"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Friday, October 21, 2016

Five on Friday: Progress!

Hi!  I hope this finds you enjoying the season of life you are in!  It has been mostly a good busy week here in Boring, Oregon, USA, except that several of us in our household have been fighting off viruses.

One thing I enjoyed this past week was sewing together fifteen patches on a Featherweight Singer sewing machine...the first time in many years I have tried to use any sewing machine.  The squares are practice squares I cut several years ago with a rotary cutter, and I need more practice cutting, and stitching on the machine.  I pieced together a backing and have stuffed some polyester fiber in to form a pillow shape but not sewn up the end yet. I had it stuffed firmly at first and decided I did not like that so I took out some stuffing, but am afraid it will shift around too much. Since this is a practice piece I will probably stitch it up and call it good enough.
 Secondly, I am halfway through knitting another preemie blanket using 100% acrylic yarn in the Beachy colorway. Where my knitting needle is pointing I did four rows of purl stitches thinking I would get a flat section after knitting all the other rows...but I did not...a mystery I can not get my brain around.
 Thirdly, I had fun filling in some more pages of my Leaves of Promise album I started years ago.
 Fourthly, I knit two small [35 stitches in the center row] Grandma's washcloths using size 3 needles and size 3 100% cotton Lizbeth thread while watching a video about Tiny Houses, and then watching some of the first episodes of Fixer Upper on HGTV. I just read "The Magnolia Story" by the stars of the show and was interested in how their lives progressed to bring them to produce their program.
Fifthly, my oldest son texted me a recent photo of my two wonderful growing grandsons who I visited two years ago back in NY at this time of year. How can time fly by so fast? Kenny is now in middle school and Aron will be in two more years!
As I join, thanks to Amy in her Five on Friday Link again on her blog, Love Made My Home I am wondering...
Have you been making any progress this week?

Gracie xx

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Five on Friday: Fall Around Here

 One: After swimming on Monday, my friend, Teresa, and I went to Jonsrud Viewpoint in nearby Sandy, Oregon, to try to take some photos of Mt. Hood with our cell phones.
 Two: Using the zoom on my cell phone I snapped this so that you could get a better look at the new snow on Mt. Hood.  Mt. Hood had been hiding under valley rain clouds for days and I was hoping the mountain was collecting some snow, and it was!
 Three: On the way home I stopped at a grocery store in Sandy, Oregon, and had to take some photos of the gorgeous trees in a nearby parking lot so that you can enjoy looking at them, too.
 Four: After swimming on Wednesday I remembered to go out to our apple tree and pick some more apples before the next series of rain storms.
Five: A new rain storm rolled in today, but we braved the storm to go to the roller skating rink in Gresham so that my oldest daughter and her four oldest girls could skate with thankfully little falling. Most of my photos were blurry due to the girl's speed, but I managed to catch Joy happily still enough for a moment :)

My days have rolled by rapidly this week, with some crocheting and knitting and fiddling with a Featherweight sewing machine.  I've gathered with several groups from church, done some reading in "The Writing on the Wall" by Elizabeth Mattox...a mystery set on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I am working my way through a new to me Beth Moore Bible study, and I am asking the Lord for mercy and love for those in harms way around the world...trying to think of practical ways I can help...

Thanks to Amy, I am posting this on her Love Made My Home, Five on Friday link, and I am looking forward to doing some blog reading to discover what is new with some of you.

Are you doing any skating through this season of your life?

Gracie xx

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Five on Friday:Winter Project Link Party

Ahoy Mates!

Posting on  Amy's Five on Friday on Love Made My Home and on Jennifer from Thistlebear's  Winter Project Link Party  I have five confessions to share with you about my progress with Anastasia Robert's Ruby Shawl pattern I am crocheting.

One: To see when I started crocheting the shawl click HERE.

Two: Because I admired two shawls Teresa has made with Anastasia's pattern, I decided to try it and have kept at it sporadically for y.e.a.r.s.

Three: Deborah Norville has some beautiful colorways in her yarn and I love the autumnal tones I chose to use for my shawl. I also love the softness and drape of the yarn, but it does split easily which prompts me to fuss a bit.

Four:  I have four skeins of yarn left to finish the shawl.

Five: [Secretly I am hoping to finish this shawl before winter 2016 starts!]

Have you checked out what others have posted on Five on Friday and the Winter Project Link Party?

Gracie :)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Five on Friday: **Star Struck**

No, I have not been visiting Hollywood, or Broadway, or any entertainment spots and thus bumped into any entertainment giants.  Nor have I been hired by anyone to type this, but I want to tell you five things about a good book I just finished reading as I join with thanks to Amy at her Love Made My Home Blog for her Five on Friday Link Up.

