"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Spring Pattern Line

Recently, my good blogging friend Teresa and I had a rather comical conversation in which she tried to help me appreciate that I had created a new pattern.

We were looking at the yellow baby hat pictured above on the right that I finished crocheting. With  joy and enthusiasm like Tigger's, Teresa proclaimed, "Gracie!  You made a new pattern!"

With  gloom and doom like Eeyore's I admitted, "Uhhhh...  I was trying to follow YOUR pattern."

It would be flattering to embrace the idea that I was being purposefully clever in creating a new pattern, but in the spirit of honesty that Meredith promoted recently in her blog, I confess that I didn't.

However, I am addicted to Happy Endings, and I have found one in this latest edition of my story.  First of all,  I imagine that the baby hat will one day warm the precious head of some little one many miles from here thus fulfilling the purpose for which it was created for Taci's Hat Project.

Secondly, this incident prompted me to ponder patterns in general, how they are formed, and what patterns I find pleasing.

I am fascinated to realize that while I am strongly attracted to the patterns I have seen in illuminated manuscripts, I am quite put off by some of the elements that form the patterns.  Grotesque, scary, dragons and creatures are not what I want to learn to draw to form my patterns!  But my eyes are beguiled by the general forms and colors of the illuminated manuscripts, and somehow I would like to create works that reflect the wonderful colors and patterns I admire.

My blogging friend Christine recently sent me a link to an exciting [to me] site that produces coloring books of modern illuminated manuscripts intended to be used as a form of Christian meditation.  I am eager to use them!

Other patterns around me that have attracted my attention recently: The pattern of the rounded petals in the fragrant purple-blue hyacinths my youngest son, Tim, gave me is so beautiful.  The pattern on the frogs my youngest daughter, Elisabeth photographed  is so interesting. The pattern of the fort my oldest daughter, Mary Kathrine, built from the tree felled to protect our home intrigues me and my growing granddaughters. The majestic pattern Mt. Hood thrusts from earth to sky demands my attention and admiration from whatever location I view it.

My Spring Pattern Line of interests is varied as you can see, but I have another pattern [I showed you many posts ago] that I have been sporadically working on this Spring. The pattern is timeless [endless].  Why did I start knitting it [YEARS AGO]?  It is not my pattern, but I chose the color [and the pattern]. Why did I choose the color? Why did I choose the pattern?   I am knitting it on circular needles.  Will I knit backwards in the middle of a row like I did  [and left in] in the cowl I recently finished and proudly showed you several posts back?  I think I still have 170 rows left before the next color change in the blanket I am knitting. Is that even possible?  I suppose I should reread the pattern and recount the rows just to check. Mercy!

What is in your Pattern Line this Spring?


Monday, March 9, 2015

Daffodilly Days

We have some Daffodils in our yard, but our neighbor has a large patch of them and kindly brought over a bucketful to share with us.  These are in my room.

These are in the dining room.

Then he brought more varieties to share with us~~~~lovely fragrance~~~ and sunny colors :-)

This is the park off of Palmquist Ave. where our family has been walking recently.

One of my rewards for walking is catching a glimpse of Mt. Hood which I zoomed in on my camera so you could see better.

In  a previous photo there is a lovely little tulip tree in bloom in the park,  and I enjoyed seeing these trees in bloom on a street adjacent to the park.

The weather has been so beautiful it has been difficult to stay inside, so I recently drove down to nearby Dodge Park to see how Spring is springing up there...not with flowers, but beautiful green in some of the trees and grass and sparkling rippling water that is to me somehow both soothing and invigorating to watch. Do you know what I mean?

Then winding my way home I passed this farm which I have photographed before at this time of year, but I am not certain of what road I was on.  I kind of meander along various roads aimed in the general direction of home and eventually get there, but get so caught up in enjoying viewing the scenery I forget to note the name of the road...maybe next year :-)
My youngest son, Tim, indulged my whim and drove toward Mt. Hood on Sunday after church and I was able to snap this photo.
Last week when Tim was hiking near Mt. Hood he took this photo of a lenticular cloud.  I have seen them several times over Mt. Hood and find them so interesting.
This weekend I have been crocheting and knitting hats for Taci to take to Brazil this summer when she goes to visit her family there.  For years Taci's mom has been providing hats and blankets and such for needy newborns near her. If you would like to send some with Taci, she would be glad to take them.  I used Teresa's pattern to crochet the hat on the right and love it's pretty shell pattern.  To knit the hat on the left, I am using the pretty stitch marker Teresa made for me to help me keep track of the pattern Linda gave me.  I have not used dpn to knit in years and fear that I did not make a tight enough cast on row.  I am thinking I could crochet an edge on the cast on row to finish it off more evenly...what do you knitters-crocheters think?

Wishing you a happy week wherever you are!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Finery

My youngest daughter took this photo and the next to show you what I made with the wonderful yarn I purchased from Camellia Fiber Co.'s Rebekka.

The yarn on the needle is all I had left of the 180 yards I bought!  Whew!

A view of Mt. Hood from Revenue Road near our home in Boring, OR.
Same view as above but zoomed in.
A zoomed in view of Mt. Hood from Orient Drive a few blocks south of our home in Boring, OR
An ocean view sunset from Lincoln City, OR, I saw with my oldest sister...neither of us pictured :-)
I finished knitting a dishcloth while in Lincoln City.  That is my sister Carolyn's right hand :-)
Down between our two ponds these Daffodils are already in bloom!!!
My oldest daughter took this photo of a mystery bush just starting to bloom, down by the brook.
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are back on the front pond ready to welcome ducklings.

