Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Words and Wool

Things have been so busy in the last month that I have not been able to post my usual "Words and Wool". So, the pictures and books have been piling up..........

See these four bags of knitting and sewing crafts? This is how Michael shows he loves me -- he lets me take all four of these bags plus a large bag of books on vacation. I have no idea how he fit everything in the car, but he did, and he never complained. 

I did not get as much sewing down on vacation as I hoped, but I got everything cut out for the various Christmas crafts that I sell.

These are the books I took on vacation. As I said to Michael, I got more reading done than I expected, but less than I hoped.

I read all of Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin and loved it just as much as I loved her first book:The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. I took copious amounts of notes on the first half of the book. I find Rubin to be very helpful and full of "practical wisdom". To a certain extent, pursuing one's own happiness is part of a mature and well-balanced life. An adult ought to be able to take responsibility for his emotional well-being, and that involves making sure your soul, as well as your body, is recharged and well fed. These two books can be tools to aid in this process.

I started An Irish Country Wedding (Irish Country Books) by Patrick Taylor but did not finish it before it was recalled to the library. I have just received it back again today. It is set in the Irish Countryside in the 1960's in a country doctor's practice. I have read all the books in the series and really enjoy them.

A Dangerous Inheritance: A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secret of the Tower by my favorite author Alison Weir is still in the early stages of being read. My personal vice of having about 15 books started at once means I don't read some books as fast as they should be read. Oh well. It is an allowance I make myself.

I did finish A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards (Library of Religious Biography) by George Marsden and it was excellent! Marsden wrote a huge, comprehensive Life of Edwards and then condensed his research down into this small volume. It was easy to read and interesting and provided enough information for what I wanted at this time. Maybe later in life I will read the full version.

I never made it to Bonhoeffer's Psalms but hope to do so in the future.

While on vacation Michael and I had the chance to browse a used bookstore. It was very large, and I had to limit myself, but I did come away with the following books: 

A Shorter Boswell -- because Gretchen Rubin is always talking about Boswell and Samuel Johnson
The Master of Ballantrae -- because I need to read some R. L. Stevenson
How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It -- because this will be a good book for Scottish reading
Julie -- because I couldn't resist the cover
Scotland since 1688: Struggle for a Nation -- because this goes along with our Scottish studies

I loved the cover of this vintage novel. Don't know if the words inside will be any good but someday I will find out!

Back to knitting, we finished up our fall semester at homeschool group and the Knitting Club decided that they would have a knit sale to raise money for a charity working to get women off the streets. They organized it all themselves and raised $129!!!!

I loved all the different items available and would have bought them all if I could!

David insisted he wanted to learn to knit the other day so I taught him. He actually did quite well and was so cute sitting on my lap.

We had some friends over for an all-day sewing for Christmas day. I was surprised that all the kids managed to stay busy from 10 am to 4 p.m.! They turned out an enormous amount of gifts!

Here is a shot of some of what they made:

After putting of making it for one year, I finally turned this gray cardigan into a pillow. It belonged to the recipients mother and was very special to her. It had gotten to the point of being unwearable and thus was a perfect candidate for being turned into a pillow.

I found this quilt top at Goodwill pay by the pound and put a vintage sheet (also Goodwill) to the back of it with batting in between and then tied it up to give to Emily for her birthday. She loved it! (And so did I!! - very tempted to keep it for myself)

Lavender sachets are my new product this Christmas. They smell heavenly!

My new niece is in the process of being born just as I type!!!! YAY!!! This TINY Tea Leaves Cardi was knitted for her in sock yarn using the pattern for a 2 year old. Using the sock yarn reduced the size to something perfect for a newborn. I also used needles appropriate to the sock yarn. And there is a lot of secret Christmas knitting going on but I can't talk about it or post about it!

And I've been making my plaid rosettes out of recycled plaid. Perfect for Christmas!

While on vacation Christina and I started ordering Christmas books from the library. It is always nice to read a few seasonal adult books as well as the lovely children's books we always read at this time of year. I find it hard to find a good adult Christmas story. These are the books on my nightstand this year:

The Queene's Christmas (Elizabeth I Mysteries, Book 6) -- a murder mystery set in the court of Queen Elizabeth I during Christmas. So far, so good, especially since I am interested in this time in history. It won't be an Alison Weir, but I think it won't be a waste of time.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher is the 4th Pilcher book I have started. This one should interest me more than the last two since it involves Scotland and Christmas. Nothing yet compares with the first novel of hers I read which was Coming Home.

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Liz Curtis Higgs -- I'm afraid I'm not the biggest L C Higgs fan, but this appeals to me because it is 1) short, 2) set in Scotland, 3) unconnected from her other novels, 4) a Christmas story. Interestingly, the story begins just 5 miles from where my great-grandmother would have been living during the very same year (1894).

No Holly for Miss Quinn (The Fairacre Series #12) by Miss Read was a very sweet, light novel set in a quaint English village at Christmas several decades ago. It was not gripping, but just gave glimpses into everyday life and was generally pleasing.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas is sitting here waiting to be opened. Another murder mystery no doubt, but with one of my favorite characters.

The Christmas Star by Ace Collins is another book I don't know anything about but will try to read in the coming weeks.

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote was recommended by our librarian and Christina then read it and highly recommends it. It is a long children's story which adults will enjoy too.

Becky's Christmas by Tasha Tudor must be included because it is my favorite children's Christmas book.

Hop on over to Ginny's Yarn Along for more knitting and reading ideas.

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1 comment:

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I loved "A Short Life of Jonathon Edwards", it seemed to have the same feeling about it of Marriage to a Difficult Man (although together make a more complete look at Edwards).

I'd like to read his longer version but reality says I won't.

Love all the Miss Read Christmas books, none are deep and all are mostly short reads but they take me to a simpler time and place.

I recently found a copy of Goudge's Sister of Angels (Sister of the Angels?) really cheap so I was thrilled to add it to my Goudge collection. It is a lovely Christmas story about redemption AND restoration (probably available through inter-library loan in your area). It is a novelette sequel to A City of Bells.