Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yarn Along:A Tree Sweater...

I was going to make a sweater for the dead tree in the front of my house but I figured that would be a lot of work if it was just going to be cut down any way. Several years ago the people who used  to live in the downstairs apartment where we live now purchased decorative trees in pots and never actually planted them in the ground so in the last several years the roots have grown through the bottom of the pots.It looks kind of strange to have a giant potted tree in the yard so why not celebrate the strangeness by making this strange little tree a sweater? I am also working on a sweater for the tree on the boulevard that is much larger. I am just using up scrap yarn and doing mindless knitting row after row. It is a fun mindless knitting project to work on here and here when I have a moment. 
I am still working on my Greenfield Cardigan and making slow progress as I haven't had a lot of time to knit lately. There has been a lot of end of the school year activities going on with my kids and we have been having some busy days and late nights the last several weeks.
I am still reading Plainsong by Kent Haruf with just a few chapters to go. I have quite the stack of books planned for the summer, but that is wish full thinking on my part.There is never a dull moment in a house with three kids, at least one of them still takes naps.
What are you knitting and reading these days? Please visit Ginny to join the Yarn Along.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

At the Multnomah County Fair...


We had a fun long weekend filled with friends and family,sunshine and a little bit of rain...... and baby goats!
It has been a tradition of ours to go to the Multnomah County Fair every year during Memorial day weekend, it is so fun to see the 4H club tent with the prize chickens and bunnies. Am I too old to join 4H? The kids(I mean myself) also love the petting zoo and checking out the entries in the Fair competitions such as photography and knitting and sewing.
This year my brother in law joined us and ended up providing loads of entertainment. There was a tent of older folks playing patriotic music on keyboard and guitar and handing out little flags to the kids. One of the older men was trying to get Solomon to play a drum along with the band but he was too shy. Nalah and Sophie also wanted nothing to do with it, but Uncle Cory grabbed the drum and played along with the band as they played"Yankee Doodle". They were so impressed that they asked him to join in he band and sing a few songs. It was pretty funny.
 I met a sweet older lady who wanted to take my knit hat off my head and enter it into the knitting contest. We commiserated about the closing of one of our favorite yarn stores and I signed up to be on the mailing list so maybe I can win a ribbon for knitting next year.
All of the people we encountered were so friendly and down to earth it has made me homesick for the Midwest.

My camera battery died or I would have taken 100 photos....

Friday, May 23, 2014

This Moment...First Art Show.

A precious moment from my week. Share you moment at

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Quiet weekend...

I am not good at sitting around the house during the weekends. Being stuck home all week I get crazy wanderlust to get out in nature. Unfortunately Ben had to work on the car all day on Saturday to get our  windshield wipers fixed so I had to make do at home. I ended up working in the garden most of the day pulling weeds and sewing on the sweater I made for one of our trees(More on that later).

The wipers were working by Sunday morning but the weather was not cooperating. We took a drive to the West side of town and stopped by one of our favorite coffee shops in town that have the most delicious breakfast sandwiches. Yum. (Fehrenbacher Hoff, in case anyone is interested). We have been going there for over ten years now. I remember sitting outside with Sophie when she was a small toddler and drawing with sidewalk chalk. She used to love it because they had a Mr. Potato Head Doll for kids to play with. It is cozy inside and decorated with antiques. We haven't actually hung out inside since having three children, we are more of a order a breakfast sandwich to go and run sort of family these days. Mainly  because it is small and intimate..... and my kids are screamers.
We then stopped by an old favorite thrift store that I had not been to in many years. I went a little book crazy since they were 60% off and came home with five new vegetarian cook books, two sewing books, one parenting book,  two fiction novels and several old copies of Quilting Arts magazine. While we were in the thrift store there was a major rainstorm with thunder and lighting and hail, I would have to say it was a perfect place to be during the storm. Nalah ran around laughing and screaming like a wild animal the whole time while Papa chased her around. I won't be going there with her alone anytime soon.
We stopped for giant cookies before driving back home.
Portland is fun because every section of town feels like a different city.
                       I guess staying in the city during the weekend isn't so bad...sometimes.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Skirts Sale and Recent Sewing Projects.....

Hello Friends! I have been having computer issues so I haven't had the chance to mention that my Etsy shop HumbleLuna is have a spring skirt sale, $5 off with the coupon code: SPRINGSWING.
I planed to have the sale go through the month of May but I am thinking I might extend it since my computer issues have prevented me from listing new skirts as often as I would have liked to.
Anyway, I have several sizes up now and will be listing more in the next several weeks. Please remember I am always happy to do custom work don't be shy to ask!

Here are some of the new skirts available:

 I always feel a little sad when I make a skirt for Etsy that just sits there unsold when Nalah could have worn it so I made one for her too.

I also made a custom order for an old high school friend who has a little one year old. It turned out pretty fun!

During this little spring sewing marathon I got a little nostalgic for the old patchwork pants my friends and I used to make back in high school. Phish tour pants circa 1997. Well, my patchwork pants wearing days are over but I thought it would be fun to make a pair for Nalah.
I am thinking of making a few pairs of these for my shop too.

                         I would have totally rocked mushroom pants back in the day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Yarn Along: A guacamole colored sweater and some illustration eye candy.

I started working on my Greenfield Cardigan last week. The yarn is my favorite color ever, it reminds me of guacamole but the actual colorway is called "turtle". The trip to the yarn store was fun as I got to carry around a tiny white poodle that is the store mascot who looks like a tiny little sheep with tight curls that look like little dreadlocks, he smells so good too. I don't know if I go there because I like the yarn selection or if I just want to get my hands on that sweet little fur ball.

