This year I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do a weekly challenge on Instagram. I figured it would be good for my creativity. For the most part, I’ve shot during the week specifically to make a diptych, but sometimes I’ve pulled from my archives to put the two photos together. I’ve only missed one week of the challenge, and that was due to being at the TSA State Conference. So why a diptych? What the heck is a diptych? A diptych is a set of two photographs used to tell a story. Below are my entries for the year…so far. I’ve posted the first nine weeks below. You’ll notice that I skipped week 8. If you’d like to follow along, follow #ourdiptychyear over on Instagram/
Happy New Year I’ve been knitting!
Happy New Year! I know we say this every year, but I can’t believe that the last year flew by. I had lots of personal changes, all good in 2022, which is definitely an improvement from the previous three years. I’ve also picked up my knitting needles again, and knitted this lovely wrap for my mother-in-law. When she was here in May for my master’s graduation, I offered to knit her a wrap. Over the years, I have knit her several things, and the last wrap that I made her, became moth food. She was so upset! I had her pick out some yarn from my stash, and she chose this lovely Madeline Tosh Vintage yarn. I belive that the colorway is Esoteric. The color is more true in the top right photo, but let me tell you, that yarn is a dream to knit with. It’s wonderfully smooshy. The pattern is Anica and I knit 35 repeats instead of 38 as the pattern calls for. My mother-in-law is tiny and this blocked out to be the perfect size for her. I knit this on size 6 needles. I think if I knit this pattern again, I would go up a needle size or two for a looser knit. This is an easy knit, perfect for evening knitting, and great as a first shawl project.
The second thing I started, is a pair of Christmas-y-themed socks. I had wanted to have these knit before Christmas, but I was trying to finish Anica, so I didn’t start these until after I had finished the wrap. The yarn is from Must Stash Yarn in the Reindeer Corn, Michigan’s Favorite colorway.
I love this yarn. It’s self-striping and delightful. I have several other skeins by her waiting to be knitted up. I thought that I’d have time to knit three pairs of Christmas-themed socks…I think I was delusional! These socks are almost finished and are going to my sister when I’m finished with them. I’m hoping to finish them up before I go back to work on Friday. I’ll cast on another pair once these are finished. I have another skein from Must Stash Yarn and then one from Nomadic Yarns. (the sock bag in the photo is also from Nomadic Yarns) I’ve never knit with their yarn, but I’m excited to get those on the needles. I also have the Carrie blanket on the needles that I started in the spring, but as it has been too hot to knit with bulky yarn sitting on my lap, I put it away until now.
Also coming up are two hats. One for Amanda and one for me. We are headed to London and Paris in early March and based on my research, even though it’s early spring, it can be chilly, at least for these Florida girls. When I was in Alpharetta for Christmas, I stopped in a brand new yarn shop called Unwind Knit Studio and picked up two skeins of worsted-weight yarn. I’ll post those skeins when I can get a good photo in the daylight.
I’ve also been picking up my camera more and I will post those next. If you want to follow me on Instagram, you can follow me by clicking HERE.
A Snowy Sunday Part II
I had meant to post this earlier in the week, but the time got away from me. Last weekend we were in Atlanta and on Sunday, it ended up snowing! It started around 10:00 and snowed the rest of the day. We started off the day by going to Warm Waves Coffee. They were only open until 11 in anticipation of the snowy weather, so we hurried up and drove over. They were on my list to visit and I’m so glad that we managed to squeeze in a visit. We had planned to hit up more coffee places but managed to get to Valor Coffee and this one. I can’t wait to visit again. We are hoping to get back this summer.
Just as we got there, it started sleeting and by the time we were on our way back, it started to snow! Amanda and I were tickled by this.
We had a lovely day watching the snowfall. I managed to pull out some knitting and get a photo of yarn in the snow!
I took Sága for a walk in the snow, but she wasn’t too sure of sitting on the cold rock. The final photo is taken as it was getting dark. I loved how peaceful and pretty everything looked. We had a wonderful time visiting and can’t wait to go back in the summer. I won’t have to worry about classes as I will graduate from USF in May with my Masters and will be able to just relax.
Not a terribly busy week coming up, so hopefully, I can post the last two weeks of my Project 365. If you want to keep up with that on a daily basis, you can follow me on Instagram. Until next time, have a wonderful week!
A snowy, long Weekending Part 1
As we were not able to make it to Atlanta to see my in-laws over Christmas, we drove up on Wednesday to take advantage of the long weekend. You might want to grab some tea, coffee, or beverage of your choice because this is going to be a long one. We packed a lot into a few days! I’m going to break this into two parts.
