Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow Day

Ever since I was a little girl, I remember documenting the first snow that stuck to the ground in my journals and diaries. This year is no different, but this year I am going to post here with a few pictures!

There is something so magical about winter. The giving, the cuddling close through the cold, the sparkling white snow, the purity of the cold and unselfish giving, makes it all so beautiful! These are always my first thoughts. I just can't let the cold, or the trouble driving through it bring me down. There is so much more to this season that makes it so wonderful.

This is my neighbor's house across the street. I know it seems a little creepy that I took a picture of a neighbor's house, but it showed the snow the best! Leave me alone.

This is a picture of the drive way leading to my building, and below is a picture of the footsteps on the sidewalk. I wouldn't normally detail such obvious things, but my land lord put in new windows last week. They are so clear that I can take these pictures through the window. Also, my sister handed me down her old camera last week, and it is completely new to me and so much better than my cell phone pictures!

Anyway, I'm off to go do some banking, run some errands, and hang out with my family for the day, as well as crochet my fingers off for what I believe will be my last week of special orders before Christmas! Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Awesome Give-Away

Deb over at Works in Progress is hosting an awesome give away right now. I will be so jealous if anyone but myself wins, but I am going to tell you all anyway. She is giving away these great items:

And here are the rules straight from her blog.

One entry for posting about this on your blog.
One entry for becoming a follower of my blog
One entry for posting a comment here. Now just to make it more interesting, can you tell me what you want to get for Christmas!!

Be sure to enter this awesome give away...or don't if you want to be nice and increase my chances of winning. HA!

My Own... Granny Square Slippers!

I know some of you may think I have gone mad with this idea of Granny Square Slippers, but I think they are absolutely fantastic! Sooo...Here is my second rendition of the Granny Square Slippers, and these babies will be staying on mama's feet! :)

By the way, my inspiration for these colors came from a fellow blogger's color choices a few months ago in this post about a felt cover for her I-Pod. Thanks for the inspiration, Deb!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Amazing Give-Away!

A fellow team member of mine is hosting a give away on her blog that is to die for! She is giving a $25 gift certificate to her Etsy shop, and there is still plenty of time to enter! Here are just a few of her items.

And here are her rules:

The winner will be drawn randomly and will be announced and notified on Sunday, December 6, 2009. Have fun and happy shopping!

* Please comment below and tell me what your favorite item is in my store! (1 entry)

*Become a blog follower for another extra entry! (let me know in a separate post if you are)(1 entry)

*Blog about this for another extra entry! (give me the link in a separate post
(3 entries

Please visit her shop Rachael's Garden as well as her blog for your chance to win!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Never Thought I Would be Making These!

Aren't these slippers absolutely wonderful? (You can find the pattern for them at Purl Bee) I have sworn for the past year that I wanted nothing to do with traditional crochet, but in the past year, I have made mittens, wash rags, baby bibs, etc. The exception is that I have been making them in bright, fun, and contemporary colors! I refuse to go with the old boring and drab colors of the 70s and beyond.

Last night, I was doing a sidewalk sale at a Holiday Parade with my sister. It went very well, by the way, and I think a huge part of that was because we were in our own community. While I was there, I was working on a pair of mittens in bright purple! :) A woman came up to us and asked if she could show us something and we could match it. Now, I have been asked this question before, and what I was being asked to match was knitted. I crocheted some items in a similar form or texture, but this time, I made sure to ask what it was I would be asked to copy.

I don't particularly like to copy things because it takes the "art" right out of my work, but occasionally I run across people like this woman. She told me, "My husband has these god-awful brown and yellow slippers that I think are so ugly. I make fun of him all the time about them, the end of the night, I'm always asking to wear them because they are so comfortable."

From there, I asked her what they looked like, a little on the cautious side because I really didn't want to copy something so "god-awful." She went on to say that they looked like they were just squares that were put together. She also said that if I could figure out how to make them, she would be willing to buy a lot of them!

As soon as she said squares, my mind immediately flew to granny squares. From that moment on, I chewed on the thought all night long. I don't know what it is about sales, even the short few hour sales, that makes me so utterly exhausted. Last night was no different, so as eager as I was to get to work on these slippers, I just couldn't.

Instead, I laid on the couch with my husband and watched "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" by Tyler Perry. I just love that movie, so much soul, woman empowerment, and true love of Jesus. You wouldn't think they go together, but you just watch for yourself.

Anyway, after the movie finished, I Google searched "Granny Square Slippers," and after a few failed attempts, I managed to find the beauties you see above. I so wish I could say those were my own, and not because mine didn't turn out. Just because I love the coloration of them as well as the texture. It turns out, though, that it would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 to make one pair of slippers. Seeing as how my husband and I are both jobless, I will be sticking to Red Heart Super Saver acrylic yarn for now, which I can buy at Wal-Mart for $2 per 7oz skein. HA!

