Monday, March 29, 2021

TNT and a FO

 I'm sure you won't be surprised to find out that the Easter table thingee is done.

Thank you for your kind words about Jessie cat.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A sad farewell

 We ended up taking Jessie cat to the Emergency Vet in Eugene on Saturday. When we woke up Saturday morning it was clear that it was her time to go. There aren't any emergency vets on the coast--the closest is Salem, which is halfway between Pacific City and Eugene.  As we had planned to come to Eugene for the weekend anyway, we got our stuff together and came back, called the Emergency Vet and they said to bring her right in. The vet looked at her for 30 seconds and agreed it was time to say goodbye. 

We were fortunate that even with Covid restrictions we were allowed to be in the room with her (only two people were allowed). Her passing was relatively peaceful and calm, and we are thankful for the compassionate staff at the Emergency Vet. 

It's hard. You know it's coming but it's hard.

Kiss your kitties for us, please. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

More (last?) rabbits and a big decision

 A few new cards to show you today.

This first one is a cutout and paste card. 

These little cards are four different gel prints. I cut out the moon and the little rabbit. Then I loaded up the gel with a few different colors of acrylic paint, put the cut out moon and rabbit on the gel plate, and then put a piece of cardstock (either yellow or white) on top of that. These are really different from what I 'usually' do and I like how they turned out. It is har to 'plan' how these will look, but that is a big part of the fun of gel printing.

The big decision: I've written about our cat Jessie here a few times. She's 18. She's been going downhill slowly for a while, but it seems to have accelerated over the past few days. She's lost a lot of her strength in her back legs, she's barely eating, and she seems pretty agitated. Plus she's having some pooping challenges. 

We are going to Eugene for a few days, and one thing that I had scheduled was a check up for Jessie (she's on thyroid meds, and has been for a little over six months). When the vet's office called today to confirm, I told them we may be euthanizing her on Monday. So we have a few days to decide for sure. She has always bounced back, but we're not sure she has it in her this time. 

I did ask if we could be with her if that happens, and the good news is yes. So we'll both go to the appointment Monday morning and see what happens. 

I probably won't post until after that, but please hold a warm thought for her this weekend. We all appreciate that.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Spring break update!

 So far, it's been a good spring break. I've done a lot of things I've wanted to do, and have a solid first draft of my alpaca mystery book! I'm going to send it out to an editor who will review it for consistencies and give me some pointers on doing a good 'cozy'. Stay tuned--I may ask for your help reading it sometime in the near future!

When we last left this shawl, I was worrying about some yardage differences but I think I figured out how to solve it. I just skipped a hunk of the pattern with the color that I'm short of. The whole shawl ends with the color I have enough of, so it will work out OK. Problem solved!

Here is the shawl in all its glory. You can see I have two small balls of one color and one large ball of the second color. Hence the challenge.
It's hard to see this pattern section, but it is a four row pattern with the 'lighter' print and a two row pattern of the 'darker' pink. That should hopefully work out fine. 

More shawl ^^^^.

I've also been doing the cross stitch easter table runner, reading (but not finishing anything), and doing some cooking.  I made crab cakes with crab caught from a local doryman. I made a green curry (Vera, have you done a green curry using Maesri green curry? It is hot hot hot) and last night I made chicken pot pie from scratch (using frozen crust). I'm pleased with everything, I have to say!

There's also been spring cleaning--I did a very, very major dusting of all surfaces that had dust, and also cleaned two out of three bathrooms. It's all nice and shiny which is nice. I didn't get around to cleaning/straightening my craft closet but I'll save that for summer--and retirement.

I've been doing a few more cards and I'll share some of that work tomorrow.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

TNT and a few other things

 Let us begin with TNT, yes? The Easter table runner is coming along well. It really isn't a runner in that it isn't that long. It's more like a centerpiece, I guess. Anyway, as I expected it is going really well. Both short ends and one long end is done. 

Second, there's good news in the bread department. My loaf turned out nicely, it tasted great, and it looked a bit like a chicken. I forgot to take a photo but it really did look like a chicken.

Third, I've run into a little problem with my hundred acres shawl. For some reason, I am 60% of the way through and have only 30 grams of one of the yarns left. And about 70 grams of the other. Not sure what to do with this little problem, and I'll eventually figure it out.

Fourth, this guy was drying out his wings across the street from us.

Yes, it's a vulture. He is ignoring the no trespassing sign.

Finally, it's my spring break, and I've finished a draft of the alpaca mystery! Yay!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Come with me to the Land of Too Many Hobbies

 It is a pleasant land,  although the closets are getting a little crowded. But I've been playing around with some stuff today that I wanted to share.

