Weekending: The Rest of the Story

I stopped by my LYS on the way home from work on Friday to find some buttons for the girls' sweaters.

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I can't believe I still haven't sewn them on! It was a very busy weekend with lots of distractions and many things buzzing 'round my brain. I'll buckle down and get that done because, believe it or not, it has been sweater weather the past few days.

On Friday evening, Kate & I stopped in to see Cristian Andersson's installation & performance piece, Scriptorium (some background here).

There was more bad news on Friday and, combined with Cristian's reading of the news, the piece by Annie Leue that we'd seen at the SAIC Student Show not even a week earlier came immediately to mind, prompting the post above. We did not see/hear Cristian's entire performance, but he later made a moving reply to my post on IG (click through for all the photos/comments).

Nothing against Harry & Meghan, but I just couldn't muster much enthusiasm for the wedding. I was happy to see a recap or two and some photos and, in hindsight, I probably would have enjoyed it... but not as much as my mother would have, and perhaps that was another reason for my lack of interest.

Instead, I had a fantastic day with Junah & Ginny on Saturday!

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They brought over some new bikes to leave at my house and we rode around the 'hood to check on things... the remainder of the sewer/water work on a few streets over, the old water feature at a park a couple blocks away that's been on the docket for a (someday) re-do, the sad condition of sidewalks and settling earth due to the above sewer/water work that took place on our street last year. I called the City Engineer yesterday (again) and am awaiting a return call about when it'll all be fixed. They came up and put some safety barriers in a couple of places a few weeks ago, but even those are being swallowed up as things continue to deteriorate. It's not a good situation!

Ali came over with all the kids on Sunday, too, and we had a nice impromptu dinner together with Kate & Maddy.

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This little one! She's wearing the Elwood cardigan that I made for Gin a couple of years ago -- it's a little big for her, but look at that cute pudgy rolled-up sleeve.

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I think she's looking more and more "gingery" every time I see her! What do you think?

During a little chat with Ann in Spain on Sunday, I also talked with Addison for a bit and he sweetly asked about the baby. I told him that we're just beginning to see the hint of a smile now and then, but by the time they're here in July she'll be smiling ear-to-ear.

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Work on the kids' clubhouse continues... there a door manufacturing operation in our basement over the weekend. The doorknob came from "the bucket o' knobs" that Rusty's collected/saved over the years. I think it'll soon be finished!

I discovered a couple of new-to-me beers:

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The Gnam Gnam was very good. Had I known beforehand that it had mango I wouldn't have tried it, but I couldn't even tell... I did get a hit of the Thai chili and it was perfect! I also enjoyed the Lager of the Lakes -- more than I thought I would, actually. Also, the design of both of those cans is pretty spectacular!

Due to coworker scheduling, I had the day off yesterday instead of my usual Wednesday and noticed that it was VICTORIA DAY, so of course!!

I had a long overdue chiropractic adjustment yesterday and a long discussion with her about my tendonitis, which has become a sometimes very uncomfortable/painful shoulder situation, and between the adjustment and a couple of awareness things... it's feeling better today. Here's hoping for continued improvement!

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I've had the itch to make another Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt and pawing through my stash of t-shirts, souvenir & otherwise, I came across one that I bought last year at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and it was perfect!  The embellishment could go either way because, y'know, GAUDI, but I'm keeping it simple... running stitch in black thread to outline each of the cathedral towers. I can always add more stitching later... at times it screams for beads!

Thanks for all the great comments about my patch job yesterday! It was a very methodical process and fun to learn. I neglected to mention that I have a few copies of that issue of Making (and some of the others) in the shop and would be happy to send them out into the world -- $24 (+ tax if in WI) + flat $5 shipping. Let me know if you're interested! (Someday I'll get the online commerce thing going.)


Happy Mend-day

I had Junah & Ginny for a large part of the day on Saturday while Ali ran some errands, but managed to get organized and accomplish a few things before & after they were here.

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Though I've been wearing it with no problems, there have been two small holes in my Alabama Chanin Anna's Garden Swing Skirt almost from the moment I first pulled it on. The stitching may have been a bit tight on one of the applique pieces because the holes were on either side of just that one piece. Fixed!

An often-worn black sweater from J.Jill had some holes in seam lines, so I stitched & reinforced them. Fixed!

The lightweight brown cardigan is also from J.Jill and was my mom's. It had a tiny little hole in a really weird spot (right between the boob and armpit area -- possibly snagged on a purse strap/buckle?). It's apparently taken me almost four years to figure out how to fix it. I just stitched it up with some brown thread after determining that it's really not a highly visible area... but would be very noticeable if I did anything more than that! Fixed!

Not shown, a long wool Eileen Fisher coat that Kate snagged on super-duper clearance a few years ago. There were some holes in seams, a big hole in the butt area, and some small holes in one of the pockets... and it needed washing. Fixed!

Then it was time for The Big One. Another J.Jill sweater that I've had & worn for at least a couple of years. I put it on the other day and thought to myself that the elbows were looking a little thin and, sure enough, by noon there was a hole in one of them!

There's a great article by Bristol Ivy in the latest issue of Making, No. 5 / COLOR about a few different methods for mending knits, and a woven patch seemed the way to go for my project.

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I roughly marked the area with pins, stuck a little ham in the sleeve (for contrast as much as anything else), and started weaving. First, to establish the perimeter...

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Then back and forth horizontally (these are not technical terms!). I love the idea of "visible mending," so chose a yarn with a little personality -- a bit of a Madelinetosh Unicorn Tail that I dug out of the leftovers.

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I wasn't far into the vertical stage of weaving when I realized that the patch was not going to be a dense fabric... the original fabric is more of a mesh, but that won't work for the patch.

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So I eyeballed it and wove some more yarn in vertically, until it felt & looked right -- not quite twice as many.

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Then I wove in all the ends. That's the back side, above. WEAVING!

During this process, I thought of "Ruth" a million times. I never met Ruth, but when I was little and we'd go to my Grandparents' house, we'd drive through a little town called New London and I'd always spot/look for a sign that said "REWEAVING by Ruth." It was a fascinating concept!

