Monday, November 30, 2015


Old photos

My favorite houses are the ordinary homes from the early part of the twentieth century.  I've been looking at the archive of old government photos and here are some of my favorites.

This is a kitchen from Westmoreland Homesteads, which was a New Deal subsistance housing project.

 Here it is with people!

And here is the bedroom....

This is a migrant camp on the Willamette River.

I like their clothes.  Notice how the apron has no neck straps.  In those days apron bibs were pinned on.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The scariest documentary... American Addict

I've been in a documentary mood lately.  I really enjoy a good documentary.  American Addict is very scary.  I don't like to be scared but I am glad I watched this one because I think understanding the extent of what is going on  will help keep me safe.

I watched it on Amazon but it is also on Hulu and YouTube and generally around.

Photos from the late thirties and early forties

Yale recently created a site where you can search photos taken for the government in the thirties and forties.  There are some really great photos.   You can see some of the photos here. 

You can search this map by county.  Or you can search by photographer, location, and some other criteria.  Note that if you click the photos a second time, they are shown bigger.  Too bad you can't do a slide show....

This photo was taken in the county where I grew up by Arthur Rothstein.  He had a job with the federal government documenting life in America, especially the more remote places it seems.  He took a lot of photos in Rosebud County (Montana) where I grew up.  It was certainly remote.

I grew up on the farm where my father's parents homesteaded in Rosebud County.  We didn't have sheep but I remember sheepherder's wagons like this.  I wanted very much to explore one but my mother was ag'in it.  I think she thought I would get lice or something worse.  I can't imagine living a cold Montana winter in one of these but I think they did.

This one shows a phone on a ranch in Rosebud county almost ten years before I was born.  Having a phone that early in Rosebud County is amazing to me.  Our closest access to a phone was twelve miles away at the local country store.  We didn't have a phone on the farm until sometime in the sixties.  I guess some parts of Rosebud County (like where I was) were more remote than others!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

John's chair quilt

John likes covering his leather chair with a quilt.  So I made him this simple quilt from strips.  That is the batting sticking out before it was trimmed.

Here it is in action.  I still haven't finished the edges.  It works fine without them finished.   But I will have to finish it before I wash it...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

First frost of the season

The first frost signifies the start of winter in Portland.  We had our first frost last night.  It got down to 31 they say.  It was cold enough to partially freeze the water in the front bird bath.

These photos were taken this morning before it warmed up.  It's going to get even colder in a few days.  I doubt they will look like this much longer.

The back

The front walk with purple salvia leucothoe and pineapple sage (salvia)

Ice in the bird bath

Another gradient quilt idea

I have another Vicki Welsh gradient that I love.  She calls it "Thrive".  I think it looks like an abyss where I would like to visit.  I am crazy about this fabric combination  with the Vicki Welsh gradient.

Next I need to experiment with how to best attach it and quilt it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Vicki Welsh gradient quilt finished

Some months ago I won this fabric from Vicki Welsh.  I think it is so beautiful and I wanted to enrich its beauty. I think I did.

Doesn't it look like a magic forest?  (click on the photo to see it bigger.)

Sand Wars

Sand Wars is another well done documentary.  I had no idea sand was a hot commodity around the world.  I thought sand was local and plentiful.   Boy was I wrong.

I watched it on Amazon Prime but it's around other places.  Here is the trailer for this PBS documentary.

And a preview

Sunday, November 15, 2015

At our house today

I am putting the binding on my quilt.  It's all finished except for the binding.  I like to do handwork on the dark days while I watch a video.  It's light enough to see and dark enough to watch.

John is putting together the face frame for the bathroom cabinet.  I love this part of the project.

I am also playing with strips and thinking of another small piece.  Maybe a pillow.  It seems we can't have too many pillows these days.  And thank you, strip fairy.  I am having so much fun with the new strips.

And here is another simple quilt top made from strips.  I think it has a 1940's look color wise.  I've picked the backing.  It's big enough that I'll have to do it on the floor I think.  That means keeping the cats out from somewhere while I make the quilt sandwich.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Sriracha is a wonderful documentary about Sriracha hot sauce.  I love a good documentary and I heartily recommend this one.  I watched it on Amazon but it's around.

This is the trailer for the documentary.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

In admiration of fairies

I saw this on Facebook and did an image search for the source.  It's a vintage image being used for cards.  Isn't she marvelous?  Definitely a friend of fairies.



Bathroom Project

After more than a year, John is finally moving on the bathroom project again.  He finished his drawings and his construction drawings.  He milled lumber for the face frame.  He did a materials list.  I think there is hope....

This is the cabinet.  There will be one sink.  The current bathroom has two sinks which is a waste of space to us.  I know, most if not all of you are shouting "RESALE, RESALE!!".  But we are doing this for US and not for some imagined tick mark in a real estate listing.   Remember we are the people who have no dishwasher and no garbage disposal.  They aren't things we need or want.

The myth of resale is just a myth.

There are pages and pages of detailed measurements and construction methods.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Neighborhood walk in November

Here we are in the dark days of November.  The temperature has dropped quite a bit since our record warm October.  It's still nice out for walking.  Sometimes it doesn't look so inviting from the windows but it is surprisingly nice out.  I am always glad I got out.

 Laurelhurst Park looking so yellow and warm.

We still have a few brave roses

Portland Nursery's display garden still looking good