Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our Last Supper...


We celebrated our last meal together at 'Fatburger' last night. I know, that name is just awful, but look at the decor!

Click! to enlarge...
(and to see my brain freeze (bottom right hand corner) after the milkshake)

If I have to eat fast food, then I'd rather do it with a fun 50's diner interior surrounding me...  <wink>

We'll be packing up the car this morning and then off we go to Spokane, WA. 

See you down the road!

Came across this fabulous caravan in a local parking lot!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes!

Picture taken in the Target parking lot this morning...

Changes are coming: changing weather, changing seasons and our life is changing, right in front of our eyes...

High School starts tomorrow and our university trip to Spokane starts this Thursday. I've started doing some packing for Master C. and besides his clothes and last minute stuff I think we're close to done. Not that he needs that much, basically practical things like hangers, extra long bed sheets, paper clips etc. Items that he wouldn't think of...

I'm feeling the changes in my bones, I'm tired and a little despondent. That's ok, those feelings are all part of the process of letting go.

-- **  --  **  --

Tissue weight jersey...
I'm keeping busy with some more sewing (another top is already in the making) and a little bit of cross-stitch...


And oh boy, I went totally crazy at Joann's the other day where I found fabric for $2.50 the yard. I bought nearly 23 yards and now I'm having second thoughts.... I think this Japanese project (such wonderful pictures and patterns in the book) will have to go on the back burner for a little while...


Trying to think happy thoughts...


Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Top And A New Header...

Yay, a new header 'at last'!
(I made the last one in July so it hasn't been that long...)  <wink>

And I finished another summer top a couple of days ago:

I drafted my own pattern (that sounds very fancy, but I just traced an existing top that fits really well) and added some ruffles for fun. Love this 'sewing with knits' lark!  {smile}

In other news: I had to take Miss M. to the doctor for a follow-up visit yesterday after her shoulder injury six weeks ago. She still can't raise her arm higher than her shoulder and the doctor suspects a torn rotator cuff. Next week an MRI to have a look inside and then a visit with a shoulder-specialist. Surgery might be in her future. No fun!

Well, one more week to go before Master C. departs. I'm feeling pretty good about it right now. I'm ready to see what life will bring him! (of course I will cry my eyes out for the 4- hour journey back home)

At Master C.'s graduation in June...

.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Endless Summer Days...

Click! to enlarge
Oh yes, yesterday was one of those 'endless summer days'...   {smile}


I can't show you any pictures since I didn't bring my camera with me. On purpose, because it was a very wet adventure. Miss M. and I spent and afternoon (and early evening) on and in Lake Washington at our friend's house. 
Our friend had just returned from her trip to the UK (that is where she is from) and she had brought back for me (per my request) the Mollie Makes with Eline Pellinkhof's cross-stitch kit: woot woot!


It is only tiny, but hopefully it will give me the 'oempf' again to start doing some more cross-stitching. I used to do it all the time...

2008
My most inspiring project up to date...
...but then I bought a new sewing machine (and now a serger) and I am just focused on that more right now. (I say right now, but that focus has been on 'on' for the last three years)

--  **  --  **  --

Anyway, back to yesterday's fabulous day. First we had a wonderful lunch outside on the patio overlooking the lake and then we went off in the Rib (a large heavy duty 'rubber' boat with hard shell underneath) to pick up some neighbors a few houses down and we then set off to Kirkland Marina for some errands, one of which involved ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. 

Some swimming followed after which was just wonderful in the warm water of the lake (our summer weather has been fabulous for the past three months so the water temps have risen accordingly). I tried standing on one of those fancy and very popular paddle boards, which was very hard.  I did manage to stand up but I couldn't raise my eyes from the board in fear of falling off. It looks so easy when you see other people standing on the board and paddling around, but I tell you it is not!

Paddle Boarding...
(picture found on the net)
The friends that we had picked up and dropped off earlier returned with their own fancy speed boat and gave us a little demonstration in wake surfing: so cool! I was very happy to just sit back and observe it all... 

Wake Surfing...
(picture also found on the net)
The wind had picked up in the mean time and after a nice pot of tea (my friend is British after all) and some more chatting (and baby holding! one of their other neighbors came by with her three month old baby girl) , Miss M. and I set off for home around 7:45 in the evening. What a wonderful day!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Scoop Top in Seattle...

Last night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner on the 21st floor in Seattle. Here is a quick 'peek-a-boo' view from our friends' balcony...

--  **  --  **  --

The last few days, despite still having wonderful summer like weather, I started seeing some leaves falling to the ground and then some more! Sure signs of fall approaching. I thought I'd better get some more quick summer sewing in et voila: the scoop top by Skirt As Top patterns. 


