Abbreviated

My sister leaves for Spain a week from tomorrow, and the boys a few days later. "Crazy" doesn't even begin to describe what's been going on: cleaning out, donating, selling, storing, deciding. Does it get packed? Does it stay? Does it go?

Add in the simultaneous family farewells and at least one trip to the consulate in Chicago! Cray-cray!

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Meanwhile, Addy had a birthday last Monday! He was worried that it would be forgotten. No flippin' way! They happened to be on their way home from Madison that day, so we made plans for dinner. I set up a taco bar, which the kids loved. And baked a cake. Addy requested chocolate, so chocolate it was... one of the chocolate-iest cakes I've ever made. Seriously, the frosting looked like tar! It was so awesome. (Hershey's Special Dark cocoa is the secret ingredient -- recipe on the container. I used a 9x13 pan and baked it about :10 longer than specified. It was perfect.)

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This is 9 years + 1 hour. I'm not sure what the broom was about... something to do with Jün, though, I'm sure.

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We'd had another Aunty Camp scheduled for later in August, and the boys were both very concerned that it wouldn't happen at all. I was able to arrange my schedule a little bit, though, so they stayed overnight on Monday and we had "camp" on Tuesday morning!

We did "tie-dye" with Sharpie markers & rubbing alcohol.

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From the top: Mack's, Addy's, and a onesie that I made for Gin.

I wasn't intending for indigo dyeing to be part of this camp session, but the boys really wanted to do it. I had just enough time to mix up a quick 5-gallon vat while the t-shirts spun around in a hot dryer to set the ink.

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And then threw them into the washer on "quick cycle." They are wet, above, and the color a bit intense because of it.

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In a perfect world, I'd have let that ink set a bit longer -- or maybe set it with an iron -- because it did fade some in the washer. It's still pretty cool, though! And the boys were so happy.

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Detail of Addy's marker designs. He wasn't happy with how his name was working with the marker, but it turned out to be a wonderful element of the design!!

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They also tie-dyed a shirt for Jün!

I had previously done an experimental project on my own to get a feel for the Sharpie thing... and it turned out pretty hideous!

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Thankfully, indigo to the rescue!!

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There's already been some discussion about the next Aunty Camp! Who knows, maybe it'll be in Valencia! Based on discussion, it appears that indigo is an integral part of Aunty Camp, so I reassured the boys that we could do that anywhere! And they also request the return of knitting. LOVE!

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Fast and Fabulous!

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Nine and Eleven!
(I can hardly believe that.)


At our house

This is the scene, more or less, at our house lately.

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And down the street.

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Around the whole neighborhood, really, and even beyond. Some of the kids are having fun with it, anyway. It's all getting a bit tiresome, but that's nothing compared to what's foreshadowed by all this work. Ugh.

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They didn't dig up my Japanese fern... but it looks like *I* probably should have. Hanging in there so far.

Yeah. Me, too. Hanging in there so far...


Ten on Tuesday Update: Summer Bucket List

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things On My Summer Bucket List

Originally posted in June, let's see how's it going, shall we?

This summer, I want to:

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1 -- Play with Junah -- CHECK!
                Trains and water play are the favorites!

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2 -- Cuddle with Gin -- CHECK!
                Lots and lots. She's 3 months old today!! She's so happy and loves to smile, and to watch her big brother!

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3 -- Get a BINGO! -- not yet.
                I'm not sure whether it'll actually happen, but I've enjoyed some pretty great books while trying. I'm currently listening to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and loving it, and turning the pages of All The Light We Cannot See, which I am also enjoying. I'm at around the half-way mark of both books.

4 -- Sew a dress for Gin (and maybe one for me) -- CHECK! (and working on it)!
                Tops instead of dresses, though I do have a dress in my sights for Gin.

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5 -- Take a day trip to Door County -- not yet.
                But we did take a day trip to the northwoods last week, and had lunch at Little Bohemia!

