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Odds and Ends

This is day 25 in my 31 Days series on sustainable dwelling. For an introduction and more posts, head here!

The Nester has an idea that the things we use every day should be pretty (so she peels labels, repackages things, and actually burns the nice-smelling candles because that's what you're supposed to do with them). It's a concept I can definitely get behind. I was using a plain empty local honey jar as a candle holder, but when I spotted this cute map washi tape at my favorite paperie, I knew it would be perfect for wrapping around the jar. Now it smells pretty and it looks pretty.

I carry a journal with me everywhere - it has lists, sermon notes, patterns-in-progress, actual journal entries, attempts at poetry... I started doing this several years ago and it's proven to be an invaluable practice. I always get the hardcover lined Moleskines, and date the spine when it's full, so I can go back and references notes and ideas, and discover treasures like maps hand drawn by strangers because I asked for directions. I've decorated a few with washi tape, and I had a couple of The Hobbit themed ones when the movies came out, though usually they're just plain black... but last Christmas I found the perfect thing at the Little Craft Show - a fillion. It's leather, and closes nicely, and has my name on it - and it holds several notebooks (including my Perpetual Notebook) and pockets, in a variety of configurations. J'adore.

It's easier to relax in a bath that I know isn't filled with nasty chemicals and unethical ingredients - and Sustainable Suds also has a one-for-one model that provides clean water with every purchase, which is even better. They also make soaps and lotions and scrubs and balms, all in a variety of delicious scents (Sea Salt is my favorite - ten kinds of mint. I'm hoping The Mustache still has some, because I used the last of mine!)

T from Onyx Coffee Lab, bangle by Bella Vita, earrings by Village Artisan via Fair Trade Friday

I really do love all the pretty little things - things that sparkle in the sunshine, tickle my nose, or treat my tastebuds. But I enjoy them all the more when I know that there's a story behind it, and that that story is one of adventure and creation and dreams-come-true. or perhaps a tale of hope and restoration.

I know I keep saying it, but it's just so true: even if sustainable dwelling isn't your "thing," there is still some area of your life that can be sustainable. Just pick one!


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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…