Again, a few mistakes were made (I didn't cut the neckband on the right grain-line so it didn't have enough stretch and I had to insert some more: so ugly but hopefully nobody will look too closely...) but I'm still learning and this fabric is pretty forgiving... Cute no?  <wink>

Friday, August 16, 2013

More Summer Sewing...

Fancy gathers at the side...

Yes, I've managed to finish yet another 'sewing with knits' garment! I must say, on the mannequin it doesn't look too bad. I'm not quite convinced on how it looks on my actual body yet, but I will give it a few tries...

I bought this material via Fabric.com and it contained 96% polyester and 4% lycra, almost swimsuit material! (super thin and slippery...)  That was not what I had in mind obviously, but this stretchy fabric selection is completely new to me and mistakes are being made. (part of the learning process) In hindsight, a skirt would probably have been a better selection for this fabric, but oh well...

In other news, I spent many hours the other day, working on yet again another blog header. When I finally tried it on the actual blog I didn't like it At All! Whawhawhaaaa... Here it is with the pink background color I had in mind...

Not looking too bad in a smaller version,
but the full size version on top of the blog just didn't do it for me...
There are certain elements I do like though so you might see them in the future...

Well, today in two weeks at exactly this time we will be moving Master C. into his college dorm room which he will be sharing with a roommate, a boy from Honolulu, Hawaii! Exciting times indeed, but also very draining emotionally...
Regular high school will start again for Miss M. in one week time which means that Mr. G. (who is the head of said high school) is now extremely busy preparing for the new school year. 

We had a wonderful summer with lots of little trips and festivals etc, but now it is time for a more regular schedule. I don't mind, I do like a schedule of some sort. I've started to ramp up my running a bit again. Running in the summer is just plain hard. Too hot, too humid etc. It's ok to take it a bit slower. I've managed to at least run once a week and sometimes two. I will be aiming for three runs  a week again soon, but not quite yet. It is still summer after all...  <wink>

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Day After...

So yesterday I celebrated my 47th birthday! (Hip Hip Hooray!)
I received the most wonderful gift that I have received in a long time...


Marianne Westman's butter dish from my Dutch aunt and uncle who we had dinner with Saturday evening. I cried. (really I did!) What an extraordinary gift...

I also received some 'loverly' bath products from Lush and a delicious bottle of Kriek beer, my favorite! {smile}

And then today we finally celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary! This is what we gave each other:

A 'Hoegaarden' (= one of my favorite Belgium beers) patio umbrella! Haha, we both really loved it. Mr. G. for the umbrella itself and me for the beautiful Hoegaarden design. {smile again} Since this summer has been rather hot we have used it quite a bit already...

--  **  --  **  --

And in this heat I decided to try and sew some lounge wear. (i.e. a pair of pajamas) 

3/4 sleeves and 3/4 pants...

I've had this fabric for at least two years now and was always afraid to use it because of its stretchy abilities. Fear no more! I put both two pieces together in about two hours!
The shirt is the same pattern that I tried to make last week (the black and white one) that didn't fit. It does fit now with a more stretchy fabric, but is still just a tad tight for my liking. Next time I might just adjust the bust and under the arms a little bit. I did make the pants one size bigger and now of course they are slightly big. Man, it is difficult to find the right fit, but I'm getting there...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Commencement Bay...


What a lovely afternoon we had sailing on Commencement Bay in Tacoma yesterday...

Mr. G.'s brother and his wife had invited us on board and although it was rather hazy at first and there was not a lot wind, we had an absolutely wonderful time! You might not know this, but I grew up on sailboat just like this. Every weekend and every vacation we went sailing; in the summers we even crossed the English Channel! Great memories...
Click! to enlarge and to spot the harbor seal...
The old Hogwarts kind of building you see above is Stadium High School where the brothers went to school, a 'few' years ago... <wink>

I've observed Commencement Bay from Mr. G.'s parents house so many times in the past 24 years, but this was the first time to taking it all in from the water level...

Thanks D. & G.!  {smile}

Friday, August 9, 2013

Along The Cow Road...


It has been a while since I've driven along our Cow Road, due to some road work they were doing there. 
Sit back and imagine dry heat, 
blue skies, 
swallows racing just inches above the tall grasses 
trying to catch those bugs 
and a slight breeze: 

enjoy some country pics....

I ate these after I took the picture... <wink>

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Some Summer Sewing....

Click! to enlarge...

Yesterday, which happened to be one of the hotter days this summer, I decided to try out sewing with a tissue knit jersey that I found at Joann's last week. It was so soft and a beautiful grey with very subtle black striped markings in it and I just really wanted to give it a try.

It is also really thin (hence the 'tissue' remark) and it turned out that it is really hard to work with. So hard in fact that I couldn't even fold the fabric in half on top of it self properly to cut out the pattern. Every breath I took the fabric moved or the pattern moved etc. I think the cutting out part took longer than the actual sewing!

