Friday, January 08, 2010

Winter Crafting Projects


I couldn't resist the new Williams-Sonoma message cookie cutters. They'll be perfect for making "Eat me" cookies for an upcoming Alice in Wonderland party I'm planning, and think of all the other fun messages I can serve up at my future parties!

Winter is the perfect time to catch up on your crafting, scrapbooking, writing, baking, knitting, or hobbies. There's no holiday shopping, wrapping or baking to slow us down. Weather in most parts of the country isn't nice enough to tempt us outside.

If we can resist the distractions of our computers, televisions and video games, we can enjoy our handicrafts, rubber stamping, letter writing, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, writing, journaling, photography, photo album sorting, or other indoor wintertime pursuits. It's all about making time and space for yourself to actually do it. (And cleaning up afterwards!)

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

- Do you have any borrowed pots and pans, or food containers you need to return because people brought them over for the holidays? Any pie pans that need to be washed and returned? Find them, wash them and make time to return them. (Even better, return them with fresh baked cookies or pies inside).

- Make time in your schedule for vigorous exercise. If it's too cold out to walk briskly, put on great music and dance for half an hour. I'm sure I'm not the only person with a little bit of holiday weight gain or a need for some heart-healthy exercise.

- Have you taken your vitamins recently?

- How are your supplies of firewood, propane, wood pellets or similar heating or ambience supplies? Kindling?

- Do you use a space heater? Inspect for signs of damage, clothing and curtains too close to the space heater and other hazards.

- Launder used gloves; remove used Kleenex from jacket pockets and replace with fresh packets.


Home Sweet Sewn, at Amazon

LOVELY CREATIVITY: Crafting

Are you planning to do any crafts this winter, while it's too cold to distract yourself with outdoor activities? Inspire yourself by getting out and organizing your craft supplies. Read (then recycle or give to a friend) any back issues of magazines you have about your hobby. You might have let a few pile up over the past few months.

Browse and enjoy a few webpages about your favorite kind of crafting, but don't spend so much time online looking around that you don't have time to actually DO your craft.

If your craft supplies are in a shambles, now's the time to invest $7 or so in a storage container (or maybe you'll need more than one). Then really get your supplies put away in an organized fashion. This way it will be easier to bring supplies out, do crafts for an hour, and put them back away again. I don't like to have my breakfast nook table covered in rubber stamps, ink, and paper for days at a time. Instead, I put my supplies away neatly in a particular box when I'm done playing in the evening. Then my breakfast nook table is neat and ready for my college student to eat her breakfast there in the morning.

Make a vow to not buy any more craft supplies until either you've used up several items from what you already have, or until you've completed a specific number of your projects. Finish knitting your sweater before buying that luscious soft pink yarn for the next. Find a creative way to use up some yarns, fabric or ribbon you've been storing for years. Throw out that old dried up tube of fabric paint and really evaluate before replacing it with a new one in the same color.

If you're taking any online classes or participating in any book groups, have you done your reading assignments for the week? If you keep a blog or online journal, have you written in it in the last few days? You can't force yourself to write, but if you have some ideas of things you want to talk about, give yourself the time to enjoy doing it.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Quick Tidying

It's Friday, so we only have a little bit of time for cleaning tonight after work. Socializing with friends and family is more important - we can always clean tomorrow.

Walk quickly through your house dealing with any problem areas. Empty small trash cans, remove clutter and dishes from your living room, straighten or replace hand towels in your bathrooms, refill toilet paper rolls if needed, empty or fill dishwasher, empty and scrub kitchen sink, wipe down bathroom and kitchen counters. Need to remove any piles of items on the stairs, or shoes by the front door? Any stray items that need to go back into your children's bedrooms? Any house plants that need to be watered or thrown out? Any piles of packages or items that need to be mailed out?


LOVELY MOVIES: Babies

I wasn't sure what this movie was about, when I first heard of it. Just endless shots of cute babies, in an attempt to manipulate a female audience into tears? Then I saw the trailer (in a theater in front of "It's Complicated), and laughed and cried both along with the rest of the audience.

Cameras followed four newborn babies for the first year of their lives. There's a baby from Mongolia, one from San Francisco, one from Tokyo, and another from Namibia. The babies are just adorable and I felt myself really wanting to see what their little lives are like. Though the movie is meant to be joyous, I think I'd better bring Kleenex when I see it!

Babies Trailer, at Apple

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Designer Doughnuts are Hot - How About Making Your Own? (ABC News)

Dinner Party for Beginners (CHOW)

Favorite Chocolate Recipes for Valentine's Day (Epicurious)

Jerusalem Artichoke and Leek Soup (A Sweet Life)

Mardi Gras Sweets (Epicurious)

New Year, New Hobby? (The Statesman)

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