unraveled wednesday | 4.17.19…

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Still recovering from Sunday’s 12K walkathon…adding yesterday, another 8K+. I normally average circa 5K on a daily basis, weather and other factors permitting. Today’s incentive: spend several [more] hours in my craft room, purging and reorganizing – bringing outer order and inner calm to my creative memory keeping environment as well as my mind.

Calmed and ready for a break – a treat – I journeyed to my favorite (and only) local coffee shop within walking distance. On the way there and back, I listened to the latest edition of What Should I Read Next ? ~ Modern Mrs Darcy podcast, episode 180. This week’s featured guest, Liberty Hardy, host of BookRiot’s All the Books podcast, read 600 books last year! Reading is her full time j-o-b! And then some! Can you imagine? I encourage you to listen to the podcast -even if you’re not a podcast listener. It was fun …and I’ve added Liberty’s fave author: Elizabeth McCracken’s Giant House: A Romance to my TBR list – I don’t usually read fiction in this genre but this one sounds like fun so I thought I might give it a try…any one read it already?

The Quilt Show is two weeks away, May 2-4, and I’ve just a few loose ends to tie up…but for all intent and purpose, I. am.ready.

Joining Kat and friends for another UW. What’s unraveling – or not – in your life these days?

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday | 4.3.19 …

As one can see, my main task today is TAXES! Fun – not… but I do have two new additions to MSQT: Austin Kleon’s Keep Going, released just yesterday and a new iPad mini, added to my collection of iToys, er iTools!

“Why the new mini?” inquiring minds want to know…several reasons:

  1. I had a previous mini, 3rd generation, I think; I gave it up for the iPadPro two years ago, primarily for the Apple Pencil feature: I can actually write using my own handwriting, always a plus in my column…
  2. I like the Pro (larger screen) well enough and also have a keyboard cover…problem is, it’s too big and doesn’t “port” easily enough…
  3. I read a review about a 10 days ago that gave the new mini not only highest remarks but also casually mentioned the Apple Pencil worked with it! SOLD! And so last Friday, when I went to pick up the new microwave oven I also got the new iPad mini, 5th generation!

I started Austin Kleon’s new book this morning; the subtitle is “10 ways to stay creative in good times and bad,” essentially establishing different habits! Austin, a writer, also draws and creates redacted poetry from newspaper articles.

Stitching continues on the quilts for the Quilt Show, just a month away. I’m stitching – by hand – the binding on the big quilt. That will pretty much wrap everything all up and I can focus more attention on making a few novelty items to sell – we have over a 1,000 ! – plus the quilting supplies, books, etc that no longer spark joy! At least, not for me!

The forecast today offers sunshine! Hope it’s yours too! Joining Kat and friends .

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday | 3.27.19…

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11 am

waiting for my friend Kathy who is driving in from Delaware…

listening to a variety of conversations in the background, accompanied by the PA system…

staring back at me: rows and rows of book stacks, filled with every subject imaginable…

remembering the many, many times, over years, that Kathy and I met here:

  • planning training that we provided new library staff workers in both DE and MD public libraries…
  • catching up and sharing stories of our own lives, our families, doings, comings, goings…

debating if I want a cuppa coffee, especially since I didn’t bring any tea bags…

pausing, thinking, about what I want to do next as I wait….

deciding coffee it is while I wait…

looking up and seeing her! She’s here!

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6 pm

I’m home. We had a wonderful time and sadly, as with all good things, the time came for us to bid adieu. We’ll meet again in the next six months. Can’t be too soon. And of course, before I left, I had to browse a bit and buy a few books…or so.

Joining Kat and others for another Unraveled Wednesday, here.

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday | 3.13.19 …

 

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… t’was a morning filled with lots of color, beginning with another spectacular sunrise. I can never see too many and am grateful for absolutely every one…

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… to add to my pleasure, my new Vera Bradley iPad case looked just stupendous with the yellow alstroemeria that are at least a week old… a flower bouquet I can never have too many and am grateful for absolutely every one that greets me in the morning…

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… after MSQT, I deliberately took myself to my sewing studio and “quilted” my second convergence quilt piece. The quilting – if you are not a quilter – is called stitch-in-the ditch and follows the seam lines of the quilted pieces. My next steps are:

  1. bury the threads from the quilting;
  2. sew the binding strips together;
  3. machine stitch one edge to the front of the quilt perimeter;
  4. decide whether to hand or machine stitch the back side of the binding.

