01 July 2014

Thirty of One Hundred plus Ten


The First 30 of 100 Happy Days*

I decided to begin #100happydays on June 1st because I knew that it would be a tough summer. I knew that my mother was failing and that this summer could be her last. I knew that it would be good for me to find some happy everyday. I could not have known that Mom would end up in the hospital on the 4th day. I couldn't have imagined -- sometimes still can't quite believe -- that she died on the 23rd.


Ten on Tuesday:  10 Ideas for July 4th

The 4th of July was one of my mother's favorite holidays. She loved decorating. (Period.) And patriotic decorating was especially fun! We always had a BBQ, and we will this year, too. We'll do our best in the decorating & hospitality department, but no one does it better than Mom.

1.  Fly the flag(s)!

2.  Use all the patriotic tableware!

3.  On the grill:  burgers, brats, and hot dogs

4.  On the side:  salads (potato, fruit, three-bean, quinoa, etc.), baked beans, potato chips

5.  For dessert:  homemade from-scratch cherry & apple pie

6.  With ice cream!

7.  Also for dessert:  Karen's famous chocolate caramel bars**

8.  Lots of outside fun -- be it soccer, softball, or just lounging in the sun

9.  Fireworks!

10.  Or, for those of us who don't care to do battle with mosquitoes and/or traffic, A Capitol Fourth and The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular!

* On Flickr:  1. Ta-da! This is the best of 6, 2. Mom's house, 3. Oh, gorgeous 3rd of June, 4. My garden... , 5. Home, 6. Sunshine makes me happy, 7. Half Way North, 8. Let there be grass, 9. A busy Vicki is... good, 10. So be it, 11. These three, 12. I love making job site deliveries on beautiful summer days, 13. Knitting break, 14. #thiswouldnthappenwithmargarine, 15. Happy 1st Anniversary to Ali & Rod!, 16. Japanese fern, 17. June 17, 2014, 18. Quick lunch & iced tea break, 19. Tough day, 20. Cousins (first, once removed) meet for the first time. WELCOME HOME to my sister & her family!, 21. Helped this gorgeous happy couple & their families by capturing memories of theitlr amazing wedding day, 22. Gonna have to latergram today, 23. June 23, 2014, 24. My sister & her family closed on their new house today, 25. So happy to have these boys back close to home again, 26. 4th of July shopping, 27. I drove straight home from work today, 28. My first week at the Farmers Market, 29. Prepping for the Fourth, 30. Mom.

**She has threatened promised a "healthier" version... and I sure hope it measures up. (IMHO, some things just shouldn't be messed with.)


26 June 2014

Busy-ness and distraction

Junebug was part of the airport welcoming committee last Friday. We heard the flight arrive from Atlanta. We watched passengers wait for and claim their luggage. We heard the boarding and departure of the return flight to Atlanta. But we didn't see anyone we knew! Eventually, no one was left in the baggage claim area except for us... and 23 bags circling the carousel! All but one of those bags belonged to my sister and her family and as we unloaded the carousel, they came sauntering down the hallway with a bag of fresh cheese curds. Priorities!!

Ah, Wisconsin!

Based on experience over the past almost-week, 5 months old is the very best time to be introduced to your 9yo and almost-7yo cousins! Expressive enough to be interesting, not mobile enough to be a nuisance. The big boys just can't get enough of him!


I watched the big boys for a while yesterday afternoon while their parents went shopping for a car. When they returned, I told the boys to tell them what kind of babysitter I was. They said, "The sleeping kind!" Haha. We'd been sitting on the couch and they were showing me their FIFA World Cup sticker books. I learned all about how good/bad each team was, who their best player was, and of course there were some standouts -- the best player of all, the guy who bites, and the guy most recently bitten. Heh. At some point, I'd rubbed my hand over Addy's face and he said that he liked having his face rubbed. "Well, here," I said, fluffing up some pillows, "let's get comfy." Mack got his book and we had some quiet time... and next thing I knew, I heard the boys ushering in a former neighbor lady. I don't think I slept for long, but boy I sure did sleep.

Things are getting done. At times, Monday morning seems as though it was months ago already. At other times, the sadness is undeniably fresh.


23 June 2014



Marjorie Donovan

January 31, 1938 - June 23, 2014



The boys picked a vaseful of flowers from Mom's garden because they knew how much she'd love that. They loved their Nonni so much.


The cousins finally had an opportunity to spend some time together and, boy, would Mum have enjoyed that. They stuck like glue! It's going to be so fun to see their friendship develop and grow as they do.


Even though this morning's forecast said that it was supposed to rain all day... and for the next three or four... the sun came out! Blue sky and lovely clouds over the roof of her house. And guess what? The sun will be out, for the most part, all week. (Hi Mom.)


15 June 2014

June 15th

So, today is my daughter's 1st wedding anniversary, the day my twin sisters were born, and Fathers Day.




A year ago today was one of the best days ever.



54 Years ago today, my mother was in the hospital for a very different -- and much happier -- reason! And, also, SURPRISE! The legend goes (and, yes, it is a legend): Having been told at her OB/GYN visit the day before that she had another month to go, and to expect a big baby boy, she was in the hospital a day later and delivered TWIN GIRLS! The hospital staff awaited placenta after Sharon (aka, Baby A) was born, and lo & behold, a half-hour later it was Karen (aka, Baby B) instead.

It boggles the mind -- almost as much as a woman who could look THAT GOOD holding newborn twins. That is my mom.


My mother is still in ICU, tweaking here & adjusting there; it takes time. And patience. And, oh, I just can't thank you all enough for your good wishes.


Happy Fathers Day to my pretty terrific husband, and dad to our three daughters. (Note to self: updated photo of hubby & daughters.)


(we did this)



12 June 2014

Send in the juju


My mom's been in the hospital since a week ago yesterday, in ICU since Saturday afternoon. She's been undergoing treatment for cancer for the past 18 months, and complications from side effects of a new (to her) chemo treatment that was recently begun led to her being admitted with pneumonia.


There it is in a nutshell, and it seems that's all I can manage. Please send good juju, mojo, karma, vibes, wishes, love, luck, and prayers. Improvements are slow, and maybe a cosmic boost will help to boot her out of ICU in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the little dude in the photo above is Mack and he turned 9 yesterday! Can you believe it? Junah is 5 months old today, and I told him that it won't be long before he's 9... only a few thousand days! I intend to savor every single one, but they sure seem to fly by fast.

Thanks in advance for all the love.


06 June 2014

Scotland - yum

A week later, I finally downloaded photos from memory cards to my computer... and these aren't them. I've barely had a chance to look at them. It's been a week.

Instead, these are all of the food-related photos from my phone. We found some marvelous places to eat & drink, in Edinburgh and beyond!


