Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back Home Up the California Coast

Because I got completely carried away with sharing my completed projects, I haven't yet posted the photos from our trip back to Washington. After we left Palo Alto, we drove into San Francisco to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and pick up our route. (You only have to pay a toll if you're going into the city!) On the other side of the bridge, we connected with Highway 1 which winds its way up the coast before it joins 101. It was slow going, but very beautiful.
The Pacific Coast
The first night, we headed inland to Petaluma because we didn't have any reservations and were afraid we wouldn't find a place to stay. (We also needed a laundromat!) We found a very cute place called the Metro Inn and Cafe; it was cleverly decorated in shabby chic style. Right down the road was a French Bistro, that had very tasty food which we enjoyed after completing our laundry. The next morning we continued north, and were pretty sure we spotted the place near Bodega Bay where our nephew was married 10 years ago. All along the coast, we spotted lots of pelicans, and Dick was able to get a close up shot. Then, the next night found us in Fort Bragg.
Pelicans
We also saw a few seals and sea lions although I can't ever remember which is which.
Sea Life!
The third night we stayed in Crescent City. It was very windy on the beach, and we had fun watching some very interesting kites. This lighthouse is only accessible on foot during low tide. In 1964 Crescent City was hit by a tsunami that followed the big earthquake in Alaska. We learned about that as well as other things as we stopped to take pictures.
Crescent City Lighthouse
Later I discovered that we passed right through the town where Barb C. lives that afternoon....wish I'd known sooner! We also detoured onto the Avenue of the Giants to see the magnificent redwoods and then, in the outskirts of the city, found a herd of elk snacking on the local vegetation .
A really BIG tree!
It was interesting the way the elk blended into the tall, dry grass. When these big animals were sitting down, your only hope of seeing them was if they had horns. I counted about 30 elk altogether, both males and females!
Isn't he beautiful?
The next night we stayed in Roseburg, Oregon, after a pretty drive through some more redwoods on Highway 199.
Looking Up
We then headed on up I-5 toward home with lots of memories from our 10-day adventure. I LOVE the ocean and never tire of its beauty!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Embroidery on the Road and 2 UFOs

Knitting on the road I can do, but embroidery I can't, so I usually bring those projects along on trips to work on in the evenings. First, I finished the July Noah's Art BOM; then, I worked on Kathy's CQ heart and half of my own. I won't post Kathy's heart for a bit though because I just dropped them both into the mail yesterday and want her to see hers first.
August Noah's Ark
I pieced this last spring and just embellished it before sending it on to Kathy so she can work her magic on it.
Half of My Heart
This week I've been on a real "finishing streak," attacking stuff that has been languishing for a bit, waiting oh so patiently for me to do the sewing together part. Here's a sweater for Sophia that will be part of her birthday package. I can't believe she'll be turning one in a couple of weeks!Velvet Touch Sweater
The other finished project is a pair of slippers for David from a pattern called "Bunny Hoppers" in Kathleen Taylor's book, Knit One, Felt Too. They, too, have awaited sewing together, my least favorite task and one that I'm very good at putting off....the born procrastinator, you know. Here's how they looked before felting. It actually took 3 tries to felt them properly.Before Felting
Finally Finished!
They've been waiting to be sewed since June, so I sure hope they still fit!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bonnets for Sophia

Making these bonnets was a lot of fun. It's a fairly old favorite Fiber Trends pattern (1995) that I've made many times before. The "braid" on this blue one, however, isn't done correctly but looks OK anyhow, I think. The band is decorated with some pre-made ribbon flowers that were in my CQ stash. (Aren't stashes handy?) This yarn was from a Mary Maxim kit which I am making for a great-niece, due in October; I had gambled and ordered the blue and white version. SHE thought differently!
Blue Bonnet
I fell in love with this plum-colored yarn the minute I saw it; it's part soy and is very soft. This time the "braid" part was done correctly and is much prettier as a result. The lovely butterfly is from one of my cyber-friends. Thanks, Kathy! And the other side is my first attempt in a long time on a SRE flower. Plum Bonnet
I can't wait to see Sophia modelling these bonnets!
Butterfly side

