Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful thursday

Already it's thursday and I'm reflecting on how good life is. I think of these things more often than just thursdays but today it's a reminder to put my thoughts into words

Today, I am especially thankful for my friend Judi. She is such a great person to be around and wonderful support for whatever ails me. She's creative and our personalities match well. Even though she doesn't knit I still love being around her (!). We learned how to do stained glass together, and now she's starting on applique quilting, which she will be helping me to learn. Good stuff

I'm also grateful that when I helped a friend move yesterday that the things he strapped to the roof of the truck didn't hit any other cars when they came flying off. Minor damage to his belongings (the mirror didn't make it though) and a little scuffing of the truck. Not bad.

As always I'm grateful to my family, especially my honey. He's always there for me.

Here are a couple of pictures of my instant happiness things. I can't stay sad when I'm around these two. Aren't they yummy?!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Finally, maybe my sweater will fit!

I took a wonderful knitting  class friday night at Close Knit. It was a class on fitting sweater patterns to your particular body size and being able to pick out flattering patterns. The teacher is a professional tailor, sewer and wonderfully creative knitter. She took our measurements so we have them on paper, and we now know how to look for the appropriate size, and alter if needed. No sweaters with bulky yarn, apparently, unless you want to look chunky; I personally don't know anyone that is trying to look thicker. Now to find the perfect pattern to try.
On another note, here's the view out my front window; aren't the leaves gorgeous? I just can't get enough of the fall colors.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thinking of others

As part of a knitting project thru the website Ravelry, I am knitting hats; lots of hats for a homeless shelter in Portland. I have accumulated about 15 so far, where as they are needing no less than about 50 for christmas packages they want to assemble. I'm not sure I can meet that demand, but I can at least give something. Here's a picture of my progress as of a few weeks ago:

These are children -sized hats; it's tough to think of kids being homeless. Hopefully these will help a little. 

Thankful thursday

It's thursday and several blogs I read post a "thankful thursday" blog. I've been reading up on the Civil War as well as watching the great dvd series produced by Ken Burns. After visiting several civil war sites while in DC the history really came alive for me. 

First place we visited was Robert E Lee's house in Arlington, now home to the Arlington Cemetery. The Lee family vacated the house during the Civil War, and as a payback to Lee's southern alliance, Union officials decided to bury their deceased on the grounds of the house. Today it's a tribute to the lives lost in the war; the house sits on top of the vista overseeing the Arlington cemetery and is a stark reminder of all that is lost in war. 
This thursday I am thankful of being alive and in good health, of having a safe place to live and plenty of food to eat each day. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Hubby and I took our first ever trip to DC this fall. I've never been to the East Coast before so it was an amazing experience for me. Other than constantly getting directions mixed up on foot and by car, we managed to see a lot of places; the history surrounding us was incredible. Too much to do and not enough time. Now that we've been there once, we'll know better next time how to spend our time and prioritize our to-do list. 
The Capitol Mall was exciting; seeing al the buildings in person was wonderful. I had never realized how gorgeous the Smithsonian building is:

The White House and Capitol building looked exactly as the pictures portray it.  Here I am on the steps of the Capitol looking at a map trying to figure out which way the Spy Museum is:

Hubby should have realized by that look on my face that I had no idea which way to go. Fortunately we managed to stumble upon it anyway.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A fun day with alpaca "fur"

Well, alpacas really have fiber or fleece, but my non-knitting friend likes to call it fur.My spinning group had a get-together out on a farm where it felt like you were out in the m
iddle of nowhere. Gorgeous day, wonderful people and lots of fun things to learn; perfect day! Alpacas can be sheared more than once a year and their fiber spins up into a wonderfully soft yarn that
is perfect for scarves, gloves, blankets, etc. Alpaca fiber can come in a range of colors such as brown, grays, and off-white.

Half the day I spent learning how to dye the fiber using store bought dyes (you can also use kool aid or food coloring). color wheel. Dyeing the fiber also was an experimen
t in how colors combine. Using the same few colors provided, people still got a range of results depending on how they applied the dye and what colors they put next to each other. The pictures below show a couple of examples of the fiber colors

The other part of the day I learned to use a drum carder to combine 4 p
ieces of different colored (or in the case of white, absence of color) fiber to create some beautiful colors in the purple/maroon family. The picture on the left shows the beginning bag of fiber and the picture in the middle is the result.

