Friday, October 28, 2011

August's Attempts

August is like my school-year alarm clock.  Ding ding ding!!!  September is near and you need to have everything ready and in it's place!

And you need to have a clean, comfortable, learning space!

So it was time to get rid of the plain beige walls and get a little more comfortable.  Young Man likes blue and when he says blue he means vivid, saturated, tropical waters blue... but that's a little much for me for a room in the middle of our house.

So off to the home DIY store for paint. 

First off, I want to tell you that the darker blue paint blob to the right is what happens at the DIY store when you finally agree on a more soothing shade of blue with your Young Man and you hand the paint chip (with a paint company's name on it)  to the representative of a different paint brand who happens to be behind the paint counter and says "Well I can make in it our brand."

It does not work and apparently, after returning to the DIY store, it is also not legal to cross paint numbers from one brand to another.  Who knew?  But obviously there is a reason.

So you can see our much lighter blue cut-in here.  Yes, yes...  a little color, a little blue to give us a little personality in our little room without being too distracting.  Wow.  Look at all the mess we had to move and pile up to be able to work in this room.  The dining room was really piled up (prev pic). 

And by now it's dark outside, but our painting is done.  I will admit it was quite rushed and not the best quality painting I've ever done.  But September was coming quickly, you know?

So now we do have a lovely space that we all enjoy being in to learn and play and read.  Even Hubby likes to be in this room.  Now I really want to complete the room with a futon cover and I have a plan to make some curtains.  Crocheted curtains of course!

It's always so much fun to move back into a room and make it function.  I enjoy being able to put-and-putter and make our spaces feel homey.  We've had a good couple of months working in here and we've learned so much.  It's hard to believe a quarter is already over.

August in the Blue Ridge Mountains:  It was still hot, very beautiful and always welcoming.  It's a much different scene now with brightly colored leaves flying to the ground.  Time for soups and big blankets. 
I hope you are warm and cozy where you are. 

I have almost finished my little hooked sweater so hopefully I'll be back to share that REAL soon.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Achieving Balance, or Pursuing It At Least...

The topic of maintaining balance and sticking to routine came up over and over again within the span of just a few days.  It just happened to be at a time when I was thinking about our Routine at home with schooling, child raising, housekeeping and crafting, oh and husband-taking-care-of.  And then there is downtime. 
Stop laughing.

So one of  my dear crafty sister-friends over on SCS was planning a Bible Study based on this book and I took the hint from the various emails, newsletters, blog posts and such that had been whispering balance, routine, etc., and hopped right in. 

I must admit that it has not been easy to get my chapter reading done promptly each week, as I suffer due to my lack of maintaining balance.  However, I faithfully work it in each week where and whenever I can that it won't interfere with the other people who live in this house.  And I am learning that there is no one secret to maintaining balance in one's life.  For me it is a process - an on-going process.  There are a GREAT many THINGS to DO in our days, are there not?  And I have trouble balancing it all.  I can accomplish it all but I'm not at all graceful about it.  I always feel behind or need to do something else and can't get to the things that have grabbed my attention due to other things that are more important at the moment. 

I don't do schedules well.  I like the word Routine.  It gives me just enough structure to know what needs to happen in a day without the stress of staring at a clock.  But what I have found my Routine is lacking in doing this study is that I don't actually allow time for Rest.  No wonder I'm a raving lunatic by the end of the day!  No wonder I feel so frustrated that I never have time to get to the fun things, the downtime things, the relaxing things.  I need more balance.  And so do my kids.  Well, they need a more balanced mom.

Part of being balanced for me is also not just about time and accomplishing things, but feeling settled too.  My dear hubby knows this all too well.  So he convinced me to bring up all of my packed-up crafty goodness from the basement and make a space in a room that we did not currently use
 (as we have not painted it or bought furniture for it).   
I also do not feel settled unless my family is taken care of and are all heart-happy. 

I have much farther to go on my Pursuit of Balance, but I have achieved a new perspective.  And I need to spend more time reading His Word because I believe that's where all the answers are that will remind me of what I really need to be focusing on and what I really need to be doing.  And that includes Rest

Wishing all of you a very productive, yet restful day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Very Colorful Project

Hello folks!  Come along with me on a Color Journey!  I will be the first one to admit that I am not good at color.  I don't know why because I love LOVE color...  Yet whenever I yearn to make my next scrumptious hooky project out of a yummy scrummy yarn it never seems to be in Big Color.  I always lean towards earthy tones and natural hues when choosing yarn.  Now for Sweet P. I pick out lots of pink of course, but that's as far as it goes.  So when Lucy over at Attic 24 posted about doing a very fun ripple blanket AND THEN mentioned that she was doing a Ripple-A-Long with Heather from Little Tin Bird AND THEN invited whomever-wants-to-Ripple-A-Long, well I knew this was a perfect chance to go Colorful and learn a thing or two.  Probably mostly what I will learn is what colors don't look right next to each other.  Ha!

So after reading their lovely post about choosing colors and stashing yarn I embarked on my search for Color.  Now they have a lovely stash of scrummy yarn, but I was not so prepared.  So I searched for a fairly inexspensive yarn that would be brightly colored but still needed to have some weight and soft scrummy-ness about it to keep my interest.  I think I found just that.  In fact I'm already thinking how WonDerFul this would be for little people clothes!

Yes, pink of course.  And Crocus.  What a perfect name for a Color!

Then some purpley-blues.  Isn't Hydrangea another perfect name for yarn color?!

Oh and then some yummy greens!!  It's pure love...

And I really fell in love with these vivid blues.  I really need to play with Color more often!

And following Lucy's advice I tossed in the yellow, orange and red to add my brightness.  I like to think of these as my Candy Corn colors at this time of year!

So there you have it - my color chocies for a Ripple-A-Long.  As you can see from the labels I bought Shine Worsted yarn from Knit Picks online.  I'm often hesitant to buy a new yarn online because I'd rather be able to get my hands on it before purchasing, but I was NOT disappointed with this yarn!

My new Ripple-A-Long yarn stayed in it's basket for a couple of days and I truly enjoyed just admiring it, but then also realized it was a bit intimidating to start thinking about which color first?  And then second?  I always have a plan and know just what I want in just which color, but again, putting lots of gorgeous color together is new to me.  So I started with a deep pink of course!  I'll be back to show you what went next to it!  Gee I hope this works!

I have to add how much I love Fall!  I've been trying to Autumn-ize the house a bit for the little ones and us big ones.  I love these colors that I know so well year after year.  I've been dressing up my window again so I'll share that later, too.

Outside is looking very Autumn-y too.  Can you see the rain in this picture?  It really helped knock down the leaves for a great leaf pile.  That's been loads of fun here too.  Even the dog is into it.

Happy, lovely fall to you!  I'm seriously going to hook up a little sweater and then do some Rippling.  See you soon!
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