"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, February 1, 2020

Colorful Cozy Crafting

Welcome!  I'm so glad you stopped by to visit.  Have you been involved in crafting?  Above is one of my recent crafting explorations.  When I was in third grade...more than 60 years ago...I was guided to focus on music rather art instruction.  While I am grateful for the music instruction I have had since then in clarinet, bassoon, piano, and vocal, I especially enjoy learning about drawing and watercolor painting now.  Once a month I usually meet with a small group of women to work on a worship art project.  Above is my interpretation of the recent project our facilitator designed.

While the season is winter in my part of the world, I have seen little snow and ice in the valley where I live near Portland, Oregon, to impair my crafting efforts. In fact, four of my hanging plants still have flowers on them and I have been thrilled to see hummingbirds visit them to drink from the blossoms.

Inside, my Oxalis plant, on the bottom left in this photo above, produces sweet little white blossoms and I am also enjoying viewing the white flower on the little white Pointsettia in the bottom right of the photo above.

During our chilly weather, I am especially enjoying knitting mostly at our church small group a little preemie sized blanket in acrylic yarn.

However, I am especially enjoying knitting at home more rows on the bulky Merino wool blanket I started years ago.  It is big enough now to provide me with significant warmth on our colder days.

While I still have a Christmasy jingle bell wreath on my front door, I am amazed at and enjoying viewing the pink blossoms on two hanging plants framing the jingle bell wreath. It was fun crafting this view to share with you.

And look what I spotted poking out of the earth nearby the front door... Hyacinths! Beyond the Hyacinths in the upper left of the photo above is a clump of Cala Lillies...they will be trumpeting the arrival of Spring soon in the weeks ahead...I type as a woman of faith!

A recent sunrise gave me the opportunity to craft a photo of it.  I used my iPhone 11 Pro to take the photo, cropped the photo on my laptop Macbook Pro and let it choose the glorious color intensity that reflects what I saw... an encouraging warming firey glow to enliven life from skies that had been perseverating in chilly gray for many days.

I hope you are enjoying happy times... will you share how you have been crafting your days?

Gracie ((hugs))

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020 Crafting Vision

Happy New Year!  Sunrises like this one I saw not long ago from my parking spot by the patio continue to excite my desire to be creative and craft!  Does the beauty of creation do the same for you?

Recently I was told that the women in the groups in our church who make baby blankets for babies in local NICUs have made over 1000 blankets over the last six years.  I love being a part of this project over the last four years and knowing that many families have been prayed for and blessed with tangible encouragement during a difficult time. Part of my vision for 2020 is to make more little blankets.

I envision completing this wave blanket which I am enjoying crocheting and then finishing a knitted blanket I started last year.

Dear friends sent me this puzzle that features yarn and cats and my youngest daughter and her husband did the major part of crafting the pieces together on Christmas afternoon. Working on putting together other puzzles is part of my crafting vision for 2020.  Do you enjoy putting together jigsaw puzzles?

Finishing this and more potholders is also a part of my crafting vision for 2020.  It is my favorite style of potholder and fun to make and give as a practical gift.

I discovered this towel holder pattern last year and have enjoyed crocheting many of them as gifts.  While I have made many button fastened towel holders over the years, I think this is a brilliant pattern to keep regular hand towels on the rack.

You can find the free pattern to make the towel holders HERE. I used acrylic yarn, and find the design "handy" in every way, so envision making more in 2020.

On Tuesday mornings I plan to craft time reading individually with four children who are first or second or third graders. I plan to craft time with four women's groups, knitting, crocheting, or completing a Bible study or art-related projects...enjoying times of worship, times of fellowship with family and friends, visiting blogs and posting about my vision at least once a month if possible...and...stay focused from moment to moment with joy and gratitude or compassion and care as needs arise.

What is your vision for 2020?  Know that my prayer is that the Lord blesses you.

Gracie xx

Monday, September 30, 2019

September Launch into a New Crafting Season!

While searching for the autumn-themed crafts I knit a few years ago, I discovered I had just stuffed one pumpkin I knit with a big ball of yarn rather than finish it off properly.  Somehow the pumpkin also had two holes!  

A needle, yarn, and stuffing were found, and my rescue mission began...

Thankfully I was able to mend the holes, stuff the pumpkin, get it seamed and enjoy the process and result!

Unexpectedly, one September day on my doorstep, I found a wonderful box of gifts I had won from Camellia Fiber Co....a lovely card,

these beautiful mini skeins of yarn...

and this lovely handspun skein of yarn.  Now my mind is dreaming of what I may make with the yarn...

The gifts helped me resist the temptation of buying more yarn at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby, Oregon, a bit south of where I live.