I ended up staying awake until 2am to finish my first granny square slipper. They say you can make a pair of slippers in about two hours, but that is only if you have had your practice. I was unwilling to put them down until I knew that I had conquered them. And conquer them, I did. Check out my rendition!

Yes, they are in more traditional colors, but that is all that I had on hand. I love them, but I will love them even more when I cam make some pink, orange and green ones!

By the end of the night, I was very pleased with my slipper. However, when I tried it on, it was about 2" to big for me. I was so sad, so I had my husband try them on. Of course, had they been about an inch bigger, they would have fit his American size 15 wide!! That was frustrating, but the moral of the story is to always, ALWAYS check your gauge, especially if you are me and know, without a doubt, that your stitches are always loose.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Kind of Thanksgiving

This year's Thanksgiving will not go unnoticed, not that any Thanksgiving ever goes unnoticed in my family. I just have to stop and dote on what a wonderful family I belong to.

This is going on the third year that my siblings and I are celebrating the holidays without our rock of a mom. At the holidays, she would pick at my older sister. She is always the one to host our holiday gatherings, and Mom would always find something to get under my sister's skin about. As I got older, I always picked up on the awkward tension, but it just became part of the tradition. Now that she is gone, my older sister has actually shed tears wishing she could just have Mom back to drive her crazy again.

Our mom was almost always smiling, though. She had such a warm and inviting smile. It had to be her sparkling brown eyes, perfectly fair skin, and dainty features. I don't remember much about the holidays besides laughing. Mom would tell jokes that would embarrass most kids and have us all in stitches. I remember she would laugh such deep hearty laughs, holding her belly and wiping the tears from her eyes. I will never be able to forget that laugh or that wonderful smile.

The biggest thing I have to be thankful for each holiday season is my family, though. Many families never mend the broken parts after they lose the rock of the family. Many families spend so much time fighting over what they want when a loved on dies. Many families are just never the same, but thankfully, my family didn't have any of that to deal with. Our mom died on September 19th, 2007. Our brother's birthday was a week later. Our youngest brother's birthday was two weeks later. We still celebrated. Thanksgiving and Christmas were terribly painful being just months apart from losing Mom, but we still celebrated...a little more quietly that year.

Now, as we approach our third Thanksgiving without our mom, we are still going to gather, eat together, joke together, and laugh together while Mom's spirit soars through the rooms with us. We may not be able to see her, but we can always feel her. We can always feel her keeping us going, always smiling at us, and always making life interesting.

We love and miss you, Mom!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fingerless Gloves, Mittens, Flip-Top Mittens

This is how I have been spending the past week or so of my life. It is getting very cold in my neck of the woods, and I am hoping to cash in on the cold weather, if you will. Recently, I lost my job at the chiropractic office. I have not worked a traditional job for a little over a week now, but that is not to say I haven't been working at all. In all actuality, I have been working quite a lot.

I consider myself to be an entrepreneur now, and I am working toward learning everything there is to know about being...umm... one of those. I am also embracing my more creative side. I have been writing patterns, like the ones for these glove and mittens above, as well as a few others.

It has been scary not working a traditional job, not having a steady income, not knowing how in the world we are going to keep our apartment, but it has also been endearing. I know it sounds crazy, but I have never felt so free and so happy to be jobless. We will just continue to figure it out from here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Own Crochet Socks

This morning I was laying in bed in a very peaceful mood as I listened to the rain tapping at our windows. As I lay there coming out of dream land, I was thinking about a pattern I recently bought for crochet knee socks. I needed two skeins of yarn to make them, and I was laying there thinking that simply was not very economical for me right now. From there, my mind started to wonder into all the other things I could create if I only used one skein of yarn to make a pair of socks. That is when the idea hit me. For whatever reason, I was filled with energy at the idea of creating my own crocheted sock pattern.

So, I got out of bed quietly, so as not to wake my husband. It was 9 o'clock in the morning, but the past few nights, I stole his pillow which was originally my pillow, and he hasn't been sleeping. (I gave him his pillow back last night.) I started on this creation of my own sock pattern, and the first two tries were sad ventures. I ended up tearing out my work both times, but the third time was a charm! I finally finished my pattern after a long day working.

Above, you can see my finished work. I absolutely love them! I am wearing this pair and keeping them for myself, but I will be making some for Christmas gifts and I am hoping to write up my pattern as PDF and sell it in my shop. Continue to check my shop for updates!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Stockings Galore!

