2020 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A wee bit of cross stitch...

Aside from continuing to work on my Christmas afghan, any crafty time I had this past week was spent on two cross stitch patterns.

First, a small Christmas project made even smaller - because I can't seem to leave well enough alone and simply follow directions.   

A few weeks ago I complained that I had trouble seeing when working with 28-count fabric.  Well, I quickly placed an order for some 18-count fabric, but when putting together that order I was drawn to some pretty 25-count pewter-colored Lugana.   The price was right and I figured it was worth a try since it was slightly larger than the troublesome 28-count stuff I had been frustrated with earlier in the month.

I was surprised at how much easier the 25-count Lugana was for me to see.  In fact, it was so much easier on my eyes, instead of making stitches over two threads (as the pattern suggested), I decided to make my stitches over one thread.  


That shrunk the design to half the size of the original.   While you can't tell from the picture, this little design is only 1.5 inches across - from corner to corner.
The lantern itself is only 3/4 of an inch across.  

It needs some snow added to it, but before I go to that extra bit of effort, I need to figure out what to do with this.  It's so small!  I'm open to suggestions (either for incorporating it into something larger, or is there a use for something this tiny?)  One and half inches across at the points.  That's it!  FWIW, on my screen it appears twice as large as it actually is.  

I don't know what I was thinking...


Next up is a fun little project.  Nice and easy to see on 14-count pink Aida.  I know this doesn't make for a very interesting picture at the moment, but rather than show or tell you what it's going to be I thought it might be fun to just post a progress picture of this each week as the design unfolds.  And imagine the confused expressions on my readers' faces.

Clearly, I'm easily humored - as I'd greatly enjoy reading your guesses as to what this is going to be.  

There are no prizes.  Other than the intense satisfaction that will undoubtedly be experienced by anyone who guesses correctly.  

Guess early and often.  It will (probably) be obvious soon enough.  😉  

Or not!  😄

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Simple things...

Years ago we attached retractable clothes lines to the shed, and hooks to two posts on our house. There were a number of summers where this was a weekly (sometimes more often) sight:

This summer, it seems, I've been gone from home more days than not, so I was glad to take advantage of cancelled plans today to wash the bed linens just so I could enjoy drying them outside on this gorgeous day.

There's little humidity so with a high of 80 ⁰F and the changing breezes, these will be dry in short order.

While the gusts will no doubt beat the crispness out of the sheets, I will still enjoy the sweet smell tonight from them drying outside.  😊

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Stitch faster...

While waiting for some easier-to-see cross stitch fabric to arrive, I've been working on my Christmas Dazzle blanket.  It's maybe a third finished at this point.

It's an easy, fairly monotonous stitch pattern with lots of ends to weave in (again). It's looking good, but it's not exactly an exciting project.   😉


In addition to my slow-going afghan, I decided to make a quick little headband this weekend:

And that's it for yarny time this week.


I had an eye exam this past week.  I knew I'd been having trouble seeing with my current glasses for some time (possibly going on a year) and I was sure I needed a stronger prescription.  Well, imagine my surprise when I was told that my glasses prescription was too strong!?!   At home, I pulled out an older pair of glasses and gave them a try again, and lo and behold...  I could see better through them.  Who knew?!?    

But my new prescription is for lenses weaker than even those old glasses, so I put in the order for some new spectacles.  Glasses with progressive lenses are ridiculously expensive.  Hopefully, these will last a while.  I've been wearing my current pair for about 4 years, so maybe I'll get some good mileage out of the new glasses too. 

I was also told I'm developing cataracts. 😒 (That's my "I'm not amused" face.)   I understand cataracts are fairly common, and I'm at an age where I guess their evidence starts appearing, but it was a tad disappointing all the same.   

I'm not exactly worried about it (thanks to modern medicine and surgeries), but I do wonder what the process of dimming eyesight feels like.  Does one recognize that their eyesight is dimming?  Does "dimming" even describe what happens?  I understand (from others) that colors and lights may begin to dull.  Will I find close-up work harder and harder to do, and how long will I struggle with this before I'm eligible for surgery?

Not knowing what that feels like, and not knowing how fast or slow the process for me will be, for the time being it makes me want to get in as much cross stitch as I can.  Hopefully, my new cross stitch fabric will arrive soon.  

Stitch faster! may become my new motto.

To see some other YOPpers' Year of Projects posts, check out the blog links in my side bar.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A little bit of Christmas in July...

I finally decided that this was the week I'd work on some "Christmas in July" cross stitch project(s).  

A couple of months ago I showed here a bunch of vintage cross stitch magazines that had come my way.  Well, this week I stitched up this little pattern from Just CrossStitch Magazine, November-December 1988:

The finished design is only 2 1/2 inches tall by 2 inches wide (measuring the red border).  I worked this on 28 count Charles Craft Linen Evenweave.  Even stitching over two threads, this was pretty small work for me.  I'm thinking I may need to get me a magnifying glass or else resign myself to working on 18 count or lower-count cross stitch fabric. We'll see.  I'm open to suggestions of things to consider when looking for magnifiers.