I loved the Fresh Mint Tea display at The Elephant House, and who wouldn't love "Cake Of The Day"? I was in need of an Americano at the time (Friday), and as tempting as Lavender Cake is, I could not get enough shortbread! Also, I did go to the W.C., as everyone must do at The Elephant House, and spent some time reading but, alas, no photos of that.



That is the perfect & delicious Deli Plate at Edinburgh Larder for lunch -- it was not the last time on this trip that I had some variation of beet (-root) mash.


Lovecrumbs was a must-do coffee break. Unfortunately, we visited quite late in the day and the selection of cakes was... zero. I had a delicious pecan bar with my latte, but still feel a little pang when I see their instagram photos in my feed. It's worth a look... beautiful food, lovely styling. *snifffff*



There was nothing to do but drown my sorrows. Cocktails at Bar Kohl - Lavender Gin for Kate & me, Grapefruit for Rusty. Quite refreshing.


We'd passed Earthy on our way to the Botanic Garden on Saturday, and that's where Kate & I chose to have lunch, while Rusty went off to meet up with an artist acquaintance. The market was just gorgeous and, oh, my kingdom for eggs like that! I can't remember exactly what I had here, but I know it was fabulous -- the menu changes frequently, depending on what's available. I think there was a poached egg or two involved; I had a little thing for poached eggs on this trip, too.


Ice cream break on the Royal Mile!


On the recommendation of one of Kate's friends, we made reservations at Field for dinner on Saturday night, and it was just lovely. From top left, Kate had Fillet of Hake with Parmesan Dauphinoise, Chopped Egg & Asparagus; Rusty had Grilled Scottish Sea Trout, Wild Garlic Gnocchi, Heritage Tomatoes, Roast Red Peppers, Anchovies; and I had one of the featured dishes, Scottish Beef with Mushrooms and Potatoes and was most certainly described/named much better than that, but it couldn't have been any more delicious.


We were in Inverness on Sunday, and Kate had scouted out The Mustard Seed Restaurant on a previous visit. It is located in an old church and was quite beautifully done. I had (starter) a Scottish salmon & potato cake, served with a roast beetroot and horseradish puree, and (main) grilled sea bass with crushed new potatoes and a roast cherry tomato & smoked paprika sauce.


On Monday we were in the Highlands... rather remote, at that, and also arriving fairly late. Not every establishment is open everyday out there, but luckily Jan & Mark knew where to send us... right down the road to Badachro Inn where we picked seafood specials off the menu board. Hello, little langoustines!

We bought cold cuts, cheese, crackers, wine & beer and had some simple late meals in the atrium at our B&B a couple of times, followed by a Scrabble game or two -- using UK word lists (a whole new world of two-letter words) -- while planning the next day's activities.


At a cute upstairs coffee shop on Isle of Skye after our trek up to The Storr. We had yummy pub food (fish & chips!) at the rustic Seumas Bar in Sligachan that day.

There were plenty of lovely meals that I didn't document. I satisfied a sudden craving for pizza with a margherita for lunch at The Steading Bistro in Gairloch, with enough leftover to help fluff up one of our at-home meals. We had a fabulous dinner at The Whistlestop Cafe in Kinlochewe -- the building isn't really going to catch your eye, but the food is fantastic (with lots of great specials) as is the staff! The cafe isn't licensed, so we were invited to BYOB, which they kindly put on ice for us.


After a Steak & Guinness pie for lunch at The Seaforth, Rusty hiked down to water's edge while Katie and I walked around Ullapool, where I was charmed by this little sidewalk eggs & tatties stand!


As previously mentioned, it was a real treat to visit Crannog Seafood Restaurant in Fort William for the second time! And it was fun to eat "American" food at Wannaburger in Edinburgh.


Here are two butts in the one-butt kitchen in our airbnb Glasgow flat; there was a third, but none of us could move! We had dinner out on one of our nights in Glasgow, at The Manchurian Restaurant, walking distance from the flat.


Pretty (and delicious) cocktails at The Voodoo Rooms!

Next up: scenery!

02 June 2014

So, of course...

Upon returning home from vacation, I immediately went over for some grandson snuggles!


He wore some snazzy woolly footwear from Aunt Kate for his 20-week photo yesterday. Happy little pudgeroo!

I was right back to work on Wednesday for the rest of the week, so Saturday morning sans alarm clock was quite welcome.  I ended up spending the entire day in my PJs -- an unintentional but completely welcome Pajama Day! I can't remember the last time I had one of those, and I got so much done.


I even measured, wound, and dyed some yarn for Kirsten's TTL Mystery Shawl 14! I was vaguely aware that this was coming up but had little intention of knitting it... until I caved last Thursday and bought the pattern. I'm loving the camaraderie of knitting this project along with so many long-time blog friends -- it feels like a good, old-fashioned knit-along!

The project doesn't require a gradient yarn, but I didn't have 500 yards of anything else (recommended solid or semi-solid) that would work, so thought I'd try dyeing a gradient myself. I'm very pleased with the result, though it was apparent from the first dip that the numbers I'd worked out were purely mathematical exercise. I punted and all is well, with an extra hank of a medium-dark to spare, but I would never be able to repeat this exactly!

Something to work on, perhaps? For a lot of reasons, I haven't dyed in a while; I'd recently packed up and moved all my dye stuff back home so I was digging into lots of boxes to come up with everything I needed. It felt good to be back at it, and the response has been good, so who knows... maybe there's more to come.

Hope you had a great weekend!


30 May 2014

Scotland is for Selfies... especially at Castles

I started with the selfies even before departure. Here we are, having both sailed through security at our local airport with TSA Pre-check. Rusty had his paint box packed in his carry-on, which included a few tools and things, and that was enough for a special look-through and no TSA Pre-check for him on the way home. I had it, though, and I'm not ashamed to say that I used it. I was hot, I was tired, I comfortably waited for him at the end of that long, long line. Heh.


I started taking them at every castle we visited and next thing you know, the SCOTTISH CASTLE SELFIE SERIES was born!


Edinburgh Castle


Inverness Castle


Urquhart Castle


Eilean Donan Castle


Dunrobin Castle


Old Man of Storr (not a castle, but towering)


Eilean Donan Castle again (WC/coffee break)


Balloch Castle

 Once in selfie mode...


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


across the street from Mackie's of Scotland - Ice Cream (also maker of good potato crisps, including Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper flavor) (when in Scotland...)


at Inverness Castle - River Ness behind us


in the rental car at Inverness, READY TO GO!


I have no idea where this is! Judging from attire and windblown-edness, it's somewhere on the Isle of Skye, maybe near Storr.

