Monday, June 19, 2017

In Vino Veritas

In vino veritas, indeed. 


Monday we left the kiddos and the pups at the appropriate daycare centers, so they wouldn't get bored while we went wine-tasting. The pups stayed at Noah's Arf in Beaverton.



This was Dusty's first time at doggie daycare. He seemed a little insecure, but Rocky made sure he knew how everything worked in this kind of setting. Louis (our grandpup) stayed there, too. He's a real sweetie. I didn't get a photo of him there, but here he is in his natural habitat.



The human children went to their preschool on the Nike campus, as they are wont to do most work days.

Our wine-tasting outing started with lunch at Red Hills Market in Dundee with Peter and Alexa, and her parents.



Peter and Alexa take turns being on duty with the kids if they wake up at night. Soren, the older one, still gets up just as often during the night as his younger brother. It was good for the parents to be able to get away to have a break from work and child care.


We didn't get to too many wineries. (How many wineries are "too many?") We spent the time to savor each one. We visited Vista Hills and Durant in the Dundee area, where Alexa's parents plan to build a house.


We bought two bottles at each winery, which waived the cost of the tasting, as each couple had shared a flight at each place. The wines we tasted were mostly pinot noir and pinot grigio, I guess because of the climate and terrain in this part of Oregon. We also picked up some olive oil and vinegar at Durant for salads and to put on bread. On our way out of the the Durant winery, we found this lusty fellow.



Because of my many trips to the frog pond during various knitting projects, I'm well acquainted with the frog prince. (For this of you who don't knit, it's "rip-it, rip-it.") I have even had to visit the frog pond when quilting, not as easy to do, but easier to get caught up again afterwards.

Earlier in the day, we had stopped in at the Nike Company Store for our "employee-family discount" on some Nike gear. I bought two pairs of shoes for running (not likely), hiking, walking and other exercise. They are so comfortable I can hardly believe it. My orthotics fit inside perfectly,



While we stayed with the kids, we had our "guest house" parked across the street (with permission from the neighbors), so the kiddos didn't wake us up at night.


On Tuesday, we drove back through Sisters to Bend, where Charlie's brother, Jim, lives. He recently moved here from Park City. The plan was to join him in a year or two, assuming we liked Bend. We did. We enjoyed walking the dogs along the trails in his neighborhood. Here's Jim with Onslow. (You can see Charlie with Rocky behind Jim and Onslow. I had Dusty.) We did a hike on Saturday afternoon.



We connected with a realtor and looked at some houses. We also connected with the local yarn shop, Gossamer The Knitting Place in Bend.


Here are some photos of the inside:


Isn't this yummy?


They have some nice places to sit and knit.





I bought some sport-/DK-weight sock yarn and some fingering sock yarn (doesn't count toward stash), some locking st markers and some soap for my friend Joanie.


I have a feeling I will be spending some time at this place. There are also several quilt shops, plus somewhat close proximity to Sisters and The Stitchin' Post. It wasn't convenient to disconnect our tow vehicle from the trailer, so I wasn't able to do a lot of driving around.

We went out to eat a couple of times, and I cooked some. Houses cost about the same as in our neighborhood, so it should be an even move, cost-wise, unless something happens in either locality to change things. We will need to start "culling" our stuff. Obviously, the sewing machine, loom, spinning wheel and yarn and fabric stashes are a priority. Jim added a shed to his backyard, to serve as a workshop. I'm thinking of doing the same thing for a fiber studio. Then we could have a smaller house.

Work on the steampunk costume for Mandy has continued with the completion of the Braemar coat. Still a few items to add, but this was the last large piece.


I like how the lines of the jacket fit with the Victorian aspect of steampunk. I'm planning on a lace collar to go over the blouse, some mitts, maybe a snood (if I can figure out how to make it) and some goggles. Mandy thinks she's ready to lecture at the Royal Society of Engineers, because that's what girls can do in the alternate universe of Steampunk. (She's geared up--ha-ha--to explain her prototype of a clock-driven airplane.)


