A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Archive for the ‘kid’ Category

Alleviate Poverty


It’s another gorgeous Labor Day here in Oregon. As you enjoy it, take a moment to acknowledge the working men and women who are leading the fight to support and rebuild the middle class. There’s a lot left to do, but by sticking together and standing up for working families we can get it done.~~Senator Ron Wyden

I wish I’d say we’re working to alleviate poverty instead of rebuild the middle class. They could be one in the same, but, one sounds like we aren’t including the poverty class. Don’t forget the ones (like my husband and I) that have lost almost everything they worked their entire lives for are still hanging on by a thread with not much hope for any type of retirement since we’ve had to live off our savings. We’re close to 60 and still struggle to stay clear of unemployment/disability benefits, I feel every bit of like I’ve been thrown to the wolves. How about reducing the regulatory burden on business owners and lower the cost-prohibitive corporate tax? Make it affordable for some of those jobs and monies to come home. Nuff said.

Today, I am thankful for all you do for your family, our communities, and our country. No matter what tools you use in your trade, it’s hard work that makes this country the greatest and most prosperous in the world. Have a very Happy Labor Day to hardworking kings and queens everywhere!

I’ve gotten up early this morning with a strong feeling of excitement and was eagerly waiting for a friend’s little 3-year-old princess to arrive. Meanwhile, I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I was to see all the gorgeous design projects came to view. My first pick-of-the-day is Donna Druchunas‘ dead-gorgeous Diamond Rings pi shawl. Another eye-catching beauty with a fascinating story. Brava! The pattern is FREE through September 6. DO NOT use Buy-it-now. Add to cart, then, click on Coupon Code (no code, but you do need to click on it,) and the price will be adjusted to 0.00. Be sure to check out her e-book coming out soon. You’ll get a discount coupon code to use on that. Thank you Donna for the wonderful gifts.

New sock design was loaded yesterday by Leah Oakley. Twisted Breeze Socks, Easy Breezy Pattern featuring swirls and zig-zag is FREE through September 6.  It’s one of those patterns that once you get started, you can tell where you are in the pattern just by looking at your knitting.  Wonderful, isn’t it?

It’s great for fingering or sport-weight yarn–solid (shown above) or striping.  Both look so different, yet, they are knitted from the same pattern.

Mixing the Grape and the Grain just went live this morning. You can get it FREE by using MGG coupon code at check-out, good ’til Midnight EST tomorrow, September 2. I am not sure why folks are against mixing knit and crochet. Is it not feeling proficient enough at both? I enjoy European publications for the very reason that they are willing to mix the two. I am glad Kari Wymer decided to design this lovely shawl.  Thank you, Kari, for your generous gift.

I’ve been wanting a two-color cowl for a while and use up some of my single skeins. Rolling in the Deep FREE pattern is perfect for the challenge. This stunning infinity scarf uses bold contrasting colors along with a contrasting pattern to create a fun and functional fall accessory.

Can you believe it is September already???!!! Hope you all have a relaxing Monday. Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Distorted Image: Success


The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.~~David W. Orr, Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World

I don’t agree with the fact stated. These people have and will always be here and around. The fact I do agree with, however, is that it is the perception of success that needs to change. Success in my culture is all about money and assets. I cannot force understanding, but, in due season, folks may find truth or they may not. One good way to navigate through these changing times is to surround myself around like-minded people who have similar values. This seems to be harder than it sounds in today’s culture. The image of success is a mere shadowed fraction of what success truly means. One by one, I must correct this distorted image–within my means–for my children’s sake. Will you do that for yours?

What activities do you like to do in the fall? I heart the Long walks, fall festivals–especially if they are fall fiber festivals–long drives to see the autumn foliage, knitting, spinning, and planning holiday projects.

I have been up to my eyes in finishing up a cardigan and not been online much as I would like. Yet, it doesn’t deter me from bringing to you this adorable Strawberry Crochet Ball. This pattern is FREE for 30 days, ’til September 24, 2014. Use coupon code STRAWBERRY at check-out.

Inspired by the cloud covered peak of one of Yorkshire’s three highest fells is Pen-y-ghent, a light, delicate triangular shawl in the beautiful Titus yarn. Very effective and beautiful design. The pattern is FREE ’til September 4. Use coupon code REDDIT at check-out.

