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Ravelympics is well under way and I have now received medals in two events!  GO TEAM COLORBOMBers!!  Woo Hoo!!!

I received this as my first medal.  I completed my first evah lace piece.  I am excited to say that I learned several knew stitches to make this project.  This piece of momentous occasion is destined for a very special recipient so pictures on this blog will have to wait a little bit longer. 🙂

This was my second medal for my speedily ripping out of a project abandoned many, many moons ago.  The yarn has been reclaimed and will be used in another project, possibly before the completion of Ravelympics.

I have been reading The Lacy Knitting of Mary Schiffmann by Nancy Nehring.  Well, I write that I am reading it, but it is full of patterns.  I am familiarizing myself with reading charts and patterns.

In short, my world is full of fiber arts through the end of Ravelympics.  So be prepared for more fiber related posts for the next two weeks.  For those not part of Ravelry, I will be including some pics for you too in the upcoming posts.  Keep an eye out.

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I had never participated in an Art Card Exchange before and I stumbled across this one for Imbolc.  I decided to listen to one of my favorite podcasts to get into the spirit of Imbolc.  The one I chose to listen to was the Imbolc podcast from the Celtic Myth Podshow.   Gary and Ruth tell wonderful and inspiring Celtic myths and legends.  If you have never heard them I highly recommend that you give them a listen.  At the very least I can say that I truly enjoy listening to them. I found their show at such a critical time in my life and listening to them offered me comfort and inspiration.  Thus I want to share with all of you the gift that I discovered…the gift of their show. Dear Gary & Ruth, you both have touched my life and my heart in ways you cannot possibly imagine.  I thank you both from the depths of my heart!

During the Celtic Myth Podshow (available on I-Tunes as Podcasts) from 2009 Imbolc celebrations there was a statement that just stuck with and inspired me. Ruth said “Blowing the bellows to increase the fire that would warm the cold earth”.  I immediately got a vision of  blowing bellows in my head and I jumped up to get out an assortment of decorative papers to begin the construction of my bellows.  Cutting, folding, and gluing I began to see the bellows come to life.  I constructed 20 individual flames to be incorporated into the card. The actual card itself went through several transformations and I made several card-stock foundations before I was happy.

I am excited about the experience because I not only made a bellows to warm the earth, I warmed my heart in the process. I am feeling inspired and grateful for the wonderful gift this Art Card Exchange has brought into my life.   So many thanks to Jen over at Chasing Domestic Bliss for organizing this Exchange. I am surprised that my card took so long to get to her. The post office required that I send it as a package because of the thickness of the envelope.  I didn’t want the paper bellows to get squished so I put a layer of bubble wrap into the envelope for protection. So, being a package, I had to fill out a Customs Form. I didn’t know Customs could take so long!  I am just going to trust that even though my card arrived late, it arrived when it was meant to arrive.



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With all the craftiness going on in my ‘verse, Craft or Bust (CoB) seems only natural. I got a good chuckle at my list of goals as being described as a “quite organized set of goals”. I do like organization. ha ha! Although sometimes people do not understand my system of organization, particularly those only meant for me to follow! The list below is meant for everyone to be able to follow so I guess I should begin with a rundown of creative adventures from this week.  I will be doing a weekly check-in on Sundays as I participate in the group.

  • I am working on a 12×12 inch square for someone in the RAK group.  There is a  lovely soul there organizing to make afghans, or as she referred to them, comfortghans.  She is honoring several slain police officers. If you are part of Ravelry check it out here. Maybe you have time to knit or crochet a square or two? She is requesting they be made in 100% acrylic. Could be the perfect way to use up that acrylic you want out of your stash….only requirement is they be in red, white, and/or blue.
  • I signed on for my first art card exchange.  The theme is Imbolc and the exchange has been organized by Jen over at Chasing Domestic Bliss.  I have been busily working away on my card and am thoroughly enjoying this process.
  • I prepared(frogged) my yarn for my Traveling Woman lace project.  New beginnings. 🙂  I did get to see how many times I caught some of the individual fibers when making a stitch…hmm need to watch that one more carefully from now on. Largest piece I have ever frogged.
  • Working on some new photography.

