Right now: July

Anticipating... our first Farmers Market of the season tomorrow morning! It started a few weeks ago, but we've all been on leave.

Barista-baby

Baby Barista will likely be in tow!

Celebrating... 4th of July weekend! Well, it'll be a very low-key celebration 'round here. But YAY! The work schedule has shifted a bit, so I'll have another 4-day weekend, too.

Drinking... Iced SPORTea, coffee, water, and G&T -- St. George Terroir in the mix at the moment.

Enjoying... Summer. It's been pretty nice so far, and now that the busy-ness of June is over... I really can start to enjoy it more!

Itching... (perpetually) to clean up my workroom and make progress on something... anything!

Knitting... The TTL Mystery Shawl has been a challenge this year due to issues with time and concentration. More than a few backward steps involved in this one... but moving forward at the moment!

Looking Forward To... A few days up north, after the 4th, with the girls and the babies!

Reading... I'm reading All The Light We Cannot See in book form, so it's slow going, but I'm enjoying it quite a bit -- and hoping that above-mentioned time up north with allow some extra reading time!

I was a little surprised -- and disappointed -- this morning to already hear the end of Lab Girl... which is, sadly, now no longer my "current" Audible book. I really enjoyed that book! And I'm sad that it's over. I had an inkling that I'd like it, based on description and reviews that I'd read, but had no idea how much I'd LOVE it! I especially loved listening to it being read by the author*; born and raised in Minnesota, of Scandinavian heritage -- so familiar with the details and nuances of her speech and delivery -- it was like listening to a friend or a family member.

2016 BOTNS BB

Here is my progress so far -- I'm excited to be close to BINGO two ways! Next order of business: a new audio book... possibly one that is borrowed from the library!

Sewing... Oh, man... not much. I carry around the Magdalena A-line Top that I stenciled a while ago and began sewing, but it has barely seen the light of day. I will bring it up north, along with the visible mending that I'd like to in Sashiko (first and last mentioned a month ago!) (crazy June!).

20160629_204742

Watching... there hasn't been a lot of that lately. And when I have watched something, it's been in total ZONE OUT mode, so I don't even remember. There have been some pretty sunsets lately, though.

Wondering... What's up with you right now!?


Yesterday's Parties

 

It was a party last Wednesday when I took Jün to see the NEW Zoo Mobile at the library, and then we played with some of the fun stuff there (never even making it over to the main play area!).

20160622_141420

It was a party on Friday night at Match Factory for the opening of Matthew Bakkom's installation: Yesterday's Parties.

20160624_183102
20160624_183102
20160624_183102
20160624_183102
20160624_183102

It was a (simple, elegant & stunning) party on Saturday night when I assisted my niece in photographing a wedding; the reception held at the beautiful Warch Campus Center at Lawrence University.

20160625_172627

It was a party on Sunday morning when Jena came over and met her first cousin once-removed Gin for the first time!

20160626_112521

And later, when I took Jün to the grocery store and he spotted a balloon that looked like "Nemo!"

20160626_134200

It was a party when I spotted the first baby tomatoes on the deck!

20160627_155553

It was a party last night at Movie Night at the library. We got sprinkled on a little bit, and then this:

20160627_203144

It's party all the time!! Hope you had a great weekend, too!


Artsy

Way back on the 14th -- a Tuesday -- I got off of work a little early and Kate & I jumped in the car and drove to Madison. Rusty had already been there for a couple of days, and still had another before returning home.

The big event was the opening reception for "Floating On Waves," the 2016 Summer Art Showcase at Promega; a cultural exchange exhibition celebrating artistic & personal relationships forged over the past 16 years between professional artists in Japan and Wisconsin. There were 10 Japanese artists in attendance, and six from Wisconsin -- Rusty was among them. It was 11 years ago that we hosted an artist in our home, as part of this exchange, and exactly three years ago that Rusty was in Japan!

(I've re-formatted a couple of posts from the 2005 visit if you'd like to time travel. There was a kimono show and Rusty modeled! It was interesting to read my then-thoughts & feelings -- pre-Alabama Chanin thoughts & feelings -- about the time and emotion invested in selecting, dyeing, sewing, and embroidering such a garment! My work barely measures a blip in comparison, but I get it even more now!)

20160614_172212

Dripping 2

20160614_172212

Dripping 1

These etchings by Sohee Kim are my hands-down favorites, and I wonder when I'll hit upon the justification for purchasing one! My wheels are turning.

20160614_172410

detail: Dripping 1

20160619_200052

Fascinating work! Whimsical, thoughtful, I can't stop thinking about it!

20160614_172930
20160614_172930

I also enjoyed the work of Nanami Ishihara.

20160614_173033

detail: Crisis Call - Day Breaks

And Kanako Akiyama. Mesmerizing!

20160614_173541
20160614_173541

Waves

This amazing wool & mohair weaving is by our friend Pat Filzen, who primarily uses wool from her own sheep in her work!

20160614_173909

Beautiful view from the rooftop terrace at the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center.

20160614_172848

I also got a kick out of the view of this lab -- from the "ghosts" to the school kids' science-art-models.

Over the days that followed, there were artist activities and tours in the Madison area, then many of them made their way to NE Wisconsin... for more activities and tours.

20160619_180103

20160619_194128

We met at Pat's house on both Sunday and Monday nights. (Pat and her husband moved 2 years ago from a farmette in the country that I would die for, into this ca. 1952 treasure of a house, complete with original pink ceramic-tiled bathrooms and a new custom kitchen, that I would die for all over again!)

20160619_194753

The "cultural exchange" continued with things like playing croquet...

20160620_183847

...and sharing meals, including grilled bratwurst and a fantastic selection of Wisconsin cheeses, among other things.

We also sampled some amazing sushi made for us by one of the visitors.

20160620_205326

Many years ago, Rusty and I went to Artexpo New York where he was approached by a company from Japan that was interested in using some of his images for jigsaw puzzles. Eventually, terms were agreed upon and about a half-dozen puzzles were issued, ranging in size from 500 pieces to 2014! He was given a small number of each as part of the agreement and they have been slowly, carefully distributed over the years.

20160619_204455

A small sampling remains and the 500-piece Reading Porch was subject of another cultural exchange! And what a hoot. Everyone got in on the action, beginning Sunday night...

20160620_202040
20160620_202040
20160620_202040
20160620_202040
20160620_202040

...and finished by Monday night!

20160620_210930

The kids and I have done a few of these puzzles over the years, but Rusty had never worked on one before!

20160623_174352

Clean windows!

Tonight it's the Grand Opening of Match Factory with Yesterday's Parties, by Madison-based artist Matthew Bakkom, and I cannot wait! I had the tiniest of previews of this experimental installation yesterday while I did my Kate's-got-a-gallery-opening thing and cleaned the windows! I can't wait to see it.

Tomorrow, I'm second-shooting a wedding with my niece!!

Life is full and busy and good... but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to a little downtime!


Another weekend, another wedding!

Packed, dressed, waiting for our ride on Saturday morning!

Wedding_20160618_102402

Here are two of our four travel companions (the youngest in a rare quiet moment... she was not a happy Saturday traveler).

Wedding_img_20160618_105844

It was a beautiful day at Virmond Park in Mequon, WI.

Wedding_20160618_132108

...a nice day for a wedding! My cousin Jody + Donald! We're on a very high, beautiful bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

Wedding_20160618_135535

Virginia was introduced to her Great Grand Aunt Marilyn (mother of the bride) (and daughter of Gin's namesake) and Great Aunt Karen (cousin of the bride).

