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Red Headed Barbet Found February 28, 2018

Posted by myblueheavenknits in Uncategorized.

One of the benefits of re-vegetating our hill from the old coffee plantation growth, is that creatures that once were here, are starting to come back.  We have seen many new varieties of birds this trip to Costa Rica.

Now, I was hand knitting away on my version of the Chloe Kim Olympic Hat (I will share later), when I heard a thump.  Now this is the kind of “thump” that means a bird hit one of our big windows, so I went out to check.  Usually it is a hummer who got knocked out or knocked the wind out of itself, so I cradle it for awhile, keeping it warm, until it gets it’s senses back – then promptly flies off, continuing its day.

This was a larger “thump”.  I didn’t expect to see this beauty:

red headed barbet in hands

He is a Red Headed Barbet.  He was gasping a bit (as you can see by the pic), but he eventually settled down.  I held him for a bit while Mark got his camera and he got this shot of him in my hands.

He was not that afraid of me, so I walked him over to one of our bushes by the pool and got him to grab one of the inner branches.  See him here in the bush:

red headed barbet

He tucked his head into his wing and took a quick nap, then fully recovered, he flew off straight and strong into the trees.

It is one thing to read a bird book and see the colors as printed there, and then there is the whole “much better than you can imagine” experience of holding something alive, safe and beautiful in your hands. All I can say is PEOPLE!  Go out and experience the wonders of Nature for yourself.  It will put all things in perspective for you.


Watch Out – Cannibal On The Loose! February 5, 2018

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This little girl was hanging out by our door. It probably thought that it really lucked out as we keep the light on over our door at night – bugs aplenty fly towards the light creating a feast for such creatures. This one has adapted to our Costa Rican foliage and at first glance, looks like a leaf, but it really hides the body of a super-predator. Here is the Costa Rican Leaf Praying Mantis for your delight. Oh, how do I know its a girl? She is predisposed to eat her kind, whether it be her mate or her younger siblings as they hatch, hence only one female will be left- HER!. Quite the cannibal.

Leaf Mantis

New Birds Coming To Feeder In Costa Rica February 4, 2018

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It is Spring/Summer down here in Costa Rica now.  It is their National Primary Election Day and our Super Bowl Sunday.  The cannons were booming yesterday across the river valley every hour to celebrate their National day – it is law that everyone of age must vote.  There are indigenous tribes in the hills, afrodescendents on the Caribbean coast, and all people in towns, cities and pueblos making their way to their polling places, open from 6am to 6pm.  There is a festive air about the country, with everyone participating in the democratic process.

Up at our house in the Orosi Valley, we have been putting out fruit skins, day old bread and bananas on our bird feeder.  The Poro Trees are starting to bloom and there are  probably a troop of a hundred or more Oropendulas feasting on the Poro’s orange flowers. They must be deliciously sweet.  They are a large bird (the size of a crow) with a brilliant neon yellow tail and an other-worldly song.  Being large, they fly slow in the air and really stand out.  Here’s a good photo of one that I pulled off of Google Images:


It was a nice surprise to see a couple of new birds at our feeder.  We have had Passerini Tanagers for several years, but two new types just made their presence known: The Crimson Collared Tanager and the Hepatic Tanager.  Photos again from Google Images:

Crimson-collared-TanagerHepatic Tanager

The reds are brilliant to see.  The Hepatic was in our Crab Claw Heliconia and just blended in, but he was spied by my brother, Joel.  Of course, we still have the Blue and Gray Tanagers, the Palm Tanagers, the Kiskadees, and many more at the feeder, which amuses us all day long.  We go through a whole hand of bananas in just a few days and we buy extra loaves of white and wheat bread so that we have a smorgasbord for them to eat.  This place is a birder’s delight!

String Of Purls – New Pattern on Etsy January 12, 2018

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New Pattern Finished and in my Etsy shop. Do you like texture? I created this new “String Of Purls” technique for you to try out on this easy to knit top. For the Bulky machine and using Light Worsted (#4) yarn – blue and green photo is Caron Jumbo, skeins are 12 oz each. The red on is Caron’s Simply Soft Paints in the “Sunset” colorway.
To see it:
Go to: LindasCrafts.Etsy.com

San Diego Machine Knitting Seminar – 5-6 May 2018 January 10, 2018

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I have been invited to the San Diego Machine Knitting Guild in May to demonstrate all my new techniques.  Please save the dates.  Here’s what I will be teaching:

                      – How to do a single layer plaid design
                      – How to spin up your own custom yarns using components
                      – Freestyle knitting, piecework and construction
                      – Stranded weaving
                      – Braided cables
                      – Innovative short-rowing and garment construction
I know that you can register as a guest, so anyone can come and support this great machine knitting guild.  Norman Koshak of Newton’s Yarn Country will be there both days with his scrumptious yarns.  So come one day or both.  There are not that many seminars left for us machine knitters, so please come from far and near to keep this art alive!

Plaid Jacket, Large – XLarge Size November 29, 2017

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Here is the completed Large – XLarge Plaid Jacket done in two colors, charcoal and cream.  Also for reference, the smaller size done in three colors that I previously posted.  Now if you are a 1X-2X like me, you can put a zipper closure on it as I did with this one.  If you are smaller than that, you can wrap and belt it.  Depends on what you are going to wear under it I guess.  Been crushed lately with my normal run of Holiday craft shows, but now I am near the end of them for 2017 and will have time to produce the pattern.  Lots of pictures will be in this one showing the technique to get the single layer plaid.


Piecemaker’s 2017 Christmas Show This Weekend, Costa Mesa November 28, 2017

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Hey there!! After a week off, I am headed to Piecemaker’s Christmas Show on Saturday. I will be in Booth #83 where I usually am. Hope to see you there.


This Weekend – Craft Show at St. Jerome’s Parish, Saturday and Sunday November 9, 2017

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Getting ready for this weekend – flyer below. I will be inside the Assembly Room with new hand knit Holiday cards, felted hats and more. Come say hi!

2017 St.Jerome Holiday Craft – Flyer r2

Craft Show Update November 8, 2017

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I am having tons of fun speaking with my customers at all the crafts shows I have been in so far this season.  Here is an update for you where to find me next:

11-12 Nov  St. Jerome’s Christmas Show, Culver City, CA. – Activity Hall

18-19 Nov  Torrance Craftsmen’s Guild Fall Faire, Torrance, CA.- Toyota Mtg Hall, M-

2 Dec  Piecemaker’s Christmas Show, 1720 Adams Ave. Costa Mesa, CA. – Space #83

10 Dec  Torrance Wilson Park Holiday Show, Wilson Park (Del Amo and Crenshaw) Torrance – Space #A

That’s all for 2017.  I will have my Spring show dates later in January, so check back often.  For example, I have already sent in my application for Yorba Linda’s Spring Show, March 10 – its one day only for Spring.  AND the Torrance Craftsmen’s Guild Spring Show is 17 March.  Save those dates!

I wish everyone a safe and happy season!  Make sweet memories with those you love.

This Weekend, Yorba Linda Fall Craft Faire November 3, 2017

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OK, come by this weekend to the Yorba Linda Craft Fair. There are so many vendors!! I will be in Activity Room B, Space #602. I am bringing out my Upcycles Jackets and Hats, plus, I knit and felted some gorgeous Fedoras for your shopping pleasure. Food is great, a nice buzz going on, charity raffles on beautiful baskets of goodies – this will get you into the Fall/Holiday spirit. See you there!!