The stunning cabled Greengage Mitts caught my eyes instantly and went right in the queue. I’ll be making a few pairs for holiday gifts. Again, thanks to the generous designer of Pen-y-ghent shawl above, Will Nelson, the pattern is FREE also ’til September 4. Use coupon code KNITIT at check-out.  Thank you, Will!

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE. (Work-in-Progres–I may have a new sweater tomorrow. Can you feel my excitement?)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Toltec Wisdom in Modern Times


I was a nice innocent little child loving life and everything in it. I knew no color. I knew no hate, no fear. The block I lived on (surrounded by hundreds of congested families) was my entire world. I was happy. After reading this bill, I’m not sure I’d feel the same way if born into today’s world.

Here it is an elementary school–my husband once attended and spent many good summers running along the adjacent trail and playing in the school ground after school hours–now all fenced in like a jail cell. I find this sad, madly, passing by it every day, last week, with my husband and the teens.

I try to laugh at my worries, fulfill my dreams, and give support to my teens to fulfill theirs. Don Miguel Ruiz is leading me back to center once more. Thanks to his beautifully inspired truths in The Living The Four Agreements and The Five Levels of Attachment, I am breathing better and energy is on the rise.

I strive to expand the Toltec wisdom in modern times, to look at my attachments with new lens and new hope for releasing them, to find my true self instead of relying on others’ opinions on me, and bring peace, joy, and love as I travel along in this beautiful life. Life is good.

I know the days are still quite warm, but, Fall will be here before you and I know it.

If you are looking for something small to knit in the heat and be ready for Fall, check out this new free fingerless glove pattern, Simple Lines by Diana Jean Twiss and knit with absolutely fabulous Skacel HiKoo Kenzie yarn. The straight-forward pattern has been tested out by new knitters. Promising, isn’t it?

Do you heart classic yet modern fashionable accessory?  My handpicked-of-the-day FREE pattern Honey Stitch Cowl is just the thing for you. Too many textured cables? You may rest easy. Davina Choy, the generous designer, will show you how it can be done without a cable needle in her fantastic video tutorial here.

Doesn’t the stylish design of these Padded Moccasins make you want to jump in and try your hand at crochet?  Here’s your chance.  Thank you Country Woman Magazine for the FREE pattern.

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Do Not Stop


It’s that time of year. The kids are starting school. Then, it’s sports, homecoming dances, and busy school social lives. The last thing they need to be worrying about is pimples, redness, ‪‎acne‬ scarring, and blackheads.  Topical skin care products (no matter how amazing), high-quality vitamin/mineral supplements, low GI organic with high essential fatty acids diet, and regular exercises don’t work against stubborn hormonal acne the 16-year-old has been dealing for a year. Her struggle with acne is primarily due to hormonal imbalances and STRESS (both consciously and subconsciously.)   Finally, she’s come to me for help. I must admit, I don’t have a magic wand or secret formula to cure ’em.  It will take me a while to figure out her hormones, how they relate to her acne, and how to eventually cure her cause.  It’s frustrating when she feels she’s tried everything–she’s eating super healthy organic food, taking helpful supplements, using top-quality natural skin care products, exercising and meditating daily–she still can’t get rid of the acne!  It’s better one day but worse the next.  Not only she feels hopeless, it makes me feel helpless by watching and want to give up.

No. I’m not giving up. “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”~~Andy Warhol This was my sign/encouragement–it was written all over the road I walked on. Someone’s definitely looking out for me. THANK YOU.

Excess sebum is just another symptom of a bigger problem within her body that’s causing it. Instead of getting rid of the symptom (excess sebum) by using harsh drugs and chemicals, I need to actually help her fix the root cause of excess sebum, acne, hormonal imbalance, the whole bit.  One thing I have her incorporated into her regular routine is drinking vinegar shrub in addition to slippery elm mask, Borage oil treatment, and rosemary/lavender/dandelion oil massages I give her.  “I don’t like it but I’ll drink it.” That’s the first day. Next day, I made a new batch, modifying a little and now she loves it.