I think the smiles say everything that needs to be said here.  :)



28 May 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Memorial Day Weekend

Ten on Tuesday/Wednesday:  10 Things I Did Last Weekend

Well, it was definitely not a typical weekend -- holiday or otherwise! We returned home on Tuesday (yesterday) from 12 days in Scotland, so the weekend was the end of a pretty great vacation.


1.  On Saturday morning, I woke up at Croft 23 after the last of our 5-night stay. People, there is truth in advertising! If nothing else, just take a minute to watch the slideshow at the top of that page; minus the brilliant sunsets, the northern lights, and the sheep (they were apparently happy elsewhere last week), it was just that beautiful. Mark and Jan were our warm and welcoming hosts, and they were marvelous. Mark is an amazing landscape photographer and it's worth a "Like" on Croft 23's Facebook page just for the almost daily photo.


2.  Later on Saturday morning, on our way to Glasgow, we stopped at a castle to use the facilities, and also to get coffee... and a selfie. Ha. Yeah, we really did! We'd already visited Eilean Donan Castle as admission-paying tourists several days before.


3.  We drove through more of the never-tiring Scottish Highlands. Even after six days of driving through the Scottish Highlands, we still pulled over at almost every opportunity to take photos!


4.  We had lunch at Crannog Seafood Restaurant -- a place I've been to before!! Fort William was as far north as we'd ventured three years ago and it was on our way to Glasgow this time, so we retraced some steps. It was kind of fun to feel a bit familiar with a place.


5.  We arrived in Glasgow for the first of two nights at an adorable 2-bedroom 3rd-floor walk-up in the west end that I found on airbnb. It was my first airbnb experience and it was good; the place was just as advertised, easy to find, very clean, and well appointed. Cute enough to live in!


6.  On Sunday, while Rusty walked about Glasgow*, visiting galleries and museums, Katie and I drove west and met up with Yvette! I've cyber-known Yvette for years -- 10 years, to be exact (through the magic that is searching the archives, I've determined that the first time she commented on my blog was May 31, 2004!) -- and had missed her move back to Scotland from France three years ago by mere weeks. It was so fun to meet!!


7.  We drove a bit north, again on some familiar roads, to another familiar place. We'd visited Portencross Castle at West Kilbride a couple of times three years ago. I'd scattered some of Sharon's ashes there -- because she loved Scotland and had influenced our decision to go there (instead of Ireland) -- and it didn't feel right to be so close and not visit.


8.  On Monday, we returned our rental car in Glasgow. We had one of the most uncomfortable encounters of the trip -- any trip any of us have ever been on -- when a guy from the rental company gave us a lift to the train station. He obviously didn't want anything to do with us -- because Americans? tourists? -- no greeting, no response, completely ignoring questions and attempts at conversation, or grunting a barely audible one-word response. Thankfully, it was a short drive! It was a quick train ride back to Edinburgh for our last night.


9.  It may seem strange that our last meal in Scotland was at Wannaburger -- basically American fast-food burgers, fries & shakes -- but it is what it is, and it was really good! I'm more than a little envious of the food scene in the UK, and these weren't your typical American fast-food burgers! Wannaburger is a favorite of the American students in Edinburgh -- comfort food. Anyway, we ate very well in Scotland. If Wannaburger was the worst, then it was the best worst. Heh. I feel as though I've gained 20 pounds in the past two weeks (is that possible?). Anyway, while Rusty took one last walk-about in Edinburgh after dinner, Katie took me to a fun and gorgeous place called The Voodoo Rooms, right around the corner/behind our hotel for cocktails (mine, left, is Where The Wild Things Are, and Kate's is Mother Earth)


10.  Finally, having learned a little bit about whisky on this trip, we enjoyed a lovely last view from the lounge at Motel One while the sun set on our visit, capping the night with a glass of single-malt... neat (eventually adding a wee bit of water to taste).

* * * * *

Vacation was quite lovely. I fully intended to blog along the way, but our days were packed and connectivity limited. Don't worry, I'll fill you in!

* * * * *

*The Glasgow School of Art was on the list but was devastated by fire just days before our arrival in Glasgow. One of Glasgow's -- indeed, Scotland's -- great treasures, firefighters took extraordinary measures to save as much of the structure as possible, well deserving of a lovely Thank You.


13 May 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Let's learn something

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things/Subjects I Wish I Knew More About

I don't know... this may be another less-than-10! Most of the time, if there's something I truly want to know more about, I dive in and learn. It's not usually exhaustive research and I don't become an expert, but I've always learned more and possibly enough.

There are other things that I sometimes idly wish I knew more about -- art, history, mythology, literature, politics. I've found that my desire for this type of knowledge is often greatest after a conversation with someone to whom the word "pretentious" might apply. And, really, I know enough to happily function on a day-to-day basis. I have an open mind... things fall in.

I like to learn, but I am not an academic. I do things. I learn and make and do. Make.Do.

Most recently, over the past couple of years, I've actively pursued (in varying degrees) learning about and doing these things:

1.  Being a childbirth assistant/doula.

2.  Hand sewing.

3.  What is/how to make a moulage & sloper for pattern-making.

4.  Food and nutrition.

5.  Quilting!

I've continued to learn a little more about:

6.  Photography.

7.  Dyeing yarn.

I haven't really finished learning about any of those things but, you know, the need for certain areas of knowledge waxes and wanes like most everything else in life.

I would like to learn:

8.  Web design, HTML, and CSS. I have a leg up on the HTML because of my experience years ago as a typesetter. I can make a pretty good site (just updated Oceans and Dreams last night), but I'm certain I could make both O&D and this blog better.

9.  How to predict and/or control the future and/or weather.

10.  That way, I'd be better informed in order to pack for my vacation!!


Haha. And with that, I believe I've just entered the giddy stage of vacation prep!!


12 May 2014



Four months old today!!


It just keeps getting better and better.  :)


09 May 2014

New things!

On Monday afternoon, I waited knitted at a coffee shop and started something new.

She knits! That's some #NoroKureyon on 8 US DPNs... something new! Also #macromay #photojojomacro #knitting

It's Noro Kureyon cast on to a bamboo DPN, and the beginning of this:

Pop! #knitting #NoroKureyon


Meh... brown circle, black square. Trust me, it's going to get way more exciting than this because, you know, NORO! Also, I'm thinking of mashing this up with somethin' and putting a little spin on the pop. I'm not sure yet, but there's an idea rolling around. Each square is a little easier and quicker than the last; so far, three squares are done. This was started with an eye toward airplane/vacation knitting.

