Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Healthy Summer

Trying out all the vegetables at the farmer's market...really have to start writing down my favorites to begin the list of what we want to go in the garden next year. (Mom, you know we'll be consulting with you to find out about what we need to do starts in the basement/garage or kitchen window and so much more about our garden and landscaping).

Last night I made Wild Salmon with yummy garlic herb marinade. And the ever present steamed veggies and brown rice. I am a wee bit over the pile of steamed veggies. Going to have to try making the hummus and having raw veggies. Yes, I jumped on the bandwagon and am following this book. I do feel great. Am completely off caffeine. What! Yes, you read that correctly. Pretty unlikely I will stay off the caffeine though -- oh how i miss every single one of my lattes! Only 1.5 more days...though I haven't really read ahead to what I should start re-introducing on Monday. Perhaps it'll be a couple more days before I indulge in my lattes - and even then I may be trying them with gluten-free organic soy milk first (maybe always, i certainly feel clearer headed - though am unsure if it is gluten, dairy or both that are the cause of that stuffy headed feeling).

In other news, I started knitting hats for winter holiday gifts, only to lose one of my brand new (to me, from SCRAP) double pointed needles down the spacing of our deck. If we owned this house, or were staying for any length of time I would *so* get one of those outdoor rugs to make our outdoor space more comfortable (I also get more than my share of splinters in my feet out there).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Coffee Girl meets Yarn Pirate

Been painting layers and layers on 5 x 7 backgrounds, just really loving the rich depth. Also have been working on more bits of paper pasted to the 5 x 7 first, then painting layers on top. This piece is especially fun, there are mica glittery particles in there! Coffee Girl.

My latest Magic Loop, Two at a Time, Toe Up. I'm doing plain stockinette all around and am now determining what pattern to create on the cuff. This is a skein of my hand-dyed yarn.

The first shipment of my sock club membership to yarn pirate. I love getting a package in the mail! The soap smells great. I really like the base of the yarn, but am uninspired by the colourway (Rum Runner), so I think I may trade. Anyone interested? Violet (yes, *the* Violet) mentioned on Lime and Violet that she was so jealous of her friend who signed up and just received her skein - so I know there are people out there who *love* this colourway. Let me know - if you have a similar skein you'd like to trade with me. Send me photos. celestialspirit13 at yahoo dot com.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hangin' with the Girls

Don't you want one of these? Love, love, love! SCRAP in San Francisco and their huge screen of yarn balls. Of course I'll never have such a beautiful piece of art in our home because: 1. i will knit or crochet or felt every scrap of yarn i have. 2. no idea where such a beautiful piece of work would hang. 3. the dust.
so, the photo will be my inspiration and art.

pizza after the manicure/pedicure appointment. Pizza Zombie, Nomad, Monster...something. Great colourful artwork all over here too. Sorry I didn't take any photos.

Stitch n Pitch goodie bag. Love the orange...I'll definitely be using this in my pile of grocery and farmer's market shopping bag collection. Projects I may do: a version of the Scribble Scarf - though the pattern here is called Cobweb - ick. The knit earrings...been on my list for a long time. The fun fur flipflops, they are growing on me. Couple of projects in the Craft: magazine promo. Will not be making the baseball hat or the ribbon poncho. Anyone know what special project the double headed crochet hook is for?

We took the train in! Sat on the top of the double-deck train. fun! Dropped us off three blocks from the park - excellent. Then went after the extra innings game to the train station to find long lines and no train movement! Didn't get home until 1:00 a.m. In summary....train in excellent. game & hangin' with friends, excellent. view, excellent. train home, not so much. But, that didn't stop us from considering the evening a great success.

M is for Mystery -support your local bookstore

Oh my goodness! M is for Mystery! did such an excellent transformation of their store for this event. The costumes, the activities and display areas! Amazing. This is why we all *must* support local businesses. Because they put their hearts and souls into making this an *event* for the children and the adults who want that whimsy and adventure and magic in their lives too. Truly. This store and these people, they need your business, Amazon's "special" Harry Potter mailing box -- so not the same thing (I haven't actually seen one, just heard someone talking about it - I evangelize about independent bookstores, no one I know would tell me they backed out of their promise to buy from an independent bookstore ;)).

Our ticket for this adventure. I'm reading as slowly as I can manage - I'm on page 502. Have been hearing so much lately about Harry Potter - just little snippets on the various podcasts I listen to, or 'watercooler talk' I look forward to listening to the full series on audio too.

Suggestions from anyone on similar stories - I've already read all of Philip Pullman's books (love those too!)

No spoiler comments please :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Decluttering and Stripping

Exploring Ravelry -- trying to figure out how to get more knitting time in. And am extremely motivated to complete those wips (works in progress) to get them out of the house before we move.

