11 November 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Collection

col·lec·tion
kəˈlekSH(ə)n/
a group of things or people

* * * * *

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Collections I've Had Over The Years

1. Depression Glass. D is for Depression Glass.

Depression-glass-2

Make mine green. I came to have a couple of my grandmother's pieces and spent quite a few years growing a collection. My mom collected pink, and it was fun to "hunt" together. We spent a lot of time, over the years, at flea markets and auctions! As usual, I set parameters (specific pieces or shape/pattern) and it was really fun.

Depression-glass-3

There are even collections within the collection! I've always "had a thing" for measuring cups.

Depression-glass-1

Depression-glass-4

It's displayed in a few different places, mostly in the kitchen and most of it is in this cabinet (which hides my kitchen sink). Collections are meant to be together and I love how  it looks, especially illuminated!

2. Cookbooks. I have a big collection of those!

3. Sewing Baskets & Stands & Things.

Sewing1

S is for Sewing! Needle cases, measuring tapes, spool holders, pin cushions... 

4. Knitting Needles.

Knitting-needles

I like them long and straight! There are a lot of vintage Bates and Boye aluminum specimens, which I seem to favor, but I also like bamboo and the Quicksilver needles.

5. Cabinet Photographs.

Photos1

I especially have a thing for photos of babies, children, and women. And men. And wedding photos. And school room photos. And family photos, especially outside of and including the house. And... well, I guess I'm not too particular about the subject, but there's always something that speaks to me, often it's an "attitude."

6. Mice.

Mice1

R is for Rodents. I don't think I've bought a single one of these... sometimes a collection happens whether you want it to or not. My nickname as a baby was "Mouse," and my dad used it well into my adult years. So, of course! I must want to collect mice! I don't mind, really, there are some very special ones -- a few of porcelain that Grandma made for me, some that the kids made. There is not a single Mickey Mouse specimen pictured but, trust me, he's well represented!

7. Pansies. You know it, P is for Pansies!

Pansy1

Pictures, pitchers, jardinieres, calendars, tiles, prints, china...

8. Poultry, apparently: Chicken- and/or duck-shaped covered glass dishes and/or ceramic planters (yellow).

Planter-shelf

I have a collection of exactly two yellow ceramic chicken planters. They were both Sharon's and I always thought that it would be fun to add to that collection, but so far I've not found any that fit the criteria! And that's okay!

I've a number of glass "chicken dishes," a few different sizes, some clear and some opaque.

The real treasure (never before photographed, it seems) is an old bubble bath container, a covered glass duck-shaped dish. When she was a girl, my mother bought one for my grandmother as a gift; Grandma always used it to hold her bobby pins. I found one at an auction and, of course, it holds my bobby pins, too. Mom also found one, and it even had the little bubble bath scoop still tied with ribbon to the duck's neck.

9. Bowls. B is for Bowls.

I like having choices?

Bowls

10. Rubberbands. I used to have a thing for twisty-ties, but now it's rubberbands.

I have found myself feeling less and less a collector. I haven't added to any of these collections in quite some time and have even been thinning.

I've culled some of the depression glass, for instance, but it's now out of the cabinet and sitting in a box. So I still have it. There's not much demand for it, anymore, and even though I never spent a whole lotta money (or, at least, it averages out to very little per piece), it's hard to just give away something I once spent so much time looking for.

 

10 November 2014

Weekending

On Friday night, I put my jammies on early, caught up on some recorded TV, and started knitting a hat for Junah.

My sister Ann & fam came down on Saturday to see Big Hero 6, and I tagged along. I ate DOTS and popcorn, and snooze/dozed through a good portion of the middle, but it wasn't too difficult to catch up with what was going on for the big finale. It was cute, the boys really enjoyed it; there is definitely room for pre- and/or sequels, as the powers that be see fit (and/or see dollar signs).

I finished knitting Junah's hat on Saturday night, attached the buttons on Sunday morning, and delivered it Sunday afternoon. Details tomorrow on Wednesday!

SketchGuru_20141109082600

Something new was waiting on the porch on Sunday morning. I haven't had a Sunday paper delivered in quite a few years... all of a sudden (and a pretty good offer), it seems like a good idea. Winter's coming. I like the idea of cozying up with a cuppa and The Times. It's all available electronically, too, which I love.

Annie and I went out to the mall & area later on Sunday morning to do some returns and for a little shopping. Also a birthday chair-massage. I strained my back a week ago last Friday and it's been very slowly improving; I think the massage was pretty well timed and, wow, did I/do I ever have some hard little knots in various places. My back is better, still not perfect... such a bummer.

Sunday night was all about football... and it was good. It was very, very good!

This morning I awoke to snow falling. It's the first I've seen this year with my own two eyes. Folks around us are going to see much more than I!!

 

09 November 2014

She's a very sketchy girl...

SketchGuru_20141109081737

Also, very easily entertained by photo apps!!

Happy Sunday!

 

08 November 2014

Saturday Sky

SketchGuru_20141108083302

This is the farm that's right across the road from where I work, and it's one of my favorite things in the world. I love watching the process.

I'm loving the suggestion of the telephone wires in this "watercolor" rendering and that I'm reminded of birds on a wire -- because those wires often are loaded with them!

Happy Saturday!

 

07 November 2014

Flashback Friday

Thanksgiving-Turkey-Maddy

We were busy cleaning out the upstairs apartment at this time last year and part of that meant dealing with all the kids' projects, artwork, and paperwork that I'd saved since they were in preschool. I saved some, threw some out, took pictures of a lot. Obviously, this is Maddy's work and I'm thinking it was pre-K.

I'm beginning to think about Thanksgiving, aren't you?

 

06 November 2014

Celebrate!

SketchGuru_20141106124337

My book club is obviously better than yours!

a) Because our meeting last night was at the Appleton Beer Factory (delicious food, delicious beer!).

b) Because what a great group of women with so much to talk about and share (even when some of us, including me, haven't read the book).

c) Because knit-themed lemon poppyseed birthday cake!!

Yep, it's my birthday again. And it's been a great day so far!

I started my 4-day birthday weekend by running some errands with Katie and then she took me out to lunch at Zuppas. When we got home, Maddy was in the kitchen cooking up some stew for supper. She's staying overnight and is planning to come with me to knit night tonight with her current cross-stitch project. Ali will be over in a while with Junah and, well, I couldn't ask for much more.