The pictures below shows a drum carder pulling the fiber thru and "combing" it together.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

So, I took this wonderful trip to Santa Barbara with my mom last fall. I've never been there before but have always heard about their wonderful spanish architecture and was dying to see it. The weather was phoenominal, warm and sunny, and the scenery was to die for. We drove down Hwy 1 along the coast line, thru some windy mountain areas and finally into the town. Dinner was at a scrumptious little mexican restaurant and then the next day was full of wandering around the area looking at all the gorgeous buildings. The courthouse is amazing, and has a tower with a 360 degree view. The best thing was spending the time with my mom. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Looking into the Past

With researching my hubby's ancestors, as well as mine, it can feel a little eerie sometimes reading about these other people's lives that somehow merged into becoming part of ours; these people that I've never known and have such different lifestyles and upbringings from mine have helped shaped who I am today. It seems like a huge effort on their part to have worked hard, suffered and enjoyed the events of their lives so that I could be a part of this world as well. It does put a larger perspective on things and make me realize that it's not just about me, never has been and never will be. I'm a part of the ongoing process of keeping life going, learning and enriching my life to benefit someone down the road, someone perhaps not even born yet. I need to help bring that past to the present and to the future, contribute as much as I can, however I can, to help this process in the best way I can. Learning about the past and present is so very critical to the future, so important for people to know and understand in how they came to be what they are. Looking at Grace's grave the other day, it struck me how much her life means to me, how her efforts gave me my hubby, and consequently my two beautiful kids. I wonder if she ever thought of that, ever thought that what she was doing and the kids she was raising would have such a profound effect on someone like me. Here's to Grace and her wonderful person, who she was and what she did for me. 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New skill coming up

So, I've signed up for a spinning class; spinning with a drop spindle that is. It's an inexpensive way to learn how to spin yarn without having to invest several hundred dollars in a spinning wheel. 
There are so many beautiful colors of roving to buy at local shops and on-line at sites such as Etsy; I can't wait to be able to buy some and be able to spin it. There are a few alpaca farms local to Portland, am looking forward to visiting some this spring and being able to buy some of their fluff. My hubby has talked for years about having an alpaca farm and, believe it or not, I used to laugh at him because I thought it was a silly idea. Lo and behold, he's the one laughing at me! Sometime in our future we will buy a house with a little property so we can raise an alpaca or two, plus have plenty of room for our kitties to run around. In the meantime I can visit someone else's farm, or even buy some yet-to-be sheared alpaca fluff through Etsy; lots of fun possibilities. I have to wait two weeks for the spinning class, it is so far taking forever to get here. Hmm...... then there's weaving too. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In search of the McGregors

Whew, looking through old census records for tidbits of information that may or may not be accurate is time consuming work. I started a family tree for my husband's mom's family and it's very slow going. Not alot is known about the family so trying to piece together the little info we have is a challenge. The challenge is also a lot of fun, and very addicting. Finding something new to add to the tree is very exciting. Only a few generations back from my mother-in-law is a father who was born in Scotland. That will lead to new adventures, I can imagine. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Pink Panther strikes again

While searching on Etsy, I came across a cool artist (TinyArk) who makes buttons out of polymer clay. The buttons are adorable and have lots of detail in them. What do ya know... she makes custom buttons. Whooo Hooo! I zipped her a convo to see if she'd make some Pink Panther buttons (what could be cooler?) and she had them done and posted in a matter of hours. They are the cutest thing I've seen-such great detail and all colorful. Well now, the possibilities are endless and only limited by my imagination. I can't wait to think up something more for her to create. Here's a picture of a  stitch marker I got from another artist on etsy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Happenings

