Retreat!

I packed up my car last Wednesday -- knitting, fabric, stencils, a few patterns, paints, airbrush, air compressor... some clothes (including my winter coat & some woolens) (just in case!) -- and headed 'round the bottom of the lake to MICHIGAN and Kym's house for our own stitching retreat! 

My departure was a little later than I'd hoped, mainly because had to paint some more swatches before I left.

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I ran into some slow traffic in Chicago on the way... it never actually stopped, so I guess that's okay? My calf muscle sure got sore from going back & forth between the brake & accelerator pedals! Michigan is in another time zone, so I lost an hour on the way, and arrived in Kym's driveway at right about 6 p.m.

On Thursday, we headed north to the cabin.

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Fields full of pumpkins!

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We walked down to have a look at the lake, and on the walk back up (100 steps!), I photographed some mushrooms.

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They'd both seen better days (or hours), but they're super intriguing popping up through all that autumnal texture. We took a little walk through the woods, too. That little nature break was really great.

And there was stitching...

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I was a little obsessed with my swatches, trying to figure out a plan for my project(s)...

We drove up toward Traverse City and over to Cedar and Glen Arbor for a little tour of the northern lower peninsula and a glimpse of the lake (through raindrops) from the other side! One of our stops was at Wool & Honey... what a nice little shop. I didn't need any yarn, but I found some anyway. They had a lot of cute notions & things -- especially enamel pins -- and I sort of hit overload and had to back.away.from.the.pins! Besides a couple of hanks of yarn, I found some beautiful note cards and a small glass vial with metal hexi-shaped stitch markers. (I love that little vial.) And we had a great lunch at Art's Tavern.

We headed back to Kym's on Saturday, and on Sunday we got serious...

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It was time to cut some of the things we planned to paint! Kym's kitchen island also makes a darn good cutting table.

Meanwhile, I was also working on my Car Jacket.

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Trying new things, such as COLOR! An entire spool full of Eggplant embroidery floss is a bit much, but a few strands... works pretty well. (Thanks, Kym!)

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I'd focused a lot on the top third of this project at first, but it's starting to fill in all over!

On Monday, we took a trip to Field's Fabrics.

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Oh my, that was fun! I can't remember the last time I was at a fabric store like that -- the focus was about 100% on fabrics and sewing. I found some great fabrics for (next) summer dresses for the girls, and for Christmas gifts for the some of the travelers in my family. And other stuff.

On Monday, IT WAS TIME TO PAINT!!

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That's a skirt under the Abstract stencil that I recently cut, and Kym is working on a dress panel with her June's Spring stencil.

Everything was going great and just as we stopped for a break, my compressor died. It overheated, I think, and the (inaccessible) automatic reset button never reset, so...

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...we went shopping for a new one! Kym got one, too!! This is a "pancake" model, where my other one was a "hot dog" << new random knowledge, and it has some nice features (quick connect hose, a place to wind the cord, a velcro strap for cord/hose management. I'm not sad.

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We did more than this, big & small, but just for an idea... some of the stenciled panels for my skirt, and the front of a t-shirt for Kym. I love that Peace stencil!!

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I'll be dreaming up some ideas for this "rag," too, inspired by some t-shirts I saw online at Alabama Chanin (but that I can't find right now). It's a fairly large piece of black fabric that was in a lot of AC fabric that I purchased from a private party a while back, but it's not actually AC fabric -- close, but there's some spandex in there, too. Anyway, we used it to clean excess paint from the stencils and I love the way it looks!

On Tuesday morning, I packed up all my stuff again and headed home! It was a great drive back, and I didn't even have to slow down through Chicago.

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It was THE BEST combination of relaxation + creativity + productivity + wonderful people + also great food & beer (photo above at Bell's Brewery). I met Tom, of course, though he was in & out all weekend with a curling tournament. He's as friendly & easy going IRL as he looks in pictures! Speaking of pictures, Kym & I spent the better part of 5+ days together and didn't get a single photo!

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Well, we haven't change a whole lot since we met for the first time, exactly 5 years ago, at Art Prize in Grand Rapids!

ETA: As of this post, I am exactly 300 comments away from 30,000 received on this li'l ol' blog (299 now, with Mary's, and 298 with Carole's). I am sorry that I do not/cannot acknowledge every single one, but I do make an effort to thoughtfully reply when I'm able to or am asked about something specific -- not saying that things haven't slipped through the cracks now and then. Please know that every comment and interaction is truly appreciated. Anyway, that's a long way of saying that there will be FABULOUS PRIZES (tbd) for the person who leaves the 30,000th comment, possibly by the end of the year!!! Stay tuned! And, as always, thank you for reading.


Re-entry...

...is going OK. I had a GREAT time in Michigan and have lots to report, but I also have lots of work to catch up on and that takes priority, of course!!

Well, until this arrived, and I just have to share:

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HOUSTON: WE HAVE PIGGIES!!!


Hitting The Road

It's been almost two years since Kym & I met in Nashville and drove to Florence, AL, to attend a 3-Day Alabama Chanin Workshop. We've been talking since January* of meeting up again, and in April, we started to firm up plans.

Lemme tell ya, it would be a whole lot easier to do this if it wasn't for the big puddle in between us!

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As the crow flies, there's about 200 miles/3 hours between us.
As the car drives, it's closer to 350 miles/7.5 hours + Chicago craziness.

We talked about "meeting in the middle," but that sort of means "Chicago," and while I LOVE Chicago, there would be challenges in finding a place that would be suitable for our activities... such as, oh, painting a bunch of fabric with stencils and an airbrush... which means using an air compressor and needing space! Heh. It could get a little noisy and/or a little messy. How do you do that at a hotel? I don't mind doing that in my own back yard or garage, but it would be tricky to find an accommodating short-term rental house, especially since we've never taken this show on the road and who knows?? (As an Airbnb host, myself, I would love to field a request like that!)

Not be thwarted, we decided to meet in Michigan; Kym's suggestion of a trip to their cottage was great enticement! We decided on dates in October... and here we are!

I would fly if I wasn't bringing a bunch of over-sized stencils, a box of paints, and an air compressor, not to mention fabric yardage and sewing supplies, along with my suitcase and pillow. I thought of driving around the north end of Lake Michigan instead of south, and even though it's a much "easier" drive it's also much longer -- 9 hours of straight-up drive time!! There are a couple of ferry services between WI & MI, but they are a) pretty pricey, b) seasonal, and c) have very limited arrival/departure times at each port.

So, driving it is. I'm on my way this morning, and hopefully my timing through Chicago will be spot-on for stress avoidance. Wish me luck!

