"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

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

Saturday, June 29, 2019

June Crafting Life!

Ahoy there, and thanks so much for stopping by for a visit!  I so appreciate hearing from you through your comments here or by any means we are able to exchange news.  

In June my yarn crafting focus was on finishing knitting a baby blanket, but among the things that distracted me from that focus was...

riding the trolley along the Willamette River in southern Portland, OR with a group of friends... a fun way to get to see aspects of the city we rarely if ever see otherwise...

seeing tall city buildings in the background of the river marina offered us a relaxing view in contrast to the crowded speedy freeway driving it took to get to the trolley...

viewing the Sellwood Bridge gently arching over the Willamette River was a highlight of the ride...

glimpsing magnificent Mt. Hood on clear days as I drive around on routine errands is a pleasant respite from the manmade congestion of city life...

knitting and crocheting blankets for babies who spend time in a local hospital neonatal intensive care unit continues to be a project to which a group of ladies in our church is committed.  The ladies are prolific and rapid stitchers...

finishing slowly knitting this blanket in 100% acrylic  Simply Soft Caron yarn that the sister of one of our group members generously donated to us was a joy for me; we have been praying that each blanket will be a tangible encouragement for the baby and family that receive it...

meeting Hobbs and Garfield, my Grand Kittens, recently was delightful and enjoying them will be a bonus when I drive over to visit my youngest daughter and her husband who live about a half hours drive away from me...

sharing my first name, Gracie, with my neighbor's Pug, Gracie, is fun but a little challenging in that when I hear Pug Gracie called or commanded I
have to discern I am NOT being addressed :-) ...

golfing on a miniature golf course with a group of friends recently brought out the happy wild women in me as you can see.  Have you played miniature golf while you are crafting your life?

Gracie xx

"You [Lord] will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever." Psalm 16:11 NLT

Saturday, May 25, 2019

May: Many Flowers, Mt. Hood, and Craft Math

In the world around you, are you enjoying flowers in May?  I hope so; there are so many beautiful varieties to marvel over!

In my last post, I asked if any of you recognized a plant I inherited when I purchased my current home.  It reminded me of Bleeding Heart flowers I had seen although at that stage the heart-shaped blossom was not evident.

Now with confidence, I know that there are two different colors of Bleeding Hearts in the garden areas on either side of the front door.

If you click HERE you will be linked to more information about them.

While the hanging baskets of mixed flowers I hung are looking healthy now, I have been horrified two times when I looked out the front doorway and saw that the plants were wilted! The Spring weather shifts between warm and sunny and cool and gray and I am still learning to water appropriately.

Although there are many blooming Rhododendrons in the area around me, this is the one cluster of pretty blooms on the bush in front of the house that I am enjoying viewing.

Once I attended a wedding in which the bride had chosen to carry a lovely bouquet of white Calla Lilies, and I have admired their blooms ever since and am happy to have them in the garden in the front of the house.

See the white fluff above the roof line in the cleft of the trees?  That is the snow-capped top of Mt. Hood!  I am so excited to be able to see it from across the street looking toward my new home, thanks to a kind neighbor who introduced herself soon after I moved in.  She gave me a picture she had taken, and then this month when the weather cooperated she took me across the street and to the spot where I could take a photo for myself.  My home is the unit on the right; the Calla Lilies were just starting to bloom then.

Since I moved in almost five months ago I have tried to participate in some of the condominium's social activities to get to know some of my neighbors.  This month we had a Tea Party with most of us bringing our own tea cups and some of us bringing teapots to share.  It was a sweet way to gather.

As we near the end of May I am anticipating the warm summer months of outdoor activities including picnicking and brought out a red gingham tablecloth and washed and put away the green gingham one I had been using for Spring.  On Monday we celebrate Memorial Day established federally in the USA in 1971 as a day to remember and honor those in the armed services who gave their lives for the cause of peace for our country. The interesting long history of the day is documented in the link you will find if you click on Memorial Day above.

While I am still working on a baby blanket based on the Grandmother's Favorite dishcloth pattern, I have knit two more little dishcloths using the basic pattern, but in the one on the left, I have a three stitch border and the one on the right I have a two stitch border. Therein is my encounter with craft math challenge.  I am not gifted in math and detail work in general, and I am not showing you my first attempt at a three stitch border which ended in a wonky way :-)  The little dishcloth on the left, my second attempt in making a three stitch border on a small dishcloth is closer to being square than my first attempt, but I do not understand the math behind the construction, nor if it is possible to make a three stitch border more square.  If you want to attempt to enlighten me, I will be grateful!

Meanwhile, for many reasons, I am grateful today. The Thanksgiving I read this morning resonated with me in this season of the year and of my life, and I hope it will encourage you as well.

Gracie :-)  xx 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Crafting Days

Has April ushered in many showers for you in your part of the world? I experienced a number of gray April days in succession that left me feeling a bit grumpy...desperate for sunshine and Daffodils. The leader of our once a month worship art group designed this worship art project that helped me adjust my attitude.  The creative process of working on the project as well as the subject of it helped cheer me. 

One Friday since I last posted my youngest daughter and I made an eleven-hour drive south from Portland, Oregon, to Sonoma, California to pick up some old family albums that my youngest daughter committed to digitizing and storing.

On the eleven hour drive back on Sunday, we were able to see Mt. Shasta in northern California and stop long enough to take a few photos, not only of the majestic mountain but of a miss-guided seagull who checked us out.

My niece and my older sister who live in the Los Angeles, California, area recently texted me these stunning photos of the fields of flowers they were able to admire in a park near where they live.

Aren't they amazing?

Someday I would like to be able to see such fields myself up close and personal!

I am enjoying making more progress on the knit baby blanket that I plan to donate to a local NICU and I have knit and crocheted some small dishcloths.  Years ago a friend with small hands asked me to make a dishcloth half the size of the traditional Grandma's Dishcloth pattern.  My daughters and I found we enjoy using the smaller version as well, even though our hands are not small, so we have made many of the smaller version.

Looking for an old tea cart with a friend a few weeks ago I enjoyed exploring a nearby antique store, and was interested to recognize a number of "antiques" that are familiar objects of my childhood memories!

My all-time favorite practical potholder pattern to make and use is the Double-thick Diagonally Crocheted Potholder pattern that is free via Ravelry.  I made two potholders recently and am tempted to make many more just for the joy of making them.

Since I last posted I met Becky and her husband, and Betsy and her husband for dinner at a nearby restaurant.  We met through our blogs years ago, and it is a special treat when we can actually meet face to face since we live many miles apart.

One of the fun parts of moving to the condo is discovering what bulbs former owners have planted.  There are quite a few clumps of white Calla Lillies but amidst two clumps of them are this flower.  Do you recognize what it is?

These two sunny yellow tulips have been cheering me this week and I hope seeing them will cheer you as well as you craft your days wherever you may be!

Gracie   xxxxxxx