Thursday, January 31, 2013

Small Signs Of Returning Creativity...

It has been tough going here the past few weeks. I just can not seem to find my usual 'go'. I am not alarmed (too much): it is January after all, and always a tough time of year to get anything going. I'm giving 'it' time and I am certain that slowly but surely things will start happening again.

Look at my crochet heart for example:


I made the first attempt several days ago and was obviously not impressed. I just left it there on the table for me to ponder about every time while passing. This morning (after another run) I finally decided to give it a go again. Not perfect but at least recognizable as a heart right?

And in between 'all that' (not a lot obviously) I made a little collage out of mainly Flow (= Dutch magazine) pages, stuck it on an old canvas and it is now hanging in my bedroom. It makes me smile every time I pass it.  I might even make another one with some yarn woven in. I will have to ponder some more on that one...

In the mean time I have turned on my special lamp again, maybe that will give me a bit of a boost...

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Knitted Bird...



Busy times at the bird feeder once again. Today there is a whole flock of 'European Starlings' (Sturnus Vulgaris) visiting. When I was editing these photos I noticed they had knitted stitches on them!  {smile}
Here a couple more...

'What do you want?'


Also a beautiful (and one of my favorites) 'Evening Grossbeak' (Coccothraustes Vespertinus) came by...


And quite a few 'Northern Flickers' (Colaptes Auratus) were to be seen...




I finally had a good 3.1 mile/ 5k run today, albeit in the rain, but it all felt much better. The month of January has not been good in my running scenario but I'm still hopeful it will improve...

And here a bit of color during these dreary days...


PS I just came across this Flemish blog where they write a funny post about taking pictures of birds. I must say that I don't have a fancy set-up with cardboard boxes etc. like they have, but basically it is the same thing: just taking pictures through the kitchen window!
I don't know how the piece translates but I (as a Dutch person) always love to read the Flemish which is just a tad different from the Dutch... {smile}

Friday, January 25, 2013

Light & Warmth & Hope...

We had sunshine today and not only that, it actually brought some warmth with it! 

I unzipped several of my fleece layers while at Little Bit this afternoon and even opened my car window just a teeny tinsy bit. And when I came home I actually felt like doing some gardening! (and I did, my dirty finger nails are the proof...)

I'll let this picture do the rest of the talking...


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Sad Smile...

Yesterday didn't start off very well. First I heard that the father-in-law of one of my good friends in Holland had passed away from cancer. He was only 68. I then read about a fellow blogger who just started battling that same disease and then I visited a good friend whose nasty cancer had spread again: bleeeegh!

But, as I was driving home from that last visit and was pondering all these sad events, I came across this little fellow and he was not by his lonesome, there was a whole herd out in the field! (no pictures of that I'm afraid) He made me smile and I told him he was a cutie...


And I started looking around me with different eyes and beheld the beauty of it all...








Big sigh and onward we go, for we must!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Impasse...

Lately I have found myself a bit at an impasse, a pause you might say. Sewing the big laminated shoulder bag sort of felt as the highlight of my sewing and now that is finished, I sort of feel finished with sewing for a bit. Not strange, considering I've been sewing like crazy for the past two years. But now what?


I've given this crochet lark a go this week and I must say that after this mornings'  session I feel slightly more confident. Yesterday I didn't get it at all and quickly put it away again, but then this morning I sort of  'saw the light' and the pattern actually made sense to me!  {smile}  (and 'thank you Fee!' for your encouragement!)

Maybe I will attempt making this Granny Stripe Blanket found at The Purl Bee...


It does look like a rather large project, I was thinking more in the lines of a lap-blanket for starters. I just really like the simplicity of it all. Maybe I'll just look around a bit more and try out some other crochet patterns first. There is no hurry...

The weather pattern has finally changed and today it is not as cold anymore. The running was just plain rough in temperatures below freezing. Yesterday I only managed 2 miles (normally I run at least 3 miles) but tomorrow will hopefully go better. Today I did a 45 minute dvd workout with some good lunches and squats etc. I must say I am finally making some more progress on that front.  Not those floor/ belly exercises however. What a pain!  (literally and figuratively speaking) 

Yesterday morning, when I stepped out of the front door for that said run, I looked up and saw this fascinating looking sky:


"Beeeeh!" ( 'sheep clouds' we call them in Holland)    <wink>

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Granny!

