June 21, 2011

Gray Cat, the Amineko

 Gray Cat basks in the sun on his special throne (courtesy of Mom).

 Gray Cat sniffs the mint.

Gray Cat looks at me with disdain and superiority.

Last month I got Hello My Name is Amineko from the library. This is a fascinating book - not because it's well-written (it's really not) but because it's a craft book full of photos of crocheted cats. There is only one pattern in this craft book. All the other pages of the book are dedicated to photographing crocheted cats sleeping, eating, playing, hiding, relaxing, etc. I admit, the photos are pretty cute. But I was shocked to find that there was only one pattern. However, it's a pretty easy pattern - crocheting in the round - and the color variations could be limitless. The nose was supposed to be stitched felt, but I needled felted it directly to the cotton yarn. This pattern is also available for free on Ravelry.

June 20, 2011

Everybody's Brewing

Mike and I have been spending a lot of time driving out along the gorge on weekend evenings in search of good views and good beer. We went to our favorite restaurant in Hood River a few weeks ago and the bartender recommended that we check out Everybody's Brewing in White Salmon, WA.

So the next weekend we headed back out along the gorge, crossed over the river at Hood River, drove through Bingen and up the hill to Whilte Salmon.

The brewery is in an old brick building with "Goodwill Lodge" on the canopy in low-contrast letters. Needless to say we drove by it the first couple of times. If you look closely, their logo is on the door and an authoritative neon sign in the window tells one to "GET IN HERE".


They have about 10 beers on tap, and my favorite was the Daily Bread Common Ale. Mike tried the Goodwill IPA. I was pleased to see that they have 3 IPAs, so there will be plenty more to try on our next visit. While it was a bit chilly, we ventured out to the patio to take in the wonderful views of Mt. Hood and some glorious green hill that reminded me of Heidi.

To keep in the spirit of the Gorge and Beer, this last weekend we headed to Stevenson, WA to check out the Walking Man Brewery. While their beer is good, the overall experience was decidedly less pleasant and no photos were taken. In the future I will enjoy Walking Man beer from the comfort of my favorite restaurants. There was an excellent ice cream joint in Stevenson, however...

June 7, 2011

Sun: the cherry on top of my day

The first weekend in June turned out to be a beautiful one here in the Pacific Northwest. Mike and I spent it with Papa at his house on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington. Per usual, Mike and I headed up with a couple of projects in tow. Mike brought materials to build carriage doors for our shop (a work in progress, in itself), while I brought my felt and sewing supplies to craft a birthday present for Lilly's upcoming 2nd birthday (more on that later).

Mike laying out his design for the carriage doors.

The view from Pa's hot tub

Homemade pizza! We tried a variation of Alan's Flammkuchen: sour cream, sauerkraut and pears.

I had gone light on the sour cream and kraut thinking it might be too much - Papa piled more on. It was very tasty and I would definitely do this combo again - thanks Alan!

Our dinner table

We took a day trip up to the Skagit Valley to catch Aidan's final game of the season. Our little man hit a home run! He was very cool about it, didn't say much, but I could tell he was really happy to have made such a good play with his family around. 

Aidan had quite a fan club present: 4 grandparents, 2 aunts, an uncle and both his parents (even dad was home from Alaska for a week!).

 Aidan was pretty thrilled to be able to leave the game in Grandma Joyce's mustang. As he climbed in, a teammate shouted, "sweet ride, Aidan!"

The shop doors in their unfinished state. Mike managed to get them all built before we headed home, now it's just some finishing work and paint. This was our first door project and we learned a lot; particularly about gluing and clamping. Luckily Pa was around with lots of advice and huge stash of large pipe clamps. 

June 2, 2011

Work In Progress: A new doll

A new work in progress... This doll is a variation on my previous dolls. I've been playing around with the pattern by adding thumbs and toes (covered by those kicks) and a new method of applying hair. This doll is also smaller than my previous dolls, by virtue of the fact that I used DK weight yarn rather than worsted weight. I found this cotton yarn in the sale bin at the Mill Ends Store and went with it because it was a nice flesh color. I also added  pipe cleaners to her limbs to give her a little more poseability - it also helps her to stand up.

I whipped up the overalls out of flat felt, and added a couple of antique brass buttons. I had made an extra pair of converse for Vanessa's duck that were too small, but amazingly just fit this doll.

The hair is a 100% wool roving yarn by Twilleys of Stamford (Freedom). I was able to needle felt it directly onto the doll's head and I'm really liking the way it turned out. I'm constantly changing my method for applying hair to dolls, but I think I would do this one again.

As you can see, the poor doll is missing a face. I just haven't decided how I want her to look... in the meantime she sits on the shelf with the perfect poker face.
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