One Little Word: Surprise

Totally Worth the Time

Several months ago, when it was still winter, I signed up for a day-long felting workshop at my local yarn shop.  Not knit-first-then-felt (as in bags and slippers), but felting with roving.  "Wet felting" (or sculpting with wet fiber) in the morning, and "dry felting" (or needle felting) in the afternoon.

Seemed like a great idea at the time.

But, as Saturday approached - and the weather was perfectly-suited to a lovely day in the garden - I really regretted having signed up. 

But . . .

once I got there, I had a lot of fun.

Good company . . .


a bit of a mess . . .


interesting equipment. . .


and the chance to learn a new skill  -- and create something surprising!


I especially enjoyed the afternoon session.  I have always wanted to try needle felting -- but have never taken the plunge.   I'll admit to being more than a little intimidated. 

But what fun . . . to take this . . .


and poke at it with a needle (or 4) . . . to end up with this!


Eventually, this little guy emerged from my fiber pile . . .


Now HE was completely unexpected!


It was tough to give up a Saturday - spending the day inside with fiber instead of outside with plants.  But - SURPRISE!  I loved learning new things and discovering this whole new creative "stream."


It was totally worth the time!

Stumbling Onto . . . A Little Surprise

Two weekends ago, I headed to the campus of Michigan State University for a day-long garden design conference sponsored by the MSU Horitculture Gardens.  The conference was wonderful - inspiring and informative.  During our lunch break, I took advantage of the first nice spring day we'd had this season, and took a walk in the gardens.

And stumbled onto this. . .



I discovered that the MSU Hort Gardens had been bombed . . .by knitting!


It was so delightful! 

There were even little knit bees in the trees.


It was such fun to watch the reactions of other garden visitors when they stumbled onto the trees-sporting-knitting!  They were surprised.  And delighted.  And really, really curious!

Yarn bombing . . .


just makes people smile!

(Click here for a cool slide show of other yarn bombings in the world.)


Right Now . . . March 2013

So after a tough month, weather-wise (snow in March is never welcome, y'know?), it appears that March is . . . going out like a lamb!  Fine by me!

Here's what's happening in my life  . . . RIGHT NOW.


Watching . . . I'm re-watching Season 5 of Mad Men on Netflix right now in preparation for Season 6 (which begins on April 7).  I love to watch little Sally Draper . . . who is roughly the same age in the show as I was in real-time.  I'm always telling Tom . . . "I had those exact sheets!"  "I had those very shoes!"  "I had a locket just like that."  (He humors me.)  (And, of course.  There is Don.)  I'm also planning to check out Mr. Selfridge on Masterpiece Theater this Sunday night.

Reading . . . There are so many excellent books out there!  My to-read list is growing ever longer, and I lament my lack of reading time.  Right now, I'm enjoying Frances and Bernard immensely (this is an epistolary novel - letters - based on the correspondence of real-life authors Flannery O'Connell and Robert Lowell), and I'm also reading David Copperfield, my favorite Dickens of all time.  (Frances and Bernard is very short, and should be a quick read.  I, however, am savoring it slowly.  The writing is such a delight!)


Knitting . . . I'm doing an informal "knit-a-long" with some of my Kalamazoo knitting pals.  We're each making ChicKnit's Elisbeth cardigan (short sleeve version).  I'm actually a couple more repeats into the knit than the photo (above) shows.  It's a bit of a slog, I'll admit.  But I'm having fun with the cables.  I'm also knitting a spring-color version of this shawl.  And trying not to get too carried away with not-wool inspiration from this or this.

Listening to . . . Buena Vista Social Club.  They just make it feel like the sun is shining . . .and you're enjoying a gin and tonic . . . on the patio.


Thinking about . . . Priorities.  Setting them.  Having them.  Living them.  Life is full of options.

Dreading . . . Some dental work toward the end of April.  Ugh.  But not really much else right now.  (I'm in a good place this spring.)

Humming . . . Songs about sunshine.  Good Day Sunshine.  You are the Sunshine of My Life.  Walking in Sunshine.  But this is the one that is stuck in my head (enjoy it old school and original). . .


Planning . . . Gardens!  I have Big Ideas right now.  Some of them have been in-the-making for a couple of years.  This year . . . It Is Time.  (Get your diggin' shoes on, Tom!)


Celebrating . . . So very many things.  My birthday is tomorrow.  Jenny's leash restriction is over.  I'll be picking up my Mac later today.  Sunshine and mid-50s in the forecast.  (I'm ignoring the snow that is also in the forecast.)  

Drinking . . . Oberon.  (The Bell's Oberon release date is always like a birthday present to me!)

Itching to . . . Dig.  Not wear a coat.  Get a pedicure.  Wear my flip-flops.  Sit outside in the sunshine.

Needing to . . . Finish my taxes. I have started.  And, like they say. . . Once begun, half done.  So I must be at least half done by now!


Organizing . . .  The prime organization task on my to-do list is one I actually look forward to:  Switching out my winter clothes for my lighter spring and summer fare.  Can't wait!  (And check out the little notepads I found at Target for my written organizational tasks.  Love them!)

Inspired by . . . Surprises that are cropping up in my life.  Just little things. . . that really ARE surprising, when you stop and think about it.


Delighted by. . . Sort of wish I hadn't found these.  Because. . . YUM!

How about YOU?  What's going on for YOU . . . right now?

In the Contrast

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.  --- Charles Dickens

Yesterday, as I was rushing around the house preparing to leave for work, I walked into the kitchen and saw this. . .


The sun was breaking over my back fence, lighting my morning and taking my breath away for a minute.

And then. . .

I noticed this. . .


Light . . . stronger in the contrast.


Create light . . . create shadow.