Thursday, I was going to meet a new baby and wanted to take a gift.
Called around and found wooden milestone blocks/cubes and in the colors of the nursery!
A helpful man answered the phone and said there was one set at their store- Contemporary Concepts.
When I got there I took a look around. Found a couple of Christmas gifts to purchase, too. A very eclectic mix of gifts from elegant tableware to crazy socks .
The colorfully printed Pittsburgh dish towels caught my eye for those who have moved away. Lots of interesting toys and potential baby shower gifts, too. They feature cool Pittsburgh neighborhood t-shirts Neighbor Teaze designed by Julia DiNardo- an elementary school classmate of my son Matthew.
(I won’t go into how the store moved 6 months ago to the Trader Joe’s building, pretty close to my house-that’s another story. Of course, I drove to the old location in Squirrel Hill first. The new location has free parking)
But I finally arrived and was thrilled to find the right present waiting. And in the colors of his nursery, too. Yes, I said it twice cause it was a Serendipitous find!
“Would you like it gift wrapped? “
Now the thought of complimentary gift wrap evokes nostalgia for customer service of yesteryear- and what a lovely touch.
Meet Abby. She did the beautiful gift wrapping.
I asked her if she’d mind being included in my People at Work series And she agreed.
I’ve been taking my cars to Bastone Auto for 25 years. You want to go to an auto place you trust! Being located in a former church seems a nice touch.
Pennsylvania car inspection was due and the temporary registration I’d gotten online was about to expire Dec 2nd.
My goal’s to get a photo of the Bastone brothers in front of their place. I thought it would be a great addition to People at Work- Primarily Pittsburgh (show at Panza Gallery. July 2018)
As I was asking Bob about getting Jim and Frank to agree I said “here I’ll take a quick sample on the phone to remind you to ask them”
Bob is also an expert Amateur/Ham Radio operator (licensed call sign is WC3O) and here’s an article
If you need a speaker for your organization’s event, he’ll expound on all aspects of automotive service, repair and maintenance in his “I Hate Cars” tour. His flyer says “hear the straight scoop from an ASE certified Master Mechanic with a lifetime of experience in the automotive repair and maintenance field”
Bob has a great sense of humor, too.
Thanks for letting me take your photo, Bob.
Please ask your brothers to make a time and I’ll be over with my real camera.
Oh and my car is happy, too.
Meet Janice Schuler. Artist. Today there was an Artist’s Studio Tour in Lawrenceville. Her painting studio is in the basement of this repurposed church and was number one on the tour. I’d met Janice last night at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and she invited me to visit her studio during the Studio Tour. There was wine and beer, bottles of water and cheese and crackers and a tray of sweets, too. Other artists studios were open as well but I sat in a comfortable chair in Janice’s studio and watched people come and go as we talked.
Artist Janice Schuler at work in her artist studio.
There are several artist’s studios in this church- architects, fiber artist. photographers and painters.
My son-in-law James saw a story about a yarn store on wheels. Here’s the clip on Columbus television. YARNBYRDS,LLC THE YARN TRUCK
James knows I like to knit and enjoy good yarn so this morning he sent me a link from the local paper aticle about Yarnbyrds Columbus Dispatch.
A converted RV is a yarn store? I’m in!
Food Truck craze has inspired a gourmet Yarn Truck. What a wonderful idea.
Found the phone number and called Robin and this evening I was able to go and visit “Birdie” ( the mobile yarn store’s nickname) and make some wonderful gourmet yarn purchases, too.
Here’s Yarnbirds website for details on the delicious yarn and a calendar of where Birdie will be parked, so you can check it out, too! A terrific selection to choose from- I know I’ll be back.
What a cool idea. Here is the owner/ proprietor Robin Richey.
Exterior of Birdie
Robin’s husband Tom did all the LED lighting in the truck and so all the yarn shows in true color which is really important in a yarn store! He’s an electrical engineer.
Robin creates the project bags. There’s jewelry and Drunk Yarn kits for dying.
Alaskan sock yarn was the quest. And this was the place to find it.
I ‘d researched on the computer from Pittsburgh, prior to our trip.
Knitty Stash is the home of Alaskan Yarn Company , right in Homer, Alaska where we were headed.
Gorgeous hand painted sock yarn with special Alaskan colorway names that invite you to knit your Alaskan experience, right into a pair of socks ( or shawl, cowl, etc) “Our Alaskan color way: Kachemak Bay, Lupine, Arctic Autumn, Northern Lights and Fireweed and Denail Autumn and High Bush Cranberry” You can click here to see what they look like knitted up
Yarn store number three on the great Northwest adventure.
You meet the nicest people. My friend Lisa and I went back on Tuesday night and watched the three women use spinning wheels, turning fiber into yarn.
Meet shop owner Jules and her sweet dog Ruby.
Jules made the knitting artwork out of duct tape with the help of a friend! Weatherproof..
You can see some of the colorways on the wall in this shot. I focused on Jules so the background a bit soft focus.
My quest was satisfied and I mailed some skeins the next day. It was here, waiting for me when I got home. I’ve wound one colorway already. Will keep you posted.
Here are the colors close up, borrowed from Knitty Stash site so you can see how lush they are.