Then on Monday night I did this:

I had the old Husqvarna humming tonight. Opportunity knocked and I started another something new (oh, let me count how many ways of new)

A quilting class. Opportunity knocked and I started a quilt! I love quilts, always have, but was sure they'd be too tedious or time consuming. It was a quilt design that hooked me on cross-stitch, and I worked several (until sampler designs nosed in); when I was looking for a design for a mosaic table, I naturally turned to a quilting book; Parcheesi isn't a quilt design (that I know of), but it sure would make a great one! Except for a hand-pieced and appliqued pillow made at a Sister Weekend several years ago for Mom and a fairly half-assed machine-sewn high chair seat cover, I have worked quilt designs in most anything except fabric!

I haven't worked on it (or much else) since Monday night, but I plan to have the Husqvarna set up and humming again soon. You know, in my spare time.

I'm taking my TREK to the bike shop for a tune-up so it'll be ready when we're back -- the weather is FINALLY getting better! I've decided to cancel my fitness center membership; it's just not working and I can use that money elsewhere! I'll soon be hiking the Highlands, have some cycling events lined up in June, and in the meantime... I've been PLANKING! Why have I not started this sooner? Quick & easy, I can do it almost anywhere, and I can feel it.

Have a great weekend!


08 May 2014

Life in macro

macro n.  anything very large in scale, scope, or capability

* * * * *

That's sort of how it is these days... though there are many very large things! Ha. I'm not complaining, I am a responsible -- capable -- human being, I know my limits; it's just the way it is right now, the usual ebb and flow, not necessarily good or bad, I'm doing my best to fit it all in.

#Spring is springing in #Wisconsin and it's about freakin' time. We may even see 60F tomorrow. #macromay #snowdrops

Scilla - Macro May photo #2

I took the photo above as I left Mom's last Friday evening, using the macro setting on one of my phone's camera apps (I have a Samsung Galaxy S4).

My new Photojojo lenses were already here on Saturday! SUPER fast -- I ordered on May 1st, they shipped the same day, and were in my mailbox on May 3rd. All of the photos that follow were taken with a Photojojo lens.

Cactus flower... New toys! My Photojojo lenses arrived today! I will need to practice stillness. :) #macromay #photojojomacro

Cactus flower - Macro May photo #3

I went into the Garden Room intending to take a photo of my late- (or early-?) blooming amaryllis, but had nothing to brace against so all those photos were way too blurry. I found something to lean against and aimed at this little cactus flower instead.

Bloodroot. #Spring #Wisconsin #wildflowers #macromay #photojojomacro

Bloodroot - Macro May photo #4

On Sunday I took a walk to the back yard to check out all the bloodroot that's blooming.

Playing around! More bloodroot (I have a lot). #photojojosuperfisheye #wisconsin #wildflowers #mybackyard #spring

Playing around! More bloodroot (I have a lot). (Photojojo super fisheye lens)

The super fisheye is the only lens that doesn't fit on my phone when it's in the case. Luckily, my case isn't too difficult to remove!

She knits! That's some #NoroKureyon on 8 US DPNs... something new! Also #macromay #photojojomacro #knitting

Noro Kureyon - Macro May photo #5

Seashell... not at seashore. #macromay #photojojomacro

Seashell... not at seashore - Macro May photo #6

Thread (Button Craft, of course!). #macromay #photojojomacro

Thread (Button Craft, of course) - Macro May photo #7

Gotta say, I love them! I'm thrilled with these lenses and the quality of the photos. They could very well end up being one of my best purchases of the year! A little tripod would be next on my wish list, because being STILL is the name of the game for macro shots! A remote shutter release would be a bonus. Oh, GADGETS! I do love them... sometimes.

Calm before storm. #photojojopolarizer

Calm before storm (Photojojo polarizer lens)

Having barely reached 60F so far this year, the temp is predicted to rocket up close to 80 today, followed by storms later!


02 May 2014


April flew right by!


Last Tuesday was a "5th Tuesday" and that means a special night out for the Tuesday night knit group. The group alternates 1st & 3rd and 2nd & 4th weeks between two coffee shop locations, but it's a bit more festive when there's a 5th week -- this time it was Basil Cafe. Yum.

So far, May is dragging -- in the way that the days/minutes can drag but the weeks will surely fly by. Vacation time will be here before I know it and there's lots to prep for, both in terms of traveling and upcoming obligations.

I treated myself to a set of cell phone lenses from Photojojo, among them a macro lens (as well as wide, fisheye, super fisheye, telephoto, and polarizer) -- I don't have them yet, but I can't wait to play around with them! I'll be taking my Canon along to Scotland, of course, and considered taking a wide-angle lens again, but not only is that expensive ($2300+ to buy, $200+ to rent), it's also very heavy. The camera on my phone is no slouch, and this way, for about $100, I have a bunch of my favorite types of play-around lenses for always. I will use these much more.

Happy Mother's Day!


I don't know if I'll be able to keep up for the whole month, but it's Macro May! And I don't know if anyone else is taking macro photos this month, but I can't think of May without also thinking "macro."


Wednesday with Grandma : Sound asleep

I've signed on to do a big gig in Milwaukee next month, hiring my niece to help, and tomorrow I'll drive down with Ali & Junah to meet up and do a little reconnaissance. The event will be at Lake Park, and it's going to be a blast to shoot there!


Wednesday with Grandma : Waking up

I'm aiming to start throwing stuff into my suitcase this weekend, too. Not officially packing, but I have so many little notes to myself floating around -- both physically and in my head -- about what to take and how to pack... I really need to start making it visual. The main goal is to pack light and that means thinking and planning. I think it's when I wait 'til the last minute, as I often do, that I end up taking way too much -- 4 pairs of pants, 6 tops, 2 cardigans, 4 pairs of shoes for a weekend; packing for every possible scenario and/or mood and just not thinking.

Have a great weekend!


29 April 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Coming Home

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Good Things About Coming Home From Vacation


I do love to go places -- near or far, it's just nice to take a little break from routine. Funny, though, that it's usually the routine that I end up missing most!


1.  I love to see all the old familiar faces & places!

Triangulated cats in black & gray.

2.  I love sleeping in my own bed.


3.  I love having ALL of my clothes & shoes available (choices!).


4.  I love being in my own bathroom.

Kitchen is a mess. #thishappens #cooking #thismaybethestartofsomethinggood

5.  I enjoy cooking in my own kitchen.

6.  I like having all of my stuff... as overwhelming as it can be sometimes, it's all mine.


7.  The four-strong feline welcoming committee -- they may seem indifferent about the leaving but there's no question how they feel about the returning.

8.  I've always loved going through the mail... even though it's about 99% junk these days.


9.  I love driving my own car (on familiar streets).

View from planet hollywood

10.  Hands down, the best thing about coming home from the next vacation is going to be this:


15 Weeks Old!

How am I going to bear it!?


28 April 2014


We bought a house! Ha. My sister *bought* (accepted offer pending inspection blah blah blah) a house with the help of a committee.