In the meantime, I think I've found the solution to next Lenten season's depriviation, when I give up my second glass of wine for Lent.


What's on my needles: Finished the Braemar coat. Now working on mitts, snood, collar.

What's on my Featherweight:
 Put away for now.

What's on my loom: Still waiting.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi also still waiting. Thinking about Tour de Fleece.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Listening to Jodi Taylor’s A Symphony of Echoes again, with Charlie as we travel. On the Kindle app, still reading Undeniable by Laura Stapleton. Still not sure how I like it yet.

What's in my wine glass: Trader Joe's um...so many to choose from, now that we've been to TJ's in Oregon.

What's my tip of the week: I like to use freezer paper for patterns for when I'm sewing doll clothes. Often I can avoid pinning entirely, but usually one pin at a crucial area is all that's needed. I iron them down the way I would pin a pattern, then use my rotary cutter and ruler to cut all the straight edges. Finally, I add a pin if needed and cut the curves with scissors. The patterns can be used over and over.


Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trip to the Coast, Almost

We've spent some time hanging out in various campsites.

And riding for hours in the tow vehicle for our trailer.


Or in the trailer.



Storing up energy for some fetching play in various fields, like this dog exercise field at Champoeg State Park in Oregon.



On our last evening in Champoeg we had dinner with DH's brother.




Then we went on to Beaverton for DS2's preschool graduation on the Nike campus, followed by snacks.




We managed to fit in a trip to the Oregon Zoo in Portland. They have a great large bird show with  various birds from all over the world flying over the audience, right over our heads. At the end of the show, we had the opportunity to give donations to the vulture, who deposited them in the donation box.



Mandy rocks the steampunk costume, with the petticoat and corset finished. I should have more to show next week. The sleeves are done on the Braemar, and already CO for the body.


Off for wine-tasting today, the pups are at doggy daycare, and the boys to school. Stay tuned.


What's on my needles: Three Steps petticoat and corset finished. Now working on the Braemar coat.

What's on my Featherweight:
 Put away for now.

What's on my loom: Still waiting.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi also still waiting.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Hacker Mom by Austen Rachlis. Listened to Rachel Abbott’s Only the Innocent again, this time with DH as we traveled. We both enjoyed it, even thought I sort of remembered how it went. On the Kindle app, finished Dying to Read. Now reading Undeniable by Laura Stapleton. Not sure how I like it yet.

What's in my wine glass: Lots of everything. Wine tasting today.

What's my tip of the week: A tired pup is an obedient pup. Keep ’em tired if you can.


Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Quilts for Project Linus

Remember Linus from Peanuts? The little boy with his blankie to his ear and his thumb in his mouth? This character by Charles M. Schultz, the embodiment of well-known positive impact on young children of a comfort blanket or toy, became the mascot for Project Linus.

The organization states that it has two missions:

First, provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
Second, provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.

Rona Kleiman, one of my online Ravelry friends, who started the Project Linus program in Canada, recently visited Havergal College, an exclusive private girls school, to see what the 9th grade girls were making for Project Linus. 

These are the hand sewn, paper-pieced quilt tops they were making.







"They have an art teacher who has a PHD in art education," Rona says. The art teacher, Dr. Miriam Davidson, who is  head of the upper school art department as well as a teacher, started the quilt program five years ago and contacted Rona at Project Linus, because the girls were looking for a new place to donate. A relative of one of the girls had donated to Project Linus in the past, so the girl suggested the organization as a possible destination for the finished quilts.