When my dad was in his early teens in the 1920's he bought a ticket to the moon from a comic book. As an adult he was a keen observer of the Space Race to get a man to walk on the moon and his interest fueled mine.  My mom encouraged my interest in the stars as well when she made a Martian costume [including springy antennas] for me for Halloween when I was in second grade. Little did I know that my younger cousin living far from my home in Missouri was developing an even keener interest in astronomy.  From the time he was eight years old, my cousin, David Bradstreet, in Brockton, Massachusetts, was peering through telescopes studying the stars.

According to his book "Star Struck: Seeing the Creator in the Wonders of Our Cosmos" book cover, David "is an award-winning professor, author, and astronomy "rock star" who has been teaching students about the heavens since 1976 at Eastern University, where he serves as professor and chair of the Astronomy and Physics department and as director of the David H. Bradstreet Observatory and Julia Fowler Planetarium."

"Dave earned an MS and a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked with NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the International Astronomical Union.  He authored the Binary Maker 3.0 software program that helps astronomical researchers calculate the orbits of binary stars."

In his book, communicating as a Christian in a complex scientific field of study, David, succeeds in sharing the history of astronomy in an engaging way with the assistance of writer Steve Rabey. From scientists accused of heresy to contemporary examples of science fiction lore, including Mr. Spock and E.T., David thoughtfully reflects how science has not threatened his faith in Christ, but rather enhanced his appreciation of God through God's amazing creation.

David especially finds binary stars incredibly beautiful.  He wrote, " A distant relative of mine praised pairs centuries ago in her most famous poem.  Anne Bradstreet was born in England in 1612 and sailed to America on a ship with fellow Puritans.  By the time she died at age sixty, she was being hailed as one of the New World's top poets, and her "To My Dear and Loving Husband" was one of her most popular poems."

"I sometimes think of her opening line when I'm studying a pair of close binaries: "If ever two were one, then surely we."

As I read David's latest book and how he recorded the struggles of scientists in the past to explore greater understanding of the world only to find their lives threatened by those afraid of their theories, I felt encouraged to look at the big picture of life the authors presented.  Conflict and cruelty happen, but sometimes apology and forgiveness happen afterward; and in the midst of this cycle of exploration, rejection and acceptance, the beauty of the Creator in His creation can still draw one to feel love and appreciation as one observes as the Psalmist,
          How clearly the sky reveals God's glory!
              How plainly it shows what He has done!
          Each day announces it to the following day;
              each night repeats it to the next.
          No speech or words are used;
              no sound is heard.
          Yet their message goes out to all the world
              and is heard to the ends of the earth.   Psalm 19:1-4 GNT

Are you star struck?

Gracie xx

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Five on Friday: Autumn is Falling !

What season in your life are you welcoming?  Here near the base of Mount Hood near Portland, Oregon, I am celebrating the official arrival of Autumn!  With thanks to Amy at Love Made My Home, I am joining in  her Five on Friday link and I hope you will enjoy visiting some of the others who are doing the same.  Just click on Love Made My Home on the right sidebar or click on Amy's name to connect with others' posts; and here are my five for the week.

A tree by our front pond is the first around us to don orange-red-yellow leaves and all of a sudden there are enough dried leaves on the ground my older granddaughters went outside today to try to rake up a pile of leaves to jump in.

I brought out an autumnal tablecloth and some Fall decorations I have used for several years.  I knit one pumpkin and crocheted several others and a gourd.  The big yellow Maple leaf on the right of the basket I brought in from outside today.  My youngest son, Tim, has been successfully salmon fishing.  Tonight he made salmon cakes for us and we sat at the table to enjoy eating them.

At this time of year it seems I have an extra challenge trying to discourage spiders from weaving luxurious webs inside.  I have been wielding various dusters in battle.  Today I used some orange oil on the sea chest and rearranged some yarn and dishcloths, and acorns and Oak leaves on the chest after raising a cloud of dust while dusting.

This afternoon by my favorite chair I fixed some Pumpkin Spice tea and enjoyed it while recovering from inhaling the cloud of dust I had raised.   While sitting in my favorite chair this past week I tried my hand at making an arrangement of acorns and painting a watercolor painting of them.  Then just from my imagination I tried to make a painting of a bunch of radishes. I still have not got the hang of making shadows in proper places, but I am having fun trying.

It is definitely getting darker earlier these days, and I have been enjoying my little electric fire in the fireplace again.  The other evening I even was inspired to find my Ruby shawl and crochet some more on it.  Do you think I will finish it this Fall?  I know it is risky, but I hope you will cheer me on to to complete it before another Autumn falls!