Ecuador, in 8 days. xo
I am a little late in getting this post together, but here is Iceland from my visit in late July. xo
Harpa, the stunning concert hall in downtown Reykjavík, with walls made of honeycomb glass.
woodcarving x 3
knitted bunnies x 3
watching - The Sopranos, finally. And it's the best television I've ever seen.
travelling - to Iceland to see my family. Pics to come, next post!
A year of:
Daily struggles and little triumphs. Of gratitude and surrender, (to each day and what it brings). And of endless prayer, (that I can learn to love better...through my scattered fears, through the overwhelming beauty, through the grind of this modern parenting/job having life).
-Woodcarving + woodworking (kept me distracted in the best way, in the way that only working with your hands can)
-Making puzzles again, playing with a new color palette.
-5 Points Market, gracious enough to have my work on their walls for this winter. (Thank you, Jasper. xo)
-My old studio, missing everything about it except the heat in the summertime. But grateful that I can now work at home, painting and woodworking.
-Listening, mostly to nothing new...old rock and roll...CCR, Van Morrison, Paul Simon and such.
-Reading, The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, (a brilliant book about developmental trauma and all that we can do for ourselves and others to recover from it)
It's mostly me and Viggo these days, as the girls are always busy. I am back in my studio, painting and carving frames. We now know that we are moving in November, so we are soaking up our last few weeks on La Cienega and, unloading whatever possessions we don't need to make this move a little easier.
Still a little sad about this move, but mostly grateful. A fresh start, in beautiful weather, with my family...it will be our little tiny adventure.
Cooking... pumpkin bread + fresh pico de gallo
The light is changing, the days are just a bit shorter, and even in the hottest part of the day, the sun does not bear down with quite as much strength. Monsoon storms are coming and going. Fall is around the corner...enjoying the last quiet days of a Tucson summer, before the city wakes up and we are all hustling and bustling again.
Cooking: Caldo de Queso / Limeade
Mucking our way through these summer days...lucky enough to get away to California this month. School starts in a couple of weeks and then I'll be back to work in my studio. Cannot wait.
Road Tripping...to San Clemente, CA
Cooking...Albondigas & Blueberry Pie
Enjoying locally...The B Line on 4th Ave.
Quoting..."The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
Keeping...this quote written on a piece of paper in my pocket these days. Setting new goals, trying not to look back, (looking forward with determination and faith), one day at a time.
Cooking...black beans and rice / bacon (always) / banana bread
Road tripping......with Clementine to Flagstaff, AZ
I have been rooted in this house, our home, for thirteen years. With all my babies...and the light, happiness, and troublemaking they bring. But it looks like we will be moving soon. Hoping that our next stop will be as cozy as this one and making sure to enjoy one last summer in this little house. And in the end, making God's heart my home, wherever we may be.
Changes are coming our way but trying still to live "one day at a time". Praying for direction and patience. And looking for the adventure amidst the challenges. xo
"Touch me God, with your hands. Paint my heart the color of yours, and plant your dreams above my head so that you can keep me close and send me out to do all good things. Amen"
My latest attempt at a simple, handmade life. Not shown: crazy carpool, messy corners, lazy dinner fixin's, grumpy mom. I'm reaching for it anyway :)
We are not a family who travels together very often (although we would really like to be), we rarely have the money. We are not a family who spends weekends at the mall (much to Ruby's dismay) or even at the movies...all of that costs too much and it is not in our budget. We live in a small house with an upside-down mortgage. We have a ton of expenses, like most families I know.
My kids are very familiar with the words "broke", "bills", or "maybe on payday". It's not that we are poor, not by any means! But the money comes in and goes right out again. So...we have to fight for a beautiful, adventurous life right here at home, in our little house, in our backyard, sometimes at a nearby little horse barn or at the neighborhood pool. It's a simple life, and even if this has taken me a while to come to terms with, for now, our journey is here...at home.
October is my favorite month of the year in Tucson; the worst of the heat has definitely passed, the city is buzzing again and it is time to organize what I have been making all summer, and get ready for the busy selling season. I managed to get quite a bit done this summer. And a new BIG project is now parked in my backyard...an adorable food truck we picked up for my sister that we are slowly fixing up.
Fall in Tucson...time to come out of hibernation and remember why we live here. xo
We had a great weekend. Picked up a rooster for my broody bantam hen. A trip to Food City resulted in some homemade posole. And, of course, lots of knitting for me. Summer is off to a good start....
Realizing that there might not be very many people (knitters and non-knitters alike), who are very familiar with Icelandic lopi yarn, and being that it has become my favorite yarn as of late, I have decided to offer a little more information about this yarn.
Traditional Lopi yarn is fleeced from Icelandic sheep. The name "lopi" comes from the word "unspun wool". The yarn consists of two layers of the Icelandic sheep's unique wool; one layer of short hair and one layer of longer, softer hair. Lopi is considered to be a lightly processed yarn. Although it is available in a variety of incredible colors (dyed), natural lopi comes in a range of browns, from cream to dark brown.
Lopi does have a reputation for being the itchiest yarn in the world. And yes, as I grew up in Arizona, trying desperately to wear the beautiful Lopapeysur (traditional Icelandic sweaters) that my relatives sent me, waiting for the coldest day of the year....only to have to scramble out of it by 9 am for fear that I might break out in some sort of rash, I can see why. On the other hand, lopi is also known as one of the warmest yarns in the world. This is often proven by the fact, that on the coldest evenings in Reykjavik, you will still find many people out and about in their traditional lopi hats and sweaters, perfectly comfortable. In addition to being warm, lopi is also known for being lightweight, yet waterproof. Being that warm and waterproof are not qualities we often need out of our desert attire, I have yet to knit any lopi sweaters. But I have really enjoyed making my stuffed animals out of it and plan to make many more.
Here are some additional links about Lopi:
I recently visited my favorite local yarn shop, Kiwi Knitting, for some knitting supplies and, much to my surprise, the owner had just ordered some AlafossLopi yarn from Iceland. She only had one color, a beautiful light brown, but I bought two skeins; enough to make another bunny.
My cousin, Vala, recently came in to town from Reykjavik, Iceland and brought a few skeins of Lopi yarn that I had never used before. It is called AlafossLopi, and yes, it is the itchy kind that Icelandic sheep are so famous for producing but I decided to make one of my bunnies out of it anyway. The yarn was just too beautiful not to. Besides, Vala informed me that Lopi yarn can be softened up quite a bit with a warm wash in the gentle cycle. With this in mind, I began my project.
I couldn't wait to wash this bunny. Washing and pressing hand-knit projects is very common in Iceland. Most projects are not considered finished until they have at least been pressed. And I could not wait to see just how much this yarn would soften up.
I am thrilled with the end result of this project...Vala was right, washing the Lopi made all the difference. Although this bunny is not quite as soft as my Kambgarn bunnies, it is much, much softer after washing. I adore the look and feel of this yarn and I love that the bunny is significantly bigger. I will be placing an order of AlafossLopi, straight away.
The Lopi bunny will be available on my Etsy page this afternoon. P.S. I am offering free shipping on all my bunnies, now through the end of March. Just enter the code "bunny77" in the coupon code box when you check out.
I finished these two bunnies on Monday. The grey bunny is a custom order for a little one's Easter basket in Ohio. I will be posting the white one on Etsy this evening. I love making these bunnies...
This week, I spent some time making small bunnies out of leftover kambgarn yarn. I delivered this latest batch to MAST boutique, located in the Lost Barrio, this morning. Here is a link to their beautiful shop on line: