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Season of Giving, Season of Grace

Thanks has been given, family has been visited, and the pumpkin pies were made, survived the trip to Fayetteville unharmed (though, one of them spilled in the oven because the pan they were sitting on warped as it heated up, and also developed a weird pattern of bubbles that looked like I'd let Brooklyn dig around on it with a butter knife), and eaten with gusto --- I would consider Thanksgiving a success. :) It was definitely less stressful this year with Brooklyn a little older (and much better than the year before that, because I spent the entire time we were at people's houses hiding from the smells in a back bedroom due to morning sickness).

We got to support local businesses, get a few things for Sprout, and a few things for Christmas while we were in Fayetteville. One shop owner thanked me for wearing a sweatshirt with their logo on it, and another offered to ship something I ordered through them to Little Rock without charging me postage, if I wasn't able to come in and pick it up, "just for being me." We found cute/fun gifts that aren't available at big box stores, and had an overall more pleasant experience than if we'd braved the Black Friday mobs. "Shopping small" is more than worth it.

This week I have a few handmade projects to finish up, and two more shopping opportunities for the last-minute and difficult people. Take note, Fayetteville residents: the Little Craft Show is this weekend, Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th, and today is the last day to prebuy tickets for the Friday night preview. It's going to be absolutely amazing, and hopefully not in the middle of a snow-and-ice storm like last year (it was still amazing then, even with the weather).

And for anyone living in Little Rock, there's a local Christmas opportunity next Monday, the 8th - Fellowship North is hosting an array of vendors who support charitable causes, and they have a fun (and raffle!) filled evening planned.

While we were gone, all of the leaves fell off the tree behind our building - I'd say that, combined with the cold front that's creeping in today, marks the end of my celebration of Fall. Because I still need to finish getting Sprout's room ready (at least at this point I'm to a point that nothing has to be done in order to make it baby-friendly - but there are still a few finishing touches) and winding up Christmas shopping/wrapping/stuff, my sole holiday decorating concession was a pretty spray for the front door. It smells nice while you're standing there fiddling with the lock --- and reminds me that grace for myself and others is probably the greatest gift I can give in this season intended for hope but hijacked by stress.


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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…