Colorbox Quilt

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


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



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



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

So, naturally, I ordered it online!


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

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


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


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


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


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

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


CHECK: Finish Malina's quilt!


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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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

And then it's Mothers Day!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And also continue prep for the rummage sale.


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

There's a rummage sale in the works!

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

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

And also a possible bicycle ride.


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


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


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

3TT: A birthday & other things

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


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


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


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


After cake... and ice cream!

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


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


Rusty has continued work on their backyard playhouse this week.


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


Just because...


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

Unraveled: Cockleshell Cardi


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

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

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


Cockleshell Cardigan

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


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


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

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

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...

The merry month of May begins

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


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

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

It's coming to life...


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


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

Must be all the snow.

Weekending: Book Club Getaway

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



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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

3TT: The stuff of life

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


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

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

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

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

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

Also, Rocky Mountain Knitter Meet-up??

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

Unraveled Wednesday

It's been a while!


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


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

It's gonna be a quick one!


I love the sleeve/cuff detail.

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


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


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

Thanks, I needed that!

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

First, we celebrated Kate's 33rd birthday!


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

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend!!

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

Winter arrived.

In April.

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

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

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

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


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

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


The baby's sleeping! So exciting!!


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

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


The view out Kate's door.

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


Something new!


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

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

4-17-87 it was on this day, 31 years ago, when Ali was brand new! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALISON!! It was around 70°F and I watched leaves pop out on the trees from my hospital bed. As of now, our best hope is next Tuesday and 60°F... and I'll take it!

Head-to-Toe Red

I had a little outing with these two today:


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

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

Keep 'er movin'

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

This is what we woke up to this morning:


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

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

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

Happy Weekend!!


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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


Wiping off kisses ^^^. Haha!


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

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

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

3TT: Spring!!

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

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

1 - We had a date at the park!


They're holding hands on the double slide. ❤

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

2 - Adventuring!

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


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


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

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

3 - Snowdrops!


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



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


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

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

(Of course!!)

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


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

I cut the cord! 

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


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

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

It was a pretty good day!

NYC: The City

The view from the 86th floor was spectacular!


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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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


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NYC: Art/Color

This caught my eye, of course.


 And then I got closer and started to laugh!


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

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


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

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

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

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


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


Here are a few things that caught my eye.


Fighting Cows by Franz Marc, oil on canvas


Wisconsin Landscape by John Steuart Curry, oil on canvas

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



The Café Terrace by Diego Rivera, oil on canvas


Concord, Barnett Newman, oil and masking tape on canvas


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


Flying Dutchman, Man Ray, oil on board


Clothesline, Fairfield Porter, oil on canvas


Mäda Primavesi, Gustav Klimt, oil on canvas

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


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NYC: Art/Texture

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


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


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


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


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



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

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


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


The Flower Lover, Aubrey Levinthal, oil on panel.

I have two more NYC posts in mind...

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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


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

NYC: Art/Textiles

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

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

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



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



Igshaan Adams


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

And then I was dumbfounded...


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



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


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


Quilt Painting, Giordanne Salley,
oil and paper on canvas


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


or this one (Spring/Break)

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

Stay tuned, I have more to share!

_ _ _ _ _

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

NYC: Overview

Well, that was a crazy-fun trip. Kate & I drove to Chicago in the wee hours of the morning to catch our 9 a.m. flight. It's about a 3.5-hour drive and we like to be early, so you can do the calculations (yep, it was very early). The great thing, though, was that it was an early non-stop flight (also a great fare) so we had time to actually do stuff when we arrived! We also bought advance tickets for almost everything, and that really helped to maximize "doing" time. The Soho Grand Hotel was fantastic (thank you, hotwire!), but not really in the best area for all the shows; we got around by taxi on Friday afternoon & Saturday morning, then on foot after that. We lucked out in the weather department, and it felt great to be outside!

On Friday afternoon, we hit The Armory Show and Volta NY -- they were in very close proximity, so that worked out great!


On Saturday, we visited the Empire State Building and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the NADA New York Show.


