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.


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


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!


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:


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...)


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:


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).


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.”


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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:


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:


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

Thing 3:


Pure delight.

A few more:


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!


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


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.


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:


While he was working on this:


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!


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)!


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


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.


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!


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!


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.


Assembly line!


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.


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:


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!


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


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!


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


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


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!


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.


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...


Hinterland accommodated us nicely... and refreshingly!

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


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.


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!


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


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...


And shutterbug Addie:


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.


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.


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!


AC1 - 2015



AC2 - 2016



AC3 - 2017



AC4 - 2018


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.


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.


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.


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?

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

3 -- Wednesday sky.


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.


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



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.


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


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.


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.


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:


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:


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.


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!


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...


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.


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.


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.


_ _ _ _ _

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...


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!


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).

_ _ _ _ _

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:


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)!

Look what blew in...

As I left for work last Friday, I chuckled when I spotted a giant poop emoji balloon rolling around the neighborhood. That's super random, right?

Storms were predicted in our area for Saturday and, indeed, there were. They decided to close down the farmers market an hour early, and I decided that I'd better get out and run my errands before the initial wave hit.

My first weather alert -- a flash flood warning -- came at 10:49 a.m.

At 11:03, while in the drive-thru at my credit union, I received an "extreme alert" for a tornado warning! A block from home, the county warning sirens began to sound.

At home, I poured myself a bowl of cereal and thought I'd sit down and turn on the weather channel to see exactly what was happening.

Before I even turned on the TV, another tornado warning alert arrived at 11:22, and I looked outside (instead of at the TV). I exclaimed out loud, "Holy shit!"  and ran downstairs with my bowl of cereal.

A few minutes later, a wide-eyed Ali arrived with the kids, and Rod joined us a few minutes after that. He was able to button up the coffee camper, but was concerned because he hadn't been able to hitch it to his vehicle... and he had visions of it rolling end-over-end. (Thankfully, that did not happen!)

Holy cow, though! We were able to watch the action through the windows in my dye studio, and it was crazy out there -- the wind, the rain, the sideways rain!

The kids sat at the ping-pong table and enjoyed second breakfast through it all.

After the first wave passed, and we came back upstairs, I went around the house and looked out windows to assess damages, and what do I spot in the back yard from my bedroom window?


Luckily, we never lost power, and our internet was down for only a couple of hours. As we speak, one of my coworkers is still without power! Many area businesses were also without power for lengthy periods -- thankfully, the coffee shop was not one of them. It was amazing to see posts on social media from businesses not affected by the storm inviting the public to come in and enjoy their air conditioning while they charge their phones (no purchase necessary), and others offering to share their freezer & cooler space.


The trophy!! I forbade its entry to the house... "It's wet!" But mostly, I just don't want a big poop in my house, even if it's only made of plastic and smiling. We also acquired a nice soccer ball. Thankfully, the second wave was just a bit of rain.

Turns out, there were 9 14 16 confirmed tornadoes in Wisconsin between Friday & Saturday, including an EF1 (85-110 mph winds) in Central Wisconsin that left two of my aunts without power on Friday, and the EF0 (65-85 mph winds) that had us ducked into the basement. along with two others very close by at the same time.

The boys helped me clean up the yard a bit, and we decided to carry on with our plans for a quick trip up north to my uncle's cabin. We made sure our Airbnb guests were welcomed, checked in and settled (they had quite the committee with all the kids playing outside), and then Kate & I made our exit.

I'll probably post more, but this image pretty much sums it up our 36 hours in the northwoods:


It was time to head home way too quick!

3TT: 3x3

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

Today I'm sharing three patterns by three new-to-me BIPOC designers. Most of these are not new designs, but they appealed to me and I'm hoping that by adding them and the designers to my Ravelry Favorites, I'll begin to see more. I've always enjoyed similar blog posts of others -- we all love knitting and even if we're not actively searching for a possible project, it's always fun to be inspired!

1 - Jiminez Joseph | @jimiknits

  • VESTival! "Inspired by the bohemian fashionistas at music festivals, VESTival is a sleeveless top, worn as a relaxed overlay."

You probably didn't know that I have a thing for vests, and I love this one. It's knit sideways, for the most part, as are many of Jimi's sweater designs. I can see this layered over a dress or a flowy skirt.