That was so much fun!! Rusty, Ali, Junah, Annie and I drove up to meet the Realtor last Monday and spent several hours looking at houses. We each (except Junah) had a notebook and pen to jot down pros, cons, impressions, and thoughts about each house. (Don't worry, Junah had his say!) Agreeing beforehand not to get too hung up on or in discussion about any one thing while at any given house, we sat down afterwards to go over our notes and rate each property. Mostly, Annie wanted to know each of our Top 3 and the pros and cons about each one.

Let me just say that Vacationland Northeast Wisconsin has a very wide range of properties for sale, with an even greater range of prices. Ha. You have your in-town older home, in-town newer home, foreclosure, farmhouse, home with acreage, waterfront home, waterfront vacation home, cottage, and hunting/fishing shack.

I think we looked at every different type! Though it had some interesting features -- a chicken coop & silo among the outbuildings -- the farmhouse was out because it was the only place that Junah cried. It was also very remuddled and just not that great of a house. And Annie broke one of her own rules as we left one of the in-town homes, stating that it was a definite No.

After evaluation and discussion of all the rest, and considering some of the key parameters (move-in condition, timeframe), we all had the same Top 3, and mostly the same Top 1... or 2. After further discussion it was very clear which was the winner. Ann was back there for a couple of days later in the week; made an offer, it was countered, she countered again, and voila.

Remember two years ago when they sold everything to move to Brazil? Yeah, well, now they need it all back! Ha. She's hoping that their pared-down lifestyle over the past couple of years will carry over and that they won't accumulate quite so much. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I schlepped her to the airport on Saturday and after she checked her bag and had boarding passes in hand, we wondered how to kill the next hour or so! We loaded her carry-on back into my car and ran down to the mattress shop for the 45-minute sales pitch, testing out about a half-dozen mattresses, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were ordered before take-off.

Let's get out the paint and make something! Love this @alabamachanin stencil. #handsewing

I got out the paint and stenciled some fabric on Saturday afternoon. There was a bit of lightweight cotton jersey in the Alabama Chanin bag of scraps and I'm trying out a design where I can do some of the traditional applique & decorative stitching without it being an irritant to the skin. Oh, for another chemo cap. I finished the first and delivered it... and didn't take any pictures! So far, it seems that I'm better at photographing the process of sewing than I was the process of knitting, but much worse at documenting the finished sewing projects!

Decisions, decisions... black, gray, or maroon thread? #handsewing

Anyway, back to the new hat. First I had to decide on thread color!

Testing... prior to the cut (just underway). How do you like me now? #handsewing

And cut. Hm. #handsewing

That was not an easy task, nor was any of it very easy to photograph. The thread choices were gray (not as bright & contrasty as in these photos), black, and maroon. The fabric color is dark gray (first and last photos much more true to life), as is the paint. The paint has a touch of sparkle. I presented on both Instagram and Facebook and, as you might imagine, there were votes for every color, as well as votes for using all three!

I'm going for fashionable, understated, subtle, and stylish!

I have begun... slowly, because that is the only way... and I am using black thread. At this point, I think that if I use the other colors it will be sparingly. I also think that the plain stenciled fabric is really quite lovely and, well... argh! Why do I have to go to work? I want to paint and cut and sew! I don't have enough time! Send in the minions!!


25 April 2014

April 25th


Happy Birthday, Maddy!

* * * * *

We conclude "Birthday Week" (9 days every April) at our house, with a little #tbt.


Random cuteness.


 One of my all-time faves.


Possibly the best birthday party I ever threw, a two-fer for Katie & Ali with a cooking theme (can you tell?). I'm thinking they were 8 and 10 (Maddy would have been only 4). I cut up old tablecloths to make the aprons; they each accordion-folded their own chef hat upon arrival; they made pita pizzas, fruit kebabs, and ice cream cone cakes; we played food-themed games, and I had a blast putting together their food-themed goodie (mesh market) bags. Somewhere there's a photo similar to this but after the food prep, their aprons all smeared with tomato sauce from the pizza making... they look like a band of butchers! Heh. Anyway, it was a fun and very memorable party.


Rusty and I joined Maddy and Ali last Saturday night as they began their birthday celebration together with some friends. Here's our selfie after a Skype chat & birthday toast with Katie in Edinburgh kicked off our evening... and ended hers (it was very late in EDI)!


24 April 2014

I am...

I am... so happy that I had a day off yesterday that was about as day off-ish as it gets these days. I took care of some things that I had to do early, enjoyed a few hours with Junah* in the morning, had the afternoon to myself, made dinner, and enjoyed a relaxing evening.

*Junah! That boy!! He played his first intercontinental game of peek-a-boo with Aunt Kate during our baby-Skype chat yesterday morning and it was so fun to see his reaction! He is starting to anticipate things... like Katie popping back on screen!

I am... doing some sewing (what else is new?), mainly the summer chemo hat ideas. I'm working with fabric from the awesome Alabama Chanin Scrap Bag that I added to my last order, as well as from my own {growing} stash of jersey. It's a tricky business, these chemo hats!  It's all about softness and making sure that nothing might irritate a bald head, so lightweight & minimal stitching/embellishing. Thank goodness for printed jersey!

Coming along! #handsewing

Most of my fabrics are medium-weight range, as are these. The print is from a favorite summer dress of mine that's been too small for ages, but I couldn't quite let go. And now I know why!

I really want to try to do a piece with applique or some sort of embellishment -- something truly "Alabama Chanin" to me, and that I know my mom would like -- and have a small selection of lightweight (more summery) fabrics to play around with.

I'd certainly rather be working on another top or my dress, but this is interesting enough... challenging. I recall some immersion hat knitting for Sharon, tweaking and trying to come up with something she really liked... you know, as much as anyone could "like" a chemo hat.

I am... counting the days.

Dream drive - North West Scotland from Mo Thomson on Vimeo.

Ahhh. We'll soon be winging our way over yonder... I hope I don't drive y'all nuts in the meantime.


22 April 2014

April 22nd


Happy Birthday, Katie!


21 April 2014

Concert Tee Turned Corset

While in Point for the Taste of Wisco event last month, I scored a few t-shirts at the thrift store, among them a concert tee from the Hootie & The Blowfish Small Talk Johnson Tour 1996. It seemed like a great candidate for an Alabama Chanin Corset.


 So I cut it up and then sewed it back together!


The seams are on the inside, all felled; the bound armholes and neck are worked in a large cross stitch; and I left the bottom unhemmed (and untrimmed, so it's a little uneven) (and I like that).


It was a bit snug on me, but Maddy gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up the last time she was home. So I gave it a wash and then gave it to my girl!


I think she loves it!


I also think it might be a little bit big on her, and the neckline could be tightened up in the front, but otherwise... it's a huge WIN!! I loved working this top and I just can't wait to start another project. But before I start anything else, I want to fashion a nice, soft, Alabama Chanin style hat suitable (and comfortable) for someone undergoing chemo.

