Thursday, January 31, 2008

Crunchy Christians

A couple weeks ago I was scanning the groups on Ravelry when I came across the group, "Crunchy Christian Crafters." Under the heading it read, "Are you too crunchy for your Christian friends and too Christian for your crunchy friends?" or something like that. I was very intrigued. After reading some descriptions and threads in the group, I decided to become a member--being a Crunchy Christian perfectly describes me!

I am a Christian, and my relationship with God is very important to me, as is raising Matthew in a home with Christian values. I know that God entrusted us as humans with the Earth and its resources, and I truly feel that by wasting and devastating the Earth as we have been we are not being good stewards. I do not believe that having "dominion" gives us free reign to do whatever we like. I try my best to live simply, recycle, not waste, etc. I'm also a breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, homemade babyfood making mama!

I did some additional research regarding Crunchy Christians and found an interesting article here as well as a thread from the motheringdotcommune forum.

I deeply value my relationships with others who have different lifestyles and beliefs from me, but it is nice to know that there are some people out there making similar choices...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Well, it's been a little while. I feel like I've been busy and had a lot going on, but at the same time I've been busy doing a whole lot of nothing. Does that make sense? DH had a stomach bug, DS has been on the go, and I've been jumping from (unfinished) project to project. So, it seems that there is so much to blog about, but at the same time not much exciting. Does all of that make sense?
Matthewhas sure been going and going. I thought that once he started crawling he would wear himself out and sleep more, but that isn't necessarily true. When he sees something he's not supposed to get into (like the dog beds), he says, "ooh," then crawls really quickly towards it. It's actually pretty funny. He's also pulling himself to a standing position with the coffee table and sofa. He falls a lot, though, so I am constantly watching and catching him. He is a busy little boy!

I'm still working on Lady Eleanor and am now about half-way done. I'm still enjoying the project and the yarn. It's getting pretty large, though, so it's not the best car project.

I needed a little project for the road, so I decided to start on some Citrine Socklets (but mine are taupe). I haven't made socks for a while, so I am enjoying the feel of delicate yarn and needles again.
Of course, Pat's sweater isn't finished yet. I just can't bring myself to finish it. I don't know why. It's just not a very exciting project. I'm a horrible wife!

Heidi's gift blog is up and running for anyone who's interested in joining. It's motivation for us all to complete a couple knitted gifts (or crocheted or sewn) a month in order to have a stash when December rolls around again. However, I'm not sure if I'll meet this month's goal!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A New Obsession

Over the weekend I put aside my knitting projects and worked on some sewing. Since hauling out my sewing machine to make some bags for Christmas, I've been just a little obsessed. I bought a couple of books and fabric, asked my aunt for a some quiliting lessons (still to come...), and actually did some sewing! Both of these patterns are from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. They were easy, fun, and I'm pleased with the results. I've actually used both of the items already. So, without further ado, first I have a vintage apron. It was my first time gathering fabric, and it probably took me about four hours in all. I'm sure that if you were more experienced than me, it would take about half that time. I'm happy with four hours, though, since I'm used to knitting projects that often take days, weeks, months, even years to complete!

Next I have the "artsy clutch." Amy Karol recommends the use of flannel instead of interfacing. I've never used interfacing before, so I can't really make a comparison, but I do love the way the clutch feels--so soft, yet also sturdy.
Now, Keri is having a bread-basket sew along. I'm excited to learn some more new sewing techniques. Thanks, Keri!

Friday, January 11, 2008

"Trouble" in Action

A couple days ago when I was taking these out of the oven,Matthew got into this!
(I washed him up right after I took the picture).

I'll have some sewing (that's right, sewing) news next time. :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Here Comes Trouble...

It has been snowing all morning, and Matthew and I have been enjoying our time inside. He is crawling now, which puts life in a whole new perspective for him (and us)! It's been amazing watching him go from rolling over to sitting up to rocking to lunging to crawling. Pat and I were just talking about how excited we were when he first reached out and grabbed a toy. Now he wants to reach out and grab everything in sight! We spent the weekend "babyproofing" the house, but there are still many more things we need to do.

