Saturday, September 29, 2007

a Party! for Alina!!

wheeee - there was a party tonight to celebrate a dear twisted sister on the occasion of her natal day (tomorrow) and her up-coming marriage (soon... but date not decided upon as yet). the party was at Sue's and was wonderful and the food fit for the goddesses..... and gods, too. Sue grilled salmon to perfection, and fixed turkey breast, too... and the table was loaded with a grand assortment of salads, breads, etc. And the cake was elegant AND chocolate... and i sure wish i'd gotten a photo of it, but maybe Gail did and i can "borrow" it. My cut-down-on-the-fats resolution went all to hell tonight, but oh well. any chance my cholesterol will be at a decent level when i have it checked on monday? maybe if i eat nothing but oatmeal and grains and beans tomorrow? i didn't think so........

And here's Alina and Michael
Alina and Michael P9290006
he seems very sweet and charming, and they seem perfect together!!

i will miss Alina dearly!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

fingerless mitts

the pair i was knitting on evolved with just a small alteration to... ta da.... leg warmers for an almost 5 year old girl. i hadn't quite reached the thumb bind-off place on the 2nd mitt, so just kept on knitting til it was a little bit longer than the first one... maybe 7 inches long, doing an inch or so of 2-2 rib before bind off. then ripped the first mitt back to the thumb place, picked up and re-knitted it to look like the other... well, as much "alike" as i ever do things. to my way of doing things, pairs of things need not look alike, be symetrical, match each other, etc. So, Zylie tried 'em on and loved them! these will make great take-along knitting projects... and the next ones will have more ribbing top and bottom (maybe all ribbed), be a little bigger around and longer. I had cast on 40 sts. for the mitts, and will try 44 or 48 next time for the leg warmers, depending on the yarn.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

OFFF (Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival)

it was a glorious day for a fiber show!! sunny and warm (about 70F). I met Rachael there and we spent several hours fondling fiber and chatting with friends... and looking at the animals:
Rachael and a llama with a fringe. he had been sheared except for a long and fluffy fringe of wool around the top 12" or so of his neck.
Rachael and fringed llama P9230042

and there in the animal barn with the sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas, bunnies and 3 bison... there was a 2-humped camel!
2 hump camel P9230038

and a baby alpaca who knew that the feed in the next stall must be way better than what he had in his stall
alpaca eating P9230040

photos of purchases will come later.

I was most pleased to notice that i was not tempted in the least to bring a bunny home, or at all sad that the sheep/llama/alpaca/bunny raising days are in the past, or that this is the 3rd year that i haven't been a vendor at OFFF. It was all good (well... most of the time!)... but life is so damn good now that i don't miss that other stuff at all.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

life...or something like that...

just back last night from a few days in Duvall with C&K and the grandkids. Kate was driving to portland for the weekend, so i rode south with her.... thru unbelievable traffic jam around seattle/tacoma. what should have taken 3 1/2 hours took 6 hours. it was enjoyable riding and talking with Kate tho. but gotta say, by the time i got home that last nerve i had was kind of tattered. and i was tired!!

about those quilts.... the early 5th birthday gift was given to Zylie, and the early xmas one given to Alex. a bit of background information is that Kate had told the kids that gramma was bringing gifts to them, so the minute they layed eyes on me at the train station they wanted to know what the gifts were and when they could have them. i think they'd probably conjured up all kinds of thots of remote control toys and my little pony stuff. anyway, when we got to their house i handed over the wrapped up quilts. Alex seemed very happy with his even tho it wasn't legos or robots, etc. Zylie unwrapped hers and was very quiet... then said in a quiet and sweet voice... "gramma, i wanted unicorns and Pegasus". i just laughed... but she wasn't really interested in her quilt. it is ok and i can laugh about it... after all, i did score BIG with the sweater that's in the TS Knit Sweaters book. and truthfully, i'm delighted to be finished with those quilts (Zylie's has been in progress for close to 3 years) and now i'm looking thru my stash of fabric and planning the next quilt or 3.

Kate and i went to Molbak's Nursery while the kids were at outdoor school so i could spend the gift certificate they'd given me for mother's day... wheeeee. i'm really glad i waited cause they were having a huge sale and i got some great bargains! 2 very large ceramic pots (one orange and the other burgundy) to use outside on the patio. also, a lilac tree, a hibiscus syriacus which will grow in the NW, some kind of small cedar that i can't remember its name, and heavenly bamboo.... all of these were 50% off! and 3 coleus in 4" pots that i'll grow indoors thru the winter and have a head start next spring! a huge bonus in this shopping spree was the ride back with Kate, so i could buy anything that would fit in her car and not need to hold back to what i'd be able to carry with me on the train! oh, yeah, i did go over the amount of the gift card, but it wasn't terribly damaging to the debit card! maybe i'll remember to get a photo of the bounty tomorrow.

