Previous month:
April 2018

TGI*

*FRIDAY!

*A 3-DAY WEEKEND!

*REALLY & TRULY NICE OUTSIDE!

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This guy is so much happier now that it's nice enough to be outside most of the time! (As are we all, I suppose.)

Do you have anything going on this weekend?

I'll have the kiddos for a while tomorrow morning, in varying combos of 2 and 3 while Ali runs some errands.

The only other thing "written in pen" on my calendar is an appointment with the chiropractor on Monday. I'd been going regularly, but slipped off that schedule quite a while ago and I think it's time to get back on track.

There are a few things on my list that I could work on...

And I'll definitely be putting the finishing touches on two little matching sweaters for two sweet little girls -- I'll be stopping to choose buttons on my way home today!

2 Weeks Craftsy Unlimited For Just $1 at Craftsy.com 5/19 - 5/23/18. No coupon code needed.


3TT: Randomly

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...

1 - Knitting

I started a new knitting project on the way to Chicago last Thursday.

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It's a new Summer Camp (pattern by Laura Aylor) and, as I snapped a photo in the car, I noticed that I was wearing the first one that I made. That shawl and my 2016 Rhinebeck Shawl (Close to You by Justyna Lorkowska) were probably my most-worn shawls last winter (they both "go with everything") and I've wanted to make them both again.

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Coming along!

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I'm using yarn that I dyed a few months ago and I'm pretty happy with it so far.

My elbow/shoulder/arm are still balking at me now and then, so I'm trying to take it easy (figuring out my next step with this lingering situation).

2 - Wine

It occurred to me this morning, while replying to a comment/email from Mary, that perhaps I've neglected telling you about the amazing wineries that Maddy's worked/will be working for! She has worked the past couple of vintage seasons for Wither Hills in New Zealand and also for Loveblock Wines (the winemaker formerly of Kim Crawford Wines); this fall she'll be working for Kendall Jackson in Oregon, and she's pretty certain that she'll be similarly working in Australia next year (exact winery TBD).

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She brought a bottle of Loveblock home with her (because she didn't think it was available here) and we shared it on Thursday night at our hotel. I'm pretty sure the staff in the liquor department at our local grocery store thought she was a little off her rocker on Saturday when she VERY EXCITEDLY showed us that she'd found some on the shelf there!! Isn't the label pretty?

3 - Customer Service

I've tried in vain to locate the misplaced shoulder strap for the charcoal gray Baggallini* Medium Avenue Tote Bag that I bought last year. I don't know what I did with it, and had to resort to using the red strap from another bag when in NYC in March. I finally resorted to reaching out to customer service last week and :08 later I had a reply email informing me that my replacement strap would arrive in 5-10 business days. At no charge. Not even shipping. Yahoo!! I'll be ready, with matching bag/strap, for the next trip to NYC in two weeks!

*FYI, and per the disclosure that appears on the sidebar of every page, I post ads and affiliate links here on occasion, mostly from Amazon and Craftsy (within posts, at the bottom of posts, and also in the sidebar), from which I earn a percentage of any resulting sales if you click through, and that money pretty much covers the annual cost of having this blog/domain. Baggallini is not one of them (nor the wineries) (ha!) (though I realize now that they may now show up!)... anyway, they don't know me from Adam and I'm not compensated for this endorsement whatsoever; I just want to share my experience with their fabulous customer service! (It is so rare... and, really, it made my day!)


Mothers Day

Cheers! The gang's all here!!

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Kate & I motored to Chicago on Thursday to pick up Madeleine -- originally due at 11:59 pm, she missed a connection before even leaving NZ and yet somehow arrived almost 6 hours early! Thankfully, we were already down there and she didn't have to wait too long. But that's a trip/story for another day! The gist of it is, Maddy's home!

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I made it a point to grab my camera and take some photos! Rusty, too!

We even tried recreating a few old photos, some with more success...

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...than others!

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There's a photo (which I can't find at the moment) of my sisters & I successfully holding our mother in the manner that you can see attempted above. My brother was there, too, but it was after his traumatic car accident and there's no way he could risk it. Anyway, the girls suggested we try it... I never got my right foot off the ground and the only way this might have even remotely worked is if there was no laughing! As it is, it's a pretty awesome photograph and I think I like it even better.

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Maddy met Malina for the first time!

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Seven weeks old, she's really starting to fill out!

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The big kids have discovered some of my shawls!

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We had a terrific get together yesterday. A hot dog roast, brats on the grill, this year's favorite salad, along with a few from the deli, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert!

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I got a bottle of new-to-me gin to try and some really great cards. It was just about as perfect as a day can be.


Colorbox Quilt

In early March, Ali sent me a link from Missouri Star Quilt Co. to a quilt that she ran across and really liked. I did a little research and discovered that it was a Modern Background Colorbox Fog Cheater Quilt Panel by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics.

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That is a mouthful. But "CHEATER QUILT PANEL" stood out to me. I had never heard that term before and I was intrigued! I liked the design, too and thought it would be cute for the baby, plus the design seemed perfect for trying out some hand quilting.

