Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Write: Again and Again

Today's Write Post:  Write about a time when you have realized that you are at a new beginning or when you notice your whole life spread out before you, just waiting for that first step.

Here is my effort:

It was so hard to remember, after all, it was so new.  It was so new it sparkled like sunlight on melting snow.  The winter was almost over and so was my relationship.  A whole new world opened up to me.  Although it wasn't really new, it had just been locked away for so long.

It didn't matter what time I came home.  I could go out with my friends without having to worry about being home so dinner was made.  I could go out whenever I wanted, without worrying about making sure he was entertained first.  It was never fair, but I had long ago given up the constant fight over it.  My world was like a cave, and now I stood standing on the edge being bathed with sunlight.

What to do first?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Inspire: Rebirth

Sorry about the late post.  I wasn't around a computer yesterday and forgot that I had the day off work. 

This Sunday is Easter.  I know it's a weird topic to talk about when we just had Ostara, but my family is Christian so I get both holidays.  Plus it means that my celebration of spring gets stretched out a couple weeks, yay!  And lots of nifty colored eggs.

Easter is about rebirth.  To me, it's about giving up something so that something can be reborn.  I celebrate the first buds on the trees and the return of life. It's a way to retouch with my family after the cold winter as the extended family often gets together.  It's one more step to spring.

What is being born again in your life?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Create: Courage Essay

I have not created an object to share with you this week.  Instead, I have created a change in myself.

I have always been environmentally minded.  I've gone through the Oh My Gosh What Are They Doing?!?!?!  phases in my youth.  But while I've always signed petitions and talked about them with some friends, I've never fully made a plan and stuck to it.  And I've often ended up a hermit because there is too much sadness, too much anger, too much bad stuff going on to fight it all and make any difference. 

I fully share my beliefs with friends that Walmart has some serious concerns, such as keeping their wages and hours set so that they do not have to provide health care for their workers, and paying women less than men (although that unfortunately is a standard everywhere).  Plus, the big business tends to run smaller businesses out of business. 

I have, at times, chosen to boycott Walmart and have not shopped there.  But yet the Dollar General in my town often saw my business because it was convenient and I was broke.  Unfortunately, because Walmart is the only thing open past nine and I often go looking for craft supplies around then, I have begun shopping at Walmart again.  I found ease and convenience to triumph over my ideals.  I try not to shop there, but sometimes I do.

One of my  Imbolc goals for this year was to stand up for my beliefs and stick to them.  I feel as though I am finally following through on my beliefs. 

Greenpeace sent out a video earlier this month about KitKat, Nestle, and Orangutans.  Nestle, the maker of KitKat, my favorite candy bar ever, has been buying palm oil from a company that is destroying Indonesians rain forests.  In turn, pushing the Orangutans toward extinction. 

Orangutans are not something I think of when I think of when I think favorite animal.  But they are cool.  And after reading the Discworld books with the Librarian, I cannot turn away from this awesome animal.  I chose to stop purchasing products from Nestle.  And I have researched which products those are, too.  I see quite a few on the list that I normally purchase.  But until Nestle takes responsibility for it's actions, I feel I cannot support them. 

I could take an easy way out and read more and more about it, thinking that Greenpeace is an extreme organization.  After all, Nestle did just decide to stop buying directly from a company destroying the forest.  But they still buy from companies buying from that company.  I could just say, oh it's not that big of a deal.  I could just stop buying KitKats.  But I am stepping up to my ideals and trying to stick with it.  Let's hope Nestle does the same.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Write: Standing Up

One of my dreams as a child was to be a singer. I remember standing on a stool as a kid and singing a concert for my parents with a hair brush. I went through many years of choir and a summer of private lessons. I had a solo in middle school. But there has always been a hitch in my plans, a hitch to the point where I abandoned the goal very early on. Of course, I'm sure my interest in science and literature helped as well.

That solo? I'm pretty sure someone else sang it because I suffer stage fright. It is absolutely terrifying for me to stand in front of a group of people and open myself up that way. I'm working on it. I let people hear me sing along to the radio now. And I don't mind if I randomly sing lyrics around a few people.

Today's Write is fiction, something that may happen in the future, something that will take Courage to do. What do you need courage for?