Margene mentioned SketchGuru the other day and I've had fun playing around with this app!

SketchGuru_20141105121127

I've been so envious of all my Waterloguing iFriends, now I can finally watercolor, too!

And more!

SketchGuru_20141106142936

I loved the Corcoa coasters that Susan B. Anderson recently blogged about, especially the Knitting Coaster Set. I ordered two sets and they arrived a couple of days ago. I've been using one set and thought I'd give the other away for my birthday!

I get presents, you get presents, everybody's happy!

Leave a comment on this or any NaBloPoMo 2014 post from now through Sunday at midnight (Nov. 9, CST) to enter! I've been dabbling with the dye again, filling some special orders... and then some... so they'll likely be well padded with wool for shipping!

***

Thanks for reading, and for all of your lovely comments.

 

05 November 2014

Where trouble melts like lemon drops

20141025_093333

In this life, our "over the rainbow" is on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in the far northern reaches of Wisconsin.

Flowage3

There's a big old log cabin up there, built by my great grandparents in the '30s, where we spent at least one week of every childhood summer, not to mention a few magical Christmases.

20141025_093251

It's the place where Sharon said that wanted to be forever; a place of great and happy (and funny) memories for all of us.

20141025_111646

A happy memory: Sibling Weekend - September 2009

Flowage1

In the day, the property was quite large; located at the end of a short road, it extended to a point and also included a small island with boat house, connected to the mainland by a foot bridge. There was a lot of room for exploration! The property is still bigger than most -- and still includes the island -- even though the lot at the point was sold some years ago.

Kate1

View from the south-side loft. The folks sitting on the far side are in the old porch area -- a wall with some windows (part of it remains) used to separate the two areas. There used to be an old sofa bed (most comfortable ever and my favorite sleeping place outside of the north-side loft), a few easy chairs, a rocker, a gorgeous wood-burning stove in the main area, but it was completely dominated by a red gingham oilcloth-covered dining table in the center of the room -- the center of the universe.

Kate1

Bedrooms with walls, no ceiling!

The cabin had two big lofts at either end; a rustic kitchen and a bedroom under the south loft; a porch (and another bedroom) under the lake-side north loft; the lofts overlooked two more bedrooms on the middle-west side and a large dining/living area on the east.

20141026_101217

Electricity was the only modern convenience; water was hauled, two buckets at a time, from a pump located a little ways off the northwest corner of the cabin, and heated in a big kettle on the stove; a two-seater log outhouse was located at the side of the cabin. Later, a cold water tap was added in the kitchen at the... well, let's call it the "personal care" sink, where we'd wash our faces and brush our teeth.

20141026_100935

There used to be several poles off-shore with many martin houses -- full of purple martins. The martin population isn't anywhere what it used to be.

Deeper personal cleanliness could be accomplished in the lake or, as Grandma often preferred, by sponge bath in the "privacy" of her bedroom. Perhaps the original "open concept" design, there was only one room in the whole cabin that had both ceiling and walls, and none of them had a proper door; the center bedrooms had walls but no ceiling, the lofts had ceiling but no walls, the "bedroom" on the porch was actually created by hanging a curtain as partition, and all of the interior doorways were merely curtained.

20141025_074938

The "porch bedroom" is now just part of the porch -- the curtain has been removed (though hardware remains) (you never know).

The cabin was sold about 20 years ago and has seen substantial "improvement" since then, the most significant of which is "indoor plumbing." The bedroom off the kitchen -- the one with both ceiling and walls -- was converted to a spacious full bath + laundry! There's a new roof, sunlights, an updated kitchen, flooring, and a partial basement, now, which houses both furnace and water heater; a windowed wall was removed between the living area and porch to open it up even further.

20141025_101857
20141025_101857

Other family members, both near and far along the family tree branches, still have (or had) nearby properties, and we've been well aware of all of these changes -- and have even done some window-peeking over the years -- but it was hard to tell, really, all the changes that had taken place.

IMG_2971_1_1
IMG_2971_1_1

We were all quite happy -- my kids beside themselves (Maddy has no memory of being there) -- when it was offered to us for the weekend in October that we planned to visit. We were warned many times that "it isn't the cabin you remember."

20141025_071409

The center of attention from the minute he woke up!

Junah is the 7th generation to stay at the old family cabin!

20141025_071409

Our favorite card game -- and there was almost always one in progress -- SKIP BO!

Lo, we were all quite pleased to note the "improvements," but also that there was much more that had stayed the same than had changed. It's hard to change the basic footprint and feel of a cabin made of massive native logs too much!!

It was perfect. Always was, always will be.

Flowage2

This photo is everything -- my great grandmother (on the left), old cars, the kitchen door, and outbuildings! Very little has changed. The building to the far left is known as "The Hoodlum" and was originally a bunkhouse on wheels, hauled around to lumber camps. It still stands, and I've slept a night or two there! Moved to my uncle's property several years ago, the old Wisconsin license plate is still visible!

Flowage4

Great Grandpa Sutton and me near the boathouse at the cabin, autumn 1965, Turtle Flambeau Flowage. One of my most favorite photos.

20141025_125347
20141025_125347
20141025_125347
20141025_125347

We boarded a borrowed pontoon on Saturday to motor a little ways out into the bay. I wore the fabulous autumn cover sweater from Vogue Knitting that Sharon knit years ago, we listened to Eva Cassidy sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," we disbursed the remainder of Sharon's ashes, along with some of Uncle Bob's, who'd passed in late May, to join those of a few others resting in the bay. Sharon & Bob had a special bond and it was good. Good company.

We returned to shore and feasted on steamed artichokes and smoked fish -- Sharon's favorite -- along with some BBQ ribs and potato-leek soup.

20141025_111646

I love this photo of Annie and Junah reading.

20141025_111646

Junah getting Bogey kisses!

