Weekending: Super Wolf Blood Moon

It was VERY cold (1ºF), but I couldn't help it! That cold temperature meant that the sky was crystal clear... and how often is there a Super Wolf Blood Moon??

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These are not-so-great photos from my phone, but not bad considering... I love the colors of the moon and how it looks sort of painted.

I hope you had a great weekend! Other than having the kids for a while on Saturday afternoon/evening while Kate & Al went on a "sister date," I just sort of plunked along... not quite at 100% yet, but slowly improving. I predict that by the time Friday -- and the start of a 3-day weekend -- rolls around, I'll be feelin' fine.  :)


How in the world can it be 34 years?

Thirty-four years ago today (also a Sunday) at Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, OR:

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Innocent babes get married! Heehee.

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This is my 34th Wedding Anniversary card. Rusty often paints me cards for special occasions... someday I'm going to have to have a retrospective, because they're pretty great! This one is obviously neither to scale nor geographically correct... there's a big emphasis on Spain & England!!

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All the important reservations (airline, lodging, car) have been made, the itinerary has been roughed in, and now it's the fun part... figuring out where we might want to go, see & explore, and where to EAT! Based on our destinations, I am predicting a heavy emphasis on seafood.

We are looking forward to visiting & vacationing with Annie & her family in Valencia during Las Fallas in March (with all of us going on a side trip to Galicia -- the "Atlantic Northwest" -- to escape some of the early noise & hubbub), and a leg to Cornwall for a few days on the way home.

I love having something to look forward to!


FO: First Finished Project of 2019

I finished the first of two belated Christmas presents last night. Monogamous knitting FTW!

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Oh the DRAMA of photos taken by LED task light at o'dark-thirty on a winter morning!

I finished all but the i-cord at Knit Night, then did that part and soaked/blocked when I got home -- using my largest dinner plate! I wished for one even an inch bigger. I can't wait to get a modeled shot!

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Lo and behold, as I processed this pics I noticed a mistake where a cable wasn't crossed! This would be a serious flaw in the girders of the Eiffel Tower, which inspired this design, but will have no effect on the structural integrity of this beret, and will therefore likely remain uncrossed.

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Unless I can't live with myself.

At any rate, I loved knitting this and I'd definitely knit another if another beret-wearer happens along. I don't wear hats, and am especially repulsed at the thought of wearing a tam/beret myself... thanks to my mother who, year after grade-school year, forced them on my unwilling head. Maybe Kate will love and want one in a different color... because I also loved knitting this yarn!

Next up, belated Christmas present #2: Ali's socks. I did a German Twisted Cast-on last night but... I think it was too TIGHT, and not very stretchy, so I ripped it out and will try again later today. That's the stretchy cast-on y'all said you liked for socks, right??

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On a somber note, I have been rattled this week by the news that an old knit-blog friend suffered a stroke last Friday. I can't for the life of me remember what her blog was called, but Laurie and I are roughly the same age... she is a beloved mother, daughter, teacher, and friend. We share a love of a certain bit of Oregon coastline. She'd finally moved out of ICU yesterday, but was whisked back very early this morning. Her sons will need help in aiding her recovery, so a GoFundMe: Laurie Oberg Medical Fund has been established... and, if you're able, perhaps you'll consider helping them out. And also send some good juju in the direction of Salt Lake City, UT!

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Thanks for stopping by. ❤️ Have a terrific weekend!


Random Thursday with Bullets

Hi there. It feels like ages since I've really been here.

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  • We're over the hump of January, and for that I am thankful.
  • I got over the hump by taking a quick overnight Tues-Wed trip to Madison for a little get-together with Bookish Wendy (some of y'all may remember her from the "good old days" of blogging). She was (is, until tonight) in Wisconsin for a conference and I was happy to help break up her week.
  • My sinus/cold thing is all but gone; I am breathing unimpeded (for the most part) 24/7 through both nostrils and the fog has lifted. Thankfully, there was never any sore throat, chest congestion, or coughing, which makes me think it wasn't really a "cold." More likely an allergic reaction, though I have no idea to what.
  • The Christmas decorations are off the tree and put away, but the three is still standing! That's #1 on the list for Saturday.

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  • While putting away ornaments, I ran across the box of spare lights and fuses that's been collecting/growing for years. Guess what? I don't have them anymore!
  • I finally finished listening to Tom Hanks' Uncommon Type! I enjoyed the stories and listening to Tom Hanks read them; the one little thing that irked was that there was no discernible pause between the stories. Though it's a little thing, I think it was one reason I avoided listening... in the back of my mind, at the beginning of every sentence, I'd be subconsciously wondering if it was still the same story or a was it a new one. Exhausting. In the end, I sped it up and listened to Tom Hanks reading really fast!
  • Now I'm listening to Brené Brown reading Daring Greatly, which is marvelous -- her voice is wonderful -- but not while driving any distance. I listened both ways to Madison, and stopped to catch a wink or twenty each way... she was lulling me to sleep with her smooth, mesmerizing voice!

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  • I'm looking forward to a healthier, quieter, more uneventful second half of January.
  • It sure would be nice to get a little sewing done! The itch has only grown since Ali send this photo of Ginny all cozied up with Malina's quilt.
  • There are a million other things vying for attention, of course. Lately, I've been giving most of it to Kate's Ironworks Beret and I'm closing in on it.
  • Next up: Ali's socks!

