The Changing Seasons – Dec. 2018 – Or: What I´ve Been Up to During My Blog Break

First of all:

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!! 🙂

 

And without further ado now to that new blog post. 😉

It´s time again for the wonderful challenge The Changing Season hosted by my dear friend Su from Zimmerbitch!

I urge you to visit her blog as it is simply one of the best out there and reading it will provide you with hours of well-spent time and bliss. 🙂

 

I spent most of the time of my blog break catching up with that ever-growing pile of books borrowed from the library, which was indeed a very nice treat for me. 🙂

 

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I started with listening to the audio version of Lee Child´s latest Jack Reacher novel „Past Tense“ whilst knitting socks, because for some obscure reason they´ve decided all at the same moment that it was time for being canonized – i.e. becoming hol(e)y. 😉

The book was just as great as I had imagined it to be, the socks less so because I tried out a new knitting technique where you knit parts of the sock in rounds and the rest in rows. I´m not very proud of them, so no pictures this time. But at least they keep my feet warm and that´s what matters most.

 

Then I listened to another audio book, this time „The Girl From Venice“ by Martin Cruz Smith, read by Zach Appleman who did a wonderful job by the way.

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The book promptly inspired me to paint a quick little water color of La Serenissima, as Venice is called by the Venetians, as it is viewed from the Lagoon.

I´ve never been to Venice, but have read lots of books about it and dream of visiting it one day soon before it might be swallowed up by the sea – Aqua Alta, high water or low-level flood, becomes more and more frequent.

As are those bloody cruise ships that not only cause the waters to rise as well, but immensely pollute the sea, making it impossible for the fishermen to do their job without poisoning themselves and the people who buy and eat their catch.

 

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La Serenissima – inspired by The Girl From Venice by Martin Cruz Smith (water color on paper; Dec. 2018)

 

 

 

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Next in line was John Grisham´s „The Rooster Bar“ – what else can I say than that he gets better and better with each book? I remember reading „The Firm“ oh-so-many-years ago and have been a loyal fan of his writing ever since.

 

 

And then there followed a huge disappointment when I started reading George R.R. Martin´s latest novel, „Fire And Blood“, a prequel to his A Song of Ice and Fire series, more commonly known as Game of Thrones. It does not happen often, but sometimes I just can´t go on reading a particular book, and I´m very sorry to say that this was one of the few times.

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After about 79 pages I gave up, and returned it to the library. Yes, it does say on the front, that it´s a History about House Targaryen, but does it really have to read like a – I have to add – very boring history book? Surely not. I guess many fans will howl and rage should they ever happen to read this, but I´m only saying how I felt about it.

 

 

 

 

 

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„A Long Way From Home“ by Peter Carey was much more to my liking, although I have to add, that the ending was somewhat lacking from my point of view. But all in all, a very entertaining book that I enjoyed reading.

 

 

 

 

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And at the moment I´m busy reading „The Floating Theatre“ by Martha Conway, which I´ll have to return to my library in two days!!

A mere 270 pages still to go, so what could go wrong? 😉

But it´s beautifully written and I really like the heroine of the story, so I´m confident I can do this. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Apart from reading, I also painted a little, mainly Christmas cards I sent to family and friends all over the world. Here are a couple of them, but more will follow in a separate post soon!

 

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Two of many Christmas cards I made this December (Dec. 2018)

 

As I love making handmade gifts, I picked up on a new pastime: making little Amigurumi, which is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures.

 

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Amigurumi fox – ready to be cuddled (Dec. 2018)

 

I made this little fox for my cousin´s baby to chew on…eh, cuddle with. 😉 (Don´t worry, I only use organic cotton for the outside as well as the inside, so it´s safe to put into baby´s mouth. 😉 ) It´s not perfect, but luckily the recipient isn´t much of a critic – yet. 😉

 

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Amigurumi fox (Dec. 2018)

 

And I already started a new one, this time a Llama.

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Amigurumi Llama – not quite ready to be cuddled, pins are holding the different pieces together until I can sew them on (Dec. 2018)

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Amigurumi Llama (Dec. 2018)

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Amigurumi Llama – Just 3 more legs to go plus the tail (Dec. 2018)

 

And because I´m knitting and crocheting so much these days, I thought it would be quite handy to have a yarn bowl, so I began working on one made of white clay:

 

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Handmade yarn bowl made with white clay, still drying and yet to be fired in the kiln (Dec. 2018)

 

It still needs some fine tuning, like smoothening the edges with some sandpaper, but otherwise it will be ready to go into my kiln after the holidays.

 

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Detail yarn bowl (Dec. 2018)

 

 

So, this was it, not as busy as usual but since it´s in the middle of winter, that was to be expected. 😉

 

And here are the guidelines for The Changing Season if you’re interested in participating:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su´s original monthly post, she can update it with links to yours.

