Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back from beyond*

Spring has inspired me to pick up my camera again. Tulips, pastels, socks the color of new leaves - you name it, I've photographed it. My renewed interest in photography may be due to the fact that I've been moved to the photo department at work. My manager and I both agreed that cosmetics didn't give me enough of a challenge. I love keeping busy and photo does just that. It's amazing how much shoddy photography there is out there! To console myself, I'm trying to improve my own photography skills.
Someone else has picked something back up: Mutti is drawing again (rejoice!). She hasn't started water color painting again, but I have no doubt that she'll get that back, too. There's a drawing class at the community college that she enrolled in and she's enjoying it immensely. She's mainly using pastels and charcoal right now, but I'm sure there will be other things in the mix. She's inspiring me to draw again and I'm even having fun with the pastels.
On Friday we went to the Yashiro Japanese Garden here in Olympia. That's where we shot the photos of my Swallowtail Shawl. I took a bunch of flora-filled photographs and Mutti got her sketch on. The light was absolutely perfect that day. Mutti and I ran out of the house to make it to the garden before the light changed or it did something predictable, like rain (which it did later). I took about 150 photographs of which I only kept about 50. I'm very finicky (who knew?) so I only keep the good ones. I'm thinking about buying a flash drive to store my photographs on since they're taking up so much room on the computer.
That Friday was also the day I made homemade mushroom soup from a recipe that DJ sent me (along with a boxful of goodies including a one-month sonogram of her baby-to-be!). Before I wax lyrical about mushroom soup, I should tell you something. I hate mushroom soup. Or, rather, I used to hate mushroom soup. This soup cured my hate-hate relationship with mushroom soup. Mushroom soup therapy. First of all, it's homemade and I'm sure that makes a world of difference. The only thing that canned mushroom soup is good on is green bean casserole. Second of all, ... I'm not sure there was a second-of-all, but let's make one up. Second of all, I used fresh and dried mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms add the texture bit and dried mushrooms add so much flavor. Flavorful is not an adjective I associate with mushrooms and if I do it never has pleasant connotations. I live near the mushroom farm, after all. Smell that puppy on a misty-moisty day - yech. I'd share the recipe with you, but I don't know where it's from and don't want to break copyright. I'll just say this: fresh and dried mushrooms, chicken broth, whole milk, sauteed onions, paprika. Leave out the dill and tamari, top with a dollop of sour cream. Nom.
I was letting Kami outside for a while. As long as I was outside as well, I wasn't worried about her. Our yard is fenced in, but she recently found a space under the fence that allowed her to crawl into the neighbors yard where she became lost and alone. Imagine the yowling. Although I enjoyed seeing her romp through the grass and sunbathe on the deck, she is no longer allowed outside. She may not get to eye the birds close up, but I'm sure she doesn't miss the peppermint baths.
The best for last! There has been knitting. I haven't been working on a lot of projects because I'm trying to do the one-project-at-a-time thing. It's working out well so far. I finished a scarf for Mutti's birthday. A simple diagonal garter stitch scarf using Sublime Organic Merino DK. Gorgeous yarn in a pale pink that's perfect for The Pink Lady. She wears it every time she needs a scarf. Isn't it nice when someone loves your knitting?
DJ bought me the pattern for Laeticia and I cast on right away! I started them April 10th and I have one sock and the cuff of the second done. Not bad considering my usual slow as a snail knitting pace. I'm using the Pagewood Farms Denali that I've had for a long time. Susanne's 8" Rosewood dpns make this a very enjoyable project. The needles say 2.5mm, but they're more like a 2.75, which is fine considering the twisted stitch cuff. I was in a bit of a knitting slump for a few weeks and this has dragged me right out. I think I was knitting too many things with a low challenge level: plain socks, Mutti's plain scarf, plain plain plain. Need something engaging! Twisted stitches! Lace! Traveling illusory cables! Hooray!

Let's calm down a bit. Here are more photographs from The Yashiro Japanese Garden, plus a photo of one of our Lemon-scented Geraniums on the porch. Blooming at last.

*Do most of my post titles lately seem to be "Back from somewhere" titles? Definitely a sign that I need to post more often. Will do.


allisonmariecat said...

Gorgeous photos. Spring is just awesome. Good to hear from you again!

Mmm...mushroom soup. I never thought of the canned stuff as something you actually ate, just something that gets dumped in casseroles, so my associations are different :) The fresh/dried combination is what I do with pasta sauce for the exact same reasons.

Beautiful springy pinks and greens for knitting!

Chris said...

Hi! Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures. External hard drives are getting crazy cheap - the Gizmodo blog has post every day on the various tech deals, and you can get a 1 TB external hard drive (good brand even) for around $100. Boggles the mind, it does.