Sunday, December 31, 2023

Continuing with my crafts

Being stuck inside because it is cold has helped unleash some more creativity. I finished 2 projects yesterday.

I also continue to work on my crocheted mosaic blanket. I found out that if I only move the progress keeper every Monday, I see that I’m making progress. When I move it every day, it doesn’t seem like I’m doing much and I get discouraged. I think since I’ve been working on it these past 2 weeks, it has doubled in size.

I finished my watercolor painting of the American Goldfinch. It wasn’t as good as the Vermillion Flycatcher but I noticed I had trouble with the feathers on both of them. That is something I will need to practice.

I also finished my embroidery project. It is amazing how things get finished if I stick with them. I don’t know if I will do another one when I get back to SC (that’s where the material is). I may look at some of the free DMC patterns I downloaded to see if any of them inspire me.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Bringing Out Old Projects

Yesterday I started with a new creative strategy. Two days ago I saw this YouTube video pop up in my feed about Morning Pages and it had me curious about them. I watched about 4 different videos on the subject after that and decided to give it a try. Yesterday was my first day and even though I didn’t have a notebook or journal, I used a spiral memo book that I had on hand. I had no trouble filling up 4 pages of it and I did it again today without any trouble. I guess today, I will go find a notebook to write in. 

Since it was rainy most of the day yesterday, I was stuck indoors so I decided to pull out my watercolor paints. I painted a Vermillion Flycatcher while watching the tutorial by Allison Lyons. It came out pretty good. 

Then after lunch, I looked for yarn for a shawl project I want to start in the New Year. I didn’t find any yarn I liked for the project so I’m glad I ordered 4 skeins from 4 different dyers and hope one of them will arrive soon. Instead of yarn, I found the embroidery project I thought I had left back in South Carolina and worked on it all afternoon. I enjoyed doing that also.  

I’m not sure if writing the morning pages helped me feel more creative or if I was just bored and wanted to do something different. I will keep doing them since I have enjoyed the two days that I’ve done so far. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Well, it is that holiday season again so I thought I’d update you about our 2023 year. 

Early in the year, we were in Florida and cruised for a week on the MSC Divina in January. It was good to visit with our friend Guglielmo, the hotel director on the ship. 

February was a quiet month. We attended regular meetings of the Cresthaven Stamp Club and the Tropical Postcard Club. 

In March, our niece, Deanna invited us to spend the week in Orlando to watch her daughter,  Kaeli in a college softball tournament. We had a wonderful time and the weather was perfect. I had forgotten how much I missed softball games. 

March meant that it was warming up in Florida so we did our last-minute things to get the house ready to close it up for the summer. 

On the first weekend in April, we headed back to South Carolina. A broken water pipe welcomed us home but it was repaired quickly on that Monday. We spent a lot of time preparing the camper for an upcoming camping trip.  At the end of the month, we went camping in the Smokies and enjoyed our trip. We missed the mountains while we were in Florida. 

Don had hand surgery in May and so was unable to do much for a couple of weeks while he healed from the surgery. It corrected his Dupuytren’s Contracture of his pinky finger on his left hand. It went really well and he is now able to use his hand much better. I finally talked Don into buying a riding lawn mower and we bought a zero-turn John Deere mower. 

In June, we went on a road trip heading to Minnesota. We drove through Missouri and were able to visit my friend Cindy at Laumiere Park. We also stopped in Springfield, IL to visit the Lincoln Presidential Library as well as the Lincoln home before he became President. Next, we went to Peoria, IL, and went to the Caterpillar Visitor Center. Those big tractors were amazing to see! Then we spent a few days around Moline, IL, and Davenport, IA to learn more about John Deere machinery. We even took a tour of the John Deere Plant in Davenport. At the end of the month, we ended up in Rochester, MN for the Zombie Knitpocalypse knitting retreat. 

On the way home, we stopped in Elkhart, IN to visit the RV Hall of Fame that we had visited years ago. We still enjoy seeing how RVs have changed throughout the years. Next, we stopped at the Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, OH. Our original plan was to head north to Cuyahoga National Park but due to the Canadian wildfires, the air quality was too dangerous so we headed home. 

July was quiet for us. This was the first July in years that I hadn’t had to teach a Furman course. We don’t usually go far from home because of the crowds and the heat. 

In August, we went on a  cruise to the British Isles and Iceland on the Holland America Nieuw Statendam. We flew to Copenhagen and we were on the ship for a month. It was an amazing trip and I loved the cool temperatures. I’m so glad we got to see Iceland because they were having problems with earthquakes and volcanoes after we left. It seemed to take a long time to get over jet lag! 