Stay tuned for updates.

*This makes me laugh a little. Apparently, we are long-term planners... Our workshop & lodging in Alabama were booked over a year in advance!


Weekending: Making Plans

Rusty indulges yet another big idea with a sketch over early morning coffee yesterday.

"Let's make the back porch 'wrap around' again! With a sort of greenhouse/conservatory thing... that has curved windows!"

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Who knows if it will ever happen, but we sure do like to dream and make plans!

I was making other plans over the weekend, too.

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I have a few projects percolating, and I cut out a pair of long Palazzo Pants yesterday.

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Then I started questioning my fabric color choices... that led to painting, stitching, and cutting some small 5-inch swatches. That particular project is still percolating a bit, and I have a couple of other things to try before I make a final decision, but I think I know where it's heading. It's all in the details!

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I've been diligent about #100moredaysknitorious2019 and yesterday's stitching was done while visiting with Ann, even though she was distracted by time and cooking dinner and wasn't working on her project.

In addition to all that, we changed the last of the storms & screens, washed some windows and swept off the back porch, made a pretty great beef stew, and watched a little football! I'm sure there was more mundane stuff (I'm looking at you, Laundry), but those are the highlights. I hope you had a great weekend, too!


Resting On Cute

It just seems a bit of a whirlwind around here lately. It's all good, I'm just having a hard time stringing my thoughts in any coherent fashion.

Alison to the rescue! She & Rod took the kids to a pumpkin patch earlier this week, and here a few photos she shared (photo cred for the entire post goes to Ali!). I'd have loved to gone along, but the way it's been around here (i.e., RAINING ALL THE TIME), you do that stuff when you can.

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Ginny & Junah had a little pumpkin patch of their own this year, and here's their harvest (minus a few that they've already sold or given away):

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They brought me a pretty big one a couple of weeks ago and Junah admonished me for picking it up by the stem!

Meanwhile, this arrived in my in-box a little while ago:

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HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!! Have a good weekend!


Unraveled Wednesday: Yarn from Scotland

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today, sharing what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING:

I'm not actually knitting this yet, but I promised to share what Kate brought back with her from Scotland.

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West Yorkshire Spinners, The Croft Shetland Tweed, 100% Shetland Island Wool, which she purchased on a quick weekend jaunt to the Highlands with her friend Blair -- I wish I remembered the name of the shop!

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Anyway, I have one hank in the colorway Hillswick (#798) and I think I'm going to make mittens or socks -- probably mittens, and the likely candidates are Maize, Lambing Mitts, or Antler Mittens.

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Kate has two hanks in the colorway Stonybreck (#759) and she's decided to make an Oats cowl.

What I am currently knitting (though I'm in a bit of a lull) is this:

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A pair of Maize mittens for Junah! At least, I hope they're for him... the kid has some paws! They'll be for his sister, otherwise, and I'll have plenty of yarn to knit another pair for him.

READING:

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II by Svetlana Alexievich (audio), The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs. The reading is also going a bit slow lately... there are a million other little things going on, I guess.

I'm going on an outing with my book club next week for a Fox Cities Book Festival event. We'll be seeing author Richard Ratay talk about his book....

Don't Make Me Pull Over! The Informal History of the Family Road Trip... and that ought to be a hoot.


Weekending: Hankies

The History of the Handkerchief presentation over the weekend was informal, full of anecdotes and factoids (of the factual type), and made most interesting by audience participation -- personal stories and memories -- and the presentation of several examples (including by one attendee who brought a box full)!

It will not surprise you to know that there have been books written on the subject.

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I did a terrible job of documentation, but was quite taken with the appliqué on the hanky above, and with PANSIES on the "Handkerchief of the Month, As Seen In Vogue." (Though I haven't been actively collecting of late, I am still quite enamored of that flower.)

Years ago, when I managed my mother's antique mall and hankies were, um... let's say... PLENTIFUL in my world, I sewed a bunch to casings and made adorable valances for the Garden Room. Most of them faded terribly after years of eastern & southern exposure, and eventually I had to thank the whole shebang and dispose of it. It lives on in memory as one of the most fitting decorating decisions I ever made. Maybe I'll do it again...

Saturday was a glorious late September day! I met up with Ali after the market and we went to "Nancy's" (my local antique mall) with the kids -- we each found a few things, and Nancy sent us home with a couple of old table-top type games (I'll try to remember to post about them).

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We came home and the discovery of my Longaberger double-pie basket (aka, picnic basket) led to... you guessed it, an impromptu backyard picnic, which the kids pretty much packed for themselves. You might notice walnuts in the grass in both the lower left & right corners of the photo. There were many, many more... and pieces... all which have led me to regret grabbing a WHITE blanket upon which to picnic. Oh well. I haven't laundered it yet...

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We ended up heading down the ravine, which led to the path, which led to the road and the bridge and the river and the old football field and the discovery of a bunch of these wooden dog & swan cut-outs under the bleachers. Familiar with the site, they are most certainly placed on the field to discourage geese.

When we got home from our walk, Junah & Ginny wanted to go for a bike ride and, eventually, we ended up at the skate park. The kids ran around and up and down, they played and made a couple of new friends, and played some more. Jün wasn't too thrilled about having to head home and, just to give you a little inkling of this kid and his strong-willed personality... he threw his bike down and declared that he wasn't going to ride it home. After a little face-off with his mama, he dragged it (crying the whole while)... literally dragged his bicycle on the sidewalk for about half a block. Tiring work, as you might imagine, and it was right about then he also started to complain about the tears all over his face...

Seriously. I don't know how we all hold it together sometimes.


Five Days In

Ninety-five to go! #100moredaysknitorious2019

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The photo above was taken Wednesday while I hung out in the cell phone lot at O'Hare for over an hour. I would have been really mad if I hadn't had something to do... though I did manage a pretty good nap, too.

The photos above are where I was on Sunday when I began. I've been stitching everyday and trying not to over-think it. I may have to bust out the beads pretty soon, though, just to get the visual/balance.

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It was a beautiful day for a drive, and I began by driving my favorite route down the east side of the lake -- two lanes, farm country, great views.

Kate's back from the UK, but with a cold! Thankfully, she's not scheduled for work until tomorrow so has been able to rest and recover a little bit. She brought YARN!! I'll share that next week -- a hank for me and two for her. It must truly be autumn now because, like clockwork, Kate's got the urge to knit!

