Free Time…

It is another beautiful day and oddly Lily is not asking to go on a walk. She is in her yard lounging on a cool-a-roo listening to birdsong. The cats are in the catio bird watching, they were a rowdy bunch last night so the fact that everyone is so sedate today is not a surprise. I took advantage of their lazy demeanors and cleaned the house in record time which means that I have an entire afternoon to try to be creative. Yay! Now…what to create….?

What do you like to create when you find you have free time?

Cover Photo: Last painting I did for my grandma Martha. Was just learning to paint with watercolor with Kris VanBuren sometime in 2011-2012.

Spring Inspiration

March has been a bust, creatively speaking, I had good intentions but somehow the month has almost passed me by and I have nothing to show for it. I didn’t set a creative theme for March and I thought that I would finish projects that were left unfinished from last month and that was a hit and miss. I did (almost) finish my asymmetric shawl, I was taking the last photo before I did a bind off and blocked it and helper cat Ed came out of no where and somehow got tangled in it and I just couldn’t salvage it after that.

Here is the thing. It was my first asymmetric shawl and I had made several mistakes along the way. So, am I heartbroken that I had to frog it out after Ed tried to help me? Not really. Honestly I would have frogged it out anyway. I will try it again…someday…but just not right now. The sun is shining, The grass is coming out of dormancy, little signs of Spring are blooming here and there and I am inspired by the colors, the sunshine and the warmer (daytime) temperatures. The green variegated colorway of the yarn I had used for the shawl seemed so wonderful a few weeks ago but now that Spring has sprung it seems lackluster in comparison.

Lily and I have been taking little springtime strolls with my camera in tow. She naps after our walks and I work in the yard and the house…time to Spring Clean! Get into all those nooks and crannies that the gray days of winter hid. I will get back into my creative swing again. It’s hard not to with all the pops of color and birdsong. How are all of you doing creatively? Did you make anything? What creative things do you look forward to doing in the Spring?

Signs of Spring

Lily and I took a walk around the 2.5 acre wood this afternoon. It was wonderfully sunny, perfect in temperature and blissfully calm (no gusty winds). I don’t know who enjoyed the walk more? I enjoyed it because I have had invalid status for the past week or so after a slapstick comedy trip over cat, toy and finally Lily. It hurt to stand, hurt to sit; so after alternating ice and heat, doing stretches and trying to do absolutely nothing that might make my back worse it finally feels close to normal and I was dying to get out and today was perfect.

Lily loved it because we wandered in areas that she usually doesn’t have access to. Her little nose was working over time sniffing new smells and following critter trails. I discovered she likes the smell of Daffodils, who doesn’t? We watched a happy Hawk soar, listened to all the birds sing including some very raucous Canadian Geese. We followed some deer tracks and checked out some miniscule but vibrant flora taking a chance that winter might be on it’s way out.

It was a wonderful little walk. Now to clean up the house, catio (cat patio) and Lily’s yard because I am tired of her coming back into the house covered in leaves. The Oak trees are great but I have acorns and oak leaves in bushels.

The Shawl I was working on met an untimely demise. I was taking the last pics before binding off and blocking and my wonderful helper-cat, Ed, was more enthusiastic than normal and fell off the table along with shawl while I was putting my camera away. He freaked out got tangled in it and pulled it off the circular knitting needles…I tried to get it back on but sadly it was too much work and so I frogged it out. I will try again…hopefully without Ed’s help. I also think that it goes without mentioning that Ed is the cat I tripped over…he is sweet but just isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box.

Monday Mosaic: Birds, Bitter Cold and Coffee

We have known for awhile that another Artic Blast was coming and that this one would be the coldest one yet and it didn’t let us down. I actually prefer cold weather but I prefer that it not be so cold that I have to forego sleep just to make sure the house doesn’t burn down due to frisky cats knocking over space-heaters as they run amok playing their cat tag games.

Last night, I stayed awake until 2:00 a.m. (later than expected due to cat games) and I fully expected to sleep in this morning (didn’t happen, up early; Thank You Lily Chow!). My brain is still asleep, I have a headache and I have had too much coffee. The cats are all sleeping and Lily and I look like survivors from a train wreck. She tried to sleep last night but kept getting trampled by the cats. I think they did it on purpose because poor Lily moved to several different spots and they changed course to include her as a huge fluffy obstacle. Who Run this World…CATS!

Poor, Sleepy Lily Chow

I suppose the huge flock of birds that flew in the day before the Artic Blast could be viewed as a Hitchcock style omen…



It is going to be another cold night but I think I am going to bed early. Space-heaters will be turned off before bed so the cats can run all they want and I won’t have to worry. It’s a good thing they’re cute.

FebCC Challenges Due…

It is that time again; time to post our February Creative Challenges and thankfully, this week was better than last. It is still cold outside (snow and ice are joining the party) and the entire household has had the sniffles. Lily chow slipped on the ice the other day and pulled a muscle and I am helping her navigate otherwise she just goes in circles. So, I didn’t complete my mini challenge but I will show you what I have so far.

