Saturday, December 13, 2014

project 52: week 14

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.




What's New?
The energy at school this past week has been very frantic, and very high. I'm a little apprehensive of how the kiddos will be next week. But this is not my first rodeo, as they say, and I know it'll all turn out. The kids are just as excited about winter break as I am.

I pushed myself to ride the bus all week so that I could get some much-needed knitting done, and also to help preserve my sanity. No matter how strange or obnoxious the other bus riders are, it's still so much easier on my tired brain than driving in rush-hour traffic. Since I rode all five days this past week, I treated myself to a Starbucks holiday latte Friday morning on my walk from the bus stop to my school. I'm going to try to ride the bus all of next week, too. I think buying a skein of yarn from the local yarn store near my school would be good motivation to ride all five days.

I've been trying to be very mindful of my surroundings these days. I know it's easy to get consumed by responsibilities, projects, work, and well... stress. But there's something magical in the changing of the seasons, and all the cultural accompaniments that they entail. Lately that's manifested in paying close attention to all the twinkly lights going up around town. I notice them as I drive, and much more as I walk. The third picture is an early-morning attempt to photograph a house I pass by each morning on my way to work. Apparently I moved the camera before it was finished capturing the image, but I think it still looks interesting.

Currently Reading
I'm at 96% in my book... I just need more time to read. I might not finish before winter break. Things are just getting too hectic right now.

On the Needles
Finishing up the last two hats for my nephews. I started the last two and have been saving the double-point needle part for this weekend. It's just too hard to do that on the bus, at least to do it well.

Looking Forward To
  1. winter break

Saturday, December 6, 2014

project 52: week 13

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.

Winter gifts for my niece and nephews.
Afternoon sunlight in my science classroom (we're learning how to make microscope slides).
What's New?
This past week has been rough. I've been burning the candle at both ends - spending too much time at work (both with meetings and general prepping), along with an increasing sense of frustration at the terrible events happening around the country. Amid all the negative, unproductive, victim-blaming, and generally unhelpful dialogue on the internet I came across this article that deals with the science of how our brains perceive race. The scientist in me finds it fascinating, of course, but more importantly the article sheds light on what to do about unintentional racism in our brains. I'm willing to admit that I have unintentional racism (I think we all do, to be quite honest), as long as there exists strategies to combat it. Otherwise it's just too depressing and overwhelming.

With all that's been going on, I'm especially looking forward to spending time with dear friends today at the Urban Craft Uprising. We're meeting for brunch and then spending some time browsing for gifts. I love seeing what creative people come up with, and using my few precious dollars to support crafty individuals instead of mega-corporations. It'll be a great time, I'm sure.

Currently Reading
Still working my way through Anne Rice's The Witching Hour. The only time I have for reading is right before bed, so it's taking me much longer than usual.

On the Needles
Working on hat #3 out of 4. My goal is to get them packaged and shipped (with the pj pants) by next weekend. Last year I waited much too long to send gifts and I ran into predictably long lines and higher prices at the post office.

Looking Forward To
  1. my friends' yearly Swedish Christmas party

Saturday, November 29, 2014

project 52: week 12

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.

Flannel fabric and library movies.
Friday was filled with ironing, pinning and cutting.
I tried to make my pie look pretty with tiny leaf cookie cutters. I'll try again next year.
What's New?
After a low-key Thanksgiving dinner with my husband and in-laws, I started on my sewing projects for this year's holiday gifting. I set out to make pajama pants for all four kiddos this year. So while Joe was at work Friday I put on Lee Daniel's The Butler (excellent movie!) and starting ironing, measuring, pinning, and cutting. By the time I went to bed I was probably only halfway finished. I decided to use some coordinating solid flannel for the cuffs, so Saturday morning I headed back to the fabric store. I hope to finish sewing this weekend before heading back to work.

Currently Reading
I'm almost three-quarters of the way through Anne Rice's The Witching Hour.

On the Needles
I finished the second of four holiday hats for the kids. Now I need to decide on colors for the next one so I can cast on and get started. I think I'm going to continue the trend and knit all four hats from the same pattern.

Looking Forward To
  1. Urban Craft Uprising


Saturday, November 22, 2014

project 52: week 11

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.




What's New?
This past week we geared up for student conferences at the same time we geared down for Thanksgiving break. It's an odd feeling - of being pulled and pushed at the same time. Saturday morning I arrived at school for conferences just as the sun was rising, but there were so many clouds it was hard to tell. I decided to walk around Green Lake since I was so early, and during my walk I was gradually able to see more as the light changed. There were large groups of mallards rooting around the grass, noisy crows in the trees, and more humans than I expected that early on a Saturday. I saw quite a few fisherman (including one who had just caught a fish), large groups of joggers that looked like they were part of a Meetup, and quite a few solitary walkers.

