By March, the worst of the winter would be over. The snow would thaw, the rivers begin to run and the world would wake into itself again.
Not that year.
Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die. Day after grey day the ice stayed hard; the world remained unfriendly and cold.” ― Neil Gaiman, Odd and the Frost Giants
This quote just feels right on this chilly, very gloomy morning. I know some of you have the *s* word in your forecast… sigh. And yet… I know spring is coming but I’d like it to hurry a bit!
About so many things… but lengthening days, two-nights in a row of sleep more than once (!!), chemistry that makes a difference (!!) certainly top the list. But also a return of my knitting mojo which was so out of sync at the beginning of the month. Also painting which completely halts all other thoughts…well… that might be the best relief of all.
By the creativity of others. I follow Jo Avery on IG and she never fails to inspire me, but her latest project is my newest obsession. I love the little quilt squares she shares on IG. And she has all the squares in her stories, if you are inclined to see the collection individually.
Finding Fun —
I treated myself with some new nail polishes… and gave myself a manicure! If the weather can’t be springy… well, my neon bright nails certainly are. This weekend… my toes will join in the fun when I break out the pedicure box for them! My feet might still have to wear shoes and socks, but there will be something fun underneath!
And, if there is a boon for insomnia… and granted, that is a mighty big if…because insomnia just sucks! Anyways, one thing kept percolating around my brain in the sea of sleeplessness… an Easter Gnome. That’s right… some sleepless inspiration… I have a Gnome that is soon to come to life. She will be springtime pastel colors and I have an idea for some delightful knitted eggs for her! I have two things that I must get done first… one sleeve (which I finished yesterday!) and that first Pi Sock… toe decreases starting in three… two… one!
And with that, I have some knitting to do! I hope that whatever the weather, you all have a great and rejuvenating weekend! See you all back here on Monday with my March Word Update!
The First March Friday… is very March-like. We have winds heading our way… and rain. And windy March days always, always brings Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup With Rice book to the forefront of my mind. I especially love the poem for March:
Or you could just listen to Carole King sing it here!
So bring on those winds… I am ready! Ha!
I did find some really wonderful things recently that I thought I’d share with you all. Little things that crossed my path that made me stop and look, listen, absorb, and yes… share!
First, I discovered a new, entirely delightful podcast from Colorado Public Radio – Terra Firma, which is hosted by CMarie Fuhrman. It falls very much into the Very Good Things Come in Very Small Packages category. Once a week, 7-10 minutes… and listening to it brings the very best kind of pause… you know, the one where you are having an insane day and you just need a breather. I have found this to be the best stress buster ever!
Second, I stumbled upon Candice Hicks by accident… and what a happy accident that was! Either way, I am utterly fascinated with this embroidery series she did: Notes For String Theory. This is so The Magic Of A Blank Page… no?
My final find was a boon for me, but I thought you might like it as well! Eons ago… and I mean eons… like back in the very early 2000’s, Chico’s sold an amazing linen shirt. They were spendy… $75 for a shirt was a lot for me… then especially. But I scrimped and saved and bought two of them – a glorious mustardy-green and a basic black. And they were truly workhorses. I still wear those shirts but they are looking… well, worn… especially the mustardy-green one that I wear most. For a couple of years I have been looking for a shirt pattern that emulates that shirt… the fit and the details. I feared I would have to attempt to make a pattern from one of my shirts… not a thing I really wanted to do because of all the pieces of a shirt. Well, Muna and broad inboxed me this week with their Tarawi Shirt pattern. It is *almost* identical. The shirt tails are the only thing not the same, but changing that would be so simple! The thing I love about Muna and broad was this sentence from their email: “We really wanted your body to be included!” Their patterns have the largest size range, multiple bra-cup sizes, and yes… even arm sizes… to ensure that you can sew something that fits your body.
And there you have it, friends… a few Friday Finds to start your weekend off! Have a good one and I will see you back here on Monday!
This week has been a Weather Roller Coaster… we have had temps in the 70’s and the 30’s. Let me just say that this mornings 30° felt bitterly cold after yesterday’s 72° and I was so glad that I had mitts tucked in the pockets of my coat for Sherman’s morning constitutional!
With just four more days of February, I really need to harness the looming closet chaos and rearrange my closet for “Transitional Wardrobe” season… you know the one where the temperature can fluctuate greatly from day to day. So you know what I am doing this weekend! Ha!
Reading… Again —
Signal Fires. Yes, I finished it this week. Yes, I immediately restarted it. This book! The threads that Shapiro begins to pull together as the story progresses… oh my. The writing is so, so good! The second time through, I am paying more attention to the threads and am in awe of how brilliantly this story is crafted. If you have not put this book on your “read soon” list… why not?
Inspired… by ME —
Yes, yes! I have all month long been thinking about my Authenticity Manifesto! Contemplating a manifesto for my word was the prompt from Ali Edwards this month and at first I was all wow… okay! And then I sat down to consider putting one together and it all my initial enthusiasm fell apart. BUT!! I did not let that defeat me! Instead I have spent the month contemplating things and before long I had ideas all over a page of my morning journal. I am eager to share this with you all on Monday, but I just have to say that my word that was feeling not quite right in January began singing to me in February. And this, my friends, is the joy of having a word to carry along with you during the year!
