Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Loot

Hello.  It's been a little bit of time.  Here's some of the loot from my little excursion to Anchorage last week, all coordinating and pretty.

In the last post I mentioned working three jobs, and well, I am (thankfully, and wisely) down to two.  I've opted out of going back to the greenhouse this year.  It's bitter-sweet, I'll miss the sun and smell of dirt and the green and the flowers and the lovely, lovely people, but I'll have time this way.  And time, my friends, is worth more than the extra money.  I have enough, and God is my provider anyway.  I don't have to prove myself, I don't have to be so busy I'm irritable and exhausted, I don't have to be "successful" by anyone's standards other than my own.  It's like a quote I saw somewhere, probably on Pinterest.  "Stop the glorification of busy", it said.  And since that was what I wanted so badly to hear, I said okay.

So, yeah.  In the first picture you can kind of see my latest project, which I'll do a post about eventually.  It's a backpack which I was working on in this post here.  Sooo.... I guess that's all!  Hope this weekend is a good one!

Love, Clara

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

On Small (Not Big) Deals

Lately it seems like every few days someone else I know is getting engaged or pregnant or leaving the country or other such big, life-changing, enviable things.  And that's great, you know, yay, good for them.  But still... sometimes I end up feeling that life has kind of left me behind.  Like everyone else is growing up, except me.  Unless you count working three part-time jobs and being stressed 75% of the time as grown up stuff, which is I guess, it's just not the part that you really want to celebrate or see as a milestone.

But you know, I've learned that everyone is on a different path, which sounds obvious, but it's easy to forget that that also means we have different milestones, and a different order of events.  No one is behind schedule or in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I am right where I'm supposed to be, with the right relationship status, the right job, in the right country.  And also, I do have my own markers and small thing to celebrate.  They won't get me much congratulations on Facebook, but what does that even do anyway?  It's not about what anyone else thinks, I don't genuinely care about what they think anyway, and so... it's fine.  I don't need affirmation in that way.

I realize that a lot of people think that keeping a blog proves the opposite of what I just said, but I can't agree.  It can be an outcry for compliments, but in a lot of cases it's not.  I blog for the same reason I journal, just from a different perspective.   Here it's to process and assess my creativity, and also to find gratitude and joy in the beauty of my life that I so often miss when I don't take this time to look and reflect.  In my journals the assessing and processing is more of myself and my thoughts and emotions, along with life as it comes at me.  But it's the same motion of externalizing in order to properly internalize.  Like deep cleaning, bringing everything out so that it can be properly gone over and organized.  It's not for everyone, but in my own case it is vital.

Anyway, life, milestones, life altering things (both big and small), that's what I was talking about.  Right.  So here it is.  I'm ready to let myself have milestones of my own.  The ones that don't make a Christmas newsletter or even my Grandma's ears, but they matter to me.  For example, I finished A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens last weekend.  A book I've been wanting to read for some where close to ten years.  And I did it you guys, I read it!  And I loved it, just like I knew I would.  Also, I bought a new mattress, up-grading my bed to a double.  Simple, little things, but I don't have a kid bed anymore!  Woohoo!  See, it's kind of silly, but I like it.  Little things that are a big deal to me, I'm letting them matter, instead of comparing to others who "have their life together" or whatever.  It's freeing.  It's my life, it's my joys.  Hallelujah.

Love, Clara

PS: Photos are from the short little trip I just got back from to Wasilla and Anchorage.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Tale of Two Squirrels

So here is the last of knitted animals... for a while.  Nothing new is in the works currently, but you know how it is with good things like that, you can never stay away for long!  So, mittens.  Squirrel mittens.  Cozy, squishy, mooshy, warm, soft, LINED, squirrel mittens.  This is yet another project too good to take off.  But I did, because I've yet to master the art of typing in mittens.  Which brings all sorts of funny images to mind, due to my belief that it would be impossible.  I mean, even Mrs. Popper had to wear gloves while she played the piano, I don't remember anything being said about her attempting it in mittens.  ANYWAY, the mittens.  Cute, cute, cute, and warm, warm warm!
My old mittens, the ones at the bottom of this post, wore through the thumb about a month ago, I'm still planning to mend them, but it seemed like a good sign that it was time to make a new pair.  One of the local fiber shops has a super fun Boxing Day sale every year where you can pick a box (large or small) and get a percent off of everything you can stuff inside it.  And this year I went a little crazy.  I mostly got roving, because I was completely out, but I also grabbed the yarn for these mittens.  It was some random wool, that you bought by the ounce, and now, after using it, I think it was meant for crewel work.  The colors are lovely, but it was a pain to knit with because the yarn was so springy keeping gauge was next to impossible.  So all I can say there is thank the Lord for blocking!
It also really helped that the mittens are lined, which is why the they are so deliciously soft and smooshy, squishy, cozy.  I used Shibui Knits Cima, which is an alpaca/merino lace weight, and may I just say that that yarn is as amazing as the outer yarn was frustrating.  More so, actually.  I wish I hadn't forgotten to get a picture of the lining, because the colors matched beautifully.

I also wanted to take this time to mention the skirt I'm wearing... because I made it.  Ages ago, three winters, I think.  I didn't use a pattern, just sort of made it up as I went.
It's from this extremely soft and heavy flannel that I fell in love with when I was working at Joann's.  It's really full and very warm, and, I think, rather pretty.
Can you believe it's March already?!  My goodness time is going by so fast, it's been really nice out, as you can kind of see from the pictures.  Sunny and warm, (for interior Alaska) the roads are slowly clearing off a bit, and the people and birds and squirrels are coming out of hiding.

Love, Clara