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I'd have preferred to buy the materials locally and I tried, but more than one local quilt shop turned up their nose, with remarks, at my inquiring about the availability of this panel. Is that from Pinterest? Do you know how many designs there are? We can't possibly carry them all...

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Um. OK. Sorry? Obviously, they weren't interested in pursuing any further to help me out or in a special order.

So, naturally, I ordered it online!

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I also ordered cotton batting and backing fabric, though that turned out to be the wrong color -- which is the downside of ordering online. I consulted with Ali & her friend Kristin and even though they thought it would be "okay," ugh... I just couldn't do it! It was just too bright. So, I ordered more. It was a little easier to determine the subtleties of coordinating fabric colors at Fat Quarter Shop and I spent a lot of time consulting both websites to find one that I really liked.

I was nervous that the backing wasn't going to be wide enough, so added that little strip of batik... turns out I needn't have worried.

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Waiting for the new & improved backing fabric to arrive gave me time to take the "cheater" panel to Joann's to pick out some colorful thread. I chose five colors of Gütermann 100% Cotton Quilting Thread.

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I may not have cut & pieced it, but I made my first whole cloth quilt... and I did it by hand! Except for the binding -- I made my own bias tape and bound the quilt by machine. It took about 6 weeks, start to finish. I sort of free-styled the individual motifs, working each one pretty much the same... but different. I think it works. The back isn't quite as gorgeous as the front, but it's okay and I think it works, too.

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I tired of it near the end, mainly because there are SO.MANY.OTHER.THINGS and SPRING!!

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It really was a lot of fun, I learned a lot, and I have much more confidence now to tackle & finish the vintage (?) log cabin piece that I inherited from my mom.

Do we need any more photos?? Haha. Sorry, I got a little carried away...


Weekending

CHECK: Finish Malina's quilt!

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The goal was to finish on the weekend, but I put my head down and did it on Saturday -- washed, dried & delivered! I'll do a separate post about it (there are some more photos on Instagram if you're interested).

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Doesn't she look thrilled? That photo is actually from Sunday afternoon... but I'm sure that she was! Also, no doubt thrilled that she's wearing a bonnet & outfit sewn by her mama and the Garter Yoke Cardi that I made for Junah.

I am thrilled that I have a clean slate of a work table!

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CHECK: My first bicycle event of the season -- a 20-mile ride to benefit a local charter school.

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It was far from pretty, but I got it done... a little over 22 miles altogether (I also biked to & from the event) in just over 2 hours.

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My average speed was about 9.6 mph, highest was just over 30, and I climbed 444' (some of it on foot).

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It was a BEAUTIFUL day -- not too hot & not too cold -- and I rode on a few roads new to me. I have a little color on my face and a funny farmer tan on my forearms because my sleeves were pushed up a bit.

I wanted to get the indigo seeds started but didn't. It was too late to go get soil when I discovered that I didn't have any... or maybe I was just pooped. Now I think I might wait until next weekend because I'll be gone for a few days and won't be able to keep an eye on them. I'm hoping it won't be too late a start!

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Just have to share that Junah, one-and-a-half years old in the nearly 3-year-old photo above, was wearing this Captain America Romper on Saturday! Ali said that it's what he wanted to wear!! (And I love that... it's pretty much how it worked most days when I was in charge.) Obviously, he couldn't fasten the crotch snaps, so it just looked like a weird inverted shirttail... with snaps! It was adorable.


Right Now: Come What May... and June and July and August

In other words, what's happening this spring/summer! What began as a normal "what's happening right now" post became a fairly detailed and very helpful list of What I Know Right Now. Also, a couple of hopes & dreams... things I'd like to accomplish.

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MAY

Macro May... and Macramé! I think "macramé" almost every time I say "Macro May," but now I'm actually developing a plan to do some! I've always loved making those knots and now it's cool again -- inspiring, even. I have an idea to make window coverings for our bedroom.

My first bicycle event of the season is this Sunday -- a 20-mile ride to benefit a local charter school. I am doing it alone. I'd rather not do it alone, but it's that or not at all... and I really have to JUST DO IT!

We're picking up Maddy in a week (squee!), and spending a day or so in/around Chicago before heading back...

And then it's Mothers Day!

Maddy takes off for her summer camp job just about two weeks later. Thankfully, the camp job is way closer than her vineyard job (haha), and I'm hopeful for a couple of summertime visits.

On the very last day of May, I'm heading to NYC again!

There are also a couple of "unclaimed" 3-day weekends in May due to work schedule/holiday, and overall I plan to:

  • Finish Malina's quilt (I'm putting my head down and aiming for a finish this weekend)
  • Start indigo plants (also must be done this weekend)
  • Prep for rummage sale
  • Sew something(s) -- a dress and/or top for the girls and/or me
  • Dye something(s)!

JUNE

Kate has curated a show, CONVEYOR, for Greenpoint Open Studios and I'll be joining her there for a few days. She will be busy much of the time with set up, so I'll be on my own for a bit. I plan to meet up with a friend or two, and maybe even take in a show.

