Category: Life

Our Weekend & More

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since my family returned from a trip…

What a busy and fun this summer to enjoy! And as a person who’s really can’t stand the heat, this summer with a temperature of 70-80F is ideal for me ;o))

I am so happy with my “new baby” and I took some pictures to show our garden progress.

Below is a Red Korean ginseng blossom – these tiny pink flowers are pure eye candy. BTW, if gardening is your hobby too, you are welcome to join my Gardening board on Pinterest.

Red Korean Ginseng Blossom

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Our patio’s corner. From left to right: Red Korean ginseng, dwarf European Fun palm, Japanese forest grass, lavender tree, dwarf Japanese maple, more ginseng in blue handing container and variety of herb in wood container and even in fun small pots.

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My absolute favorite Japanese forest grass:

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Delicious Alpine strawberry:

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Some vegies and Alpine poppy:

Garden Update

Did I mentioned that I am so enjoy my new garden hobby?! ;o))

On Saturday we visited Ice Caves (North Cascades). Very easy walk to views of Big Four Mountain and the caves beneath the snow, but see show-in-a-summer it’s a key.

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And on Sunday Igor, me, Kristin and her friend so enjoined hike to Poo Poo Point. What a LOVELY place!! It was our first hike to Poo Poo Point, but we definitely will be back! There are so many trails we would love to hike. And another my dream is paragliding. Well, it will be a true challenge for me because I always was terribly afraid of heights… but this fear definitely should be fixed ;o))

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Poo Poo Point03 Poo Poo Point04

Ok, now I am hurry back to my lovely work! How is your summer?

 

A wonderful and lovely Monday everyone!!

Life Lately | June News & Updates

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What a busy, exciting and full of surprises month for many reasons!!

Well, we love beginning of every June, because here are al least 4 reasons: our Anniversary, Igor’s parents and my dad Birthdays (my daddy turned 70 this year, oh my – I can’t believe it!!)

In the other news, can you imagine that Kristin graduated middle school?! And sure, MOST exciting news is that yesterday, Igor and Kristin started a-little-trip-around-world-in-23-days (Thailand-Ukraine-Israel) and this morning they landed in Thailand for 5 days! I had many trips with my dad during my childhood, and I bet this one will be unforgettable for our daughter as well as for Igor! I am so happy we did this happened! I did not join because, unfortunately, I am not in good “relationships” with summer and hot weather, but I am looking forward for Europe-trip in late spring or early fall someday ;o)

So, I have 22 more days, which are already scheduled and seems pretty busy. This morning I started another yoga challenge and already took 6:00 am class. I really feel so blessed to afford myself back to work after months of dealing with “golfer’s elbow tendinitis (and I am not a golfer ;)) Not fan at all, but giving my poor hand some rest and treatment, I feel so happy and excited back to work! Plus I got a garden-aka-new-hobby since I can’t just sit and do nothing, and to my surprise, I definitely hooked!

Oh, we also did modeling for my newest hats. Many thanks to Lana Maytak for photo-shoot and her friend for such lovely adorable models!! More photos of another designs coming soon ;o)

 

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Below is another option of Ladybug hat… I really LOVE how playful this design is! Not to mention that testing pattern, I created a Marguerite hat (pretty close to that blue/white hat, but with some unusual details ;o)) The pattern for hats and Marguerite Pin is coming pretty soon!! I’ll keep you updated!

 

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A wonderful and lovely Tuesday anyone!!

Yes, it’s official…

…. to my surprise, my gardening journey finally started on April, 21th!

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Well, I was always in awe with my dearest friend Annya Uslontseva and just adore her whimsical garden but I just can’t imagined gardening by myself. Even if I designed and did all brick works (terraces) and planting on our front yard 12 years ago, and enjoy caring dozen indoor plants, gardening always sounded a lot responsibility and to-much-time-eater to me… But this year something magically changed (do you think is it age?! ;o)). Plus my partner in crime got “that” fever too and started gardening couple weeks ago… So, seems as we got another “collaboration idea” with Lana Maytak we are already hooked and excited about ;o) If you are not familiar with Lana, she’s beyond-talented-photographer behind my Imagical Season books and some other our projects.

