TGIF | 6.7.19

TGIF | 6.7.19

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. – Al Bernstein

June days are simply magical. The light gently wakes me, inviting me to greet the new day. The birds fill the air with their melodies and the low buzzing of the bees join to make the loveliest of harmonies. The lavender is full of velvety purple wands that dance in the breeze. The morning in the garden is my favorite time of the day. And, this morning I was greeted by the first Stella d’Oro daylily – a bittersweet sight because it means the deer will soon be here to snack on the blooms. But that first bloom was a glorious to see!

Triumphing!

Yesterday afternoon I finished the last sleeve of my Marsa Alam and this morning it is enjoying a Spa Treatment and will soon be laying out to dry. Pearl buttons will be sewn on this weekend (thank you all for your input!) Pre-blocking this is perhaps the best fitting sweater I have ever knit! The sleeve/shoulder fit is incredible – and can I just gush about Holst Coast yarn a minute? It might be my favorite yarn ever! The stitches are beautifully even, the ribbing looks nice, the hand of the sweater is incredibly inviting, and it is next-to-skin-soft. And, lets talk about value – I purchased a 500 g/3800 yd cone for about $24. Shipping from Denmark is not bad, and it only added about $10 to the cost of the yarn – and you get the most wonderful updates from Holst and PostNord. (Also, PostNord got the yarn to the USA in less than 24 hours, but it took the USPS more than a week to deliver it to my door…) My Marsa Alam used 324g of yarn – so yes, I have more than enough left-over yarn to use to make a Screen Door, which I cast on last night and flew through 8 repeats of the easy to memorize pattern! Knitting wins are such a good feeling!

Getting Ready!

I have a stack of fabrics that have been patiently waiting for me to begin cutting and assembling them into this quilt. Why that quilt? Genevieve is turning 4 next month and my plan is to make that for her birthday! With my new sewing set up, I think that I can manage to do the machine quilting myself. And while I love the overall stippling effect on the linked quilt, I think that will be a bit beyond my very-beginner abilities. However, I think that concentric circles might be lovely… sort of like the stitching I did for this piece:

Inspired by…

Something I saw on Pinterest last night, which made me go to see the original post on IG. Oh.my.gosh. I have the tamrack pattern – I picked it up in Grainline’s pattern sale earlier this year but had not been inspired to make one, thinking it would be a good fall project. And then I saw the magic that cjoy2 did with her tamrack (also her artwork…) WOW!! It is not bulky, I love the length, and it is incredibly creative – yet simple! She hand-stitched around the butterflies in the most wonderful way! And, her binding around the edges… it is brilliant!

Flattened!

I absolutely LOVE the MBR’s Rose Pants. They are wonderfully easy to make and to wear. I want to make a pair from a light denim – but denim and pleats or gathers seemed, well – bulky in an area I don’t need any extra bulk! So I had been wondering how hard it would be to remove the pleats/gathers from the front… well, wonder no more thanks to this post, which led me to this post. I have enough fabric to make a muslin trial run pair of shorts with a flattened front! Wish me luck!

And, that is all I have to share with you all for this first Friday in June! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I will see you back here on Monday!

Three on Thursday | 6.6.19

Three on Thursday | 6.6.19

I am joining with Carole and friends with some sobering things this week. Hopefully, thought-provoking – but sobering none the less.

Thing One

I just want to be healthy and not feel ugly. – Rosemary Hill, IG post

I have been thinking about some posts on IG, especially this one. And, in perfect timing – the latest West Michigan Woman arrived on my doorstep last weekend and Kim Bode’s words jumped off the page at me. And specifically, her answer to the “When do you feel the most beautiful?” question! My head nodded frequently as I read both Romi’s post and Kim Bode’s interview. Why is this such a struggle for most of us me. The answer might be easy, but the reality is so much harder! I wrote these words from the bottom of the WMW article in my journal: Be yourself. Don’t let anyone dictate what beautiful means to you as a daily reminder to ignore the voices – particularly that hyper-critical inner voice.

Thing Two –

So much of the progress that would define the 20th century, on both sides of the Atlantic, came down to the battle for a slice of beach only 6 miles long and 2 miles wide. – Barack Obama, 65th Anniversary of D-Day

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. I do not have any grandparents who fought in WWII – both of my grandfathers wanted to enlist to fight neither could because of their health. However, I did have a great uncle who fought on Omaha Beach in Normandy – he was seriously wounded but survived and lived well into his 80’s. There are so many images from D-Day, but Marina Amaral’s colorized images are amazing! And this article from USA Today has some amazing facts about D-Day. I was struck by the number of WWII vets still living and I am profoundly thankful to every single one of the 16 million Americans who served.

Thing Three

The real danger is if we hear enough lies, we no longer recognize the truth at all. – Chernobyl mini series

I finished the final episode of the Chernobyl mini-series to watch. I enjoyed it tremendously, especially when paired with The Chernobyl Podcast that the Two Peter’s (Peter Sagal and Peter Mazin) host. Watching it made me wonder what Chernobyl and Pripyat look like today and I found this drone video footage. And, if you think that Chernobyl is simply about the disaster that happened – you’d be wrong. It is really about what happens when the government lies, and the people believe those lies despite what they can see with their own eyes. It is both shocking and scary how eager the citizens are to believe the lies – but then we have some first hand experience with people not believing what they see in this country too! But long live the scientists – they are truly the heroes/heroines of this story!

