One thing's certain in Canada: sometimes you just need to leave in February. This winter's been hard on us. I think the last few years lulled us into thinking winter wasn't so bad. But this year? Hoo boy. And I'm not even one of the people who got stuck on the 402 or buried under five feet of snow in London. Don't get me started on poor Newfoundland, which is getting walloped as I write. Luckily, we have family in Los Angeles who are willing to put up with us for a week (or more) at a time. We just got back from a very happy 8 days of real tacos, Santa Ynez Valley wine and sunshine. And crafty pursuits, of course. My first, most-favourite stop in L.A. is always Kinokuniya bookstore in Little Tokyo. I developed a severe addiction to adorable stationery products when I taught English in Japan. Check out the wall of pens and highlighters – truly swoon-worthy for a pen geek like me. I picked out a few cool pencils, some super-fine-tip pens and a fresh pack of origami paper. I also grabbed a copy of The Origami Artist's Bible to help me brush up on my paper-folding skills. My first result was a crumpled up ball of frustration, but I'm sure it must be like riding a bicycle, right? Stay tuned for a simple origami project in the coming weeks. I didn't hit any more crafty places in L.A., but I did find a really nice wool shop in Solvang. I dropped in at Village Spinning and Weaving and poked through the stacks of beautiful fleece and ready-made wool. The nice lady at the counter tried to convince my husband that knitting really benefitted him as much as it did me, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't buying. I picked up three skeins of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi, a very soft, squishy superwash wool/nylon blend. Perfect for some toasty warm socks. Maybe some Mystery Socks if I'm feeling ambitious. Or some Vanilla Socks if not. I hope you're combatting the February blues with some fun crafty pursuits. Spring is coming – I can feel it.