After several rounds of trial and error, I've made it this far!


Time for a little break (and some breathing, because I think you tend to forget about that in the middle of your utmost concentration!)  <wink>  and then I'll try to add another round...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Header, Ramblings & Pretty Birdies...

This morning the plan of creating a new header came to me: chalkboard art! 
I've seen it all over the blogosphere for months now and thought I'd have a go as well. What do you think???

It looks so simple but it has taken me hours to compile it, all in Photoshop of course...

Yesterday, after I finished sewing my pajamas, I cleaned up my whole sewing area (I'm rather messy when I'm in the middle of things) and sorted out all the piping, binding, ribbons etc. Now the table is completely empty and ready for new crafty endeavors!

My crochet/ yarn bag  has been found again and it is with high hopes that I am planning to finally make a Granny Square! I haven't made it that far yet... Maybe now that I've put it down in writing it will actually happen?  <wink>

My cold seems to have subsided (thank goodness) after my two afternoons spent horizontally on the couch. Because of 'Martin Luther King- Day' on Monday we have a long weekend now, so I'll just take it easy a few days longer and I should be all chipper again come Tuesday!

Talking about being chipper: I found some more birdies on the feeder this afternoon...

(Photo editing in Photoscape. (first black & white, then cross process level 1)







Friday, January 18, 2013

Comfy & Cozy!


With a bit of a runny nose and some achy bones I managed to finish the pajamas this morning. (and am wearing them as I write this) 

I bought the fabric, all 4 yards of it, before I bought the pattern: big mistake because as you can see I didn't have enough fabric! Fortunately I had a piece of a flannel sheet stashed away so I added that to the bottom leg panels. It looks a bit like I'm wearing bell-bottoms now but I assure you they are not. (I grew up in the bell-bottom era and would never willingly wear them again!)  <wink>

I cut out the Small size but they are still pretty roomy, especially the top, but I guess that will make it more comfortable for sleeping. Over all I'm mighty pleased once again!  {smile}

Have a great weekend everyone and be careful with all that snow you folks in Europe!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

PJ's Top....

So soft!!!
Note the cute pink rose buttons and the ric-rac and flowers detail on the pockets...

Just finished this top 15 minutes ago and it is already blogged! I think I'm going to put it on right now, because I feel some cold-germs trying to take hold of me. (my bones are hurting, never a good sign...)
The pants will have to wait until my next sewing day...

Here is a close-up picture of the fabric I used. The picture of the pj's top was taken in the bright sunshine and doesn't do it quite justice...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Birds!


Wowie you guys! Today (it is still Wednesday over here) the sun shone even brighter and the skies were even bluer than the day before. A good thing I had packed my camera on my way to school to pick up Master C. 

The pictures were taken from the usual spots, but at one point an enormous flock of Canadian Geese came flying over: there were hundreds of them! And loud!!!

Anyway, enjoy another bright day here in the Pacific Northwest:








On a side note I have to tell you how thankful I am for all your absolutely wonderful comments on my photography: you make me blush!  <wink>  

I don't have much to do with the whole process: a beautiful picture presents itself to me (thanks to Mother Nature), I snap it, fiddle with it in some simple photo editing program et voila! But it is definitely fun to share it all with you so Thank You once again!  {smile}

Cold & Clear...







It has been pretty cold here the last few days. Nothing big, just around 32F/ 0 C, but cold enough to make it feel wintry. All the rain has finally stopped and we are now in a weather pattern of cold, dry days and it looks like it will stay this way for at least another week: love it! Once the fog clears up every morning, we are treated to bright blue skies and sunshine. Can we do a little dance here? We so need some extra vitamin D.

The pictures above were taken yesterday afternoon and the pictures below were taken Sunday morning, all around our town in The Valley. The temperature that morning was around 20F/ -7C...








In the mean time I'm sewing up some warm flannel pjs with piping. It is a fun and relatively easy project after my big bag. Oh, and talking about sewing, I've added a 'made by moi' page at the top of the blog, so that you can keep up with what I've been making. Just for fun...

Before I do some more sewing this morning though, I have to go out for another run. There is frost on the grass and it is rather chilly once again, but the sun is out and that will keep me going. The views should be spectacular!

The Hike...

So last week we hiked to the top of 2nd Burroughs Mountain, just North of Mount Rainier. What a day it was!  I am not a hiker an...