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  • I've also been readying some yarn... I actually found a few opportunities in the past few weeks to head down to the studio. Make.Do update soon! It'll be small, but I'm pretty pleased. Instagram is probably the best place to keep tabs on that. Hopefully soon!!
  • In other news, among my Christmas gifts this year was a small flat of miscellaneous wood type. My local antique shop had posted it and I informed Rusty that it was immediately on my wish must-have list!

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  • Junah was intrigued by those letters, too, so we spelled his name and mine. That other piece is a large #1 -- it's probably 5-6" tall.

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  • I still haven't spent the quality time I'd like to with this... examining and sorting and playing and dreaming. I want to do another letterpress printing workshop now more than ever.

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Thanks for reading!


Weekending: 5

And now he's 5!!

I can hardly believe it...

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He was such a little nugget.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JUNAH!

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There was a little friends & family party... and no shortage of present-opening helpers!

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He decorated his own cake and it was just perfect!

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I'm nearly recovered from the dastardly head cold after a 3-day weekend full of... not much. It was kind of a pain, but I'm thankful it didn't develop into anything more.


Unraveled Wednesday: Ironworks

Joining Kat & the Unravelers with an update!

KNITTING:

I've been working on the first of two belated Christmas presents, Kate's Ironworks Beret, which I began on New Year's Day.

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The pattern is in MDK Field Guide No. 9: Revolution, or, as I like to call it, the Norah Gaughan issue.

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I have a ways to go, but I imagine the decreases will be starting pretty soon. I haven't knit cables in a while, and these are especially fun.

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I'm using the specified yarn, Jill Draper's Windham, which I ordered from Ann & Kay at MDK, in the color Graphite... and it's GORGEOUS!! It's lovely to work with, too.

My cute project bag is made by Madder Root, and was a Rhinebeck purchase. That particular bag is sold out at the moment, but there are so many other great designs!

READING:

The reading is the same, same, (almost the) same!

However slowly, I am making progress on all fronts. But now that the holiday ruckus is behind us and people are all either home or well on their way, I am mainly concentrating on staving off a cold! I'm looking forward to a Friday-off workweek this week, which means a long weekend and hopefully lots of rest... though possibly with a side of taking down the tree and definitely celebrating a 5-year-old's birthday (without spreading too many germs)!!


Give Them Wings: Maddy Mo On The Go!

Originally, Maddy was to depart for Australia/New Zealand on New Year's Eve, but with the fall on Christmas, ER visit, stitches, swollen and sore, and just not quite in the best shape for such a long trip, she decided to postpone it.

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Instead of heading Down Under on NYE, she ended up visiting both the dentist and the endodontist when she noticed that one of her top teeth was becoming discolored. The tooth registered zero sensitivity, and she wound up the year with a(nother*) root canal!

It's been great having her around, and we've had some wonderful family get-togethers. Yesterday, Kate baked a Victoria Sponge for our send-off dinner... which was pizza (haha)! The cake was a triumph!

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The recipe was from Jamie Oliver's Great Britain cookbook, which Kate had given me for birthday or Christmas a few years ago. It was truly spectacular, and so delicious!

So, anyway, away she goes today... Maddy leaves here late this morning for Chicago, then L.A., and finally Sydney where Viv will meet her! They are going to travel and explore Australia for the next month, then Maddy will again work the vintage at Wither Hills. And then... who knows!? I do know that we won't likely see her again until next Christmas.

It was a great month despite the ER visit, stitches, and root canal!

*We're really against making this a tradition!


Weekending: Random catching up!

OK. This is going to be a super random dump of odds & ends that have been swirling in my brain...

It was kind of a crazy long holiday around here, beginning right after Thanksgiving with Maddy's arrival & Viv's visit. We celebrated, more or less (something/anything/everything), all of December, right through Christmas, and continuing with Ann & family's arrival for a few days just before the end of the year.

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Mack picked up right where he left off last summer... with a baby in his arms! He's so sweet on her. It's adorable!

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We made two visits to a new-to-us and spectacular indoor pool/rec center while Ann was here, once with Ali & the kids, and once with friends (above). Junah's going to be 5 years old in 5 days... and he looks it, doesn't he?!

We played a lot of Bananagrams!

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It sure is a fun game. Maddy called me over to see one particular word she'd made...

All day long on New Year's Day, I was thinking "begin as you mean to go on," but I also just needed to chill, y'know?

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One thing that I did do was the refashioning of a thrift store find -- rescued from the Clearance Rack (at the thrift store, so it was maybe $1.50). I don't know why it was on clearance -- well, actually, yes I do... it had sewn-on ribbing at the hem & cuffs that gathered the fabric and at the wrist and made for a bubble-butt look that wouldn't be flattering on anyone! I really liked the fabric and the size/length and thought for all of one second about whether to buy & re-work it. It took a while, but it was so easy to cut off the ribbing and turn up/sew new hems. I've been wearing it almost everyday since!!

