Well, here we are again, the start of a new year. Have you done your resolutions yet? I don't like the idea of resolutions, really. At least, not for me, if that's your thing then by all means. I sort of see resolutions as a list of failure, for the most part. It's usually a list of greatness that is, for the most part, not achievable; and, we eventually beat ourselves up about it when we don't accomplish the unlikely goals in the first place. I am kind of over that. This year, I just want to have an awesome year, and do awesome things. I feel like that's something achievable, no?
I have noticed that my family says (well, me and the kids--K, being a man of few words, seems to use just the right words to sum up every occasion; but, there you are) the word "awesome" like it's going out of style. Well, to be honest, I feel like it has gone out of style. I figured it was time to start exercising our vocabulary (I do have a young reader and an emerging reader in the house; so, totally appropriate) and highlight a new word to replace our use of the word "awesome" and reflections on all the "awesomeness" we hope to accomplish. It's hard picking a word to sum up greatness. But, well, I like a challenge and lo, I say to you: this will be a MAGNIFICENT year.
I use mind maps (you can call them something else if you want, but I call them mind maps, so that's what I am going with) when I teach introductory research classes at the library. Students seem to like them; I like them too, they are... MAGNIFICENT (see what I did there?). In any case, there is a site called Think Map, which is puts the fun in functional (yep, that's right, I am on fire, people), so I mapped out possible new word contenders. The candidates had to be words that my family and I don't normally think to use. So there were words that I tossed out right away: great, fabulous, neat, keen, cool (obviously), amazing...the main two that were left were magnificent and brilliant. I like "brilliant" but when I mapped it out, I was not as impressed as I was with magnificent (and all of its derivations), so that's what we are going with. Magnificent.
I don't like to compare things too much, but all things being equal, it's not too hard to improve upon last year for me, at least craft wise. Though I will share my portrait of the kids that I shot last December, which I think was rather fantastic, or rather, magnificent.
Craft wise, 2013 was a year of starts for me; I had hoped that it would be a year of finishes; but, well, we don't always get what we want. I started a new job, which sort of twisted the routine of my whole life; and then my kids started getting involved in all of these weird kid activities (sports, scouts, music, etc.) which as a parent you get sucked into by default because, well, the kids can't really manage themselves, right? But I think I have figured things out, and we (that was royal, obviously) are now back to the business of craft around these parts. I am excited about getting my hands back into all the MAGNIFICENCE that is all things fiber-y. And I am excited to talk about it all again (...blog, what?).
So here is to a year of magnificence! Join me, won't you?
We have no power, we have no water; but, we have Halloween spirit, apparently. Our town canceled Halloween since 99% of the town has no power because of Sandy; but, we still have a house and we are fine.
The Littles wanted to be ghosts this year. No seriously. Of all the things they could have been. Ghosts. And well, you know me, I like to make dreams and wishes come true.
Most people would agree that getting exposure to new reading material is generally a good thing. However, information, while a great thing--in theory, can also be quite dangerous. While attending the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend, Little Sir found a new "most favorite book ever," The Banner. It's a magazine about sheep: raising them, caring for them, etcetera. And then in a flash of brilliance, he opined that " a sheep, no, actually two (because one would get lonely all by itself) would probably make the best birthday gift ever--and maybe one of them should be a ram, because they are cool." I love wool as much as the next knitter. No, I actually probably love it more; but, let's get this straight: I draw the line at actually owning livestock. It's all very well and good for others to own and breed and care for sheep, but I just can't get involved in that business. I barely have enough time to properly care for myself and my children these days, I don't need animals lying about that can't clean up after themselves. Honestly, where does he come up with this stuff?
Anyways...speaking of books, yes, I know, worst segue ever... Today's prize/gift/you fill in the word, is a pair of CEY publications. I liked them so much I bought them twice (it's a trend with me apparently), my goof is your gain. There are some pretty sweet patterns in the books, and they want to go to a new home, maybe yours?
