Friday, December 31, 2021

The Craft Year in Review

It seems 2021 was the year of the sweater. I can't believe I finished all these. The two at the bottom are toddler sized sweaters but still......for me this is impressive.....

......especially when you think I also finished all these things. I guess we can give Covid the credit. I rarely finish anything but last year I had lots of sit and knit time it seems. 

I only completely finished two small quilts. I should have finished more. I've three close to finishing if I would just put my mind to it.

I never seem to finish any stitching projects but I did get to frame Baby Grand's birth record. 

I had big hopes for Rainbow Kitty in 2021. I've been working on it as you can see but it looks like I will have to look forward to completing it in 2022. 

I crocheted a bit. I'm honestly surprised I'm still sticking with it. I add one or two blocks to the pile every once in a while.

In the downstairs craft room I splashed around some watercolor, inked my way through Inktober and made an awful lot of cards. 

I made a lot of soap once. ONCE. I think it was a few days in May. My three year kitchen remodeling project has taken a toll. I really, really miss making soap. 

But what I miss the most is my little loom. I didn't get it out in 2020 or in 2021. It will be back out in 2022. That I promise. We've got a floor to put down and a living room to move furniture back into and then it will take its place in the corner once again. I have hope.

 Happy Almost New Year everybody!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Race is On


The twin Pairfects are back together again. One was in the travel bag and the other was in a basket by the TV and yesterday I put them both in the basket and equaled them both up. The travel sock was way ahead. I love those stripes but they have been a boring slog. I've got to whip up some interest in finishing them so I am going to try to add one stripe on each a day and see if that does it. 

That left the travel bag empty so I picked out the brightest of all the new Arne and Carlos Lofoten colors to knit on the road whenever we go anywhere. That's not very often anymore I'm afraid but I'll be ready when we do-most likely for a grocery pick up. Good times. Sigh.

I was right about the colors. This one is gorgeous. 

So is Lofoten. I think Arne and Carlos really nailed this one. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021



When we had the living room floor refinished we moved all our bookcases into the hallway. We never moved them back because we filled the living area with all the kitchen stuff. Yesterday I noticed that several of the shelves were collapsing so I spent the day......

....sorting dusty books. I had boxed most of them up to donate ages ago but then unboxed them and put them back on the shelves because the boxes took up too much room. 

All these books were a part of my pre-retirement folly. I was convinced I would be poor and bored so I stocked up on things like yarn and books. I was going to spend my golden years learning new languages and knitting the day away but post retirement life has been anything but poor and boring. 

I pulled some of the best books out to put in the little lending libraries that have popped up in town. Mystery and crafting books seem to go fast and I've got some good ones. Today we're going to head out to the thrift stores and see who wants what. I've got four bags of CDs and two boxes of DVDs that need to go as well. Now if I could only convince The Mister to get rid of his six crates of vinyl albums I would have made an even bigger dent in the clutter. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Tiny Needle Tuesday


This week I gave it my best shot but it wasn't enough to have a lot of progress to share. My back is still doing something terrible and I have no idea what I did or why but I am pretty miserable. Since I have to tie myself in knots to prop my frames up on my knees when stitching I didn't get very far this week. I did get the bottom half of a goose stitched and........

......I started the bottom border on the winter sampler but gave it up from the discomfort. The cold and wet weather we are having at the moment isn't helping I'm sure. 

It was more of a sit and knit kind of day yesterday so I picked up these tiny needles instead. The Karbonz needles just arrived yesterday morning. I have a set of 4 (because I lost one) and I really love using them so I bought another set so I could use them on the yoke of the mini sweaters. Now I see why they come in sets of 5. I've never knit on 4 needles before and now it all makes sense. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

The Undoing


My back is killing me and I couldn't sleep so I got up early and undid Christmas. As long as I'm on my feet I feel fine but I can't sit or lay down without being miserable. I kept busy all morning putting everything away before The Mister got up. 

As soon as his feet hit the ground I cranked up Alexa and spent the morning doing some other standing up stuff like playing with my juggling stuff. Yes, I juggle all this stuff and I'm pretty good at it. It's a good upper body workout and I should do it more often. 

Later that afternoon when I ran out of standing up stuff to do like vacuuming the whole house I finished up mini sweater number 3. I am so glad Arne and Carlos used colors that weren't all Christmas colors. Number 4 is black and white and so I had no trouble casting it on while purging the house of every smidgen of red and green. 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Winter Wonderland


No, we didn't get snow. This is the official Christmas picture from the local weather service of their snow collection site on Christmas morning and you can clearly see that there wasn't a flake to be had for the 12th Christmas in a row. 

What we did have was a nearly 70 degree day which just prefect for an afternoon stroll along the bay which was fine by me. I love snow but if I can't have it I'll take a beautiful day anytime. 

I did however wash my two sleigh riding sweaters yesterday morning-just in case. You never know around here. It can be 70 one day and a blizzard the next. At least now I'm ready in case we do get any of the white stuff. 

All that walking took place after we had our Christmas morning breakfast. When #1 Son moved out he left his fancy waffle maker. That was a very long time ago and to my surprise it still worked. I haven't made waffles in years and they were very good. 

