Category: Crafts

There Comes a Point in Life

Hey Everyone!

Today I really wanted to make brownies today. I made gluten free vegan cherry brownies.

I have also been rewatching Grimm and working on my knitting. Between Grimm and a short stretch of cooler weather is making me Autumn to be here so bad.

Grimm has been one of my favorite shows since it started back in 2011. I own all 6 seasons on DVD, so I am rewatching it from the beginning. It reminds me of Fall and Winter because most of of it aired during fall and winter. There are also scenes that were filmed during fall, which is my favorite season.

A few of scenes from the first episode of the first season were filmed not far from where I grew up.

When the weather cools off a bit I want to get out hiking again. While it is hot, I am trying to get socks finished and ready for cold weather and hiking. This past week I picked out the yarn I intend to use to knit up the next twelve pairs of socks, once I finish up the two pairs I have going.

The past few days I have been out exploring the city a bit, and kind of getting a feel for other parts of the city. There are areas, that I could see myself settling down in, granted I could find a good job. That is the crazy thing. For so long I have been trying to leave, because where I am at right now isn’t working for me. Now, there is a part me me, that if I could find a job here, and move to one of these areas I have fallen in love with, that is more me and the kind of life I want to live, I would stay.

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Here comes the Sun

Hey Everyone!

Sitting here, at just after 8:30 pm, it is 78 degrees with 45% humidity. While that isn’t bad compared to the Midwest or East Coast.

I have been to both New York (City and Long Island) as well as Missouri both in the summer months. Even in my late teens and early 20’s, before being so heat sensitive, the heat + humidity combo was rough.

That being said, I have spent a fair amount of time working on my knitting projects. I had finished my pair of Finnley Heather Palette socks.

And I am trying to finish up my Hollyberry Stroll socks.

This past week I also finished up watching the fourth season of The Blacklist. Yes I know I am a season behind, as I am watching them as they come out on DVD. I also finished up the first season of Homefires, which is a British TV show set in the early part of World War Two. It’s fictional storyline centers around one (fictional) town in England and what was going on in England between 1938 and 1940 (Pre Pearl Harbor and the Americans entering the war).

Of late, my favorite shows that are still airing are predominantly British period Dramas. The three shows that are currently airing that I am watching and following are: The Blacklist (with season 6 confirmed), Call the Midwife (Season 8 is filming, and seasons 9 & 10 were ordered along with season 8), and Poldark (season 4 is airing and season 5 is rumored). Anymore, it seems like the Brit’s are consistently coming out with the better TV shows. It seems like once every few years a new American made show comes out and lasts more than a season. In the past 8 years only Grimm and The Blacklist have lasted more than a couple of seasons. There have been a few three season or less shows that were good. These were: Forever, The Mysteries of Laura, Body of Proof and Smash. NCIS and Blue Bloods I watch occasionally, but they aren’t must watch shows for me.

It Rained on the Parade

Hey Everyone!

This weekend was pretty wet, with fairly consistent showers through out. Some were much heavier than others.

It even rained on the Grand Floral Parade. Saturday and Sunday were in the low to mid 50’s for highs.

This allergy season has also been particularly bad. I had been trying to make due without taking allergy medicine, but I have finally started taking some allergy medicine to try and help relieve some of my symptoms.

I had gone out earlier to pick up allergy meds, I got the store brand of Claritin, the active ingredient of which, is: loratadine.

While I was out, I went for a bit of a drive, and went out to Estacada, and then from there I went up into the foothills of the cascades. I love it out there. I am for sure an outdoorsy girl, who loves the mountains and the ocean. I had to pick one to live in / by I would have to choose the mountains, but stay close enough to the ocean to go visit.

Even with having lived in this part of the country, while on one level I do take the mountains for granted, I still love seeing them. Every time I see Mt. Hood, I am still like “wow, it’s beautiful”, even in the dead of summer when it is more grey than white and needs snow.

I can only speak for where I am, but the mountains, and how they look vary so much between the seasons that they are dynamic rather than stagnant.

It’s kind of crazy that from this past weekend to the middle of next week there is supposed to be about a 40 degree spread in our highs. One of the days this weekend really didn’t get above 53, and next week is supposed to be in the low to mid 90’s.

It look like next week will be a great time to wash socks and the shawl I have done. Now I just need to get the two pairs of socks I am knitting up out of KnitPicks yarn done. I am working on the second socks of both pairs. One is closer to being done, but if I keep working on them, I should have them done before we see 90 degree temperatures.

Anyone who know me, knows I don’t do heat, and that when it starts getting over 75, I am staying inside with the AC, only going out to check any of my socks that I washed.

