"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

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Does Weeding Count as Crafting?

Please let me know if Google is showing a notice on my blog that warns the reader especially from anywhere in the European Union that my blog has "cookies" that collect data and that you give me permission to do so.  Blogger says as a courtesy it is providing the notice, but it is my responsibility to check to see if you can see it        Thanks!  :-)

 Before I pontificate on the topic of weeds, welcome to my current in-home retreat :-)  While the painters continue to progress on the interior house painting, this newly painted room is where my favorite chair is and where my day/night bed resides.  Note the suitcase that speaks to my commitment to get this house on the market by July 1, 2018, and be ready to rapidly move to a yet to be determined humble abode. Also, note that in order to create a sense of calm and order around me I have folded up on a footstool a twin size quilt that I think I have not shown you before. Either my Nana or Mom made it long ago.  The now vintage materials are sweet to see and I find the quilt construction unusual.  As far as I know, there is no batting in it.  It is simply two patchwork quilt tops sewn together...no border.  Is there a name for that? Over a thermal blanket, it helps me stay cozy and warm. Also note that in the baskets in the bookcase, there are assorted crafting projects and supplies which I don't want to pack yet just in case I can make the time to work on them before I move.

 Now to the weeds.  According to my online dictionary, a weed is:
  1. 1.
    a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants.
  1. 1.
    remove unwanted plants from (an area of ground or the plants cultivated in it).

    "I was weeding a flower bed".

The plants pictured above were plants I did not want where they were so I weeded them out of the garden.

 Part of the property on which I live is a portion of a watershed project which offers some guidelines to what we "should" grow.  Foxglove is on the invasive not wanted list, and I have not purposely planted it, but I have not made any effort to weed out the volunteer plants around the pond because I enjoy seeing them.

 The red Rhododendron bushes on the east side of the house are in full beautiful bloom.  I was startled the other night when I saw a British drama in which a character was assigned the task of digging up a Rhododendron bush because it was an invasive species!

 The Grace Ward Lithodora ground cover is one of my favorites because of its brilliant blue blossoms and it helps to choke out things I consider weeds.  The bees love it!  I tried repeatedly to take a photo of a bee but did not succeed. :-(

 Most of this assortment of plants I purchased from a plant nursery and I am thrilled they are thriving and also seem to help keep weeds at bay.  So my answer to the title question is "Yes!"  Weeding is a craft that I have not appreciated as such until thinking about it in this post.  Besides crafting the choice of plants I cultivate, I enjoy the added benefit of watching bees shopping among the flowers for their sustenance, and I saw a pretty ladybug the other day, and I saw a huge blue heron swoop down into the pond!

 As I looked at these plums, I wondered if I will still be living here when they ripen.

As far as stitching goes I have made just a little progress on the preemie blanket I am crocheting and the dishcloth I am knitting, but I enjoyed working on them when I could this past month.

So what do you think, does weeding count as crafting?

Like the bunny on my project bag, I hope you are having a nice day :-)

Gracie xx

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Moving Forward

As I drove from Sonoma, California, to Boring, Oregon, March 15-16, 2018, I drove through a bit of snow north of Willits, California, and north of  Brookings, Oregon, much to my surprise! But the weather cleared beautifully so that I could stop at one of my favorite outlooks and take this photo, which you might recognize as a view similar to my blog header photo. [When I can figure out how to do so I will switch the photos :-) ]

If you look very carefully above the left-hand side of the plaque and near the water's edge there is a little red dot which is the roof of the Umpqua River Lighthouse.  The triangular shape in Winchester Bay is an oyster farm.

I chose this iconic view of Winchester Bay as a beautiful spot from which to visually launch my blog: an exploration of crafts onshore in the Pacific Northwest and my part in crafting in various forms as a growing Christ follower.

At the Biscuit Cafe, for breakfast on the Wednesday, after I got home, I met my knitting service group friends who knit and crochet preemie blankets for needy preemies.  On our way out of the cafe, I took a picture of this saying that is a pertinent encouragement for me now.

 On occasion, I have been accused of being too "preachy" in my blog. More often than not I accuse myself of not being clear enough in authentically reflecting my failings and faith in following Christ and I especially feel that since I have been home.  While the members of our household were/are committed to leaning in to know and serve Christ and not reject each other but to affirm who each of us is in Christ, nine of us have moved out and are not yet in communication with the three of us at home still.  We prayed/pray each other are blessed.

This raises all sorts of questions I can not answer for you or myself, yet, but I am believing our Heavenly Father the great Three in One, is drawing each of us closer to Him and I am praying that each of us glorifies the Lord in all that we do as Holy Spirit empowers us to do so.

 On the way home from California I experienced a bit of Spring snow and once home there was a bit more so that I felt I did not entirely miss Winter while I was in California.

Our ponds have Mallard couples visiting, and I have lost track of how many times the lawn has been mowed now.

My Spring Cleaning has been inspired by meditating on Christ's question,  "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?" I heard a teacher recently say..."There are not any U-Hauls headed to heaven!" :-)

Yet one more season our huge Cherry tree blooms and flurries of petals are swirling to earth in celebration of Spring and abundant life!

My youngest daughter bought out my oldest daughter's share of the house and now my youngest daughter and her husband and I are preparing the house for sale.  I am looking for my first independent house in which to live and my youngest daughter and her husband are looking for their first "home alone," too!!

This is the latest preemie blanket I started since arriving home...one single crochet row, one double crochet row, repeat.

We are in the midst of hiring someone to finish painting the interior of this house and someone else to professionally clean the windows.  Someone else is scheduled to repair a pipe, and we have cleaning/weeding and some repair work to do as well.  The target date for listing the house is now July 1, 2018.

