Monday, November 30, 2020

Focus on the Jolly!

 Today I had a few chore-like things planned, but they got sidetracked. It was a beautiful day and we started off the morning by heading to Sitka Sedge, a state park a few miles north of here. We hiked about a mile in to the beach and then walked up the beach for a while. Sunny, no wind, just beautiful.

After lunch we put the outdoor lights up on the deck, and then Tim said 'let's just do the lights on the inside tree.' So we did. And then he said "let's just do the ornaments' and so the tree is done! This is the earliest ever---usually he goes to a conference in the second week in December and we don't even start stuff til he gets back. But this is an unprecedented year, of course, so we decided to start the holiday early.

I have started a few knitting projects. First, just a simple sock. 

Second, the 'pressed flowers' shawl that looked too complex until I realized it was mosaic and not colorwork. Early days on this one but I like it so far!

I read a good book--"White Ivy" by Susie Yang. It is sort of hard to explain, but check it out. It's good.

Onward to December!


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Not really knitting

 I haven't been knitting a lot--there has been cooking and tiny needles and other stuff--but it has been a good weekend so far (only a good because the Ducks lost last night).  Let's look at a few pictures:

Thanksgiving even saw the arrival of these gorgeous flowers from our friends Joonghwa and Soojung who live in North Dakota. Joonghwa was a student in one of my only summer school classes, I think in 2000. We have always stayed in touch, and now he is a professor at NDSU, as is Soojung. They met at a conference that I'm very involved with. Such a small world. 

Dinner was duck breast, green beans, foccacia, and wild mushroom potato gratin. And chocolate pot de creme for desserst. Yes, we're a bit non traditional. 

Yesterday I worked on my December artist trading cards. Here are my little gnomes!  

 And this is what the card will look like: 

Yesterday we took a beach walk and then went to find our Christmas tree. It is 10 feet tall. We will spend some time today trying to figure out where it goes. Stay tuned for that!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving wishes

 We can't break bread together, but we can share a moment of beautiful. I'm thankful for all my blog friends!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

TNT and future plans

 TNT starts with an almost done little Santa.

He's almost done. You can see the beads--there are beads all the way around his body, plus beads in his hat, and little beads sprinkled throughout. I like it but man it is fiddly. I feel like I've worked on it as long as I worked on the Snowy Stack. It is maybe 5 inches high? I have a bit of red crosses to cross, and then a whole area on the right side (just to the right of his beard) where he is holding something. I don't really know what it is. Anyway. It's getting done.

I've been thinking of what I want to do next. I know knitting-wise, I want a pair of mindless socks to knit (and I have just the yarn, just need to find the needles) and I also have yarn to do Pressed Flowers but that seems like the opposite of mindless knitting.

In little needlework, I'm waiting for the floss for A Small Gift:

I have the cloth so I want to start on that and stitch on that during the holidays.

These two kits arrived today as well:

Both are holiday stitching! I think they came in one color because of floss shortages but I might make the Hygge Reindeer just a bit more colorful.

I also have materials for "Night Walked Down" (but probably won't start that til this summer. We'll see. 

Do you have something you're looking forward to, craft wise?

Monday, November 23, 2020

Just a few more inches!

 This is almost done--I think two and a half more inches and then I do the assembly (which I hope I don't mess up).

The weekend was full---Duck game on Saturday afternoon (I hate afternoon games, because there goes the whole afternoon), outside social distanced campfire with neighbors Saturday night, long walks with dogs, and end of term grading.  We're both looking forward to a long weekend!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

All Stacked Up!

 I took a little bit of time to finish off the Snowy Stack so now it is all done (almost) and ready to be hung for the holidays! There are little beads and big beads and some snowflakes. I really like this a lot.

I ordered a sticky backing and a frame so I can finish this off over TG weekend. We are, of course, staying put. Tim's making duck breasts and I'm making a few side dishes. 

We had a great birthday (well Tim had a great birthday yesterday, I just helped). I gave him an outdoor weather station which is de rigueur (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, here is what I got him). We made a good dinner--Tim cooked seared tri tips and I made roasted root vegetables, a caesar salad, and we both contributed to a pie. I forgot to take a picture but it was festive!

Thanks for your birthday wishes for Tim!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Thursday post

 How creative is my title? That is kind of my brain right now. I haven't been sleeping great, plus it has been a week busy with meetings. This is a week I meet one-on-one with each of my 26 Masters students, and while those meetings are fun catch ups, they also generate a pretty long to-do list of things that students need.