Last night, in addition to working on my jacket, I mended a shirt that's been out of commission for quite a few years. It's an all-time favorite, so it's been taking up space in my (very small) closet even though I haven't worn it. I went in search of matching thread on Tuesday and came home with two very excellent contenders. I'm glad I bought both because it's really all about the lighting (and they were 50% off, so it was basically 2-for-1).

In the photo at left, I've already repaired one very very tiny hole (can you see it? click for big), and one of the larger ones has been done in the photo at right. They're not perfect, but they'll do. Honestly, I've had to hunt down the similar repairs that I made in a black dress -- I think black is more forgiving, anyway, but still... I made those mends, you'd think I'd have no problem find them again!

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Here, they're all finished. I used a hoop, which I never do, but it's how I was taught... and next time I'm going to try without because I feel like it almost made another hole (even though it wasn't stretched or clamped tightly at all). Anyway, this will be laundered today or tomorrow, then worn tomorrow night to a talk about The History of the Handkerchief, the closing event for the textile show SURFACING, which was also related to the Visible Mending Workshop that I attended earlier this month -- all blogged about here -- and where a few of my fellow workshop attendees will also be present and I can show off! (Haha. I'm not much of a show-off... too much... usually... this might be worthy.)

Anyway, that's what I've been doing all week: working, driving, sewing.

I present this, sent to me yesterday, to end on a high note:

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Ali says, "This is baby's face when I say 'smile'!"

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Have a great weekend!!


Weekending

The Garden Room menagerie increased by one on Friday -- Miss November joined the chicken, duck, and kangaroo planters! I couldn't resist her.

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They'll soon be displaced by plants. Maybe I'll move them down to the dye studio.

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We had Packers fans in the house over the weekend. I've picked up a few things here and there in preparation for our guests (especially on sale/clearance because NFL licensing is no joke). I even picked up some rain ponchos, and they were needed yesterday! It's a gorgeous day today, though, and our guests are off for a tour of Lambeau Field before heading to Chicago to catch their flight back home to L.A.

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Do not adjust your calendars! It's still September, and the kids had a visit with Santa on Saturday! It was part of a fundraiser for a local guy who goes all-out with his holiday display but needs to relocate it. Junah was totally into it... threw his arm around Santa's neck, and is obviously very animated in the discussion of his wish list.

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We also stopped in at the Fall Market at 313 where I had the incredible good fortune to snap a photo of the girls at the exact right moment -- they last an approximate nano-second! Ali & I both went home with some lovely bouquets, too.

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We were super happy to find a walking leaf-type bug in the back yard!

On Sunday, I puttered... I did some dyeing, finished popping out the cut pieces of my Large Paradise stencil and rolling it up for later, (mostly) reclaiming my worktable, washing some Alabama Chanin cotton jersey yardage and other laundry, chatting with my sis (no stitching with her yesterday, though, but I did fold some laundry), watching the football game, weaving in ends on some cowls, stitching, and ending with the Emmy Awards.

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I started with the patching of a hole on my favorite PJs (very small hole, very large patch!). I continued with the first of the second 100 days of stitching (mostly) on my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket... it ended up being a bit of a false start, a half-hour of stitching that came right out. Today will be better!! #100moredaysknitorious2019

Tonight, we'll continue (with last night's episode) of Country Music | A film by Ken Burns on PBS. We are loving it! Neither of us would ordinarily be called "country music fans," but we are truly "fans of music"... all types of music! As with any other genre, there's good and bad, things you like and things you don't, things you listen to more or less... I don't really get it when people say "I hate {fill in the blank} music." It's all so fluid...

I hope you had a great weekend!


Unraveled Wednesday: In Threes The Fourth

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today, sharing what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING:

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  • My Ravelry Project Page: In Threes the Fourth
  • Pattern: in threes:a baby cardigan by Kelly Herdrich
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Washted, colorway 749 Selva Peruana
  • Needles:  US 8 (or possibly 7... if I'm going to forget to record something in Ravelry, it's gonna be the needle size)
  • Start to Finish:  August 29 - September 17, 2019

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I found cute buttons at the same shop where I bought the yarn, my new LYS called Casting On -- and I sewed them on with the back side facing. I love the variations.

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On the way home from dropping Kate at O'Hare last week, I stopped in Oshkosh at Oshkosh B'gosh and found some leggings to go with. I didn't intend to buy two pair, but GLITTERRRRR!!

I've been knitting other things, as well!

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Tamarugo hasn't seen a ton of action in the past couple of weeks, but it keeps calling to me.

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The yarn is in the most adorable "embroidered pot" that I picked up at Poppy Treffry in St. Ives when we were in Cornwall. It was the cutest shop!

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Front and back of tag.  :)

But that's not all...

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Technically, that's a finished Sunrise Cowl, but, as you shall see, I have another on the needles and plan at least one (if not two) more.

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I am LOVING the colors of the Malabrigo Rasta! The more yellow skein I've had for quite a while... in fact, it was an almost-finished hat for a couple of years. Finally, I decided that it just didn't want to be that. Combined with some other hanks that I've picked up here and there (because I find it almost irresistible), it's all getting knit up into cowls. Possibly Christmas presents.

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And I am over the moon in love with my 10-INCH SIZE 15 DPNs!!

READING:

I'm still listening to The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II by Svetlana Alexievich. And on my nightstand is The Bright Hour, which I've been enjoying quite a bit... that's not the right word. It's a good book.


Birds on a wire

I'm always grateful for that lovely farm across the road, and this morning the birds were flying in and lining up... looking picturesque. (Full disclosure: I quickly edited out a car and a bunch of houses across the field... it looks so much nicer this way!)

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A bunch of stuff has already been edited out of this photo... two trees (and two more that were on either side of where I'm standing), and a sad & sagging brick walkway... with much more to come. This is the street in front of the coffee shop. After a street party this weekend, it'll get torn up door-to-door... new street, new sidewalks, new parking arrangements. It's going to be a pain for the next several weeks, but nice & spiffy when it's finished. And hopefully that's the end of this kind of stuff for a long, long time.

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This stencil is taking up almost my entire worktable! It's called "Large Paradise" and it is definitely large. I'm hoping to finish the cutting tomorrow and clear the deck... momentarily, anyway, I have things to do!!

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Tomorrow's a day off, which means... oil change, lunch date, errands, laundry, book club (maybe).


Macro Monday

OK. This is not my best work, but considering that it's taken with my phone at night through a thermopane window... not the worst.

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I didn't plan on taking a photo of another spider, but when Rusty said that it's grown a couple of sizes...

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I like the lighting in this one. (Whilst shivering a bit because, really, EW!)

