Category: alipyper likes to travel

ways to help {g} get to china

Many of you want to help {G} in her efforts to attend the Diplomat Summer Study Abroad Program in China this summer. Thank you!! But many of you don’t craft (what??) or you’re not interested or not able to take one of my classes.¬† So how can you help?

JSA Fundraising Page* You can donate directly on {G}’s fundraising page. 100% of the funds raised on this page will go to {G}’s tuition. Thank you so much to those that have already donated!! You can also go to her page to find out more about the program she will be attending.

* You can recommend {G} for grants or scholarships. Are you a member of a local community group or business that awards funds to outstanding kids? Well, {G} qualifies! She is willing to come to a meeting or an event to share why your group should invest in her and the things she will be learning on her trip.

* You can donate items to {G} that you’d normally give to goodwill. {I} and I will come pick up items from your house and sell those items at our Fundraising Garage Sale, Saturday May 10. You can also come shop for gently used treasures at our Fundraising Garage Sale! Message me if you’d like information on exactly when & where the sale will be. alipyper[at]gmail[dot]com

* If you don’t live in Utah, you can have your own garage sale and donate the proceeds to {G}! You de-clutter your home and you help {G} go to China. Win-win! Or, if you’re crafty and artistic you can sell something fabulous and then donate the proceeds to {G}.

keldan cookie dough announcement fall 2013* You can order {K}’s Cookie Dough (available if you live in Utah County). This is cookie dough that {K} and I make, in our kitchen, with my time tested, yummy recipes! The cookie dough is portioned, packaged, and delivered to your house frozen and ready to bake. Dough will be delivered May 15th. Available flavors this time are Chocolate w/ Coconut & Dried Cherries, Milk Chocolate Chip w/Toffee & Pecans, Oatmeal w/White Chocolate Chip & Craisins, and Peanut Butter. Specifics on how to order will be coming soon…

* In the coming weeks, I will be offering for sale custom crochet and knit items – so keep posted! If you already have something in mind that you’d like to commission – message me! We’ll talk terms and timelines.

Let me know if you have questions about any of the ways you can help {G} attend the study abroad program in China this summer. And, Thank You! Many hands make light work, so thank you in advance for all the ways in which you’re helping our family!

fundraising for baby g

alipyper - baby g is going to chinaWe found out a few weeks ago that our daughter {G} was accepted into the JSA Summer Study Abroad Diplomat Program in Beijing, China this summer. We’re over the moon excited for her! And we’re scrambling a little bit, trying to figure out how we’re going to pay for it.

The whole family is getting in on the fundraising action. {G} set up a fundraising webpage. {I} is organizing a garage sale. {K} is selling my frozen cookie dough. The Mr. is working his guts out at work – like he always does. And I am going a little bit crazy.

I have several classes at Harmony that I’m trying to fill. Are you local? Do you have friends or family that are local? If so, you might consider coming to one of my classes! The classes are very reasonably priced and I’m an excellent teacher ūüôā Will you help me get the word out by sharing on Facebook and Instagram?

IMG_2932Beginning Crochet – Beginning Crochet is a 2 hour, $20 class designed for someone with no crochet experience or for someone that needs a refresher course. Students finish the class having made a lovely, versatile crocheted flower. Bring a friend and learn this exciting craft! Beginning Crochet, $20, Saturday May 3 or Sat. June 7, 3-5pm. Hurry! The May class is this Saturday!

sunburst granny square pillow closeupSunburst Granny Squares – This class is new for Spring! Learn a variation of the Granny Square that turns a circle into a square, with puff and cluster stitches adding texture and visual heft! Basic crochet skills are needed before taking this class. Learn how to crochet in rounds, change colors and learn a new way – slightly different from the technique taught in the Traditional Granny Square class – to join the squares together as you go! You are going to be so pleased with the squares you make at this class – you won’t want to miss it! Sunburst Granny Squares, $15, Saturday May 10, 3:30 – 5:30pm.

Seamless Bootie ClassMagic Seamless Knit Baby Booties – Would you like to learn how to knit a pair of baby booties that you can finish in a few hours and not have to seam together when you’re finished?? With only the ends to weave in when you’re done, this class teaches you how to seamlessly cast on (a useful skill to learn for toe-up sock knitting) and use the “Magic Loop” method of circular knitting on one long cable to finish beautiful baby booties. Basic knitting skills are needed before taking this class. Magic Seamless Knit Baby Booties, $15, Saturday May 31, 3-5pm.

granny square cross pillowTraditional Granny Squares –¬† Take your beginning crochet to the next level as you learn how to start crocheting in rounds, change colors, and join crochet motifs together as-you-go. And, you learn the timeless Granny Square pattern that has endless applications for clothing, pillows, blankets, and decor!¬†Basic crochet skills are needed before taking this class. Traditional Granny Square, $15, Saturday June 21, 3-5pm.

