"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

Saturday, June 29, 2019

June Crafting Life!

Ahoy there, and thanks so much for stopping by for a visit!  I so appreciate hearing from you through your comments here or by any means we are able to exchange news.  

In June my yarn crafting focus was on finishing knitting a baby blanket, but among the things that distracted me from that focus was...

riding the trolley along the Willamette River in southern Portland, OR with a group of friends... a fun way to get to see aspects of the city we rarely if ever see otherwise...

seeing tall city buildings in the background of the river marina offered us a relaxing view in contrast to the crowded speedy freeway driving it took to get to the trolley...

viewing the Sellwood Bridge gently arching over the Willamette River was a highlight of the ride...

glimpsing magnificent Mt. Hood on clear days as I drive around on routine errands is a pleasant respite from the manmade congestion of city life...

knitting and crocheting blankets for babies who spend time in a local hospital neonatal intensive care unit continues to be a project to which a group of ladies in our church is committed.  The ladies are prolific and rapid stitchers...

finishing slowly knitting this blanket in 100% acrylic  Simply Soft Caron yarn that the sister of one of our group members generously donated to us was a joy for me; we have been praying that each blanket will be a tangible encouragement for the baby and family that receive it...

meeting Hobbs and Garfield, my Grand Kittens, recently was delightful and enjoying them will be a bonus when I drive over to visit my youngest daughter and her husband who live about a half hours drive away from me...

sharing my first name, Gracie, with my neighbor's Pug, Gracie, is fun but a little challenging in that when I hear Pug Gracie called or commanded I
have to discern I am NOT being addressed :-) ...

golfing on a miniature golf course with a group of friends recently brought out the happy wild women in me as you can see.  Have you played miniature golf while you are crafting your life?

Gracie xx

"You [Lord] will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever." Psalm 16:11 NLT

Saturday, May 25, 2019

May: Many Flowers, Mt. Hood, and Craft Math

In the world around you, are you enjoying flowers in May?  I hope so; there are so many beautiful varieties to marvel over!

In my last post, I asked if any of you recognized a plant I inherited when I purchased my current home.  It reminded me of Bleeding Heart flowers I had seen although at that stage the heart-shaped blossom was not evident.

Now with confidence, I know that there are two different colors of Bleeding Hearts in the garden areas on either side of the front door.

If you click HERE you will be linked to more information about them.

While the hanging baskets of mixed flowers I hung are looking healthy now, I have been horrified two times when I looked out the front doorway and saw that the plants were wilted! The Spring weather shifts between warm and sunny and cool and gray and I am still learning to water appropriately.

Although there are many blooming Rhododendrons in the area around me, this is the one cluster of pretty blooms on the bush in front of the house that I am enjoying viewing.

Once I attended a wedding in which the bride had chosen to carry a lovely bouquet of white Calla Lilies, and I have admired their blooms ever since and am happy to have them in the garden in the front of the house.

See the white fluff above the roof line in the cleft of the trees?  That is the snow-capped top of Mt. Hood!  I am so excited to be able to see it from across the street looking toward my new home, thanks to a kind neighbor who introduced herself soon after I moved in.  She gave me a picture she had taken, and then this month when the weather cooperated she took me across the street and to the spot where I could take a photo for myself.  My home is the unit on the right; the Calla Lilies were just starting to bloom then.

Since I moved in almost five months ago I have tried to participate in some of the condominium's social activities to get to know some of my neighbors.  This month we had a Tea Party with most of us bringing our own tea cups and some of us bringing teapots to share.  It was a sweet way to gather.

As we near the end of May I am anticipating the warm summer months of outdoor activities including picnicking and brought out a red gingham tablecloth and washed and put away the green gingham one I had been using for Spring.  On Monday we celebrate Memorial Day established federally in the USA in 1971 as a day to remember and honor those in the armed services who gave their lives for the cause of peace for our country. The interesting long history of the day is documented in the link you will find if you click on Memorial Day above.

While I am still working on a baby blanket based on the Grandmother's Favorite dishcloth pattern, I have knit two more little dishcloths using the basic pattern, but in the one on the left, I have a three stitch border and the one on the right I have a two stitch border. Therein is my encounter with craft math challenge.  I am not gifted in math and detail work in general, and I am not showing you my first attempt at a three stitch border which ended in a wonky way :-)  The little dishcloth on the left, my second attempt in making a three stitch border on a small dishcloth is closer to being square than my first attempt, but I do not understand the math behind the construction, nor if it is possible to make a three stitch border more square.  If you want to attempt to enlighten me, I will be grateful!

Meanwhile, for many reasons, I am grateful today. The Thanksgiving I read this morning resonated with me in this season of the year and of my life, and I hope it will encourage you as well.

Gracie :-)  xx 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Crafting Days

Has April ushered in many showers for you in your part of the world? I experienced a number of gray April days in succession that left me feeling a bit grumpy...desperate for sunshine and Daffodils. The leader of our once a month worship art group designed this worship art project that helped me adjust my attitude.  The creative process of working on the project as well as the subject of it helped cheer me. 

One Friday since I last posted my youngest daughter and I made an eleven-hour drive south from Portland, Oregon, to Sonoma, California to pick up some old family albums that my youngest daughter committed to digitizing and storing.

On the eleven hour drive back on Sunday, we were able to see Mt. Shasta in northern California and stop long enough to take a few photos, not only of the majestic mountain but of a miss-guided seagull who checked us out.

