I'm nearing the end of this project, a blanket for our friends' baby. He is expected in late February. I'll be mailing the blanket to his parents in Massachusetts in a few weeks. I've really enjoyed making this blanket. It's a not-so-giant granny square. I think it will be about 30 inches without the border, which I'm still deciding on. I'm happy with the colors and this kind of crochet is so soothing. It feels good to make something for a new baby.
After we put away the Christmas decorations, I felt relieved to have the house back in order, but there was a bit of let-down too. All that color and sparkle, gone in half an hour. I treated myself to some pinky-red tulips at the grocery store this week. They added color and cheer. Tulips are my favorite flower and my wintertime spirit-lifter.
I had a clean-out of my kitchen cabinets. This one was particularly problematic and I think it's much better now. We bought the short plastic glasses and the small plastic bowls at IKEA for the kids; our previous ones were trashed from years of use. We donated numerous bags of clothes and household items this week. Do you see the open space on the top shelf? I think I finally have room for a ceramic teapot, something I've always wanted. The best part? I can finally crochet a tea cozy, another long-time fantasy. It's all coming together.
The small Bears got new sneakers this week. The GB has her first pair of lace-up shoes and she mastered shoe-tying after a few days of intense practice. She was so proud of herself. I clearly remember learning to tie my shoes. Do you remember when you learned?
I've started a potholder wall in my kitchen. All four of these are vintage, the three larger ones being Christmas presents I bought for myself, for the Bear to give to me. I bought all of them from various Etsy shops. The small round one came from a local antiques mall. The colors look a little Christmassy, but my kitchen has lots of red in the decor. I'm going to make a few more potholders myself to add to the display. I've been collecting patterns, but I need to buy crochet thread first. I've crocheted with pearl cotton but never thread. It looks tricky.
Back in the fall, I subscribed to Martha Stewart Living magazine for the first time. I'm an avowed Martha-phile. I absolutely love her. I would often thumb through this magazine in the store but I didn't buy it because it seemed a little extravagant. But I found a very good subscription price and decided to treat myself. The first two issues, November and December/January, came just before Christmas. I've enjoyed them so much. I've decided to set a challenge for myself this year. I'm going to try to make one recipe and/or one project from each issue this year. Would you like to join me? You don't have to use this magazine, it could be one you love, or a website, or Pinterest, and you don't have to sign up. I think I'll share my progress at the end of each month. I'd love having you play along.
Some January thoughts: I don't have a word for the year, because I find it a little confining and nebulous at the same time, and I don't ever make resolutions at the new year, for a lot of reasons, but I've decided to have an emotional clear-out, along with the household ones. In short, I care too much about situations that don't deserve it. I need to focus my energies elsewhere. I have so much to be happy about in my own life and it's time to lose the baggage. For me, 2015 is about being healthier inside my own head.
So...I joined Instagram this week. Yep. I'm not a big social-media user. I used Facebook for years, but it lost its shine for me eventually. I'm not interested in Twitter right now, but I love Pinterest. I decided that Instagram was worth a try; I like to take photos with my phone, and it does look like people are having fun over there. I can quit very easily if it's not for me. And of course, it could never take the place of blogging, so don't worry about that. I'm here for the long haul. I'm literally barely on Instagram yet, but if you'd like to find me, I'm thistlebear. I've installed a clickable button on my sidebar with my other social-media icons as well.
I've been listening to Sam Smith a lot lately. This guy! So many shivers and tingles. LOVE.
One of my intentions for 2015 is to adhere to the "little but often" school of blogging. I think I want to be here more. Longwindedness comes easily to me, brevity less so. But blogging makes me happy, it's as simple as that.