Happysad is the mysterious state of things. One cannot be without the other but further more the one IS the other. Happiness is also sadness looked at in another way. Sadness is happiness from a different standpoint. Like two sides of the same coin, when it comes right down to the detail - they are one. Here are my happy flowers sadly and joyfully battling on after two weeks. The clock that ticks for me makes me sad but what is more beautiful than a shower of dandelion seeds, wraith-like, filled with life and death drifting across the lane to settle on stony ground.
I meditated all weekend on the nature of the present momemt. I took refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sanga. But mostly I took refuge in a Hammock
Where I wound yarn and sang to the seeds that never make it
1. The happy of buying oneself satisfyingly expensive flowers.
2. The happy to be gained from the true effectiveness of the 'Furminator'. If you have a cat or dog buy one now. It's spring-moult time and this is a a comb on speed.
I wish I'd invented it. Here is just one session's worth of cat shavings.3. The happy from not buying anything except food for six weeks (save for a two-book relapse, one of which i've already read and the other am currently reading so I think that's ok).
I've been reading Asphyxia's blog. http://fixiefoo.typepad.com She has inspired me to be more open, let it hang out, say my goals out loud in public and make the whole of life more homemade. It doesn't have to be just 'craft' focussed into craft sessions. She makes all her presents, clothes, food, does home-schooling and also, amazingly, built her own house. She looks deep into herself for her inspiration, comes up with plans and sticks to them! She seems to be relentlessly positive or manages herself in a positive way and rather than give me life envy she inspires me to get on with my own stuff. To be inspired today watch her video of 'The Grimstones' www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhhqn-fb-Is her blog details the evolution of how she created it.
So for the rest of this year, in Asphyxia style, I want to try and stick to the following:-
* I want to NOT buy any more clothes or jewellery or books for the whole year. I just bought myself some and now I really don't need anything. I have some beautiful fabric that I want to make dresses with so if I need new clothes i can reconnect with my sewing machine. I will also not buy stationary or yarn until i use up what I've got which may take some time.
* I want to try going for one whole month without spending anything that is non-essential - food, bills, transport and see what happens. Starting this month.
* I want to continue to give away or sell one thing every day. This has been going really well and it has eased the clutter by about 30%. I want to get to 100%. A house that feels in the present moment without baggage.
* I want to cut down on fat. A lot of relatives starting having heart attacks in their 50s and I don't have a sweet tooth I have a fat tooth. I want to allow myself space to prepare and eat huge raw salads in the evenings like I used to. I'm lucky to love this healthy food as much as chocolate so it makes my body happy.
* I want one pyjama day a week to use to be creative and release that side of myself that wants to cut out cardboard, do tiny paintings, create installations from junk and take photos of spoons.
* I want to reconsider my long-time dream of building my own tiny house. I had written it off in recent years but I know the dream would support me if I found ways to let it loose.
* I am going to try and make all my presents this year.
I hope that by the end of the year my house will be the sanctuary I want after four years of doing it up and at that point I want to be ready to turn out into the world and start the next section of my life - (middle-age) - with gusto. xx
The decluttering continues and today I tackled a box of vintage cotton reels. They have been happily sifted, sorted and reboxed. The yarn is still surprisingly strong and it must have been really good quality, it feels soft and sturdy. The labels are delightful.
I also had to figure out what to do with this curious, tiny item that my auntie found in a box of junk. It is knitted but is so tiny it must have taken a decade. The mystery has been solved this week by 'Knitting Traditions' (a special edition of 'Piecework' which has designs adapted from traditional folk knitting). It seems that this could be just one of many squares that belonged to a quilt. Or, because of the border, a coaster for a bedside table to match the quilt.
Happy happy - the magazine provides a similar ancient pattern in modern format. Ooooh!
Below is a photo from 1890 of a knitted quilt made of just these squares. The quilt is now long gone but it was owned at the time by Betsey Penhallow of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and this is her bedroom. As part of a heritage project a group of volunteer knitters have painstakingly reconstructed the quilt for display - they used 2mm needles with crochet silk and the border alone took two months!
So, what to do with this tiny little itty bit of knitting?
