"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Slouchy Hat for Spring

 On the drive from Sonoma to Santa Rosa, California, this is one of my favorite views as Winter moderates to welcome Spring.

 The orange flowers in the field are we think a variety of Calendula, but do any of you viewing this recognize these?

 Sadly we can also see some of the devastations from the October 2017 wildfires that took 41 lives in this region.

 The burned trees on the hills are a stark contrast to the vineyards that now have Mustard plants growing in them to improve the soil quality.

 My oldest sister, Carolyn took most of these photos from the car with my iPhone 7plus as we drove to one of her chemo appointments.
 Even though this photo is a bit of a green blur, it captures some of the beautiful plant growth along the way that has us thanking the Lord for life in spite of the fires.

 This is the slouchy hat I just finished crocheting for Carolyn.  I used an H hook and USA double crochet stitches.  Forming a sliding circle I crocheted a flat circle twelve inches across. At Teresa's suggestion, I used Lucy's great tutorial on her blog, Attic 24. I crocheted five more rows on the twelve-inch circle then began decreasing until it fit Carolyn's head.  The yarn is 100% acrylic Red Heart Unforgettable Jewel medium weight and I did not use the whole skein.

Carolyn loves the colors, softness, and lightweight feel of the hat and we are having fun flopping it into different slouches on her head :-)

Carolyn's last CT scan shows improvement in her condition!  We are thanking the Lord for that and appreciate so much the prayers and good thoughts sent out for her healing.

This week while Carolyn's oldest daughter and some Grands are here from Nebraska, I plan to drive back home to Boring, Oregon, and stay long enough to submit my taxes and go in for a dental check, visit family and friends up there...then fly back down here to help Carolyn out for a bit longer.

I am missing communicating with many during this time but hope this post will help to catch those who read it up on my activities and let you know I am cheering you on in your life adventure as best as I can at the moment.

Gracie :-) xx

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Wishing You a Lovely Day!

 While sitting with my oldest sister, Carolyn, during her chemo treatments the last few days, I have crocheted a bouquet of hearts [threaded through a paper plate] for her so she can give a heart to some of the folks around us at the infusion center tomorrow as she wishes them a lovely day.

 Using USA terms, I formed a Sliding Circle, I chained three in the circle, then crocheted two triple crochets, three double crochets, chain one, one triple crochet, chain one, three double crochets, three triple crochets and cut the yarn.  I pulled the Sliding Circle closed with the beginning end of yarn and tacked the cut thread into the cleft of the heart using a blunt needle then pulled both ends of yarn away from the heart.

 This past month I found this clever folding heart card at my nephew's bookstore, Not of This World Icons and Books, in Santa Rosa, California, but you can order them on his website as well :-)

Members of our family gathered from Nebraska and Oregon this month at my oldest sister Carolyn's in Sonoma, California, and we worked on family albums, played Yahtzee and Nertz, put together puzzles, and enjoyed meals together.  We have had many lovely days in spite of my sister's illness.

I miss interacting with many of my blogging friends but am reading blogs as I can even if I don't manage to comment and I am wishing all who read this lovely days :-)

Gracie xx

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mending Crafts

Happy New Year!!!

While there were many wonderful travels and visits with family and friends in  2017 for me, I was so sad at the end of November to get a call from my oldest sister, Carolyn, in Sonoma, California, asking me to come be with her after she had emergency colostomy surgery. I have been in Sonoma since December 3, 2017.

I recently saw and purchased these two books and hope that as I read them they will help me focus on mending and creating even through difficult puzzling times.  Carolyn and her oldest daughter just finished putting together the puzzle pictured above.

I took two days to drive from Portland, Oregon, south through Crescent City, California, where I stopped briefly to take this photo of the Crescent City lighthouse on the island. Do you see the seal admiring it?

Since I arrived in Sonoma, I have been busy homemaking here, driving around and about, and enjoying more time with members of my family.

My oldest son-in-law has kept me in touch with his branch of the family by sending photos of his girls making Christmas cookies and them enjoying the Christmas Eve snow they had in the Portland area.

The girls managed to scrape together enough snow to create this little fine fellow :)

A few days after Christmas my older sister, Margaret, came north to Sonoma from Burbank to visit until New Years Day.  During that time, Carolyn experienced some difficult side effects from the five days of chemo she had just finished, but we enjoyed distracting ourselves by putting together puzzles.

One night after Margaret went home to Burbank, my niece gave me an extra ticket she had to attend a folk concert by John McCutchen at the Sonoma Sebastiani Theatre.  He plays the piano, guitar, autoharp, hammered dulcimer, fiddle, other instruments, sings and tells interesting stories as well.  My niece and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance!

