About Me ColorJoy Home Page Free Stuff About Me Contact Me
ColorJoy Home Page
ColorJoy Home The ColorJoy Blog Buy Patterns, Recipe Books, CDs Patterns Schedule & Potential Classes Recipes & Food Information The LynnH SockTour LynnH Polymer Clay The Fabulous Heftones - Lynn & Brian

Archive for the 'Travel' Category

Keep Walking

Monday, November 18th, 2013

I love to walk and I love our earth. (I don’t love camping… so my walks are relatively short, but frequent.)

I just found an eloquently-written story at National Geographic. This man is starting a 7-year walk in Ethiopia. (I visited Ethiopia during holidays 2004-05, which makes this extra fascinating. I took the above photo in northern Ethiopia while I was there.)

An Afar proverb: It is best, when you are lost or thirsty, to keep walking under the sun, because eventually someone will see you. To be tempted into shade, to drop under one of 10,000 thornbushes, means death: No one will find you.

Keep walking. This is a metaphor for many inner journeys as well.

I loved reading this short story. I wonder how he can write like this in the middle of a powerful journey. When I’m traveling, I tend to get sucked into the moment. I’m glad he can write for us.


A Peek Into a Hostel

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

(Written in Toronto, but posted after uploading the videos about a week later.)

Staying in an International Hostel is so interesting! Had conversations Tuesday with folks from Sweden, Scotland, Australia, Spain, Brazil and England. Monday, Spain, Mexico, England and Australia. Sunday, Brazil and France. There are lots of Asians here but they are not chatting with me… the languages I think I hear are Korean and Japanese, and maybe a type of Chinese.

A hostel is so much cheaper than a hotel, I can stay here much longer. My fee was about $30 a night. Since there is a kitchen, many of us get to chat while eating the food we made. I’ve had such great conversations in the kitchen eating space!

Sometimes folks share food, often not. It’s not expected but sometimes one has more than one can eat. There is also a “free food” shelf where people put extra supplies… things like cereal, spices, soy sauce, even chocolate syrup get placed there.

Add to that, the good company. Yes, I happen to be sharing a room with 9 people I never met before, but the boundaries are well respected. I have a locker to keep valuables safe when I’m not in the room with them. It’s not luxurious but it’s comfortable and safe.

This hostel is run by Hosteling Intenational. I stayed in one of their properties in Portland, Oregon for the first Sock Summit. I also stayed at an NYC property in 2004, near the north west corner of Central Park, that I think was also run by this organization.

If you are curious about how this one hostel looks, here are a few peeks. Every hostel is different, but all share common spaces. I did not video the social spaces but this will give you a sense of what it’s all about.

A quiet moment in the kitchen:

A peek in a 10-bed dorm room:

Late-evening diners in the kitchen:

Garden behind the Hostel (where I could get wifi access):

This is the Hostelling International Hostel at 76 Church street (near the King subway stop) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Oh, Toronto! Beautiful Doors!

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

When I visit cities, I love to notice the doors. Last year when I was in Montréal, I posted a collection of doors I saw there.

Here is another collection of doors and other architectural details, from this year’s trip to Toronto. It’s pretty long (the cost of passion) and the styles are amazingly varied. I hope you enjoy it.



























































Post-Toronto Touching Base

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Wowie, I hit the ground running when I got back to Lansing! I took so many photos and videos there that I can only hope to catch up here.

This video I took on Saturday (I got home about midnight Wednesday and was out of town all day Friday singing with Brian). Please forgive my focus off screen, I’m still getting used to video. I get more comfy onscreen in the last little bit, but you can tell I’m in there by my voice.

I considered stripping out the visual and posting just my voice… Would you like that, or do you prefer the video even if it’s less than Hollywood style? I find it a bit distracting that somehow I focused off camera. Does that bother you?

Deep Feelings – Travel, Change & Art

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

LynnH at Textile Museum
I went to the Textile Museum in Toronto yesterday. (The photo above is me in front of the Museum.) To get there, I took an unusual route via streetcar and a lot of walking.

An important section of the subway track is under construction this weekend. This means the above-ground transit is bursting with passengers.

The transit drivers are kind and helpful, and they have information workers at the top of every stairway leading down to the closed trains. Here is one of them helping two women find an alternate route.
Video with Heart
I know I’m known for being cheerful, and typically that’s truly me. Some readers ask for do-overs when I post photos of me with a thoughtful, rather than happy, face. However, there are other moods which contribute to a good life.

