Saturday, October 12, 2013

What great Marketing and decor

Every Tuesday, I have an appointment with a Vision Therapist in Downtown Seattle.  I take the bus in, since my driving is still not safe, and parking down there is out of site.  I always pass this store, which I am so intrigued with.  I finally went inside and asked it I could take pictures.
I guess I will never go in here to buy clothes, since they are very high end.  But, the d├ęcor is fantastic.
They have covered all of the windows with shelves and shelves of vintage sewing machines.  It was difficult to get a good picture of the windows.

They have used old equipment from spinning mills and garment factories as their display tables and racks.

I love all of these old bobbins.
Here is a small window that didn't cause too much reflection.
And, the walls.

My last attempt at getting a picture from outside.  Have you ever heard of a Jones sewing maching?  Most of these are Singers, but quite a few Jones'.
The interior looks like a factory, so the feeling is very industrial, combined with the high end clothing.  Very stylish.  Love it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I guess it is Autumn

As I look out the window on this grey, rainy day, I have to accept that Fall has actually arrived.  It has been so mild so far, and so enjoyable.  I love Autumn for the colors and the cooler temperatures, harvests, and settling in for the winter.
Below is "Crunch", a yard character my kids gave me a few years ago.  He gets blown over in the wind, so Terry chained him to the post.  We were thinking a sign that says "This Home protected by Crunch Security" would be appropriate.
I bought a drop leaf table at a garage sale for $5, and we used it in the house until we were able to bring my dining room set over from storage.  I removed the table top and sealed the wood with a spray sealant, and it is now a trellis for my Passion Flower vine.  I love it.

You never know what I will think up next.  Alan used to say if you parked your car for too long at our place it would get planted.   Terry is now learning my penchants' for yard art.

I just barely had enough corn stalks to decorate the telephone pole out by the mail boxes.  The neighbors love it.
And, I'm turning most of my big planters in to All Season plantings.

Monday, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet a fellow blogger for Coffee.  Jean of
moved to this area from Tennessee a couple of years ago, and this is the second time we have met.  Thank you Pat  for hooking us up.
Thursdays have become the best day of the week for us in my new life.  We have a friend who is a personal chef that comes over for dinner every Thursday evening.  During the summer, these dinners took place under the Gazebo and consisted of barbecue and sometimes a fire in the pit.  Now they have moved inside.  April has tenants who have joined us for these dinners, and they are a couple in their 20's.  April is 40 something, and Terry and I are the oldsters.  So, we have three generations represented here, and we have a blast.  Chase is a world class white water kayaker and keeps us entertained with his antics.  He says Terry is his hero, he wants to grow up to be just like him.  I feel quite honored to have these wonderful friends gathered here each week.  They have so enriched my life.
Oh, and before I forget, I have re-opened my Etsy store.  I have yarns and hats listed at this time, but I'm doing it slowly.  And the name?  Fiberfabrications, of course.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Return to Lopez Island and other stories

Well, here it is a stormy, rainy Saturday afternoon, and it's raining like I have not seen in a long time.  So, I've done some knitting, some sewing, cleaned the kitchen up from the mess we made last night with our Thursday night dinner party that was on Friday.
And now, I will blog while DH watches football.  I haven't even gotten dressed today.  Yesterday I vowed to spend the day doing nothing, and I'm succeeding to a slight extent.
Last week, Terry and I went to Lopez Island again, because the tides were good for clam digging.
When I dig for clams, I get down on my hands and knees, right in the hole, and really enjoy myself, as you can see.
Each day we filled a large bucket 3/4 full.
I'm trying to show off how dirty I am here.  I hosed it all down when we got back to the cottage, with me still wearing it, and left all the clothes in the sun to dry for the next day.  In fact, where we stay is so secluded, we stripped all the way down to our birthday suits and hosed off before we went inside for showers.

 Below, I am filling the bucket with clean water so the clams can spit out all the sand.
After clam digging, we rowed the boat out and set 4 crab pots.  The next day, we pulled up 14 crabs!!!  Then we dug clams again.  We have lots of crabfeeds and clam chowders in our future.
We didn't do any hiking this trip.  All the work we did really wore us out.  We went into the Village for lunch the first day, and I felt surreal.  It was like being on a movie set.  Folks were walking along the streets, riding bikes, and one lady went buzzing by on her brand new Candy Apple Red Moped.
No body lives like this.  It's like a dream

Meanwhile, I have been spinning up a storm, and have finally started to enter items on my Etsy Store.  It is Alpacalady.  I'd like to change it to Fiberfabrications, but I can't.  Oh, well, I will be known as the alpacalady by many people for a long time.
Here is the link to my shop:

I will be a vendor in a Fiber Show coming up in October, which I'm excited about.
Here is the link if you are interested in attending Fiber Fusion Northwest.
On another note, I raised a Stevia plant this year.  I pulled it up by the roots and hung it in the Man Cave to dry.  I later learned that it is a perennial, so I  bought two more plants.  I took about one Tablespoon full of the dry leaves and placed them in a coffee filter.  I tied it shut and boiled it in a cup and a half of water.  Like making a simple sugar.  I'm keeping it in the refrigerator and it will provide sweetener for my coffee for a week.