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.5.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.5.19

I had lost my knitting mojo for some weeks in May and really did not want to knit anything but an inspiring blog post and thoughts of a new project have reinvigorated my desire to pull out my knitting and finish things!

I have unraveled and redone the neckband and raced through a sleeve on Marsa Alam and sleeve two is well underway! I am *almost* done and have begun to think about buttons. I have pulled together some buttons from my Nana’s button box – what do you think?

Silver or Pearl buttons? I don’t know why the pearl buttons don’t looks like they are all the same color, they are – and the silver buttons could do with a little polishing! I think either will work, but I need your help – please let me know which you think I should use in the comments! (and thank you!)

Meanwhile…I have been trying to get gauge on a cardigan but have not yet had success – perhaps that is the knitting gods telling me don’t knit this sweater, but I thought it would be a great addition to my sweater wardrobe if I can make gauge work (and I won’t be knitting it in 4-days)! I have one final yarn that might work so stay tuned…

Now on to books! Oh boy, all.the.books! I am really not much fun to be around lately because I either have a book in my hand or a book in my ears! Ha! But!!! I am off to a very good start on my Bingo Card!

I am doing my card a bit differently this year – as you can see I have almost filled in all the books I intend to read (with a couple of exceptions as I have several holds for the Modern Mrs. Darcy square – whatever comes through first will be filled in there. And that Classic you should’ve read square – I will make my decision as the summer progresses. I have several classics filled in and perhaps reading one of them will stir me to read something else by the same author.)

You can see my square requirements and I feel that I have done well in pairing up a book to a category without too much ‘making a book fit’ that does not. You might say there is some of that going on, but I think I managed to make most of the squares work. I am not reading “outside of my comfort zone” much this summer, but I think these books will make for the perfect summer!

Out of the books I finished this week, there is one that just was amazing – Anna Burns Milkman. Oh.my.gosh. LOVED! If I can make any suggestion to you, Gentle Reader, it would be to ignore all the “so-so” reviews and find an audio copy of the book. It is some of the most genius writing and has moved to the top spot for the best book I have read all year! I cannot stop thinking about it – it is just that good!

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Looking Back | May 2019

Looking Back | May 2019

I debated about doing this post, since I kicked May to the curb last week, but then I looked at all the images and the video from last month and realized that there were so many good moments to remember and rejoice over!

So, let’s do a bit of rejoicing shall we?

For a month that felt so darned rainy, there were lots of blue-sky photos! May brings such dramatic light changes – it is the month that I really begin to notice the dramatic changes day by day! And so many blooms and bees and birds! It just goes to show that if you take a photo every day – you will be amazed when you look back. There were some “firsts” – first iris, first asparagus, and those magical first poppies of the season! There was not much knitting, but I did manage to finish 2 projects! And, there were oodles of hours working outside in the garden beds and filling what felt like a gazillion containers!


The video was even better this month, I think a few seconds of video every day is just such a fun way to gather bits of the month. There was so much Genevieve (which is my favorite!) I even managed to get the video of a “Northern Michigan Traffic Jam” thanks to the road work crew who were working a couple of days during our stay! There were sunsets, Lake Michigan, birdsong, and all the bees!! Oh!! And there was whipping cream for the first strawberry shortcake of the season! If you look at the photo images, you might think we had a glorious sunny month, but we did have lots of rain!

And, there you have it, my Not-So-Bad-After-All-May!

Macro Monday | 6.3.19

Macro Monday | 6.3.19

Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly. – Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

I would like to say I am excited to join with Carole and Vicki in Macro Monday’s – but excited is not quite the correct word, and though I am very excited to be participating with them the better word for my photography is hopeful…as in I am hopeful that my macro photography will improve as the weeks pass.

Macro photography is hard, and I am on the bottom of the learning curve – the very bottom!

Friday’s tries were not fantastic – I think it was just too sunny (Really?? With all the rain this week, I never imagined I’d be saying those words!)  I did, however, start to get a feel for the settings necessary for macro photography. (There is so much I just don’t understand about all the numbers of photography, but I did find this really great video which gives a good breakdown of Macro Photography – in mostly ‘layman’s’ terms!)

If only the bees had been still!

Saturday morning’s tries were a bit better – and I am reminded that early morning light is really a photographer’s best friend! It was misty, and cool, and damp, and virtually breezeless – and my practice improved ever so slightly – as did my understanding of my camera settings.

This was my favorite of the photos – and while there is lots not right with it – I did manage to capture the beads of water tremulously hanging from the Coleus leaf!

Sunday was just too windy to do any practicing, but I am hopeful that this week will give me lots of opportunities! And, so I am sharing the “best of” my photos from the weekend. I can see incremental – albeit small – improvement. I hope your weekend was the same will each day improving upon the last!

Have a good Monday!

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