I’m aiming to have this piece in the finished  column week’s end…

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…on the reading front, I finished Gretchen Rubin’s Outer Order Inner Calm. This is a quick read – just 215 pages filled with all sorts of pithiness – and one I think/expect to read more than once, again, soon! I was amused when I read the suggestion,  p.18: “Use technology to clear clutter. ” Gretchen asks: “Why hang on to possessions replaced by technology? and then states … “(Though it does seem like sacrilege not to own a physical copy of a dictionary.)  I so agree!

Time for me to create some order at my workstation, take a walk and listen to Gretchen’s latest Happier podcast, bury some threads on the convergence quilt  and tackle a few more items on my list. No time to procrastinate!

Joining Kat and friends here!

Cheers~

 

 

unraveled wednesday | 3.6.19…

 

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yesterday, our bi-monthly Recent Reads gathering; the time seemed to come by sooner than (I’d )expected. Friend Margaret, hostess, served a delicious meal of both books and food, introducing us to Will Schwalbe – be sure to watch the video on the page. Friend Doris read The Winter Soldier – it sounds intriguing. I’ve not read any fiction so far this year so I think I’ll add it to my TBR list… My whole reason for initiating Recent Reads was to help jumpstart me to resume reading the occasional fiction title.  So far this year, I think I’m batting zero …

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#blueskyblooms

home, the bright blue sky and warm-enough temps beckoned me for a quick walk to/through the park. I was delighted to see the pink blossoms on the trees against the bright blue sky!

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we watched our local PBS station’s fund drive last night~ featuring Norman’s favorite male crooner: Nat King Cole. Norman knows the lyrics to all Nat’s songs. As he – Nat, that is –  sang, I knit more rows on the log cabin blanket… a forever project  tho’ one that helps me sharpen basic knitting techniques and also, develop the habit of knitting/stitching while watching TV…Gretchen Rubin’s new book Outer Order, Inner Calm indeed did arrive…and I dipped a bit into it. It’ll be a quick read…and good!

today, for sure has been unraveled…starting with bright sunshine and a warm temperature of 29° F + wind, making it feel like a a warm/cold 18° F…just the invitation one – ahem, I – needed to stay in jammies & robe – making it a  s-l-o-w morning, er day… Lots of time spent researching, aka down a few YouTube holes. Pizza and champagne for our late  lunch …mainly because N was hungry and I have a 7:30 pm concert. Laundry done! Still have month’s expenses to tally…

Joining Kat and friends for today’s Unraveled Wednesday.

Cheers~

 

 

unraveled wednesday | 2.13.2019…

     All 24 quilt blocks are done: stitched together in six columns of six blocks each and seams pressed.*  Next steps:

  • 1 -join the six columns;
  • 2- buy backing (I looked  through my stash and didn’t find anything I really liked so I’ll stop at the quilt shop tomorrow after I meet with my Thurs stitching friends);
  • 3 – give to the long arm quilter to stitch her magic joining the three layers – top, batting and backing – together… and then
  • 4 – Voila, one quilt ready for the May quilt show and, and…
  • 5 – finish the two quilts on my design wall, also slated for the quilt show.

I’m about half through Digital Minimalism and discovered the other day I missed the author’s book signing last Sat, here in DC. He actually lives in Takoma Park, MD, a suburb of DC. Oh well… On my TBR list: 3 memoirs: Educated by Tara Westover; Inheritance by Dani Shapiro; and Anne Patchett’s Truth & Beauty.

As for knitting, I continue to stitch a row or several most days on the Christmas stocking and Log Cabin/ 9- patch lap robe. Waiting patiently in the wings is a project I promised myself I would not start until (if ever?) those two were nearly completed… I am seeing the end! I also have a couple other KNiPs ( knit projects in progress – or not) that need some attention; determined to do so in 2019!

