Jan 31, 2012

Tuesdays Etsy Shop Update

This weekend I added more items to the shop. I really liked the beads I played with while making the stitch markers. The 18-inch doll sweater melted in my fingers like butter. I still haven't decided on whether to post the owl book thong, which may end up going to my g-ma.


If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy!Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Jan 30, 2012

Monday Manic News

What's new in the world? Well, for me, taxation of myself and my customers. I have figured out what to do to be able to collect sales tax and how that works. Yay! I also found out that all the tracking of income and expenses occurs on the federal forms, so nothing new to do with the state income taxes. I also found out how and where to register my business.

I have made some stitch marker sets and a couple of book thongs that will be going in the shop. I have yet to take pictures. The items were finished around 11 p.m. last night, so no daylight for nice pictures.

I realized that making the stitch markers and book thongs was really easy. I love the colors I chose for the thong parts and the pendants on each of the book thongs. My favorite is the silvery purple braided thong with the owl pendant.

I may send that one to my grandma instead of placing it in the shop. Grandma collects owls and really likes to read her Bible. One can never have too many book thongs!

Also, new this week, I am embarking on adding cables to my project for the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. The sweater has columns of light purple over a base of dusty purple. The columns are braided, which has been enough to work on so far. But, I needed a way of bringing the columns to a nice finish near the top. So, I've started bringing the columns together through the use of cabling them towards the middle of each section. Eventually, there will be only one column continuing to each shoulder.

Anyways, that about wraps up this issue of the Monday Manic News. What's new in your neck of the woods?

Jan 29, 2012

Sunday Lectionary Stop

Today is the fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. I still get a kick out of understanding what that means. The readings for today are from Deuteronomy, First Corinthians, and Mark.

Deuteronomy 18, 15-20~ The Lord will raise a prophet from among the Israelites as a leader for the people. This prophet represents Messianic foreshadowing of Jesus. However, the passage also shows God's insistence on being the only god of the Israelites. God will cause any prophet who bears false witness to God's commands to die. To die is to be cut off, ostracized from company, separate from God's love.

I Corinthians 7, 23-35~ Paul is writing to the Corinthians to encourage them to serve the Lord without distractions. Paul states that both men and women are distracted and divided when married. marriage makes a person focus on the here-and-now, while non-marriage is a state of focus on the Lords. Paul emphasizes that is is he who is telling the Corinthians this, not the Lord. I can see this in my own life. When I was much younger, I loved God with all my hear. As I grew older, I gave my heart to others. I became distracted from God for a long time. Now, I am turning back to Him in continual cycles of conversion.

Mark 1, 21-28~ Jesus teaches at a synagogue on the Sabbath and commands an unclean spirit to leave a man, which it does. The unclean spirit recognized Jesus as the "Holy One of God." Jesus is recognized by the people as a teacher with authority (a prophet) unlike their scribes. Both the unclean spirit and the people of Capernaum know that Jesus has power and recognize his strength to command them.

Synthesis and Conclusions~
Today's passages reflect on the Prophetic power of God and Love of God. By being unmarried and, therefore, free to focus all life's energy on God, we are able to see God and love Him fully. God wants us to love him completely. That desire for a complete love is what powers the idea of false prophets dying. Jesus recognized and loves the man with the unclean spirit. By freeing the man of the unclean spirit, Jesus shows his love for the man. Jesus also shows his strength in that process.

What do you think?

Jan 28, 2012

Saturday Weekly Wrap Up

I'm sitting at my desk, coffee cup to the right, lunch to the left. Outside I can hear the buzz of a neighbor's saw as he is cutting wood for a home improvement project. Bright, gorgeous sunlight is flooding the front room.

From this vantage point, I look back on this week. The week started with me in the hospital until Tuesday. I am surprised at how much has changed since Sunday. I have a better understanding of headaches, rebound headaches, and the meninges. I am astounded at how knowledge of bodily processes can mediate some of the pain. I also have watched a documentary called, The Science of Healing, which talked about exercise, diet, music, visual stimulation, and deep breathing as ways to fix what ails us in this time and that of the ancient Greeks.

