Wednesday, July 1, 2015

chasing shade and other distractions

I have been a bit off my running game of late but today, I didn't need to leave home until 9:30 am so I grabbed my running shorts and on just one cup of coffee, went for a run.  I run on a trail by a river and I have two choices, north or south.  Today I chose south because I knew there would be more shade and even at 6 am, it was getting hot.  I tried not to pay attention to my pace, just keeping my head up, lifting my knees, and remembering to smile and greet the other early morning runners and walkers.  It was a good choice.
I rode my bike the other evening and was happy to be back on my wheels.  A great option when a morning run isn't possible.
I have been working on a black, ribbed hat and the dark yarn is really hard on my eyes so I am pulling out a recent acquisition and pondering a new project.  I bought this yarn at a little store in Port Gamble when I was on quilt retreat.  It is baby alpaca and silk, hand dyed (I got to meet the dyer) and there are 500 yards on the skein.  I have two of Helen Stewart's lovely shawls in my library that would look beautiful in this year.
I finished All the Light We Cannot See (LOVED IT!) so it is time for one of the many books on my Kindle.  I think I will read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  I recently listed to One Plus One by the same author and enjoyed the story and the style. 

I am also enjoying some wonderful journalling inspiration on Instagram lately and plan to pull out my colored pencils and pens to jazz up my July calendar. 
Today I am linking up with Ginny and a gathering of knitters who read.  Go for a peek but be warned, your reading list will multiply!

Monday, June 29, 2015

maybe it was the frog, maybe it was the heat . . .

or maybe a bit of each.  Whatever switched on the motivation switch, I am happy to have some finished objects to share.

This lovely little quilt, about 36x45, had been languishing on a shelf for at least 10 years.  I made the wonky bull's eye circles as a test for a going off to college quilt.  (I ended up using black backgrounds for that one.)  I had planned to applique some big, wonky flowers but in the end, I decided it was fun just as it is.  This was the first project I worked on at quilt retreat.  I got as far as hand stitching the binding but I did not have good light so I brought it home and set it on the end table.  Yesterday I sat on the deck and took advantage of the light to get the binding stitched up.  Not sure where this will end up but it is finished.

I have been following some very creative journal keepers on Instagram and many of them use a Midori Traveler's journal.  I do like the look of these journals and the fact that they hold different notebooks.  But I am pretty invested in my Moleskine journals.  After a bit of research, I realized that my journals would not fit in the Midori cover so the only thing to do was to make my own cover.  I found a few tutorials for DIY journal covers online (you can find tutorials for just about anything these days) and in about an hour, I had my journal cover completed.  I was able to use up come lovely fabric from my stash and (after I took the pictures) found some Sue Spargo ribbon to jazz it up a bit.  My cover holds three-four Moleskines which is perfect!

And just to add a bit more color to this post, how about a Green Smoothie Challenge?  I am signed up for Jen and Jadah's challenge that begins July 1.  I have done this before and it is a great way to accumulate new smoothie recipes.  Visit the Green Smoothie Challenge website to sign up for weekly shopping lists and recipes.  And let me know if you are participating.  P.S. the challenge is FREE!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Do you have a frog you need to eat?

At some point this week, probably when I was avoiding some task I didn't want to start or finish, I read this post on Kathy's blog.  I jumped over to watch the video and then I was off to read Debra's post.  For the next few days I kept coming back to this idea.  What is my frog?  What is the most difficult or least enjoyable item on my list today?  And if I tackled that one thing, would it free up some brain and body energy? 
Summer break is just beginning for me and it won't be the usual break.  Normally I can walk away from my office at the end of June and return in early August without too much thinking about work.  This has been a different kind of school year and there are many little things that need tending.  So I will work a bit each week at school.  I am actually pretty excited about this work.  It is the kind of work that is done best when the school is quiet and pretty empty (no kids or teachers at least). 
But back to my frog (or perhaps frogs).  Before I left for quilt retreat, I pulled out a bunch of boxes that contained fabric and projects that I no longer love.  I sorted and sorted and came away with three tops that will be wonderful to machine quilt and donate and a set of blocks that have great potential.  I have one box of red, grey, and black fabric that will make a great top.  The rest I folded neatly and placed in bags for the donation shop. (I didn't get rid of all my fabric, just the stuff in these long neglected boxes!)  Someone will love this stuff and it is one less frog I need to eat.
This weekend is too hot for being in the sewing room so I am bringing my bindinig and reading out to the deck and savoring the slight breeze and shade and doing some slow stitching and pondering.  What frog will I eat next?

****linking up with Kathy's Slow Stitching group today

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Books and Yarn

Summer is prime reading time for me.  I opened this book on Friday morning and was immediately drawn into the story.  I love the characters, the setting, the writing, and the lovely, short chapters.  I have quite a stack of books that I am planning to read this summer - sitting the deck with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine by my side.
My current knitting is not very interesting.  I got frustrated with too many unfinished projects, put aside without making a note on the pattern so I was completely lost when I picked them up again.  So I did a bit of un-knitting and cast on a simple black hat that I had promised to knit last winter.  Once I am finished with this, I hope to cast on one of the many shawl patterns in my queue.

Visit Ginny's blog to find out what others are reading and knitting this week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

cookbooking and binding

I have quite a stack of cookbooks on my shelf.  I thought this summer would be a good time to dig into them and try some new recipes.
First up, The New Basics Cookbook.  I love just looking at this cookbook, great illustrations and lots of basic, background information.  I am going to spend some time with the chicken recipes in this one.  I would love to see what cookbooks are on your shelf.

On the quilting front, I am about halfway around on a lap quilt that I machine quilted at the retreat.  I have two more tops in my car and hope to find some backing for them this week.  Stay tuned for some finished project photos this weekend.