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September 2019

Hitting The Road

It's been almost two years since Kym & I met in Nashville and drove to Florence, AL, to attend a 3-Day Alabama Chanin Workshop. We've been talking since January* of meeting up again, and in April, we started to firm up plans.

Lemme tell ya, it would be a whole lot easier to do this if it wasn't for the big puddle in between us!

As-the-crow-flies

As the crow flies, there's about 200 miles/3 hours between us.
As the car drives, it's closer to 350 miles/7.5 hours + Chicago craziness.

We talked about "meeting in the middle," but that sort of means "Chicago," and while I LOVE Chicago, there would be challenges in finding a place that would be suitable for our activities... such as, oh, painting a bunch of fabric with stencils and an airbrush... which means using an air compressor and needing space! Heh. It could get a little noisy and/or a little messy. How do you do that at a hotel? I don't mind doing that in my own back yard or garage, but it would be tricky to find an accommodating short-term rental house, especially since we've never taken this show on the road and who knows?? (As an Airbnb host, myself, I would love to field a request like that!)

Not be thwarted, we decided to meet in Michigan; Kym's suggestion of a trip to their cottage was great enticement! We decided on dates in October... and here we are!

I would fly if I wasn't bringing a bunch of over-sized stencils, a box of paints, and an air compressor, not to mention fabric yardage and sewing supplies, along with my suitcase and pillow. I thought of driving around the north end of Lake Michigan instead of south, and even though it's a much "easier" drive it's also much longer -- 9 hours of straight-up drive time!! There are a couple of ferry services between WI & MI, but they are a) pretty pricey, b) seasonal, and c) have very limited arrival/departure times at each port.

So, driving it is. I'm on my way this morning, and hopefully my timing through Chicago will be spot-on for stress avoidance. Wish me luck!

Stay tuned for updates.

*This makes me laugh a little. Apparently, we are long-term planners... Our workshop & lodging in Alabama were booked over a year in advance!


Weekending: Making Plans

Rusty indulges yet another big idea with a sketch over early morning coffee yesterday.

"Let's make the back porch 'wrap around' again! With a sort of greenhouse/conservatory thing... that has curved windows!"

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Who knows if it will ever happen, but we sure do like to dream and make plans!

I was making other plans over the weekend, too.

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I have a few projects percolating, and I cut out a pair of long Palazzo Pants yesterday.

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20191006_141929

Then I started questioning my fabric color choices... that led to painting, stitching, and cutting some small 5-inch swatches. That particular project is still percolating a bit, and I have a couple of other things to try before I make a final decision, but I think I know where it's heading. It's all in the details!

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20191005_185954

I've been diligent about #100moredaysknitorious2019 and yesterday's stitching was done while visiting with Ann, even though she was distracted by time and cooking dinner and wasn't working on her project.

In addition to all that, we changed the last of the storms & screens, washed some windows and swept off the back porch, made a pretty great beef stew, and watched a little football! I'm sure there was more mundane stuff (I'm looking at you, Laundry), but those are the highlights. I hope you had a great weekend, too!


Resting On Cute

It just seems a bit of a whirlwind around here lately. It's all good, I'm just having a hard time stringing my thoughts in any coherent fashion.

Alison to the rescue! She & Rod took the kids to a pumpkin patch earlier this week, and here a few photos she shared (photo cred for the entire post goes to Ali!). I'd have loved to gone along, but the way it's been around here (i.e., RAINING ALL THE TIME), you do that stuff when you can.

Polly-3
Polly-3
Polly-3

Ginny & Junah had a little pumpkin patch of their own this year, and here's their harvest (minus a few that they've already sold or given away):

Pumpkins

They brought me a pretty big one a couple of weeks ago and Junah admonished me for picking it up by the stem!

Meanwhile, this arrived in my in-box a little while ago:

Gin-today

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!! Have a good weekend!


Unraveled Wednesday: Yarn from Scotland

Joining Kat & the Unravelers today, sharing what I'm knitting and reading.

KNITTING:

I'm not actually knitting this yet, but I promised to share what Kate brought back with her from Scotland.

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West Yorkshire Spinners, The Croft Shetland Tweed, 100% Shetland Island Wool, which she purchased on a quick weekend jaunt to the Highlands with her friend Blair -- I wish I remembered the name of the shop!

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Anyway, I have one hank in the colorway Hillswick (#798) and I think I'm going to make mittens or socks -- probably mittens, and the likely candidates are Maize, Lambing Mitts, or Antler Mittens.

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Kate has two hanks in the colorway Stonybreck (#759) and she's decided to make an Oats cowl.

What I am currently knitting (though I'm in a bit of a lull) is this:

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A pair of Maize mittens for Junah! At least, I hope they're for him... the kid has some paws! They'll be for his sister, otherwise, and I'll have plenty of yarn to knit another pair for him.

READING:

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II by Svetlana Alexievich (audio), The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs. The reading is also going a bit slow lately... there are a million other little things going on, I guess.

I'm going on an outing with my book club next week for a Fox Cities Book Festival event. We'll be seeing author Richard Ratay talk about his book....

Don't Make Me Pull Over! The Informal History of the Family Road Trip... and that ought to be a hoot.


Weekending: Hankies

The History of the Handkerchief presentation over the weekend was informal, full of anecdotes and factoids (of the factual type), and made most interesting by audience participation -- personal stories and memories -- and the presentation of several examples (including by one attendee who brought a box full)!

It will not surprise you to know that there have been books written on the subject.

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20190928_185417

I did a terrible job of documentation, but was quite taken with the appliqué on the hanky above, and with PANSIES on the "Handkerchief of the Month, As Seen In Vogue." (Though I haven't been actively collecting of late, I am still quite enamored of that flower.)

Years ago, when I managed my mother's antique mall and hankies were, um... let's say... PLENTIFUL in my world, I sewed a bunch to casings and made adorable valances for the Garden Room. Most of them faded terribly after years of eastern & southern exposure, and eventually I had to thank the whole shebang and dispose of it. It lives on in memory as one of the most fitting decorating decisions I ever made. Maybe I'll do it again...

Saturday was a glorious late September day! I met up with Ali after the market and we went to "Nancy's" (my local antique mall) with the kids -- we each found a few things, and Nancy sent us home with a couple of old table-top type games (I'll try to remember to post about them).

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We came home and the discovery of my Longaberger double-pie basket (aka, picnic basket) led to... you guessed it, an impromptu backyard picnic, which the kids pretty much packed for themselves. You might notice walnuts in the grass in both the lower left & right corners of the photo. There were many, many more... and pieces... all which have led me to regret grabbing a WHITE blanket upon which to picnic. Oh well. I haven't laundered it yet...

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We ended up heading down the ravine, which led to the path, which led to the road and the bridge and the river and the old football field and the discovery of a bunch of these wooden dog & swan cut-outs under the bleachers. Familiar with the site, they are most certainly placed on the field to discourage geese.

When we got home from our walk, Junah & Ginny wanted to go for a bike ride and, eventually, we ended up at the skate park. The kids ran around and up and down, they played and made a couple of new friends, and played some more. Jün wasn't too thrilled about having to head home and, just to give you a little inkling of this kid and his strong-willed personality... he threw his bike down and declared that he wasn't going to ride it home. After a little face-off with his mama, he dragged it (crying the whole while)... literally dragged his bicycle on the sidewalk for about half a block. Tiring work, as you might imagine, and it was right about then he also started to complain about the tears all over his face...

Seriously. I don't know how we all hold it together sometimes.