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Jan 192017
 

One of the types of crafting things I was excited to work on when I was pregnant with Milo was ‘toddler busy activities.’  I spent hours and hours on Pinterest, oogling all of the fun busy activities that I anticipated would not only be fun for my toddler and I to play with, but that would also be fun for me to create.

Now that Milo is a full-blown toddler, he is entering the stage where he can begin to appreciate these types of activities and I recently spent a few of his naptimes having a wonderful time being crafty.

I made a variety of busy activities using felt as the main material.

This first one is a maze. There is a small bell inside the folded felt material, with a maze handstitched in so that curious toddler hands can practice their fine motor skills by making the bell move around the maze. I opted to use a bell rather than a marble or whatever, because I suspected the jingle noise of the bell would create added interest for my curious little guy.

Then, I created re-usable chains, with felt and velcro. As a kid, I loved making chains with construction paper and glue, but Milo is nowhere near being able to use scissors to cut paper or glue without making a ginormous mess, so I made a toddler-safe variation of this activity that is also re-usable.

Finally, I made a matching game. Also as a child, I loved memory matching games. This version features bright colors and bold shapes on soft felt. At Milo’s developmental level, I’ve been scattering the pieces around face-up and having him find the matches. As he gets older, we can play the variation where the pieces are turned upside down and you have to test your memory to find the matches.

One of my assumptions with these busy activities is that I can store them in ziploc bags so that they would be easily transportable to places like restaurants and friends’ houses.

In other crafting news, despite my lack of finished projects showcased on this blog, I have been knitting a decent amount these past months and months.

In December, I finished knitting Josh and Milo semi-matching holiday stockings. They are pretty silly and ridiculously huge, but I’m happy with them. I did manage to put the i-cord loop on the wrong side of Josh’s stocking, which I plan to fix by Christmas next year. And I’m also knitting one for myself, so that we all have semi-matching stockings.

I’ve also been knitting a lot on this ginormous doubleknit blanket that I started when I was pregnant. Each row takes me no less than 30 minutes and I’m getting near to the end of my yarn stash (this project is a stashbusting effort), so I might finish it by the end of the year (you know, in the next 11 months).

To be honest though, I’ve pretty much lost my interest in knitting this past month. I taught myself how to knit in 2002 and have literally been OBSESSED with knitting ever since. Right now, I have basically no desire to knit at all. It’s really weird (considering how much knitting has consumed my life for the past 15 years), but I’m honestly more interested in reading, spending quality time with Milo, and trying stay healthy. Also, in the past few months, my day job has completely transformed into an experience that I absolutely LOVE and I am highly motivated to work on some professional development. I am currently studying for a professional certification that I am extremely excited about.

  •  Thursday, January 19, 2017
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Nov 072016
 

Recently, a knitting designer I follow announced her resignation from the design world. She described changes in the industry over the last five years that have made her trade unsustainable and unenjoyable, changes that I have experienced as well. When I began to dabble in this profession, it was a wonderful and satisfying challenge where I could meld my creativity and technical writing strengths. Knitters were enthusiastic! And kind. I developed relationships with knitters, yarnies, and other designers. …Over time, the experience shifted.

My life and my priorities have also shifted. I have a rambunctious and amazing toddler, who is the most lovable guy I can imagine. I have a Day Job that is so much more than a day job, but a for-reals profession. I have letters behind my name and am in the process of acquiring more letters. I have a house and a garden. I still knit, but I also sew, and run, and hike, and bike, and have drinks with friends, and spend time with my family. I am busy.

I also have post-partum depression and anxiety. I worry. I feel inadequate. I am overwhelmed. I am tired.

And I am learning to be kind and compassionate with myself. I am letting go of things that no longer serve me. Perhaps not for good, but until I feel less overwhelmed.

Sep 012015
 

I am delighted to officially present my baby boy, Milo, who was born last Saturday August 22nd weighing 9 pounds and 22″ long.  I wrote about his birth experience and our first week together  on my personal blog.

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I am so in love with my baby and excited about all of the adventures we will have as a family.

