29 May, 2011

Olympia Airshow -- Father's Day

 Held in Olympia at the Olympic Flight Museum, this is where the warbirds kick off the summer season.
Frequently mired in rain, we only make it every other year or so. Our friends from the Cascade Warbirds fly in from all over the Northwest. Another site with info.
If you need a ride or just need to step inside a B-17, they have you covered. There is a terrific amount of aviation memorabilia inside the museum as well.

Bud Granley raced this plane for one of our friends at the Reno Air Races.

I don't plan on going this year but my husband might ride with  a stearman buddy (owner of the T-6 above). Then again, the kid is getting his ACL surgery that week so - yeah - it's up in the air.

More photos of the T-6 above.

28 May, 2011

Pondering The Blog

I've been thinking about a blog post that Amy (from Angry Chicken) wrote pertaining to - if I can even summarize this -- to being okay with other people's successes. It was a rather profound concept and it dovetailed with coming off of the SewMamaSew giveaway week.
Like other crafters out there, I visited a few blogs (nowhere near the 550 giving things away) and checked out some other sewing blogs. Knitting  blogs, family blogs, crafty blogs. Sheep shearing blog.
Beyond being blown away by other people's creativity, I was also pondering blog design and why we blog at all.

So Amy's post was timely and while sorting mail (and instead of reading other people mail),  I revisited the reasons as to why I blog.
My obvious reasons: I like to write and have nearly forgotten how and I love taking photographs so the two work as a journal of sorts.
This journal is also, on purpose, a positive place for me to be. With work being so stressful and intense right now, it becomes doubly hard to turn off the negativity and be one with a positive outlook. You cannot create if you are mired down in stress, office politics, not to mention back-stabbing people. I try not to let those things come into my blog world. I like to keep mine along the lines of Zen and the art of blogging.
The less obvious reasons: Announcing to the world at large that I need recognition and applause. I think of myself as fairly humble so I hope my blog doesn't offend anyone with it's greatness. (lol)
Another reason that became apparent last year was my auto-immune disease messing with my memory - aka brain fog. I literally go back to some of my posts and cannot remember making that soup or even writing the post. Not to mention old age; but writing a journal is quite helpful for this problem.
Another reason is to document that I do something besides work all week (six days a week). It can be a big morale boost when I am not feeling good and I am tired from working to see that I manage to do quite a few things. I've always pushed myself. I like to stay busy and frequently juggle three things at once so when I slow down to one project occasionally - it can feel wrong.
I do tend towards projects for others - as gifts. Hand-made gifts are great  but I do recognize I need to give myself some of these finished projects - more than I do. Think Selfish Seamstress. So by blogging I am reaching for that goal of taking care of myself.
Repeat after me; We are all a work in progress.
Amy's point of not always being "Good for you" when someone has a success is true for anyone. That their success makes you less somehow and you need to hurry up and perform better is  - wow - I've felt that way.
She brings up a better response of "good for you"  for everyone who this can apply to and then leaving it alone.
I enjoy the process of creating something but by no means do I need to make it perfect and it frequently is not. I tend to stay clear of sewing bloggers who have to have all their quilt triangles perfect or their garments all finished inside with bias tape. Without stringing words together, those perfect bloggers 'intimidate' me a bit - on a sub-conscience level, of course. What Amy is saying is make it simple - just say "good for you" and move on. Take it up to a conscience level.

Short list of blogs (SMS giveaway)  I was not going to read further;
I saw some blogs that were so loaded down with advertising and award buttons  that I could not enjoy them. Let alone find the content.
Many just wanted their number of followers on Facebook to go up but were not really invested in those people.
This newish trend of headline blogging (no examples as I have none of them bookmarked and I certainly cannot find one under pressure)  is distracting as well. I've asked several people about them and no consensus was reached. I think they look commercial - somewhat like reading the USA today newspaper.

Part of the problem of a type-A personality is the amazing amount of stuff in your head so my other big reason to blog is to let the stuff out. Seriously, it's not healthy to keep it all festering inside.
So- I'm right back where I started. No changes on the horizon. Still rambling about whatever is in my head. My blog is still gonna be all about me.

There were sun breaks today when I got home from work so I took care of this corner of a path to the neighbors this afternoon when I got home from work.

I took out the hodge-podge of miscellany plants and put a curve to the plantings with some variegated boxwoods. I am keeping this pathway but need to rework my second brick step as it has sunk a bit. Some barkdust to be spread to keep columbine babies from taking over the corner. That bright light in the upper left-hand corner - ANOTHER SUN BREAK!!!

