craft on Friday

Did you notice? I skipped a week.

I know… once a week is too much maybe? Probably not, but by the time I remembered (need to remind myself that the calendar is my friend…) it was Saturday, then I was busy, and then it was Monday, and then I thought it was too late. Was it?

Anyway, it may not show, but I’ve been busy working on Santa. Pretty much exclusively to all other crafty things. Here is the missing week 3 photo. More bear.

Santa - week 3
Santa – week 3

I’m pretty determined to get that little bears face done. I’m realizing that even though I’m getting most of my tasks done from day to day I seem to be missing  time* that would be more conducive to cross-stitching. I’m sorting that out. Look to next week for a completed bear face. Pressure. I need it.

Santa - week 4
Santa – week 4

I have been knitting, a little. On the bus mostly, which isn’t often.

I was thinking about this yesterday and how I was feeling really guilty. But honestly, right now I’m so into this Santa that it seems a chore to knit. Crafting shouldn’t be a chore. Obvious. So I knit on this sock when I’m bussing and when I’m home I cross-stich guilt free. Until the knitting bug bites again, which we all know it will. Obvious.

So here is my bus knitting. Great yarn and someday it will be an amazing pair of socks…

zombie_sock

 

*I’m looking at you CastleVille, Candy Crush, and various other clickety click games.

 

craft on friday

It’s official. At least in my mind… Friday will be the day that I show you, illustrious reader, what I’ve been up to in my craft life. For now, I am committed to showing updates of my Santa cross-stitch. I have a very strong compulsion to complete this project so that I can move on to others. Yes, I realize I can put it to the side and go for other things, but this is another way for me to work on Focus. One thing at a time people.

Behold! Week 2 of Santa of the Forest.

Santa - week 2
Santa – week 2

To be honest, I’m not sure if subsequent weeks will show as much progress as this one. I mean, I’ve been working on this to the exclusion of everything else. I do want to pick up my knitting from time to time, but for right now it’s kinda an obsession.

While you’re here I’ll show you this really great cowl I finished up a few weeks ago.

cowl

It’s lovely and squishy and will be perfect to wear in Tahoe this weekend. Tahoe, the land of snow and ice. I’m excited about skiing for the first time in several years. I’m not excited about the cold. I’m never excited about the cold. I dread the cold. Weird that I enjoy skiing so much. Heh.

craft as clutter?

One of the things that I would like to accomplish this year is to have less. Mostly that means less clutter in my life and one of my biggest offenders is my craft stash. To that end I’ve decided to either get things done or let them go. I know this will be a slow process as I filter through everything and make decisions on whether they stay or go, but it’s a process I feel good about. It’s also a process I’ve already started by putting a few skeins of yarn up on eBay. Hopefully they’ll end up in a home where someone will enjoy them more than I am.

One of the first items I’m tackling in the “to be done pile” is this lovely piece that I’ve been working on for at least three years. I wasn’t going to mention this at all since my mom asked for this years ago and I thought, wouldn’t it be lovely if I could surprise her with it when it is finally done? But no, I need some accountability and the blog is it. Every Friday I’ll be taking a picture of it with, hopefully, much progress.

Behold the current status of Santa in the Forest. 

Santa - week 1
Santa – week 1

Next week I’d like for that brown blob in the middle to look a whole lot more bear like…

notice i don’t use the word resolution

For me today feels like the start of the year, like last week was a nice resting period before things really got started. That may sound strange, but sometimes I need a little time for ideas to percolate and settle into themselves. For me that means I’ve been reading here and there on the internet about what others are doing for motivation and ideas of what could work for me and today is the day that I pull them together and get started.

Over the past few days I’ve realized that my descriptor for the year, focus, is well timed and much needed. Over the past several days (and a lot today) I’ve used it as a mantra of sorts to keep things moving and work through my daily to do lists (yes, plural).

So, other than my word for 2013, what else do I have planned? Glad you asked! I find that I need to break things down into different segments.

First I have general goals like these on one list:

  • look into volunteer opportunities
  • learn a language
  • dedicate more time to yoga
  • design one knitting pattern
  • be more conscious about buying things
  • go to the local bonsai club meeting
  • work to organize and de-clutter our home
  • sleep better

These are things that I would like to incorporate into my life and I may start work on them immediately or I may let them sit for a little bit until I decide how I want to proceed, but they’re waiting to be put into play.

