Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Vacation, July, 2014

Steve and I had a wonderful vacation. The party to celebrate Meredith and Ryan's marriage was held on the shores of Lake Ontario, just outside of Oswego, New York, and was a lot of fun. Ryan's dad owns a bakery and his specialty is cake decorating. I wish I had taken a picture of the fourteen cakes he made, but these two give you an idea. Each cake was a different flavor and the ones I tasted were amazing. They all had fresh flowers on them and each one was the centerpiece for a table; even nicer, they were all on vintage cake stands that he had bought over the years at estate sales.

This was the first time I had been to Lake Ontario and it was beautiful. They own a cottage right on the water and it was idyllic.

After we left New York, Steve and I drove to Montreal, where we stayed in an apartment I rented through AirBnB, so we were able to enjoy the city on foot, like a local. Everyone was very nice and seemed to appreciate our rudimentary attempts to speak French. This is the view atop Mont Royal:

Of course I knit in the car; this is a baby blanket I worked on as we waited at the border.

This view is of the White Mountains as we made the drive from Montreal to Portland, where we stayed one night. We ate at Duckfat, and I bought some lovely Quince & Co. yarn from the local yarn store. The owner was as sweet as pie, and I enjoyed visiting with her for an hour or so.
Before leaving Maine, we went to Cape Elizabeth, where we ate lobster at The Lobster Shack, right on the ocean, and visited the Fort Williams Lighthouse, apparently the most photographed lighthouse in the country.

We've been back a week now and I've just about caught up on the yard work, laundry, and my beach time!

And even though I haven't quite finished the baby blanket, I've started on a scarf, using the Quince & Co. Sparrow yarn I bought in Maine. I'm using Jane Richmond's pattern, Strathcona, from her Island book, and I love it! Her book has five patterns in it and this is the third one I've made; her patterns are so well written and wearable! You should get the book if you don't have it already.

This is a photo of my girls, taken underwater in Lake Ontario. I love their expressions, don't you?


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Busy, Busy

Wow. I spent an awesome week at George Mason University as part of the Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching and then I went on vacation with my husband. I have lots of pictures and things to tell you, but first I have to finish my VCET project, so it'll be a few more days before I can post about it all. For now, here are a few peeks at our vacation:

Melissa and me:

Meredith and me:

A beautiful baby and me:

Stephen and me:
Fourteen different cakes, all made by Meredith's father-in-law and all delicious:

And Gracie, happy I finally made it home. We slept in this morning, which made her a very happy kitty. Don't you love those little paws?


Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer Food

I invited my parents for dinner on Thursday afternoon (they like to eat early), and I used Alicia's recipe for shrimp-rice-corn-bean bowls. But since my dad isn't an adventurous eater, I followed the DALS deconstructed dinner concept and let everyone choose what to add and how much to mix. It was such a pretty dinner, especially with the gorgeous and colorful fresh vegetables I bought from the farmer's market. And with all the recent information about seafood safety, I made sure to buy local, wild caught shrimp, which of course meant it tasted wonderful. I had picked up my mom before lunch and we spent the day running errands together, so she helped me cut up all the vegetables I had bought. It was such a nice way to spend the day, which is another reason I love summer: time for days like that.



Gracie, after dinner, and although she isn't supposed to be on the table, she doesn't appear too concerned.

Can't remember if I posted the bookcase after I put everything back on it, but I love how it turned out!

Hurricane Arthur skimmed our area last night but other than some rain and wind during the night, there wasn't much to it. As a matter of fact, we could have used more rain than we got, but I'll count us as lucky regardless. I thought I'd have a rainy day to work inside the house for a change, but by noon, it was another gorgeous beach day, so of course, that's where I went! I worked on a baby blanket while I sat there, using one of the Purl Bee baby blanket patterns as a rough guide. I have a stash of Mission falls 1824 cotton that I reluctantly decided to use; I say reluctantly, because it's been discontinued for awhile and I love it so. I have four balls of 403 medium blue, one ball of 404 dark blue, one ball of a sage green number unknown, and a ball and a half of white. I'm knitting wide stripes of each ball with four rows of white between each color change and I think it will look nice. Progress so far:

The waves were quite choppy due to the after effect of the storm, but the breeze felt wonderful.

This is another one of my yard projects. Steve put these pavers in last year and the weeds keep popping up between them, so I decided to put shells down to help control them and to add a bit of flair. My neighbors seemed to think I was crazy, but I think it looks cute, don't you? And it didn't cost anything, so no loss either way.


I really like how our house is becoming more reflective of us than it used to be. Obviously there is always something that could/should be done, but my goal is to feel happy when I come home, and these little pops of color make me happy.

Gracie seems a bit skeptical, just like my neighbors.

Hope your holiday was a good one!



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Making

I really can't believe how gorgeous the summer has been so far. Being on the beach every day and working in the yard has really contributed to a sense of peace and bliss that I haven't felt in quite awhile, and I think being outside is the key factor.



It's just amazing how different the bay looks every day, and even on the same day. I love it.


I forgot to share my photos from last Saturday, when Melissa and I went to the Hermitage Museum and their Fiber Arts Studio.






This is me trying the loom; I am definitely taking a weaving class with them in the fall, when it's offered.

Melissa took this picture, and I love it. I love that my hands are maker hands.


Monday, June 30, 2014

FO: Trillian

I love Martina Behm's patterns and here is one I just finished.



I used this yarn, which is sadly discontinued, in the Greta Garbo color way.


Friday, June 27, 2014

A Perfect Summer Week

This week has been exactly the way I envision summer being during the long months prior to June. I've been to the beach at all different times of the day every day this week to sit in the sun with friends, and alone, to collect shells, read, and knit. I've been making it a habit of slipping down around about an hour before sundown, to just relax and watch the water.

I've also been working steadily in our yard, and really like how it's looking. This birdbath was made by a friend and I just moved it to this location last month. Steve edged it with reclaimed rocks from the abandoned house down the street and it all seems to come together somehow.

My patio tomato plants are loaded.

Same flower bed area as the birdbath, just some different flowers.

Close up of the coneflowers with the weathered fence.

This is one of the hay bales I used last year; Steve had placed it along the fence to prevent some soil erosion that was happening, and I decided to make use of it by planting one zucchini plant in it.

It grew like crazy and I need to pick some tomorrow. I figured one plant would be enough for the two of us.

I decided to repaint the kitchen shelf again, as I just didn't think the yellow had enough of a pop. So I went back to white and picked a key lime green for the baskets, and I love it! It's exactly the look I wanted.

A dill plant that had outgrew it's little pot, along another section of our fence.

Cherry tomatoes coming along.

My perfect summer week also includes thrift store shopping; I found these beauties at a consignment shop for a total of $13 and I love them. I'm giving a spoon each to my girls, and keeping the scoop and bowl for my homemade bath salts.

At another thrift store, I found this beautiful piece for fifty cents; thanks to recently browsing my copy of Wisecraft, I'm going to use it to make a small pillow for my craft room bed.

I also spent some time in a bookstore just browsing craft books and magazines, met my parents for lunch, had an eye exam, picked up food at the farmer's market, popped into my favorite local knit store, and taught five hours a day, Monday through Thursday. And even though it sounds like it was packed, it was a nice balance of busy and calm. I feel so lucky.