Also, notice Maddy's newest tattoo? The pansies are a nod to me!  :)


17 April 2014

In other news...


A lot's been going on behind the curtain! I recently helped my sister buy a new dress and get gussied up for a week of job interviews, even schlepping her around on one of the last days -- and thank goodness because she was pooped! She was offered positions from nearly every district she visited, and settled on a superintendent position not far away.

I'll be picking her up at the airport again on Sunday, as she needs to attend a few meetings later in the week. I also get to help shop for a new house!! I'm so excited about that. It's been AGES (27+ years) since I seriously looked at a house to buy, and even though it's not MY house... heck, BECAUSE it's not my house... it's going to be so fun!

They'll all be here for good in June. The boys can't wait to meet Junah -- photos and videos only go so far -- and, of course, I can't wait to have them back close. They'll remember their time in Brazil forever, and I'm sure it will have some sort of influence on their lives... been there, done that... opportunities and possibilities.


Opportunities and possibilities... I'll remember my time in Brazil forever, too!! Been there, done that! So lucky.

* * * * *

We'll be in Scotland in a month! I am beginning to think about packing -- camera, clothing, footwear, yadda yadda -- PROJECT(S)? That's the real question. I brought knitting last time and didn't knit a stitch! We did the dying workshop at Old Maiden Aunt, though, so there was definitely time devoted to fiber. This time, we'll be riding the train more and we'll be spending time in a much more remote (and relaxing?) area, so... well, everyone knows that one MUST BE PREPARED! I'm not in a panic yet, but I am beginning to think about it -- craft, difficulty, prep, logistics.


16 April 2014

April 16th


Happy Birthday, Ali!


08 April 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Peas & Carrots

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Foods That Belong Together

1.  Cream of Tomato Soup & Saltine Crackers

2.  Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwich

3.  Cream Cheese & Grape Jelly Sandwich

4.  Honey & Butter Sandwich

5.  Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich

6.  Peanut Butter & Raisins on Celery (Ants On A Log)

7.  Cheerios & Bananas

8.  Cottage Cheese & Peaches

9.  Bratwurst & Mustard

10.  Liver & Onions w/Bacon

Once I started on the soup & sandwich track, it was hard to get off... and most of these I haven't had in ages, if not years, and some not since childhood.

This post brought to you by free association.


07 April 2014

Eye Candy Monday



In case you've forgotten, it's the Comfy Hooded Jacket by Lion Brand, which I've Ravel'd as the Chunky Hoodie.


12 Weeks. Can you believe it? His hair is definitely coming in on the red side; not anywhere near the red of his mum and Aunt Kate (there was never any debate), but it sure seems more reddish than brownish!


In case you missed the update, it did happen! My finished and modeled transformed tee! All of a sudden, I've become so crazily interested in sewing -- more for how and why it all works, and for fit -- that I'm learning about how to make a moulage and a sloper! Two things I'd never even heard before last week.


03 April 2014

The 2-week Tee Transformation

From a man's 4X pocket tee to a woman's boatneck swing top.


I love how my first top turned out, and was a bit more careful with the traced chalk line this time around. I used two tried-and-true tops from my own wardrobe as a pattern template: the same boatneck that I used for the previous project as a guide for the top of this shirt and a favorite swingy A-line for the bottom. I had the fabric and it's a favorite shape, so why not?


I fell in love with some tone-on-tone polka-dot tops at Alabama Chanin and had those images in mind when I drew a chalk-line grid on the front of my shirt. I used the top of a spice jar to trace 2" circles and cut them out. My first inclination was to cover the front with dots... that's a lotta dots! I decided to space them out more, figuring that I could add easier than subtract.


I attached the dots with blanket stitch; seamed and felled on the outside; used a vertical stitch to apply the binding to neck, armholes, and hem.


There are "those moments" in sewing just as in knitting. More black thread wouldn't be hard to get, but I had only the one spool and no more at hand! It was SO CLOSE.


It's not easy to photograph a black-on-black top! The photos above and below are when sewing is finished and before I threw it in the washer. My chalk-line design guides faded but remained visible throughout the process.

I purchased the 4X t-shirts on Wednesday, March 18th and finished on Wednesday, April 2nd -- the sewing up was complete the day before, but Wednesday is when I pulled it out of the dryer and over my head, ready to wear!

I'd have finished a bit earlier if I hadn't forced myself to put it down after the applique was finished in order to finish knitting a hat. I couldn't pick it up again until the hat was done!


And after washing. It softened up beautifully.



I absolutely LOVE IT!



From that to this.

This is not the last of that!

Edited to add:


 Finito and a modeled shot! New haircut, too!!


31 March 2014


Ms. Madeleine was here for a couple of days and on Saturday we went early birthday shopping!


She'd mentioned her desire for a basic "tool kit" a while back, and was also interested in a new bookcase. So on Saturday we went to the local home improvement store and set her right up!


Ta-da!! Put together and organized later that evening!

It's done... again! It was too big & I had to re-do the crown. So hard to photograph a black hat! #knittingformum

It's such a cool pattern - Cloche Divine by Meghan Jones. Knit in the treasured & discontinued Rowan Calmer.

I finished a hat -- twice! The third Cloche Divine that I've knit, this is the largest size and even so I made it TOO big. It was a quick fix to re-knit the crown on Saturday, ripping back and starting the decreases earlier, and it was finally delivered on Sunday.

My sister Karen was also here, attending the state Master Gardeners' convention. We met for dinner afterwards, along with another of her friends. Gather Americana is a new restaurant featuring local, organic and, oh my goodness, delicious! They'll soon be adding a deli. Though I'm certain I'll return before then, it will also be the location of our company Christmas party this year!

You can't plan these things too soon.

On Sunday night, I did something I've never done before.


Sunday night BINGO in the church basement! And it was all that. I even have my own Bingo dawber. (Only one.) My friend Ann has been talking about doing this for months. We didn't win a dime between us, but we sure had fun. It was only our first night but we were already coveting some of the AWESOME Bingo bags... especially the ones in BINGO FABRIC! You just know how that would speak to us!!

Otherwise, I did some sewing and a few other things here and there...

Good words.


28 March 2014

Five for Friday

1.  I had a bad, bad head cold. Ugh. Seems as though people everywhere are sick! The weather is hideous and I'm sure that's not helping. Except for a bright spot on Sunday (maybe into Monday), when it's supposed to reach 50F, we'll be back into the 30s for the first week of April.

April, for crying out loud!


2.  I'm itching to get back to this new sewing project! I finished the applique and can't pick it up again until I finish knitting a hat that I started a while back. It took a while and, eventually, some ripping out to find my place! I'm on track now, ready to start the crown decreases. It ought to be done tonight. (Then back to sewing tomorrow!)

