Good afternoon from New York.
Although we are now halfway through January, I still hear myself wishing folks Happy New Year. I wish to hold on to that freshness that the first days of a year promise.
We have had some very, very cold days, some light snowfall, some rain, some sleet. And also some rather pleasant sunny days, like today, when it can be good to be outdoors.
I have been clearing out some excess clutter. Some of these items have been taken to a neighborhood thrift store. Some have been discarded. There is plenty more de-cluttering to do. I assure you none of those pictured cups and saucers have left the apartment.
Another January project required the skill of the apartment building staff. Washers and handles on my kitchen and bathroom sinks have been changed. A pesky little chore, but it has made a difference to daily life.
I have made a substantial lentil soup, and have set aside half of it in the fridge's freezer compartment. It's comforting to know it's there. This kind of cooking for immediate and future consumption is another of my 2015 intentions.
On the very chilly days, it's been tempting to stay indoors. On days when I have been scheduled to go downtown to work, the subway cars have been warm, but the subway station platforms have been quite cold. An eight-minute wait for a train can seem quite a long time when you can see your breath in the chilly air.
On warmer days, it's been more fun to venture out, whether to do neighborhood errands, visit the farmers market, meet friends for cake and coffee, attend a birthday tea, or just take a walk.
Yesterday, I met a friend over at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to take a look at a beautiful exhibit Kimono: A Modern History. I wish that all of you who are interested in textiles or embroidery or dying techniques could see this exhibit. The show closes soon, and so I was very fortunate to be able to have a leisurely look. I regret not taking photographs within the gallery rooms.
However, while still in the Met, I did take these photographs, through a window in the Japanese galleries, that overlooks the spacious Temple of Dendur gallery in the Egyptian Wing, with its very large slanting windows overlooking Central Park.
The sun was definitely on its westward way towards setting as I took these photographs. It is fascinating to me how many areas of the Met can have a certain uncrowded tranquility. However, sometimes (when the Met is closed to the public) this particular gallery is used for major parties, with lots of people, food, drinks, music.
Less tranquility has been found outside my living room window during the above-freezing, non-precipitation days of January, as the team of drillers and masons continue to finish up their multi-month project on the building's exterior walls.
We residents of the building have been assured that the project is very, very near completion. To aid that crossing of the finish line, work will be done tomorrow morning (Saturday) and on the following Saturday morning, in addition to the usual Monday through Friday work. Saturday work is to commence at 9 a.m., rather than the weekday 8 a.m.
I thought that I would take this opportunity to take a couple of photographs, through my venetian blinds, to show you all the precarious hanging platform from which these men have been working. Perhaps you can just see the ropes and electrical cables.
The final photographs are of some of the knitting projects I am working on. The multi-colored zigzag scarf is being knitted in a variety of red, rose, pink, lavender, burgundy shades of fingering wool. I intend to add it to my Foakley Arts etsy.com shop in time for Valentine's Day gifting.
This other project is not my own design, but rather that of the fabulously talented Kate Davies, and is called A Hap for Harriet. I am knitting it in a soft merino lace weight yarn, and it it taking a long time to complete. I began knitting this wrap when on my November UK holiday.
Its progress was slowed down by a variety of Christmas projects.
I have now worked on several "hap" designs by other talented knitters, and next plan to figure out my own design. I was given some beautiful yarn from Yorkshire as a Christmas gift from my cousin and want to use it for this next special knitting exploration, another of my New Year's intentions.
Somehow using the word intention, rather than resolution has been a kinder, gentler way for me to press forward.
Thank you all for your visits and comments. It's grand to find new folks have become followers of my posts. Welcome to one and all.
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For your and your neighbours' sakes I hope the drilling stops soon - and you have a peaceful 2015. (Maybe you will miss the noise?)ReplyDelete
Your shawl looks gorgeous, it would be useful here this week as we are promised the coldest week of this winter (and the coldest week for 2 years).
Thank you, Celia. We tenants are promised that the building work will be completed in just a few more weeks. The resulting peace will be very welcome. It will also be great to have an end to all the dust that the drilling has set free.Delete
All of Kate Davies' designs are wonderful. I am looking forward to trying to design one of these shawls myself.