I love beach glass. Have you heard of the San Juan Islands? On one of the islands, Orcas Island, some  peoples' driveways have sea glass instead of gravel. It is really enchanting. I was hoping when we moved to the coast that there would be plenty of sea glass to collect--I was thinking we could maybe even replace some graveled areas surrounding our house with the sea glass we collected. 

Long story short--this apparently is not a good beach glass area. I have a jar where I've been collecting it, and after all this time I have maybe eight pieces. I was hoping to do some seaglass necklaces, but I haven't had a lot of success finding the right size piece--two are big chunks of beer bottles, so they're kind of brown and clunky, and not what I was envisioning.

To the rescue, of course, comes Amazon--and I bought a little bag of sea glass and some wire. And here are my first attempts:*

 I had the cords in the craft closet. I'm not sure how many beach glass necklaces I need but I really like these. 

And a few more beach rocks, hopefully to be hidden this week if it stops raining. I hope your weekend is great!

*First attempts, but not including the ten I did that looked too sloppy.

Friday, March 19, 2021

If it's Friday, it must be bread day

 Not really. But this morning I decided I wanted to make some bread. I'm not really a bread maker but luckily I'm married to one, and he owns a mixer with a bread hook which is really the only way I would have attempted it.

I am making this basic bread which has an awful lot of ingredients for something basic. It is at this moment rising on top of the Tulikivi.

I also have some pumpkin bread in the over right now because we have a little something baked for weekend breakfasts. I've been doing scones for a while but I thought I'd switch it up a bit.

I've been mostly working on the bunny cross stitch (and spoiler alert: it will be done by Easter) but I've made a bit of progress on the 100 Acre Wood shawl. I'm liking it a lot. 

We've been watching a BritBox series called "London Kills" and it is very, very good and not at all gory, even though the title suggests otherwise, and you might like it.

I'm on Spring break next week--I have to moderate a session at an online conference tomorrow morning but then I'm done (a few things to get ready for the new term but nothing major). I'm looking forward to it, especially because last spring break was spent getting ready to go completely online.  Not much planned, other than crafts and some writing. Guess what--I have the first draft of my alpaca farm mystery 75% done! 

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

All Bunnies, All the Time

 I got a jump (see what I did there) on my April Artist Trading Cards. The theme is spring. 

First, I inked the background with four different colors of ink. Then I cut out the bunny on the Silhouette machine. Then I cut out the grass by hand and did some coloring on it with copic markers to give it some depth. Then I glued everything on and added some bling flowers in the grass. 

I kind of love these. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

TNT--Bunny edition

 I'm all about the bunnies this time of year.

I put down the star table runner for an Easter table runner. The question is: will I get this done by Easter? I might. I can work on it for an hour or so in the evenings and at random times during the day. There are only five colors so it is straightforward. And it is darn cute.

Thank you all for your kind words and concerns about Pilot (and me). I'm doing fine now. I was so angry when it happened--I have been so tired of people bending the rules to suit themselves and I had just had it. The previous day, someone had taken off their mask in the grocery store to make a  phone call and I almost lost it on her. So my anger was just bubbling at the surface.

Pilot is doing fine. Comet was pretty freaked out, as she never hears us scream and yell. Luckily that dog didn't go for her, though. He would have come out much the worse for wear. 

I'm sure we will run into them again. I ordered some HALT from Amazon and it will be here tomorrow. We'll take that on our beach walks from now on and I, for one, will not be afraid to use it. We always call out that our dogs aren't friendly (it's really just Comet, and I think her bark is more than her bite) and in general people call their dog off (although I hate it when a strange dog is galumping over to us and the owner yells 'he's really friendly' and we have to yell back 'our dog isn't'). 

I wouldn't want us to become California where the vast majority of beaches are 'no dog' beaches, but I do wish people and their dogs weren't so entitled.

Anyway, we're all fine and dandy, and we wish you and your families--both two and four legged--a beautiful day.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Hares, snowy plovers, and a tail of woe

 Yes, a tail of woe. 

Pilot's tail, to be exact. Spoiler: Pilot is fine. 

We had a glorious beach walk yesterday--little wind, sunny skies, empty beach. Tim, the dogs and I walked almost 4 miles, it was so beautiful. We got back to the place where we would walk over a dune back to the parking lot and a couple with three dogs off-leash entered the beach. The dogs first ran out to see some of the guys surf casting, and were playing with one another. Then the biggest of the three--an akita, maybe, can running over to use and the next thing we knew he had Pilot on the ground and Pilot's head in his mouth. The guy in the couple backed off with one of the other dogs, and  the woman tried to get the akita off Pilot. Tim and I are both screaming at her to get her dog off Pilot.

