Unraveled Wednesday | 6.26.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.26.19

Where the heck has June gone??? And, more importantly…HOW ON EARTH IS NEXT WEEK THE FOURTH OF JULY ALREADY?!?!?!?!

So, this post is going to attempt to slow down these run away summer days…

First up, I want to thank you all for your supporting comments for the continuation of Unraveled Wednesday! I appreciate your feedback and am happy to have it progress into the future – for many, many weeks to come!

Next…If ever anything screamed summer it is my Screen Door on the Coast! And, talk about a QUICK knit! I cast on the sixth and cast off on the nineteenth – just two short weeks (and I did extra repeats of the pattern, so if you don’t – you could have this baby done in even less time!) I have been using it regularly as well – it is the perfect little thing for those of us who are less than appreciative of the AC Deep Freeze! I did make one sort of glaring mistake – I did a k2tog row when I should have done a ssk row. You can see it when you are holding the scarf up for a glamor shot, but it is not at all visible when you are wearing it, so I am not losing a minute of sleep over it. AND…I am contemplating casting on another one, I like it that much!

I also started a new project this week – I am almost to the sleeve divide of my Foxtrot Cardigan and even though the last thing I want to think about right now is fall… this sweater will be a great addition to my cooler weather wardrobe.

Now on to Book Bingo!

I have my first bingo this week! Woo!

I originally gave I was Anastasia 4-stars, but I have since downgraded it to 3-stars. Honestly, it is a curiously written non-linear story. It jumps around a bit and I had a hard time keeping up with some of the time jumps – I had to go back and refresh my memory as to what was going on. The writing throughout is wonderful – despite the sometimes-confusing time hops, but the ending was horrid. It was abrupt – like shoving you off a cliff abrupt.

Fall Back Down When I Die is Joe Wilkins first novel and it is lovely. The story is told from perspective of the characters in the book – Verl, Wendell, and Gillian. The writing is evocative, and the stories are compelling. The ending was unexpected and moving. 4-stars

Payment in Blood, which is the second book in the Inspector Lynley series. It is so good! There is more character development and it kept me guessing as to “who did it” 5-stars and I am eager to read more of Elizabeth George’s work!

Finally, It’s Up to the Women! “…we are going through a great crisis in this country and that the women have a big part to play if we are coming through it successfully.” Ummm, yes… we are, and yes, we do! This book, written in 1933, has so much relevance today. I loved Eleanor’s wisdom! 4-stars and I highly recommend this timeless little book!

What about you? What’s on your needles this week?

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A Making Focus

A Making Focus

Joining with Juliann today to share an update on my word!

Over the years, I have tried a number of different crafts – cross stitch, embroidery, weaving, spinning, sewing, and knitting to name a few. But, in all things focus is important. and this year as I unpack my word and apply it to my life – I have come to the realization that more is not better. All is not needed and I don’t need to worry about FOMO at all. Knitting and sewing are more than enough to keep me occupied and happy. I don’t feel the urge to try every latest thing that comes along.

Yet even knitting and sewing do not mean successful projects if you do not have focus. And, I have come to understand that not having a focus means projects that seem like a great idea at the time, might not be so great in the end result. And so, with my thoughts on focus this year, I have been more mindful of what I am making. I have spent time thinking about my wardrobe and the things that I wear all the time. I have pondered my perceived “holes” in my wardrobe – which has resulted in actual planning in my making. Having a focused plan has shown me areas that I can perhaps try some new things as well as making more of my favorite pieces. Having a focused making process has also had an unexpected effect as well! It has buffered the desire to cast on a new project or rush out to buy some fabric to sew up something that caught my eye!

My in depth look at my wardrobe showed me that a few things would be a nice addition so when I saw Mary’s Screen Door, it was the perfect fit for a “hole” and I cast on, sans guilt!

And, this focused way of thinking has expanded beyond my closet to the lingering, unfinished projects on needles in various places. Are they something I am going to actually need or wear? It is a freeing way to think about things, because I really don’t want my making to be without vision and that has given me a much better focus!

