Mustn't/Must Mantra

I have a lot of diverse projects on the go.

I started drafting this post with a list of those things and honestly my heart started to race with anxiety at the enormity of it so obviously I mustn't focus on barriers, or on the dim prospects of finishing anything...
I mustn't. I mustn't. I mustn't.

No I need to just take one little piece at a time and move some part of any of it forward every day and then give myself credit for doing so.

I must. I must. I must.

'Must start by recognizing successful completions ('Mustn't think how each of these was on its way to being a blog post in real time - mustn't, mustn't, mustn't)...

I organized/hosted/cleaned up after a spring-time get together for my group of friends known as "The Coffee Ladies"...

(I was originally aiming to make this an "Autumn" then "Christmas" then "Winter" get together - obviously missed those targets but I got it done before the end of the school year. Go Me!)

A couple of family dinners were also "produced" including a celebration for My Beloved's Birthday with a cake that demanded the full brunt of my baking experience and resulted in quite possibly the most amazing fire-bearing cake ever "sung" into our dining room.

This thing was a magical combination of eggs, sugar, chocolate, butter and air served beneath a wash of kir-laced, warm, fresh cherry sauce and topped with softly whipped cream. There've been fancier looking, iced cakes around here but nothing more magically delicious and delectable. Beating and baking to just the right moment were uber tricky with this one (As ever its a Martha recipe if you want to try it for yourself !)

I've also been making the effort/taking the time to dig out/integrate things I love from storage and put them to use rather than just racing to cross finish lines with what's handy. Like these awesome ceramic berry baskets my sister gave me a few years ago...

The gorgeous table cloth that reminds me of a wonderful trip My Beloved and I took to Paris...

Assembling colour blocked stacks of well worn vintage and current cook books...

"Styling" these (and other) open kitchen shelves with colour rather than the all-white look I've used the past couple of summers...

I also put myself and attending outfits together for two successful business dinners in two nights last weekend.  The first "black tie" whereof I had less than 24 hours notice and the second that demanded creative purchasing and wrapping of a gift of wine for a young engaged couple (aka the boss's son and his fiance).

We adopted a "Candle Light and Wine" theme using an oversized vase as a "champagne bucket - style holder for the wine and tucked in a big round cande with jars of decorative gravel to put beneath it.
Added wood burned tags we made

And  a card using one of my photographs
All presented in a seasonally-appropriate beachy basket at the pool-side party near the lake.
This was super fun to do, especially since My Beloved worked on it with me and possibly also because we had some Sauvignon Blanc in frosty wine glasses as we "worked". No doubt it helped to fully release our creative energy resulting in something I was happy to see on the gift table.

We got a replacement for the outdoor porch carpet after a hot lawn mower burned a series of holes into the previous one. Lack of a new rug had been delaying the porch up set up for the summer, moving the indoor plants outside to their summer homes bla, bla, bla...its done now though!

I also need to acknowledge that last week's Peony parade  did not remain an idea in my head but actually happened and has been filling the house with the most heavenly scent for nigh on two weeks. Despite peony-knocking rains every couple of days I also continue to successfully manage the "show" both inside and out for the first time ever.

Intellectual "progress" on my attempt to build a Gallery Wall as part of my Living Room upgrades. In other words through much trial and error I am starting to get an idea of what it will take to do this successfully. This is soooooo much more difficult than I had imagined.

(Just realizing how far I've come on this as I compare this photo of the assembly from a couple of weeks ago to what's spread out on the floor this morning!)
So there are successes and progress. I must use it to spur me on to find, somewhere in this knitter's brain, affection for this knit...

I must. I must. I must. There is no reason I shouldn't. It is on gauge, on plan and has already seen many, many hours of effort.

I've also wet blocked the first sleeve as well as the body which is finished to the underarms. So I'm certain of the ultimate size and shape. The thing is, I have a feeling the sleeve could use more ease. It does fit and it is knit to gauge and my original plan so I'm hesitant to rip it out for the sake of a minimal possible improvement.

Resenting that its not done already is only further delaying its completion, turning it into a barrier to planning and getting excited about the summer knitting ahead rather than the gratifying and enjoyable project it should be right now.

Unable to make up my mind as to what to do and distracted by a billionty other things (see above) I've been dealing with the question by not dealing with the question.

I must move on this! I must I must I must!

 'Have to say writing this mantra down is adding clarity and energy and releasing the blocking anxiety already.Thanks so much for dropping by - 'feels like this little "chat" has been a big help!


A Bit Negative For a Friday

Pseudo Sib has been here from NYC this week for another event on his art/work calendar. Although visiting him there a couple of weeks ago yielded a decent amount of knitting time, the same cannot be said of time spent playing "host city".  The events held here were such that I was able to tag along with him and of course I also hosted a family dinner at our place so everyone could visit. From that perspective its been a great week.

From a knitting perspective its been less stellar. Here I am, Friday afternoon, about to head to the cottage and the last time I touched my knitting was Monday afternoon waiting in the terminal while picking up Darling Daughter at the airport!

Hence the sleeves of my Elmont are not jumping off the needles and I am only just getting ready to work the eyelet detail above the elbow of the first sleeve.

I will have time to work on it in the car as we head to the cottage in the next hour or so but the knitting really is getting tedious. The sleeves are narrow so that working on a circular is a wee bit tight (hate that!) and while the cottage is great when we're on our own for working on complicated pieces it's not my favourite place to knit in June. The bugs outside keep you cottage bound, I keep thinking I'd rather be out in the garden at home and there's nothing to distract as we don't have TV or computers up there.

My Beloved, however, has a plumbing project he's keen to see to up north so I'll go along and try to get as much done on this knit as my hands will allow. (The tight circular knitting irritates everything from my hands right up to my neck and shoulders - another reason I'm not enjoying it I think.)

Fridays should be the ultimate day for looking forward in the week but this one hasn't felt like it holds anything worth anticipating. 'Guess I'd better find a better outlook while I pack up and get ready to go!

I'm going to fire up the latest Knit British Podcast as I do it. (I don't generally listen to such things but honestly that girl's Scottish brogue would make a grocery list sound amazing) and I'm going to try to get positive about this Elmont project - even if takes just focusing on the fact I'm past the half way point to getting it done and over with!

'Hope you've got a better knitting weekend planned than I do!