All week, I have been working on Christmas stockings, and I don't mean to toot my own horn here. I think they are wonderful, though! The colors are some of my favorites, which is why I had picked out the yarn a few months ago without really knowing what I would be using it for. These are some of the first projects I have created after listening to and reading an article in the Etsy Success. The lady that wrote the article basically said that ultimately, what you make should be something you have fallen in love with, something that has pieces of your personality and all your quirks in it. Her article reminded me that I crochet because it is my art form, because I love to do it, and because it helps me to keep my sanity. It also reminded me how much I dislike corporation. It reminded me of my own ideals of small business, and with each stocking I made, I made sure that it reflected what I love.

I was talking to my husband about this article, and I pointed out to him that a true artist, such as a painter, were painting something, they would be painting from their soul, from somewhere deep down inside of them. They would be painting their own emotions out onto canvas. They would not necessarily be thinking about consumerism or about painting what the general public would want to buy. Also, if they were half way through a painting and absolutely hated it, I would like to think they would just get rid of it instead of trying to finish it according to what a possible consumer would want.

Isn't that what art is really about, anyway? Isn't really about expressing yourself? I know there are people out there that will not ever understand why I feel my crochet is my art form, but I truly feel that a piece of me goes into every work I make. I truly feel as though I am expressing myself in my work, and that is really what art is about, in my own honest opinion.

It is definitely that time of year!

My husband and I will be celebrating our first Christmas as newly weds this year, and we already have our Christmas tree and decorations up! I thought maybe I would share a few pictures with my blogging friends to commemorate such a great time of year.

You can see our newest kitten. She is about six months old and just as crazy as you might expect. She believes every surface of our apartment is free game for her wild games and even her quiet times, as you can see. Behind our kitten, Luna, are a few of my mom's old snowmen decorations. I just love them!

This year will be the first Christmas that we are truly a "family," my husband and I. His family had sort of a tradition of getting the kids their own ornaments each year, and when my husband moved away from home, he got to take his ornaments with him. I also have a few of my own ornaments from childhood, and this year, we thought it would be fitting to mix all of our childhood ornaments all over our tree. Now, there is no telling where one of our ornaments starts and the other's ends. ;o)

The picket you see above is hand painted by my husband's mom. She does wonderful, beautiful and very intricate work. She has carved and painted for many years, and I am always impressed by her beautiful winter scenes.

Recently, I have been taking some slack for having my Christmas decorations up already, and all I can say is that Christmas is the best time of year. I can't help but get swept up in, and I don't mean the over-commercialization. I am swept up in seeing all sorts of people from all walks of life, each with a twinkle in their eye, as we all bundle up for the winter cold, and pretend, if only for a moment, that we are not all so different after all. I love to see people lending a helping hand, thinking of others before themselves, and most of all, I love to see people's faces light up upon receiving a special gift.

I absolutely love to show people that they are special to me, and the Christmas season gives me one more reason to do that. It is such an extraordinary time of year!

Monday, November 9, 2009

It seems I have been absent awhile.

Lately, I have been keeping myself insanely busy crocheting, so busy in fact, that I feel I have neglected my own feelings, but that is another post entirely. Christmas is coming. We are broke as always, so I am making hand made items. I don't want it to seem like handmade is second best at all. I just get tired of being broke so often. I do feel very blessed, on the other hand, to have the ability to make gifts for my family. Some of the things I have been working on lately are:

Coffee cup sleeves that are made from 100% cotton. Good for the environment, and convenient for you. I also wrote and published my first crochet pattern ever from this very ribbed coffee cup sleeve.

Baby bibs made from 100% cotton. They have a vintage feel to them because I decided to go with a tie neck instead of a snap or Velcro neck. They are so far from vintage, though, because they are in bright fun colors!

As far as gift giving goes, though, I have been working on a few other things.

My niece's birthday was this past week. She turned 10. She is so full of attitude, but she also has an "old soul." She reminds me so much of myself, it is scary. She and I have a special bond, and as rotten as she can be, I absolutely love her to pieces. I absolutely love the hat and fingerless glove set I made for her, and I was so tempted to keep it for myself...I'm a bad aunt!

I'm still working on my nephew's gift. His birthday was the same day, and he turned 7! I just can't believe how the years have flown by. I am making him a hooded sweatshirt. It will be the first piece of clothing I have ever crocheted, and so far, it is going very well. I just have the hood to finish and then the sewing to do. I can't wait to finish it and see it on him. :)

I am also working on Christmas gifts. I have made a list of all my family members and what I am making for them. So far, I have one thing done for one person out of something like 15 immediate family members. HA! It is my favorite thing, though, and again, I so want one for myself!

I absolutely love this cowl! I am making a hat to match it.

Hope you have enjoyed seeing a peek into my workshop!

I Have Been Featured.

As I have mentioned before, I am part of a group on Etsy called Collaborators in Cahoots. So far, I have had such great experiences with this group, met some wonderful people, and been able to witness all sorts of art forms. These people never cease to amaze me with their creativity and their kindness. Today, I got a comment from the woman who created the website, and she said I had been featured on the Team Blog. It really is such an honor.