Monday, July 28, 2008

Knitting on the Road

On our road trips while Dick drives, I knit. (Actually I knit in the car whenever we go anywhere if the trip is longer than a couple of miles!) He almost always drives because whenever the two of us are in the same car with me driving, the road conditions invariably deteriorate. It's quite uncanny! So, he's happy to drive, and I'm happy to knit. Usually I work on something that isn't too complicated so I can enjoy the scenery too. On our recent trip, I finished these two scarves as well as two bonnets and got a good start on some socks and a baby sweater. Not bad for 10 days.
Jill's scarf
These are two more Poof and Kiddo scarves. I love that combination as it makes the softest scarf ever. The yarn is by Crystal Palace, and I'm eyeing some more Kiddo to go with some Poof for which the color wasn't true on our computer.
Catherine's Scarf
I'll have to do a separate "bonnet post" because those photos are still in the camera. Stay tuned!

Thank You, Sesga!

While we were gone to California, a package arrived from Sesga. It contained one of her darling little Ruby dolls that I somehow won. She's so cute and fun to see up close. Thanks so much, Sesga! The pattern can be found here in case you want to try it. It's on my long list of things to do/try!
Ruby

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Down the Oregon Coast to Palo Alto

We have just returned from our first driving vacation in years which sounds pretty crazy in these days of high gas prices, but we had a great time, and the traffic was very light, especially on the coast. We first made an overnight stop in Portland so we could have breakfast at the Heathman because it has the BEST granola ever. Dick also indulged me in a stop at the Button Emporium & Ribbonry and of course, we dropped in to see our nephew Andy and his seven-year old twins; then, we headed over the the Oregon Coast. Normally, we like to stay at Tolovana because it's fairly close, but this time we spent 2 nights exploring the Lincoln City area. We stayed at Otter Crest Inn which is within walking distance of the Devil's Punch Bowl and Mo's, another favorite place for clam chowder.Otter Crest Inn
Devil's Punch Bowl
We walked to the Punch Bowl a couple of times, and once we watched a family feeding the ground squirrels. It appears they are quite used to being handfed, doesn't it? They also walk fearlessly right on the edge of the cliff!
How about another peanut?
After leaving Otter Crest Inn, we meandered slowly down to Florence, OR, where the topography is quite different with lots of sand dunes to explore. We struggled up several and were quite amazed at the wind. We were told that the coastal wind picks up as the inland temperatures rise. Enroute to Florence, we stopped at an interesting spot where the ocean had cut a chasm through a crack in the rocks. We both agreed that it wouldn't be good to fall in here!
Sand dunes
Chasm
From Florence we headed inland to Medford, but first we enjoyed lunch at Tolly's in Oakland, OR, a spot we discovered last year. We were quite surprised to see haze in the air from the California forest fires, but it meant beautiful red sunsets. We arrived at Bob and Mary's in Palo Alto right on time and spent an enjoyable couple of days there catching up. We also went into San Francisco to a wonderful exhibit of Dale Chihuly's glass art; he has many pieces of his work in our area as he is from Tacoma, WA, but we'd never seen so much of his work in one spot. We also enjoyed these mosaic steps on one of San Francisco's many hills. I suppose you could get caught up in the details of the mosaic and forget the climb?
Mosaic Steps
We left Palo Alto on Friday,the 18th, loaded down with goodies, including homemade plum jam and freshly picked lemons, and headed over to Route 1 on the California Coast.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tagged While Gone!