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I was pretty awful with picture-taking over the holidays... the one above isn't even mine (credit to Ali!). It tells the story, though: it was a chaotic & fun holiday season with the very best people. ❤️

Finally, the last wrap-up of 2018, I think... my Top Songs on Spotify. My #1 artist was, again, Gregory Alan Isakov, followed by The National, Amber Run, Lord Huron, and Langhorne Slim; and my favorite subgenre was the rather esoteric "Indie Folk."

They made me a playlist of my Top 100 songs... don't let "indie folk" scare you, it's a crazy fun mix of music! I was playing it yesterday and Katie asked about a few songs she was (surprisingly) unfamiliar with, eventually declaring it a "solid" playlist, which I consider high praise! Haha. Anyway, have a listen... maybe you'll find something new to like, too!


3TT: BuJo

Joining Carole & friends for *Three Things on Thursday

Actually, one Thing  -- a Bullet Journal -- and three photos of it.

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I've never done a Bullet Journal -- or any kind of journal, really. Six pages of the diary I got for Christmas when I was 11 hardly counts.

Kay was talking about it at MDK just before Christmas -- just as I had a ton of things to keep track of -- and I decided to sort of try it out for the holidays. And I liked it. I had a "cover" with a line for each day and a bare-bones description of what was happening -- who was arriving or which celebration or where we were going. There was a section inside devoted to each day where I kept track of details -- schedules, how many for dinner, the menu. It was GREAT!!

Meanwhile, I ordered an actual journal for myself -- and one for Rusty, too, because he is a journaler from way back, and it was his birthday on the 26th!

I'm trying out a few things, but I know already that even without sketches, calligraphy, and all the other doodads, it could turn into a huge time suck and I am not about that. At all. I am well aware of all the "inspiration" to be found on Instagram and Pinterest, and have been keeping my distance!

I rather enjoyed drawing out that January/Monthly Log calendar, but I don't think I'll be doing that for every month... I have a million monthly calendars at my fingertips, and this one doesn't really seem all that useful. In fact, it'll probably make me frustrated and mad... unless I dedicate it to keeping track of one or two very specific tasks. Hm. I do have one or two specific & related tasks that I need to be reminded of... Maybe I will be doing that every month.

There's a reason that some of what I've written in this journal so far is in pencil.

The Future Log seems useful -- a simple listing, by month and at a glance, of important events/reminders.

I am very  excited about my Duolingo-Spanish log, which I just created last night, picking up with a refresher from where I left off two years ago. I plan to practice/meet my goal everyday until our vacation in Spain (designated in red)... and it looks like my subconscious chart designer decided to carry on right through to the end of the year! We'll see.

Meanwhile (bonus photos), I'm not above this sort of thing...

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...format, print, cut, tape!

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But I also ordered washi tape... way more than I thought! So we'll just have to see where this all goes.

I'm planning to keep track of some vacation stuff -- packing lists, reminders, a log. And house stuff -- room dimensions, paint chips, window measurements, the size of those dang furnace filters. And gift lists. And... I dunno what else! It's a book made for lists and I'm looking forward to keeping them all in one place.

Do you BuJo? I'd love to hear a little about how you use it... the thing(s) that work best for you, and those that don't!


Unraveled Wednesday: 2018 Wrap

Joining Kat & the Unravelers... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

KNITTING:

I started & finished 19 items in 2018, with the exception of "Habu for Me" which was started in 2009!

2018-knitting

  • Two hats
  • Two adult cardigans
  • Four infant/toddler cardigans
  • Two shawls -- somehow missing from the photo array is "Summer Camp"
  • Three pairs of mukluk slippers
  • One pair of socks
  • One pair of mitts
  • Four gnomes

Four items started & not finished or abandoned in 2018:

  • Water (still working on it)
  • Lunar Phase (abandoned) - interesting design, just not for me. (But what a great enamel pin!)
  • Morvarch (in the future file) - love this design
  • Parallelogram (in time out, likely to be abandoned/frogged) - my wrist/arm/elbow can't take the repetitive motion. I've been considering that I may need to make some changes to the way I knit.*

Details (more or less) on all of the above on my Ravelry page: I am knitorious!

To start the new year, I cast on Kate's Ironworks Beret (for Christmas 2018) and as soon as I finish that, I'll knit Ali's socks (also for Christmas 2018).

READING:

I read 15 books last year, which is 10 less than I'd hoped for... and it's a stretch to call at least one of them a "book."

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I am still reading Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs by Bill Cunningham, and have recently made a point of reading a few pages every night! I have a couple in wait, including My Brilliant Friend, which I received from Carolyn K. as part of this season's Jólabókaflóðið exchange, once again brilliantly organized by Susan!

I'm still listening to Tom Hanks read Uncommon Type: Some StoriesI am enjoying the book and stories and like Tom Hanks' voice... I don't know why I'm not listening more. I sped it up a bit last week and have been trying to get back into the habit of listening during my commute.

I've set a goal of 20 books for 2019... and will just see how it goes!

*I continue to "feel" my shoulder injury, which occurred on Sept. 1st; there seems to be continued improvement overall, which I credit to early treatment, and mostly to my husband for his willingness to work on my shoulder/arm for about 10 minutes every single morning. Some days are better than others -- it's not only shoulder discomfort, but elbow & forearm as well. I haven't knit for long stretches in one sitting for quite a while, but I don't seem to be experiencing very much knitting-related discomfort... except when I do ribbing!