Shortly after that, and after Kate returns from NYC (she's driving), I head to Chicago again to deliver her to the airport to see her off as she departs for a month in the UK.

Another possible bicycle event - to benefit a local fire department!

The local farmers market starts up again and Ali will man the Coffee Camper; I imagine I'll have a few Saturday mornings with Gin & Jün.

There is an entire week in the middle of the month when I'll be working every day (I usually work four long days and LOVE my mid-week day off).

CSA deliveries begin mid-month and I'm really looking forward to that!

I am planning to get to work finishing the mosaic tables that Rusty & I built a year ago (detail of dilapidated & rotting original shown above).

And also continue prep for the rummage sale.

JULY

I will be going to Chicago for my monthly visit to pick up Kate at the airport.

There's a rummage sale in the works!

And Kate's maybe gonna re-paint my kitchen walls sometime in July. Before she moves to Denver!

Ann & family arrive from Spain for their summer visit (July 14-August 21), and that means Auntie Camp on the horizon! We're just beginning to sync calendars & make plans, so I don't know exactly when -- it's actually more like to happen in August. That means INDIGO. Maybe tie dye again? Weaving? I'd like to involve Junah, and maybe the kids of one of my coworkers (they've all met before).

And also a possible bicycle ride.

AUGUST

Shhhhhh. At this point, August is a pretty clean slate, other than probably Auntie Camp, Addy's birthday, and his family's return to Spain shortly thereafter. This will very likely fill in a bit -- and may include another trip to (where else?) Chicago!! Annie has hinted at it... because, you know, it will have been a whole month since I was there!

SEPTEMBER

September is looking quite free & open! There is another possible bicycling event and I might tie that into a long weekend away with Rusty.

 

Just like last summer, this one will certainly have distractions and last-minute changes/additions. I'm hoping to find a better rhythm this year and not veer too far off (of my very loose) course.


3TT: A birthday & other things

Joining Carole and friends this week for Three on Thursday...

ONE

For a day or two, I was convinced that she was going to be 3, but no...

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Time seems to be racing, but thankfully it's not racing THAT fast... and yesterday we helped our little Ginny celebrate her 2nd birthday!!

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Before cake -- a really yummy oatmeal-banana-chocolate chip cake!

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After cake... and ice cream!

I put together the little doll bed that I bought at IKEA a few months ago and wrapped it up, along with a sweet little summer outfit.

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She cracked us all up when she immediately "got into" that bed. Soon enough, she was putting her baby to bed.

TWO

Rusty has continued work on their backyard playhouse this week.

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He is very patient!! The walls are framed, the roof underlayment is down, and windows chosen and configured.

THREE

Just because...

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Other Grandma was coaxing coos and maybe even a little smile from Malina! In that last photo, it's all eyes for Mama, though. 


Unraveled: Cockleshell Cardi

KNITTING

So, I did really well with the simultaneous knitting and socializing with the book club gang on Friday night -- even doing increases at regular intervals without screwing up.

Saturday was a WAY different story, and perhaps what you might expect when a day begins with a cherry mimosa at breakfast and carries on with a distillery/brewery/winery tour! I found a mistake and when I thought I'd figured out what happened and how to fix it, I only screwed it up more. Way more! Let's just say there were some "wonky" eyelets on that edging by the time I came to my senses and just put it away.

So, I ripped back the problem area on Monday night and re-knit. I worked the 3-needle bind-off on Tuesday night, and gave it a soak and pinned it out on Wednesday.

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Cockleshell Cardigan

My gauge/measurements are spot-on for the size I made, though I'm using a slightly heavier yarn. I LOVE IT! This one (largest size) will be for Gin, and I've cast on another (second-smallest size) for Malina.

SEWING

I have about half of the hand-quilting yet to do on Malina's quilt... it is getting a little tedious and I've contemplated ways to make it less so (i.e., not do as much), but I've decided to bite the bullet and JUST DO IT (correctly) (or at least as originally intended). I've 30-ish little squares to go... each is randomly quilted with one length of thread. Ready, Set, Go!

READING

Audio: I finished listening to Unfu*k Yourself on the way up to Door County on Friday. I figured that would happen, so had downloaded Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by Leslie Odom, Jr., to be ready. I would listen to Leslie Odom, Jr., read just about anything. Even so, I really enjoyed the content of this book, too; some interesting wisdom and ideas to ponder.

Pages: Nothing has changed here: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder is still on my nightstand, but so too is The Thoughtful Dresser.

Check out more from Kat & the Unravelers...


The merry month of May begins

It was nice to get home on Sunday early enough that I had time to get a few things done (after my nap) and take a walk through the yard.

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It's just amazing to remember that just two weeks ago we'd been paralyzed by a blizzard for the better part of a weekend and left with 2' of snow on the ground -- the remains of which are still melting at the end of my street, even after nearly 80°F yesterday!

Remember that time when Rusty wrote a book about building clubhouses?

It's coming to life...

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They're using the step-by-step guide found in Keep Out! Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse to build a clubhouse in the kids' backyard!

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I'm not sure how this scenario came about, but that's Jün and the neighbor girl sleeping... and waiting for SANTA!!

Must be all the snow.