Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh my, time flies

G'day all!

I was sure I had written a post recently but apparently not.

MiL and FiL arrive tomorrow night!  It seemed like an age away then a few weeks, then a week and now only a day!  And topping it off nicely, I misread the forwarded message (it is in about 6pt and a grey font) and thought they arrive on Sunday.... so we will be very busy people tomorrow.  Whoops!

Rather blurry night shot of current knitalong on Ravelry

I've been madly making stuff and trying to get work done and tidying but we have a bit of tidying to go alas.  And cleaning.  And Seattle's garbos (rubbish bin collectors) are on strike so it could get a bit dire, especially at the rate I am going through stuff here and cleaning things out.  It amazes me how much stuff we accumulate so quickly and how much packaging and random odds and ends just build up.  You (I) hang on to things because "they might be useful" or they haven't expired or whatever but they never get chucked out until a thorough cleaning happens.  So out it goes!  Into recycle, composting or just the bin.  Unless I can give it to the op shop (goodwill, thrift, etc)

Instead of blathering for ages, I think I shall leave you with some pics I've taken in my wanderings recently.  All taken on the phone so excuse the quality - blogger does something odd with the phone pics - they look perfectly fine on the computer and on the phone until I load them here.

Nature strip (parking strip) planting

The biggest papaver pod I've ever seen

Rudbeckias outshining a sign

Shasta daisies and a mesembryanthemum thingy

Fantastic mosaic in Wallingford

 I really think I should stop borrowing this book from the library.  OK, I am making sure my own copy doesn't wear out but really....

Nothing says summer like sunflowers

Though echinaceas with ladybugs are pretty good

Would be skeered but this maple has red leaves all season
Sunset tonight over Ballard Bridge
One day you might be lucky and I'll write a real blog post with really pretty pictures taken on our travels.  I've just discovered that the good camera is a bit short sighted and needs to be adjusted.  Good timing, just before a family visit with lots of travel planned!  It just means that we will never be able to blow the pics up to full size.  They are fine for small to even medium sized prints but if you are taking massive pics, every now and then you find one that you'd like to make into a good size photo.  The camera is still under warranty and I've found the receipt for it (hooray) so after the PiLs leave I have six weeks before the one year warranty expires to get the thing fixed!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Fourteen hundred posts!

G'day all!

It is a month away from my eighth blogiversary, and I've just discovered I've made 1400 posts (including this one).  I've been pretty slack over the last year otherwise we would have had 1500 posts by now - I've had other things distracting me, like some stories that must be written NOW and moving and settling into a new place, again, and just being me.

For those of you who have been here from the start, congratulations cos you've put up with a lot of blathering - you must be suckers for punishment!  But I like you anyway :-)  For those who are newer, nice to see you, don't be shy - now that Blogger's commenting system allows replies of sorts it is much easier to reply to comments if I ever remember to do so!

We are in the countdown to my parents in law visiting at the end of the month.  I have lots to tidy away - being multicraftual means that I have plenty of things out that really should be tidied away.  We need to make a nice space for them to stay in, I want to get our bedroom's coral reef theme really going (I have ideas but time?  Time seems to just fly away so easily!).  Also, DH is worse than me at getting organised but at least he has a recognised condition (ADD).  Some days I just can't deal with both of us having hobbies and having to do the cleaning up for two....


I finished a quilt!

Part of the front

See?  That really is a whole quilt, I just don't have a display place for it currently.

Don't look too closely because it has some me specials in it, like hardly any of the squares line up but that just adds to its charm.  Fabrics are mostly Kate Spain's umm oh dear, let me go look it up.... "Good Fortune."  I really like that range. 

Part of the back.

I added some (ahem) cheap fabric from Joann's because it blended better than anything I could find at the local quilt shop.  When I say local, I mean if there were not 3 storey townhouses in the way, I'd be able to see it from here, and I can walk to it in about three minutes.... very very dangerous!  Then again, Joann's is only five minutes away.

I found some jumpers at the op shop to recycle into a new top of my own design.  One of them is a pretty scary cardigan at the moment but the cotton/ramie yarn underneath is so very me coloured.  I've started frogging it so I can make into something much nicer, well what I think is much nicer than a pretend lighthouse cardigan.

Don't eat it all at once....

My little balcony garden is starting to produce edibles!  I got ONE WHOLE strawberry the other day!  The capsicums (bell peppers) each have one baby fruit on them and look at this:

Nor this one

My baby tomato is starting to ripen its first fruit!  It has six other fruit on it so far, unlike the much bigger ones which are still growing and will probably not set fruit at all.

But even more exciting, I bought a praying mantis eggcase months ago.  Yesterday I went outside and found baby mantids running around!  They are much bigger than I am used to babies being and they don't have the cute little curly bottoms that Australian mantids have but they are still cute!


