New Year’s Quiz

Yay, a New Year’s Quiz from Karen!

How will you spend the last night of 2019? Will you party all night? Will you go to bed early?

I will knit on the couch while watching TV and then go to bed early. I wish I lived near Karen. We could do that together!

Do you have any little superstitions about ringing in the new year?

Black eyed peas must be on the menu New Year’s Day.

Do you have craft plans for 2020? Are you hoping to try new things or improve your current set of skills?

I’m hoping to set up a new craft area in my house since I have moved out of my studio. I’m also hoping to primarily knit and sew from stash.

Do you have resolutions for 2020? If so what are they? If not do you have a word or goal for the new year?

Both. I will journal every morning, a practice I’ve already started. I think my word for 2020 will be “mindful”, as in mindful exercise (walking, yoga,) mindful eating, mindful planning of my day. Being mindful is a great way to slow down and savor life, as well as take care of yourself and act in accordance with your core values. At least, that’s what I’m hoping will happen. 😆

I’m almost finished with Twilight Toujours. I can’t wait wait to post a pic!

Merry Knitmas!

I started on my Twilight Toujours. This is my holiday knit.

Bob got me the December 2019 Harry Potter Yarn from Forbidden Fibers. I’m so geeked out! The hank is Hogsmeade and it’s gorgeous.

He also got me a gift certificate for Fairlight Fibers. I’m going to save it for something special.

He also gifted me the Fibershed book, which was something I wanted, and The Book of Gutsy Women, which he picked out for me. ❤️

We’ve had a lovely day. We played games with the boys all morning and now we’re relaxing and watching movies. I hope you’re having a wonderful day with family and fiber arts!

PS: The new episode of The Just Craft podcast is up!

Christmas Eve, Clintonville Style

In 2011, Bob and I moved our big, blended family into an old farmhouse in our favorite neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Clintonville is a special place, and although it is growing and changing – along with the rest of Columbus – we still enjoy calling this crunchy-granola enclave home.

Long before we arrived, the neighbors at the end of our street were lining their curbs with milk jug luminaries on Christmas Eve to light the way for Santa’s sleigh. For us it was a new tradition, which includes spontaneous caroling while walking down the road to view the homemade light show.

We had so much fun this year. The neighbors seemed to enjoy our caroling and they lit off fireworks after dusk!

Enjoy my original version of the Clement Clarke Moore classic, with a local twist.

A Clintonville Visit

T’was the night before Christmas
And all through the ‘Ville
All the neighbors were stirring
On Glenmont’s small hill.

The rats in my compost
And the deer in your grass
Scurried to gather
A long night’s repast,

While the owl in the tree,
And fox in the ravine,
Hunted their dinners
From the rodentia teem.

The children were gathered
In the family bed
Expecting some presents
From the big man in red.

The moms and the pops
Raided recycling bins
To save the landfill
From more plastic sins.

They took to the Ave
And lined up the jugs
Filling each with a light
To guide Rudolph’s red mug.

Friends gathered and sung
The old carols of yore
Like the Whos in Whoville.
Like George Bailey’s choir.

Hanukkah, Christmas,
Solstice, and Kwanzaa,
They sang all the tunes,
Including the stanzas!

The frost, how it sparkled!
The candles, how merry!
Lighting the way
For Yuletide’s sprightly fairy.

At the end of road
Came a jingling hoot.
It was Clintonville Elvis
In a red Santa suit!

He strolled with intention
Toward Ye Olde Savor Growler
And waved to the revelers
Who heard the man holler,

“Ho, hippies! Yo, yuppies!
Whoa, hipsters!,” in a drawl,
“To everyone, everywhere,
Happy Holidays, y’all!”

This post is part of the Virtual Advent Tour at spritewrites.net.

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Seven Sweet Seasonal Songs

I’ve been listening to holiday music since a few days before Thanksgiving. What can I say? The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear. I was going to blog my top five, but I found I couldn’t limit it to that number. These are my top seven seasonal favorites in no particular order.

Silver Bells – This is a nostalgic song for me. My sister and I used to sing this together and harmonize. Now I sing it alone and harmonize with no one. It makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Kitka A’v JerusalimeWhen I first heard Kitka’s Wintersongs album, I fell in love. This is my favorite song on the album. Hearing their strong and unified joyful voices makes me cry. I wish I could sing like this. Here’s a video of them singing it live!