Tea Time in the City!

Hey Everyone!

I had just been at the Smith Teamaker a few days ago, like last Thursday. But I couldn’t stay away that long considering one of my mom’s first cousins is in town and wanted to go.

She and I had gone for tea, and had a nice afternoon chatting while we had tea. We share English ancestry, as well as the fact that I am also part Scottish has a lot to do why why I can drink tea any time anywhere.

Now that I have had about a week of crazy busy, on the go, taking the city by storm, days I am ready to settle back into life and knitting. I definitely want to get the socks I have been working on for what feels like ages done. I am ready to have a ton of socks ready to wash whenever it is so hot outside that they will dry in a couple of hours and I can get more than one round washed and dried in a day. A round for me is four pairs since I have four sets of sock blockers. Now I have more than enough tea on had to plenty of tea choices to make and sip on while I knit.

Before picking up my cousin to go get tea, I had run a couple errands to pick up a few last things and something I had kept pushing off because I didn’t want to bother picking it up. I had gone to Fred Meyer first, but didn’t find what I was looking for, so I ended up at BiMart at well, and found what I was looking for. I was looking for a plastic wash tub, you know like the ones you would use for dishes. I hadn’t found anything like it at Fred Meyer, but I found what I was looking for at BiMart. I have been needing to get one for when I get around to washing shawls. I really don’t want to wash them straight in the sink, I want that tub as a middle layer between my nice shawls and the sink. While I was at Fred Meyer I had grabbed a 10qt bucket (it was $2), just in case I couldn’t find the tub, so now I have both, and am saving the bucket for when I get a place of my own. A bucket is a useful thing.

The city does have its advantages and variety, as well as a better selection. That abundance can and often is overwhelming. This is part of why I would prefer to be living outside of urban sprawl of the city, yet close enough to come in and pick up those items I want / need that I can’t get in the near by town, yet the nearby town has the basics.

My Predictions for this Summer

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If this May is any indication of what this coming summer is going to be like, it is going to be a long, hot, dry summer. We have already had many 80 degree days and a couple 90 degree days and summer hasn’t even started yet. At this rate, I will have plenty of days where it will be hot enough to easily dry my handknit socks in a short amount of time. Now, I just need to work on getting more socks knit up. I have the yarn, I just need to turn the balls of yarn into wearable socks.

I have wondered if the fact that I was a winter baby has something to with the fact that I don’t tolerate the summer heat that well. It’s not that I don’t like summer, because I like the whole, it’s warm enough to sit outside on a summer evening and have a campfire thing and all the summer produce. I just can’t stand the heat. I would just as soon live at the coast or in SE Alaska. Autumn is my favorite season, as I love the changing colors and the fact that the temperatures are cooling off. I love the sights and smells. Autumn is when there are pumpkin patches, and apple harvest season and the leaves are changing colors, and it’s time to start pulling out the jackets and cooler weather clothes.

While I am hoping to get as many pairs of socks done as I can this summer, I am also hoping to be able to read through the Outlander series. I have read the first two books, but I had gotten away from reading for a bit so I am going back and rereading these two books before I move on to the third.  There are eight books that are published, and a ninth that is expected to be published. I have the eight that are published, and I have plenty to read in the meantime until the ninth comes out. I also have the Game of Thrones books to read, well at least the books that are published anyway. I also have several other books that I have sitting waiting to be read. I haven’t watched any of the Game of Thrones seasons on TV, I have seen the first season of Outlander. I prefer reading the books before watching the TV Shows / Movies that they are based on. There are five Game of Thrones books out, with two more (at least) expected. I have the five that are published.

While I enjoy watching TV Shows, Youtube videos and documentaries while I work on my various knitting projects, I love reading books. I really didn’t like reading while I was in Elementary School. Once I got to Middle School (grades 6 – 9), it was like a switch flipped and I couldn’t stop reading. In High School, I was bored with most of my English classes, as I found that most of the books that we were forced to read to be boring. It wasn’t that I didn’t like reading, I just didn’t like the required reading material. During my time attending University, I had started out as an Early Childhood / Elementary Education major (yeah, that lasted all of five terms), then I switched my major to Social Science with a minor in Literature. I loved minoring in Literature. There were terms that were tough to get through all the books, in addition to my other course loads, and there was at least one term, by about midterms that I was so far behind in the readings, by the end of the term I was about where we were at midterms, and there was one book I didn’t even start. I still have most of my books from my upper-division literature classes packed away in my book box. I look forward to the day when I can have a wall of bookshelves and have all my books out and be able to read any of the books I own without most of them being packed away in boxes.