Wedding_20160618_132127

Between the ceremony and reception, there was time to check in at the hotel (Four Points by Sheraton) and even take a pool(s) break -- indoor & out! Both were quite lovely.

Wedding_20160618_153003
Wedding_20160618_153003
Wedding_20160618_153003

The reception was a blast. Gin was lulled by the hum of happiness.

Wedding_20160618_165825

And had plenty of cuddle time with her great aunties!

Wedding_20160618_182457

Though were were seated at neighboring tables, it wasn't quite close enough to the boys for Junah... so we squeezed him in between Mack & Addy.

Wedding_20160618_183459

Sisters! (And cousins of the bride.)

Wedding_img_20160618_215155

Beautiful view at Ozaukee Country Club. If you look carefully, you'll see the bride+groom and photographer in the later photo (click for big!).

Wedding_20160618_200122
Wedding_20160618_200122

Peaceful sleep the entire way home on Sunday.

Wedding_20160619_121239

Jün spent a couple of hours at my house in the afternoon, making sure the plants were watered! (Best use of rain barrel!)

Wedding_20160619_141623

Darn good weekend.


Friday!

20160616_173204
20160616_173204

My lavender is doing very well this year and I'm looking forward to harvesting some for flavoring/baking, and perhaps also to make a few lavender wands. The tomatoes are sending out flowers of hope, too, and I can't wait for fresh ripe tomatoes straight from the back yard!

A-line_20150617_101226
A-line_20150617_101226

Timehop reminds me that it was a year ago today that I cut and began stitching my Catamount Tunic! I was pretty single-minded about that for a while... until it was done.

There's such a big difference already between last summer and this in terms of doing creative things... this summer feels off in that department. I haven't been able to get anything going, mostly because of time not being my own. I don't begrudge for a second any of the time I spend with my grandkids -- au contraire! It's other stuff -- the weather, work schedule, social schedule -- nothing's lining up in a beneficial way. I'm not sure that it will. Meanwhile, I keep practicing deep breathing, knitting a row when I can, taking a few stitches now and then.

I am reading more than I have in ages, and that's a plus... thank you Audible!

We're off to the Milwaukee area tomorrow for my cousin Jody's wedding. Karen and Ann will be there, too, and I'm looking forward to some fun!!


Ten on Tuesday: Summer Bucket List

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things On My Summer Bucket List

With Gin's birth, I've been reminded of the herb garden I put in the summer that I got pregnant with Maddy. She was born in April and for the next six or seven years, I watched it transform/revert to a "wildflower" garden -- which is how I sometimes like to think of my weeds -- and I didn't even have a job outside of home for five of those years!

My friend Birdsong commented the other day that some of her hobbies have suffered since she became a grandmother, and I certainly agree. Though I wouldn't change a single thing; I know how fortunate I am to have those kids close enough that I am actively involved in their lives.

And, Robby, I have taken your comment on this post completely to heart: I would also say you get a total pass on however much you do or don't knit for your grandkids. It's great if you do, but you give them the much more valuable gift of your time, having a sense of being part of a larger family and more people who love them just because they exist. If every kid got only those things, our world would be a kinder place.

I would love to knit more and dye more (both fabric & yarn) this summer, sew and stitch and quilt more, read more, cook more, clean more... um, WHAT? No! Scratch that, I definitely don't want to clean more! Time is precious.

This summer, I want to:

1 -- Play with Junah

2 -- Cuddle with Gin

3 -- Get a BINGO!

4 -- Sew a dress for Gin (and maybe one for me)

5 -- Take a day trip to Door County

6 -- Stitch on my Magdalena A-line Tunic

7 -- Finish Romi's 2016 "Mystery" Shawl

8 -- Finish Kirsten's 2016 Mystery KAL Shawl (while it's still a mystery!)

9 -- Finish Ina's LOLA Sweater in time for late-summer/fall layering

10 -- Go to the zoo! There's a nice, small zoo not far from us, and Jün is the perfect age! This would be fun to do along with my nephews, too.

What's on your summer bucket list?


Weekending: Love & Marriage & Family, Food & Music & Dancing

I spent a blissful weekend celebrating love and marriage, kids and grandkids, enjoying food and music and dancing.

First comes love and marriage (and dancing)!

Weekend_img_20160610_183753

My niece was the photographer!

We attended a beautiful lake-side wedding celebration at the Heidel House Resort & Spa in Green Lake on Friday afternoon. The daughter of long-time friends (and my current employers), there were plenty of old friends & familiar family members with which to visit & party! We had a great time... and DANCING! Even though I rolled on my left ankle real good on the path to the ceremony, and it was swollen and sore, I can't remember the last time I danced so much... because dancing is not like walking! (It's getting a little better everyday.)

Then come kids & grandkids!

Weekend_20160611_123006
Weekend_20160611_123006
Weekend_20160611_123006

Saturday was a Gin day! Her mom & pop were working at the 2nd Electric City Experience music festival in our little city. She's still a little sleepyhead, but was awake plenty... and starting to engage. There's eye contact, cooing back and forth, and the occasional 1/8th of a smile... she's 6 weeks old today!

And Food & Music!

Weekend_img_20160611_194520

We walked down to meet Ali when she was finished, grabbed some food & beverage, and listened to some tunes.

Weekend_img_20160611_211730

It was hot as blazes all day long, so quite welcome to see the sun go down. At dark, for the first time in many years, there was a fireworks show! I was already in my PJs, but slipped on some yoga pants and walked to the end of my block where I had a good-enough view.

I had a quick fly-by hug with Annie & Addison on Saturday. They were in the area for soccer again, but heading right back home for Mack's 11th (and therefore GOLDEN) birthday party!!

On Sunday, I took Jün for a little while.

Weekend_20160612_121002

STRIPE STUDY.  ;)

Weekend_20160612_133027

Oh, there's milk on my chin? Let me show you how I do that.

Weekend_20160612_133042
Weekend_20160612_133042

Comedian.

Weekend_20160612_141448
Weekend_20160612_141448
Weekend_20160612_141448

Fantastic garden helper & waterer extraordinaire!

Later on Sunday, we had beverages out on the pergola and split up some planters full of succulents.

Weekend_20160612_180944
Weekend_20160612_180944

Also evidence of my overdue first pedi of the season!

Weekend_20160612_184924

It's difficult to process the horrors of the weekend after spending so much of it in a snuggly warm baby bubble: the nonsensical attack and murder of Christina Grimmie in Orlando, and the incomprehensible and horrific mass shooting that happened later. Truth is, they may never be "processed," and shouldn't be... you, me, we shouldn't have to.

Weekend_20160612_184924

Kitty says: Be fierce in love. #loveisloveisloveislove


A post with no name

On Wednesday at Match Factory:

20160608_190028

20160608_191136
20160608_191136
20160608_191136

 

#threeballfreestyle #robertfraher #matchfactory #matchfactoryhortonville #juggling

A video posted by Vicki Mothes (@vicki.knitorious) on

It's so interesting to watch that video in near silence after having originally experienced it with musical accompaniment. I love how you can see Kate bopping to the beat once or twice.

And, seriously, if you haven't watched the video from Robert Fraher's residency at Standard Projects last year, please do. It's not set up for mobile, so you'll have to be at a computer, and it takes a few minutes to download all the files... but so worth it.

Also, the featured film, Sign Painters, was great! Funny, beautiful, informative, a little melancholy...

20160608_212858

More sky: Westward toward Hortonville on Wednesday evening (peaceful).

