Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Catching up -- December NewFOs

November was mostly a no-sew month.  But once my sewing machine was back from the repair shop, I got moving in December!   I had a lot of things to finish in time for gift-giving, so I not only started projects, I actually finished several!     I sewed 14 infinity scarves (one of the favorite gifts this year, quick and easy to make, and really appreciated by the recipients),
a tote or two and some zipper bags,
and I finished the grand-doggie jacket.
Then I started on a few kitchen towels out of scraps from my overflowing scrap bins.

Including this one for a Morse Code friend who invited me to lunch --- an embellished towel that says "dry" in Morse Code symbols (even though it is not a written language and is meant to be heard, not seen, I think it's pretty cool looking).   Towels might be my go-to gift next Christmas.   I am a fan of fun, easy and practical. 
I also made (and tested) two different styles of cozies for french press coffee pots at the suggestion of a friend.  They work about equally well, although the full cover kept the coffee about 5 degrees warmer after 90 minutes.   The person who received these as a gift uses the two of them together for coffee that stays hot as long as it lasts.

None of my projects were complicated or artistic, but for a slacker like me, I'm counting December a sewing success, and looking forward to a new year.  :)   I am linking up to Cat Patches NewFO party, as sewers and slackers alike celebrate our starts and finishes for the last month of 2014.   I hope the New Year brings us lots of joy, no matter what projects we use to move forward.  :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Beginning the Annual Year End Review

I have been reflecting on 2014, a year of good times and disappointments, as all of them are.  For the past two years my New Year's 'resolution' has been to have ridiculous amounts of fun and the Best Year Ever.   It's worked pretty well for me and there have been lots of laughs.   But since my birthday this year when I turned Really Old, I have been more pensive about it all.   Daylight is burning, I can feel the heat, and I need to think about what things are still important to do.   I am content with who I am, thank goodness, and my life is a good one, but there are lots of things left to do to make it even better.   I realize, a little late, that I have been far too reclusive in my life, and it is much harder at this point, especially given my definite preferences in people, to find the kinds of friends who would fill the bill.   I have a family I adore and one friend who brings great joy into my life but I can hardly expect them to fill every minute and the bulk of my time is spent alone.   But it does no good to brood over what I would have done differently (more children! more friends!) if I had it to do all over again.  And besides, old or not, I am having more fun than ever before in my life.   So . . .

I don't want to get caught up in regretting the past or dreading the future.  What I have is today, and so I am thinking this week about where to put my energy going forward.    I want to learn some new skills and do some new things, and it would be nice if they added bonus friends to my life.  What could I get pretty good at in a year if I started now?   Learning something new is good for the soul and often leads to meeting new people.  And since I would like to quit working in the next year or so, I really need to build a structure that will enrich my mind and my time going forward.  

My brother suggested learning to pilot a plane, but I am deterred by cost and my own fears.  Scuba is a possibility - despite the cost - but my doctor insists that I  not consider it until I take a stress test, which I expect to do this spring.  I am thinking of buying a mountain dulcimer, an instrument I played in college about a million years ago, but that is also slightly pricey and (worse) would most likely end up being another solitary activity.   I will probably buy a new sewing machine at some point -- I'm still having too many tension troubles with my old one -- and there will be classes to take if I do that, to hone my pitiful sewing skills, but sewing is rarely a group activity either.    

Next year I will continue to find time for the things I already like do, amateur radio, search and rescue, Morse Code, sewing and crafting and cooking.  I will certainly try to fish and kayak and hike more, whether alone or with people, outdoorsy things are very satisfying activities, mentally and physically.   And I am thinking about planning a trip.   I would be a solo traveler and know I do not much like to travel alone so I am considering a tour of some kind.   If I could find an interesting place where I could also do or learn something interesting that would be a bonus.   I might just write whatever ideas I come up with and decide by a blind draw.   Because really, it doesn't make much difference what I choose, it just matters that I do something.

So I have much to look forward to.   But I am open to new ideas about things new to me, and hoping that someone out there will introduce me to thoughts that will lead me into uncharted territory --  Do you have any ideas to throw into the hopper?  What should go on my list?  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November's End

I did very little sewing in November to show off at Cat Patches NewFO Linky Party, despite my best laid plans.    I'm not sure where the month went, because I felt like I was always busy but have nothing to show for it!  I started a charm-square tote but didn't have anything in my scrap pile that I liked for lining so it didn't go far.   I've ordered the lining fabric I want since I couldn't find it locally, and I'll get back to it as soon as my package arrives, along with the zillion other packages I'm expecting as a result of too-much-on-line-shopping!
And I started a dog coat for my Grand Dog, which also hasn't yet made it past the first step.   I did find a contrast fleece in my scrap pile and got a rough measurement on the dog, so this week I will hope to whip that little giftie into shape.
And that's all there is, folks.   (can you hear porky pig sputtering in the background or is that only me?)  I apologize to you and to the people who should have gifts waiting under the tree for this pitiful showing of what should have been the busiest month yet!   Hopefully I'll do a better job next time, very hopefully before Christmas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Glad to be Home

I spent a few days in New Orleans, planning to spend some time with family.   In fact, nothing about the family part worked out, but I got to enjoy a little warm weather and sunshine.     Still, cold weather or not, I'm glad to be home.