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
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


Being a basically lazy person, I don't challenge myself often.    Oh, so not 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.
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.

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 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

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.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer hiatus and aging and stuff.

almost over
way too hot
way busy
very wet

It's been a blog free summer... no time to write, and and not a lot of creative fodder.. Just enough time to keep treading water, not really getting anywhere. I cannot say if I will maintain the blog any better this fall, but I hope to..

Speaking of autumn, I say, "Bring it!!". Never having been a big fan of summer, this one has been long enough for me..I am ready for cooler, drier weather.  I know lots of people who prefer hot to cold...but you can only take off so many clothes without offending people's sensibilities. In extreme cold, no one complains if you put on another sweater.  And cold weather is good for business, if your business is knitting.
Summer needlework projects have been sporadic. A few pairs of socks, lots of crocheted bags, some yarn dying... a bit of this and that, nothing consuming.  Take along projects mostly.

Some old loves have resurfaced in my life lately..... no, no,,,, no old flames or anything like that...although if an old flame did show up, I am sure the emphasis would be on the OLD part. None of us are getting any younger, Dave's 61st birthday whooshed past us this July without any fanfare, not even a was a particularly busy week..
Oh yes, old loves, that's it.....many years ago, I actually enjoyed cooking....some of that has returned this summer..  I have been making more meals and liking it.  And I have done some canning this past week.  Zucchini jam  for Dave and corn relish for me, both new recipes to me, they seem to have turned out quite well. That little popping sound when a jar seals is so satisfying... I plan to can some salsa and pickled beets, but the tomatoes are not ripening very well, despite the heat and rain.

Another old love that is beckoning is embroidery...Many years ago I did some crewel embroidery.. at least 30 years ago...  I would like to explore the medium now,with emphasis on freeform work...but where to start? Just jump in and start, I guess, but as I get  older I seem to have more and more self imposed rules that stop me from taking the leap. Anyone else have this  problem?  Greater expectations and all that.....boils down to fear, I think.

Oh, yeah, fear. Last week I went to an estate sale like none I had ever been to before.  An entire tent full of craft supplies.  Many multiples of the same items.  Boxes and boxes of unopened spools of macrame cord.  Miles of rickrack. A bedroom FULL of costume jewelry.  Another tent held boxes of unused Christmas ornaments.  All very clean and tidy, but the sheer amount of stuff was overwhelming....My blogger profile does say "packrat", but this sale intimidated even me.
I bought a few things, but mostly I walked away with a nagging fear of becoming consumed by my possessions...
Among the things purchased is a bag of thimbles,,,111 thimbles to be exact. All kinds and a few even fit my finger. What to do with the rest? I am open to nice...

This is good, watch it----------