My youngest daughter took this photo of me with our dear friends we arranged to meet at the festival.

We saw many quiet llamas.

We saw many beautiful quiet bunnies.

We saw many interesting sheep, but some were not quiet so their barn was lively with sometimes startling "Baaaas!"

The exhibit of felted entries contained a unique felted journal someone who had visited Scotland had made.

The journal did not win a ribbon, but I gave it my People's Choice Award!

On Thursday nights I am knitting a preemie blanket in a group of knitters I was invited to join. Wednesday mornings I am crocheting another preemie blanket, and I have a crocheted potholder project I carry around in the pocket of my purse to work on when I can. At the once a month art group I attend, the facilitator showed us a clever way to transfer a letter design we like onto art paper.

Have you launched into a new crafting season?

Gracie xx

Friday, August 30, 2019

Ahoy in August!

Welcome to some views of the wonderful days my youngest daughter and her husband helped me enjoy at Tillamook Oregon State Beach while camping in their trailer with them.

The weather was the best I have ever experienced in the years that I have gone there and we always have a great time visiting with cousins, aunts, and uncles as well.

On my first time down to the beach, I found this pretty sand dollar shell peeking out of the sand. The other side is broken in the middle, but I still think the shell is beautiful.  I brought it home and have it nested in a little basket of pinecones on my bedside table.

Just one day we had some rain.  On that day we went into the town of Tillamook and visited the museum.

The cabin living room exhibit is one of my favorites because of all the crafts and crafting equipment that is displayed.

One little stitching project I completed in August was this thick crocheted rectangular hot mat.  When you follow a free diagonal potholder pattern available on Ravelry, instead of sewing the potholder edge together on the diagonal, you keep stitching around and around until you have the size rectangle you want and then join the edge.

On one hot sunny August afternoon, I stopped by to visit with dear blogging friends, Teresa, Dayle and their sweet little dog, Mocha at their farm. They generously sent me home with a gorgeous dozen fresh eggs with shells of many pretty colors from their happy flock of hens. Yum! Then I drove a little further east along the mighty Columbia River and stopped at the Women's Forum viewpoint to enjoy this view.

 Thanks to the vision and hard work of many who came before us this amazing view is more accessible for many.

Several years ago I made a new friend, MJ,  at church.  She and her husband have a collection of antique sewing machines and they sold me this Featherweight model Singer.  After I had accidentally clogged the threading mechanism they serviced the machine for me and last week MJ sat with me coaching me how to avoid clogging the mechanism again!

Beginning August with glorious days at the ocean, I end August by using this lovely acrylic yarn to start crocheting a baby blanket in a double crochet stitch pattern that reminds me of beautiful iridescent ocean waves.

While much of the foliage around me is at the height of lushness, I have noted some leaves on the tips of branches that are turning red or brown as the season shifts...the ebb and flow of seasons that both please me and cause me to feel nostalgic. Do seasonal shifts tug at your feelings as well, and does the beauty of nature inspire the design of your crafting?

Gracie ((hugs))  :-)

Let heaven and earth praise Him,
The seas and everything that moves in them.  Psalm 69:34 NKJV

Friday, July 26, 2019

Along Some Rivers in Life

Ahoy Mates!

Time spent with my dear older sister, Margaret, who flew north from Burbank, CA to my home near Portland, OR, and with my local dear youngest son, Tim, and with other dear family members and friends highlighted the month of July for me.  I helped put four puzzles together in a week...a record for me and fun for us all.

On the bank of the Clackamas River, I celebrated Independence Day in the USA, having a BBQ with a family member and friends...see the smoke drift over the river?

Margaret and I explored a part of the great Columbia River by floating in sternwheeler for several hours.

It was a just-right sunny day to enjoy the lovely scenery as we listened to the captain's stories about the area.

Several days later we also got to see a bit of the Salmon River at Wildwood Recreation area near the base of Mt. Hood.  It was interesting to see into the river through the fish window.

One of the stars of the July flower blooms around me is Hydrangeas. The deep purple-blue blooms of this bush near my home is my favorite.

Margaret and I enjoyed starting to knit preemie blankets.  Margaret made much faster progress on hers than I did on mine.

Both of us used acrylic yarn.  It was very pleasant to knit out on the patio.

After Margaret flew home I invited three friends over to work on our scrapbooks.  I especially enjoyed working on some pages that featured my husband, Louis, who passed away ten years ago.

He enjoyed working as an engineer at Train Town in Sonoma, CA, while we helped to run an eldercare facility.  The photos were from a day we took some of the residents to ride on the train.

Have you explored rivers, enjoyed crafting and enjoyed time with family and friends in July?

Gracie xx