I promise, I’ll not boring you with post about our gardening often but I would like to show you some pictures how it’s started and what is progress so far (read in 4 days ;o)

Before (lot’s of gravel and soil with tons of living roots from our 35-40 years old maple tree in the center of backyard):

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Our first ”strawberry field”:

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Some herbs (and baby lavender) on our deck:

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… and sure, some flowers!! I am so happy with Lily of the valley!! They are my most favorite Spring flowers!! And BTW, they make a wonderful groundcover too. I will plant them somewhere in a shade when finish designing our backyard ;o)

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P.S.: Looks like I am hooked … and working on Strawberry Delight Blanket pattern and Secret Meadow collection, I feel so extremely happy and enjoy every moment!!!

 

Happy Tuesday everyone!!

Liebster Blog Award

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I was recently nominated by sweet Lin Wibisono at CrochetRockstar to participate in the Liebster Award. After spending some time with Google, I learned [kinda] that:

  • This award exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.
  • It has German origins – the word “liebster” has several definitions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
  • It follows similar principles as a chain letter, in the sense that it should be passed forward to a certain number of people.

Well, this is simply a way of getting to know each other. Sounds fun!

It wouldn’t be award without a set of rules, and the blogging world is no exception. In accepting this award, a blogger will follow the following rules. It is a way to “Pay It Forward” to other bloggers.

The Rules

If you have been nominated below for the Liebster Award and you choose to accept it, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a widget.
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 to 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award; who have less than 1000 followers.
  6. Create a new list of questions for the nominated bloggers to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post. (You can copy and paste them from here.)
  8. Once you have written your post and published it, you then have to inform the bloggers whom you’ve nominated for the Liebster award. Remember to give a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

 

Here we go ;o)

My answers to Lin’s Libster Award questions

1. What is your favourite hook?
I just love ebony hooks from Lantern Moon (I wish they have C/2 (2.75 mm) size hook, which is my favorite).

2. Anyone else crocheting in your family?
My mom and niece.

3. How many hours a week do you spend crocheting?
I am extremely lucky because my hobby is my main work. So, if I not working on the patterns, my books, publications, new website, drawing diagrams, typing, reading, learning, socializing, workout, walking, cooking—I bet you will find me with hook or needles… ;o)

4. Will you teach a family member to crochet?
I do not think I’m a good teacher, but I’ll do my best by request.

5. Where do you crochet?
Mainly, in front of my computer, sitting in a comfy chair with our adorable Chihuahua Pixie on my lap, and watching something interesting or reading a book (if knitting). The others places: in the car or airplane (during our trips), sometimes on the beach or during camping time.

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6. Do you have a crochet group?
No any at this time.

7. Who inspire you to crochet the first time?
A kindergarten’s teacher. I was 5 years old and crocheted my first flower with very long chain (read stem)!

8. What is the most expensive yarns you ever bought and what did you make with it?
I believe it was Prism Peacock (about $90 per hank). I’ve knitted a wrap for my friend with it.

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9. Do you make item for yourself or to sell?
Since 2008, when I started to work on patterns, mostly I do design and make samples for my patterns. Or something for my Kristin by her request, and gifts for her and my friends.

10. What is the coolest thing you have crocheted?
The first hat and booties for my daughter I knitted about a week before Kristin was born.

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11. Why do you blog?
When I started blogging almost eight years ago it was for a very simple reason—I wanted my very own little “corner” in the Internet universe to share everything about my passion and things I love to do: my creations, patterns, tips and experience. I was surprised at how quickly I meet many wonderful and talented people online, and how the blogging community is friendly, encouraging, and genuinely cheering for you to succeed. I was hooked. Well… now I blog to express myself and my ideas, to supplement my business, to put my creation out into the world…

 

Random Facts about me

  1. My first name reads the same backwards and forwards [aka palindrome].
  2. About 90% of my wardrobe are black & white. Favorite print (since I was a child) is still a polka dots.
  3. I am not a fan of chocolate, candies, cakes and any other sweeties at all.
  4. Graduated from University of Economy, I worked 8 years as computer programmer (go figure) until our moving to US.
  5. I’m totally crazy on tropical plants, which are successfully adopted in our not too tropical climate ;o) My absolute favorite are Golden bamboo, Japanese forest grass, Maranta (family Marantaceae) …just to name a few.