My niece and my older sister who live in the Los Angeles, California, area recently texted me these stunning photos of the fields of flowers they were able to admire in a park near where they live.

Aren't they amazing?

Someday I would like to be able to see such fields myself up close and personal!

I am enjoying making more progress on the knit baby blanket that I plan to donate to a local NICU and I have knit and crocheted some small dishcloths.  Years ago a friend with small hands asked me to make a dishcloth half the size of the traditional Grandma's Dishcloth pattern.  My daughters and I found we enjoy using the smaller version as well, even though our hands are not small, so we have made many of the smaller version.

Looking for an old tea cart with a friend a few weeks ago I enjoyed exploring a nearby antique store, and was interested to recognize a number of "antiques" that are familiar objects of my childhood memories!

My all-time favorite practical potholder pattern to make and use is the Double-thick Diagonally Crocheted Potholder pattern that is free via Ravelry.  I made two potholders recently and am tempted to make many more just for the joy of making them.

Since I last posted I met Becky and her husband, and Betsy and her husband for dinner at a nearby restaurant.  We met through our blogs years ago, and it is a special treat when we can actually meet face to face since we live many miles apart.

One of the fun parts of moving to the condo is discovering what bulbs former owners have planted.  There are quite a few clumps of white Calla Lillies but amidst two clumps of them are this flower.  Do you recognize what it is?

These two sunny yellow tulips have been cheering me this week and I hope seeing them will cheer you as well as you craft your days wherever you may be!

Gracie   xxxxxxx

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Gratefully March [ing]

Ahoy Dear Readers!
I am still trying to catch up on reading blog posts for those of you who blog, and I am enjoying the process.  Thanks for posting, and for those of you who don't blog, thank you for keeping in touch with comments on my blog, calls, cards, texts, emails, and some in-person visits!

A few weeks ago I got together with some friends making some cards like this encouragement card, [Pour out your heart to God.  He is your refuge.  Psalm 62:8b].  I am eager to make and send out more cards.

To celebrate my birthday that was in the middle of February, a friend took me flower shopping.  Most of the flowers were already dried, but two bunches I hung upside down in the laundry room to dry.

Also for my birthday, I was given the pretty red Cyclamen I put on the table. I have been learning how to care for it and am thrilled that it is still alive!

Most of the dried flowers I arranged in two baskets on either side of the couch (one shown in the back of the above photo.)

With some of the dried flowers and a little artificial bird, I have had fun decorating the grapevine wreath on the front door.

Here near the base of Mt. Hood in the Portland, Oregon, area I have been shivering in our wintery weather.  We have had a few little snow storms...sometimes with huge flakes like those in the photo above.

I have been making lots of chicken vegetable soup!  I have usually used the following vegetables:  carrots, celery, winter squash, yellow summer squash, spinach, and broccoli.

One of my neighbors came over and showed me some photos she had taken from her house.  She took photos of some gorgeous sunsets, so I have been looking for pretty sunsets and was so excited to take a photo of this one.

In spite of the wintery weather, I'm marveling about a little patch of these Wild Violets in the garden outside the front door.

I am enjoying these beautiful purple Hyacinths nearby in the same part of the garden.  Spring is nearly here!

Meet love-worn Hezekiah!  He is around eighty years old and belonged to my mom.  When one of my nephews was a little one he found great comfort in petting and plucking Hezekiah.  At some point, Hezekiah lost his eyes and someone sewed on some googly eyes.  When I brought Hezekiah up here on my last trip from California in my carry on bag on the plane I was hoping to find some nice brown eyes more like his original eyes.  Last week I am convinced that God helped me find these eyes at my nearby JoAnn's store, for less than three dollars!

So did you know that my Shark vacuum can try to eat my Mac computer power cord nearly panicking me!?!   By the grace and mercy of God, I was able to untangle the two!!!

I much prefer the challenge of winding up yarn in a center pull ball like I am doing with this yarn!

Are you entangled with any crafty challenges these days?


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Crafting Life 2019

Ahoy, Readers!  Since the beginning of 2019, I have managed to knit a few more rows on the baby blanket I am making to give to a local crisis pregnancy center.  I am using the Grandma's dishcloth pattern.
Years ago a good friend from California crocheted this white [snow covered] evergreen tree for me. I have put a little flock of sheep by it. Two of the flock were given to me by my good blogging friend, Teresa.  I thought it would be fun to have the cute seagull skier my good blogging friend, Betsy gave me to pose as a wintery shepherd.
In January 2019 I took my New Living Translation Bible and colored some of its pages on my way flying to California to visit my oldest sister Carolyn who was in her home with hospice care.  I was so grateful for the visit with her and other family members and friends.
Early in February looking out the picture window of my new to me home, I enjoyed this sunrise view of the first snow of 2019!  It was so pretty and soon was washed away by rain.
During the first months of the year I also made some heart bookmarks to share with friends and a stranger I met when my flight was delayed on my way back to California to be with family and friends for a celebration of life service we had for my dear sister Carolyn after her passing.
One afternoon a friend stopped by and showed me how to make a boho bead with paper and cloth and wire and beads and a little heart she gave me that says "made with love."  The brown bead at the bottom was made by my good blogging friend, Teresa
While I am still settling in my new home and trying to make all the change of address notices and other related chores, I have enjoyed little crafting projects.
Are you enjoying some crafting time in 2019?

Gracie xx