Fresh lychees is da best!  (Soft outside and looks “bruised” inside?  Toss it.  It’s gone bad. Sadly, grocers sell them in packages. It’s a hit-and-miss. The last pack I got, only 6 or 7 were good ones.)

Have you a shrub of any kind? What’s your favorite? I am making peach shrub next.  I must digress.  OMG, ladies and gentlemen, how awesomely beautiful is this?!

Do you like Matryoshka dolls?  Yes.  You will like today’s handpicked free pattern: Nesting Shawlette.

If you are a huge fan of Victor Vasarely like me,  Vasarely Blanket, inspired by his work and optical illusions, is a must.  The pattern is FREE.

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE. (WIP is near the finish line, woooohooo.)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Power of the Heart


What is the heart? Is it more than just a pump for blood? Or could the truth about its power be related to the essence of my entire being and have a field of energy so great that it can transform not just my own being into that of light, love and happiness, but even those around me?

Look at my heart and I will find something amazing. Discover and recover that the world is not limited, but unlimited. Trust it and I will discover the truth about who I am, where did I come from. Amaze myself.

This is my heart’s intuitive message related to Eckhart Tolle: The Power of the Heart–a movie/book about the astonishing power and intelligence of the heart. It features Maya Angelou, Paulo Coelho, Isabel Allende, Deepak Chopra, Mark Nepo, and Eckhart Tolle. I am so exciting about the powerful book/movie and am looking forward to its release in October. Discover the first teaser:

See animation-video from the Institute of HeartMath on the page here. The video points in the similar direction, but, based on actual scientific research. They supposedly work with the U.S. military to facilitate personnel conflict resolution.

Today’s handpicked free pattern is an easy knit: Linen Poncholette. A perfect item to throw on as fall approaches.

Saffron Sweet Shawl is perfect for cooler summer days and warmer fall nights and everywhere in between. It is open and airy yet not too lightweight that it doesn’t provide some warmth. Isn’t the shade of amber the perfect early fall color? Thank you, Cre8tion Crochet, for the FREE pattern.

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE. (This charming duel will be a part of my next quilt challenge–Gees Bend Quilters inspired.)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Elevate the Mind


We always have the potential to rise. Rise out of our slump. Rise out of our negative thoughts. Rise out of our comfort zone. Rise out of our complaints. GET UP AND RISE…Rising is a choice that’s one powerful thought away.~~Kris Carr

This is my daily mantra! POSITIVE is what needs to come out of me with every word I say to others.

Elevate the mind and the body will follow!

Today’s handpicked project is a super easy to make Breezy Shell Tank, constructed in two simple pieces which are then stitched up the sides. The color change at the bodice and the short slit up the side add to the visual appeal. If you haven’t knitted with Patons Silk Bamboo, I highly recommend it.

Classic Elite Yarns Magnolia is one of my newest favorites! I love how soft and squishy it is. And the sheen–it’s to die for. You can only imagine how much I love this week’s newly published Josephina, knit in 3 colors of Magnolia. I love the combination of lace and stripes that Amanda Rios put together!

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE.  (Below is another wing bathing in the sun, in my unconventional way of blocking.)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Tap into the Mind


You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lost it.” ~~Robin Williams

Deep down beyond all doubts, beyond all fears, I know I can accomplish everything that I put my mind to. Tap into that. I Can. This was the mantra I shared with my 16-year-old this evening. Life is good especially when I can have a quiet, relaxing day with one of my children and that I’m a mother, not a teacher, not a friend.

Presenting today’s knitting inspiration–Pink Onyx.  It’s a cute top in DK-weight yarn, currently FREE. Special giveaway from the designer: “For those who finished this pullover by 30th October, 2014, you have a chance to win for a free pattern of your choice from my designs! Update your project page with your best shot/s of this pullover on you.  Be creative, be artistic, have fun with your camera! Make sure you mention you enter this sweepstake. I will choose one winner and one runner-up by 5th November. A winner gets two free patterns from my designs, and a runner-up gets one.” I may make mine long sleeves.

Make your own bunny with this FREE crocheted pattern. The adorable amigurumi would brighten someone’s day, for sure.

