Monday, July 27, 2009

A Night Away

Yesterday afternoon, we headed up to my parents' house for a night away from home. The kids had a great time hiking around, looking for wildlife, and hanging out with Nana and Grandpa. And of course, a dip in the hot tub. We had great food and a great time! I tried to get in some knitting but the activities were constantly changing. I did get a bit of knitting done on the way there and the way back. BFJ's favorite thing was a nap in front of the window, with a cool breeze blowing in. I took a walk around the property with my dad and found some great photo spots that I had somehow missed before. I took lots of wildflower pictures, and also a few bugs, and hope to identify some of them.

We took up a handful of big branches from the storm to add to my dad's furniture building business. By the way, thank you for all the comments on the storm and offers for help. Luckily, all we really ended up with was some extra yardwork and a renewed appreciation for the teamwork of neighbors.

flowers along the garage path

pot o' gold across the street?


photo by the Bruise


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday Night Storm

(There's a house behind this tree.)

It really is dark without electricity. I finally understand why people used to go to bed at sunset.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Random Review Friday: Knitting Boutiques

There are dozens of places to buy fabric and yarn these days - big craft chain stores, online, and the little boutiques. You can even recycle yarn and fabric by shopping at your local second-hand store. While I love the selection of shopping online, nothing beats the welcome of a friendly face, someone who can help you find just what you are looking for. I know where there are a few wonderful quilt shops, but being a new knitter, I haven't been to many yarn boutiques. I have begun to find that there are several in the Denver Metro area. Here are a few fun stops from the northwest area of town:

Knit Knack
7505 Grandview Ave, Arvada, CO 80002

I first met Marly here, and this is our usual spot to meet up for picture days. Talk about great first impressions; this is the first knitting boutique I'd ever been to, and boy is it a good one!

Owner Gerri has been a "capital K" Knitter for at least ten years. Gerri carries lots of Cascade, Berroco, and Classic Elite yarns, as well as local celebrities like Red Rocks Fiber Works and Bijou Basin. There's also a good selection of Addis (the needles that "knit like butter") and all manner of knitting implements. Gerri's staff is made up of helpful and friendly ladies; I have never stopped in without someone saying, "Hi!" Knit Knack is also a crochet-friendly store.

Two of my favorite things about this shop: the ambiance and the camaraderie. Although a fairly new shop (just over two years old), Gerri has managed to create a sense of cutting edge/comfort. It's like visiting with your hippest friend while sitting in your favorite old chair. Interesting characters wander in, and there are several tables for knitters to sit and visit, and stay awhile. And that's just what Gerri wants you to do. Why else would she have a coffee bar behind the register? Also near the register, you'll find lots of local tidbits - handmade buttons, jewelry, needle cases, birthday cards, etc. More than once, Gerri has encouraged me to pursue my own knitting and crafting endeavors, as I know she has done for others. Gerri's philosophy is, Knitters are nice people.

Located in picturesque Olde Town Arvada, once you're done buying yummy yarns, there are several great places to visit including Yours Truly, just down the way, which carries lots of cute gifts, including hand-embroidered kitchen towels, jewelry, and Jim Shore items. If you head east to Olde Wadsworth, you can stop in to House of Seasons, which always has a great collection of ornaments for any season. Don't miss the used book store, the specialty chocolate store, the Rheinlander, and wouldn't you know it,
The Quilted Moose. I haven't been in to the Quilted Moose recently, but whenever I am, I find the proprietors friendly and helpful. Of course, there are several local favorite eateries. In fact, the only thing this town is missing is a B&B! What a great place to spend an afternoon.

The Recycled Lamb
2010 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, CO 80215

One of my new knitting friends (made poolside) teaches at The Recycled Lamb, so I stopped in there this morning to see what it's all about. I was immediately greeted by Karen - I love people who make you feel welcome. I told her I was writing a review of local yarn shops and she introduced me to Joanne, who just happened to be there. Joanne was one of the founding owners of the shop, and she told me they've been in business since 1983 - possibly the oldest yarn shop in the area. Besides a beautiful array of yarns, this shop has at least three walls covered with cones of yarn; some of you know what that means... Besides knitting and crocheting, they also have classes for weaving and spinning. The Recycled Lamb encourages customers to sit and knit awhile, also. I will definitely be back to check in on this shop!

