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A random sprinkling of things that remind me of days past (long past, or not so long ago...)

Growing up, nearly every time my family would go on a trip, soon after we got under weigh Mum would turn around in the front seat and hand me a new (or at least, new to me) book. Adam and I joined them on a journey to visit my Dad's parents this past weekend, and she upheld the tradition with an out-of-print tome that I'd been wanting for awhile. Mums are the best. :)

Another consistent aspect of my life has been that every time Dad found a nonvenomous snake, he would catch it and show it to me. He and Mum went for a walk and found this tiny, friendly creature (even after a ride in his pocket, it was still content to let me hold it). After a consensus taken from 9 people... we still have no idea what kind of snake it is, other than not a red racer.

Two flowers: one given in return for a donation to the disabled veterans who were smilingly greeting every person who walked in or out of the Mena Wal*Mart, and a thistle found along with the snake. The thistle was blown to the wind, but the forget-me-not did service as a bookmark on the way home.

When the whole family's together, before anyone can go home, pictures must be taken. It's so nice to have an added family member who I can stand next to and smile honestly because I love him with my whole heart and don't have to leave him behind when I leave for home.

And finally, a new pattern. Quahog, named after a shell I always quested for when we visited Wilmington Beach in North Carolina when I was little. I was deeply fascinated by the fact that they had once been used as currency. And fingerless gloves are one of my favorite things to knit and wear but I hadn't designed any yet. :)


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…