All I Want for Christmas is a Wool Farm

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All I Want for Christmas is a Wool Farm

Smother me in Alpacas and Sheep; with a red barn and a cozy farm house where I can spin all the yarn and make all the things. 

 

*Sigh* A girl can dream, can’t she? That life sounds so much more peaceful and fulfilling than whatever I am doing now. I can’t say that I have the Christmas Blues, because I have the opposite of that… think more like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. 

 

The first week of the Christmas Season was spent in a crazy holiday frenzy. Put up all the decorations, plan out all the presents, buy all the things, and make this house MAGICAL! It was stressful, and I’m not sure if I did anything even close to meaningful. 

 

There’s the struggle to make everything perfect and meaningful. I try to think back at traditions and the nostalgia of Christmases past and realize that my perfect christmases were probably not as perfect as I remember. I’m sure my mom stressed about how perfect she wanted things, how we should do XYZ just because. They were simple things that added up, and I can see how tired she could have been for Christmas. What ever her state of exhaustion, my mother loved the holiday and, happily, I inherited that love. It was probably the one thing I could really communicate with my mom on. She truly made the holiday season special. I hope to do the same. However, I’m not going to kill myself to make the holiday season match something I have sketchy memories of. 

 

The more I think of what my ideal Christmas would look like, the more I feel like I need to be living on a Ranch in Colorado or some mountainous region, maybe Canada (definitely Canada), and making wool for warm clothes. 

 

I think it’s time to put some breaks on the frenzy, and focus on the meaningful side of the season. 

 

My life was never perfect, in fact, it’s messy… and loud, and slow, and fast, and boring, and exciting, and depressing, and fulfilling. My holiday season is probably going to show that off a little. 

 

This year, I am going to do less shopping and more hugging. Less stressing about my life and more laughing with my babies. Less fear and more hope. 

 

There’s no telling what the next few weeks will bring, I am an idealist that’s often disappointed, but I do know that there’s going to be a lot of love. 

 

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my mother’s Christmases it’s that it doesn’t have to be magical to be incredible, but a little magic never hurt anybody. 

 

So, I’ll be here, writing to Santa for some sheep. I’m pretty sure that Sam will be a great sheep dog.

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Spruce Shawl Release (Boo-Yah!)

Spruce Shawl Release (Boo-Yah!)

It's here! It's here! 

It's finally freaking here! 

The Spruce Shawl is the companion to the Forestry Cowl. It's difficult to remember back to the motivations for this shawl. It's taken me way too long to get this pattern out of my hands. With that said, it's one of my favorite garments to wear and use when it's chilly out. It's a warm hug when I am stressed and it's just a joy to be wrapped up in. I've spent many nights cuddling this thing, so I know. 

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The Spruce Shawl is a triangular shawl with two sections of tree lace separated by garter rows. It makes for an easy knit on a cold winter day. The way the pattern is written, it is also easily customizable. You can continue in the pattern to make the shawl larger. (This one is a medium size) You can also use DK or worsted weight yarn to make a big and cozy shawl that will be sure to keep you warm on the coldest night. It would look amazing with some tassels too. 

For this week, because I love you, I am offering the pattern up for free on my Ravelry store. Just follow the link and you'll see the savings when you check out. Afterwards a portion of the proceeds are going to go to the Natural Resource Defense Counsel--who seek to find ways to save our natural spaces and species. 

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The Spruce Shawl is inspired by my need for nature. I have a lot of love for forests. There is a lot of folk lore about how dark and scary forests are. I've never understood it. They offer more in protection and security than they do in secrets and shadows. Trees are so amazing. They can stand up to almost anything, and they still offer us air to breathe. 

Thanks for being a part of this journey with me. Thanks for listening, and allowing me to go at my own pace. This life is beautiful; this world is beautiful; let's show the world some love and knit some good. 

Trying for a More Simple Life.

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Trying for a More Simple Life.

Hello friends!  

I’ve been busy. Not so busy that I can’t blog, but it is what it is. I want to work harder to keep up my online presence. I feel like I have so much to share and so much creativity that needs to come out. Right now, I’m looking at my personal and professional habits and I am realizing that there’s so much about myself that I want to work on. Woah. It feels like the task is Everest and I’m at sea level. Oh man. Deep. Breaths. It inspires anxiety. 

I can do this.  

Here goes. 

One task on my personal growth list is being content with a simple life. What is a simple life, really? I guess what I am looking for is contentment with myself and what I have and what I do in the moment. That life goes slowly in many ways. That delayed gratification is a good thing and dang it I don’t need that dang apple watch. I think that living simply is different for everyone. For me, right now, it’s the idea of slowing down and letting go of the hustle. 

My stage of life, as a mother and aspiring writer and designer, it’s difficult to find the time, money, and resources to be good at anything. With a toddler and an infant it’s an accomplishment if I can find time to take a shower, let alone sit down at a computer and write and design. I’m not even allowed to be in my phone without my son wanting to look at pictures of his cousins. (There’s a chance this has been partially written while I’m on the toilet—how about that for a visual?) I love my kids, I love being a mom, and I want to spend more time engaged in their lives while they’re little. I also want to spend more time nurturing my creativity. 

