Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Shelagh's Back from Florida!

My sister is back from her three-week trip to Florida with her husband--and I am so excited!

I mean, we still texted and Messengered each other daily, but it's so great having her back and only a 25-minute drive from me! Thank goodness for technology! I think I would have gone crazy if I couldn't have chatted constantly.

And something else cool about technology is that you can scope out local yarn shops at wherever it is you'll be spending time. So, of course, Shelagh did that before she left. And I'm glad she did because she found a very cool yarn shop in Sarasota called Picasso's Moon. Debra is the mastermind designer and dye-queen. Shelagh just raved over her yarns!

Even though Debra wasn't there, her friend and business partner Catherine--aka Rose of Indigo--was and she gave Shelagh the scoop about Debra's work.

Did Shelagh buy any?

Of course!

And, lovely sister that she is, she gave me two skeins! The one above is called "Strawberries & Poppies and is the most-sumptuously soft superwash Merino bulky loveliness. That one I'm saving for myself because it has all my favourite colours in it: ranges of pink from deep raspberry to pastel, oranges, yellows, and hits of green. I'm thinking a lovely, snuggly cowl.

The other is called "Peacock Hues."  Gorgeously green in a variety of shades ranging from off-white to a forest green. I'm so in love with this it's going to take me a while to "see" a pattern for it. In the meantime, I'll just drool over it as I watch Spring bring green back to our neighbourhood parks, lawns, and trees.

I'll try to talk Shelagh into writing an account of her travel knitting--of which she did a lot!--for next week.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Rainy Days and Mondays

The weather this April has affected my creativity. I'm just feeling blah. Very non-committal about my projects.

I know the saying “April showers bring May flowers” and I generally don't mind. But after a not-so-bad winter, this April seems to be playing an April Fools prank: I think we've had worse weather since the end of March—cold, windy, snowy, icy—than we had all Winter! I know for a fact that February was nicer because my birthday is in February and we slept with the window open that night. It was the first time in my over-50 years that I awoke on my birthday to fresh air and birdsong.

All this grumbling is to simply to say that I am far behind on projects that are underway.

If you are a maker, a creative person, you know what that feels like: the unfinished project sitting waiting for you. But all you can feel is . . . blah.

So, I am trying a few things.

  1. A little online Spring cleaning. By that I mean, I am finally catching up on what has become an almost unwieldy inbox. I had subscribed for so many e-mails, I haven't been able to keep up. So I'm putting all the e-mails from the same source together, going through one by one until they are done. Then I'm going to decide if I want to stay on that e-mail list.
  2. Saying “yes” to most invitations. Particularly those that will expand my social circle. Just the other day I went to a friend's birthday party. It was so much fun seeing her and some mutual friends. What's really cool, is she and many of the others are at least twenty years younger than me. I love being around that energy, hearing what they are passionate about. It's really eye opening to discover either something new or something unexpectedly in common.
  3. Thinking about other creative ventures. I think if I try something different creatively, that might give me the spark to continue on with my projects. I participated a tiny bit in an Instagram sketch challenge, where participants draw something every day for a month. I only did about half a dozen, but it was fun and I really felt it gave me a little boost for my other creative projects. Right now I have an idea for another sketch, but this time incorporating a knitted piece I made.

What have you done to bust the blues and get your creative spark back?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Five Things I'm Loving Right Now

Me in Tree Pose last summer after I hurt my arm.

 Shelagh is enjoying warm weather in Florida for a few weeks, so I'm writing this as I prepare for a few days volunteering at The Yoga Show and Conference. This is the biggest yoga show in Canada—seriously, it's crazy big!

This is my second year volunteering and I love it! But I still get the "what if I forget something" anxieties creeping up on me now and then. Never mind that I'll be in a major city and will be able to get anything I want, organizing myself and packing is still fraught with potential crises until I walk out my front door.

What that means is I'm not really focusing on any of my knitting projects or our social media accounts. So, no we haven't dropped off the planet. And no, the changes to Instagram haven't affected our feed. 

So I thought I'd do a quick roundup of what I'm loving right now:

  1. Yoga and meditation – I mean, of course!
  2. Goodreads – Have you checked out this site? I want to read more, and this site lets me (a) list everything I have ever read in my life and continue to add to it; (b) interact with friends who read; and (c) set and track a reading goal for myself every year. This year my goal is 20 books and I'm already at 7 complete and two underway.
  3. Podcasts – I know podcasts have been around for a while, but I really discovered a bunch last summer while I waited for my arm to heal and couldn't knit or do yoga. My favourites (in no particular order) are "Question of the Day" with James Altucher and Stephen Dubner (of Freakonomics fame); "Happier" with Gretchen Rubin (of The Happiness Project); "Magic Lessons" with Elizabeth Gilbert (the focus is on creativity); and recently "The Lively Show."
  4. Video Podcasts – Two of our knitting circle friends have begun a very cool podcast on Youtube called "Dye Another Day." If you are into knitting, are interested in patterns, dying yarn, KALs (knitalongs), then these two smart, funny ladies are worth checking out. You may already know them as The Yarn Enabler and The Cozy Knitter on Facebook or Instagram. If you start from the first (they've done about five or six so far), you will also discover other knitting Youtube podcasters that they follow.
  5. Netflix – Yeah, I'm late to the game here too. My husband and I have begun binge-watching House of Cards when we heard so many good things about the show. What an amazing show!
Do you like some of these same things? Do you have any suggestions for books, podcasts, binge-worthy shows? Let us know below.