A Swift Kick

I’m human.  (Sure, sometimes I wish I was from Gallifrey, but that’s another story.)  I slip, I fall, I get back up.  And yes, more often than not, it takes me awhile to get to that last part.  Suffering with PSA (Psoriatic Arthritis), I sometimes forget that I do have to force myself to get up and get out on my days off.

So, this morning, I’m writing this post from the Valley Health Wellness Center, in Winchester VA. (No, this is NOT a paid endorsement.  I joined because I’m an employee of VH and the rates are great for what you get.)  I mean, I woke up and was out the door by 5:30 AM on my day off.  My last day of a six day stay-cation, might I add.  I met with an amazing aquatic trainer yesterday, who walked me through some exercises and showed me how to do a routine on my own.  I spent an hour in the therapy pool this morning, and while I’m sore, it is a good sore.  Trust me.

New routines can be hard.  Any kind of change can be difficult.  I can tell  you, that seems to be my current theme right now.  New workout routine, new day-job routine, and a new outlook every since my new medication finally started to kick in.  But just like that motivational poster with the kitten in the tree, I’m doing my best to ‘Hang In There.’

 

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The original motivational poster

 

Recent accomplishments aside, here’s what else I’ve up to in my six days off!

  • My husband and I recently celebrated my FIL getting remarried to an amazing woman, whom we think the world of.  I’ll post pictures of the wedding shawl on Friday.
  • I actually started knitting a pair of socks for myself! (GASP!)  I know, I know, it is about time.  I’m working on the ‘Herminoe Everyday Socks’, which has been living in my Ravelry queue for, maybe two years?
  • I’m all caught up on Mercy Street, The Walking Dead, and The Magicians.  If you haven’t seen any of these, I suggest them all.  There is something for everyone in these shows.
  • I celebrated my 34th birthday with friends, family, and good wine.  The Hubs and I took an overnight stay to Baltimore, where I not only had amazing hand-made pierogis, but also made my first wholesale order with Lovelyarns (more on this later in the week.)

So, what’s new with you?  I hope that you’re February is ending well, and you are killing it with your crafting, and your goals.  Don’t forget about our KAL for the ‘Talvel Cowl’, which is going on through the end of March!

 

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Life Goal – Achieve The Impossible

Everyone has dreams, and ideas that they want to make come true.  Some people want to travel around the world. Others want to read as many books as they can, or even publish their own.

I want to open a yarn store.

Yes, you heard me correctly.  I want to open a real, brick and mortar yarn store.  One where people can come to not only buy fantastic yarn, but enjoy each other’s company. Where they can sit and work on a project, or enjoy a class on a new technique, or just get help with a crafting roadblock.  I want to have comfy chairs and a place for a nice cuppa.  I want to have at least two nights a week where people can come, sit, and knit/crochet/spin.

I’m very luck that I have a dear friend who shares the same vision that I do.  Brandon is one of my oldest friends; we’ve known each other for at least twenty years.  He and his wife, Tory, want to help me make this vision come to life!  The only major roadblock we have is getting the money.  We want to get started, but don’t have a lot of funding.

 

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Brandon & Tory. Friends who knit together, stay together.

 

I decided to start a GoFundMe campaign.  Now, I sat on this for a few months.  I listened to a lot of viewpoints on this subject, some very supportive, while others were skeptical.  But Amanda Palmer’s book, ‘The Art Of Asking’, has inspired me to move forward.  Brandon and I are looking to raise $600, to cover the cost of starting the LLC and legal fees associated with that process.

If you would like to donate, you can visit the link HERE.  If you can’t donate, I ask that you share this post.  Tell you friends and family.  We are halfway to our goal as of today, and I’m so thankful for the kindness of not just my support system, but of strangers as well.

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

 

There is no longer a yarn store in my town, not like I want to see and make happen.  If anyone is interested in investing in our business above and beyond the GoFundMe campaign, please contact me.  Brandon has done a fantastic job with out business plan, and it is quite detailed.

Have a great weekend!

 

Life Goals – Tech Edition

I’ve been taking this month to write down everything that I want to achieve and accomplish this year. From the smallest task (do one load of laundry every day, so that I don’t have to send for a Sherpa guide as I try to tackle the giant pile in the basement,) to the most grand and extravagant. After a recent late night FB chat with my friend, Rachael, (who lives in Guatemala doing amazing work with climate change research,) I decided to list it all. Top to bottom, A-Z.

One of my first projects was to update my tech equipment, so that I could get some fantastic work done on both my blog, and my Etsy shop.  I purchased a basic point-and-shoot camera.  Now, I know what I really wanted to buy, but I also knew that I had a budget and I wanted something that was not only easy to use, but waterproof. Miss Z spends so much time in the pool, that I wanted to be sure it was safe. Also, I killed my last camera at the lake in NY.

 

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Such a fun little camera!

 

 

This camera had really excellent reviews, and I was fortunate to purchase the LAST ONE in the store.  I’m still playing around with it, but so far, I’m really happy.

Here are a few photos from our afternoon snow and hot cocoa adventures.

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

 

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

 

 

My second purchase was one out of necessity.  I was using my iPad mini AND a laptop that I shared with the hubby (it worked well until we needed it at the same time.  And that always seems to be the way of it. That’s what happens when you’re main media time is after work.)  I noticed that when I started my Etsy store, it was getting harder and harder to get time on the laptop.  Then, a few days ago, my tablet died.  So, I went to the Big Box Store That Shall Not Be Named, and purchased a laptop for myself.

 

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Lenova Yoga – I love you!

I am in love with this little powerhouse!  I originally didn’t think that I wanted a 2-in-1, but wow!  I’m so glad that I purchased it.  And it was on sale!  Double win!  The only disappointment was customer service, but honestly, I didn’t go in with high expectations, and I’m not here to blast anyone, or anything, and put more negativity out into the world.

