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

Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

Chew On That, Monsanto!


How cool is this? I naturally like this.🐝 Three 15-year-old Mighty Girls from Cork, Ireland, have discovered a way to use bacteria to dramatically increase the yield of several basic food crops–a discovery which could have a major impact in addressing food scarcity while making agriculture more eco-friendly by reducing the need for fertilizer. Congratulations to these young scientists!

Using homemade equipment, they carried out germination and growth experiments over 11 months. They analyzed the performance of more than 9,500 seed samples, recording over 120,000 manual measurements in 125 experimental sets. Based on their extensive experimental results, the girls succeeded in showing statistically that two strains of Rhizobium bacteria can significantly accelerate the rate of crop germination.  These results have significant potential for increasing yields of food crops and reducing losses due to adverse weather conditions. They also offer opportunities for reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture by reducing fertilizer usage. Brilliant Irish girls, aren’t they? I just hope someone in the real world picks this up and actually applies what these amazing 15-year-old girls have discovered. Lets see some actual field trials to verify their findings in an uncontrolled environment.

We are reaching the beginning of autumn, the temperature is fluctuating a lot the past few days. So, be careful not to catch a cold like I did! Nonetheless, this is the best time of the year–to be wrapped around lace shawls like an overflowing scarf. Easy as Pie says right in its name how simple it is. It looks nice and beach-y in different gauges and fiber contents. A super satisfying knit with lovely zig-zag border.

I’m spinning some fine lace weight to do another one with beads and can’t wait to get it underway. So excited. Hand-dyed Romney locks from Iron Water Ranch is to die for. Be sure to check out the family-run booth at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival next weekend if you plan to be in Canby, Oregon. You won’t be disappointed.

Sweater weather is finally here. Though the trend (article here) for Fall sweaters is BIG, I much prefer a lightweight sweater with clean, architectural lines, and a simple drape. Fileuse is just the right piece to take me through those crazy transitional days of autumn. Besides, as a spinner, who wouldn’t geek over these adorable, little Saxonies?!

Musing here becomes the cyber equivalent of a sticky note! You know–when my sieve-of-a-brain can’t recall what project I wanted to start next? These soft-and-silky Baby Girl Mary Janes booties are as cute as the classic pairs I grew up in. Knit in the softest cashmere blend, they would make a perfect foot covering for a baby. I’m making a bunch for charities. (Look for the pink download arrow and click on it. Pattern download instructions are here. Make sure you do not have a pop-up blocker on.)

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(Kicking off Octoberfest for the fun weekend, right here, right now.  Come join us.)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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         ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ

  ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(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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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

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

Never Forget


Losing myself, my identity, the things I cherish most about myself, living totally for someone else means I disappear. Excruciating. Right?

People always think the most painful thing in life is losing the one they value. The truth is, the most painful thing is losing myself in the process of valuing someone too much and forgetting that I am special too.

Creativity, genius, artistry and depression often travel in the same soul. I’m sorry Robin was unable to survive his illness. It’s a crappy way to live. If you or someone you know or love needs help, reach out. Sometimes a kind word, photo, or touch gives that person the little push to try again. I’m learning to change. I’m unique and special too. Never forget how special you are. Robin Williams was special. He made so many people happy. A timely gift of laughter and tears. I’ll be “keening” for a while. I’ll always enjoy the genius of Robin. His death was as tragic as if he died of a heart attack or cancer and does not deserve to mark his career badly.

Have you been wondering what endless inspiration awaits on this glorious Tuesday morning, my crafty friends? New and Free: Lucidity. That actually sounds like a catchy slogan, doesn’t it? The magnificently sprawling square lace shawl by Beata Jezek took my breath away. Enjoy the free knitting pattern as I do.

i’m feeling this weird obsessive thing come over me–must do this golden pair of knotty socks. Julia Kupferfeder is offering her newly published Drachenkrallen knitted cables pattern–in English and German–FREE.

