Previous month:
December 2015
Next month:
February 2016

I Love Weekends

23955153154_6cbedd8899_o

The weekend was low key, quiet and pretty much normal. The weather was gray (it's winter) with a few inches of snow on Sunday (it's winter). Stella was at the top of her game and added a much needed bit of color to the grayness.

24485191312_dca287cef8_o

The grocery shopping was accomplished, I enjoyed a night out with a girlfriend, and spent an afternoon at SnB (with girlfriends). And then, the best part of the weekend--a celebratory dinner out, as Smith and I marked our 36th Anniversary (today!)!


Growing

Bonny named her beauties, Scarlet and Minerva and I've named mine Sadie and Stella. The two of them have been sitting on my dining room table since early December. For two weeks that sat, unchanged, which left me to wonder if they were alive. When I brought the two of them home, they were boxed up and dried up, but still, I thought why not give them a chance. The only thing they needed was to be watered.

23863487930_d65f97c5dd_kDecember 30th

It was nearly January when Stella decided to push through a bud, and then a few days later, another! At first, Sadie put forth only leaves, but, eventually, a bud became apparent (can you see it?). Warmth, light, and water have paid dividends, as once they decided to grow, they've been going gang busters. 

24142904320_4b1c7274ec_o

January 14th

Their color was a mystery from the beginning, although Stella has revealed her gloriousness. I remain curious as to the color of Sadie dress, but I'm going to bet she will be following her big sister's lead. 

24439354465_3f7ebf307b_o

January 17th 

24509547085_aa97a97d32_o

January 20th

 The amaryllis blossoms may have been slow in coming, but one thing is certain, I'll have color for a few more weeks to come. 


When You Care

Every year on MLK Day, my office gives service to a non-profit organization. This year we worked with the Neighborhood House by sorting clothes, washing and sorting toys, coloring and cutting shapes used to teach pre-school children, washing windows and cleaning floors. We had a great time working together and giving service to an organization which needed, and appreciated, our efforts. 

 Today's Ten on Tuesday  is in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service - 10 Things You Can Do To Serve Others. 

1.The absolute easiest thing you can do to serve others is smile (and say "thank you"). 

2.Volunteer your time to the local food bank by sorting canned food. You can also (or instead) give them a nice check, as a food bank can turn one dollar into over $7 worth of good and services.

20160118_094548-1

3. Clean unneeded and unwanted items from your home (in the Kondo way) and donate the good stuff  to an organization who helps people in need. (You know you've got a lot of things you can give!)

4. Homeless organizations need and appreciate an extra set of hands. Call and tell them when you can be there. Even one hour will make a difference.

5. Pay it forward. You know how it works. Buy the next person in line a cuppa or a lunch. 

20160118_101300-1

6. Knit for someone, a premie ward, a cancer support service, or a homeless shelter for families. Kids need hats more than anyone. 

7. Knit for a friend. You know what your friends like.  

8. Choose to be humble and promote someone else's idea. 

20160118_105118-2

9. Always be kind. Keep that road rage at bay. 

10. Give until it hurts. 

Any one of the items on this list would make a great resolution for the year. May you heart to open to giving and sharing all you can. 

 


Weekends!

Hallo!

24053423999_11d08eac7b_o

How much do I love the weekend? 

This weekend was spent dining with friends as much as possible--sushi for lunch, Chinese for dinner. If I could have fit in a visit to my favorite Mid-Eastern restaurant, I would have (I might do that today!). 

Sunday was warm and beautiful, the perfect day to wash my car (far right) and get off the road-salt and dirt. (I love my car!) We've lived with gray skies and smog since the first of the year and it was fabulous to see blue sky, plus the temperature was over 40!

24364676001_ba1cb23c04_o-2

I also spent quite a bit of  time knitting, as well as, stitching. I've embarked on my new AC T, the Lata T.

24413900846_809eb8ddfd_o

Today my office is spending the better part of the day doing a service project in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. Every year we pick an organization and help them out in any way they need. We have fun and we enjoy giving to others as a group. 

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" ~Martin Luther King


David Bowie

10 on Tuesday has a way of  making me think and, sometimes, strive for answers. Like today, Carole asked we share our  10 Favorite David Bowie Songs and I'm just not what I would consider a David Bowie fan.  There is no mistaking his mark on music, culture, fashion, and just about any other media. He was a sensation and a visionary. He was the Icon of icons. David Bowie was always ahead of his time and everyone else had to run full tilt to catch up. 

I'm not qualified to say much about David Bowie's music. I listened to what was on the radio and liked it well enough. He wrote and performed many catchy songs and dance tunes, but I know little beyond that. I do have a few favorites and can certainly say I admired him for pushing the boundaries and leading the way. 

1 . When Chris Hadfield released Space Oddity, I admit, it was the first time I really enjoyed listening to  (and watching) Major Tom all the way through. After yesterday, I think I've heard the words "Ground Control to Major Tom" enough to last me for a long time. 

2. Serious Moonlight

3. Changes

4. Rebel Rebel

5. Fame

6. Modern Love

7. Let's Dance

8. Suffragette City

And a couple of his collaborations:

9. Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby

10. Dancing in the Street with Mick Jagger

David Bowie's recent album, released on his birthday (January 8th), which was just two days before his death, was said to be jazz influenced. Last month I listened to several song to see if I could connect with the music, but once again, David Bowie was wa-a-ay ahead of the game. Bowie certainly moved through life in his own way, charting his own coarse, and changing everything around him as he went. We listened, we changed, and everyone strove to keep up with his pace. Bowie is/was a musician for the ages. 


