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Archive for the 'Purple Houses' Category

A Warm Toronto Welcome!

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

It’s not a Purple House, but I’m staying in a blue & orange building in Toronto. Perfect, yes?

colorful hostel

I’m feeling really emotional, being back in Toronto. I’ve been close to tears regularly.

My first trip here was in 1975 and it ROCKED my world. It wasn’t like home. I needed to know the world was bigger than the safe but quiet place I lived.

Traveling alone really brings time and space to feeeeeel. My heart is at home where diversity is a given.

The first night I went to a knit-in at a yarn shop called The Purple Purl. More perfection – purple, indeed! It was too dark to take a good photo when I got there.

Last night (Wednesday) I went to a knit-in night at Lettuce Knit. I’d been there years ago, but it has had a change of owners since then. I tweeted that I’d be coming.

I was welcomed so warmly, it felt like a red carpet came out. They offered me homemade trifle (oh my, what a treat) and we debated the perfect yarn to go with the yarn I got the night before.

Sylvie, the owner, consented to a quick photo with me on my way out. I took this with my iPod, so excuse any quirky photo oddness. We *were* having a lovely evening.

Thanks to Sylvie, Emily, Stacey and the others I remember talking with but whose names elude me right now. It was a memorable night.


Purple House, Persian Food – Montreal #1

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Montreal. It’s wonderful. I am here to write a travelogue/ series of patterns about my African trip, while sort of living a 2nd travelogue. I sure am taking a lot of photos!

Photos can be a full-time job, at least the way my brain goes about it. I may upload  some Flickr collections once I see what categories there may logically be.

Meanwhile… there is a lot more purple paint in Montreal per square kilometer, than there is in Lansing, Michigan. Here’s the first photo. I found it not far from a subway stop.

Balconies are everywhere. The duplex where I’m staying has 3 balconies and a deck, two for each unit. It’s a wonderful way to live. People are out on balconies wherever you go, and that makes for more inadvertent “neighborhood watch” potential. Very liveable.

This city is also incredibly walkable and bikeable. Everywhere you go, there are folks walking… even at midnight. There are also bike lanes wherever I go, and bike-share/rentals available.

I love this. It feels so much more safe than being a solitary walker when in unfamiliar territory.

I ate Persian/ Iranian food last night. It was wonderful. I had tea in glass cups as in Egypt… and two dishes made of eggplant. The one cut into a wedge was eggs and eggplant, and it was magnificent. I must look into possible recipes.

I’d love to eat at a different restaurant every day (even a different world cuisine), but since I’m here for 2 weeks that would break the bank. Food is more costly here than at home, at least at first glance. I did find a shopping center which is walking distance, and will see what their grocery store has to offer.

Restaurant foods have been pricier than home, even at restaurants rated by Urban Spoon as inexpensive. The Canadian dollar is worth $0.99 USD so the exchange is not bad, but their sales taxes are much higher than ours in Michigan.

I’ve heard at least 5 languages in a few days here. I LOVE this. The world is a wonderful place, full of wonderful people in all sorts of cultures. They get along pretty well here, and I’m digging that.

And as for speaking English… if I’m polite and apologize for not speaking French, I’m experiencing politeness. One ticket-seller at the metro/subway did have a different response (with a smile). I said “I’m sorry, I don’t speak French.” He said “Why?” followed by a laugh. He said he was from the Former Yugoslavia. Then we did business… in English.

French pronunciation is hard for me, still. I’m starting to do OK with translating some signs, and did pretty well with a menu at the Persian eatery before being brought one in English.

Oh, I could talk forever! However, it’s time to return to my task at hand. See you soon!

Purple House Photo from Snowbird

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Snowbird is a long-time, loyal reader here. She writes:

I could not resist sending you this purple house in Navarre Beach, Florida.

My husband and I took a road trip to Florida… and went to Santa Rosa Island just South of Pensacola, Florida. On the far East end is Navarre Beach and this beautiful house.

Please add this to your collection of purple houses.

Thank you for your contribution, Snowbird. You are appreciated.

Purple Mailbox

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

As many of you know, I collect photos of Purple Houses. On a trip up to the very northwest corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula, I spotted this purple mailbox. It wanted to belong with the houses on my blog. I agreed.

Isn’t it just lovely? It sure made me smile.

Sock Summit Saturday 1: Pooling, Purple Food Trucks, Kids, Yarn

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Class First

Saturday morning I taught a class on “Pool-Repellant” socks. Pooling is when a multicolored yarn is knit so that one (or more) particular color shows together in visible areas.

