Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sometimes you just have to make a hat


I had a skein of Kureyon Air already caked up and so I knit it into a hat yesterday. 

I like it, it made me feel like I accomplished something, and it gave me an idea for some pillows I'm going to make for the living room. 

We also had neighbors over for a socially distanced happy hour in the garage, and I've been wrapped in a blanket reading (and knitting) for much of the weekend. Just perfect. 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Are you tired of this?

 This being Pressed Flowers?

I finished the main part of the knitting and now am working on the 30-row border. I'm ready to start Row 9 so it is moving along. I'm ready for it to be done but not sure what is next---I don't seem to be having a lot of focus and I kind of just want to make small stuff. 

I might cast on for a hat using bulky weight--I found a cute pattern (Winter Picnic Beanie) but I also like Penelope. I should just get the yarn out and see what looks good. 

I also played around with some etching on slate today. The results were--mixed? But I think it was user error. I cut out a stencil of the rock using the Silhouette and was using that to paint the etching cream on but I think I didn't get the stencil dry enough and it got a little smeary.

It's a very busy time at work--we're admitting PhD and Professional Master's students and I'm on both committees, so there are lots of files to review and Zoom calls to conduct. It should all be done by the end of next week (knock wood).  Hopefully I'll get a bit more focused then!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Finding inspiration

 My ATC group's February theme is 'valentine gnomes' which is a cute theme. I had already made little heart baskets to hold the cards, regardless of the theme.  

For a while I was thinking maybe I would do something kind of edgy (for me)--black gnomes (like a silhouette) with heart embossing on them. But today something came in the mail which had some nice springtime papers. I cut out little gnomes, put hats on them, then added some white flocking and stuck on a little nose.

As one does.

This morning we were treated to the moon wandering over by the rock--what a great sight!

Other than that, it's been work work work around here. How are you doing?

Tuesday, January 26, 2021


 Welcome to TNT! Today I have a finished TNT to show you--it's the Secret House. This was really very very simple and it will be nice for Spring. Now I need to figure out what is next!

This should be a bit of a nutty weather week with lots of precipitation and temps right around freezing. We woke up to a layer of sleet on the driveway (it wasn't slippery at all, just crunchy).

A little later in the morning we had snow mixed with rain so that was exciting!

I've also done a bit more experimenting with gel printing. I have to have a much lighter hand on getting the paint spread around--it is hard with a fat little pot of Crayola acrylic paint!  Some things still look a little 'crime scene' like but hopefully I'll get a bit more controlled with them.I'm getting some acrylic in tubes tomorrow so that should be easier.

I got everything on my to-do list checked off today so I'm happy about that. I have lots of meetings this week so it is good to be caught up!

Happy TNT!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

300+ books

 Tim and I went back to Eugene to start the process of getting our Eugene house ready to sell. We decided we'll go back every few weekends with a very specific task. This weekend's task was to go through all our books and to pare down immensely.

This was quite a task.

I got to Eugene early Friday and went through 'my' books. Then I took the ones I didn't want to the library for their book sale (the backup plan was to take them to Goodwill).  I filled both of the 'bins' that the library makes available for books (and the bins are probably 60 square feet each--they were both about a third full when I got there on Friday and then completely full when I left. 

Tim got back Friday evening, and then Friday morning he went through his books and we loaded them into the car. I took them back to the library and luckily the bins had been emptied. I filled one bin and put about 20 additional ones in the second bin.

While I was doing that, Tim was getting the old textbooks ready to recycle--the library doesn't take textbooks older than 5 years and we both had texts from our undergrad days (and beyond). So we ripped the covers off and then Tim used a bandsaw to remove the rest of spines. We probably had about 40 books that needed to be taken apart. Then we loaded that all into the truck, along with four containers of garbage, and took it all to the dump.

We decided to come back to the coast Saturday night (we had finished our task, and the weather was supposed to get bad late Saturday).  We had taken two cars (and the dogs, the cat and the bird) and while I'm not a fan of night driving, it was a perfect night to drive. The dogs and cat and I listened to an episode of Smartless and then to David Sedaris' story collection and I was laughing out loud for much of the trip.

 I had an old secretary desk that might be an antique--there is a railway shipping label on the back dated 1936. Anyway, I had moved it from my grandparent's house to Chicago, then Boston, then Tennessee and then to Oregon and it doesn't really fit with the coast house. It does, however, fit perfectly with my friend Ann's turn-of-the-century farmhouse.  So we loaded it up and brought it over to Ann's, and got to see these kiddos.