IMG_20160609_111311

There was a bit of MacGyver knitting at work yesterday while getting a few rows of my TTL Mystery Shawl in over lunch... guess what wasn't in my knitting bag??

20160609_183741

Last night I hung out with the kids for a while. Jün is a blur these days -- I don't know how many times we went around the block, each time riding/pushing/toting a different wheeled toy, and once in the stroller (you should see him glide on the Strider!) -- so you get a photo of sleepyhead Gin.

I'm off to a wedding this afternoon! It's the first of three-in-a-row.


Looking up

20160531_194438

Looking south over Lake Winnebago from Fire Lane 8 - evening of Tuesday, May 31.

20160605_174039

Watching approaching storm from the NW on my way home - evening of Sunday, June 5.

20160607_194158

A beautiful night for Stitch & Pitch - evening of Tuesday, June 7.

- * - * - * - * - * -

Tonight, the last film in the Faculty Film Series at Match FactorySign Painters. There's been an addition prior to tonight's screening, an invitation from Robert Fraher, the current resident artist at neighboring Standard Projects, to be part of a new project. Can't wait! I finally had a chance to check out his project from last year's residency and it's amazing!! I want to watch/read/listen/experience it over and over!


Weekending: 4 nearly perfect days off

I did some knitting -- a fair bit, actually -- and successfully resisted casting on that baby sweater!!  ;)

20160603_154307

Here's my progress so far on the TTL Mystery Shawl 2016. Those seem like some wild colors for me, but I'm so anxious to see what happens! I knocked off another clue on Romi's Not-So-Mysterious Shawl 2016, too; I think there are two clues to go!

While knitting, I was listening... and earned the Weekend Warrior badge on Audible for listening at least 5 hours on a weekend. That would be HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION! I'm to the point in the audio where Lin-Manuel Miranda is reading his footnotes... there's an accompanying PDF, but I just went ahead and ordered the book. That's something else that nephews and grandkids may enjoy -- and I certainly enjoyed it enough to order a hard copy! I'm currently listening to the soundtrack on Spotify, but I'm sure I'll soon be ordering that, as well!

I spent a lot of time with the kiddos, including my nephews who had soccer games in the 'hood on Saturday, and a cook-out at Joe's. I haven't been over there in a while. Mom's wildflower garden is... going wild.

I made a slight change to my blog header to reflect what's going on around here.

I barely took any photos all weekend! But here's one... I tried to get Jün to stand in front of my Blue Angel hosta for scale, but he was too interested in riding his bike, so you have my foot instead. Unfortunately, that doesn't show you how TALL it is!

20160602_181830

I made another rhubarb shrub, this time with white wine vinegar and a bit more sugar -- I think it was a bit more smooth. Cherries are going to be hitting the pot soon!

I found this photo on my computer this morning and noticed that it was taken exactly a year ago today:

IMG_20150606_185427

And here's one that his mom took yesterday:

IMG_20160605

Melting hearts for over 2 years now!

Can you believe it?

Hope you had a great weekend!


Right now: June

Knitting: Too many things. But I just finished Clue #1 for Kirsten's TTL Mystery Shawl 2016, and I continue to carry on with a few WIPs... none of which is doing very well at keeping me from wanting to cast on a colorful new (tiny little baby girl cardigan) project.

20160603_144523

Sewing: There's some visible mending on deck: Sashiko. Rusty has a pair of jeans, I have secured supplies. My Alabama Chanin projects are still here, and I've a few other things in mind for machine sewing.

Reading/Pages: PAX(For Bingo: With an animal on the cover or in the title.) I'm reading this book on Bonny's 5-star recommendation, and am enjoying it so far! I bought this book and will likely lend it to my nephews when I'm finished, then they can give it back for Jün and Gin to read.

Reading/Audio: The Boston Girl. (For Bingo: That spans multiple generations.) Just finished that one! Hamilton: The Revolution is NOW PLAYING! (For Bingo: {About} A play.)

Watching: I can't remember the last time I turned on the TV... and that, friends, is saying something. I usually wind down with a little knitting and TV, but I've been dead-tired (in a good way) and while I've managed a few rows of knitting in recent weeks, most of it hasn't been while watching TV. That said, one of the things I've been watching lately is the Faculty Film Series at Match Factory; a series of films by current faculty at Black Mountain School, and it's been interesting! They are short films about graffiti and skateboarding, among other things; the final film, Sign Painters, will be screened on Wednesday and I am looking forward to it.

I just had notification that Peaky Blinders S3 is out, which is in my pocket for a rainy day.

Hoping/Anticipating/Dreading (rinse & repeat): First day back with my personal trainer since she had surgery early last month... and I completely blew off the entire month of May. It was supposed to be yesterday, but she was unable to make it, so we'll try again on Tuesday. Back.to.Square.One. Pray.For.Me.

Planning: A long weekend/short week with the kiddos up north after the 4th of July, and possibly a short trip with Rusty to a Canadian Isle in the late summer or early fall.

Celebrating: Weddings!! My friends' daughter is getting married on Friday, June 10th; my cousin Jody is getting married on Saturday, June 18th; and I'm helping my niece photograph a wedding on Saturday, June 25th.

Enjoying: Another long weekend; I'm currently enjoying Day 2 of a 4-Day-er! (This is to offset an extra-long week on the other side.)

Eating: Better. Getting back on track, needing to lose the extra pounds that have once again accumulated, and feeling slightly more motivated to do so. What in the heck is it with MOTIVATION?

Drinking: Shrub. I'm going to make another rhubarb today, probably with a different type of vinegar, and thinking about all the other possibilities!

Organizing: I'm actually making a little progress on getting my workroom in shape.


Ten on Tuesday: Memorial Day Weekend

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Did Over The Weekend

1 -- I made Rhubarb Shrub.

Weekend_20160528_170659

I'd never heard of "shrub" in terms of a beverage until Kat mentioned it, and then I became pretty obsessed with trying it! I'd previously made a rhubarb simple syrup and found it much too sweet, so was very interested in trying this!

Weekend_20160528_181443

Here's how I made mine (adaptation of Kat's recipe and this one):

Rhubarb Shrub

  • 2 lbs. fresh rhubarb, cut into approx. 1/2" pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme

Combine rhubarb, sugar, apple cider vinegar and water in a pot; bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Toss in the thyme for a few minutes at the end. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour into a colander or mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth and strain for about 30 minutes; stir occasionally, but do not press. Pour the syrup into a jar or bottle and allow to cool; refrigerate.

I loved this! It's a nice sweet-tart mixture, and very syrupy in consistency.

2 - I made Shrubarb Cocktails!

Weekend_20160528_183256

It makes a very refreshing beverage; mine was made with gin, but shrub can also be used to make a non-alcoholic beverage by simply adding club soda.

Shrubarb Cocktail

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
  • 1-1/2 oz. shrub
  • ice
  • sparkling water (or club soda)

Combine gin, lime juice, shrub, and a couple of crushed ice cubes in a shaker; shake for approx. 30 seconds. Strain into an ice (cube)-filled Collins glass, about 3/4 full, and top with water/soda. Cheers!

I will definitely be making more -- and different varieties of -- shrub this summer!

Weekend_20160529_120601

3 - I hung out with the kiddos.

Weekend_20160529_150710

4 - I did a little shopping! I went shopping twice -- once by myself, and once with Ali & the kids.

Weekend_20160530_125034

Junah rode a STRIDER all around one of the stores, and then right out the door. He sort of loves it. I think it will get a lot of use in the coming years.