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Though far from perfect, I am really happy with how it turned out, and I learned a lot. I'm wearing my patched sweater today (because it makes me happy... and it's chilly!), but I'll soon be patching the other elbow -- I'd like to do it before there's an actual hole -- and maybe trying another method/variation and possibly color.


TGI*

*FRIDAY!

*A 3-DAY WEEKEND!

*REALLY & TRULY NICE OUTSIDE!

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This guy is so much happier now that it's nice enough to be outside most of the time! (As are we all, I suppose.)

Do you have anything going on this weekend?

I'll have the kiddos for a while tomorrow morning, in varying combos of 2 and 3 while Ali runs some errands.

The only other thing "written in pen" on my calendar is an appointment with the chiropractor on Monday. I'd been going regularly, but slipped off that schedule quite a while ago and I think it's time to get back on track.

There are a few things on my list that I could work on...

And I'll definitely be putting the finishing touches on two little matching sweaters for two sweet little girls -- I'll be stopping to choose buttons on my way home today!

2 Weeks Craftsy Unlimited For Just $1 at Craftsy.com 5/19 - 5/23/18. No coupon code needed.


3TT: Randomly

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...

1 - Knitting

I started a new knitting project on the way to Chicago last Thursday.

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It's a new Summer Camp (pattern by Laura Aylor) and, as I snapped a photo in the car, I noticed that I was wearing the first one that I made. That shawl and my 2016 Rhinebeck Shawl (Close to You by Justyna Lorkowska) were probably my most-worn shawls last winter (they both "go with everything") and I've wanted to make them both again.

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Coming along!

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I'm using yarn that I dyed a few months ago and I'm pretty happy with it so far.

My elbow/shoulder/arm are still balking at me now and then, so I'm trying to take it easy (figuring out my next step with this lingering situation).

2 - Wine

It occurred to me this morning, while replying to a comment/email from Mary, that perhaps I've neglected telling you about the amazing wineries that Maddy's worked/will be working for! She has worked the past couple of vintage seasons for Wither Hills in New Zealand and also for Loveblock Wines (the winemaker formerly of Kim Crawford Wines); this fall she'll be working for Kendall Jackson in Oregon, and she's pretty certain that she'll be similarly working in Australia next year (exact winery TBD).

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She brought a bottle of Loveblock home with her (because she didn't think it was available here) and we shared it on Thursday night at our hotel. I'm pretty sure the staff in the liquor department at our local grocery store thought she was a little off her rocker on Saturday when she VERY EXCITEDLY showed us that she'd found some on the shelf there!! Isn't the label pretty?

3 - Customer Service

I've tried in vain to locate the misplaced shoulder strap for the charcoal gray Baggallini* Medium Avenue Tote Bag that I bought last year. I don't know what I did with it, and had to resort to using the red strap from another bag when in NYC in March. I finally resorted to reaching out to customer service last week and :08 later I had a reply email informing me that my replacement strap would arrive in 5-10 business days. At no charge. Not even shipping. Yahoo!! I'll be ready, with matching bag/strap, for the next trip to NYC in two weeks!

*FYI, and per the disclosure that appears on the sidebar of every page, I post ads and affiliate links here on occasion, mostly from Amazon and Craftsy (within posts, at the bottom of posts, and also in the sidebar), from which I earn a percentage of any resulting sales if you click through, and that money pretty much covers the annual cost of having this blog/domain. Baggallini is not one of them (nor the wineries) (ha!) (though I realize now that they may now show up!)... anyway, they don't know me from Adam and I'm not compensated for this endorsement whatsoever; I just want to share my experience with their fabulous customer service! (It is so rare... and, really, it made my day!)


Mothers Day

Cheers! The gang's all here!!

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Kate & I motored to Chicago on Thursday to pick up Madeleine -- originally due at 11:59 pm, she missed a connection before even leaving NZ and yet somehow arrived almost 6 hours early! Thankfully, we were already down there and she didn't have to wait too long. But that's a trip/story for another day! The gist of it is, Maddy's home!

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I made it a point to grab my camera and take some photos! Rusty, too!

We even tried recreating a few old photos, some with more success...

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...than others!

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There's a photo (which I can't find at the moment) of my sisters & I successfully holding our mother in the manner that you can see attempted above. My brother was there, too, but it was after his traumatic car accident and there's no way he could risk it. Anyway, the girls suggested we try it... I never got my right foot off the ground and the only way this might have even remotely worked is if there was no laughing! As it is, it's a pretty awesome photograph and I think I like it even better.

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Maddy met Malina for the first time!

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Seven weeks old, she's really starting to fill out!

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The big kids have discovered some of my shawls!

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We had a terrific get together yesterday. A hot dog roast, brats on the grill, this year's favorite salad, along with a few from the deli, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert!

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I got a bottle of new-to-me gin to try and some really great cards. It was just about as perfect as a day can be.


Colorbox Quilt

In early March, Ali sent me a link from Missouri Star Quilt Co. to a quilt that she ran across and really liked. I did a little research and discovered that it was a Modern Background Colorbox Fog Cheater Quilt Panel by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics.

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That is a mouthful. But "CHEATER QUILT PANEL" stood out to me. I had never heard that term before and I was intrigued! I liked the design, too and thought it would be cute for the baby, plus the design seemed perfect for trying out some hand quilting.

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I'd have preferred to buy the materials locally and I tried, but more than one local quilt shop turned up their nose, with remarks, at my inquiring about the availability of this panel. Is that from Pinterest? Do you know how many designs there are? We can't possibly carry them all...

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Um. OK. Sorry? Obviously, they weren't interested in pursuing any further to help me out or in a special order.

So, naturally, I ordered it online!

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I also ordered cotton batting and backing fabric, though that turned out to be the wrong color -- which is the downside of ordering online. I consulted with Ali & her friend Kristin and even though they thought it would be "okay," ugh... I just couldn't do it! It was just too bright. So, I ordered more. It was a little easier to determine the subtleties of coordinating fabric colors at Fat Quarter Shop and I spent a lot of time consulting both websites to find one that I really liked.

