January 26, 2009

Little Bits

On my worktable: little pieces of creativity

With nothing going on at the sewing machine, I have pulled out a stack of scraps and started a project that I'm in love with. Using the wonderful Michael Miller Carnival Bloom print to set my color scheme, I am cutting out tumblers. I love the movement of the design and pulling all my favorite colors out of my scrap basket. Each little tumbler is about 3" at the bottom, 1 1/2" at the top and 3" tall. Then you add triangles along the edge to finish them off. I suspect I'll be at this for awhile.

January 22, 2009


We're headed in to our third night of freezing temperatures. Around here, that's an event. An annual event, but an event nonetheless. Typically, when we say 'its freezing out there,' we don't actually mean its freezing.   But, right now we do, and it means covering large swaths of my plants with sheets, a call from the landscaper to make sure that I had covered them, and enlisting the help of the neighbor to pick all the grapefruit off the tree.  Well, all the grapefruit except those in the highest branches I consider the squirrels' share.    (Seriously good haul for all of us this year, about two dozen already.) Yard secured, vegetable stew cooked, fire built - we are officially hibernating.

You know, I vaguely remember a time when my yard was always covered with ice and snow by late January, where I watched for blizzard warnings, and had an ice scraper handy in my car. The dog even went for walks in the snow and knew that it was possible to potty before the temperatures rose above 40. Neither that girl nor that dog live around here these days. We consider this very cold, and the fact that the heat is (still) broken gives us license to curl up on the couch with the down comforter and refuse to move.  Fortunately, the boy still harbors a love for the cold weather and is willing to indulge us.

You'd think, then, that this would be prime crafting time.  Not much sewing would be getting done, what with that whole refusing to move off the couch thing, but definitely knitting, right?  Yeah, not so much.  Instead, I'm all about a lazy novel and a glass of wine.  And since you can't hold a book or a glass of wine while knitting, well not much knitting is getting done.  The sweater sleeve crawls along at a snails pace, though, and I'm okay with it.  Right now, reading a trashy novel with my cuddly dog, warm comforter and cool glass of wine is working for me.  We're hibernating.  See you when the weather warms up. (You know, like 24 hours from now.)

January 20, 2009

To Remember

I want to remember today.  I want to remember:
  • taking off 3 hours in the middle of a work day simply to witness;
  • my respect for George W. Bush, whatever my disagreements with his administration, as I saw the honest smile reaching his eyes as the history of the civil rights movement is invoked in recognizing this moment;
  • Obama visibly straightening his shoulders during the invocation;
  • Malia taking a picture of her Dad as he gives his first speech as President;
  • the humor of the oath being taken a few minutes after noon, despite all the warnings that it had to be taken before noon, and of the Chief Justice and Obama having to correct a line Roberts got wrong;
  • Tuskegee Airmen and other veterans of a segregated military witnessing the first African American commander in chief take office;
  • watching it again in the evening, and tearing up again.
I watched, and I believed.  

January 15, 2009

Sleeve, Take Three

My sewing machine has been quiet, but my needles have been clacking away.  I'm still working on the Ribby Pulli.  It took three tries, but I think I've finally figure out how to incorporate the increases in to the 2x2 ribbing.  Its been several inches since I ripped it back to the beginning, anyway.  I've actually tried it on my arm several times and I think I'm willing to live with it, even if I suspect its far from perfect.  So, another few inches on this and I'm ready to join it to the sweater.  And then I have to make the other sleeve, of course...  And then finish the yoke.

Yeah, maybe this sweater will be ready to wear before next year's cold weather.

January 02, 2009

Savannah Reconnaissance

I've read repeatedly this morning that how you start your New Year will influence what you do during the year. I wasn't aware of that tradition, but if that's the case Alex and I did a great job. 

His Christmas present to me was a trip to Savannah. We were supposed to go up for New Years Eve and spend the weekend there. Unfortunately, we only made it half way to Savannah before he received a call from work that meant he'd have to come back and deal with a problem. But, he wasn't going to be able to do anything about the problem until the engineer's office re-opened on Friday anyway, so he decided we'd still go up to see in the New Year.After enjoying the street party on New Years Eve, we spent hours and hours on New Years Day just walking through Savannah. It was cold, but sunny and with our coats buttoned up and a cup of coffee it was beautiful.
Every corner you turn has another beautiful building, statute or plaque explaining the history that occurred right where you are standing. Often, it has all three.  I couldn't resist taking picture after picture of the beautiful buildings.  This is the Congregation Mickve Israel, founded by Jewish settlers who arrived in Savannah in 1733.  They received a letter of congratulations from George Washington when they were later "founded in perpetuity." We had a great day, with a bit of romance and alot of fun.  Alex was able to set aside the mess waiting for him at work until he could actually do something about it, and I was able to enjoy the time we had without regretting it was being cut short.  It's a great way to start off the New Year, and if it means that in 2009 we'll be able to roll with the punches and focus on one another I'm all for it. 

However, we're already planning for a chance to spend more time in Savannah.  I'm calling this our reconnaissance mission.  It definitely deserves more time, and we'll be going back.