On Sunday, Spring/Break and Purl Soho.


Window shopping near our hotel... the CUTEST, but $150 for a pair of kiddo jeans. Um, nope.

On Monday, Tribeca Bagels and return flight!

We never made it, as hoped, to the High LineCentral Park (proper), the Whitney Museum of American Art or MoMA -- we were in visiting distance of each, though. There's only so much time (and energy) in a day!!


Trust me, there are tiny green buds on those trees!

There may have been 8" of snow a couple of days before we arrived, but spring is springing in NYC! I'll be back with more now that I've sort of figured out how...

Meanwhile, I found this #throwbackthursday playlist on Spotify this morning and had to share:


3TT: Fun times

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

#1, #2, #3, etc. -- If it's fun once...

The kids were over for a while last night -- I had to get my fix before taking off for a long weekend away -- and we had a blast!

  • Redecorating the "holiday" tree
  • Eating supper (and ice cream) (the kids quickly discovered that they could open the "freezer on the bottom" and all the treasures within, so ice cream has been a regular feature of visits lately)


  • Playing with dolls & trucks & motorcycles & Lincoln Logs
  • Reading books
  • Coloring


  • Painting "pet rocks" and Easter ornaments


  • Mugging it up & taking selfies
  • Jumping off the footstool
  • Playing hide & seek

So, hide & seek is new, and Junah is crazy excited about playing that game. He can barely contain himself when he hides so, of course, it's pretty easy to find him. He doesn't realize yet that he doesn't really want to be found... all the excitement right now is about being found!

Jün hid; I found him (under a chair).

Jün hid; I found him (behind a chair).

Gin & I hid; she also made little noises, which made it easy for Junah to find us... in the coat closet by the back door... which delighted him no end! It was so cool, you'd have thought that I'd invented ice cream.

So then Jün & Gin hid... in the coat closet... and I found them!

Again and again and again and again and again!!

He wasn't any less excited that I found him there for the sixth time than he was the first. So freakin' fun.

Then Rusty got involved and I had the brilliant idea to hide the kids in the tub, and of course they thought that was also very cool. And then Gin started playing around with the faucets and they were both cool and WET!! OMG, it was hilarious! Gin was only a little bit damp, actually, but they need little excuse to strip down for a little nakey time.

This grandma thing is THE BOMB! It just gets more and more fun all the time. Counting the days (16) 'til #3 is due!

Random 10 on Tuesday: Takin' a trip!

1 -- Saturday morning, a text from Kate:

This is super spontaneous but do you have any interest/ability to go to NY(C) this next weekend? Fri-Mon. I’m just hoping to see a ton of art fairs and eat some good food. haha

2 -- There is almost nothing I love more than a spontaneous trip -- near or far! It doesn't always work out that I can be this spontaneous, with less than a week to departure -- previous commitments, getting time off at work, prohibitive cost are the usual culprits -- but this time, it worked out wonderfully! Yahoo!!

3 -- NYC?? I've flown in/thru/out once or twice in recent years, but it's been almost 10 years since I actually set foot on a New York City street. I'm so excited! I think I was a New Yorker in a previous life... or I'm gathering steam and will be in another.

3 -- Saturday evening: airfare confirmation (at a great price)!

4 -- Sunday afternoon: hotel booked.


5 -- Monday: Tripit itinerary filled in.

6 -- The Armory Show, Volta NY, Spring/Break, and the Whitney Museum of American Art are on the short list.

7 -- The High Line, Central Park, and MoMA are on the longer list.

8 -- Also a visit to Purl Soho (on my list, anyway), and within walking distance from our hotel! And bagels.

9 -- We're going to hit the ground running on Friday afternoon and GO-GO-GO until, exhausted, we board the plane for home on Monday afternoon.

10 -- NYC, here we come!! (All suggestions are welcome!)

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Right Now: Marching in

Anticipating... A new grandbaby arriving on the scene in something like 23 days!! Will Gin & Jün welcome a new little sister or brother? Ali says that she has no clue...