Afghans come in many shapes, sizes and styles. Margaret Afghan Square crochet pattern is FREE ’til August 31, 2014. Use coupon code MARGARET at check-out.

Check out my Facebook page here for a fun cardigan pattern I’ll be sharing latter today. It’ll be another free download, of course (like this Mirasol Stripes Shawlette.)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

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

3 a.m. Inspiration


Reliving First Friday at Quiltworks is as fun as it did last week. Not kidding. It literally kept me up past 3 a.m.! So many beautiful quilts and so different. I am particularly intrigued by the different ways in which free-motion quilting is incorporated as part of the art.

This month was as wonderful as ever with June Jaeger as featured quilter and SAQA as featured group.  (From right to left:  June Jaeger, Kristin Shields, and Patti Stewart.)

I’m not much of an artistic quilter, nor can I create pictures like these. But I really admire and enjoy looking at ’em. There’s a lot of talent in the quilts and wall hangings. Take your time looking at these and tell me if there is something really pops out at you or inspires you in any way.

Doesn’t that look like a fun party?  We all love shows and festivals for different reasons—attend for different reasons. Me? I enjoy the fun, laughter, textile/quilt artists sharing their amazing quilt art, talent and camaraderie.

Let’s not forget the amount of effort Marilyn, Dave, and their hard working staff put into this monthly event for their customers and the community. Coordinating, hanging, setting up, picking out door-prizes, serving homemade delicious appetizers, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverage …are no easy tasks. Thank you everyone at Quiltworks. You gals and guy are awesome!  I love you all.

The exhibits are up through end of August. Trust me you won’t want to miss seeing this incredible collection of masterpieces up close when you get this rare chance. Stop by if you are in town and show your love and support to both the shop and artists.

Summer is flying by.  August already, along with the fast approaching back-to-school. Wow…..so much happens this time of year as I prep for teens’ Fall schedules and figuring out wooly projects. What’s on your plate?  (Another post on this luxurious silk mittens soon.)

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.~~Max Lucado

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

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

Wisdom from the Heart


The world is nothing but my perception of it.  I see only through myself.  I hear only through the filter of my story.  I will live by my own choices and consciousness.  For then, my life is my own and I am truly free.

At times, I don’t see myself as much of a meditative person, especially since sitting around for long periods of time–focusing on mantra, image or contemplating spiritual concepts–seemed boring and useless to me.  Under stress, my attention is immediately turned toward crafting (lately, it’s quilting/sewing.)

Within a few moments of stitching, the body’s relaxed.  The mind is unfrazzled.  Free-hand doodling (aka free-motion quilting) with needle and thread, in the home sewing machine, is liberating–perfect relief from stress, slowing down the pace of the modern life.

The effects of this practical turning of attention were more than I could have ever expected.  “Cuz I experienced such relief from neck relaxation, naturally, my attention would turn to other areas of my body gradually, more and more over time–until I eventually began noticing subtle sensations at the soles of my feet and then the top of my head.  Anything distracts me is balancing.  When life is crazy, it’s good to take time to do something that relaxes me, finding a way of breathing artistic life into materials–whether it be yarn, roving, fabric, paper, paint, or pencil.

The more aware I became of the sensations in my body, the more life was working out for me.  Such that the particulars of life were transpiring in ways that made me aware of possibilities that I never thought possible for me.  Sounds weird?

It has everything to do with awareness of the sensations within the body structure–rather than imagining or focusing the mind on any thought, image or sound.  As soon as I was sewing or knitting, my whole body rejoiced as I suddenly recognized that–not only was I already used to practicing meditation–it was taking me way deeper into that practice, through crafting.

I have become consciously aware of subtle sensations in my body.  When an habitual thought occupies my mind, I can immediately recognize and experience its corresponding feeling.   In that recognition, the habit dissolves (most of the time, anyway.)

