Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Whales in Wood

I'm quite behind the times in posting these photos, but other things got in the way. BUT: two weeks ago, Bill became a featured artist at a store in downtown Portland, and we spent a Sunday afternoon at the open house for the show, which went great. His five humpback whales are all made without any metal or glue; they are held together entirely by notching, pegging and lashing (with artificial sinew). He used the same steam-bending techniques he learned when building his Greenland skin-on-frame kayak, and I have to say the results are pretty amazing. The whales attract a lot of attention, and each one is in a slightly different part of the swimming motion--so they are a pod swimming together. I'm pretty proud of Bill. Boy, is he talented!

(Also, these whales are for sale. $1995 each [80 hours of labor for each one!]. Contact me or Boy's Fort if you are in the area and happen to be interested!)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow and Ice

We had an unexpectedly long weekend here, as Portland got hit with cold temperatures, then high winds, then snow, and then ice. Schools were closed, the city ground to a halt, all of my weekend plans were postponed, and I cabin fever pretty badly after the fun of the first day or two. I did a lot of knitting, drank a lot of hot cocoa, and watched a lot of PBS Nature documentaries.

On Saturday night, the freezing rain hit, and the entire city became coated with ice. We woke up to emergency alert text messages telling us not to go anywhere or attempt to drive. Venturing out on Sunday morning with my camera, I managed not to slip and fall, and got these photos:

Those are ice droplets.

Bill's car with its icy coating.

I had only just gotten back on my bike a few days before the storm hit, and after being cooped up inside and unable to go anywhere for a couple days (Portland simply can't handle snow--too few plows, few people have snow tires-- so even those of us who know how to drive in it rarely venture out) I am more than ready to be active again. Bill is finally off crutches but still has to baby his foot a bit, but hopefully soon we will be back in shape to get in some good hikes.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Homey Dreams

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I always have those future dreams, of the kind of house and garden I want someday, permanently. I'm pretty content with what I have now, knowing it is very affordable and comfortable and pretty great for the point I am at in my life. But still, those dreams pop into the front of my mind once in awhile...usually in the winter when I am getting restless for the options and comfort of summer. Here are a few, mostly things I have had a taste of at some point and found how well they suited me.

A sewing/craft project room

One of my biggest roadblocks to tackling larger sewing projects is the lack of space to spread out, and to always have my sewing machine set up and ready to go. How I would love, someday, to have a room (or half a room) that can simply be a dedicated sewing/crafting area. A nice broad table with my sewing machine set up on it, and shelves where my fabric, yarn and notions can be stored in plain view and easy reach. Thread stored on a thread rack (preferably handmade), and with a bit of luck a nice big window right over the table for lots of light.

 Something in this vein...but maybe more colorful.
Photo credit

A pantry

I grew up with one, and there's just no way around how awesome it is to have a room, however small, that is dedicated solely to food and other kitchen-related storage. Get those canned goods and spare jars out of my kitchen cupboards, and the less-frequently-used kitchenware out of the way. I would love to re-create my parents' sunny yellow pantry; they have their fridge in there to open up space in the kitchen, and last time I was home, my mom had added another set of shelves, custom built to fit the Adams peanut butter jars that they use to store dehydrated herbs and veggies.

Yes, please. 

A proper garden

And by proper, I mean big. Big enough to grow plenty of food, plus herbs and flowers. How nice it will be, one day, to just be able to pop out the back door to pick veggies for dinner, or to weed for a few minutes, rather than plan a trip to my community garden. When I own a place, I can plant more long-term things, like strawberries and asparagus and maybe fruit trees. To build a garden from scratch, of my own design, not the previous owners'....well, a gardener can dream, right?

(Have you ever searched for images of gardens on the internet? The possibilities are endless and amazing. And a bit overwhelming.)
Photo credit Garden Diggings

Chickens (again)

Maybe just three next time, but I miss their beautiful and delicious eggs, their hilarious and exasperating chicken-ness, the way you can feed them all the weeds and slugs from the garden. Someday.

(Photo credit Me!)

The list goes on, of course, but these are the ones that stay constant. Dreaming about them is such fun; sometimes the anticipation of something is just as enjoyable as the thing itself.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Impending Auntiehood

My niece/nephew is expected to arrive in about six weeks. I'm very very excited, and while I've been Auntie Liz to a few different amazing kiddos for a number of years, it took me quite awhile to grasp the fact that I am in fact going to be related to this one. The reality of this particular version of auntiehood finally got hit home in the past couple weeks by the following thoughts:

A) My big brother is going to be a DAD. This is a very good thing, and he'll be an amazing one, but it's just...bizarre.

B) My parents are going to be grandparents. Someone will call them Grandma and Grandpa (or Gram and Grandad, or whatever). This too is very good, but also exceedingly weird.

and then the other day this thought popped into my head, as I was wondering what the baby will look like:

C) It could look like me. Family resemblances run strong in my family. S/he is not my child, but s/he will share enough of my DNA that this is, in fact, a possibility.