I was nervous that the backing wasn't going to be wide enough, so added that little strip of batik... turns out I needn't have worried.

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Waiting for the new & improved backing fabric to arrive gave me time to take the "cheater" panel to Joann's to pick out some colorful thread. I chose five colors of Gütermann 100% Cotton Quilting Thread.

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I may not have cut & pieced it, but I made my first whole cloth quilt... and I did it by hand! Except for the binding -- I made my own bias tape and bound the quilt by machine. It took about 6 weeks, start to finish. I sort of free-styled the individual motifs, working each one pretty much the same... but different. I think it works. The back isn't quite as gorgeous as the front, but it's okay and I think it works, too.

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I tired of it near the end, mainly because there are SO.MANY.OTHER.THINGS and SPRING!!

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It really was a lot of fun, I learned a lot, and I have much more confidence now to tackle & finish the vintage (?) log cabin piece that I inherited from my mom.

Do we need any more photos?? Haha. Sorry, I got a little carried away...


Weekending

CHECK: Finish Malina's quilt!

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The goal was to finish on the weekend, but I put my head down and did it on Saturday -- washed, dried & delivered! I'll do a separate post about it (there are some more photos on Instagram if you're interested).

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Doesn't she look thrilled? That photo is actually from Sunday afternoon... but I'm sure that she was! Also, no doubt thrilled that she's wearing a bonnet & outfit sewn by her mama and the Garter Yoke Cardi that I made for Junah.

I am thrilled that I have a clean slate of a work table!

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CHECK: My first bicycle event of the season -- a 20-mile ride to benefit a local charter school.

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It was far from pretty, but I got it done... a little over 22 miles altogether (I also biked to & from the event) in just over 2 hours.

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My average speed was about 9.6 mph, highest was just over 30, and I climbed 444' (some of it on foot).

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It was a BEAUTIFUL day -- not too hot & not too cold -- and I rode on a few roads new to me. I have a little color on my face and a funny farmer tan on my forearms because my sleeves were pushed up a bit.

I wanted to get the indigo seeds started but didn't. It was too late to go get soil when I discovered that I didn't have any... or maybe I was just pooped. Now I think I might wait until next weekend because I'll be gone for a few days and won't be able to keep an eye on them. I'm hoping it won't be too late a start!

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Just have to share that Junah, one-and-a-half years old in the nearly 3-year-old photo above, was wearing this Captain America Romper on Saturday! Ali said that it's what he wanted to wear!! (And I love that... it's pretty much how it worked most days when I was in charge.) Obviously, he couldn't fasten the crotch snaps, so it just looked like a weird inverted shirttail... with snaps! It was adorable.


Right Now: Come What May... and June and July and August

In other words, what's happening this spring/summer! What began as a normal "what's happening right now" post became a fairly detailed and very helpful list of What I Know Right Now. Also, a couple of hopes & dreams... things I'd like to accomplish.

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MAY

Macro May... and Macramé! I think "macramé" almost every time I say "Macro May," but now I'm actually developing a plan to do some! I've always loved making those knots and now it's cool again -- inspiring, even. I have an idea to make window coverings for our bedroom.

My first bicycle event of the season is this Sunday -- a 20-mile ride to benefit a local charter school. I am doing it alone. I'd rather not do it alone, but it's that or not at all... and I really have to JUST DO IT!

We're picking up Maddy in a week (squee!), and spending a day or so in/around Chicago before heading back...

And then it's Mothers Day!

Maddy takes off for her summer camp job just about two weeks later. Thankfully, the camp job is way closer than her vineyard job (haha), and I'm hopeful for a couple of summertime visits.

On the very last day of May, I'm heading to NYC again!

There are also a couple of "unclaimed" 3-day weekends in May due to work schedule/holiday, and overall I plan to:

  • Finish Malina's quilt (I'm putting my head down and aiming for a finish this weekend)
  • Start indigo plants (also must be done this weekend)
  • Prep for rummage sale
  • Sew something(s) -- a dress and/or top for the girls and/or me
  • Dye something(s)!

JUNE

Kate has curated a show, CONVEYOR, for Greenpoint Open Studios and I'll be joining her there for a few days. She will be busy much of the time with set up, so I'll be on my own for a bit. I plan to meet up with a friend or two, and maybe even take in a show.

Shortly after that, and after Kate returns from NYC (she's driving), I head to Chicago again to deliver her to the airport to see her off as she departs for a month in the UK.

Another possible bicycle event - to benefit a local fire department!

The local farmers market starts up again and Ali will man the Coffee Camper; I imagine I'll have a few Saturday mornings with Gin & Jün.

There is an entire week in the middle of the month when I'll be working every day (I usually work four long days and LOVE my mid-week day off).

CSA deliveries begin mid-month and I'm really looking forward to that!

I am planning to get to work finishing the mosaic tables that Rusty & I built a year ago (detail of dilapidated & rotting original shown above).

And also continue prep for the rummage sale.

JULY

I will be going to Chicago for my monthly visit to pick up Kate at the airport.

There's a rummage sale in the works!

And Kate's maybe gonna re-paint my kitchen walls sometime in July. Before she moves to Denver!

Ann & family arrive from Spain for their summer visit (July 14-August 21), and that means Auntie Camp on the horizon! We're just beginning to sync calendars & make plans, so I don't know exactly when -- it's actually more like to happen in August. That means INDIGO. Maybe tie dye again? Weaving? I'd like to involve Junah, and maybe the kids of one of my coworkers (they've all met before).

And also a possible bicycle ride.

AUGUST

Shhhhhh. At this point, August is a pretty clean slate, other than probably Auntie Camp, Addy's birthday, and his family's return to Spain shortly thereafter. This will very likely fill in a bit -- and may include another trip to (where else?) Chicago!! Annie has hinted at it... because, you know, it will have been a whole month since I was there!

SEPTEMBER

September is looking quite free & open! There is another possible bicycling event and I might tie that into a long weekend away with Rusty.

 

Just like last summer, this one will certainly have distractions and last-minute changes/additions. I'm hoping to find a better rhythm this year and not veer too far off (of my very loose) course.


