Hello February

I was early this year completing my Valentines and getting them off in the mail.  Being home allows me that luxury of staying ahead of holidays and birthdays so that everything arrives on time.  When mailing across the ocean one needs to be ahead of schedule!  I have always love the Valentine Day holiday.  I believe it stems from my love of crafts and loving all colors in the pinky/red/burgandy/mauve color range.  Was there anything more enjoyable than decorating those shoe boxes with hearts, lace, ribbon, and bows to hold our Valentines?  I never cared about the receiving of the cards, but love the making of them.  To me the holiday has never been about romance, but about the joy of creating.  After all who wouldn’t love a holiday that is all about hearts, lace, pinky colors, and candy?!

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After non stop rain we have starting have a few clear and beautiful days here and there.  I jump on this days to be outside pottering in the yard.  This year is a yard redo and I am pulling out things and moving around.  I have thrown in the towel on the shady backyard and am moving to the front.  I have never been a huge proponent of grass as it is not sustainable in most areas and just a huge waste of water (although in the PNW we can leave it without water all year and it returns as we have so much rainfall).  I have long admired the yards around the area that have utilized their front yards to grow veggies, so this year so it shall be.  Mind you my raised beds aren’t the most attractive, but all in due time I can replace them.  For now I shall use what I have.  It has been a job and I only have 3 beds at this point, but that is plenty to get started.  Along with adding veggies, I also tore out a number of the plantings in the front beds and will fill them with nice bright pops of color.  The herbs I am keeping in the back in my one sunny spot on the patio.

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Looks like one huge mess at this point!  But all in time it shall take shape.

I love getting out my gardening books and plotting and planning what I want to plant. At one point I had given all my gardening books away, but with thrifting I have been able to replace them and now have a nice collection that serves my needs perfectly.

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In the world of crafting, I have finished up the first set of days of the week dishtowels and started on the second.  I am now doing a set of the most darling elephants doing household chores. I will photo as I get a few completed.  I have been busy making bags for an Etsy shop update.  I always enjoy doing this as long as I don’t let it overtake me and think I have to do dozen upon dozen monthly.  I have settled upon 15 a month which is a nice enjoyable amount.  Sewing and embroidery have taken center stage at this time, I am still doing a bit of knitting here and there, a row on this and a few rows on that, but nothing steady.  What is so wonderful about crafting is that you always have something to occupy your time and if your mojo on one wanes, you can just pick up another and go on.

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Alexander Henry is always coming out with new Ghastly fabric and I have to say this group is by far some of my favorites!  The ghastly at the sewing machine is just way to fun!

I am amazed at the amount of baking and cooking I have been doing.  I had not enjoyed either for years as work was exhausting and who wants to spend their few hours of leisure in the kitchen….certainly not me!!  But since being home, I have been baking bread regularly and cinnamon rolls, cookies, puddings weekly.  It has been very enjoyable. I finished up with the last of the Hello Fresh meals and, although they are a win/win in taste, they just had too much dairy.  Lots of sauces and such.  I received my first vegan Green Chef order but as yet have not made up a meal.  I have noticed that Green Chef is more expensive than Hello Fresh.  Green Chef does use much less packaging than Hello Fresh.  So we shall see how they compare after making up this weeks meals.

I did get out to an estate sale on the final half off day.  I have not been going thrifting or to sales as I am trying to be quite budget conscious.  I will go out when yard sales commence however!  But let me tell you I am glad I hit this sell!!  I hit the jackpot on Watcombe Torquay England pottery.  I blogged about a piece I had some time ago.  A small cup that I keep on my desk and that has the saying “Time and Tide wait for no man.”  I have treasured that cup and never found any other pieces.  Well just look at what I found and with half off I got the lot for under $15!!

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Absolutely love these pieces!  Although I absolutely DO NOT NEED another collectable…but what is one to do?!

I also found a few other treasures:

Cutest little chicken pincushion EVER! At .50 I just had to bring her home!

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This hand made wallhanging size rug was too adorable and at $1 I could not resist.

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A nice assortment of books.  There were all the reprints of Beverly Nichols and I chose these few.  I love Lovejoy’s gardening books so was delighted to find this like new copy!

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Oh boy, now won’t the grands just love getting letters they have to put together?!  We are a family of puzzle doers so this is just the thing!  .25!!

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Everyone knows I am a sucker for needlepoint.  This little door sign was just calling my name and at .50 who could resist?

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It is not usual to find such reasonable prices at estate sales, even on the final day.  I was quite pleased with my treasures and it was enjoyable to get out and engage in an activity that I love!!

We are into February and I have kept to the commitments I made for the new year.  One was to move more daily, I have done this by walking at minimum 5-6 days per week and doing a bit of yoga.  I absolutely love my walks.  It is my time to really zone out and just be.  I trade off between just enjoying the sounds around me, listening to my favorite pandora station, or listening to a book on tape.  I find when I am listening to a book I walk faster and much further.  It helps that there are green spaces tucked away in various corners of my town and this one is in my own backyard.

 

Another commitment I made was to start regular written correspondence with all my grands.  I have always been big on sending care packages, but was reminiscing on how much I loved the letters my grandmothers sent to me when I was younger and thought, why I must do that too.  Since all my grands are so far away I felt it would be a way for them to know they are always and forever in my thoughts.  I did not expect the joy it would bring me to do this small simple act.  Mind you I have 15 letters to send out, so it does take time, but oh the joy of setting down and composing a letter to each child.  I have gathered up a nice little assortment of cards and papers (I was amazed at how difficult it is to find stationery!!) and enjoy the process of picking out just what card or paper I will use for each letter.  The grands look so forward to the letters.  I have ordered up some prints of pictures and will be enclosing those in some of the letters.  The letter writing is one activity I enjoy most and the added sweetness was to receive letters back!!

Another idea I decided I just had to do is to start a Christmas tradition of an advent gift box for each of my girls (I can’t possible do this for the grands as I have toooo many, although I would love too).  I would see all the advent packages from the yarn and tea companies and just thought, now wouldn’t that be just the thing to do for the girls?  For them to have one little package every day from the first of December on?!  So I have started up a box for just that.  They are just little things, things that I have made, things I have found.  I am delighted how quickly the box is filling up! Being a mother and a grandmother really is the joy and fulfillment of my life.  I remember so dearly how hard it was to be a young mother. All the special things my parents did for me, and the care my mother took in always making me feel loved when I was so far from home myself.  This is what I want to pass on to my own children and grands.

And lastly I want to share a pic of the sweet little ring that Jackson made for me. He loves to watch the YouTube videos of crafty things and hacks.  Isn’t this ring just the sweetest?

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And now it is off to potter away my own day in happy pursuits!

Be Joyful,

Patricia

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