Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Undercover Projects Exposed and Those Dillydally Winds!

I can now share a few of my 007 projects!  First ... I'll begin with the Christmas quilt I made for Sister DillyDally!
Terry Atkinson's Yellow Brick Road pattern comes to the rescue again!  Gosh I love that pattern.  I made this one a bit larger than the lap is six by seven blocks.
I took this photo so that I would have a better record of the individual fabrics.  The border is a fabric that Michael Miller had several years ago ... about 4 or 5 ... and I used the last ... :-( ... of it.   In Christmas 2006, Sister's first year out of college ... living alone and working over the holidays ... we found it on the internet.  She loved it and I have used it to determine her holiday decorating palette ever since!  Many of these fabrics are not part of any "Christmas" line, but they fit in with the color theme.  I must admit ... I love collecting fabrics that I can work into her "contemporary" colors all year long!  The quilt is backed with a holiday themed flannel ... of course I made her pajama pants to match!

The second 007 project revealed today was made for a woman who has shown me and many ... a great deal of kindness and support ... Roseann Kermes.  After spending a few hours with her this summer (read about it here) and her support and contribution to a Minnesota Shop Hop party that I hosted for my friends (read about it here) it is no wonder that I was inspired to design and knit a pair of mittens for her.
Because they were designed for Roseann ... who owns Rosebud's Cottage ... they had to have a rose motif in them!  Roseann is an amazing, talented, and thoughtful person ... it was a privilege to create these for her.  I hope they keep her warm ... in multiple ways!

Our weather has warmed a bit ... instead of being clear and cold ... the view from the front deck today looks like this...
I wish my camera could catch the big fluffy flakes that are falling...
... it was a beautiful snow day!  And the dillydally winds were blowing in a direction that insisted I begin two new knitting projects. ;-)
One of my QBee's gave me this book, Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders for Christmas!  It is filled with inspiration ... fortunately I have a stash (all serious dillydalliers do) of sock yarn and could act on the urge to begin a new scarf!  This one is for me!

Beginning a new scarf wasn't enough ... so I designed a new mitten pattern ... it looks sort of "quilty", doesn't it?
Again, thank heavens for my stash ... I could begin them right away! ;-) I have no idea who will end up with these ... it doesn't matter ... I love to dillydally without a purpose!

As the new year approaches ... take the time to feel those dillydally winds ... one never know where they'll lead! 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The DillyDally Love Story - Part 1

Before I begin ... let me remind you ... you were warned ... here ... ;-) !  This is probably more information than most of my readers need or want, but today is a special day for Mr. DillyDally and I (you'll see why if you read to the end) and I felt compelled to record it here.  Yep ... I am dillydallying down memory lane today!

It all began ... fall of 1978 ... here ...
Yep ... Mr. DillyDally and I are Cobbers!  We are alumni of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.
It was the beginning of my senior year ... many of my girlfriends were talking about this new guy ... he shared many of our interests (outdoor recreation) and was hanging around with us.  I poked fun at them for showing so much interest in a freshman ... I mean really?  Later on a sailing trip in Canada I discovered that he was a transfer student ... and also a senior.  Yes ... I was forced to apologize to many of my friends.

As the year progressed, Mr. DillyDally joined my circle of friends ... we all had a ton of fun together ... he and I became very close friends.  Only friends ... neither of us wanted anything else.  As seniors, we soon realized that our idealistic life at Concordia was coming to a close ... that meant it was time to get serious about "real life". 

Karen, one of my close friends and I decided that instead of looking for teaching positions in Minnesota, we would look even further north and pursue jobs in Alaska!  Before long, six of our friends decided to join us, one of them being Mr. DillyDally! 

On July 4, 1979 we arrived in Alaska!  Eight of us seeking adventure, three of us seeking work.  Mr. DillyDally had an interview and was immediately hired to work in Kodiak, Alaska.
I was able to secure a teaching position in Haines, Alaska.
Two kids ... from the midwest ... landed in coastal communities ... 4,000 miles from home ... 700 air miles from one another ... beginning their careers ... talk about adventure!  We set up weekly phone calls and our friendship helped us both cope with the many changes and challenges we were experiencing.  

During that winter we were invited to participate in an arctic expedition that following summer.  Accepting the invitation meant we would have to quit our jobs in order to train ... I was under contract and couldn't break it ... Mr. DillyDally was not and left his job to prepare ... he became a member of the first American team to ski across the Greenland Icecap!  I was able to go and participate as a member of the base camp support team.  I found this map on Google Images and it marks the approximate route.