Rio Calina is coming along!

I need to measure this as I'm guessing I'm getting close. This photo is a good representative of the colors.

And some very good news this week! My University is offering buy-outs for people aged 62+ and with 15 years of service. I had already decided to retire in June but hadn't made it 'official', so this buy out was great news! It includes a year of salary plus a  lump sum to cover insurance costs. It means I won't be able to do what our school calls 'tenure reduction' which means teaching part time for five years (and getting paid a partial salary, plus retirement income, which can be a sweet deal). I wasn't planning to anyway so that's fine. The deal isn't a great deal if you weren't, like me, already out the door but I'm already out the door so yay! 

That's it from me! Tomorrow is Tim's birthday with much frivolity planned (ok, a nice dinner and a few gifts but hey, it's a pandemic).

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


 Wasn't it just TNT? After the dragginess (no it isn't a word) of October, November is just flying by. This week is Tim's birthday (on Friday) and next week is Thanksgiving. Ours will be quiet but nice.

This is coming along:

The parts that remain have lots and lots of beads so it will be a little fiddly. But fiddly is fine sometimes!

Monday, November 16, 2020

The weekends--they go so faaaaaasst

 Even though we really don't do a whole lot, the weekends seem to just speed by. 

Saturday we took the dogs to the beach for a quick walk---we were in between storms and we were having a King Tide--a really big tide. We went to the 'busy' beach and there were quite a few people out watching the waves with us. We both forgot our cameras unfortunately.

The winds picked up and it was very windy (I think I saw 60 mph gusts) so we hunkered down. The Ducks played at 4 so we watched them (they won, quite handily, although the first quarter was dicey). The electricity flickered off once but came on right after, and about 6:30 or so the wind died down. We did have a hail storm too, so it was a busy weekend weather wise.

Today we went for a longish walk and I did this and that. 

Here is some of the this and that. 

1. Some new cards,  made with the washi tape from the Kawaii Pen Shop and the Mary Engelbriet shop (yes, ME HAS WASHI TAPE).

2. Some new beads, made with the Sundance catalog, the LL Bean catalog, and some pages from a fancy catalog called Somebody and Somebody--I think one of the names is McCormick but I'm not sure. Anyway, fancy decorations and fancy prices, and the pages are pretty so they make for pretty beads.

3. I'm more than halfway through Rio Calina and I'm liking how it looks. I took this with the flash and the color is a bit washed out.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Stormy Saturday

 It is very stormy here (which is kind of lovely)---the thunder and lightning started at 3am and I hurried Pilot the dog to his safe place (the car in the garage--he hates thunder and fireworks). The rain was off and on hard for the rest of the night. Friday evening we had a brief yet violent hail storm (the dogs were outside-I hurried them inside then!). We expect stormy weather today and then rain--forever, or at least until Spring. 

I do have an FO--the dropped stitch shawl which finally has had the stitches dropped. Here it is before blocking:

And after:

I will post another one at some point.

Let's see, what else? Busy with work, of course---three more weeks til a few weeks off for Christmas. Winter term (Jan-March) will be online, and I'm guessing at least the start of Spring term will be online as well. 

We are watching a few good things on the telly--"Roadkill" on PBS (horrible title, but a great cast including one of my Twinnie's favorites, Hugh Laurie), "The Undoing" on HBO (we get it through Amazon Prime) that has Nicole Kidman (who must be a vampire, she doesn't age) and Hugh Grant, and "The Last Dance" about the Chicago Bulls (which is really interesting, even if you aren't a fan of basketball).

I'm currently reading "Anatomy of a Scandal" by Sarah Vaughn which I like. I'm trying to finish "Plain Bad Heroines" which is---taking a while. I read a good book called "Shelter in Place" which is hard to describe---sort of, how different people react to the 2016 election, with 'where we live' as a metaphor. It's kind of hard to describe. I liked that the characters were my age and still dealing with all kinds of personal and professional issues. 

I guess that's it? Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Sweater update

 This is slow going--I can do one row in about twenty minutes. Yikes!

I've been busy catching up on stuff that slowly built up when I was back in Eugene. I'm back now! The big news is that we're expecting a major storm tomorrow--60 mph winds. Should be a corker!!

Take care all!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020


Right now I'm at a bit of a tedious space on my TNT. There's a lot of tiny detail work and I think I redid the eyes four times.