Oh, and I did get my taxes submitted and a refund that paid for my trip back home.  I also got my teeth cleaned and found I need another little crown :-( .  And I don't know when I will make it down to visit my sisters again, but both are doing well and keeping in touch.

Hoping you will check in with me and that I will check in with you!!

Gracie xx

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Slouchy Hat for Spring

 On the drive from Sonoma to Santa Rosa, California, this is one of my favorite views as Winter moderates to welcome Spring.

 The orange flowers in the field are we think a variety of Calendula, but do any of you viewing this recognize these?

 Sadly we can also see some of the devastations from the October 2017 wildfires that took 41 lives in this region.

 The burned trees on the hills are a stark contrast to the vineyards that now have Mustard plants growing in them to improve the soil quality.

 My oldest sister, Carolyn took most of these photos from the car with my iPhone 7plus as we drove to one of her chemo appointments.
 Even though this photo is a bit of a green blur, it captures some of the beautiful plant growth along the way that has us thanking the Lord for life in spite of the fires.

 This is the slouchy hat I just finished crocheting for Carolyn.  I used an H hook and USA double crochet stitches.  Forming a sliding circle I crocheted a flat circle twelve inches across. At Teresa's suggestion, I used Lucy's great tutorial on her blog, Attic 24. I crocheted five more rows on the twelve-inch circle then began decreasing until it fit Carolyn's head.  The yarn is 100% acrylic Red Heart Unforgettable Jewel medium weight and I did not use the whole skein.

Carolyn loves the colors, softness, and lightweight feel of the hat and we are having fun flopping it into different slouches on her head :-)

Carolyn's last CT scan shows improvement in her condition!  We are thanking the Lord for that and appreciate so much the prayers and good thoughts sent out for her healing.

This week while Carolyn's oldest daughter and some Grands are here from Nebraska, I plan to drive back home to Boring, Oregon, and stay long enough to submit my taxes and go in for a dental check, visit family and friends up there...then fly back down here to help Carolyn out for a bit longer.

I am missing communicating with many during this time but hope this post will help to catch those who read it up on my activities and let you know I am cheering you on in your life adventure as best as I can at the moment.

Gracie :-) xx

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Wishing You a Lovely Day!

 While sitting with my oldest sister, Carolyn, during her chemo treatments the last few days, I have crocheted a bouquet of hearts [threaded through a paper plate] for her so she can give a heart to some of the folks around us at the infusion center tomorrow as she wishes them a lovely day.

 Using USA terms, I formed a Sliding Circle, I chained three in the circle, then crocheted two triple crochets, three double crochets, chain one, one triple crochet, chain one, three double crochets, three triple crochets and cut the yarn.  I pulled the Sliding Circle closed with the beginning end of yarn and tacked the cut thread into the cleft of the heart using a blunt needle then pulled both ends of yarn away from the heart.

 This past month I found this clever folding heart card at my nephew's bookstore, Not of This World Icons and Books, in Santa Rosa, California, but you can order them on his website as well :-)

Members of our family gathered from Nebraska and Oregon this month at my oldest sister Carolyn's in Sonoma, California, and we worked on family albums, played Yahtzee and Nertz, put together puzzles, and enjoyed meals together.  We have had many lovely days in spite of my sister's illness.

I miss interacting with many of my blogging friends but am reading blogs as I can even if I don't manage to comment and I am wishing all who read this lovely days :-)

Gracie xx

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mending Crafts

Happy New Year!!!

While there were many wonderful travels and visits with family and friends in  2017 for me, I was so sad at the end of November to get a call from my oldest sister, Carolyn, in Sonoma, California, asking me to come be with her after she had emergency colostomy surgery. I have been in Sonoma since December 3, 2017.

I recently saw and purchased these two books and hope that as I read them they will help me focus on mending and creating even through difficult puzzling times.  Carolyn and her oldest daughter just finished putting together the puzzle pictured above.

I took two days to drive from Portland, Oregon, south through Crescent City, California, where I stopped briefly to take this photo of the Crescent City lighthouse on the island. Do you see the seal admiring it?

Since I arrived in Sonoma, I have been busy homemaking here, driving around and about, and enjoying more time with members of my family.

My oldest son-in-law has kept me in touch with his branch of the family by sending photos of his girls making Christmas cookies and them enjoying the Christmas Eve snow they had in the Portland area.

The girls managed to scrape together enough snow to create this little fine fellow :)

A few days after Christmas my older sister, Margaret, came north to Sonoma from Burbank to visit until New Years Day.  During that time, Carolyn experienced some difficult side effects from the five days of chemo she had just finished, but we enjoyed distracting ourselves by putting together puzzles.

One night after Margaret went home to Burbank, my niece gave me an extra ticket she had to attend a folk concert by John McCutchen at the Sonoma Sebastiani Theatre.  He plays the piano, guitar, autoharp, hammered dulcimer, fiddle, other instruments, sings and tells interesting stories as well.  My niece and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance!

Since I last checked in with you I crocheted a little silver heart, painted a card, knit a few rows on a dishcloth, and I have done some mending, including mending some seams of this quilt.

Last week Carolyn's oldest daughter and two of her grandsons flew in from Nebraska for a few days visit and we had a wonderful time!

Last Saturday we drove to Bodega Bay and saw this fabulous view.

Here, my great nephew, Phillip is looking out for whale spouts from Bodega Head.  At the beach, he and his brother, William, dared to get in the water, flew a kite and ran around enjoying sun and surf.

Today if Carolyn's white cell count is okay she will start another five day round of chemo at a lower dose that we hope will bring her healing without painful side effects.

I am so sorry that I have not managed to stay in better touch with you, and I hope to do so in the days ahead.

May you and yours know the Lord's blessings!

Gracie :)  xx