In other news...

I was thrilled to find my new Zennis in the mailbox on Friday!

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I'd lost my computer glasses on that busy Thursday during Auntie Camp when we went to Bay Beach and Titletown... I contacted both of them and Lambeau Field, too (because we'd parked there), and nothing. Almost immediately, I ordered some prescription readers (new lenses in some old frames) from my local optician, because I cannot live without them now, but didn't like/never got used to the single-vision thing. So then I asked Facebook for some recommendations and Zenni Optical was the clear favorite. Zenni offers two different versions of "computer glasses" and, including the special UV/blue light blocker, the entire pair was less than half the aforementioned lenses. And I love them!!

Alison, a long-time blog reader, contacted me a couple of weeks ago when she realized that she & her husband would be passing through on a trip across Wisconsin. One thing led to another and, long-story-short:

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We met up at the coffee shop, went out to dinner (with our husbands, too), and they were our guests in the apartment on Friday! It just happened to work out that our next Airbnb guests weren't arriving until Saturday afternoon. (If you ever find yourself in NE Wisconsin, hit me up! You never know...)

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Pumpkin from the kids' pumpkin patch!!

Junah & Ginny arrived later Friday evening for a sleepover, and so we could get up & go -- it was the fall City-wide Rummage Sale on Saturday! We slept in a bit, though, and had breakfast... and our first (very good) stop was a block away! My neighbor, Nancy, who owns the antique mall downtown, was clearing out some stuff at home and we ALL found treasures there. I stopped the car maybe three more times and we were able to walk to a few sales at each stop... and soon enough they'd had enough, and were ready to go home and play with their new stuff.

One of the items we found was a Curious George DVD, which I popped into the DVD player in the apartment so they could watch/relax while I changed over for our Airbnb guests arriving from Texas later that day... our first for a Packer game at Lambeau Field!! (They were so excited... all of our guests for Packer games are positively giddy!)

This was the mood on Sunday:

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Super-chill. That's Duncan on our bed (I love the outstretched paw) -- a place that he's usually not allowed to be -- but I let him snooze for as long as he liked.

Ann and I had our first virtual Craft Date on Sunday morning! It was already wine time for her, but still solidly coffee time for me (I attended in my PJs).

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I can't believe it's taken us this many years to do this! She pulled out her long-languishing Alabama Chanin Swing Skirt and made good progress! I finished a little mending project and then worked on my Car Coat. We stitched and chatted for almost two hours! And we plan to do it weekly (as much as possible).

Beverly mentioned a few weeks ago on FB that on September 22nd there will be 100 days left to the end of the year! Since I've been thinking of launching another 100-day project, anyway, and I've brought some of "my stuff" out, I think that's an excellent time to start again. Between that (at least :15/day) and weekly craft time with Ann, I should make another pretty good dent in that project!

How was your weekend???


Weekending / Macro Monday

Rusty & I went to the Friday night opening of "Surfacing: a contemporary textile exhibition" featuring the work of Wisconsin artists Alison Gates, Patricia Filzen, and Heidi Parkes, curated by Cristian Andersson.

 “Through the historical perspective of craft and ‘women’s work,’ the pieces in the exhibition will at times speaks on feminism, environmentalism, and politics, while at other times pull back remembrances of home, comfort, and familiarity.”

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Alison Gates is a professor of Art and Women's & Gender Studies at UW-Green Bay (also a knitter, among other things). I've known Pat Filzen for many years; she is pictured above wearing a vest made from one of her woven pieces. Heidi Parkes is a Milwaukee-based quilter; I've been following her on IG for quite some time.

I was very excited to learn that Heidi was also presenting an all-day Visible Mending Workshop on Saturday, and was quite possibly the first person to sign up!

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I expected to learn a little... I wasn't expecting to learn A LOT!! It was a great workshop and I'm so happy that I attended.

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This family-favorite Kantha Quilt belongs to Sarah, and was damaged a few years ago by her Husky puppy! The nature of this quilt makes is perfect for "visible mending" and, perhaps it doesn't seem like it would be very difficult... but one of the things we learned with this piece was how to make a repair to something like a quilt when fabric is actually missing (having been chewed). The rest will be all about choosing fabrics (the fun part!) -- though there are also lots and lots of small tears to mend, so hopefully not too tedious.

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This is a repair that Lisa made on her husband's pajama pants. He's an accountant... so this "visible" mend was made... um, with subtlety. From Lisa, I learned about using tiny magnets on my work as a needle keeper!

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Deb bought this antique Double Wedding Ring Quilt at an estate sale, and there are a number of fabrics in various states of... disintegration. (Oh, how I wish I'd taken more photos!) She'd made one little repair in class, a brighter pink square on the left just below center (above a red square and between pink-ish squares on either side). She'd observed the most obvious fabrics needing repair/replacement, but discovered in class that there are many others.

I wish I'd taken photos of the jean jacket that Cristian was repairing... it's his favorite! (Kate's known him for a few years and she knew exactly which jacket I was talking about!) Heidi had previously worked on it for him and, by continuing that work, Cristian was pleased to be making it a collaborative project.

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One of my projects was Kate's laptop case. She bought it from a maker on Etsy several years ago, and would have likely purchased a replacement if he could have been found. It was a great project for class! I repaired two damaged corners, noticing and proactively patching another small tear in the process!

I left the workshop with a start and/or guidance for a couple of other projects that I'd brought... and ideas for several others at home!

Sunday was a bit dreary, but I went downstairs and cleaned up my dye studio a bit and even threw a few hanks into the pot.

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This view is usually full of hydrangeas in the foreground, but they suffered from house painters and electricians over the summer. Storms didn't help, either. Among all the greenery, you might make out a young catalpa tree (the more distant one with huge leaves) missing some branches and listing quite to the left... a big box elder had fallen onto it.

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I first saw this guy when just three legs were visible in the crack between the window and sill. To be honest, I tried to "get" him, but I missed. Then I got busy doing other stuff and he came out... and kept his distance. We'll see how long this "relationship" lasts... I'm not a "spider person" in the least!! That's going to count as my Macro Monday photo because Ali thought it was as big as a tarantula when she saw my photo on IG! (He's sorta big but not THAT big.)

Lastly, it was the 111th anniversary of my maternal grandmother's birth yesterday.

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Marcella -- or Marstella ("Mary of the Stars") (pronounced Mar-SHTEL-la by her German-speaking mother, according to my mother) -- died at age 57, when I was 8. She was into needlework of all types, and I wish she'd lived long enough to have shared that with her... so I could have proudly shown how neat my needlework was on the back! Haha. One of my treasures is an embroidered pillow top that she'd partially completed, and that I eventually mustered the nerve to finish -- it took a few years! I have very few photos of her, but my favorites are the wedding photos. Happy Birthday, Grandma!