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6 -- Stitch on my Alabama Chanin Magdalena A-line Tunic -- CHECK!
                I'm not setting the world on fire, but I've been stitching now and then.

7 -- Finish Romi's 2016 "Mystery" Shawl -- not yet.

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8 -- Finish Kirsten's 2016 Mystery KAL Shawl (while it's still a mystery!) -- CHECK!
                I fell behind and didn't finish while it was still a mystery, but I didn't peek until the end, so it was still a mystery to me; and I finished in time to post in the Ravelry thread by the deadline for prizes. It felt good to meet a deadline!

9 -- Finish Ina's LOLA Sweater in time for late-summer/fall layering -- working on it.
                This was my project du jour at the last knit night, though, so a little progress has been made. I think it'll be my go-to project every knit night!

10 -- Go to the zoo! There's a nice, small zoo not far from us, and Jün is the perfect age! This would be fun to do along with my nephews, too. -- not yet.
                If it happens, it won't likely be with the nephews... they'll be off to Spain in 3-4 short weeks and there's lots to do!

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Meanwhile, I've also...

  • Attended two weddings as a guest and another as second photographer
  • Photographed an engagement session for a wedding coming up next month
  • Spent every Saturday morning since July 2nd at the farmer market or otherwise assisting
  • Had a nice 5-day get-away to the far north with kids & kiddos
  • Been more diligently working with Kate on menu planning and cooking
  • Come to grips with my sister's upcoming departure
  • Began weekly-ish mowing of Mom's lawn again while my stepdad is out of the country
  • Kept up with the laundry
  • Even occasionally swished the toilet bowl

FO: TTL Mystery Shawl 2016

If you think you haven't seen a finished knitting project around here in a while, you would be absolutely right. If you took a look around here, you'd think that this shawl was the ONLY finished object of 2016! In fact, it's the second*, though it is the only project so far that I both started & completed this year.

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This is my fourth Through The Loops Mystery Shawl!

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I had some issues... tinking back a few times to get back on track after dropping stitches.

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And I'm pretty sure there's an error or five to be found.

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But I loved knitting it and kept it a mystery, never peeking at spoiler photos after I fell behind -- until I got to the bind-off row, and then I took a look. I used a 5 US needle for the body of the shawl, but an 8 to bind off in order to get the stretch I wanted. I was tempted to knit a couple/few more rows of garter just before the bind off, too, but wasn't sure I had enough yarn. (Turns out, I had plenty... but I love it as is!)

*The first FO was Deep End IIwhich I began February 4th, 2015, while vacationing in Todos Santos, Mexico! I noted on Ravelry that I worked the sewn bind-off at the Madison Knit-In, which was Feb. 20-22 that year, but it took over a year to pick it up and weave in ends. I did that during the Rites of Spring Fiber Frolic, April 29-May 1. Gin was born May 2nd... and that explains both the lack of an FO post and the general lack of knitting altogether. I have been saying that the creative output so far this summer has been way down, but the cuddle quotient is WAY UP!


Yesterday

I had a hair appointment yesterday. My stylist, Kate, blew out and styled my hair so nicely... but with the temp (upper 80s) and dew point (72F -- that's TERRIBLE!), it wasn't long before the back of my neck was sweating and my hair was back in a very unglamorous ponytail! Whatever. A salon date always makes it a better day!!

The kids came over for a while in the afternoon while their momma was at a meeting.

There was some snoozing.

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Some exploring around the house and down the street.

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This is right in front of my house: DIG! Junah had fun identifying all the colors and made a game of jumping over some of the marks and lines (and getting me to jump around, too!).

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The gas line is being moved from under the street to under the sidewalk, with new connection to the meter -- it's happening all down the street, around the block, and in the entire neighborhood! It looks like I'm going to lose three nice old sidewalk blocks -- naturally, it can't be the newer ones that area already disintegrating. It's going to be a bit of a mess, but the actual work shouldn't take very long. I am assured that my plants will be OK. I know those guys with the diggers can be careful and precise when they want to be... we'll see.