I knitted again this week. It is a warm and cozy thing, keeps my aging arthritic fingers nimble when it is cold/damp and it gives me some bright spring colorways to look at during the gray months. I have been dying to make a shawl. I can do a rectangular stole but I have to admit that just seems so basic compared to some the asymmetrical shawls that are out there. So, I decided that I would try a modified boomerang shawl. I have seen them called a Vortex, Dragon’s Tail, and Tornado. What ever you call it I gave it a try and I like it. I am keeping my stitches simple since I have never done this before.

It will probably be done by the end of the weekend and it will need to be blocked because it is curling but I will post pics once it is done.

March is here and it is time for a new Creative Challenge to begin and I think I am going to do away with the dedicated theme. I found that it stifled more than inspired. Perhaps, avoiding holidays as Challenge themes would help. Not sure. I, personally, found it difficult to stay motivated once the holiday was over.

Here is to a new month and new creative ventures. Come on Peeps, get your make on. March is going to be a freebie month. Pick your poison, make what you want to make.

Monday Mosaic: Scenes from the 2.5 acre wood

Last week was a bust on my end of the creative challenge and I am hoping that I can get myself back on track. It is incredibly windy here today which means there is cedar pollen blowing about and I have a bit of a spacey, balloon head feeling going on. It could be allergies, fatigue, barometric pressure changes, or all of the above. I am not going to complain because those winds have ushered in blue skies, and warmer temperatures…

Mini Challenge #3 is Due…

and sadly, I have nothing to share. It was one of those weeks. I met with a couple of people on Monday that had lost cats that resembled the one that has been living under my porch the past few weeks. Sadly, he was none of the missing pets and is still living under the porch albeit very well fed and we are slowly making friends.

Tuesday, I had a migraine and somewhere during that day the pump motor for our well fizzled out leaving me without water and a revolving door of plumbers and well-pump technicians. Process of elimination found the problem; weather meant finding gallon jugs of water at stores, in the meantime, was impossible and had to settle for little bottles (and was grateful for those). Friday, we finally got the pump replaced, water back and I spent the rest of the day scrubbing the house and myself down.

Hopefully, y’all had a better week than I did. If you were able to make something this week please share. Sunday kicks off mini-challenge #4…

Go! FebCC mini #3…

starts…NOW! Get those creative juices flowing. Make, Bake, Create something. Think outside the box or re-visit something you used to love to do. Use what you have available, no need to buy something new.

Last year, before Sus and I left India to come back home, I had decided I wanted less stuff cluttering up my life and wasting my time. I chose to try my hand at a minimalist lifestyle and to tell you the truth letting go of unnecessary stuff was exhilarating.

Here is where I ran into issues. I love to make things and I go through phases (this is an inherited trait prevalent on both sides of my family). My grandma Martha was the original Martha so move over M. Stewart. I don’t know if this was from necessity or because like most creative people I know; there is a curiosity and a need make things…whichever may be the case grandma inspired many in our family.

She definitely inspired me, which means I had trouble letting go of some arts and crafts related items. I had to think about those things that bring me joy, enough so, that I return to them repeatedly. It came down to Knitting, Painting and Photography. I kept things pertaining to these 3 loves and donated the rest. I am hoping that I don’t stray far from my intentions but it can be hard not to when the strangest things can inspire that urge to create the vision in your head.

What/Who inspires you? What are your go to forms of expression?

Saturday: FebCC mini #2

I was quiet this week, which actually had nothing to do with the FebCC or Valentine’s Day. It had everything to do with the 3 days of gloriously Spring like weather we had, unfortunately the grey, cold days of winter have returned.

This week I made something quick and easy…and used up some scrap yarn in the process. I made lace heart coasters. Keeps my hot tea hot (my work table has a metal top which I love…but isn’t conducive to keeping me or my hot beverages warm while I work).

I think I am going to have to make some sort of lightbox for photography on these overcast days. Lighting in this house is an issue; tiny house means tiny windows. I have been making do with the emergency light from our storm shelter, works great in a pinch.

Come on Peeps. share your Creative Challenge projects…..

Monday Mosaic: Ice and Aliens

It has been cold, colder than we are used to in Oklahoma which means that we are staying indoors more. I feel sorry for the outside critters so I have made sure that there is plenty of food to get them through the last few weeks of winter. The inside critters have been busy romping through the house, watching the outside animals/birds and Ancient Alien Marathons on television (they love it and I have been trying to understand what it is exactly about this show that appeals to them).

There was a little bit of sun and lots of cloudy, grey days, some rain and a drop in temperature and the world turned frosty:

The Cats and Lily watching Ancient Aliens:

Lily: It was a good marathon…let’s eat!

Today has been a bit warmer but we now have rain and fog, hoping we get the sun that is in the forecast for tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Monday Mosaic: Cold Outside but Cozy Inside

The latest winter weather bypassed us, we didn’t even get a dusting of snow, but we did get gusty winds and frigid temperatures. Great weather for curling up with some knitting. The pets are curled up in perpetual nap mode which means I might just get something made. Here is to cold weather, endless cups of hot tea, sleepy pets and lots of yarn to knit up.

When the fur kids weren’t napping there was a good deal of bird watching going on and a fair amount of television viewing. They love television and they all have favorite shows and luckily none of the favorites are cartoons; although I am still trying to figure out why four of them love the Ancient Aliens series….

Not aliens just birds….