Since felling 18 large fir trees (small leaning problem) last Spring, I have tried to move on to my next gardening moment but when the shack appears in my photos, it all comes back (good for them - they put a new roof on). Since the sunlight hit this bed, I have been battling growth. The light pink things in the foreground are Azaleas smothered in Lamium. I have both purple and pink varieties and Lamium was such a thoughtful delight when the trees shaded everything but now it is matting over everything in it's path.

Lamium and my snail collection device. Need some? Lamium, I mean?

Two wheelbarrows full today. Lamium, Columbine, Sweet woodruff, hardy geranium, pinks, Asters, Valerian, Forget-me-nots, Cup & Saucer( Canterbury Bells).
Destined for the compost pile.

Brief sunshine caused an Iris to pop.

Nora Barlow Columbine. I still have 10,000 plants. Somebody needs to get some backbone.

 Still sunny but some serious sounding thunder happening to the south of us.

26 May, 2011

Bunny Hoppalong

Inundated with vacation advice.
Thanks for all the lovely ideas.

 I think running off to the beach for the day is a wonderful vacation break.
My dogs think it is heaven to go play in the ocean.
Course, we're spoiled here in Oregon. The beach and the mountains are all less than two hours away - easy to get to, leaves time to play.
I also think that because of my seriously 'odd' work situation, I won't be doing anything but  day trips until all of the stress dissolves after July 16th.
But I do have a weeks vacation scheduled (however, my leave slip is not signed) for the last week of July.

I would like to go back to Diamond Lake and spend some more time at Crater Lake and also along the Santiam River. It was so gorgeous last summer.
If money was not an issue, I vote for Costa Rica or at least anywhere near the Caribbean. If I could get 2 weeks in a row, that would obviously be better.
Well - the Aland Islands between Finland & Sweden and visiting my host families there would be more than lovely.
I was intrigued with the gal who was taking the train from Portland to Glacier Natl' Park. But then we've done the train to Seattle to watch the Mariners and 4 hours is good for me on a train.
I'd rather be on the water somewhere.
Too many ideas, now to get cracking  on the details of WHO WON the BUNNY?
I utilized a random number generator thingy on the internet and came up with:
#28  ---Cherie said...
What a cute bunny! We just had a new baby so no vacation for us this year but we may go on some day trips. We live in Connecticut so maybe New York City, New Hampshire, Maine, etc."   Congratulations Cherie. You've won the cute bunny.

25 May, 2011

Garage Sale Jackpots

My Giveaway is here.
Just a few more hours to comment. 
One of my new favorite blogs had a unique idea for her comments. She asked her commenters to tell of something supernatural or otherworldly that had happened to them. She started it off with a haunted house story from when she lived in Dayton (OR). In fact, what grabbed me was the fact she grew up in Oregon City. Now, she lives on Awaji Island in Japan. If you'd like to enter her giveaway or view the scary stories, it also closes tonight. She's giving away a cool tote.

Last Friday, I went garage saling in Molalla - just south of me and kind of, sort of, on the way home from work. I found all sorts of treasures and most of them will be organized to be re-sold.
---But that's so I can support my habit.

Vintage Jack and Jill Magazines from the 1940's.

All of the sewing whatnots came from one garage sale in a big bin that I bargained a deal for. The books from another sale.

 Underneath all those vintage Duchess and Princess embroidery hoops are about a thousand knitting needles and crochet hooks. I could be exaggerating but seriously, - a bunch.

Haven't decided if I will keep the WISS pinking shears. I'll test them beforehand. I already sent one box off to Iraq for the IBOL guy. This is a charitable (on the side) arm of someone who is serving in Iraq. The idea is make bundles of fabric, or notions, or yarn, and distribute to Iraqi women around Ramadan. It's a backdoor effort that could open some doors for our service personnel in Iraq. My bundle was one of about 500 that went to Fallujah. I may save quite a bit of this for his next push which is this summer. If you are interested, you can keep posted of the dates by reading his blog.

excerpted from his post on May 2, 2011.
 "4.  OMG, OMG, OMG.  June will bring the next round of IBOL.  The big push, pre-Ramadan (which kicks off around 01 August, depending on the moon — really).  Why is it OMG?  I won’t be IBOL.  Yep — sealed the deal.  We’re pushing stuff to Afghanistan.  Maybe a little bit more to Iraq, we’ll see, but we have AWESOME plans for Afghanistan.  Get ready to get giddy, it’s gonna be a ball.  If you’ve enjoyed the secret projects, or enjoyed helping Iraq, or found solace or goodness or reward in helping with IBOL, I suspect you’ll find the same or more when you hear how this is going to play out."