Our Forsythia bush and Daffodils in the front south yard are in early bloom.
My oldest daughter painted the picture of the cherry tree, sheep and mountains for my birthday <3
Illuminated manuscripts are among my favorite art works, and these books remind me of that style of art and encourage me to learn how to better combine colors and designs.  My art journal is under all the books :-)  I decorated the pitcher in this photo to remind me of  Psalm 56:8 NLT "You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book." My little plastic snowman is in the picture because it looks like he is the only kind of snowman we will have down here in the valley below Mt. Hood this winter, and I am a bit sad that is so, although  I realize there are some who are snowbound or otherwise snow challenged who would gladly change places with me.  [Forgive me, please?]
This little flower is one I have drawn in my one-year-old granddaughter, Rosie's album I am putting together for her.

February 27th, I finished knitting the alpaca-silk cowl I started knitting on size 4 circular needles after Christmas.  I simply used garter stitch, then crocheted the cast on row in single crochet.  Even though it was on circular needles, I knit it flat and joined it with a row of single crochet.  Then I loosely basted along the join, gathered it and tied it off.  I had the heart pin which was given to me years ago by my good friend, Annie, and I decided to pin it on the cowl to finish it off.

Somehow, I am behind again on reading others' posts and posting anything myself.  I aim to post once a week, but I find that even though I am "retired"  there is much more I want to do than can be crammed into the time I have.  I so admire those whose creative output outshines mine, and rather than be discouraged, I am inspired by those who outshine me to enjoy what creative process I can, and cheer on at least some of those whose output so inspires me.

Did you enjoy February's Finery around you?


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Look what my youngest daughter found in a bag of potatoes! [She is making a good recovery from her hip surgery]
Celebrating Valentine's Day and my 64th birthday a little early :)
Yummy peanut butter and chocolate chip heart shaped cookies my youngest daughter made.
My oldest son David and his family gave me this interesting book for Christmas.
My alpaca-silk cowl is almost done.
Mt Hood cuddled under a blanket of clouds near Portland, Oregon.
Look what the stem of my Amaryllis did after I cut it and put it in a vase of water...kinda neat, huh?

Happy Valentine's Day!  I have had a lovely day in every way.  My oldest sister is visiting from Sonoma, CA for a week. We went to a day of reflection at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Portland, OR, for part of the day and when we came home my youngest daughter spearheaded a wonderfully themed Italian spaghetti dinner [red checked tablecloth and candle light and Italian music].

I have had a string of technical difficulties blogging.  This week I created a new Blogger Profile which allows me to not be a no-reply blogger. Yay!  But then today I managed to lose all the photos from my last blogger's lunch.  Don't ask me how.  I do not know :(

At any rate, in spite of the technical difficulties, I feel so blessed with loving family and friends who share their creativity with me and help me celebrate life, and I am grateful.

Have you had a lovely day?  I hope you will let me know.  


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shades of Winter

We are enjoying white, pink tinged Apple Blossom Amaryllis blossoms and the last glory of our red Poinsettia.
The blossoms are so heavy I found the stalwart green stem bent in half one morning!  : (
Then I discovered that the green and brown palm trees from the Fisher-Price Nativity set are able to prop up the stem.
Can you see them? : )
My youngest son and I fiddled with the electric stove and coaxed it to warmly glow orange and gold with new light bulbs.
This pretty scarlet and green Cyclamen plant was purchased for my youngest daughter to cheer her as she recovers from hip surgery.
Knitting this alpaca, silk cowl feels like I am knitting a soft warm, fluffy, silvery cloud.
When Teresa and I came out of the gym pool one day, recently, Mt. Hood was outstandingly snowy white against blue gray clouds.
Our confused Camellia bush is producing these gorgeous pink and white Springtime blossoms.
Usually this bush starts blooming in late February, so we are getting an early treat seeing the pretty pink contrasting against the deep evergreen leaves of the bush.
 Mt. Hood was glowing goldenly from Jonsrud overlook near Sandy, Oregon, just before sunset recently.
After the Seattle Seahawks won their last football game my oldest daughter took this photo with her iPhone of a muted winter rainbow we saw out my window.
A few days ago I received this lovely card and felt stitched heart shaped Valentine pin from my sweet friend, Betsy.  My basket full of rainbow colored yarn seemed a good background to perch the card and pin on to show you.  I bought the cotton yarn in this basket on sale from Lyon Brand Yarn a few months ago and am enjoying single crocheting around  35 chains to form a double thickness rainbow colored pot holder. 

The new year has found me occupied fighting off a cold for a week, involved with my youngest daughter's out patient surgery on her left hip, reading material for a class on Eastern Orthodox history, exploring the use of the word "secret" in Scripture, helping to keep my living space tidy, celebrating my oldest son-in-law's birthday, swimming less than usual, and doing a little knitting and crocheting, too.  I re-read some of Women's Work: the first 20,000 years, by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, that Annie has been reviewing on her blog, but in general I feel I am behind on EVERYTHING, including post reading.  However, the shades of winter around me stop me in my tracks...to behold beauty in the moment.   I am grateful God created it! I am recharged by it!  I want to replicate it! I want to share it!

How are the shades of winter affecting you?