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.