Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Neverending Blanket is Complete!

The Neverending Blanket is complete!  I should probably change the name of it but I like it the way it is.  It's the first large blanket I've ever made.  I started it in early 2011.  It didn't really take me 2 whole years.  It was one of those projects that I would work on furiously for a couple of weeks and then not touch it for a few months.  This cycle continued and, the larger it grew, the more I thought I would never finish it.  This project felt a bit overwhelming at times.

A few weeks ago, I took a week off of work and just stayed home with my family.  It was laid back and wonderful.  That week I took a good look at the progress I had actually made.  Initially I was going to make this blanket big enough to fit on a twin bed for one of my boys.  However, they have quilts my mother made and my husband and I made fleece tie blankets for them at Christmas too.  So I laid out the blanket as it was and really looked at it.  I hadn't done that in a while because I usually had it folded up so that I could continue working rows.  After looking at it, I realized I could be finished with it if I wanted to be.

I just needed to make that decision.  "It is good, just as it is."

Once I did, I finished the stripe I was working on and then added a darker gray border around the edge.  In one afternoon I had gone from "this will never end" to "this is finished".  My husband immediately took a nap on the couch with it.  My sons argued over who got to use it.  That night, I curled up under it's comfortable weight and warmth it provided.  It's not large enough to fit a bed but it's larger than a regular lap blanket.  It's perfect just as it is.

Are you sensing where I am going with this?  If I can decide that this mammoth project that became an uphill battle to finish is perfect just as it is, can't I decide the same about myself?  I always struggle with changes and goals that I make for myself.  Some of them are easy and attainable, but some of them seem never ending as well.  I don't view this blanket as giving up, rather I think I looked at it with new eyes and realized I was the only one keeping it from being complete and perfect, just as it is.  I'm the only one who keeps myself from seeing that I'm good, just as I am.  I can definitely strive to challenge myself and create a variety of goals but I need to accept me for me.  You should try it.  Accept you for you.

I realize this is just a blanket but it really did make me see that I put up my own road blocks.  I make things harder than they need to be for myself.  I am much too hard on myself.  Sometimes, we just need to look at ourselves with new eyes and say "I am good, just as I am."

Project Neverending Blanket complete!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Crochet to Help Others

I hesitated in writing this post at first.  It felt wrong to "brag" about doing a good deed or helping a charity.  However, then I realized that I was inspired to search out these volunteer opportunities because other people blogged about these types of things.  If my post inspires someone else to help another person, then I think that is a good thing.

I recently crocheted a couple of shawls using acrylic yarn.  I love the idea of a prayer shawl.  The basic idea is creating a shawl, and, while you are working on it, you send out love, prayers, and good thoughts to bring the person who wears it some comfort.   At first, I didn't know who I was going to give them to but I enjoyed making them.

Last week I started researching some different charities that use handmade items to help other people.  There are a bunch of groups out there.  I wanted to find something local so I could help my community and I wanted to be able to make things that inspire me so I will keep doing it.

For these shawls, I decided to donate them to the local hospice in my town.  I have had several friends in recent years who have lost loved ones and they always have wonderful things to say about hospice and the services they provide.  I wanted to do something to bring a little extra love and comfort to someone and their family in their time of need.

Last Saturday I took the shawls over and dropped them off with some wonderfully kind people.  It felt pretty good and I want to make some more soon.  I am looking into some other options to donate to and will share more on that soon.  I feel strongly led to do more for others currently and I intend to act on it.  Big or small, helping others is the right thing to do and, let's face it, we feel better about ourselves when we do it too.  We also set the example for our children, families, friends, etc. when we give back.

What charities are important to you and how do you contribute?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bloggin' Ain't Easy

Blogging Lesson #1:  You can't grow a blog if you don't post for over 2 months.  Lesson learned.

I was doing so well at the beginning of the year with scheduling posts, taking photos, and actually blogging.  Then my day job took a lot out of me and, when I wasn't working, I was just too tired to do much of anything.  I should know better by now -- when I'm not creating and focusing on my creative dreams, I'm not the best me I can be.  It ebbs and flows though and I can't beat myself up over it.

However, I haven't completely forgotten my goals for the year.  I do have some updates regarding my goal to grow veggies and I actually finished the neverending blanket!  I guess I need to come up with another name for it.  I'll share more later on both goals.

For now, I leave you with this fine chap...Happy Friday!