A Little Treat

Tulips

I have been working on adding activities to my daily life that make me happy. The theory is that if you spice up your day with things you find pleasant, you will have an easier time when you are stressed.

For me this is a two-part challenge. My daily to-do list is very long, plus I get often interrupted. Until recently I found it very satisfying to get things done, not allowing myself to sit down for half an hour reading a book.

The second challenge of enjoying what you do is recognizing it. Am I always running around with my thoughts about the next thing I need to be doing without paying attention to what I am doing at the moment? I have been trying to apply more mindfulness to my daily life. When I am taking a shower, I try to focus on how the hot water feels on my skin. When I am drinking my favourite cup of tea, I savour the taste, inhale the scent. It is about recognizing that special moment after dinner, when we all sit together and talk about our day.

I also promised myself I would always have flowers in my house, especially in the dark season. Recently I bought the tulips in the photo. They were so pretty and made me smile every time I walked by.

These last months have been very stressful for me. Several times I have been pushed beyond the point of exhaustion and had to go on. I have realized I needed to learn new skills to cope better. This is part of my journey.

P.s.: If you want to get the most out of eating chocolate I challenge you to try the chocolate meditation. It is a lot of fun.

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The Queen of Treats

Look, what was delivered to my door:

http://www.louet.com/spinning_weaving/julia.shtml

I am so excited about my first, very own spinning wheel! The decision to buy one was not easy. I had been thinking about it for 2 years. First of all they are not cheap and then I am very busy as it is. How much time will I have to actually spin? Will it end up gathering dust in a corner while I feel bad about it?

The reason why I decided to buy it is that I enjoy spinning immensely and I almost love knitting with handspun yarns even more. So I treated myself to something fun even though I might not find a lot of time for spinning or I might never quite get the hang of it. Not everything in life has to be sensible, right?

So here I am already planning my first project, immersed in my spinning books whenever I have a moment:

Oh, the possibilities!

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Munchings and Crunchings

The one crop that did really well this year are my beloved apples! They grow in our front yard and we know that it is time to harvest them when we catch a squirrel stealing one. This year I not only found a completely ( except for the core) eaten apple still hanging on the tree ( It looked somewhat comical), but  my husband caught a newspaper carrier climbing over the shrubs and taking an apple! Which is proof that my apples are irresistible and apparently better than store bought ; )

 

I have made apple pie, apple cake and these:

 

I LOVE Caramel Apples. I used the recipe for soft caramels from here. ( Tip: Half the recipe. It is plenty) I was very surprised how long it took for the caramel to reach its final temperature. I would guess you need about 1 hour from start to finish.

I did not have any light corn syrup, but a golden one so that my caramel is a bit darker. The sticks are from Michael’s.

Hmmm, they were delicious. I want more!

No, I did not eat them all by myself. I shared… generously … Oh, alright there was a little bit of fighting!

Outgrown

 

I made these pants in September 2006 for my youngest daughter. She loved them so much, that she wore them every week and she kept wearing them even though the were getting too short. Then some seams ripped. She asked me to fix them. I told her it was time I made her some new pants.

The pattern is my own. The embroidery design was inspired by  Joan McGowan-Michael’s Over-the-Knee-Stockings found in the Vogue Knitting Fall 2006. The leaves I painted on with fabric paint using freezer paper to make the stencils.

The embroidery took forever, so I have to come up with something simpler this year. But I hope, she will like her new pants just as much!