So ... this is where we spent the summer of 1980.  Mr. DillyDally began his trek on the east coast of Greenland near Ammassalik ... this is what entering the cap looks like...
...this is what it is like as you approach the west coast...
... obviously the risks were very high ... remember, this is 1980 ... they didn't have the technology that is available today...
... this is what the end of the ice cap looks like on the west coast ... look closely to see where the ice field meets the sky.  They were actually on the ice just over 30 days.  
During the first part of the trek, the base camp remained in the village of Ammassalik.  After our tasks each day we would mingle with the Danish and Greenlandic people as well as hike and explore the area.  During the second half of the summer we were located on the west coast ... we stayed at an American/Danish Military Airforce Base located on Sondre Stromfjord ... remember this was during the cold war ... we were not allowed to take photos.  This base was an important part of our early warning defense system ... spending time there was an education in and of itself ... I have always appreciated our military ... but that summer gave it entirely new meaning.

Anyway ... back to the love story.  Mr. DillyDally came off the ice a different person ... I could feel it immediately.  We had been prepared to deal with the psychological changes that can occur in people who go through isolation and life threatening situations ... so I just let things be and tried to understand the changes in him.  

It was during the long layover in Iceland that we bought the sweaters and yarn mentioned in the earlier post.  There was a lot of media attention when we returned to the states ... I returned to Alaska to begin the new school year ... he remained in the lower 48.  He called occasionally ... one day in the fall he called to tell me he was coming to Haines.  After a couple of weeks, I finally asked him how long he was staying ... he said he would stay as long as it took.  "As long as what takes?", I asked.  His response, "I just think we should get to know one another better."  Well ... the rest is history.

Yep ... love blossomed and grew!  Right before Christmas I received a letter from his mother welcoming me to the family ... that was a shock!  Sooo... the family joke is that Nana is the one that proposed to me!   She forgot to wait and find out if he had popped the question yet!  We still laugh about it!
Thirty years ago today, Mr. DillyDally made it official ... he got down on his knees and proposed!  This was our engagement photo ... taken by a friend ... in Haines ... wearing our Icelandic sweaters.

Our odd Scandinavian sense of humor is what we often credit our mostly harmonious marriage to ... when we find ourselves in a rough patch, I always threaten to drop him off in the middle of the Greenland Icecap! ;-)  Hey ... it worked once! 


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From our remote corner of the planet...
Taken from front deck at 2:30 pm Christmas Day 2010.
... the DillyDally Family hopes you are having a wonderful Christmas Day with your loved ones!
We believe ... in the joy and wonder this holiday represents ... enjoy the season!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Happy Dillydally Day!

Yesterday was spent decorating the tree and doing the last bit of decorating.  We hung our stockings ...
... I designed and knit these for Mr. DillyDally and myself several years ago ... our names are knit in on the other side.  As you all know, I love designing nordic themed knitting projects.  Hanging these up each year is like visiting old friends.  Those warm dillydally feelings return every time I handle something I've made ... I believe that is true for all of us ... one more reason why dillydallying is so important!  Like we needed another reason! ;-)
Brother DillyDally spent the afternoon ...
... well ... dillydallying with a friend on their four wheelers.
These two guys spend all summer working together out in the woods ... and they play there year round ... they know how to have fun!
This is the play ground they grew up with ... yep ... they know how lucky they are!
The sun sets early up here ... even though the days are getting longer ... we only have about 5 hours of sunlight.
I dillydallied in the kitchen while brother was dillydallying out in the woods.  Four loaves of Julekake and nine dozen sugar cookies.  The good news is ... I don't have to decorate all these cookies ... Brother DillyDally does that!  ;-)
Yes ... it was a great dillydally day!  I was happy in my kitchen ... and well ... you can see how happy Brother was in his playground!  I hope you all had a happy dillydally day too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Tree Hunt!

Brother DillyDally arrived home Monday evening ... we are so happy to have him under our roof.  It was fun to have him here for the lunar eclipse ... as he and Mr. DillyDally are the family star gazers.  For years they spent many a fall evening at our cabin looking deep into the heavens.  The eclipse was amazing ... and an additional miracle was that the sky here in Cordova cooperated and was clear of clouds!  It was lovely ... for multiple reasons.
Yesterday was dedicated to the annual DillyDally Family tree hunt. 