Fancy Tiger Crafts
1 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209

Located in the quirky South Broadway neighborhood in Denver, this shop is celebrating its third anniversary today. I drove past it many times before I was a Knitter, but one day recently the sign jumped out at me, and last week I had a chance to stop in and see what they have. This little shop has a bit of everything - yarn, fabric, buttons, needles, old wooden spools, rick rack, and more. I was happy to find their pile of Di.Ve' Autunno yarn. They also have selections that reflect the neighbor (i.e. hemp yarn, Peace Fleece and Eco Wool.)

We were sans children for the weekend, so while I checked out the Fancy Tiger, BFJ perused some of the nearby used-book stores (i.e Mutiny Now). We also happened to be there during the 3 Kings Tavern's monthly "rock-n-roll garage sale." Talk about interesting. This neighborhood also has some trendy restaurants and a delicious looking ice cream parlor within walking distance, but those with more modest tastes (and I don't mean food) may not want to stray too far. Some shop windows are not for
the faint of heart! On the other hand, it might be just your cup of tea, but you'll have to google it for yourself.
I know there are many other yarn shops around, several actually that I've been meaning to visit. When I do, I'll let you know what I think! I was going to review some of my favorite quilt shops today also, but I think I'll save that for another post. If you're from around here, I hope you get to stop in to some of these shops, and that you've been inspired to find your own local favorites!

When you stop in to Knit Knack, be sure to check out those sock monkeys... They are always up to something fun!

Monday, July 13, 2009


My dad belongs to a group of buglers that performs Taps for military funerals. BFJ took the day off to watch the boys so that I could go with my dad to a service today. I wanted to get some pictures of him in his Army uniform. You can see the VFW Honor Guard in the background; they were a nice group of fellows, and said they usually attend between one and four services a week. They asked my dad if a beautiful escort was standard issue. Isn't that sweet :) While I was there, I took the opportunity to find the headstone of BFJ's maternal grandparents. As it turned out, they were only yards away, so I got some pictures of them for my genealogy files. There were incredible views all around, a fitting place to lay our veterans to rest.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Happy Independence Day!

This is my favorite holiday.

Along with Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, the significance of this day is beyond compare. I think one of the reasons that I like the 4th of July so much is because my dad was an Army chaplain for many years. I'm glad I have had the privilege of attending funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, seeing a bit through his eyes, and getting a behind-the-scenes understanding of some of the traditions there. Thinking of the
Arlington Ladies still chokes me up. We do live in the greatest country in the world, a country that cares about the freedom of the rest of the world, too, and is willing to do something about it.

Zoom recently checked out a video from the library, (exercising his independence and his very own library card). His favorite movie is National Treasure so when he spied an autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, he wanted to borrow it. I had seen ads about the museum's Ben Franklin exhibit implying that he was a nudist, so I felt obligated to monitor this documentary while Zoom watched it. Boy, did I learn a lot about the history of our country, as well as Ben. Another video series we've enjoyed is This is America, Charlie Brown.

Besides all the serious stuff, I love the barbecue, the friends, the baseball games, the water balloons, and all the flags. I love the fireworks! And I LOVE red white and blue quilts.

I hope you have a fun and significant 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One Week

In the past week, I have seen a funny movie with one of my sisters, taken some family photos for a friend, gone wedding dress shopping (not for me, of course), gone to a wedding, finished some socks, witnessed a hit-and-run accident, gone to a play, gone out to dinner with my mother-in-law, gone downtown, lots of weeding, lots of laundry, gone to knitting night, sat in on a podcast (sans microphone), picked our first pepper, lots of piecing, picked some more beans, made a horrible dinner, and pulled out a tooth!

Whew! We've been busy. I hope you are enjoying your summer!