Unraveled Wednesday: I finished a book!

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today, sharing what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING:

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This is my fourth In Threes Baby Cardigan! I'm knitting it for the lady who lives across the street... well, more accurately, I'm knitting it for her first great grandchild who is due in November. She was so very sure that it was going to be a boy, but turns out, IT'S A GIRL! I keep thinking that this isn't "girly" enough for her, but I'll pair it with a onesie and some leggings and it'll be AWESOME FOR A GIRL in a way that doesn't assault you with the "girly."

I cast on some years-old gradient yarn (dyed-in-the-ball) for some socks the other day, but decided that they'd look stupid, so I ripped that out last night and cast on for a hat! Tamarugo (a free pattern), inspired by this one, but it's pretty great in a bunch of yarns/colorways.

READING:

I finished The Summer Walkers last night! I enjoyed the appendices as much as the stories. It's a pretty fascinating history, and I was delighted to recognize some of the Highland Travellers' and Pearl-Fishers' locations and places in the book, and have even visited to a few of them.

I've been listening to The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II by Svetlana Alexievich.

An Oral History of Russian Women in World War II... which I found via recommendation by Lauren on Instagram (but I can't find the post right now). Influenced by my mother's interest in Russia -- she even visited as a college student (in addition to being the mother of five) in 1974 -- I was also fascinated as a high schooler, mostly by Russian women, but also completely frustrated in the lack of any useful factual information (any information, please) given the times. What were their lives like?? I remember wanting to write a report, but there just wasn't anything to go on... One of the weird random (rare) tidbits I could find (and that stuck with me) was that physicians in Russia were much more likely to be women than men. Anyway, I think I went directly from Lauren's IG post to Audible and have been listening on my way to work most mornings.


3TT: Or more

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

Actually, more than three things... and, as you shall see, with just a few more than three (out of 77) I'm practicing INCREDIBLE restraint!

Thing 1:

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Yep, a picture is worth 1000 words. (More accurately, it's PRICELESS!)

(Also, I've noticed that his teeth are getting spaced out... I'm sure it's a ways off, but there's a milestone a'coming!)

Thing 2:

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She had her moments, too, eventually taking up her brother's baton, but until then... utter sweetness.

Thing 3:

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Pure delight.

A few more:

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A good photographer? Also priceless!! We are all amazed at the magic of Mary from Fox Valley Birth and Baby! Mary also took an award-winning photo of Ali & Rod during the birth of Malina, which I think I shared here but maybe not? It's HERE > scroll down to "1st Place Color - Mary Nieland from Fox Valley Birth and Baby." And yes! The pillowcases are Ralph Lauren "Allison" -- the same design used for the kids' outfits! (Also rare and approaching priceless?!!)


Clear the deck

I had the weekend to pretty much do as I wished, but was at sixes and sevens... I was in and out of my workroom... with THIS on the table, then THAT. Nothing was clicking or feeling good. Then I realized that my space was still cluttered up with unfinished PILLOWCASES!

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So I set right into making pillowcase burritos, and voila!

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Four new pillowcases for the kiddos made from leftovers, remnants and/or thrift store finds (one of the local St. Vinnie's has a pretty nice craft section and the fabric pieces are all marked in terms of inches/yardage).

Clearing the deck really helped me see more clearly.

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And what I really wanted to do was cut another stencil. So I did.


Macro Monday: LEGO

We had the majority of our house's exterior painted last month -- all the siding, the 2nd/3rd floor windows, and the 2nd/3rd floor gables. The lower windows & trim and the garage were left for Rusty; he got started on that job last week and has been working on the front/north side of the house.

Once upon a time, there was a big wrap-around porch, but it's been a small "Greek Revival" style porch ever since we moved in. It was well used, back in the day, our kids and the neighbor kids played with LEGOs, Barbies, American Girl dolls, and stuffed animals, among other things -- every inch of that porch would be covered with stuff some days! You could barely open the door, and our former mail carrier still talks about it! Sometimes the kids would set up on the back porch, or either of the neighbors' porches... I'm not sure what determined the location each day, but it was very fluid.

Anyway, Rusty found this yesterday in the dirt next to the front porch:

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While he was working on this:

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That's both the up-side and the down-side to DIY! I'm happy that he knows how to fix it and is still willing... and not even grumbling about it!

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It's all looking very nice and fresh with a new coat of paint. We had a lovely weekend, too!


Auntie Camp 2019: Recovery

I will continue to do Auntie Camp for as long as they're interested, and it will likely morph into Nona Camp at some point. I've hinted to Mack & Addie that they could be participatory camp counselors!

With the boys' departure on Friday, I still had the whole weekend ahead of me... and that was so nice! There was so much going on and things to keep track of that I'd actually written an itinerary and designated Saturday as a "Day of Rest." More accurately, I'd say that Saturday was a Day of Recovery in preparation for Sunday being a Day of Rest. Ha. Those couple of days to myself, more or less, were magnificent.

I sewed a pillowcase! I hadn't actually made one, myself, so got that out of the way right away on Saturday morning. There's still another one or two in my sights. And Ginny's "unicorn" project.

I took a nap! I cooked! I knit! I did laundry!

On Sunday, we attended Brunch down the hill at 313 Dodge, which was in collaboration with Kaukauna Coffee & Tea. Janel, Ali, and Kristin did an amazing job of it and I'm looking forward to the next one, likely in October (and, hopefully, not when I'm gone)!

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It was all presented so beautifully! And what a great way to spend a couple of hours on a "recovery" Sunday.

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There were even lavender sugar cookies packaged up for each of us to take home. (Yum.)

Since I really can't be completely idle, even in recovery/rest mode -- and, arguably, making & doing is actually a restorative practice for me -- I'd been gathering the last few necessary materials to finally tackle something that's been on my to-do list for a couple of years now.

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Stencil cutting! I've had a stencil cutting tool kit for years and opened the package on Sunday for the first time. I'd ordered some stencil designs from The School of Making at Alabama Chanin, and had them printed. And, finally, a big roll of 10 mil mylar was delivered last week... ready, set, go!