It was a wonderful (if too short) weekend with lots of family time, fabulous weather, good food, fun and games, and more than a little irreverence -- in other words, SHARON PERFECT.

xo

 

04 November 2014

Memento

It wasn't long before my mother's death -- a few months, perhaps -- when, one day, I walked into her family room and she, seated in the recliner as usual, started waving a section of the newspaper at me: "Read this." There was an article about cremains. The gist of it being that there are a lot of cremains around -- and by "around," I don't mean scattered as the deceased may have wished; they're in boxes or bags, sitting on a shelf or in a cupboard, or next to the furnace on the basement floor, because people are "too busy" and don't make it a priority to see that their loved one's last wishes are carried out.

Guilty.

For a while, I believe my mother found it comforting to have Sharon's ashes near, but by late winter, and perhaps realizing that her own death was approaching, it became important to Mom that Sharon be put to rest as she'd wished. Well, Mum died before we could all do that together, so that's actually going to be a story for another day (probably tomorrow)...

Today, it's about how my sisters, daughters, niece, and I made it a priority and gathered at Wild Apple Gallery the day before Mom's memorial in August. We'd always intended to go, along with my mother, to make glass memorials with some of Sharon's ashes. I'd called to inquire about a session shortly after Sharon died but, without any sense of urgency, we never made it a priority to actually get it scheduled.

20140823_123440
20140823_123440
20140823_123440

So many bits & bobs and tools and pieces of glass!

20140823_123500
20140823_123500

I don't remember what it's called, but that white piece is fire-proof and prevents the glass from fusing together in that spot. I can insert a small rod or cord through the opening for hanging.

20140823_123500

Not of all the pieces encapsulated ashes, but many of them did.

Web-IMG_20140830_171332_1
Web-IMG_20140830_171332_1
Web-IMG_20140830_171332_1

14900637677_663fb1bf3e_o

These are my finished pieces. The sunflower is in remembrance of Mom (it's approx. 4" square, for scale), and the single flower on a blue background is of Sharon, a small bit of their ashes encased in each; the other piece is for both: flowers & blue polka-dot sky!

20140823_125201

In the tradition of a Sister Weekend, we gathered, we talked, we laughed, we cried, we made a mess, and we created! Together.

 

03 November 2014

And so it begins...

Annie made her specialty carrot cake while we visited.

IMG_20141102_073105
IMG_20141102_073105
IMG_20141102_073105

There was a candle and "Happy Birthday" sung in both English and Portuguese, kicking off my birthday "week" in fine, sweet style!

 

02 November 2014

Halloween Party

Junah-lion

For as long as it lasted* on Halloween, Junah was a little lion!!

On Saturday, I drove up to my sister Ann's -- for the first time since I delivered them to their new front door in June -- with Ali & Junah for a Halloween Party!

20141101_141535

There was a fun Scavenger Hunt!

IMG_8777

Halloween BINGO!

IMG_20141101_150012

Bobbing for Apples!

20141101_132736

A fun Mummy Wrap 'n Race!

IMG_8736

Raggedy Ann even mummified one-socked Raggedy Andy!

20141101_203209
20141101_203209

There was a ton of fun with cousins!! (They can't get enough of him... plotting to "capture" him -- nicely -- so they could keep him!)

IMG_8794

Seriously.

*not very long

01 November 2014

NaBloPoMo?

Why, of course!

I've participated in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013... why should 2014 be any different?

NaBloPoMo_November

Today I'm with Junah & Ali at my sister's Halloween Party! Stay tuned!!

 

 

31 October 2014

Of Halloween Past

2004 - Halloween

Ali & Maddy - 2004

2004 - Halloween

Maddy - 2004

2008 - Mack-Addy_Halloween
2008 - Mack-Addy_Halloween
2008 - Mack-Addy_Halloween
2008 - Mack-Addy_Halloween

Mack, Addy, Mom, and yummy witch hat treats - 2008

2009 - Mack_Halloween

Cowboy Mack, hamming it up - 2009

2011 - Katie

Katie - 2011

Mack - Batman

 

Happy Halloween!!

 

23 October 2014

What's a knitting belt?

In Tuesday's post, I mentioned that my knitting belt would invariably be among the items in my project bag. I don't use it everyday, but it is essential for anything I knit on DPNs.

I am most comfortable knitting on straight needles -- the longer the better -- and avoid using circulars whenever possible (almost always). I normally anchor the right needle of a single-point pair in my "lap," throw my yarn with my right hand, and work the stitches with my left-hand needle.

If I knit on DPNs, the knitting belt comes into play as a place to anchor the right-hand needle. Before I bought the knitting belt, I'd use my clothing to anchor the needle -- not very well, most times, and I'd often end up with a holey shirt, too! I don't usually even put the belt on and buckle it, I just rest it in my lap.

You can understand why I avoid circs, as there is no "end" to anchor. I feel loosey-goosey and completely out of control when I knit on circulars!

Knitorious-knitting-belt

I bought my knitting belt a few years ago from Journeyman Leather in Shetland.

(What I'd really like next is a knitting sheath!)

You can read more here:

It is worth a googling -- "knitting belt" -- for web pages, images, and videos. You'll also find references to speed and production knitting.

  • Knitting for Speed & Efficiency by Felicia Lo (sweetgeorgia)
  • Stephanie Pearl McPhee/The Yarn Harlot teaches the class called Knitting for Speed & Efficiency (as referenced in Felicia's post, above) and, while I haven't personally taken it, I definitely would... it's worth keeping an eye on Stephanie's schedule for upcoming events

 

21 October 2014

Ten on Tuesday: FIRE!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I'd Save if My House Was On Fire

In no particular order...

1. Photos! They're all scattered at the moment, though, as we speak, there's another batch being digitally preserved at ScanCafe!

Stringofpansies

2. A String of Pansies.

3. A few handknits. The beautiful autumn sweaters that Sharon knit; Parcheesi; Fib; Algiers; some of the baby things* I've made (heirlooms!).

4. My current project bag(s) -- sewing and/or knitting. This/these would invariably also contain needles and notions, my knitting belt, electronics (tablet/Kindle), and current "stuff" (magazines, recently printed patterns and recipes to try).

Among the year's best Christmas gifts. v.Mother: I am a fighter. v.Father: I am a dreamer. Love my Maddy Mo. #christmas2013 #kidswritemakesayanddothedarnedestthings

5. A select few books. My Grandma Blum's memoir; the books that Maddy made for us last Christmas (above) (and so awesome); the equally awesome annotated Mother that she gave me a few years ago (below).