3TT: A birthday & other things

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...

ONE

For a day or two, I was convinced that she was going to be 3, but no...

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Time seems to be racing, but thankfully it's not racing THAT fast... and yesterday we helped our little Ginny celebrate her 2nd birthday!!

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Before cake -- a really yummy oatmeal-banana-chocolate chip cake!

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After cake... and ice cream!

I put together the little doll bed that I bought at IKEA a few months ago and wrapped it up, along with a sweet little summer outfit.

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She cracked us all up when she immediately "got into" that bed. Soon enough, she was putting her baby to bed.

TWO

Rusty has continued work on their backyard playhouse this week.

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He is very patient!! The walls are framed, the roof underlayment is down, and windows chosen and configured.

THREE

Just because...

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Other Grandma was coaxing coos and maybe even a little smile from Malina! In that last photo, it's all eyes for Mama, though. 


Unraveled: Cockleshell Cardi

KNITTING

So, I did really well with the simultaneous knitting and socializing with the book club gang on Friday night -- even doing increases at regular intervals without screwing up.

Saturday was a WAY different story, and perhaps what you might expect when a day begins with a cherry mimosa at breakfast and carries on with a distillery/brewery/winery tour! I found a mistake and when I thought I'd figured out what happened and how to fix it, I only screwed it up more. Way more! Let's just say there were some "wonky" eyelets on that edging by the time I came to my senses and just put it away.

So, I ripped back the problem area on Monday night and re-knit. I worked the 3-needle bind-off on Tuesday night, and gave it a soak and pinned it out on Wednesday.

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Cockleshell Cardigan

My gauge/measurements are spot-on for the size I made, though I'm using a slightly heavier yarn. I LOVE IT! This one (largest size) will be for Gin, and I've cast on another (second-smallest size) for Malina.

SEWING

I have about half of the hand-quilting yet to do on Malina's quilt... it is getting a little tedious and I've contemplated ways to make it less so (i.e., not do as much), but I've decided to bite the bullet and JUST DO IT (correctly) (or at least as originally intended). I've 30-ish little squares to go... each is randomly quilted with one length of thread. Ready, Set, Go!

READING

Audio: I finished listening to Unfu*k Yourself on the way up to Door County on Friday. I figured that would happen, so had downloaded Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by Leslie Odom, Jr., to be ready. I would listen to Leslie Odom, Jr., read just about anything. Even so, I really enjoyed the content of this book, too; some interesting wisdom and ideas to ponder.

Pages: Nothing has changed here: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder is still on my nightstand, but so too is The Thoughtful Dresser.

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


The merry month of May begins

It was nice to get home on Sunday early enough that I had time to get a few things done (after my nap) and take a walk through the yard.

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It's just amazing to remember that just two weeks ago we'd been paralyzed by a blizzard for the better part of a weekend and left with 2' of snow on the ground -- the remains of which are still melting at the end of my street, even after nearly 80°F yesterday!

Remember that time when Rusty wrote a book about building clubhouses?

It's coming to life...

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They're using the step-by-step guide found in Keep Out! Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse to build a clubhouse in the kids' backyard!

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I'm not sure how this scenario came about, but that's Jün and the neighbor girl sleeping... and waiting for SANTA!!

Must be all the snow.


Weekending: Book Club Getaway

I took off from work at noon on Friday, ran a few errands, and then drove up to Fish Creek in Wisconsin's Door County Peninsula to spend a weekend with nine other members of my Book Club.

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Provisions.

Our book club has been meeting for about 20 years. I've known, been acquainted, worked and/or socialized with some members for much longer than that, but most I know only because of the 2-3 hours when we share a dinner every couple of months and (usually) discuss a book that we've (more or less) all read (maybe).

Anyway, we've read a few books over the years by Wisconsin authors and/or set in our state, and a couple that were specific to Door County... which happens to be just not too far away... and somewhere along the line, a book club get-away was dreamed up! We found a spacious condo with plenty of room (and bathrooms).

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This was our "backyard." There was still a little snow on the deck, but it was nice enough to sit out and soak up some Vitamin D on Saturday afternoon.

We were able to walk to dinner & cocktails at Bayside Tavern on Friday evening, and to breakfast at The Cookery (newly opened for the season!) on Saturday morning.

Our main event was a Door County Trolley's Wine, Spirits & Brew Tour on Saturday. We shared the trolley with another group of 10 women on their 3rd annual girls' weekend (which all began with a bridal shower), a group of three, and two couples.

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There was a lot of singing and laughing, and our driver/guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. It was a great way to spend the day with a group! We stopped at Door County Distillery, Starboard Brewing Company, and Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery, with a delicious lunch stop at Crate.

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They have a board at Starboard on which you can write suggestions for future brews and/or naming suggestions -- Lor Horny Hop and Hop Bop Bonino are from our group.  :)

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We stayed in on Saturday night, ordering take-away pizza from Wild Tomato and staying up late (again) playing games and laughing. I did less playing games and more knitting*... but still a LOT of laughing!

I'd been a little hesitant as the time approached (Inner Introvert: What did I get myself into???), but told myself it was only for a weekend (suck it up). I gave it a positive spin in my brain and decided that I would enjoy it... and I did. But I also had SO MUCH FUN! And RELAXING.

We packed up on Sunday morning and headed out of town for breakfast, ending up at The Log Den for their Sunday buffet... and what a wonderful stop that was! Family-built, -owned, and -operated, 76-year-old owner Wayne is still the head cook!

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They also have a log home listed on VRBO and they invited us to go over to scout it out for next year!!

*Mixed results on the knitting... Friday's time was much better spent than Saturday's... more on that in a day or two, and probably an FO!


3TT: The stuff of life

1 -- I'm not sure how my baby is 27...

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...but it's true! Maddy's birthday was yesterday -- and we were even able to have a quick video chat (I think it was still her birthday there, though it might have already been Thursday!). Her contract at the vintage has ended -- a bit early due to harvest, but that gives her a chance to get out and enjoy some of the natural beauty that drew her to NZ in the first place, especially since she basically started to work the day after she arrived. It's hard to believe we'll be picking her up at O'Hare two weeks from today!!

