autumn to-do list

Now it really is starting to feel like autumn up here in the mountains, and the cottonwoods have the barest tinge of yellow. Something about the change of seasons makes me want to get some things done. I made a list, and I’ve already started working on it:

  • Wash and re-block hand knits.
    I pulled out a couple scarves, and they’re not dirty, just a bit crumpled from being shoved in a drawer all summer. A good blocking will do them all some good.
  • Take a crochet class.
    I went on Saturday for a class, and it was so helpful! I’ve done a little crochet on my own, but was never sure if I was doing it right. I especially never felt very comfortable juggling the hook and the yarn. In my class I learned a good way to hold them both, and I can single and double crochet quite well now. I even found a pattern for a ripple blanket and started on the first stripe. I actually had tried to do a similar pattern years ago, but I was never happy with the way it looked. I thought it would be a great project to use up leftover bits of worsted weight yarns. I’ll be working on it for a long time, but it will be a nice break to do a stripe here and there. 

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  • Make roast goose.
    So, I’ll be brief on this one. We had two mean geese. They were noisy and unpleasant and I found someone who was willing to “process” them for me. And now they are in the freezer. I’m still working myself up to it, but I found a good tutorial for when I am ready.
  • Get some more chickens.
    My girls aren’t laying much, and two of the six hens are now six years old, so it’s time for some fresh young hens. I’ll let my old ladies enjoy the rest of their days in our yard, though. They don’t try to nip at me when I feed them.
  • Finish website re-design/cleanup.
    I want to keep things clean and simple around here. I’ll probably do  a little here and there on this one, but I’m still not in a mood to spend my evenings in front of the computer.
  • Learn to use Lightroom, and organize my photos.
    I’ve started doing this too. In fact, I’ve even switched to shooting in RAW. I’m not totally sure what that even means, but I’m doing it! 
  • Bake a cake (flourless, of course).
    Done, and it was good, but I’m still searching for a really good grain-free cake recipe. I used this recipe, and it was dense and moist, which I expected. It was just a little too sweet for me (which might have been the pears I used, they were very ripe and sweet), and a little heavy. But it was so fun to bake again. I won’t be making it a regular habit, just a now and then treat.  

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  • Make a scarf from a piece of Liberty fabric I’ve been hoarding.
    This should take about ten minutes, I’ve got a yard, so I think I’ll just cut it in half and sew it end-to-end for length. 
  • Make a sweater for Pulley
    He doesn’t have fur like the other dogs, I think he’s going to need some warm clothes for the winter. 
  • Start making soup.
    I need to find some new soup recipes. Do you have any good ones? 
  • Knit the perfect cabled sweater.
    I want something cozy and slouchy. This might be just the thing. I have to decide what kind of yarn to use. 
  • Buy a lot of pumpkins and decorate the porch.
    I’ve got two so far, but I’m going to need some more.

Bonus items:

The Autumn pin board.
I also just needed to share the fact that you can follow an astronaut on pinterest.

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lovely things

lake waterI think I need to make this a regular post topic: things I found this week that are lovely and inspiring.

I love this crocheted trim on a cozy blanket. I’m going to take a crochet class this fall, and finally learn how I should properly hold a crochet hook.

This site is full of beautiful video and photography of the Serengeti lions. Navigation takes a minute to figure out, but there is lots to explore. I hope I will have to opportunity to go on safari again someday, South Africa was one of my favorite places (not that I’ve been to so many places), and I’d like to see more of the African Continent.

I’m not huge into Halloween, but I do like pumpkins. This is a fun and easy way to make a really cute, carved pumpkin. I might need to do this next month.

We’ve been watching Hell on Wheels on Netflix. I’ve especially liked the music, so I did a little digging and made a playlist on Spotify with some of the songs from the series.

The photo is from my vacation last month, I love how the lake was calm and almost ombré striped.

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idaho

The last week of August I met up with most of my family in Northern Idaho. It was beautiful and I was so happy to spend time with my favorite people. I almost don’t want to share photos, because what if everyone realizes that Idaho is a really beautiful state and they all go there? DSC_1482-2

Because there were so many beautiful scenes to photograph, I am thinking about my photography skills lately. I think I need to take some classes to learn how to improve. I feel like I’m sort of stagnant. I’d like to find a style and some originality.