Mother

6. A few little "decor" items. Where Maddy makes books, Katie & Ali make... other things. The tiny bleeding heart blossom that Ali pressed between some plastic wrap and inserted into an old plastic slide "frame." The 3-dimensional heart/frame (also employing great use of plastic wrap) that Katie made when she was in elementary school. The handmade cards that Rusty's made, and the "clothesline" watercolor that he painted for me. A few little things like that...

7. My Globe Wernicke bookcase. Gee, it would make sense to make sure the books I want to save are in the bookcase that I want to save, wouldn't it?!

8. Grandma Koenig's treadle sewing machine & "button bowl." Grandma's sewing machine has been "mine" for nearly my entire life -- since she died, when I was six. Mom "antiqued" it back in the day; I stripped it many years later; it was my "night stand" for many years (and would be still, if it fit). My button collection (with contributions from my mother, both grandmothers, and a great grandmother) is actually a green depression glass bowl that's part of a "console set" with a pedestal for the bowl and a pair of candleholders with painted wood "candlesticks."

9. Camera stuff. There's a whole lotta that, and I really need to get it organized.

10. My purse... inside of which are always my wallet, ID/license, phone & accessories, keys, a credit/debit card or two, usually some cash, insurance cards, a hair band, some coupons, and my library card!

Weasley Sweater

*My brother-in-law told me that he caught a few minutes of a Harry Potter movie while Mack & Addy were recently watching and noticed Ron Weasley's sweater; he thought, "Hey, that looks just like the sweater that Vic made for Mack!" As well it should, made from the original Harry Potter Sweater Kit. He asked, "DID YOU KNOW THAT?" Haha. Made my day!

 

20 October 2014

It's only natural

I dyed two cotton hankies during my afternoon at Have Company in Grand Rapids. Shown below, with yarn resting upon it, is a brown hankie that was dyed in a bath made from Juglans nigra, or black walnut, and a pale yellow from a pot of brewed Tanacetum vulgareor common tansy. I've dyed with walnuts before so that pale brown was no surprise, and while I can take or leave most yellows, I love that pale tansy yellow!

I realized that it's been almost two months since I was round-aboutly inspired by Outlander and harvested some natural dyestuff from the back yard to brew for some yarn!

20141019_093020

I gathered Impatiens capensisor touch-me-not, which is fairly prolific on the hillside behind our house (said hillside making it somewhat treacherous to harvest!). I tried to be somewhat scientific -- weighing it and making notes about what I did -- but I have no idea what happened to all that. But look! Pretty yarn.

20141018_153616
20141018_153616

Two skeins of my fingering/sock base (75% superwash merino, 25% nylon), and two skeins of a lace base (80% merino, 20% silk). I'm excited to explore some more natural stuff... especially indigo. Mostly, I have some fabric that I'd like to overdye with indigo. But yarn, too!

IMG_20141019_084958

We have a weekly newspaper in my 'hood. It's in my mailbox every Wednesday and Saturday, and I sometimes fall behind. Um, I don't think I've ever been this far behind! I was all set to get caught up, with coffee and chronological stack of papers, but it didn't happen. Annie & boys were here for the weekend, so I opted to spend some time with them.

It was really a pretty great weekend, and concluded with a drive over to visit Maddy. I love the message board in their kitchen, and that her 3 roommates are "family."

20141019_164701

We spent some time with this guy, too. Unless he's sleeping, I don't know if I'll ever get a good photograph of him wearing the adorable Fourques Hat.

20141018_193046

Hope you had a great weekend, too.

16 October 2014

9 Months!

9-months2

He cut a third tooth (the first on top) over the weekend, and is just beginning to crawl. Figuring it all out!

9-weeks

Compare: 9 Weeks, above, and 9 Months, below (special attention to bear!).

9-months

Also, hair! You cannot see it, but it's there... soft and wispy, it even blows in the wind!  :)

 

14 October 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Chicago-Grand Rapids Weekend

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Did Over The Weekend

I had a 4-day weekend!

20141010_123841

1. I consider my weekend officially started on Thursday night when we drove to Chicago after work, arriving quite late but ready to go on Friday!

IMG_20141010_095850

2. Friday was, for us, David Bowie Day! (The official David Bowie Day in Chicago was 9/23, on opening day of the DAVID BOWIE IS exhibition.)

20141010_095607

Waiting on the steps at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art

The exhibit was fantastic, by the way, and made great use of technology: each person was given their own location- or space-sensitive device/headset, and the audio was specific to whatever part of the exhibit you were viewing at any given time. I usually opt out of the audio portion of the program, but this was super-cool.

20141010_124445

Waiting to be seated for lunch

3. We had a fabulous lunch at our favorite Chicago eatery, The Purple Pig! We tried a couple of new things this time: Bobota "Greek Cornbread" with Feta, Mizithra Cheese & Honey, and Eggplant Caponata with Goat Cheese:

IMG_20141010_140754

Eggplant Caponata

And we had a couple of stand-bys: Salt-Roasted Beets with Whipped Goat Cheese & Pistachio Vinaigrette (a recipe that Kate spent some time replicating... we love it so much), and Chicken Thigh Kebabs with Fried Smashed Potatoes & Tzatziki. Oh yeah.

4. On Friday afternoon, we drove to Grand Rapids, MI. Forgetting about the time zone, we arrived a little later than planned. Pesky time zones!

5. Saturday morning's lovely breakfast with Maureen (Rusty's host for the previous 19+ days), Maureen's sister & brother-in-law (who also hosted an artist), and Dona (said hosted artist) was a wonderful start to a very busy day.

20141011_132043

Kym & I at an installation outside of BOB (Big Old Building)

6. I met Kym!! It was about as fun and enjoyable as you might expect, because Kym!

20141011_115645
20141011_115645
20141011_115645
20141011_115645
20141011_115645

7. We spent a good part of the day enjoying ArtPrize -- and also lunch! It's a pretty amazing thing which you can read about on their site, as well as Kym's take, and Kate's too. There sure was a lot of "art talk" over the weekend!

8. Wireless connection being somewhat testy, Kate & I escaped to Starbucks on Saturday night for a little while. She caught up on blogging, and I started knitting a hat for Junah: Fourques!