Te reason I bought his pattern was the fun little twisty thing they did at the shoulder as you can see on the model they have on the pattern envelope. That turned out to look absolutely rubbish with my very thin fabric, so I had to cut off the shoulder seams (shock! horror!) and re-sew the shoulder seams.

It might sound a little funny, but the part I was most impressed about was the back neck border. I think it looks just so professional and it really wasn't hard to sew! I'm started to love my new serger more and more and it is not as intimidating any more compared to a month ago!  <wink>

I think it is looking pretty darn good now and the fit is divine! In fact, I think I might wear it tomorrow: we've been invited for an afternoon of sailing in the Commencement Bay in Tacoma!  {smile}

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Honeymoon Road Trip Day Three...

My favorite view from Day 3:


Ebey's Landing (National Historic Reserve) on Whidbey Island overlooking the Puget Sound towards the Olympic Peninsula: stunning!

So on the last day of our trip we first drove to our most favorite shellfish farm: Taylor's. It is just south of Bellingham on  Chuckanut Drive.

Click! to enlarge...

It smells like the sea, oyster-banks just of the beach and tough fisherman with smiles from ear to ear. (really!) I bought 2lb's of fresh mussels and some pickled herring: Yum! I prepared the mussels in a coconut curry sauce with lime later that week and oh boy, such goodness! 


As we were paying for the mussels, we were reminded of another fabulous and hilarious episode of Mike Rowe (of "Dirty Jobs") when he visited the farm two years ago and did some unmentionables with the Geoducks... <wink>  (Google Geoducks if you don't know what they are)


For another foodie experience we drove onward to Bow where we found our favorite cheese farm. We got to try at least six different cheeses (our breakfast) and we choose several to take with us. Always a lovely place to visit with cows mooing in the background!


We stopped at Anacortes, a town we had never visited before. The marine layer was still rather thick but slowly we started seeing some rays of sunshine. Other 'rays of sunshine' were all the tiny and fun little thrift stores we found! I'm so lucky to have a husband that likes to visit these places as much as I do!  {smile} Beautiful buildings as well...


Across Deception Pass we stopped at Ebey's Landing for a hike to the cliffs. For me I think this was the best part of the whole trip: so so beautiful! It was warm but not hot, the wheat fields were rustling in the wind and then of course the stunning views over the Puget Sound with a fog horn blasting in the far distance. (that marine layer was rather persistent in some places!)


Click! to enlarge...
 And more seagulls of course, which always give me that ultimate vacation feeling...


Our final stop was at the little artists' town of Langley, again a place we had never visited before. I don't know why we hadn't, because it was just wonderful! We had a fancy dinner on a rooftop and then took the ferry off the island back home to where master C. and our chocolate lab Olive were waiting for us. 

What a wonderful trip to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary!  {smile}

Friday, August 2, 2013

Honeymoon Road Trip Day Two...

Click! to enlarge...
On Day two we traversed the Cascades in the opposite direction, back to the west side. I'm not showing the pictures in order here, but I just had to show you this amazing picture of Diablo Lake first. 

Obviously I have heavily edited this picture but the lake truly is this green! Here is the original picture which was taken without much sunlight. I could imagine that with the sun out the lake would truly have this color.


Mount Davis if I remember correctly...
To get to Diablo Lake we first had to get across 'Washington Pass', what a spectacular place!


It took us much longer than we expected to cross the mountains (we stopped at many an overlook) and then we still had to drive up north to the Dutch town of Lynden. The most obvious reason for me to stop there was to eat...... kroketten!!!!  <wink>

Sorry, a little blurry, but I couldn't contain my excitement when this plate arrived: Yum!!!
Lynden
The weather was absolutely lovely and mild and sunny. We wandered around the main street, stopped in a thrift-store and of course stopped by my internet friend Trisha's shop called Grandiflora. I had already contacted her earlier to see if she would be there, but she was busy that afternoon. That was a shame of course, but I am sure we will meet in person some day, right Trisha?  <wink>

Anyway, her shop was absolutely wonderful and I bought quite a few goodies, including Miss Koralee Teichroeb's book 'Everything Goes With Ice Cream'.


I had been looking for a new, fun and not too expensive watch for at least six months now and there it was, right in Grandiflora! They sold several other pretty colors and versions, but this one spoke to me the most...

Mount Baker in the background...
It is certainly strange to visit a town with such strong Dutch roots, while I have chosen to live so far away from it all. The place does feel extremely familiar and comfortable however: lots of farms, lots of cows and wide open spaces: what is not to like?! And that is exactly why we like living in our own little Dutch valley over here of course... {smile}


A New Chapter...

Today  was a very special day for me: I started working at   Tolt Yarn & Wool ! Yes, at my favorite yarn store, can you believe it?!...