Category Archives: Photography

The Idea of Resolutions

No. This isn’t really yet another post on resolutions. Not exactly. The topic has already been covered. But I do want to put my two cents out there to suggest that the idea of resolutions can really be another form of planning or goal setting. And turning over the calendar pages to a new year is as good a time as any to step back and think about where we’re headed.

Some of you do make a resolution (or “firm decision” as the dictionary on my computer refers to it) aimed at a particular thing like losing weight, exercising more, being kinder, or whatever is front and center for you at this time in life. Others, and I’ll include myself here, come at it more generally—more in the goal setting arena. Some, like Martine on the iMake blog sort of combine the two by setting several goals in a particular theme. Do check out her Crafty New Year’s Resolutions. I like the comparison between last year and this year and the brief updates stating where she is on a particular goal. Doing that helps set up the goals for the next year.

Another blog post that struck a chord in the goals arena was the aptly titled 2015 Goals from the Dining Room Empire site. I like Cheryl’s introduction where she reasons through what gets whittled off the list and why. I also like that one of her goals is to attend a quilting retreat as a guest rather than a teacher. We should never stop nurturing the learner in us.

While reading these posts, I got to thinking about some things I plan to focus on through the coming year.

Embroidery

I did some embroidery and a little crewel work in my younger years but lost interest at some point. Lately I’ve been re-inspired by this kind of handwork, particularly embroidery. Some of that inspiration stems from my enjoyment of (ok, addiction to) Craftsy classes, most notably Hand-Stitched Collage Quilts by Laura Wasilowski and Big Techniques from Small Scraps by Sara Fielke. Both classes use embroidery techniques to embellish quilts. I’m smitten by the results.
Hand-Stitched image

Big Techniques image

I’ve also recently discovered the work of Lynette Anderson and Yoko Saito. Lynette Anderson happens to be doing the Block of the Month for The Quilt Show (parts of the site are available to anyone but membership is required for full access). You can check out Yoko Saito’s shop site or find fabric and English versions of some of her books on the Willow Lane Quilting Company’s site which is based in the U.S.

Instagram

Post pictures. More than the two I’ve posted so far. In my defense I’ve only recently set up the account. I’ve no idea what took me so long. Maybe I was put off by the fact that they are owned by Facebook.

Design Labels

It’s past time to design labels for my quilts. I’m thinking Spoonflower. Did you know that they’ll send you swatch samples for just one dollar?

Organize the Sewing Room

I have a wonderful wall of shelves that could be put to better use. But I’m pretty sure I need to let go of some stuff even with all the shelves. And some of the shelf space, like the room, is shared with my mom. Fortunately, mom generally keeps her stuff neat but I’ve noticed that it seems to be spreading.

De-stash

It’s got to happen in order to achieve the above.

Set up Etsy Store

This might be the best way to pass on the de-stash.

Knitting

Finish the 5 projects I’ve already started and also try my hand at fair isle. (Yes, I have a couple of Craftsy classes on that, too.) Also, my daughter has asked me to teach her how to knit so I think I’ll take Elizabeth Zimmerman’s advice and start her off with a hat.

Here’s hoping your new year is off to a good start and that your resolutions and goals take you where you want to go.

Florida Knitting

Truthfully, it was more airplane knitting than Florida knitting. And when you’re using size 0 needles it doesn’t look like much, but the socks and an audio book on my iPhone were enough to while away some time on a completely full airplane populated mostly by families with young children. The kids were mostly (and thankfully) quite well-behaved and some even managed to nap while clutching various Disney plush toys. Too bad their exhausted looking parents couldn’t do the same.

The knitting is a pair of slip stitch heel basic socks from Wendy D. Johnson’s  book Socks From the Toe Up with a few minor alterations. I have somewhat narrow feet and, despite switching to size 0 needles, the socks I’ve made so far tend to be just a hair looser than I’d like. So I thought I’d experiment with these and reduce the total number of stitches from 66 to 58 stitches. Hopefully, I’ve reworked all the stitch counts everywhere in the correct proportions, especially the gusset, heel and heel flap. I’m not a fan of wrap and turns and was tempted to go with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. Short rows are useful things, though, and there’s a part of me that would really like to master the beasts.

Easy Socks

The yarn is Regia Design Line in the Garden Effects color way. It’s 75% super wash wool and 25% polyamide. I purchased the yarn online and thought I was buying self-striping yarn. The site showed the yarn but no swatch. It’s definitely not self-striping in the way I was thinking it ought to be, but it’s still very pretty and I like the feel of the yarn.

The trip to Florida was a too-short getaway to visit friends in New Smyrna Beach, which is about an hour and a half drive from the Orlando airport. The visitors bureau there claims that they are “consistently voted one of the ‘Best Beaches.’” I can believe it. It was beautiful. The site also says that New Smyrna Beach is the second oldest city in Florida. Who knew? One thing that surprised me though was the number of surfers. I had no idea that the area is also a popular spot for surfing.

The surfers were farther out than the kit lens on my Canon could capture, but you get some sense of what the waves were like that day.

New Smyrna Surfers
The natives were not at all interested in the surfers.

New Smyrna Natives
shore birdsI didn’t spend much time among the shops on the recently renovated Flagler Avenue and Canal Street areas. But I did spend a few delightful hours on the water. My friends Pat and Jeannine are the captain and crew of the Schooner Ondine. Ondine is a Thomas Colvin gazelle design. Nope, I don’t know exactly what that means but I enjoyed the heck out of it. Pat and Jeannine charter both day and night cruises on Ondine and are absolutely worth a lookup if you’re planning to be down that way. I’m already looking forward to going back.

Sailing Ondine
Parting shot: Sunrise on the beach.

New Smyrna Sunrise

August Break: Finish

August moved out in a whirl with lovely times spent with family.

This recently departed critter was not a family member . . .

Locust
A visitor on the patio at work.

So, how many bowls of this do you suppose were consumed by families across the country this past weekend?

Potato Salad
Potato Salad

The last two are sneak peaks at works in progress.

Mini Blocks
Sneak peak #1
Star Blocks
Sneak peak #2

I hope your August was lovely.