Friday, December 14, 2012

Back home...

I am back in Portland.  I drove home last Friday in time to see Miss Elsie twirl her baton in a Christmas performance.  I'm still finishing up school work (both for classes that I am taking and classes that I am teaching).
Christmas has started and we bought a live tree this year.  It's really big.  Funny how they always look bigger on the lot than in your living room.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

What I have been doing....

I have been doing a lot of reading and not much creating which is starting to wear on me.  Grad school seems to involve large amounts of book reading supported by large amounts of paper reading (and not the newspaper) which is then supported by additional external readings which are sometimes not scanned in well leading to missing words and black blobs.  But I am persevering and learning.  I have also discovered Human Factors which I want to learn more about.  I think they could use some creativity in their website design though.  I have taken one class in this area and am adding a couple more.  

I do squeeze in some knitting on a skirt that I started two years ago.  Maybe I will actually finish it this winter.

Here is what I've been doing:
1. Myself and another student created a protective mesh sleeve for an air fired cannon.  This is me using the industrial sewing machine in the Clothing, Textiles and Design Lab at school.  The bottom picture is the cannon firing.  The big dot is the wad and sabeau.  The little dot is the pumpkin.  This cannon fires pumpkins!

2. I heard Gloria Steinem speak at a small opening at the Prichard Art Gallery.  That is her on the right in the picture in the orange sweater.  She is not a woman of immense stature, but is truly a larger than life individual.  It was incredible to hear her speak and to watch women who had idolized Ms. Steinem finally meet her in person... there were tears in many cases.  She was very patient and had genuine conversations with each person.

 3. I took a group of students and one colleague to Los Angeles for 5 days of factory tours, shopping, and a textile show.  We spend some time (and money) at Mood Fabrics too.  I'll post pictures of the fabric haul in another post.

Sweater factory.... these are the machines that knit the panels (fronts, backs, sleeves, etc):

Psst.... these sweaters are 100% cashmere!... and they are for The Row!

It's always good to take time out to check out the local antique/junk malls.  My dear friend, Ilena, and I absolutely enjoy doing this and found this all-in-one cocktail device.  It comes with a padlock too so you can lock down your rye, bourbon, and scotch.

Pondering going back and getting this.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wow... has it been quiet in here

Time seems to move so quickly!  I'm back at the university this fall doing both teaching and grad school.  I have nothing creative to post at this time... or at least nothing that I have pictures of.

The mulch that I spread this summer at my parent's farm did not work out.  In fact, it sort of stunted some plants.  We won't be buying that again.

However, if you are looking for the BEST NACHOS EVER try these:

They can be found at the Brew Pub in Moscow, ID.  They make their own chili and chips.  The quality is off the charts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Guild

I am a HUGE fan the The Guild, Felicia Day, Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Firefly, Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, any and all science fiction, gaming, cosplay et al.

Felicia Day is amazingly talented as well as being geek-dorable.  This is the ultimate geek anthem:

As a non-cool school kid, I totally identify.

I have been doing a lot of video embedding in an online class site that I am creating.. so I thought I would put some of those talents to use over here.

Here is another Guild video... Bollywood style!!

Monday, July 23, 2012


I am currently recovering from some minor surgery which wrecks my productivity.  I can't lift anything over 5 pounds which apparently is most of the things I own... or most of the projects I like to undertake.  No wild cleaning happening this week.  I need to photograph some of my sewing projects, but that will have to wait.  In the meantime, here is a poem that my father wrote about the yellow roses on the farm.


Andy Maxwell took Ada Wahl to be his winsome bride
Just two miles west of Johnson is where they did abide.
Where they lived remain the roses, abundant as can be.
They bloom for weeks in early summer, a delightful thing to see.

Dorothy brought home some roses that fire or spray might kill.
She set them ‘round the windmill tower, also up on the hill.
Sherm’s sister Ada gave the roses for his and Mary’s wedding day.
They were planted at the “Swan Place”, when spring had come to stay.

They live in soil that’s deep and rich, or thin and bare with clay.
They’ve a scent like far-off lemon pie to sweeten up your day.
Pale and delicate yellow blossoms, if cut don’t last an hour,
Replenished and abundant, when left within their bower.

Refuge for the birds and bunnies, a retreat from their play
With tangled stems all rife with thorns, to keep the hawks at bay.
When I see yellow roses blooming, ‘neath the azure summer sky,
I dream of Great Aunt Ada:  I long for lemon-custard pie!

They sway in the breezes and fill the air with sweet perfume.
They prove that loving beauty lasts, when yellow roses bloom.

         D. Wahl                                                                                                                June 14, 2011

All of the names in the poem are family members past and present.  The roses have been in my family for several generations.  And seeing how well they are doing and how abundant they are, there will be around for a long time to come.

PS... I've been playing with my blog layout.   I think it's time to return to a pretty header.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I have returned home to Portland!... and a lot has happened since my last post.  I finished mulching the garden.  The yellow roses bloomed... see below

This fat bumble bee was actually taking a nap.

I went to Farm Chicks in Spokane...

 Me trying on a lovely mongolian sheep hat and car coat... I passed on this one.

Finished teaching my two classes, cleaned up the rooms, and posted grades... YAY!

We took the kids to Yellowstone Park for a week while our dog, Irving, vacationed at the farm with Nana.  When we are at the farm, he is Nana's (my mom's) dog.  He follows her around and lays by her feet in the kitchen.  Sometimes food items fall on the floor.

The day after we returned from Yellowstone, I cut down one batch of the yellow roses.  They were creeping out into the yard. 