Weekend_20160529_175054
Weekend_20160529_175054

5 - I enjoyed some lovely weather.

Weekend_20160529_180433

6 - I hung out in the back yard with Rusty. I watched his garden start to grow! He has some onions, spinach, lettuce, and carrots.

Weekend_20160530_124036

7 - I helped Gin celebrate 4 weeks on this earth! Can you believe it? Four weeks ago yesterday!

Weekend_img_20160529_111121

You can see her little blonde streak in this photo. It's pretty awesome!

Weekend_20160530_142211
Weekend_20160530_142211
Weekend_20160530_142211

8 - I chose and wound colorful yarn for some projects.

The teal/dark purple-y combo is for Kirsten's TTL Mystery Shawl 2016, which I was expecting to start today... and then realized mid-morning that it is not June 1st! That means that you still have time to join, if you'd like.

The other is for Gin's Elwood. I found a hank of purple superwash worsted that I'd dyed, and love it as the main color with SweetGeorgia's "Party of Five" Snapdragon for stripes.

Weekend_20160530_181258

Weekend_20160530_190207

9 - I hung out on the deck with my #pergolacompanions & started a quick project. It'll be a shoulder bag.

10 - I didn't do anything I didn't want to do. And still managed to make a dent in cleaning up my workroom! I have another long weekend coming up, and I have PLANS!!

I hope you had a great weekend, too.


Mojo rising

I started Romi's Mystery Shawl 2016 back in March -- not right on time, but not too far behind. Late one evening, about half-way through Clue 2, I lost a couple of stitches off my needle... and set it down to fix on another day. This week, that day finally arrived, and now I'm set to begin Clue 3.

Book and Cat

I'm happy to have my knitting mojo back, even just a little! For one thing, I'm trying to let a strained thumb heal, and knitting doesn't aggravate it as much as sewing. And for another, Kats' AKK Summer Knit-along -- I'm sure you've heard of it by now -- came along at just the right time with just the right kind of rules, along with the promise of cocktails & recipes.

So, here's what I'd like to accomplish this summer!

1) Romi’s Mystery Shawl 2016 (not so much a mystery anymore). Turns out, all I needed to do was tink back a couple of rows to get back on track! One must be in the right state of mind for that, though.

2) I’ve a soft spot for Kirsten Kapur's KALs, so have once again signed up for the TTL Mystery Shawl 2016.

3) The LOLA (sweater) has been languishing a bit, for various reasons, but I discovered more of the same yarn in stash (plus another option) so any concern I may have had about running out is now gone!

4) My Green Bay Packers 2015 Scoreboard Cowl needs to be finished by the start of the season (or, at least, the first cold weather game)!

5) I’d signed up for Werifesteria but it was such a busy time that I’d never even chosen yarn. I still don't have any yarn picked out, but I really like how that shawl turned out, so I think I’d like to do that.

6) and maybe 7) Lastly (but certainly not least), there’s a new granddaughter to knit for! I’d like to knit a sweater for Gin for fall/winter. I recently purchased some SweetGeorgia Yarn “Party of Five” (worsted weight, "Snapdragon") so would like to use that for something like Elwood, and maybe knit another along the same lines for my Jün. I sort of flamed out on the baby knitting for him before he was even born, but I’m ready!!

I have already read more this year than I have in quite some time, and may even have a shot at BINGO this summer for Mary's Summer Book Bingo 2016! Here's my card (I am open to suggestions):

Bingo

Audio books had been a struggle in the past, but something that I really wanted to conquer this year and, thanks to some good choices, I am now on my 6th* audio book and have even signed up for Audible!

I just finished listening to The Golem and The Jinni -- which, had I known was almost 20 hours long, I might not have done (but one continues to learn) -- and because it was so long and I finished so close to "summer," I have included on my card! Really, there is little to no hope that I'll fill the entire card and my most promising "Bingo" lines are the "B" column or the 2nd or 4th rows, anyway, each with their own problems, though!

A book "that scares you." I immediately thought of Stephen King. I've never read any of his books because... they scare me! They are also all 600+ pages, at least the ones I've seen (he's written a lot of books). Has he written any "short" books?

I seem to have a lot of pretty long books on my list.

And "a play." That is so completely NOT my genre. Any recommendations?

*I am currently listening to The Boston Girl (which may or may not be in the correct Bingo category) read by Linda Lavin -- and if ever there was a book+narrator match made in heaven, it's that one!


Ten on Tuesday: What's for DESSERT?

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Desserts

  1. Chocolate Cake! German, Devil's Food, Hersheys...
  2. Carrot Cake! Annie makes THE BEST!
  3. Cheesecake! Plain is best.
  4. Chocolate Chip Cookies! Mmmm.
  5. Creme Brulee! Sweet, crusty goodness.
  6. Lemon Meringue Pie! So fresh.
  7. La Bete Noir! So good.
  8. Hot Fudge Sundae! Simple pleasures.
  9. Chocolate Pudding! Yum, favorite since childhood.
  10. Tiramisu! "If you're worried about eating raw eggs, choose another dessert." -Ina Garten

0

Here's some sweetness that won't give you cavities!


Weeking

Aaahhhhh. What a great week/weekend!

On Wednesday, I attended the first in a series of four film screenings to benefit Black Mountain School at Match Factory.

20160518_180538_1
20160518_180538_1

I helped Kate with a bit of set up and some light management.

20160518_180712_1

The screening was held in "the wallpaper room." The space is still very much a work-in-progress! This particular paper remnant (there are a few) reminds me of both my grandma and my mom! At least some of the paper & old plaster will be preserved and integrated into the updated design, so it will continue to be "the wallpaper room"!

20160518_180649_1

This room was the diner's kitchen. It will continue to be a "kitchen," though restaurant operations have ceased in this part of the building and all of the restaurant equipment, save the hood, has been removed. It is very likely that yarn dyeing operations will commence here in the coming months...

Img_20160518_190137_1

The film! The series features films by faculty of Black Mountain School, and the first was Wild Style, the 1983 film produced by Charlie Ahearn that is regarded as the first hip hop motion picture. I cracked up when Kate's friend Danny walked in toting his record player and a stack of hip-hop records... one of them with the "Breaking Moves" poster. So awesome. There were even some attempts at poppin' and a few things (not by me!).

Blondie powered my drive home after the movie!

Next up: Left On Red + PUSHThen Kate's taking a quick trip down to Black Mountain to experience for herself all they've been working toward over the past year (and more)!

20160521_165133_1

There was a fair bit of gardening over the weekend. The local Master Gardeners had their annual plant sale on Saturday and we got our (few) tomatoes, along with some other stuff. Grandpa had some "help" with the lettuce/carrot bed.

20160521_165959_1
20160521_165959_1

The allium are doing their beautiful thing. I love the "erupting" stage.

20160521_162442_1

20160521_162357_1

Junebean got his first haircut!!

20160521_160207_1

Little boy... (asking me to undo the buckle on my bike helmet)...

20160521_160314_1

Ready for action!

All of a sudden, he's ginormous and grown up!

I took him off Mama's hands for a few hours on Saturday afternoon, and then she came over with Gin to have supper with us and hang out.

20160521_182200_1

On Sunday morning we did some work in the pergola area -- before it got too hot!

20160522_173404_1

That glider with the red cushions looks nice but is a glorified cat bed, it seems. We're going to clean off/de-fur those cushions and devise a way to easily fold up & secure the bottom cushions, when not in use, so they're fit for human sitting upon!

