Knitting for Autumn

We live in the southern hemisphere, just, and in a subtropical climate. It’s not Autumn. But two things have made me feel utterly ready for it: early, cooling rains and an upcoming trip to the northern hemisphere to Europe. 🙂

Over the years I’ve gradually started knitting more for myself, whereas, I would previously only knit for others. I’m not sure why I didn’t knit for myself before but I’m realising what a special thing it is to be able to revel in my favorite colors and textures… It feels very indulgent and I’m loving it!

I have a few smaller projects on the go and I continue to work away at those, but my biggest project right now is the lovely Lea Sweater by Marzena Kolaczek.

Progress on a lilac version of the Lea Sweater.

The design is simple with a subtle lace and garter detail at the top which I think is placed very elegantly and makes it a graceful piece. I also like that it is a fitted design when many current, popular designs are oversized. I think I might be able to wear it as a layer more easily because of this.

The wool I’m using was gifted to me by my sister in law and is a Cascade wool, if I remember correctly. It has a very drapey and soft feel, which I think is serving this project well.

Our flowering hedge in the garden.

Meanwhile our garden has been soaking up all the rain and, thanks to Mark’s new irrigation system, all of our soil will be better for planting this season. Though we’re hoping that the early rains don’t bode of a dry rainy season, as that could impact our garden and fields, and those of our friends.

One of our ladies
The first of the hens’ eggs on a tiny bed of our garden oregano.

Soon we’ll be traveling to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland. While we’re away, perhaps these ladies will brood and start a family, which would bring so much joy to our small garden. That would be magical. 🙂

In the meantime, we’ll be basking in the rain here and then attempting to keep warm in the grip of a European Autumn in all of our old, set-aside woolies and some new cozy ones too.

Happy October, Laura

Pansies and allysum




Our pansies are coming back from last year and we’ve also planted some new deep purple ones. And I couldn’t help adding some allysum… So dainty and pretty!

Oregon Tulip Festival

On Sunday we went to the Oregon Tulip Festival and enjoyed the beautiful weather and rows upon rows of gorgeous tulips!

Tulip Festival Oregon

I tried to remember the names of the ones that I liked – but in the end, I liked all of them!

Tulip Festival Oregon

The colors were so vibrant, it almost hurt my eyes!

Tulip Festival Oregon with my hubby

The Woodwards.

Tulip Festival Oregon with my brother, sister in law and niece

The Kybers (my brother and his wife and daughter).

Tulip Festival Oregon with my neice

My niece and me making a silly face for the camera!

Tulip Festival Oregon


Tulip Festival Oregon


Tulip Festival Oregon

Mt. Jefferson in the background for effect – just to top off the view! 🙂

Paper and Sketch

Project Life 6x8 album and page protectors

I am trying my hand at Project Life 6×8 in order to a) get my previously printed photos into an album and protected, and b) to test out a system for future photo organization.  So far so good.  I got both the album and the page protectors from Michael’s for 60% off of their already reduced price.  I like the construction of the albums (after my dissatisfaction with Recollections albums) and the look of them as well.  We’ll see how I like the system overall.  I am almost ready to get going on choosing photos to print for 2014, which I will hopefully be documenting at a monthly (rather than weekly) increment!

Latest sketch / well woman / hb pencil


Above is the latest sketch from my new 5.5″x8.5″ Strathmore 400 Sketchbook, featured below, which I’ve entitled ‘Well Woman’ {as in a woman who fetches water at a well}.  I like the sketchbook and am looking forward to trying out the bigger one soon!

Sketchbooks - strathmore

This little beauty below is reserved for all my quick watercolor sketches, and will hopefully serve as a suitable art book for showcasing and recording memories through art.  It is Stillman and Birn’s Zeta Series, which doesn’t seem like it should hold much moisture in its pages, but I’ve seen reviews from bloggers who say otherwise.  Will give that a try soon, too.

Watercolor Sketchbook - Stillman and Birn Zeta


The sun is out today and I’m looking forward to getting a walk in before the inevitable Oregonian rain strikes again.  For now, I’m going to get a few more ideas for sketching and maybe a smoothie is in order, too.

Cotton Baby Beanie

Knitted Cotton Baby Beanie

I upcycled some soft cotton a few months ago and am so happy to be able to put it to use.

Knitted  Cotton Baby BeanieI wanted something simple to accentuate the fiber and yet be interesting enough to be a fun knit. I came up with this baby beanie pattern and it fit the bill perfectly!

From Scraps: Doll Quilt

Doll quilt, 4 patch

Doll quilt, 4 patch

Doll quilt, 4 patch

Doll quilt, 4 patchDoll quilt, 4 patchA little doll quilt I made for my niece to divide up my bigger project – the twin sized quilt for Ethnea – made from the scraps from the same fabric assortment.  Very fun and quick!  It is satisfying to see the whole process of making a quilt unfold before your eyes in a fraction of the time with such a mini version of the bigger one.  I even got to include hand-stitching, which isn’t normal for me, and was remarkably relaxing!

Illustrations: Spring Bouquet

Spring flowers watercolor

I have been needing to make a few cards to get out to friends for a little while now and so I took the opportunity to paint. And seeing as it is Spring weather here in Oregon at the moment, why not imagine up a Springy bouquet?

Spring bouquet illustration

I also wanted to make this available to anyone who is interested in adding some fresh new art to their collection for the upcoming season!  Click the link below to download your free print:

Spring Bouquet Illustration Free Download

Breakfast Smoothie

Breakfast SmoothieEvery day for the last few weeks I’ve been enjoying yummy smoothies in the morning for breakfast. They usually consist of some variation of the same ingredients, because I’m a creature of habit like that. They always have some sort of nut in them though which makes them filling enough for me to last until lunch.

Today’s Spring Smoothie:

1/2 frozen banana

2 frozen strawberries

1/2 frozen peach

1 t. peanut butter

1 c. rice milk