Hope your day was just as fabulous as mine–spontaneous and fun (with PDXKnitterati and bikenewsgirl even though it was brief.) Don’t forget to visit my Facebook page here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

I’m Never Lost


I’m merely finding my way.

It’s easy to just get wrapped up and never move past.  When I thought she would back away, she walked forward.  Growing through her struggles, confusion, uncertainty, and the moments of bliss as she experiences the natural occurrences that I experienced as I began my journey in adulthood.

Not that she doesn’t get nervous when competing, it’s just that the nerves don’t show.  Here is the instant replay of the teen’s competition piece performed yesterday at 2014 Central Oregon District Solo & Ensemble.  It didn’t matter that how tired she was or who’s in the judging room, she just played her heart out.  (It’s a long piece…so grab a cup of coffee or your favorite drink, sit comfortably, and enjoy.)

Everyone there heard her expressive tone and musical phrasing.  So did the adjudicator.

As defending champion, the teen is advancing to compete at state level in May at Lewis & Clark University.  The improvement in rhythm, technique, and articulation has given her a great set of new tools in her musical arsenal.  Her mentor Lynn Lakin feels she is on the verge of going up another entire level.

I am a proud mother who couldn’t help but share the admiration for my daughter.

beautiful friendship since childhood

With good intention…quilting just wasn’t an option as my vision is still bothering me today.

No worry. Tomorrow will be a better day. I just feel it.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Into the Soul of Winter


It’s been one sad, tragic/shocking day.   The loss of life at the high school.  It is a painful thing, not only for the families, but for all those left behind –especially us as parents.  I am worry about my kids and cannot begin to fathom the pain of the parents that lost their boy.  I will be holding all in prayer.

One of class samples for my crochet class started earlier in the week

Besides holding my kids tight and close, what’s more can I do to shield ’em out of harm’s way?  It’s not what I do for my children, but, what I have taught ’em to do for themselves that will make ’em successful happy and true human beings.

As an effort to pivot away from the sadness (and hubby’s van hit from behind and pushed into a car in front of him,) I joined in the fun, the challenge, and comradeship of the Ravellenic Winter Games over in Ravellenic Winter Games 2014.

If you are new to this wild-and-crazy Ravelry tradition, the Ravellenics is a worldwide stitching celebration of Winter Olympics.  You pick a project (either something new or a UFO you want to finish) and try to complete it during the 16 days of Olympics Games.

The idea is to cast on during the Opening Ceremonies (which is today!) and bind off by the end of the Closing Ceremonies after the Olympic torch goes out on Feb. 23.  Here is a great article in today’s Toronto Star highlighting our very own Ravellenics Games.  Isn’t it wonderful when the media acknowledges our knitting efforts?

Are you participating?  Whatcha making…anything special during the Ravellenics?

Another sample for a crochet class

The Official Cast On was at 11 a.m. EST today!!!!!!

Another sample for a crochet class

My plan is to double dip and use some of my Nerd Wars projects here too. They issued the challenges and I got ideas. 😀

Another sample for a crochet class

I kinda went from I’ll do these two for Ravellenics games and Nerd Wars, then I’ll see about the other three challenges to I will Dwarf the Nebula AND get a bunch of cool Ravellenics badges with completely separate projects!  No one ever said I am sane…

Another sample for a crochet class

Tonight (while watching Sochi opening ceremony,) I got my first Nerd Wars Encyclopedia: VOLUME M: MUSEUM) as well as Ravellenics entry crossed the finish line, combined in the categories of Alpine Abode Enhancement for the green event, Color Purple: Nordic Colorwork Combined, and Stash Skeleton.  Not a bad start…not too shabby…at all.

Another sample for a crochet class

To Sochi.  To Ravellenics!  Good luck and happy stitching to all Ravelympians!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Anxiety Relief Meditation


Meditation keeps me sane in a sometimes insane world.

  • First, I find a quiet place where I won’t be disturbed for next 13 minutes.  (not as easy as it may sound, mind you…at least not around me) 
  • Second, find me a comfortable position to sit.  Most times, I just lay flat on the floor.
  • Now that I’m ready, press PLAY.

Well…did you follow along?  How are you feeling?  Calm?  Peaceful?  Safe?  Uplifting?

