Wednesday, February 28, 2018

All happening

Greetings on the last day of February. This month felt fairly quick to me, in spite of the fact that we had a full week of illness in there. We also had some deliciously wintry weather and fewer of the very warm, sunny days than we've had in Februaries past, which is exactly how I want it. Here at home, the illness has moved on and everyone is feeling better. Still sniffling and coughing, of course, but that can go on for weeks, so I'm not worried about it. Nope, February was pretty good and now March is forecast to enter in lamb-like fashion, so it's all good. I like March, especially when Easter is relatively early. I bought Easter-egg dyes yesterday. I bought some Easter stickers too - pretty, sparkly eggs. I'll use them for the homeschool/chore charts after we pass St. Patrick's Day and finish up the shamrocks.

I've been stitching and crocheting these past couple of weeks, since I started being stuck in the house more with sickies. I finished the Vintage Red Coffeepot I'd been working on and have moved on to the Little Vintage Teapot (both designs are from Stitchrovia on Etsy). I really like these designs; they're very straightforward, just cross-stitches without special tricks like half-crosses or backstitch outlining. Just simple blocks of color with a little bit of pretty detailing, like a small floral design on each one. Sometimes I want to do intricate stitching on high-count linen, I like that very much too, but this kind of stitching always feels therapeutic to me. The design takes shape quickly and progress feels real. I'm always happy for an hour or so of stitching in my chair with the sun behind me.

In crochet news, I'm making granny hexagons. I'd made some hexes here and there over the past couple of years while trying to decide on a motif for the blanket which eventually became Maybelle. I'm still stashbusting with worsted acrylic yarn, having amassed a huge supply that I can no longer comfortably store in our office/craft room. I got interested in hexes again recently, and I went back to a pattern I'd tried at least a year ago, which I came across on a blog called Novamade. I've long loved the look of Nova's blanket with large, multi-colored hexes edged in white. For a while there, I was feeling a shift away from multi-colored crochet, finding it a bit too busy and fussy, but lately I've been drawn to it again. I have lots of cream-colored yarn and can put it to good use in a blanket like this. It turns out that I really like making hexes - like really, really. They're fun! And portable. Joining them is fun too. I did some looking around for a JAYG method but didn't feel satisfied with what I found, so I improvised my own. I'm not saying I invented it, but I found something that seems to work for me. I've made about eight hexes so far. I don't know what I'll do with this blanket - if I actually end up making something that can be termed a blanket - but for now, it's a really nice way to fit some crochet into my days.

This morning, I bought a potted hyacinth! So excited about this. I went to Trader Joe's for groceries, hoping to find bunches of tulips, or at least daffodils, but they had neither. They did have potted bulbs, though, and the hyacinths called out to me. I haven't had a hyacinth in a few years; I love them but I always forget about them when they're in season, or I go for the instant gratification of flashy tulips already in bloom. It isn't always like me, but I'm glad I chose something I need to be patient for this time. Hyacinths are totally worth the wait.

Outside, my few tough old tulips are starting to poke up, along with some daffodil and grape hyacinth shoots. I don't always get flowers from any of this, but I'm ever hopeful. The plum and apple trees are starting to bud. We should have plum blossom, at least, but the end of the month, if not sooner. I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics yesterday to return an online yarn order that looked way better online; while I waited for my turn at the counter, there was a conversation between all of us customers about flowering trees and their current progress. There were about six of us, men and women, thirties to maybe seventies, I'd guess. It was like an old-time chat in the general store. Everyone had something to say and all were polite and cheerful. I learned a couple of things. I loved it. I wish it happened to me every day. I felt so good about people.

Today, I have bean soup in the crockpot, to which I will be adding the last of my Christmas ham from the freezer. I have to make room for the Easter ham leftovers. We have the LB's guitar lesson and the GB's ballet class this afternoon. When we get home, I'll make a salad to eat with the soup. I finished all the laundry and washed the kids' outer shells from their winter coats; it's warm enough to wear just the fleece liners now (we'll put the shells back on if we have to, of course). They seem so sprightly and free when they stop wearing their bulky winter coats.

I've started making hold requests for my summer library books; some of the most popular titles have hundreds of holds on the already, so there's a good chance I won't have my turn until June or July. What are you reading lately? I'd love to check the library for copies, so let me know what you're liking to read right now.

What's going on where you are? I hope the end of the week is good to you. Here, we have Private Friday to look forward to (probably errand-filled, but there should at least be time for lunch), and a return to the GB's Saturday guitar lesson, which she missed while she was sick. I'm planning to make Cobb salads for our at-home dinner date on Saturday night. I bought avocados today, to make sure they're ripe in time. The weather is supposed to be very nice, so maybe we'll have a long walk. We could do yard work, and I'm sure we will, but we'll definitely play too.


  1. Oh, lovely to see signs of Spring emerging! It is SO cold here, Spring now feels a long way off. Apparently we’ll have snow tomorrow, very rare here now.

  2. There was signs of spring here with spring bulbs poking through the soil before the snow fell, now everything is covered in the white stuff and there's more forecast. I love hyacinths, they have such a gorgeous scent.