The girls had no interest in me.

The boys were hanging around. That's Tripoli, Chaco (who is Calypso and Mana's nephew) and Calypso. 
He's getting ready to spit.

Tripoli is gorgeous, I call him Fluffernutter since he's so fluffy!

I have done nothing stitch wise but I'll be back to that now (we're watching football). More soon!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

All is well, just busy

 This is our first weekend back in Eugene working on getting the house cleaned out to put it on the market so things are busy. Not much happening craft or reading wise. I did take more than 150 books to the library to donate to the Library Book Sale, which is one of their biggest fund raisers. 

Today, more books (Tim is going through his), we'll take an old chest of drawers to the farm, and probably recycling paper and going to the dump. Good times!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A New Day

 We just finished watching the inauguration, and we have a new President, and I am relieved the inauguration went off without any hitches. I personally thought they were crazy to have it outside but it looks like the cowards who listened to that other guy chickened out. 

May our country become a better place. I will do what I can to make that happen. 

Happy Inauguration Day everyone!


Yesterday I couldn't do a lot, but I did play around with gel plate printing. A gel plate is basically a silicone tile. You can put acrylic paint on it, use a brayer to spread it out, and make prints. You can put stencils on it when you pull prints, and use stamps as well. It's pretty fun and very very messy. 

I only have a few colors of acrylic paint (that will change) and only a few stencils (that will change) but did a few things yesterday just to play around.

The first few are blues and whites:

Then I put yellow and red on top of dark green and black cardstock. I also did some printing with stamps on this as well.

Last night's sunset was amazing, one of the most beautiful yet. And Tim taught me how to adjust the settings on the iPhone so it doesn't 'lighten it up' as much as it usually does. These are really how it looked.

I hope you are feeling a bit hopeful today.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

TNT Plus some other stuff

 Happy TNT! Tomorrow the United States will inaugurate the 46th President of the United States. I am holding good energy for a safe and peaceful transition of power.  I look forward to celebrating a return to a country that cares about its role not only as an economic superpower but also as a global citizen. 

Monday was a day off for both Tim and me---in the past, Tim has worked on MLK day (given his old place of work had some kind of bizarre vacation policies) and in general, if Tim works I work.  As a research professor, I am (or have been) always working--a day without classes is a day to focus on data collection or writing. But now that I've decided 'no new research', I took a real vacation day. Yay me! 

To start off TNT is "Cherry Blossoms". I found this one as I was looking for a new project--it was about halfway done and I decided to just finish it off. This one is from a designer called Oh sew bootiful (Etsy shop here) and this one has a background that is kind of painterly--like an out of focus cherry blossom tree. I kind of like it. 

I've also started on one called "Dream House" by Tamar. I've done several of her Christmas patterns and this one is sort of like Cherry Blossoms in that there's stuff in the background of the fabric that isn't stitched, it just sort of fades into the background. 

Today I painted some slate tiles. I have two from my last etching adventure that I kind of messed up, so I did some tiles of the rock.

Daytime looks a bit better than nightime but I like them both.

Finally, today, we needed to restock our woodpile. Tim has several large racks in our carport filled with wood, and we have a smaller rack upstairs on our back porch (where our tulikivi is--our living room and bedroom and kitchen are all upstairs to get a better view). He toted the wood up to the back porch, dumped it, and then I loaded up our rack. To do this, one (me) climbs four stairs and then arranges the wood. 

there are two 'layers' to this rack (you can only see the front) and there are about 100 logs in each rack. We started with maybe 15 logs still in the rack. That's a lot of logs!

I finished another embroidery store mystery. They have now become incredibly formulaic. So I'm on to something else.

Happy TNT!

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Still breathing!

 A full night's sleep would be helpful, wouldn't it? Plus maybe once Trump leaves Washington some of the stress will be gone. Tim reminded me that between the insurgence, the pandemic, retirement, getting the Eugene house ready to sell, cleaning out my office, and getting my program ready to hand off, I have a lot of 'checks' on the stress scale. So I did yoga this morning, we did a nice walk on the beach today, and now I'm doing needlework and sort of watching football but sort of not. 

Thank you to all of you who gave support in the comments--it was much appreciated. I know I'm not alone and I am sending all of you the same grace that you sent to me. 

As I mentioned, we did a beach walk today. Climbing over the dune to get to the beach, we saw this painted rock:  

It wasn't one that I did! I took a picture and eft it there for someone else to discover. This is the second one I've found ever--and it reminded me to pick up a few more rocks to make some for Valentine's day.