Over the Weekend

24267532826_5d975b6c30_k
After 8 days of gray the sun played hide and seek with us with only revealing itself  a couple of times, and then, only for short spurts of time. The next week doesn't look very promising, as more gray, and maybe a little snow, are in the forecast. Saturday afternoon the blue skies came into view and Smith and I went for a walk just to celebrate. 

23677559513_a9166fac0d_k

I spent quite a bit of time listening to books (Americanah for the second time), podcasts (innumerable), and, either, knitting or sewing. My dark little secret is the jigsaw I work on while watching TV (Big Bang episodes from the library). Every couple of years I run across a jigsaw puzzle that catches my fancy and this one, Charlie Harper's Rocky Mountains was too cool to pass up. 

24303215285_a5ac5ea09f_o

On my needles is a second pair of Trip Mitts, which should be in the recipients hands by weeks end. Also, another Alabama Chanin project was started, but you'll have to wait to hear more about that later. The size T-shirt I bought may be a little big, which worries me some, but I'm going to enjoy working on it and wearing it no matter what. 

Smith and I looked through seed catalogs while dreaming of spring and he listened to me moan about the too long nights. I listened to him explained plants need at least 10 hours of light to respond (we're not there yet). Have you noticed the slightly longer days? On January 29th we hit the mark. YAY!

How's the weather in your part of the world? 


TGIF Entertainment

23588299784_7378794588_o

The birds came out to play and beg for peanuts. They put up a right fuss, squawking, flapping around, looking up at my window and doing their best to let me know they're ready for the treat. 

23884919790_15cb03fdc7_o

The snow came and went throughout the week, but I was there to scatter peanuts and the birds were there to take the treat and tuck them away for another day.  

24072456512_7151c7d4b8_o

We have a mutual admiration society going on. Entertainment and joy is only a handful of peanuts away. 


Perfect Process

When I use my hands to create it is the act of creation that speaks to me. I love the process. Yes, the finished product is nice (usually) and I like using and wearing what I make, but it is the in and out of the needle, whether knitting needle or threaded needle, I enjoy most of all.

I work slowly, not by choice, necessarily, but it is the way I work in this moment. Once upon a time, I could whip through a sweater in a month, but those days are behind me -- partly because my hands and arms need a slower pace, and the occasional rest, and partly because I have found other shiny objects to draw my attention. 

23526569783_0dddd106f7_k

This past year I found one of the processes I have enjoyed most has been the sewing of Alabama Chanin projects. I buy kits from Alabama Chanin because I do not have the desire to own all the stuff needed to do my own stenciling, nor do I have the space. The fact I can buy a ready to stitch project is a big part of the draw. I need only thread a needle to be ready to go.

23857678060_9317cbe8ac_k

The Market Bag was one of the most process heavy projects, of any sort, I have ever made. The point was to learn the different techniques used in the Alabama Chanin process and I certainly have learned that over the course of the two projects I've completed. I've also learned just how much I like it.

24153342545_4983c6157b_k

The first thing I did was stitch the motifs on the two larger main pieces (the front/back) of the bag.  For one side I outlined the designs using a running stitch and on the other side I used a back stitch. The back stitch took 5 times longer, and more than twice the amount of thread, than the rest of the project. After outline, the inside of the motif was cut away to reveal the color below. Joy filled my heart, as the spots of color brought the whole project to life. However, there was much more to do once the main pieces were complete. The bag had two narrow side sections, a bottom, and two handles, plus all the pieces of the lining to sew into place. Don't forget, the cute little inside pocket with the AC label, which is the icing on the cake!

24216150695_89fc59a93e_k
To keep the bag stable I decided to only do the stitching of the bottom and side pieces and not cut them to reveal color. Three layers of fabric should give the bag the ability, as well as the stability, to carry heavier objects, like books or a computer. 

As with any long-term project I am going through a bit of a mourning period. I miss stitching my Market Bag. I started this project over Labor Day weekend of 2014, so we've been together a long time. It's now time to enjoy the next part of the journey with my Market Bag on my arm, full of my favorite things. I'm stoked.


Welcome 2016

Returning to the normalcy of a workday life (as well as a world of "have to,") after the long, lovely weekend feels like a rude awakening.  We had a mix of weather starting with Tuesday, when I missed SnB as the roads were too treacherous. Wednesday and Thursday we were visited by the "dreaded" inversion, but the New Year started with clear blue skies. I hope the clear sky is a portend of the coming month, as we would not like the inversion to come in and stay. 

24113603385_0513870dff_b

My weekend was relaxing, productive, and had plenty of fun scattered in. Even at the carwash, as I had the salt cleaned from my car, I found a friend who had a moment to share a little conversation. We had a grand time laughing and squawking. I complimented him on his choice of color. 

23504554984_a8a5e17707_b

I was honored to receive one of Beverly's hand drawn postcards of her 2015 Postcard Project. I have enjoyed watching her daily progress of creating one card for every day of the year. Her new daily project looks even more ambitious and personal. 

Smith and I went to a concert on the spur of the moment, something we rarely do. The music was a joyful way to bring in the New Year and being spontaneous is one of the things I'd like to work on in 2016. I don't usually share intentions and have never picked an official One Little Word, but I'm thinking about directions to head in 2016. I may even end up picking a "OLW", but that's still up in the air. 

Tripmitts

There were a couple of "finishes" in 2015 and a not so great start for my 2016 crafting. I do not accept it as a failure, but will treat it as a slight delay. My last project of 2015 was a pair of Gale's Trip Mitts and I think they're so cool! Somehow I ended up buying a too light weight yarn and the second pair turned out too small. My first project of 2016 will started later this week after I procure the right supplies. 

Despite the crafting setback, 2016 is going to be a great year for making, reading, moving, and doing. Plans and ideas dance around my head and I'm looking forward to seeing where the path of a new year leads.