2 -- There'll be a few short weeks in May when all the girls are "here." There'll be a lot of running around, packing up, and schlepping of stuff from Points A & B to Point C and/or our house and/or a rummage sale at Ali's!

By the end of May, Maddy will be heading up north for her summer job at camp. Kate departs in early June for a month in the UK (I'm trying to keep the green monster down).  And SUMMER! Rusty will head to CA again. The local farmer market will begin again in June -- Ali will man the coffee camper there (likely with a wee barista!) and, though I'm not sure of particulars, I'm sure I'll help out in some way. After which, we'll have that rummage sale in July so everybody can get rid of some extra stuff.

3 -- It's one of those years and I'm rolling with it all because... by August, Kate will be moving to Denver. Or Menver as we've been told and can't stop laughing about (also Mentana). But Denver!! As luck would have it, there's a non-stop United flight from Appleton to Denver resuming in June! There's also the option of a sometimes more economical Southwest flight out of Milwaukee, or even a leisurely Amtrak ride from Milwaukee or Chicago, or ROAD TRIP.

She's not even there yet and I'm already scheming all the ways I can visit!

Also, Rocky Mountain Knitter Meet-up??

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...


Unraveled Wednesday

It's been a while!

KNITTING

I picked up my knitting needles last night for the first time in weeks and cast on a new project! I knew the minute I saw it that the Cockleshell Cardigan from the new MDK Field Guide would have to be made. From the looks of things, I'm going to have enough yarn to make one for each of my granddaughters!

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The knitting & construction are pretty cool, knit in two pieces from the cuff to the center and then joined/seamed in the back with a 3-needle bind-off. I'm knitting the largest size, using Cascade 128 Superwash, and that was last night's progress (with a few breaks so I don't overdo it).

It's gonna be a quick one!

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I love the sleeve/cuff detail.

My book club is going on a field trip this weekend to Door County and I thought this would be a good project to bring along!

SEWING

I finished the Alabama Chanin Fingerless Gloves. And, this afternoon, I will be binding Malina's quilt! I'm so excited.

READING

Oh my goodness, the reading. Since last we met, I finished listening to Mustard Seed... and Sing, Unburied, Sing... and Wait Til Next Year! I am currently listening to Unfu*k Yourself. For some reason, Audible wasn't working on my phone for a few days but I was finally able to press PLAY yesterday! Onward. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder is still on my nightstand, but so too is The Thoughtful Dresser. Reading time has been SO limited.


Thanks, I needed that!

It was so great to have a relaxed, drama-free weekend! There was plenty going on, but it was all fun & no stress. I even took a nap on Saturday.

First, we celebrated Kate's 33rd birthday!

Kate---4-22-18
Kate---4-22-18
Kate---4-22-18
Kate---4-22-18

From the top:
Kate - April 22, 2018
Kate & Rusty - April 23, 1985
Panpake & Mimosa Birthday Brunch Helpers
"Holy crap! Open the flue!!" 33 (Kate) + 31 (Ali) = 64 Candles!!

Most of the time on Kate's birthday, which is also EARTH DAY, there's some time spent in the woods picking up trash and whatnot, but not this year... not with all that snow.

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I shoveled a bit so I could hang out some laundry, anyway. Crazy weather.

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Jün & I took a little bike ride/walk around the neighborhood. He discovered a dip in the sidewalk a few houses down -- probably 8-12" deep (deeper than it might look in this photo) -- in one of the patches from last year's water/sewer work. I made a call to the city's engineering department this morning! We had to climb over some snowbanks at unshoveled intersections, but we also noticed plenty of water running in the gutters.

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There was plenty of other kiddo cuteness -- screen-grabs from Ali. Malina was 4 weeks old yesterday, and Gin is quickly closing in on 2... she sure loves her little sister!

Oh, and our little dinner with friends on Saturday evening was a success, and I'm even thinking about doing it again! I made a last-minute change to the entrée, at Rusty's suggestion, making Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs, and they were perfect (my only change is that I use only one piece of bacon). I made the fabulous Oma's Green Mountain Salad again (without the ramps/garlic and with slightly less mayo). Ina Garten's Decadent (Gluten-Free!) Chocolate Cake was for dessert and... it was okay. I thought I'd try something new, but if I go that route again, it'll definitely be La Bete Noir!

The weather is FABULOUS! It's sweater weather!! Yahoo!


TGIF

This has been a week. That freaky snow/blizzard weekend combined with the intensity of taxes really threw me for a loop. We were supposed to get a few more inches of snow earlier this week but thankfully it missed us; we've had a few days of blue sky & sunshine & warming temps and the snow is melting. There are still some very high piles, but diminishing by the minute. My steering wheel felt hot to the touch yesterday! So great.

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I still haven't picked up my knitting needles, and have decided to continue resting/exercising and concentrate on finishing two sewing projects first.

I bought a couple of bias tape makers and the binding for Malina's quilt is underway -- and probably enough for another quilt, besides! I got kind of carried away cutting those bias strips...

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I'm also finishing up a pair of Alabama Chanin Fingerless Gloves. The stitching & cutting were finished at Knit Night yesterday, and all that's left is seaming the second glove. I still may add a tiny bit of embellishment, but that can be done anytime.

We're having friends over tomorrow evening, which is outside of our usual M.O. but something I've thought about for years. I always thought that "entertaining at home" or "having a small dinner party" once a month would be a good New Year's Resolution... y'know, if I did that sort of thing.

On Sunday, we're having a "Panpake Birthday Brunch" for Kate & Al, and maybe we'll be able to video chat with Maddy, too.

That's how Junah says "pancakes." He also still says "nilk" instead of "milk." That affects the family lexicon, as you might imagine. I can't wait to hear what Gin comes up with... she is starting to TALK and, man, she has THINGS TO SAY!

Can you believe Malina will be 4 weeks old on Sunday???

Have a great weekend!!

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Sometimes...

I just don't know what to say! I had an unexpected and somewhat surreal 4-day weekend.

Winter arrived.

In April.