Unraveled Wednesday: 2018

Firstly, here's wishing Rusty a very happy {mind-blowing number} birthday!!

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He's getting a massage this afternoon and Lobster Bisque this evening and a few other prezzies, too!

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Also, we had a great Christmas except for the part where I ended up taking Maddy to the ER! SHE'S FINE!! She came home from visiting friends in Milwaukee in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve and went for a run -- so she was feeling pretty good at that point! We had a nice dinner, started a game of Monopoly, and watched a Harry Potter movie and she felt more and more lethargic as the evening progressed. She went to bed before the movie was even over and, well, if you know Maddy+Harry Potter... it's just not right. She had some other symptoms on Christmas Day, but was able to hang in there with us all, though declined to join us for our traditional Christmas Day movie (Mary Queen of Scots). My phone vibrated as we were walking to the car and she said that she'd felt lightheaded when she got up and fainted/fell/face-planted on the living room floor, resulting in a big gash on her lower lip (inside and out). Long story short, she got two stitches in her lower lip and was sent home with orders for ice, rest, and hydration. Hopefully, she'll be able to eat something soon. Poor thing -- she's leaving for The Land Down Under in 5 days!

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Joining Kat & the Unravelers for one last time in 2018! And there's a lot to talk about.

KNITTING:

I finished a pair of mitts and a pair of socks for Christmas presents!

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Not finished for Christmas: Ironworks Beret for Kate, and a pair of socks for Ali.

Ali requested the socks and I'd intended to give them to her, then decided that I really wanted to knit Maddy some socks and it sure would be easier to give them to her before she left for Australia! Both Kate & Al got yarn wrapped up with an "intention" gift card, and those projects will be next up...

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After I knit a few more Gnomes! This is the first, there's a second underway... along with a third and fourth!! Numbers 3 & 4 are styled after the Travelocity gnome, and for Maddy & Viv, so I need to finish them ASAP. I want to knit them for everyone!!

I'll do a complete wrap-up/review of my 2018 knitting in the next few days.

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READING:

The book currently on my nightstand is Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs by Bill Cunningham.

I'm still listening to Tom Hanks read Uncommon Type: Some Stories. I still seem to be in a "quiet period," but I've been listening a few days each week lately.

I'll also do a reading wrap in the next week. In a nutshell? I seem to be reading less.


Merry Pissmas!

There's been a lot happening over here, but this...

...is all that matters! Well, that and the fact that Malina is crawling, and my sis is state-side!

I was waiting for take-away when Ali sent the Snapchat above, and I couldn't help but laugh... out loud. Tossing & turning a bit that night, this video popped into my head during one of the turns and I couldn't help but giggle... out loud! Not loud enough to wake up Rusty, but OMG.

MERRY PISSMAS, EVERYBODY!!


Year in Review: 2018

Here we go again Year In Review!

I do it in words (the first sentence of the first post of each month) and in pictures (a favorite posted photo from each month) -- the two are not necessarily related.

January 2018:

That was December.

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February 2018:

Unlike some others, I felt like January flew by.

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March 2018:

Anticipating... A new grandbaby arriving on the scene in something like 23 days!!

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April 2018:

Did you have a good weekend/holiday? We did!

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May 2018:

It was nice to get home on Sunday early enough that I had time to get a few things done (after my nap) and take a walk through the yard.

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June 2018:

[I've lived your worst (travel) nightmare]... so you don't have to!!

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July 2018:

[Scenes from a hot weekend] As in temperature. And humid, too.

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August 2018:

The Wisconsin State Capitol.

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September 2018:

Well, I fell on Saturday afternoon, while carrying Malina across a grassy area in a park, which turned out to be very uneven terrain.

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October 2018:

What big eyes you have...

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November 2018:

There goes October!

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December 2018:

Ha. So, I've updated the text a bit and replaced and/or added photos to my last two posts, which were originally made from my phone.

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I know I  say it every year: I can't quite believe the year is almost over!


Instagram Top 9* of 2018

Unsolicited, and a couple of weeks ago already, Facebook presented me with "Your Year on Facebook," and Spotify sent my "2018 in Music" facts... triggering an avalanche of The Best of All The Things, including...

The Top Nine from my personal Instagram:

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Obviously, we had a new baby in the family! In something of a take-over, Malina is the subject of more than half of my photos. Rounded out with some good health news, turning 60, a cool Alabama Chanin-ish shirt made without sewing a single stitch (not that I mind the sewing), designating my sister's vintage Vogue/Rowan sweater as my Rhinebeck Sweater... oh, and there's Ginny! There is a LOT missing from this little collage...

I also ran the Top Nine from Make.Do:

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It's still a pretty small-scale operation, but I've amped it up a bit over the last couple of months... so I even had more than nine photos to choose from!

I also read Carole's Three On Thursday post last week wherein she lamented the onslaught of this type of thing because there is plenty of 2018 left! Yeah, I thought, you're right, but pshaaw... I'm so busy I can barely get a post up right now, much less make it a good one, and that's not likely to change by the end of the year...

And then:

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*It did change!! I'm calling it Top 10!  ;)

New enamel pins of my yarn ball logo finally arrived and I was pretty excited about them, and so were about 35 other people - haha (it doesn't take much at this stage)! Anyway, they are so cool... a substantial but not enormous 1.25" in diameter, jewelry-grade cloisonné, with six colors of enamel and black nickel plating, and they're in the shop! Blog readers can use the code FREESHIP to get free shipping now through the end of the year -- on pins or anything!

