Creatively Speaking

The focus of my creative pursuits has been knitting, with a little of this and that thrown in from time to time. I think about picking up spinning again, but the muse hasn't arrived to call me. Lately, knitting has been taken the bulk of my leisure time, which goes for a premium, at the moment. 


However, some of that time has been eroded away with the addition of my smart phone. Taking pictures, and adjusting the photos for the best outcome, has offered me another way to be creative. Some of you have asked which apps I use to enhance my pictures and the app I find I use most is Snapseed, although I use it in conjunction with other apps, such as VSCO Cam, Instagram, and Afterlight. More apps are created for iPhones than for Androids, and while there are a couple of apps I'd like to have, I find, overall, I'm happy with my choice.


There is another road I've been enticed down, a bit of a slippery slope, so I hear, and that's the Alabama Chanin road. Hand-sewing isn't new to my repertoire, as I once considered myself an embroiderer, but embellishing clothing and hand sewing a garment together, wasn't anywhere on my radar. Vicki's projects were my first introduction to the AC style and my imagination was immediately captured. 

I held off as long as I could, but eventually had to give in as the attraction was too great. Instead of a garment, my choice was the already stenciled, cut and ready to sew market bag. The process has been enjoyable and rewarding. I'm looking forward to the next step of cutting some of the shapes so the bottom layer to shows through. Stay tuned.


We're All Asking

We're all asking the same questions...where did summer go? How can it be September?  Some of us are sad to see September arrive, even though it's a beautiful month, full of color, the changing light, and garden bounty. The temperatures of August were cooler than normal and precipitation above normal, which are the main reasons I'm nostalgic for summer's warmth.


Sunday, Smith and I had an unexpected morning together, which meant he could accompany me to the farmer's market. Smith had breakfast and I had GF muffin from GF2, while I did my shopping and watched a couple of people blow huge bubbles. Children scurried to reach up and pop them as fast as they were formed. I enhanced the bubbles with a camera app to make them more visible. Fun, no? 


Last week I took Thursday off and we spent the day together, fitting in some of our favorite things to do and even a few chores, as we could.  You would expect we'd take a drive up the canyon, breakfast at our favorite spot, and then take a walk around Silver Lake, and we did! 


The recent rains had created puddles in various places around the lake and the best photo I took all day was of pines reflected in on the water. 

The weekend was wonderful, three day weekends always are, as they offer time for a little bit of everything; time with friends, time for knitting and sewing, time to exercise, cook, and garden, as well as time to regroup to face the work week ahead. I'm happy it will only be 4 days long!

Did you do something memorable this weekend? 

This Week

This week the sky has been a mix of gray and blue, with gray winning out more often than not. Last night we had another drenching rain, but since Smith planted onions yesterday, that's not a bad thing.


This week the robins have started their day at 5:30am. They're calling in spring and spring is listening. Surely, winter will have her way again before spring wins out, but for the foreseeable future, we're looking at 50-60 degree days and rain, if any precipitation at all. 


This week my first (of hundreds) crocus made its way through the detritus of winter, a failed winter, as the woodruff never disappeared or died back. Since March is looking warm, and both January and February were above normal, chances are winter doesn't have a chance. If you're buried in snow I'm not trying to brag, because we'd like more white stuff. 

This week Claudia sent me a challenge, her old Pentax camera. She's kindly giving me a chance to try out a more complicated camera. Last night I studied the manual in hopes some of the instructions would sink in. After trying to take a picture, and complaining to Smith the pictures were just black, he replied "maybe you should remove the lens cap". TRUE STORY! I felt a little like Lucille Ball (without the red hair). 

Um, perhaps, by Monday I'll have a picture or two to share. 


Much Ado Friday

Friday's are quiet days at the office, as everyone is working to catch up their paperwork of the past week. I was typing a letter when my boss came running past my desk with the shocking question of where to find the closest fire extinguisher. He said the dumpster behind the building was on fire. We had to break the glass to get to the extinguisher, where upon he ran out the back door to try his hand at putting out the fire. Smoke billowed up but after emptying the tank into the depths of the can, smoke still poured forth. The fire department had been called, but the police arrived first. One , then two, then three cars pulled up the scene, each with an extinguisher in the at the ready. The police in turned emptied their three onto the fire to no avail. And we waited, still, for the fire truck.

When the big red truck arrived they were unable pull into our driveway, so had to drag a hose across the fence from the property next door.



It didn't take long to put the fire out, as they pumped water on it from the truck and raked through the trash to make sure the fire was totally out. 


The diversion was welcome, but too short, and before long, we were back at our desks catching up with paperwork and hoping for another diversion that would take us outdoors, once again, into the beauitful day. 

Working the Weekend


Saturday was a busy day around here. Smith finished painting the guest/fiber/junque room and helped me put everything back in its place. The job wasn't just a paint job, as he had to patch where the 1970s intercom speaker had been and a crack in the wall. He did a great job and the room looks fresh, bright and new. In the next couple of years I hope to replace some of the furniture and make it a cozy place to read, knit, and comtemplate.

Happiness is February

I'm going to employ the age old blog trick of randomly rambling. However, if I reveal too much I may have nothing more to say the rest of the week.

