Think Write Thursday – a treehouse


“The perch in the maple tree was Betsy’s private office. Here she thought out stories and poems and wrote them down. Here she kept what she had written in the cigar box”.  (from Betsy and Tacey Go Downtown)

I never had a tree house.  I grew up in Arizona and we didn’t even have the kind of trees that you could climb.  But I have never forgotten this scene from one of the Betsy and Tacy books and I always wanted a spot in a tree where I could get away from my brothers with my cigar box filled with writing supples.  I would want my tree house to be deep enough in the woods to keep out the hustle bustle of the world.  A comfy couch with pillows and quilts, windows to let in the light and the sound of the birds singing, a pile of books, a basket of knitting or stitching projects, and space to roll out my yoga mat.  No TV or internet but a coffee maker would be lovely.

I don’t imagine a tree house is in my future but I do think I will head to my sewing room later today so I can curl up on my comfy chair with that cup of coffee and a good book.

Thanks to Carole and Kat for a fun prompt.

***the photo above was taken on a trip to John Muir Woods in Northern California.

Mondays in the kitchen – ditching dairy


This is the week I have chosen to cut dairy from my diet.  Not forever.  Maybe a few weeks.  I am curious to see if I will notice a difference.  I don’t eat a lot of dairy but I do love cheese and lately, I am finding myself grabbing a slice here, a nibble there.  It adds up!  Last night we were going to order pizza but our usual place (where I can get a good gluten free pizza with lots of veggies) was so busy and we needed a quick meal.  I popped into the store and found a dairy free, gluten free option.  It tasted much better than it looked (and it didn’t really look like the picture on the package).  I don’t plan to use a lot of cheese substitutes in the next few weeks.  Instead I am searching my favorite recipes sites for some new dairy free ideas.  So far I have this, and this, and this.  And I will probably be ordering a coconut latte.  Let m know if you have a great dairy free recipe site too.

Fiber Friday – stitch stories


I picked this book up at the library a few weeks ago and briefly paged through it.  This morning, I settled in on the couch (up far too early again) and gave it a read.  I do love the idea of using fabric and thread to record memories and made a list of ideas to try before I return the book.  

I did a search to find out more about the author and found some good articles about stitch artists.  And I spent a bit of time catching up with this beautiful blog.  But now it is time to move into this day and hope for some stitching time this weekend.

P.S.  it is a few weeks away but you might want to visit Michelle and read about her upcoming workshop.  Another way to stitch up some memories and stories with paper and pen.

The finishing list


It is always hard to go back to work after Christmas break.  Having two weeks to play with fabric and yarn is really lovely.  This year it was not quite as relaxed with dad in hospital and lots of driving back and forth but I still managed to find time to play.  One of my tasks was to put together a list for the #17ufosin2017 project.  I worked on my list while we waited for doctors and therapists and test results.  I tried to be realistic.  My list includes a bit of quilting, a bit of knitting, some appliqué and sashiko, a dress, and a Craftsy class.  I chose to start with a small quilt that only needed binding so I can already check one item off my list!

Here is my list of 17 – 

circles and swatches


Yesterday I started putting my projects for #17ufosin2017.  I have plenty of choices but I am trying to focus on projects that I really want to finish.

These circle blocks were inspired by a 365 project.  I have not been successful beyond about 35 days when I have tried these 365 projects.  I did enjoy playing with these little blocks because I love appliqué and I love circles.  I have 62 blocks finished and another 45 cut and ready to stitch.  This is a great UFO.  I can chip away at it in the evenings and on weekends and it will make a very fun little quilt.

In the evening, I sat down to do some swatching.  I don’t do a lot of swatching because I mostly knit items where gauge doesn’t really matter.  But I know I will be much happier if I make gauge on a few upcoming projects.  I was able to get gauge for my RobRoy hat using a #7 needle.  I am planning to get this one cast on in the next few days.  Next up is another ball of orange yarn that has been lingering in my stash for a few years.  I bought this yarn to make the Annabel cardigan and I am determined that this sweater will get made in 2017.  I actually got to the separate for the sleeves stage on this sweater but realized it was going to be too tight.  I expect this will go fairly fast since the yarn if bulky and the needle is 10.5.  

I am hopeful that my UFO piles will get some well deserved attention in 2017.

This season

I grew up in Arizona.  We pretty much had one season, well, maybe two.  The warm season and the unbearably hot season.  Moving to the Pacific Northwest changed that.  At first I thought winter was the best season, but then I drove on the icy, hilly roads.  Spring is beautiful, lots of flowers and beautiful green trees, but lots of rain.  Summer is a very short season.  

And the there is fall.  So many beautiful colors and leaves.  I even like leaves scattered on the mossy green lawn.  I put away my spring and summer clothes and fill my closet with corduroy and knitted shawls.  The rainy days are followed by blue skies and sun peeking through the trees.  But maybe fall isn’t the best.  We set back the clocks and the days get shorter.  If I don’t get out of the office in time, I will be heading home in the dark.  

This morning, as I am looking for a way to push aside this feeling of gloom, I am thinking that the season I am loving right now is the season that is just around the corner.  It has nothing to do with weather or politics.  It has everything to do with love and hope.  A tiny person is coming into our lives.  There are tiny hats and snugly blankets. A sweater and a quilt made by hands who will love this tiny person.  And expectant parents who are so graciously sharing this season of their lives.  I cannot wait for the day that this tiny person will run and tumble in those fall leaves.  

Thanks to Carole and Kat for Think Write Thursday.