She did a wonderful write up and included some great pictures from my shop. Please go check it out and let her know what a great job she did!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We Have a Winner!

Well everyone, there is a winner from the polls I posted earlier, and that winner is Karen! She makes truly awesome birdhouses among other cute things. I especially like this groovy paisley gourd!

Go over to our team blog Collaborators in Cahoots to see more pictures and a great write up about Karen's shop.

And while we're here...I want to fiiiinnnnalllly announce the winner of my give away a few weeks ago. I sincerely apologize for putting it off so long. The winner is.........DEB at Works in Progress . Deb has a great blog. She is a wonderful quilter with a lot of passion and love. I really enjoy reading about what happens in her daily life and following along as she sews up some wonderful vintage, flowery quilts!

Deb, I will e-mail you to get your address, and soon, you will be receiving a cozy neck warmer...enjoy the warm weather while it lasts! The warmer will be waiting for you when you need it again. ;o)

Last Day To Vote!

I am in a group on Etsy called Collaborator's in Cahoots and this month's challenge was to enter something from our shops that was Fall related. I think the team did wonderfully, and all the entries are great. It was so hard to vote for the most "Fall" item. Check out the pictures for yourself on our team blog Collaborators In Cahoots and then go vote on what you think is the most "Fall" themed item. Have fun, and don't forget to check out everyone's shops. It is just the right time to start shopping for Christmas.

Which best fits the Fall/Autumn theme?

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Nancy Goode!

Recently I joined a group called Collaborators in Cahoots, and it is full of wonderful people. This week I am pairing up with Nancy to promote her shop GoodeGear on Etsy.

I would like to share with you all, the welcome message in Nancy's store. Her writing in so wonderful, you can practically hear the bath water running already...or maybe that's just my husband taking a shower. ;o)

My passion is to create unique recipes that will benefit your mind, body and soul. Natural soap handmade with organic products. We also make natural skin care products, lotion, body wash, massage oil with the best essential and carrier oils, butters and herbs. These natural products can help with a variety of ailments.
We make many different kinds of soap and can customize any order for you. These homemade soaps are perfect as gifts, for use in the guest bedroom, or as a personal luxury. Contact us if you don’t see the exact soap you’re looking for, we can help get the right soap for your needs!
I create these recipes to help you enjoy your bathing experience and promote health and vitality. When it is time to remove yourself from your everyday life, when you just want to be left alone, start running the bath water, turn down the lights and enjoy the scents that will immerse your soul from my bath and body products. My products help with the aches and pains you experience in everyday life.

Just in time for Halloween!

And doesn't this look delicious?

So don't forget to go check out Nancy's store GoodeGear and treat yourself to something wonderful!

Neck Warmer Give Away

Hey everyone!

I promise I will be announcing a winner soon. It was a little unclear who was entering the give away and who was just commenting. I am working clearing that up now and then I will let you all know which special reader gets to take home that wonderful warmer.

Well Wishes!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Give Away Reminder

Tomorrow is the last chance to enter the give away in honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Check out the original blog for rules and a picture of the give away!

Good luck!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Give Away!

As many of you may be aware, or so I hope, this month, October, is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Two years ago, I lost my mother because of what started as breast cancer, and it was very tragic for me. I still miss her dearly, but months like this are useful in helping to make sure no one else loses their mother, friend, sister, aunt, grandmother, etc to breast cancer. Take care of yourself and make sure you know your body well. Don't ignore anything out of the ordinary, and follow these steps to do you own at home checks to help prevent breast cancer.

Detection Plan

An Early Breast Cancer Detection Plan should include:

Clinical breast examinations every three years from ages 20-39, then every year thereafter.
Monthly breast self-examinations beginning at age 20. Look for any changes in your breasts.
Baseline mammogram by the age of 40.
Mammogram every one to two years for women 40-49, depending on previous findings.
Mammogram every year for women 50 and older.
A personal calendar to record your self-exams, mammograms, and doctor appointments.
A low-fat diet, regular exercise, and no smoking or drinking.

How to Conduct a Breast Self-Exam

In the shower: Fingers flat, move gently over every part of each breast. Use your right hand to examine left breast, left hand for right breast.

Check for any lump, hard knot or thickening. Carefully observe any changes in your breasts.

Before a mirror: Inspect your breasts with arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.

Look for any changes in contour of each breast, a swelling, a dimpling of skin or changes in the nipple. Then rest palm on hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match — few women's breasts do.

Lying down: Place pillow under right shoulder, right arm behind your head. With fingers of left hand flat, press right breast gently in small circular motions, moving vertically or in a circular pattern covering the entire breast. Use light, medium and firm pressure. Squeeze nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

This information is given to us by The Breast Cancer Site where you can go every day and do something absolutely free to help fund breast cancer research and donated mammograms. All you have to do is click.