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I forgot that I'd actually intended to do the very straightforward Variegated Stripe Stencil for my first attempt at cutting, and instead randomly chose Paisley! Look at all those curves! Trial by fire, I guess... I certainly didn't think I'd get it cut in one session, but what did I know! It was fun & so rewarding! And I only singed myself a couple of times. :/ It's far from perfect, but it looks pretty darn good in the photo and I'm certain that once the fabric is painted, stitched, cut, and assembled into a garment, the flaws will disappear.

Speaking of Alabama Chanin... while my Car Coat project has not seen much action lately, I'm planning to continue working on it, and have cajoled Annie into having some virtual sewing sessions together! She still has a Swing Skirt project to finish. I'm also planning some other projects... another pair of Palazzo Pants, another skirt, and possibly another skirt. It hasn't all completely gelled yet... some of these will be big in physical size, but perhaps not so big/intense in the actual making.

Well, anyway, that's a wrap!

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Until next year... Auntie Camp 2020!


Auntie Camp 2019: Day 3

On the last day of Auntie Camp, we SEWED! I'd pre-washed all the fabric and, during less active times, I'd go into my workroom and cut it all to size for our PILLOWCASE projects! I'd watched a wonderful Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial on YouTube and just needed to jot a few notes for myself... measurements and the order of things.

Each pillowcase requires up to three fabrics -- main, cuff, and a little trim piece. I'd had each of the kids choose only two fabrics at the store on Wednesday, and chose the third/trim piece for each at my discretion... and in order to preserve my sanity!

Junah didn't really want anything to do with sewing, so was happy to get a little TV time while Mack & Addie & I started to pin and sew.

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Assembly line!

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The boys did GREAT!! My new sewing machine is a Baby Lock Jubilant and one of the great features is speed control!

Luckily, Ann popped by and she took over the sewing while I started to rinse tie-dyed t-shirts on the driveway. They had to leave by early afternoon, and I was a bit rushed so I'm not thrilled with how they turned out (I'd have rinsed a bit more, washed at least one more time), but I have very little photographic evidence of the boys' shirts, anyway.

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Those are some of Ginny's & Junah's, above (and more below), which I finished up in the afternoon.

You can tell what's seasonal at the fabric store by most of the kids' choices for their pillowcases:

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Addie's is a less seasonal with the big checks. Ginny's is pink with llamas & cacti -- adorable! (She also chose some unicorn fabric...) Mack's is dogs in costume! And Junah's is just straight-up Halloween. The pillowcases were all finished with French seams, and they turned out so great! The boys loved sewing and I can't wait to scout some more projects for next year.

And then it was time for them to go... but, first, a pic!

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Junah was photo-uncooperative again, but I snapped this one of all five kids as he made his exit (action shot)!

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And, yes, Mack was just as smitten with Malina this year as last. So sweet.


Auntie Camp 2019: Day 2

It's a bit more of a challenge the past couple of years with the addition of Junah last year and Ginny this year, and the age difference between them and the boys. We make it work, but my documentary skills have fallen off a bit.

I threw t-shirts in the wash on Wednesday night, so we were ready to tie-dye right away on Thursday morning!

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Oh my... this girl is growing up!!

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Junah gets a little self-conscious sometimes and wanted to be away from the main action while he worked. He was very intent!

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I had a panel set on some sawhorses for staging, a folding metal table that Mack & Addie used as their worktable, and had two perfectly sized small tables in the playhouse that I brought up for Junah & Ginny to use.

The boys had 10 shirts between them and the kiddos each had four... so 18 shirts we dyed! I'm still using many of the main supplies from the Dharma Trading Tie-Dye Little Group Kit that I bought a few years ago.

After cleaning up and lunch, Kate joined us and we met up with Ali & Malina to head up to Green Bay.

First stop, Bay Beach Amusement Park!

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Junah's not much of a daredevil, but that worked out just fine! Ginny loved the Tilt-a-Whirl with Ali, Kate & Addie; Addie, Kate & Ali rode the Zippin' Pippin' roller coaster; some of us jumped on the carousel, and also on the longer of the train rides. Admission is free and ride tickets at this city-run amusement park are $.25 each, with most rides needing 1-2 tickets... the roller coaster requires all of 4 (so, $1/ride)! Seriously, it's the best deal in all the land. This year, someone handed us a fistful of tickets when we arrived, so I think I spent $5 (plus some concessions).

After Bay Beach, we headed over to Titletown, a park & development near Lambeau Field.

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There are events & activities everyday, all year long, and on Thursday evenings in the summer it's a Night Market. Ali's been a few times and really enjoyed it, so we've had it on our list all summer. By the time we arrived, 1.5 hours after opening, her favorite food vendor was already sold out! We had to make do...

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Hinterland accommodated us nicely... and refreshingly!

Then we headed over to the park for a bit...

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The play area is AMAZING. There's equipment for all ages and abilities. And beyond that fence is a full-size football field open to all.

Ali took Ginny from there, so it was just the boys overnight at my house! We stopped at the store on the way home to get some Color Catchers in readiness for the reveal/conclusion of tie-dyeing on Day 3! We attempted to watch a Spiderman movie, but didn't get too far when Junah got a little scared... and then landed in our bed in the wee hours because of it! Holy cow, that boy is a flip-flopper and all arms & legs! Haha!


Auntie Camp 2019: Day 1

Priming for Wednesday's start, Mack & Addie slept over on Tuesday night. After breakfast, I gave them a knitting refresher. I had an engagement to talk to a bunch of kids about knitting at the coffee shop later in the morning and thought that perhaps the boys might assist (but zero expectation/pressure to do so).

I thought they were middle school kids, but turns out they were high schoolers -- about 15-16 of them, only one of whom already knew how to knit. It was the last outing/activity of their summertime class, and they were there for lunch, knitting, and journaling.

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Mack & Addie laid low inside. Annie snapped a photo of me "teaching," but I look like I'm picking my nose, so you get a relaxed, knitting Mack instead.

I'd gathered needles over the past few months, wound yarn, made & printed a resources handout, and assembled a little bag of supplies for each person there... and cast on for each of them, too. I told them that knitting can be very relaxing, as was mentioned when I was introduced, but that learning to knit can be extremely frustrating (hence the casting on for them... we only had an hour and I didn't want to spend all my time on that). I did a little project show & tell so they could see possibilities other than sweaters, hats, slippers & mittens. I brought one of the Knitted Polar Bears I made for the kids, my Parcheesi afghan, my Bijouterie, and the recently completed Pineroot Wall Hanging, which was recently attached to a great stick that Rusty brought back from CA. Anyway, it went amazingly well with some successes, relatively few frustrations, and one "deserter" who said he'd rather crochet (something he used to do with his grandma) (ta-da, I had a hook for him). The coordinators sent feedback to Ali later in the afternoon and more than half the kids said it was their favorite event of the summer. Maybe there's a new knitter or two to emerge!