Pooling in its extreme form is shown at top right here. In the case of that sample, it’s a yarn created specifically for those who LOVE pooling on socks. Â

Some people do amazing things, like plaids, by pooling with intent. However, that was not the subject of this class.

The pooling-on-purpose yarn is from Schoppel-Wolle, the company who also produces Zauberball. I don’t know the yarn’s name. Thanks to Suzanne, who knit the swatch.

Every knitter has an opinion on whether colors are capable of pooling in pleasant ways. One knitter will love the same sock that another can not tolerate. However, for some folks it is a real problem, and there are a number of methods used to manipulate pooling to a situation that is acceptable to the one doing all the knitting.

I had three hours with a lovely group of women. We talked, reviewed a number of my knitted samples, looked at each others’ unsatisfying projects, and schemed for future projects (or in at least one person’s case, two re-do projects).

The class got a good chunk of time for experimental knitting with yarns they brought along (some which had not behaved well in previous projects). I very much enjoyed my time with this group.

At left is a yarn that pools easily, but here was knit up in my Breeze Blocker project. The colors look pleasant in this particular stitch pattern and project.

I got a lovely note from student Katrina V., who was in the pooling class. She gave me permission to quote her message for you. She says:

I was in your Pool Repellant class on Saturday morning and just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed every minute of it. Your energy and enthusiasm were contagious and much appreciated.

I brought two “unfortunate” socks to the class, and you suggested that I knit from both ends of the ball for one and do an afterthought heel on the other…I will be sure to send you before and after pictures.

Thank you again for the great class!!

Lunch with Kids

After that class ended, I met a friend, Rebekah,  from Twitter (@SeamlessKnits) who came in for the event. We ended up going out for lunch… not only the two of us, but her three kids and husband as well. If you know how much I adore kids in the 2-5 year old age range, you know I loved having a 3 yr old, M., holding one hand… and a 5 yr old, S., on the other. You can see S. waiting patiently at right.

Kids fill up my happy inner space better than anything else. I loved every second. (The 1yr old was in a stroller or carrier the whole time, but Mommy and Daddy could take turns with him while I had the girls part of the time.)

We went off on the MAX public transit train (photo above of a train stop and a lonely coffee cup) to find what they call a “Pod” of food trucks. There are areas in Portland where they purposely congregate food trucks, to attract good traffic for all. You can buy many different ethnic foods, barbecue, fish and chips, vegetarian/healthy foods, the works.

Above is a “Purple House” image for my purple houses photo collection… a food truck painted in purple, which was closed when we visited.

I ended up with a Greek pita with falafel in it. The bread was out of this world, and I ate more of it than I would if I had been at home. Yum. I guess I’m used to Michigan’s Lebanese falafel which I like better, but it was a healthy, affordable, fresh-off-the-grill meal. I had heard there was a Turkish food truck, but it turned out to be at a different Pod location.


After lunch we returned to the convention center. This was my big chance to go in to the marketplace and thank all the amazing vendors who gifted we teachers with so many fine presents.

The place was so big, the only way I could really say thanks to all of those vendors, was to mark my map ahead of time with who was where, and methodically make my way through to thank those folks before I did anything else.

The good part was that I met some very cool people. I thanked all but a few vendors who were not available when I passed by their booth. The down side was that I did not feel the luxury to look at the amazing merchandise which was available just plain everywhere!!!

I purchased only two items at the market. My dinner chat partner at Wednesday’s teacher dinner had been Jill Draper of Jill Draper Makes Stuff. I got one skein of bright green sockyarn from her.

I was distracted by every version of turquoise yarn I passed. The one I finally purchased was from Kitchen Sink  Dyeworks (it’s greener in real life than it seems here).

At one point I put those two skeins next to a skein which was in the vendor-gift goodie bag from a breast cancer project, in hot pink. I think they need to be made into a project together, in some way. Yes?

(More soon, I promise…)

LoveLansing Walk Home (Purple Paint, Plus)

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I had the last repair done on my JoyBug two weeks ago. I decided to walk to the bus stop and go home for a few hours.

I had such a nice time on the way to the bus stop that I decided to keep walking. In the end, I walked the full three miles home. Here are some photos I took on my walk.

Images: 1) Street art… magazine page (?) cut out with a silhouette and pasted on painted utility pole. 2) Purple trim on house, Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, Michigan, USA. 3) Purple painted stairway on same house (notice the other colored spots of paint). 4) Purple-trimmed house a few blocks from my home.


