Friday, February 13, 2009

But I'm still not keen on February.

As you may have gathered from my previous post, I'm not a fan of February. But it is a month that contains a holiday and a holiday gives me excuses to be crafty. It's a good way to distract myself from the winter dullness.

This little hat (made from the last leftover yarn from Mom's Ugly Sweater and The Very Hungry Scarf), has gone to live with a young friend of mine.

This mobile was inspired by several different projects I'd seen on the interwebs over the past few weeks.
It's made from free origami paper I downloaded and printed out ages ago (So long ago, I can't remember where I found it. edit I found it again.). I cut out various sized hearts, put them back to back and sewed up the center of a pair. I pulled a few inches of thread out and sewed the next pair until I had a few strands with 3 hearts on each. I hung them on a wooden hanger I bought a couple of years ago at Ten Thousand Villages (one of those things I buy convinced that I will someday find the perfect use for it...and I finally did).

I miss the elementary school classroom Valentine's day parties with milk cartons converted into mailboxes decorated with construction paper hearts on everyone's desk. Class Moms would show up in the afternoon with trays of cookies and cupcakes and jugs of red punch and we would all walk around sticking valentines in each other's mailboxes, get all sugared up and then they would send us home to our poor parents. Does this still happen?

When it comes to Valentine's Day, I still act like a schoolkid. Every year I make Valentines for my coworkers and distribute them before they all arrive in the morning. I'm a giant dork, I know. This year, I crafted flowers using an orange wool sweater picked up for a few cents at the Salvation Army. I threw it in my washing machine on hot and let it run until it had turned to felt and then cut small hearts out. I used some old telephone wire I had kicking around for years (and almost threw out more than once) for the stems. These were inspired by these paper flowers (please don't tell anyone I'm stealing ideas from Martha Stewart. It's so embarrassing....).

As always, I would like to thank my faithful Photography Assistant Lily for helping me set up the shots...
And making sure the flash was working...
She's a bit of a camera hog, but I really couldn't do this without her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A cloak of lead

I dislike February. Living in New England, where we've already had two months of winter, I'm fed up with snow and ice and being cold. Some of my favorite authors have said some truths about February:

February is pitiless, and it is boring. That parade of red numerals on its page adds up to zero: birthdays of politicians, a holiday reserved for rodents, what kind of celebrations are those?
The only bubble in the flat champagne of February is Valentine’s Day. It was no accident that our ancestors pinned Valentine’s Day on February’s shirt: he or she lucky enough to have a lover in frigid, antsy February has cause for celebration, indeed.

– Tom Robbins

Though February lay about her shoulders like a cloak of lead.
– Tom Robbins

In February, the overcast sky isn’t gloomy so much as neutral and vague. It’s a significant factor in the common experience of depression among the locals. The snow crunches under your boots and clings to your trousers, to the cuffs, and once you’re inside, the snow clings to you psyche, and eventually you have to go to the doctor. The past soaks into you in this weather because the present is missing almost entirely.
- Charles Baxter

I have an ongoing collection of quotes about February and how much it sucks. Anyone know of others?

**UPDATE** Just found another one from old Bill Shakespeare:

Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?
- William Shakespeare,
Much Ado About Nothing