20141012_110934
20141012_110934
20141012_110934
20141012_110934

“Intersections” by Anila Quayyum Agha - winner of the public vote; also winner of the jury's grand prize shared with "The Hair Craft Project" by Sonya Clark

20141012_110934
20141012_110934
20141012_110934

9. Sunday began with a lovely latte, waiting in line for the museum to open, more ArtPrize, and then the Seasonal Natural Dyeing Workshop that I signed up for at Have Company. I dyed two cotton hankies, one with walnut (to which I am no stranger) and the other with tansy. I love the tansy yellow!

10. On Monday, we all came home. I drove about half of the 7-hour trip, leaving plenty of passenger time during which I finished knitting the hat! I need to weave a few ends, wash it, and make a tassel (at mama's request).

It was a darn good weekend!!

 

09 October 2014

Artsy ahead

At 3:00 today, a long weekend begins. I'll pack, gas up the car, wait for Kate, and then we'll head to Chicago for an overnight stop on our way to Michigan. On Friday, during that little intermission in our trip, we'll be seeing DAVID BOWIE IS at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

While I'm not the biggest Bowie fan in the world, this is about so much more than music... as is David Bowie. Chicago is the only U.S. stop for the touring exhibition and, well, YES.

Our final destination (by Friday evening) is Grand Rapids, MI, where Rusty's been for almost 3 weeks while exhibiting and participating at ArtPrize. The event continues through Sunday and we'll load up and head home on Monday.

Meanwhile, Saturday will be all about ART! The whole concept of ArtPrize is fascinating, the conversations, the evolution... we're all so interested in what it's all about. Rusty's been volunteering, taking part in events, even showing up in a couple of video clips! (A regular media darling... who knew?)

Saturday will also be about KYM! We're only 190 miles apart as the crow flies (across Lake Michigan), but more like 350 to drive. We've talked about things on "my side of the lake" and "your side of the lake." Now we'll both be on the same side for a little while and we've arranged a meet up! So excited.

I just became aware this morning of a Seasonal Natural Dyeing Workshop at Have Company on Sunday afternoon and, figuring that I'll probably be "arted out" by then, I've signed up! It looks like an interesting shop, too. I've done a little natural dyeing on my own, but I love learning at and participating in workshops. Perfect.

In closing, some local fall color.

Autumn_leaves

After a little break, the photojojo macro lens is back in action!

Autumn_leaves

And some jacked-up banana bread a la smitten kitchen.

15274948898_572bcfb5b4_k

Because!

Happy Weekend!!

 

06 October 2014

They call me...

15461504775_d469dfb70e_o

KNIT BOY!

That's a tired 25+ lb. baby boy wearing the 3-6 month size of Heather Saal's Baby Leggings like a glove. He hasn't really needed them until now! The pattern runs a little large, so the 6-12 month size ought to get him right through winter.

And then it will be spring!

 

03 October 2014

Square One

I was successful in finding some Rowan Fine Art at my LYS yesterday in a green colorway -- a color that was somewhat under-represented in the overall (and very fluid) scheme of things. (Not shown here.)

IMG_20141002_165620

I gave Square One a soak and pinned it out before leaving for Knit Night, where, due to a Thursday night football game (and some other things), I was the sole knitter... and now there's a Square Two!

I'm feeling, as with Parcheesi, that some rules are developing. It's hard to know how this is going to go, being a Mystery KAL, so the rules are likely to be just as fluid as the colors. I hope it all works out.

So far, it's a blast. I'll be making 7 squares in this manner; then there are 9 more "squares that Kaffe has designed" and/or "colour way" releases... and I am hoping that it's much more the former than the latter. We'll see!!

Happy Weekend!

 

02 October 2014

Knit along

The Kaffe Fassett KAL started yesterday. And so did I!

IMG_20141001_085455

It's going to be:

  • Scrappy
  • Random
  • Fingering-weight (instead of worsted)
  • From stash* (because I have a ton)

There are leftovers from Parcheesi amongst my choices, and even some yarn reclaimed from a large experimental now-frogged Log Cabin square; Socks That Rock, Jitterbug, Regia, handspun, and a whole lotta Who-Knows-What!

I completed one square last night, and I *love* how the colors played, but it's a wonky M1 version and I may try the other.

*Feeling a little guilty that it's a Rowan-sponsored KAL, I may stop by my LYS and see if they have some Rowan Fine Art or something that I can add.

29 September 2014

The way it is

This just may be how it's gonna go for a little while: some photos, some words.

15181681467_86ccb47f9d_o

Junah came over early on Saturday morning and we tried to take some selfies.

15368149725_f7d4ea2864_o

Haha.

15369079652_57ae11cd11_o
15369079652_57ae11cd11_o

It was chilly, so we bundled up before heading down to the market. He's very serious -- and in focus -- in the first photo; in the second -- out of focus -- he's doing that thing where he shakes his head like "no" when he's excited and happy and playing. Love that smile!

15184323247_c29011889a_o

The sidewalk two doors down, on our the way to the farmer market.

15367670451_791a4ece80_o

It warmed up plenty quick and the sweater, booties, and pants were soon ditched!

15197236689_8e07da80a7_o
15197236689_8e07da80a7_o

The spectacular weather continued right through the weekend. It's been some of the best weather of the year. Following a satisfying win by the Green Bay Packers, I sat under the pergola and my own green and gold trees to rip back and fix a little knitting. I'm back on track with a little hat.

15387425981_ef41e86e7e_o

This morning's sky was beautiful. It's dark now when I leave for work, but I've been enjoying watching the sun rise in my car's mirrors. It was a big ball of fire this morning.

Clouds moved in around noon, it's a lot cooler now, and also raining. All good things must come to an end? As I've understood it, Indian Summer is a little stretch of nice weather that follows a hard frost -- something that we haven't had yet. So, yeah, I'm holding out for more!! There's a lot of autumn yet to come. heh.

Hope you had a great weekend, too.

 

26 September 2014

The week in (mostly) pictures

Sept23sky

Sept24sky

The weather has been simply spectacular.

Sept24beer2

Sept24beer1

Local beer flight(s) accompany lunch out with a friend on Wednesday.

