Thursday, July 30, 2009

Litmus Test

So tomorrow we are off to the Jamboree. The culmination of weeks of effort, and there we will see if we were right. We will see if the designs labored over, and the garments insisted upon will be welcomed and enjoyed or simply dismissed.
If we are wrong, then we will take copious notes and start fresh for next year. If we are right, we will celebrate, laugh in the face of any and all naysayers, take copious notes, and start optimistically for next year.
Either way, I will let you know.

Also, can I just mention that I am really, extremely glad that it will not be 107 degree this weekend.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Perfect One Day Weekend

The gorgeousness of a well worded book, loaned by a friend who somehow knew just what was needed. A cashmere sweater for the soul and everyday chores become poems, clean laundry spilling out of the dryer like warm, soft kisses.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

All Work and Play

This weekend has included far more working hours than the lovely bits that come between. This being the case, I have decided that all of this effort, surely must warrant recording. It is exciting for me to see it all come together. The designs have been made, worried over, remade, approved and re-approved. The garments have been painstakingly chosen for both style an price.

I have output the films.

Each to make a screen through which the perfect color of ink will be squished.

Layer by layer, color by color, sometimes by hand, sometimes by machine, until the image is just right.

If it is not, it will have to be reworked. A change of color, and change of print order... this print is not just right.

Can you see the difference? I think that we have it this time.

A perfect print and it only took us two days to get this one right.

And another, right out of the dryer. This one we got right the very first time.

A print from yesterday, perhaps my favorite yet.

All work, but everyone in a while,when it all comes together, it feels a lot like play.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Much of the time, life seems to be what happens between work days, or at least work hours. Today after work, I had myself a nice peacely knit and am happy to report that I am firmly in the home stretch on not one, but two projects. I am sure that you can imagine how nice it was to sit on my bed in my room, which is not only incredibly comfortable, but has the prettiest light coming in through the windows.

I pulled out both of my scarves, and my only regret is that I could not work on both at once. The purple Australian merino is a dream to work with. No matter how many times it is frogged and tinked, it stays beautifully smooth and perfect. This is an incredibly desirable quality as anyone who has ended up with frayed and separated yarn can tell you, and I have had ample chance to test it. I have discovered (drum roll please) that I am NOT talented enough to knit anything more that a Garter Stitch while doing anything else at all. No watching movies or drinking margaritas. I have decided that this is why the Garter Stitch was invented.

My beautiful bamboo scarf made of Aunt Lydia's bamboo crochet thread, is stitched entirely in the Garter and drapes and hangs in utter drapey gorgeousness. At least I think so.

So mostly, blogworthy life is what happens between-working-hours. Today however, was an exception. For months now, I have been working on a collection of designs for the Oregon Jamboree, and today two of them went to press with beautiful results.
I cannot tell you how I enjoyed not only the simple pleasure that comes with completing a task, but also, the successful collaborative effort. Today, life was definitely about what was happening during working hours.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Days

Here we are, mid July, full on summer. Even here in Oregon the grass is dry, and two showers a day seems barely enough. Now is the time when even the least inclined of us, might get up relatively early on a Saturday to participate in Community Activities. Those of us with memory-making in mind might get up just a wee bit earlier than usual to make coffee, and walk down to the start of a small town parade. We will wave and smile at the middle-aged marching band in tie-dye and crazy hats, we will laugh at the crunch of hard candy hitting the street. We will admire the classic cars, and cheer at a local icon. 

Mid-summer, and those of us who despise pesticides and weed killers almost as much as we despise getting up before the cool of the morning is gone in order to pull weeds, those of us whose weed-eater might just be broken; to us, mid summer will mean knee high dandelions in our to-big-to-water-regularly lawn.
There will also be bands in the park, for those so inclined, and new friends on the dance floor. 

And the weeds will soon be forgotten and pushed aside by the memories made and kept.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Berries, Basil, and Fire Hydrants

In our enduring quest for the perfect summer afternoon (our summer mornings being taken up with less idyllic pastimes) we scooted down to our favorite local growers to immerse ourselves in the season. Marion berries, Boysenberries, and Blueberries all in little green boxes rode along home with us. Blueberries for the freezer, and some berries perhaps for milkshakes. Yes, definitely for milkshakes. 

