Unfinished Updates

After an unintentional two month absence from my blog, I honestly do not have tons of crafting to show for it. Since I last posted, I have completed a couple of projects but overall have really been neglecting my crafting. Some of my projects have included birthday pajamas for my best friend, cross stitching, and knitting! The first two are completely normal things for me but my craft nag and sister has finally gotten me to start knitting again. I’m pretty sure she’s more excited for me than I am, and I’m pretty sure she was jumping for joy after I agreed to it.

20170524_165848
Birthday pajamas

She conned me into it with the lure of the Outfit-A-Long, where each June and July participants knit and sew an outfit, at least one complete piece per craft. It didn’t take quite so much convincing once I thought about all of the clothes that I could one day knit for myself (and others, I suppose). 

For the Outfit-A-Long, I will knit the Kit Camisole (found on Ravelry) and sew Tilly’s Delphine skirt. So far, I have cut the pretty green fabric that I will use for the skirt and have just received the beautiful mustard yellow yarn for the cami. I’m a little concerned about finishing the knit camisole in time but if I don’t meet the deadline I will survive and still have a new outfit!

In cross stitch news, I am still obsessed with everything from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, which just celebrated 7 years of business! However, I already have three of their projects started and many more that I want. While I don’t usually have specific deadlines in mind for my cross stitching (unless its for a specific holiday), I decided to stitch a Christmas stocking for my little brother.

2017-06-26 14.53.01
The gold is lovely to look at but a pain to stitch

Except I “started” it a year ago. So now I am going to finally finish A Very Merry Christmas Town (also from the FPS) before devoting most of my crafting time to the stocking.

I’ve also had some baking adventures, including some French crullers and a two-tiered cake for my brother’s birthday (more to come in the next post though). While I know that crafting and baking are good for my mental health, I have been neglecting my projects and myself. Here’s to crafting more and worrying less!

Tea Is For More Than Tasting

There seem to be an infinite number of teas in the world. Praise be to the leaves! Growing up in an Alabama version of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, I mostly knew of iced tea, which was almost always sweetened. I never much cared for it, sweet or unsweet, despite its availability at every restaurant, family gathering, or nearest refrigerator. I knew I didn’t like the black iced tea that the rest of the South did, and I thought that the few hot teas I tried tasted like slightly odd hot water. At first, tea itself wasn’t appealing. Sailing, however, taught me many more of its wonderful qualities.

Tea is meant to be an experience, not just a drink. Growing up in the South, I never knew how cold a summer could be until I was on the Great Lakes. Snow in May? 40 degrees F at night? The relieving warmth of tea in my hands (tea that I didn’t ask for) as I sat cold, sick, wet, and shivering on deck turned my mind forever onto its magic. If this sounds like a religious experience, that’s probably because it felt like one. While I sat there during watch, I felt like I may never be happy (or warm) again. An ordinary seaman very kindly brought me a warm mug of tea and an able bodied seaman ordered me to drink it, citing the Chain of Command. I sat and sipped, slightly miffed that the Chain of Command resulted in making me drink something gross, especially when I didn’t want to eat or drink anything at all (I have since learned that the Chain of Command does not actually include food or drinks). Nevertheless, I continued to sip, surprised at my odd liking for it. The mug graciously warmed my hands and the tea warmed my mouth, throat, and stomach. And it tasted okay! I was delighted! I had warmth again so I had a belief that I may be happy one day. (Please don’t take this as sailing being unhappy- sailing is a great joy of life. Here I was sick and cold and grumpy). I noticed again the lovely and comforting soft creaking of the lines against their pins and cleats, the enthusiastic waves hitting the hull, the sounds of sailing. From then on, reader, I have been in love with tea. (While tea is always a comfort, I have preferences in drinks for different times while sailing- coffee for daytime, hot chocolate for evening/nighttime, and tea for the morning sunrises). 

Tea is for more than tasting. Tea creates an environment and an atmosphere that, to me, is instantly calming. With tea, I relax, appreciate my surroundings, and see once more the joys of life. It can be the perfect and final addition to a blanket cocoon on a rainy day or the first step to feeling better about the world, even if only for a few minutes.  Tea involves tastes and smells and warmth (or cold if that’s your thing) and happiness. Whatever your pleasure be, let it be tea!

IMG_4175
A shipmate and friend, Amanda, enjoying tea on deck.