20160522_205313_1

We strung some new lights that I've had for a while and had beverages on the pergola last evening. SO NICE! I'll get those cushions cleaned up and you can come join us, ok?

20160522_205335_1

I'll leave the light on for ya!


Weeking*

*Formerly known as "Weekending"

May as well call it as I see it!

I love this space, sharing and talking about projects, the interaction and inspiration; I miss the frequent postings, think often about blogging, and hope that someday maybe the energy and efficiency will all come back.

Meanwhile, a round-up...

20160512_182750

Macro May sort of hit the skids 'round about May 2nd, but I had to get down on hands and knees last week when I noticed a "moss forest" growing between the bricks out front. Katie generously supplied her index finger for scale! The neighbors got a pretty good view of my derriere, no doubt, scratching their heads at my behavior for not-the-first- and surely not-the-last-time! Imagine if they could see all that the crazy stuff I do in the back yard, too!!

On Friday, some of the last pieces in a long office expansion/remodel project began to arrive -- countertops and the like. There's always been a print of Rusty's in the office, but the available wall space has decreased so it was relocated to another room. I've had a beautiful watercolor hanging on the wall in the living room -- partially hidden by objects on a tall-ish piece of furniture -- and it was the perfect size for my new office.

20160513_083957

It was my birthday present in 1995!

20160513_155957

Laundry on the line has always been my thing!

20160513_092826

Considering that Maddy was only four in 1995, a teddy bear tea party is totally where we were at! Rusty's always been a master at whimsy and detail... or whimsical details. I'm so happy to have this painting displayed in a place where it can be fully appreciated and enjoyed!

20160513_183218

Friday night found us in Hortonville at the Match Factory. Kate and her friend Claire (and various family members) have been working hard for weeks... it's still not finished, but it wasn't supposed to be: Friday night was a great little "preview" show.

Kate and Claire have known each other for a while now... at least a year, maybe more. On Friday night, I was finally able to meet more of Claire's family -- we've talked about family on a few occasions, and I've met her brother on a couple of occasions. On Friday, I saw Claire talking to a woman who I assumed was her mother, so introduced myself as Kate's mom, etc.

She looked at me hard and said, "Do we know each other?" I said that I didn't think so. "Did you used to live in Appleton?" Um, yes; on & off for a lot of years. "On Durkee Street??" Nodding... "We were ROOMMATES!"

OMG. All of a sudden there was hugging and reminiscing... Claire's eyes growing wide while her jaw hit the floor, Kate looking at us as if we were aliens!! Therese and I shared an apartment for about a year in about 1981-82; we never "hung out" much, but we certainly crossed paths and were at least somewhat aware of each other's interests, though neither of us were as "deep" into those pursuits as we are now. She ended up marrying the guy that she'd begun dating at that time (so, Claire's dad!). The apartment was owned, at the time, by my BFF & her husband... a.k.a., my current employers.

It's a small, small, SMALL, SMALL world!!

20160514_115335
20160514_115335

There have been cuddles and snuggles when we're able.

20160514_160836
20160514_160836

And this guy seems to be handling the changes OK! I was delighted to take him for a few hours on Saturday afternoon... we had so much fun! Annie and the boys came over again, too, after soccer and, well, the kid's certainly not suffering from a lack of attention. We wound down Saturday with a big, raucous family dinner.

20160515_132509

I took some "me" time on Sunday and finally christened my Alabama Chanin "Magdalena" stencil, mixing up some paint and firing up the air compressor out in the garage. I definitely need more practice and experience, for one thing and at the very least, learning about paint color and how it plays with fabric color when wet vs. dry.

20160515_134204

The play of large scale design on a teeny-tiny dress was intentional; the paint dried to more of a gray and not terribly exciting. My first choice of pink for the underlayer is not going to work, so will re-do and choose something with more contrast -- possibly navy blue, or even black.

20160515_143922

I had to do more than just that little dress, so cut out and painted an A-line Tunic for myself. I strained my thumb getting my Swing Skirt done a couple of weeks ago, so don't hold your breath on this one... maybe.

20160515_194040

Kate brought a new cookbook home the other day and I just had to make this Roasted Chicken in Tarragon Sauce with New Potatoes, Asparagus & Peas. I had to present it exactly as in the book, too. Wow, that was delicious and relatively simple and easy to prepare, with yummy leftovers for lunch today. Win!

Oh, I took some "formal" pics of the grands the other day, too. I haven't processed them all yet, but here are a few faves.

FB_IMG_1463006742616
FB_IMG_1463006742616
FB_IMG_1463006742616

I hope you had a great week/weekend, too!!


Weekending: Alabama Chanin, Rosanne Cash, Mother's Day

I finished my skirt on Friday night -- sewing on the fold-over elastic waistband with patience and the help of a lot of Wonder Clips!

IMG_20160506_181617
IMG_20160506_181617

It felt so great to sew in that tag!

Saturday began with an hour or so watching the boys play soccer.

20160507_101054

We had some lunch afterwards and then went over to meet the baby.

20160507_130545

Mack could hardly get enough of her!

20160508_155119

She is pretty irresistible, and so content!!

Then it was concert time! Rusty and I went to see Rosanne Cash with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra along with John Leventhal and her band. The concert was fantastic! We enjoyed selections from The River & The Thread, The List, Black Cadillac, and more. There were numbers performed with only John on guitar as accompaniment, with her full band, and with the symphony -- it was a nice range. I enjoyed every minute.

20160507_181948

As hoped-for, I wore my new skirt! Styled above with my Catamount A-line Tunic Dress, Fluevog "Sunny" sandals, and a J.Jill sweater (it was chilly!), the tunic is maybe a little long for the skirt -- I will definitely be making a shorter tunic top to show off the skirt a bit more -- but this is a combo that I've had in mind since the beginning. The single-layer tunic and the bottom layer of the skirt are both dark grey, and the red beads on the tunic play off the burgundy top layer of the skirt.

20160507_212710

Rosanne wore an amazing Alabama Chanin jacket, by the way -- we weren't close enough that I could tell the design, but it was WAY sparklier than anything else in the room! Stunning and perfect. I didn't take any photos 'til the end for fear of being kicked out... I am not (much of) a rule-breaker!  ;)

20160508_102316

Here it is on Mother's Day, worn with a shorter J.Jill top... I'm thinking "uniform"! I was so comfortable all day long -- and I am not necessarily a skirt person! I like skirts well enough, but my short, high waist and bit of a belly can make it a challenging relationship. Here are some details, more photos below.

Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt

  • Swing Skirt - pre-cut & -stenciled kit from Alabama Chanin
  • 100% Organic Medium-weight Cotton Jersey - Burgundy (top layer), Dark Grey (bottom layer)
  • Anna's Garden stencil
  • Button Craft Thread - double strand of Maroon/Burgundy throughout
  • Running stitch for construction & embellishment
  • Knots on the outside
  • Left Front Panel: Negative Reverse Applique
  • Right Front Panel: Reverse Applique
  • Back Panels: Stitched for Negative Reverse Applique but left un-cut
  • All seams inside felled
  • Fold-over Elastic Waistband sewn with herringbone stitch
  • Unfinished hem

20160508_102316
20160508_102316

Mother's Day started with a funny card from Rusty, a couple of books, some chocolate...

20160508_075615

It continued with mimosas to accompany bacon, eggs & pancakes for a big family breakfast, more gifts, some shopping, some sewing, and knowing that people were working in my garden! Rusty & Kate tamed a bit of overgrowth in the back. I just don't garden as much since I quit smoking... and that's been a lot of years now!!