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Jan 052015
 

In the past, my yearly reflections and goals have tended to focus on quantity – – how many yards of yarn will I knit, how many sewing skills will I learn, how many miles will I ride on my bike, how many races will I finish.  While it’s good to have measurable goals, they tend to cater to my Type A / control freak personality and, if there’s anything that I’ve learned over the years, it’s that I ought to depend less on my ability (or, as is usually the case, my inability) to control things and instead learn to appreciate all of those little things that can make life so wonderful.  In this coming new year, if all works out, Josh and I will be embarking on an entirely new set of adventures, adventures that might be so far beyond my control that I might finally learn this important lesson.

Slow Down, Reflect, and Appreciate

While it may have escaped the attention of my blog, I worked hard this past year.  I spent the first part of last year, updating and revising some older knitting patterns and then spent the second half releasing new patterns – – all in all, it was one of my most productive years.  At the Day Job, I experienced tremendous upheaval and variations in my responsibilities, without losing my marbles and, I think, maintaining an even keel.  In the garden, I sowed, grew, maintained, and harvested a ginormous amount of crops and ornamentals – – months after the final harvest, I have a chest freezer full of food from my garden, from which I regularly make meals for Josh and I.  As but one specific example, I tended to 41 tomato plants, which is a ridiculous amount of tomatoes for a two person family (six, if you count the chickens, who definitely enjoyed their fair share of tomatoes).

In the coming year, I want to slow down, reflect, and appreciate.  I want to be less focused on how many knitting patterns I release, I want to feel no guilt at how much or how little I sew, I will have a much smaller (and more efficient) garden, and I am not going to obsessively track my running and biking miles.  I want to work on knitting patterns when I feel inspired to do so, I want to sew when I am excited about a project, I want to garden for the joy of gardening, and I want to ride my bicycle because it’s a fun activity.  Already in the throngs of the new adventure, I have been exhausted beyond belief.  While I anticipate the exhaustion to subside, I want to get away from my compulsion to do, do, DO, more, more, MORE, and instead enjoy and appreciate my experiences.

An Adventurous Spirit

The thing about adventure is that it’s not really an adventure if you are determined to control it.  It’s not an adventure if the outcome is known before the beginning.  So much of my life, I do the same thing over and over, and what I do generally has expected outcomes.  I go to the same restaurant and order the same thing.  I set out on a hike, and travel the same route each time.  When everything I do is the same as the other thing that I did, the days become indistinguishable from each other and I forget that life can be a great adventure.  Part of the shift in focus from doing more to appreciating experiences is also enjoying and being curious about the unknown and excited by possibilities.

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Dec 222014
 

With the longest night of the year in the past, I am excited for more sunshine in my life.  The SADs haven’t hit too hard this year, though in the past few weeks I’ve had several evenings where I felt pretty listless and weird.  I love the summers, when the sun doesn’t set until 10pm, but I really struggle in the winter when it’s dark by 4:30.

Of course, the best way to beat the SADs is to stay busy!  Josh and I have been trying to go on some adventures when the weather permits.  Last weekend, we went out to the Bruneau Sand Dunes and had a glorious day hiking around in the sunshine.

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Several weeks before that, the only thing to do was snowshoeing on a very gray day.  Part of our challenge this year of doing adventures is that we haven’t been feeling in top form – – Josh hurt his back while riding his bike on the ice and I’ve been feeling off.

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I’ve been doing a lot of knitting and sewing.  This is a doubleknit blanket that I am working on, to stash bust a lot of Jamieson DK wool that has been collecting dust for a long time.

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The pattern is derived from my Whorl Cowl, which I recently released and haven’t gotten around to writing anything about.

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And I’m almost finished with my coat (just need to add one more toggle button).  This project has been such a SLOG and I kind of want to hide the coat away and never look at it again.

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I have started on a fun sewing project!  I’m making foam blocks, using upholstery foam and fat quarters.  I saw the idea on Pinterest and it seemed like such a fun and easy project, perfect to get over the slog coat project.

