Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Rocked!



Youngest to Oldest, Christmas rocks!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

tis the season

Tis the season to be creating!
 Knitting  and crochet are year round sports for me, but at this time of the year the needles must fly!  I make gifts, and I make things to sell at the shop. Some years making the things to sell can be a chore, just another thing to get done. Not this year, I am in the spirit, the mood is here, I want to create. ........Mostly monkeys.......
Yes, I am making monkeys, sock monkeys...Not exactly the traditional sock monkey made from men's hosiery, but mini crocheted monkeys to hang on Christmas tree, inspired by the traditional sock monkey.  So far, I have crocheted 13 little simians.  A whole troop. Did you know that the collective noun for monkey is troop? As in "A troop of monkeys invaded my kitchen and ate all my bananas!"
Speaking of bananas, my friend Linda P. found the cutest miniature banana pattern to go with the monkeys.   I haven't actually knitted a banana yet, but tis the season!.....hmmm, I think I'm channelling Jimmy Durante......yes, we have no bananas!
Too silly, time for bed! Goodnight.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

no turkey

I've roasted many turkeys over the years.  Brined, basted, trussed, stuffed. This is the first time I have made a Thanksgiving dinner, at my house. Turkey and all the rest,,, It went well.

 Except that I was too busy putting food on the table to take any photos. I did get a snapshot of the CANNED cranberries on the pink dish.
And a photo of my kid's favorite, pickles and olives.


Here is my grandson Gael sitting with Lisa. Lisa is new to our family.
 
Dave put up the first Christmas tree today....outside our front window. It's starting to look festive around here.
Lisa's kids, Liam and Rion

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hey you two!

This blog has TWO faithful readers. This post is for them, and if anyone else actually reads this post, count me as shocked.

I have the house to myself today. Dave continues his hunt for the elusive deer.  The weather in the northwoods has been icky and they have not even seen a deer...maybe he will come home tonight, but today the house is empty.  And quiet, except for the noise of my choosing.  I choose the radio station, on loud.  Christmas music, on loud.  Living with a hearing deficit, I tend to have the volumes at levels that can be a bit irritating to those in the house that have normal hearing.

Radio on, knitting on the couch.  I made yet another sock monkey ornament (#11) and a headband. Before the knitting I decided it was  about time I cleaned up my "nest". My spot on the couch becomes very nest-like after a few days of projects....here is a photo of the nest-cleaning in progress.
I have no idea how all that stuff got into the living room in just a little while, I blame the cats. They must be working on Christmas projects, I guess.

I received a gift this week. My Aunt Jean has given up housekeeping and gave me this lovely dresser set.
This set belonged to her mother (my Grandma), an engagement gift from her husband. My Dad was born in 1925, so this set dates from the early 1920's.

It might be Bakelite, do either of my two readers know how to identify bakelite? Ann?  Flouride? Anyone?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekend wrapup


Lichens
We went north for a short visit after I closed the shop on Saturday. Here are my usual photos of nature and stuff.
Chippy on a rock

Lichens

Trees just starting to turn colors

Dave and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary quietly, just sitting on the porch, watching Sunday float by.
Me and my shadow
We motored to the cabin in my new-to-me set of wheels. Getting a new car meant cleaning all the junk out of my 16 year old car.....I am such a pack rat, in the trunk of the old car I found some cotton yarn that I had forgotten. This weekend I turned it into a bag. Lots of different crochet stitches.
Here is the bag in progress. The bag is draped over a cool, vintage case that I got at a garage sale for a dollar.  Interested only in the case, I was surprised to find that it contained an old clarinet!..Anyone know something about clarinets? Should I keep it or toss it?
Here is the finished bag at home
Surprise! I lined it!
Linings are not my thing.

This has been a rambling post, but that was the way the weekend turned out....Rambling and disjointed,but very relaxing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Driftless

The term "driftless" indicates a lack of glacial drift, the material left behind by retreating continental glaciers.


The Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau is a region in the American Midwest noted mainly for its deeply carved river valleys.

Viroqua, Wisconsin and the surrounding countryside is part of the greater "driftless area".  While In Viroqua last weekend, I bought a book here, Bramble Bookstore. Actually, I purchased several books.  At the top of the pile is Driftless, by David Rhodes, set in the driftless area of Wisconsin.

I did not simply read this book.  The book sucked me into a world so familiar yet new and exciting, I could not stop reading.   Driftless is, by far, the best book I have read in a very long time, and I read alot of books.
A synopsis from goodreads.com :

The few hundred souls who inhabit Words, Wisconsin, are an extraordinary cast of characters. The middle-aged couple who zealously guards their farm from a scheming milk cooperative. The lifelong invalid, crippled by conflicting emotions about her sister. A cantankerous retiree, haunted by childhood memories after discovering a cougar in his haymow. The former drifter who forever alters the ties that bind a community. In his first novel in 30 years, David Rhodes offers a vivid and unforgettable look at life in small-town America

These characters are people I know, with stories I know.  Stories I have lived, yet not so pedestrian to be predictable.  The author is masterful at surprise.  There are a few places in the book that I gasped audibly at the next lines, the turn of events.....
If that isn't enough, this book is funny.  And presents an opportunity to look at life's big questions.

