Happy New Calendar Day to everyone!

I’ve been taking myself a “christmas holiday” from – well, anything I didn’t feel like doing these past couple of weeks. Giving myself some formal recovery time from the fall. Hopefully this will enable me to end said recovery time formally, and get on with it!

I hadn’t really meant to take time off from blogging as well, but frankly I’ve just been in such a crappy, cranky mood for the last while that anything I wrote was going to be a whine or a rant, and neither was interesting. So: silence. Also, a lot of what I’ve been doing in this “time off” is cleaning up after animals. Sheep and chickens are not great respecters of vacations, neither do their respective shelters, even when freshly cleaned, make great blog pics. So again: silence.

I was thinking last night about my mood, and why/how I have been so easily irritated lately, and I was thinking in that context about a couple of people that I’ve “met” in the past year through this blog that I really like and admire. That got me thinking about admiration itself, because especially given the limited perspectives that you get on people you only know through this medium, it might surprise and confuse these people, not only to know that I admire them, but that I admire them for qualities they may not possess, or feel that they possess. So I was thinking about admiration itself, and how much anonymity and projection is central to it.

I don’t know where all that was going, quite, because as I sat down to muse about it, my little RSS feed went “blink blink”, and lo! Sharon had posted the first of this year’s TIF challenges – and what do you think it was?

“The key concept for January is a feeling we have all had, the feeling of admiration for another. Ask yourself who do you look up to and admire? Why? What is it you admire about them? This is a the first Take it Further challenge in 2008. Take the idea, develop it into a resolved design during that month and apply it to fiber or paper.

Pretty neat, huh?

I’m not 100% sure where I’m going with that idea, but I definitely have some thoughts. When I joined this challenge I had wondered whether it might mean moving away from the “wearable art” (so to speak) that I always gravitate towards, but in this case at least, it doesn’t seem so. I already have a garment in mind that in its function encapsulates those qualities I have been admiring in these people. More on that as the idea develops.

Did other people get piles of snow dumped on them last night? I woke up this morning fully prepared to dig my way out to the barns, and as I slugged back my first bracing cup of coffee and peered reluctantly out the window at the drifts, I saw…. this:

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A puddle. A not-even-frozen puddle. It’s plus two out there (that’s around 34, for those of you speaking in farenheit) and only the stubbornest snowbanks on the shady sides of hills have even a scrap of the white-and-fluffy left.

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Not that I’m particularly complaining – the animals are happy, ’cause they can still play outside. Mud is a mess, but at least I don’t have to shovel it — and we’re saving a ton of wood! We’ve still hardly had the stove lit at all. A few days in early december, an evening when Emily and Dru were here, and that’s it! I’m not saying it’s not cold – it’s about plus 5 in here – but it’s not shiver-by-the-fire cold by any means. It’s more like keep-busy-to-stay-warm weather. I’ve discovered, for example, that if you grab some fibre that likes to go fast – like, say, this merino/tencel that Emily gave me:

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spinning keeps you surprisingly warmed up. Aren’t those colours pretty? Em said “I thought you were still having a bluey-purple-pink thing”. I am. I really, really am.

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Look at that, I spun it right away instead of “saving” it. I’m pretty sure I even know what will happen to it next!

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