But now, we must move on to the fun part! A few months ago, I felt this overwhelming desire to make a dark brown and pink scarf/neck warmer, and as I was making it, I felt led to pray over it for the person that will receive it. Originally, I decided I would sell it in my Etsy store, but with the help of my friend Sandy at Cape Cod Originals I have now decided to host a give away with this very neck warmer. So, here are the rules for the give away.

1. If you comment on my blog, you will receive one entry.
2. If you become a follower of my blog, you will receive two entries.
3. If you link back to my blog in your own blog, website, or store, you will receive two more entries.
4. I don't want to leave out the loyal followers of my blog, so if you already follow my blog, and you post a link to this give away and comment, you will receive the same 5 entries as a new follower would. :)
5. This give away will be open for 7 days. From now until next Thursday at Midnight central time, you can enter and tell everyone you know about this give away and early detection.
6. If you post a link to this give away anywhere, please leave me a link to the place you posted it at so I can check it out for myself. Leave all links and comments in the comment box.

You may use my picture in your own blogs, but please tell all! The person meant to receive this warmer will finally be getting it, and I am confident of that.

Oh, and for the guys out there reading my blog, don't be afraid to join in the fun! Your mothers, friends, wives, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, etc would all love a warm new hand made neck warmer, and they all have breasts, too! This is a good cause. Yay Breasts!!

Also, as a side note, any purchases in my Etsy shop this month will have 10% donated to my local Relay For Life team through the American Cancer Society.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My little brother needs girl advice!

Hey there everyone. Today, my little brother is turning 17! It seems so crazy. I remember the days where he and I used to fight all the time about absolutely nothing, the time we tried to build a fort in our back yard, the time he fell on a rusty nail from the boards we were using to build a fort in our back yard without our mom knowing, and so many other memories.

Our lives are so different now, and generally he is a good kid. Sometimes, he is just lost, though, and for good reason. About two years ago, we lost our mom to cancer. Now, for the past year of his life, he has been living as if he were an adult. He lived with a friend, paid rent, cleaned house, got a job, bought groceries, and pays bills. He is still in high school, but life without Mom has been possibly hardest for him. The rest of my mom's children, including me, were already living on their own. We range in age from 33 to 17.

Our mom died just two weeks before his birthday. He was 14 when she died, and he was the one home with her in her last days. Sometimes he makes me absolutely crazy. I know he is smart, but he is bored. School is an issue and always has been for this reason. The thing is, though, he used to confide in our mom, things I would never have dreamed of telling her. My brothers were always very close to our mom in that way. I tended to follow her example, and sort of fend for myself. She was a single mom.

Now, however, the boys don't have her around anymore. The rock in their life that they used to go to with their problems is gone, and I need your help. My little brother has been "dating" a girl his age on and off for a few years now. She's a great girl, and they both have a lot of growing and changing left to do. He wants her in his life, though, and I'm not about to tell him he shouldn't when I know exactly how that was at his age. Anyway, it would be really great if you guys would go over to his blog, and not only tell him Happy 17th Birthday, but also read his blog post "Just wanting to chat..." and give him some advice. My sister and I have already been there, but some unbiased advice would be nice. Ladies and gentleman, pull out your "Mom and Dad" cards. It is time to put them to use. ;o)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Long, Long Day with many questions swirling my brain

So much so that I decided half way through that title that I didn't want to use punctuation and capitalization anymore.

This day started bright and early with a round of showers for the husband and I before heading off into a brand new world. Of course, being limited by my small town, I had to grab my latte at McDonald's, and yes, I am ashamed to admit that. It wasn't entirely awful, though, and on a different note, I had to boycott my local coffee shop for one day due to my utter disappointment at their lack of espresso knowledge. So, now that I have gotten that tangent out of my system, I just want to say that I am tired but wired, and full, full, full to the brim with questions and thoughts.

I did go to my Reiki workshop today, but it was much as I had expected. I want to first say that my instructor was the most loving, full of peace and joy, person I have ever met. However, our ideas on faith clashed a bit. While I can completely respect this, I cannot be comfortable inviting it into my life. I have a lot of thinking to do about this in general. Basically, her belief is that all the deities are the same. I do not agree at all. I think the exact opposite. While many religions express similar ideals and moral codes, they are not at all the same. There is only one God. I have only one Savior, Jesus Christ, and there is only one Holy Spirit, making up, ultimately, one Trinity.

However, from my instructor, I was able to see how much my heart needs to grow in love. If this woman does not even claim God as her sole creator or guide, yet she is still so full of love and life, what excuse, then, do I have? We talked today about my involvement in my community as well. I know I have expressed this before, recently, but I do not feel very involved in my church. I want to be more involved, but a big part of me is holding back. A big part of me is afraid...afraid of becoming attached, afraid of being rejected, afraid of looking young and naive, afraid of being David facing Goliath...But I know I have not been following or even seeking God's advice on this topic out of fear, and it has to stop now.