There is nothing like curling up on a cold, rainy day with a nice hot cup of tea and a good book and getting lost in the story. There have been nights where I have stayed up past 4 am in the morning, reading a book cover to cover. There was one term while I was in College, that once the term had ended, I had started a book the evening after my last final and I finished reading the book as the sun was coming up the next morning before going to bed after the sun was coming up.

I am not quite the book – nerd that a couple of my cousins are, but that doesn’t mean I love reading any less.

 

Tea Makes Everything Better!

Hey Everyone!

Today has been a somewhat chilly, but not cold, and overcast spring day.

I have been wanting some more Steven Smith Teamaker Bungalow Tea for a while. I have also been wanting to try the Portland Breakfast Tea as well. That being said, it was the perfect day to drive over to Northwest Portland, to the Pearl District and go to the Steven Smith Teamaker Teahouse. I picked up a box of Bungalow Tea, and got a to go cup of the Portland Breakfast Tea to try. I hadn’t ever had the Portland Breakfast Tea before, so before spending money on a box of tea (and these boxes aren’t cheap), only to have a cup and and not like it, especially at places like Smith Teamaker, I prefer to order a cup of tea to go of whatever I want to try. Then if I don’t like it, I’m only out that one cup and don’t have 14 more teabags sitting around potentially going unused. Beings that I liked the Portland Breakfast Tea, I will likely pick up a box the next time I go to Smith Teamaker.

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Driving 8+ miles through the heart of the city, from SE Portland to the Pearl District in NW Portland, just to get tea, sounds crazy to some, and daunting to others. I am trying to enjoy it and take advantage of the fact that I still live here, while, you know, I still live here. Portland does have quite a few great independent and locally owned tea shops that do their own tea blending and packaging (and sales) right here in the Portland Metro area. Portland also has it’s own fair share of locally owned and operated coffee roasters for those who like coffee. There are also still a handful of locally owned and operated yarn stores here in the metro area, despite the largest one that was downtown as well as the one that was my favorite over on Hawthorne closing up shop in the past 15 months.

I was curious to know how many cups of tea the average Briton drinks per day, so I looked it up. The average Briton drinks 876 cups of tea per year, or roughly 2.4 cups a day. From September through May or June, I could definitely pass for a Briton based on how much tea I drink.

This afternoon, since I got home from going out, while enjoying my cup of Portland Breakfast Tea, I have also been knitting. I tend to get a lot of projects going so when I don’t feel like working on one project, I have another one to pick up and work on.

Preparing for Summer Adventures

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I hadn’t planned on going for a hike today, or even leaving the house. This afternoon I really was just like “I need to get out of the house and do something, and get some exercise and spend some time in the woods”. Fortunately, “The Woods” can be found in quite a few locations near by, without even having to leave the metropolitan area. I lathered on some mineral based sunblock (more on that topic in a bit), and went hiking.

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Once I had come back to the park loop trail from the summit trail, I had decided to take the long way, up and around the mountain to get back to the trailhead I had parked at. This detour added a mile and a half to my hike, which means I hiked a total of 3.37 miles today. That is a lot for me, as I have been away from hiking for a while. Even when I was doing more hiking a couple years ago, today’s hike would have still been a good hike. This hike had kicked my butt, as I have really only started hiking again in the past couple of months. The ascents were what really got me. I am definitely wanting and needing to get out more, and do more hikes and walks.

While I was out hiking, I definitely had the scene from the newer parent trap with Lindsay Lohan where they are hiking up to the lake where they are going camping….Yeah, the first 45 seconds of this clip was the part that kept playing in my head.

While today was a beautiful day, and got up to 68 degrees (Fahrenheit), and was hiking in a wooded area, so you aren’t in the direct sun the whole hike, I still applied sunscreen. I have been trying different brands of mineral based sunscreens to see if there was anything I liked better than the traditional sunscreens (because, chemicals….). Turns out they have have some not so awesome chemicals in them too, and don’t work as well (for me anyway) as the traditional sunblock brands (like Banana Boat, Coppertone, Water Babies (which is by coppertone), and Hawaiian Tropic). The bugs also seemed to be attracted more to something in the mineral based sunblock I used today because they were literally attacking me the whole time, and i have never had that issue with “normal” sunscreens.