Thank you for all your comments, encouragement, and support, and just for continuing to pop by and read!


My sweet sister

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I can hardly believe Sharon has been gone 8 years.

I love you, Sharon! I miss you every single day. xoxo


Friday!!

Oh, friends, it has been A WEEK! I hit a wall last night, and that's having skipped out on two holiday get-togethers this week (basically opting for in-house/family get-togethers, instead). Today was my day off and I slept (more or less) until 9:30 am!

On Tuesday, the girls all gathered at my house in the afternoon for a Cookie Day!

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I made sure to snap some photos of bakers/helpers before they all ran off. Does Malina seem a bit interested in the vino??? Maddy is used to being outnumbered by gingers, but it's not usually 4 to 1!!

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Viv loves to cook and is darn good at putting together an appetizer tray, too. She and Maddy have not only been doing lots of cooking, but lots of clean up, too, so we're a little spoiled at the moment.

Last night was Ali's holiday party for KC&T and I watched the big kids. After a bit of a melt-down over underwear... in which Junah had two little accidents (waiting too long!) and I didn't have anymore undies, and he didn't want to wear any of mine nor Rusty's nor go commando (tho he did at least finally try) (and had I had sweatpants instead of overalls)... and finally agreed to be wrapped in a towel while I ran a "quick cycle" in the washer... they decorated some cookies. Whew!

Maddy & Viv have departed for MN, where they'll be visiting friends and also delivering Maddy's Subaru to its new owner!

I spent the day starting to get things under control around here after a few weeks of inattention, and am looking forward to/needing this weekend to really get things in shape!

I hope you have a great weekend!


Two for Tuesday

One - Football

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Maddy & I had the pleasure of taking her girlfriend Viv to her first NFL game at Lambeau Field on Sunday. If she never goes to another, she's done alright! I told her that anyone she meets who's into American football will be impressed that she's been there!

  • The game began with an F-16 fly-over by the "Tulsa Vipers" (a.k.a., the 125th Fighter Squadron) from the Oklahoma Air National Guard.
  • We bundled up because it was COLD! We also had what they call "outdoor club seats," which come with plenty of warm indoor space and we definitely took advantage.
  • We braved the cold and went up to the scoreboard for an overview -- and watched the Packers score a defensive touchdown from up there!
  • The half-time show was a parachute jump by "The Wings of Blue" U.S. Air Force Parachute Team from Colorado Springs -- the last jumper was Santa Claus and he landed right in the end zone (though the mark was at the 20-yard line and there was a collective gasp when it looked like momentum might cause him to run into the wall)!

Two - Knitting

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That's a sock -- shocking, I know! I can't remember the last time I knit socks, and I wouldn't have even considered it except that one of my favorite people in the whole wide world requested a pair, and Mary told me how much she loves knitting worsted socks and about her favorite pattern and modifications and before you knew it, I was dying worsted-weight yarn and getting excited about knitting socks!! Haha. And they are fast -- even with three or four tries before a successful tubular cast-on! I'm already ready to kitchener the toe... but think I'm going to frog it back to the start of toe shaping tonight and add a couple of rows.


Weekending: Whew!!

I didn't even finish talking about the weekend before last -- Sunday, anyway -- in which I took this:

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...(plus a few more pieces) to THIS:

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It took a lot longer than I'd hoped (I had a LOT more things on my to-do list) (still do), but it's done and I love it!

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Last weekend started on Thursday evening with the first Christmas party of the season with the gang from work, and continued with a company-paid day off on Friday! I needed it, too, since I didn't have a regular day off last week. I did exciting things like get my oil changed & a tire repaired, picked up & dropped off packages at the coffee shop & visited with Ali for a while, went to the grocery store and Target. Woohoo! Those are all things that needed to be done, though, and I basically got paid to do them.

Rusty & I drove over to Two Rivers on Saturday for a meeting/gathering of the local chapter of Wisconsin Visual Artists. They met at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, and had organized an optional printing workshop... for which we both opted in!

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One of my first real jobs was as a typesetter, though I didn't even know that's what I was doing at the time, and it was the very dawn of computer typesetting, so I never actually worked with block letters/art and real leading before. I just flipped switches to get the amount of leading I wanted between lines of type, and actually typed on a keyboard (mostly) instead of plucking individual letters from a type drawer. Either way, what was being produced was not the end-game... it was all destined for the printer! And though I never printed a darn thing in my life, I was in that environment for many years... and, coincidentally, Rusty owned a print shop at one time (long before I met him), and my brother also worked in various print shops for many years.

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So this experience was both very familiar and very new!

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We each had our own little sign press & galley with various tools, some ink & a supply of paper, and a good selection of type and art from which we could choose. I never actually thought about what I'd actually make/print, so I went seasonal first and went from there... here are a few examples of my work:

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OMG. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!

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I can't stop thinking about it, so I guess that means that a full-day (at least) workshop is in my future! Time was limited, so I really didn't spend much of it away from my own press, but I did take a peek at Rusty's project:

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Well, he is an artist!