tomorrow i'll go to OFFF in Canby with Rachael and see what mischief i can get into. and deliver my motorized Duncan carder to its new owner. i'm so happy i sold it!! it's a wonderful piece of equipment, but i so rarely used it that it was dumb to keep it

p.s. - photos of the purchases at Molbak's Nursery
Molbak's shopping spree P9230049

closer shot of the heavenly bamboo and hibiscus. isn't that orange pot gorgeous?? i love it!!
heavenly bamboo and hibiscus P9230047

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

what i've been doing

alex quilt 1
finished the quilt for Alex. it's a gift for xmas, but i'll give it to him next week when i'm in Duvall.

zylie quilt 1
and Zylie's quilt is finished. it's her birthday present... but we'll be gone when her bd comes in Nov. (in Crete again!!), so will give it to her next week!

other than that, i've been harvesting good stuff from the garden, making pesto ... and will probably be able to harvest at least one more batch... trying to keep my flowers alive and happy with our fickle weather extremes. In the past week i've about gone over the top of my tolerance for human contact. Last thursday we had a dinner party of mostly grape/wine related youngster (ages late 20s to late 30s) friends.... 10 adults with 5 little kids. Ryan and Sonia have been helping with tending our grape vines, harvesting, crushing etcetcetc.. to bottling and drinking the wine. Sadly, for us, they will leave in about 2 weeks for 2 1/2 years in Africa in the Peace Corp. and they are SO excited about this life-changing adventure!! Jason manages the vineyards at AnneAmie, and he brought Amy, to whom he recently became engaged... and she is lovely!! Jason and Chris were friends in high school, so that's the connection there. Travis manages vineyards for Elk Cove Wineries, who bought my folks' vineyard, and he and his wife, Nicole, and kids live in the house in the vineyard that my parents built. Also here was Jessica (Jason's sister) with her husband and 3 kids. We've known her since she was a kid, and i was her mentor for her senior class project in HS. She learned all about care of sheep, lambing, shearing, wool processing, dyeing and spinning.... my kind of project! it was a greatly enjoyable evening... with lots of wine consumed, of course!

and then there was Monday..... Dinah and her partner, Jonica, let me know a while back that they'd be coming down to see Pop on their camping trip down the OR and CA coast, so we planned a family dinner for last night (here at dome central). it was the usual chaotic event, minus my grandchildren and their parents who were on a camping trip. lots of contributions to the dinner table.. esp. from Judy who brought a turkey!! bravo! Pop made the dessert (2 pies), but this time he forgot to cook the crust... the peach filling was yummy, tho.

my new mantra: "is it nap time yet?" and yes, i believe it is.....

Sunday, September 02, 2007

fabric dyeing

whooohooo! today was the beginning of my venturing into dyeing fabric for quilting! in with all the acid dyes in the cupboard, there lurked 10 or so little jars of MX dyes in a variety of colors, and in the fabric stash there lurked a couple of yards of plain white fabric. so, i jumped into the project with great hopes and will know the outcomes of 4 little experiments tomorrow a.m. and will get photos... if the results are worth it. i was talking with Anne, a good friend who was visiting from Vietnam... she is a fabric dyer and quilter of great talent and creativity. she advised that it is ultra important to be meticulous in measuring dyes and chemicals and keep very exacting notes. this is so contrary to my haphazard methods, that in no time my eyes glazed over, my brain went into hibernation and i started muttering that i have no desire to keep records and repeat any dye batches. i may have to eat those words, but if i do, then my fabric dyeing will be done, finished, over with!! i'm sure that the meticulous approach works well for many people, but hell will freeze before that entices me in the least. the closest i can get to that is the precision and measuring that i've (so far) had to use in quilting. i'll open up the baggies of dyed fabric in the a.m.... and might take photos.....

9/2/07 - difficult to get a good representation of colors and placement of colors on the whole piece.... first is clear red and sunshine yellow dye powders sprinkled on fabric wetted with sodium carbonate water, put in baggie and mooshed around a bit and left overnight, then washed out and dried on hot in dryer --tho it looks like white areas, those are actually a light color fab dye 2 P9020013
and clear blue, bright violet and forest green sprinkled on (same as above)
fab dye 1 P9020015

Saturday, September 01, 2007


see previous post... actually i do have something to say about it....

many of us in the Portland area have been impatiently waiting for the IKEA to open here, and finally they did!! for anyone who hasn't heard of (or experienced) this store... it is way more than enormous or gigantic.. and they seem to have just about anything you'd want for a home. and the prices are pretty good, too. i have been to the one in Seattle with Chris and Kate, so wasn't as overwhelmed as i might have been. went with my nieces, Jen and Maggie, and browsed, had lunch there in their cafeteria. their Swedish meatballs are very good. there was a
mob of people there, which makes me think i don't want to go on a weekend as the crush of people must be awful then. we went thursday mid-day.