With feeling like I was getting burned while on my hike, and the bugs, and just overall not being impressed with the mineral based sunblocks, I stopped at Target on the way home from my hike (since there is literally a Target on my way home from where I went hiking), and I picked up some of the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 55 Sunscreen for my face, and a bottle of Coppertone Sport SPF 70 for the other exposed areas of skin that need sunblock. As a teenager and young adult (while in college), I didn’t care so much about my skin or the potential for skin cancer. I cared a bit more in my mid-twenties, but it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that  I was like “I better really start taking care of my skin”, and that includes sunscreen. I have seen many women who have spent too much time outside and not used enough (if any) sunblock. Suffice it to say Sunblock and hats are quickly becoming my BFF’s when the sun comes out. Besides the fact that wearing a hat helps to keep the sun out of my eyes.

Other than my adventure today, and quick stop to pick up sunblock that should last me for the next couple of years, depending on how much I go outside, this week, I have spent the majority of working on my new sock pattern. I did go out Monday and Tuesday afternoons to go pick up my mom from Downtown Portland….But it has been primarily a week spent working on knitting and drinking tea.

I found season 7 of Call the Midwife on iTunes, so I bought the season pass, so now each Monday, I get to watch a new episode of my current British Periods Drama obsession. It’s still hard to believe that they have started filming Season 8 of Call the Midwife. From what I have been reading and seeing, Call the Midwife has been renewed for at least a total of 10 seasons, which means at least two more seasons after the one they are currently filming (and three seasons more to watch after I finish season 7). I am pretty excited about that. I am still waiting to see if The Blacklist is renewed for a 6th Season, and if there will a 5th season of Poldark (Season 4 is filming). Good TV shows are hard to come by these  days. Now that Grimm and Downton Abbey have ended, I have been looking for new TV Shows to watch while I knit. At least I found a few show that are still coming out with new seasons to watch.

Knitting is a Way of Life.

Hey Everyone!

I got some new yarn in from KnitPicks on Thursday as well as yesterday (Saturday). I got in some Dishie yarn in several colors in order to knit up some dishcloths, as well as some more shawl yarn. Most of the shawl yarn I got in was to have enough on hand of specific colors I already had, in order to have enough to complete the shawls when I get around to those colors. I also got in some Wool of the Andes Bulky yarn in Hazelnut because I love the hazelnut color, and I love bulky shawls.

The past few weeks have been amazing knitting weather, which has been great. It looks like over the course of the next 10 days we will be seeing a bit more spring like weather. This means I will have to get out and go for a hike at least once and continue getting my hiking boots broken in.

I am also working on a pair of socks, that I have adapting the leg area of the pattern from what I have been doing. I just finished up a post about this change of sock pattern over on my knitting blog if you are interested in that kind of thing and want more specifics.

Working on my knitting projects and working through a lot of the yarn I have sitting out is definitely on my priority list.

It’s Been Raining Cats and Dogs

Hey Guys!

The past 48 hours has been so typical spring here in the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday was a beautiful day and it almost hit 70 degrees and would have been the perfect day to go for a hike. Overnight the storm rolled in. It has been windy all day, and the rain started in periodic downpours that has turned into consistently heavy(ish) rain. The citywide average is sitting at over an inch of rain, while closer to where I live it has exceeded an inch and a half in the past twenty – four hours. I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow we are hearing about on the news that raw sewage was dumped into the Willamette River and how people need to avoid the river….

With the exception of Monday, which is looking to be halfway decent, the next week is looking to be cool and damp. I am going to try to get out on Monday and go for a hike, I just want to get out of the house and go do something.

The rest of the week looks great for working on my knitting projects and drinking tea. I have plenty of projects to be working on, especially while it is still cool and wet. The more I can get done now, while I don’t have the warm weather to dry finished Wool projects outside, I can better use the consistently warm dry weather when it gets here.

Not to mention I have a bit more yarn coming in this next week, to fill out what I already have – so I don’t have to skimp on projects and so I have plenty of options of what to wear when I get them all done.

Ready for the weekend!

Hey Everyone!

The past couple of weeks have been busy, and I have been loving it. Spring is here, which means we are getting a few nice days interspersed with the rainy days, but I love it all.

I have been on two hikes in under two weeks, as well as running errands to get ready for the ladies retreat I am going on this coming weekend.

Today I had run to Trader Joe’s and Bob’s Red Mill to pick up a few of the dry good, and foods that don’t need to be refrigerated, so I won’t have to do it tomorrow.

After I got my errands taken care of, I went for a bit of a drive since it was so pretty outside and I didn’t want to be stuck in the house all day.

After I got home I did a test run of the breakfast I am going to be making while on my beach trip, to see how well it will work out, and if it has a good flavor and all that jazz.

While that was baking I was working on doing up the little gifts I came up with for the other ladies who are going on this retreat. I decided to do up little bags with two different types of tea and a sugar free sweetener for each.

Today has been one of those busy but amazing days that could not have gone any better.