I finally busted out my gift card to the local yarn store yesterday and splurged on several skeins of yarn. I had ignored it since Christmas but couldn't wait any longer. I actually was trying to save it to take a spinning class, but since I have to be careful about spending these days I didn't want to start something new and then want to get a spinning wheel. I'm working on the Envelope purse so got some wonderful pink/purple Noro yarn to finish it up. Can't wait to felt it and see how it comes out. 
I spent the day in Corvallis visiting my dad and helping him get some chores done. It was a nice sunny day and it felt good to help him catch up on stuff again. Melvin went down with me and I much enjoyed spending time with him again, even though he was asleep a good part of the day (having got in at about 5:00am this morning, he didn't get much sleep before we left for Corvallis). Never the less it was good to see him again. I'm grateful he still is willing to spend time with his ol' mom. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

No such luck

I thought I had a good chance at solving my soon-to-be jobless status by applying for an opening in the office; it wasn't to be. I'm fast learning that I'm having to put spending and decision on hold. I don't know exactly when my job will be over so it's hard to know what to expect. In the meantime, I keep knitting to de-stress; luckily I have some stash to work from. I figure the money I'm saving from a chai every day will allow me to get a new hank of yarn every now and then. 

Saturday, January 31, 2009

my flamingo socks

I'm knitting a pair of socks, well really just one at a time but eventually there will be two. The yarn is called pink flamingo, which reminds me of Florida. We traveled along the gulf coast of Florida this last fall and the beaches were amazingly beautiful. We saw pink flamingos at the sunken gardens in Sarasota, and pink billed birds of some kind on Sanibel Island. This picture doesn't do the colors of the bird justice; they are very pretty and very pink. Florida was much nicer than I thought it would be; surprisingly affordable, beautiful scenery, and the beaches are very clean and pristine. We also saw some alligators ( I was sitting safely in the car while Eddie ventured out to get this picture. Fortunately this guy was pretty slow and not interested in a snack at this time so we were able to get a nice picture of him. 
Add ImageFor my next pair of socks, I'd like to find some yarn to remind me of this beautiful sunset

Friday, January 30, 2009

And the axe falls...

Well, this week I learned my job is moving and I'm not. Totally unexpected and a little scary. I have a few months to compete with several others for the few new jobs that will be posted. In other words, I'll soon be on the sidewalk. Losing your job is good motivation to tighten the belt; no more Starbucks or lunches at my favorite mexican restaurant. Needless to say, I'm exercising more to stave off the panicky feeling and keep my head clear. Oh, and lots of knitting

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Back in the saddle again....almost

I'm back working out and being healthier, thanks to my wonderful trainer Leslie. She motivates me like no one else can. She's going to graduate soon and then likely move on to bigger and better things, then where will I be?! There's something to be said for being motivated to stay on track when you have to report to someone on a regular basis-a trainer knows all; there are no secrets with her

Monday, January 26, 2009

Good intentions

I had hoped to make it to yoga class tonight, but got delayed with a rather long phone call at work. It was all worth it, except my yoga intentions fell by the wayside once again. My hands are sore from knitting so much over the weekend, so I sat idle at home with a warm kittie on my lap. It's hard to not get something accomplished tonight before the evening's over with. As they say, tomorrow's another day...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday morning

I woke up to snow this morning, not a lot but enough of a dusting to make things pretty outside and to piss my cats off! It's beautiful while I'm sitting inside and have nowhere to go, perfect excuse to pick up the knitting needles. 
I have several projects going (of course) as I get bored doing just one thing at a time: Caitlin's striped gloves, Lady Eleanor scarf, another pair of socks, a scarf for me. I've wanted to learn socks two at a time but find it too tangly so far. I haven't tried the magic loop method yet so may give that a shot. 
Hoping for either a blizzard tomorrow morning, or all the white stuff gone so the commute won't be a nightmare. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Current doings

Today I'm still working on some fingerless gloves for my beloved niece Caitlin. The pattern is a pain and I can't wait to get them done and on to something more fun. 
I'm looking forward to April when Caitlin and her family will be up here in Oregon and I can meet up with them.  We're going to go hit all the local yarn shops we can find and go crazy. Can't wait! It's snowing outside just a little, which means it's too cold. Hope the spring comes soon