When Rona arrived at the school, the girls were working on stone carvings. Rona says that they took her breath away. She was very impressed with the girls, too. "They were kind and funny and very smart. What a breath of fresh air," she says. Rona explained to the girls what Project Linus is all about. When she was finished, they were very excited about their donations. 
Rona started Project Linus Canada 20 years ago and was the international coordinator of the organization across Canada, until two years ago when she stepped down from that position and now runs the Toronto chapter. "I got really burned out from all the desk work," Rona says. When she started the program she didn’t expect it to expand to such a degree.  "Even the Toronto chapter is a big and busy chapter and requires a lot of work and running around, but I love the charity. It’s a part of me by now," she adds. There are now 40 chapters in Canada--something to be proud of.
I find the girls' quilts inspiring. Don't you? Even with hand-sewing and paper-piecing, these shapes are difficult to piece with this kind of precision.
For more information on Project Linus, especially how to get involved, contact--
Project Linus Canada: http://projectlinuscanada.org
Project Linus USA: https://www.projectlinus.org
Project Linus accepts knitted and crocheted blankets in addition to quilts. Check with them for requirements before making a blanket.

While I'm on vacation, I thought my readers might be interested in a valuable resource for children in need and a worthy place for quilters, knitters and crocheters to donate their efforts.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Preparing for Travel—Maybe!

The Fair Isle sweater for Lukas is done, shown here modeled by Carter.


Here's the link to the pattern, a free download on Ravelry. It's designed to teach people how to make a project that calls for knitting in the round and steeks (cutting your knitting), something they can start with that isn't a huge investment of time, but still gives a finished product that's useable for a doll or teddy bear. It buttons down the back, so you don't have to pull the sweater over the doll's head.

There is a tutorial for the project here. The sweater comes in three sizes for 18" (or so) dolls that are slim, medium or plus-size. (Carter is wearing the plus size, which is also appropriate for American Girl and Boy dolls.) Carter is from My Sibling Dolls. It's a good company serving several worthy causes.


Carter got his name by being designated to be part of the silent auction for Habitat for Humanity, Park City, in October. He and a girl doll will receive volunteer-made clothes and trunks to hold all their goodies. The dolls and everything that goes into each doll's wardrobe are donated. Last year two girl dolls brought in about $350 combined.

I mentioned last week that I ordered a Götz Katie (like my Mandy) for our granddaughter for Christmas. A little early, but this doll (with the red hair and freckles) is out-of-production, and the last retailer to have any in stock has the last of them. I ordered her as soon as I got paid. She arrived on Saturday. I opened the box and pulled out the cardboard drawer where Katie was held in place by restraints (poor thing, but it's for her protection). I was able to check her out to reassure myself she was uninjured from the long journey, get a photo with my live-in Götz dolls and get her back into the box.


Mandy thinks they could be twins. Katie will probably end up with Vroni's and Mandy's dresses, as I make more. (You can see that she has glasses for reading, too.) She will need a sleep mask and a chain or ribbon for her glasses, as well as clothes.

We have been going to Run-A-Muk Dog Park fairly frequently, because it's in a spot that isn't so windy, nor is it muddy, even after a rain. Wednesday the pups went to see the groomer. I wanted to get a photo of Dusty, to show how much lighter he's getting. Rocky decided to photobomb Dusty's photoshoot. At least he didn't hold a paw up behind Dusty's head.


Rocky had his annual physical and thyroid check this past week. Everything is good. Still waiting on the results of his--ahem--fecal check, but it has always been normal since we've had him, so I'm not worried. He really does seem to have more energy since he has been on thyroid medication for a while.

Vintage Stitchers didn't meet this week. Everyone was either out of town, had appointments or trying to get caught up before the quilt-shop-hop the beginning of next month.

We expect to be leaving Thursday or so to go camping in Oregon unless something comes up. (We have at least three issues that could get in the way.) Regardless, next week's blog post will be about some girls in a school in Canada who have been hand-piecing quilt tops to make quilts for Project Linus, an organization that provides quilts and knitted or crocheted blankets for children in need of warm fuzzies. I may be out of internet range, so this pre-programed post will show up. I'll check in if I can.

What's on my needles: Another Three Steps petticoat. I really want to make a Steampunk-style outfit as part of the "Sweet Pairings" KAL in the Debonair Designs group on Ravelry. Also still sewing the binding on the Kaleidoscope Quilt, but now I have a deadline, so it will get done.

What's on my Featherweight:
 Put away for now.