  • Buckshot. "BUCKSHOT is an over-sized, medium length sweater with bracelet length sleeves. It has an all-over textured stitch pattern that looks as if it’s riddled with bullet holes! A relaxed fit for comfort during any occasion and versatile for any wardrobe."

I love the texture on this boxy sweater, and the deep V-neck. So wearable.

  • Aggregate. "Aggregate is an arrowhead shaped wrap/scarf. It is made using 2 colour skeins of Heavy DK/Worsted weight yarn. It is knitted from the top-down with short row wedges and arrows that form a distinctive Left side/Right side mirror effect."

I've been avoiding that shawl shape in recent months, but the striping in this one is pretty cool, and I love all the variations/ideas in the featured photos.

LUCKY DAY ALERT: As part of her birthday celebration, Jimi is offering 20% off of her patterns on Ravelry with coupon code: birthday. Discount code is good through midnight BST on 19 July 2019.

2 - Tina Tse | @tina.say.knit

  • Blooming Texture Shawl. "A triangle shape shawl playing with different combination of stitches, exploring lace patterns and color textures to bring a fun experience while knitting!"

This is the type of triangular shawl that's appealed to me more of late. I love the combination of texture, stripes, and lace, and it looks amazing in two colors with a lot of contrast. But there's a low-contrast photo in the middle of the pack (which I think is possibly a b&w photo and more contrast-y in real life) that stopped me in my tracks! INSPIRED!

  • Deauville. "This relaxed top is worked from the bottom up, in the round, before separating the front and back to work the armholes and neckline. A 3-needle cast off is used to join the shoulders, so there’s no seaming involved."

In-the-round is not my favorite, so I'd have to make some changes, but I'm a sucker for stripes and this sweater looks so wearable!

  • Gradient Fade Cowl. "Colors blending in and out of each other creating new colors and possibilities, that’s what birthed the Gradient Fade Cowl. This cowl is meant for color exploration."

I really love the possibilities with this cowl, and I love wearing cowls in the winter.

3 - Noma Ndlovu | @biggerthanlife_knits

  • Black Berry Shawl. "This shawl is knit using a combination of merino singles (fingering weight) and kid mohair. The garter and lace sections are separated with mohair stripes. The shawl is an easy to knit project perfect for TV knitting and traveling."

Yes to TV/travel knitting! I've really loved long, shallow crescent shaped scarves the last couple of years and I love the possibilities with this design.

So many possibilities with this shawl, too, and an interesting overall shape!

I keep coming back to this one... cables, lace, and the styling! I don't think I've ever worn a long cowl with one loop pulled through the other like that. GENIUS! 

On one hand, I'm astounded that I've never heard of these designers nor seen their beautiful designs; and the other hand is slapping me! >>>EXACTLY<<<

I plan to make this a regular feature -- maybe once a month or so? 

Now all I need is a helluvalotta more time in my day in order to knit some of these.

A Day Out With Ginny

I'll let the photos do most of the talking...


You're never too young to love office supplies!


A discerning shopper.


The loot! There was a TON of stuff that was put back or never even made it into the cart... too expensive, not right now, LET'S LOOK OVER HERE...

She said, "Mommy buys me whatever I want!"

That was news to Ali.  :)


The fashionista! Not shown, new Moana underwear... because we're finally there again!!


We had lunch -- kids' meals at Culver's include a scoop of frozen custard!

She said, "Mommy always lets me eat ice cream first!"

That was also news to Ali!!  ;)


The we came home and painted nails, hands & feet were opposite colors!


This is one of my favorite photos of the day.


What a fun day!

Macro Monday: So Sew!

I had the day off of work today! I prefer my 3-day weekends to be Fri-Sun instead of Sat-Mon... but I guess I'll take what I can get.

I didn't want to, but I mowed the lawn this morning. Yesterday would have been a much better day for it, but I was otherwise occupied... Kate & I had our shopping/lunch date with Ginny. I know a few of you saw my IG stories about that. She was a HOOT! I'll do a separate little post about it.

I also had a meeting with the house painter this morning.

Otherwise, I've been sewing! I cut all the pieces for the girls' dresses and have been sewing a little bit each day. Plus I hemmed a pair of jeans for Kate last night. I finished Malina's (except for a button) this afternoon. I thought some sewing-related macro shots would be appropriate.


