Sunday, December 26, 2010

Busy End of the Year

This year has gone by quickly! I think it is age; when you are young the days/months/years seem to drag on and then all of a sudden, after a brief period of middle age, bamm you are in the "golden" years and you wonder where the time has gone. Years keep getting shorter and shorter it seems!

This was a full year for me. I was able to take my second, and quite possibly my last, trip to Europe. To prepare for it I went back to my crafts. I wanted to make presents for people that I would be visiting and since I knew the chances of it being cooler there than on the island, I needed to make a few articles of clothing for myself.

I have crocheted since I was 20 but when we moved to the island I stopped the activity as the weather here was just too hot to handle yarn. I was building our house with my husband and did not have the time. I did do some sewing out of necessity, making things for the house. I managed to do a little stamping and make some cards for various occasions, but I left my crafts behind for a while. One reason for the halt: craft items cannot be readily found on the island. Yarn is of poor quality, there are very few supplies for my various activities and things I needed for sewing cannot be found in Honduras.

On my last trip to the States, a little over a year ago, I bought some yarn and sewing items. So, this year I was stocked up with supplies. My first project was a wedding quilt for Judith who was getting married in August in Germany. I reported on this activity earlier this year and I managed to finish the quilt in 5 months and was quite proud of it.

I had started to crochet an afghan last winter but had to put it aside because it got warmer and holding a large afghan in your lap during the summer, well, it is not something I had a tolerance for. But, this year,I took out my patterns, scoped the Internet for new ideas, gathered all my crochet needles and started up. I usually give handmade items to my friends at Christmas and every year is a challenge to come up with something different. I also turned to my sewing machine and was busy making items with that.

Some of the things I made: a lap blanket, a shawl, dozens of dish cloths (sometimes referred to as dish rags), hot pads for casserole dishes, wash cloths and face cleansing pads, cloth "bags" to hold small kleenex packages, sewn and crocheted table runners, a wedding purse for the bride and the mother-of-the-bride, two potpourri baskets, winter neck scarves - one was my first crocheted cable stitched pattern, a poncho for myself, a crocheted top, 3 caps for my step-daughter who lost her hair to chemo treatments, a case for sunglasses and one for make up and about 24 ornament gift bags. There were a few others things I made, but just can't recall them at this moment.

I also created an Island Calendar on-line. However, with the higher cost of the calendars I cut my gift list back to just a few friends/family in the States and on the island. I finally completed a slideshow of photos of my European trip for the friends I traveled with and who wanted to have copies of my photos.

So, my year was very productive and I plan a busy year in 2011. I am glad to have re-kindled my crocheting and in so doing I have developed more ease with the craft, fun patterns and a feeling of satisfaction that I have made something from my own two hands. It also provides me with a way to relax, which is a hard thing for me to do! Besides, it gives me something to do on a rainy day!

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