Plain and simple

Nov 19, 2017

This evening I had a random idea and had to go downstairs and try making it right away. I had a bit of trial and error, but it actually turned out really well and was so fun and satisfying. I love making things so so much.


Sweater class

Nov 18, 2017

After the craft fair this morning I went to my sweater knitting class and… finished my first sweater! It’s a child size sweater that fits my eight year old and, honestly, I had no idea it would look so adorable on her. It’s cozy and classic and will hopefully live a long life being passed down to the boys when they grow into it.

And as I was driving back after my class and reflecting on the path that lead to me finishing this sweater it went something like this:

  • my friend expressing her wish to want to learn to knit baby sweaters and me being like yup that’d be awesome
  • looking into sweater knitting classes at my favorite local fabric & knit shop and eventually signing up
  • learning to knit baby hats as a way to learn/practice knitting from a pattern since I had never done that before
  • starting sweater/class feeling super in over my head and out of place
  • just jumping in and doing it and working at it on my own and getting help at the classes
  • eventually (today!) finishing the sweater and seeing it on my daughter for the first time

A few months ago I was looking up YouTube videos to remember how to knit & purl. Today I finished a sweater. There’s just so much to be said for dreaming and planning and doing and learning and listening to others and putting in the time and just plain growing from one day to the next.

And every time I complete some project like this it just always leaves me feeling so energized and empowered and just in awe of all the good things that can happen when you say yes and keep doing the next thing. In sweaters and in life, the big things happen a little at a time.

Olivia’s Picture Shop

Nov 17, 2017

About a month ago my daughter saw me working on things to sell for a craft fair tomorrow and asked if she could sell some things there too. I checked with the people running it and they said yes, so she started working on drawing little illustrations to sell. We also got a few sets of little round wooden tiles that she drew picture matches on for memory sets. They’re so cute. Tonight she picked out fabric from my stash which I cut to make some drawstring bags and wrote “memory” with a fabric chalk pencil on each bag which I stitched in her sweet 8 year old handwriting. I sewed up the bags and she added the drawstrings all by herself and then wrote out little price tags for each one. I have a chalkboard sign for my display that I wrote my prices on and she wanted to do that too, so I got a smaller one and showed her how to space out the words and she legit wrote out her whole little sign and did such a good job. As we were working together this evening and talking about the craft fair tomorrow she told me, “I don’t even care about the money. I’m not like, ‘Money! Money! Money!’ I just like being nice to people.” She has a brand new red cardigan with sequins to wear along with her glasses that make her look young and wise all at once. I hope I’ll be able to sell a few things tomorrow, but honestly I’m just so excited to go hang out with her and watch her live it up.

After hoc, therefore something else hoc

Nov 13, 2017

I’ve been working on sewing kitties a lot lately (the grand total including a handful that have already sold is now 46 completely finished with at least 23 more already partially made–so far no two exactly alike) and, as a result, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts.

Up until today I had mainly been listening to Awesome with Alison (which I heartily recommend), but I’ve sadly caught up with the most recent episode, so now I have to wait for the next one in real time. So tonight I filled the void by starting a podcast Bryan keeps telling me about: The West Wing Weekly.

It’s quite possibly the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done, but I shamelessly confess I really enjoy it. I’m about as into real politics as a head of cabbage, but The West Wing is a whole different ballgame. Bryan and I started watching it together in our first year of marriage on a recommendation from his older brother and our sister-in-law, also fairly newly married. This was almost 10 years ago now, pre-Netflix, so we’d check out the DVD’s two or three at a time from the LRC at the BYU library. There was one DVD that had a scratch and always skipped.

In fact, I distinctly remember that we started watching The West Wing the day before (or maybe the weekend before) I started my new job teaching preschool at a Montessori school because I called in sick on my first day and ended up watching more West Wing all day. For the record, I think I really was sick to some degree, but mostly I think I was just dreading going to workaround my first real job after college (an unfortunate foreshadowing of how awful that particular job turned out to be).

Anyway, we now own seasons 1-4 on DVD (all bought for me as gifts by Bryan–maybe all on various Christmases? I can’t remember) and we’ve watched those first four seasons countless times. It’s the first four seasons that are written by Aaron Sorkin and, admittedly, after that it goes downhill into what my brother-in-law once referred to as “fan fiction,” but, honestly, it’s still West Wing and it’s still amazing. You just have to muddle through that chunk of episodes in season 5 where it feels like nothing compelling is ever going to happen again.

All this to say, a podcast where former cast member Joshua Malina (who plays Will Bailey on the show) and his friend who’s a major West Wing fan go through the entire series episode by episode talking about different scenes and characters and plot lines and behind-the-scenes antics is laughably right up our (my husband’s and my) alley. The hosts have been re-watching each episode before the podcast to prep for their discussion on it, but I need no such prep to fully appreciate everything they’re talking about. In fact, I remember a few years ago when we had moved to a new state and I confided to my sister-in-law that a lot of things in our lives were not going well she told me, “Watch West Wing! It’ll make it feel like home!”

So, listening to hour-long podcast episodes rehashing 45 minute-long television episodes that aired 17 years ago is all fairly pointless, I admit, especially compared to the self-improvement driven podcast I just came off of, buuuut it is pretty delightful.

Hither and Yon

Nov 12, 2017

Rivers of concrete with boats rolling by

Capsules of people far up in the sky

What would it look like to those from the past

To see their great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandchildren speed past