"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, November 22, 2014

Hope Hopped Across the Miles

Miss Hope Hare happily hopped into the mail yesterday on her way to a darling, talented girl many miles from here.  I used two strands of boucle alpaca blend yarn to knit Hope's fur and like it better than the other bunny fur I've made out of one strand of acrylic or alpaca on size six needles.

Now I am hoping to finish the pumpkin before Thanksgiving :)

What are you hoping for?

Gracie xx

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tea Light Tea from the Bunny Business

Can you see Mt. Hood peeking out from the trees on the lower left portion of this photo?  We have been having some lovely autumn weather with lots of pretty leaves still.

I took the first  two photos of this post from the gym parking lot after swimming.

Several days ago I finished the bunny on the right of this photo for my oldest grandson and hope to get the bunnies to hop into the mail today.

But there is no doubt that the autumn weather is shifting toward winter.  My youngest daughter called out to me the other night to grab my camera and capture a photo of the moody moon. It was chilly out and I was glad to come back to the warmth inside to do some stitching!

 I just received a generous parcel from a lovely friend in Scotland who thought I might like to try to make a bunny from some leftover yarn she had after making a teddy bear.  I think it is making wonderful bunny fur and am so grateful for the gift!

Although the weather has been delightful on many days, yesterday it was sunny, but terribly windy.  Our power was off for four hours causing me to realize how blessed I am most of the time to have power!  I filled my paraffin lamps and then started longing for a cup of hot tea.  I filled the teapot with water, stuck in a tea bag and put the teapot over a tea light candle.  I did not time it, but I was so grateful that I eventually got a cup of hot tea :) not the strongest, but comforting and thirst satisfying.
Have you made tea this way?

Today our area has a winter storm warning for the next 24 hours.  It is sunny at the moment, but we may see our first snow and ice since last Spring down here in the valley below Mt. Hood, although Mt. Hood is sporting a beautiful fresh coat of snow already.

Hoping you are comfortable and cosy and happy wherever you are!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Gray Sea on the Oregon Coast

To celebrate my friend, Teresa Kasner's husband, Dayle's birthday, they drove to the Oregon Coast to spend a week in their caravan and explore the area around Depoe Bay, Oregon, where they parked their caravan.  Knowing this, I gave myself permission to Google search for a motel room I could stay in one night and enjoy the area for the better part of two days.  I hoped to meet Dayle and Teresa there and go out for a meal with them if they were available.  To my delight, they were willing and able to spend even more time with me, and introduced me to parts of the coast I had not yet explored.

My motel room in the Seagull Beach Front Motel faced the beach along the Pacific Ocean in Lincoln City, Oregon, and I loved being so close to the ocean even though it was stormy. I enjoyed reading about how icons are painted from the book, The Mystical Language of Icons, by Solrunn Nes I had brought with me, and I did a little quick pencil sketch of the view from the deck of my room of the stormy gray sea, and I drank heartening hot tea!

 When it was dark, I had the fun of stretching out in a recliner in front of a flatscreen fireplace heater which really did produce heat and did not require any tending or cleaning up; and I could still hear the steady crashing of the cold surf outside which made me glad to be cozy and warm inside...even if warmed by an electronic fire!
After checking out of the motel the next day I headed south and had the pleasure of visiting Teresa and Dayle and their adorable Buddy Dog in their cozy RV.  Below is a photo of the ocean as we were driving out of the park. Stormy, and magnificent!
 Then I followed Teresa and Dayle to a wonderful restaurant by the ocean and after that Teresa hopped into my car and guided me to explore Newport's Yaquina Bay.  She showed me so many beautiful sights and coached me how to get some good photos, too.

 Teresa expertly took this photo of the Coast Guard Station and then had me stop at just the right spot to get a photo of this magnificent bridge.  Isn't it amazing?
 On Monday we met at Mo's Restaurant in Taft, Oregon where I took a photo of their menu, not knowing that on Tuesday Teresa would show me the Mo's restaurant in Newport and across the street from it the original Mo's Restaurant where they would open the garage door to serve their famous sea food.

 Teresa also took this photo of the harbor seals who gave us a rousing Orking concert and pleasantly reminded me of the harbor seals I got to enjoy for seven years when I lived by the Pacific Ocean in Crescent City, California.

It was too rainy to enjoy sitting on these benches, but thanks to Teresa's and Dayle's guidance I know I want to go back and spend more time there!
I started knitting another bunny with alpaca fiber while I was at the beach and last night I FaceTimed with my son and grandsons, Kenny and Aron and showed them the bunny production progress :)

For the last few days I have been fighting with Blogger trying to get it to let me share these photos with you.  I still have not figured out what I did that made it cooperate, but I hope you enjoy the results of my fight and that you are having a happy weekend!

Have you been fighting to share anything lately?

Gracie xx

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bunny Business!

My grandson Aron's bunny is ready to hop into a box and travel from Oregon to New York to take up residence with him!  I was so pleased that when Aron saw a photo of the bunnies I made for his cousins, he asked me to make one for him, too.  Aron at the age of seven recently earned his black belt in Tai Kwon Do.  I find that amazing; and I find it especially endearing that he wanted me to make him a bunny!  

