Monday, June 1, 2020

My Papi

My paternal grandfather passed away this past week. My heart is heavy with so many emotions. I feel deep sorrow knowing his time on earth has seized but by God's good grace I mostly feel overwhelming gratitude for the blessing he will always be to me.
My Papi was a strong, hardworking, and capable man. His life was full of adventure and he shared the most incredible stories. He had an amazing memory and recalled everything with great detail. Some tales seemed so unbelievable but upon further investigation proved to be true. His adventures could fill a book. He was a vaquero. Born and raised in a small adobe house in Tepehuanes,Durango Mexico. He was the true Patriarch of the Carrera family as he was the only boy out of his 5 brothers to reach adulthood. He was deeply loved and respected by his 5 little sisters and was looked up to by many of his family members. He immigrated to the United States as a single man in his early twenties and worked fields of Missouri , slaughterhouses in Chicago, and on railroads in Oregon and California before spending a few years in Santa Barbara working in various restaurants. He finally settled in Los Angeles buying a home near his extended family. He worked very hard to make a life for his children here. I admire his stamina and strength. His work and dedication to his family are inspiring. How fortunate I am to know his love.

Here are a few things I never want to forget about my dear Papi.

1. He ALWAYS wore jeans, a buttoned up longsleeve shirt, belt, and a hat. When I was a child it was always a cowboy hat but in my adult years he was often seen with a baseball cap.
2. The way he would skillfully slice an orange with a pocket knife like a butcher cutting meat.
3. He was always laughing and joking with my Abuelita and his children. He knew how to have a good time.
4. He treated all my cousins like we were his favorite. He had a way of making you feel very special. He ALWAYS greeted the girls with, "Hi mi reina!" (Hi my queen)
5. When I would tell him I love him. He would theatrically respond with a smile and an expressive I love youuuuuu!
6. The way he would sit on his comfy chair and quietly observe his family as we all gathered in his home.
7. Being in the back of his truck as we drove from West Covina to Chino to stay with him and my Abuelita for the night.
8. Him sitting in his garage on incredibly hot days in his jeans and long sleeve shirt listening to Pedro Infante or Javier Solis.
9. How he was well loved by so many. My Papi and Abuelita often had visitors. Their relatives and friends would sit and spend hours chatting away with my Papi.
10. How proud he was to take pictures with his 16 grandchildren.

I think most of all I will miss his two handed kisses. The ways he would grab my face before planting a big kiss on my cheek. I will miss his scruffy mustache and the way he would pull me in close for a hug and pat me on the back.

Thank you Lord for blessing my life with a kind and loving Papi. I know that I am very privileged to be loved and cared by him well into my adult life. Thank you Lord, thank you!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Handmade gift ideas for children

Every year I attempt to gift the children in my life handmade Christmas and birthday gifts. Pinterest, blogs, and Instagram have been huge sources of inspiration. I thought I'd share the these with the community of makers I enjoy so much. I hope these inspire you to create something special for the little ones in your lives. I've listed some of the project patterns below.
Knitted bunny pattern / Butterfly wing pattern / Plum beret pattern / Unfortunately I can't recall the strawberry pattern. The chocolate and candles are something I worked up without a pattern.
The quilt was made with scrap fabric from many outfits I had sewn for it's recipient. It made the simple block quilt extra special. / Backpack tutorial / I didn't use a pattern for the conchas, pasta, and tea bags. I found lots of great inspiration for these on Pinterest / The doll I made years ago with a pattern I drafted but Lakeside Needle works just realesed an adorable doll pattern. I'm itching to make one.
The cape was based off this pattern One of my favorite things about gift giving is the wrapping. After putting so much time and effort into making a gift I delight in wrapping it up! Here are a few of my favorite wrapping ideas. This is one of my favorite handmade toys I've made. It's a felt birthday cake with removable decorations. You can remove the cake lid to store all the pieces. This gift was time consuming but probably the most affordable to make. The cake container was a thrift find and the the felt cost about $8.

I know I have quite a few more toys to share but that's all I have time for now. Hopefully I can continue to add to the list. I just want to get the list to you before Christmas so you can attempt some of these projects. I hope you feel inspired to make a few gifts this year.

Happy Christmas!


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

David turns 30

We celebrated my brothers birthday with friends and family on Sunday. I prepared a giant charcuterie and cheese platter for him. He loves cured meats and cheeses just as much as I do. During my travels in Europe last month I bought marcona almonds from Spain, fig jam from France, and creamed honey from England. I knew they would all come together to make a lovely birthday platter for him. Cheers to 30 my dear David!

Sunday, January 21, 2018


I find it hard to believe that Christmas Day was nearly a month ago. I had every intention of documenting the projects I had been working on but unfortunately, as always, time quickly slipped by.
The past few years I have made a great effort to not fall into the typical American commercial Christmas. I wanted to make gifts that are meaningful and well thought out. Not everything I gifted was handmade by me but I'm proud to say quite a few were.

This kind of gift giving is so much more personal and satisfying to me. First you decide what to make. Which often enough is the real challenge. Then you take the time to go out and gather supplies. Choosing the perfect yarn or fabrics is one of my favorite parts. Lastly is the construction of the item. This is where the perseverance and patience comes in. It's when you sit and think of the one you are creating for. What are they doing now? Will they like it?... I make for those I love so it's always nice to sit and think of them. Perhaps it's the best part of all.

This year I made my grams a beautiful lace shawl knit with gorgeous wool from Scotland. I couldn't help but think about how much she would love it. She's my biggest fan. I've always felt so encouraged by her kind comments on all my creations. She flatters me endlessly. What a joy it was to make her something I knew she would truly appreciate.

I hope you all will consider making a few gifts for loved ones. It just might bless you as much as it does them.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Today I spent the day exploring one of my favorite seaside villages. The weather was cold and cloudy with sporadic bits of sun. Fortunately I caught the sunshine while watching the waves. I laid on the pebbly beach and basked in the sun for nearly an hour. That was probably the highlight of my day. I was also able to visit a lovely yarn shop, have some fish n' chips and delicious cup of tea. Happy Saturday!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mish Mash

I have finally uploaded all the photos that I have let sit on my camera card for months. 13 months to be exact. The thing is I rarely use my slr camera anymore. I'll snap a photo here are there, and then set my camera down to collect dust for weeks. With that being said there was an assortment of random photos in the card dump. Here are a few that made me smile.
While playing with my camera today I once again realized how much I actually enjoy taking photos. I think my 2017 resolution will be to do just that. Happy New Year Friends!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Merry Makes

Happy hands over here. Looking forward to lots more knitting as the cooler weather nears.
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