  3. I'm glad your family are on the mend now, your buds and bulbs are all looking promising. My garden today, is all under snow. I've taken a few photos ready for Five on Friday, I think I've also included a cotton Maybelle. The local WI are wanting us to design a square towards a table cloth. I'm hoping the thinish cotton possibly edged in a white cotton square will work sewn on a 6" square of cotton fabric. It has to represent - what the WI means to you. I'm going with friendship and craft group. Your hexagons and cross stitch look pretty. I'm full of cold now and can't seem to shake it off. It's so annoying especially as I dodged the last 2 cold viruses that the family had. Take care, Cathy x

  4. Glad everyone is feeling a bit better now. March will be thundering in like a lion here apparently. Everyone is braced for cold and maybe even snow. Coming here straight from Siberia I think. I recently read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine which I think you'd enjoy. By Gail Honeyman. Lovely to think about summer reading. Almost as lovely as winter reading. CJ xx

  5. Beautiful pictures today! I love your crochet and the buds.
    Bean soup sounds so good!

  6. I loved all your beautiful moment share here with us. And you crochet work is lovely too. I cant crochet - Ive tried and tried and tried and have come to the realisation that it best to stick with knitting.
    I look forward to soup day again. the other day we had a chilly 17 degrees Celsius here and i nearly froze - I wonder if this small space here in Africa will have a winter this year??

    blessings for the month ahead Jennifer. xx

  7. I am so glad you are feeling cheerful and that crochet project beginnings sound super fun! It's nice to have things to plan and look forward to! I hope your March is a blessed good month for you!!!

  8. I am so glad you are feeling better and the family are over the bug too. It is lovely to chat in a store, thankfully living in small village that happens regularly here. Loved the crochet, the colours of the yarn are stunning together. Have a great weekend.

  9. I'm so please everyone is getting better colds and flu seems to linger for ages don't they. I love the cross stitch especially the little vintage tea pot it's lovely. I have just finished a hexi blanket myself it was my scrappy hexi which I started in 2015, it's not as big as I planned it but I had had enough, I'm glad that you are enjoying the joining of them because I found that bit a nightmare haha I think hexagons will be off the menu for me for a long while. :) x

  10. Hi Jennifer! You are a busy bee! I love your cross stitch!
    Yum! Bean soup! Yes, Easter ham isn't far off.

  11. I am happy to hear that everyone is feeling better at your house. Your tulips look like mine, as they are just starting to sprout. Signs of Spring are starting to pop up everywhere. I really like the crochet you are working on, it's going to be so pretty. I also love to shop at Trader Joe's - they have the best flowers! Hope you enjoy your Private Friday tomorrow, hopefully it will be nice and relaxing for the two of you. Enjoy your Cobb salad this weekend too, it sounds yummy and healthy to me.

  12. I’m glad everyone is better at your house now Jennifer. The sniffles and coughs do seem to hang on for a while though. Those hexies are just beautiful. We’re ready for spring up here but it snowed most of the morning again today. Oh well. It will come eventually. I hope you have a most lovely weekend. Blessings, Betsy

  13. I was at Trader Joe's yesterday and I bought a bouquet of their $1.49 daffodils that they always have at the registers. I popped them in water and I couldn't believe that they're already in full bloom just 24 hours later! Last week when I was there, I got a hyacinth bulb that was sitting in a clear glass vase (filled with water). So cool looking and the purple hyacinth looks like its about to burst open any day now. I just finished reading a really good book called The Two Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman. Check out the synopsis and reviews on amazon. I found the book at my library.

  14. Happy March Jennifer! It looks like you're staying busy and up to some fun stuff. It will be fun to follow your progress on your pretty new hexagons!

  15. Beautiful pictures here today!
    I love soup in the crock pot. : )
    Always makes the day even more cozy.
    It is quite cold here today.
    We have Mass and then a lazy evening here at home.
    My favorite.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  16. Everything sounds so gentle and easy the way you describe it Jennifer :) Loved the "store chat". Isn't it sad that talking to strangers like this is now something special and rare. I'll bet you all walked away with a little smile on your faces. Your hexies look great! Very satisfying to use up stash yarn. I considered bringing in some blulbs, but my daughter's boyfriend has allergies, so that was that. I'll have to wait for those outside ;) Enjoy your weekend!

  17. Lindas imagens. Feliz semana. Cumprimentos.

  18. We had a very nice spring days this February and quite opposite to you we loved and cherish them.. but it has gotten cold out again and we may even get a dusting of snow later in the week..
    But ignoring the weather altogether our daffodils too have started to peep out of the ground.. they almost always come to early and get smothered by snow before spring is even here..
    I don't usually read by the season.. I just picked up Hunting and Gathering.. it's set in Paris about a group of unlikely people coming together.. I'm barely a chapter in but I have a good feeling about it.

  19. It's amazing how much further ahead your spring is compared to ours, even at the end of February! I love your busy, happy sounding post, and all these photos. Lately I am reading Mollie Makes after buying my first copy in about three years. x


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