This week, I might have entirely jumped the Knitting Shark… I am knitting the actual packages not just the gifts! LOL Yes, our “surprise” this week was a Stack of Presents to knit and stitch! And what do presents need?
A tree of course. So I have one completed and have cast on another – which is likely all I will get done for this year! Haha!
The Gnome Knitting is progressing…with lots of pieces. And I still have no idea how this will all come together!
Lots of bits, no big ‘parts’ yet…
Speaking of Gnomes, you all have asked for a group shot…which is a bit challenging given they are all on my mantel. But I am sharing some photos of them as they sit on the mantle, thanks to a. beautifully sunny day yesterday! And my fun addition to my Gnome Village? I picked up a strand of felted woolen balls garland from Trader Joe’s… it is so colorful and fun!
Left to right: Gnocchi (Mr. April), Gnellie (Miss February), and Gnutmeg (Mr. January)
Gnewt and Gnobleberry, the Gnome Poem writer (June)
Gnaomi, the spinning gnome (Miss November) and Gnorton Smokes a Pipe (September) and Tree #1 tucked in between them!
Gnutkin, the acorn keeper (October) and Gnigel the Gardening Gnome (July)
The other making that has been occupying my time is painting… So.much.fun! Last week’s lesson was perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it was chocked full of interesting techniques and I learned lots… and am making friends with my “fine line masking fluid bottle” lol.
An ordinary Tree Trunk as an extraordinary subject… maybe not, but still so fun to paint!
The final lesson of this session dropped yesterday but I am hardly “done” painting. I picked up a couple of single painting lessons and I will begin working on them as soon as I have turned in my final “homework!” And, I have another class starting in the New Year. Painting has become such an integral part of my week… I think about painting, I practice painting, I talk about painting, and I enjoy it all so very much! I am proof that you are never too old to learn something new… and in fact, you just might be better at learning later in life!
On the reading front, I finished (boo!) Winter Solstice… and I had one “gasp” moment when one of the character’s recites a line from my favorite winter poem/hymn: In the Bleak Midwinter. This was a book I did not want to end… I could happily stay tucked away in Scotland with Elfrida, Oscar, Sam, Carrie and Lucy. It was utterly delightful.
I have been trying to listening to Meacham’s His Truth Is Marching On, John Lewis and the Power of Hope. It is good, but I am having a hard time staying “tuned in” to listen to it. So I returned it to the library… I will request it again next year when I am not so scatterbrained! LOL
I tried French Braid, yet again… and bailed yet again. No third time for me on this one. It is not a book for me. Instead, I have been finding myself drawn to listen to John Banville’s Time Pieces. It is utterly delightful and exactly what I need (apparently) right now.
I also have The Burgess Boys waiting in the wings after I finish Time Pieces (which will likely happen today!)
What about you all, how’s your making and reading going this week? I will be back tomorrow for our Monthly Gathering of Poetry!
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish
While we were very much a Harry Potter House… there was a good bit of Lemony Snicket to fill the ‘regularly scheduled reading time’… and I very much concur with the above quote! My only addition to the above quote would be knitting!
Anyways, I book marked this page from NPR a couple of weeks ago and have been spending bits of time adding things to my TBR List! The link also includes book lists going back to 2013! Why is that good thing? Well… things that were “hot reads” in 2013 are likely to be available at your local library… just in case you need a new read right this very minute! Ha!
Things that have popped out to me that I have not read from the couple of lists I have gone through:
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Stroud
This House is Haunted by John Boyne
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
I finished a very good book over the weekend… Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher. It is the perfect book to read as the days race on towards Christmas. It has the very best characters and the most delightful outcome. It will warm your heart! If you have not read it, perhaps you should (and if you have Hoopla available from your library, it is always available there!)
There you have my Sometimes Monday thoughts..and with a book in hand my ears, I am off to get those pesky chores started!
The prompt this month is to talk about the best Christmas gift we ever got.
First, how about a bit of Christmas Gifting Music? And nobody recites a Christmas List better than Eartha Kitt!
Now, I could spend some time talking about the puppy my sister and I got one year. Mitzi, the Miniature Schnauzer. I remember getting up in the middle of the night and discovering her under the tree. I also remember her not going back to sleep and getting in loads of trouble for getting up in the middle of the night!
Miss Mitzi… The Christmas Pup all grown up! You’ll notice she is ever alert…listening… ready to let loose with all the barky-ness she could muster! And boy could she muster the barky-ness!
Perhaps I could talk about the sledding saucer I got as a child… gosh, I loved it and it got lots of use, until I was ‘too old for saucer sledding.’ Although, after sitting lonely for years in the garage a desire to go saucer-ing returned in 1978 thanks to the blizzard of the century (or at least in my limited memory! lol) Anyway, while the saucer did not work well, it indeed did see some trips down the dune…more than enough for me to enjoy the volumes of snow we got that year!
Me, on my way to the ‘sledding dune’ through the deep, deep snow… happy that saucer was still around!