I put my new waistband skills to use yesterday, applying fold-over elastic to a couple pairs of leggings for Junah & Ginny.

20160508_183921

These were included (by mistake or on purpose... we will never know) as part of the Alabama Chanin fabric haul that my Utah friend scored and sent to me. There's another pair of 0-3m, two more pair of 2-3y, and a couple of in-between sizes too -- all in the same grey jersey with plaid knee patches, and pockets on the larger sizes. I haven't heard yet about how these fit. The kiddos wear mostly cloth diapers, though disposables sometimes... and these close-fitting leggings might be for wear with disposables only. Time for some more Big Butt Baby Pants!

It was truly a fun, fabulous, and memorable week/weekend.

20160507_181958

I hope yours was pretty good too!


Eye Candy Friday... it is Friday, right?

I have to keep reminding myself what day it is!

First, I was in a "Fiber Frolic" bubble from Friday-Sunday last week.

20160428_175613

It was a fabulous weekend with lots of new visitors to the shop! I had a new sign made for the window -- it's hanging in the window, instead of applied to it, because that all may yet be re-done!

20160503_125139

Then this happened on Monday. Tuesday & Wednesday was a wonderful blur of baby-toddler-daughters-family.

I went back to work yesterday... Thursday. Which makes today FRIDAY!!

IMG_20160506_081051
IMG_20160506_081051

I wasn't sure I'd make my self-imposed deadline of Saturday night for the finish of this skirt, but after excellent progress yesterday at Make & Do Night, as well as stitching a bit into the evening at home... She's going to make it after all!

There's about 4" of a seam yet to be felled, then application of  fold-over elastic to finish the waist... and DONE!

We have tickets to tomorrow night's Rosanne Cash concert, and it's a reasonable bet that she'll be sporting some Alabama Chanin, too.

Also, HOLY COW, do I love that skirt?!! All the construction & finishing details in a post next week, for sure.

_ _ _ _ _

“Save the Flowers, Gift a Craftsy Class!” This year, give mom (or yourself) the gift of learning!


It's a girl!!

Virginia-1

Virginia Frances

Born May 2, 2016, at home; 8 lbs., 21"

Healthy and gorgeous...

Virginia-2

Just like her mama!

Virginia-sutton-3

Virginia-sutton-1

Virginia-sutton-2
 And her great great grandmother and one of her namesakes, Virginia!

LOVE.


April Birthdays!

Bloggity

April is a busy month for birthdays around here, from beginning to end! This is us on Monday night at Belts' Soft Serve in Stevens Point, after celebrating Kate's (4/22), Ali's (4/16), and Maddy's (4/25) birthdays with a family dinner at Mikey's in Plover.

It's actually a composite of THREE photos, because the youngest  of the group wasn't in the mood and the second-from-eldest was making (even) goofier faces, and there were various eye closures, etc.! Heh.

Two cousins already had birthdays this month (both on 4/1), as did an aunt (4/16). My uncle's 82nd birthday would have been (4/17).

Lester

And my granddad's 106th today!!

A nephew's is still to come (4/29).

And my new grandbaby still has time to make the cut!! His mama would love nothing more... IT'S PINS & NEEDLES TIME!

 


Right now: ??

Rites-of-spring-2016

Anticipating... Rites of Spring Fiber Frolic - a tour of yarn shops, fiber farms, coffee shops & cafes in NE Wisconsin. Make.Do and KC&T are on the map!

Locations

It'll be a fun few days... lambs, yarn, trunk shows, classes, tons of door prizes! And it could be even more fun & exciting with BFF's daughter's bridal shower and a new grandbaby's due date in the mix!! We'll see how it goes...

Celebrating... April Birthdays!!!

Drinking... G&T, the occasional IPA -- so many to choose from these days!

Eating... I've reinstated my subscription to Plated, and was sent an invitation to try Blue Apron, so have had a few deliveries lately and a lot of fun cooking -- samosas, chicken, salmon, meatballs, catfish. Yum.

Enjoying... finally, some summer-like weather!

Wearing... Sandals. Yay!

20160406_102833

Itching... to PLAY WITH ALL THIS FABRIC. At the end of January, a "friend" from Utah shared an ad on FB by someone out there who was selling many yards of Alabama Chanin cotton jersey. My "friend" was even willing to pick it up and ship it to me. It was all just too good to pass up, so arrangements made, money transferred, parcels packed and posted, and voila! I have a ton more fabric to play with -- quite a few colors, many that I'd likely never order (minimums) but I'm happy to have/see/play with in person. My little color swatch cards are great, but there's a huge difference when you actually have enough fabric to hold and squeeze and see in so many more ways.

20160407_164822

Sewing... my Alabama Chanin skirt. I'm closing in on the quilting of the third panel. I am considering starting the fourth right away and possibly not cutting those two pieces (which would be the back of the skirt) -- at least not right away. I don't know... it's been a design-as-you-go project from Day 1, subject to whim!

Knitting... because of the concentrated effort on sewing, the knitting has stalled. (Where has all the free time gone?)

  • LOLA is underway, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it. In the meantime, digging through a bin of WIPs (a small bin), I discovered that I've had more of the Tsumugi silk all along, in the exact colorway!
  • Romi's Mystery Shawl is also underway, but late one night I pulled the needle out of a few stitches at the end of a row and I haven't yet returned.
  • I never got started on the Healthy Knitter KAL.

Listening... to The Golem and The Jinni. I had borrowed it on Overdrive, but holy cow it's a long book! The reading is lovely, but quite slow... combined with not a lot of listening time, I was barely past the quarter-mark when it was due! I even sped it up a bit. I was unable to renew it right away, so had to put it on hold again... not a fan of this aspect of Overdrive! I recently signed up for Audible, though, and used this month's credit for that book, so I should be safe. (I've still sped up the reading just a tad, even though I now have all the time in the world.)

Reading... The Whole Fromage. The author is a native of Wisconsin... so knows a little bit about cheese! I'd given this book to my mother a few years ago, but I don't think she ever read it.

Needing... to CLEAN UP & ORGANIZE! I know I say it at least once or twice a year: MY WORKROOM IS A DISASTER! It is worse than ever and I can't even imagine when I'm going to get to it. (Where has all the free time gone?)

Planning... June. Three weddings, three weekends in a row! And the start of our Farmer Market season (which, given new baby & etc., may take a June hiatus).

Watching... On deck: Shetland S1 and S2!

IMG_20160305_121858

Wondering... Whether I'll have reason to use any of these patterns in the next few years. A couple were my ;)

Shocked... To open my browser this afternoon, only to be confronted with the news of Prince's death. RIP. Man... what a year, too many gone.


Ten on Tuesday: LP Edition

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Albums that I Love

These are among the albums that come to mind when nothing else is cutting it. They're comfortable, familiar, meaningful, and/or transportational -- in that they "take me" to a time or place where I find happiness or contentment, or just wanna ROCK OUT.

1 - Twin Sons of Different Mothers - Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg

Buckingham-nicks

2 - Buckingham Nicks - Lindsay Buckingham & Stevie Nicks

3 - Flirtin' With Disaster - Molly Hatchet

4 - Tea for the Tillerman - Cat Stevens

5 - Damn The Torpedoes - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

 

6 - Jesus Christ Superstar (or Jesus Christ Superstar) (they're different!)

7 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

8 - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel

9 - Songbird - Eva Cassidy

10 - Stardust - Willie Nelson

What's on your turntable?