The plan is to stitch a few more designs and then sew them up into ornaments.  Hopefully, before Christmas.  😉

Well, yesterday truly begins the countdown to husband's retirement.  Along with another man who's retiring, hubs enjoyed a great party at Fort Harrison State Park (on the north side of Indy).  Family and friends and co-workers came.  He was given some nice gifts, and generous words of praise.  What was really special is that the man who first hired hubs was able to attend - along with several previous (and now retired) bosses, as well as his current boss, of course.  It was a good day.  Now he goes to work for two more weeks until his official retirement!  He's been having a fun last few months, enjoying and marking bunches of "lasts".

And that's a wrap for this week!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

New Beginnings...

I can't believe I've been doing this Year of Projects thing for four years now!  And I've only missed a few weeks of  posting in all that time.   Casually looking back I can see how much my life has changed in the last 4 years - not necessarily in looking at it from the outside, but things (good things mostly) have come my way and I have greatly benefited in embracing some changes in my life and activities.   

Well, change is in the air again. Hubby retires later this month and I have no idea what to expect - though my mind gets away from me from time to time and I'm tempted to worry about what he's going to do with his newfound free time!  That said, this change is coming whether I'm ready or not, so we'll figure it out like millions of couples who've gone before us.

Speaking of change, I've been thinking that I want to make some changes in this Year of Project thing, but I still don't know what those changes will look like.

What I will do...

I will continue to not create a goals list of what I want to accomplish in the creative department.  Don't get me wrong.  I understand the value of setting goals and making lists.  I'm actually a great list maker.  And for work, or things where others will suffer the consequences of lack of organization or communication, lists are important and useful tools to prevent one from exasperating others.  And even personally, for jobs that need to get done, lists and deadlines are immensely helpful.  But for crafting... for me...not so much.

That said, I get enjoyment from and find inspiration in others' lists!  😃

I will continue to make whatever catches my eye, delights the senses, fills a purpose (even if that purpose is simply joy).

What I won't be doing...  

I'm not going to remain super focused on whittling down my enormous stash.  And internally apologizing and justifying if I buy more yarn or thread.  While it's always fun to bust through stash, and I imagine I'll have some posts joyfully proclaiming stash busting, I don't intend to keep track of it all as fastidiously as I've been doing for the last year or so.  At least not publicly (i.e. I  won't be reporting on it here on my blog). 

In truth, that's kind of a hard thing to give up.  It's fun and motivating to see my stash numbers change every few weeks.  And it was very satisfying to find myself (mostly) respecting the limits I put on myself about buying new yarn.  So it was very good in that way.

But how it is not so good for me is that crafting that way had become too much about using the stash instead of the joy of making.  That one isn't so obvious because I've enjoyed all the making I've done (and each thing I've made), but in hyper-focusing on my stash and whittling it down, I've recently begun to realize this isn't what I want life to be about.  Maybe I'll write about that more as I solidify my thoughts.  At the moment, it's just a seed that's started taking root.  All I know right now is the exercise was great while it lasted.  And I'm good with giving it up.

I'm no longer going to be motivated to craft because of wanting to share something in a YOP update on Sundays.   YOP posts will still be about sharing what I'm making, but if I don't have something that I feel is worth sharing, I'm getting free about not feeling like I have to make a YOP post.  So obvious, isn't it?   

Here's the thing... I've never felt like HAD to post a weekly YOP update, but I didn't want to break my record, or didn't want to miss out on the fun.  The end result is that I had turned something fun into something more like work.  It was actually fun at first (even for years), but I'm realizing that crafting for the sake of posting is not what I want crafting to be for me.

Again, I don't know what that will look like.  It may not look any different on your side of the screen.  Or maybe it will!  I'm just hoping to change the way I think of crafting or making things as it relates to blogging (or vice versa).  Such a simple thing, really, but it's a bit of a paradigm shift for me.

I've been wrestling with how to make these changes for the last six months or so.  Turning 60 in the spring, no doubt, has helped prod me toward changing my focus in some ways.   But at 60 I'm still a work in progress, so hopefully it will be interesting to see what all this means for me and YOPing, or even blogging this year.

I'd like to figure out if there are other topics I'd like to blog about.  Or even just other ways to share my life here.  I'd like to get better at photography.  I think I'd like to continue to expand my creative pursuits.  I'd like to share the ordinary, but have it be important somehow.  I don't know...  Now I'm just thinking out loud.  And that means I need to move on along.

You're welcome.  😏

Since this is a YOP post, I'd like to share a new project I've begun this weekend.  It seems "Christmas in July" is once again buzzing around in different circles, and I've finally joined the fun.  I've always wanted a Christmas afghan, so this is the year it's getting done.

The pattern is called Christmas Dazzle and it's from the book, A Year of Afghans - 1998 (one of my many old crochet books I've picked up along the way).  

And that's all for me this time.  Thanks for popping in and thanks in advance for leaving any comments.  😉

Later 'gator!