Market BagCrochet Market & Beach Bags – This is going to be a really fun class that teaches you the tricks of crocheting with hemp and yarn and how to read crochet diagrams, while making a practical and useful summer bag! Perfect for the market, beach, or swimming pool! This is a two session class. Basic crochet skills are needed before taking this class. Crochet Market & Beach Bags, $18, Saturday June 14 & 21, 1 – 2;30pm.

Filling all my classes at Harmony would be a great step forward in helping {G} get to China this summer. Will you help?

mission memories

alipyper - Ali Mission MTC

alpyper - Ali Mission Taiwan National Palace Museum

alipyper - Ali Mission Taipei Taiwan LDS Temple

Exactly 20 years ago today I entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT to serve an 18 month proselyting mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Taipei, Taiwan. I said goodbye to the Mr. (who waited patiently for me while I was gone – and then said, “Come home, already!” We were married 10 weeks after I returned.), my parents, family, and friends and wore my missionary tag for eighteen months with great pride.

I’ve been thinking about that girl – her dreams of the future, her confidence (oh! the confidence!), her expectations, her accomplishments – and wonder what she would think of herself now? I’ve also been thinking about how fundamentally my life was changed for the good by my decision to serve a mission and I’m filled with gratitude.

1. Saying goodbye, August 4, 1993. Those aren’t really tears of sadness – they were tears of, “Why the heck did I bring so much stuff??/2. National Palace Museum/3. Photo taken on the roof of the Taiwan Taipei Mission Home overlooking the Taiwan Temple. That sweater! I bought it at Benetton while I was in Taiwan and after living several years in Las Vegas, NV, I gave it to good will thinking I’d never really need it again. Oh how I wish I had that sweater still!! It’s on my list to recreate.

learning to surf

We were planning on heading to San Diego for this week, then we weren’t going to go, then we did, but we cut our original plan in half, so we ended up being home in time to celebrate the 4th in Provo (the BEST place in all of America to celebrate Independence Day).

The Mr.’s sister, Susan, and her cute family live about a mile and a half from Pacific Beach. They are always incredibly generous to host us when we come. This year I decided I wanted to try surfing and Susan gave me my first lesson.

alipyper - surf lesson

alipyper - surf lesson

I wished that I had looked more like this…

Go Susan!
Go Susan!

But it mainly looked like this for me…

alipyper - surf lesson

It was a lot of fun – despite the neti pot effect that my wipeouts had on my nasal passages – and I’ll definitely try it again!

On the way down, we made the obligatory stop at Cane’s (definitely our favorite fast food place – best chicken fingers EVER)…

alipyper - Cane's Chicken Fingers - the BEST

drove through Baker, CA on one of the hottest days on record…

alipyper - dash display driving through Baker, CA on Saturday June 29, 2013

and I was able to work on another crocheted handkerchief – this time using my own Eyelet Lace edging pattern – which I finished once we returned to Provo.

alipyper - eyelet lace crocheted handkerchief edging pattern


My supply of hemstitched linen handkerchiefs is getting low and I have yet to find a place that sells exactly what I want at the price I want to pay. We’ll see if I can somehow figure out how to make them myself. Hmmm. Not sure I want to tackle that yet.

Now it’s back to surfing Pinterest

warm weather

The Mr. and I took the kids south for the President’s Day weekend. {K} had a soccer tournament in St. George. It didn’t go so well for {K} and his team, but hey! we all enjoyed the break from work, school and freezing temperatures.

I’m not supposed to point out the fact that the Mr. is wearing his reading glasses on top of his sunglasses so that he can see his fishing line. Oh, it’s so sad to get old!

The Mr. hasn’t been out fishing all year. The poor Mr.! Too busy with work and family. It was pure heaven for him to stand in the sunshine and cast to his hearts content this weekend. It doesn’t bother him if nothing bites, he’s just glad to be outside with a fishing pole in his hand.

It’s interesting to note that {I} is the one that has received the fishing gene from his father and grandfather. He can’t sit still through church or school to save his life, but get him out fishing and he is calm and focused for hours. Magic.

I didn’t want red sand in my yarn so I stayed in the car to wind my skein of MadelineTosh Prairie lace weight yarn the old school way. I’ve been designing a child’s sweater pattern for months now (in betwixt all the distractions of the holidays) and have another sweater pattern swirling around in my head but the thought of bringing either of these projects, which require a tremendous amount of focus and attention, gave me heart palpitations. So I brought the MadelineTosh yarn I purchased at Loop Knit Lounge while in London and I got started on the Swoon sweater pattern found in Juju’s Loops.

Pure bliss.

Ravelry project page here.

sugar withdrawals and a danish heart tutorial that hasn’t happened yet

I bought this solid chocolate hand painted polka dot heart from Rococo Chocolates in London for the Mr. but I kind of don’t want him to eat it – it’s too cute!

London was so glorious and I had a lovely time! I’m in serious sugar withdrawals, though, now that I’m back home. AND Valentine’s Day is today. The torture!!¬† I’ve been trying to get a step by step picture tutorial of how to make a crocheted Danish Heart posted since a few people have found row 3 of the pattern a little bit tricky.