62 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – Dec. 2018 – Or: What I´ve Been Up to During My Blog Break

  1. I’m still trying to catch up here but I love the colors in the Venice painting. Hate that cruise ships are allowed to contaminate the waters much less raise the level. No way to stop them I guess. Who cares if the socks aren’t perfect, you learned something and that’s what’s important. I like that you used organic materials for the babies toys. I’m not in a hurry to get anything done today and absolutely not putting anymore pressure on myself. Just chilling on a Sunday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re absolutely right -learning something is what matters most!
      The Venetians are really desperate for things to change not only regarding the horrible cruise ships but also the unbelievable huge masses of tourists the city draws in year after year. I can only imagine how it must feel living there, trying to get to work for instance and having to fight your way through!
      Hope you had a lovely and relaxing Sunday! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I know I’m a week late reading this post. Wonder how come I haven’t received an email telling me you had published a new post? I must have missed it. I’m also a huge fan of John Grisham. Wow! You have been particularly creative and prolific during your time off. I am so happy that you took some time for yourself. You make me want to listen to audio books, too. Gosh, your cards and crocheted animals are so cute. The painting is lovely as well. But I have a big crush on your bowl. Beautiful, simply beautiful. The design is absolutely genius! You are so versatile and talented. Happy 2019! xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sorry! Somehow missed this comment!!
      And no worries about catching up – I really know how it is! Blog posts that need to be read and commented on are piling up sky-high around me at the moment! LOL! 😀
      Thanks so much for your lovely words, they always mean so much to me, dear friend! I´m currently well into crocheting the third little animal, it really is a lot of fun and perfect for listening to audio books. 😉
      So cool that you´re also a huge fan of John Grisham´s – he´s just awesome, right?
      The bowl´s hopefully going to be fired and glazed in the next week or so, will share it as soon as it´s done. Do you knit/crochet? If so I could make one for you too and bring with me when I come to visit you in Canada! 😉
      Much love! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I can’t wait to see the bowl finished. It will be amazing I’m sure. No. I don’t knit/crochet, but my daughter does. She’s pretty good at it too. She made a scarf with alpaca wool for me for Christmas. It is gorgeous and so warm. Love it! You know how much I would like you to come to visit, with or without a little animal! Hehe… Keep well dear friend. xoxo

        Liked by 2 people

      • Such a lovely present you daughter made for you! 🙂 I can imagine her and me knitting together and you having to model in our creations! 😀
        Have a beautiful weekend, dear Dominique! Hugs!! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, you have been a busy little bee, Sarah! I love your knitted animals – I buy Toffee little ones stuffed with catnip. As for Fire and Blood – I was just about to download it so thank you! I had to give up after a few of the Game of Thrones books. My attention span couldn’t manage all the detail but I am REALLY looking forward to the new episodes! K x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Kerry! 😍
      I bet Toffee loves her catnip filled toys! 😄 And I know what you mean with the Game of Thrones books, they’re really a bit tiresome and the new one is so much worse! 😂 I don’t say this often but in this case I think the tv series does the books great justice – and I can’t wait for the new episodes either!!! 😉 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely that you got the chance to catch up on reading 🙂 Such a beautiful, atmospheric piece on Venice- I really do hope you get the chance to go one day soon. I’ve actually been meaning to read the firm for years- so oops- but I’m glad Grisham the kind of winter that can inspire that loyalty. Such a shame fire and blood read like a being history book. Glad long way from home was more to your liking 😀 Your Christmas cards are so gorgeous!! And I adore that Amigurumi fox- you’re so talented! I’m sure your cousin’s baby will love it 🙂 And you made a bowl as well- amazing!!
    Happy New Year!! Hope it’s a wonderful one for you!! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aww – thank you so much for your wonderful comment!!! 😀 ❤
      It was so great catching up with my reading over the holidays but whom am I telling that? 😉
      My cousin´s reported to me, that the fox is happily munched on and literally loved to bits and pieces! LOL! 😀 But it´s still on one piece, so that will give me some time to make a new one. 😉
      Happy New Year again!! Hope it will be a very joyous and successful one for you! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your amigurumi are enchanting. I think the fox might be magic.
    I was about to suggest that you leave the edges on your bowl rough for a wabi-sabi effect, but then read your comment that doing so could cause the yarn to unravel. It’s a beautiful piece, something very Celtic about the design, almost La Tene style. I’m glad to see that you’re nurturing your spirit with good books and art. Cheers, Sarah, and happy New Year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww – thanks so much, Oglach!! 😀
      And I know what you mean with the La Tène style, I really love Celtic art and can´t never get enough of admiring the beautifully decorated metalwork.
      And actually I wanted to say, that this piece of mine is about 2000 years old of course, and I was so lucky to have found it during an excavation. 😉 LOL! But wouldn’t it be something to make such a find? 😀
      Wishing you a very Happy New Year too, and I hope we´ll see more stories written by you!! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Welcome back Sarah. Good to see you have stayed busy 🙂