3.  Beth in Seattle recently penned the 22,000th comment here! Amazing.

4.  There have been ups & downs this week. I need a vacation. (47 Days) (I'm counting).


5.  Oh. There's the bright spot!

Have a Happy Weekend!


21 March 2014

Well, that was fun

Keeping Random.org busy today...

I'm very happy to announce that Therese G. is the winner of the Craftsy class giveaway. Therese, Craftsy has sent a link for you class directly to you. Thank you!!

The winner of the second Craftsy class is Margene!! I may have squealed out loud this morning as I counted and landed on her name, and I couldn't wait to send her gift! Since she recently expressed her interest in Alabama Chanin style sewing, I'm pretty confident that I know which class she'll choose.

Thanks for all the 10-year fun. I've written over 2500 posts in the 10 years I've been blogging and shortly -- very shortly -- someone will leave the 22,000th comment on one of those posts. The milestones just keep coming!


I scored some new 4XL men's t-shirts the other day -- so much fabric! I couldn't wait to start deconstruction and am already busy making another top! This one is a mash-up of two favorite styles for summer.

I can't stop!

This weekend, though, I really need to finish knitting a hat I've had on the needles for too long!

And work at getting rid of a cold. Yuck.

Maybe it's the world telling me that it's House of Cards S2 weekend at my house. heh.


20 March 2014

10 Years!

TODAY!! It's the First Day of Spring (yahoo!) and my 10th Blogiversary! Here's the last installment of TEN for TEN.


I'm not altogether sure I'd have kept this up for 10 years if it wasn't for you.

You've offered advice and support through some bad times, and you've celebrated the joys and triumphs of many good times! You've certainly encouraged, enabled, and influenced me. I wouldn't be half the knitter I am if it weren't for blogging. And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't presently have my foot stuck in the rabbit hole of hand sewing, either, if it weren't for blogging.

It's not always easy writing this blog and, in glancing back these last 10 days over the past decade, I can see how much things have changed -- what I share, how I write, and the pictures. Sheesh! There are certainly some cringe-worthy photos, but I did what I could with what I had (P.S. I still love you, Sony DSC-85!). What struck me most was the size! I recall bandwidth being an issue at times, back in the day, but postage stamp photos -- I guess everyone just "clicked to make big" the photos they really wanted to see. Because, wow, TINY. (I fixed some of those as I ran across them.)

But holy cow, 10 years! 

Thank you!! Thank you for reading, laughing, crying, encouraging, enabling, and just for being there. It's always comforting to know that there's a big collective shoulder here, and someone willing to listen.

* * * * *

So, all week I've posted the link for the Craftsy Class Giveaway and I think I'll be ready to announce the winner tomorrow. That giveaway doesn't really have anything to do with me, I've just given it some space and airtime, so I've decided that I will give away another Craftsy Class and probably some other presents, too! Because, holy cow, 10 years!

I'll randomly draw winners from all who leave or have left a comment on any of the Ten for Ten posts, including this one, through midnight CST tonight.

*Giveaways have ended*

Thanks again!

* * * * *


That's Ten for Ten!

* * * * *

I'm hosting a Craftsy giveaway. Follow the link below and you could win a class of your choice, up to $59.99 in value -- only 1 more day to enter. 

Enter to win a Craftsy class!

*Giveaway has ended*

You will need to either log in or create an account to enter the giveaway. Entries will be accepted through midnight CST on Thursday, March 20th -- the First Day of Spring and also my 10th Blogiversary! The winner will be chosen (using Random.org) and directly notified (via email with the free-class link) by Craftsy!

Some of the Craftsy classes I've enjoyed include Natalie Chanin's Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Appliqué, Beading and Embroidery, Angela Tong's Rigid Heddle Weaving, and Amy Herzog's Knit To Flatter. There's much to choose from!

Clara Parkes' Know Your Yarn: Choose the Perfect Yarn Every Time!

19 March 2014

Sheep & Wool

I'm celebrating my 10th Blogiversary on the First Day of Spring! To mark the occasion, which totally blows my mind, I thought I'd share TEN for TEN.


That's what it's all about, isn't it? It is for me, at least; wool being the fiber I knit with most. There are fiber festivals everywhere -- I think the Events page at Knitter's Review is probably the most complete yet very concise list. Probably one of the biggest and well known is New York Sheep & Wool Festival (or Rhinebeck), which I've gone to three times; Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival isn't too shabby, and I finally made it there a few years ago (and a couple of times since).


Rhinebeck 2005.

My first and, man, was it wet! Flight delays, traffic delays, juggled plans... it's a wonder I made it at all. St. Brigid was my sweater that year.


Rhinebeck 2006 -- Rhinebeck Bingo!

We had a soundtrack! So much fun that year -- I met so many people (Carole, it was 2006!). My sweater was Fib.


Rhinebeck 2007.

I don't think I had a sweater that year, it was the year of the cowl (for me)!  If I'm not mistaken, it was fairly warm that year, anyway.

Besides the people -- the people are always the best part of these things -- and the wool, the next best things about Rhinebeck are definitely Artichokes French and chicken pot pies! People, Wool, Food... in that order. Or People, Food, Wool? I guess it depends on how hungry I am.

image from www.flickr.com

image from www.flickr.com

WI Sheep & Wool - 2010.

My first time! Sharon had just rented her apartment there, but didn't move in for another month. Compared to Rhinebeck, this festival is a lot smaller, but the quality of vendors is right up there -- many of the same! In fact, Susan's Fiber Shop is located in Wisconsin but I've only ever shopped there at festivals!


WI Sheep & Wool - 2011.

I met my cousin Rae and her husband in Jefferson for a fun wooly day in 2011. I still have that mohair... still really love it! Ha.


WI Sheep & Wool - 2012.

I went to Wisconsin Sheep & Wool in 2012 to assist Dixie in her booth for Yellow Dog Knitting. In return, she gave me some space to display and sell a few of my wares. I hadn't worked as a vendor at a festival in a long time... it was fun!

Slightly abbreviated today (compared to some of the other posts in this series) because it's Junah Day! Tomorrow promises to be much the same as I'll be away for most of the day.

* * * * *


There's more to come... One to go!

* * * * *

I'm hosting a Craftsy giveaway. Follow the link below and you could win a class of your choice, up to $59.99 in value -- only 1 more day to enter. 

Enter to win a Craftsy class!

*Giveaway has ended*

You will need to either log in or create an account to enter the giveaway. Entries will be accepted through midnight CST on Thursday, March 20th -- the First Day of Spring and also my 10th Blogiversary! The winner will be chosen (using Random.org) and directly notified (via email with the free-class link) by Craftsy!