Today, I went through a strong purification process.   It felt as if my entire body was passing through a fire, and all the while, I smiled at the pain and tears as they arose and passed away.  It was a great day–with an irresistible Absolute Bag, designed by Marilyn Ulrich of Quiltworks–added to my wardrobe necessity.

“Wow, you made that?  How did you do that?  Where did you get that pattern, design, tool…etc?”  Is this something your hear a lot?

I consider myself blessed as I am surrounded by amazing textile artists, fabulous quilters who are very encouraging. (From left to right: June Jaeger, Laura Wasilowski, Jackie Gehring, and Rosalie Dace at Quilters Affair–Picnic in the Park with Jennifer Keltner)

Guild night was fantastic. I enjoy connecting with people and to learn skills passed down from other generations–skills my grandparents knew.   Next year’s challenge is officially out.  You will see a lot about that in coming months.

Crafting isn’t just good for the soul.  It’s also good for the body and mind.  Americans spend more than $29 billion a year on crafting—a figure that has remained pretty stable in spite of the wobbly economy.  Craft making is on a pendulum, indeed.  Do you have a crafting/meditation story to share?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

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

The Bug (Repost–Third Time a Charm)


(Forgive me, please. I had to delete the previous posts due to technical difficulties.) I confess. It’s true. I’ve caught the quilting bug in huge strides fearlessly. A playful path is the shortest road to happiness.

It all started when I participated in PNW Modern Quilt Guild Meet-up last August with some fantastic peeps from my guild. Beyond amazing. Full three-day of excitement, experience, friendship, workshops, inspiration, sewing, eating, walking…

and don’t forget about eating. Portland Cartopia is da best. (I did take a ton of pictures but they are stuck in my old computer. Some day I hope to archive ’em.)

After breakfast on Sunday, we drove to Cool Cottons and waited outside for 45 minutes to be first of 40 crazy quilters to get a free 4-pound scrap bags.

The catch? Each lucky recipient needs to make something quilted using some or all of the scraps and may add one solid for background. (Shown is just a few of the bag.)

What was I getting myself into? I felt pretty dorky as I wasn’t even quilting then. I only made this bag (inspired by this pictorial) for the Robert Kaufman-sponsored tote bag swap two days before the trip (hand-stitched the lining and quilted the straps on the way there.)

The following weeks, I surfed, surfed, and surfed for pattern ideas and found none strike my beginner fancy. When in doubt, design your own. That’s the ticket. Here’s the prototype.

It worked out for the best too since I can’t sew a perfect 1/4″ seam worth a dime, anyway lol Improv quilting is my best friend! So liberating for me to find other women who share the same interest in cutting up fabric into little tiny pieces and sewing them back together as I do. I used up nearly every piece from Cool Cottons’ scrap bag, coupling with one Kona Solid Natural as background and binding. To meet my guild challenge, I made up various sizes of Ohio Star, double stars plus various wonky blocks with the scraps. Personally, it’s a monumental challenge.

Thanks to generous bloggers and guide members, youtube, magazines, books, and gazillion photos taken from past quilt shows/exhibits, the challenge top and pieced backing were finished and sandwiched in late October. I attempted to hand quilt it. Hah. It sat, sat, and idled ’til a week before deadline. From the start, I wanted to do the quilting myself. I was too scared to start. No more time. No more excuse. It’s serious action time to take a free-motion quilting class from sweet Jill Monley at Quiltworks. I quilted two straight days after the Jil’s 6-hour class–free hand, no marking, without a specific plan–quilting’s in after consuming over a thousand yard of Aurifil 50 wt thread. Yep, the 52″ x 64″ quilt is heavily quilted. I just love it. Beautiful drape with great cuddly handle. Next up, the miter-corner binding. I did it with the sewing machine and walking foot. All finished in time for the group shoot. (I ripped out the binding right after group photo so I may execute the invisible binding seam by hand. Crazy, right?!)