We have just returned from a 10-day trip to Palo Alto, CA, driving down the coast of Oregon and then back up the California coast. While we were gone, I was tagged by Linda , so I guess I'd better get crackin' and do it:

1.What was I doing 10 years ago?
Vacationing with family in PA after celebrating my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday (Oops, that was 11 years ago. Oh well, it was a really fun celebration!)
Working at Eastside Literacy Council (now part of Hopelink) teaching adults
Singing in our church choir
2.Name 5 things on todays 'to do' list
Tutor (done)
Grocery shop (done)
Catch up on blog reading after our trip (working on)
Look at our trip photos (done)
Finish CQ heart (I will, Kathy, I promise!)
3.Snacks I enjoy
Caffeine free Diet Coke
Chocolate
Chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies
4. Things I would do if I was a millionaire
Pay for our grandchildren’s college educations
Donate to lots of worthy causes
5. Places I have lived
Oklahoma
Wisconsin
Colorado
California
Washington

I'm not tagging anyone because it seems like this one has pretty well made the rounds!

In case you find this totally boring, here's a new photo of Sophia who now has both top teeth!
Our Sweet Pea

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Old and the New

When the grandkids were here, we got out a lot of old toys that our kids used to enjoy. In the garage were a couple of bags of stuffed animals and dolls, one of which yielded this surprise. I made it for Jill years ago from a pattern in a magazine; the dolly has buttons and shoelaces along with clothes for practice dressing. Dolly cleaned up pretty well except for her rather wild-looking hair, and Sophia had great fun talking to her.
Dolly

I just gave this scarf to a friend who loaned us some "modern" playthings. The yarn is by Crystal Palace and is so incredibly soft I bought several more balls to knit a few more. These colors were purchased at Quilt Passions in Kona, Hawaii, an unlikely spot to find yarn; it took 2 balls of Poof and 1 of Kiddo to make a rather long scarf. This was the only project I finished while the grands were here....it was a no-brainer made-up pattern that was just perfect for doing in the car.
Poof Scarf #1

Premio Award from Jane

Yesterday I received this award from Jane and am supposed to pass it on to seven people.

That's a tough decision, but here are the links of the folks I've chosen:
Crazy Quilting for Fun
Sewing Southpaw
Eles Kleine Wunderwelt
Kitty and Me Designs
Kathy's Crazy Moments
Allie's in Stitches
Wandering Rose

This is a small way to let you know how much I appreciate your blogs. It's a lot of fun as well as informative to have cyber-friends! Don't feel pressured, but if you wish, pass this award on to someone whose blog you enjoy reading.

The rules for receiving this award are:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.

Thanks again, Jane, for thinking of me; I really enjoy your blog, too!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Never a Dull Moment at Our House!

When we got back from the airport last week, we could hear chain saws, and sure enough, our neighbors were having a tree between our house and theirs removed. Too bad David was gone as he would have loved watching. It was a bit scary to see the huge trunk dangling over the neighbor's garage, but this is one tree I'm glad is gone. It was incredibly messy and seemed to drop something all year long. On top of that its pinecones were almost lethal; we called them hand grenades!
Goodbye messy tree!
Then, that night we were just settling down for a long awaited peaceful night when Ginger Cat sailed (literally) into our room, landing with a thud on our bed. Next she started meowing at the ceiling, and it was obvious that she was after something. What looked like a monster, turned out to be a moth that refused to die. We were laughing so hard, and Dick was standing on the bed swatting at the ceiling when the moth fell on the floor within Ginger's reach. She went after it, aided by Dick who put the poor bug out of its misery. But, gee, it would have made short work of my yarn, right?
Guardian of my stashes
Recently Dick called me outside to see this little guy who was way up in one of our pine trees. We decided that his mom sent him off for "time out" as he was gone by the next morning.
It's scary up here!
When we walked down our hill the other evening to get an ice cream cone, we came home past our kids' elementary school only to discover that the contractors have started tearing it down. So, on our next trip down the hill, we brought the camera to record the event. Apparently asbestos was a problem, and the only solution was to rebuild.
Goodbye, Eastgate
So much for the goings on around and about our house and neighborhood. Now I need to get back on track and work on my various projects since we've finally got all the knick knacks back in place and the house is once again "normal" and unfit for babies or toddlers. We really do miss them, though!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Remembering Ivy Rose