Weekending: Kohler

20160416_114751_1

It's almost embarrassing to admit that I've never visited the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan before. That wrong was made right on Saturday.

Our first stop was the restroom:

20160416_114920_1

I've been known to take photos in the bathroom, but usually not of the bathroom. The name KOHLER + the word ART definitely puts a different spin on the subject. 

20160416_114955_1
20160416_114955_1

These photos were all taken in the same bathroom, but I popped my head into ALL of them! Amazing.

The main event was Wisconsin Wild and Tame.

From Mary Nohl's Art Environment...

20160416_115350_1
20160416_115350_1

To David R. Harper:

20160416_115742_1
20160416_115742_1
20160416_115742_1

To Jessica Calderwood and Debbie Kupinsky:

20160416_120143_1
20160416_120143_1
20160416_120143_1

To the Super Natural:

20160416_121631_1
20160416_121631_1

20160416_122124_1
20160416_122124_1
20160416_122124_1
20160416_122124_1

20160416_122445_1

20160416_122445_1

It was... super!

The rest of the weekend was spent doing stuff like this:

20160416_182528_1
20160416_182528_1
20160416_182528_1

When Ali brought him over yesterday, he clung to her for a bit and then reached over to me after a few minutes. Soon, he was pushing his mum out the back door, waving and saying "BYE!," firmly closing the door behind her! Hilarious!!

20160416_182528_1

Sand & trucks at his house, sidewalk chalk at mine. He helped Grampa with some yard work, and also chased cats around the yard (two of ours + one of the neighbor's), asking, "WHAT YOU DOING?"

20160417_140428_1

My other big accomplishment was getting our home network figured out (again and, hopefully, for good) so we could continue watching Hinterland on Netflix! It was so aggravating on Saturday night, wanting to watch but TiVo telling me that there was no internet. TWC recently sent us a new modem and... yeah. I narrowed it down to a possible problem with our old hub -- at least I hoped -- so I ran to Best Buy for a new switch yesterday and, voila, back on track!

WHAT YOU DOING?


The Power of TACOS (and The Internet)

No internet for half the day during an office move, with messages from "beyond" like I've never seen before, is one legitimate reason for having a shitty day today.

Another very legitimate reason would be this:

20160408_193444

It is April 8th... WTF?

But I was NOT having a shitty day. I was having NO PART OF THAT!

I was looking forward to tacos, a fundraiser that Kate held this evening in support of Black Mountain School.

OMG, TACOS!  I haven't had tacos in years -- possibly a dozen (or even more, considering that my youngest will soon be 25)! My hankering for a hard-shell taco has been steadily growing for  weeks!!

The internet issues were finally solved with a new modem/router (no thanks, really, to A T & T). And I made good progress in moving from temporary digs to a swanky new (not quite finished but well on the way) office area with storage and cabinetry the likes of which I never dared dream... all of which makes me quite happy.

And a taco for lunch! My friend & co-worker experiencing increased stress lately (for various reasons) possibly didn't quite hear me when I said that I was having tacos for dinner tonight, instead, apparently, subconsciously registering "TACOS" and bringing them for everyone at lunchtime today!

At peak hankering, I could not resist one (but did manage to resist the offer of a second...).

The snow might have put a damper on attendance at tonight's fundraiser, but the money raised is nothing to scoff at! The tacos were just as expected and quite satisfying, the beer was delicious and cold, and the company and conversation, with friends new and old, was quite lively and fun.

And so, the power of tacos (twice in one day!), restored internet, friends & good conversation... and swanky new digs.

Happy weekend, y'all!


Cheerio

20160406_140401
20160406_140401

We still have Cheerio time! Lately, it involves getting out the "nilk" and a bowl, and two boxes of cereal from the cupboard. He then eats a bowl or two of Crispix, drinking the extra milk straight from the bowl or with a straw. Sometimes we don't even open the box of Cheerios!

Photography gets trickier and trickier!


Weekending

I lunched & shopped & hung out with my sister on Saturday.

Poppytoes

On Sunday, I FINISHED OUR TAXES (was finished with them, at any rate)! I also finished some overdue newborn photo work.

20160404_104619

There are some major ch-ch-ch-changes happening at my workplace! Work has been going on for a while now, but is only directly affecting my space as of today. It's like working in a beehive around here! I hope to be nicely settling into the reworked/rearranged space by the end of the week. Fingers crossed.


Sewing and Knitting and Cooking and Sky-watching

SEWING

20160330_164953

Oh.My.Word. I am so in love with this Alabama Chanin swing skirt project!

20160330_165036

I don't remember whether I mentioned it here, but I was SHOCKED when I opened my kit and found Burgundy & Dark Grey (exactly what I ordered) instead of Dark Grey & Dove (which is what I was going to order right up 'til the last minute, when I daringly changed my mind).

There was nothing to do but DO, which is exactly what I did... not only is it a work-in-progress, it is also a design-in-progress. 

20160330_165019

One thing's for sure: these colors are working for me!!

KNITTING

Well. I finished a pair of Dimorphous Mittens a while back (except for buttons), and still have my Scoreboard Cowl to finish, but hadn't been too inspired to knit much lately (or have been more inspired to sew). But now...

  • I am well underway with Romi's Mystery Shawl 2016. I had to find & fix a little mistake at the end of Clue 2 last night (employing all the stitch markers) to keep on track!
  • Casting on of LOLA is imminent! I will be knitting this sweater in pieces, and beginning with a provisional cast-on (keeping options open... because designing as I go seems to be A Thing). All the materials are gathered and I'm finally ready to go!

Werifesteria_Campbell_2016__2__medium2

  • I'm not sure where Werifesteria will fit in, but it's not the knitting that I'm most interested in at this point, anyway. This is the second mystery Knit-Along/Walk-Along presented by Christina Campbell and I thoroughly enjoyed both aspects of the first. A March Through Time is probably my most-worn winter knit this year! Mostly, though, I am interested in the motivation to get out and walk this spring. Let's go!! (By the way, this KAL/WAL begins tomorrow! It is automatically 20% off through 3/31 -- that's today!)

COOKING (and Eating)

20160328_182717

Beef & Lamb Meatballs over Green Pea Risotto a la Plated. Yum. Our box also held the ingredients for a wonderful skillet-roasted chicken with some fennel and potatoes. I was a bit unsure about the new subscription plans, so have sat out deliveries for a bit, but decided to get back in; I am in charge and can skip whenever I like (such as the next two weeks, for various reasons) or even suspend deliveries for a lengthier period of time, but I really do enjoy not having to think about what I'm going to cook sometimes -- or even having to shop for it! Plus, I get to try new things or prep methods and have reasonable assurance that it's all going to turn out fine great. I have a few  invitations available (up to $72 off with subscription); if you're interested in trying Plated yourself, let me know and I'll send you an email invite!

20160329_185209

I ordered Fish Tacos at Houdini's Escape Gastropub at 5th Tuesday Knit Night; also in the frame are pub fries, a grilled veggie sandwich, and tortellini with portabello mushroom. Also yum. I really need to expand my horizons beyond the tacos at this establishment, but... SO GOOD!

SKY-WATCHING

20160318_070344

Arriving at work - view to the east - March 18, 2016

20160322_065133

Arriving at work - view to the east - March 22, 2016

20160329_065911

Arriving at work - view to the east - March 29, 2016

The weather has been decidedly chilly, dreary, gray, and wet and looks to be that way for a while (perhaps even some snowflakes flying), so I'll just park these photos here so I can easily visit until nice weather returns.


