I don't know where I'd be without afghans. I made my first when I was sixteen. I ran out of yarn and it was barely long enough to cover my lap. I don't have it anymore but I have lots of new ones. I've been crocheting in earnest for several years now and there are blankets in almost every room of our house. One of the best things about an afghan is the color it can add to a room. I used very bright colors when I first became reattached to crochet and I felt bold and daring. I was especially unaccustomed to using red. I tend to play it safe with most of my decor, choosing neutral and soft colors for paint, furnishings and linens, but afghans allow me to experiment with color. I love to see my blankets in use. The colors and patterns brighten the room, a loved one's comfort warms my heart.
Art is important to me and I fill my home with artwork from many sources. Most of it comes from my children, though, and I am proud to display their work. We have our gallery wall, made with strips of wood embedded with slices cut from wine corks, where I hang the best examples of their artwork. In the winter, this work is always fresh and new because much of it comes home from school after the annual art-and-writing exhibition just before Christmas. There's lots of homegrown art too, things we make together during homeschool time or on the weekends. If you're looking for bold decoration, children's artwork will never disappoint. It's bright and cheerful: slashes of crayon, oil pastel and watercolor, fabric and glue dried lumpy and stiff, garish colors blending in fevered imagination. They make it, I hang it. I couldn't be happier to do so.
Saturday afternoons are for listening to A Prairie Home Companion on public radio. This is a tradition from my husband's family and one I eagerly adopted. I love radio and I almost always have a radio playing wherever I am in the house. The show is funny and entertaining and I enjoy the music. My children have listened since they were born; they know Garrison Keillor's voice with just a few words. The show is a way of life, really. Saturdays at four, we switch the radio to KANW 89.1 and settle in. In summer, we sit in shade on the back patio with a small portable radio. In wintertime, we sit in the living room together, listening on our tabletop radio. The kids play on the floor with their bins of K'nex and Legos, the Bear and I craft or read. We listen through the late afternoon. The sun moves across the front of the house, the room dimming and shadows creeping up the walls, light fading to dusty blue and violet as the sun sets. We keep listening together in golden lamplight.
This is the first house I've lived in with a fireplace and oh, how I love having a fireplace. As soon as it's cold enough we start having fires on the weekends and we continue as long as we can. The Bear, former Eagle Scout, builds a perfectly beautiful fire and we spend all afternoon and evening in front of it with our various diversions. Sometimes we eat dinner on the floor. We drink cocoa and eat popcorn. Some of the wood is from our own trees, apple and juniper. I love to sit with the lights off, or at least dimmed, and watch the flames and the shadows dancing on the walls. The golden glow of a good fire means coziness and warmth. It's one of the very best parts of winter.
In warm weather, I cut flowers from our yard to make bouquets for the house. In winter, I buy my flowers and they are almost always tulips, my favorite flower of all. I love having a fresh bunch in the house and they have to be bright - lipstick red, hot pink, fuschia, flame orange. A bright bunch of tulips in the kitchen, or on the buffet in the dining room, instantly lifts my spirits. It reminds me that spring is coming and that as much as I enjoy winter, the spring holds great promise and beauty and lovely traditions all its own, inside and outside our beloved home.
Don't forget to visit the other Color Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts. Just click on the links below:
Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Gillian at Tales from a happy house.
CJ at Above the River
and January's guest poster, Bee at the linen cloud
What is The Color Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a color related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about color in new ways.