(I've been enjoying having a look at that link you sent me of the views from the church towers. Thank you again.)
I am sorry you still have noise around you, Frances. It must be so disturbing.ReplyDelete
Not too long now before peace and quiet are restored. xoDelete
I can sympathise with the building work, although not constant the house next door to us is being renovated, a project which is due to last another year at least! Hope yours is completed soon. Love that shawl and the scarf, what pretty colours.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your visit and comment. Knitting has been a fine way to try to ignore the drilling!Delete
Hi. I've just started following your blog. Your trip to the Metropolital Museum of Art looked good. It's the museums & galleries I'm interested it. Will be following the places you visit and perhaps one day will come to New York. I don't blog about it but I love 'looking' at knitting and 'doing' crochet. Actually, occasionally I knit.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your visit and comment. Long ago, back in the 1970s, I worked at the Met, as an archivist. It still remains my favorite museum, althought there are many other wonderful places in this big city.Delete
I feel very cosy reading this post and looking at the photos of your nourishing soup, the colourful wool and the tea cup paintings on your wall, but I shiver at the thought of waiting in that New York chill for 8 minutes! There was a dusting of snow and ice when I woke up - it stopped me going out for a run, so I'm waiting to see whether or not there'll be a big enough window for me to get out there. I do feel for you with the drilling still going on - and it's strange how we've all been decluttering! CxxReplyDelete
Oh Chris, that soup is perfect for this time of the year. Nourishing comfort food!Delete
You are right to shiver at the thought of an 8 minute wait. I think that shivering might be an involuntary action of our bodies to try to warm up.
It was amusing to see all that open Temple of Dendur space at the Met, and contemplate de-cluttering.
I was rather frightened that the exquisite tea cups were off to the thrift shop...!ReplyDelete
So sorry the exterior work on your building is STILL going on. What a nightmare.
And the cold.....
Have been telling friends about your fabulous knitting.
Hope we get together very soon.
Fear not, Elizabeth. No cups or saucers or even egg cups have left the apartment. I am now cautious about acquiring any new pieces, but those that are here stay here.Delete
Yes...looking forward to seeing you soon. xo
I associate cups with you now, Frances; an elegant and hospitable emblem. Godspeed the decluttering, and it'll give all the more breathing space to the lovely things that remain.ReplyDelete
Mise, as 2015 develops, I do want to return to long neglected oil paintings of some of my old china. For this I will rely on the open window options that May may bring.Delete
Meanwhile, I will continue to give some hard looks to various closet shelves and book shelves and ...well, other places, to see what might be de-accessioned.
Dear Frances, it happens to me, too, to wish Happy New Year to a friend, whom I hadn't seen since last year.:)ReplyDelete
I am so sorry to hear you are still living in a noisy atmosphere, but the quietness is coming soon, hurrah!:D
I find your knitting works lovely! I had, myself, a knitting experience, I will post about it.
What about clutter - here's a book, recommended by many people: "The Life-changing Magic of Tidying" by Marie Kondo. Have you heard about it? My son bought it for me and this is something that might help me to finish the long-lasting period of tidying a room....:)
Have a cosy Sunday and enjoy the silence!!
Here's a funny update, rossichka. It was so cold today, that those fellows who'd been scheduled to work on the bricks today had to cancel their appointment. I am very glad that they did not have to do this dangerous, skilled work in sub-freezing temperature.Delete
Thank you for your kind words about my knitting.
About clutter. I actually think that I might be able to write a book myself. If this apartment had just one more room, all my storage issues would be solved. Alas, it does not. So I must toughen my intentions.
I'm happy to see a new post! Soup, knitting, de cluttering, and promised peace and quiet sound like good starts to the new year. Your knitting projects are such lovely colors.ReplyDelete
Carol, thank you so much for your kind words. I am enjoying visiting your place, too, as this year unfolds.Delete
I really hope the workmen leave soon and that you can all enjoy peace again. I love your shawl - the weather's turning cold hee now, but now as cold as you get I don't think.ReplyDelete
Funny thing was that today's weather stayed under the freezing point all day, and so the workmen were allowed to cancel today's unusual Saturday shift. I am glad for them. I would definitely have not wanted to do their work outdoors for hours today.Delete
Through your blog I'm visiting New York Frances!ReplyDelete
Just hearing about the exhibitions is food for my soul - one of the advantages of living in one of the world's important cities.