Last Spring my good friend, Taci, at her Knit Nite told me about the free pattern I used to make Aron's bunny. I loved using the alpaca yarn I purchased in Missouri recently to knit the bunny.  The alpaca fiber produces a wonderful soft halo that begs to be admired and touched, and the pattern is so simple and clever.  You knit a 10"x10" square and then baste in stitches in a triangular shape that when pulled together form the bunny!

My oldest daughter walked into my living room today, saw the bunny, and asked, " Oh, is that Aron's bunny?  He's going to love it!"  Then she picked up the bunny, gave him some happy hugs and exclaimed, "I want one, too!"

So maybe I am in the Bunny Business :-)

What kind of business are you into?

Gracie xx

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Home and Commissioned!

About 47 years ago, I spent my 16th summer working with my cousin Jimmy Nason and his family at Nason's Stone House Farm in West Boxford, Massachusetts, a bit north of Boston...fond memories. The Stone House is well over 100 years old and on one of the stones over the front door there is a fossil imprint of a butterfly.  This is the location that both sides of my family gathered for family reunions several times during my childhood after my immediate family moved from Massachusetts to Missouri because my dad changed employment from manager of Flying Feather Chicken Farm in Andover, Massachusetts, which closed, to Research Supervisor of a poultry farm south of Kansas City, Missouri.  The Stone House is foundational in my sense of family and purpose in a lifetime in which I have moved over 15 times back and forth across the United States.  Up until a few years ago there were pretty pink hollyhocks that bloomed year after year by the side door and they inspire me to try to grow some by my front door now. 
Cousin Jimmy telling me about life at Stone House Farm in the Fall of 2014
In the kitchen, Boston Baked Beans and Brown Bread, Meat Pies, Blueberry Pies and more yummy food is prepared.
Cousin Jimmy is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and long ago he made a beautiful wedding cake for me.

From West Boxford, my youngest son drove us for an overnight stay with my cousins Jan and Charlie in Sturbridge, MA and then on to Saugerties, NY, where we lived for 15 years in the house pictured below, although it used to have yellow siding when we lived there.  We enjoyed sharing this one acre of land having access to the mighty Hudson River, with deer, fox, raccoons, 12+ inch snapping turtles, snakes, and a host of annoying insects.  Geese, swans, cardinals, robins, crows, hummingbirds, sparrows, and other varieties of birds flew around us.

In the winter the Hudson froze solidly and the kids tried ice skating on it! Behind the trees on the point is a Lighthouse.
South of Saugerties this is a view of the Catskill Mountains looking West toward Kingston from the Rhinebeck Bridge.
In Kingston, a friend treated me to delicious dairy free sorbet :-)
I tried the Blueberry-Pomaganate, and Chocolate Mint sorbet. Yummy!! Then after four days of wonderful visits with friends in the area, a friend drove me a bit northeast to New Skete near Cambridge, NY.
It was so lovely and peaceful here, with time to try to listen for God's direction for this season in my life.
This was part of the incredible view from the balcony off the living room.  The weather was perfect for sitting in the sunshine, listening to the birds, chirp and twitter and caw. Crickets offered a steady foundation of crickety sound, while the wind gently wafted through the leaves on the trees with soothing waves of rustling from time to time.  In the distance I could hear some barking from the German Shepherd dogs the Monks and Nuns train for service.  Occasionally I heard a small plane fly overhead, a reminder I was still involved in modern, busy life in 2014.
The distinctive golden domes of the Eastern Orthodox Church seemed especially at home in the autumn light at Vespers, to me.
The icons painted on the walls of the Sanctuary are strange or depressing to some, but I am learning to appreciate them as serious, but uniquely beautiful reminders of others who came before me and lived their faith in God: Father, Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit and challenge me to do the same.
My youngest son, Tim drove me from New Skete south to Yonkers, NY, where I attended Education Day at St. Vladimir's Seminary, and my oldest son, David [in the photo above] and my oldest grandson, Kenny, picked me up and took me to their house for a visit. :-)
My daughter-in-law, Julie, helped me feel so loved and welcome!   <3
David, Kenny and Aron took me for a tour of their neighborhood, including their school and the Bayside Marina.
The boys and I enjoyed playing Uno and Bananagrams.
Kenny took some good photos for me, including these swans at the Marina.
Our time together FLEW by way too fast!  I took this photo as the boys were headed off to school and I headed to the airport.
Mount Jefferson ? just before we landed back in Portland, Oregon.
My youngest grandson, Aron commissioned me to knit a bunny for him !
And now that I am back home I have been playing catch up on sleep and bills and cleaning, and exercising.  But Teresa invited me to spend last Friday with Dayle and her grandsons and her to find Lost Lake near Hood River, Oregon.  We had a wonderful time and we found Lost Lake!!! Isn't it beautiful?

Have you found anything beautiful lately?

Gracie xx