There was laundry on the line.

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Someone loves it as much as I do. There'd be a breeze every once in a while, and everything would swish around -- even his hair would sort of blow up. So cute.

There's live music every Wednesday night at a park downtown. I can actually hear it just fine from my front porch, but it's nice to see it, too. Rod usually runs sound for these events, but last night one of his bands was also the headliner!

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Princess Gin was prepared! She didn't like the ear protection so much at first, but she got used to it. From glances I caught, some of the other kids in attendance seemed a little worried about what might be "wrong" with Gin that she had to wear such a weird thing.

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Just over 11 weeks old, there's absolutely nothing wrong with her!!


20 On Tuesday: Summer Camp & WI Songs

I missed last week because we were up north, but I really wanted to participate because I LOVED SUMMER CAMP! I went twice, with my cousin Gail, to a week-long YWCA-sponsored residence camp in Minnesota.

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Loved About Summer Camp

1 - Riding the Greyhound bus to camp. I did that at least once (my first solo travel!) from Appleton to Duluth, taking "the long way" (all those bus stops), and it took about 9 hours in my memory. On the return trip I forgot/lost my pillow on the bus.

2 - Horseback riding. "My" horse, both years, was a seemingly huge palomino named "Taffy." She was the sweetest & gentlest of all. I guess you'd call her a "rescue" now; she couldn't be tied up or she'd go nuts -- one can only surmise what that signaled to her. I loved learning how to saddle up and groom a horse!

2 - Arts & crafts time. Making lanyards and all that stuff.

3 - Swimming. Except that time I wandered into the weeds and had a giant leech on my leg.

4 - The kitchen staff. Not because the meals were memorable (or even all that good - I don't remember), but it was one of the cooks who ran out of the hall to save me from that leech!

5 - Archery. I was pretty good at it, too.

6 - Tetherball. It was for casual recreation, and there was always a game underway.

7 - Canoeing. That was likely my introduction to canoeing and learning how to paddle.

8 - Camp songs & campfires!

9 - Goofy games, skits & contests. I won the title of "Miss Ugly" in a pageant after my cabin-mates dolled me up... smearing toothpaste on my legs, teasing my hair to high heaven (no fun brushing that out), dressing me in all sorts of mismatched clothes... and for "talent," I sawed on my violin (which I had inexplicably brought along to camp) and shout/sang "Mary Had a Little Lamb" with no discernible tune nor key.

10 - Free time. You'd find me playing tetherball or reading in my bunk.

 

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Ten on Tuesday:  10 Songs "About" Where I Live

Hm. Well, Wisconsin...

1 - Cadillac Ranch - Bruce Springsteen (Drivin' alone through the Wisconsin night)

2a - Milwaukee, Here I Come - George Jones & Tammy Wynette

2b - or by Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton

3 - Wisconsin - Bon Iver

4 - My Cousin In Milwaukee - Ella Fitzgerald

5 - What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me) - Jerry Lee Lewis

6 - They're Not Tryin' On The Dance Floor - Jonathan Richman (Like Sheboygan or Eau Claire, they're just there)

Sure, there are a few other obscure songs that mention Wisconsin... but if you ever actually CAME to Wisconsin, say to Lambeau Field in Green Bay and attended a Packer game, you would most certainly hear these songs (among others), so by association...

7 - Start Me Up - The Rolling Stones (kick off)

8 - Bang The Drum All Day - Todd Rundgren (TOUCHDOWN!)

9 - Beer Barrel Polka / Roll Out The Barrel (start of the 4th quarter)

10 - I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas (WIN)

True, it is not guaranteed that you'd hear #10, but we certainly hope so! (How can it be that the Packers' first pre-season game is less than 3 weeks away???)


