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9 entries from November 2011

On Frogging & Trying Again

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Cast on, knit, purl, purl, purl, purl, knit ....frog*. 

Sigh

Where's the J hook? 

Chain, single, single, double, double, half double, single, bind off....huh, it's another not-what-the-pattern-photo-looks-like. 

Improvise.

Decide it's a little bag, or a hand cuff or...I know! It's a neck sweater!

And that.  Sums up my weekend. 

Did you get a little more than that done over the weekend?  (I hope so)

*frog  (frôg, frg)n.

1. Any of numerous tailless, aquatic, semiaquatic, or terrestrial amphibians of the order Anura and especially of the family Ranidae, characteristically having a smooth moist skin, webbed feet, and long hind legs adapted for leaping. (from this dictionary)
2. To "rip" out one's stitches, as in "rip-it," "rip-it," "rip-it" out (go ahead, say that out loud.  hear the frog noise?).  I have frogged more projects than I've finished this weekend.  (from the dictionary in my head, but frequently said in knitting & crocheting forums).

A Simple Box for Thread (& Dozens of Free Sewing Tutorials)

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I recently noticed where our ballerina keeps her sewing thread, and thought it was such a good idea, I wanted to share it with you...

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You can find those boxes at Michaels, in the wooden objects section.  It holds three thread spools neatly. Great idea, right?  She's a smart kiddo.

Speaking of sewing (aren't we?  speaking of sewing?), Sew Mama Sew is showcasing the most wonderful free sewing tutorials on the 'net, categorized for us!  Here is Imagination, here is Color (which includes this amazing Scrap Map of America that I will make for our little school room), and here, under Growing, is a recipe for Lemon Sugar Scrub (so, obviously, it's not all about sewing).  There is one category for each weekday of November, so surely we can find a gift idea to sew!

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A Baby Worth It (and a Chance to Help a Million Moms)

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Get a group of moms together and, sooner or later, birth stories will come up.  The stories are as unique as the mothers, so when I get a chance to talk to a scared first-time pregnant mom, I say,  Your birth story will be your story.  It's going to be hard, but it's going to be beautiful.  And the baby will be worth it.

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I have four birth stories, but I don't usually tell one of them because it can still make me weepy. Today, I told my hardest story at the ABC News/ UN Foundation Million Moms Challenge. 

My story has a happy ending...

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...but across the globe, there are mothers and babies who do not have happy endings simply because they don't live in developed countries. Please go to my post to leave a comment and sign up for the Million Moms challenge.

Nothing is required of you but to simply sign in with your email address and zip code.  Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 for every sign in.  And by replying on my post, you'll be entered to win an iPad2 and a $50 donation in your name! I'd appreciate your support in this, and so would the sweet mommies across the globe who need our help (and your encouraging stories!).

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p.s. Comments here are closed because we need you to go to that post to comment.  It will help us (moms) reach a million moms across the globe who need our help. Thanks for helping! 

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Speaking of Inspiration...

I have spent more hours than I'd care to admit at Ravelry lately (I'm JustPureLovely there...find me if you join!).  I know I'm spending more time fingering my yarn and looking at patterns than I am in crocheting and knitting things, but the yarn is so soft and the patterns so endless! 

Here are a few of my favorites that I hope to start crocheting or knitting soon:

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Do you prefer knitting or crocheting?  Or do you like to keep a project (or two) going in both, like I do?

I prefer knitting for relaxation and for my smooth bamboo needles, but I prefer crochet when I want to finish a project quickly. Most gifts from me are crocheted. 

If you want links to any of the above, let me know! They are all free patterns I found on Ravelry.

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On Finding (the often elusive) Inspiration

I started my blog in 2008 because I needed to find inspiration. Just Pure Lovely became my inspiration and creativity journal, a safe spot on the web. I posted things that inspired me, not worrying over if they inspired anyone else. I posted little projects I made as I explored different areas of creativity, not worrying whether or not I was actually good at making things.

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It was such a healing balm. Doors opened to business opportunities and also to helping people through hard times. I was excited every waking moment, for what is more fun than doing what you love while helping others?

In the past year, thanks to life's hard knocks, I've lost so much of that naive trust. I find it easier to be concerned over who is reading a post, or who is listening to my conversation. I wonder if I'm coming across wrong to them, and wonder if they are judging me for it. When I think of making something, I remind myself I'm really not that great at making anything in particular.

I've noticed so many other gals struggle with this, too. When I crochet or knit, a mom sitting next to me says, "Oh, I wish I could do that, but..." When asked where the kids go to school and I say, "We homeschool," I hear, "Oh, I'd like to homeschool, but..."

Meanwhile, I'm noticing the things that someone else is better at, like, well, knitting and homeschooling, manicured nails, not interrupting people, and a dozen other things.

But since we can only give what we have, we need to like ourselves.

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When we don't like ourselves, we stop ourselves from doing so many beautiful things, and we can't help people.

For the rest of November, I'm going to search for inspiration and dabble in creativity as much as I possibly can until I'm just bursting with it. Then, when I burst, I'll have enough to share with anyone who needs a bit of it.

I want to hear about your journey. Do you, too, find inspiration elusive sometimes? When you can't find it, how do you seek it out?

 

By replying you will be entered to win one of two prizes! First Prize: $150 to a Local Spa, plus $50 Gift Certificate to the CerraBoutique. Second Prize: One of Five $100 Gift Certificate to the CerraBoutique.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cerra. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Contest Rules.


The Fair

We went to our county's little fair last month.  Unfortunately, ours is a carnival-type fair, not a show-your-best-cow fair, so although it is a bit grungy, it does have what fairs must:  a chance to win a goldfish and a stuffed Angry Bird (done!) and oversized bags of cotton candy.  A few years ago they added a nice rodeo on the side, complete with...sigh...cowboys. 

Even though none of the photos of our fair night turned out well (I don't take good photos when the sun isn't shining), I thought I'd ignore my perfectionism and post them anyway since they capture what I wanted most that night:  memories. 

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Trick or Treat!

Here's our cute little bumblebee!  

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Oh, my goodness. Things don't go the way I plan at all sometimes!  I had hurdle after hurdle to jump in trying to post this little thing for the Halloween/Harvest weekend:  a photo upload problem, a husband in my office chair, a phone call, teens to pick up from a party, dinner guests, dishes to do, drama class to attend, and late last night just as I sat down..."Mom?  My tummy hurts."  

The tummy emptied, the kid finally fell asleep, I finally fell asleep, and then...."meoooowwwww" from Packer, our darling-sometimes-but-annoying-in-the-middle-of-the-night cat.  After feeding him (he insisted), I tried to go back to sleep, played a word game on my iPad, tossed a bit, prayed a while, then thought, "It's 4 am.  What could possibly prevent me from posting that picture now?"  

So here we are.  Finally.

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