Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy as a Clam

Outside, it's a grey -14 degrees and going to get colder so they tell us but I've found all kinds of things to keep me happy inside:

1. Novel:  The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson
2. Knitting Pattern:  Street Vest by Jolene Mosely
3. Knitting Yarn:  Monte Donegal:  A grey tweed with 40% merino and 40% alapaca
4. A Series to watch:  On Netlix - Land Girls (There are three seasons of it!)
5. My magic bag
6. Cup o' tea

Who cares about the weather when one is so well entertained inside!

xo Stella

Sunday, February 22, 2015

30 Years Ago Today

Vlad and I have been married thirty years today.  Here is what I love about him in no particular order:

1. His open mind
2. His refusal to be dictated to by anyone
3. His readiness to go and do
4. The ever-present smile on his face
5. His selflessness
6. His intellect
7. His sense of humour
8. His gratitude for life
9. His love of his children
10. His dedication to family
11. His dependability
12. His honor
13. How he gives of himself easily and freely
14. His blue eyes
15. His lovely legs
16. His wide shoulders
17. His beautiful hands
18. His pension
19. His integrity
20. His love of sunflower seeds
21. His pride in his children
22. His total acceptance of me and the boys
23. How he makes people feel welcomed and accepted
24. His groundedness
25. His love of partying
26. How easy he is to love
27. He does not complain
28. He loves France
29. He is a good friend
30. He is mine


Monday, February 16, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Book of Negroes

A few years ago, my reading circle chose to read The Book of Negroes by Canadian Lawrence Hill.  We loved it and were all fans of the heroine: Aminata Diallo.

The CBC has made the book into a series and has been showing over the last five weeks.  I missed last week so I went looking for it and ALAS!  You can watch all of the episodes here.

Aminata is played very ably by the beautiful Aunjanue Ellis.  It's the story  from when she was taken from her African home to late life as a heroine of the abolition of slavery.  Here is the synopsis provided on IMDB:
 Kidnapped in Africa and subsequently enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata must navigate a revolution in New York, isolation in Nova Scotia and treacherous jungles of Sierra Leone, in an attempt to secure her freedom in the 19th century.

Definitely worth watching!

Watching-while-knitting Stella

Monday, February 9, 2015

Just Some Yarn and Two Sticks

Amazing what you can do with yarn and knitting needles.  I finally have relaxed enough from my teaching load to pick up the sticks and give it a go.  Here's what I've been working on.

Photo source: Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Photo source: Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

I love Churchmouse Yarns and Teas for their simple and classy designs.  I own a number of their patterns and have made at least 8 of them.  I fell in love with Rowan Felted Tweed in this lovely, happy Mineral (yellow) color and have knit up their Welted cowl (right) and one of a pair of Welted Fingerless Gloves (left).

Photo source: Lion Brand website
I like to have more than one project on the go so I am also working on their Modern Wrapper in the lovely dark blue color below and Lion Brand's Comfort Throw in the same color as pictured left.  I usually knit with relatively small yarn, this super bulky project is a real departure.

 Years ago I read a book titled Zen and the Art of Knitting and it's true that knitting takes me to a place of relaxation, the regular, repetitive motions of the knits and purls calm me right down.  Do you knit?  I'm thinking of a fellow blogger who lives in the Pyrénées and wonder if yarn is abundant there as the sheep certainly are...

Photo source: Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

I think I'll be done the throw and the fingerless mitt before I finish the sweater.  I need a little help, and it's always available at my local yarn store

My intention one day is to get to Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island just off the coast of Seattle.  It's a short plane ride, followed by a ferry ride to the cozy, pretty little island full of artisans.  The ultimate artist's date...

 If you don't already knit, try it won't you?



Friday, February 6, 2015

The Homesman

Last night was movie night at our house. I had Primo Vegetarian Pizza from Panago, a glass of red wine and we watched The Homesman on Apple TV.  I'm not big on westerns but this movie is a different kind of western with a determined, hard-working, smart spinster-farmer at the center of this engaging tale.

The story takes place in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Omaha.  Homesteads are being established and some people are tougher than others in adapting to the harsh environment.  In this case, the others are three women who've gone insane in the hard winters, illnesses, deaths of children and over-all demands that pioneer life places on them.

Said smart-hard-working-tough-spinster Mary Bee Cuddy decides she's going to take the women across the plains on a five-week journey to Iowa and a safe haven.

This movie is superbly acted and shot.  The scenery is stark and reflects the loneliness and hardship the pioneers have to face.

The unlikely match of Mary Bee and rough-around-the-edges Tommy Lee Jones's character George Briggs reminds a little of Bogart and Hepburn in The African Queen.

Despite the complete shock the viewer gets in the last half of the movie, it's definitely worth the watch.  Love, love love Tommy Lee Jones in this.

I give this movie a solid four stars out of five.

Have a great weekend!