Get this book. Read it. Let me know what you think.

Lynda-----in my opinion Driftless is head and shoulders above  The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle......

Monday, August 30, 2010

End of summer

Each year we celebrate the end of summer with a liitle road trip with Emili.
See here for last year
And Here for 2007
I guess I didn't blog about it in 2008.

This year we went southwest to Viroqua and Prairie du Chien.

Here are a few photos.
At Wyalusing
Two grandparent feet and one granddaughter foot
Three Chimney rock fromation at Viroqua
Westby
Mississippi River at sunset
Em on the tracks at historic home
She is taller than me!
Cool mushrooms
I know that kids grow up fast, and I hope this is not the last year Em wants to do this little tradition with us. This year we made it to Iowa and Minnesota, we may have to up the ante....................

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It all starts with a book

Earlier this year I picked up a few novels at a church rummage sale, including one by Annie Proulx.  Having enjoyed her novel, The Shipping News , I looked forward to reading this one titled Accordion Crimes.   Here is a bit about the book:
The protagonist of the novel and, significantly, the character that survives longest is an accordion, crafted in Sicily and brought to the United States by its maker. When he is killed by an anti-Italian mob, the accordion passes to a black Louisianian, who is also murdered, then to a German immigrant who has settled in Iowa. Later it goes to Texas, to Maine, back to Louisiana, then to Chicago, Illinois, and to Montana.

It's a good story, actually a series of stories all involving an accordion...Not nearly as good as The Shipping News, but good.
Thinking about this accordion, I thought about what I know or how little I know about the instrument.  Accordion, button box, concertina, all synonymous? I still wonder, anyone out there know?
Growing up in Wisconsin, I heard a lot of polkas, accordions are a required element. Mostly, I think of the big piano accordion, the kind with a keyboard..

I remember a couple of small accordions in the attic of my home as a child.  They
belong to my Dad, who grew up in that same house. I visited him today and he told me that he played the accordion in his Grandpa's bar as a boy. His uncles played and sang to entertain the customers.
My Dad just got up from a nap
The dog is in the background.

He no longer plays, but the music boxes still make a nice sound...a happy sound.

Do you have an accordion story or info to share?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Challenges

Being a basically lazy person, I don't challenge myself often.    Oh, so not true...it seems like every day brings a new challenge, but not often of my own choosing.. Mundane tasks are a challenge for me.  This week I have been doing a lot of mundane tasks, things that must be done. Lots of  useful, utilitatian stuff.
So as a reward, from me to me, I took the time to have some fun and make this little free form sculpture.
front
The challenge was to create something from the contents of a zip lock sandwich bag that came in a box from the estate sale mentioned in an earlier post...not adding anything except inspiration.   There were some crocheted balls, tassels,wooden buttons, cording, thread and a peculiar ring-type thing with a handle or something.

Back
Limiting the amount of materials is really fun for me...hmmm....let's see what I can do with this........I love having no rules and making objects that are not utilitarian.  I have no use for this bit of sculpture, but Bringing It Forth from a bag of junk makes me happy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Is it fall yet?

Oh, at long last we've had some cooler weather. Fall comes to mind, school shopping, raking leaves, picking apples, all those cliched activities.  It's been many years since I raked a leaf, picked an apple or sent a child off to class, but I still feel that urge to nest....and get ready for the start of a new season..
Really a new year, my internal creative calendar starts with September.  It's the whole wool thing, I think....spinning,sewing knitting,felting, it all really begins in earnest as the weather cools.


So what am I planning for the cooler season? I need to sew some mittens to sell. Dye some handspun.Button jewelry.Get started on some secret Christmas gifts. Freeform embroidery. Make a few Santas.  Finish an afghan.  Collage.  Clean my studio room. (REALLY THAT SHOULD BE FIRST ON THE LIST)  Bind a few journals.  Wash a fleece. Felt some slippers....

But, alas, I just heard the weather forecast....hot and humid tomorrow. hmmmm..

Monday, August 16, 2010

A walk in the woods

Come take walk in the woods with me.

Ride along, if you prefer.

We aren't looking for anything specific..just looking
We find blueberries
Yummy

And Black Raspberries, just a few. Notice that we are not alone on our walk.

Now Blackberries

Not the same as black raspberries.

Some nice folks eating blackberries
I digress, lets get back into the woods via this trail....
Passing a stream
We find mushrooms

lots of kinds of mushrooms





another path leads to


A big pink rock.....Very heavy

my hero loads it up and hauls it back
to the cabin

From there, we had such a good time that I did not take any more photos until
we had to say goodbye to the nice folks and the berries and mushrooms and rocks and deer and the northwoods.