    I enjoyed this post and I love the work you have produced. The yarn bowl is a very elegant design and your Venice painting is gorgeous. We have similar taste in books too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Darren! It´s great being back, I´m kind of sizzling with new energy! 😀
      Hope all is well with you too and that you find more time for your beautiful paintings.
      I think one can deduct a lot from a person´s taste in books – you´re obviously brilliant. 😉
      Have a fabulous weekend! hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We like the same kinds of books, Sarah. I got “Past Tense” for my husband for Christmas, so I’m glad you gave it a good review. Now he has to hurry up and finish it so I can read it. 🙂 And I love your painting of Venice and the cute, little knitted animals. Adorable. I’m glad you had a wonderful break. Wishing you an amazingly creative and bountiful new year. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww – thanks so much, Diana! And I know your husband and you are going to love the new Jack Reacher, like John Grisham I find that Lee Child gets better each year. 🙂
      Wishing you a delightful and fantastically creative year too, my friend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aww – thanks so much! I have to admit it´s quite hard for me to part from the crocheted animals once they´re finished – I guess I´l have to make one or two for myself! 😉
      Happy New Year! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! You did a lot on your blog break. And I love the little knitted animals. You are good at almost every kind of art! Thanks also for the book recommendations. I’ll have to try some of them! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aww – thank you, Patty! I really enjoyed my little break from blogging, though it also feels good to be back again. 😀
      Wishing you a very Happy New Year too, with lots of joy and peace! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Goodness, you’ve been busy, Sarah, engaged in a huge variety of activities. I’m astonished at how many books you’re able to consume – I’m a very slow reader and I can’t do audible books, so I’m envious of how many books you read. Your crocheted amigurumi critters are absolutely adorable. Your cousin’s baby is very lucky to have the fox for it’s friend. And that yarn bowl – I hope we get to see it once glazed – lovely design.

    I wish you a happy, healthy New Year. Can’t wait to see what else you create.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, Shari! I really enjoyed this little break a lot, especially since I managed to get more things done than I imagined!
      This little book marathon really was the exception, normally it´s maybe less than half of it. And I really love audio books as they let me do so many things while listening, like painting, sewing, knitting, cooking… or falling asleep. 😉
      I´ve heard that the little fox has become a dear friend indeed and is taken everywhere the baby goes – isn´t that lovely? 😀
      I´m still not sure whether I will paint something on that yarn bowl – like cats hunting the yarn ball 😉 – or simply use a couple of different glazes, both would be fun, and I feel I might make some more yarn bowls just to try the different things all out! 😀

      Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year too, filled with lots of joy and creativity! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Aww – thank you, Suzanne! I love the koru design very much, and to have my work compared to it, makes me very happy indeed! 😀
      Wishing you a very Happy New Year filled with joy and lots of beautiful moments! 🙂

      Like

  10. I adore your artworks, Sarah. How good it must have been to have a break to do “nothing”. Which, of course, makes me laugh and laugh. I hope you are feeling a little better, although there is always the dead space between projects. I think they are very necessary to the creative process. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aww – thank you so much, Tracy! Hehe! You´re right, my doing “nothing” didn´t turn out as planned, but it was lovely anyway. 😉 And my batteries feel recharged now, which is a good start, I think. And I agree about that dead space between projects, without it there would be something missing from the creative process. It´s the need to fill that blank space that turns us all into artists, I think. 🙂
      Happy New Year, my friend! ❤

      Like

  11. My dear friend, your break from WP has been incredibly creative. Love, love, love your amigurumi — beautiful and such appropriate gifts for tiny hands (and mouths). Your watercolour is lovely; the colours how I would like to imagine Venice 🙂
    And even un-fired, your yarn bowl is very cool!
    Wishing you more creativity, much happiness and good health in 2019. Thank you for posting your Changing Seasons and being part of this whanau. xxxxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, Su! It´s great to be back and share with you what I did during my break and being part of this whanau – love this word!! 😀
      I´ve got plenty of ideas for other yarn bowls too and look forward to try them out, maybe I can even sell them online, who knows. 🙂
      Wishing you a beautiful and fulfilled New Year with lots of good health and creativity! xxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks again, Su! I´ve seen some lovely designs on Pinterest with fancy dragons and castles which I quite like. The question remains if I ´ll be able to pull off something similar myself! 😀 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t doubt your skill and talent for a moment. There are lots of knitting groups here — some meet in libraries — and if it’s the same in Germany, that could be a good way to market them. xxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

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