What's on my loom: Still waiting.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi also still waiting, but I'll have to get her oiled up when I get back, because Tour de Fleece starts the beginning of July.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd from Audible, probably her best novel so far. Now reading Hacker Mom by Austen Rachlis. It’s a real change of pace. On the Kindle app, I’m still reading Dying to Read, The Cate Kinkaid Files Book #1.

What's in my wine glass: Still the same boxed wine as last week. Nothing to write home about, but it seems to be refilling itself.

What's my tip of the week: If you're cooking for two, you can still use recipes for four or more servings. I often make a long casserole dish with a recipe enough for three or four days for just the two of us. So we don't get tired of it, I put half of it in a foil-lined square cake pan after it's chilled enough that it doesn't fall apart when I cut it, if it's something like lasagne or enchiladas. I cover it with more foil, freeze and then turn the frozen casserole out of the dish, label and wrap in a plastic bag (like a produce bag) to keep the cold air from reaching the food inside. When I'm ready to serve it, I put it back in the cake pan, thaw it and heat up in the oven. For a stew or something that has to be spooned rather than cut, I just transfer half of it to a freezer container. This is great for camping or to pull out when I'd rather do anything but cook.. 


Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, May 22, 2017

More Little People and Their Clothes

The French Back-to-school Cardigan for Lukas is done.



Here's Carter, modeling it with the shorts I made to go with it. I made it according to the pattern, but added in an extra increase row before stopping the increases at the front neck edge. I used Palette in Edamame. 

I also made some 3/4 length pants and a hat.



Now I'm working on a Fair Isle sweater for him, according to the pattern I designed as a first steeking project. I have the body almost ready for the steeks. 




I want to get the steeks done at least before we leave town with the trailer (probably June 1st), because I don't want to take the sewing machine along. I can finish it, and knit other projects for the dolls, but this will be the only project that requires the machine until I'm ready to start working on the wardrobe for the two dolls for Habitat for Humanity and my house block for them. I hope to be able to leave the clothes for Lukas in Oregon on our June visit so I don't have to mail them for Soren's birthday in July.

The colorway I'm using was inspired by the slimmer version of the design made by one of my online friends, Pam Elliott. Here it is as a pullover on her Hannah:




And as a cardigan on her Katie.


The colors are perfect for these two redheads, but I think it will look good on Lukas, too. I had to switch out two of the yarn colors because I didn't have them, but the overall color scheme is close. I also worked the colors in a slightly different order. It's fun playing with the colors.

I ordered a Katie for Daphne for Christmas. I wanted to be sure they didn't run out, as they aren't making this doll anymore. 

With the sewing (except for the steeks) done for Lukas, I cleaned up the dining room, where I had been sewing, because Dusty doesn't think he can go down the stairs, and I would have to watch him down there in the fiber studio anyway.

Common Threads met at Lynda's. She had finished a scarf made from some of the yarn she picked up at the Unraveled Sheep after our visit to the Utah Quilting and Sewing Marketplace a couple of weeks ago. They're closing down the end of this month, so there was a big sale.



I Lynda's scarf might be this pattern. The yarn has the sequins already attached.

We had a nice visit. Lynda made scones, and we had cut-up fruit and yoghurt.

I'm still sewing the binding on the Kaleidoscope quilt.

We had a break in the weather on Saturday, so we went back to Run-A-Muk Dog Park for another run (for the dogs) and stroll (for us) along the trail.


They had a lot of fun with the dogs they met along the way.


The rest of my business this week was pretty boring: annual physical, pneumonia shot, etc., but church on Sunday was fun, because we got to sing some pieces I had practiced before Sunday. (I do better with a little preparation.)

Sunday afternoon we went to the final opera of the season here. It was Don Giovanni. The music and the performances were outstanding, but the sets and costumes were in Film Noir style in black, white and grey. They were beautifully done, but the juxtaposition was distracting and jarring in connection with this opera, which was partly about class differences, an aspect that disappeared in a 1940s-'50s era US setting. (We had class differences then, but they didn't show up, either.)