Today, 120 years ago, my grandmother, Ivy Rose(Scotchbrook)Taylor, was born in Morrison, Illinois. I've been thinking about her all day and realized that she along with my mom and her dad, Grandpa Curtis, is responsible for my loving flowers so much. Gammy, as we kids called her, would take me out for a garden stroll and show me all her pretty flowers. Grandpa Curtis, on the other hand, would take me into his garden and quiz me about its contents. And Mom would encourage me to grow things from seeds and even planted the little tree that I once brought home from camp. Many of the plants in our yard were chosen with these dear folks in mind.
Tree Roses
This is the view from our bedroom window and also from the family room. The tree roses were added when we landscaped our backyard about ten years ago. The smaller middle one isn't the original as it snapped off in a wind storm several years ago. Last year we replaced the bushes beneath them with a variety of flowers, and I think it looks much better.
Rhododendron
Rhodies are our state flower, and we have several in our yard. This one bloomed the best it ever has this spring....must have been all that rain we had!
Gloxinia
This plant was given to me as a thank you for volunteering at the UW hospital. I wonder how long I can keep it alive!
Foxglove
This foxglove is one of several that I grew from seed last summer. They bloomed for the first time this year and will probably come back next year.
Astilbe
This is a new addition under the tree roses. I have a darker one out front that my dad gave us, but I fell in love with the color of this one and just had to bring it home! Colorful flowers grow well here in the Pacific Northwest, and they bring a lift to the spirits when the skies are grey.

So, there you have it, some of the recent bloomers that Dick photographed for me. Can you guess which one isn't outside? It's keeping Patty company in the garden window.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Queen of the Garden Window

At about the time our grandkids arrived, I received a package in the mail from Pat Winter that contained one of her wonderful Inner Child dolls. Patty came with a note from Pat, saying that she hoped Patty would behave. Well, not only does she behave, she's also very quiet and well-dressed. You should see her little purse and matching heels, just the perfect addition to our garden window. Thus, I proclaimed her "Queen of the Garden Window" and put her where she would have a view both inside and out. Long may she reign! Thanks so much, Pat! She is a real treasure, and I feel lucky to have won her.
Patty

Note: Normally you can see out this window, but when the photo was taken, the sun was so intense that we lowered the shade to protect the plants inside. Double click for a closer view of Patty or click on the link above to see her "birthplace".

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Memories

Our house is really quiet today: the kids are back in Chicago and Dick is volunteering at the Group Health hospital in Seattle. All that's left aside from a few crumbs and fingerprints are some great photos that bring back memories.
Carl and Jim SCUBA Diving
Last Saturday Carl invited Jill to bring David down to Aliki to watch him and Jim dive. Sophia stayed at home with us so she could nap, and we could get things together for the afternoon's picnic in our backyard. David had a great time playing in the sand and watching Carl and Jim in their scary SCUBA gear.
Sophia and KJ
The Dawsons, our former neighbors, brought a blue tub along to the picnic since it's really hard to find the small plastic wading pools our kids used. KJ and Sophia thought the tub was just fine and had a great time splashing and pouring.
David is armed!
David,however, had more fun with the squirt guns that the Dawsons also broght along. They are safely tucked away now, waiting to be returned to the Dawsons along with their cooler.
Riding the train in Snoqualmie
On Sunday Dick, Carl, and David went on a "boys only" outing, back to Snoqualmie to ride the train from there to North Bend. The train only runs on weekends and David was mightly disappointed when our trip on Friday didn't include a ride. Opa and Carl remedied that on the return trip.
Oma and Sophia
Sophia often would crawl over to me, put her arms up and "talk" to me; I knew she was asking to be picked up and took every opportunity to do so!

My, how quickly the past two weeks flew by. I know there will be lots of changes in these two little ones before we see them again, but we sure have lots of fun memories to last till then.