Finally, I don't think my niece reads my blogs.  This is the finished quilt top for her that I just completed this week.  Now the hard part begins.  And, I have three more quilts to get made.  If it's a long rainy winter, that won't be a problem.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Three Sisters and other bits of trivia

This portion of our little garden is called Three Sisters.  I learned about it this past Spring at the Community Center Outdoor Festival.  You plant corn, beans and squash together.  They provide benefits for each other, such as stalks for the beans to climb, and moist shaded roots.  The corn looked really pathetic until a few weeks ago, and now we are getting enough beans for a dinner for 2-6 every day.  I think I planted pumpkins under it all.  We'll have to wait awhile longer until I can find something growing.
So come along, and I will show you the rest of the yard.  It won't be as amazing and unique as what I had at the farm, but I'm very proud of what we have achieved this first year.

I got this wonderful Tonka truck filled with sedums at the Burien Farmer's Market.  I love Farmer's Markets.  Great finds, and wonderful people to talk to.

Sedums in a large metal cup on an old silver plated coffee stand.

These are the blueberries.  I'm attempting to propogate them myself so we can have more and save the cost of buying them.  I used to propogate Hydrangeas, so I should do will with these.

My sunflowers. 
The heads are HUGE.  I wanted to create a screen between our yard and the neighbors.  It worked.  Now I have to think of what to do that is more permanent and has fullness year round.

This is the fig tree I bought this past
Spring.  It was just a little stick, so I'm quite pleased with it's progress.  Have you tried blue cheese with fig jelly, or honey on crackers?  To die for.  And, I make a fig sauce for pizzas.

I can't believe it's been over a week since I started this.  Time gets away from me.
The weather here continues to be unseasonable warm, and it only gets into the 60's at night.  The gardens, however, know that fall is coming, and it's cleanup time.  I'm excited about having the greenhouse so we can raise lettuce, spinach and carrots this winter.  We are waiting for cooler days to get in there to organize things.  Right now, it's so hot in there you can't bear it for more than a few minutes.
And, the darn tomatoes continue to ripen, so I need to tend to them today and make more puree to can. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Knitter's Dream Come True

A couple of months ago, Terry and I were tooling down the East Valley Hwy, when he sees a sign that says "Yarn, Fiber, Classes".  He pulled a u-ey and took me back to check it out.  One step inside and I knew I had found my utopia.  The shop is called Maker's Mercantile and is owned by the daughter of the founder's of the Skacel company.  Hailing from Germany, Ingrid is the one who introduced the Addy Turbo knitting needles to the U.S., and all of the yarns stocked here are from Germany.  Sort of.  More details later.

I don't think this needs explaining, but it sure attracts your attention and makes you smile.

I think ANYONE could find that special button for that special sweater he/she has just finished.  I've never seen such an assortment.

They have a large classroom with lots of tables and chairs, and a couple of couchs to sink into if you just want to sit and knit.  Can you just imagine sitting in this funky couch and drinking coffee. . .

oh, yeah, coffee and pastries!  Riley's Bakery is right here inside the shop!  On Saturdays, they have a knitter's breakfast from 10 'til 2.
I told them that if I weren't a newlywed and wanting to spend every last minute with my DH that I would be living there.
Well, as it goes, they now have a room where they sell locally made yarns, and my yarns are for sale there!  I was very honored that the first two skeins were purchased by Ingred and her daughter who is the owner.
Once I get my act together, I will be teaching a class in dying.
They have also asked me to facilitate a spinning group!
Is this heaven?  Everything I have been trying to find, all in one place.
So, if you are ever in the Tukwila/Renton area, be sure to look up Maker's Merchantile.
BTW, they are slowly gearing up to add sewing and quilting supplies!!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The faster I go, the behinder I get

I find that I still haven't touched on our wonderful vacation.  We were scheduled to go to Sunriver, Or. for a week, and were going to go on to Brookings to visit Terry's folks, but his Mom had a stroke, and we wanted to get down there to see what we could do to help out.  So, we went before Sunriver and spent several days there.  We prepared meals for them and froze them using the Foodsaver.  They were thrilled to have some home cooked food.  Terry's Mom, Maggi, is doing remarkably well, and we could see the improvements just in the short time we were there.
Above is a picture of a plant in Brookings that intriqued us.  Come to find out, it is a Century Plant.  It was right on the brink of blooming, and once that is done, it will die.  100 years before it shows it's beauty and then it's gone.  What a shame.