Ten on Tuesday: Outside

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Love To Do Outside

Laundryontheline

1 - Hanging laundry on the line. My die-hard brother-in-law does it year-round, but I just can't... it's one of my favorite things in the world, though.

Trek

2 - Ride my bike. I've been slackin' the past few years. Aiming higher...

Pergola

3 - Soak up the sun/daydream/watch my back yard world go by from the porch/deck/pergola.

4 - Eat & drink on the porch/deck/pergola.

6 - Knit & sew on the porch/deck/pergola.

6 - Read on the porch/deck/pergola.

7 - Take a walk.

Forrgetmenot

8 - Do a little gardening/yard work now and then.

9 - Dyeing/Stenciling. At this point, much of that work is better accomplished outside where there's more room (and less stuff to be careful about accidentally dyeing).

10 - Putzing. There's no better place to putz than outside on a warm sunny day. It's like heaven.


Weekending: Easter +/-

Thursday:

2016-03-25_1458865739

Thankfully, we didn't get as much as we could have (or as much as those a bit to the north of us got), but combined with the slippery roadways and high wind, it was enough to call it a very welcome SNOW DAY!

Friday:

2016-03-24_1458788429

Rusty called from the vet on Friday morning with GOOD NEWS! Our lovely Roxie had been diagnosed with cancer of the mouth a couple of months ago; she'd lost an incredible amount of weight and was losing fur like crazy. Cancer treatment was expensive and results (length/quality of life) highly questionable; instead, we changed her food to something easier for her, considered her in "kitty hospice," and have kept a keen watch. Since then, she's maintained her weight (within .2 lb.), still loses fur but not as bad (I'd bought a stick vac to keep up!), and has continued to be her sweet little self! (Junah loves her... calls her "Rock-keys.") Recently, she seemed to be slightly more bothered about her mouth, and it seemed a good idea to get a read... we prepared for the worst. Turns out, the "fast-spreading cancer" had not spread at all; so, said the vet, perhaps it's not cancer but a bad infection instead! No question, we decided to try the steroid/antibiotic combo and she already seems to be improving. Please think good kittie thoughts!!

2016-03-26_1458954856

Friday evening: Duodenum Live Performance at the Young Space "Remote View" pop-up show in Green Bay. (Everything I do, I do it for YOU!) What a hoot.

Saturday:

2016-03-26_1459010347

I hung out with this kid for a while in the morning, playing with balls and blocks and cars & trucks of all sizes.

After that, I stopped in at a local library to do a little stitching with some crafty friends for an hour before heading to the grocery store. Um, yeah... Saturday afternoon before a gigantic holiday. Truthfully, I rather enjoy the excited energy of the grocery store on days like that. I had a thorough and organized list and the store was well staffed, so it was relatively painless.

Sunday:

2016-03-27_1459095754

New traditions? Maybe... something(s) new, at any rate. Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake and Veggie Lasagna, recipe compliments of our friend TJ, were on the menu yesterday. That cake recipe has been on my list forever, and I'm sure it was one of the first things I ever pinned on Pinterest. TJ made the lasagna for dinner on our last night in Portland, and it was fabulous, plus, you've just gotta love a recipe that starts with "eyeball your vegetables"!

2016-03-28_1459124159

The lasagna was nearly demolished... it was so delicious!! And the cake was half-gone before I thought to take a photo. I didn't have the size/type of pan, so there was some spilling over of batter that burned on the bottom of the oven, and my frosting turned out a bit thinner that I'd have liked, but none of that really mattered. It was so good!!

IMG_20160328_111549

I completed stitching on the second panel of my Alabama Chanin skirt! I'm looking forward to cutting both panels, and prepping the last two panels. I'm hoping to have this skirt finished by May 7th so I can wear it to Rosanne Cash's concert!

Lately:

Collage_2016-03-25T08_25_49.754
Collage_2016-03-25T08_25_49.754

Timehop has been very good with the reminders of late!! I can't believe that our amazing trip to England-Scotland-Wales was 5 years ago.

__________________________

Craftsy - 1200x627_gallery_knitting

Sale ends tonight!


I went to Oregon (Part 4: Old Home, The End)

Completely unplanned, we ended up doing at least a drive-by of every place I'd lived during my 4+/- years in Oregon.

My first residence was a tiny furnished house, rented for me by my dad & his wife, on Latimer Road in Tillamook. It was super cute -- part of a little complex of tiny houses connected by shared carports. I especially loved the spacious kitchen there. The place hadn't changed a bit!

20160313_095118

View toward Haystack Rock at Cape Kiwanda.

When I met him, Rusty was living in his house at Cape Kiwanda but working in Tillamook. As we began to spend more time together, we decided to rent a house in Tillamook. Pickings were very slim, but we found a small house on First Street. It had been abandoned by previous tenants and the power had been shut off... with food in the fridge... for months. I don't remember much about the landlord situation, but I'm sure that Rusty negotiated the rent wherein we got rid of the ghastliness in the fridge and did some other cleaning & fixing up. I remember turning one of the two bedrooms into a huge closet (as neither bedroom had any other type of closet), and the small-ish kitchen had wooden countertops. That house hadn't changed a bit, either!

After a little while, having two places got to be a drag and we decided the drive wasn't all that bad (unless stuck behind a motorhome or eight), so gave up the First Street house and moved to Cape Kiwanda Drive, Pacific City. As we worked at doing some adding on and finishing, I discovered that I was pregnant! That house had been built for one person and the addition helped for two, but adding a baby to the mix... just wasn't going to work!

20160312_104133

Near the beach, Cape Meares.

We sold that house and bought one at Cape Meares, but first... homeless for a month between closings, we rented a small unit at the Terimore Motel in Netarts. We were able to move most of our belongings into the house, but I decided to stash the basinette and a few baby things in the closet at the motel. Good thing!

20160312_094211
20160312_094211

NOW and THEN.

20160312_094226
20160312_094226

SAME yet DIFFERENT. Close but NO CIGAR!

Clearly, we don't remember exactly which unit we lived in. I was going to say that this place hasn't changed a bit, either (and I'll bet it hasn't!). Both Rusty and I have made this mistake... I think our unit was actually behind this one! Ha.

20160312_100340

Effects of prevailing wind (at Cape Meares State Park).

Finally, when Kate was about a week old we moved to a nice little house on Meares Ave NW, Cape Meares. We did a lot of work there, too, including replacing the deck, painting the exterior, and building a driveway/patio and enclosed porch. The house is completely unrecognizable now with a second-story addition!

20160312_100356
20160312_100356

Gorgeous ocean view from Cape Meares State Park.

20160312_100543

The Octopus Tree.

We had a nice visit with my dad and his wife while we were in Tillamook, and with my cousin Gordy and cousin-in-law John who were out from MN to do some steelhead fishing.

20160313_105308

On Sunday, we headed inland...

20160313_143051

We stopped near Salem for a lunch date with Rusty's ex-wife, her husband, and a few of their friends. This is a view from the living room -- there are sheep out there -- you can't see them, but I know they're there (beyond the little building, just behind the hedgerow).

Finally, to Portland for dinner* & overnight with our good friend TJ and her husband Les. We had such a good visit with them and our friend Bill -- it was so great to see them/hug them in person!

IMG_20160314_092715

Fly away home. New PDX carpeting.

*I'm making TJ's yummy & not-too-soupy veggie lasagna recipe for Easter!

__________________________

Craftsy - 1200x627_gallery_knitting