It was a pretty ho hum Christmas morning but we did have some fun with Pup. 

In her old age she's not really interested in playing with toys anymore but if you give her something new you'll get a few minutes of play out of her. That's all the time The Mister and I had for play anyway. He's got a stiff neck and I've done something awful to my back making us no fun at all at the moment. The rest of day all three us were sacked out on our respective couches. Thank goodness for football and Netflix.


Saturday, December 25, 2021

A Merry Little Christmas


We got the Santa puzzle done last night. Since it's just The Mister and me for Christmas this year we've had plenty of time to just putter around the house for the past few days. 

On the 23rd we had a Frigidaire technician come out to try and figure out the stinking, smoking oven. It just keeps getting worse. He took it apart and couldn't find a thing wrong but he agreed that the smell was terrible. He said they are putting lots of chemical cleaners on them because of Covid but this is beyond what he expected.  He says we need a new stove so now the fight begins to get one. Lowe's doesn't want to hear about it. Frigidaire is going to send out yet another guy to see what's going on. Needless to say it put a damper on Christmas dinner. 

But......the one thing this remodel has taught me is to be resourceful. Lasagna in a crockpot? It can be done and it was actually good and easier than in an oven. I even had another crockpot of minestrone going all day so we could have our traditional meal in spite of the obstacles. 

I couldn't bake anything for dessert but I did make individual trifles using those packaged strawberry shortcake thingys you get in the produce section. It wasn't exactly like Mom's but it worked. It's been a year of making do. 

This hasn't exactly been a sit and knit kind of December either but I did get half of sweater number 3 done yesterday afternoon. I'd like to have them all by next Christmas so I hope this fire doesn't burn out. I've got a long way to go. 

The hardest thing I did all day was decide which Christmas movie to watch with my peppermint martini last night. Christmas Vacation won. 

It's been a quiet, low key kind of holiday but I did have one big squee moment when I discovered.....berries on one of my holly bushes. I've been coveting holly berries for years and this time one of them finally delivered. Those three little red berries made me so happy. It's the little things that mean the most. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

My Years of Magical Thinking


It's funny how the loss of someone you never met can affect you so profoundly. This woman saved my sanity back in the years where I was juggling my mother's death from leukemia and my father's descent into dementia.

There is grief so profound that it can't be cured with a good cry. You need a voice to walk you through those many terrible days and Joan Didion was my voice. I listened to this audio book over and over for years-probably hundreds of times. She gave me permission not to always rise above it. It was the first time I heard that it was okay not to be okay and I was so not okay. 

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live.."

It was only later that I discovered that she was also the voice of my generation. I plowed through her other books, biographies and documentaries and found a blueprint on how to take the spirit of our youth and apply it to our own last chapters. 
Hers is now written. 

"We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.”
Joan Didion
The Year of Magical Thinking

Thursday, December 23, 2021

It's a Wonderful Life


Remember that Santa puzzle I didn't think we'd get done before Christmas? Well, it's almost done. We've made short work of it. I guess putting it together 27 years in a row makes things a little easier. 

Since this is our week off from worrying about kitchen stuff I've also been working on another holiday project. I'm putting all the Christmas photos in one album.

I started it a few years ago but never finished it. That's me ironing away on Christmas morning. I have absolutely no recollection of this toy so I suppose it wasn't something that endured. For the record, I hate ironing. Always have. 

That's my step-grandfather and my grandmother, Meme. She was the undisputed Queen of Christmas. She lived and breathed for it and rather appropriately left us on Christmas morning. It might have been fitting for her but it sure but a damper on the whole thing for me for many years after.

The little house I raised my kids in. We had more White Christmases back then. They are pretty rare now. Snow of any kind is pretty rare these days. 

I got a big laugh out of this one. Look at the tree. It's in the playpen. I had a home daycare in that little house way back then and I suppose it was safe from little fingers that way. 

Mom and Dad. I sure miss them. Nothing is the same or as good without them especially the holidays. I bought some holiday themed washi tape and I'm using it to keep the photos in their plastic pockets because they were slipping and sliding around.

How about a big laugh? Yep. That's me thinking I'm hot stuff heading out for a New Year's Eve party a very, very long time ago in the age of Big Hair. All I remember was that the next day I had the worst hangover I've ever had in my life. I thought I might die. To this day I keep a wide berth between me and champagne. We just don't get along. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Must Be Santa


Normally we start our Santa puzzle on December 1st and try to get it done by Christmas but this year I only got it started yesterday.

We've been doing this puzzle every year since 1994 but this year I almost skipped it. It wasn't so much the construction site I am living in. I could have dealt with it. I tried using the furniture I could get to.

It wasn't the where. It was the why. Puzzles remind me of lockdown and remembering lockdown gives me the willies. I used to sit and listen to all the scary news on the radio while working on puzzle after puzzle last year and that feeling still resonates especially now when things are pretty bleak again. At the last minute I decided the puzzle must be done and The Mister even cleared the dining room so I could dig out the table and set it up. It sure won't be done by Christmas but it will be done. Santa can't be denied. I can only imagine the bad luck that might bring on.