We have harvested our tree in all kinds of weather the past 26 years ... this year the conditions were perfect.  The ground was frozen ... the snow wasn't hip deep ... there wasn't any wind ... we could pick out our tree leisurely.
Brother DillyDally inherited the job of cutting the tree a few years back ... one of those "rights of passage".
My DillyDally men enjoying a successful tree hunt!
Taking the tree home...
... last year we lost our tree on the way home ... what an adventure that was!  Yesterday the winds were calm, so there wasn't any drama.  The only drama in my life right now are the last couple of 007 projects I am frantically working on.  Thought I would share a few photo hints...
... just a bit of proof ...
... that I am dillydallying.
It was a wonderful day in my remote corner of this planet ... I wish the same for you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dillydally Bits!

Is the last weekend before Christmas crazy in every corner of the planet?  Please tell me that this remote corner is not alone in that regard! ;-)  Yes ... it has been a hectic couple of days ... tis the season!

During the Mistletoe Make & Bake, I actually won one of the drawings!  I can't begin to tell you how it felt when I was visiting each site one day ... and there was my name ... Mrs DillyDally ... announced as a winner!  Wow!  It was exciting!
My goodies came from Julie Stewart, of Keepsake Cottage Fabrics in Bothell, Washington!  OMGosh ... she is practically a neighbor!
It felt just like Christmas!  Nine spools of Aurifil thread ... a quilter's dream ... especially when it is not available here!  I loved the shopping bag too!  The next time I'm in Washington for any length of time, I am going to visit Julie and her shop!  Be sure to check out her shop's website and her blog ... just a warning ... you'll be inspired!

One of our friends shared with us fresh "Winter King" Salmon ... now, you need to understand ... we enjoy an abundance of several wild salmon species from May thru September ... but the only way to have fresh wild salmon this time of the year is if you are able to catch a Winter King.  It was so generous of JP to share some of his with us!  When Mr. DillyDally called from work to let me know that JP had dropped some off ... I immediately began to drool ... yep, it wasn't pretty!  But the steaks were beautiful...
We prefer our salmon grilled ... Mr. DillyDally tried out a new rub, which made me somewhat nervous ... I don't like anything to cover the taste of the fish.
Mr. DillyDally grilled it to perfection and the glaze sealed in the flavor exactly the way we like it!  It was heavenly ... thanks for sharing JP!

We went to a birthday party for a very special one-year-old today ...
... here he is reading the card with his Mommy.  His mommy is very important to me ... she and Sister DillyDally have been close friends since they were three.  I was her girl scout leader for 12 years ... her high school student government advisor ... she was in my classroom ... I love her as though she were my own.
It has been an honor to watch her become the outstanding woman and mother she is today ... what a blessing she and her son are ... gosh ... I love watching life unfold right before my eyes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Undercover Work Continues!

My undercover work continues ... some are finished ... some have even been wrapped and sent on their way ... and a few are still in progress.  The good news is ... I can share one now!  Finally a post about my dillydally efforts!  It is a tablerunner that I gave to Sister DillyDally early so she could use it over the holidays.
I just love these new contemporary holiday fabrics!  I love the color combinations in the palette and the graphic designs.  And I especially love having a daughter who has embraced them!
The pattern is by Lisa Moore of Quilts with a Twist fame!  She is an Alaskan who has become a Quilt Rock Star!  We in Alaska are very proud of her success!  I took a class from her in September at the Valdez Quilt Festival, you can read about it here.  I will be the first to sign up if I ever have the chance to take a class she is teaching again!  She is amazing!
When we walked into her class ... a precut kit was waiting at every seat ... she called it her "warm-up" activity!  It is sized to fit paper napkins, but I think it would be cute as a candy dish!  Can't you just envision it full of Hershey's Kisses?  The fabric was perfect for Sister DillyDally's holiday palette, so it traveled with the tablerunner to her apartment! 
After our break during her class, this luggage tag was our second "warm-up" activity!  Aren't they great?  I could "gush" forever about Lisa and her talent!  She is so creative and her background as an electrical engineer means that her patterns are well written and easy to follow.  She also designs Alaska themed fabric ... so all of her patterns work very well with novelty prints.  I encourage all you quilters to check out her designs ... fabrics too!
It has been very clear and cold here in our remote corner of the planet.  We are not complaining because that means that during daylight hours (10:00am - 3:00pm) it is bright!  Kysa loves the cold and is always ready for a trip out the road!  She is looking forward to having Brother DillyDally home for the holidays ... they are always taking adventures together!
The Sheridan River with glacier in the background on Sunday (12/12/10).
James Bond has "M" for a supervisor ... I have "T" (Teacup) as mine!  Do you see that look?  She is telling me to get back to work on my top secret missions!  She is such a taskmaster!  Enjoy your dillydallying, covert or not!  ;-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Vegas and Cowboy Culture!

