Friday, February 19, 2021

What's On In February

As the masters of off-season travel, we went to the beach in February. Isn't it gloriously deserted? We stayed in Ocean City, but drove up to Henlopen State Park in Delaware to walk around. It turned out to be a nice as it could be in February, nearly 50 degrees and sunny. There were some brave souls in the water in wetsuits, but I'm not sure why anyone would want to torture themselves like that. I would would be reluctant to get in the water even on the warmest of days. Bad things happen in the ocean. That much is evident by the terrifying things that wash up on the beach. Also I just read a book about a man who survived 438 days adrift in the Pacific ocean.

Back on home turf, there has been snow on the ground for nearly 3 weeks. The previous winters have been fairly mild, but not this one, which out of spite decided to keep us even more locked up in our houses because a full year of that hasn't been enough. Even the kids are tired of it. 

I finally finished my needlepoint, which I thought "wouldn't take all that long", but ended up being over a year in the making. It's from a kit I found unopened in a thrift store, dated 1977. That should explain all the orange.

After a several-months-long slump, I started making art again. It's been so cold and dark that I couldn't make myself go upstairs to my art desk, which is somewhat necessary for more messier paints. Recently I've been interested in learning about urban sketching, but lacking an urban place to go sketch, have mostly been copying photos from magazines. This would horrify urban sketching purists, I'm sure. I have never liked drawing or been happy with the results, but after watching several videos and online classes, I have an idea of the process which has made drawing much less stressful. I can also draw from the couch which is a huge bonus! I'm going to keep at it and with time ideally I'll see improvement. 

Once a month I have a Zoom call with my creative friends, which is always a good kick to get working on something. Below are two watercolor pages I did during January's call. 

I am literally counting down the days until Spring. I need the ground to unfreeze so I can start digging my garden expansion!

Friday, January 15, 2021

2021 Word of the Year

The "word of the year" thing has been going around for quite some time, but I feel like this year it really has exploded. It makes sense because who wants to make actual resolutions or plans when we don't know what this year will bring?

My word of the year is "Simple". I've always been constantly busy with projects, that's just who I am, but maybe it's ok to not do all the projects. I've come to the point, with knitting especially, where I don't need the end product. I could probably wear a different knitted accessory for months without repeating! Lately I have been focusing on just knitting one thing at a time, and choosing projects more for what I would like to work on, rather than the end result.

I have been decluttering for several years now, and I'm reaching the point where there isn't too much left to get rid of. There is actual space in all (well, most) of the closets. I continue to let stuff go as I find it. It's not so much dramatic Marie Kondo-style cleanouts anymore, rather dealing with things once I realize they're not being used. 

The other day I went on a walk and saw a bunch of turnips and potatoes sprouting in the field. They are sitting on top of the ground and growing, which means that someone must have tossed a load of root vegetables. But why?? There is a story here, and I wish I could know it.

I finished my giant scrap shawl, which you can glimpse draped over the chair in the top photo (more pictures coming once it's blocked.) I started a pair of Lotus Mittens in Knitpicks Palette. Palette is actually a pretty decent yarn for colorwork, and it's not that expensive. It is 100% wool so it's not the softest, but for mittens and hats I find it quite comfortable. I should have read the notes on other projects before starting these, because the pattern as written is incredibly long, and I have small hands to begin with. I decided to eliminate the third lotus motif, and am just winging it when it comes to the top of the mittens. We'll see how much I regret that when I get to the second one.

That's all I have for now, and here's something good I read this week: A Soft Manifesto by Cortney Cassidy.