In September, we started to prepare for our trip to Florida for the winter. We finished up with scheduled doctors and dentist appointments. At the end of September, we went to the Blue Ridge Parkway for the Spartanburg Knitting Guild knitting retreat. 

In the middle of October, we headed to Florida so we could help with the Fall Stamp Show and the Fall Postcard Show. Then we flew to Valencia, where we boarded the MSC Magnifica for a cruise to the Mediterranean and a transatlantic cruise to Miami for a month. Our wonderful neighbor, Bob, took us to the airport in October and picked us up at the port in Miami in November. 

It felt good to be back on land and back to a normal routine. Don was thrilled to be back with his postal collection and I loved sitting on my front porch knitting. 

December had us putting up Christmas decorations. I am still using the tabletop tree that my dad and Marge used for years. One year, I knit Christmas ornaments to put on it. We also put up the same outside lights that they used. It brings back such wonderful memories of our Christmases together.  On each side of the tree, I hung up stockings that my mother knit for us the year we got married. 

I hope this year has been for you and your family. May the new year bring you lots of happiness and good health. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Holiday Decorating

 Last week we did some Christmas decorating. I use the tabletop Christmas tree my father and stepmother used every Christmas. I added my own knit ornaments to the tree. On each side of the tree are the Christmas stockings my mother knit for us the first Christmas after we were married (1982). Outside I use the lights and decorations that my father and stepmom used and I love the memories all of these bring. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

November 2023 Photo A Day Project

I’m still enjoying my Photo a Day project on Flickr. I find it helpful to look at other people’s photos and see what I like about them, what makes them stand out to me, and the composition of the photo. I believe these will help me take better photos. 

Here are my photos from November

1. 11/1/23 Rainbow, 2. 11/2/23 Morning Sky, 3. 11/3/23 Gnome At Sea, 4. 11/4/23 Alcazaba, 5. 11/5/23 Sunset, 6. 11/6/23Canapes, 7. 11/8/23 Funchal, Portugal, 8. 11/7/23 Robot, 9. 11/9/23 Yuri, 10. 11/10/23 Morning Sky, 11. 11/11/23 Cappucino Swan, 12. 11/12/23 Cocktail party, 13. 11/13/23 Yuri, 14. 11/14/23 Gifts, 15. 11/15/23 St. Maarten Sign, 16. 11/16/23 Having a Whale of a Time!, 17. 11/17/23 San Juan, Puerto Rico, 18. 11/18/23 Red sky at morning..., 19. 11/19/23 Trampoline Artists, 20. 11/20/23 Miami, 21. 11/21/23 Lunch at Oriental Plaza, 22. 11/22/23 Lighthouse, 23. 11/23/23 Sunset, 24. 11/24/23 Miami, 25. 11/25/23 Alligator, 26. 11/26/23 Christmas suit, 27. 11/28/23 Stamp Club, 28. 11:27/23 Snake plant bloom, 29. 11/29/23 relaxed kitty, 30. 11/30/23 Fluffy clouds

Friday, December 1, 2023

2023 Goals Review for November

For most of the month of November, we were on a cruise ship. We left Valencia, Spain and arrived in Miami on November. 24. 

1. Learn something new. - I learned Tunisian crochet to make a couple of dishcloths. I’m still practicing my watercolor painting and my ukulele.

2. Knit at least 1 sweater - I finished with my sweater. (Collins Tee)

3. Yarn - more out than in (use more yardage than I buy) – I finished 2 projects on the cruise. 

●  Yarn used - 10737 yds.

●  Yarn bought - 9009

3. Complete a shawl - I finished my Shawlography shawl

4. Try 4 new recipes. - I couldn’t cook on a cruise ship. LOL

5. Stretch regularly (at least 20 days out of the month) - We are walking and exercising regularly

6. Create at least 2 scrapbook pages each month. - Made 0 pages in November.  (Total - 82)

7. Participate in the Photo a Day challenge – Completed through November. 

8. Read the Bible every day. - yes

9. Read 100 books - Read 14 in January, 2 in February, 6 in March, 5 in April. 4 in May, 3 in June,  3 in July, 12 in August, 20 in September,  10 books in October, 15 books in November (Total: 91)

10. Read 12 nonfiction books. – (Total: 11).

-   Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today by Valerie Bertinelli

-   Prince William: The Man Who Will Be King by Penny Junor

-   I Still Believe: A Memoir by Jeremy Camp

-   Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

-  I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

-  Nowhere for Very Long by Brianna Madia

-  My Extraordinary Ordinary Life by Sissy Spacek

-  Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

-  No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox

-  Spare by Prince Harry

-  John le CarrĂ©: The Biography by Adam Sisman

What are your goals for this year? Please share.