(in)Famous… Gifting —
I took great pleasure this month in matting and framing a couple of my watercolors to gift. I have long loved giving people things I have made, but they have always been wearable items… hand knit socks, scarves, mittens, hats, shawls, cowls, etc. But to give someone something they can hang on a wall is a first for me! I had no idea when I began this new craft how much I would love it! I have been practicing the techniques I am struggling with every morning… a sort of swatching, I suppose. It’s amazing what you can improve with just 15-20 minutes a day of practice! (There is a huge life lesson there… one that I should apply to so many things!)
This is one of the paintings I gifted this month. Who knew that rocks and water could be so delightful to paint!
Fearless… Cooking —
One thing I have become very adept at is adjusting recipes for what I currently have in my fridge and pantry, but that was not always the case. I believed recipes needed to be followed to the letter and if I did not have something… well, most times I did not make it. But, I had a daily routine of calling my nana while I was making dinner and she was a wonder… she could make something incredibly delicious out of practically nothing! And… she was a Master of Recipe Substitutions! So in our conversations, I would say “well, I was going to make this, but I don’t have any of that.” and she’d ask, well do you have x? y? z? and generally I’d have one of those. She eased me into learning how to make good substitutions… a thing that has served me very well over the years, and most especially in Pandemic Times! Ha! Well I used those skills again this week! Kym posted a soup recipe that looked amazing, but I had no kale (okay, I never have kale!!) but I am here to tell you that it is just as good with a can of diced tomatoes and a half of an avocado diced on top! Delish!
This soup was absolutely wonderful… even on a very warm evening!
And with that, dear friends, Happy Friday! Let the weekend begin!! See you all back here on Monday with my February word update!
Hello Friday… it’s been a week where my motto has been this: “The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get”
I have felt like I have been playing catch up all week but there were a few good things.
Thing One: I have had tremulous buds on my snow drops for weeks and I feared that the bit of an arctic blast we had last week would do them in. But as you can see above, bloom they did! They opened yesterday and it was fun to see them “dancing in the wild winds” we had! A very good thing for the list!
Thing Two: I got my homework done! Wooo! The theme for this week was “Atmospheric” and while I don’t think I quite achieved an “atmospheric painting,” Rick’s first comment in my feedback: “This reads well” was enough for me. He then gave me some ideas to “fix” my foreground trees… that look a bit like lollypops! Yes, they do!
Thing Four: I stumbled entirely accidentally upon the Emergence Magazine Podcast a couple of weeks ago and I have been meaning to tell you about it. The episode that drew me in was one with Robin Wall Kimmerer talking about Serviceberries. It’s absolutely worth a listen and I been delighted with other episodes as well!
Thing Five: Otherwise known as The Things That Kept Me Behind This Week! I had the appointment with the NP which caused me to have to go for X-rays (which were inconclusive) but I called to make the referral appointment with the Ortho who I eventually did manage to make contact with and set an appointment. Because I was in “Appointment Mode” I also made the appointment for my annual mammogram. I mean what is not to love about calling into Doctor Office Phone Queues and making sure you are pressing the correct number for what you want to do… and then waiting… listening to Hold Music… with interspersed advertisements for UPMC… Oh! And could you please complete a survey for us at the end of this call! (Because who does not want to have the opportunity to push more numbers!!)
And with that, I have some things to finish (still) from this week. See you all back here on Monday!
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime. ― Laura Ingalls Wilder
Today, I hope to do a bit of what Halfpint so nobly encourages us to do… but perhaps a bit less reverently, ha! So let’s get RIFFing!
Read (poetry) —
I heard this poem this week and have not stopped thinking about it. A good poem will do that… linger, niggle, inch into your thoughts. Kay Ryan is one of those poets… her work lingers…wonderfully.
by Kay Ryan
From the Greek for woven or plaited,
which quickly translated
to basket. Whence the verb crib, which meant “to filch”
under cover of wicker
For we want to make off
with things that are not
our own. There is a pleasure
theft brings, a vitality
to the home.
Cribbed objects or answers
keep their guilty shimmer
forever, have you noticed?
Yet religions downplay this.
Note, for instance, in our
annual rehearsals of innocence,
the substitution of manger for crib—
as if we ever deserved that baby,
or thought we did.
Michelle Obama knit us all together with the image that she posted on IG this week of a sweater she knit for a baby. This wondrous thing we do, that causes us to oooh and aaah over the things other makers knit. We understand… knitting is not quick and so we lift each other up. It is one of the best parts of this community.
For those of you who enjoyed Knives Out (I did for a variety of reasons!) there is a new mystery dropping today on Netflix… Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. More Daniel Craig over the holiday weekend? Yes, please! Hahaha
That’s right… today is Festivus! What is that you might ask? Perhaps this can explain it all better…
And with that… Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us! I will see you back here on Monday!
I hope your holidays, however you celebrate them, are overflowing with every good thing!