What's on my needles: Fair Isle sweater for Lukas.

What's on my Featherweight:
 Waiting to sew the steeks for the Fair Isle sweater for Lukas.

What's on my loom: Still waiting.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi also still waiting.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Ties that Bind by Marie Bostwick. Some reviewers found it a little overly religious. I thought it was fitting, because one of the two main characters was a female pastor. Now Reading Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd. On the Kindle app, I’m still reading Dying to Read, The Cate Kinkaid Files Book #1.

What's in my wine glass: Hardy's Shiraz, in the box. Nyeh.

What's my tip of the week: Have an old electric toothbrush brush? Don't throw it away. You can use it and your electric toothbrush to clean areas around your faucets and sink drains. Just don't forget to switch back to your designated toothbrush brush before you get ready to brush your teeth.


Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Antiques, Old and New, Young and Old

This photo summarizes my week.

Do the girls look tired? I think they're picking it up from me. Let me put together why this photo is a summary.

I was in a hurry to get Zachary Jr.'s birthday present in the mail, along with another package for Daphne's birthday, so I wouldn't have to mail two packages. (Zachary Jr.'s birthday is June 1st, according to Zachary.) This was the outfit I sent him, along with an apron, because boys like to cook, too.

(Carter is acting as my model.) I made the shorts and apron, but not the shirt, which came from here.

While the sewing machine was out, I wanted to put together a dress for Vroni. 



I wanted to be sure the translation of the French Back-to-school Cardigan was going to work, so I made one for Vroni to go along with her dress.

Now I'm making one for Lukas for Soren's birthday present. We're going to be there next month, so if I have everything finished, I won't have to mail it. I hope to have a hat, two pairs of pants, the long-sleeved T, like Zachary Jr.'s and three sweaters, including a Fair Isle pullover/cardigan. We'll see.

Once I had the girls attired in summer dresses, I decided it would be fun to put together a vignette of the four of them pretending to be fancy ladies at a summer resort and for Carter to be the waiter.

Sometimes sewing for dolls can be too much fun.

I was able to make it to Vintage Stitchers on Thursday. Julie was there for the first time in several weeks. She's making this quilt for a relative's wedding. She had the engaged couple pick the fabrics, which she said was fun.



My friend Joanie and I missed the Acorn Antique Fair in Ogden last year, so we didn't want to miss this year. There was lots of interesting stuff, including the china tea set the girls are enjoying in the first photo. This year's collection had some great quilts, and I didn't even get to photograph all of them. Here's a selection:











We had breakfast and lunch out, and Joanie's caretaker/assistant drove, so I was able to knit. One fun discovery at the antique fair was this live goose. She sat in her stroller and made comments from time to time about what she was seeing. She allowed me to pet her (I asked permission first), much to the surprise of her "Daddy." She had some kind of safety harness that kept her from taking off on her own.


We had some nice weather this week for a change, and we made two trips to Run-A-Muk Dog Park, which has 1 1/3 miles of hiking trail meandering through scenic woods and over babbling streams.


Our second visit was on Mothers' Day, which turned out to be a good day to go, because there were lots of dogs to meet and greet, and often to play with. We all got lots of exercise!

So I think I'll just pull up my own, human-adult-size Adirondack chair and sit down with the girls and a pot of tea.


What's on my needles: French Back-to-school Cardigan for Lukas. Still sewing the binding on the Kaleidoscope binding.

What's on my Featherweight:
 More doll clothes, now for Lukas.

What's on my loom: Still waiting.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi also still waiting.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott from Audible. Excellent mystery. Now listening to Ties that Bind by Marie Bostwick. On the Kindle app, I’m still reading Dying to Read, The Cate Kinkaid Files Book #1.

What's in my wine glass: Foxhorn Vinyards Merlot. Always nice.

What's my tip of the week: Going away this summer for a week or two? You can keep your plants watered by using a wine bottle filled with water and a Plant Nanny.




Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.