Purple House Happiness!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

I collect photos of purple houses. Here is a Victorian I found in Laingsburg, northeast of Lansing. It’s a lovely community, and this house is a real beauty.

In Mid-Michigan, the grass is green and we have a few bulbs pushing up and blooming. Our side yard has many violets which were blooming happily on Sunday.

Monday/today? Enough snow that in the morning one could not see the grass underneath. Luckily, it’s melting well. I’ve seen a few flurries, very light snow, on my travels today.

What to Cut?

In unrelated news, I’ve had two people I respect deeply ask me the same question in the last week. They want to know what I can possibly stop doing, remove from my over-busy life. I know they are right to ask.

Last year I was not quite busy enough (due to an inability to speak/teach much), so I cleaned house/decluttered for a few months. Now I’m faced with too much to do.

My main problem with this question is that I really like my current life. Nothing is obviously out of place in my schedule.

There was a time when I said yes to requests I did not want to pursue. I’ve stopped doing that. I think when I started only saying yes to things I wanted to do, I somehow thought I could do everything I truly wanted to say yes to.

Not. Passionate people always love more things than they can fit into one life, at least at one time. One must drop one obligation to pick up another. It just is.

Again, Again…

Every six months or so, I come up against this same truth. I love so many things, that I can not do them all. I say yes, and yes, and more yes. I only say yes to things that feel right to me.

I have good people in my life. I have good work. I have many, many things I love to do. However, one can only put so many drops of water into one teacup. I may not be overflowing but it’s very close.

Bonus Years

I’m 52, and my dad died at 40. I really do feel I am in “the gravy years” now. I’ve had a dozen more years than my Daddio.

However, cramming too much into a day means I skip sleep or meals or run late on obligations. Must. Stop.

Meanwhile I think of you often. The blog stays, don’t worry.


Purple Door

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

For those who are new here… ColorJoy (to me) is “Art as an Everyday Attitude” or “Many creative acts can be considered Art.” I don’t think that drawing and painting are the only activities for artists in the world. Nor do I merely add performance activities to the list. Gardening and cooking are just as artful, but perhaps less permanent.

charlottepurpledoorHumans often embellish their bodies. In the Midwest culture, very few embellish their homes. Even fewer embellish their businesses.

I watch for purple houses when I travel, even near home. This photo is of a brick business building in downtown Charlotte, Michigan (a lovely and friendly small city about a half hour from Lansing). The back door is painted purple.

I think this is a dance studio. I saw some kids inside bouncing up and down, as I passed. No matter what it is, the color makes me smile!

If you want to see more purple house/building photos, check out my Purple Houses Archive.

Ooh, another Purple House!

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

It was a while ago, but I received this photo of a purple-painted house from Karin00. She noticed I had a collection of other purple houses on this blog. I think I will never get tired of discovering new ones!


I asked Karin where she took this photo. She writes:

This purple house is located in New Liskeard, ON, Canada (now called City of Temiskaming Shores) which is about 300 miles northeast of Toronto, on Lake Temiskaming near the Quebec border. (100 miles north of North Bay, ON)

Thank you for the photo, Karin! I’m happy you shared this cheerful photo with us.

Right now where I live, it’s rather monochromatic. The ground is covered with snow. the sky is covered with clouds most of the time, and in at least one place within a few blocks of our house, there are six houses in a row painted white.

(Edited later to add this photo. This is the view out our side living room window, noon on December 26. Yes, noon. This is the real thing.)


As I mentioned, December is not the best time of year for this ColorJoy woman in Lansing. The photo could not have come at a better time. Thanks!

Purple House Picture from Mackinac Island

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Friend and reader Irene traveled north not long ago. She went up to Mackinac Island, a very special place for folks in the Midwest.

On the island, there are no personal vehicles. They have bicycles, horses, and good old shoe leather for getting around. There is an old-style charm which many appreciate.


Irene knows I collect photos of purple houses. She took this photo to share with me. I’m in turn sharing it with you.

Thanks, Irene!

Color-Joyful Houses in Grand Rapids

Saturday, June 26th, 2010


Brian and I went to Grand Rapids for Father’s Day. On our way home, we went for a walk in the East Town Neighborhood. I found some beautifully painted homes on our walk.

We lucked out, because the family living in the orange house with a purple door, was outside and we chatted a while. They just finished this paint job. Isn’t it a beauty?