Soon I have to go do more stuff, start tidying in earnest.  I've had my sit down after bringing this lot home on the bike:
Sorry about the blurry shot...
and I need to eat lunch but duty calls as well.

BTW, my car's numberplate starts AIZ.  Eyes.  Car is a beautiful dark blue (I am reconciling myself to not getting the even prettier turquoise... omg it is pretty though), and I'm starting to wonder if his name should be Isa.  Not Isa Brown, Isa Blue....  Any ideas?


Friday, July 06, 2012

This really should be

G'day all!

This post really should be under my travel blog but it's easier to put it here.

On Independence Day, we at last went for a drive in my new baby.  A random drive to the Cascades where, guess what? We found a cascade!

This might be lower Wallace Falls but I'm not really sure.

It took a bit of huffing and puffing - when they said the track was steep, they were not kidding. Because it is only a state park, people could bring their dogs. The big dogs were fine but some of the little ones were struggling (much like some of the kids and some of the adults). One Boston terrier was whining pathetically but its human was not in much better state. I am pleased to say that whilst I may have huffed and puffed, I did keep on going and on the way back down managed to run part of the way (mostly because it was run or fall over...).

Easy track.  Very pretty.  Dunno what is with the poor quality pics.

The track along the old railway grade was much easier but of course did not go to the falls.

Tayberries.  Sideways, because that is how the phone loaded the pic....
Finally, the berries above are my new favourites. Tayberries, a cross between blackberries and raspberries I think.  Imagine a raspberry that always delivers on flavour.  I wish I could share them with you (but then I wouldn't get to eat as many!).  Mmmmmm!

You want to see fireworks? The display was quite good here, maybe not as exciting as that in San Diego but lots of pretties. I didn't take a single shot on the phone but we may have taken quite a few on the big camera and some video on the small you will have to wait!


Sunday, July 01, 2012

Eeek! July already!

G'day all!

I am surprised to find that it is July.  It does not feel like July - well it sorta does cos it was cold and grey and drizzling this morning, which is typical July weather.  For a place 8,000 miles away in the southern hemisphere that is....

I have been assured over and over that the weather will improve after the Fourth of July.  Over and over.

And lookie here:
Umm that would be later in the week...
This would be the next few days. Stupid blogger.
 The weather forecast, cribbed from Weather Underground with my phone.

I do rather think they might be fibbing but if they are not, good lord, I won't know what to do with myself.  I suspect I shall have to dig out my small hand fan I bought in Sydney, and I might even get to use the sunscreen I bought!  People say I don't need to use it but I beg to differ - apparently I can even fry myself this far north.  Even on days that only reach 25C.  I did it in May and early last month on a couple of sunny days.

I managed to clip off the last woven in ends and wash a top I finished in Sydney - I did not really see the point of having it ready to wear when there was no way I could wear it and not freeze.  But it is now done and is ready for me to gallivant around in.

You have no idea how hard it was to not get flabby wrinkles in this shot.

Nor how many times I had to remind myself to lift my chin up...
I would love to share the name of the pattern with you but umm, it is lost in the mists of time and I'm not sure I even said I was making it on Ravelry (just checked, nope, I haven't), which is really somewhat of a fail.  I do know it didn't take long to knit - it is seamless which I very much approve of.  I can do a very nice job of sewing seams on my knits but I prefer not do.  However, if I get off my butt and do some seaming, I will have a nice little feather and fan cardigan to wear (assuming I do the seaming and also can find the rest of the yarn to knit the neckband).  I have been horribly bad at putting projects on Ravelry in the last nine months or so.  I'm not sure why.  It is an excellent way of keeping track of all the things I've knitted, and would be an excellent way of keeping track of all my yarn, if I bothered putting it in....

No further comment needed....

I need to sew down the binding on my most recent quilt and wash it, then it will be finished.  Hooray!  And I guess some people would like to see it.

Last week, DH got a most exciting delivery: 

The delivery is the thing just above the word thing...

We spent a bit of time since then building some very serviceable, if not exactly pretty, furniture around it.  One of the guys at the local lumber yard (like 50m away local) runs away when he sees me now.  The bench has been upholstered, being lightly cushioned with a sleeping mat, felt and a stunning shade of silver vinyl (which stinks quite a lot).  This is DH's organ practice set up.  All he's ever wanted is a big organ....  ;-)

I also got a microwave.  I don't really have the benchspace for it but OMG, how I do love thee o! microwave!  I need to write thee an ode.  No more having to defrost stuff in the sink (LOL!  I did so tonight though!  That needs a ROFL!  Old habits die hard!).  No more having to heat my lunch on the stove and have Yet Another Pot to Wash... Fantastic!  I haven't had a microwave since I left Melbourne and I do find the things handy.

Since the big G has failed to upload my stunning low light pictures of salmon in the fish ladder, I shall leave you hanging, waiting for these remarkable shots and say