There were many happy “first” and fond memories in making this quilt. First “club”. First Quilting meet-up. First quilt challenge (double-dipping.) First design from scratch. First free-motion quilting in my regular sewing machine. It’s a perfect “what not to do” quilt (like quilting with a plan!)

// My Ohio Star challenge quilt details (click here) via Handstitch Studio.

It’s all like a dream, isn’t it? That’s my story. A new crafting charter. Since then, I have taken one more free-motion quilting class from Jill and a sewing curves without pin class by Stacy Vanderlip at BJ’s Quilt Basketand gave birth to 6 more quilts. Yep. Not a typo–SIX quilts. Three of which are global fabric challenges. If you follow me on Facebook, you already knew that. Although quilting was not a part of my family heritage–like it or not–it has become a part of my children’s lives as I indulge my long-time passion for quilts and fabric as an artist.

Now, how do I know I’m addicted?

  • People are cool but quilting is my preferred social activity.
  • I carry a quilt
  • I carry a quilt (as I do with my knitting and spinning) with me at all times ‘cuz I never know when I’ll have a spare minute to add some hand stitching.
  • I legitimately don’t understand folks who say they don’t quilt.
  • I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday than surfing the net for quilt images, ideas, tutorials, or reading a quilting book, and drinking chai.
  • I buy more quilting books even though I have a stack of ’em that haven’t been read yet.

Joining Central Oregon Modern Quilt Guild (part of a bigger, global organization The Modern Quilt Guild) last year has been the best move. The generous, supportive members gave me all the confidence needed to experiment beyond a beginner quilter’s limit. I have learned so much since last summer. My first challenge quilt (part of COMQG Special Exhibit in this year’s Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show) will always hold a special place in my memory! If you’ve been/are sitting on the fence to cross to the “bright” side, find a local guild to join and jump right in today.

Don’t get me wrong. I still knit and spin. Just need to stretch more hours of a day to fit more play time in. What’s on your plate on this glorious, summery day?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(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!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

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

To Be Better


My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but, to be better than I used to be.  Here I’m referring to my fiber passion.  But, how?  I like to be specific about the things I could do to improve myself.  I need a refresher and adjust my attitude.

Last week, my prayer was answered.   A friend from Team Jazz Hands recruited me to join Nerd Wars (not the TV show or movie) on Ravelry.  Every project that I do, I try to tie it in to a Broadway or movie musical.  It’s been great fun so far planning projects to fulfill nerdy challenges.

For my first dissertation in my first Nerd Wars, I have chosen crochet freeform as my New Frontier challenge with concentration on Irish Crochet (lace) study.

When Kate Middleton walked down the aisle at her wedding to Britain’s Prince William, the lace that adorned her gown was immediately copied in fashion centers around the world.

For centuries lace has been a fashion favorite, where in the late 19th century it decorated the wardrobes and homes of only the wealthiest members of society.  1930s fashion was an era of feminine and romantic style as influenced by America’s captivation with silver screen stars who wore sensual silks, luxurious lace and backless gowns.

1950s style marks an era of feminine glamour… ’50s clothing inspired women to embrace their figures with hourglass silhouettes and hip-hugging cuts a la the pencil skirt and wiggle dress…and not without the elegant embellishment of lace.

Another sample for a crochet class

I’ve had the passion for making lace since I was in my teen. Next three months of studying a new form of crocheting is thrilling to me.  I love accessing the creative side of my brain.