Right after knitting, we had an appointment with a photographer for family photos!

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It was overcast but bright and the photographer had the kids close their eyes and then OPEN... except Ginny didn't get the memo. :)

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Oh boy. Junah insisted on wearing his hat, and was generally uncooperative most of the time... which then rubbed off on Ginny, more or less. It was an adventure! I haven't seen any official photos yet, but here are some that Annie took...

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And shutterbug Addie:

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After photos, I took the kids and we went fabric shopping! Yes, I was the one at Hobby Lobby* with 3-, 5-, 12- and 14-year-olds! They chose fabrics for a sewing project I'd planned for a later camp activity, and we escaped with relatively little else (a couple of bandanas, some slime, a couple of stress balls). Junah was enthralled by the fabric cutting, and very complimentary of the cutter and her talents/experience! (It was adorable.)

We headed home, I tossed all the fabric in the wash, we got dinner going, and then it was a sleepover plus 2! Ginny ended up in our bed for a bit in the morning, but otherwise went off without a hitch.

*I would have preferred going to Joann's but I'd been there a day or two earlier and could not wait to get out -- the awful, awful scents for candles (or something) permeated the entire store and were so strong that they drove me out. I can't imagine working there. Addie is even more sensitive to that kind of thing than I am, and he'd have surely emerged with a killer headache (not to mention nausea).


Macro Monday(s)

First of all, HELLO!! It seems a lot longer than six days since I've been here, but WHAT A WEEK!! Auntie Camp v.5 was fabulous, and I have a ton to share about that in the next week or so. But first, it's MACRO MONDAY!

Water droplets nestled in a succulent near the garage door caught my eye.

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And these are amaranth microgreens atop some lovely roasted potatoes from yesterdays Kaukauna Coffee & Tea/313 Dodge collaboration brunch. What a wonderful way to spend a few hours on a Sunday.

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It was about as perfect a five days off as one could ask for -- family, food, and tons of fun! I had the weekend mostly to myself for Auntie Camp recovery, and I accomplished a few things, too. I hope you had a great weekend, as well!


Start your engines!

The 5th Annual Auntie Camp begins (slowly) (with a sleepover) tonight!

2015:

AC1 - 2015

INDIGO BOYS!

2016:

AC2 - 2016

A LITTLE MORE INDIGO!
(PLUS DYEING WITH SHARPIES & ALCOHOL!)

2017:

AC3 - 2017

SILK SCARVES!
(DON'T WORRY, THERE WAS ALSO INDIGO!)
(AND TIE-DYE!)

2018:

AC4 - 2018

WHAT DO YOU KNOW? NO INDIGO!
(LOTS OF TIE-DYE!)

There's also been knitting, macramé, drawing, and kayaking, along with visits to an art show, the pool, the movies, and an amusement park.

This year, along with more dyeing (the de facto signature event) (tie-dye for sure, indigo maybe), we will be knitting and sewing, for sure, and other things TBD/nailed-down.


Snapshot: Janet

Rusty returned last week from a two-month trip west. He left in June bound for Arizona and a visit to his brother Dave's new place in western Arizona, just over the border from Nevada. One of the purposes of that get together was for them to go through a box of old photos that Dave (a bit of a packrat) finally uncovered in the moving & unpacking.

The photos belonged to their mother, Janet, who took her own life in 1978. When the boys cleaned out her house after her death, it was a job that just needed to get done. Things like photos were relegated to storage, which is where they've been for the past 40+ years.

Rusty was so excited to see these old family photos again! He took a few snaps with his phone and sent them to me while he was there, and brought some more home for scanning. After he departed Arizona for points in California, Dave uncovered more photos and documents! Rusty suggested that before too long we take a trip out there together, and we just confirmed flights, car & hotel for an early November (birthday!) visit, which will also include a visit (my first) to the Grand Canyon.

Anyway, it's been a bit of a nut house over here and we finally sat down over the weekend to look at the photos Rusty brought back.

This one.

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I'd hastily edited (her face is in deep shadow in the original photo) and posted on Instagram, but have taken a bit more time here with the dodging & burning... and looking.

I didn't even notice the knitting or Rusty's brother in the playpen, at first; Kate pointed those out the other day! Originally thought the photo was taken at the beach (her favorite place to be), but in considering what those dark blips at the top of the photo might be, I now realize that it's more likely in the backyard -- that's laundry on the line (very likely diapers)!

I didn't meet Rusty until 1983, so obviously I never had a chance to meet Janet. I always like to think that we'd have gotten along -- especially because I know she didn't get along at all with Rusty's first wife -- and he always thought that we would have, too. I've decided that this photo is undeniable proof!

  • She was a knitter! I never knew that before, though I did know she had a crafty streak and liked to make things.
  • She was a smoker! She was a chain-smoker, in truth, and is the #1 reason why her sons have never smoked. Even though I've been quit for 14+ years, I can still relate to putting down my knitting for a smoke break.
  • Laundry on the line!

She had quite a colorful life and there are mysteries to be solved -- investigated further, at the very least! I'm so looking forward to our trip out west in a few months!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255


3TT: Sky view

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

1 -- Saturday sky.

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From a pontoon ride on the Upper Saint Croix Lake... this is just before we turned around and headed back to the dock. Threatening!

2 -- Sunday sky.

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Again on the Upper Saint Croix, that's my cousin driving and Mack waving from the boat. Birthday Boy Addie is on the knee-board behind. Can you believe he's 12 today?

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! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

3 -- Wednesday sky.

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More threatening weather late yesterday. I took this photo as I was getting into my car after work. I missed a downpour during a well-timed stop at the grocery store. Another deluge hit after I got home. There was a confirmed tornado in Green Bay, about 20 miles away; Ali's much closer and snapped a dramatic photo of her own.


Unraveled Wednesday: Wanderlust

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today, sharing what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING:

There's an FO... it's for Christmas, even!

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These originally started as another pair of Tin Can's Rye Socks, but I discovered that I was knitting an adult/toddler mash-up using two sets of numbers... not at all what I was going for!

Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 11 - Wanderlust had recently been published, and I decided it was time to try something a little different. The patterns in Wanderlust are all written for fingering/sock yarn and I still wanted to use worsted, so I adjusted needle size, numbers, and the panel pattern repeat accordingly.

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These were my first short-row heels, too, and I like them!