Decluttering continues. Soon I'll be putting together sweet packets of supplies for my etsy store too. It's a bit disturbing to me that when I look around our home, thinking of the packing and moving situation, I am *very* aware that *the*most*boxes* will come from my studio! As I'm looking at real estate photos, I notice some kitchens with so many cupboards I find myself wondering what we would do with that much space! Our current place has not much storage, but plenty for us because we have pared down our kitchen things so much in the past several moves. Even so, I'm thrilled about the possibility of having a larger kitchen being able to have one cupboard for baking things, one cupboard for stovetop things, etc.

We have these two hand-me-down dining tables that we don't really like the finish of, but I really can see the potential of stripping it and painting them an enamely/glossy vibrant colour - deep poinsettia red? deep summer sky blue? bright daffodil yellow? And then I think...I should strip and then paint with something I find at a recycle center - to help keep some paint from just sitting in a rusty can somewhere. We'll see. And then there is the idea of painting these and then moving them, the possibility of getting scratched. Maybe just the stripping, then the painting in our new home? So, they sit waiting for me to decide.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

buttons and purses, and ravelry - oh my!

handcrafted buttons for my felted bags. thought i would put a few of them out there.

they look good on a remarkable number of fabrics (check out my flickr account for more photos).

another of my childhood items. i love, love, loved the indian fabrics - embroidery and especially the mirrors and tassles. a favorite purse that i couldn't part with.

i *heart* ravelry. still learning, still posting, still taking photos to upload. are you on there too? won't you be my friend?

Friday, July 13, 2007

slow is the new fast

i'm keeping this collage in an honored space in my studio (until it sells). all of my collages have inner spirit dimensions - they are reflections of my spirit when I'm creating them - sometimes it's the colours I'm drawn to in that moment, other times it's textures, or images (birds! often - sometimes because they are nesters, sometimes because they fly, sometimes because they are sneaky).

getting ready for a system of updating my etsy shop regularly. the weather today is perfect for tons of photography. so, i'm going to continue taking photos, cropping and archiving them. later, when it gets too hot, i'll nestle into the studio for a little painting and collaging new pieces.

so, "slow is the new fast". yes, so much happening in our lives these days. we continue the job search process, checking out whether or not we can buy a home in these new places, are there community supported agriculture programs there? we moved all of the stuff we had stored in my mom's garage for the past four years. i filled two boxes with high school and college papers - tests, reports, etc. remember when we had to write our ss# on our tests and papers? ack. so we hauled the cross shredder out into the garage to take care of those sheets. goodness. oh all the memories - prom, graduation, young life, campus crusade for christ. good stuff. i had saved balloons, corsages, ribbons, political buttons, notes passed in high school. most of those things i tossed. later, as a special treat, i may take a photograph on my prom photo to post. we'll see. maybe, if i get a bunch of requests i will.
this jewelry box is my first - from way back! i have strong memories of these charm bracelets - the importance and purchase of every single one of the charms - almost all of them acquired while we lived in Singapore. The little birds next was a part of a necklace I received when we lived in Alaska when I was in jr. high. The medal/pendant is from the Centennial Celebration of one of my elementary schools - Templestowe Elementary in a 'burb of Melbourne, Australia. I remember May Pole dances, sand candle creation and learning to write in cursive there. It took me a long time after we returned to the United States to re-train myself in writing p, r, s, e (those are the ones I remember most - could be there were other letters written differently also).
woot! i just went over to my email to send a little something out and -- *the*invitation*came* -- so, i'll be posting this for now so that i can get back to learning about ravelry. see you there!

Monday, July 09, 2007

all the blooms abound!

found on our walk tonight. love these orange sun bursty - daisies?

and these creamy, vintage-y full roses!

pomegrantes! i love the shape! oh the ideas...

i've jumped on the chevron scarf knitting bandwagon (did i already mention this?) i'm not thrilled with the two yarns i chose - may need more contrast.
The Eloquent Letter

This is an open letter from the poet Sharon Olds to Laura Bush declining an invitation to read and speak at the National Book Critics Circle Award in Washington , DC . Sharon Olds is one of most widely read and critically acclaimed poets living in America today. Read to the end of the letter to experience her restrained, chilling eloquence.

Dear Mrs. Bush,

I am writing to let you know why I am not able to accept your kind invitation to give a presentation at the National Book Festival on September 24, or to attend your dinner at the Library of Congress or the breakfast at the White House.

In one way, it's a very appealing invitation. The idea of speaking at a festival attended by 85,000 people is inspiring! The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its constituents--all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers. And the concept of a community of readers and writers has long been dear to my heart.

As a professor of creative writing in the graduate school of a major university, I have had the chance to be a part of some magnificent outreach writing workshops in which our students have become teachers. Over the years, they have taught in a variety of settings: a women's prison, several New York City public high schools, an oncology ward for children. Our initial program, at a 900-bed state hospital for the severely physically challenged, has been running now for twenty years, creating along the way lasting friendships between young MFA candidates and their students--long-term residents at the hospital who, in their humor, courage and wisdom, become our teachers.