    landscaping21 maranta

  6. Recently I lifted 165 lbs weight bar during the morning workout at Emprowered Recreation.
  7. I still love and collect cute plush toys. My favorite are: pandas, penguins, hedgehogs and absolutely adorable handmade dolls by Adushka.
  8. Another my big love are owls, and I have a huge collections of them—plush ones, ornaments, paintings, etc.…
  9. I always hated to be pictured. To my surprise, I found that out tiny Pixie is on the same page with me. But we did it couple weeks ago for coming Imagical Seasons™ book series. Many thanks to Lana Maytak for the Magic and patience with us!

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  10. My Birthday is a first day of Taurus.
  11. In 2014 I donated 17 pairs of shoes. Don’t ask how many pairs I have in my closet ;o)

 

Done! Now it’s time to nominate… I nominate:

  1. Faina’s Knitting Mode
  2. Adushka
  3. Positively Crochet
  4. Stylish Knits
  5. Tiny Teddies Boutique
  6. Sugar Hiccups

 

My questions to the bloggers nominated are:

  1. What is your favorite yarn to work with?
  2. Who inspire you to crochet the first time?
  3. What project are you currently working on, or want to get started with?
  4. What is your favorite place to knit/crochet?
  5. What is the coolest thing you have knitted/crocheted?
  6. Favorite color combination(s)?
  7. Coffee or tea?
  8. What is your favorite season of the year?
  9. If you could go on vacation anywhere right now where would you go?
  10. If your friends had to describe you in one word what would it be?
  11. Did you ever think you would start a blog?

 

Happy reading, and congrats to all the new nominees! xo!

 

Liebster award

It’s official

Kristin's BDay

Our baby girl just turned 13… can you believe it?! ;o) Kristin is not just a beautiful and lovely teen, she’s the most amazing thirteen year old we have ever seen. Happy Birthday sweetheart!!!

To celebrate 13th Birthday, Kristin with her 8 best friends went to Laser  Quest Federal Way (official part). And sure, after that girls had a sleepover fun. Girls had a blast …and Igor and I survived ;o)

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Girls liked the picture below the most – who’s legs are under Kristin and Vika (left side of photo)?

Well, I definitely have a “gift” to photography hehe;o)

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A lovely and fabulous week everyone!!!

In the News ;)

I can’t believe how lovely and exciting summer time we have this year!

Igor and I always worked so hard, last couple years up to 14-16 hours a day, so we decided to take a little break and afford some rest.

Our daughter Kristin also got some “unusual” experience – she’s (with her friend) now at rhythmic gymnastic summer camp (Los Angeles, CA) for 2 weeks. It’s first time when we are separated with her for such long time, and we so glad that she looks so excited and happy!! Not to mention that after camp they do enjoy the ocean ;o)

 

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Since Kristin was never excited for long car trips, we decided to realize one of our dreams of long travel, and yesterday Igor and I drove around Olympic Peninsula – visited Ocean Shores (-20F from Bellevue, but I’ve just LOVED it – I’m not a big fan of 85-90F), Hoh Rain Forest (really big trees, everything else you can see in any park in WA), Forks (vampires stores, High School looks different from what you see in the movie :)), Port Angeles (too many cops for small city), ferry to Seattle (we were lucky to wait only 2 minutes!) …. Tough day… 450+ miles, but with lots of fun ;o)

In two days (on Wednesday), we will fly to LA, CA to pick up Kristin and her friend, and will be back Saturday evening.

AND on Sunday, I’ll off for 3 days trip with Klondike travel to the lavender festival, with a visit to Olympic National Park (Arina, my friend and the owner of Klondike travel, assured me  that we missed lots of thing we must see that area), and then, – Portland, Oregon. How exciting!!

