"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

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?


xx
Gracie

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?

xx
Gracie


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?

xx
Gracie










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!
xx
Gracie



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?

xx
Gracie