I don't feel that I made a wrong decision in going to my workshop today. I was able to learn about myself and others. I was able to honestly and openly talk about the struggles I have been having lately in my walk with God. I was able to admit to myself the areas in my life that still need some work and lots of love. I still don't feel as though I have blossomed. I feel like I need a little more rain and a lot more warm Son-shine, if you catch my drift.

So today was not a waste of time. Today was a milestone in my journey that I am still taking baby steps along. I can't say for sure yet that I am finished with my Reiki path, but I can say for sure that I am just beginning an even deeper dive into my soul search. I just hope that I can remember to take things one day at a time, breathe deeply, be love, and trust my God.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Need To Breathe

Lately, I have been really busy with my crochet business, and I have not had really any time to do anything else...

I have a stack of books I really want to just take a week off to read. I have so many ideas for my own crochet projects that I want to do. I have 3 or 4 more orders in my crochet business waiting to start. The good thing about those is that I will get to use my creative license again. I hate not being able to choose colors, experiment, and have fun with crochet. On the other hand, I have been making baby cocoons and preemie baby cocoons, and I just feel so blessed to have been asked to help. It is one of the sweetest jobs I have ever had, and I can't help but get caught up in it. I can only imagine the sweet, soft little babies that will be held, cuddled, and loved in the very cocoons woven from my own two hands. Every time I finish a cocoon, I hold it out in my arms as if it were full of a chubby cheeked little one, and I can't help but feel blessed and part of something bigger than myself.

These cocoons are going to India...I know I keep harping on this, but I just feel so honored. I can't believe how far my life has come.

In another area of my life, there is a lot of change happening as well. I have spoken on my blog a little bit about Reiki, or "hands on healing." I have always been drawn to people, for as long as I can remember. I feel specifically drawn to hurting people and even more specifically to those hurting emotionally. I am so utterly fascinated with the way people think and the inner workings of our minds. I love to just listen to people. I don't always, rarely even, have any advice to give, but I love to listen. Something about it just makes me content.

Anyway, a friend of mine recently expressed their concern with my choice to follow a path toward Reiki, and I wanted to give you all a website to check out in case you were feeling that same concern. When I post on here, I want everyone's honest opinions. I am curious to see what you all think, and when you become a trusted friend of mine, I actually take your words to heart. This website is called Christian Reiki and I just want to let all of you out there know that I would not be going into this if I felt it went against my beliefs as a Christian.

Today, I spent a little bit of time in prayer talking to God about why I want to learn more about Reiki. I explained to Him that I have always felt led to people who are hurting, and I desperately want to be able to help them while getting closer to my God at the same time. I want to deepen my relationship with God but also deepen my own spiritual understanding, and I believe Reiki will help me to do that. It won't, however, replace my search to understand God better or my study of the Bible. That is my ultimate goal of learning Reiki. I want to help others, myself, and deepen my spirituality and relationship with God.

I asked God to show me how He was feeling about this, to lead me and guide me. I asked Him to let me know if He didn't want me to follow this path, but I still feel at peace with it. I opened myself up 100% to God's will, even though I have already paid for my class and cannot get my money back. I am perfectly fine with that if God were to tell me that this is the wrong path for me or that I won't end up helping people or loving people after following this path.

I am not writing this post because I feel I have to justify my decision to anyone. I am writing this post because I enjoy the feedback my fellow bloggers give. I am writing this post in case anyone else had this question for me as well but was struggling with how to bring it up kindly. I am writing this post because it is weighing heavily on my heart right now to let you all know that God is my God, and I will never say otherwise. I am here to love, and I feel led to heal. Our spirits go through battle constantly in such a changing world, and I feel led to cleanse them and show people this wonderful, warm light that I know as my God. I am not ashamed of this. It is all part of the process, and I feel very much peace about this process.

The busier I get, and I am very busy right now, the more I need to depend on God, the more I need to devote time to learning about Him. I would not have this talent without God, and I cannot thrive under the pressure without God. I have been very blessed as of late, and I want you all to know you can have this love and this blessing in your life as well. All you have to do is ask. Jesus will hear you wherever you are, whatever you are doing, No...Matter...What.

Be love!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Feeling Very "Connected"

I am not going to go into detail just yet because I feel this story will be better savored and understood in a week or so. However, I do just want to say that day by day, I am seeing that this world is not such a terrible place...that people are not as bad as they seem, and that there truly is something bigger out there. I am witnessing that the world as a whole is like one beating heart...In moments when we feel most at our wits end, like we won't be able to go on, God delivers people into our lives that impact us quite profoundly. Since starting my blog not even a year ago I don't think, I have met a handful of people from all over the world that never cease to amaze me with their wonderful talents, kind words, and big hearts. I have received wonderful advice, much support, laughed much, learned much, been moved to tears, moved to my knees, and felt more at peace than I believe I have ever felt in my life. I know God is in control of all this, but I just have to say thank you for all the people out there that I have interacted with who are following God's subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, nudges in my direction.