We have had a lot of haze.

Even in the haze, the rock is magical and beautiful

There was a lot of foam on the beach. Wikipedia says:
            Sea foamocean foambeach foam, or spume is a type of foam created by                 the agitation of seawater, particularly when it contains higher concentrations                     of dissolved organic matter (including proteinslignins, and lipids) derived from             sources such as  the offshore breakdown of algal blooms.

Generally, sea foam is the sign of a healthy ocean ecosystem, which makes me happy.

Foam on a rock turns magical too.

I haven't heard yet if my Mom's scheduled vaccine shot on Thursday is a go or a no go. I'm hoping it is a go. They're not requiring them for everyone at her facility which surprises me--my brother told me that they're hoping 'peer pressure' gets everyone to get the vaccine. 

I did my Mom's birthday card today. The front is a circle. I used a die to cut out the lacy stuff on the rim, and then washed it with four colors of die. I added three sequins (you can see a green one in the lower right hand part of the circle) and added the sentiment. 

The inside features another sentiment, and some flowers that were colored in with sparkly pens. 

I finished the first half of the final repeat of Pressed Flowers. It isn't close to done, though, since I do need to do the border which is a big hunk, especially since there are a lot of stitches on the needle.

Friday night we watched "One Night in Miami" and I hope you have Amazon prime so you can watch this. If you're like me, you'll be googling so much to learn more about this period of history.

I finished reading "The Wife Upstairs" which is a modern retelling of Jane Eyre and I don't think we need a lot of modern retelling of Jane Eyre (but I kind of want to read Jane Eyre again). 

Happy MLK day tomorrow, and hang in there with me.

Friday, January 15, 2021

So. Much. Anxiety.

 I'm really anxious, I have to admit. I'm anxious about the inauguration. I'm anxious that so many people are saying "I've been so careful about the pandemic so now I'm just going to go do something I don't need to do just because I'm bored." I'm anxious that my Mom in an assisted living facility can't get the vaccine but apparently a whole lot of lower risk people can.  I'm anxious about students and the second wave---at the UO, we had 101 cases during the first week of classes where ALL CLASSES ARE ONLINE. I'm anxious about the new strain of the virus.  I'm just anxious.

I keep trying to think of 'grace' and it is so, so hard.

I guess that's why I'm reading so many cozies.

I haven't been able to concentrate on knitting, but I can cook, so I've been doing some cooking. And yesterday I played around with doing etching on slate. I think I like it better than etching on glass. These were the first two good ones.

And here is a mindless sock. This is some fun yarn from Regia (I think?) that I got from Little Knits (if you don't shop from them, you should. Discounted name brand nice nice nice yarn).

What are you doing to deal with anxiety? I know I'll calm down by tomorrow so please don't worry about me. Just stay safe and breathe.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

We had a little weather

 A pretty major storm rolled through on Tuesday, along with some King Tides. We live on a hill, and the 'town' of Pacific City is along a river. I went down to the post office yesterday around high tide (no mail delivery! small town!) and the river had flooded over the tiny little runway of the PC Airport and then it flooded the road that leads to the bridge that connects the west side (beach) and the east side (town) of PC.  Basically, most of downtown flooded. 

This is the airport runway today. You can see that people on the other side of the runway have hangars for their planes. And you can see the orange windsock.

The electricity went out last night around 11 and came on in the middle of the night. 

We have a 'south' entrance and a 'north' entrance to our neighborhood, and the 'north' one is pretty useless right now. The 'south' one tends to stay a bit higher above the river so we'll never get totally trapped. By water. Now tree branches, that's another thing.

We went for a little drive on a beautiful, sunny, warm day today and saw that the river is still really really high---streets are flooded to our North and West but OK to the south.  We have a lot of dairy farms around (we're in Tillamook County, home of Tillamook Cheese) and much of those fields are flooded as well. I guess it should start going down soon?

You can see the fence posts for the field.

This is both a wetlands (obviously) and a horse and cow pasture. It is not a lake or a river.

These horses live at the dairy farm to the north of us. They have a nice patch of dry land and their barn is a bit higher than the pasture. You can see the water on the road--the river is just to the right and was spilling over its banks today. 

In other news--I discovered I can knit Pressed Flowers and read at the same time. I have a little over one repeat to go before I do the border.

And I've been kind of devouring books. I need the escapism, apparently. Yesterday and today I read "Leave the World Behind" which is Carole and Kym and Bonny's winter book and yes you should read it too.