Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I made donuts!

 Why is winter so hard to photograph?  Summer is easy, fall isn't bad, spring... well we don't really have spring here, so I wouldn't know.  But winter.  Gosh.  It has it's beauty, it really does.  But through a lens, my lens that is, it's blurry and grainy and either dark or washed out... so I don't post very often.  Even though I have more time, I just don't take pictures.  Unlike in the summer where I take lots of photos but never manage to post.  Sigh.  And then there's all the i-phone photos people post that could skate circles around my poor little Fuji Film camera.  It's silly.
Oh well, I make donuts.  And even though I don't have great instagram pics to prove it and seem all trendy and cute, I get to eat them.  So there's that.  And even though the light was bad, I wanted to show you.  I used this recipe to break in my new donut pan (though now I'm really ashamed of my photos after re-looking at her's, I'm not a photographer! Please don't judge!) and they were super good.  They really did taste like and have the texture of real donuts!

And I've been knitting, and buying yarn.  I still have so many projects finished that I need to share here, and I promise I will as soon as I get photos taken.  I swear this really is a problem, three hours of light just isn't enough!  It's still a beautiful winter though.  With plenty of evenings spent like this, with knitting on my lap and tea by my side.   It's good, in all of it's dark, pixel-ated, wonder.

Monday, November 18, 2013

About Time

I have a new favorite movie.  Or close, it's at least tied with all of my favorites.  It's called About Time.  And Oh!  It is just so stinkin' perfect!  I want to see it again.  I really love the movies that are just about life, and where the characters are awkward and endearing and the pain and joy and love and aches are all mixed together.  And that's what this movie has in the very best of ways.

Also?  She wears glasses.  There's cuteness humor, awkward humor, and smart humor, (seriously!  His dad reads from Dickens!).  Great soundtrack.  Her style is perfect.  Lots of England and English-ness.  Family is lovingly laced through the entire thing, you could almost say that that's what it's about actually.  And so much more.  But I'm going to be done now.  :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A picture of mornings.  Oatmeal with golden raisins and walnuts, homemade coconut milk, and a book.  
 I just finished Mrs. Dalloway, and I'm not sure which I'll hop to next.  I've been so stir crazy lately, reading old books and finishing projects (lots of projects).  I just haven't gotten pictures of them yet.  But there are three sweaters awaiting their debut on this little blog, I've worn them, quite a lot, just haven't managed decent photos yet.
 I got some yarn though.  Isn't it lovely?  It's so much better in person too, I assure you.  Saturday, my mom, a friend, her mom, and I went to a craft bazaar where I bought this yarn and some other goodies.  This being the best purchase, by far.
 As you can see, the skein is huge!  I talked with the seller, for a long time.  She, until recently, had a herd of alpacas, and she was selling the yarn that she'd spun from them, as well as other yarns that she'd dyed and knitted up.  She uses only natural dyes, which was fascinating to hear about their different properties.  I was hoping to try some natural dying this summer actually, but I was just too busy with camp and work and everything else.  Next summer though, it's high on my list.  She said that with the indigo, (and I think with basically all natural dyes) the color fades over time.  I guess that bothers a lot of people, but I personally find that beautiful.  I love how organic the whole process is.  I care more about the durability of a piece of clothing, than I do about the brightness of a color.  So the shawl that this yarn will become will fade with time, just like people, just like old photographs, just like memories.  But that doesn't change it's beauty, I personally think it adds to it.  Someday, when this yarn is faded to a light blue, it will still be lovely, my kids and grandchildren will all remember it in different shades, just as I will always remember it as the color of a deep night sky.  

Here are some socks I just finished too.  The pattern is Hermione's Everyday Socks, and I used one of the Patons variegated sock yarns, which I really liked knitting.  Yay for wool and for keeping warm! :)  The socks are the same size, despite what they look in the picture.  I promise.