On the way to Sunriver, we decided to go down into California, through the Redwoods, and by Crater Lake.  I was unable to get a really clear picture due to the smoke from the wild fires nearby, but this is truly a place where you go to be awed.  Everyone is hushed in appreciation.  I've never been to the Grand Canyon, but I assume it's much the same.

Terry and I went in to see Benham Falls, another place that takes your breath away.  I'm always happy after going there.  Below is a picture another couple took of us.

This is East Lake, which is in the Newberry Crater.  Terry is looking forward to going fishing here next year.

This post is very mixed up and out of sequence, but that's okay.  Above is a dinner we made, brined and roasted short ribs, fruit, and a salad made of veges from our garden.  Terry has worked as a chef at some very nice restaurants, and he is teaching me a lot.  Just the way to use a knife has made a huge difference.

This is a harvest from the garden one day.  The striped tomatoes are an Heirloom called Violet Jasper.  I wish they got bigger.  The bush is 6 feet tall, and I get this many every day.
The yellow ones are the sweetest, tastiest tomatoes I have ever eaten, but I don't know what kind they are!!!  I would plant many of them next year if I can figure this out.

This is the crafting table I put together in an attempt to organize myself and to fit all my "stuff" into the house.  We are still struggling with that issue, but there are so many other fun things to do, we haven't gotten too far.  This has been  a great addition.

The other day when I was in Downtown Seattle, I saw this store.  The windows are all lined with old sewing machines.  I was unable to get a good pic with the reflection of the light, but it is so cool.  Has anyone heard of a Jones sewing machine?  Next week, I will ask if I can take pictures from inside.

As I said, this is out of order, but I can't figure out how to delete these two pictures.  What has Google done to mess things up?  I'm having so much trouble figuring out these blogs anymore.
Sigh.  Well, that's it for now.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Happiness is . . . .

When I started this blog, it was more as a personal journal for me than anything else.  I had so much happening in my life, I needed to write it down for posterity.  I never dreamed how many dear friends I would make from all over the world, just by penning my daily accomplishments and foibles.
It's been quite some time since I've written here, mainly because I have been so engrossed with my new life.  Anyone who has followed me here knows of the changes I've gone through, and some days, you just don't have the energy to sit down and write.
Well, so here I am.  I said I was looking for a new direction for my life, but I never expected it to be marriage to a wonderful man.  And after returning home from a 10 day vacation, I realize how happy I am to be home.  A year ago I insisted I would never live in this little house in this area just south of Seattle.  Of course, at that time I was looking for all the reasons I could find not to get married again.
Yesterday, the sight of our little piece of heaven was a delight to return to.  Before we even went indoors, we had to take a tour of the yard to see how our gardens had survived our absence.
So to catch you up on what we have done since we got married on June 4, 2013, I thought I would show a few before and after pictures.

This picture is the living room BEFORE.  Terry had been single for about 6 years, and this is the bachelor pad.  Then I came in and we tried our best to combine his with mine.  We still don't have everything put away, but are making great progress.
I loved my red couches.  We tried to make them work here, but they just didn't fit.  I got quite emotional about it, but had to admit they were a reflection of my life as an independent woman and a statement of such, so I had to sell them.  Too much clutter drives me insane.
We had a two day yard sale and sold a ton of stuff, especially the big items.
It's a good thing we have both worked at Farmer's Markets.  We had the tents and tables we needed to pull this off.
Then, two weeks later, we threw a big party for our friends to help celebrate our marriage.  Our dear friend, April, is a personal chef, and she helped us in a big way.  I came up with the menu, she added a few things, and we were off.  I prepared Ruben Spring Rolls, a succotash salad served in small canning jars, a watermelon, basil and feta salad, a molded rice and vege salad, and the biscuits for the pulled pork sliders.  April brined the pork, smoked it for 5 hours, cooked it low and slow overnight, and it was a taste sensation!  She also made salmon skewers, caprese skewers, strawberries with Devonshire cream (oh, to die for) and a wedding cake, the first she has ever done!!!
Above is the succotash salad.  Made with fresh corn and beans, it is so delicious.

Terry and I with our wedding cake.

Isn't this cake beautiful?  It's carrot with a cream cheese frosting.

In the back of the picture, you can see the strawberries, then the Ruben Spring Rolls with thousand Island dipping sauce, and in the forefront is my rice salad.
Two days later, I started painting the living room.  This treatment on the wall was put there 14 years ago.  It had to go
While I started painting, Terry started assembling the greenhouse.
And the night before we left on vacation, I made Victorian Plum Conserve.  Our neighbor's plum trees hang over our property, and we get way more than we need from them.  This conserve is just yummy.  I can hardly wait to use it on some chicken or pork.
I think I will end this for today.  I might come back and edit, but for now, it is pretty long.  I may have exceeded my picture allotment.  We shall see.
To be continued.