It was a blizzard, actually, called Evelyn, and she howled from Friday night 'til Sunday night, laying down 20-24" of snow/ice/sleet in my area.

I had two solid Pajama Days in a row -- unprecedented!

We got a few things done. Taxes, for one. Some quilting, some sewing... and I think I'm almost ready (arm feeling well enough) to try some knitting! Rusty even Kon-Mari'd his closet -- which is actually an antique knock-down walnut wardrobe -- and who knew you could fit so much unneeded stuff in there???

He's also continued working on the above-the-fridge cabinet -- he painted the interior last week and installed the doors on Saturday morning.

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Door catches and a rack for vertical storage are all that remain!

The kids all managed to make their way over on Saturday evening for dinner. I think... did we have dinner together (this is where it started to get a bit surreal). Ali had come by earlier in the day to drop something off and (bonus!) Jun was with her, and I'd kept him for a while!

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The baby's sleeping! So exciting!!

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Crafting with Gin! Dancing to her own drummer, and definitely working outside the box -- and behind her back!

But travel for even a short distance was nearly impossible on Sunday. Not to mention just getting out of your house. Though my husband did venture out onto the roof to shovel off some snow!

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The view out Kate's door.

I had a snow day yesterday, as did most -- at least for part of the day as we all dug out. Venturing out later to go to the grocery store, etc., with a stop at the coffee shop & Rusty's gallery.

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Something new!

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Then went over and watched the kids for a while so Ali & Rod could run a couple of errands.

So now I'm rearranging the rest of this week, and dreaming of warmer weather...

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...like it was on this day, 31 years ago, when Ali was brand new! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALISON!! It was around 70°F and I watched leaves pop out on the trees from my hospital bed. As of now, our best hope is next Tuesday and 60°F... and I'll take it!


Head-to-Toe Red

I had a little outing with these two today:

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Malina is wearing all the red handknits! From the top:

All have been worn by at least Junah & Ginny before her, and the booties by Addie, too!! Practically vintage...


Keep 'er movin'

On Friday, Rusty & I went to a fundraiser for local youth baseball... a good cause, certainly, but not one we've been involved with since Kate & Ali were on teams over 20 years ago.

The big draw for us was an appearance by Charlie Berens, creator of something called Manitowoc Minute, a YouTube series that Maddy hilariously introduced us to last summer. We like to laugh (often at ourselves), and we are fans! If you are from Wisconsin, or know someone from Wisconsin, or have ever been to Wisconsin...

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By the time we purchased tickets, it was standing room only... but we had a great time and the show was fun. It was especially fun to share photos with Maddy!

I did some quilting on Saturday... tax avoidance. But don't worry, I spent plenty of time on taxes, too. (So depressing.)

On Sunday, I helped Rusty carry the new above-fridge cabinet from the basement!

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Thankfully, it wasn't a half-inch wider or it would never have made it... we ended up having to pop the hinges from a couple of doors the way it is!

He has since applied and painted the replacement crown molding and is inserting shelving; soon doors, and we're back in business!

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Last night, I met Ali at Target. She needed a few things/to get out of the house, and I just happened to have a new pair of specs to pick up... with the most adorable sleepy-headed helper. (She's wearing the Garter Yoke Cardi that I made for her big brother, also worn by her big sister -- it's held up well. I love a long-lasting well-wearing item!)


Friday

I feel so fortunate that I am close and can be available... whether it's to pick something up at the drug store or to pop over and watch the kids for a few minutes. I'm so grateful that I've been able to cuddle my grandkids -- "old" and "new" -- almost every day since the newest arrived. (And also verklempt at being witness to that!)

This was on Tuesday after making a stop at Target for some things that her mama needed, and also stopping at City Hall to vote. She was more alert than I've ever seen her, and... OMG, such big eyes she has!!

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Ali asked me to pop over last night, too, after Knit Night so she could go check something at the shop...

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...the baby was catching up on sleep! I had the best opportunity, so far, for some selfies with the kids -- and my first with all three. They're not perfect photos, and yet they are.

I've actually not been knitting much because of lingering tendinitis (it finally feels like it's getting better), and instead worked on some sewing at Knit Night.

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This is one of a pair of Alabama Chanin Fingerless Mitts with the Magdalena stencil design. Side one is stitched & cut, and I made good progress on stitching the second side.

At home, I've been working on a quilt project... not a portable project (but, believe me, I considered packing it up).

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A new machine-made Alabama Chanin dress found its way to me, thanks to a recent sale of discontinued pieces. I've always loved the shape and had meant to check it out/try it on when I was there last fall... somehow, that item slipped off my list, but now it's mine after all. I love the handwritten tag, and any qualms I might have had about ordering this ready-made dress (when I've spent plenty of money on materials & learning how to make it myself) disappeared when I saw that it was "Made By VM." Seriously, what are the chances? It was surely destined to be mine.

And, anyway, I showed the dress to Kate and she loved it... but longer?? So, oh yeah... I'll be using this dress as a pattern to make another one or two.

You know, someday when I have some spare time nothing else to do. Haha. NEVER... that won't happen until I'm dead. Meanwhile, I go when & where spirit & inspiration lead... with a trail of needles, thread, yarn, UFOs, and some spills (water, dye, tea, gin) in my wake.

This is what we woke up to this morning:

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And I sure hope we can be done soon. Hello, Moon!

Oh, I almost forgot... there's a pretty good sale at Craftsy happening now through Sunday:

Up To 60% Off Hundreds Of Classes at Craftsy.com 4/6-4/8/18. No coupon needed.

Happy Weekend!!


Hippety-hoppety

Did you have a good weekend/holiday? We did!

I had a long one, with Friday off... when I started our taxes. And also went out to lunch and ran some other errands and took a nap.

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I laughed 'til I cried over a Snapchat thread with Kate & Maddy... and, you know, laughter is good no matter what!

Ali & Rod & the kids and Kate came over yesterday for Easter brunch and did we ever have a nice day. Our menu was pretty subdued -- even more when I made the decision to skip the potatoes! Trust me, we had plenty. It was fresh & light... spiral-cut honey ham, Oma's Green Mountain Salad, my mom's Heavenly Hash (fruit salad), Grapefruit Spritz, and Banana Cream Pie!

