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New... {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head hereToday's 7 topic is waste.
Also, it's Five Minute Friday! Each week, bloggers internet-wide gather to write for five minutes flat (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more posts, more info, and/or to join in, head here!

New and improved. Our western consumer culture is constantly telling us that what we need to make us happy is just something new... and we've believed it. As soon as the shine wears off, we're trained to start looking for a replacement - and advertisers are quick to point us in the right direction. The 7 jackets (plus 5 hoodies - seriously? I live in the South. Just because cute new styles come out every season does not mean that I need one) currently hanging in my closet attest to the fact that I've (literally) bought into the lie.

So we buy, we store, we stuff, we complain about needing more room, we give away (if we feel like packing up our car and driving to some donation point), we throw out - and then we repeat the process. And even if we do pause to mentally applaud Coke for recycling their bottles, we rarely take the time to re-recycle them. So many of us look at secondhand and even consignment stores as a good place for people who have either too much time or not enough money as we drive by on our way to the mall (I will confess to having complained about the "funny smell" secondhand clothing seems to carry - when a spin in the washer is a quick solution to my supposed "problem"). Upcyled is in right now, and carries a certain eclectic charm, but the recycled aluminum foil that's tissue-paper thin (as compared to the heftier ecosystem-damaging water-supply-poisoning Reynolds Wrap) and the recycled paper towels with their unbleached flecks draw little more than a disdainful sideways glance as we reach for something "better."

But really, it's not the things themselves but my perspective that needs to be made new. When the shine wears off, I need to repolish my lens and see with grateful eyes the gifts I've been given - and when I truly no longer have a use for them, I need to ensure by recycling, upcycling, donating, or passing along that they continue to live on as gift to someone else, instead of enduring as a permanent layer of our Earth's crust in a landfill.

Click over to yesterday's post to share your ideas for recycling/upcycling paper and plastics bags, and to be entered in a giveaway!


I like to buy used things. Put them in the washer with fabric softener and hang them on the line. We get our sheets and many of our clothes at thrift stores. There is just something so satisfying about getting a good price and using something that still has so much use left in it. Good for you. I have found some pretty amazing things and the girls love thrift stores. They have learned the money goes so much farther when they are buying used. Halloween costumes are absolutely amazing and they get so creative too.
Beth said…
I appreciated this post. I am dealing with more is newer and better situation, so I could really relate to this. Thank you.

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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?
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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…