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Graceful Arts

Remember when I introduced Jamberry Nail Wraps a few weeks ago? They appreciated the write-up, and sent me a couple of sheets of wraps to try, so I've been able to test them out for myself. The application process was fiddly but not difficult, and I had the hang of it by the end. I really liked that the backing is clear, and the wraps are thin enough to cut with regular scissors, so I could trim them to fit the nails that were weird in-between sizes. I do think that if I continue wearing them regularly, it would be worth investing in the little heater - the hairdryer (although definitely possible) was pretty awkward.

That was a week ago. I've spent the past 7 days doing what I normally do, and they've definitely held up better than polish would have. Even when I've turned the edges up by prying up at something (like the superglued circle of paper on top of a spice jar) I've been able to reheat and reseal them without apparent consequence. The rave reviews that other mums and artists (two occupations that are really hard on your nails at times) have held up to testing, and my mommy-fashion recommendation stands.

For mommy fashion this week, baby-proofing jewelry (because who says you can't dress up and still be a mum?) A lot of my necklace charms are fairly sturdy - the delicate chains, on the other hand, are not. But leather cord can be acquired for a few dollars at a craft store, comes in lots of colors, and is practically unbreakable (and easier to replace if something does happen to it). I folded the 2-yard piece into thirds, threaded it through the charm, then held the ends together and tied them snugly in an overhand knot (it will just fit over my head that way). A person with more time, skill, and patience than me could also do it the proper way and affix an actual clasp to the cord.

I've been thinking a lot about knitting lately. Since I don't have a lot of knitting time, I've been trying to make the projects that I do worthwhile, so I currently have a linen skirt (that I'll have to wait until next summer to wear) and a giant triangle shawl (because I like 'em big) on the needles, neither of which are really portable unless we're roadtripping. But I'm beginning to realize that I've been approaching it all wrong... knitting is calming, stress-reducing, helps me focus, and makes me happy, all while (eventually) producing a usable object - and as such, I feel like it deserves a higher place of priority. So I got few hanks of cotton at Yarn Mart over the weekend and cast on for a washcloth. I can keep it in my bag and work on it in little bits, while also getting Christmas gifts made (handknit washcloths are the bestest - you can use them for babies, for dishes, or for your own personal pampering). I created a design that's interesting but "readable" and it will probably end up being my Free Public Service Pattern this year (I try to publish a PSP for a destashing gift every year around October-November, in an attempt to alleviate holiday stress for other knitters).

I mentioned #fmfpartysnailmail awhile ago... by way of refreshment, a lot of the bloggers who do Five Minute Fridays gather on Twitter the evening before and connect using the hashtag #fmfparty. Out of that, Kaitlyn Bouchillon concocted the concept of connecting through handwritten letters (more details here). We're arranged in lists, each person writing to one person on the list each week, so that at the end of eight weeks, everyone's gotten a letter from everyone. I sent my first letter last week - it was a little difficult trying to write a note of encouragement to someone that I didn't really know, but the analytical part of my mind enjoyed stalking her through her blog and social media (normally that would be weird, but in #fmfpartysnailmail, it's encouraged) in order to find something relevant to write. I received my first letter today, which was delightful - and now I need to hop to it and work on my next letter before Thursday, because Adam has a long weekend and we have out-of-town plans.

It was nice getting to spend this past weekend together - Drill weekends make for long weeks, since that means that he works (late, usually) for 12 consecutive days. But we were able to try a new restaurant, go for a drive to the nearest Dairy Queen (which isn't very near) for blizzards, stop by the Farmer's Market for peaches and coffee before church and attend church together... and just spend a slow, relaxing few days just being together. Oh, and Adam made wings - because they're amazing (and also imperceptibly gluten-and-dairy-free) he's going to make them again next week and let me post the recipe.

However, a short weekend means a shorter week to get a long list of tasks completed. My list awaits (as does the dishwasher, filled with clean dishes), but come back on Wednesday for a different sort of post!

It's easy to see why so many mums default to comfortable, indestructible clothes and stop trying to keep up things like hair and nails when they're trying to keep up with active kiddos, instead - but they shouldn't have to be mutually exclusive! What are your favorite kid-proof ways to "feel pretty"?


Hannah Leake said…
The snailmail idea is so awesome! I definitely want to try it.
Love having you this round of #fmfpartysnailmail!

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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


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