Edited to add: Rusty showing off one of his prints on the Hamilton Wood Type IG feed!

There was inspiration everywhere:

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...including in the bathroom:

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There was an amazing exhibit of Jim Sherraden's work at the museum...

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Including these paper quilts. He's apparently been a visiting artist at Hamilton. I didn't know, until I googled just now, that he's famous! Way cool.

I hope you had a great weekend, too!


Whirlwind Art Trip with Kate (part three)

Homeward bound.

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We got a pretty early start... because it's a long drive (7+/- hours) and we had another art stop in Chicago. A bridge was closed, so we were detoured north out of St. Louis... advantage being a new view! (Bissinger's, by the way, is a chocolatier. Mmm.)

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The weather was being rather dramatic right off the bat.

Our first stop in Chicago, though, was for food!

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La Barca is a Mexican Restaurant/Taqueria/Food Mart that was featured on the Chicago espisode of Marcus Samuelsson's PBS Food series No Passport Required. This was actually Kate's idea!

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And it was a very good idea! The tacos were delicious... I had asada and pollo. And chips & salsa. And a beer.

Next stop:

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A visit with Aviv Benn at Devening Projects+Editions.

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I met Aviv last year at her MFA Show in Chicago... a trip that I must not have blogged about! Kate's July 2017 youngspace interview with Aviv Benn. 

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We also popped in to see Volker Saul's work and I kept being drawn to this one... with thoughts turning to sewing and Alabama Chanin.

The weather turned to crap (-pier) on the way home from Chicago. I thought I had the worst of it in southern Wisconsin, but then Kate took the wheel around Fond du Lac and it became crappiest -- wet slushy snow, not made any better by stupid drivers (of big trucks).

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We ditched the freeway on the last leg home. At least downtown Appleton looked sort of pretty. We followed a snowplow for the last stretch. Needless to say, it was great to arrive home!


Whirlwind Art Trip with Kate (part two)

We had a leisurely start on Friday morning, then head out for a bite to eat before our museum stops. A friend of Kate's had suggested Cafe Osage at Bowood, so that's where we went. What a wonderful place! Very open and light, with huge windows... We both remarked that it was my mother's kind of place -- she'd have loved it -- and noted that 90% of the clientele reminded us of her, too! Nana-types!

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We had to have a beverage with breakfast/more like brunch, so it might as well be something fun! I chose "Cherub's Cup" (north shore #6 gin, st. germain liqueur, adami prosecco, strawberry simple syrup) and Kate had "Rosey Bee" (barr hill raw honey infused gin, rose liqueur, rose geranium, lemon). We shared a plate of Roasted Cauliflower (pickled grapes, tahini, breadcrumb)  because how could we not?? Kate had Poached Eggs with Lox and I had the Artichoke Omelet. It was all so good!!

Kate overheard a woman at the next table giving the waitress what-for about a few things, including that the music was overpowering. Feedback is great and everyone has their opinion, but the music was NOT overpowering and everything was wonderful -- and I felt bad for our waitress. When she brought our check, I made it a point to tell her that everything was perfect -- the drinks, the food, the service, and the music! She laughed and it was as if I could see the earlier unwarranted criticism falling from her shoulders. It made my day, and I hope it made hers a little better, too.

Anyway, the Bowood Garden/Home/Gift shop that Cafe Osage is a part of was so fun, and there was a special Holiday Shop open in a building across the street, too. So we did a little poking around and shopping.

Then it was off to the main event. Ruth Asawa: Life's Work at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. I think the Pulitzer is one of my favorite places ever. The exhibit is breathtaking and, without apology, I'm going to post a ton of photos because it's all just so fascinating and mesmerizing... each individual piece, each part of each piece, the pieces as they hang together and relate to each other, apart and layered, the spaces, the shadows... It's ethereal and indescribable and... just so beautiful.

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Fascinating.

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Still fascinating.

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And still fascinating.

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I just couldn't get enough.

I want to live there.

This lovely children's book, Ruth Asawa: A Sculpting Life, was waiting when we got home and I can't wait to read it to the kiddos!

We caught our breath and walked next door to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

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Sanford Biggers, Shepherd, 2016; glitter, tar, acrylic, spray paint, assorted textiles, antique quilts

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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled panel, 1980; oilstick, graphite pencil, latex on board

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It was a bit early for dinner, but not enough time to go back to the house, so we went to Sophie's Artist Lounge & Cocktail Club, located at the Kranzberg Arts Foundation.

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And we had some more delightful drinks! This was a combo of gin, thyme liqueur, basil simple syrup, and cava -- it was the thyme & basil components + plus the sparkling wine that I found irresistible! Cheers!!

For dinner, we went to the brand new Grand Tavern by David Burke in the Angad Arts Hotel, and that was another incredible meal! We shared some emotional lobster dumplings, and then Kate had black linguine with clam sauce and I had branzino (with artichoke hummus, black olive, vegetable vinaigrette). Two Nana-types at the neighboring table (a mother & daughter, actually) had couch potatoes and clothesline bacon, and offered a piece of the bacon to us (they were big pieces and super-thick). The bacon is actually served on a little "clothesline," held with clothespins, and caramelized with a little torch right at the table. Yeah. It was crazy (and good -- it can be crazy if it's good)!! Oh, and we had some flame action at our table with an old-school baked alaska for dessert.