Since I last checked in with you I crocheted a little silver heart, painted a card, knit a few rows on a dishcloth, and I have done some mending, including mending some seams of this quilt.

Last week Carolyn's oldest daughter and two of her grandsons flew in from Nebraska for a few days visit and we had a wonderful time!

Last Saturday we drove to Bodega Bay and saw this fabulous view.

Here, my great nephew, Phillip is looking out for whale spouts from Bodega Head.  At the beach, he and his brother, William, dared to get in the water, flew a kite and ran around enjoying sun and surf.

Today if Carolyn's white cell count is okay she will start another five day round of chemo at a lower dose that we hope will bring her healing without painful side effects.

I am so sorry that I have not managed to stay in better touch with you, and I hope to do so in the days ahead.

May you and yours know the Lord's blessings!

Gracie :)  xx

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thankfully Crafting

Dear Friends and Family and Guests,
 During our more frequent Fall rainy days, Mt. Hood collects more and more snow to the delight of skiers, snowboarders and those of us who just enjoy admiring the mountain when storm clouds lift.

 Although we had steady rain this morning with a few flashes of lightning and a rumble of thunder, our neighbor's tree I can see out of one of my windows is a wonder, glowing with golden light, a beacon in the storm...

 Even in the waning days of Autumn, there are still many trees in our neighborhood that are a joy to behold...I wish I could show them all to you.

 However, outside or inside, we are doing a lot of celebrating in our household this month:  My oldest granddaughter, Hayley is now ten!  My youngest daughter Elisabeth is now 34 and she and her husband Gary just celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary!

 On her birthday Elisabeth got stained glass making supplies and she made this lovely tree and has been mending three little stained glass pieces given to me which have suffered damage in the last forty years during our many moves. [her husband Gary admired her efforts...really he did!]

 Elisabeth was taught by one of Gary's aunts how to make quilted ball ornaments and then she coached me to make one, which was fun.  I found a Youtube tutorial for making a similar pattern HERE if you want to give it a try.

November 23, 2017, is our USA celebration of Thanksgiving.  It also happens to fall on my granddaughter, Sarah's second birthday!!  I found a set of 24 little board books for her which I have wrapped and put in a little pink plastic basket for her, but I also crocheted this little book bag for her in which she can carry a few of her little books should she wish to do so.

My youngest son Tim grew a wonderful crop of tomatoes this year.  I have the last of them in a basket on my dining table and they are so good I wish I could share them with you!

I have much for which to thank the Lord, even though, or perhaps especially because, I find myself an imperfect human being in an imperfect world, and yet miraculously, I am loved and can love and creatively pursue life, and I pray that you find this true for yourself as well.

Have you found yourself thankfully crafting?

Gracie xx 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Colorful Crafting

As I type to you, I am just back from celebrating my granddaughter, Rosie's 4th birthday in our dining room!!!!  The seasons and the years continue to fly by with whirls of concern thankfully punctuated by joyful celebrations of the births of those we love :)

The last few days have been so beautiful here in Boring, Oregon... sunny but moderate temperatures, and the colors of the foliage stunning... demanding my attention and appreciation.

Not long ago my youngest son harvested his colorful carrots.  I loved seeing their various colors and shapes... and the ones I tasted were delicious!

The nurseries around us have contrasting but complementary colorful rows of trees and shrubs and vines, the farmers' artistry expressed on the canvas of the earth.

The landscape artists of various businesses have painted the earth in their charge so wonderfully I want to stop and applaud...or at least take lots of photos in appreciation or their work. 

At one crossroad I stopped to take this photo lured to follow the road in this direction,

but instead, I turned in the opposite direction and in two blocks came across this amazing sight, trees safely aflame in firey beauty,

and across from them a pumpkin patch with families riding in hay wagons,

hunting for perfect pumpkins to wheel back to their cars for the ride home.

I explored Barton Park along the muddy brown Clackamas River, which was swollen by recent rains, while green and golden trees stood at alert on the river banks,

and golden leafed trees highlighted the lovely arch of the bridge.

It is a wonderful reward to capture a glimpse of Mt. Hood after it has been hidden under the clouds of stormy weather that have contributed to its impressive white snowpack.

During the stormy weather though, I have been gathering colorful elements to craft various projects inside, like this woven bracelet leashed together with a whimsical sheep button.  I followed the first weaving pattern in this Youtube video HERE.

Do you see two starfish on a beach enjoying the sunrise or sunset in this watercolor painting I made on a card?

This colorful crocheted hat for Rosie I completed using my friend, Teresa Kasner's pattern you can find for free HERE.

There are several other projects that I have completed and more that are works in process.  One day I plan to show you more :)

Are you enjoying others colorful crafting or being involved in crafting something colorful yourself in whatever season of life you are in?

Gracie xx