Listening for Inspiration

I don’t quite remember how I got started on this, but a few months back I found the wonderful world of knitting podcasts. Ah! What a veritable rabbit trail of fiber-y goodness and inspiration! I had no idea how many knitters were doing podcasts, of both the audio and video variety. I really enjoy listening to a podcast or two while I am doing housework each day. It makes doing things like dishes and laundry much less tedious. Video podcasts are usually easier for me to pay attention to if I am knitting or crocheting, especially when a certain small boy is sleeping or quietly playing somewhere.

If you haven’t ever listened to a knitting podcast before, you might be asking, what fun could you possibly having listening to somebody talk about their knitting? Well, it is a lot like reading a blog…they talk about lots of things, not just what is on their needles. Life, kids, nature, food, yarn, spinning, and other crafts as well… And a few of my very favorite podcasts are hosted by friends who laugh and talk together, making you feel like you are sitting there and knitting right along with them. Oh, and another perk of getting on the podcast bandwagon? Most of them host giveaways and Knit-Alongs on a regular basis! Those are always great fun to participate in? So, I thought it would be nice to share with you my current podcast lineup, in no particular order, in case you want to check some of them out, too.

Knitting Pipeline
The Knitmore Girls
The Dyer’s Notebook
In a sKnit
Prairie Girls Knit and Spin
Yarniacs
Curious Handmade
Fluffy Fibers
The Savvy Girls
A Playful Day
Commuter Knitter
Down Cellar Studios
Knitting Butterflies
Must Stash Podcast
Ewe University
The Lost Geek

(P.S.–Because I often listen to these while little ears are present, all of them are by necessity pretty clean and free of words I don’t want my child to hear. Still, there may at times be a slightly off color joke or mention of drinking. Just fair warning for those who may be sensitive about those things.)

Be Still, My Soul

I went to a funeral today. I didn’t know the man who died very well, but one of his daughters goes to my church. She is close to my age, and her dad was close to my parents’ age. I know from hearing about him from others that he was a very sweet and wonderful Christian man, and I know he is happy in the arms of Jesus right now. Yet as I sat there at the funeral, tears were streaming down my face. I could not stop thinking of my friend and how she must miss her daddy already…how much I would miss my own dad if he were suddenly gone from this earth… My thoughts were filled with the faces of people I love who have gone already, as well as those who are still here but may meet Jesus any day. And then I thought of those in my family who I am uncertain about in regards to their relationship with Christ….more tears came then.

I cannot take one day forgranted. I cannot let my loved ones pass from this life to the next without telling them of my love, and even more importantly, of Christ’s love for them. I CAN rest in the comfort of God’s Spirit within me, whispering hope and peace to my aching heart. I CAN know that Jesus sympathizes with the pain of everyone who has lost someone dear to them, because he, too, wept over the death of his friend Lazarus. And I CAN be assured of great joy in the life to come, because my Jesus conquered death and is alive. I serve a risen Savior, and all who trust in Him will one day be with Him in heaven. So, even in the midst of tears and pain, I can say, “Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side.”

“Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.”

Ka­tha­ri­na A. von Schle­gel, in Neue Samm­lung Geist­lich­er Lied­er, 1752 (Stille, meine Wille, dein Je­sus hilft sie­gen); trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Jane L. Borth­wick in Hymns from the Land of Lu­ther, 1855.

Why I’ve been a bad blogger

Yeah, it’s been a while since I really wrote much of anything here. Sorry ’bout that! I’ve thought about it many times, but just never got around to it. I am claiming this sweet small person as my main excuse. He does keep me busy! 🙂

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We have been doing many little activities together this summer, now that he is getting big enough to follow directions well. Little J loves to bake and help with just about anything in the kitchen.

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Here he is with some new gluten free play dough we made together…more about that in the future, by the way! 😉

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Being the child of two musicians, he is into musical instruments in a big way. I don’t know too many 2 year olds that can name as many instruments as he can! He asks to try playing them often, too.

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And of course, we do lots of other little things to try to stay busy and keep out of trouble! Like making art…

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And playing with flashlights in the dark…

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And we have spent lots of time outside this summer, too! It has been especially nice this week, with almost fall-like temperatures in the middle of August! (Which is why it so happens that I am writing this while sitting on my back porch, watching Little J play in the sandbox.) I really have been busy about the shop as well, and I really ought to blog about that, too…but I thought I would let you in on a little of my daily life aside from all the shop talk! 🙂
Hope you are having a great summer (or winter for our friends south of the equator!)

Friday Favorites: It’s the little things

Sometimes it is nice to stop and just be grateful for the small joys that happen every day because it is the little things that add up and make a great day! So here are a few of my favorite things from the day. 🙂
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Actually getting to do my quiet time in quiet, with only the sound of rain falling outside.

Spontaneous “thank-you”s from a two year old.

Fresh picked wild flowers on my dining room table.

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Watching the wonder of a toddler examining those flowers.

Knowing that tomorrow is Saturday and that I will get to spend some precious one on one time with my sweet husband.

Making homemade strawberry freezer jam from my own home grown berries.

Doing a great ten minute yoga flow.