Monday, March 22, 2010

Inspire: Courage and Getting Stuff Done

Ahh, it's Monday! And me without a prepared post. Luckily, my notes are on paper rather than the computer.

Going through this downtime, again, with my computer, makes me think about what I need to get accomplished rather than sticking my head in the sand. My planned post for this week was about Courage, about taking the leap into doing things that you aren't comfortable with and making it your own.

I think a part of courage is also knowing that you would much rather hide and play the hermit (a favorite past time of mine previously), but instead you keep on going and pushing through it.

I really feel like being a hermit after my computer crashed again. I don't even want to look at it as I'm pretty sure the motherboard burned on it, for the third time, and it is no longer covered under warranty. But I will take it in at some point and get it to work. In the mean time, I'm canceling my service and saving up money for a new one, using the computers at the library and at work.

My courage this week is continuing to update this blog in a regular fashion, even though I won't have home access for probably four months.

What is courage for you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Create: Crap on Toast!

No, I'm not posting about actual crap on toast. It's a craptastic four-day weekend for me because my computer decided that, once again, it hates me. It decided not to come out of sleep mode again, which to me signals that I need yet another motherboard/hard drive/computer part. And it is no longer under warrantee.

This signals that I will not be able to post pictures of my projects any time soon. I am thinking of borrowing a friends computer or seeing what options I have, but for at least a little while, I will not be able to transfer pictures.

So... While I intended to have a card posted today that you all could download and be pretty with, I will instead refer you to a wonderful project over on Craft. It's making a water bottle carrier out of old cargo pants. How awesome is that?

I made these last night for my son and I, and I think I may extend the waterbottle bag into a purse object for myself later.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Extra! Noumenia Goals

Here is my list of Family goals for this last month:
1.  Make a schedule and stick to it. - I mostly followed this
2.  Exercise regularly - Epic Fail
3.  Give the child a chore list like he's been asking me to - Accomplished, but child forgot that he has it.
4.  Make sure we do homework/spelling tests - Almost accomplished.  He hasn't had many spelling tests since then

I've had a lot going on this month, which doesn't excuse my lack of meeting goals, but it contributed. Every time I felt like I could start on something, I got sick again, or my neck seized up. This month I took time during Noumenia to pray to Apollo to help me with my goals. So I should accomplish them this time, and I am making a smaller list.

New monthly family goals:
1. Exercise regularly - Does not have to be every day, but it needs to happen.
2. Make sure homework/spelling/assignments get done on time.

Here are last months personal goals:
1.  Work on poetry - Uhm... no.  I worked more on stories.
2.  Submit a piece of writing/poetry/craft - I submitted something on a forum.
3.  Work ahead on blogging/projects - I was on top of this until this week.
4.  Start planning crafts for holidays (I will not wait for the last minute this year!) - Yes!
5.  Keep up with housework - Mostly.

I think I'm going to skip monthly goals this time because I've already got too many things going on.  We will see how this month goes and check in next time the moon is new.

Peace!

Write: Acrostic Choice

Today's challenge is to write an Acrostic Poem.  Acrostic poetry is, basically, a chosen word vertically down the side and lines starting (or ending or in the middle) with the letter.  These resources can help if you need more information.

ReadWriteThink
Acrostic Poetry

Choose one of these Spring words for your poem!
Spring
Ostara
Equinox
Change
Choice
Balance

Here is my offer!

Starting new, the world
Pauses to breath it's fill of
Rain-scented air.
In the warming earth,
New sprouts
Grow.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Inspire: The Return of Spring

Spring Equinox, also known as Ostara is just around the corner.  On March 20th, it will officially be spring!  It is a time of rebirth and new life as the sap starts flowing faster and green takes the place of white and gray.  It's a great time to start your garden and celebrate the end of winter.

For Pagans, Ostara is like Easter.  Things are reborn and we give thanks for making it through the winter. 

What will you do to celebrate Spring, Ostara, Easter?  What does the rising temperature encourage you to do?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Create: Green Lid

So, this week has been busy between my car not running right, little sleep, and pulling something in my neck.  I'm finally feeling better and I should get my car back, again, tomorrow, but it hasn't left a lot of time for crafting.  As I write this, I still have a stack of things that need to be done by tomorrow... and I have no crafting time tomorrow...