Oh those cups.... I'm glad you are holding on to those - such treasures.
On my side of the world I'm making lentil salad - it's so versatile!
I search for peace and quiet too - we live in a small cul-de-sac and one of our neighbours has been doing major alterations for at least five months... thankfully the end is in sight and peace will reign once more.
Your knitting is exquisite - what a gift you have to knit such complex patterns.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year Frances.
Shane, I hope to show many more NYC spots in the weeks to come...places that you might not otherwise find.Delete
Oh yes, I love my old china items, and hope to be doing some more still life oil paintings featuring them after springtime allows me to open the windows again.
I've been knitting since I was in my early teens...so many decades ago. I never tire of playing around with colors and textures.
Happy continued New Year!
I'm glad to hear you are well and keeping busy with projects, seeing friends and visits to some of NYC fantastic museums.
Sorry about all the noise and dust from the work being done on your building - I guess it can't be avoided!
Stay warm and have a wonderful weekend!
Ingrid, I return those lengthening New Year's wishes to you.Delete
I have let some of my flower friendly NYC pals know about your site. They love it! Perhaps they might eventually leave you some comments of their own.
I am guessing that you spotted that single cyclamen flower in the tiny vintage demitasse cup? Of course, the inspiration for that came right from you. Thank you!
I too am wishing many people a Happy New Year. Don't you find the days are slipping by at an alarming pace?
Lentil soup is one of my favourites and I can completely vouch for the pleasure of new taps which do indeed add a little extra easiness to our everyday lives.
Honestly, I cannot WAIT until the renovation work in your building ends. You have triggered much empathy, drawn on past experience, from me. Hurrah! It's almost over.
Warmest wishes from France,
Stephanie, it's lovely to hear from you as 2015 lengthens its hold on us. Still a New Year? Definitely. New taps a plus...no question.Delete
I do hope to post a bit more often this year and to find better light in which to click my camera.
When the building facade work does finally reach the finish line, I am definitely going to come up with a celebration post.
Love to you and your family. xo
Oh, I love the idea of New Year intentions! Much more realistic! And I love those reds and pinks in your zigzag scarf -- you have a great eye for color.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Vicki. I think that your own sense of color is very fine.Delete
I enjoyed reading this post, dear Frances. You have been busy with such an interesting mix of activities over these wintry days. I love your beautiful knitting, the colours are delicious. I wish you happy and fulfilling times through out 2015, and am looking forward very much to visiting you here.ReplyDelete
I appreciate your comment very much, Helen. I do love playing around with color...never tiring of trying new combinations.Delete
My little collection of pretty cotton fabrics still calls out to me to try that paper piecing technique. 2015 could be the year (another intention.) xo
I’ve been absent from blogging for quite a while, with only the odd little foray into writing and have done almost no visiting since before Christmas.
So it’s a great pleasure to come here and see your colourful live displayed and hear all about your stylish and cultured activities.
You are a true sophisticate!
And, as I see, also a good cook. The lentil soup looks delicious and I am all in favour of cooking ‘for the freezer’. I do quite a lot of it myself.
Good intentions are so much better than resolutions. In your case they will NOT be the paving stones on the road to hell but gentle and pleasant steps to a special kind of heaven.
Friko, my wish for discovering a way to add more hours to the 24 hour day has been set aside. I realize how much I do enjoy a bit of daydream time each day, much more that trying to fit in another activity or interest. There are always so many things going on in NYC, it's often been a challenge to decide whether to work on somethingof my own, or to use those same available hours to go out and see or hear what someone else created. This does still perplex me somewhat.Delete
that’s meant to be ‘colourful life’ of course.ReplyDelete
Dear Frances, there are so many lovely things in this post. It is chilly here today and I could happily tuck in to a bowl of your soup wrapped in some of your beautiful knitting... Me not the soup that is! I was a little concerned at first and thought you were getting rid of those beautiful cups... Glad to hear that is not the case. And yes, I would have loved to see that exhibition!ReplyDelete
Gina, I agree that homemade soup and knitting are both welcome on cold days in January.Delete
About the exhibit...the Met is so full of beautiful things that it can be overwhelming. I like to try to limit my visit to one particular exhibit so that the impression doesn't get diluted. Yet, sometimes I do get lured down a hallway to something that catches my eye. (Same thing happens to me at the V&A!)