We drove up on Wednesday night so that it would give us a full day on Thursday.
On Thursday, we spent the day around my in-law’s house. We all had some work to do, and wanted to rest since we didn’t get in until nearly midnight on Wednesday. Amanda, Nana and I visited Valor Coffee since we wanted to return since our first visit in 2019. It was just as good as we remembered!
Friday dawned cold and breezy. Joel decided to take my car in for service while we were here so I didn’t have to worry about it next weekend. It was due for it’s first service so it was easy to take it in to the local Volvo dealership. While that was being worked on, we took MARTA to the Georgia Aquarium. Fun fact, in the 26 years that my in-laws have lived here, we have never taken the train into Atlanta.
It’s been years since we have been to the Aquarium and we picked a good day to go. It wasn’t too crowded so we could take our time with the exhibits. It was a nice way to spend a few hours and get some good photos.
The adventure continued on Saturday when we went to The High Museum of Art. I wanted to see Picturing the South: 25 Years, but we missed the Obama Portraits as the tickets for that exhibition was sold out for Saturday. Interestingly enough, the photography exhibit is one where I DIDN’T take any photos. Well, I took a couple, but not like the other areas of the museum. We saw a mixture of classical paintings, modern art, folk art and African art. I loved that exhibit and could have stayed there for hourse looking at it. We were with my in-laws and needed to get back to prep for Joel’s surprise 50th birthday party. His birthday isn’t until the 29th, but his parents wanted to take advantage of having us here for dinner and cake!
Ok, that’s it for now. I have to pack for our trip home tomorrow, but I still have the Sunday Snow Day to show you!
Well, I actually had more planned to talk about, but I was stuck on a TEAMS call for my last semester of grad school (thank goodness) then got involved in sorting through my clothes and closet. I’ve lost about 50 pounds since July and lots of stuff needed to go. I had planned to drive to Winter Haven today to Four Purls, but put that off for another day. Hubby decided that since we missed Christmas with his parents, we would go up on Wednesday which resulted in me having to scramble to get time off and get some assignments turned in that are due next Sunday.
I think I mentioned in the last post that I am attempting Project 365 and thought that I’d share my weekly photos on Sunday. Since today is the 9th, there are 9 photos here, but going forward, there should be seven. Click on the photos for the full version. For full description of the photos, hop on over to my Instagram page. I’m looking forward to our trip to Atlanta and can’t wait to share our visit.
Happy New Year!
I hope that your New Year celebrations were fun (if that’s what you are into) and that your 2022 is off to a great start. Today was my first day back at school, it was a Record Day for teachers and tomorrow is our in-service day. Kiddos return on Thursday, which will make this week a very weird one for all involved. I have to say that I am excited about this year. I have some really good things coming up. I graduate from grad school in May for starters! With my master’s in Career and Technical Education, I hope to move mostly out of the classroom, or at least out of the position I am in. I am scheduled to take a new position next school year that would have me teach half-time and oversee a new program the other half. Hopefully, that will happen. I’m excited to pull out my knitting again and to be here on the blog more. I really have missed it and it’s been great to ease my way back into writing on a more consistent basis. I’m also going to sit down and come up with a posting schedule to keep myself consistent.
I’m not really into resolutions, because I think it’s a setup for failure, but I do have a few things that I’d like to accomplish this year on a personal level. I’ve already mentioned knitting and the blog, but I’m looking to start a podcast. I used to work in radio years ago and would love to see if I can pull that knowledge back up. I am also getting into more photography projects. I’ve challenged myself to a Project 365 so let’s see if I can actually ‘intentionally’ take a photo a day. I’m going to try to post them here on a weekly basis, but you can follow along on my Instagram.
I do want to share a couple of photos from a photoshoot I did in December. I’ve been photographing this family for seven years now and Lily wanted to recreate a photo from the first shoot that I did with them. The kids were in 2nd and 3rd grade and now they are in high school. Eli, the youngest, wasn’t born yet. In fact, their mom was pregnant with him in our first shoot. The first photo was shot in 2014 at Emerson Point and the second one was shot last month at Coquina Beach. We are actually going to go back to Emerson Point this year to recreate it exactly with the same point of view. Fun fact about the first photo, I entered it into the Manatee County Fair in 2015 and won the Paul Bartley Award for the photo that best represents Manatee County. Honestly, I had only been shooting a year, and this was such a proud moment for me. The last photo is of all three siblings.