Then it was across the street to the Fabulous Fox and the Hip Hop Nutcracker... and you know the rest of that story!


Whirlwind Art Trip with Kate (part one)

Bonny referred to my "whirlwind art trips with Kate" the other day and I loved it! I've decided that it's a thing... currently, an Instagram hashtag! #whirlwindarttripwithkate 

It fits like a glove. This is a photo & caption that Kate posted on Facebook the other day and I immediately made it my profile pic:

Ruth Asawa Pulitzer St Louis

Visiting the Ruth Asawa Life’s Work show at Pulitzer and feeling all the
Black Mountain College love and lore rushing back... such a stunning show,
and there’s my mom because she’s such a super spontaneous fast-paced art trip copilot
and it was her idea to run to STL for this show in the first place.

Haha. Kate's not always the instigator! I don't remember how I first learned about this show, but from that moment I was plotting a trip to see it. And there you see me and a big part of the exhibit... there will be more on that later. First things first.

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We planned our departure for Wednesday after work, and it turns out that it was the same day that Maddy returned from her vintage gig at an Oregon winery! Kate's day was shorter than mine, so those two had a nice catch-up over lunch and hung out for a while. I was able to kiss & hug & hit the high notes while I finished packing, and then Kate and I hit the road at right about 5pm. We stayed overnight outside of Chicago and got a reasonably early start on Thursday.

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When I wasn't dropping DPNs, stitch markers, or stitches, I was even able to get some knitting done on the way! (I think I'll finally finish that mitt tonight.)

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Our first stop was for lunch! We were actually headed someplace else when Salt + Smoke Barbeque caught our eye. We were not disappointed with that choice!!

Then it was on to the St. Louis Art Museum to see the Kehinde Wiley show. Oh Em Gee...

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I'm going to post only this photo here and I love it because it shows the scale of his work. They are wild... in the best possible way. You can scroll through the rest here:

There was much more to see, of course.

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This amazing covered bowl & plate set caught my eye. Does anyone else see balls of yarn in that design???

We checked in at our Airbnb -- a beautiful carriage house that I kept imagining with my own furniture and thinking about where I'd put my yarn. Those are the best... the ones that I want to move into! This was my 22nd stay at an Airbnb, and I guess you could say I'm a fan! (Join Airbnb through this link and you'll receive a $40 credit toward your first trip, and I'll get a $20 credit, too.)

The house was close enough that we walked over to check out Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch! What a fun event!! Admission is free and includes a beer (or beverage of choice).

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Does it look like we had fun?? Haha. Completely out of character, we opted for not one but TWO souvenir photos... one with the LOVE BEER sign and one with the CLYDESDALE (because CLYDESDALE)!

On the way back, we stopped off at a fabulous restaurant called Frazer's and had a wonderful meal. The food was superb and the service was top-notch.

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I'm thinking this is a Corgi? Christmas decoration?? Am I missing something?

Then we walked home and fell into bed, ready for Friday (our only full day in St. Louis)!


St. Louis Update

Ha. So, I've updated the text a bit and replaced and/or added photos to my last two posts, which were originally made from my phone.

I have a lot to share... Kehinde Wiley, Ruth Asawa, and much, much more!! It was a fun trip (except for the last hour driving in slushy snow).

I'll be back!


30 - Updated!

Hip Hop Nutcracker! Now with more info!!

We saw The Hip Hop Nutcracker at The Fabulous Fox Theatre! And, wow, what a theatre!

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Incredible on the outside...

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Mind-blowing on the inside. That isn't even the half of it... our seats were quite high my phone was supposed to be off, but I couldn't help it.

Anyway, reviews were mixed. Kate was tired and not all that into it*. I liked it a lot... closer would have been better.

Here's a little clip/blurb from a few years ago, but it's exactly the show we saw.

*Instead of HHN, we could have gone to concerts by Nathaniel Rateliff, Bob Seger, or Kenny G... heehee.

And that's a NaBloPoMo wrap.


29 - Updated!

Hey, Saint Louis.

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Posting a photo from my phone obviously DID NOT WORK! What posted in the original post wasn't even one-quarter of the original shot (now updated, above)... but hey, that crane tho!! Hahaha.

This was taken late Thursday from the steps of the St. Louis Art Museum. What a beautiful place... all of it.


28

Meet me in St. Louis! << Wouldn't that be fun??

Kate & I are headed south this evening, with an overnight at an as-yet undetermined location in Illinois. We've tended to do St. Louis in whirlwind fashion and this trip will be no exception, as we'll be back home by Saturday.

The main reason for the trip is Ruth Asawa: Life's Work at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. I've been interested in Ruth Asawa's work because:

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How could I not be? I saw just this very small installation at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2010 and was positively smitten from that very moment. So intriguing.

Kate's familiar because her Master's thesis at Edinburgh was about Black Mountain College, where Ruth Asawa lived/worked/studied with the likes of Josef Albers (another favorite) and Buckminster Fuller for a few years.

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I mean... REALLY!

It's just amazing. I'm very excited to see much, much more of her work. And since we won't likely meet in St. Louis and enjoy this show together, here is a pretty cool link to View an Asawa Installation at ruthasawa.com (and a million other fascinating things to click on there).

