Friday, January 31, 2014

New crowns at Humbleluna

Hello Friends,
Just wanted to let you know there are a few new crowns in my Etsy shop just in time for Valentine's Day.....or maybe I just needed an excuse to show of my sweet little model ;)
I also have a love dragon costume available that would be super fun for your little one to wear to the park or for a walk around the neighborhood, they always get lots of smiles!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I am addicted to rock...

No, not to worry, not that kind of rock ,the healthy,free,natural kind of rock.....mostly agates,jasper,and petrified wood.
We have been blessed with so much sunshine and mild temperatures the last few weeks that I have been out hitting all my favorite spots around Portland. Two three day weekends in a row made for lots of river time and I found a new spot that was flat and kid friendly and had more rocks than I had ever seen in one area!
Maybe if your nice, I will tell you where it is ;)

 Nalah found this one.

A pretty jasper shaped like Africa.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yarn Along: Muh muh muh My shaloma!


I put my holiday stress to good use this year and ended up knitting my fastest sweater yet. It only took a month compared to the 6 months and 9 months of my first two sweaters. It is the Shalom Cardigan by Megan McFarlane knit with Cascade Eco wool. I added the sleeves for warmth because,well, a sleeveless sweater in Oregon in January is kind of silly. I am pretty happy with how in turned out.
I am currently reading And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. The first chapter has already broken my heart which is what the author is very good at doing. I am only a few chapters in by am enjoying it. I also really enjoyed his other books, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid suns. If you have never read any of Khaled Hosseini's books I highly recommend them, he is a beautiful storyteller.
What are you reading and what have you been knitting? Please leave a link I would love to see.  Please join along over at Ginny's blog, Small Things.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A morning hike





I have a camera again, hurray! It arrived with the mail on Saturday afternoon and I took it out first thing on Sunday morning. I even got out for a morning hike, by myself. A rare and enjoyable time it was.
This weekend was filled with lots of outdoor time, mostly spent by rivers searching for agates and jasper. Yep, it is that time of year again when I get the rock hounding itch in a major way. This winter has been so sunny and dry, I really can't remember a sunnier winter in all of the 12 years we have lived in Oregon. I am not complaining!
It is kind of hard to get back into the city life and daily grind of our normal week after a long weekend. I just want to spend everyday on the river looking for agates, really, I don't think It will ever get old.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Inspirational Homesteaders

I can not express how excited I am to see this show, this is my kind of guy. The Legend of Mick Dodge is about a man who lives barefoot deep in the forests of the Hoh Rainforest in Washington's Olympic National Park. Problem is we don't have cable! Ack!

Currently I have been obsessed with Alaska the Last Frontier. I crave that kind of all day, hard manual labor, no joke. It just seems so deeply satisfying. Being a vegetarian I would not last long up there. I am very much drawn to that kind of lifestyle.

One of the most inspiring homesteaders is Dick Proenneke. Who in his 50's moved to Alaska alone and built his cabin from scratch, he even made his own nails and hardware out of old cans and lived a completely self sufficient existence for 30 years in the Alaskan wilderness.You can see part of his story here:

I would have to say that Tasha Tudor is my favorite homesteader. She truly created her own little piece of heaven on earth. She has inspired me so much and when ever I need a pick me up I watch her documentary called Take Joy. She was just so amazingly creative, an illustrator and an amazing mother she created a simply magical childhood for her children.I highly recommend watching it if you can get your hands on a copy. I purchased my copy online because I could not find it locally and the library did not have it, but it was money well spent. I am sure I watch it several times a year.
I found a video about Tasha online but it is in Japanese, however you get a stunning tour of her gardens and when Tasha speaks it is in English of course. There is also a part two if you would like to see more.

I hope you enjoy all these people as much as I do and find their lives fascinating and inspiring.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Some recent crafty things

 My camera is dead,poor little thing.
 After three great years it has decided to call it quits. So I am left anxious and camera less at the moment until my replacement(30$bucks on Ebay!) gets here. I figure this would be a good time to go back into my photo archives and show, or show off I guess, some of my recent knitting and crafty projects.
Fist is a sweater I finished for Nalah back in November. The pattern is the Ribbed Baby Jacket by Debbie Bliss. I made one for Sollie back a few years ago too, you can see it here. It took me forever to get this on her and try and get a good photo in this dark winter lighting. They are pretty funny:

 Just after Thanksgiving I noticed a magazine while waiting in the checkout line and couldn't resist the cute mushroom ornaments on the cover. I just love all things mushroom! I don't splurge on magazines very often but this one was a good investment, so many cute ideas. I ended up making almost a dozen of the mushrooms ornaments for an ornament exchange, for a few friends, and my son's Kindergarten teachers. They were so quick and fun to make. I love little portable hand sewing projects I can work on anywhere. The birds were also in the magazine although I altered the pattern slightly by adding wings, they were gifts for friends but I hope to make one for us to keep on our tree next year.

Solomon asked for a yellow scarf for his Birthday, so sweet, how could I not? So I made a bright yellow scarf in seed stitch. I loved working with this yarn(Malabrigo chunky) so much. It was so bright and happy, a sunshine happy color for my sweet little guy. The color and stitch makes me think of a honeycomb or bright flowers and bumble bee's with pollen on their legs it also reminds me of way over buttered popcorn.  The purchase of this yarn was just as delightful as the yarn itself. I stopped by a local yarn shop in the morning when I was running quick errand by myself(this so rarely happens). The yarn shop has a resident poodle that looks like a tiny sheep with tight white curls of fur who loves to be held, so lucky me I got to carry him around while I shopped for yarn. It was pretty great. It is no secret I have been wanting a dog for the last 10 years and I have got to get my dog fix where ever I can. Now I can get my yarn fix and my dog fix at the same place! So fun!