Currently Reading
Still working my way through Anne Rice's The Witching Hour, and still loving it.

On the Needles
I finished a hat for my niece! Now I only have three more to go. A coworker of mine gave me some yarn she no longer wanted (something about cleaning out her stash... probably a good thing for most knitters to do occasionally), and in those bags of yarn I've found excellent choices for hats. I may get away with knitting all four hats without a visit to the yarn store. Pretty frugal, environmental, and exciting if you ask me.

Looking Forward To
  1. holiday cooking & baking

Saturday, November 15, 2014

project 52: week 10

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.


First weekday morning frost. The light shining through the window is from a security light, not the sun.
 What's New?
It's beginning to feel a lot like... deep autumn. We reached freezing temperatures at night this week, with daytime highs in the 40's. We're down to nine and a quarter hours of daylight (our shortest is about eight and a half). Our space-heaters are getting a workout. I set up our tiny crock pot for hot beverages (we alternate between spiced apple cider and mulled wine). All the blankets are on the bed. Cats are becoming more interested in laps and snuggles. Soup is becoming a prominent weekly meal.

Currently Reading
Still making my way through Anne Rice's The Witching Hour. I swear if I had a day off I would just sit and read until my eyes hurt! I'm about halfway through at this point, and I blame this book on my lack of sleep. My habit is to read in bed every night, even if it's just a paragraph. But since I started this book I read for hours before finally realizing that my wake-up time is drawing dangerously near. Still, it's a good problem to have.

On the Needles
I've picked up my Hue Shift Afghan again and am nearly finished with the second of four panels. It's a comforting knit, easy on the brain, perfect for television viewing.

This weekend I'm picking up some yarn for niece and nephew holiday hats, although I haven't decided on patterns yet. Here are some possibilities. I've knit both the Hurricane Hat, and the Barley before, and I really like both patterns. I think the Ear Flap Hat would be cute for my youngest nephew.

Clockwise from upper left (Hurricane Hat, Declan's Hat, Garter Ear Flap Hat, Barley). Photos from Ravelry.com
I'm also going flannel shopping this weekend so I can sew up some pajama pants for my niece and nephews. I started doing this almost yearly when my oldest nephew was young. Now I have four kiddos to sew and knit for (and soon to be five!).

Looking Forward To
  1. getting started on holiday projects
  2. a week off from school

Saturday, November 8, 2014

project 52: week 9

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.

Beautiful and cold Friday. There were no pictures on Thursday, because weather.
What's New?
I made it back from outdoor school in one piece. We had some pretty intense weather this trip. High winds, rain falling sideways, white caps on the lake, falling trees and branches in the forest, closed highway (due to falling trees). And then Friday, our departure day, was a cold but beautiful sunny day.

Currently Reading
Anne Rice has me in her spell again. I've pretty much abandoned my other reads (although I know I'll pick them up again later). There is something about the way she writes that just sucks me in completely.

  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
  • Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

On the Needles
I started and finished another Hurricane Hat while at outdoor school this week, using some of my leftover green Cascade 220. This one was another practice hat in anticipation of holiday knitting. I hope to find out colors and sizes soon for the little people in my life. Otherwise they'll get my best guess.

I also started some mason jar cozies. Some will be for me, and some for gifting. I think a mason jar, a cozy, and a cuppow would make a great gift.

Looking Forward To
  1. using up some of the eleventy-billion apples I have in storage (I'm thinking of apple pie filling, apple crisp, and maybe some more applesauce)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

project 52: week 8

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.

Pretty much every day this week.
What's New?
This past week has been filled with rain, yarn, and sickness. The bug I caught at the end of last week has held on, despite my best efforts. I took two days off work this week, which pretty much never happens. I made and ate chicken noodle soup, drank copious amounts of tea, took over the counter medication, rested every chance I got, and even ventured into herbal remedies. Still, it hangs on. I lost my voice completely for three days!

I'm gearing up to return to outdoor school, this time with my 6th graders. There is no tent camping on the menu for this trip, just warm cabins. I think I can do it, but I'd sure like to be well. We'll see.

Currently Reading
Even as I'm technically in the middle of three books, the reality is that I've been solely reading one in particular this past week. The world of Anne Rice is just so enticing, especially now that I've actually been to New Orleans. I completely understand the allure and magic of that place. It's just so other-worldly. The gas lamps, the Spanish moss, the crypts, the colonial architecture, the towering trees...

  • The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
  • Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

On the Needles
It's hat-making time. Sometimes I just get a hankering to knit a particular thing, regardless of whatever projects are currently on the needles. So while I await instructions from family about color and size preference for my niece and nephews, I'm busy turning leftover balls of yarn into a variety of hats. So far I've knit a hat for myself with leftover yarn from my fingerless gloves, and another with leftover yarn from a sleep sack I made for baby Mason.

Looking Forward To
  1. being well
  2. visiting the rain-forest again