In order to achieve both, I have to work on a few things. First I have to accept the fact that sometimes being creative is a slow process. The Sistine Chapel wasn’t painted in a night. My life isn’t Instagram perfect. No one’s life is. Secondly, I have to realize that consumerism won’t help me. I am the person they make ads for, and I have the credit card to prove it. Instead of drowning my sorrows in stuff, I need to be more mindful of my spending and make sure what I spend on is useful in my life. Thirdly, I have to be healthy for my babies, both mentally and physically if I want to keep up with them and be an active part of their lives. None of this requires much of me, except for the excruciating self discovery of why I feel I need to live the hustle.  

Slowing down has always been difficult for me. I hope my little experiment here helps me see why.  

 

a boy and his train

a boy and his train

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The Intentional Weekend

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The Intentional Weekend

How do you slow down when life feels so quick? Join me in taking some time over the weekend to fully appreciate life, and allow ourselves to just be for a little while. 

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Grow. Explore. Advocate. Part 3

This is going to be a difficult post to write. If you're familiar with me personally, I tend to post my political beliefs in the vague way that everyone else does on Facebook: I read articles then repost them if I feel they're important. So actually spelling them out here feels a little forceful. A little more solidifiying to others, even though I am sure all of you know where I stand. However, it's putting a side of myself out into the world that I am mostly silent about day to day and in real conversations with others. I am a social and eco justice warrior. Soon, I would like to see myself as an Ally, but I have a lot more work to do to achieve that title. 

I am a person who, at my core, believes that everyone deserves to be treated with human decency.

When my son was born and I experienced postpartum depression it was like all of the feelings of the world were magnified. I felt everything that was happening around me. The Syrian refugee crisis was in full swing. Humans of New York was posting from Greece, highlighting people who risked their lives to escape war. These were people who saw the risk and decided that risk was better than staying in Syria. Then I saw the horrible treatment that these people were getting from Europe. The ugly side of humanity was in my face right then, it's all I could see and I had this little infant who was lucky enough to be born with us and still completely depended on me for life. The breaking point for me was when the little boy washed up on the shore in Greece. My pain and anger at the injustices of the world wouldn't be silenced anymore. That was the day to open myself up and be more vocal about what I believe we, as humans sharing this world together, should be doing. 

I am a person who, at my core, believes that everyone deserves to be treated with human decency. In some ways, I've always been an advocate for those who have been oppressed and marginalized, it just took motherhood for me to find my courage and spell it out. My life and education has brought me to this point. When I was a christian, I went to other countries to help out the poor. When I was in college, I learned how people exploit others for profit and gain. When I was poor, I learned exactly how expensive being poor was. When I lived in the mountains, I learned how important being outside and keeping our air and land clean was. As a mother and military wife, I see where our daily actions are taking us and what that means for our children.

My pain and anger at the injustices of the world wouldn’t be silenced anymore.

I advocate for the people that I would have likely become if I hadn't gotten really lucky in life. People who work extremely hard, but can't seem to find a way out of poverty or depression. People who live with fear and anxiety. People who aren't accepted based on their race, gender identity, sexual identity, and social class can have a space and a voice. I advocate so that one day my sons will be able to embrace nature without for profit corporations getting in the way. I advocate for fresh air. I advocate for universal love. It's time we start letting people have the chance to be people, whole and free. It's time we realize that we are making a mess and we need to clean it up. 

Spruce Knits was made to give light to people who are doing good work in our country and our world. A part of the proceeds from every pattern I sell goes to certain charities, some are personal for me, some are more global in scale. Each one is doing it's best to do it's part to create a healthy and safe environment for our future selves. Know that this is where your money is going if you don't share my beliefs, know that I hold no ill will toward you and know that you are free to take your money elsewhere. It's a part of the game. I am a person with a strong value center, so you wont hurt my feelings. My cause is bigger than my feelings. 

Here are my stances: 
I stand with Women: As a woman in the world, I see the systemic frustrations that we face every single day. I stand with the idea that we are the autonomous leaders of our bodies. I stand for the right to choose. I stand for the right to say no. I stand for equal pay for equal work. I stand for intersectional feminism, all women deserve equal rights. 

I stand with the Marginalized: LGBTQ people should be free to live the life that they identify with, without hate and condemnation, without their fundamental rights being taken away from them. I stand with immigrants (not aliens- they're human beings for god sakes) and minorities and refugees. I stand for the homeless and mentally ill. These people continue to fight an uphill battle for basic dignity. It's time we stop and lend a neighborly hand to those who need it. 

I stand with Science: Global warming is not a hoax y'all. Greenland's ice cap has melted beyond the point of no return, and it's still winter. Heat waves in north Canada are also troubling. Each year the Earth gets warmer and warmer. This is our fault. It's only going to get worse if we don't do something. I stand with scientific research, cancer can be cured, Huntington's disease can be treated. 

Most importantly, I stand with Love: One of the greatest things we can do is love one another. It's as simple as that. Look at your neighbor and ask yourself if your political actions are going to hurt that person. Look at the beggar on the street as a human being, rather than a drug addict. Look at the person who prays to a different God than you as a brother/sister without thinking that they need to change faiths for you to accept them. Kindness is courageous. Hatred is the coward's way out. 

Spruce Knits was made to give light to people who are doing good work in our country and our world. A part of the proceeds from every pattern I sell goes to certain charities, some are personal for me, some are more global in scale.

Every day, I try to find the kindness and love in my heart... every day I work for the betterment of our society. It's especially important in times like these. Hold tight to the love you have, it may be the very thing that get's us through this. If you're still with me after reading this giant of a post, thank you. Whether you agree with me or disagree, I love you. 

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