Walking through the part of Toronto which was such an important part of my teen years, of my becoming the Lynn I am now, has me pensive and thoughtful. It’s an emotional trip for all the right reasons.

Last night I recorded a short, shaky, imperfect and heart-full video for you, on the roof terrace of this Hostel where I’m staying. I talk about the Textile Museum I visited yesterday and why this trip touches me so deeply.

When you watch, I think you will be OK with my lack of an outright smile. Click the photo below to see it.
chat from the roof

Art is Real Life – a Split Second

Saturday, August 10th, 2013


Yesterday, I caught this stylish older woman outside the Art Gallery of Ontario / AGO. Sometimes real life is art.

My Canadian Yarn Collection

Friday, August 9th, 2013

I added one final skein of Koigu yarn to the other yarns I have purchased on my trip. All were dyed in Canada.
Left to right:

  • Koigu PPPM #P123 B367, 50gm / 160m
  • Rhichard Devrieze Pepino #Eaton Street 3, 65gm / 206m
  • Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 #none, 125gm / 350m
  • Rhichard Devrieze Pepino #Pastoral 2, 65gm / 206m

People keep asking me what I will make. I don’t know.

Usually, yarn calls my name and then whispers what it wants to be. Sometimes that whisper takes a while.

This yarn is all fingering weight 100% merino wool. That would suggest a shawl/ wrap or perhaps a long sleeved tee? Socks often use this weight of yarn but can wear out prematurely without nylon or silk to strengthen it.

I’m done with the yarn crawl for this trip. Good yarn adds up fast!

I’m having lunch with a knitting friend Friday/ tomorrow. Looks like Indian food is on the agenda. Yum!
Birthday Girl
This last photo is a young woman with balloons celebrating her birthday. I saw her group of friends taking photos of her, so started to sing the happy birthday song as I walked past. They joined right in.

It was fun!

Toronto View & Yarn Images

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Here I’ve given you a brief video of the view from “my” room at the Toronto Hostel where I’m staying (my room has 10 ladies in bunk beds, I lucked into a bottom bunk).

I also include a peek at my yarn/ sock purchases thus far. Of course you are curious…?

Click the photo below to view the video on the youtube site.

toronto video class=

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.


A Quick Video from Toronto

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Let’s see how this works. Blogging from Toronto, using only my iPod Touch 5 and WIFI. Wish me luck.

The video is only 1 minute. When you click the image above, you will be taken to the YouTube site to watch.

Crossing fingers,,,

Toronto short Video

Toronto… Shall We Meet Up?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

I’m in Toronto for a focused week. It’s about Museums, ethnic food, Yarn Shops (and the associated knit in events), subways and skyscrapers. Toronto is my favorite city for taaaaall buildings.

I spent Tuesday in transit. I drove to Sarnia, Ontario. Took a “bus” (van) to London, Ontario where I boarded a VIArail passenger train. In Toronto I took a subway to the Hostel where I’m staying.

After checking in, I took an electric streetcar to The Purple Purl, where I enjoyed their knit in evening. I bought 2 skeins of handpainted yarn by an Ontario artist, one in bright greens & one in deep teal/blue. Lovely.

Ms. ColorJoy herself (me), famous for very late nights, is wiped out before midnight. I may give in & crash early (for me). Tomorrow brings curiosity and delight!

My Wednesday goal: at least one museum, one ethnic food meal, and one yarn shop. Lettuce Knit in Kensington Market has a knit in, so that is a feature of my plan thus far.

Do you live here? I’d love to connect. 20130806-233936.jpg

Crushed. Just Devastated.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

TorontoI’m crushed. Reverend Mrs. Lynn Grimes died. She was my church youth director from the time I was 7 till I was graduated… and then later when she had become a pastor, she married me and the love of my life, Brian Hefferan.

I did see her at her retirement celebration. I wrote her a letter of deep gratitude. In particular, the fact that she took us to big cities made a huge impact on my life, and my inner self. If you’ve followed me much at all, you know this is true. My 2 week living stint in Montreal last summer, had its first inkling of life in the 70s, in trips with my youth groups.

She took us in 6th grade, to Detroit where she grew up. We met people at her Methodist Church in downtown Detroit, where more people had dark skin than light. She loved the grand and beautiful church (with a full pipe organ and gorgeous windows), and the people there.