I did not take the yarn photo below, but I wish I had bought all the colors and taken it! Thanks Jules.p.s. If you missed my 4/27/16 post on The Satisfaction of Sock Knitting you can read it here
Quest. Remember looking for a certain book? I’m talking pre-google, search engines?
Out dad would scour used book stores and stalls for books he wanted for himself or one of us kids. He was always searching for another copy of In Clean Hay to read at Christmas. Nowadays you type a title or author in a narrow white box, press search and voila….options, usually in a few seconds.
An actual physical search can be incredibly satisfying cause chances are you will see another title or volume as you sift through shelves in a cool used book store.
That’s what happened when I found a Peter Spier book from my kids childhood on a upstairs shelf.
Old Inlet Bookshop in Homer, Alaska is such a place. We went there after our Thai lunch in the mermaid themed cafe attached to the bookshop
Meet Andy Wills. Third generation bookseller.
I don’t know how many books he has in his bookshop but if you are looking for something, he knows where it is. You don’t have to go to Homer, Alaska though You can email him books(at)ak(dot)net Hope that method of writing email address avoids spammers
Here is he taping up the cover of the Peter Spier book.
Meet Laura Hayner. And Shadow. What a sweet doggie. She follows Laura everywhere.
She is spinning fleece of some local sheep.
Here’s a skein of some of her handspun yarn from a spinning workshop. It was a grab bag of different fibers and has a really cool and varied look to it.
Spoiler Alert for Christmas Gifts- Made in the U.S.A.- World’s Warmest Socks for Winter. I’m sure she’d be happy to send you some. They are thick and cushy. Perfect in a big boot or to wear around a drafty house.
Thanks Laura for welcoming us to your lovely shop. Love the name of your store.
Thanks for showing us your logo. My sister likes the buttons she bought, too.
I enjoyed seeing your spinning and will enjoy knitting all the yarn I bought and shipped to myself. It’s great you get your fiber from local ranches and farms- 4R Ranch in Tonasket and Good Farms in Okanogan for two.
My wish is you get to Anchorage Alaska and taste Wildflour Bakery pies. Although I am back in the lower 48 today I have some more Alaska posts.
When visiting friends in Homer Alaska, we met some very nice people in their interesting home that our host had helped build.
The first thing they did was offer us pie and coffee. Who could resist?
Three types of apple pie. As we sampled a sliver of each type, we talked about the excellent flavor and crust (one gluten- free) and then I learned about the pie creator, Wildflour Bakery Owner Olivia Allen of Anchorage. Although I took a few photos of the pie (see below) I wanted to know more.
Meet bakery owner Olivia Allen- photograph by Julia Bevins, I asked Julia if she would like to be guest blogger! What a great photo.
Then I called Olivia. She returned my call just as we were entering our departing flight but emailed me more photos and information about Wildflour Bakery. Here is her blog link Look into the World See Olivia’s watercolor illustrations and follow her on Instagram Wildflour Bakery Handcrafted pies and galettes made with foraged wild berries, organic ingredients and lots of love 🌸
Wildflour Bakery uses locally sourced and foraged wild berries, herbs, flowers and backyard honey to craft beautiful and sweet treats with creative flair.
Each pie or galette is handcrafted with the intention of highlighting the Alaskan spirit of our wild spaces, near and far.
Beautifully photographed by Julia Bevins.
Gallery of photos below , sent to me by Olivia
Here are my pie photos so you see why I needed Olivia to send me some more.
And here is her artwork. I love the part about “serve generous slices.” Yes!!
We fairly well decimated the pies! You can see why I needed more photos to create this blog post as you look at my three photos I took at the kitchen table.
A few years ago I featured friend and pie judge Rob Bard.on National Pie Day. I know he would have enjoyed the pies.
Meet Will H. Our conductor on the train ride from Denali to Anchorage. Army veteran. They even slowed the train so we could photograph Denali and two other mountain ranges which were all completely visible on a beautiful clear day.
Although we are back in NYC and I like to keep the blog in RT, now that computer access/internet is available, I want to post some photos I had in my real camera not iPhone.
Mary and I got a cab to the Anchorage Railroad Depot, checked in our tagged bags, drank a delicious coffee and waited to board the glass roofed train to Denali.
At the start of the train ride there were just nine of us and then 58 joined us at Talkeetna. It’s now the end of the season that started in May.
We decided to get breakfast after an early start
Mary ordered the reindeer/ egg scrambler skillet.
Chef Malachi cooked our breakfasts to perfection! Delicious.
Jerrica tended the bar at the front of the car
Our conductor A.J. He has to get off the train to manually switch the tracks so we could wait on the side as another train passed, going south.
Matthew our excellent server on the left and Crystal our knowledgeable tour guide.
Both of them made it a fun and memorable adventure. The train ride is about eight hours. We didn’t knit or nap, didn’t want to miss a single second.
(Good sports to let me photograph them, thanks!)
We saw a pair of Trumpeter Swans who mate for life.
Their young ones were swimming on their own
After the lunch crowd left the dining car and went back upstairs, I enjoyed a Forest pie with rhubarb, apple, blackberry and strawberries topped with vanilla ice cream. Matt asked if I wanted a lot of whipped cream or a little.🙂
Everyone was so nice, the scenery so incredible. Andy took a photo of us at the table too, which was great for the memory book, but unfortunately I did not take his pic.
We highly recommend the train tour.