I bought a new machine a few months ago, and I've finally gotten around to actually sewing something. It's a Baby Lock Jubilant. There's a bit of a learning curve, as it has quite a few more features than my old Husqvarna -- I have to look up how to do every single thing -- but I like it so far and it has some great features, such as self-threading and a drop-in bobbin under a see-through plate. I have wound a bobbin and threaded the machine once or twice now without having to look it up, so that's progress!


Nice, even stitches. The machine has a speed control, so if it's on SLOW, it'll only go so fast (or slow, heh) no matter how hard I step on the pedal. That'll be great if & when the kids want to learn to sew. I can also forego the pedal altogether and just use a start/stop button... but that seems so weird!


I used one of the overlock stitches to finish the edges of the flutter sleeves. It's so cool to be able to do that!


I sewed one of those sleeves three times in order to get the flutter placed in the correct position, right-side up. Ugh! The sewing directions were similar to the ones you see in sewing where you knit a thing and then they tell you to knit another one but reversing the shaping, or whatever. Yeah.


Ginny's should go a bit quicker, now that I've done it once and know what to look out for. The pattern is Violette Field Threads' Ruthie. I might actually do a strip of velcro where the button should go because this is a size 2 (the smallest available) and Malina is a bit shy of that and also not a super-pudge like her brother & sister were! Or maybe one buttonhole and two buttons.

100 Days


I think it was official on Wednesday, but I still had a reminder on my calendar yesterday for 100 (+/-) days of stitching!

Two finished sleeves and current state of back panel underway.

Back in April, I'd committed to at least :15 of sewing each day on my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket! I think I stitched on about 95 days, and a few of those days were spent on the A-line re-do, and there were just a few when I didn't stitch at all -- two or three at most. Most of it was documented on Instagram: #100daysknitorious2019

There were quite a few days when I worked significantly longer than :15, but even conservatively, I've stitched for a total of 25+ hours since April, mostly on my jacket!

All in all, I consider it a wild success!


Same general area on each sleeve and the design choices that make them the same but different!


Ditto! This is the June's Spring stencil.

I have two sleeves completely done and the start of a body part (with three more in the wings, plus a collar, two pockets, pocket flaps -- just keeping things in perspective). There is WAY more done now than I had 100 or 101 or 102 days ago!


I am looking forward to continuing the process with almost as much diligence. Part of the problem is that it's sort of monopolizing the main portion of my work area and there are other things that I need/want to get done. The trick is to put it away, but not so far away that I forget about it or it's too much of a chore to regroup.

A good workroom clean-out would probably help overall! Well, except for a shopping trip, I have a fairly clear weekend ahead...

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

3TT: Randomly in July

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

Since last we met on a Thursday, it's (mostly) all quiet on the walnut front, the catalpa flowers are finished, and three very badly located hornet/wasp nests have been taken care of. Yahoo!

This week, I have three random things to share.

1 -- The Giraffe in My Car.


I got rid of a lot of unnecessary items when I moved from the old car to the new, but not my little giraffe. He sits in the pocket of the driver's side door. Isn't he cute? Do you have a driving companion?

2 -- MDK Waving Rib Sock.


I turned my first short-row heel on this sock the other day and, other than having to adjust my numbers due to the gauge difference, it was A PIECE OF CAKE!


You don't even have to knit the wraps. I tried it on last night and it both felt & looked GREAT!

3 -- Let's Go Shopping!


This was Ginny the other day, delivering a formal request via Snapchat video, for a shopping date with Nona and Auntie Kate! She said that she wants to shop for bracelets, pants, a shirt, more bracelets, a headband, and plants. All delivered with the sweetest little lisp. I think it might happen this weekend, with lunch. Isn't she looking grown up??

Mother + Artist (and more)

Kate & I hopped in the car on Friday afternoon and drove over to Algoma for the opening of a show at James May Gallery.

Mother + Artist

This exhibition includes women who are both artists and mothers. Although all the work may not specifically be about experiences in motherhood, each participant manages some degree of an art career while also mothering. Featured are women who dedicate a significant focus to the creation, promotion, and exhibition of their work with multiple works by each artist making up the exhibition.

