Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Love Snow Days

Sunday Morning in Amherst
Pete and I took a quick trip up to Amherst to visit old friends this weekend, taking the long way through Providence to pick up our god-daughter Natalie.  It snowed from Friday night until Sunday morning -- a lovely, light snow that was nice to walk in.  We watched some vacation slide shows, took a trip to the Smith College Museum of Art, and ate too much.  We missed Clara, although I doubt she missed us, as she was sunning herself in Maui!

It is snowing here in Greenport now.  The weatherman is predicting blizzard conditions and 8 to 14 inches of snow.  I love a snow day.  I love how quiet the snow makes the world, I love being cozy inside the house, and I love shoveling, as long as it is not too heavy.  I ran out to the post office to mail an order and swung by the grocery store for some milk (like the rest of our village, lol), came home and made myself a nice latte.  I'm going to hook this afternoon, after I work on some frame guards to sell in my etsy shop.  (More about those later.)

I hope you are all at home safe and warm with a wooly rug to work on.

Monday, January 13, 2014

No Resolutions This Year

I steered clear of specific resolutions this year -- not because I think they're bad -- I just think some general improvements are in order.  I want to be better at running my business, which has always come in second to everything else in my life.  I need to be a little more professional.  So I am spending January doing desk work instead of hooking.  I need to take an inventory of what I have to offer and make a new spread sheet for this year.  I need to have two cutters and my beloved Bernina sewing machine repaired.  I have to fill out and send in applications for some rug shows and fiber festivals.  I talked a wood carver into carving hooks out of beautiful woods and I need to set up an arrangement with him to sell them.  I have to figure out my Mail Chimp account woes so I can send out newsletters to my customers.  And I have a new idea for some non-hooked stuff (which is why I need my sewing machine repaired) that I have to make prototypes of.  And, as always, I need to clean my studio.  So I am busy -- just not busy making rugs or resolutions.

My guild, the Peconic Ruggers, had their holiday party on Saturday, so I did hook there.  We had a good time -- lots of chatter, lots of food, lots of lovely rugs.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cold and Colder

Only 10 degrees today, which is much warmer than the negative numbers in the upper Midwest.  Cairo and I couldn't walk much today.  Even with his little coat on he shivered.  It's a good day to sit and hook.  I got the slow cooker out and started supper.  I have to write some thank you notes before its too late and then I'll sit at my frame for a bit.  Stay warm.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hercules -- Here and Gone

Before the storm
When did they start naming winter storms?  Hercules was much hyped here, but only amounted to 4 or 5 inches of snow for us.  Although the snow is light and fluffy and easy to shovel, the air is bitterly cold and will stay that way through tomorrow. Actually, this is the perfect snow for cleaning rugs.  Just throw them out in the snow, cover them up, then whisk broom the snow away.  Voila!  Remarkably clean rugs!
The Space Needle

We had a great Christmas, though beforehand I wasn't sure we would.  We flew out to Seattle on Christmas day.  Despite a 3-hour delay at JFK, we made it there in time to cook dinner in Clara's apartment, joined by Pete's brother Joe who lives in Olympia.  Clara had done all the grocery shopping ahead of time, and I had mailed what seemed like a million boxes of gifts and cookies the week before. Joe brought his beautiful German short-haired pointer Belle, and Clara was taking care of her boyfriend's dog, Lucy, and we ate dinner sitting on pillows on the floor around a low table.  It was nice and cosy and dinner was delicious.

Sunny Seattle

Clara gave us a driving tour of the city, which is very industrial -- lots of shipping in and out of Puget Sound.  There are very distinct neighborhoods with their own cute downtowns.  Instead of rowhouses and brownstones like you find in New York, there are lots of little Craftsmen houses on tiny plots of land and lots of 50s era apartment houses along the major avenues.

Public Market
Pete and Clara at the Locks
We visited the Public Market, which was overrun with tourists, bought cheese at Beecher's, ate in a little French bistro, and stopped at the Locks for a stroll.

On Friday we drove the length of Whidby Island on our way to Vancouver, British Columbia.  After stopping at a big thrift store (where I scored a great Harris Tweed jacket), we did some site seeing at Deception Pass.
Pete and Clara on the Bridge
Deception Pass
The crossing into Canada was painfully slow -- almost an hour!  I remember the days when we would just whiz into Montreal, no passport needed.  Not anymore!  We stayed at a little boutique hotel right downtown, ate lots of great meals (Dungeness Crab! Yum!) and did lots of site seeing including the incredible Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia,  the Beatty Center for Biodiversity (also at UBC), the Harbor Center (a lookout tower a la the Space Needle in Seattle), Stanley Park, the Seabus and North Vancouver, the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park, and Stanley Park.
Museum of Anthropology

Beautiful Baskets at the Museum

Kiwi, an Australian Parrot at the Bloedel Conservatory

The View from Harbor Center
While Seattle was sunny some of the time, Vancouver was swathed in clouds and very rainy.  Pete wanted a glimpse of Mount Baker, but it wasn't to be.  We did see Ranier twice while in Seattle.  We took the red-eye home in time for New Year's Eve, which we promptly slept through.  So now its a new year with lots of stuff to look forward to.  Let's all make the most of it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

I'm sending good wishes out to one and all for a happy and healthy new year -- especially to George Kahnle, rug designer extraordinaire, who is in the hospital today.  Please send him and his partner Dick Labarge lots of positive, healing thoughts.