Some of the Craftsy classes I've enjoyed include Natalie Chanin's Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Appliqué, Beading and Embroidery, Angela Tong's Rigid Heddle Weaving, and Amy Herzog's Knit To Flatter. There's much to choose from!

Clara Parkes' Know Your Yarn: Choose the Perfect Yarn Every Time!


18 March 2014

Have (knitting) needles will travel

I'm celebrating my 10th Blogiversary on the First Day of Spring! To mark the occasion, which totally blows my mind, I thought I'd share TEN for TEN.


One of the best things to happen in 10 years of blogging is connecting with other like-minded people. I discovered a small (& growing) group of people blogging about knitting 10 years ago. Knitting initially drew us together, of course, but as time has passed and life happened, some of those people are blogging about other things (instead of or in addition to knitting), they're occupied by caring for their families or busy at work, they aren't blogging at all, or maybe they're more often found on less time-intensive social media such as Twitter or Facebook or Instagram -- more or less (like, I'm on Twitter, but I'm hardly ever on Twitter). Some people have dropped out altogether over the years and, sadly, some have passed.

And blogging has exploded... there's a whole galaxy of blogs out there beyond the knit-blog system. There are new and interesting blogs on all kinds of subjects to discover all the time.

I've often felt that the curse of the internet is that we are able to make connections with all these people that we'd love to maybe sit down and have coffee & knit with... except that they live 1000 miles away, in another country, or over an ocean! It's only natural that there would be a desire to connect one-on-one with some of those like-minded people and I have been fortunate to do so, with knitters both near and far.

I like to think that I'd be a Quitter by now, no matter what, but I know that I'm 9 years Quit right now because of Ann & Cara. I'd never met them -- they hadn't met each other yet -- we barely even knew what each other looked like when Ann & I decided to quit smoking together in March of 2005! I think most people were still in the "shy" stages of blogging back then.

My recollection is that a few weeks in, Ann & I briefly mentioned taking a celebratory trip where we would actually meet each other -- maybe half-way, like someplace in Ohio -- and maybe after a year.



Lo, my husband had an opportunity to participate in a New York show just three months after the Quit and I jumped at the chance to go along! New York 2005. It was only my second time visiting in NYC, and one of the best little get-aways ever! I met Cara, Ann, Katy, Nancy, Cassie, and others. 


We stayed at The Benjamin and I had fun making choice from the pillow menu!


We shopped for buttons and at yarn stores galore; knit at the library; ate bagels, NY pizza, and burgers in the park; had so much fun making virtual friends real.


If that wasn't enough, I found myself in NY again in the Autumn of 2005 (and 2006 & 2007) to visit Ann & Cara and go to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck!


Sheep & Wool Festivals merit a post of their own (coming up), but here's a teaser photo -- Peggy, Cara & Ann at The Fold's booth, Rhinebeck 2005.



In September 2006, I helped Dixie at Yellow Dog Knitting spread the word that Stephanie would be spending A Sunday in Eau Claire on a book tour stop.


It was a fun day and I met face-to-face with even more knit-blog friends from Wisconsin & Minnesota.


One of the many highlights of that day was meeting Joyce Williams again. I'd taken a class about a year and a half earlier that she'd given with Lizbeth Upitis. I just loved her spirit! I love this KNIT POWER photo of Joyce, Dixie & I wearing our knitting rings!


In December 2006, after seeing an amazing Elizabeth Zimmermann exhibit in Madison, I waxed poetic about how wonderful Wisconsin is... for knitters.


1st meet up with Angie - 2007


A few undocumented meet-ups before and since this photo - 2012


 Knitting (looks like a Parcheesi square) in Luck with Kathy - May 2010

I've met/met up with numerous knit-bloggers around the state -- Madison & surrounding area, Marshfield, Luck, and locally -- both on purpose and accidentally (Bobbi - as our daughters began college at the same school!), and of course knitting almost weekly with my local knitting groups! I've visited blog friends/campers at Knitting Camp, and at the Knit-In.


March 2008. After about a year delay, I hitched a ride with Katie and finally made it to Minneapolis for a visit with Deb! I also met (for the first time or again) Kathy, Chris, Brenda, CursingMama, and Renee; visited a couple of wonderful yarn shops and, really, just had the most wonderful time.


An exhibit at MoMA that Katie wanted to see was the spark that led to another fun trip in August 2008 with Maddy, too! We visited with Cara in NJ, Ann in NY, drove out to Montauk, and also were able to meet up with Terry & her family, Katy, and Claire.


A mutual interest in both knitting and photography, not to mention some other similarities in our lives, led to a most enjoyable trip to Berkeley and the San Francisco area to visit Celia in October 2010.

Among the many highlights of that trip was dinner and a Parcheesi mash up (mine still in pieces) with Janine (pattern info here), Rachael and Lala, and more!

I was able to meet up with Celia again in November 2012 when I traveled to San Francisco to meet Rusty for a long birthday weekend.



In September 2011, I flew out to Salt Lake City for the Rocky Mountain Knitters' Retreat at Alta. But, of course, the real reason the opportunity to spend time with Margene (we'd previously met at Rhinebeck) and visit Silver Lake. I also met Cheryl at the retreat, and a chance meeting with Mim later!

Those are most of the highlights -- I'm sure I've missed something! I've not been spending a ton of time nor exhaustively researching any of these topics... it's all been by the seat of my pants, just the way I've always blogged! (I have learned that I could make better use of Categories in my blog posts. Heh.)

Anyway, it's  unlikely I'd have met most, if not all, of these people had I not started blogging 10 years ago, much less traveled to meet with them, knit with them, laugh and drink and take pictures and make merry with them!! The $21K I've saved by not buying cigarettes over the past 9 years has certainly helped to fund some of this travel... it's all connected. It's all pretty wonderful. And I am definitely looking forward to more.

* * * * *


There's plenty more to come... Two to go!

* * * * *

I'm hosting a Craftsy giveaway. Follow the link below and you could win a class of your choice, up to $59.99 in value -- only 2 more days to enter. 

Enter to win a Craftsy class!

*Giveaway has ended*

You will need to either log in or create an account to enter the giveaway. Entries will be accepted through midnight CST on Thursday, March 20th -- the First Day of Spring and also my 10th Blogiversary! The winner will be chosen (using Random.org) and directly notified (via email with the free-class link) by Craftsy!

Some of the Craftsy classes I've enjoyed include Natalie Chanin's Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Appliqué, Beading and Embroidery, Angela Tong's Rigid Heddle Weaving, and Amy Herzog's Knit To Flatter. There's much to choose from!

If you just can't wait, there's a sale! Save up to 50% off all classes during Craftsy's Endless Creativity Sale -- sale extended through midnight (MT) TODAY.




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