The constraints of the tournament will motivate me to move this study along in a good pace.  As each motif is small and portable, I can consistently crochet at least one or two a day. This project will take 3 months as it involves a lot of trials and errors, ripping, and re-doing. Mid-way would be having individual scrumbles all done up and have their placements against my tunic template. I will concentrate on picking a mesh design (or a few) to use for making up the background and joining the scrumbles, then, writing up an essay to support my thesis and what I’ve learned specifically and without wandering.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Paisley (light fingering Wool/Nylon, Red/Pink): 1.5” x 3.5”
Ridged Leaf (light fingering Wool/Nylon Yellow/Orange): 3” x 3.5”
and Curly-edge Leaf (Bulky Alpaca Wool, Maroon): 2.5” x 7.5”
Hook 4mm (G)]
Small Leaf (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2” x 4”

Project Summary:  Freeform/Irish Crochet study. The latter is totally foreign to me. Through the process, I like to make a freeform tunic with the help of my freeform knitting knowledge/skill already in my tool box.  I don’t quite get the presentable way to crochet/join the pieces together in a garment yet.  Instead, I did a knitted mock-up for a visual guide while I progress in the study.  People sketch with pencil and paper.  Me?  With yarn and needles.

Pattern:  Freeform crochet, by some definitions, is a combination of stitches and colors, worked in a multi-directional way. Style of freeform typically doesn’t follow a pattern. It involves a combination of small pieces of knitting and crochet into patches (scrumbles,) that later be joined together to make a larger piece of unique and extremely tactile fabric. It means not only that I don’t follow a pattern, I don’t necessarily follow the standard “rules” of crochet. I add stitches anywhere I see fit. I start blocks of fabric and then end ‘em and start anew. It is a form of painting with yarn and a hook instead of canvas and a brush. The yarns, hooks, stitch type and direction are constantly changing. It gives the scrumble its appealing variety. Sometimes a new yarn is joined in and the work carries on; other times, it’s necessary to break off the yarn and begin again with new yarn in another place on the scrumble. These are decisions made as I go along.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Irish Leaf with center ridge (light fingering Wool/Nylon Red/Yellow): 1.5” x 3”
Hook 4mm (G)
Starflower (Aran Acrylic Ref/Purple): 2” x 2” and
1/2 flower (Aran Acrylic Red/Purple): 2.5” x 4”

Yarn:  Red hues in Merino, Bamboo, Linen, Silk, Blend, Acrylic, Alpaca, BFL, cotton thread, cobweb singles, lace, light fingering, DK, Worsted, Aran, Bulky, Super Bulky…use everything I have in my stash including handspun.

Swatch:  Gauge doesn’t really matter for this project, but, I got a general gauge that I liked on 1.25mm, 2.75mm, and 4.00 mm.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Red Rose (Sport weight/Acrylic): 1.75” diameter

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Spiderweb Square (light fingering Wool/Nylon ): 4.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Fan/Shell (Silk Haze lace weight): 2” x 4”
Circle (Silk Haze lace weight): 1.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Celtic Leaf (Sport weight/Acrylic Red): 4.5” (tip to tip between two leaves)

Hook 4mm (G)
Large Leaf (Aran Acrylic, Red/Purple): 5” x 10”

Hook 1.25mm
Padded ring (Cotton thread, Red) 1/2” diameter and
Ruffled Flower/ring (Cotton thread, Red) 3/4” diameter

Team tie-in:  The red colorways of the scrumbles in my tunic can be linked to the playful swing dress Tracy Turnblad had on in You can’t Stop the Beat, in Hairspray.  Mine will also ‘keep spinnin ‘round and round’ as in the line You Can’t Stop the Beat.  ‘The motion of the ocean. Or the rain from above. You can try to stop the paradise…,’ but, you can’t stop my making of this New Frontier.

Writing up the mini-thesis proposal took me back to college days where I sweated for days as I went into its writing totally clueless…then the wait for grade was even harder; it made me nervous.

I did it.  It took me two days of researching and preparation.  I submitted the proposal last night and received approval to proceed with the study earlier today.  I’m thankful for the supportive teammates who encouraged and walked me through all the steps.  Let the game begins.

Are you on Nerd Wars?  If not, what are you doing to challenge yourself to be better than you were?

