Thursday, 11 February 2010

Our wonderful weather, some crafty bits and bobs, and thoughts on St. Valentine's Day.

Moan about it we certainly do, but which would you rather live in... a place where every day was the same, be that snowy and little daylight, permanent sunshine and little rain, or more rain than sun? Or...somewhere you get variety, where you can tell the seasons (usually) by the weather outside your window. We complain about snow now... but it's winter, what do you expect? But how wonderful to go from sunny, cold, frosty wintry days which leave you with evening skies like these...

to mornings when you wake up to this.....

Very little snow really, and more what has been termed 'soft hail', which resembles those tiny polywhatsit granules they use in packing sometimes. When it hits cold ground, it freezes solid, and you find intriguing little clumps of perfect, pure white tiny balls that look like they fell off some giant cake decoration. But I love the changes in seasons, and all the delights, and negatives too, that they bring. But enough about the weather...
Here are my two works in progress.... a pair of chunky cable socks for my husband, to wear inside his gardening boots, knitted on two needles using Sirdar Escape, which is a gorgeously soft, wool-rich doubleknit which changes colour as you go along. They feel so warm, my only concern is whether or not the seam under foot will be uncomfortable? Time will tell. The crochet is a throw for the new summerhouse seat and because I wanted a lot of different colours, not bothered whether they were strong or pale, just a good mix was my need, I bought one of those bags of 25g balls of doubleknit used for toy-making, as it gave me such a good variety. I shall also use up odds and ends from my basket, at the moment I am working my way through the small yarn stash, so it can be replaced with another!

Some of you will have been following Jill Taylor over at her third age musings blog, and seen the fabulous creative calendar she has been working on, amongst other things which frankly, make me a little envious of her skills. Well, as all who know me will testify, I am not really arty. I can make my own cards, but they are not free-flowing miniature works of art, though pleasing to the eye, and always well-received. In fact, several of my closest friends have been saving them for twenty odd years!! But I liked the idea of the calendar, so gave it a go. Now many people would perhaps have kept quiet about this, and certainly not exposed their lack of talent (and not looking here for any contradictions you understand) to all and sundry. But.... I am not so reticent at times, and wanted to show you it, just to make you realise that (a) perhaps you weren't as bad as you thought after all, (b) just how good others are in comparison and (c) it doesn't matter at all, what counts is that I tried something new, something different, something out of my comfort zone shall we say, which was one of my new year intentions after all. (One of the others was to get myself into print and that's come about as well... we'll gloss over the losing weight one!) So this was January...
And this is February, or half of it. On the right hand page will be scraps and photos of things that I love, such as my granddaughter Summer, my husband, pretty china, cats, my garden etc., etc. This page just has words and quotes to do with love.

Now it isn't fabulous, but it pleases me, and that's important to me. But, I have decided to have a change of tack, and rather than make it a calendar, as you can see I am going down the scrapbook/journal route instead. From now on, one page will be painted, and the other will be covered in scrapbook paper, taken from the ones below, which I have just bought from Panduro, mostly at 60p or 75p a sheet, but there are SO many great designs, it was hard to limit myself. On the painted page will be notes, maybe calendar or diary type entries for the occasional day when something is worth mentioning, or maybe little labels stuck on the decorative papers. I haven't decided yet, but these papers are just so lovely, don't you think?

