Friday, November 30, 2012

Prophylactic Therapy for the Holidays

My house is 85% of the time, a hot mess. Or at least, I think it is. Today, there is laundry on the dining room table (it's been there since last Friday), a tv tray sits in the direct center of the living room. The ottoman is loaded with knitting, patterns, and a back scratcher. The cat's little toys are EVERYWHERE. My kitchen island has 3 AA batteries, a fruit bowl, headphones, 1 hurricane candle holder, a vase of dying flowers and an iPad on it. There are dishes in the sink. The craft room is filled with STUFF. 

Am I panicking about hosting 2 major Christmas parties in this mess? No.

Am I worried that everyone will think i'm a hoarder and dirty? No.

PC and I tend to clean up BIG once a week.It's not ideal for me, but I've learned to live with it. I've also started to think: we have too much stuff. I had this thought a few months ago and we ended up donating over 40 boxes of "stuff" to charity. Now, i'm moving onto other things that are just taking up too much space. 

I was reading ApartmentTherapy today and saw this article on knowing yourself and how you live in your home. I'd really like to change some things around our home and I think this was just the kick in the pants I needed. One thing that tops my mind: shoes. My shoes live all over the house. I have a shoe rack that I barely use. I'd like to have them by the back door, but the cat box is there. Kitty litter + my shoes = not a happy a.m. surprise. But, maybe I can move the trash can. Or the pantry and the  baker's rack can swap places. 

My biggest hesitation with doing anything major in this place was that it wasn't our "forever home." just a rental. But, it's the rental we've been in for over 3 years. And, with housing market and huge down payments needed, it'll probably be the one we're in for a few more years. So, why not install the mop hanging system on the cellar door? Why not ask if we can install shelves in the spare room? 

Tomorrow, I'll wake up and look around and think: ugh. And, then I'll start the laundry, clean out my clothing drawers, wash the floors and pick up around the house. What's more is that I'll be looking around at how we live. What we can live with, and live without. How to make our space more uniquely ours. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

To: Ungrateful , From: Grinch-y

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Or, at least, December. With the wintry holidays quickly approaching, I'm seriously considering my to-knit list. It appears we'll be having a store-bought Christmas. This makes me a little sad, but then again, I always doubt my gifts when they are handmade. A pair of mittens I spent $28 on wool for, and 12 hours of my life, suddenly needs a $25 gift card so "it doesn't look cheap." No more.

On my needles are some mittens for my nephew to match his hat. My little friends to the North (cousin Sue's kids) need some new dollies, so I'll be whipping up those this weekend (Ysolde's pattern- quick and lovely).  PC? He might get some house socks, but he's cool if they aren't in the stocking. Mom's getting a scarf, but has requested socks. I dunno about that.

Other than that? I'm hitting the mall. And local purveyors, of course. I've become a bit of Grinch in past years, mostly because of particular attitudes during the holidays. I think I'm tired of not hearing Thank You (or in my case, hearing it said very curtly while the gift gets shoved somewhere). Someone recently said something near me (I overheard this conversation): A gift shouldn't come withe expectations and it shouldn't be received with them either. Enlightening! This Christmas, I'm removing any expectations from my gift giving and receiving. If I see something for $2 or $20 that makes me think of you, and I want to give it to you: done. Any gift I receive will be received for what it is: a thoughtful kindness given to me. The notion that someone thought of me when they saw it. I'm not talking about LOWERING expectations; I'm REMOVING them.

I know that if I knit mittens for PC's mom, or a hat for my dad, they will love it. But, I also have a new job and a tight schedule of events (parties, work events, etc) between now and the magical Christmas Eve. So, this year, the knitting will be relaxed. The presents will be bought, wrapped and set under the tree. No guilt. No worry that it won't be "enough" of a gift.

My gift to you this holiday season: remove your expectations, have a cup of tea, get a little knitting time in for you, and stop to enjoy the JOYS of the season. I know I will.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

smitten ten on Tuesday

  Ten on Tuesday is very appropriate for the Boston area,which is expecting snow tonight! Ten mittens I want (need) to knit. Almost 35% of my Ravelry queue is mittens. I love to knit them, love to design them, love to wear them. I guess I'm just smitten with mittens!

1. Bella mittens. A certain 15 year old needs a pair.   
2. Mittens to Order
3. Druid Mittens by Jared Flood
4. Every mitten by Spilly Jane. For real,those patterns are addictive!
5. Envy Checked Mittens. srsly? Those checks? Adorable!
6. Rose Mittens, by Kamilla.
7. 116-6 garn studio mittens
8. Drifty Mittens
9. Winter wonder mittens
10. Aberdeen Ave mittens

Jackson has a hat! I might whip up some matching mittens tonight for him. But I would really like to have this in the mail tomorrow. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Justin Bieber...downfall of decor

We drove past a gorgeous, old mansion in our town last night. You do this, right? Go look at the houses you can't afford at night? Our town is notorious in the Boston area for wealth, so its like....expected to gawk at houses.

Anyway, back to the hobby drive. Gorgeous house. Stunning. No curtains on the first floor (love! If you don't want me looking: less money on light fixtures, save for some curtains). I slowed down to see this house. Then I saw it. The second floor window lit up . Hmm. Is that? Oh, yes it is. All that gorgeous design, landscaping, and gorgeous woodwork, and they have a room full of Justin Bieber posters. 

Teenagers. The anti- taste makers. 

My nephew, Jackson, needs a new winter hat. His jacket this year is red and black, I thought this would compliment nicely. The pattern is frm the latest IK accessories frm the fall, C220 super wash to the rescue!