Enjoy the rest of the week, hopefully in the next post, I’ll have a photo of my latest knitting project. It’s just getting started, but at least it’s a start!
In 2021, I lost my father, making my siblings and me, orphans. Adults, yes, but orphans, nonetheless. After my mom died in 2019, I knew that sooner, rather than later, we would be also burying my father. In some ways, I was surprised, but in some ways, not. I was very fortunate that I was able to go home the week before he passed and see him. Something, I didn’t have the chance to do with my mom. For that, I am grateful. Losing my dad in February just made the year all that much harder, and it had just gotten started. It colored everything, and I don’t think I realized at the time how much that it has affected me. I felt untethered and adrift for much of the year. I’m just now feeling like I am maybe emerging from that, but it’s still difficult as many of you are all too aware.
I plodded through three semesters of grad school, hating nearly every second of it and just praying to get through the final semester beginning in January. Teaching has been much more difficult this school year than last, so much so that I will either find a way out of the classroom in 2022 or will leave teaching altogether. It’s just been rough. Bacchus, our Italian greyhound, passed away on Halloween at 12 years old, so that hit us pretty hard. I know that many many more people had it much worse than us, but I will be glad to put 2021 in the rear-view mirror.
While it seems like it has been all doom and gloom, it hasn’t. Sága, one of the puppies we raised and that became a guide dog, retired due to some issues with her handler, and we got to adopt her, bringing us to four yellow labs in the house. It’s never a dull moment. Joel and I took a quick vacation to St. Augustine and had a wonderful time! It was nice to get away and we plan on going back soon. All of us have had our vaccines plus a booster, and Amanda had her textbook published in October! In November, I had a life-changing surgery that maybe I’ll share in a future post. I’m determined to have a better 2022.
So, for 2022, my goals are to get back to regular blogging and I’m adding a podcast! More info on that later. I am also planning to do more things to feed my creativity. I’m going to participate in a 52 weeks photo project and I’ve picked up my knitting. I’ve also cleaned out my craft room and purged it. I’ve kept the things that I want to create with, so I’m excited for that. Knitting is back too! I’ve pulled out some yarn from Must Stash Yarn and started on a shawl. I’ll do a blog post on it in the next couple of days once I can get a good photo of the yarn. I may bring back the Hurricane Sock Party from 14 years ago so if anyone wants to participate, leave a comment, and watch my Instagram for more info.
I wish everyone, a safe, happy, and joyous New Year. Let’s make 2022 a good one!
Merry Covid Christmas to Us. Blogmas 12/25/21
Well heck. We did everything right, all of us have had three doses of the vaccine, wear masks in public and at work, and we still got Covid. More than likely, I brought it home from school. I would have assumed that I had allergies had I not tested when Joel started feeing bad. Sure enough, both of us tested positive for Covid. I’m guessing it is Omicron based on symptoms. I’ve since tested negative as I am thinking I was at the tail end of the infection. We were supposed to be in Atlanta for the first time in four years and we are so upset and disappointed. We didn’t decorate this year and opted to open presents on the 22nd just before Joel and I took the Covid tests. Amanda is still negative thank goodness. I’m trying not to be annoyed by knitting, reading and watching YouTube. It’s not working. 🙁
Blogmas Days 13-17
Well I didn’t plan on taking a break, but it got real busy at school trying to finish up the semester (Two half-days left!) and dealing with some kid drama, but it turned out to be a great ending to our week. My TSA chapter had their holiday party where we had a surprise appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus (two of our officers.. the only kid small enough for the Mrs. Claus outfit was Andrew and he was a good sport about it.) Ronan had his grandfather’s and grandmother’s Santa outfits and these photos just made my day. Heck it made my year.
I also got a nice surprise when four of my favorite former students came to visit. This was the Covid class of 2020 and they were my absolute favorites. We did not get to go to the 2020 National Conference as like everything else, was cancelled, so 2019 ended up being our final conference together. Four of the seven were able to stop in and I’m hoping to see the other three before we leave for break. These are some amazing young men and women, and all of them are either in a form of engineering or computer science.
We also ran our dragsters and had our Tech Bowl competition to see who will be representing us at state. Mrs. Faison got to push the button for the test car.
A visit to the Chihuly–Blogmas Day 11
Amanda needed to go to the Chihuly Collection in St Pete today to film footage for the final that she is giving to her students next week, so I decided to tag along since it has been a few years since I have been. It’s a beautiful collection and I highly recommend a visit if you are in St. Pete. I’ve added a few of my favorite photos from today.