Once you 'make' the deal, it's surprising what is 'tossed' in as part of the "take it out of my house, please".
All of these books were added. A bevy of Chickenscratch patterns, Embroidery stitches, cross-stitch patterns, Scherenschnitte, etc.

Gallon ziploc of embroidery floss. That means I tossed two gallons of floss.  For two reasons - no tags, and tied in knots. I kept out just the bundled skeins with color tags attached. J.P. Coats, DMC, Whites, Star, Lily brands.
There is also a quart ziploc full of glossy rayon floss.

23 May, 2011

SewMamaSew Giveaways

I am having so much fun with this giveaway. There are a lot of talented seamstresses, sewers, & crafters out there and it a pleasure to be able to find them so easily from this list.
My GIVEAWAY is here.

SewMamaSew has put together another winner of a major worldwide giveaway.

I've only been to a few sites but I thought I'd share some of my favorites so far.

This is my absolute favorite (so far) from Portlander  Mama Jean Kind Threads:

This Fairy Doll from Miss Aine  from Ireland:

I loved this handmade journal/book from Salamander Dreams.

And this Japanese wash cloth - a tawashi by Yngeltankar in Sweden.

And, finally for today ( got to go back to work), this lovely purse with the huge flower from BumblebeeBliss in Seattle.

I've already bookmarked several interesting-looking blogs to linger over later.

21 May, 2011

Flying Home

 SewMamaSew Giveaway - go here.
I am giving away a bunny rabbit.

We just flew home from celebrating all of the May birthdays of our flying friends.
Every May, this large group of flying friends gets together at Grove Airport in Camas, Washington.
One of our friends has just completed his tenth Stearman restoration project. Paint job on this plane is Canadian Air Force with appropriate nose art. Sometime this week it will  be launched upon it's maiden airflight - but not today. Today, we are here to celebrate some serious birthdays - including mine.
Meatballs, smoked salmon, colonel's chicken, fresh fruit trays, 8 different salads, and a groaning dessert table.
I haven't been to this event in a while and for once, the weather was cooperating by not having a downpour so quite a few airplanes flew in to help build the birthday atmosphere. A reunion as well as many people showed up that I hadn't seen in ages.

I finally remembered I had my camera on the way home so here's a little geography lesson:

 The Mighty Columbia River dividing Washington from Oregon. We are flying south from Camas, Washington - oh right - I have a camera in my pocket. Duh.

Same view; but the road down there which is a major landmark on our aviation maps is I-84.
If you squint, between I-84 and the Columbia River  is Troutdale airport.

 The Columbia is receding over the Gresham/Happy Valley area.

Looking south again.

We pass over the Sandy River. We are only about 1000' feet up. Very cloudy, but not rainy and surprisingly, not too bumpy.

Here's my instrument panel. The magnetic compass is centered at top. We are just west of south.
The instruments I look at the most are our altitude indicator- lower left-hand corner --which shows us at just under 1300' - a little higher than I thought.
Over there on the top right is an instrument we monitor in flight but it is most useful when we do our run-up before we lift off. During flight we run about 1750 rpm.
On the top left is our airspeed which generally hovers between 90 and 100 mph. "Low and slow" is what stearmans do best. We utilize VFR which means visual flight rules aka - if you can see, you're good.
On the lower right is the engine and oil temp gauge. Running hot, blowing oil - these are important to note.
And finally in the middle bottom is my 7-day clock. I actually set it today for an accurate cell phone time. I believe I noted in a prior post that ALL of my AT&T bars are in the sky. I can't hear the phone but I can text.
I sit in the front seat and my husband, the pilot, sits in the back cockpit. You can fly from either seat but if you are going solo - only from the rear.

 There's the Clackamas River.

 Close-up of the bend.

 I included this photo (squinty quality) because when we are flying, there are no blinking signs to mark your next exit.  We have a flight map and it shows permanent landmarks like power lines, railroad tracks, major roads, tall items like smokestacks, etc. This is a power line going up that greenspace. You can almost make out the towers.

We are flying over bucolic farmland but the urban sprawl of Clackamas is straight off the wing.

Sometimes golf courses get onto our maps. This is the Mountain view Golf Course just before Damascas.

 And finally- that distinctive bend in the Willamette River - nearly home. On the opposite side is West Linn. The hill is called Pete's Mountain.

One more image of some additional controls in my cockpit. Just forward of my knee is the left brake. There is a battery between my feet and my feet rest on the running boards there. Underneath all that is a fabric airplane.
Knobs on left control the fuel mixture. When you take off you want the mixture richer and when you are flying straight and level, - you lean it out.
I've forgotten what the lever (to the right of the knob)  is for and the handle just above that means our prop is spinning and we have nine cylinders providing some serious energy.