Then I have a list of some weekly habits for January. Things like:

  • cook dinner once a week
  • blog once a week
  • yoga once a week

And then to finalize the fun I have another list of new habits to do daily in January:

  • take vitamins
  • walk 20 minutes with Leeloo* (this is really more for me than her)
  • meditate
  • brush my teeth at night (yes, I know I should be doing this already)
  • remove make-up at night (and this too…)

So these are the lists for what I want to accomplish for 2013. They’ll be added to and modified as the year goes on and I find what is working for me and what isn’t.

In reality there are a lot more items on those lists, but some things you need to keep to yourself, right? Though if anything spectacular happens I’ll be sure to let you know.

*Leeloo

 

 

 

 

 

 

focus

Good Morning 2013

I’m sitting here at my kitchen table, drinking a fresh cup of coffee, and watching The Rose Parade. It’s a good morning. It’s a morning that feels fresh with promise.

This year I’m going to focus on well, focus. When I make a decision to do something, whether it be to pick up the living room or learn something new, I need to focus. I find that I’m easily distracted or discouraged and that needs to be minimized. This year I have some fun and exciting things that I want to get into and success is going to rely on focus. I’ll need that impetus to push me forward into sticking with them once I start.

To that end I’ll be spending time every morning practicing meditation and also asking myself why I’m not moving forward. I guess that means their will be some self-reflection mixed in with that focus.

So here is to a great 2013 and I wish everyone happiness and success in all your endeavors.

What do you have in store for 2013?

memories

Brenda Dayne. For those of you not familiar with the Cast-On podcast and “If you’re cold, put on a sweater” fame, then you are totally missing out. Even if you’re not a knitter you should go take a listen because she have this amazing voice and always has something interesting and insightful to discuss. This was the reason that I had to get myself to A Verb for Keeping Warm this past Sunday so I could see/hear her in person. It was a no brainer, duh!

She read an essay that she had crafted and yes, I use the word crafted because she is able to put ideas together like nobodies business, it’s truly amazing.

It was about knitting, but it was also about memory and how things come together. I’m sure I won’t do it justice so I’m hoping that at some point she’ll publish it on her blog so I can point you to it. What I find amazing is how she can one moment be talking about her first sweater and then the next about the Method of loci and then her Memory Bag project and somehow tie it up as if these things were always meant to be together. That they were always related. That, is her genius.

To actually be in the same room with her as she spoke was a bit surreal for me. I discovered her podcast only a few episodes in so I’ve been listening to her since 2005 or so.  All those hours and I’ve never felt that even one of them was wasted. Not one.

Alas, I have no pictures of the event. I was too distracted to even think about it.

Also, I dropped off a wee memory bag with a story. I may share that story here at a later time or maybe not. It certainly gave me some things to think about.

I do have a picture of my teeny bag though.

a break through

Sometimes I’m at a complete loss for words. I know, this coming from the girl who can’t seem to keep her mouth shut, but when it comes to writing I seem to get into these weird periods of emptiness. So onwards and upwards as they say (uh, someone anyway…).

I know part of my dilemma is that I want these perfectly beautiful photos in this space and I’m working on learning to use my fancy digital camera, but I’m just not where I want to be. Then epiphany! Why not use the photos from my phone? Why not use all those fancy photo apps with all the fancy filters and learn to let.it.go.

So that’s what I’m doing. Right now. And I’m going to start with some photos that I took on an Instawalk that Joe and I went to on Saturday. Instawalk you say? What is this intriguing thing?

  • The short answer is that it’s a nice walk through an area/neighborhood led by someone who knows the way and while you’re strolling about you take photos of whatever strikes your fancy and post them to Instagram.
  • The long answer is that a group of people you mostly don’t know gather around someone amazing, like my friend Laura, and you spend a few hours following her trying not to trip over yourself or other people while staring at your phone and/or  your surroundings looking for that perfect shot. Oh, and don’t forget also trying not to get lost cause you’re so focused on something amazing and then you look up and everyone has disappeared*. Then, at the end of the tour you go have a few drinks with all your new acquaintances where you talk about how people carry coffee around as if they’re getting ready to take a drink at any moment or the proper way to pronounce various street names. It’s a blast and you should totally find one (or start one) near you!