The linked recipes are from Food & Wine magazine and they were hits!! I made a few changes to the salad -- I used no ramps or scallions or garlic; I didn't have "Little Gem" lettuce or "baby" turnips or "French Breakfast" radishes, so I just used (good) lettuce, turnips & radishes!! Haha. I also didn't have fresh dill, so used dried. Whatever. It met with raves and maybe I can make salads after all!? Ann is known as the Salad Queen (also of Brunch)... perhaps I'm the Princess.

Kate made the fruit salad, Rusty made the pie, and it was all just perfect. The kids even sat with us (not always easy) and they gobbled up that ham!

We had a group video chat with Maddy -- her first meeting with Malina! It was very early on Monday morning in NZ and Maddy was just waking up for work, so we didn't keep her long (she hadn't even had coffee yet!)... but it sure was fun!

Rusty took the big kids for a walk down by the creek again, and I attempted to take some photos of our one-week-old!

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Get ready for some overload! (I've tried to post some different photos here than I did on IG.)

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It took a few tries before she finally fell asleep deep enough that I could wiggle her around a bit. And then I left here there sleeping on our bed, snuggled up on the lamby and under Parcheesi... and without a diaper... and that's how we ended up with freshly laundered bedding last night! She was so peaceful...

I really wanted a few snaps of all three kids together before they left and was delighted that everyone was fairly cute and cooperative.  ;)

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Wiping off kisses ^^^. Haha!

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The little sleeper that Malina is wearing was one of mine -- possibly worn by her eldest aunt and her mother, certainly by her youngest aunt! She's also snuggled into a little cocoon I knit maybe 10 years ago, and Parcheesi of course!

Gin is wearing a dress I made in about 1983! The pattern was from Woman's World magazine (I still have it) and I had no one in mind when I cast on -- with cheap acrylic yarn from the variety store -- but I was bored out of my gourd in Oregon and this looked like an interesting project. Was it ever! Bobbles, lace, pleats, tucks... I was not a very experienced knitter, but I just followed the instructions and learned a bunch!

You also get a peek at the quilting project I've been working on for Malina -- more on that when it's finished!


3TT: Spring!!

Joining Carole and friends again this week for Three on Thursday...

True to the forecast, yesterday was the first really nice day we've had this spring! And that was really great because I'd made plans to pick up the big kids...

1 - We had a date at the park!

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20180328_124156

They're holding hands on the double slide. ❤

We met Kate at Noodles for lunch, and then went over to Petco -- we'd have gone to the humane society had they been open. Kate's been jonesing for a dog or cat...

2 - Adventuring!

Not quite finished with the outdoors-y stuff, we grabbed scooters and hiked through the ravine to the creek-side path near our house... and then hiked back up after Gin's diaper leaked and her pants were wet. And then we did it again (sans scooters the second time)!

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We hiked down to the first bridge... and threw stones into the creek. (Naughty!)

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Then we scrambled down and walked alongside for a while. No one fell in, but they did dip their hands in... and informed me that it was COLD!!

This was Maddy's favorite place to play when she was a kid. ❤

3 - Snowdrops!

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I've never seen them at this stage. I don't usually notice them until they're already in full-bloom, carpeting the ravine!


Introducing...

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Malina Rosalee
b. March 25, 2018, 7:15 am at home
7 lbs. 6 oz., 20"

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Ali sent me a text at 2:46 am to tell me that her water broke and contractions had begun.

At 4:25, she let me know that things were progressing and she'd soon be calling the midwives. Would I be on call to come snuggle/take the kiddos?

(Of course!!)

At 5:35, things were moving along and would I want to come and quilt or something?


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The kids awoke to a new baby sister! Junah was so excited and Gin... a little confused/jealous, but also so incredibly sweet.

I cut the cord! 

Kate came over and then at around 11:00, she took Junah grocery shopping with her and I took Gin home with me -- giving Mama, Papa, and bébé (not yet named) some time to rest.

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Kate dropped Jün off, along with some flowers and balloons and treats! The kids & I had lunch, watched some Thomas, played with blocks and Lincoln Logs and puzzles and did dishes. It was chilly but sunny, so we went outside anyway, and found some tulips emerging!

I delivered the "big kids" back home around 5:00 and cuddled with my new granddaughter for an hour. (All of a sudden, Junah is ENORMOUS!)

It was a pretty good day!


NYC: The City

The view from the 86th floor was spectacular!

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We walked a couple of miles from our hotel to The Empire State Building on Saturday morning. They let you off on the 80th floor to see exhibits, take in the view, and queue up again for the elevator. There was about a :20 wait in that line, so we climbed the stairs for the last six floors (which was actually more like eight)!

And we strolled over to the Chrysler Building, only to find the lobby closed that day (BOO!).

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On Sunday, we walked back up to Times Square where the Spring/Break show was located, through Washington Square Park, Union Square, past the Flatiron Building... so thankful for relatively nice weather!

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I definitely earned those oysters and, especially, the beer that went with them! Yummy.

Food wasn't a huge focus of this trip, but girls gotta eat! We enjoyed a late lunch on Friday at The Cupping Room; a delicious cheese plate on Friday and breakfast on Sunday at our hotel; lunch at Heartland Brewery; a little snack & beverage at Kenn's Broome Street Bar; oysters at The John Dory Oyster Bar; Tribeca Bagels; and one very fine splurge at The Mercer Kitchen.

We never made it to the Whitney, Tenement (suggested by Carole) or MoMA museums, nor to the High Line or Central Park. We'd talked about going to Club Cumming (Alan Cumming's club!) for Sunday night Drink & Draw, but didn't make it. We were pooped by the end of the day -- everyday!!

The thing about NYC is that you'll NEVER do it all, and there will ALWAYS be something (many things*) for the next time!! And I love that. I can't wait to go back.

*Knit Night on Tuesdays at Club Cumming, for one!!!

 

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NYC: Art/Color

This caught my eye, of course.

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 And then I got closer and started to laugh!