Photo by Wendy van Zyl from Pexels

Macro Monday | 6.24.19

Macro Monday | 6.24.19

It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powered gold over the grassy hillside. – Maude Hart Lovelace

Despite the volume of rain we got last week, I did manage to get outside with the camera and practice a bit more! I am looking at things differently as I contemplate images. I am learning lots from Carole and Vicki and I am so thankful to them and their brilliant photos that inspire me to get better!

If only that tremulous drop of water was more in focus!

It is amazing what just a tiny movement of the camera can do

I think early morning photos after it rained might be my favorite thing of all and the light is wonderful! This waning rose turned out wonderfully – not perfect, but I really love the image. Rosy reds are so hard to photograph, but early morning light gives the best possible conditions to try – and try I did!

The focus was not perfect, but that mosquito!

I also love the “surprises” I get when taking photos. These tomato blossoms are a perfect example of that with the fly in from a mosquito! I am glad her attention was focused elsewhere and not on me!

Color, water, definition… and one wee bug!

Finally, this little zinnia (I think? I am not sure, Steve’s mom gave us some “left over plants” she was not going to use) Anyways, the color is so wonderful and I love how it turned out – although trying to focus on something so low to the ground was a challenge.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that your week will be full of good things!

 

Currently | 6.21.19

Currently | 6.21.19

Summertime is always the best of what might be. — Charles Bowden

Happy Summer Solstice! After torrential overnight rains, this morning the clouds are giving way to pale blue skies. The humidity is gone, and the birds are singing! I have shut off the AC and opened wide the windows, welcoming in the cool air. After a week of rarely seeing the sunshine, this is the perfect start to summer!

Celebrating:

Our ninth “anniversary” of sorts! I use the word anniversary loosely because we are not married – but no less committed to each other (and perhaps more so!) Anyways, we had the most hilarious conversation this morning where we struggled with the date a bit – how many years now? After much conversation and checking of calendars – Happy 9 years of co-habitation! The highlight of the morning thus far was the email informing me that I have 1 year of BritBox awaiting me! Steve does know me so well – sometimes is scares me! Ha! Anyways, I have plans to celebrate tonight with our usual Happy Hour, which tonight will be a Happy Anniversary Hour! And, I think the weather is going to cooperate nicely and allow for a bit of a bonfire tonight!

Making:

Yesterday I got all the pieces cut out for Vivi’s quilt top (thanks to Middlemarch – which is the most engaging company) and this morning my plan was to start sewing squares together… But perhaps it would be a better thing to get this yarn skeined up and soaking since the weather is perfect for drying yarn! I also need give my Screen Door a quick soak and a bit of blocking. Yesterday, I pulled out this project and managed to get past the sleeve divide. And, this weekend I want to make some more of this incredible jam. It is insanely delicious – far less sweet – and much faster than this jam. I did NOT strain the jam as suggested in the recipe. As you can see, there is no shortage of “making” going on here.

Watching:

The latest season of The Handmaid’s Tale and a new series, Das Boot – both on Hulu. I also finally caught up with the latest season of Bosch on Amazon. And, best of all – the latest season of Endeavor on PBS!

Loving:

Michelle’s Summer Friday Prompts! They are a wonderful thing to contemplate and I am carrying them with me through the week in my morning meditation time. This week’s prompt was ironically timely – and I am profoundly grateful for the prompts. It is always a good reminder to look beyond the bad and think about the future – and to find something to be grateful for.

Asking:

For your valued input! I have been thinking about the future of Unraveled Wednesday – is it stale? Does it need a reboot? How many weeks can we really be excited to talk about our making and reading? I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions! (and if you don’t want to leave a comment here you are welcome to email me at kachrist37 (at) gmail (dot) com – of course you know to swap out the (at) and (dot) with an ampersand and a period.