Sept23dinner

I made Lamb Chops, Pearl Couscous & Snap Peas, and Harissa from Plated on Tuesday night. On Wednesday night it was Chicken with Anchovy Oil. So good. (That should be a referral link, if you're interested in checking it out -- 2 free plates for you, plus 2 for me.) 

Sept25bike

I stopped at the store on the way home last night to pick up a few things to make Bacon & Cheese Quiche. I wrote "bacon" on my list twice, and of course I came home without it. So I hopped on my bike and rode to the store to get it. Look how long the shadows are already!

 

23 September 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Baby, you can drive my car (again)

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Cars I've Had

1. 1972 Toyota Corona -- baby blue. It was my dad's car, actually, but was the first car that I regularly drove. It didn't have a radio, so there was one jerry-rigged that worked like crap. In 1976, the radio was one of the most important things!! I ran that car into a tree (by accident, and not because of the radio) and totaled it... so then it was really mine.

2. 1969 Buick Skylark -- baby poo. Ugly color, but I sure wish I still had this car! It's the first vehicle that I actually owned, I bought it from my mom. (I really wanted her 1962 Rambler with the pushbutton transmission, nicknamed the BBB -- short for Bouncing Brown Bastard -- but it didn't last long enough.)

3. 1979 Toyota Corolla -- brown w/orange & yellow stripes. My 1st brand new car! "Put in a radio with cassette player, and I'll take it!" I sold it to my sister Karen a few years later, and she drove it for many years.

4. 1982 Pontiac Firebird -- RED! This was my 2nd brand new car. It was the worst time in history to finance anything, but I'd just broken up with a boyfriend and, well, we all do dumb things. It was fun to drive, but had some problems... and could have been funner.

5. 1970- or '80-something Chevy Monza -- black. When the Firebird's warranty expired and continued to have problems, I traded it in.

6. 19-- ? Subaru wagon -- yellow-y tan. It was impossible to get a carseat in and out of the Monza, so this was our first "family car." It was the least reliable car we ever owned. It had some sort of problem starting in wet/damp weather... and we were living at Cape Meares, OR, at the time... like 2 blocks from the beach!

7. 1984 ? Buick Century wagon -- brown. Bigger family, more carseats, bigger wagon. Sharon's friend Bill, a passenger in the back seat once when I was visiting in Milwaukee, "You drive this thing like it's a sportscar!"

8. 1980-something Ford Escort wagon -- gray. I bought the Escort from my stepdad's brother and it served me well. I didn't take very good car of it, though, and it burned up in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn while I enjoyed Mother's Day brunch.

9. 2000 Saturn SW -- also RED! My 3rd brand new car, this one has taken a licking but it keeps on ticking! Nice and zippy, the engine was rebuilt once, it has inumerable body dings and dents (there may or may not be duct tape employed) (in several places), and it was "totaled" by insurance several years ago so has a salvage title. It's been Maddy's car for the past few years. 

10. 2007 Nissan Altima -- gray. Except for the Buicks, this is probably the biggest car I've ever driven. It's been good, and it's okay, but I'm not in love with it. I really miss the functionality of a wagon... and also manual transmission. But ZOOM! It is definitely a zippy one!

Oh, I think between 7 and 8 there was a yellow-ish Dodge Omni -- ugly & smelly, it didn't last long. I'm not sure how/why that ever happened.

Ullapool

On the road to Ullapool, Cromartyshire, Scotland -- May 2014

At first, I didn't think I'd come up with 10 cars, but that number is just about spot-on! Not even counting "Rusty's" cars -- the Toyota pickup, GMC van, Hyundai sedan -- that are or were technically mine and that I have occasionally driven.

None of these is my "dream car" -- I'm not even sure what that would be! In my dreams, there are many dream cars!

Ha, but that was a fun little trip down memory lane. Zoom zoom.

 

22 September 2014

Weekending

I woke up on Saturday morning and my first thought was: Camelot (where it only rains at night). It rained hard most of Friday night (again), making for a cold and wet market morning, but the rain had pretty much stopped by dawn and the day would only improve. Ali let me sleep in a bit, knowing it wouldn't be busy early, and then I was able to swing around and pick up the things she forgot to pack!

15299220415_66a283d805_o

And, indeed, it did get better.

15296077291_f2148e7327_o

And BETTER!! Junah came to visit.

My new favorite thing is the pudge wrinkle on his knees -- good padding for the crawling that's going to happen very soon!

His favorite new thing on Saturday was playing with my Stitched by JessaLu box bag, so squishy and grabbable.

His favorite new thing on Sunday was playing with the rug under Greatest Gran's dining table, and trying to pull himself up on a chair -- no doubt soon adding climbing to his repertoire!

On Saturday afternoon, Kate and I decided to see a movie. The Drop stars James Gandolfini (the last movie he made), Tom Hardy (we love him to pieces), and Noomi Rapace (The {original} Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). We talked about it and were kind of ho-hum after watching the trailer on Friday evening, but whoa... it's just that sort of deep, dark movie that slowly builds. It was great.

I'd watched every single clip in 11 Films That Already Have Oscar Buzz on Friday, getting me into movie mode... and all of a sudden very excited about the next Best Picture Festival!

15298992111_7077e8b2c3_o
15298992111_7077e8b2c3_o

We stopped on the way home for ingredients: Coquilles St. Jacques, Monteil a la James Beard had been decided upon. Mostly Kate's doing, I helped by making my first bouquet garni in ages, and my first ever beurre manié (as magical as making roux, but without the heat).

It was very good, and very, very rich.

15309756752_1f3fa1a126_z

On Sunday, I actually took some photos and updated my Ravelry Stash! Nine new items and I'm looking forward to doing more. That's one of two gorgeous skeins of Lisa Souza's BFL Sock that I bought last year at Stitches Midwest -- obviously not yet knit up and joining many other like it in my stash, which is the main reason that I didn't go to Stitches last month, nor Wisconsin Sheep & Wool earlier this month. Not usually too bothered, the stash is making me feel a little nutso right now.

Haha, yeah, it's gotta be the stash that's making me nutso!

I met Ali over at Mom & Joe's so I could watch Junah while she mowed the lawn and gave Joe's hair a trim, and we all watched football!

And, on the last day of summer, Rusty & I took the air conditioners out. We still haven't switched the screens for storms, and thank goodness because this week is going to be stellar in the weather department.