Sufjan Stevens – It’s Christmas! Let’s Be Glad! I love the quirkiness of this song. We sing along to it in the car. This is one I will be listening to when all the kids are grown and gone, and I’ll probably cry.

Sting Gabriel’s Message – The yuletide is supposed to be a happy time, but it is also a mystical time. This song captures the essence of that for me.

Vince Guaraldi Greensleeves – My favorite version of my all time favorite, forever and ever, amen.

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions Isn’t It True – This one isn’t really a Christmas song, but the sleigh bells make me think of winter. And Bob bought this CD for me one Christmas, which makes it special.

Andy Williams Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season – Let’s end on a high note! This is the song I love to belt out in true lounge singer style. I know all the words. I’ll bet you do too. Sing along! And feel free to share your top 5 seasonal songs below or on your blog!

A Holiday Gift Quiz

I seem to be all about the quizzes these days. Karen posted another one!

For these questions money, storage space and time is no object. My answers below.

List 3 things you would like to receive as a gift. Go all out for at least one of them.

I would love a new bird feeder pole that allows me to hang multiple feeders. My set up right now is not ideal, although I love seeing the birdies outside my office window.

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2. I’m in love with this jacket from Studio Donegal.

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It is crazy expensive, but totally worth it as it is hand woven from Ireland. I think this is going to be one of those things I’ll just dream about the rest of my life. If someone gave it to me, I would probably feel too guilty to wear it. I mean, that’s a lot of fed mouths for a jacket I don’t need. Maybe someday the Universe will conspire to put a used one in my path? This ranks up there with the Manitobah Mukluks I would love to have, but really don’t need and can’t afford.

3. I would like a new sewing machine. Mine is fine and basic, but I would like an upgrade so I can sew jeans, jackets, and bags. I would also like a serger.

List 3 gifts you’d like to give. You don’t have to mention who it’s for.

I would love to give Bob a real MacLean wool tartan kilt, either purchased or handmade. I doubt he would wear it, though. He would probably think it is itchy as it has to be wool to be authentic.

I would like to give JoJo a Corgi puppy as a sibling. I’m not sure she would appreciate it, though.

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I would like to give cars to all our kids. Some of them have cars, but they don’t run very well. I think my oldest is the only one with a reliable vehicle, but he wants to travel, so I think he needs something a little bigger.

List 3 food gifts you’d like to give or receive.

Since I can no longer eat pecans, I would love a divinity roll but with pumpkin and sunflower seeds on the outside.

I would love to try a real Christmas pudding, just once. With the holly stuck in it and everything!

I would like to donate some food this year. We volunteer at a local center, and I would like to put together a collection of nice foods for the holidays to donate. Totally doable.

Feel free to answer in the comments or leave a link if you’ll be answering on your blog.

Holiday Traditions

Spritewrites.net has a Virtual Advent Tour where different bloggers sign up to share their holiday traditions during the season. I signed up for Christmas Eve!

Last night all the boys and I watched Rare Exports. I have blogged before that this is my favorite holiday movie. This year I made gingerbread and we played a “drinking game” where we took a bite of gingerbread every time a character did. I only ate three cookies, but could have easily eaten four. I was reserved.

I weighed myself today. I haven’t gained any weight even though I haven’t exercised in two weeks and I’ve been eating whatever I want. It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle! Back to the gym today.

Oh so grateful for my boys. It was good to hang out with them last night.

What’s your favorite holiday movie? Leave a comment!

Grateful Sunday

It’s been a long time since I went to a coffee shop by myself, ordered a soy peppermint mocha, and enjoyed a leisurely moment in public. Most of my moments seem filled with purpose. It’s nice to sit here and not feel like I have to perform or impress, or even relate. I’m grateful to have this moment to myself.

After my moment, I did a little Christmas shopping and then went to my studio to get my knitting organized. I caught a full rainbow!

The new issue of Seamwork came out. I have fallen hard for the Billie jumpsuit. Mood is having a sale so I ordered some wool knit velour to make it. I will not wash this fabric before sewing! Must avoid the Ace catastrophe (when I lost my mind and shrunk new wool knit fabric in the washing machine).

Since I’m a Seamwork member the pattern is free. There are so many patterns I want to make. I’m trying to limit myself to sewing one garment per season. It’s all I can handle.