That is what is happening in my world right now – Have an amazing weekend and I will see you back here on Monday! (And, I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions about Unraveled Wednesdays!)

Three on Thursday | 6.20.19

Three on Thursday | 6.20.19

I am joining Carole and friends today and I am sharing three things I am anticipating with some excitement!

First, queue the music please…

Thing One:

Summer Solstice! I have been in a summer-frame-of-mind since the “unofficial” start of summer way back on Memorial Day weekend. Summer is really not my favorite time of the year weather-wise, the dreaded uber-hot days and the humidity… really, not my favorite things. But this year I made the decision to NOT be that person and I discovered that if you change your way of thinking, you can absolutely make a difference where it counts – with yourself! I have plans for a lovely evening outside enjoying the glorious weather – even if it rains! Because is there anything more lovely than summer rain and cocktails on the porch?

Thing Two:

Vegetable Garden Anticipation has been in “Worry Mode” this year – things have been slow growing, very slow growing! So, slow growing that I worried that all our efforts in planting would result in no fruits of our labor. But this week things all started turning around! The beans have blossoms (finally!!), the peppers are showing signs of life as well! And, this morning I was greeted by a plethora of tiny tomato flowers! PLUS!! I picked my first handful of raspberries this morning and I am deliciously reminded that good things sometimes do come to those who wait!

Thing Three:

I have finally made my way through the avalanche of library books and yesterday I began Middlemarch, which is perfect timing for my longed for “Summer of Classics” to begin! I am listening and happily settling into life in in early 1800’s England. Sometimes things you anticipate do not quite measure up, but 6 chapters in and the story is most welcoming and inviting. Good thing because I have another 31 hours of listening to go! I think that Dorothea will be the most wonderful sewing companion as well which is a very good thing because today I am beginning the process of cutting out Vivi’s quilt!

And there you have my anticipations! What are you looking forward to this week?

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.19.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.19.19

We have been gently easing into summer and until this week it has been a semi-dry month! This week, however, the sun has been hidden behind a plethora of rain clouds. I enjoy summer rains and it is nice to have Mother Nature water the gardens – the downside to all this rain means that the grass is growing at an exponential rate and it’s too wet to mow. If this keeps up, Sherman will think he is in the jungle when he goes out to do his business!

The other downside of the rain is having to have the windows all closed and the AC on. I am not winning in the AC temperature wars, so I finished my Trap A Zoid socks this week. I think they are adorable, and I see more of these in my future! I love the little colorwork section – it makes it so easy to knit two identical socks!

The other knitting project I have an urgency to finish is my Screen Door, I am on the decrease side and so the rows seem to be going much faster and I have roughly 15 pattern repeats to another finished object!

The reading had highs and lows this week and I am hovering around my first bingo!

The highs included The Tiger’s Wife (which was not a bingo read) and The Boy in Striped Pajamas (which was a bingo read.) I loved both of these stories deeply and highly recommend each of them!

The low was really bad. I finished Black Leopard, Red Wolf – barely. 1 star and I do not recommend.

I also know which Modern Mrs. Darcy Book I will read – I am Anastasia came through this week; I hope to start it soon as I only have about a third left of my second Inspector Lynley novel!

And, there you have my making and reading this week!

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Macro Monday | 6.24.19

Macro Monday | 6.17.19

This week the weather was this photographers biggest challenge (although, some photographers managed to capture some amazing images!) And while I love the breezes that have been blowing so nicely – those same breezes create havoc with photos! Still, I took about 3 dozen images this week and happily there were two images that I was pleased with….

The lavender is spectacular this year!

Vinca faces make me smile

I am getting much better with manual focus and am having more success with the part of the image I want to be in focus!PLUS….this weeks winners helped me determine that my flowers have a large collection of Thrips… soapy water will be spritzed on them soon, weather permitting!

And there you have my larger than life Monday! What about you? What are you focused on today?