Another common relief I find regularly is playing with fiber.  This is not spaghetti squash.  Just yarn in Wilton Cake Gel, lemon dye bath.

I needed some quick dyeing for a project ‘cuz the high temperature around here has dropped to the 30s in a day.  Why does it matter, you ask?  Read on.

Have you heard of a “temperature,” “sky“, and/or “weatherconceptual knitting scarf?  The outcome is totally dependent on the weather observation.  Each day, you knit a stripe in color that matches that day’s sky/weather.  At end of the year, you would have a spiffy 5-foot-long scarf.  This has been in my “queue” since 2011.  It has taken this long to move up to the plate.

If your temperature stays relatively constant, choose corresponding colors based on moods (chart linked.)  If you’re trying to diet in 2014–pick 3 colors and change your rounds when you lose weight, gain weight, or weigh the same.  The latter could be more challenging as you’ll have to step on a scale every day around the same time.  None of these flies?  No problem.  Just choose other motivator(s).  I choose blue for cold, red for hot, etc., but, you may pick anything appeals to you, whatever in your stash. Choose an easy hat pattern–there are tons of ‘em and free–on Ravelry.  Knit, crochet, weave, or full/felt goes.

Same idea fits easily into a hat, a sock, a mitten, a square, a blanket…one round a day, one color for each 10 degrees…Initially, I picked the high at 3 p.m. each day, wherever I may be.  Chances are the color changes won’t be too dramatic so less ends to weave in.  On the other hand, if you select 15 or more colors as I do, the gradient effect would be glorious.

After the 3rd day, I decided to just take the high of the day to simplify my life.  Less is more, right.  (Yeh…secret is out the bag.  I love BACI.  No if or but.  Just LOVE ’em.  24 boxes for Christmas.  Beyond sweet!)

At a snail’s pace, it takes two months for a hat.  Six hats a year for gifts.  What a cool chemo hat this would make, don’t you think?

Rebecca aka socksformumtook started taking pictures of the Colorado sunrise every morning on May 12, 2012, used various motifs from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s 200 Fair Isle Motifs and modified her Fair Isle Sampler Hat…

What a stunning beauty she has grown up to be (as of December 31, 2013.)

I am madly in love with Alice’s double-knit option to record hi and lo temps.

Weather underground is a good site for looking up historical, present, and forecast, recorded temperatures in case you miss them on any given day.  It goes back to January 1, 1942 for my area.  However, it only went back to 2011 when I did a search for my birth place outside of the U.S.  Guess it takes time for the site to build up its historical database.  Do you know of other useful site(s) for tracking historical weather data?

Two heads are better than one.  Since the kick-off of A year of Temperature/Mood Scarf/Hat/Patchwork Blanket-Along for Ravelry 52in52-2014 member group challenge, the list of possibilities/ideas grew exponentially by the hour!  I am still charting, planning, prepping, and constantly changing/shuffling color orders.  This is what my 2014 Almanac looks like…4 days into it.

To accomplish my initial sizable project, instead of a row a day, mine goes like this:   2 rows first 2 days, 1 row on the 3rd, 1 row on the 4th.  Repeat the sequence.  Did you see a problem with my sequence?  If you do a lot of color work, you would spot it immediately.  On the 4th day, the designated color is quite contrasting from the day before.  Changing color strand on the backside would create an eyesore line of dashes on the public side of the project.  Image below is the backside of the fabric, but, you see the dashes between Lavenderish Wisteria and Royal Purple I am talking about, don’t you?

That just doesn’t fly with me.  Oh, no.  Solution?   With public side (aka right side) facing me, pull cable all the way to the left.  Attach new color strand and knit away.  Voila.  No dash.

Now, have I lost you in all these knitting gibberish?  Or have I convinced you to knit/crochet along?  You gotta admit giving a temperature scarf to an out-of-town friend–with his/her year of local temperatures–is nifty, cool.  If a sky scarf isn’t for you, maybe you can think of knitting, spinning, or even sewing/felting something else to represent your life on a daily basis.  By the way, if you have young kids, this is a wonderful project for teaching weather, temperature, charting, tracking, and more.  The sky’s the limit.

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Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)