This weekend is of course, St. Valentine's Day... heard being described by someone this morning on breakfast television, as 'a totally unnecessary stressful day'. It was a man, though maybe some of you would think that goes without saying? But what are your thoughts? Do you think it's important that there is one specific day set aside when people express their love for one another? Should you not need reminding that it's nice to be told, and to tell someone, how much they matter to you? Is it just a commercial rip-off? We all know about restaurants putting up prices, the ridiculous price of cards and teddy bears, of roses being hiked up in price, chocolates too. The television is full of adverts by various supermarkets all offering special Valentine's Day meal packages for a tenner or less, or more. To me, I think if someone sends you something on Valentine's Day, you might wonder if they had only done so because they couldn't escape the advertising and media hype about The Day, maybe not done for the right reason. Whereas, if they give you something out of the blue, when it's not Valentine's or your birthday, or an anniversary or Christmas, then it shows they were thinking of you especially, not prodded into it. That makes anywhen or unbirthday presents much more special to my mind, which is perhaps as well, because my husband, bless him, is not the most romantic of men shall we say, and so a bunch of flowers when I am not expecting them, when it's not reciprocal for a surprise pressie I gave him, means SO much more.
But is Valentine's Day only for partners?No of course it's not. Several of my oldest, dearest, closest friends have received a little gift from me this year, for Valentine's Day, each with a heart-shaped gift tag, to thank them for being my friend and sending love on Valentine's Day for that reason. (Because believe me, being my friend ain't the easiest thing at times!) I used to send my sons a card, just to tell them I loved them... embarrassed they may have been, but I stopped doing it years ago anyway. My Valentine's gift from my husband this year is him doing the Sunday lunch whilst I just sit, enjoy copious cups of tea being made for me on demand (I don't drink alcohol any more) and reading my latest copy of Country Living. The day will have started with a lovely hot soak in a scented bath followed by breakfast, also prepared by him, in the conservatory, some letter-writing in the afternoon, and tea in front of the fire watching something on a DVD.... we are currently working our way through Monarch of the Glen and Friends. It will be a lovely relaxing weekend altogether, with no chores. And that, for me, is a perfick way of spending Valentine's Day weekend.
Whatever you think about it all, however you will be spending it, enjoy your weekend, and thanks, as always, for dropping in.


marigold jam said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I do so agree that it isn't the finished result that counts it is the making of it and putting a little of ourselves into whatever it is. Just saying that because my finished results are so often disappointing you understand!!

Your Valentine's day sound just my cup of tea I must point out your ides to my husband and see if he takes the hint!


Mid Life Hopes said...

Wonderful Read PFG, and I agree on the weather of it all.
Oh, alas, I must say, I have Valentines day, everyday!!
Love your knitting, and absolutely love the calendar.
You are a lovely friend to have!
A special Valentine Hug to you!!!
What a delight you are!!
xo MLH

Vista Gal said...

I had this lovely reply and somehow I lost it as I was typeing!!
Once again...
I find now that I am growing older, that I enjoy giving little bits of love and care to my friends on these days. In will invite a friend out to coffee,tea, or lunch.
Sending them a card and letting them know how special they are in my life.
If I sit and wait for a diamond bracelet, or necklace, or that gigantic heart shaped box of chocolate, I am less apt to feel depressed when it does not appear.
If I share my love with other friends who have gone through depressing holidays, then it is showing them that they are special
to me.
Of course, I want the most romantic gift from my husband, one that he has put hours and hours of thought into, but I musn't put all my hope into that.
I know that he loves me and is true to me for 36 years.
He treats my well and gives me time to create and do as I wish. We travel well together and enjoy each other's company. Saying that, I probably will be geting a boquet of flowers.
Here is a question... Should we be searching for that special Valentine gift for him? or is just a card enough???
N~ your day sounds simply splendid! HAPPY VALENTINES DAY FRIEND!!

Jill said...

I think your calendar ideas sound great - what is good is the way one idea can lead to another. No one should feel they need to compete. I certainly cannot knit well enough to follow a pattern.

magsmcc said...

I can't believe the felicity of this post at this time- I'm taking a frazzled break from frantic packing for our half-term "break" and thinking about finding a nice notebook to take with me to start a creative Lenten journal. And am thinking- where did I see those blogs with creative journals. And lo, you were there! Thank-you- tea in hand, back to packing! Happy Valentine's to you too!

Quilting Cat said...

Poof, I left a comment but it wouldn't show. Love your comments about Valentines, of course it embraces good friendships as well.

Anonymous said...

Yes on all counts: Love the weather and couldn't live where it was all the same; with every card I create I learn something new and get better and more artistic, and that pleases me no end; if you love someone then you should show them or tell them year round and not just on one day because of stupid peer pressure or advertising. I'm lucky enough to get cups of tea each weekend morning and other little tokens throughout the year.


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I love the Big Stone Gap trilogy!
A pretty post from you today - just right for our long awaited Spring weather.


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I have recently discovered your blog and love reading about your thoughts. These pictures are lovely as well.

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