I've been somewhat frustrated with Matthew's sleeping situation lately (ok, for a while now). Basically, he'll only fall asleep when he's nursing or in his car seat. He usually sleeps for half an hour at a time, and lately we've had trouble getting him to sleep at night when we haven't before. When he wakes up in the middle of the night we bring him into our bed, so now he's in that habit and wakes up at 11:00pm on-the-dot. I'm having a hard time letting him "cry it out," but we're also not sleeping very well. I'm also concerned that he's not getting enough sleep during the day. I don't want to do anything drastic, but I think that something needs to change. Any suggestions are welcome!

I've been making progress on Lady Eleanor, but I've also been working on some other projects. I started the bobble bag (rectangular geometric bag) from One Skein, and probably would have finished had I not ran out of yarn. I even have some fabric for the lining! The bobbles and color of the bag remind me of (slightly out of focus) blueberries--yum!

Ihave a goal for next Christmas. Actually, I have a number of goals. I would really like to have an Advent calendar next year, and I found this pattern for mini stockings. For some reason I had a really difficult time with the first stocking! There were some abbreviations that I wasn't sure about, so I decided to make up my own meanings. Well, that didn't work. So, I had to stop being lazy for a moment, turn the computer back on, and look them up. It definitely helped the next time around! Anyway, I'd like to have enough stockings for the Advent calendar ready by next December, which means 2-3 a month. I have a good start with two!

Another goal is to work on some knitted gifts throughout the year instead of saving them up for December. Heidi is working on setting up a gift knitting KAL, so I'll keep you posted on when that's up and running. I always need extra motivation for long-term goals!

Oh, I forgot to mention in my previous post that I'm making Matthew's baby food. I feel that it's something positive to help keep our garbage waste down. It's also kinda fun!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New Year, but the Same Me

Last night my husband and I celebrated the New Year at about 8:30 pm with a bottle of champagne saved from our wedding (two and a half years ago!). We discussed our New Year's resolutions as well as what we've been thankful for in 2007. I had to admit to him that although I have grand plans for 2008, there are some things that are just in my personality that I don't think will ever change completely. For instance, I never do my own laundry until I have an avalanche of clothes--both the dirty and the clean ones that I decided not to wear but threw in there instead of hanging them back up--cascading from my laundry basket and closet. This has always been the case, whether I'm being reminded by my mother, college roommate, or husband about "when are you going to do your laundry?" So... I'd love to be more organized, but I honestly don't know if it will ever be fully attainable.

I also believe that if there's something you want to change in your life, you should start right then and there instead of waiting for a given day to do it. One thing I've been working on for several months now is cutting down on the amount of trash I throw away. Here's what I've been doing so far:
1.) Eating more leftovers before they go bad and we have to throw them away.
2.) Buying what I can in bulk so that there is less packaging.
3.) Trying to make more dishes "from scratch" so that there is less packaging.
4.) Buying less items packaged in plastic, even if it's recyclable plastic.
5.) Recycling--this can sometimes be frustrating, though, because there are many restictions in our county for what you can recycle (for instance #1, 2 plastic BOTTLES only).

Now, here are some goals that I have not yet been able to get to and would really like to do soon:
1.) Create a compost pile.
2.) Do more baking, especially of bread so that I don't have to buy it packaged in numerous layers of plastic bags.
3.) Apply the "reuse" and "reduce" categories of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle more frequently.

I know I'm on my way to leaving less of a mark on this Earth, but there is always more I feel that I can do.

I'd also like to apply the phrase "quality, not quantity" to all areas of my life, including what I eat, how I spend my time, the knitting projects I undertake, what I read, etc. For instance, since my "free time" is limited, I want to make sure that I work on knitting/craft projects that I REALLY ENJOY. That way I won't feel guilty about spending my time or money on something that I'm doing half-heartedly.

Which brings me to an update on Lady Eleanor--I am loving this project! I am on tier 7 of 33, and each row takes me about an hour, but I really don't mind since I'm enjoying it so much. I like having the small goal of finishing one little rectangle at a time, and before I know it I have another row completed. I highly recommend this project!

I hope that the New Year brings all of you much happiness, joy and peace. :)