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52 Lists: ways to rejuvenate your space

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

First, from last week:
A list of the things I should ignore

Nothing. Nothing is improved by being ignored - emotions must be processed, events must be addressed, conflict must be resolved... and Small Persons should never not ever be out of sight for any amount of time.

Ahem. Moving on to this week's list...

A list of ways to rejuvenate my space

I can't think of a good way to condense this into a list... Since we moved into our house less than a year ago, and I am not shy about painting an accent wall in every room as I have the time and the paint/making as many nail holes as it takes to get a gallery wall right/spray painting things I don't like the color of, that "space" doesn't really need to be rejuvenated.

However, I mentioned awhile back that my inner attic has been getting a thorough cleaning, albeit involuntarily. My life, in reverse, flashing before my eyes, projected onto an imaginary screen and accompanied by some fairly illuminating commentary (amazing how differently we see situations from our childhood when we're able to look back at them with the experience and perception of adulthood).

A lot of things have also been thrown out - ideas and ideologies that were, at best, flawed. Some of them were the foundations of whole stacks of things that also came tumbling down, and I felt a little lost for awhile, like that last night you spend in your home, before you move but after you've packed everything away into the moving truck and all you saved out was your pillow and maybe a blanket (if you were thinking clearly by the time you finished loading boxes at 2am).

But painted on the floor under the very last box, I found a prime directive of sorts - the things I have always believed in, even when they didn't make sense. Beautiful and not safe, but good. The second is from the Chronicles of Narnia - expressing apprehension about going to ask the lion Aslan to help them rescue their brother, Peter asks if He is safe. "Safe?" says Mr Beaver. "'course He's not safe. But He's good." The first is the highest compliment I can pay, the goal of my every pursuit, and a truth I've always stood by.

So on the newly cleared walls of my mind, I've hung that word and that phrase as posters - big and bold, front and center. I'm not sure what it looks like to live a dangerously beautiful life, but I'm looking forward to finding out!


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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…