before and after dinner ... always fun.
The rumours turned out to be true ... there was a toad in the toilet!?
Our last morning in Cuba. One more walk on the beach to the Farallon to say "adiĆ³s" to Fernando and admire the view.
My Mom requested we take this photo of an elderly couple we saw every morning holding hands as they walked the beach ... so sweet.
Our last breakfast ...
A funny looking 'leaf' bug ...
Waiting to board the bus ... heading for home.
We loved our trip to Cuba Back in February with my Mom and look forward to our trip in 2020. "Salud" to Club Amigo Marea del Portillo


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