I may have had some pent up anger that got directed at this woman.

Her dog let go of Pilot's head and then went for his tail. She finally got her dog off--it seemed like it went on for five minutes but it was probably less than a minute. We were both still screaming at her--Tim told her that it was illegal to be on the beach wtihout being leashed up (which is true, since we were in park boundaries) and she told him, very calmly, he was wrong (which he wasn't).

At which point, I screamed at her that the only thing she should be saying at this point was I'm sorry.

I was not calm. I was furious. Tim was furious. Pilot seemed fairly nonplussed, although there was blood in his mouth and an abrasion inside his ear.  Comet was scared to death.

I took Pilot and Comet away from her while Tim got the woman's contact information and she kept saying 'he's never done this before' which I personally find hard to believe. She kept wanting to come over and see Pilot to see if he was alright and Tim kept her from doing that. I'm not sure what I would have said to her, but it would not have been nice.

We checked Pilot over when we got home, cleaned out his ear, and he is fine. We were lucky. The people and their dogs apparently live here so I'm sure we'll run into them again. We're going to get a pepper spray for dogs. 

I'm happy that dogs can run loose on our beach and I appreciate the smart people who don't let them run loose unless they are far away from others. On our beach, you can walk literally three minutes south from the entry point and be by yourselves. Why someone has to let their dogs loose in the most crowded part of the beach is beyond me.

So anyway. The beach was beautiful.

We saw some snowy plovers, an endangered species that nests on a beach about three miles north of us. That beach is protected and dogs aren't allowed anywhere near their nests.  They are tiny little clowns!

In other news:

-we watched a short documentary on Amazon Prime (I think) called "The Porter" about an American who goes to work in the Himalayas as a porter on treks to Everest. It's interesting (and short).

-we're watching a UK series called "London Kills" which is a police procedural that is not as gruesome as some we've seen.

-I love these hare cards. I made these for my ATC group. There's a lot of different techniques. I cut out the card using the Silhouette. The background is a gel print. I colored in the moon and the grass with copic markers, then I used Mod Podge Glitter on the moon and the hare to add some sparkle. Finally, I embellished them with little half pearls. 

And how are you?

Friday, March 12, 2021

My Year of Covid

A year ago, I taught what was apparently my last 'live' class is a classroom. At the end of winter term, we were told that finals would be all online and that the first three weeks of spring term would be 'remote'. So last year's spring break went to preparing online lectures for the term, as early in spring break the decision was made that spring would be all remote. 

So in that year:

*We have moved pretty much permanently to the coast house.  

*We began the process of getting ready for the Eugene house to go on the market (probably June)

*I discovered 'meat by mail' (thank you Butcher Box, since our little grocery in Pacific City kind of sucks)

*I experimented with many new crafts and some of them even took!

*We got to know our neighbors on the coast much better, and we enjoy spending time with them (and will continue to do so post-pandemic)

*I've cooked new things! I'm looking at you, massaman curry and thai red curry and that pasta dish with bacon.

*We did our part to keep our small, locally-owned restaurants in business. 

*We discovered the joy of board games and Exploding Kittens

*I committed to retire in June.

It's been at times tough, at times lonely, at times sad, at times frustrating. It's also given us gifts that we likely wouldn't have received without the pandemic. Those gifts kept us going.

Stay safe y'all!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Hundred acre wood

 I wanted to update you on my Hundred Acre Wood shawl. I love the color combination and I love this yarn.

A few things:

-I need to dig out a longer needle or I will never be able to show it to you.

- I messed up the first go-round of the lace part, and I didn't tink it.  I AM A REBEL. AND that is now officially a design feature.

-This is kind of a weird pattern, it writes out every single row but not really.  Here's a screenshot of a very small part of the instructions.

-They're bunion socks. 

Tuesday, March 09, 2021


 Hello and welcome to TNT!

My table runner is coming along well. It is a LOT of satin stitch and I know many stitchers are not a big fan of satin stitch but I don't hate it. I also like a stamped pattern, myself. 

Sorry for the wrinkleness.

I think themed table runners are going to be my TNT thing. I bought a bunny kit for Easter that will be here this week and which of course I won't have finished for this Easter but hopefully for next Easter. I know I can find a nice fall one and all that's left is summer. I'd love to find something with whimsical sea creatures so if you see anything like that let me know. 

Gold glittery yarn is for all seasons, right?

This one is supposed to be for Christmas but I'm convincing myself that with a blue (or black) tablecloth this could work for Fourth of July.

Monday, March 08, 2021

Weekend recap

 Lots of reading, lots of crafting, lots of walks! 

