Thursday, February 05, 2009

all is quiet

we woke up this morning to a winter wonderland of snow. it's still gently coming down, but it feels awfully warm out there, so i don't know how long it will last. it was enough that i had to shovel in front of our house and the neighbors' (they're in turkey). normally, husband would do that, but he's away all week, attending a course. it was so magical being out in the gently falling snow that i didn't mind shoveling. in fact, it was a rather invigorating way to start the day. and i felt justified in having bought purple furry bumper boots, since you totally need such boots in the snow. and they leave a pretty footprint:

it's funny that it's actually no quieter than usual, but because the world is white and the contours softened  by the snow, it feels even quieter. the only sound i can hear is the crackling of the fireplace downstairs and the cat snoring (she's really got a problem, i wonder if we should have that checked). it feels like it will be a productive day.

yesterday was productive too. i had a knitting lesson from a very nice lady who works at sabin's after-school program. she has wednesdays off and we agreed to meet down at a cafe and have a coffee and she'd teach me to knit. she did help me quite it a bit on how to hold the needles, but it still feels like a stressful activity to me. i tried to knit last night while watching t.v., but found it very difficult. but perhaps it will come. i love the materials of knitting--soft yarn of natural fibers in beautiful colors, wooden knitting needles. they feel so good in your hands that i am drawn to it, despite the tension and what i call the retarded monkey stance i end up in when i'm knitting. i'm sure once i get the hang of it, i'll relax. because knitting is supposed to be relaxing, right?

i also finished my mad quilt-in-a-day project . i guess i didn't actually succeed in making a quilt in a day, since all i finished was the top that day, but i do blame my old sewing machine, which simply couldn't handle quilting together a layer of fabric and a layer of fleece. fleece is actually rather temperamental in its behavior towards a sewing machine.  but yesterday, i made the binding (after a couple of false starts involving my (in)ability to see angles and envision how they will turn out) and sewed it to the quilt. because i was "cheating" and not really quilting, but sewing a quilt top to a fleece, i was able to sew the binding on with the machine too, rather than by hand as the last step. that made it much faster and it turned out really well. for a first attempt. and i really do love these fabrics from ikea.

it will be comfy and cozy to snuggle up under in the writing house/studio/atelier these days. tho' the fireplace was installed last week and it's WONDERFUL. it warms things up quickly and i haven't subjected my hair to flames in over a week!  i hadn't yet shared a picture because i keep hoping for a day when the sun is shining and the light is better, but that hasn't come, so here's the picture i took last friday of the first fire.

although i had intended to tell travel stories today (memories are coming out of the woodwork as i read paul theroux's pillars of hercules), i guess you get domestic homey musings instead. i blame the snow, it has me nesting and hunkering down inside. i think i'll go get materials to make a fairy costume for sabin's upcoming school play. she plays a little fairy in sleeping beauty. my travel adventures will keep 'til tomorrow.


Lynne said...

atelier? Seems there is a close link between Danish and Afrikaans. Or have you secretly been learning the taal?

Unknown said...

It's snowing here too and I took a photo of my wellington boots this morning, exactly like your first photo here! :)

julochka said...

lynne--atelier is french, isn't it? it's because i can't really decide what to call that little building/room. we called it the writing house all along as we were building it, but since i didn't really end up setting it up for writing, but more for all of the other creativity, it seems like the wrong name for it. it's really more of a living room that happens to be in a separate house in the garden, but that's kinda long. :-)

B--i wanna see your pic! i think you guys have a lot more snow than we do and i wish you'd send a bit more of it our way!

Tara Thayer said...

That is the most beautiful little woodstove you have there! That's exactly what we need: small and elegant, not some big fancy scrollworked clunker. Where does one get such a thing?
Love the atelier, Julie! tt

Barb said...

I'm zeroing in on that gorgeous quilt. You did a magnificent job. Absolultely beautiful and it fits into your room so nicely.

BTW, the boots are pretty nice too. Love the colour. Barb xo

Bee said...

Your domestic homey musings are very nice. I am feeling a bit covetous, though: I want the boots, the stove, and the knitting lessons!

We had a lovely big blanket of snow last night, but it is slowly dripping away.

iasa said...

That is a beautiful quilt. To be honest, that snow is a wee bit scary for me. Bwoy, that's cold!

Laura Doyle said...

Purple Furry Bumper Boots is somewhat of a comical tongue twister, the wintry version of Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers? Maybe it's that Bumper word. : )

When my mother-in-law asked me what I wanted for Christmas this past year, I told her I wanted to learn how to knit. I received a knitting bag, some fibers, and needles for XMas and everything is just so cozy and pretty looking but I have to admit, I seem to be having the same exact problems with it as you. I'm hoping with time, I will become less aggravated as I'm doing it. If I use cotton fibers, I always end up doing it too tight, the needles always feel awkard in my hand no matter how I sit, etc. I really want to love it...I'll keep trying and I'll wish you luck as well!

Also, that quilt is very non-frumpy and awesome. I love the colors and patterns. : )

julochka said...

tara--it's a Scan oven, the Andersen 4. it's a danish company, but their website looks like they sell other places. it is the perfect little size for that room. in fact, it's a bit much, as it heats it up rather quickly. i'm learning how to feed it with just enough wood not to turn the room into a sweat lodge.

barb--thank you on the quilt and the boots.

bee--our snow has almost all melted away today. :-(

iasa--the snow didn't last long, so no worries. :-) are you writing from belize? because that's just not fair.

starlene--i'm so glad i'm not alone on the knitting thing. i thought i was a freak for getting all tense and awkward. i'm going to keep trying tho' and hope it gets easier. i just love yarn!

Meri said...

The quilt is impressive. And you'll get the hang of knitting. I haven't done it for years, but way-back-when after my preemie died, knitting was extremely calming. For about a year afterwards, there wasn't a photo of me in which I didn't have knitting needles in my hands.

Char said...

glad I found your blog. The quilt is so cute and I love the color of the walls.

Jamie said...

I'm so jealous of your fireplace! It's on my "must have" list for our next home.

Tess Kincaid said...

I adore your fuzzy purple boots! Stay hunkered! (I thought I was the only one who used this word on a regular basis!) ;^)

Tess Kincaid said...

Okay, I'm passing you the letter "i" for the letter game. Have fun!! :)

heidikins said...

I am learning how to knit right now, and am very familiar with the retarded monkey stance. VERY familiar. Sigh. My poor teacher, I think her eyeballs are about ready to pop out of their sockets at my "form." I can pick up single grains of rice with chopsticks, or slippery stuff...but I can't gracefully hold 2 knitting needles to save my life!