Featuring work by:  Amy Soczka, Katie Martin Meurer, Maria Amalia Wood, Jamie Lea Bertsch, Kendra Bulgrin, Megan Woodard Johnson, and Mindy Sue Wittock


Amy Soczka
Suspension v.2
Hand-cut Paper, 72" x 24" x 36"

This is amazing to see in the gallery. My thoughts also quickly turned to stenciling and sewing! (It can't be helped.)


Maria Amalia Wood
Una Linea de Tiempo (A Line of Time)
91 Wood Bobbins Wrapped With Handmade Paper Made With My Grandmother's Robe, Bed Linens, and Other Personal Fabric Remnants


Mindy Sue Wittock

^ ^ ^

The Mother + Artist show was at the "North" gallery, we also stepped around the corner to the original space.


Tiffany Bailey
Quilted Barns
Porcelain and colored slip, 23" x 21-1/2" x 1"



Kim Eichler-Messmer
Cotton Fabric Naturally [Dyed] With Black Walnuts, Marigolds, and Weld
51" x 51"

^ ^ ^

I had my sock!


I've made progress since this photo was taken on Friday! It's my re-do, this time using MDK Field Guide No. 11 - WanderlustI'm bucking trend and reworking the numbers to accommodate my worsted weight yarn, and using the "Waving Rib" panel pattern. I don't believe I've ever worked a short-row heel before, and that's next... as soon as I do the maths.

^ ^ ^


In other news, Maddy Mo is taking the midnight train to northern Australia to work at a hotel/resort for a few months! More adventure!!

And this just in:


I didn't even know how much I wanted this when we started five months ago, but here we are! I got the email this morning (wasn't expecting to hear for another week). It's such a crazy thing... so much work, but so rewarding and fun. We had our first honeymooners last weekend -- musicians/students, I think, from the Milwaukee area. I was reminded of when Rusty & I got married, we were so poor, and had a similar getaway -- we made the most of it! Anyway, guests are booked for the next three weekends (so you know what I'm doing for a few hours on my days off), and I'm looking forward to a "break" in August when we have someone renting for the whole month! And in September, our first international guest -- also an Airbnb host -- on holiday from Australia!

Macro Monday: Hosta time

The hostas are blooming!


Kate took this great photo on July 4th. Junah directed our fireworks show, with an assist from Ginny, and Kate was our pyromaster. They're not even the star of this photo, but the hostas (and ferns) are definitely hard to miss, and the showstopper (Blue Angel) can't even be seen from this view. The ferns are almost monstrous this year! I've never seen them so big and full.


These were taken with my phone (Samsung Galaxy S9) in the front bed pictured above on Saturday when Junah was over "helping" me for a few hours. He essentially watched me pull weeds in the back yard for :05, declared it boring, and went up to the house and occupied himself with an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle car (missing pieces but still intriguing and fun) that we found at the antique mall, aka Nancy's. It's super fun going to the antique mall with him! He's getting to know the lay of the land, his favorite booths, the "shortcuts," and it's fun to see what catches his eye. Nancy lives just down the street from me and she gets a kick out of it, too.

I hope you had a great holiday and a wonderful weekend. I have been knitting, sewing, dying over all of the Revolutionary War airport memes, and celebrating a Women's World Cup victory!!

3TT: My natural world

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

Here are three things happening in my natural world (aka, the back yard)...

1 -- Walnuts. Baby walnuts.

Last Friday night there were a couple of hard PLUNKS on the roof above my bedroom -- a metal roof. PLUNK.PLUNK ... PLUNK.

On Saturday night, there were a LOT of hard plunks at irregular intervals. PLUNK.PLUNK ... PLUNK (roll) PLUNK.PLUNK.PLUNK.


Gah! It woke me up, kept me awake for hours, and even drove me to find the earplugs in my travel bag. It was nighttime so I didn't have my glasses on, but I stepped on something weird as I opened the cupboard outside the bathroom. It turned out to be a *%#&%*@% cricket (I had to bend down -- too close -- to identify it).

We had Airbnb guests... and my roof is right outside the upstairs bedroom windows. OMG, it was AWFUL!! (They never said or acknowledged anything, so maybe they slept like rocks. I hope.)

Overhanging the roof at the back of the house is a walnut tree and these little guys, hardly bigger than a marble -- but heavy & dense -- were raining down on my roof in the wee hours, surely having been dislodged by raccoons or squirrels.