It will have to wait – we’re taking the kids to warmer climes this weekend and jetlag and the reality of three children and a household to run after being away for two weeks have conspired against me. When I get back…

cath kidston and the parthenon

What a day I had yesterday! It ended with me being incredibly homesick for my son {I} and wishing desperately that he was with me (I wanted all my children and the Mr. with me, but especially {I} yesterday at the British Museum) to see the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman exhibits. They were spectacular! And the most spectacular thing about it was being so up close and personal to them.

Reading Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson¬† and the Olympians series made {I} want to learn Greek, live in Greece, go on a mission to Greece, and BE Greek.

I, on the other hand, want to live in a Cath Kidston store. I want to eat, drink, sleep, and speak Cath Kidston. I’m sure it’s very juvenile but it makes me very happy and¬†the Mr.¬†very poor. The Maryleborn High Street store was delightful and I enjoyed every minute of the hour and a half I spent in it agonizing over the fact that I couldn’t just buy the whole store and transport it back with me in my suitcase.

When I’m done living in a Cath Kidston store, I’d like to move down the street a few spots and live in the Rococo Chocolates store. Double yum. I’m taking full advantage of the foreign travel clause in my “no sugar” contract. The best? The sea salt chocolates. Ooh, baby!

Around the  corner and down a ways is V V Rouleaux. Gorgeous ribbons and trims. I wanted to buy their whole selection of velvet ribbon. Why is it so hard to find velvet ribbon in Utah? Why? A great selection of velvet ribbon should just be a given in a craft store, but apparently nobody else thinks so.

Lindsey from Urban Mums {London} wrote about The Button Queen, which is just a hop, skip, and jump away from V V Rouleaux, and made me want to¬†check it out. It’s true! It’s only buttons! And it was all business when I went in to peruse. I think that you could find any kind of button you could ever want there, and some pretty spectacular cuff links too! I loved it.

When I got home after my glorious day of shopping in Marylebone and the amazing visit to the British Museum, I discovered that there was a Scottish Highland Shop RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the British Museum, where I had JUST BEEN, that had some Wallace plaid items available! Darn! So, I went back today and picked up some ties for my Dad, who gives all his sons-in-law and all his grandsons when they turn 12 a Wallace tie to wear to church. Yay! Success!


Made it over to both the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern today, as well as a fly-by of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Loved the Tate Britain, but pretty much the complete pre-Raphaelite painting collection – which I was dying to see – was gone! It’s on loan in Russia for the rest of the year! I was so disappointed. I did very much enjoy the above painting, Gretchen, which was painted by Joanna Mary Wells in 1861. It made me REALLY miss my daughter, though,¬†and wish that my family was here with me.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

Can I admit something quite shocking and old fashioned? I’m not a modern art fan. There are a few pieces here and there that I¬†enjoy, but on the whole I find¬†modern art depressing, dark, angry¬†and narcissistically¬†full of itself. So, I’ll need to go back to the Tate Modern with the Mr., who is able to¬†view and appreciate modern art with a more discerning eye than me.

I loved the heft and solid neo-classical nature of St. Paul’s Cathedral. I didn’t have time to go in and climb to the Whispering Gallery in the dome – which comes highly recommended – but it’s on my list of London things to do when I can come back with my family. That,¬†the Tower of London, and a whole host of other things that just are not going to be possible (nor were they the purpose) on this trip.


The¬†VERY¬†FIRST THING I bought in London was a lemon blueberry cupcake and a rhubarb almond cake topped with meringue¬†from the Nottinghill Ottolenghi. No joke. I wouldn’t joke about such things.

My rapture at these¬†desserts was in NO¬†WAY influenced by the fact that I haven’t eaten any sugar (nothing – no honey, agave, cane sugar, artificial sugar or any other processed sugar!) for the last six months. Well, okay, maybe it was influenced a little. When I started not eating sugar, I reserved the right to have special treats if I was in a foreign country.¬†You know, to make myself feel like it wasn’t a forever thing. At the time I had no travel plans. Lucky me that I’m unexpectedly in London!

Portobello Road Market in Nottinghill on a Saturday afternoon.

Since I’m a complete sugar addict, I will be promptly resuming no sugar when I return to the States. But, oh!¬†Ottolenghi was truly a sublime way to break my fast! I’ll have to check out their cookbooks when I get back and see if I can in some way recreate my treat for my family.

Not only am I a sugar addict, but I’m a toy snob too. I can’t control myself from passing by a good toy shop! Honeyjam was not a disappointment. You can see the shop from Portobello Road and it was like a magnet, pulling me in. I did manage to¬†walk out of the darling store without anything but¬†it was very, very¬†hard!

I only had an hour to sprint down the market road while ballet¬†class was in session. I saw¬†a few shops selling Scottish woolens, but alas, no Wallace plaid was to be found. Lots of stalls selling British china, silverware, antiques, a few crocheted linens, and brik-a-brak. I’m sure that there was a lot that I didn’t see, but it definitely was posh tourist central.¬†No great deals to be found by me.

Except for the glorious Ottolenghi. Worth every pence.

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