I have one more finished knitting project but haven't taken photos of it yet so I will have to wait to share that one when my camera gets here.
What have you been making? I would love to see,please feel free to leave a link in the comments.

Friday, January 10, 2014

This Moment: Our first Blazers game....

Ben received tickets for all of us to go see the Portland Trail Blazers as a gift from work. It isn't something we would normally do as none of us are really huge sports fans. I had a lot of fun, basketball is my favorite sport to watch, especially in person. Our seats were up as high as you could get in the stadium and keeping Nalah contained in her seat was quite the chore,but I enjoyed it and I think it would be fun to do again when the kids are older.
Yay to new experiences and adventures in 2014!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Whew, glad that's over....


This holiday season was really rough for me this year. I was falling victim to holiday pressure in a bad way. I was feeling sorry for myself. I was terribly homesick and missing my family, some that I have not seen in almost 5 years. I was feeling myself wanting things I never wanted before, falling for the advertisements being shoved down my throat and the pressure to buy shit to be happy. I was feeling bad for having to live on a very limited budget. I was feeling trapped by the notion of my kids being off of school for two weeks with nothing to do but fight with one another all day long, no fancy vacation to go on, no extended family to go visit. I was feeling completely exhausted. I didn't know if my husband would get sent off hundreds of miles away for work, or if he would be home.

I found myself thinking of people who have lost beloved family and friends this year, and of an old friend I know from high school who is slowly recovering from a horrible brain injury. I was feeling guilty for feeling sad about my own struggles in life,in comparison to what I know are much harder circumstances.

I did things a little differently this year. I didn't become the holiday crafting zombie I have been the last several years. I only made a few small gifts. I was not frantically knitting last minute gifts or sewing into the wee hours of the morning. I didn't freak out and hand sew a new advent mitten garland when I couldn't find the other one(and I still haven't found it). Except for baking about a million batches of cookies last month, it was pretty laid back. 
Luckily my Husband was able to stay close to home for the holidays,that was truly the only thing I really wanted this year. We got to take a spontaneous trip to the ocean after Christmas to see the whales migration and it healed my weary spirit so much. I only wish I would have know about the trip ahead of time so I would have had something to look forward to when I was feeling so very low. For all the things I do not have, I am so very, very grateful for everything that I do.
I am also very grateful the holidays are over.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winter whale watch 2013


 Ever since we have lived in Oregon I have wanted to visit the coast during the whale migrations. I was lucky enough to see a whale near the Devils Punchbowl in late summer during one of our first visits to the coast many years ago and I was totally thrilled, it was amazing!
This year a few days after Christmas we took a spur of the moment trip to the coast for a few days to see if we could spot any whales spouting as they make there way south to California.  Ben and I don't exchange gifts for the holidays so this was our gift to each other
The whales are more than a mile from the coast so you need a good pair of binoculars or a high viewpoint to see the spouting. We stopped at the Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center and saw a few whales from there. From the upstairs viewing area you could make them out with the bare eye but binoculars are definitely needed to get a good look. They also had a camera set up and hooked up to a t.v. monitor so you could see them up close. There were also binoculars for visitors to use.
I am hoping to make it back to the coast for the spring migration. I learned that the whales come closer to shore to rest and eat when they make their way back North up the coast. I am hoping to get some binoculars for my birthday so I am better prepared, but it seem like the spring migration would be a better chance to see them in action.
The weather was beautiful and sunny and I could hardly believe it was December. Someone found a beautiful blue glass art float on the beach down in Lincoln City while we were there.The local artists who blow glass hide floats on the beach between October and May to boost tourism. I bet it works as I have tried for many years to find one. You could always buy one at the store, but its not the same thing as finding one. Finding the real Japanese floats from fishing nets are pretty much a thing of the past although a friend of mine from art school has a basket full of the real glass floats he has found in Oregon and Alaska. I guess anything is possible, you never know what you can find. I can't wait to retire to the Oregon Coast and beach comb every day, I don't think it would ever get old.

 Looking for glass floats in Lincoln City,Oregon.
Our hotel was right on the ocean so I was able to go out rockhunting alone in the evening while the kids watched cartoons with their Papa in the warm hotel, they were pretty happy about that.

 Tiny surfers near the Devils Punchbowl.

 One last rockhunting stop at Oceanside,Oregon.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Six times around the sun(continued)....

 This was the best I could do trying to write Solomon backwards ;)

Solomon had a fun day involving doughnuts for breakfast, a trip to the Science Museum, birthday cake and a firework show. He is having a Birthday party at the Arcade with friends from school this weekend. This is the first year we didn't host a party at home for him. I am usually frantically crafting and cleaning the entire week after Christmas trying to get ready for it, it was so calm and relaxing this year! He even decorated his own cake which was quite the change (see his past cakes here, and here and here.)Since he was a holiday baby his parties began as a New Year's pot luck sort of gathering with our adult friends. This year most of his buddies were out of town for the day of his actual birthday so we switched it up a bit. He was okay with that, now that he gets two parties out of it! I am a little sad that maybe he has outgrown the house parties, but it is a lot less work his Mama, and it wont matter a bit how messy my house is the day of his party. Hurray for that!