I called a guy on Sunday, and he said he'd be happy to come over, take care of the critters, and collect $500, but that he'd surely be back in a week to do it all over again... and again and again. He suggested trimming the walnut tree. I got a quote for that yesterday... YIKES!!

Meanwhile, we have nature-loving Airbnb guests this week (newlyweds... it's practically a honeymoon) and this is what I wrote to them on Monday, prior to Tuesday's arrival:

There's been some on/off partying in the walnut tree and roof at the back of the house in the wee hours -- raccoons, squirrels -- Friday night was so-so, Saturday night was raucous, and last night was next to nothing. Hopefully, they got it all out of their system and have moved on... just wanted you to be aware. There is nature happening literally right outside your window.

Keeping fingers crossed, but Saturday seems to have been the big party night -- maybe there was some territorial scuffling going on -- and it's been so-so or better since. Sheesh.

2 -- Catalpa trees. 

There are two in our yard, both volunteers. They're weeds and not in the best locations, but I have a couple of soft spots for catalpas.

  1. I never noticed or knew what a catalpa tree was until I spotted a huge one in the park across the street from where Sharon lived in Milwaukee 30 years (or so) ago. She was working as a City arborist at the time and was pretty knowledgeable.
  2. There was an equally huge catalpa tree between our neighbor's and their neighbor's years ago, which surely provided the seeds for ours. My neighbors at the time wanted to relocate their garage and driveway, but their neighbor's tree was in the way and would need to come down. It was agreed and the deed was done. My neighbor knew that my dad turned wood and made lovely bowls & things, and asked if perhaps he'd make one from the wood for their neighbor. It was a nice gesture, and their neighbor happened to be a delightful retired school teacher (my brother's kindergarten teacher) who, at 90 or so, still wore her long hair in braids criss-crossed atop her head, and she'd sometimes chat with us from the upstairs bedroom window while she braided and pinned -- I loved that sweet woman -- so was happy to tap my dad for the job. Unfortunately, the sweet woman who was their neighbor died before the wood could be cured & turned, so now the catalpa wood bowl is mine... and I treasure it.


I thought I'd show the long view(s) from whence the most recent Macro Monday view came. I stood on the pergola bench to take the close-up photos.

On the way back up the stairs, I spotted a nest under the top step.

3 -- Things that go buzz. And that sting.

The nest is similar to this one that I spotted from the bedroom window the next morning. That's under the eve right off the end of the back porch.


Both are in areas where the kids play. Ugh. So, in lieu of both large pest control and tree trimming, there will be small pest control. They can't come until Wednesday, so that gives me time to assess the entire perimeter of the house (which is scheduled to be painted soon). Last year, I had a problem with similar getting under the siding. I've never had so many pest problems before! (I'm not even mentioning the tiny ants... oops, I guess I am!)

_ _ _ _ _


Happy 4th of July!

Unraveled Wednesday: Oops!

It's been rainy, it's been hot, my back yard is like a jungle, and my entire city was steaming this morning.


This was the the view from the end of the driveway... I wish I could have taken more photos along the way, it was even thicker in some areas, and the air was so still and HEAVY... I could barely breathe.

_ _ _ _ _

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today!


I discovered last night, as I reached the point where I'd start the heel flap, that the sock I'm knitting for an adult... is not going to fit an adult. Somehow I screwed up my numbers. So I'm going to start over... literal unraveling will be happening this evening.

And, as long as I'm starting over, I'm going to take my inspiration from the latest MDK Field Guide No. 11 - Wanderlust! I'm not sure exactly how or what, but I'll have plenty of time to think about that as I'm... unraveling and rewinding. Heh.


There has been little progress except for adding to the TBR pile. Joining Lincoln in the Bardo, two books have been added to my Audible queue in the past week:

I loved listening to Marcus Samuelsson's memoir, Yes, Chef, so I thought "Our Harlem" would be a good one (plus food & drink recipes!).

"My Grandmother's Hands," is... timely right now.

The Summer Walkers is still on my nightstand, with The Bright Hour in the wings, thanks to Bonny's recent rating/recommendation.


Thankfully, there's been a change in the photo shoot schedule, so I don't have to rush with the kids' outfits.


I stopped at Joann's yesterday, anyway, and will have some time to test my theory... or come up with another plan!

