"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, May 4, 2015

Crocheted Headband at Indian Beach

Several weeks ago my oldest daughter, her four little girls and I drove up to Powell Butte Park in Portland, Oregon to view Mt. Hood and
Mt. St. Helens with it's distinctive flattened top after it erupted  35 years ago.
Then another day on the way home from running errands I stopped at the corner of Highway 212 and 232nd Street to get this view of Mt. Hood and one of the many nurseries that are near the base of the mountain.
 Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are doing a fine job caring for their new ducklings.

They spend much of their time safely hiding in the grass of our front pond.
My son took this photo of a muskrat who has been visiting the pond, too.
A heron has been visiting our front pond lately, as well. See him standing in the middle of the photo? He is standing very still trying to blend in with the grass and not  be noticed!
After I tried to get an intermittent problem with my car fixed and did not succeed, my youngest son, Tim drove us to Gearhart by the Sea in his car. 
The trip was restorative for me because the week before I had whacked a back upper molar with my electric toothbrush, making it sensitive...then painful...requiring me to be on an anti-biotic,  then having to have the tooth extracted :(
The sunsets were often beautiful.
I sketched more flowers in baby Rosie's album.
Tim and I took turns winning playing Scrabble.
I even saw this beautiful sunrise one morning!
We saw the metal hulk of a wrecked ship,
and there was lots of Scotch Broom in bloom.
We saw a barge near the mouth of the mighty Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon.
At Indian Beach,
we saw surfers,
and a squirrel,
and a ladybug,
and a kite being flown,
and I crocheted a Rampant Arch Headband using Sue Perez's pattern
which my granddaughter, Haley, kindly modeled for me when we got home :)

Today a brilliant young man came and repaired our washing machine that stopped working this past weekend. Our household is rejoicing!

Blessings to you and yours,

Gracie xx

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wild Life!

These gorgeous lilacs are from Teresa and Dayle's wonderful *wild* farm near the Columbia River, in Corbett, Oregon.
The lilac's heavenly scent has been lovely ~ ~ ~
Teresa kindly gave lilacs to Taci and me when we got together for lunch on Friday, then my youngest daughter, Elisabeth bought some more terrific tulips at the grocery store...maybe our last for the season, and we are treasuring them.
On Monday, I think, my youngest son, Tim reported there were ducks out on the front pond so I grabbed my camera and tried to quietly step outside to take some photos.  Before I could raise my camera I saw a coyote dash across the road at the edge of our driveway and head off into the tall brambles around the front pond!  But using my zoom lens I got some photos of four Mr. Mallards.  The Mrs. Mallards are sitting on eggs in their nests, we hope.
Also by using my camera zoom lens I was able to get some photos of the wood ducks, but they are very shy and swam to the other side of the pond as soon as they sensed my quiet-to-me-but-not- to-them presence.
Teresa keeps telling me how lucky we are to have wood ducks visit us and I do feel blessed to be able to get glimpses of them with their amazing, uniquely patterned plumage.
I think this is Mrs. Wood Duck, but my son, Tim, thinks it is Baby Wood Duck.  At any rate, I decided to walk closer to the pond to try to get better views  and look what I saw three feet away from me on the right side of the path...
real wild life that I have a hard time admiring!
But I was soon pleasantly distracted from the snake by a brilliant blue Steller's Jay who was flitting around the back pond.  I had been typing to Jennifer about our Steller's Jays and I managed to get a bit of a photo of one before he flew off.
and I enjoyed seeing a Robin hopping around as well.
Then on Tuesday afternoon, following a lot of April showers most of us in our household dashed out to try to get photos of a rainbow that was double at times...but this was the not-so-clear-but clearest photo I got.

In the midst of all this *wild life* I  knitted a calming aqua dishcloth and started another beige one....a practical peaceful pattern I have knit again and again and again and somehow never find boring :)

Do you have a practical, peaceful, go to pattern in your wild life?


Monday, April 6, 2015

In Between April Showers

My granddaughters[ages 7 and 5] and I went for a walk around the ponds and they helped me take some photos.

We saw some blossoms .... their names unknown to us

...we haven't looked for their names yet... [do you know them?],

and blossoms we recognized as wild cherries

some from the enormous wild cherry tree near our house

and some lambs ear [I planted a start from my friend Paula's house in San Jose, CA]

Then on Saturday all four grand girls went hunting for eggs :)

I got some tulips from the grocery store.

And this morning I sewed in the ends on another baby hat I knit.

I consulted my blog friend, Willow, about the pattern she gave me.  This time I did the ribbing in twos and then switched to larger dpn to finish the rest of the hat, and it looks more like it is supposed to look, I think...progress!

What have you been doing between April showers?


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?