I have been continuing with my theme of clearing your space clears your mind.  I have a friend that laughs when I tell her I am cleaning. “You cannot possibly have that much stuff”, she says as she laughs.  I did my best to explain to her that for me cleaning, or better yet clearing, is a process. In a way, it is like a meditation.  Letting go that which does not(or no longer) suit(s) you.  I can feel the difference in my home as I clear my space.  The theme of clearing out the old to make way for the new is in perfect time for Imbolc.  New beginnings.

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Over two weeks into January…..what have I been doing? Well after a bit of a hiatus in my yoga practice I am back.  My biggest challenge right now is to allow my practice to be integrated with my daily life.   Once again the theme of balance arises. On average it works out to about an hour or two of yoga/ meditation/ practice a day.  It might sound like quite a bit but when you are in the moment of it, it seems like just that, only a moment.  That is not to say that every day is exactly two hours, it depends on the day.   Today was quite a bit less, but nonetheless I find my mind returning back to the place of practice.  Again this returns to my thoughts of the New Year, no set New Year’s resolutions.  If I skip a day entirely that is okay.  I will know when I need to practice and will honor that feeling…..the feeling is my own intuition.

I am blessed to have wonderful people in my life, some I have physically met while others I have not.  Many wonderful people helped me complete this quilt as a gift for my husband.  Thank you all for this gift! I have been able to combine most of the fabrics I received through the Ravelry RAK(Random Acts of Kindness) group. I have some different weights of material that I received that I am using to make pillows.  I also received some lace swatches that I will be using on the pillowsOriginally my plan was to use the lace to make my outfit for the art show I was in last October but that did not work out.  I let those know in my request that if I was not able to use the lace for the dress then I would be using them in the quilt.  My original vision for the quilt was more of a crazy quilt with lots of surface embellishment but as the material began to arrive in the mail the vision of the quilt evolved before my eyes.

The back of the quilt is made from a full size top(flat) sheet that a friend had given us quite some time ago.  It had worked its  way to the back of our hall closet and had not seen the light of day for many, many months.  Now it has a new life and is being used in our home everyday.  Using the sheet helped me finish this quilt as it gave me a perfect template for the size and the squared edges that I SO needed after improvising the design.  I do not foresee any more large quilts in my future, but lap size or crib size are highly probable.  Possibly a large one assembled from smaller ones…but first I have pillows to make! I hope to have the first pillow done by the end of this month.

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Yesterday was a gluten free baking extravaganza in my kitchen! We were headed to a Christmas dinner with friends and I wanted to make some holiday goodies to bring to help celebrate. I dug my Christmas tree cookie cutters out and wanted to make one to take with us. I haven’t made one in probably fifteen years but I still keep these cookie cutters. Only problem was I couldn’t find the booklet that goes with them! I also have a package of shaped cookie cutters from Wilton’s Christmas Collection from 1992. Wilton’s website offers an updated version of their cookie recipe you can find here. The recipe I used came off the old box and is slightly different from the one in the link. I find that when cooking with Gluten Free Flour you have to make a few adjustments. I did not use the almond extract but I might try that next time. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free all purpose flour combined with Xanthan Gum. I found that the cookies came out better if I lowered the cooking temperature a bit, but it is possible that my oven runs hot. The consistency of the dough made it a little tricky to figure out how to get the cut dough from the table to the cookie baking sheet. Sometimes I used a spatula (even two)to move them onto the baking sheet. Some of them I pieced together within the cookie cutter directly on a cool baking sheet. My tree did not look like the one on the Wilton site. It had more of a Dr. Seuss feel. I made lime squares too using the same Gluten Free flour. The lime squares call for powdered sugar which contains cornstarch. I wasn’t sure if there was gluten in cornstarch so this is what I found if you are curious.
Here are some pics…as you can see I frosted the tree with butter-cream frosting and candies.


Today I was surprised to get an email asking if the free desk was still available. I responded yes and they were more than eager to come get it straight away! So now I will have to find another large flat surface to finish my quilt but I am very grateful that the desk found a new home.