Lots of cable and conduit and oil make up a Stearman Biplane.

It takes just over 30 minutes to fly from our home to Camas. We don't use our maps on this flight as we know the route well including the dozen or so tiny little airstrips along the way. It was really nice to get to fly today because when I left for work today it was raining - well - sprinkling and I was having some bad crap driving thoughts.
I have also had  work cobwebs building up in my brain and flying always blows them away - as well as helping clear out the seasonal allergies.

20 May, 2011

(SewMamaSew) BUNNY Giveaway

SewMamaSew is hosting another Giveaway Day.

UPDATE: MAY 27, 2011. Winner announced here. Thank you to all who entered.

I managed to upcycle four of these bunnies out of one woman's striped t-shirt and I put a couple into my etsy shop. I also gave one of them to my little great-niece who is 5 months old. 

I thought someone out there would really really love one for their very own. Missy Bunny is about 6" high. Her ears make her seem taller.

This rabbit is all soft cotton knit, stuffed with poly-fil and the little face is embroidered on making this perfect for your little one or as a gift.

To enter, please leave a comment (& contact info, if necessary) and answer the question:
Where are you going on vacation this summer?

I can ship domestically as well as internationally. This giveaway is open to anyone.
The winner is decided randomly by me.

Giveaway is open until May 25th (evening PST). I will ship the bunny as soon after I close the comments and get contact info.
Thanks for commenting.

I need some vacation planning. My husband of 24 years is not the best at handling the pre-vacation details. Actually, I would love it if someone just gave me a vacation dream that is reasonably priced, about a week long and the details  dove-tail nicely. Wishing for the moon here.

17 May, 2011

Wonderful Day

This morning during the drive to work, I was privileged to view the best sunrise of the year.
During the next two months, I drive to work when it is light and I come home in the evening when it is light. Such a mood lifter.

And when I came home for my mid-day break, UPS had delivered a belated birthday gift to me.
I had an order into Fabric.com because they gave me a birthday coupon code and I utilized the opportunity to buy some knits to play with. Knits don't talk to me the way cotton and polyester fabrics do. But on-line is where one needs to navigate to buy the knits.
Whole 'nother lingo to learn.

Stretch Rayon Tissue Jersey Knit turned out to be a thin, slightly see-thru t-shirt weight knit. I thought the word tissue was descriptive here. This t-shirt caught my eye and this fabric might be used for it. (Light blue/aqua. Water is the color description).
Stretch Jersey ITY Crepe Knit Tie Dye turned out to be gorgeous. A medium-weight knit that feels like crepe. It does.  While I just 'linked' to what ITY means, I still can't remember this acronym for more than 20 seconds. Tie Dye knit? This would make a really cool shirt. I love the color of red swirling around.

Keep Cool Microfiber Performance Knit. Well - that's somewhat self-explanatory. It's performance knit for athletic wear. Has those little dimply thingy's in the fabric too. (butter yellow).
Dimple Knit tubular Combed Cotton. This is more of a medium weight t-shirt fabric that I like in the stores because is skims over my flab rolls better than the tissue-thin knits which are so popular for layering. And Yes - it has dimples. (green and blue - I thought to do some color blocking or something).

100% Organic Cotton Jersey Knit. This is more the interlock-type knit you might find at Joann's or Fabric Depot.   I've seen this weight before. And it's organic!  Will it sew together organically? -- that's what I wanna know. (green)

How did fabric.com know to throw in some airplane fabrics too?

Wonderful Day.

16 May, 2011

More Spring Flowers

More flower power.
Trying to remember to take joy in the simplest things. Count my blessings and all that.

 Pacific Dogwood

 Dwarf Iris

 Hanging Baskets planted.
I usually do about ten or so, but this year I am cutting back on patio plants.
I'm not going to be a slave to watering.

 Varigated Iris. Delightful blue purple blooms.

 Chinese Dogwood finally in bloom Cornus Kousa.
 Leopard's Bane. Tres important to keep the leopards out of one's yard.

 Very expensive new Rose (meidiland  from Heirloom Roses). 18 of them.

 These plants have all found homes in the ground now.
Hinoke cypress, boxwoods (varigated leaf), tri-color jap. maple, etc.

Tulip location photo. These used to be in smart clumps in this bed but over the years have straggled a bit. (If anyone wants to help me) I need to dig up the bulbs later and replant them. And what to do with more Columbine babies? They are taking over this bed and I'm not happy.

And finally, one wheel barrow load a day keeps
1. more weeds growing?
2. makes spring weeding a smaller chore?
3. hubby occupied in dumping one load a day?
4. all the flower photos pretty?