"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, July 14, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

 While I have done a bit of traveling around the world by plane, and boat, and car, and train, I have done far more armchair traveling through blogging.  It is a privilege to interact with creative folk in far flung locales as well as some very close by.  One special creative blogger, Teresa Kasner, actually lives very close by me in Corbett, Oregon, near Portland and has become a lovely face to face friend. Before we met I was delighted to be able to order a set of her beautiful hand painted cards from her blog site, and have two of them framed and hung where I can enjoy viewing them.  She is soooo artistically talented and posts amazing photos and interesting narratives about the world around her, including glimpses of her beading, painting, crocheting, knitting, sewing, and civic and family/friend activities.  Thank you for  asking me to participate in this Blog Hop, Teresa!

1. What am I working on?
I finally finished my first crocheted cotton basket (pictured above) and have the first panel done for a second basket.  I have a crocheted shawl started, one sock on circular knitting needles, a cap on another set of circular needles, and the blanket (pictured below) on another set of circular knitting needles.  I also am working on a little photo album for my youngest Grand, Rose, and am sketching some flowers in her album as well.

 2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My work is SIMPLE and SLOWLY COMPLETED :) [I admire and am inspired by those whose work is the opposite of mine :) ]

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I find joy in the creative process, especially in highlighting or creating the beautiful. [ I told one of my junior high teachers that someday I was going to write a book, but to date I have just written three children's plays, and contributed some devotional material to a book. ]
4.  How does my writing/creative process work?
Sometimes I enjoy the challenge of taking on an assignment, especially a project fueled by need, but more often these days, I find that as I look at the work of others, I am inspired to try to either duplicate what they have created or use their work as a launching platform for a similar project...now if I could just speed up my production rate...especially for making the many gifts I would like to give :)

One of the wonderful bloggers I have met  through Teresa is Betsy Queen whose blog is entitled The Simple Life of a Queen.  She is one of the busiest, women I know!  Her knitting and crochet projects are prolific in number and usually given away.  She is a Christian who is happily married and is living in Spokane, Washington.  She has three adult children and three grandchildren all of whom she has to travel many miles to see. [One of her sons lives in Japan!]  She has agreed to post an Around the World Blog Hop post next Monday, July 21, 2014.  Have you visited her blog?

Gracie xx

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Crocheted Surprise Arrived!

The hazy days of summer have definitely developed in the Portland, OR, area!  While driving into Portland about a week ago the car thermometer registered 104 degrees...a rarity here.  I have really been glad Teresa and I have been able to go swimming as often as we have, but we got to the pool Friday only to find that it was closed for repairs :(

Somehow though, even though I hate being hot, I have found myself opening the car windows and relishing the warm air wafting in as opposed to closing the car windows and turning on the AC.  I have been enjoying donning my sunglasses to avoid being blinded by the fabulous blazing sunshine.  It is the warmest, sunniest summer I can remember in the seven years I have lived here and I am relishing it!

Some of our family gathered at our home to celebrate USA's Independence Day on July 4th.  My oldest granddaughter lost her upper front tooth. [a milestone :) ]  I planted some pretty striped red geraniums.  My oldest granddaughters got cooled off by water from the hose. We have picked blueberries from our bush and cherries from our wild cherry tree. 

Then, several days ago Tammy from T's Daily Treasures sent a beautiful doily she had crocheted for me in thanks for our blogging friendship. She blogs from her home in Kuwait, a part of the world that I would know much less about were it not for viewing her interesting posts, and I hope you will visit her through the link I posted above if you have not already done so.  It fascinates me that common interests in things like crochet have introduced me to bloggers from around the world!  Thank you, Tammy, for your generous gift which is currently under the sugar bowl on my tea tray.  Sweet :)

What has surprised you lately?

Gracie xx

Sunday, June 29, 2014


A zoomed in view of Vista House at Crown Point from the Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint
Looking northwest from Vista Point along the Columbia River
Looking east up the Columbia River from Vista Point

 The rotunda has amber-green-colored glass windows and limestone walls.

Some of the trade beads Teresa Kasner brought in to display and to share about some of their interesting history.

The rose bead necklace on the board is one Teresa made as a replica of a historic one she admired.
Can you see the elevator my cane and I rode on?
Here it comes!

Isn't it a clever design?
I stopped at a lavender farm on the way home, and bought a little sachet.
These beautiful horses pulling a wagon surprised me while I was driving through Corbett!

After huge boulders recently fell here onto the Historic Columbia River Highway metal screens were installed to discourage further erosion.  I thought this was a neat view of the sign Teresa's sketch is on, as well!

What vistas have you been seeing lately?

Gracie xx

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

High Desert Swim in the Valley

Teresa may have taken this photo for me with my camera.  We thought of Aimee while we took photos of the church.

It seems impossible to me that a week ago today, Teresa, Dayle, and their two young grandsons invited me to go with them to Kahneeta Hot Springs in a valley on the other side of Mt. Hood in one section of Oregon's high desert country.

We had a fabulous time...good company, stunning scenery, fun activity and I hope you will click on Teresa's name and check out her account on her wonderful blog if you have not visited her before.  I  so appreciate her friendship and her artistry in sharing the creative, the beautiful, and the interesting in her lifestyle blog.

The rest of the week flew by with lunches out with other friends, attending church services, swimming at the local pool, and attending a worship art group where for the first time I got to experiment with illustrating a Scripture with acrylic paint on canvas with collage.

Thank you for expressing your interest in my comings and goings, and your concern for my son-in-law.  He is getting better but still home from work.

What is new with you?  I love hearing from you!

Gracie xx

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Basket Making Here and There

Haley, Molly, Rose hiding and Joy (not looking very joyful :)

Mt. Shasta, CA

A winery in Napa Valley, CA

My nephew and niece visiting from CA came with me to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood for brunch.

On top of the mountain the clouds were trying to blow away...but below in the valley it did not look hopeful.

It was was cold near the top of Mt. Hood!  The fire provided welcome warmth.

There were interesting historic displays.

Meredith, I am wondering if you want one of these :)

Can you see Mt. Hood behind my niece and nephew?  We could not.  Sigh.....

Many posts ago I started crocheting a cotton basket, and for the last few weeks I have been dragging it around wherever I have gone. I am finally working on the bottom panel of the basket.  It is such easy single crochet I can not believe I have not finished it yet!

My oldest daughter, my four little granddaughters, and I dashed down to CA to visit friends for a few days.  We had a wonderful time, but I took few photos...too busy talking and gawking :)

Then my nephew and niece from CA came up for a few days to visit.  The weather wasn't as sunny as it has been lately, but we had a great visit, attended several Eastern Orthodox church services, and had a lovely brunch at Timberline Lodge near the top of Mt. Hood.

On Father's Day my oldest son-in-law ended up in the hospital for a bit due to an inner ear problem that is causing him to be very dizzy.  He was getting ready to go out for a meal with his dad and mom to celebrate Father's Day but ended up riding in an ambulance to the hospital after a 911 call was made.  He is home with meds, but still very dizzy :(

In between all the above, I have been swimming with Teresa as often as possible, doing a little gardening, reading about the Eastern Orthodox Church and attending services here and there.  Life is full and mostly happy.

Are you happily or unhappily making anything here and there?