Thursday, December 13, 2018

better late

Thank you all so much for your birthday wishes! You will laugh when I tell you that I fell asleep after chores last night before eating any lemon meringue pie, but I had a slice for breakfast this morning. And this evening, I finally opened my presents.

Have I mentioned my approach to the "Black Friday"-type mayhem? It's got nothing to do with Christmas for me - indeed, it has nothing to do with Christmas in any way, period - but I use it as a practical way to plan ahead.

All year I keep a list of "needed/wanted, but can wait" items for the animals, myself, the house. Come November, I shop from that list during the sales, almost entirely online. It can mean a whacking great bill to pay in December, but considerably less than the same purchases would have cost if spread out over the year; things like a replacement router, a pair of prescription reading glasses, a humidifier for the porch, a nice cotton workshirt for next Spring, and a pair of insulated walking boots for winter Piper-rambles.

This year, I added a little fun by making some birthday "surprise gift" purchases as well. The first was from a small New Hampshire online yarn shop that imports yarns from the UK.

Look, it's a hat and two pairs of socks!
(Some assembly required.)

I also placed an order with Blick Art Supplies. I'll tell you what: a fifty-dollar "surprise gift" budget can buy a whole lot of fun when there's a sale going on and free shipping for a $45 order.

I say "surprise" because it seemed likely that between mid-November and mid-December, I would forget at least part of what I ordered. Every time I visit the Blick website, dozens of items catch my imagination. Ordering just a few things from that treasure trove and then putting it out of my mind meant that I genuinely forgot all but one item. When I opened the box from Blick this evening, it was as if this gift had truly dropped unexpected out of thin air.

I said, "Oooh!"

Out loud.

And then I laughed like a loon.

 I've been wanting a pocket sketchbook for a while now.
This is a very, very good one.
In fact, "It's just what I wanted!"
I'm pretty excited about it.

This waterbrush is a brand I haven't tried before.
Every year I buy one - maybe two - new ones, figuring out what works for me.
This one is labelled "1 mm" - quite tiny.

Then, in order to embrace the ongoing adventure that is watercolor,
I went to the other extreme:

Fun ahead :)