During the last few days I was in Vegas, the city was also hosting the "2010 Wrangler National Rodeo Finals"!  We immediately tried to get tickets for Saturday night after our conference.  But tickets to this annual event sell out months in advance.  Needless to say ... we were very disappointed.  But to our surprise and delight...
... yep ... the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show was taking place at the convention center where we were!
Cowboy hats were worn by nearly everyone and there were hats for sale!  It was fun to watch people try them on and then to watch the booth staff shape them specifically for each customer.
How cool is this?  Carrying cases for your cowboy hat!  I love it!  It makes a lot of sense ... these hats are a major investment!
It was possible to smell leather as you walked up and down the isles ... I loved it ... beautiful leather items everywhere ... the saddles were gorgeous!
The variety of leather handbags was incredible ... well made and very fashionable ... absolutely lovely!
Belts for the entire family in a wide variety of styles ... too many choices!  Add to that the buckles that were available!  
Yep ... you could even buy the whole hide!
I thought these Christmas stockings made from cowhide were very creative ... perfect in ranch or lodge themed holiday decorating!
But my favorite leather items were of course ... the boots!  Specifically cowgirl boots!  They were incredible ... I wanted them all!  Except for this pair ...
... these belong on the feet of Sister DillyDally ... when I saw them, I immediately knew they were made for her!  But it is never a good idea to buy boots for someone without them having the ability to try them on for size ... so another cowgirl will get the honor.  It was hard to leave them behind!
There was a lot of handmade furniture ... 
... outstanding craftsmanship ...
... and amazing creativity! 
I only found one booth that had quilt related items.  She had several quilts for sale as seen in this photo.  I like how she used one of Terry Atkinson's patterns to showcase the western themed novelty fabrics!  Kits for the quilts were also available.
 She was from Oregon and shared with me that she sews all year and only attends this show.  She had constructed everything from curtains to bumper pads for cribs.  I would have liked to talk to her longer and taken more photos, but her small booth was packed!  It was fun to watch her success!

There was one item that really won my heart and I soooo wanted it!
  Many of you know that I love the color red ... and you might also know that I have wanted a red couch for a long time ... when I saw this, it was love at first sight!  It was stunning in every way (insert a very deep sigh) ... I wish you all could see it live ... in my living room!

I personally have no interest in gambling and had no interest in trying it, but as everyone knows ... most of traveling to Vegas is about gambling.  I don't have an issue with others who enjoy gambling and do not feel in anyway self-righteous about it.  All week, as I walked through casinos, watched others gamble, shared in conversation with those who had gambled, I really didn't see the appeal and felt no temptation to participate.

The conference ended early in the afternoon on Saturday ... we were flying home early Sunday morning ... how to spend our last night in Vegas became the task at hand.  And then it happened ... after 5 days in Sin City ... the gambling bug finally bit! 
  We had heard that if you arrived at the rodeo early enough, you could buy tickets that were being sold by "others".  Now I admit to not being anything near genius ... but I knew not to ask who these "others" were.  Soooo ... we went to the UNLV sports center two hours early ... and those "others"?  Lets just say they found us!
We paid three to four times the original price for the tickets ... yep, it was a gamble.  One that we feel like we won!  ;-)

Mr. DillyDally and I have been following the rodeo all week on ESPN ... we've even learned many names of both the cowboys and livestock!  We've had a lot of fun with it ...
... and every night this week, I've had a strange dream with cowboys in it.  Every morning I share these silly dreams with my husband.  The other day, Mr. DillyDally finally asked if he needed to worry about these dreams I'm having?  ;-)  
You know ... he might want to consider getting himself a cowboy hat and boots ... hmmmm ... a pair of chaps wouldn't hurt either!  ;-)