Saturday, February 17, 2018


Hi friends,

I've had a busy few days. Not a lot of exciting things as such but I'm very happy.  It's because after a long period of time I'm finally making progress on a number of outstanding "to dos".  I'm also making progress on a few new things.

First up are my new projects.  Some of you will know that I started off the new year making crocheted afghans.  I had a long standing cold (which is still not fully gone!) so I had a lot of indoor time. I made two afghans in a new to me pattern in the month of January. The first one is a combination of colours (ivory, gray, gold) that is much more subdued than I usually gravitate towards. I enjoyed making the afghan and wanted to make another one so I could hopefully remember the pattern better.  for the second one I decided on a very bright combination of colours (burgundy, teal blue, mustard yellow, gray and orange).  These yarns are made by Caron in a variety of variegated colourways and I'm not too familiar with them. I was trying to figure out which one I might like!

 Can you see the 4 colours? The one on top is the first afghan I made. The green at the bottom is the last.

Once I made a second afghan I decided to gift one to a cousin who celebrates a her 60 th birthday this month. She plans to visit at the end of the month so I will gift it to her then.  In the meantime I've described the afghan colours to her and given her a choice between the two. She chose the brightly coloured one though she hasn't actually seen it yet. She wants to be surprised.  Then she said she might want to buy one or she might know someone who wants to  buy one so I made two more.

A cushion project is one that's been around for awhile. I've had several large cushions which do not have cushion covers. They are only covered in muslin and the kapok stuffing cannot be washed.

I could never decide on the style or colour of cushions covers I wanted and dithered about it for some time.  Since the stuffing needs refreshing I opened them up again and washed the outer part. It is a messy job because the stuffing gets all over the place.

Kapok is a natural material which comes from the Kapok tree. Kapok is also called Java cotton.  The Kapok tree is native to west Africa and was transported to Asia where it is cultivated for its fibre or floss.  The tree can grow up to 4 metres (13 feet) per year and reaches about 50 metres maximum. The kapok fibre comes from the trees pods which open and are then dispersed by the wind before harvesting. 

The stuffing is used in pillows, mattresses, upholstery and insulation but with the availability of foam, plastics and synthetic fibres, kapok's use has declined. Personally I have used kapok for a  few decades and I prefer it to foam and other unnatural fillers.

The kapok tree

Kapok from 3 large cushions.

I went to Ikea and purchased 5 different but complementary cushion covers. It's feels so good to get that niggling job out of the way. I very seldom get to Ikea. I don't really like going there because of it's enormous size and maze of rooms you must make your way through to find what you want. But if one has time and energy it is fun looking at all the things one can possibly need for one's home. It is also very inexpensive to shop there unlike some other places and I find the quality is good or comparable to other places.

Another item I needed from Ikea is a large majestic palm. I have gone without large plants in my living room for quite some time simply because it is very drafty and cold along the window wall.  Now I've decided to try again.

Majestic palms are not that easy to grow at the best of times since most of us tend to over water them or improperly water them .  They need to be almost dried out before they are watered well and drained so that the bottom of the planter is not sitting in a pool of water.  I'm hoping I can keep this one alive for awhile.  I  plan on putting up some drapes over my window blinds too. Normally I do not like drapery but I have grown tired of looking at beige blinds.  I also want to see if some simple drapes will help minimize the draft.

I haven't been out to take any nice photos so I'm sharing some I took at the waterfront at English Bay Beach in October 2017. 

Linking with Friday Foto Friends 


Have a lovely weekend.


  1. I love your afghans! So gorgeous! You're giving me the crocheting bug! :o)

  2. These afghans look beautiful Penny. Piled like that the colours look a bit like the layers in a landscape. I like the blue peaking out. Will you use these as throws on sofas or as bedcovers? I don't think I know the term "afghan" I thought at first this must be a canadian use of language but I looked it up and Wikipedia says that the use of Afghan in the English language goes back to 1831 but the first mention of the word referring to a woven rug was in 1877. My memory may be playing tricks but I think i do recall my Grandmother calling one of these blankets made of knitted squares as an "Afghan". I realise it comes from Afghanistan and the name of this type of blanket making seems to have come from there. Before that maybe they were just called blankets as i am sure women were making similar prior to 1877 but maybe they were more woven than knitted or crocheted?

    They look warm and cosy. I hope you manage to get the cushions and the curtains sorted and your new plant friend stays warm and well. x

    1. Hi Jan, thanks for stopping by. I will be using one or two of these on my sofa. The others are for gifts and possible sale.

  3. You do such beautiful work, Penny! Those afghans are amazing. I'm currently working on a baby afghan. If I get enough time to work on it some more this coming week I will post a picture at some time during the week.

    I learned so much about both the Kapok trees and palms! I now understand why it is that my palm tree eventually died.

    Happy for you that you were able to accomplish some of the things on your to-do list! You are an inspiration.

  4. Blue sky that day! You seem to have made a good go at your new year projects!

  5. I love that top afghan in autumn colours it is beautiful. I love to crochet but I do not seem to find time much nowadays ! Hope your palm does well. Think I must be the only person in the world who has never been into an Ikea!!!!
    This has been a really bad year for colds, flu or what ever. It takes ages to get over it I am still coughing badly. Have a good Sunday Diane

  6. Those afghans look wonderful indeed. so is the blue sky!

  7. LOVE your afghans...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  8. I'm in sore need of a road trip to IKEA. Lizzie decided she loved my red slipcover so much, she'd use it for her pedicure station! Well, the good thing about IKEA is that it's inexpensive so I'll pick up another one before she totally kills off this one!

    I love your beautiful afghans. Loads of work. I especially love that rust and deep turquoise together. A beautiful combo. I bet they're cozy too!

  9. You do crochet so beautifully! Love the kapok tree and the palm trees.

  10. Hi Penny sorry to hear your not fully recovered. I'm glad your able to occupy your sick spell with some creativity xx

  11. Your afghans are beautiful. My wife makes them too and she likes your colours.

  12. Your afghans are so pretty! Your cousin will be blessed. I've never heard of Kapok. That was very interesting.

  13. Like you, I gravitate to brighter colours ... especially if one of them is orange! Funny you should mention kapok - when I was growing up in Florida, we went to a restaurant called The Kapok Tree because it had the trees growing around it and in its courtyard - they were soaring!

    You mentioned the palm, and right under it had some pictures of palms. At first, I thought it was a picture of the palm you bought!!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  14. Wow, from your beautiful and richly colored afgans, to the Kapok tree to Majestic palms, this post is so full of bursts of beauty and majesty!!! Thats amazing that you will have a palm in your home..or in your garden...Blessings to you for healthy joyful and creative days!!

  15. Love those colours in the rugs/blankets!

  16. You are way more advanced and fast at crochet than I am. I like the colourful one on the bottom best. Maybe because we live in the north and it is dark in the winter I like having lots of colour around my home. - Margy


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