Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Wrap Up

One of the blogs I follow, Robin Lee Hatcher, (an author who lives here in Idaho) does a wrap up each month chronicling her monthly accomplishments.  In an attempt to live a more organized life in 2015 I have decided to copy her idea.

Books Read:
One of my 2015 goals is to read more and I think I have gotten off to a pretty good start.  This month I have listened through Audible to the second book in the Call the Midwife series, Shadows of the Workhouse.  I don't know if you have seen these shows on PBS or read these books, but if you haven't you need to do so now!  They are true stories written by Jenny Worth, a nurse/midwife in the East End of London back in the 1920's and 30's.  The tv show does a spectacular job but of course the books are even better.  I have one more book in the series to listen to and I will be sad when it is over.

I have started to read the Mitford books over again, before reading the last in the series that I just got for Christmas, and this month I read At Home in Mitford and A Light in The Window.  There is nothing more pleasant than a visit to Mitford!
So far this year I have read three books.

Movies and TV Watched:
I don't go to many movies but this month I have seen two; American Sniper and Unbroken.  Both very hard to watch but very hard to quit thinking about as well.  I experienced something I have never experienced before in a theater after watching American Sniper:  complete silence.  You could hear a pin drop.  And as we filed out of the theater not one person spoke one word.  It was a really strange experience.  I have heard that has happened after many showings of this incredible story.  I recommend both movies but be warned they are full of things I don't normally watch, torture, blood and bad language.
Parenthood ended last week and it was so bittersweet.  This is a series my whole family has loved and we have enjoyed watching it together so much.  I was sad to see it end but I was so pleased and happy with how they did it.  It was perfect and I have watched it about three times.  Downton Abbey has not been as good to me this season.  I'm not sure where they are going with it but I find that I need to make myself watch each episode - not a good sign.
My new favorite show is Fixer Upper - I am completely addicted and wish there were so many more to watch. 

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. ~Ruth Stout
I love this quote and I think it is why I have enjoyed creating things so much this season.  I have enjoyed belonging to myself and doing the things that make me happy and give me joy.  I have had the best month ever in my sewing/crafting studio.  With my 2015 goal of creating with what I have on hand and not purchasing anything new, I have been amazed at what I have been able to accomplish.  In January I made
* 1 mug rug
* 1 table runner
* 5 heart garlands
  This photo has one of the heart garlands I made - in back of my five sweet grandbabies and 1 great nephew..
* 1 valentine tree
* 3 valentine candles
* 1 baby quilt for a gift

and since I haven't finished it I won't count it for this month, but I have started and made considerable progress on a quilt for my grandson Ryan - it is turning out to be far bigger than I expected.

Knitting - I have made a "wolf hat" for my grandson Aiden and I have started a sweater for me out of my handspun fleece from my sheep Ivy.  I have processed this wool myself and it is turning out to be a course and rustic brown wool.  My sweater will probably be more like a jacket but I am loving it and am excited to finish it.
Spinning - I have spun about 6 ounces of my white sheep's wool.  This fiber I sent to a mill to be processed and had them blend silk into it.  It resulted in a super soft wool that has been a joy to spin.  Eventually I will dye it - another process I will need to learn about as I have never done that before.  I'm trying to decide what color and am leaning towards blue or teal.  I am hoping for a kettle dye effect which is very tonal and rich in color.

Home Renovation:
After living in our home for 15 years we are determined to do some inexpensive updates.  In January we completed and installed a cupola on the top of our barn
 and painted and re-decorated our laundry room.
I especially love the sliding barn door my talented husband made.  It covers a storage area that is the underneath of the stairs.  I am thinking about making it into a "secret room" for the kids, filled with books and beanbag chairs.   It has been a fun endeavor and we look forward to completing some things we have lined up for the next few weeks.

Physical Activity:
Not too much to brag about here but I did get my Fitbit out and wore it yesterday and actually took about a 20 minute walk yesterday.  Now that the days are starting to get a bit longer I really intend to get into a regular walking routine.

All in all I feel like I have been very busy and productive this month.  I look forward to what February holds!