For some time now, I have been feeling like it is time to stop being a selfish child and start paying it forward. My eyes are constantly open for areas to reach out to others with love. I have come to realize I am really over analyzing this, though. I must constantly remind myself of K.I.S.S. Keep it Simple Stupid. Yes, it is a funny anecdote, but it holds true meaning for me. I am never happier than when my life is simple. I never feel better than when I do something simple for someone else. I never have seen more beauty in the world than when I notice the most simple of things, and I have never been so moved than by the most simple of gestures.

Again, I just want to say a blanket thank you to everyone I have met along my blogging path. I could not ask for better people to read about, learn from, lean on, cry with, laugh with, and write my story with. So, Thank You, all of you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blah...Blah...Blah and a Few New Developments

Today I am feeling particularly tired. It started our gray and then moved solemnly to rainy and now, it is just a little cloudy with otherwise blue skies. It just seems like a lonely day today, and it is particularly aggravating for some reason. Do you ever just have those days? I have plenty to do, believe me. I am working, along with a few others, on a massive order of crocheted items for a woman in India who is trying to help her sister start her own store. My order individually is not so massive. It is rather small when compared to my sister’s order. It still feels like quite the undertaking, though.

So far, I have finished one cocoon. What is a cocoon you ask? Why this is a cocoon.

And my friends, this is the only lovely cocoon I have finished. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled for the work, honored really, that someone trusts me enough or like my work enough to give me this job. I just thought it would be so much faster. I just assumed it would not take up every waking hour. It is not the cocoons themselves. It is me, and the fact that I am much slower than I realized. Those delicate little flowers with their adorable green leaves are taking me forever to make. Either way, they are pretty adorable when they are finished, and the money I am making from them is allowing me to take my First Degree Reiki Training! Who ever would have thought that my love for crochet would have paid off, literally?

On October 3rd this year, I will be taking my First Degree Reiki Training course. I will be starting a lifetime of Reiki. From what I have learned about Reiki through my own research, it is an energy healing, a healing for the soul. It helps to balance one’s chakras which allows for a better understanding of oneself and more peace in one’s life. I can practice Reiki on myself, my friends and family, my pets and even my plants should I choose to ever try to grow plants. I can do this because Reiki is just the practice of healing energies by use of the hands. I place my hands on specific, unobtrusive areas, and they “activate” according to the need of the person or thing I happen to be practicing on. It is a practice that originated in Japan with one man in search of answers. He was doing some very heavy soul searching, and during a period of intense meditation, after 21 days to be exact, he experienced what he described as a light literally passing through him and giving him the ability to heal others. One of the best parts, in my opinion, is that this energy does not come from me. It comes from all around us. Every single one of us has the ability to heal. Another great part, in my opinion, is that is not a religion. It will not interfere with my relationship with God or hinder it. It actually has the ability to further my relationship with God, again in my opinion, because I will be cleansing my soul. I will desire to keep my “temple” cleaner. With a clearer, cleaner temple, I feel I will be able to hear God more clearly and thus do His will more often than my own.

I am excited about this time in my life. I had decided around March of last year that I really needed to find out who I was, get in touch with myself. I needed a wake up call, and I needed to have a better understanding of my life and my priorities. During that time, I was planning a wedding, but our wedding is over now. Our lives are settling. My husband supports me in this decision, and he will even be coming along to act as my first “patient” if you will. I have felt so called to do something for other people my entire life, but I struggle with this because I tend to take on others problems and issues as my own, weighing myself down. With the help of Reiki, I can help others without bringing myself down. When I practice Reiki on others, we will essentially both be getting a treatment. I simply cannot wait for this to happen and for it to become part of my daily life. I feel very good about this decision, very much peace about it.

Anyway, I am very busy, up to my ears in yarn, and I need to get moving. I was just missing my blog friends and needed to feel a connection to the rest of the world as I am working away in my craft space. Hope you are all having a wonderful evening or whatever time of day it is in your part of the world. God bless!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I feel like I have been through the ringer.

I don't know why, but I feel totally and completely exhausted today. From the time I woke out my coma like state this morning, I have felt hazy and like my limbs way 1000lbs each. Crazy!