When you have witnessed someone non-speaking and almost non-moving spell out, with a toe, on a big plastic alphabet chart, letter by letter, his new poem, you have experienced, close up, the passion and essentialness of writing.

When you have held up a small cardboard alphabet card for a writer who is completely non-speaking and non-moving (except for the eyes), and pointed first to the A, then the B, then C, then D, until you get to the first letter of the first word of the first line of the poem she has been composing in her head all week, and she lifts her eyes when that letter is touched to say yes, you feel with a fresh immediacy the human drive for creation, self-expression, accuracy, honesty and wit--and the importance of writing, which celebrates the value of each person's unique story and song.

So the prospect of a festival of books seemed wonderful to me. I thought of the opportunity to talk about how to start up an outreach program. I thought of the chance to sell some books, sign some books and meet some of the citizens of Washington , DC . I thought that I could try to find a way, even as your guest, with respect, to speak about my deep feeling that we should not have invaded Iraq, and to declare my belief that the wish to invade another culture and another country--with the resultant loss of life and limb for our brave soldiers, and for the noncombatants in their home terrain--did not come out of our democracy but was instead a decision made "at the top" and forced on the people by distorted language, and by untruths. I hoped to express the fear that we have begun to live in the shadows of tyranny and religious chauvinism--the opposites of the liberty, tolerance and diversity our nation aspires to.

I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness--as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing--against this undeclared and devastating war.

But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration.

What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary rendition": flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us.

So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it.



Sunday, July 08, 2007

This is Spy. The best dog ever. She love, love, loves when I come to visit. Dogs are *so* great about unconditional love, making you feel as though you are the most important of all. We stay at the Spy family home often when my brother's family is staying at my mom's house. Spy and I play in the backyard after her regular family goes to work in the morning. Then we share the futon, she naps and sighs for pets and I read and drink this excellent coffee. Jumpin' sings and plays the guitar often at the coffeehouse, she's racked up a mound of trade for this best coffee. She had a gig while we were in town - at the Friday Farmer's Market. Great new songs Jumpin'. Please, please, please make a CD! Anyone know of a recording space in Bend? Let me know. I'll forward the information to Jumpin'.

One of my favorite new pieces. Quilty goodness. More on the display in the next photo. Soon to be posted to my store.

The new booth. I love how it all came together. I love the clean look, the red firecracker looking curtains and the peg board! (Thanks again Jumpin' for cut them for me). The collages were a big hit - yippee! Always fun meeting new people, seeing great artists and oh, the people watching!

Near the end of the 4th of July celebration downtown the bike parade came through and everyone fled the booth to watch and hoot along with the bicyclists. Long, long line of fun-loving folks.

When do we get to light the fireworks?

croquet anyone? good times.

Right now!
'Dude! Fireworks on top of the ladder! That's an excellent idea!"
How we roll with all the kids - each gets to choose a firework from the rather large stash. When it's their turn they bring their pick to C to light. As it's being lit the announcement is made as to whose firework this is. We (adults and kids alike) clap and hoot and whistle - congratulating the firework picker on their creativity and sparkle. The spent firework goes into a big bucket of water. More fireworks are chosen from the box - this process repeats until it's dark and we start really looking to the Butte (Pilot Butte) for indications that the 'big fireworks' are about to start.

Sparkler art. By the brilliant, creative, cutest nephews. When I was a child we always wrote our names with the sparklers. I forgot all about this while watching on Wednesday. I'll have to try to capture letter writing with sparklers another time.

Angel wings out of Sparkler action! One of my favorite fireworks photo - and I have a fairly large collection now!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

a wee bit of knitting....

Finished another pair. I love the swirliness of this design - though I really don't like the directions for the heel...I think I'll re-work those directions the next time I knit these. They fit fabulously. The Persistent Illusion - Snake River Socks. As I went to find the link for you all, I noticed that there is now an errata. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I struggled so with the heel...but in the end I just pushed through and did whatever seems like it would work. Another one of the great joys of knitting socks two at a time. I didn't have to spend a great deal of time writing down all of my whimiscal decisions because I was going to do the exact same thing within the hour! Right on. I *love*love*love* knitting two socks at once. For me, the only way to go. The tension is really consistent. No second sock syndrome. Use up the yarn very effectively. Give it a try.

The side view. I'm pretty sure that ridge isn't supposed to be there, but,'s held together nicely!
Next up - that *(&*! Chevron Scarf. I totally bypassed the Jaywalker socks. But those scarves! And I do have a far bit of leftover sock yarns, so... I have knit up 8 sections thus far and I love this too!
O.K. And then I really must get on that Summer KALCAL project!