February 28, 2011

The Groundhog Lied!

We have just returned from a wild, wintery weekend in the Skagit Valley, and it was no small feat to get up there. On Thursday night we drove north, only to make it 45 miles up the road before turning back. The road was so covered with ice and snow that our little Corolla had no chance (another reason to miss the Bull). Not one to give up, Friday morning we arose bright and early and caught the train to Mount Vernon. What enticement kept us going? Why the Smelt Derby, of course!

The Smelt Derby is an annual fishing competition that takes place in the small town of Laconner, Wa. This is a family tradition for the fishin' Franklins, and Mike and I were excited to participate this year. We were entirely unprepared for the weather, but luckily Susanna & Clayton had us covered (figuratively and literally).

Alex, Quinn & Carolina

Susanna & Alexis

We had another early day, as we staked our claim on the dock by 8:30 am. Clayton set us all up with rods and reels, Alex brought the propane heater, and the kids kept the waters full of chum (by constantly throwing chicken feed into the water in an attempt to attract fish).

Clayton & his Barbie pole

Mike working two poles with skill (outfit courtesy of Clayton)

3 hours later and not a single fish was caught (though a few were sighted). Apparently 25° weather and snow are not ideal conditions for smelt (not so ideal for me either). To thaw out we headed down to the Hall to paint some dead fish.

Aidan going blue

Isaiah went for an all black fish, which turned out so awesomely that Susanna made a second one so that she could go all black as well.

I tried for an ombre green/blue with a few pink highlights.

I have a project idea for this fish print...

The snow continued all weekend, and after fishing we headed home for dominoes and sledding. Vanessa & Aidan did the majority of the sledding, and even found a way to get a little workout in for Gunner.

February 20, 2011

Knee-high grass is a Ewe's dream

For Christmas I received a new sewing machine (Brother LS2125i) from my sister-in-law and book full of patterns from my older sister. The book, Wild & Wonderful Fleece Animals, is full of patterns for stuffed fleece toys. I requested the book with the hope that I could shrink the patterns down and use them to make felt animals. This ewe is my first attempt! I shrunk the pattern down to 25% and used two types of acrylic fleece. The portion used to represent "wool" has a bit of a nubbly texture, while the other fabric is smoother. The ewe stands 5.5" high and is 7.5" from nose to tail. This is about as small as I'd go with this pattern and still use the sewing machine.

February 17, 2011

So long "Bull"

The other day I was reading Wendy's post about finally getting rid of her old car, then as if it were contagious, I found myself in a similar situation.

11 years ago I bought a 1992 toyota 4-runner from my dad, and it's been with me ever since. As of Tuesday this week it had 278k miles on it. And it was still running! But I was told not for long unless we invested some serious cash into it. It was too serious for us, so after much deliberation we decided that it was time to say goodbye.

It may not look like much, but much happened in this car.

I learned to drive standard in this car.
It's been up and down the West coast countless times,
and across the country twice.
It has moved me, my sisters and friends from apartment to apartment to house.
I slept in it once when my roommates threw a party that wouldn't quit.
I've slept in it camping at the coast.
I've driven it up the mountain to ski (it's a wonderful car to take skiing, as you
can sit on the tailgate and have lunch and never have to remove your ski boots).
I've driven it to the ocean to surf.
It has hauled garbage, drywall, aluminum siding, concrete, mulch, windows, 2x4s and paint.
It has hauled babies and friends and family.
It is just a car. But oh it makes me think of so many wonderful things.

February 12, 2011

Hanging Hearts

A holiday for hearts soon approaches- not usually one that Mike and I celebrate, but at work this is our second year of marking the holiday with a fundraising party for a local non-profit (for CHAP!). I made a few felt ornaments to decorate the dogwood branches.

Needle-felted heart in bright blood red.

Hand-sewn felt heart, firmly stuffed.

Hand-sewn felt heart with an exposed seam

February 11, 2011

Out of town & On the town

Last week I jetted down to sunny (but cold) San Diego for work with my colleague Elizabeth and architect Renee. We were down to look at the School of Medicine, but managed to see a fair amount of the campus and a bit of "downtown" La Jolla.

And last weekend Mike and I spent time in Eugene watching a UO Men's Basketball game in the new Knight Arena. It was a great, close game against the Univ. of Washington, and I loved our seats in Row K of section 107 (noted for future reference - should we go again). The stadium is quite nice, with some pluses and minuses. A major plus is that it is walking distance from the hotel we like to stay at, and tickets to basketball are much cheaper than football! We were also able to get into three more favorites: Keystone Cafe (for breakfast), Eugene City Brewery (go for the Kurobuta Ham Sandwich - also available at the Green Dragon in Portland), Ninkasi Tasting Room (home of the lovely, lovely soft pretzels). We also checked out the Picadilly Flea Market, at the recommendation of AAA magazine, as we're in search of a new coffee table. I was expecting a flea market like they often show on HGTV or TLC (lots of antiques and furniture). The Picadilly in Eugene is more like 75 mini garage sales. We didn't find anything there that we couldn't pick up at the local Goodwill. For something to do, it's worth the $1.50 entry fee - just keep your expectations low.
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