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I’ve been playing with Lightroom, but I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’d love to find a group or class or something where we could critique photographs, and learn how to improve.

lake pend oreille

As per usual, I have a Pinterest board of photos that I admire. I think I need to articulate just what I like about each photo that I pin, and then see if I can incorporate that in my own photos. DSC_1504

Here’s an example: the photo above was inspired by the series of deer beds by Katherine Wolkoff. I love that there is a story behind what otherwise just seems like a swirl of flattened grass. DSC_1530

My sister sent me a link to photographer David duChemin, who publishes ebooks on photography. I downloaded a free one called Ten Ways to Improve your Craft. None of Them Involves Buying Gear, which is great for me because I’ve felt lately that I’m limited by my little entry-level Nikon and inexpensive lenses. Instead of lusting after a fancy new camera, I should be working on seeing with what I have. I know this, but it’s good to be reminded. I think one of my favorite pictures I took on the whole trip was this one, taken with my iPhone:

stormy skies

I liked it so much, I had a 12×12 fine art print made at Ink361 (mini-review: my print is beautiful, the paper is thick and has a subtle, but very nice texture. I’ll show you when I get it framed. I will definitely be using them again.). So this is where I need to figure out what is so appealing to me about this photo. I like the colors and moodiness and the luminescence of the water. I like that the trees a sharper but the fuzziness around the edges feels like I’m peering through a looking-glass. I think the horizon could be straighter, and the focus could be sharper.

Sorry for the navel-gazing post. I have more photos from my trip to edit and share, but I will save them for another day.

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cool things

Here are some things I’m thinking about right now:

::One:: Oyster is like Netflix for ebooks, and I’m thinking it could be pretty cool. It’s currently iPhone only, and you have to sign up for an invite. I put in my request a week or so ago and haven’t heard back yet. I’m looking forward to trying it out, the design looks really nice. I prefer reading on my Kindle, but I’ve read plenty of books on my phone too.

::Two:: I often listen to music while I work, and have several Pandora stations to choose from, depending on my mood. Lately I’m enjoying my Django Reinhart station. It’s cheery and soothing and I like the vintage sound.

::Three:: I went on vacation the last week of August. It was a family reunion at a beautiful lake. I will make you look at all my vacation photos eventually (I’m currently learning to use Lightroom and want to edit them all first), so here’s just a sneak peek:

boat house

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dogs in hats

 

I promise this isn’t going to become a pugs-in-clothes blog, but now and then I am going to be compelled to make things for Pulley to wear. I particularly have a thing for dogs in hats, as evidenced by several pins on my ‘best friends’ board (which I recommend that you peruse when you are stressed or sad, it is my cure when I’m having a bad day), also there is this board, which is not mine, but will also cheer you right up.

Back to Pulley. There is a certain sci-fi show which had a tragically short run, but if you are a knitter and watched the show, you will remember a very distinctive hat. Apparently, there are now licensing issues, so I won’t mention the name of the show or the character that wore this most excellent article of clothing. I will just let this photo of Pulley speak for itself.

pulley in a shiny hat

 

He wears it with such dignity. The pattern formula was courtesy of Stacy from Boondock Studios.

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list of the week

  1. Have you heard of Skillshare? I’m taking a class to learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator. I think it will be fun, even for a non-artist like me.
  2. Another photo printing app: Printic prints cute little photos that look like Polaroids and come in a cheery orange envelope. I think they make a nice thank you gift. printic
  3. A few books that I’ve read recently and really liked (you’ve probably already heard of most of these, but just in case): The Fault in Our Stars (YA, and I listened to the audiobook. my advice: don’t listen in the car on the way to work. my mascara was just ruined one day), Phantom (the best in the Harry Hole series, I hope it’s not the last), The Paris Wife (now I want to read A Moveable Feast and re-read A Farewell to Arms), Dark Places (Gillian Flynn’s second novel, I liked it better than Sharp Objects, although it was dark, it didn’t have quite the twists and turns of Gone Girl). I’ve been reading the Isabel Dalhousie series, but now that I’m on to book four I’m realizing that I don’t care all that much for Isabel, so I don’t know that I’ll go any farther.
  4. I made this and it was really rich, but also really delicious.cheese shrimp flatbread
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