November 2018 Recap

Ahem Ahem!

Both the latter half of October and the first half of November were rainy and felt very dark. I had to wait for good photography weather for a while, but finally I was able to list the three pieces of rainbow-striped wall art I made earlier this fall.

Rainbow Stripe Wall Art 3x
Rainbow Stripe Wall Art 3x on White

There were quite a few brilliantly bright days there, too. Funny how they seemed to get lost among all grey, though.

What a Murder

We got first snow on November 15th this year. What a surprising treat!

Snowy Nov Backyard 2018

I noticed myself yearning for candles, Christmas lights and bright colors very early.

Colorful Inspirational Books

I even accidentally wore red and green at the beginning of the month! 😀

Red Socks Green Pants

I also did some crafts, using up some ribbon ends that are too short for anything else plus other bits and bobs to make tree ornaments. Here’s a test piece I adapted from a hair bow project:

Ribbon Ornament Test Piece Finished

Having made sure I can do it, of course I wanted more colors! I didn’t have enough of colorful ribbons, though, so I cheated and added a few short pieces of fabric. They look quite good, though:

Ribbon Ornaments Finished

Normally we don’t start decorating for Christmas this early, but this year, for many reasons, we wanted to. Especially since the Thanksgiving weekend was the last gloriously sunny stretch in a bit.

Xmas Decor2 2018

How are you getting on with the rest of the year?

February 2018 Recap

Ahem Ahem!

This month started with finalizing and submitting the first tax-related return of the year. And there was much rejoicing!

And there was much rejoicing (yaaaaaaaay) – Monty Python & the Holy Grail via Malarsk on YouTube

I also had the (ahem) joy of hanging on the phone with my bank to try and solve a month-long issue. Fortunately their team did eventually solve the mystery glitch. I am so thankful – YAAAAY for tech support!

I’ve been working on small piecing / quilting prototypes (think placemats or table cloths) made from two different sizes of squares.

Piecing2 Ready Purple Blues Greens Yellows Reds

Unfortunately, a third type of paperwork issue slowed me down – I haven’t been able to proceed as fast as I’d like. That’s part of the creative life, though.

We only had two significant snowfalls in February. The morning after the first one, the yard looked like cotton batting or wadding. (Boy, I do indeed have a quilting brain on!)

Latest Snowfall Looks Lumpy

While sewing, I’ve been enjoying vocal folk hop by Tuuletar in my native Finnish. Blog posts on the group here and here.

Tuuletar Debut Album Tules maas vedes taivaal

And we saw Black Panther, and it was glorious!

January 2018 Recap

Ahem Ahem!

This year, one of the new things I’m trying is a month-end recap for my activities. It’s not meant as a newsletter as such, but maybe a newsletter light. I aim to list some of the highlights for each month with plenty of photos, as mine is a visual job. 🙂

Here are the more significant things from January 2018.

Preparing my tax returns is always an involved process, so I start as early as possible in the beginning of January.

Inventorying Green Fabrics

As part of tax prep, I check my inventory. That is a year-end task that takes quite a bit of effort, energy and elbow grease. On the other hand, every time I go through my stash I’m reminded of a fabulous fabric or another and get inspired.

I also need to submit documentation for assigning property taxes for my business. This is the first tax-related return of the year.

2018 Jan Tax Work

Work was slowed down by snow storms in late December and early January. The 2018 winter storm Grayson brought some 13″-15″ / 33-38 cm of snow for us. And this on top of the first two snowfalls of the season, about 10″ / 25 cm total, that didn’t have time to melt.

2017 Dec End After Snowfall

I was afraid we’d end up with snow up to our nostrils (like a few winters ago). Fortunately it doesn’t look likely anymore, although February might yet surprise us.

I also got a Jane Austen 10 GBP note of my own! Fansquee!

And, heartbreakingly, while I was reading her Tales from Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin passed.

Current Reading Tales from Earthsea

Her passing was such a bittersweet moment, bitter because she won’t be producing any more work. However, the many tributes serve to remind us of her intellect, inner fire and vision. I’m most fond of Le Guin’s Earthsea stories, some of which I’ve read and re-read in Finnish and in English over the years. I’ve only managed one of her science fiction books so far, though. Time to rectify that.

Random Beauty: Bright Sun and Icy Branches

Random Beauty

The other day I was thinking of last December. I went through some photos to remind myself of everything that happened and ran into this gem. At the very end of last year, we were treated to gorgeous, glittering woods after snowfall:

Bright Sun through Icy Branches

It was really hard to get the light and shadow balanced well; this is one of my better shots, I think, in that respect. The light on the icy trees is so beautiful!

Bright Colors for an Antidote to November

Books & Mags, Colors, Inspiration

In the northern half of the world, we’re approaching the dark time of the year. For me, November is typically when I start wanting more light and bright things around me. (Candles! Snow!) When that’s not possible, pictures will do. This rainbow-hued glass collection from a home dec magazine fits the bill:

Country Living Jul-Aug 2016 p40

It’s from the Country Living magazine, and the collector, Elsie Larson from Nashville, TN, says this of her Depression glass collection:

“I was inspired by my travels to Palm Springs and specifically stays at the very colorful Parker Hotel, which was designed by one of my heroes, Jonathan Adler. The rainbow effect of their colored glass collection made me smile every morning.”

It’s a beautiful arrangement, and the range of colors is fantastic. (The Parker Hotel colored glass display that Larson mentions can be seen at a Whorange article from February 2014. Personally, I think Larson did a better job than Adler.)

A bonus entry: a color wheel mirror frame in mosaic by Karen Johnston:

Mosaicworksca Blogspot Karen Johnston Colour Wheel Mirror

Karen Johnston at Mosaicworksca.blogspot.com.

The mosaic is so neatly and carefully made. Just gorgeous!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Very Snowy Weekend

My Spaces

So far, this winter has been odd. There was barely any snow in December and January – enough to say that there was snow – but it didn’t stay. Now we’re getting it all at once, it seems: last Thursday’s storm brought about 9” / 22 cm in our neck of the woods.

Snow Toes

Then, on Sunday, we got another storm that continued into today.

2017 Mid-Feb Forecast

Although a cold makes this sudden slew of shoveling difficult to cope with, the woods look really beautiful and I’m glad for that.