Meanwhile, I'd recently picked up a few things for the kids at rummage sales, including this top for Malina:


AWESOME, isn't it? When I was folding the laundry load, I had an A-HA moment and realized exactly WHY this top was so awesome:


Very Alabama Chanin-esque, wouldn't you say?? I guess my subconscious is in tune. Haha!

As of 4:00 there are 4 days ahead and who knows what will happen... well, if you're in the USA, you know that fireworks will happen! I may or may not pop in, so...

Have a great weekend!

Macro Monday: 1st of July!

I can hardly believe it's July! Now's the time that summer feels like it might be slipping away, especially because we've hardly had any summer weather to enjoy... so.much.rain.

It certainly was summertime hot & humid over the weekend, with more of that in the forecast (along with more rain).

I've whittled the Macro Monday photos for today down from 10 (that I processed) to four:


There's a small stack of shells on one of the pergola benches... randomly stacked by one of the kiddos (I'm guessing Gin) and it's been undisturbed for days. I love the subtle colors!


Our young-ish catalpa trees are LOADED with flowers this year!!


And there are plenty of buds yet to open. So pretty.

So, naturally, our Airbnb guests arrived early on Friday and we were last on the list for appliance delivery... so that was less than ideal. The appliance guys arrived about :20 after the guests, but they were really great and the whole process went SUPER smooth! Had our guests arrived at regular check-in time, I'd have just been finishing up... just as I'd mentioned in my heads-up note to them. I'm really happy with the new fridge!

The thrift shop hop in Green Bay was fun on Saturday. Kate made a pretty good haul; I bought a pair of wine glasses and some sewing needles. Obviously, lunch was the highlight for me! We checked out Copper State Brewing Co., which is related to Copper Rock Coffee Co. located in Appleton. Kate had some pork tacos with a lager, I had a burger with an IPA and a half. I caught whiff of a hamburger on the way in and couldn't shake it...

I finished my Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic re-do! I found a back-side photo from June 2017 when I finished (the first time) to compare:


The difference in stitching is plain to see! I've popped it in the wash to even it all out (the equivalent of blocking knits). (Obviously, red is my preferred color for toenails!)

I did some #100daysknitorious2019 stitching on my Car Jacket, and also started some projects for the kids. By that, I mean that I mostly printed and taped and cut patterns pieces (so time consuming!). I'm making matching dresses for Ginny & Malina and a coordinating vest for Junah. I'm using some "Nana" fabric... a white embroidered cotton that were originally cafe curtains that my mom had made for the coffee shop (skirts of the dresses and body of the vest), and a floral Ralph Lauren sheet that was a favorite of my mom's (flutter sleeves, straps & bands on the dresses, welts & possibly facings on the vest & bow tie). We've been wanting to make something from that curtain fabric for a couple of years now, so finally... but it really needs stabilizing. I've ordered some fusible stuff and keep your fingers crossed that it's shipped sooner rather than later because just minutes after I did that, Ali sent me a message about a photo shoot for the kids on July 8th and it would be SO GREAT to have these projects finished. I could get away with adding another layer to the dresses, and maybe even to the vest... we'll see. I have a couple of days to think on it all.

3TT: 3-Day Weekend Straight Ahead!

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

It's been a long week, but as of 4:00 this afternoon, I'm on weekend time! Three days, baby, YAHOO! Here's a little bit of what's happening:


I'll be taking delivery of a new fridge for the apartment and, believe it or not, it's scheduled perfectly (to not interfere) for the Airbnb guests arriving tomorrow afternoon. I've spent enough time up there to notice that the old fridge (brand new in 1982 when I was renting an apartment from my stepdad) seems to be running.all.the.time.


Kate also has the day off on Saturday, and we plan to head up to Green Bay for some thrift shopping... and lunch, of course.


Certainly by Sunday (and maybe even by Saturday), I'll have finished the re-working of my Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic. Are you sick of this yet?

I found a photo from when I was first doing this stitching:


This isn't impossible, but it is pretty tedious since it's already been cut and the fabric curls a bit after washing. Here's a progress shot that I took this morning:


Getting there! After this little interlude is over, it's back to my June's Spring Car Jacket!!

_ _ _ _ _

Making the outlook even brighter, next week is a 3-day work week... which means a 4-day weekend will follow!