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A Spring Break

The trees are starting to wake up, and so am I! I deliberately took a walk down Dickson Street so I could capture this blooming beauty - I was struck by the contrast of twisted limbs and fragile flowers.

Over the weekend, Adam and I got to spend some time outside. I'm looking forward to more days like that (this being Arkansas, it may snow later this week, but we're ultimately on a Springward path!) As much as I love walks and parks and being out of doors in the nice weather, it's always better done with my Bear than it is alone.

We did some photoshooting, too. This is the Maple Street Messenger Bag - every few years I make a new messenger bag, with some improvement that I've thought of from using the last one.

This time, I made it shallower (to keep me from overloading it too badly), striped (I've never made a multi-colored one before), knitted a pocket and seamed it in before felting (since my fabric sewing skilz are... iffy), used a belt from Flying Possum as the strap (a knitted strap stretches too much), and found a cute pair of vintage earrings at Grey Dog Boutique to embellish the flap with. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I've been working on this for about a month, off and on, between other projects. The Hipster Scarf is my re-imagining of the Firefly Fringed Scarf. The yarn was a gift, and I wanted to use all of it, so I ended up with a pretty big triangle (over 5 feet wide) and while I loved the self-fringing concept, I added beads to mine (because beads make everything better!)

This eye mask took me about 2 days to make (and that includes time spent waiting for it to dry after blocking so that I could add a little muslin pocket inside, filled with flax and lavender). I wanted the beadwork to look like falling rain, but rather than try to place my beads at an angle, I decided to let the fabric do the work. Knitting is so cool...

Walking and taking pictures is tiring business, so we had lunch on Dickson St while we were out. And colored, because coloring is fun. 'Twas Adam's idea (I'm such a slow eater, he had to have something to do), but I was fully on board with the idea. :)

One good thing about being gluten free is that we are, to some extent, forced to eat more healthfully. Our eating-out options have been drastically cut, so there is no Sonic, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A or McDonald's, and the options we have are more expensive than the aforementioned places so we don't eat out as often; also, life is just easier if we cook using naturally GF ingredients (like fruits, vegetables and fresh meat). And often, the GF versions of junk foods taste like the diet versions of junk foods, so they aren't worth it.

But I was born believing that on Saturday mornings, you have pancakes for breakfast. There is nothing from my childhood that supported that belief, but I have always held it and, as an adult, have held to it as best I could. I mystified my roommate in Brooklyn by practically deep-frying pancakes in Crisco. "That's a nonstick pan..." she told me, clearly confused. I shared my breakfast with her that day, and explained that in the South, nonstick doesn't mean that you don't have to use Crisco (or butter...), it just makes the clean up afterwards easier.

So I was very happy to find this in a local grocery store. Not that I plan to have pancakes or biscuits very often, but it's very nice to know that it's available (especially when we have people over who aren't GF).

Altogether, a busy but productive few weeks, culminating in a lovely weekend. Adam will be extra-busy at work this week (since it's Spring Break, he'll have a chance to get some remodeling-type maintenance done at church) and I have practically nothing going (since it's Spring Break, nearly everyone I know is out of town), but hopefully that will give me lots of knitting time. The burst of warmer weather gave me some ideas...


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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…