 

Oh, and just after my return, I’ll post the details of my first four (yes, 4!!! ;) books I’ve almost finished (approx. 75-98 pages each): one of them still need photos (we will work on them just in next couple weeks), some patterns need descriptions and tech editing, books needed introductions, bio, indexes, etc. parts… Oh, but we have covers!!! Here is a sneak peek of Spring book cover (well, even in pretty draft version so far):

 

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P.S.: If I would ever knew how MUCH time would it take to design, learn (and then learn again!), write, draw stitch diagrams and schematic, edit, page making and so on … I would still take that journey again and again! :p)

Happy Father’s Day!!

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… and me with my ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE & LOVELY Dad!! :

My Daddy

 

Happy Father’s Day to all wonderful and lovely Dads!

Our dear Igor and Олександр we love you SO MUCH!! You are the BEST!!
Alla & Kristin

Millennium Cup | Vancouver 2014

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We are back from annual MILLENNIUM CUP International Rhythmic Gymnastics Invitational competition our daughter participated. What a gorgeous competition venue (even if enough cold because of ice-hockey rink ;o)). We enjoined outstanding performances, incredibly talented and beautiful participants. Such memories!!

 

This time our coach decided to challenge the girls a bit and moved them to compete with gymnasts 2 levels advanced (from 6th level to 8th). I loved that our girls felt pretty comfy to compete even if with “big” girls ;o) Our daughter got 4th place in floor routine (and 6th all around) in group of 6 participants, including our new team gymnast – an amazing Angela (level 8). She got gold in all around!!!! YAY!!!

 

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Below are Floor and Hoop routines videos. And here are links to Ball routine.

 

Well, we are so glad back to home, and absolutely don’t mind that completion season is over ;o)

 

A wonderful week anyone!! Can’t wait to share some exciting news pretty soon!!

Sakura Con 2014

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I know, I probably surprise you by two posts a day, but I just can’t resist to share that…

…yesterday we went to Sakura-Con 2014 event. This time we took kids of our friends with us, because it is so really cool event that we wanted to share it!

And.. we realized this one became our family annual event – for 3 years in a row!! To look, to buy some funny stuff and some art, so make pictures, to look for crazy interesting and creative people who make stuff and who express themselves in a funny way and .. to have a day of fun! This event is “a bit” different from “normal” day-to-day life that it can be counted as one of these “out of the box” moments that move you and raise you and give you some space to fill with … with creativity and, may be, some kind of reset of mind ;o)

I’d like to say “let pictures talk”.. But I realize that in event with 5000 people I was not even prepared to capture feeling of insane ;o) I tried to freeze the moments but I missed a lot for sure…

There were dances, computer games, team battles and wins, music, anime movies, music and much much more…

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Sakura Con 05  Sakura Con 06 

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Igor:

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Our team:

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pretty fun couple we’ve met:

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Oh, and cherry on the top: we’ve watched two fashions shows of Japanese designers we’re lucky to met! First, it’s BEYOUND talented designer MINT NeKO.

Sure, I can’t resist to buy the shirt ;o) And Kristin fall in love with backpack, but we found that it is available in Japan only ….well,  it’s one more reason to visit this country (my_always_dream; and we’ll do it in some of days for sure ;0)

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And below is the picture with famous Mint Neko Well, I bet we both were more than exhausted after 7 hours spending on Sakura Con (and I’m sure he was much more). Oh, and I think I definitely need to work on stretching my fingers that way …wow ;o)

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And last, but not least .. my absolute favorite fashion show of Angelic Pretty…such  inspiration!

Seattle Cup 2014 | First Rhythmic Gymnastic Competition

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Another competition season in rhythmic gymnastic is here and first one we participated was Seattle Cup 2014.

Unfortunately Kristin got some heel issue at school couple days before competition, but she did the best she can, and I’m so proud of my baby! ;o)

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Oh, and this is a first year of ribbon routines! Kristin was pretty upset that did couple mistakes, but oh my, ribbon routines are one of my all times favorites, and I even didn’t noticed that mistakes ;0)

Below are Ribbon and Hoop routines videos. And here are links to Floor and Ball routines.

 

P.S.: Some updates from latest competition. Kristin won 1th place of hoop routine, and NO ball & ribbons mistakes this time! YAY, Good job, Kristin!!
Routines: Hoop, Floor, Ball, Ribbon.

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