I've been working on Easter cards, and I'm really enjoying the embellishing aspect:

It was showery, and kind of cool, but there were sunbreaks with the promise of spring. In addition to the dog walks we do daily, we went down the road a bit to a nature reserve and walked up the hill to the lookout.

And on the way down ran into this guy. We debated whether these are harbingers of spring or winter but I'm going with spring.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, March 06, 2021

What I've Been Reading: The February Edition

 February was a busy reading month--maybe not as busy as January though. I read some good books! Once again, I'll group them for you.

Books with high school girls as central characters

I'm not sure why I've been interested in these, and please note these are  not books FOR high school girls, but whatever. 

All Girls by Emily Layden: this is an interesting book. Each chapter is how a different girl is experiencing life at an all-girls boarding school. There's a thread tying the whole thing together (an inappropriate relationship) but there's not real plot there, unless what it is like to be a girl growing up. I liked it, but the lack of a plot might be bothersome to you.

-Girls with Bright Futures -by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman: this is a novel written in the aftermath of the "Varsity Blues" admission scandal, and talks about the lengths that some parents will go to in order for their kids to get into college. I'd like to think this is entirely fiction but it isn't. I liked it.

-We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman. This is an interesting book (I say that a lot). A young playwrite moves from NY to LA after an 'unfortunate incident' and encounters a neighbor who is a filmmaker making a documentary about a teen-age girls' fight club. It's about fame and celebrity and what we will do to get it and keep it, and I really liked this one a lot.

Mysteries: Cozies and more

-The Chalet by Catherine Cooper: this is a Ruth Ware Wanna Be book but I love Ruth Ware and this one was a pretty good wanna be. The story moves between two different time periods: two couples are sharing a chalet in the present, and two younger couples visiting the same ski area a dozen or so years earlier.  There are red herrings galore and the twist is well done. 

-Thread on Arrival by Amanda Lee. This is the third or fourth one I read, and this one had to do with a tapestry that leads to a buried treasure, a reality show, and the main character teaching a class for abused women. Yes, it is that disjointed. I think I'm done with these mysteries. 

-A Crime of a Different Stripe by Sally Goldenbaum. Man, I want to like this series so much. The stories and the mysteries are good, and the descriptions are great, but the characters are so alike, and so GOOD, and are always coming together in warm embraces that send light out to the world. I really pushed myself to finish this.

Uncategorized and these were all ok

-The Secret Life of Evie Hamilton by Catherine Alliott. This book was about family secrets and what happens when they come to light, but was written in a lighter way that I liked. I guess that makes it officially 'chick lit' but overall it was a good light read. 

-A Bright Ray of Darkness by Ethan Hawke. I didn't know Ethan Hawke was an author, and I liked this book. An actor cheated on his famous rock star wife and has to deal with the fallout while preparing to appear in a Broadway production of Henry IV. I liked this one a lot, although it can get a bit raunchy.  

-The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous. I don't remember this book at all so I had to go read the description on Amazon to remind me. Ah yes. This one goes back and forward in time and is all based around a house in the 'fens' in England. The present day is a 'murder mystery' game that isn't really a game. The past times are the events that led up to the reason the game is being done. Anyway, I'm not going to recommend this to you. There's a lot to follow and most of the characters are pretty unlikeable. 

That's my February book report! 

Friday, March 05, 2021

Another big square piece of knitting

 I seamed four of the houses together yesterday. Now I have to seam this to the pillow back, and knit a little flap to close the pillow.

I did a test felt yesterday and it reduced by 60% width wise and almost nothing height wise. But I have a front loader and the conditions were suboptimal for felting (just a tiny swatch, nothing to knock it around) so I'm hopeful I'll get a better felt when I do this for real.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

A big square piece of knitting

 That is what I have to show you today.

This is going to be the backing for the Kaffe pillows (well at least one). It is one entire skein of Kureyon Air and then some bits left over from the house pillow knitting. 

Right now I have a swatch in our washing machine to see how much it will shrink. We have a front loader and it will probably take forever to felt. We'll see how it goes. 

Not much else to report--we have started watching a reality competition show called "Forged in Fire" which is about making knives and other weaponry. It's interesting and weird and kind of fascinating. If you are looking for a reality competition that involves really hot things, check out "Blown Away" about glass blowing. They're both on Netflix.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

That's a lot of pink!

 But I'm good with pink!

Pink #1: the Hundred Acre Woods shawl. This is two skeins of Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber arts--I love this yarn base! It is so soft and squishy. And I think these colors are looking great!

Pink #2: we are having some lovely sunsets now that we have had a few days without rain. We had probably a two or three week period with rain every day and grey skies. Today is our third non-rain day, and apparently our last for a while. But anyway, some sunsets.

I know pink can be very divisive but I'm loving it for spring.