It must have been produced with such attention to exacting standards, I'm sure the maker would appreciate me repairing the seams. As I sift, I know how much minimalism and order create a spacious mind but sometimes treasures are meant to be treasured.
So I leapt out of bed in 'doing mode' and started getting the day under control and I looked up at the clouds and I actually had the thought 'what do I need to do to bring the sun out'.
I have a big job with lots of problems to solve everyday. I have a house full of ten years of landfill that I'm streamlining. I have a tonne of DIY. I have knitting. I'm busy. I tackle each problem with thinking of the end result that I want and then working backwards along the route till I get to the next action that I need to take.
I wanted sunshine and for a moment my mind clearly thought this proactive approach was going to work! Catching myself thinking this thought has really made me think that just maybe I should have a rethink here. So I'm visualising what it might be like to rethink this and I'm thinking - I have lost...the...plot.
So this week's task is to do some DIY on my mind to work out what thoughts are really worth being thunk amongst the landfill of crappy management tools i've been collecting for the past ten years. Thank you clouds.
I'm on the move and I've been enhancing my travel knit-kit this weekend. Usually it is spartan:-scissors and a darning needle in a mint tin. Occasionally there might be a bit of yarn in a different colour to hold stitches or make stitch markers and that's it. I like the minimalism of it.
This week, however I faced the fact that I needed a row counter. My old manual stiff one just wouldn't do and the Vogue knitting application is also tedius to knit by (and doesn't lock!). And that's how I came to fall in love with this magnificent, nay, breathtaking, piece of design.
I love it! Bright soldier red, unapolagetic, straightforward and a perfect fit in the hand. Its instructions written on the back say 'to reset to zero, turn the gears in the direction of the arrows'. Of course. Simple. Classic. Perfectly itself. I am a new, and enthusiastic Clover geek.
I have no beef with British weather. It brings change and cycles that allow us to change our focus from outside to in, to curl up, nest and warm our hearts before we are required to emerge furiously spring cleaning again. Right now I am enjoying the darkness of January - sitting still, late into its hidden evenings one can sift away what one doesn't need and pick up abandoned threads. Sometimes, sitting still can bring you progress. This particular FO was started in 2008. Suddenly today its muse reappeared and it was finished. It only took two and a half years to complete but I'm nothing if not dogged. Progress has its own mysteries.
These gloves came off my needles this week. They are cosy, warm and have a lovely but robust Alpaca haze. Heartwarming indeed.
And currently I'm doing sitting battle with a tank top of feathery light cashmere (I wince just thinking about the price). It is gorgeously pure, simple and straightforward yarn and I'm creating a straightforward pattern. The battle is the ripping I have to do from not having the brain capacity to count and watch films at the same time. Either the numbers go or the plot starts getting surreal - who knew the same bit of brain was needed for both.
Still, this kind of activity is perfectly guilt free in the darkness of January. It's the most reasonable behaviour in the world to shut the door, crack open a podcast, sip hot coffee and enjoy seeing the mysteries of progress uncurl in the way it sees fit.
I am grateful for this week of relaxation - a week to look down the New Year and find its inspiration. A week to ask my body what it needs after the misery and sadness we've suffered together recently. This year I want to help it to bring me some happy - feed it properly, put it to bed on time and let it find it's soul.
This week's happy number 1 - I have awakened to podcasting - I love 'Cast-on' - I'd never found the time to connect before. So lovely to knit to http://cast-on.com/
Happy number 2 - Saying 'Yes' to friends and 'No' to extra-curricular activities. I've caught up with some truly marvellous people over the Christmas period and unbelievably, they're also my mates and I love them.
And here's the nub of it. Happy lies in the body, to listen to podcasts you need to be relaxed, to open to friends you need to be well rested and to let your body find its soul you have to get your butt to the gym.
Christmas was a time to sink slowly into the silence and peace of my aunt's house. Time to forget the way labels are pasted on from the outside. Underneath surfaces, forgetting the names of things. We woke to ice daggers around the house and a light of sheer breathtaking blue.
Foxes left blue footprints traced around the house. Sky and land swapping colours. Leaves into crystals. Green into blue.
In the silence I knit. And after a week of knitting the green and the world we know returned. Twisting meanings back together. Surfacing. Complete. Renamed.