A few days up north

We'd been looking forward to it for weeks! My uncle was going to be away for a few weeks and offered his cabin to us. It's been a while since we've been up north at the height of summer, and we jumped at the chance. Rusty was in CA helping a friend with a kitchen remodel, and Rod had some gigs and also continued work on the "coffee camper," so it was just us girls and Jün for five days & nights!

There was canoeing, kayaking, walking, and hiking.

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And also a little bit of running (moi!) after Jün accidentally disturbed some bees and got stung a couple of times!

Trains are the big thing occupying Junebean these days -- the old Brio track & train that was his mother's & aunts', with the addition of THOMAS and PERCY... and oh, my, does he love those engines! He also had some THOMAS DVDs, which we watched a few times, and his book bag with some of his favorite books... including THOMAS! I had a very enjoyable time one evening listening to his momma read him stories at bedtime.

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Gin & Jün are starting to interact a little bit... it's going to be so fun to watch them grow together!

There was some hammock time (who knew that was so comfortable?)!

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And plenty of playing-in-the-water time.

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There was lots of great cooking and eating, everyone pitching in and... I don't think I even lifted a finger in the kitchen 'til Day 3. We made "camp food" one night with Maddy's direction and assistance... tin foil packets of ground beef, carrots, onions, potatoes, and lots of butter... sort of like pasties without the crust. So good. I ate every crumb.

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And leaving plenty of room for s'mores! It's been ages since I've had one (so I had more than one!).

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I didn't try it myself, but in case you're wondering, the addition of the chocolate covered pretzel crisp was deemed "too crispy!"

There was even laundry. Ali uses cloth diapers most of the time, and Gin is a frequent spitter-upper, so there was need. We filled two clotheslines... plus the dog lead! Thankfully, all of those diapers have inserts and covers with snaps, so I snapped them on the line, or we'd have run out of pins for sure!

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And there was an awful lot of this... lake- and sky-watching.

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And some obvious favorite subjects & angles.

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Every day is different!

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Maddy camped out in her tent, driven in only once by thunderstorms and torrential rain! Luckily, our days were mostly dry... if a little warm (though not as warm as predicted, so YAY!).

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We came home to some surprising, gut-wrenching & scary news that isn't mine to share and that I find rather sad, desperate & embarrassing, but am afraid will be inescapable, and so I'm going to have to find a way to deal with it. Ugh. It makes for a rather worried & moody Vicki.

We also came home to the surprising, heart-wrenching & exciting news (even if it's taken a while for the shock to subside and excitement to sink in) that my sister and her family are moving to SPAIN... in 5 weeks!!

Bitter, bitter, bittersweet.

Watch this space for a future Mediterranean vacation!


Li'l Gin's Geranium

Determined to get something made over the holiday weekend -- which, for me, was 4 days long (so what's the problem?) -- I cut out an Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic on Monday. I'd picked up the remaining yardage on a bolt of black & white printed cotton jersey with just that in mind on my one and only trip to Hancock Fabric's going-out-of-business sale. Playing it by ear, I hadn't given much thought to some of the other options and design elements, but when Ina wrote, "Calls for white armhole trim!" Well, of course it did... and, naturally, I didn't have any "white" jersey in the correct shade.

Bump in the road.

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Still... determined... I eyeballed the remainders and decided that I had enough to make a little dress/top for Gin!

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So I did!!

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It's the darling Little Geranium Dress (a free download) from made by rae!

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The pattern wasn't intended for knit fabric... but don't fret, Gin, Nona made it work!

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The bodice is fully lined, and Ali used the new snap pliers (also a Hancock score) to add some black pearl snaps at the back.

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It was finished on Tuesday, just in time to wear to her cousin's 7th birthday party!

Meanwhile:

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I've had a hard time with focus lately, but managing to move forward!


Right now: July

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

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Baby Barista will likely be in tow!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Yesterday's Parties

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Artsy

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

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

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

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Dripping 2

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

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detail: Dripping 1

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

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I also enjoyed the work of Nanami Ishihara.