I made a quick trip to Eugene because I hadn't seen the farm for a while and we're at the start of the rainy season. Today is the only day in the next week and a half that is supposed to be dry, so I took advantage and drove over today. I'm bringing a variety of things back as we start to transition to living there forever.

Here is Atom! He was one of the first ones out to say hello.

Calypso and his buddy little Chaco, who is his nephew.

Calypso and Chaco, with Gryffin in the background.


Calypso does a pose.

Hello Mana! She is five months old and 72 pounds. That's big!

Don't ask what is going on there on the left.

Ann adopted two older ladies, Tereza and Tsarina. They are a 'different' strain of alpacas that look like small llamas. They also haven't been sheared in a while. This is Tereza and she is like a big fluffy dog. And that's Ann!

One last photo of pretty Mana.

Monday, November 09, 2020

A few pictures

 The weekend went so fast. Saturday was off-and-on rainy but we got a good walk in, had carry out from the Oar House, and then I spent a bit of time reading and knitting.  The Ducks played football (the Pac-12 is back!) at 4:30 (they won against Stanford) and then we watched another episode of "The Last Dance". This morning we went for a long walk at the beach and then I talked to a former student for a while and did a bit of grading, followed by reading and knitting. Now we're settling in to watch Sunday Night Football and wrap up the weekend.

I'm making a quick trip to Eugene tomorrow---I have an open day and it isn't supposed to be raining. Not any appointments or anything but I haven't been to see the alpacas--or to see Ann's house remodel--for several weeks. I may pop into my office to empty out my mailbox. 

The knitting continues to be the drop-stitched-shawl-where-stitches-have-yet-to-be-dropped and I think this is gong to wrap up relatively soon--it doesn't look like there's a lot of yarn left.

There are little red beads on this.

I also did another round of beads. The black flowered ones are from an envelope sent by Rifle Paper company. I just bought a pair of Keds on sale and the shoes came with an envelope holding the receipt that I used for the beads, as well as a shoe box in a pretty print that is clearly meant to be re-used--I'm using it to collect our tax stuff.

The orange and blue beads are from the Amazon catalogue!

I hope your weekend was a happy one too.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

On this historic day

..we have elected a good man and a very, very good woman to lead our country. We have started hard conversations on racism, sexism and homophobia that must be continue. We are still very divided but if all of us agree to move forward, together, then maybe--maybe--there is some hope for our country.

While my own crafts are really insignificant on this day, I did want to share both my Rio Calina cowl and two potholders that are destined to be gifts for a friend. 

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Still waiting

 I think my tension is--kind of?--easing off, as it looks more and more likely that we'll have a decision on the President today. I just want to have an answer and to move past the inevitable lawsuits.

What this election has taught me is that a. people lie to pollsters and b. we live in a very, very divided country. I live in a pretty solid blue state, but our 'new' home is a very split (it's a fairly rural area, the population of our little town hovers around 1000). The coast, overall, is a mix of farmers, loggers, fishers, and retirees from cities. Luckily, our discourse is generally positive (I think part of it is because everyone rallies around their love/hate relationship with tourists) and I hope it will stay that way. 

In all our interactions--which are basically the grocery, the gas station, a few restaurants, and the post office--are all positive and non-political. Tim might have a different opinion as he visits the hardware store, which is its own little area of crazy.

So anyway, there's not been a lot of crafting here. I had a bunch of stuff to grade, and then there's the focusing problem. But I have done a few rows here, a few stitches there. But let's show and tell anyway--

I started a new little cross stitch project, just because I like doing Christmas projects near Christmas and if it isn't a little project, it won't be done. This is a Jim Shore Santa ornament that I got on sale last fall. There are lots and lots of beads, none of which are on here yet.

These are a few new beads. This was a card that I received from a card swap in a group I'm in on Rav, and I think it might have been hand painted with acrylic paint pens. At least I hope it was, because I have acrylic paint pens (some of them shiny silver and gold) and that would be a fun way to make some unique and colorful beads. 

Other than that, I'm hoping we have an answer today and eager to start to move on. How about you?

Tuesday, November 03, 2020


 It is finally here. What will today bring? So much tension and anxiety in the ether. 

But it is Tuesday, and thus--

Now on to the embellishments!

In other news--we saw the mysterious Green Flash for the first time Sunday evening. This was the setting sun before we saw it. We have no photos since we weren't expecting it, but it was like a giant green balloon burst up on the horizon!

Sunset, according to my camera, was 5:02. Yikes.