I may or may not have caught myself checking out people’s sweaters and debating what it is made out of…
what color temperature it best represented…
how fast, based on the complexity of stitch pattern, I could take it apart…
I may or may not have unraveled while binge watching episodes of The Crown and The Ranch…
stuffed a sweater arm into my bag to unravel on a date…
easily convinced a few little girls in the back seat to unravel another sleeve for me…
I may or may not have held my breath that we wouldn’t have another 40 degree day…
cheered when we hit a below average December…
10 formally in style sweaters unraveled
1 color per 10 degrees on the thermometer
1 row knitted every day based on the weather
hours and hours of weaving ends back
Cheers to friends who dish out challenges; surround yourself with go-getters.
Cheers to the changing colors of life; control what you can control and work with what you can not.
Cheers to always finding a moment to stop and make every day.
Cheers to 2017.
I had no intention of sharing this project.
I never signed my work.
I kept track with a list in the back of my day planner.
I photographed most of them.
I had a friend hold me accountable.
But during this resolution time,
this season of reflection,
I need to share what I found…
Created mostly with trash
Without making trash
Must be an out-of-the-blue gift without a birthday or special holiday in sight
I love them.
They love them.
I gained more.
I found the magic cure
For fighting back that black cloud.
Each time I saw it coming this year
I ran and dove into this project.
The cloud still came
And sometimes it even rained
But it passed more quickly than before.
Most surprise averaged an hour of time a week.
Usually took a little detective work
Finding a friend of a friend to get a mailing address
Included a dance up the post office steps
It brought into focus hints of other people’s struggles
It made me fully realize other’s hurt
It taught me to be a better listener
During my grouchest days,
just thinking and planning the surprise fought back that cloud.
Darlings, I know this can work for you too.
Start making surprises.
See what happens.
Cheers to surprises; l love them so much.
Cheers to 2017; a year full of more ups than downs.
Cheers to 2018; let us take what we know to be true and make it better.
So I did.
I didn’t want to.
I followed directions.
I put paper down on the classroom tables before the students painted.
BUT I saved it.
I reused it.
Layers of spills and dribbles from August to December
Pictures within pictures.
A few hidden signatures.
Then just in time for gift giving
I cut the 6 gigantic table masterpieces into a bizzillion strips.
…and taught my little 4ft friends how to make trashy GIFT BOWS!
Cheers to following a silly rule.
…I still think the kids should learn how to wipe down a table themselves…
Cheers to always finding a way.
Cheers to my little 4ft friends taking home their own trash.
I loooooooove making gifts.
I loooooooove eating homemade sweets.
I loooooooove people who bake goodness.
Slice open a vanilla bean.
Pour vodka over top.
Let sit for 2 months.
Pick up a fancy jar at a thrift shop.
When they use up the vanilla, making all sorts of heavenly goodness, they can refill the jar with vodka and
More vanilla extract!
Cheers to the season of sweets
Cheers to trash free gifts that keep making themselves
Cheers to reminding special people how much they mean to you
These things I know to be true…
Chocolate will always sound good
Santa has got to be real
And kids will not use stubby crayons
I had my 4ft tall students round up all the stubby crayons and place them in the muffin tins and candy molds I bought at a thrift shop. Each day, while I eat my lunch in the teacher’s lounge, I melt them in the oven.
They are now selling like hot cakes on the Prize Cart at school. The kids are actually using their reward/good behavior tickets to buy back their own trash.
…and I am behind my desk giggling
Cheers to less plastic on the Prize Cart
Cheers to swirly colors that make marks
Cheers to trash that transforms into treasures
One row every day
Color depending on the temperature of the day
10 trendy sweaters unraveled and repurposed
Cheers to letting Mother Nature make the decisions
Cheers to being over half way
Cheers to projects and colors…they make my heart happy
We are in the heart of birthday season!
very possibly my favorite time of year…
nephews, sisters, Pops and friends all turning a year older…
me trying to keep surprise secrets…
Cheers to the little black star blanket and bow that has wrapped our surprises for a decade
Cheers to keeping a ton of plastic coated paper out of the landfill
Cheers to celebrating the days and years we get to share together
A few years ago my little one and I were gifted Garden Tour tickets by a lady who knew we could use a little extra kindness. We received a map and spent the afternoon traveling around the county visiting farms and gardens. My little one searched for fairies under lily pads. I devoured design ideas and witnessed a few eco practices that I could take back and work into my own little world.
It was the perfect gift.
When we pulled into her farm on the tour we found a series of handmade quilts displayed between trees.
I knew just enough about sewing to truly appreciate how much time each one of these beauties represented.
The colors were well thought out.
The detailed patterns were absolutely gorgeous.
The time and patience each one represented was mind bursting.
That day I planted in my heart, that someday my little house would be the home to one of these masterpieces.
Three years later I can easily call the lady who gifted us garden Tour tickets and creates these beauties, my friend.
Recycling, upcycling, reusing, making do, creating fun for little ones… our brains are wired the same way. She took my idea of a handmade home and ran with it.
Pieced together with bits and pieces of my little one’s worn out clothing, a quilt, just the right size for her bed, was created.
It is absolutely beautiful.
It will transition her from child to teen.
She will be able to keep it forever.
Cheers to finding others passionate about the same ideas
Cheers to using trash to create masterpieces
Cheers to the talent and kindness of friends
It is vacation season and we have our eye out for bulk candy stores!
On our resent trip to Florida, we found a new candy store with literally hundreds of sweet options, all without packaging!
We brought two plastic containers from our host home and ran around filling them with an assortment of treats we wanted to try. Most bulk stores will weight the empty container first and then subtract the weight when you return to the counter with your goodies.
This place made our hearts dance.
Cheers to sweets in bulk
Cheers to summer and adventures
Cheers to friends and everything good in this world
His dedication to being the best at his craft was evident within a conversation or two in our seminar class at Ball State University a few years ago.
He genuinely wanted to know what you were creating and why you were making certain choices thus challenging you to refigure design problems of your own.
He lives and breaths art.
He makes life happen.
He is so generous with his time.
A few weeks ago, a carefully wrapped set of hand blown glass cups were delivered to my mailbox. My mother happened to be over when I was unwrapping each piece and hanging them on the hooks in the kitchen. I am not sure who was more impressed with his craftsmanship and generosity. In true selfless fashion he transformed a part of my kitchen into a work of art.
Cheers to another truly talented and kindhearted person in this world.
Cheers to surrounding yourself with good people.
Cheers to only owning what really matters.
Now excuse me….I need to go have a fancy drink in my new fancy glass.