I figured that with a purple door, I needed to photograph it for my category “Purple Houses” here on this blog. They were all for it.


We also found this wonderful electric-green house. It appears to be headquarters for a neighborhood organization of some sort.


The homes in this area are just gorgeous. The architecture is uniformly detailed and delightful. We had a great walk.

If you liked these photos, you can see all my posts labeled “Purple Houses” by clicking here.

The Right Spot for Planning

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

\My life is in the process of changing. Right now I’m in the evaluation phase, which means lots of pondering, thinking, looking for options.

I’m doing what I can to stay away from worry. I am fond of saying “Worry is not action.” That is harder to live than it is to say to someone else, as you might imagine!


Tuesday I had a canceled night class. I had the opportunity to make choices a bit with my time. Now, my porch is my favorite place in Lansing on warm days. It was warm enough to go out there.

The winter had done a bit of a messy job on that porch, though. The floor was full of leaves, the ledges around the porch were decorated, so to speak, by the birds who hung out there for shelter. The three chairs and one table which stayed out on the porch, were dusty. The painted chairs had peeled a bit since fall.

I decided I wanted to work on the porch, but that it needed to encourage me rather than drag me down. Out came the broom and dustpan. Out came wet, soapy cloth and a dry cloth to follow it. It did not take all that long to make the porch welcoming again.

My Purple-Trimmed House w/RosesI put away the cleaning tools. I hung up my beloved hammock (purchased on a trip to Mexico almost 15 years ago). I got out a quilted pillow made for me by Brian’s sister, Jane. The wireless computer and cup of tea followed me, along with a box full of paperwork.

The sun filtered through the thin, green, spring leaves across the street. I got some work done and enjoyed my luck at being able to work in that place for several hours.

If I must ponder my future while doing some work, this is the best possible place to do it.

(This second photo is the back of our house during rose-blossoming season.)

A Purple House and an Adventure

Sunday, January 17th, 2010


Friday I had to go to Holly, Michigan for a funeral home visitation on Friday. It seems that time of year, unfortunately.

The good news was, once I had to go out of my territory, I decided to visit friends I know online. The bad news was, I have too many friends in that neck o’the woods to see all in a short day.

I thought I’d go to the funeral home, then go to Howell and see Beth Smith at Spinning Loft. This is a shop specifically for spinners, not for knitters (though many folks do both)… an unusual, rare and wonderful place.

Then if I had time I hoped I could go to Stitch in Time, a knitting-and-needlework shop downtown Howell. You see, I won a gift certificate from them at the knitting guild last month. I have not been there in a long while, and there are a few yarns I’ve purchased there which I have really enjoyed.

Somewhere in there, I was on Twitter and realized that my friend Melynda of French Press Knits lives out near Howell. I sent her a note. The next thing I knew, my schedule was more than full.

I met Melynda at a new shop between Fenton and Howelll. The shop is named The Knit Side, and owned by the gracious Gail. It is tidy, organized, and colorful in there! She has a lot of yarns in the Cascade, Plymouth and Berroco lines.

No shop has every yarn in every line. Therefore, even though I am familiar with a lot of these, I found a few yarns I did not remember touching before. I ended up with Magenta and hot green alpaca/wool/silk from Cascade. Maybe a neckwarmer?

I went in the shop with 2 bags. I left the shop with 2 bags. Whoops! I had made a purchase. I should have left with 3 bags. Fortunately, Gail knew I was going to a funeral home in Holly. She knew my name because I signed the guest book. She called the funeral home, they found me, and she delivered my knitting bag to me at the funeral home. My friends, this is fine customer service. Hugs to Gail for being so willing to bend on my behalf!

It was good to see Melynda again. It was great to meet Gail. I was also very happy to see my friend who I see mostly online, who I’ve known for probably 18 years, and who was just widowed.

I was bummed to miss out on Spinning Loft/Beth, and spending my gift certificate at Stitch in Time. Beth is closed on Sunday/Monday, which are often my best days to go on adventures. I will have to see how I can get down to Howell again with only those shops on my agenda.

Oh… and those of you who have been with me long, know: I love purple paint on houses. Here is one I found near Fenton, Michigan. If this tickles your fancy, see my entire collection of posts about Purple Houses!

Purple House in Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

purpleportlandhouse.jpgOne day when I was in Portland, OR, I wandered the wrong direction for a few blocks on my way to public transit. I found this house.

I figure if I am going to be lost, it’s a great deal to get a photo of a house with purple paint. This one looks very different from any I have found previously.