February is not January and you have an idea of how happy I am about that. The longass month is gone and it won't be back for 11 more months and with that thought comes relief!


February has so much good packed into a short period of time. There are two things I'm going to keep an eye on this month...the length of the day and the mailbox. So far I have mailed 3 letters for "A Month of Letters" and plan on, at least, 20 more. I will send another today and may even send multiples some days.

The inversion is still with us during the morning hours, but the arc of the sun is higher in the sky, which means there is a good chance sunshine will break through leaving us with a sunny afternoon and the orange hazy glow of a setting sun. It is better than being socked in all day through.

As per usual, I made a silly mistake in my knitting and had to take out several inches of the back of my (future) sweater. Quill languishes, but only because I do not have 4 hands (nor hours and hours to knit. I still love her.) A new, finished sweater is the carrot that keeps me knitting, although knitting is still about the process. I'm loving the yarn and the ease of stockinette.

I just finished a very good book, an intense story, written in a unique style. The Colour of Milk is the tale of a young woman growing up on a farm in 1830s England. It is a heart-wrenching story, which has stayed in my thoughts, and at 160 pages you can read it in a day. Yes, Carole, I read many sad books, but they're SO good! 

Ran out of time to take pictures, as the days are just not long enough (as yet), so all you get today is my rambles.


Bullet points might be the best way to get through a post, as it's been a long time since I've had time to share with you.  It's easy to get out of the habit of thinking "in blog" when living "in the moment".  For so many years I looked at the world around me as "blogable", but now, that feeling is slipping away.  Thinking "in blog" is fine and, honestly, I was very aware of the world around me and how beautiful it was, but it was always in blog context.  It's not that any part of that has changed, it's just my mindset has reset, and I do not think "in blog" any longer.  I'm enjoying my moments and do not think to pick up the camera and share, but I miss my friends, my blog pals, as we've been hanging out together for a long time!

BUT this month, I've decided to start taking pictures again:

Before the beginning of March I saw on Maryse's blog the "March Photo a Day" and thought it would be fun to join (not officially, but in practice) and I have been taking a picture daily. Some days I remember just in the nick of time. This challenge has been a challenge.

This is March 1st and the picture meant to signify "UP". I've taken other daily pictures, but haven't bothered to put them into a mosaic, so I'll get back to you on that. Oh, and this was the last time we had snow. Yesterday was near 70!


There has been (a little) knitting going on and the pattern, Snow Drops and Snap Peas by Kirsten Kapur, has found a perfect mate in this yarn. Tart is my favorite color of MadelineTosh and the soft Pashmina is a bit of heaven.  The pattern is fairly easy, albeit, not as easy as I'd thought.  Every row of stockinette is written out with a different count and I must keep track, which has been easy enough, and the project, so far, looks amazing. I expect it will be a gorgeous wrap.


Wednesday I planted a large pot (we're talking huge!) of pansies, but the little  beauties shown here are in a smaller pot, which was a gift from a friend.  Pansies have beautiful happy faces and their smiles are contagious. Right?

Well, I could go on (and on), but it's time I had a post to print, so I'll end here.  I'll be back next week and, hopefully, will have more tales to tell!   Happy Weekend, everyone!!


If I had enough presence, time, or interest (or you had enough interest) I post a daily picture and the growth would be very evident. It's been delightful to watch the amaryllis plants as they venture towards the light. The red amaryllis has decided to put up a second stalk, which is not as big, and has a very small bud, but it still growing in height and girth. This picture was taken Monday or Tuesday, but you should see them now!  I promise new pictures before the weekend is over. 

Happy New Year one and all!!

(Not) Smitten by Mittens


If only I liked mittens more. I've knit several pair, but only occasionally wear them. (The purple Latvian pair were a gift.) I do realize that mittens are warmer than gloves, for the most part, and they are certainly easier (and faster) to knit. In a snowball fight I'd much rather be wearing a pair of mittens for comfort, ease in forming the snowball and staying warm and dryer longer. But, when it comes right down to it, my fingers cry to be free, love the freedom to wiggle, and need to feel useful. Mittens seem a hindrance to all of that. Maybe I just haven't acquired the ability to wear them. Is it an acquired taste or do you like them (or not) from the get go?

There are so many beautiful patterns and one of my favorite books to thumb through, and drool over, is Selbuvotter by Terri Shea. I dream of knitting any one of the mitten patterns (and gloves, too) and have even purchased yarn. Hopefully when Terri is here next month for classes she can help me acquire a taste for mittens. Lately, Kirsten has also designed some great mittens and I love the look of them, but alas and alack I feel they wouldn't be worn. Perhaps you can share your thoughts on what it is that draws you to wearing mittens to help me see the light. Just why they are so popular?


Acer is now sporting buttons and made her debut on Tuesday. After I saw the way Lene attached buttons to her Kingscot, with a smaller button on the backside,I had to follow suit. This elegant dress making technique adds stability and longevity to the button area.  I've fallen head over heels (again) for Beaverslide yarn. It's amazingly soft and feels good against the skin, but it has the rugged, worsted look of a warm winter sweater.  I might make another Acer, but it's certain I'll be buying more Beaverslide.