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detail: Crisis Call - Day Breaks

And Kanako Akiyama. Mesmerizing!

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Waves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...and finished by Monday night!

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

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Clean windows!

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

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

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


Another weekend, another wedding!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And had plenty of cuddle time with her great aunties!

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

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Sisters! (And cousins of the bride.)

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

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Peaceful sleep the entire way home on Sunday.

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

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Darn good weekend.


Friday!

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

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

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

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

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


Ten on Tuesday: Summer Bucket List

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things On My Summer Bucket List

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

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

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

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

This summer, I want to:

1 -- Play with Junah

2 -- Cuddle with Gin

3 -- Get a BINGO!

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

5 -- Take a day trip to Door County

6 -- Stitch on my Magdalena A-line Tunic

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

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

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

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

What's on your summer bucket list?


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

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

First comes love and marriage (and dancing)!

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My niece was the photographer!

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

Then come kids & grandkids!

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

And Food & Music!

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

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

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

On Sunday, I took Jün for a little while.

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STRIPE STUDY.  ;)

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

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Comedian.

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Fantastic garden helper & waterer extraordinaire!

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

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Also evidence of my overdue first pedi of the season!

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

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Kitty says: Be fierce in love. #loveisloveisloveislove


A post with no name

On Wednesday at Match Factory:

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#threeballfreestyle #robertfraher #matchfactory #matchfactoryhortonville #juggling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Looking up

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

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

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

- * - * - * - * - * -

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


Weekending: 4 nearly perfect days off

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And here's one that his mom took yesterday:

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Melting hearts for over 2 years now!

Can you believe it?

Hope you had a great weekend!


Right now: June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ten on Tuesday: Memorial Day Weekend

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Did Over The Weekend

1 -- I made Rhubarb Shrub.

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

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

Rhubarb Shrub

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

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

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

2 - I made Shrubarb Cocktails!

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

Shrubarb Cocktail

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

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

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

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3 - I hung out with the kiddos.

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

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

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5 - I enjoyed some lovely weather.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you had a great weekend, too.


Mojo rising

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ten on Tuesday: What's for DESSERT?

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Desserts

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

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


Weeking

Aaahhhhh. What a great week/weekend!

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

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

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

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

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

Blondie powered my drive home after the movie!

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

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

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

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Junebean got his first haircut!!

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

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Ready for action!

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

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

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

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

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

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I'll leave the light on for ya!


Weeking*

*Formerly known as "Weekending"

May as well call it as I see it!

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

Meanwhile, a round-up...

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

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

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It was my birthday present in 1995!

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Laundry on the line has always been my thing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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It felt so great to sew in that tag!

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

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

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Mack could hardly get enough of her!

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She is pretty irresistible, and so content!!

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

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

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

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

Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I hope yours was pretty good too!


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

I have to keep reminding myself what day it is!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_ _ _ _ _

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


It's a girl!!

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Virginia Frances

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

Healthy and gorgeous...

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Just like her mama!

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 And her great great grandmother and one of her namesakes, Virginia!

LOVE.


April Birthdays!

Bloggity

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

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

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

Lester

And my granddad's 106th today!!

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

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

 


Right now: ??

Rites-of-spring-2016

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

Locations

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

Celebrating... April Birthdays!!!

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

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

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

Wearing... Sandals. Yay!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ten on Tuesday: LP Edition

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Albums that I Love

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

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

Buckingham-nicks

2 - Buckingham Nicks - Lindsay Buckingham & Stevie Nicks

3 - Flirtin' With Disaster - Molly Hatchet

4 - Tea for the Tillerman - Cat Stevens

5 - Damn The Torpedoes - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

 

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

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

8 - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel

9 - Songbird - Eva Cassidy

10 - Stardust - Willie Nelson

What's on your turntable?