Love, Clara

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

life (from the past two months)(or pictures taken in my kitchen)

 So, jam has been made (orange rhubarb, and spiced rhubarb) and hand pies and sour cream apple pie have been baked, and all results have been out of this world.  I turned twenty-one and celebrated with a delicious browned butter cake with chocolate cinnamon frosting, and as a result have a new favorite cake.
These past two months have been full, and good, and new.  A best friend getting engaged, another pregnant, a cousin married, another having a baby boy.  Life.  You know? And battling to remember how much I love my own.
I got a new drop spindle for my birthday, and it came in the mail the same day as Robin McKinley's newest book, Shadows.  I haven't gotten to try out the spindle yet (I need more roving!) but I read the book and it (of course) did not disappoint.  It's not a new top top favorite, but it was definitely love at first read.
 Harvest was good, and colorful.  And not just in the area of carrots.  There are dried tomatoes and blanched kale and zucchini in the freezer, plus a few jars of dried mint and lavender on the counter. It feels good.
 And I supposed the biggest news is that I found a new job!  I'm working for the Literacy Council of Fairbanks with one of their after school programs.  It's been a full week now and I love it.  One of the best/worst parts is that on Friday, when I go in for office work, I can browse through the used book store and search for treasures.  Evidence shown above.  Which I must confess, I think I've found a new collecting thrill for myself: antique textbooks.  Ummm... I guess that's all!
Love, Clara

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Lots of projects flying around in my life right now, sewing and knitting, along with some baking and writing.  I'm hoping to actually photograph some of my completed sewing projects for you soon.  I don't know if I've ever posted them actually.  Granted, there haven't been many of them, but still, it would be fun to show.  This top is one I've been wanting to make for a long time, it's one of the main reasons I bought the book French Girl Knits, back when it came out.  The pattern is Delphine, and I love it.  My ravelry notes are here  but there isn't much to them.   The yarn I used I got from a really ugly sweater that my friend's sister passed on to her that I unraveled, it's an extremely soft cashmere and angora blend and was perfect from the pattern.  The result is luxurious.  Oh!  I also got to use some antique ribbon that I had collected from a garage sale.  It's just the perfect dusty pink, I think.

Love, Clara

Monday, September 30, 2013


About a week and a half ago I had an hour in between dropping off and picking up my brother for his dance class, so after much indecision I went to Creamer's Field. I've written about it before, but there are the fields where birds who are migrating like to stop, and also lots of nature trails.  But this time there were swans, I saw them right as I pulled into my parking space, eight of them.  I was so excited, I got out and and went right up to the fence and just watched them.  I don't know how long I was there, maybe twenty minutes, before they flew off, onto where ever they're headed next.  It was magnificent, I'd just re-read Daughter of the Forest too, which made it equally special.

Love, Clara

Friday, September 20, 2013

My first shawl!  Finished ages ago, it's just taken me a really long time to get good photos.  The beads weren't a part of the pattern, but I'm really glad I did them.  They add just a nice bit of sparkle I think.  The chemise I'm wearing underneath will be shown in more detail next!  (photos by my sister and notes on the shawl are on my ravelry page)

Monday, September 16, 2013

 There is nothing like a solitary walk to clear your head and remember what the true order of importance in life really is.  To see things again, to pray and marvel, to smile and to breathe fresh air.

  Because all of the things I worry about really don't matter.  Not in the eternal scope of it all, not even in the whole of my life, not in the way that I seem to think it will in the moment.  Money, success, people's opinions, failure, disappointments,  loss... it all doesn't hold the weight that I give it, not really.  Not like joy and peace and fresh air and life and love and grace and forgiveness do.  And I have those, or at least the ability to find them and dwell in them and share them.

 And then there's beauty too, the beauty that I live in and have the ability to make.  The beauty that I daily fail to see because I'm so busy trying to see ahead into what I can't know yet or live yet.  The beauty that can heal and soothe, that carries the joy and the peace and the love and the life that I'm supposed to fight for.

I know all this, none of these words or thoughts contain anything new or hold any life changing "revelations".  But the woods is the best place, I've found, to get reminded again of it all.  It's exactly like one of my campers said this summer, "the woods is just good for my soul"  to which all I could say was, "yes it is Riley, oh... yes it is."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Old pictures, with a camera full on new ones that still need to be uploaded.  But hey, at least it's a post.  And maybe finally posting will help me get past the never posting at all hump.  One can hope.
Let's see, camp is over, I was put on a jury the day after it ended, that lasted a week, then I had my birthday, and then things slowed down.  It's been nice to breathe again.  And soak in Jesus' love and truth again.  And knit again.  And read again (oh the reading!  It has been wonderful).  And not have to fix food for 40+ people every day.  And while I've yet to find a job for the winter, it's good.  There is peace.  And life.  And grace.  And it is good.

Love, Clara