 

TGIF | 6.14.18

TGIF | 6.14.18

Happy Flag Day! I think today is the first time I ever read George Washington’s words and they have special impact this year. They are a good reminder of who and what we are.

Thinking About –

Friday mornings have had a new twist this month, thanks to Michelle’s Tiny Bit of Quiet series! I am truly enjoying her thoughts. Her words provoke lots of thinking in my morning meditation time. This week it seemed the world was in step with last week’s Friday quiet thoughts when yesterday these words reminded me how important those pauses are.

Getting Ready –

I passed the halfway point in my Screen Door yesterday and I will spend some time today memorizing the decreasing rows so that I can get this knit off my needles! I am eager to start a new sweater for fall. I hope to get this sweater cast on over the weekend, that is if I can get Screen Door done! I am also very happy to not be pressured to finish this in 4-days but hope to have it done by Marie’s July 4 kick off in her FB group and I will be happily cheering along the participants.

IN Focus –

I have been thinking about my word (focus) and Macro Monday’s and I have been contemplating how challenging it is to “be in focus.” My life, just like my lens, sometimes focuses on things that are not important – this process has given me much to contemplate as I learn and grow this summer.

Fun, fun, fun –

Finally, it is Friday! Steve told me last night that he wanted Pizza and Wings for happy hour tonight – so we are doing something different and ordering them from a local restaurant. I am going to try and still my inner voice and “be okay” with whatever presentation this takes tonight. Try…. such a little word that can be so hard! Stay tuned to my IG feed to see how well I do with all of that! And, while there might be some dish and lay-out compromising happening, I am not giving in on Happy Hour Outside and there might even be a bonus tonight – I think we will be able to utilize the patio heater because today is not supposed to be warm at all.

That is all I have for this week and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you back here on Monday!

Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

Three on Thursday | 6.13.19

Three on Thursday | 6.13.19

I am joining with Carole and friends today to share a few tidbits from my brain this week.

Thing One:

I loved Bridget’s paparazzi comment yesterday, but the truth is those glasses are hiding my Allergy Eyes… is it just me or does the pollen seem at an all-time high this year?

Thing Two:

The other thing that many of you commented on was the length of my hair. I had a hair appointment in May that I had to cancel due to our trip to Michigan and I have yet to reschedule that appointment. But!! I have been contemplating pulling a Vicki and not going until the fall.

Thing Three:

Reclaiming yarn from a sweater is usually not a day-long task… unless you are reclaiming yarn from a sweater that you knit with double strands. My task today is to skein the yarn up so it can have a bath to get the kinks out! Oh, and not one minute of sadness entered the equation in ripping that sweater out – it was a poor decision to knit it in the first place (sometimes jumping on that Bang Out a Sweater Bandwagon is just wrong!) The yarn is about to get new life in a new sweater!

Those are my things, pitiful as they might be! What’s rattling around your brain today?

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.12.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.12.19

The days have been truly glorious and we even had a light sweater weather bonus yesterday! Sunny, breezy, and mild temperatures meant my Marsa Alam got some wear-time! Sorry for the truly pathetic photo – I am not sure if that is the fault of the photographer or the fault of the photographee (I will be kind and take the blame) but trust me when I tell you, this sweater is a winner! I shared my notes and things I would slightly alter here, if you are interested!

I can’t seem to stop with the Coast though and my Screen Door is just flying along! It is the perfect little palate cleanser before diving into a more substantial project. I am at the “half-way” point as the pattern suggests, but it feels a bit short to me, so I am doing 5 more pattern repeats and see how it feels then. Stay tuned!

Now for the reading!!

No bingos yet, but I managed to cross off three more books on my card! And, these were three wonderful reads! I loved them all – The Night Circus and The Ninth Hour each got 4-stars.  The Road Back To You had quite an impact and I gave it 5-stars, but I feel like I have just started down the Enneagram Rabbit Hole! I have queued up several podcasts to listen to as I delve deeper into the subject. It is really quite a fascinating way to look at personality.

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