On that note, here are some photos I took along the way…

Running late, but you still have 2 seconds to snap a pic while waiting for a walk signal.

Laura, our fearless leader, discussing the instawalk plan.

An amazing brick wall with teeny tiny flowers.

Hold still…

Fellow Instagrammer’s.

Peek-a-boo garden.

 

* No worries, just search for whatever hashtag you’re supposed to be using on Instagram and ping someone in the hope that they’ll answer. They probably will…

weekend fun

Saturday morning I headed out to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market for a Farmer’s Market Bootcamp with the amazing Darya Pino of SummerTomato. Now, I go to this particular farmer’s market a lot, but I always feel kinda lost and I’m never sure what to buy. Part of this is that I’m still trying to figure out this whole cooking thing and it’s hard to be recipe centric when the produce is constantly changing. Obviously, I need to be more flexible with what I’m preparing and more creative.

So what did I learn?

  • Taste things: I didn’t realize how many of these farm stands allow and even encourage you to try their produce.
  • Ask questions: I’ve always been a little embarrassed to ask questions when I’m there, but after seeing Darya greeted warmly by several vendors I see that it’s worth developing a relationship with your favorite farmers.
  • Stir fry: Most vegetables will work in a stir fry, a salad, or oven roasting. Oh, and add a few beans in there for good measure!
I didn’t buy these, but just look at these amazing onions!

I did, however, buy these and they were delicious!

I cooked us some dinner with the fresh shelled peas and morels purchased at the market. It was amazing! I need more meals like this.

And then there’s Bay to Breakers. I think I can only describe this annual 12K event with pictures. Mostly I took pictures of naked people for my own amusement. Here are a few that are safe for family viewing.

Here we are at the starting line. Notice the plethora of tortillas!

Love the hair shirt… he had a peace symbol shaved into the front.

And for those of you that are fans of Settlers of Catan, this guy needs a brick.

 

 

the bloggess

What does a popular girl like me do on a Friday night? Why, go see the infamous (her word) Jenny Lawson read a chapter of her new book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. And it was totally worth it!

She brought a few of her friends with her… It was tough not to give that little guy a hug, except for the part where I thought he might gnaw on my face.

I’m not even sure what to say. I know, me unable to use or find words about something? How about super fantastic? Well, it will have to do, but it doesn’t do her justice. Not even close.

Here’s Joe and I with Jenny.

While she was signing my book Joe dominated the conversation with Chad Vader. I can’t take him anywhere…

I only have one regret tonight and that’s not getting the name of the woman sitting next to me. I love coming to something like this and meeting amazing people and I did that… and then I didn’t even ask here the name of her blog. Blurgh!

edited to add: totally forgot to add a link to Chad Vader… your welcome

today’s number is five

I’ve been neglecting my podcasts of late and over the past few days have been playing catch up like a mad woman. One of my faves is the Joy the Baker Podcast with Joy and Tracy (@ shutterbean.com). So on episode 43 they asked us listeners to post five of our favorite things on our blog. Awesome! Cause I was going to tell you about my crappy eating habits today and this is so much more interesting…

So, in no particular order, these are five of my favorite things, RIGHT NOW:

1) Estee Lauder’s Praline Paradise Shimmer. Run don’t walk to the store and buy this. I’ve never been that person that uses an entire tube of anything and I’m on like tube 12 of this stuff. Go get yourself some.

2 & 3) Joe, my husband of 15 years and my best friend (bonus!) and my little dog too… that would be Leeloo. Extra points if you know the movie reference.

4) So my parents stopped by this past weekend on their way back from Hawaii and dropped off these little gems. I present to you Pineapple Snow or as they’re known around here, crack in a box.

I know, they look boring and stuff, but they are full of amazing! White chocolate with macadamia nuts and infused with pineapple wine. If you find yourself in Hawaii you must find them. Here’s the box top for reference.

5) Blanton’s Original Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey in a glass with a couple cubes of ice. Perfect way to end a hard day at work and a blog post…

I would have photographed this in a glass with the cubes of ice, but yoga beckons and I’m thinking pre-drinking may not be the best idea.

Thanks to Joy and Tracy for so much entertainment and real talk. Muah!