To throw your hat in the ring for these books, please share: what is the craziest birthday gift you have ever received? Mayhap you have a six year old who dreams of owning his own sheep and decided to gift you with some of your very own? No? Oh, well.
I will take comments for this post, and all Novakkah posts, until 11:59 EST (or2359, should you prefer that), Saturday, May 12th. Please leave your responses on the appropriate post. One entry per post/person. I will show you what I have to gift each day and let you know what you need to tell me to try to get it. Giftees will be selected on the 13th and gifts sent out shortly thereafter.
I did not finish the birthday quilt in time for birthday gift-giving. Little Sir said it was okay, apparently it was the outcome he was expecting (he knows me and my procrastinating ways so well). Aside from not getting a fabulous quilt for his birthday, he had a really great celebration (hard not to when you are celebrating for a week).
He even lost his first tooth! It was a big deal...I mean, there was a fairy and money involved, so....
So while I stew over the fact that I recently celebrated my 6th anniversary of parenthood, I am going to throw a binding on this here birthday quilt. I have some serious catching up to do!
Little Sir has a birthday coming up. He has been talking about it for months now (probably since a week after his birthday last year, if we are being honest). He pretty much has an expectation that he will get something mom-made for his birthday (pressure, what?). But now all gift-giving occasions seem to warrant handmade gifts as far as he is concerned (somewhere along the way, making someone a hand made gift became equated with love and care for the giftee, which, well, yes). So now I am crafting goodness for every occasion imaginable. A week before Valentine's day Sir and I had a conversation, it went like this:
Sir: I love you mommy, don't you love me? [honestly, I should have known. Nothing good can come out of a conversation that begins this way.]
Me: Of course I do.
Sir: Since you love me, wouldn't you love to knit me a hat?
Me: Sure, I can do that. Would you like one for your birthday? [obviously, he has no idea about the sweater and quilt things...]
Sir: I think it would be better if you knit it sooner. Maybe for Valentine's Day. And since it's for Valentine's Day and red is my favorite color, you could knit my new hat with red yarn. Maybe with some of that merino yarn the you made with your spinning wheel.
Me: That's a very specific request.
Sir: Yes, you should probably get started on it soon.
Me: Well, if I make one for you for Valentine's Day, I will have to make one for your brother too.
Sir: Well, I guess so, but mine is the one that needs to be done on time. [oh, snap!]
Two red hats were not in the cards, which was all for the best since Little Mister had no desire for a red hat (as it is not his favorite color right now). He wanted a green hat, because that is his favorite color right now.
So that's what he got, a green hat (or, sage, if we are being specific).
Special K did not want a hat, actually, he probably didn't want anything; but, he got some handmade handkerchiefs made with the most ridiculous fabric I felt he would tolerate.
And while this post is many days (weeks, whatever) after Valentine's Day, know this: I finished these hats and the handkerchiefs on the 13th. All of it. Okay, maybe I finished the handkerchiefs at 3 in the morning on the 14th, but everybody got their gifts on time. So there's that.
2011 will always be remembered as the year we went presidential for Halloween. The extent of my craftiness this year was hijacking a campaign button and fashioning it into a button for Little Sir. When asked what he was supposed to be for Halloween, his reply: "the President of the United States running for re-election in 2012". In a true spirit of non-partisanship, he opted to be a member of the Independent Party...or, as he says, "the thinking party." Okay. And a President obviously can not get by without a security detail, so Little Mister was the lead agent on his team.
The verdict is still out on whether I will don a suit and sunglasses tonight to take them trick-treating, but there you are.
I have been busy lately. Because I am a glutton for punishment, I am taking two classes again (in addition to working full time and doing the wife thing, the mom thing and trying to do the sleep thing (only occasionally). I have been doing a slew of crafting in spare moments here and there and I actually have something to show for my efforts, but more on that later. I am heading out to Houston in a few days to go to the International Quilt Festival, so I will probably want to talk about quilts when I get back. You can be excited, I am.
In the mean time, how about some studio shots from my photographic lighting class?