We will also visit the St. Louis Art Museum to see Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis, and have tickets to The Hip Hop Nutcracker, and hope to get over to see the Christmas display at Anheuser-Busch (which is walking distance from our Airbnb, so very likely!). It would be interesting to see how the holiday display at the Botanical Garden has changed from last year, and it would be great to catch some jazz/blues somewhere... we'll see. Whirlwind.

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I can't let this day pass, it seems, without acknowledging this accomplishment...

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Happy EIGHTH Birthday, Parcheesi! You're still my favorite project, and still looking beautiful. ❤️


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On Sunday, I helped Kate pick out her tree. Delivery was free!! Rusty helped her haul it upstairs and set it in the stand, and I watched her decorate it.

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She's using a lot of vintage ornaments that were my mom's, and found a cute tinsel garland at the thrift store.

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Some old are more fragile than others and remained in the box. Mom had quite a collection of these pot/lantern things, though, so a fair number are actually on the tree!

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I love those old ornament boxes! I'll post a pic of her tree in its full glory. 

Tomorrow, we're off on an adventure,.. stay tuned!


26

Shameless self-promotion follows.

Make.Do Logo-HandDye-Stacked-color

I’m having a blast and am humbled by the lovely response to this latest phase in my ongoing yarn-y endeavours! Kate's been encouraging me for quite a long time and, yes, she did sort of smirk when she asked, "Aren't you glad you finally did that?"

I’ve updated online shop inventory, and have added some brand new and a fair bit of OOAK* hand-dyed “Be” fingering/sock yarn!

Use discount code MONDAY for 20% off any online order

Use SHIPFREE for free shipping on orders over $50

Codes valid now through, well, MONDAY (today, midnight CST)!

Oh, and a FREE MINI-SKEIN will accompany every order, while supply lasts!!

It should all work but, y’know, this is all new… so let me know if you have any problems checking out!

*I've never been very good at the color name game... still searching for the elusive inspirational theme that will solve all my problems.


25

Now that I'm getting older...

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I need a bigger TV! Haha. I guess it doesn't look all that big in the photo, but it's 50" vs. our old 32". I bought the 32" because it was the biggest that would fit in our entertainment center and I wasn't ready to give that up. Now I am. It's a nice piece of furniture and, for now, it's going to be repurposed into yarn storage. It'll also make my workroom look nicer.

Seriously, though, mine eyes!! Ugh. That is the absolute worst thing about getting older. I hate it.

There's a lot of rearranging to do, as obviously I don't have a single piece of furniture that's wide enough to accommodate that new TV! The old TV, entertainment center & accessories are all still where they were -- because what if I didn't like the new one? We'll watch the Packers tonight on the "big screen"!

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I found my knitting machines stashed behind the entertainment center!


24

I didn't do any yarn dyeing or rearranging of furniture yesterday (to speak of), but I did wash windows and do some holiday decorating outside. It was in the mid-40s(F)!!

I bought a really nice window washer/squeegee thing a few years ago and it's one of the best things I've ever purchased! It made such quick work of the kitchen windows -- which had been driving me nuts now that it's full-on morning sun instead of filtered -- that I moved on to the garden room windows and then I had the bright idea to do my dye studio windows!

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These are windows that had been painted (exterior storms) once or twice in 31 years but opened for the first time only last year! I had never washed them -- and I'm pretty sure that the painter/Rusty didn't (at least not to specs) -- so it was quite thrilling to see the difference. Clean on the left, dirty on the right -- at this is without the storm windows, so it was even a bit worse.

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I did this candy cane stripey thing on the front porch pillars (different/bigger pillars) years ago and the kids always want me to do it again. I don't always... but this year, it's DOUBLE! It turned out OK, I think.

Then, of course, it was time for a nap.

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I am working on the Appleseed Mitts from the Mason-Dixon Field Guide No. 8 - Merry Making! I'd already bound off the first mitt and this was my re-do... it was too tight the first time, of course! VeryPink's YouTube tutorial for a tubular bind-off was just the ticket! I finished that (perfect!), knit the thumb, and am on my way with mitt #2.


23

We had a really nice day yesterday!

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I fiddled with the tree lights -- wadding up three non-working half-strings and stuffing them near the trunk, and putting on four new 50-light strings. 

Ali and the kids came over in the early afternoon and, as expected, excitement was off the charts once they noticed it.

They decorated the little wire tree in the kitchen, first, and then we moved on to the big one...

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There's a bit more to do, and Maddy's box of ornaments await her arrival next week, but the bulk of it is done. Earlier than ever! That probably means it'll come down earlier than ever, too, but who knows... I really do love the light!

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Ginny had a favorite branch for hanging ornaments!  :)

Our menu was simple and delicious, the main event being Cooking Light's Instant Pot Turkey & Sage Dumpling Soup. My only mods to the recipe were that I probably added a bit more veg, and I'd bought a split turkey breast that I had to de-bone myself and I went right ahead and cut it into pieces, too. I was worried that the small pieces would get overcooked, but they were perfect, and it eliminated the messy step of removing the turkey after it was cooked to shred/cut it up. That recipe is a keeper!

I'm off of work today, and plan to do some rearranging of furniture and also some yarn dyeing! Yahoo for long weekends!!