Then after all that fun, I cleaned out a small barn.  A pack rat had moved in.  A family of pack rats actually.  Possibly two generations of pack rats.  There were 8 total.  I caught 7 on the first day (6 in my leather gloved hands), and one more straggler the next day.  I don't have any pictures of the extravaganza, but I think my spouse does.  I will see what I can dig up.  I know there is video. 

I'm almost caught up with housework.  The weeds grew like crazy while I was gone, but I'm making myself do a little at a time so it is not so overwhelming.  Which leaves more time for sewing!  Elsie and I saw this free blouse pattern on Burdastyle yesterday and whipped it up.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Mom wants things as low maintenance as possible.  It is time to seriously apply mulch to any exposed dirt.  Last summer my sister and I cleaned out, tilled, purchased plants, and installed plants into this flower bed....

The plants are now well established.  The above picture was taken last week.  Right before I installed 1000 pounds of mulch.

Lovely!  And the dark mulch shows off the plants really well.

Next up was the rose and peony bed in the garden.  I installed another 1000 pounds on Sunday.

The pink tree peony is very happy with the change and is blooming vigorously.

I have now installed 1 ton of mulch total (it's actually compost, but we are using it as mulch) and still have at least 1 ton to go to cover most of the vegetable garden and any other exposed dirt areas.  I am also collecting all the grass clippings and mulching all the pathways in the garden.  The paths are now very quiet when you walk through them.... very zen and meditative.  Maybe I should lay out the grass paths in a labyrinth!  and then we could walk the labyrinth (with coffee in hand) to meditate and solve our problems.

I love the one in the Chartres Cathedral.

Since this would take up most of the planting space in the garden, I don't think Mom would go for it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In Idaho for 6 Weeks

I am in Northern Idaho staying at my parent's farm and teaching for 6 weeks at the University of Idaho.  This is the first week of teaching.  So far it has gone well, I have a good group of students, and we have a great start in the two classes that I am teaching.  Will post more on that as the session goes along.

In the meantime,  I am enjoying some lovely spring on the farm.

This is the Cutty Sark.

She is NOT the house cat.  That position is already occupied.  BUT she would like very much to be the house cat.  So for now she just follows you around... and she likes to roll... A LOT.

We have many, many apple trees on the farm and they are all in bloom this time of year.  They are so white and fluffy.  It is almost the end of the blooming period, so the blossoms are falling.  It looks like snow.

Butterflies are coming out to sun themselves.

More rolling.  Because it is better in dirt and then you become a dirt powder puff and can distribute said dirt (which is now dust) onto anything you rub against... including dark denim pant legs which show off the dust best.

These are yellow roses... or will be.  These are a wild form that my great grandmother planted.  They do not last at all as a cut flower and they only bloom for a few weeks... but when they bloom it is spectacular.  This should happen when I am here... so stay tuned!

Mom's flower beds are perking along.  All the bleeding hearts are blooming.  The Lily of the Valley is getting really close.  Ours in Portland was in full bloom when I left.  I don't think they will still be blooming in 5 weeks.  Luckily I'm going back on June 7 for a quick 3 day visit, so maybe I can see them in all their glory.

Saturday we are rototilling the garden.  This is my big work out for the summer.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Big Pattern Sale!!

Gertie reported on a huge pattern sale over at Vogue Patterns!  I think it ends tonight at midnight, so I snapped up a few Vintage Vogue patterns for $3.99 each!

I promise to sew them up into something shortly after they arrive.....

Monday, April 23, 2012


Have you ever dreamed of doing this?

Sometimes dreams do come true.

Edit:  The original video is MIA... which is a complete bummer because it was absolutely beautiful and the music was so appropriate.  So in the meantime enjoy this link for the info
Jetman Flying over the Alps
It is not as emotional as the Vimeo video, but it is still amazing.

This link is good too:
Breitling and Jetman

Friday, April 20, 2012

Love, love, love this...

I am so in love with the Johnny Was brand.  I shopped there last fall when I was in LA with a friend.  The fabrics are so beautiful and diaphanous.  Everything is intricately designed and embellished.  The store space in Santa Monica was just beautiful.

I wish my pocket book was filled to the brim with extra cash.... I love the word "pocket book".  That is what my Grandma Kottke used to call her purse.  Always pocket book and never hand bag, purse, or anything else.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Behold!.... the dial-a-stitch!

This was our thrift store find of the week for $20!!!  It is very heavy... a tank of a machine.  Everything works well and is fairly quiet when it sews.  It has a VAST array of stitches.  I will need to go through each one and play with it.

Automatic button hole system too!

There is a bobbin winder on the side.

We have not found much information on the web yet regarding this machine.  But I do know that it is a Japanese machine and is considered very good.

I took the top off for some cleaning and oiling, but everything inside was spotless!  The workings and screws looked brand new.  There are some chips in the finish on the base of the machine indicating that there was some use, but I don't think the previous owner used any of the fancy stitches or the buttonhole system.  It has 3 feed dog settings: embroidery (completely lowered), silk (barely peeking through the throat plate), and all the way up.  I'm really excited about the silk/delicate fabric setting.  My trusty Bernina Sport has either up or down, and if I'm sewing on really lightweight silk there are feed dog tracks.
The dial-o-stitch is primarily for the spouse's stitching of paper art book/zines, but I think there will be some use from me as well.
I also have a Singer Slant-o-Matic that we found last fall with every attachment you can possibly imagine.  It is currently at Montavilla getting a tune up.  LOVE the people there!   I will post pictures of that one once it is back.
I'm seeing a trend here in sewing machine names.