Hook 4mm (G)
Bullion Stitch Scroll (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2.5” x 5”

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

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

Passion + Efforts is a Yin + Yang


Every minute spent worrying about the way things were is a moment stolen from creating “the way things can be.”

Swim Meet at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center
Bend, OR, on May 4, 2013

I spent a significant amount of my adult life working hard and becoming proficient in things I thought I loved doing ‘cuz society told me I needed to do these things to become successful.  I was on a very secure road, but, how happy was I?   Eventually, I threw all that away to take some time to look at myself in the mirror and spent quality time with my children.  That was back in 2004.

Some  folks still questioned me…whether or not I had made the right decision.  They doubt my quality of life has indeed improved.

I may not live in a big house or drive fancy automobiles I once did.  But, I can tell you this.  I am finding my own way.  When I love what I do, I’ll never work a day in my life.

Every day, I take an honest look at myself and sift through the things I enjoy, or may enjoy, and narrow ’em down.

I enjoy what I’m doing so I work harder at task.

When I work hard at something I care about, I get better at it.

When I’m better at something that encompasses my joy and effort, good things happen.

I am having this talk with my 17-year-old teen.  The idea that she’s supposed to know exactly what she’s going to do with her life when she hits 18 is ludicrous.  There’s nothing wrong with bouncing around the things she loves until she finds one that becomes a viable career option for her.  You’re the future of this world.  Take time to explore and light up a whole roomful of possibilities.

Check out Larry Smith’s 14-minute funny and insightful TED talk Why you will fail to have a great career”…what do you think of it?  

No one can argue the amount of effort you put into something determines what you get out of it.  But, I think the problem is that most people don’t really know what they are passionate about in the first place.  Most people aren’t that introspective.  At 17, I wasn’t for sure.  Look.  If you have actually followed your passion from day one.  You are passionate about the competition.  I have the utmost respect for you and your accomplishments

For my kids…Everyone has something to give. Find your life purpose. Flawlessly, your passion will be exposed.  Don’t be afraid…Be yourself.  Follow your bliss.  Be all that you are, kids! Shine bright.

The Serriform scarf and shawlette shown above–in MadelineTosh Light Merino (Burnished)–is a super fun and satisfying knit.   Shannon Squire originally designed it as the February 2013 pattern for the Twisted Mad About Tosh Club.  The pattern (and the scrumptious MadelineTosh yarn) is now available to the general public at the shop.   Be sure to test drive the sample if and/or when you are in the Portland, Oregon area.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Stop Thinking Too Much


It’s alright not to know the answers.

They will come to me when I least expect it.

It may be that when I no longer know what to do, I have come to my real work.

And when I no longer know which way to go, I have begun my real journey.

It’s the dawn of a new day, the beginning of a new me.

The dreams of my heart are sprouting into view.

Don’t give up. Don’t let go. My miracle is at hand.

Today is a magical day.

I choose to make it so.  All is well in my world.

The blue neck warmer is Stratosphere Cowl, designed by Kat Buckspan.  It took only 91 grams of a skein of KnittedWit Cashy Wool (in Winter’s Night colorway)–with 26 grams left unused.   The superwash Cashy Wool is so soft, yummy, and delightful next to skin!

The pattern and yarn are available here.  Stratosphere is a popular knitted project among Twisted’s customers.  If you are in the area, stop by and test drive the shop sample.

We had a fabulous visit to Portland yesterday, mainly to support my 17-year-old who placed 10th–out of 31 flutists–at this year’s 2013 OSAA Oregon Solo State Music Championship.  Hope you enjoy the instant replay.

This may be the last recording of her playing flute in public.  One more solo audition in June–in front of a panel of judges in private session, no parent or other audience allowed–she will then retire from flute and french horn competitions/public performances altogether.  No worry…music is in her blood. She has been composing, singing, playing an acoustic instrument.   Who knows.  Maybe she will let me videotape and share one of her busking adventures this summer.  Talking about summerwhat’s your plan for the hot days ahead?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)