Time to resume my stint at the sewing machine and even go for a walk – sun’s in/out today and the temps are in the high 40s! Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday!

Cheers~

*(the photo on the left is cloudy because the iron was steaming…)

unraveled wednesday | 2.6.19 …

 

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~oops, she made a mistook! ~ 

     This stitcher’s most coveted tool is her seam ripper… and she’s had plenty of practice using it over the past couple days. Stitching the blocks of a special quilt  she’s making. For some weird reason, she’s also being challenged in arranging the blocks in the proper order…discovered, of course, after a few have been stitched together! Nevertheless, she perseveres and progress is being made, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y. If all goes according to her intent, she will have completed sewing 12 (5 blocks to stitch) of the 24 blocks together TODAY!  Sew Honoré Sew!

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~often on her walks, she runs across a ‘free library’ ~

     This reader’s TBR queue is growing, almost daily. So many choices, so little time. Tho’ desired, one cannot do everything in any one single day, she reminds herself. One has to be a bit more discerning … She’s been thinking a lot about where she wants her reading to go and how to tackle the TBR queue. She’s not set a number of books to read in any given time period. When she was a child, the idea of reading a book perched in a tree or sitting by a fire at a ski lodge or on the beach  was very appealing. Alas, none of those desirable options are available today, either. She’s currently reading books relative to her 2019 word – habit – and zeroing in on memoir and an occasional fiction title – primarily as an audio book/walking companion. She received Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism yesterday, started it this morning …and had to force herself to close it…or nothing might’ve gotten done today, including the blog and the quilt blocks! Yep, she thinks it’s going to be that good!

So, it’s time for her to return to the sewing machine and quilt blocks…or perhaps, take a quick read with lunch. Heads or Tails???

Joining Kat and friends for today’s Unraveled Wednesday .

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday | 1.23.19 …

 

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Upon learning the sad news of Mary Oliver’s death last Friday, I pulled out her Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. *  The poems in this 2017 publication, include work from her very first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963, through Felicity, published in 2015. Mary arranged the poems in  Devotions. The first poem I turned to – on page 14 – was this:

 The Gift 

Be still my soul, and steadfast. Earth and heaven both are still watching though time is draining from the clock and your walk, that was confident and quick, has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let the heart still play its true part. Love still as once you loved, deeply and without patience. Let God and the world know you are grateful. That the gift has been given.”

Over the past few days I’ve read many tributes to Mary Oliver’s words of peace, quiet, gratitude, encouragement. I am saddened but heartened that we have the gift of  her words to console, guide and inspire us. Thank you Mary.

My reading queue continues to grow – tho’ I must admit that  over the past week, I’ve added more titles than words actually read.  Currently new “to read” includes Tara Westover’s Educated (via Audible) and Wabi Sabi by Beth Klimpton (print ). The back cover says wabi sabi teaches us to find more meaning and inspiration in our perfectly imperfect lives.

Knitting on the stocking, tho’ slow, continues; each stitch brings me closer to a fini! Also, over the past several days, I’ve been true to finding myself in my sewing room circa  9 am, honoring my commitment to stitch on a quilt I’m making for  ???  (name to be revealed at a later date).

Joining Kat and friends for this week’s edition of Unraveled Wednesday! Hop on over to see what others are making and reading.

Cheers~

* Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. Penquin Press, New York. 2017.

unraveled wednesday | 1.16.2019

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Between Döstädning and Snow (D & S) these first couple weeks of 2019, both knitting and reading have gotten short-shrift:

  • I’m still reading (i.e. listening) Becoming, enjoying and  savoring every word; however because of D & S, daily walks  have been fewer, shorter … I have the print version because pictures  – and also happens to be my preferred way to read.  My next walking companion: Educated by Tara Westover.
  • I did not make as much progress with the stocking as I’d intended but, progress was indeed made! And soon to be finished!  Quite a milestone after all these years!  My  plan for 2019 knitting falls under the category of finish ! More in a future post.

Joining Kat and friends for another week of Unraveled Wednesday!

Cheers~

PS. The clear library book bag in the photo was a birthday gift from friend MT – perfect for both books and knitting/quilting projects on the go!