Friday, December 31, 2010

small words for a new year

The weather changes, and the snow falls finally, here in Denver. Snow piles up on our windowpanes, like something out of an old christmas card.

I should have taken a picture. It was beautiful this morning, all soft, quiet, and white.

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2010 has, arguably, been the most difficult year of my life. I know I'm not alone in that - I read so many blogs, I hear so many people say it, my friends write me letters, and they all say the same thing. This year has been difficult. I recognize that, and I honor your courage and hope.

There was beauty, too. Growth in the struggle. There were times in the thick of it, when I was drowning in everything going on in my life, when I would say to myself "You have always stretched enough to become what you need to be. This time will be no different."

Then, I would swim to shore. It was always there when I looked.

I wish you all an amazing new year. Full of dreams, of love, and most of all of grace that sustains you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

50 Crafts in 50 Weeks...or whatever gets you crafting!

I suppose it's time to announce my intentions for my new years resolutions. Along with learning (more) Spanish and rocking my student teacher placement, I've decided to set a goal of making 50 craft things this year.

I have had a serious craft lull in the last two years - lack of motivation, equipment, time, stability, routine...all these things have cut into my ability to sew, knit, create, write, drink giant cups of tea in the morning, and I'd like to introduce those things back into my life.

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So, I challenged myself to make 50 crafts in this coming year, which is about one a week. Larger projects I want to accomplish (like the 18th C. digs I've been working on) will be broken down into smaller pieces - embroidered cuffs are split into two weeks, for example, and then the shift is a third week. I also have small "one afternoon" projects, like a knitted cowl and a needle book, in there for crafting reprieve.

I have a few people who have expressed interest in joining me with various versions of this - one, for example, suggested she would like to do 26 crafts in 52 weeks, finishing something every two weeks. A few more preferred the "craft once a week" instead of "finish something every week" version, which is great too - anything that gets you working!

If you would like to join, please let me know! I'd be honored to link to your blog/blog posts, and I'll be keeping all my entries with the links in a sidebar here for quick reference!

My first craft will be starting the week of January 2nd, and it's "Finish the green sweater." So, as you see...you can use this challenge to finish some UFOs!

**Update**

I have some people joining me and a few even willing to blog about it!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Falcon - Milwaukee

My mom, sister, and I went out window shopping the other day in the Third ward of Milwaukee. I had spent lots of time there as a college student, eating, drinking, shopping, attending weddings, sailing through on the river...but when I went back, as usual, everything had changed. Old stores were closed, new stores had opened, and a few of my favorites like Coquette Cafe (the only place in the entire world that can make mushroom dishes I like) were still there.

We checked out most of the new stores, and stumbled into Falcon at 315 North Broadway.

Christmas Trip to Milwaukee, 2010Christmas Trip to Milwaukee, 2010

I don't normally feature stores on my blog but once in awhile you find a treasure, and when I walked into Falcon I immediately approached the patient sales woman to ask if I could take a few pictures for my blog, because I wanted to show you all the loveliness of Falcon!

Christmas Trip to Milwaukee, 2010Christmas Trip to Milwaukee, 2010

I'm a sucker for great staging and the first thing that caught my eye were the incredible displays - lines of vintage baby clothes, jewelry displayed on antique stereo cards, jars of vintage toys, and all sorts of other neat finds. Falcon took antiques, midcentury items, super modern things, and threw them into a lovely cream city brick building in the best way possible. Everything purposeful and beautiful and nothing cluttered.

Christmas Trip to Milwaukee, 2010

If you ever get a chance to visit (or you live in Milwaukee!) go ahead and take a visit down to Falcon.

Christmas Trip to Milwaukee, 2010

Christmas Trip to Milwaukee, 2010


(Note: They didn't ask me to say this...I approached them! So I get no benefit from this! Promise! I just fell in love with the store.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas, not in front of the camera.

I flew to Milwaukee for Christmas...

Christmas Trip to Milwaukee, 2010

I spent a lot of time with my precious family - Mom, Dad, JR, and my little sister, C, who recently moved back from Morocco.

Christmas Trip to Milwaukee, 2010

Instead of worrying about making sure I had blog photographs, I just existed. I knitted. I laughed. I cried. I saw friends. I wrote letters. I had fantastic conversation and more cups of tea than I care to count.

It was perfect.



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Evening Hymns...


Good for snowy, quiet evenings.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Late 18th C. Stays

Just finished these this evening.

Late 18th C. StaysLate 18th C. Stays

Late 18th C. StaysLate 18th C. Stays

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hot Springs...

What do you do when you are a Wisconsin girl and there hasn't been any snow all winter?

Well...you just drive a few hours west and you'll find that snow!

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JR and I drove up to the mountains this weekend because we had a few days off with nothing to do. It was just an over night trip, so we didn't do much, but we were able to go to a Hot Springs...

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We left about six o' clock, so it was really, really dark and about 9 degrees outside. The springs complex has no electricity, so you take a flashlight on the hike down (watching out for the ice!). Hopefully you've put your bathing suit on under your clothes so you can just stand at the edge of the springs, pull off your top layers, and hop on in to the pools.

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Once you're in you warm up quickly - the pools sit at about 105F, and there is a cold pool that's about 40F. The water comes out of the spring at 148F, but they mix it with icy water from the creek to bring the temperature down. It's pretty much the most relaxing thing ever...I think I could have fallen asleep there, and the steam from the springs helped clear the congestion from the cold I'm getting over.





Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Settling...

All those hopes and anxieties that were floating around have come to settle.

I'm not saying things will be any easier now than they were last week, but they are a lot easier to manage now that I'm nestled into a place like this:

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Sorry for the long absence - I was moving, and the internet wasn't hooked up properly in this old, old building.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Trimming the (borrowed) Tree!

Since we have no home to decorate, we have been taking advantage of other people's willingness to let us barge in on their tree and house trimming traditions!

My friend Isabelle made it very easy to get our decorating in - she hosted at tree trimming party at her house, and if you know Isabelle, when she says "I'm hosting a party," you RSVP right away!

Tree Trimming party!Tree Trimming party!

Tree Trimming party!

Tree Trimming party!

Tree Trimming party!

Tree Trimming party!

Isabelle knows how to throw a party, and this one included hand made paper chains, singing carols around the piano (easy music, as none of us play very well...), stringing cranberries and popcorn, and of course, the most darling box of vintage ornaments to hang on the tree!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Philly

Two days in Philly

My husband grew up just south of the city of Philly, along the Delaware/Pennsylvania border. Despite having known him for years, and being married to him for over a year now, I had never made it into the actual city of Philly!

Two days in Philly

After making a stink about it, both my Brother in Law and my Father in Law took the opportunity to take me to Philly so I could say I had been there!

Two days in Philly

Anybody who knows me knows I'm a history buff, and I love nothing more than to immerse myself in things from long ago. Philadelphia has a special place in my heart because it's the American center of Quakerism, my worship style of choice.

Two days in Philly

I don't feel like I really got to know Philly but it was a great little taste of a city that so perfectly blends the old and new!

Two days in Philly

I'm sure I'll be back...


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