Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Seeing With Your Heart

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

For days we had the most beautiful blue skies.
 Daily walks were taken to make the most of the gorgeous weather.
And, of course, as I walk, I'm aware.
Looking up, down, left, right, all around.
On my Instagram account, someone locally asked "where are the best spots to observe nature like this?
I told her I just walk along the paths or around the neighborhoods and am always looking for something interesting.  
But another person commented that the best spot to find it is in your heart because it leads you to observe beauty. 
I thought that was a lovely way of looking at it and so very true.  
Beauty is all around if we just take the time to see it.

With the first step, the number of shapes the walk might take is infinite, but then the walk begins to define itself as it goes along, though freedom remains total with each step: any tempting side road can be turned into an impulse, or any wild patch of woods can be explored.  The pattern of the walk is to come true, is to be recognized, discovered.
A.R. Ammons, A Poem is a Walk
The mere thought of walking outdoors on a brilliant golden-blue day causes fireworks of delight to go off in most people’s psyche.  It gives one an instant feeling of happiness and that is meditation!  We are not 
only in touch, at that moment, with the physical splendour of nature, but also with the beauty of merging our own spiritual nature with it.
Karen Zebroff  
Walking with intention; seeing with the heart.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Pumpkin pie for breakfast is allowed on Christmas Day, right?
While yesterday we had a more traditional Christmas meal, today we chose to go out.
Yesterday we had roasted sweet potatoes, and today sweet potato tempura.
Afterwards we walked over to Movenpick for coffee.  Yesterday was gray and drizzly, but today was nice weather for sitting outside.
Wishing you all blessings of peace and happiness this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Card Swap and More Crafty Moments

Thanks to Amy at Love Made My Home for hosting a Christmas Card swap where we were paired up with one other blogger.  Our mail system is iffy at best but I figured I'd give it a go.  Surely a couple of little cards could wing their way to their proper destination.
My partner was Jo from Liverpool, Home of the Beatles; Jo blogs at Angel Jem's City Cottage
The card I received from her is there on the right and the card on the left is from our hostess with the mostess.  Thanks Jo and Amy!
Yesterday I met a new group of ladies for coffee and crafting.  They are a talented group of quilters who are also proficient at so many other crafts.  Yesterday they were all knitting while Emina and I were crocheting.
Another fun project I've been participating in for December is a daily sketch prompt.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen these, but thought I would share some of the drawings here on my blog.
Day 17: Stocking; Day 18: Light; Day 19: Cheer; Day 20: Red; Day 21: Fireplace.

Yesterday's prompt was "white" and for today it's "wonder" so I've combined the two in this painting of a snowman "Walking in a Winter Wonderland".
Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Festival of Cookies

Yesterday my good friend, Melissa, held her annual Christmas Cookie Festival.
We started out by playing games.
Guess the number of candies in the jar.  Place a paper on top of your head and draw a snowman.  Holiday word search (the only game I won).  And the dice game where you roll a 1 or 6 and gift boxes are taken from the other players until time runs out (whoever is left with a gift gets to keep it).
There were appetizers and main dishes -- she always makes sure to have vegetarian/vegan dishes just for me.
And the finale.
A big container of homemade cookies for everyone to take home.  She spends weeks doing all the baking herself.  
A wonderful afternoon of festive fun, food and friendship.
She even made a separate batch of vegan cookies just for me which I enjoyed this morning for breakfast.

Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Crafty Mornings

At least bi-weekly, on a Saturday morning, I meet with a group of friends for crafting, coffee and conversation.
 The group is made up of knitters, crocheters and a cross-stitcher and each time we meet there's different ladies depending on everyone's schedule.
We also switch up the meeting place to keep it interesting.  Last week was Costa Coffee and today we met at Starbucks in a restaurant complex called Divonne.
During the 2 hours last week, I managed to crochet 23 hot pink hearts.
And this week's cowl will be finished as soon as the yarn runs out.
Sometimes there are gifts involved, like these gorgeous holiday coasters made by Zahra (the crocheted stones were made by me).
And the sweet cross-stitch and other goodies I received from Mini who blogs over at Miniz Diary.
The ginger kitty looks like Jingles when she was little.  In fact, one time she caught a bee and tried to eat it but got stung instead and her mouth swelled up like crazy.  

Research shows that crafting can ease stress and increase happiness.  I think the benefits are doubled when you are crafting with friends.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Stashbusting: Handwarmers Having Fun

Last Saturday while we were at The Secret Garden, the wind was blowing so cold that we had a hard time keeping our hands warms.  I decided then and there that it was time to crochet some fingerless gloves.
And I knew that Melissa was the perfect person to take a walk with so we could photograph the four pairs I made.  The first set was made with a tweed stripes yarn that my husband brought back from Bangkok years ago.
Although the weather was absolutely gorgeous, it can get a little chilly near the water.  The good news is the handwarmers did a great job of keeping our hands warm. while allowing our fingers to be free to easily take pictures.
I used yarn that I already had on hand so am linking this to the December Stashbuster Party over at Linda's Crafty Corner.

Have a great day!
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