Celebrating... MARCH! February, like January, flew right by (not usually the case with February)! That fun little interlude with my sis in Nashville in the middle of the month certainly helped.

Enjoying... noticeably longer days! Spring is still a ways off, but we're also enjoying some warm-ish days here & there.

Itching... for garden fresh veggies! I just signed up for a CSA share for the first time in a few years, and planting started last weekend!! This farm is new to me, though I did attend a dinner there a few years ago. It's the extras/options that swayed me... we're able to say NO, from the get-go, if there are things we really don't want to find in our box. Ever. We'll have the ability to swap things out and/or add items, based on availability. And there's a mushroom option! We'll get a 'shroom share every other week.

Knitting... I'm still working on my Parallelogram Scarf! It's slow going, but it's going! It's Knit Night tonight, so progress will be made...

Swatching... I swatched for the Lunar Phase MKAL, swapping the original blue-green for a lighter one that gives a little more contrast.


I think "orange" will still be the pop color, but tested a dark red and pale gray, too. There are a bunch more photos on my project page.

Needing... to buckle down and Do.The.Taxes. I finished & filed Maddy's the other day, had a meeting with Ali's tax prep person last night & have a "homework" list, and need to keep the ball rolling so I'm not complaining about this for too long!

Speaking of Maddy, she messaged me yesterday to say that she "got the Oregon winery job!!" When she returns from NZ, she'll be working the summer at camp and, hopefully, supplementing with a bit of waitressing, then heading out west! What's that about a rolling stone...?

Planning... Easter dinner already! Well, just beginning to think about that (realizing that it'll have to be made)... mostly, I'm figuring out logistics for the watching/recording/re-watching of Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert! I cannot WAIT!

Reading... (pages) Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Listening... to Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Sewing... not quite #dailystitching, but stitching nonetheless! Crafting time is pretty limited on any given day, and tends to be knitting or sewing; rarely both, though it sometimes happens.

I can't even imagine how much little crafting time I'd have if I actually did housework...

Watching... Day 2 of the Best Picture Festival is on Saturday!! On deck:

I've already seen Billboards and loved it, especially Frances McDormand (always a fan) and Sam Rockwell, and it's the first time I actually liked Woody Harrelson in a movie. I'm looking forward to Darkest Hour and re-watching Dunkirk right after; historical context and all that. I've been iffy about The Shape of Water, but I've heard that it's pretty good.  :)

Admiring... Kate's brand new, just launched today, redesigned and gorgeous website!! She worked with Vickie Vainionpaa @ Brave New Creative in Montreal on everything from logo & rebranding to web design & development -- quite the process !

Wondering... what's up in your world this March 1st??

FO: Habu for Me!

On Sunday morning, I made my buttonholes -- literally, making a hole in my knitting where each one should be and stitching around it -- and sewed on the buttons.



I remember the day in November 2007, running errands with Mom, and sneaking in a stop at my LYS, Iris Fine Yarns, because I knew there was a Habu Textiles trunk show happening. I knew, too, that the Habu aesthetic was right up my mother's alley and that if she found something she liked, she wouldn't be knitting it.

Sure enough, she found something... and I knit it for her! That project was started in February 2008 and finished during the 2010 Olympics!

Habu for Me was also in that stack set for finishing in 2010, but I didn't make it. The pieces had all been re-knit to the correct gauge and all that remained was the sewing up.


I gotta tell ya, after almost 9 years in the making, it feels real good to have another long-languishing project across the finish line!


Maybe there's hope for the 40 +/- WIPs I have going, according to Ravelry. There's at least one large project **cough** Alice Starmore's Cromarty since July 2004 **cough** that's not even on Ravelry! (It also feels real good to update an old blog post like that once in a while. I'm blaming bandwidth issues back in the day for all of the 1" wide photos in blog posts!)

Good grief, now there's an action plan! I'm going to be going through that list, locating & assessing every one of those projects, and making a decision and/or updating the project status! Does it stay or does it go??


Back to the FO at hand! It's lightweight, timeless (that easy, minimal Japanese style), more or less neutral in color, and will be perfect for wearing all spring!