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I got this idea in my head that I wanted to make Varuna a Halloween themed quilt for Christmas. I participate in an on-line forum for Random Acts of Kindness. People in the group can post a wishlist or just respond to someone’s wishlist. I had requested scraps or fat quarters of Halloween fabrics or any scraps that I might be able to use in my quilt. I received a great assortment of fabrics.
With NaNOWriMo over and my word goal met I am working on holiday gifts for the remainder of the month. I cleared the kitchen table and spread out all the fabrics that I had generously received and the few that I had purchased. I ironed them all then began the painstaking task of trying to figure out how I was going to approach this quilt. I have started several quilts in the past but just realized today that I have never actually finished a full quilt! I thought for awhile about how I wanted to make this piece. Did I want to follow a pattern? Did I want to created a repeat design? Did I want to make a crazy quilt? I’ll be honest I have always had a fascination with crazy quilts. I would love to assemble a quilt from velvet, corduroy, lace satins and all types of materials but I was staring at a table full of 99.2% cotton material that quilters normally use. So I decided to just cut up a few pieces and begin to sew. Half of the material is in irregular shapes already as what I had asked for were just scrapes of materials that people might have leftover from their projects. You know the kind of scrap too good to toss even though you probably will never use it again? Well people were generous and shared these with me as well as some fat quarters. So I took out my scissors and began to cut. I stopped. Then I found another pair of scissors and began to cut again. I stopped again. Hmmm, I found out all my scissors are shot, but that did not deter me. I used the best pair of what I could find in the house and though my fabric edges are choppy, no one will see those when the quilt is finished. So if you see my jaggedly cut edges, I really can cut…..the scissors are just not sharp. Here are a few pictures. I am unable to make the image files smaller at the moment so be forewarned if you click on them they will take a minute or so to load.

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December first is here. WOW, where has this year gone? After achieving my NaNoWriMo writing goal I began to think about the Resolutions I made at the beginning of this year. I am happy to say that I have kept with my blogging goal. I feel that if you are going to blog, then you really need to do it, even if some of the posts are short in length. I personally find it disappointing when someone starts a blog and then doesn’t update it. I’ll go back a few times to check but after that my desire to check it wanes. So that being said, I have done my best to update with posts on the average of once a week. With only 4 weeks left in this year, I am confident I can maintain the rest of this year and uphold my own resolution. I am a little bit behind on my goal of my twelve new born hats but I will be returning to that this week and am confident I can meet that goal as well. In truth, the hats work up fairly quickly. I have already donated some of the hats I did make this year to several different charities. I promised a very special lady a dozen hats for the New Born ward at her hospital so I plan on making twelve hats before the end of the month to send to her.

What has currently been on my hook, aka crochet project, started off to be a rug but has since evolved into the beginnings of a market bag. A girl can change her mind you know! My Mom sent me the crochet hook I am using for the project. The hook actually lights up and you can practically crochet in the dark! Thanks Mom, it works great!
Here is a picture of the bag in process.

FREECYCLE…
Yesterday being the last day of the month I decide to list a bunch of items on my local Freecycle group. I posted a dozen or so items and the experience has been very interesting. I love the idea of keeping usable items out of the landfill. Sometimes you have an item that you just no longer have a use for but you hang onto it because it is too good to just throw away. I found I had one of those piles. So I took several hours taking measurements, writing descriptions, taking pictures and submitting my “OFFERS”. I probably did not need to take that long but this was my first time posting so many items at once and I wanted to make sure to do it right and make less work for the volunteer moderators that check each listing.
Our Mod had sent out a message suggesting that perhaps we(the group) could find some items that were no longer needed(or wanted) and maybe they could make someone’s holiday season a little brighter. I took that to heart as I began my clearing out process. I know I have more to clear out but I made the first step in what I believe makes a difference in this world. I met several nice people in the process. I heard from single moms, families, individuals, and some of the recently laid-off population. They touched my life and I am grateful. Grateful for what I have and also grateful for what I can share.
Have you thought about what you can do to make a difference? Sometimes what we perceive as the littlest thing, or no big deal, might make a huge difference in the life of someone else. I know this has been true in my life. Thank you to those of you that have touched my life.

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