2015 Finished Handmade – 1

I just realized I didn’t write a single post about my finished knitting project last year. Well, it was kind of true, I was messing around with my sewing machine more last year. However, Canada’s winter is really the best time to go back to knitting.

Last weekend, I was doing some re-organizing of my yarn stash, looking at all my yarns hopelessly, hating how slow I knit. I only knit while I watch TV, maybe it means I watch much less TV now. But seriously, I need to knit faster, because I want to buy more yarn!

Merino Fingerless Glove
Remember this failed Henry scarf? I frogged it, skeined it, washed it, dried it, then re-winded it into cake — oh man, what a price (time and energy) to pay for the failure. I made a pair of fingerless gloves for my bf using the recycled yarn:

Pattern: Fingerless or Not Gloves by Paula McKeever
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage Solids & Quatro Colors 75% Merino 25% Nylon (about 80 grams)
Needle: 2.25mm

Several projects on the needle:

Banana Leaf Shawl

An End to Home Decoration?

Ever since I bought my own place, I started this never-ending process of decorating it. Without much confidence, I decided to take an interior decoration part time course at local college two years ago. It was a 12 week non-credit course for personal interest only, meaning you cannot really go for professional career with this course alone. Anyways, the course was very helpful. It gave me a big picture of the overall process, and then a brief summary for each design concept/component.

Since then, I repainted some of my rooms, and added a few decoration items. However, buying home decoration items have been slow and painful for me.
Buying used: I am not the type of person who shops on kijiji a lot. I have this uneasy feeling that I am obligated to buy once I visit the seller, unless it’s something trivial, ie: garden planters.
Buying new online: I also have problem buying them online. I would definitely prefer seeing the item in person before buying it to avoid any kind of disappointment. Last summer, I bought this abstract wall art from wayfair.com, when I received the item, somehow it just didn’t give me that same feeling as when I saw it on my monitor, but it’s not too bad.
Buying new in-store: I have this feeling that if I go out to shop for a specific decoration item, 98% of the time will come home empty handed. Some of the best items I bought happened to be during a shopping trip with completely different goal. The fact that I don’t do a lot of window shopping just reduces that probability by a further 90%.

One’s home only has limited walls to hang arts, or limited space to decorate. I always wonder, what if I find a new item that I love for this wall? what do I do with the old piece? store them in basement or sell them online? ahhh….

Art Journaling – Second Try

Two years ago, I tried this online workshop called Draw Happy, simply because of its tagline: If you’ve ever said “I can’t draw!”, it’s time to join the Draw Happy revolution…It didn’t go very well. After I went through the workshop videos, I gave up art journaling, simply because I just wasn’t trained or raised doing things like that, aka, lack of creativity training.

Before I came to Canada at the age of 16, my childhood was just endless homework, tests, practice exams, official exams; arts/music lessons were cancelled for exam preparations; ok, occasionally had some degree of relaxation and fun. However, compare to the school life of Chinese children nowadays, I consider mine wasn’t that bad already. In my memory, I’ve never had an art lesson where the teacher said, use your imagination, and draw anything you want, or use any color you want. Never.

During the New Year, Jane’s workshop Supplies Me! was having a sale. I decided to give it a second try. Well, did I really want to give art journaling a second try? or was it just too hard to pass the sale? Maybe it was a little bit both! On the weekend, I got a few art supplies from Curry’s; I am hoping in the next few month, I will not be afraid of doodling anymore.

Library Visit

I haven’t read a fiction book in ages, not sure why. Last book I borrowed from my local library was “A Travel Guide to Life” by Anthony DeStefano. Guess how many times I’ve renewed this book? A total of 6 times, each time is 3 weeks duration. I remembered there was a limit (3 or 4) on the number of times you could renew a book, but somehow I was able to renew it 6 times. Have you ever borrowed a book, then just let it sit there till due date? Or tried your very best to read it the night before its due date? Oh well, that was the reason I needed to renew it 6 times. I know it’s bad. But, I did finish the book!

I dropped by library on the way home today to return it, and at the mean time, hoping to pick up something new, anything interesting. Without a specific book in mind, that I know the library has it, it was hard; with my heavy winter jacket (-10°C outside) on, browsing through all the books on the shelf was even harder. I tried a few fiction books on the “New & Popular” shelf, their sizes are a bit overwhelming. Sometimes, I really miss working downtown, which means the quiet two hour commute time or reading time. Eventually, I found a book I want to read, a non-fiction again: “Design: A Crash Course” by Paul Clark. Yeah, a crash course, I need that.

Do you know which book to pick up when you visit your library?