But today has been a wonderful day. I met a wonderful woman named Sandy through my sister. She writes awesome patterns and sells them on her Etsy, and I have been given the chance to do a little work with her patterns. I am so excited to get started. If my work is accepted, it could end up in India! This will be the furthest any one of my items has ever gone. Ireland comes in second. ;o)

Also, upon checking my e-mail this morning to find out about this opportunity to work with her patterns, I found that five of my eco-friendly cotton coffee sleeves had been sold! I listed them only two days ago, and a woman in Maryland snatched them up. I am just so happy to be selling things I made with the skills God gave me to people so far away from me, people I have never even met before. It is a wonderful feeling, a sense of accomplishment.

I feel like standing on the rooftops and shouting to the world what a wonderful God my God is. I am being provided for. I am being looked after. God gave me this skill, and I am being able to use it in ways that make other people happy. I never imagined that at 20 years old, I would be married and own my own online store, but God has made it all possible. Praise Him for His everlasting love!

Also, if you get a chance, go check out the adorable patterns my new friend Sandy has created. You will want to learn to crochet just to be able to make them. They are fantastic! Her store is called Sandy's Cape Cod Originals and her other shop is called Sandy's Cape Cod Consignments. She was even featured in the most recent catalog of Annie's Attic patterns.

She was kind enough today to add one of my very own necklaces to her treasury. There are some other great fall hand crafted items in there as well. Take a minute to pop in and check out everyone else's handy work. My sister from My Crazy Kids was even featured in there for one of her adorable bucket hats! She has been working hard at her own shop Momma B's Hat House and More making some really fun hats and her newest items for Halloween.

Have fun, and don't break the bank. ;o)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

Recently I have taken a more "healthy living" approach to life and mostly cut coffee out of my life...:( Sad...I know. However, it's not so sad because coffee, or lattes really, have become more a treat for me now, something I have come to savor instead of just chugging down and moving on. They have even become a point of interest for me in such a way that I sort of want to study them. I have had inner battles with myself numerous times about applying at coffee shop. I want to be apart of that atmosphere. I want to make the drinks. I want to have the knowledge! However, I also don't want to ruin that atmosphere for myself. I love coffee shops. I go there to relax, unwind, and soul well as a little people watching from time to time. I fear that if I were to work in a coffee shop, especially one of the ones I love and frequent often, they would lose their appeal because I would be crossing the customer/barista borders. I would know intimate details that have held a wonderful air of mystery for me all these years, and yes, I do mean all these years. I have been drinking coffee regularly since I was 16 years old.

However, now, I am drinking green tea more regularly. It has loads of health benefits ranging from being good for your teeth because it works as a natural anti-bacterial and has a natural source of fluorine to holding the possibility to prevent or even cure some forms of cancers! Plus, green tea, when fermented little or not at all has loads less caffeine than coffee. This is good in my case because coffee tends to sky rocket my ADHD tendencies. ;o)

I have been reluctant to let go of coffee, though. I am coming to terms with the reasons why, slowly. A few of the things that keep my grip strong are mostly sentimental. Coffee was part of my personality. My mile a minute personality, bouncing from thought to thought, caffeine buzzed, became something I was known for, something people might consider one of my quirks. I fear that if coffee is not in my life anymore, I will be losing some sort of essence of my personality. Another reason I have gained some understanding of is that coffee ties me to my mom.

From the time I could sit in a car seat on the table, I was always witness to my mom having coffee on Saturday mornings with one or more of her friends. My mom used to tell me that I was such a good baby, low maintenance. No matter what kinds of things were going on in my life, my mom having coffee on a Saturday morning with her friends around the table was something stable. It brought me comfort.

Once I got into high school, I realized that coffee was not just something that brought me comfort, it was something that would allow me to stay up to all hours of the night talking to my boyfriend on the phone and still get up early the next morning and jet off to school, without eating breakfast of course. My health habits in high school were not all that great, but it was like this silent agreement between my mom and I. She got up early, started the pot of coffee, and by the time I was rushing out the door, the pot was full and ready to be poured. It became part of our routine, and I never dropped it, not even when one of my teachers in high school told me I was not allowed to bring a closed drink from home.

During my senior year at high school, I had a great art teacher, the first hour of the day, so I started taking a different route to class. She never minded me bringing in my coffee. Oddly enough, it didn't even spark an idea in all the other kids' minds to start bringing their own hot drinks. Again, there was that silent agreement. I was different than the other kids, and my art teacher got me. We had another bond in that our names were both Kylie, but hers was spelled differently.

So you see, I feel now that I have developed a more healthy relationship with Coffee. It is a comfort to me now, something I go to when I really need to do some soul searching, when I need to feel close to my mom, or when I need to just feel nostalgic about the good old days before becoming an adult. I cannot ever just boot it out of my life. We have formed a bond that non-coffee drinkers just cannot begin to understand. So please...don't judge me...don't judge my espresso...or even my plain coffee. Don't give me your gagging symbol when I tell you I am craving a piping hot "Cup o' Joe" because Coffee is very close to me and you will be greatly offending all that I hold sacred.