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Interestingly, none of the helpful Pinterest tutorials mentioned anything about how to actually cut upholstery foam.  At first, I tried taking scissors to it, which resulted in a horrible butcher job.  I also tried a variety of knives before doing research about how best to cut it.  The internet suggested that an electric carving knife would be best.  So I headed out to various thrift stores, on a mission to find a used one.  And much to my delight, I only had to go to two thrift stores before I found one and it was only $5!  As you can see, it cuts the foam pretty well!

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And I’ve got a couple of blocks done!  This project is nice because the fabric is so easy to work with (as opposed to thick layers of wool and fleece) and is pretty satisfying in how quick and easy it is to make up a single block.  I’ve got enough foam for 49 blocks.

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I’m also gearing up to start working on this blouse in some nice Ana Sui shirting that I got on sale from Mood.

Anyway, sorry for the silence around here.  The SADs definitely make me less motivated to keep up with the old blog!

 

Dec 212014
 

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  •  Sunday, December 21, 2014
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Oct 142014
 

But will it be happy for Guernsey? As an island I don think many of us will remember 2015 terribly fondly. To be honest, times have felt tougher and tougher ever since the 0 10 tax regime came in and we were all hit by the global financial crisis (that not to say it wouldn have been even worse without 0 10!). Since then the government had less money to play with, and has had to find new ways to get it from us, meaning we as individuals pay more for the same stuff.

And this year looks very likely to be more of the same as other factors increase the demands on the States,wholesale nfl jerseys while at the same time reducing their income. The biggest of those factors is of course the ageing population. We reaching the point where we seeing less of us working and more of us receiving the social and health care that comes with growing old. That started to be a big issue of 2015, but it wasn really dealt with last year. So it really needs to be dealt with in 2016.

That will lead us to the issue of the island population. Perhaps the simplest way to deal with a shrinking workforce is to let more working age people into the island. That would probably require more than just relaxing the licence controls. Guernsey would need to actively promote itself as an attractive and welcoming place to live.

That could be difficult when many of us don want a more densely populated island.

Clearly it more complicated than a simple binary choice between or population but that will likely be one of the key debates on 2016, and one of the key sources of unrest.

But there are plenty of others.

Today as I asked islanders randomly on the street to gaze into the crystal ball in a quick (admittedly unscientific) voxpop, transport was a dominant issue. Ferry links in particular is a major concern, and Condor (who cannot seem to catch a break) start the year off with weather problems and damage to the Liberation. So that an issue that isn going away.

If you a deputy, a public servant, or (like me) just have an unhealthy interest in what the States is up to, another big question mark this year will start to be answered in April.

It is of course the 2016 election, but it also when a new system of government will be introduced. There will be fewer deputies, but more importantly, fewer departments (or as they be known in the future, and there will be one committee in charge of overall policy and direction. The idea is a more coordinated government, able to prioritise properly. But the proof will be in the pudding and it will take that pudding a few months to set, at least.

And then of course there all the things that are happening around the world that could affect us here that we often don take time to think about. The EU referendum, international conflicts that are reaching Europe, climate change, to name but a few.

There lots more I don have to room to get into here, I not even touched on health or education which I think will have rather defining years this year.

  •  Tuesday, October 14, 2014
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May 212014
 

I also want to ensure that the programs and sentences handed down from the court are fair, but also effective, help prevent repeat offenses and keep our community safe. Finally, I want every person who leaves the courtroom to feel that I, and the court staff, respect both their time and concerns. I pledge to the citizens of Roswell that I will be fair to every person who enters the courtroom, but will hold accountable those whose guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt..

He is a miracle worker who heals the sick and fights off Satan in the desert. He is the Son of Man4 who will be the final judge of men and the one who will suffer according to the prophecies in Daniel (Dan 7:13 14). He is the one prophesied in the Hebrew Old Testament (OT) as the Messiah and he performs ministrations in Galilee and Judea.

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  •  Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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May 212014
 

A. The government certainly can prevent people convicted of violent crimes from buying guns and federal law restricts the ability of people convicted of domestic violence to purchase firearms. But a complaint of domestic abuse in the absence of a conviction would not be sufficient under federal law.

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  •  Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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May 212014
 

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  •  Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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