Friday, September 16, 2011

Finding a Purpose... the last week I have run across the same theme, not once, not twice, but three times. It's kind of been one of those sledgehammer-meets-noggin moments in your life. And I'm pretty hard-headed, but after the third whack, I decided I needed to pay attention.

For the record, I am a Christian, and yes I am veering slightly off the crafty path here, but for my Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. friends, don't run away just yet. I'm pretty sure this message is non-denominational.

The question I've encountered THREE times this week is this:

What talents/skills has God (or insert your own belief system here) given to you? And what purpose do those skills/talents serve in the greater plan or for the greater good?

So I did what any crafter would do...I picked up my knitting needles and started to think. Or am I the only one who thinks better with busy hands?

Eventually I came to the conclusion that I have primarily been using my skills to serve my own purposes. I make things because I like to. I sell things to have a little bit of extra money to buy materials so I can make more things. And I blog about what I make because I like to talk about the things I enjoy. Except that, recently, I haven't been enjoying least not very much or very often. It seems I really was lacking a purpose and it was leaving me with very little motivation.

I continued to knit...and I began to think of alternative purposes for my craftiness. Why did I receive this particular set of skills and what was I intended to do with them? I came up with a list of ways I could use my skills in service to really don't want me to list them here. Trust me, it's a long list.

But in the end, I came up with one realistic goal of how I could use my talents to have a more positive impact on the world, and it centers on this blog. Rather than merely showing off my latest creation, I could use this as a forum to share ways that crafting can serve others.

Not that I won't ever just post cute pics of my kids in clothes that I make...'cause I will. But, in general, you will begin to see a change in the content of the blog. Lots more opportunities for you to give back by crafting, tutorials on items that can be made in service to others, and links to great charitable organizations that need your help. Because, regardless of race, creed, color, of craft preference, we can all get behind the idea of helping others, right?

So let's start off with a knitting/crocheting challenge for all my yarn-craft friends out there...Special Olympics Scarves. A friend of mine shared this project with me and I committed to helping out. Each year, the various Special Olympics winter events give coordinating scarves to the athletes, coaches, and volunteers. The scarves are a symbol of unity, support, compassion, and empowerment for all who are involved. I'll be making at least one scarf to send to the NC Special Olympics and I challenge all of you to do the same. You can find specifications, yarn colors, and due dates for the various states by visiting the Special Olympics Scarves 2012 website. Willing to lend a hand??? Leave a comment and let me know that you'll be sending one or more scarves to the Special Olympics and we can cheer each other on!

Because our crafts can have a purpose that is larger than ourselves!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bee!

Affectionately known as "Itty Bit," our little Bee turned TWO on Saturday! She's still roughly the size of a 15 month old, talks like a 2 year old, and races through the house like a 6 year old:) She's bubbly but demanding, adventurous but knows her own limits, sassy but sweet as sugar...basically a walking contradiction. And she's the pepper to her sister's salt. They are nothing alike, but the best of friends!

Bee has a sense of style all her own. Her favorite ensemble is her "white" dress (Snow White, that is), her flowered rain boots, and a pair of binoculars around her neck. But don't you dare come near her in a mask...she is NOT a fan!

Did I mention that she's a bit on the animated side? The facial expressions and comedic timing on this thing are unbelieveable!

And like every diva, a wardrobe change mid-event is always necessary:) I'm not sure if you recognized the dress in the pics above, but it came from none other than the famous Katy at No Big Dill, who just happened to give birth to her first little boy on my little Bee's birthday! Congrats to Katy and the entire Dill family:)

But we couldn't eat Carolina blue (is there any other color???) cupcakes in that dress. I mean, I ordered it before Bee was even ONE!

So, to complement the party theme, I whipped up this little fishie outfit the morning of the party...yep, nothing like waiting till the last minute:)

I'd say the cupcakes were a big hit, but I think that's pretty obvious:)

A while back, I confessed that Belle had a birthday party that was completely store-bought (except the cupcakes that my hubby baked). I had a lot of guilt, but she had a blast. And I learned a pretty important lesson...sometimes it's better to be the parent enjoying your child instead of the parent making things for your child.

This time around, I aimed for the middle ground. Thanks to a very busy tax season, I've had quite a bit of time on my hands in the evenings, so I used my free time to practice a new knitting technique...magic loop. Not complicated at all, but something new to me. And if I was going to be practicing, I might as well make something for the Bee's birthday while I was learning a new skill. So the "Birthday Baby" was born.

In a futile attempt to make Bee love her, I dressed her like Dora, but my goal with the doll is that it will grow with Bee. Right now she loves Dora, so a few basic accessories turn this simple doll into her much-loved friend. But with a quick clothing change she can be just about anything. I'm planning a Halloween dress next...maybe white with a ghost face on the front. Then a dress for a very special secret event coming up this winter...more on that later:)

Of course, even the totally yummy belly button couldn't make Bee interested in her doll. She quickly tossed it aside and moved on to much more exciting toys, but maybe one day she'll grow to love the doll. And if not...oh well. I learned a new technique and enjoyed the process.

So...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEE! I love you more than the moon and the stars and could not imagine our little family without your spunky sweetness!