Since my middle school had 5 black kids total out of about 650 kids, she did us a favor to let us know that the world wasn’t all just like our suburban lives. My community was made up of professors and their families (European and Asian, mostly) and not much else. No fast food, no mall until 1972, not much commerce other than a few family-owned stores: pharmacy, hardware, two groceries.

My Biggest Gratitude
Kensington MarketIn 1975, 1.5 years after my father died, Lynn and husband Kip took 15 children that were not their own… without any other chaperones… to Toronto, Canada. I remember that they were building the CN Tower at the time.

My life turned around on a dime during that trip. I fell in love with the skyscrapers, the subway, the art museums and the bustle. The fashions were different, too. And the food… Lynn & Kip took us to a Hungarian place, a Chinese place where they actually spoke Chinese, and the Kensington market.

Subway Car(An aside… in the neighborhood called Kensington Market, a fruit vendor who was perhaps Greek or Arabic, figured out how green and gullible we were. He told us he would sell us his son for “a good price.” We were horrified!)

I would NOT be the person I am today if Lynn Grimes had not been in my life. I’m deeply, deeply sad for her loss. Thank you for allowing me to share.

Photos: Toronto modern hotel next to gorgeous old church. Kensington Market neighborhood. Toronto subway/trolley riders.

Yarn Bomb? What is THAT?

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Woohoo… big news is coming fast here at Casa de ColorJoy. I don’t have time to post all the details but will tonight.

Meanwhile, may I introduce you to the concept of Yarn Bombing? It’s also known as yarn graffiti, Guerrilla Knitting and more. It’s the idea of putting yarn (usually knitted or crocheted) in a public space, usually attached to a permanent object there.

This artform tends to be irreverent. It can be goofy, political, colorful or subtle. It can be anything the artist(s) make it be.

My Exciting Find

When I was in Montreal, I lucked out. I saw a Yarnbombed piece by the international artist OLEK. She’s originally from Poland but is based in New York City. (Photo above) She says “Art and Life are inseparable.” She’s my kind of person.

She crochets covers for many things, usually without permission. This means that sometimes the work comes down rather suddenly after it was put up.

OLEK covered the bull sculpture on Wall Street, and I’ve heard it was taken down the same day it went up. See Video of her installing the bull’s colorful coat.

Yet I found this piece on the street across from Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts. I tweeted that I’d seen it. OLEK tweeted back that she was surprised it was still there. It did look as though it had been through a bit of weather.  Above is the photo I took that day.


There is another international name in YarnBombing I follow. Her name is Magda Sayeg of KnittaPlease. (You REALLY want to click that link, the cover page is trippy and interactive.) Or watch a 1 minute Video of her explaining what she does.

Ms. Sayeg and her team recently got commissioned to yarn bomb the Air Conditioning ducts in the Etsy.com main offices in New York City. She also covered an entire School Bus in Mexico (though the writing on the bus sure looks like an Asian language).

More Images

I adore this artful category of expression. Click for a Google Image search on the words “Yarn Bomb Graffiti” – more amazing pieces.

Even Time.com did a photo essay on what it called “The Fine Art of Yarn Bombing.” Not all will call it a Fine Art, but I’m pleased to hear it from Time.

More from me soon… meanwhile. Smile, chuckle, giggle or even be disgusted. I don’t imagine anyone can feel neutral about this stuff!

Art on the Street, Montreal

Friday, September 7th, 2012


Want to be inspired? These images did it for me… maybe you, too?

I took a lot of photos in Montreal. Most of what I find artful is not intended as art. However, I just uploaded 25 photos of artworks put there for the Public to enjoy… by whatever “powers that be” there are who do such things.

(Photo above is a sculpture by Henry Moore in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Fine Arts.)

Click this link to see the full set of images:

Slideshow – Montreal Public Art Flickr PhotoSet

Some of these pieces were found in the subways and the Central Station (where trains come in). Some were in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Fine Arts.

The below image I took in the public square just outside the Mont-Royal subway stop (in a funky and artful part of town, my favorite place to people watch and find a cup of tea at a sidewalk cafe).

Can you see the big green chairs? They could hold several people in those big seats. Every time I passed by this area, someone was parked in one or more of these big sculptural happy-chairs! Loved it.

If you click the image above, you can see a very large version of this photo… even if you don’t choose to go to the Flickr slide show.

I’m a bit over-scheduled returning back to my regular life after two weeks away. I hope you enjoy my photos while I post here as I can.