hello new year!

I’m feeling quite refreshed after taking a break. I had my computer turned off for at least a solid week, which is nothing short of a miracle. I did sneak a moment here and there on my ipad, but overall my effort to disconnect was successful, and my chi feels good.

 

While unplugged, my biggest goal was probably not to obsess over my schedule, making lists, or filling every moment with something productive. Aside from a couple of personal projects in mind, I just wanted to let go and enjoy. Some highlights were getting lost in good reading, knitting on a project that had gone totally dormant, spending time with family and friends, baking, sewing, and even getting lost in a 24 marathon. It’s been good.

 

Cue the visuals.

 

Shrug update: She’s being blocked, which means I’m closing in on the finish line. It’s always amazing to me how much lace opens up when blocked–a good reminder since I’m always tempted to skip this step. (Try to ignore the heinous pink towel and shoddy blocking system.)

 

blocked shrug

 

Single girl‘s got some new additions. It’s fun being able to work in some architextures.

 

 

single girl rings

I’ve been page-turning to Kaffe Fassett, vegan ultramarathoning, and industrialized fashion (not pictured). All very enjoyable.

 

reading book pile

 

Craft-wise, I’ve got a stack of flagged pages and projects from some recent acquisitions. (Apparently I’ve got a Japanese obsession going on. What can I say?)

 

craft book pile

 

And I’ve even gotten a start on a tunic from the Stylish Dress book (on top). I need to work out a few alterations, so it’s gonna hang for a bit while I ponder on that. The tea calendar was something I picked up at Quilt Market from Spoonflower. All it needed was some architextures binding to finish it off, which miraculously felt like the thing to do one afternoon.

 

tunic in the making

 

So, lesson learned that breaks are good. I’m feeling pumped to start a new year off with some energy and excitement for whatever it may bring. I’ve taken time to review the good stuff of 2012 and will continue to map out goals for 2013. I do love my goals.

 

Hope you are able to do some of the same. Happy New Year!

 

 

book love: toxic traveling and other recent reads.

Lately I’ve been working on lots of new stuff, which is exciting. But unfortunately none of it is at that sharing stage yet, so I thought I’d take a quilting detour and share some of the good reads that I’ve gotten into this summer.

visit sunny chernobyl

When it comes to finding a good book there are certain topics and authors that I love, but I also like playing the luck of the new releases at the library. I’ve found some great books this way, and I just finished one of them–Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell. I can be a sucker for environmental stuff, and this one is a little different and quite special. First, it’s funny. Blackwell has an awesome writing style and great sense of humor. He travels to some completely horrific places, but describes his journeys in a way that makes me laugh–and think. His story is personal, passionate (but not at all preachy), thoughtful, and thought-provoking. He strikes an amazing balance while raising some worthwhile questions.

 

Two others also stood out for me this summer–Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Was she talking directly to me?) and The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay (an appropriately timed birthday read as I turned the big 2-8 this summer).

 

And then for pure enjoyment I should mention that I read Joan Rivers’s latest book. It was a bit of a guilty pleasure, but she lightened up my summer in a much-needed way. There’s always some value in that.

 

Hopefully you’ve also had some literary luck this summer. Feel free to share any of your own recent book love.

 

 

 

great catch.

 

I absolutely love this.

 

girl with her fish

 

I don’t normally follow the local freshwater fishing, but I do always flip to the back of the sports section for the business news, and this article caught my eye. The caption is great. How cool is it that this little 9 year old and her “Shakespeare Scooby-Doo combo” caught this big fish? Well done, sister.

 

Just goes to show that you can do great things working with what you’ve got.