Hello Francces, what a lovely catch up post. I am so very pleased to hear that those gorgeous cups still reside with you. I do hope the drilling ends soon!ReplyDelete
Annie, my little collection of old china is quite safe. It still amazes me that so many English potteries have closed. Just seems unbelievable.Delete
Drilling is tapering off.
It's already the 19th of January, but I would like to wish you a Happy, Healthy and Creative New Year!
The exhibition you went to in the Metropolitan sounds interesting. My youngest daughter and I visited a textile/fashion exhibition in The Hague recently, about Romantic fashion in the 18th century. Very much worthwhile as well. The Metropolitan looks like a beautiful museum on your photo's. Hope to see it for myself one day.
Your wrap looks beautiful. Do like your choice of colour!
Have a good week!
Love the colours of your new project
Madelief, that exhibit at The Hague sounds like an excellent one. It would be fun to see such an exhibit with you...either here or in the Netherlands.Delete
Thank you for your kind comments about the knitting. I'll have a scarf update soon. xo
You will be pleased to know that walking in cold air boosts the immune system, or so I am told. So you can comfort yourself with that thought whilst waiting in line. Your soup looks delicious and comforting on a cold winter's day. It has inspired me to make a batch myself, something I have got out of the habit of doing. I know I would have loved the Kimono exhibition, maybe we will see some influence in your future knitting creations? Choice of colour perhaps? Your present knitting projects are gorgeous, not sure what a hap is? xReplyDelete
Val, hap is a name for a traditional Shetland Islands shawl, that usually has some lacy stitches.Delete
If you go to ravelry.com or even google, and ask about haps, be prepared to stay for several hours. There are endless variations!
I'm sure that what I saw in the kimono exhibit is already percolating through my mind.
Oh no! Not Saturdays as well. I do hope this really means an accelerated end to the noise. So relieved that those cups weren't on your clearing list. Soup in the freezer is always very cheering. I have some leek potato and watercress soup in there.ReplyDelete
Ahh Lucille, last Saturday's brutally cold weather caused the cancellation of the workmen's weekend exceptional schedule.Delete
I'm having some freshly made potato and onion soup right now. With dill seed and thyme and pepper and a little OXO. Delish. xo
A lovely post from you again Frances...I hope everything is good and your pictures gives me so much inspiration!ReplyDelete
Yesterday spring and today winter here on the island...so weird weather.
Have a happy week, take care!
Titti, thanks for your visit! In the past couple of days we have also had some very odd weather swings here in NYC. Today is just a bit warmer (at least it's above freezing) so I look forward to getting outdoors for a good walk. xoReplyDelete
The wrap is so pretty, Frances. Will you keep it for yourself? I think it would be very good with your colouring.ReplyDelete
You and I find ourselves in similar circumstances. You, with drilling and pounding on the outside of your building, and I with hammering and drilling on the house next door. It has been 'lifted' a full story, to make a larger house and we have been living next to a construction zone.
I love a post like this - a cosy life in a very big city!
Yes, Pondside, I think that I am going to keep that rosy hap for myself.Delete
Funny drilling update. Today was to be another special Saturday day for the drillers, but once again, we have an ugly mix of snow, sleet and rain and so the work was cancelled.
However, I do have to venture out to work myself. (At least my work will be indoors!)
Frances, your knitting is simply stunning, those colors! I believe the teacup paintings are yours as well, beautiful work. I don't envy you the cold, bitter winter in NYC, but I do wish I could visit the exhibit of Kimonos, as I love fabric and design. Keep warm! JeriReplyDelete
Jeri, thank you for the compliments!Delete
Yes, January is a good time to stay warm and dry indoors when cold and wet special effects are putting on their show outdoors. xo
The color combination of your knitting is easy to the eyes. :)ReplyDelete
It's cold alright and that soup looks so comforting.
Clearing out unused items is a good way to start the year. I did that too early this month. :)
Thank you for your visit and comment. My new year's enthusiasm for clearing out a bit from my apartment is still strong!Delete
It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.ReplyDelete