Singing and dancing to silly songs with my little boy.

Watching him drink from a “big boy” cup and be so very careful.
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Only having 3 loads of laundry to do today instead of 5. (Like I said, it’s the little things!)

Birthday wishes from thoughtful friends.

Gummy bears.

Watermelon faces.

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Oh, and just in case anyone reads this right away, my Birthday Bash Giveaway is in its final hours, so click on over to my Facebook page and enter if you haven’t already! You might just win a $25 gift certificate to my shop! 🙂

This post has been linked to Friday Favorite Things at Finding Joy.

Finding Joy

4KCBWDAY4 Color Review

So I didn’t get to do Day 3 of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, partly because I was busy with other projects, and partly because I really couldn’t think of anything to create an info graphic about. Oh well…moving on to Day 4! Today’s challenge was to think about the colors you are drawn to when yarn shopping and crafting, then look and see how that compares to actually colors chosen for projects you’ve done and yarns in your stash. Then think about how that may relate to the “house” you’ve chosen to identify with.

When I think of my favorite colors to wear, I am drawn to deep, rich reds, blue-green shades, and earth tones. In my mind’s eye, I see yarns that are vibrant, deep shades of red, blue, green and other jewel tones, although I know I love the look of rainbow colored handpainted yarns, too. I just have never used them. Let’s see how this compares to my projects in my current Ravelry notebook…

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Ok, um, sort of close, but some of those projects were not for me, obviously! In fact, about a third of those shown were for my shop or for friends, then another third for Little J, and finally only a third are/were for me. I don’t have a picture of my stash, and if I did it would look rather odd as all my personal yarn is just scrappy stuff at this point. My nice yarn is all for the shop! Speaking of the shop, lets look at some of the colors happening over there right now…

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Although more muted, these colors are more to my personal liking for the most part…sort of a pastel rainbow in contrast to the vibrant, deep colors I would want in my own wardrobe. But that is fitting of baby items, isn’t it?!

Seems that is all I have time for today. Tomorrow’s post is supposed to be something completely different than the usual blog post, so we will see what I can come up with for that. Am I up for the challenge? Hmmm….

To find other blog posts on this topic, please enter 4KCBWDAY4 into a search engine of your choice

The House of Bee Mascot Projects

I’m back for Day 2 of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week! Yay! I will admit my post yesterday was not quite on theme, although I did touch on what “house” I think I belong to. So today I will try to write more on topic. Day 2 is all about a project that represents the house you’ve chosen–a sort of mascot project, if you will.

When I think of the busy little bees flitting around outside in our yard, I remember how they are always going from flower to flower, quickly buzzing from one place to the next always on the lookout for another tasty bit of nectar. That is like me in that I am always on the lookout for a new and interesting pattern to try. But I don’t like big, time consuming projects as much as small ones that can be taken with me on the go and finished in a few days. But I also like practical projects that I know will be useful, which sometimes means doing larger projects, too. And I enjoy projects that keep my attention with new stitches, colors and techniques. Here are a couple of knitting patterns that embody all of those characteristics.

Sampler Socks by Yuliya Sullivan

20130423-084051.jpgI have to say that these socks look very fun, although maybe a bit challenging for a newer knitter like me. I haven’t tried knitting socks yet, but I plan on it one of these days!

Sampler Pillow by Abigail Turner

20130423-084514.jpg Another fun looking sampler project I found is this pretty sample pillow. I like this for its practicality as well as the challenge of learning new stitches and techniques! Plus, the color combination possibilities are endless! You could make it in colors to coordinate pretty much any decor, and I would love to try this pattern sometime for a throw pillow for my bedroom!

Of course, my ultimate busy bee instant gratification projects are always baby things….hats, booties, and the like. And where do I start when I want a new baby project to work on? Ravelry pattern searches, of course! 🙂

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For more posts from other bloggers on Knitting and Crochet Week Day 1, simply type 4KCBWDAY2 in your favorite search engine! You are sure to come up with all sorts of crafty blog fun!

Christian Artists Street Team

Lately I have been spending a lot of time in the Etsy team forums, getting to know my fellow sellers and learning more about running a better shop. Some of the teams on Etsy are also great at promoting other members, so I have been trying to participate in some of those teams and activities. One of the greatest teams I have found so far is the Christian Artists Street Team, or CASTteam for short. Not only are the members great at coming up with new ways to promote one another, but there is a wonderful sense of Christian community because everyone is a believer. Team members often come together to pray for each other in the forums, and they are always encouraging and helping one another out! So, in the spirit of helping my fellow teammates this weekend, here are a few goodies you can find in CASTteam shops!

Pink Wispy Business Card Holder from MoreThanColors
Red and White Korker Hair Clip from DonnaDesigned
Cross Mini Cards from KraftersKorner
Vintage Binoculars from PurposefulWhimsy

 

Child’s Striped Apron from BananaOrangeApple

 

Something Blue Crochet Shawl from Elegantcrochets

I hope you will check out these items as well as all the other wonderful things made by my lovely CAST teammates! You can find many of their goods by simply typing CASTteam in the search bar at http://www.etsy.com! Have a blessed weekend!