But instead I am going to fast forward a couple of decades to Christmas 1994. It has been a very rough autumn into winter…we had been having a Step-Throat-A-Rama in my house. As in, Rachel, Heidi, and Sam all had constant strep throat… or should I say Constant Stages of Strep… one getting better kid, one super sick kid, and one coming down with strep kid. It was riotous fun…not. And all this strep exposure made me super sick… multiple times super sick and by December that year I had pleurisy. (Which was not the best Christmas Gift ever!)
Now why would I remember all of this, you must be asking yourself. I mean weren’t a new puppy or a sledding saucer much better memories?
Not really, because you see that year…
“Santa put a mixer under the tree… for me!!“
Yes, it was the year that I got my KitchenAid mixer (this is the closest I could find to what mine looks like!) I remember being entirely awestruck at such a wondrous gift! (and if it had not been the greyest, rainiest, darkest week ever in Pittsburgh, I would have a photo to share of my Much Loved Mixer!)
That mixer has helped bake an endless number of cookies. It has mixed countless batches of bread dough. It has whipped egg whites, whipping cream, and even made more than her fair share of homemade marshmallows!
She is the mixer that keeps on mixing… yes, still going strong 28 years later! I have an inkling that she just might outlast me! And so, I look forward to continuing to use her for years to come! And that, gentle readers, makes that mixer one of the best gifts I have ever received!
A huge thanks to Kym for inspiring all our memories! But inquiring minds want to know… what was your best Christmas Gift?
This week brought the return of embroidery to my days and I am loving every stitch! My project is loosely based on these Snowflake ornaments. I picked three snowflakes, enlarged them and traced them onto Sulky Solvy and began stitching. I will use just 3 colors and once the “outline” part is done, I will do some stitching around them. So. Much. Fun!
The second project I began this week was a pair of Hermoine’s Everyday Mitts! Yep, I went to my Ravelry Library and looked at the mitt patterns I had there and these were the ones with the closest gauge to my yarn. I spun the yarn from a lovely tweedy batt that I got eons ago from a tiny shop in Beulah, Michigan. This yarn has been waiting a long time to become something and I think it is a perfect fit!
And I have some Gnoelle pieces to share, as of yesterday (there is a new clue out today) I have three parts of Noelle done… a scarf, a hat, and a messenger bag. Each has been so fun to make and I love the slow reveal of the gnome in December and coupled with some a fun story and some other surprises (yesterday was some Gnome Gift Tags… which yes, I have traced onto some watercolor paper to play around with!
My reading this week has been simply wonderful. I am reading Winter Solstice with Katie and I am enjoying this book very much. It has a really wonderful cast of characters, it is in a beautiful setting (Scotland), and in the most perfect time of year (Christmas). I am just a bit more than half way though but I am not rushing to get it done at all. It is such a lovely companion to my daily activities!
At night, I am reading the latest Kate Marshall mystery for Netgalley and it is the perfect light mystery to read before bed.
I also picked up the latest book of poetry from Billy Collins, Musical Tables. It is incredibly enjoyable and the perfect way to start my morning quiet time! The poems are short but meaty… Collins likes to make you think beyond the words on the page.
So there you have my early December making and reading. I hope you are taking time to find things you enjoy about this season!
As always, if you wrote a post to share – please leave you link below and thank you!
December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory… ― John Geddes A Familiar Rain
This mornings constitutional with Sherman was all about December’s wintery breath… and frost on the ground! It was a morning that we needed our woolies!! The frosty cold weather showed me clearly that I need a new pair of walking mitts! I am going to toss the handspun stash this morning to see what I can find to make myself a new pair of mitts!
The weekend had a bit of a mad rush feeling to it. A throwback to days long gone… perhaps you all will remember as well. That mad dash to get back on the “School Track” because vacation is over! Yep, that was me… I realized that I had homework due on Monday! Yikes! So I hurried and watched the video and then spent a chunk of Sunday getting the homework done. I am sharing my attempt at making an ordinary window box extraordinary. There is lots of room for improvement… lol.
In the plus column… my washes have improved dramatically. I think this is a combination of using better paper (I am strictly using Arches paper now) coupled with my better understanding of how to apply a wash. Anyways, I am very proud of how I have improved!
In the needs lots more practice column… graded “things” … and in this image, the graded thing is flowers. I have much to learn in this skill. Good thing I like painting as much as I do! Haha
I also gleefully dipped my toes back into doing some embroidery this weekend. I saw these thanks to Kym last week and while I am not making a set of ornaments… I have purchased the pattern, blown it up a bit and have begun Star Stitching! I will share my progress on Wednesday!
And!! Gnoelle (thanks Vera, that name is perfect!) Knitting has begun! No spoilers, but let me assure you that thus far (two clues in) the differences are so fun! I am amazed at the genius of Sarah Schira! Not only does December have knitting clues, but she includes a fun story as well! December Gnome Knitting at its best!
Happy Monday all! See you back here on Wednesday with some Unraveling!