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Since I was going up north for a couple of days -- driving up on Saturday and back on Monday, 4.5+ hours each way -- I brought four knitting projects. Haha. (I'm not kidding.) I pulled my knitting out only twice -- socks both times -- on Sunday night and Monday morning when it was just my cousin Gail and I, and I knit the entire foot while we chatted.

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In the elements. I forgot how pine-y it smells up there.

And, yes, I'm happy that I went. I took a 20-minute car nap on the way up, and wove in and out of downpours all the way home, but in between we had a great time. Good company, good food, boating, lots of yapping.

READING:

Since I last checked in...

The Summer Walkers is still on my nightstand.

I finished my second listen of Lincoln in the Bardo, and enjoyed it just as much if not more the second time around.

On my long drive last weekend, I listened to most of Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb. I'm less than an hour from finishing and there are definitely some things I like/relate to in the story, but there are also some things that I'm not crazy about (not quite eye-rolling, but close...)

 


Macro Monday

Last week, I completely forgot about Macro Monday and I never found the time (or maybe inspiration) (or possibly energy) to do it on another day.

I just returned from a weekend with two cousins, a cousin-in-law, two first cousins once-removed and the girlfriend of one of them, my sister, my brother-in-law, and two nephews. (A good time was had by all!)

There was a parcel on the porch upon my return, and this week, I'm very excited about the possibilities presented/promised by this:

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Three photos of three new colors of embroidery floss from Alabama Chanin. Charcoal, Slate, and Eggplant. I'm not sure the Eggplant will work with my Car Jacket, but the other two most definitely will. I'm ready to get back to that project for another 100-200-300 however-many-hundreds-of-days it'll take to finish it.

I hope you all had a great weekend, and a good Monday (macro or otherwise)!


Weekend ahead

I'm in a slump. Trying hard to dig out...

Here are some good things:

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I took Ginny to dance class on Wednesday. She was the only one in class that day, and Junah had an open invitation to join... but he still will not! And that's fine, even humorous at this point. He loves to watch, though.

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Earlier that day, I'd made Junah's vest to coordinate with the girls' dresses. It turned out GREAT... except that I will never make another thing for any of those kids without first taking measurements. This size 7 vest barely fits my 5.5 yo grandson! I had him try it on for button placement and, well, they'd be purely ornamental!

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Since she was here, I had Ginny try on her dress, too. And same! Size 4 dress is a bit snug around the bodice on this 3yo. I may do a loop closure for the button...

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We decided to go to the drive-in and pick up supper... ice cream first!!  There's a reason that vest turned out too small!  ;)  They acxtually did an OK job with the hot dog & chicken tenders that followed.

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We headed out back and they tossed branches and walnuts down the hill, and this is what happened when I asked for a photo. Awwww.

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Little sis was helping her dad with some stuff at home, but I still need to share her sweet face.

I am at sixes & sevens this weekend... torn between making a huge solo drive to NW Wisconsin for a gathering of cousins or staying home to get some stuff done. I keep reminding myself that I've regretted not going to these types of things before. My cousin Gail who organized it all is very excited, and I'd really feel bad letting her down. I haven't seen her or her brother in quite a few years. It's a drive (5-hr one-way) I've made a lot over the years, but not for quite some time and even longer since I did it alone. I've downloaded some audio books (I finished the second listen of Lincoln in the Bardo this morning), and I'm thinking of taking a different route, maybe scoping out some new-to-me yarn shops on the way just to keep it interesting. I made and shared this Knitting, Yarn, and Fiber in Wisconsin Google Map almost 12 years ago to the day in the On Wisconsin! board on Ravelry, and it's been a while since I actually used it myself. I keep getting update suggestions & thanks from people who do use it, though.

Well, I'm feeling a little better about going having just laid it out there. I have Monday off, so I don't have to rush back (though I do have that option).

Heh. Have a great weekend, all!


Random Friday

I spotted the loveliest, softly colored clouds in the sky when I opened the blinds this morning.

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Kate & I were getting the apartment ready yesterday for the current guests and, from that vantage point, noticed a few twisted & broken branches HIGH up in the trees. We'll never be able to reach them! There are plenty of branches and twigs in the yard, and our push mower is very sensitive, so yard clean-up is high on my weekend to-do list. The house painters have finished with their part, so the coast is clear (and the house looks nice even if some of the shrubbery does not).

Both our previous and current Airbnb guests are here, in part, for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. This is the 50th year in Oshkosh, and I'm pretty sure my dad took us to the very first one. He had a small plane when I was very little, and occasionally rented a plane on weekends when we were older... I can say that I "flew" a plane!

Anyway, before our previous guests arrived, I added a few albums to the current selection. It's an eclectic musical mix up there, from Men At Work to The 5th Dimension to Eurythmics, and...

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I never noticed which Frank Sinatra album I added to the pile, but couldn't miss it, front & center, as I was leaving yesterday. COME FLY WITH MEHow appropriate, and what a happy coincidence!

These folks will leave on Sunday, and then I have a few days to prepare for our month-long tenants arriving on Thursday. I am really looking forward to that "break." I'll launder the towels & linens once a week, but I'm otherwise off the hook until Labor Day. Then we have our guests from Australia, and then it's football season! The apartment is booked for all the Packers' home games, which reminds me, Training Camp has begun and the sweetest tradition in pro football continues. What a thrill for those kids!

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My little city is looking at purchasing some new holiday decorations and have a display of snowflake options on the poles in a downtown cul de sac, and we can go online and vote! I noticed them the other night (and voted).

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My house feels like it's in utter disarray. Busy life + visitors + Airbnb guests + vacating for a weekend + right back to work = MAYHEM. I feel like stuff just got stacked and shifted whenever it was time to eat or the Bananagrams and cribbage board came out. I did keep up with dishes, so there's that. Ha. The kids pulled out all sorts of blankets and pillows to make a fort... and I'm missing one of my favorite chair pillows and the shawl I wrap 'round my shoulders in the evening. I really need to tidy up and get my house back! So, in addition to yard & garden clean up this weekend, the house is also high on the list... as is sewing! I need to get back to Ginny's dress and Junah's vest for their upcoming photo shoot. Gin's should go pretty quickly because it's already cut out. I haven't touched my Alabama Chanin stuff in a week, either.

Wish me luck with all that, eh? And... HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!


Macro Monday Wednesday

In addition to heightened hoopla on the weekend, I was technically on vacation on Monday and completely forgot about Macro Monday.

I spotted this on my way to the car this morning:

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Happy Wednesday! I'm working, which is not usual for a Wednesday, but still getting that "hump day" vibe and looking forward to the weekend (already)!