Adventures in the Pearl Islands

We went island hopping today. We’re staying on Isla Contadora, in the Pearl Islands off the coast of Panama. Today, we got to see a few of the other islands nearby. Here’s a pic of Barb and Jim on our boat.

Our first stop was on Mogo Mogo island (I think that’s the name…), where season 7 of Survivor was filmed. We snorkeled there for about an hour. The island is uninhabited, except for a police (aka coast guard) station. The coral was really pretty, and we saw a ton of fish…including a porcupine puffer and an eel. One cute little fish was tagging along close to Brady’s hip for a good 10 – 15 minutes. Here’s a picture of the bay where we snorkeled.

Then we stopped on another nearby island. I forget the name. It didn’t have any trees, and provided good picture opps. We walked around and collected some shells.

Here’s a pic of Brady and I on our third island stop. More exploring and shell collecting. We also swam a bit on the beach here. The water was perfect. By the way, I’m loving swimming in the ocean. I’m weightless and love it. As soon as I get out of the water, gravity hits and my back starts hurting again. Boooo.

Not sure what I’ll do with the shells yet. I collected orange and white ones…maybe they’ll go somewhere in the baby’s room.

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Mola From Panama

At the market in El Valle de Anton (El Valle), Panama, I found an awesome mola for the nursery. Molas are traditional garments that are made by the indigenous women (the Kunas) of Panama and Columbia. They are hand-stiched cut-outs with many layers and vibrant colors.

We had passed many stands with molas during our first few days in Panama City. I love buying unique things from places we visit, and I was thinking a mola would be great to bring back, but I didn’t know what I’d do with one at first. The colors are so bright and vibrant, which is what makes them beautiful, but they don’t really go with our style or decor.

In El Valle, we had some time to kill, so we visited the local market and I took some time going through a stack of molas. The women who made them showed them each to me. She was very sweet and I tried my best to communicate with her through broken spanish.

I tried to tell her I was looking for an owl. I had no idea what the word for “owl” was. But, through some hand motions and hoots, I finally got it across. =) I had a few options to choose from, and ended up picking this one.

Not a great picture of the one I chose, but hopefully you get the idea. I like the abstract/geometric design and that orange is the main color. I’m going to turn it into a pillow…probably with a chevron pattern backing. It’ll go with all of the other geometric patters that we’re putting into the nursery, and it’ll be a story to tell Baby once he/she understands. We hit the third trimester mark tomorrow, and this baby has already been to two international locations (plus many others). =)

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Hola From Panama

Hello from Panama! We’ve been here since Saturday. Spent the first few days exploring Panama City, and now we’re on Isla Contadora, part of the Pearl Islands off the Pacific Coast of the country.

Here are some pics from the first few days.

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Belly Pics – 25 Weeks

My friend, Kristen McKnight, is super talented. If anyone is looking for a photographer in the Phoenix area, please think of her (comment on this post w your email address and I can get you in touch). She does family photos, engagement pics, maternity and belly photos, etc., etc.

Anyway, Kristen took a bunch of belly pics of me during my visit to Phoenix last weekend. Here’s a sneak peek. Can’t wait to see the rest!

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Found: Mid-Century Rocker for the Nursery!

We had some good friends in town visiting before Christmas. One afternoon with no plans, and they got suckered into tagging along with me to two mid-century stores I had yet to go to in search of our nursery rocker. As one of my favorites would say: “bazinga.” Hehe.

Well, lo and behold, the last store we went to FINALLY had a chair that would work! (I’d been to like 9-10 mid-century stores in the past few weeks.) Our friends must’ve been good luck. Especially because they had a checkbook. And I didn’t. Nor did I have cash. And the store didn’t take plastic. I bargained a bit off the pricetag, and we walked out with a chair for $100. And then, our friends decided to gift us the chair…because they’re that cool.

So, here she is (along with a very pretty model):

What I like about it: it rocks, but it doesn’t look like a rocker. It’s in really good shape. It doesn’t stink. It’s green, and goes with the theme. It was cheap (compared to everything that I like). It makes me happy.

What Brady likes about it: his knees touching his chin when he sits in it. LOL. So, maybe it’ll be used by me the most. That probably would’ve been the case anyway.

I also scored the ottoman pouf on Etsy. Oh, how I love Etsy. I’ll need to find a sidetable for next to the chair and some bright/fun pillows for lumbar support.

More pics/angles:

 

 

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Road Trip = New Cowl

We’re on our way to Durango for Christmas. Six-hour drive. I spent the first hour crocheting a cowl. I had some leftover yarn from another project, so I used it to make another cowl because I ended up wearing my yellow one a lot. 🙂

Here are some pics. I’ll post the pattern later.

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Now what do I do? Five more hours. Guess I could talk to Brady…

1/4/12 UPDATE. Here’s the pattern I used, from Lionbrand: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L10146.html?noImages=&r=1.

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How To Crochet a Simple Beanie

Back in Glenwood a few weeks ago, my friends and I occupied a coffee shop and crocheted/knitted for a good 5-6 hours. We felt like old bitties, but it was fun. And, we were even serenaded by an accordion at one point.

Proof:

Remember that hat I crocheted for a friends’ baby? Well, I attempted to teach the group how to do it. We all came up with different results (different yarn, different-sized hooks). However, I think the following directions give a good enough tutorial. When in doubt, check YouTube (that’s how I learned).

For a small hat, use thinner yarn and a smaller hook. For an adult-sized hat, use thicker yarn and a larger hook. For the adult-sized hat I’ll show in this tutorial, I used Lion Brand’s Thick and Quick yarn with a size N hook.

Start by chaining three stitches. Then, join the chain with a simple slip stitch.

Chain two (slip stitch).

Now, start your first row by stitching 11 half double crochet stitches into the center hole you created by joining your original chain.

Time to start your second row. It’s helpful to mark where you start. In between each stitch from the previous row, crochet two half double crochet stitches. So, row two will end up with double the amount of stitches (24).

Third row. You’re going to do one half double crochet (HDC) increase on every other stitch. That means you’ll do start off your row with one HDC. In the next spot, do two HDC. In the next spot do one HDC. Keep alternating in that pattern for all of row three.

Fourth row. One HDC in each spot.

Here’s a picture of my progress at this point…somewhere between row 3 and 4:

Fifth row. Do one HDC increase every three stitches. So, one HDC, one HDC, two HDC. Repeat.

Sixth row. Do one HDC in each space.

Seventh – Xth row. Continue to do one HDC in each space until you reach the desired length. I think I ended up doing 10 rows or so. I kept testing it on my head until I reached the desired size.

To finish off my hat, I did a couple single crochet stitches, then a few slip stitches so that the end tapers off. Then, tie off and tuck in the tail. You’re done!

Here’s my final result (fuzzy pic, but you get the idea):

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