15314980262_f3394dd742_o

While Rusty finished up his preparations prior to departure for ArtPrize, Katie and I played a fun game of Monopoly. I haven't played in a long time, and it was so much fun! And I'm not saying that just because I won (by a mile)!

15133828728_a1b42b6981_o

Hello! Just because... I love this photo from a couple of weeks ago. That's my modified Hug Me Pullover he's wearing... nice and roomy, and so darn cute.

 

16 September 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Fall upon us

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things To Get My Home Ready for Fall

1. We don't have central air conditioning, so every spring/fall we install/remove a couple of window units. So that.

2. And also putting away the strategically placed circulating fans.

3. The overwhelming majority of the windows in our 130-year-old house are the original storms and screens. So that. (Luckily, there are really only a handful of windows that are ever swapped, and only two doors.)

20140913_183215_1

4. Yard clean up. I didn't do much in the yard to begin with this year, so that should be fairly easy. I don't think it was a big year for the walnut tree, either.

5. Since the installation of my rain barrel, we've hardly used the hose... but it's out there and still needs to be put away.

6. And water to outside faucets needs to be shut off.

7. I usually do a little "spring cleaning" for fall, such as laundering afghans, blankets, duvet covers and comforters, slipcovers, and sometimes curtains and rugs. I do some of that, as needed, throughout the year, no matter the season, but make a point of it now.

8. The Big Sweep -- I like to sweep the porch ceilings, walls, and floor clear of leaves and spider stuff.

9. Wash a few windows... also the mailbox, porch light fixtures, and probably some of the siding (spider stuff).

10. Decorate freshly swept porches with pumpkins and gourds!

 

15 September 2014

To ride... better late than never

We were hopeful on Friday night. After securing bikes to the carrier (one in the back seat due to overcrowding) and loading our gear, we drove up to meet Annie at our airbnb lodging in Egg Harbor -- IN THE POURING RAIN -- to be ready for the morning start to our 25-mile route in the Peninsula Century.

We continued to listen during the night as the rain continued to hit the roof of our cute little A-frame.

Day dawned on Saturday and, though there were plenty of puddles, the rain had stopped and it looked pretty good. We dressed, found some coffee and breakfast, and made our way to Sister Bay.

20140913_093812

The sky was getting blue-er by the minute! It was a bit chilly just standing around, but we donned our layers and once on our way... well, it was pretty near perfect. Mostly sunny, mid-60s, very little wind. All day long. Here we are, at Waterfront Park, ready for departure.

20140913_114023

And here at our rest stop, about 18 miles in, at Wickman House in Ellison Bay. What a great spread for us! Beverages, fruit, granola and cookies, and there was a bike mechanic available to make adjustments (tighten my seat, lower Annie's). We had a random run-in with our high school art teacher! I had him for several classes back in the day, Sharon practically lived in the Art Dept. during her senior year, and even Katie had him for a class or two before he retired. It's been a long time, but he lives up there now, very active in the community, and is a huge pickleball advocate!

The last 7 miles of our route started with a few hills, right off the bat. Like mountains, to me, I mostly walked up the first two, but powered through the third before cruising to the finish. I love cyclists -- so many of them sharing words of encouragement as they passed me by -- I muttered once about how much I really wanted to get off and walk up the hill, but I didn't! I lagged far, far behind both Katie & Ann on that last leg, but they were able to show me right where to redeem my drink ticket!

20140913_131133

So much yummy food. Now this is a post-ride meal: bratwurst, Al Johnson's Swedish meatballs & gravy with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce, cole slaw, beer cheese soup with cheese popcorn, chevre torte, Door County sour cherry crisp (with ice cream!), chocolate milk, and Door County Brewing Co.'s Little Sister Ale. 

20140913_131133

Live music!

20140913_131133

We've had so much rain of late that everything is quite green and lush! I was expecting to see some fall color, but there was barely any to be found. It looks more like July (except for the extra layers sported by almost everyone).

20140913_164420
20140913_164420

Annie headed home to spend some time with her boys (she's been very busy at her new job), while Kate & I rested up for a bit.

IMG_20140913_192024

We drove across to the other side of the peninsula to catch a little of Charlie Parr's performance at Door County Brewing Co. What a cute place and the music was great! Kate had seen Charlie a couple of times at last year's Mile of Music.

20140914_120123

Sunday was quite a bit more breezy. I was happy not to be on a bike, but it was a great day to drive home. We meandered a bit down the lakeshore before heading west to avoid the traffic associated with the Packers' home opener yesterday.

So, though my first ride of any note this year came at the end of the season, I couldn't have asked for better. I'm a little sore, but I made it -- and I'm looking forward to more! Maybe I'll even get a few short rides in yet before putting my bike away for the winter. While some of y'all pore over seed catalogs this winter, I'll be scoping out next summer's cycling events and hoping to participate in a few more!

 

12 September 2014

Currently...

...as in Right Now.

Watching ... the approaching autumn, and feeling it, too. Brrrr.

Reading ... Outlander, and I'll be reading it for a long, long time at the pace I'm going. I've been enjoying it; sad that there isn't a way to watch the series without a cable subscription.

#knittingforzim Haven't done that in a while, but baby needs Gran to knit him a hat!

Knitting ... I've been doing a lot more sewing than knitting, but baby needs a hat so I just cast on last night to make Alfalfa! Even with an adjustment or two, it'll likely be too small for Junah; if that's the case we'll save it for the next one, but I'll know what needs to be done to make one that does fit.

Or I'll find another pattern.

>>What's your favorite hat pattern (with ties or a strap) for a baby closing in on toddlerhood?

Highly manipulated photo of the state of the front of my #alabamachanin corset - darn red at near dusk is impossible to photograph! One seam has been sewn, there's still some cutting to do, loving the work (and my thread, always loving my thread) so far!

Sewing ... making progress on an Alabama Chanin corset kit.

Dreading ... the approaching autumn, or, rather, what's to follow.

Listening ... to everything! Truly. From opera to country, rap to rock, soundtracks to oldies, alternative, folk, indie, classical, Americana, jazz...

Thinking ... about a fun Door County weekend coming up with Kate and my sister Ann! We head up tonight, do a 25-mile bike ride tomorrow, enjoy a truly gourmet meal afterwards along with some great music and beer. We'll certainly also find some fall color, cherries and apples!