What are some of your goals for 2017?  New tech, or gadgets?  Fantastic trips or vacations?

 

 

 

 

FO Friday, And My Lack Of Spoons

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope that January is treating you all kindly.

 

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I’m hiding from the cold

 

First, let me apologize for my absence.  I have not been doing well in terms of pain and chronic illness.  For those of you who don’t know, I have a condition known as ‘Psoriatic Arthritis’.  You can read all about it HERE.  Anyone who lives with a chronic illness knows that some days are really great, others are okay, and some just plain blow.  So, I’ve been busy resting when I can,  because when you work a job that requires you to be on your feet for eight to twelve hours, and lift up to 80 lbs on your own.  Well, you get the picture. My doctor has me on a new medication, and so far, things are starting to look up!

There is this interesting idea that is called ‘Spoon Theory’. Basically you start your day with ‘X’ amount of spoons, and everything that you do requires a spoon.  The goal – get to the end of the day with at least one or two spoons left.  Christine Miserandino has a great explanation on her blog, ‘But You Don’t Look Sick’.

I have, however, been knitting my heart out!  I managed to crank out THREE Pussy(cat) Hats for the Womens March, that is happening this weekend.  I have to work, or you can bet I would be attending.

 

 

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I’ve started working on a wedding shawl, which needs to be blocked and ready to go by Valentine’s Day.  I need to hustle, seriously.  Thank goodness it is in worsted weight yarn! Add to the list finishing my hubby’s Christmas socks, and making some hats for our local homeless shelter.

What are you working on this week?  How many of you made Pussy Hats, or are attending that march?  I’d love to hear your stories!

Countdown To Christmas – Day 1

My favorite thing about Christmas is giving. I love to find the perfect gift ,  or make it. So, this year, I’m sharing the love with my readers and followers. There willbe one giveaway each  day, from now through Christmas Eve.

Day 1 : I’m  giving away an awesome coloring book full of fun holiday sweaters, and some colores pencils!

Here’s how you enter to win. Comment below with your favorite Christmas tradition! 

The winner will be chosen at 8pm tonight. You can also comment on the link that will post on my group FB page, which can be found below.

https://www.facebook.com/ofgraceandstitches/
Good luck!

Weekend Wrap-Up : Fall Festivities

(Yes, I know that it is Tuesday.  I’m a day behind from falling ill.  Better late than never, I always say.)

Hurricane Matthew left us wet and soggy, for the better part of the day on Saturday.  Little Miss and I had planned to attend The Fall Festival at Hunting Ridge, and we weren’t about to let a little rain stop us.  After all, she had her costume on and was ready to go, and rain boots were a part of it.

 

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Yee-Haw!  My Little Cowgirl.

Hunting Ridge Retreat is a vast area that our church owns,out in the county.  There are two small lakes, perfect for fishing or for outdoor vesper services.  Next to the outdoor pavilion is a giant charcoal fire pit, used to cook chickens for the yearly picnic.  Hunting Ridge also has a playground, volleyball and tennis courts, cabins, and a lodge.  I spent many happy weekends there when I was a child, and now Little Miss can do the same.

 

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First of the Fallen Leaves

 

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Yes, I Am.

There were so many fun activities.  Paint a pumpkin, decorating cupcakes, and a scavenger hunt!  Little Miss was the only pre-K kid there, but she still had a fantastic time playing with the other kids, and trying to keep up as they ran through the mud and puddles looking for clues the our Children’s Minister, Alison, had hidden.

About half-way through she gave up, declaring that she was ‘just too tired to run anymore’, so we took our time, walking back to the pavilion.  But in our travels, we came across a new little friend!  Little Miss insisted that we move it out of the way, since the other kids were running around.

 

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Hey, Little Guy!

We went back, had a snack, and surprise … Little Miss won the costume contest!  She was very proud of herself, and had to show her daddy her prize as soon as we came home.  (It was a pumpkin carving kit, to which will be made good use of next week.)

 

What are your Autumn plans? Are you going to attend any fun festivals, or are there other traditions that your family participates in?

 

 

 

 

 

All About The Babies

I love baby showers.  The food, the friends, the silly games.  The expectant Mom glowing with happiness as she opens gifts.  Tiny baby clothes, cute pink or blue items.  I’m a sucker for these things.  So when I had the opportunity to host a baby shower for my co-worker, Marissa, I jumped all over it.

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Cute popcorn favors, made by our unit secretary, Lee.

I didn’t do much as far as games went.  It was right after Marissa’s shift, and I knew that she would be tired.  Plus, people would be coming and going, so I wanted to keep it simple.  I did set up a station where people could leave cute notes on diapers.  I called it the ‘Midnight Diaper Change’.  It was a huge hit!

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‘Cupcakes’ – Onesies and socks.  Again, from Lee.  Did I mention how awesome she is?

One of my favorite things at the party was the cake.  My friend, Samantha, did such an amazing job.  She’s my definite go-to for cakes from now on.  Her rich creativity, plus moist and delicious cakes, is why I will always recommend her.  (If you live in the Winchester, VA area, and want her contact info, please let me know!)

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Beautiful … and tasty, too!

I was so excited when Marissa opened my gift. I had knit her a baby sweater in the most awesome shade of pink.  She loved it, and now wants me to make a matching one for her older daughter!

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Belly shot!

Marissa is due at the end of October, and we’re all taking bets at work to see how long she will go until delivery.  Even the patients want in on it!  The love and friendship we have for this gal is truly beautiful.  After all, most people spend over half their time with their co-workers when working a full-time job.  I’m happy that I was able to do this for her, and for all the help that I received from Lee and the other ladies on our unit!