Last Thursday was the first day of spring. I love spring with longer days and warmer weather but this year 'normal spring' is very, very late. I was disappointed at the start of this week when the weather continued cold. The snow and ice refused to melt. I decided to make the best of the situation and spend my evenings inside working on my goal to reduce clutter.
I cleaned out kitchen drawers, my closet, the linen closet upstairs, the spare room closet in the basement, the spare room and spare room closet upstairs, the linen closet in the bathroom and the large walk-in storage closet in the basement. After 13+ years of accumulating stuff in our current house, there are a lot of spaces that need attention. I am quite pleased with my progress so far.
I have been reading blogs on simple living, minimalism and general clutter control. There are quite a few and I find them inspiring. So far I am thoroughly enjoying the process. Well OK, some of the process is a bit stressful and it is a lot of work, but I'm absolutely loving the results. I've been making regular trips to Good Will on my way to work and have plans to post a few items on Kijiji. It's turning out to be so much fun.
I also cleared my crochet clutter out of the family room and moved to a corner of our bedroom. Now that we have a new and improved internet provider TekSavvy and the router is more central, I can work here with perfect reception. This is a great spot to work and Sadie loves it too.
Yesterday, I spent the morning enjoying crochet with cappuccino in my new crochet corner. I have been working on a bear in between clutter-clearing sessions this week. This morning I was able to finish the bear. I followed a pattern called Big Honey Bear posted by Yellow, Pink and Sparkly. The only changes I made involved working in the round instead of joining each row and I made the legs 31 rows instead of 37. Actually I did 37 rows to start and realized they looked too long as they were much longer than the arms. I think it must be a typo in the pattern.
Since I can't knit a sweater, I decided instead to crochet a dress for my bear. I am using the dress pattern for Monica Mouse also posted by Yellow, Pink and Sparkly but increasing the size to fit this larger bear. I am happy to be exercising my creative side in this way and will be sure to show you a photo of the dress when it is done. For now I will just share a photo of Sweetie Bear. She is made with Bernat Softee Baby yarn using hook size 3.25 mm. The colour I used is called "Little Mouse" which is light tan. Although it looks grey in this photo, it really is light tan. I used a light weight wool blend in medium brown for the bottom of her feet and black worsted weight yarn for her nose, mouth and eyes. Isn't she sweet?
Just as I was finishing Sweetie Bear, our neighbour stopped by to return cross country skis borrowed for the winter. She also brought a beautiful bunch of purple tulips to thank me for the loan. It was totally unexpected and not necessary but I must confess I love the flowers. I put them in a lime green vase in our bathroom below "The Toucan" painted a few years ago by our son. I think the flowers are beautiful and add a much appreciated hint of spring to our house.
After arranging the flowers, I decided it was time to head outside for my first bike ride in London this year. I rode in Boulder, CO over March Break in shorts and a jersey but it has been much too cold and slippery for me to even attempt riding here. Today it was +2 C (feeling like -5 C with a 25 km/hr north wind) but it was sunny and the roads looked relatively clear. I rode a 35 km loop west of the city and thoroughly enjoyed it. By the time I got home my back and neck were tight but I was happy. I had booked a massage for 3 p.m. which took care of all my aches and pains. I just love sun, fresh air and exercise.
Our neighbour returned from a hike with her dog at the same time I got back from my ride. She said Ziggy had brought home a 'surprise'. He jumped out of the back of their vehicle with this in his mouth. He was very proud of his treat from Komoka Conservation Area. Our neighbour said she was waffling between being grossed out and fascinated. Our son was definitely fascinated and took a couple photos.
Would it be macabre to make a 'foot in mouth' comment? I included both photos because the first one shows Ziggy clearly pleased with his 'treat' and the second shows our smiling son. I'm really pleased with the way his teeth look. After about 3.5 years, he finally got his braces off this week. Our son is so happy with his nice straight teeth that he is constantly smiling. I love it.
I want to share a few more photos of my spring decorating and take your mind off the gruesome images above. I removed the colourful crochet stars from the wreath in our dining room and added a bunny plus a couple little pom-poms. I think it needs more colour in crochet so I will work on that once I finish the dress for Sweetie Bear.
I replaced the pine cones and crochet white pumpkins with balls of yarn, pink fluffy bunny, crochet chicks in shells and crochet eggs. This bowl sits on our dining room table.
This little table sits in our front hall. The bunny was made by our daughter when she was in high school and I just love the way it turned out. The doily was a $1 purchase at a charity shop downtown and I made the crochet eggs.
I removed the colourful crochet snowflake garland from our fireplace and added a colourful crochet shamrock garland for spring. I followed this pattern for the shamrock garland and used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton yarn in four different bright colours (white, hot pink, lime green, aqua blue) to make the shamrocks. The joining string combined all these colours in a rainbow effect. I think it adds a nice bit of fun to our fireplace.
The weather is finally improving and I can feel spring in the air. I think I'll pack my biking bag and anticipate riding to work tomorrow. Now that my son has his driver's license I no longer feel obligated to drive him to school. In fact, he would be all too happy for me to ride so he can take the car. Lucky for him, I much prefer biking as long as the roads are clear and the weather is decent.
Appreciation and gratitude sum up my feelings for the week and especially for this weekend.