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Bureaucratinc Paintings (Red), from the series "Bureaucratinc Abstractions 2017,"
Marcius Galan, set of 12, acrylic paint on paper

They're all receipts from the dry cleaner, a book store, etc. I didn't have to deal with any bureaucratic stuff in Brazil, but I was witness to some of what Ann & Brian went through, and I quickly learned to always have a Plan B... crazy stuff, crazy life and this is perfect commentary!

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I wish I could tell you whose painting this is (gah!).
Does anyone else see a squishy knit blanket?

In replying to comments yesterday from Kym & Carole, I remarked that it really is interesting to walk around an art show (or four) just to see WHAT people are using and HOW. The color, texture, and SCALE of things... even if you don't "get" the art, something is bound to resonate at some point!

I married an artist and I gave birth to & raised three very artistic women, so I've been around art for a long time... I'm "creative" but not particularly knowledgeable about "art," so I've found different ways to let it speak to me.

And with that, we had a lovely few hours at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday!

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There was a secret thrill in getting into a cab and saying, "To The Met!"

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Here are a few things that caught my eye.

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Fighting Cows by Franz Marc, oil on canvas

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Wisconsin Landscape by John Steuart Curry, oil on canvas

He captured so wonderfully that beautiful light through broody clouds on checkerboard fields.

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The Café Terrace by Diego Rivera, oil on canvas

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Concord, Barnett Newman, oil and masking tape on canvas

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No. 21, Mark Rothko, oil and acrylic with powdered pigments on canvas

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Flying Dutchman, Man Ray, oil on board

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Clothesline, Fairfield Porter, oil on canvas

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Mäda Primavesi, Gustav Klimt, oil on canvas

This was simply glorious; that straightforward gaze, those beautiful colors - bold & soft at the same time!

 

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NYC: Art/Texture

In addition to the textiles at The Armory ShowVolta NYNADA New York Show, and Spring/Break, I was also struck by textures!

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(And blue!) Unfortunately, I neglected to record the details of this piece (The Armory Show).

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This amazing work is "cut out paper" from the series "Arquitexturas de sendas futuras y recorridas (A/T/02)," by Argentinian artist Gustavo Díaz.
The piece stands almost 3.5 inches tall, and approx. 31 x 17.

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Such a Master, Zhu Jinshi, oil on canvas -- and we sure could smell it!

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Unfortunately, once again, I neglected to record the details (Spring/Break).

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A Study of Identity, Ryoichi Nakamura, oil & photo emulsion on aluminum.

These aren't really "textural," but sharing here anyway.

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I love how these works by four different artists were displayed.

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The Flower Lover, Aubrey Levinthal, oil on panel.

I have two more NYC posts in mind...

I'm distracted by taxes and, even more, thoughts & everything BABY (no news yet!)!!


Fourteen

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Today is the 1st Day of Spring (yay!).

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ―Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

And the 1st Day of Spring means it's my blogiversary! I am marking 14 years of blogging!

Fourteen : a number that is one more than 13. --Merriam-Webster

I can barely wrap my head around that! Fourteen years -- so many things, good and bad, happy and sad.

Fourteen : A code word to alert someone that something embarrassing is hanging from his/her nose or mouth. --Urban Dictionary

Thanks.

Thank you for reading, even when it might be drivel (fourteen!), and for coming back and sometimes commenting and sharing your thoughts and ideas and experiences and advice.

 


Weekending

The weekend began late Friday afternoon with an overdue & much-needed massage and ended on Sunday evening with a mopping of the bathroom floor after the toilet tank spontaneously cracked! Apparently, it happened just moments before we took a break from watching the conclusion of Borderliner, when Rusty went in and I heard him start to swear (very unusual behavior!). I couldn't believe how much water & how quick, but thankfully we were on it right away. A new tank was ordered this morning; we'll be flushing with a bucket for the next week!

This is when a second bath, even half-, would sure come in handy!

In between, I did a little work on taxes, cleaned up my work table a little, did some sewing, celebrated 13 years QUIT, had breakfast out with my girls yesterday, and enjoyed the sunshine & warmer weather. It's about 20 degrees cooler today than yesterday, but I spy another weekend warm up. Let's hope!

I've had a little elbow/forearm pain/strain, which seemed to worsen a bit after a couple of hours of nonstop knitting on Thursday evening, so I gave knitting another weekend off.

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I sent Ali home yesterday with some leftover fabric from my bathroom curtains and next thing I know she's posting an adorable little pinafore. She even sent me a Snapchat with Ginny modeling... SO CUTE!!


NYC: Art/Textiles

In case you missed it, the main reason for the spontaneous trip to NYC was Art Fairs -- The Armory Show, Volta NYNADA New York Show, and Spring/Break.

Kate's been sharing her favorites at (the newly redesigned/spiffy) yngspc, if you're interested in what caught her eye.

I was visiting these shows with a much less critical artistic viewpoint/aesthetic, and with no real expectation except that it would be all contemporary work and some of it edgy. I immediately honed in on the textile-related pieces and, for some reason, was surprised at their number.

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Chromatic affinities X, José Patrício, 2013,
buttons on canvas on wood

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Igshaan Adams

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State of Being (Children's dress), Chiharu Shiota,
metal frame, children's dress, thread

And then I was dumbfounded...


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Ode a L'OubliLouise Bourgeois,
deluxe fabric book; 35 detachable compositions with collage, embroidery, applique and lithography

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Matter, Sanford Biggers,
antique quilts, oil stick, spray paint, fabrics, acrylic, tar, glitter, and silkscreen

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also Sanford Biggers (I didn't get the titles)

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Quilt Painting, Giordanne Salley,
oil and paper on canvas


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I neglected to get any information at all about this piece (NADA Show)


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or this one (Spring/Break)

I believe there was an "antique quilt" at all four shows -- and I was surprised! Oh, that fabric book tho...

Stay tuned, I have more to share!

_ _ _ _ _

This weekend, I'm looking forward to some sunshine and a thermometer reading 50°F at some point. Also, I'm beginning to feel on pins & needles about the baby! What's ahead for your weekend?