So instead of a craft involving my heritage and some St. Patrick's stuff, I offer this and a round up of posts from the wonders of the inner nets. 

Tadaa!  I finally finished my hat.  I made one for my sister for xmas, my mom for her birthday, and now it's taken me six weeks to finish what takes a day.  And I've got a friend who wants one, and my son tried this one earlier and is absolutely adorable in it.  I'll have to make him one too.  The picture is bad, but it's dark green with a black strap.  First time making one with a different colored strap.  I think it's growing on me but I may have to redo it.

The pattern is from Ravelry, and is no longer free, but it is the Swirls Cap pattern by Sophia Kessinger.

I made one of these tulips yesterday, but forgot to take pictures of it at work.   That about sums up my heritage crafting. :)
These split pea shamrocks are awesome.  I might have to try to kick some out for next week, but I doubt I'll get to it.
Shamrock origami.  I did this last year and will have to make a few more for this year.

Have fun!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Write: The Family Tree

Typically, family heritage is represented by a tree.  The child is the trunk it branches from there.  It's always struck me as weird because there is no end to how far out you go, and it's going out from the child.  Why isn't it a roots up approach?  The roots are the spreading strains of family that support and raise a child up.  But that's me.

Today's challenge is to think of the Family Tree a different way.  What do you think of when you think of your family?  A roots up approach?  Planks of a house?  Bricks in the hearth?  Constellations of relations (hah, that rhymes)?  Once you have a concept, take ten minutes and write what it means to you.

Click the 'Read more' to... read more. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Inspire: Celebrate Your Heritage

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do.  With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.  
~Margaret Mead

Next week is St. Patrick's Day.  Traditionally celebrated here in the US with green beer, drunken parties, and turning bodies of water green.  St. Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland.  His history is often misunderstood as well.  We Pagans tend to go overboard and wear black on this day as protest against his driving out the snakes from Ireland, which we think means killing the Pagans.  I admit, I did my turn wearing black in high school.

But St. Paddy's day isn't about snakes or Pagans.  It's about national, cultural, and ethnic pride.  The big celebration has come about not to celebrate the man but to celebrate the country.  This is year, as the day of green rolls around, I am thinking of my own history and genetics.

As my father wasn't in the picture growing up, I don't know half of my heritage.  The half of my family that I do know is such a mish-mash that I really don't know what I am made up of.  When my grandma died, we lost contact with the parts of the family that study genealogy.  However, I do believe we are in some part Dutch, based on family comments and last name.  There may be some Irish or English, German, and Norwegian.  My son, I believe, is mostly German through his father.  But he isn't in the picture anymore either, so we can't really ask.  But based on last name and what I remember, it's definitely a huge part of his genes.

I've always felt a little sad when it comes to thinking on ethnic heritage as mine is so hard to come by.  It seems like everyone else can sport this flag or that flag and say "That is where we come from," or "My grandparents came from there."  Me?  I just say we're a bunch of mutts from the US.  Some day I may get into it, but not right now.  That doesn't stop me from wondering, however.

This week our Inspiration comes from family, heritage, and the past.  Where does your family come from?  Who do you call your family?  Is blood more important than ties of friendship or the other way around?  What makes you special?

Wiki on St. Patrick's Day

Friday, March 5, 2010

Create: A Maze of Choices

I kind of embroider.  I say 'kind of' because I rarely do so.  I've always got big plans on doing a big piece, but never get around to it.  The bag I'm currently using for work is a thrift store find.  It had a funky logo on front that, while cool, was totally not my style so I blacked it out.  But time and moisture has started fading the black.  I've thought about getting a patch and covering it, but once again, haven't gotten around to it.

I ran across this idea on The Anti-Craft! site and finally decided that it would be a great patch for my bag.

Yup, the one side didn't turn out straight, I think it happened when I ironed the backing on.  But I still think it looks nifty.  And it definitely has set me down the path of making a more intricate patch for my bag later.  I've already got a few designs in mind from Urban Threads.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Write: Choices

I wrote two pieces, but I'm going to share with you the more intimate one.  It's autobiographical, something that I think I want to get more into.  Maybe add a bit more fiction to it, but it's something I want to explore.

When have you had to make a choice?