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Yesterday's Parties


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


Dripping 2


Dripping 1

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


detail: Dripping 1


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


I also enjoyed the work of Nanami Ishihara.


detail: Crisis Call - Day Breaks

And Kanako Akiyama. Mesmerizing!



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


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


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

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



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


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


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

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


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


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


...and finished by Monday night!


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


Clean windows!

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

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

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

Another weekend, another wedding!

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


And had plenty of cuddle time with her great aunties!


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


Sisters! (And cousins of the bride.)


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


Peaceful sleep the entire way home on Sunday.


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


Darn good weekend.



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


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

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

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

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

Ten on Tuesday: Summer Bucket List

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things On My Summer Bucket List

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

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

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

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

This summer, I want to:

1 -- Play with Junah

2 -- Cuddle with Gin

3 -- Get a BINGO!

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

5 -- Take a day trip to Door County

6 -- Stitch on my Magdalena A-line Tunic

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

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

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

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

What's on your summer bucket list?

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

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

First comes love and marriage (and dancing)!


My niece was the photographer!

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

Then come kids & grandkids!


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

And Food & Music!


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


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

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

On Sunday, I took Jün for a little while.




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




Fantastic garden helper & waterer extraordinaire!

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


Also evidence of my overdue first pedi of the season!


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


Kitty says: Be fierce in love. #loveisloveisloveislove

A post with no name

On Wednesday at Match Factory:




#threeballfreestyle #robertfraher #matchfactory #matchfactoryhortonville #juggling

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

Looking up


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


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


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

- * - * - * - * - * -

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

Weekending: 4 nearly perfect days off

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


And here's one that his mom took yesterday:


Melting hearts for over 2 years now!

Can you believe it?

Hope you had a great weekend!

Right now: June

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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