Sunday, December 30, 2018

Family is Forever

Yes, it truly is.

Even if sometimes forever is defined as a fast and fun 24ish hours of us all being together at my favorite place for Christmas. Good food, lots of laughter, great stories, fun with all the grands...

...all the ordinary stuff that makes a family life great.

 Atlanta area clay artist Pam Arena and creator of  'Unpack our Hearts' and I were neighbors and painting pals a long time ago. 
As in when we had infants and toddlers, long time ago. 
Even though miles and years have separated us, I always thought of our time together as one of my favorite friendships.
She sent me one of her creations several months ago at a time when Fritz was struggling health wise and our family was filled with fear and uncertainty. A perfect, needed reminder that no matter what, Family is Forever. 
I knew right away where it would be placed.

On our family tree.

That majestic oak that keeps watch over our farm and my sheep.
The place where we gathered to say goodbye to our Ray.
The place where we gathered again a year later to Celebrate the Marriage of our Tommy and Chelsie.
A place where the extraordinary moments make a family stronger. 
So with Fritz now feeling well, and all my loves home, the time was right to unpack my heart. 

Family is Forever
Family fills my heart.
I trust your Christmas was just as joyous. 

{A very special rendition of the Holy Family made with the hand and thumb prints of each of our grandchildren}
{Plenty of room for more sheep thumbprints, just saying}

For inspiring stories of all the places all over the world where Pam's hearts have traveled, follow
#Unpackourhearts on Instagram

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Road LessTraveled

A somewhat impromptu tic-off-the-bucket-list trip to Wyoming took us to the iconic National Park highlight spots of the Grand Tetons 

and Yellowstone. 

But the Crowds and the tight parking and the RVs and the tour buses and waiting patiently for my turn through the mobs to snap the required photo ops,

and all the buffalo jams (of which I was a participant at our first 3 or 4... or 12 bison sightings) 

wasn't quite the nature inspired wide open space I had always imagined that part of the country to be.

So we did what we do, 
rented an off road machine (a little less demanding than a dirt bike),

picked up a trail map and some supplies and headed out deep into Teton 
National Forest recreation area.

And found what we were looking for. 

Never once paying attention to any Dead End or Caution Ahead sign in any way.
 There simply is too much to experience off the beaten path and down the side roads. 

We crossed paths with a group of campers and a few fishermen but other than that felt like the entire place was put there just for us.

Here's a little action video we had fun making. 
Obviously we didn't run off any cliffs!
Life is good.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Family Time is the Best Time

Getting them all together in one place at one time is such a blessing. 
This year's weekend Kesterfest  was held at a lovely VRBO vineyard property

 in North Carolina that not only accommodated us with enough spread out sleeping space, but also offered an array of activities for all. 
Like rock wall jumping

 and ziplining into the pond

 and water trampoline flips

 and kayak tug of wars 

and skeet shooting,

and hanging out with the ever changing matchups of best buddies

and a bit of just plain hanging out, funny story telling and lots of laughter. 

Always lots of laughter.

The daughter and daughters-in-laws cooked up some fabulous meals, the nighttime bonfires roared, the secret walled garden was discovered and enjoyed by many,
everyone's kiddos became everyone else's kiddos and Fritz and I loved watching every moment of it.

 Time is the best gift of all. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Lady's Sweater

It start just the same as the Men's Sweater, with raising that cute little lamb and all.

But this time I pulled out the lighter shades of gray of Carnie's fleece and blended it with some mohair I had been gifted during the Tour de Fleece a few years back.

It was all just another experiment gone right. The result is such a soft lofty yarn with just a touch of shimmer and halo that was a dream to spin and knit with.

The pattern is one I has admired for a while, Ann Hanson's Violet.  My own homegrown, handspun yarn seemed like a good choice to do it justice.

{How about those buttons?!}

Most of the this knitting took place during our every other week sessions at the infusion lab.
Fritz's nurses have tracked my progress on this one and I look forward to showing them the finished project. They are a wonderful group of people, 

who take such good care of us. 
Always Grateful, 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Seeing Green

My big guy sheep Carnie produces and enormous fleece. His colors are beautiful ranging from a light silvery gray to dark gray to black with a big chunk of browns and tans just to keep it interesting. 
I do love natural colored wool, but after the dye workshop I went to, I was inspired to play around with some of the leftover 2017 fleece I still had sitting around. 

What I wanted to create was a dark green mossy colored yarn with lots of tonal variation. I wanted some of the natural colors to shine through.
So I choose a lighter brighter green acid dye ("avocado") and went to work. For fun I threw in a little bit of Mac's tan fleece and a couple of locks of white fleece from Leo for comparison. This was just an experiment after all.

What's more amazing than the colors I ended up with is that I managed not to felt any of this wool after cooking it for almost an hour!

I was thrilled with how it came out. But the real test was to spin up a bit and knit a swatch.

I get so tickled when a plan comes together just like I have in my mind. 
{wouldn't it be wonderful if I could make EVERYTHING in life work out that way?!}

I love the colors.

So much so,
This Happened:

It will be a while before I get all this spun.
I am seeing a lot of green outside now (finally) and the gardens need some love too. 

Hope your world is full of the colors you love,


Saturday, April 28, 2018