I have been very inspired by Mark Hearld's illustrations in the book, Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies. I checked this book out on a whim from the library and renewed it half a dozen times now. I really should just buy it, it is just beautiful.

For adult reading, I am currently reading Plainsong by Kent Haruf. It was a score from a great thrift store that sells books a dollar a piece that I visit every so often. I have quite the summer reading stash going on now.
What are you reading and knitting?
Please join along in the Yarn Along with Ginny over at Small Things.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Quite an eventful Mother's Day weekend....

Whew, it was a crazy weekend, some good, and some not so good. 
On Saturday we had planned to visit a small lake out in the mountains but when we were deep in the woods many miles up a forest road I started to get a little nervous when there was snow on the road and the father we went the deeper the snow became. I wasn't really expecting snow. Although the roads just opened on the first of May.  I have heard to many stories about families and people stuck in snow off forest roads and it just didn't seem like that much fun anymore. I didn't realize how far out this little lake was.It was chilly and wet and well, we decided to turn back and save our little lake hike for later, warmer time.I was a little disappointed but figured we make a last minute change of plans and head father down the highway to a different lake that would take us down near Salem.
But not before we let the kids out to play in the snow.

So after a wet snowball fight, and after building a small snowman we were on the road again back toward the highway. The kids thought it was pretty awesome, despite us being completely unprepared for snow.

It was all fine and dandy......until our windshield wipers decided to quit working.
It was one of those Oregon days where it was raining on and off all day. A kind of day where windshield wipers were a pretty big necessity.  Deep in the middle of the mountains on a highway in the rain is not a good place to not have windshield wipers. We didn't have much choice but to drive out anyway. As long as we were going about 50mph it was all good since the wind cleared off the rain but once we had to slow for curves and after the highway merged onto a bigger highway with other traffic it was impossible to keep up that kind of speed. The worst thing was we were going to have to take the interstate. At one point I was so scared I decided I was going to camp out along the highway in the car rather than die in a car accident while trying to drive back to Portland. I switched and had Ben drive the last leg of the way home and through a couple of isolated and terrifying showers on the interstate. We made it home all in once piece. The really irritating thing was that we took the car into Jiffy Lube before our drive to make sure everything was working okay. Turns out it is going to cost us pretty penny to get them fixed too, so it looks like I wont be driving in the rain anytime soon.

Despite all that happened on Saturday. We decided to risk another adventure on Mother's Day. It was a beautiful sunny day and despite a few puffy clusters of clouds here and there it seemed the chances of rain were very very slim. So we went for it.
We decided to visit a waterfall in the Gorge, easy to access, and not in the middle of nowhere. Although I tried to pick a less popular spot father down the Columbia River Gorge past the Old Highway and all the other popular spots  apparently I wasn't alone in that way of thinking. It was very crowded and the parking lot was full. I guess me and several other Mothers had the same idea. Quite the opposite of the isolation of the day before. Whatevs, it was incredibly lovely and it raised my spirits for a bit to be out in such incredibly beauty.

The photos are from Wahclellah Falls.
 It is a pretty easy family hike 2 miles round trip but there are some muddy and slick spots and some pretty big drop offs so I bribed Nalah into the Ergo backpack with some M&M's. I am so glad I did as it would have been a scary place for a two year old who likes to run ahead. 
However, I could have picked better hiking shoes..
Happy Mother's Day to all you Mamas out there!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Honest thoughts.... not feeling so hot.

Lately I have been having a hard time dealing with the isolation that comes along with being a stay at home mom. The utter lack of other adult conversation or companionship. I am not a single Mama, but my husband travels with work often leaving me without a companion, or support parent for a week(s) at a time. This literally means that the only time I have to myself is when they are asleep and when I should be sleeping too. It is kind of mind blowing how a person can be lonely and desperate for some time alone at the same time.
I am okay with sacrifice, but constantly sacrificing the things I need is starting to seriously wear down my soul. It is hard to keep going and be motivated in that situation.
Health issues are a major problem for me right now. Medical care that I need keeps getting pushed back and pushed back and never resolved because of lack of insurance and ability to pay out of pocket, yet I am supposed to have the energy to care for three children.
The last three years I have felt like a shadow of the person I used to be. Our family  has run into hard luck, over and over and over. It seems as soon as we start to get on the right track moving forward, something happens and it sets us back even farther. I think chronic stress is in part responsible for the autoimmune disease I now have to deal with.
I don't have the energy to be the kind of mom I want to be. On my bad days getting the older kids dropped off at and picked up from school and practices, keeping Nalah happy and occupied at home,and getting a few necessary chores and errands done is honestly takes all the energy I have got.
I hate feeling that way. I am the kind of person who likes to move, get out of the house and get stuff done! I scrubbed my bathroom top to bottom and cleaned out drawers in a major spring cleaning urge on Wednesday and by the end of the day my back was so stiff I couldn't even stand up straight. I am in my early 30's but feel like an 80 year old.
I am trying to ignore and push through the limits that my body is putting on me. I have started hiking up a very steep hill to the park several times a week and doing pilates or yoga at home on days when hiking is not an option. As long as I keep moving all day I am okay. If I sit down, ever, I literally have to force myself back up again.
I really want to look forward to things again. To be inspired by life and motivated towards my goals once again. To live for more than just simply getting through the day. Too feel strong and confident rather than hopeless and insecure. To be an energetic happy Mama who can give my children what they need and at the same time give a little love back to myself. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A rainy day hike...


My family and I got out for a short wet hike last Sunday. The sun broke out of the clouds as soon as we reached the river and the kids had fun jumping from rock to rock. It was nice to get outside even hiking in the pouring rain. Saturday was spent with a stomach bug, a lot of sitting around indoors and missing a birthday party too.