More Thinking ... about attending the Reedsburg Fermentation Fest in a couple of weeks with my sister Karen.

Celebrating ... every little thing.

Planning ... a long-overdue big family weekend up north next month.

Laundry day! Reminiscing. It's like laundry day at the convent... in #riodejaneiro #laundryontheline #100happydays

Itching ... to straighten and fluff my nest, readying for hibernation I guess.

Drinking ... a wide variety of beer.

Needing ... to continue getting my house/life back in order and on a new track.

Organizing ... my thoughts.

Inspired ... by the sudden resurgence and renewed commitment of some old-time favorite bloggers.

Having happily and regularly blogged through the Big Blog Slump, lo these many years, lately, as so many others are apparently refreshed and renewed (for the moment, anyway), I've been feeling it slip.

I'm inspired to try a little harder.

Lionbrandsweater

Ali posted this photo yesterday, "We're sad that this little handknit is not going to fit for much longer." It's the One-Stitch Baby Sweater by Lion Brand.

Delighted ... by my little Junebug. He's 8 months old today!!!

What's currently going on with you right now?

Here's to a great weekend!!

 

10 September 2014

#100happydays - Days 93-100

100happydays_september-mosaic

1. The parking expansion project is underway this Labor Day weekend., 2. Laundry day!, 3. Packed up another box of photos to send to ScanCafe today & found this favorite from my second birthday. I'm the towhead!, 4. Stormy weather... all day, all around., 5. New day dawns after a stormy night., 6. Working hard at the market! We had to buy a hat for him this morning.. Gran is slacking., 7. Yesterday at Kewaunee., 8. Going back in time... 2 months, the 4th of July. Junah wasn't quite sitting up without assistance so the boys, freshly repatriated from Brazil, set him up like the little prince. But, of course.

That's a wrap on that! I'll soon have more of a "wrap up" and something to say. For now, bring on all the days!!

 

08 September 2014

Summer of mystery

I've finished three knitting projects this summer and all of them were Mystery Knit-along Shawls! The latest to cross the finish line is the biggest shawl I've ever knit!

Follow-Your-Arrow_Ysolda-Teague_Mystery-Shawl_knitorious_2

And possibly the laciest!

Follow-Your-Arrow_Ysolda-Teague_Mystery-Shawl_knitorious_5

  • Project:  Follow Your Arrow (Mystery KAL) by Ysolda Teague
  • Yarn:  Sock by Malabrigo Yarn, "Archangel" colorway, 2 skeins from 2 dye lots
  • Needle:  US 6
  • Start to Finish:  February 7, 2014 - September 2, 2014

Follow-Your-Arrow_Ysolda-Teague_Mystery-Shawl_knitorious_1

Katie and I drove out to the Lake Michigan shore on Saturday afternoon and, though pretty breezy, I managed to take a few photos.

Follow-Your-Arrow_Ysolda-Teague_Mystery-Shawl_knitorious_3

The "little yellow house" near the pier at Kewaunee is a favorite spot.

20140906_142222_1

It's adorable (we've been here before) (some things have changed since then).

* * * * *

I managed to stretch my 4-day Labor Day Weekend into FIVE, and crossed a few things off my list, made progress on some others, and bought a new dishwasher. Heh. You just never know what's going to happen around here. We got a great deal and it's being delivered today.

I've been in fall cleaning mode... windows, closets, drawers... throwing everything that's not nailed down into the washer. I've been productive without putting too much pressure on myself... getting things back into some sort of order. It's good.

* * * * *

I haven't been knitting much this summer, preferring needle and thread (and making progress there, too). This morning I came across this:

Knit_along_poster_medium

...and I am down like a rug. Seriously. A Kaffe Fassett Mystery Knit-Along Afghan?? Gah. Details here and here. The knit-along starts October 1st!! Start your engines, gather your yarn! I'm so excited.

 

02 September 2014

Days 62-92 of #100happydays

August-2014_100happydays-web

1. Francis Williams hosta., 2. The rose bush that Mum bought this spring., 3. Fresh basil was made for this., 4. I missed my Happy Day post yesterday..., 5. Happily making progress!, 6. Aunt, uncle and 2 cousins in the hood today, 7. Walked down the bridge after knit night, during which I knit not & entertained my grandson instead (or he me), to catch the spectacular sunset at the end of a pretty great day., 8. My first game at Miller Park and this one's, too., 9. Second al fresco nap for this one today!, 10. Music & art & fabulous day. 11. It's impossible to get the color right..., 12. Twist & Shout about Point Vanilla Cream Soda!, 13. Day lilies in the sun..., 14. Another night of baseball!, 15. I had a lot of fun capturing some wedding day memories for this couple on June 21st. Tomorrow his sister, my daughter's BFF, gets married!, 17. Sunday morning., 18. Love my flexible blocking mat., 19. Stormy weather., 20. No explanation required., 21. Another really fab day with all three of my girls + grandson., 22. Knit Night: Sewing., 23. 2014-08-23_1408753121, 24. Spent some time with my daughters, my sisters, and my niece today making some creating some lovely glass pieces in remembrance of our sister/aunt and mother/grandmother., 25. 2014-08-25_1408930872, 26. I wore the amber earrings that my mom brought for me from her 1974 student trip to Russia to her memorial brunch yesterday., 27. Aahhhhh. Home., 28. It is both appalling & true: first bike ride of the summer happened today., 29. The street where I live... have lived for 27 years., 30. These are my pieces from last weekend's glass workshop with my sisters, daughters & niece!, 31. Spending some time with one of my favorite fellas and Dr. Suess this morning.

August 2014 = Home and Family.

* * * * *

That's right! I'll reach #100happydays on Monday! I missed a day late last month, but had one in the bank from an earlier exceptionally happy day (or a bad memory, either way...).

 

My Photo

My Other Accounts

Facebook Flickr Google Plus Instagram Follow Me on Pinterest Rav_link
free short rows knitting class at craftsy.com
Online Knitting Class
Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 03/2004
Victoria Mothes (knitorious) participates in affiliate a d v e r t i s i n g programs. Some of the links herein are designed to provide a means to earn a small percentage in fees.