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Archive for July, 2008

I did some dyeing at a friend’s dye kitchen the other day and here’s what I came home with:

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I divided it into two (hopefully) equal portions and pre-drafted all these little bird nests, 22 nests for each bobbin, so maybe my colors will match up when I ply:

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Here’s what I’ve spun so far – pretty, eh?

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I am hoping to have both bobbins spun and plied in time to enter it in the fair.

As for the yard:

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That’s 7,640 pounds of block that we will be using to edge the deck.

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Plus gravel and a pallet of red pavers (hidden behind the gravel) that will make a little parking area for two of these:

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Luckily we have the one on the left with the funny looking nose to help move all that gravel!

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Temporary Insanity #1:
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After three false starts with different yarns and snapping needles, here’s Summer of Socks #2. My first pair was with heavyweight yarn, and my usual socks are midweight yarn over anywhere from 60-64 stitches. These? Lightweight yarn, 88 stitches on size 0 needles! Trust me, these will not be done in two weeks’ time. I’ll be lucky to finish them by September! At least this yarn is striping nicely rather than spiraling or pooling.

And what are they posing upon, you might ask? That would be…….
Temporary Insanity #2:

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Yet another landscaping project! The parking area will be edged with two rows of pavers then filled in with gravel. And the deck? You see the white edging board across the front? That will be removed, along with the front two trex boards. There’s another edging board down the side that you can’t see which will also be removed. The beastly heavy gray wallstones will take the place of the edging boards, which peel two days after they are painted. All the way across, three deep to hit the ground. All 98 of them. All 7,644 POUNDS of them! All to be moved by poor DH, with a little help from the weakling at the keyboard. The good news is, we’ll never have to paint those boards again!

The patio that you see at the front of the deck was last summer’s project, after which we swore that we would never be so silly as to use those big stones again. A promise forgotten by last September, when we decided to build a similar patio at the back of the house, after which we swore that we would never be so silly as to use those big stones again. Once again, forgotten when three days ago we decided on this project. I think we are in need of an intervention!

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Ambition!

Remember the Little Poppy that Could?

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Here’s what she did!

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Happy 4th!

I love the 4th of July! The 4th, along with the solstices and equinoxes, and Halloween, are my favorite special days, probably because they can just be all about fun and enjoying life.

My 4th started with fireworks on the 3rd. After a wet, cold and cloudy day, the sun made its way out around 5pm. Since my DH is a volunteer fireman, he gets invited (well, actually I think it’s the fire engine that gets invited, along with whichever firefighters want to go along for the ride) to a great private fireworks show in a nearby community. It’s wonderful – we get front row seats right on the water with no crowds! Here I am, doing some homework – putting reflective stickers on the firefighter hats that we give out to the little kiddies.
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I needed to get a whole bunch done, because on the 4th, we go to the Maxwelton Community Parade! It’s all of two blocks long and you never know what you’ll see from one year to the next……but the fire engine is always the grand finale!

Here are a couple of the guys dressing her up for the big event!
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And here are a couple of the characters that seem to appear every year:
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Mr. Gorilla has a whole wagon full of bananas to share with his friends (including me)!

Now, this was also the last day of the first two week phase of Summer of Socks, so I had some work to do:
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I actually got them done in time!

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I’ve been playing around on Plurk lately, and through a Ravelry friend’s blog post, I learned about a group called the Plurkette Hencircle, which is all about connecting with your inner farm girl. How could I not join? 😉

Our first adventure is an introductory blog post, so, hello fellow Plurkettes! I live on Whidbey Island, which is in the Puget Sound, 30-some miles northwest of Seattle. I have enough land to raise sheep and chickens, which my Farm Girl desperately wants to do, but my reasonable side keeps vetoing, knowing how much work and expense would be involved. Right now I am not looking for little mouths to feed!

I’m planning a vegetable garden for next year. I took some organic gardening classes, and I have my patch all picked out. I think I will go with raised beds, as the soil isn’t good (it’s fill from when the house was built), but the site has other things going for it. Also, I’ve been told that in our climate, raised beds are the way to go. I’m glad I didn’t do the garden this year, as our spring was so awful that I think everything would have rotted!

I am curious about everything and easily bored, which means that sometimes I can just about drive myself crazy! I love researching and I am addicted to knowledge, which means that sometimes I spend way too much time on the computer and way too little time creating things. I am a spinner, weaver, knitter, wanna-be dyer, book binder, wanna-be leather worker, jewelry maker, etc., etc.

I am a completely different person than I was just a few years ago. I served my sentence in corporate hell and while there, fell into the usual trappings of consumerism, trying to mask the fact that I was miserable! Since I escaped, I’ve been slowly evolving into my true self – still a work in progress. It’s been quite a journey so far!

Lately, I’ve learned to do two things that I am just ridiculously pleased about. You’ll laugh when I tell you, but here goes – I can now bake bread and make soup from scratch! If you knew how completely un-domestic I used to be, you would understand why this is such a thrill for me! My grocery shopping now consists almost entirely of ingredients rather than processed items and it is so exciting!

See you in the henhouse!

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Rock Candy?

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Looks like a big stick of rock candy, eh?

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They are actually light posts, lining this walkway that crosses over the highway between the Washington State History Museum and the Museum of Glass.

This is the ceiling

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of this covered walkway, which also has glass sculptures in the walls.

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I hope someday I have a chance to see everything lighted up at night!

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Renewal

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Spring/summer has finally arrived in the PNW – a time of great hope and renewal. Look at that brave little poppy, popping through the crack. The other poppies are blooming in easy spots, but this fellow took the more difficult path – how can you not be inspired by that?

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This is a mock orange, and I wish my camera could take a smell-a-vision picture! It gives our whole yard and house a wonderful scent!

This is also a season of a renewed interest for me. As far back as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with Native American Indians – their wisdom, their culture, their music – and lately, I have felt very drawn to explore this once again. Soon, I will be getting a flute and learning to play some songs (I’ve read that the Indian flute is one of the easiest woodwind instruments to learn to play, and I hope that will be true for me). I’ve also been wanting to do some drumming, but I’ve discovered that it is really hard to get a suitable frame drum. Each drum has its own sound and spirit, so it isn’t really something I want to buy online. I am confident that when the time is right, I will be connected with a drum, but in the meantime, just to play, I picked up a tambourine at our local music shop. Not traditional at all, but I like the sound of the drum part, and I like the added sound of the jingles. I spent some time in the sun making the drumstick. It literally created itself, through my hands.

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DH & I were fortunate to be able to go to the In the Spirit Festival at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. I learned something about flutes, so now at least I’ve been able to narrow down what I want (you’d be amazed how complicated a simple wooden flute can be!) And, we were treated to a wonderful performance by Chenoa Egawa and Alex Turtle. The small drum you see in the picture is called a water drum and it has the most amazing sound! I am listening to their CD as I am writing this blog.

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Tacoma is an interesting city with some neat architectural surprises. I’ll show you a couple tomorrow.

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