We systematically sought out the coolest spot in the house and  settled into our books. And boy did I get a good one. It was the kind of book that makes you want to saute garlic in soft curls of butter, and eat slow food with your fingers. But the day is sultry hot, and my sweet husband is not here to savor a glass of red wine. We settled for grilled mozzarella sandwiches, with basil and tomatoes, and a walk in the heavy evening air.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do you know how sometimes you have something to say, but no pictures to go along with it? And sometimes, you have nothing to say at all, but somehow feel that you should? Well, that is me. One of them is anyway, not sure which one. So, I did what any one who is me would do. I wandered around my yard, looking for something lovely. Also, I carried my bag of knitting projects with me. I just did, ok? 
I found this. 
And also this.

They are lovely, and have lovely names. I love the name of flowers: Daylily, Fuschia, Sweet Woodruff. We like to list them together like a litany, or literary bouquet.

I am glad it is the weekend. 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Erin's World

Erin's world is full of yarn.

And books.
And Babies.

And beautiful objects. Can we just take a moment to note that this tiny and perfect canvas was created by the drummer of Blind Pilot and I really don't think that it is fair for one person to be so talented.

Yesterday, her world was also full of Strawberry Margaritas!

We traveled far, my Maddie and I, to roll around in Erin's world. And roll we did, with delicious libation aplenty, (virgin for the wee ones) and playtime for all.
See our adventuring feet!

After a gorgeously tactile trip to the yarn shop, we had a delightful rummage through Erin's voluminous library of crafty books, talking frequent breaks to run our fingers through baskets of yarn.

I just have to take another moment to show you this yarn. My favorite of the day, soft and delicate like cobwebs. No, it did not come home with me, just a few too may pennies, but we shared a special moment.

After that we just had to pull out our projects du jour, and sit down on the couch for a good chat and stitch. All that stitching and chatting will make you hungry, and since no was was about to do anything silly like cooking, (plus, apparently the oven was full of dirty dishes:) of course we needed pizza.

Lynda, we thought of you the whole day through... and I got to hear your voice on the answering machine.

Completely satisfied, Maddie and I made the long drive home, already planning for next time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

In the Spirit of Introduction

In the spirit of relaxing-for-Cripes-Sake! I am going to do a little bit of show and tell with the aforementioned project hinted at here. I wanted to wait until I could link to the spot on my website (my website being one of the Somethings that I wanted to Accomplish) where I also introduced the memory boxes that inspired this particular project. BUT, if I wait, I may not get a chance to show you until next year or sometime vague, and that would be even more anti-climactic than it already is. How is that for a long winded and unnecessary introduction?

This is a box.

It is made of heavy cardboard (the kind used by architecture students) and is held together by strips of cotton brushed with Arlene's archival glue. It is covered outside with vintage postcards, and inside with vintage wallpaper.

The pattern for the box is custom designed by me! The measurements are in picas because the cardboard is about a pica thick. 

I love this box. I love it as much as I loved its forerunners (who will be archived someday, and have the design of an old library filing box.)

Thankfully, I believe that its new owner treasures it also, so I know that it is happy in it's new home.

Summertime Blues, and Gifts

There is something about a gift given when there is no particular holiday to cue you in that you might perhaps be in the way of getting a gift. It is special and tingly. I bit ago a dear friend of mine sent me a special gift slipped into a book, and it made me smile very much. It came at a time when it was very needed. The unexpected part was that the book took on new meaning, and became intertwined with the giving itself.
Yesterday, a new friend sent me a "cheer" gift, and while the cheer was prearranged and reciprocal, somehow it was still completely unexpected. I think of it, and get all tingly. It is enough to make me want to forsake holiday giving and start only sending out random gifts instead.

And I am thankful that I have such reminders, that somebody is out there thinking of how to make my day brighter. 
This summer I have been just the tiniest bit... off. There is new scheduling at our house due to new working hours. I have more alone time than in the past. This new alone time has given me the misconception that I should be Accomplishing Something. I don't know, something big. 
Because of this misconception, I have found it difficult to settle. If I am not careful these warm summertime hours will be wasted. 
So, I am determined not to waste these precious hours, but to do those things that summer was intended for: playing, reading, lounging about, creating something beautiful if the inspiration strikes, and generally soaking in the peacefulness.
Ready? Go!