Inspiration is in the details…

How many details do you see? When I took this photo, I didn’t even notice the little checkerboard pattern beside the window. So when I downloaded the photos into my Mac, seeing it was a lovely surprise. Isn’t it funny, how we “see” or fail to “see” things, and simply imagine others?

Being an artist–of any kind–is about Seeing. Because artists are human beings, and therefore individuals, I imagine each has his or her own “tricks” or philosophies or practices to help improve and enhance their ability to See. On the other hand, I know some people who look at the world every day and seldom really See anything. How about you? What have you done that’s helped you learn to See?

By the way, I have a legitimate excuse for not posting much this week…SPRING FEVER!

We’ve had the weirdest spring in D.C. Wonderful weather early on, then snow in April. Then wonderful, then days and days of gray, damp, and windy. But this week has been glorious. Everywhere I turn gardens are lush, trees form thick canopies over the streets, and people are soaking it all in at outdoor cafes and restaurants with sidewalk seating. This weekend, thankfully, is expected to give us more of the same. Yay!

By the way, don’t forget to spend a little time on Monday remembering those for whom Memorial Day was created. From World War I to World War II, from Korea to Vietnam, from Bosnia to Iraq…Regardless of politics, they’ve given us the gift of their service and, often, their lives. A few quiet moments to say thank you is worth more than you can imagine. Then…

Bust out the BBQ!!! Hope you all have a gorgeous Memorial Day weekend, filled with fun, friends, and fiber :-)


Eye Candy Friday (and ripples, and socks…)

Can you believe our temperatures dropped 40 degrees in less than 12 hours? It’s freezing outside…but it’s still spring. These lovely little bluebells (Is that correct? I’m not a gardener.) cheered me up, though I’m feeling a bit uninspired in terms of writing.

During the past week, I’ve been reading a lot about ripples, at Nona’s,
Alicia’s, and on the No-End-In-Sight Ripple Along site.

Now, honestly, isn’t Alicia’s blanket delicious? Those colors–YUM! And her photos are so inviting and cozy…it makes me want to crawl into that bed with a good book, and take a long nap. (Don’t worry, Alicia…I promise not to stalk your blanket.)

Well, I’m not much of a crocheter, but all that fabulocity finally got to me…
And, of course, I enjoyed every minute…maybe a little TOO much. I think a ripple blanket (or throw) may be moving up toward the top of my project list…

Finally, I just wanted to say that Ted and I are hard at work on the Orchid socks.
It’s a fun pattern, nearly mindless but not uninteresting. I’ll be sure to post the details when I’m done.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

It’s Cherry Blossom Time: A Festivus for the Rest of Us!

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a yearly delight for those of us who worship long, balmy days, tender new foliage, the year’s first flowers, and all the other glories of spring…

Unfortunately (for us, that is) this delight is a bit tainted by crushing crowds of camera-toting tourists, but they’ve got a right to be here, too, I guess ;-) (Especially that lovely man who took such a good photo of Chris and I under a canopy of cherry blossoms–Thank you!)

Today we went down to the Tidal Basin and spent some time on the water in one of the paddle-boats. Under scudding clouds, with warm breezes ruffling the water, we floated and listened to live trad-jazz (our favorite) being played by a band in front of the Jefferson Memorial.
Then we wandered up the mall, camera in hand, playing tourist for a while (when in Rome, right?), and found a nice shady bench by the carousel in front of the Smithsonian “Castle.” Chris went to pick up some H2O while I chatted with a very nice couple from Mississippi. The husband wore a hat that read “WWII Veteran” (he was Navy, but I didn’t notice the name of his ship), so I assumed they’d been to the fabulous WWII Memorial during their stay.

When they continued on their way to the Metro, Chris pulled out his iPod and I…well, you know…(That’s “Orchid Sock” #2 on the needles. And yes, I’ve spent a little time out in the sun this past week!)

We found a little stuffed monkey under the bench. We both felt really sorry for the little child out there who lost his or her new friend :-( We waited and waited, but no one came back for him. So we decided to give him a good home amongst the other 50+ monks who live in our–ahem!–library (read: hallway).

Then we went out for Chinese food and came home to take a nap. All in all, it was a perfect day with mon cheri. XOXO

Spring! Light! Warmth!

I have utterly succombed to Spring Fever…
That’s OK, though. Our winter wasn’t long, but it was frigid, so I feel like we’ve earned some nice weather.

Maybe it’s because I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not the warmest place on the planet, but it was mild. I remember sitting out on the lawn in front of Tamalpais High School in March, wearing a blousy camisole top (’70s style) and admiring how tan I’d already become! It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in California, but I still miss those lovely spring days.

I’ve been really tired lately, so the knitting and spinning has slowed down a bit. I keep starting projects (pullovers and cardigans) with my stash of plummy-purple Heirloom Breeze (bought 12 balls on sale from Ozeyarns last year). I love the yarn’s elasticity and texture, but the color doesn’t thrill me the way it used to. Maybe it will look better in a tank top. I mean, really, do I want to wear a purple cardigan?

This whole issue probably stems from the time when I was a corporate travel agent in Philly. (I’m a Penn grad. Even “Ivy League” English majors don’t easily find jobs right out of school…But I’m glad I didn’t go to Wharton! Business…Blech.) Anyway, I needed a warm coat to wear on my commute from Northeast Philly, and fell in love with an expensive deep purple parka that was kind of iridescent (it was black from one angle, purple from another…not rainbowy). And it had cool toggle closures.

I loved that coat. It was an extravagance. But shortly after I bought it, one of the girls in my department–she was slim and chic and a bit too nice–walked by me and said: Oh, what a pretty coat! You look like an Easter Egg!

How catty is that? Well, so much for the coat. I tried to wear it after that, but just couldn’t do it. Obviously, my distaste for purple-y outerwear (including sweaters) has its roots firmly planted right there. It’s a shame, though, because I love purples and plums, and admire them on others. But a little voice in my head still says: Easter Egg.

Oh, well. Perhaps this is a good reason to go yarn shopping and pick up something less “eggy” with which I can knit myself a killer spring sweater. A silver lining, to be sure.

PS. Photo taken by my hubby in Cape May (NJ) last year. Pretty, huh?