Following in their example, the lead researcher in the documentary explores her own experiences with contracting inflammatory arthritis in her knees just after her mother's funeral. She visits a Greek island with some neighbors and finds herself walking the hills and playing in the fresh sea air. While there, her arthritis goes into remission. When she returns home, it comes back. Intrigued, she starts to change her life to reflect the life she lived on the island. She adds walking and swimming to her life, follows a Mediterranean diet, and practices breathing exercises. As she undergoes these lifestyle changes, the arthritis again goes into remission.

That documentary got me thinking about my own life. I have twice been in the hospital because of meningitis. I almost died in September. That is becoming more real to me as each day passes. God didn't want to take me hen, so there must be a purpose for my continued life here. I don't know what that purpose entails. I know that it will draw others closer to God through my example and attitude. I have been thinking a lot about the choices we make each day.

I was craving chocolate last night. The only chocolate in the house was chocolate chips in an inaccessible cupboard and hot chocolate powder in envelopes. Neither was what I really wanted. I wanted a big, crispy chocolate bar. I thought about getting in the car and driving to the grocery store. But, I stopped myself for two reasons. One, it was after 10 p.m. and I wasn't sure the store would be open. And, two, I realized that it was a craving. I wouldn't gain anything by going to get the chocolate bar. I also realized that I really wanted the crunchy aspect of the chocolate bar. So, I ate an apple instead. My body is much happier, and by extension so am I, with my eating the apple and not heavy chocolate.

Does this mean I will always choose the apple over the chocolate? No, it just means in that one instance I made a conscious choice to change my destiny. It will take the accumulation of many such choices to see any difference on the scale in my bathroom. But, that doesn't matter. In the now of last night, I chose health. That is what matters. I know that my purpose involves choosing health. Otherwise, I'd have been gone in September.

What do you think your purpose is? If you know me, what do you think my purpose is?
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy!Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Jan 27, 2012

Fun Friday

For this week's Fun Friday, I thought you might like to see how I relax with my crafting on Ravelry. This is a Facebook of sorts for crafters who work with yarns, knitting, crochetting, weaving, and spinning.

One of the forums I really enjoy is the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC). They have created a virtual world where we get to craft to prompts related to lots of different prompts like those one might see in the classes at Hogwarts. This forum allows me the opportunity to engage in some imagination, craft with yarn, and have a social outlet. The orompts and tangents the discussions go off in always lead to learning something new each time I go online, and sometimes even challenge me. There is a lot of excitement and good-natured competitiveness with this group.

Another forum I really enjoy is the Bundles of Joy group. They craft things for all ages, though mostly babies and children for those living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, USA. This is one of the coldest spots in the lower 48 and one of the poorest areas in my country. So, far, I've been working on a crocheted blanket for the group. They are full of folks who don't stress about making things and cheer each other on to completing various projects for the people on the reservation.

A third group I'm involved with on Ravelry is the For Our Vets group. This group makes items for the vets in VA hospitals and nursing homes. This month we are doing a craft-a-long of making to totes for the vets. The type of thing changes monthly.

Anyways, that's my bit of fun on Ravelry. If you're in there look into some of these groups. And, remember, crafting is supposed to be fun!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy!Don’t forget to Subscribe to my RSS feed!

Jan 26, 2012

Inside my shop

My shop is centered in my living room of my small home in the woods of Maine. I have a green, wing backed chair that I love knitting in while listening to movies on NetFlix or music on Pandora. Beside the chair is a wooden bookcase from a diy-finish it yourself store. It holds my idea books, sketches, supplies, and some yarn. I also house my lotions for the dry winter months there. I have a tuffet, though not a muffet, which has three legs with brown high heels as its base.

The room is square and there are windows to the south letting in wonderful light throughout the day. I have a chaise lounge as part of my couch, a metal and glass coffee table inherited from my partner's mother. I did etch it with a solution to add frosted lines and squares tying in with the modern esthetic of the piece. On the coffee table, sits q wooden tray also from the same mother's home. The tray holds a white wicker basket that holds the various remotes for a modern home.

There's a glider rocker in the corner by the television. I don't use the television much because of the headsches, but it is there for when we want to watch it. Beside the glider rocker is a stand that hss two wide and long shelves with three smaller shelves above. A lamp with a jungle leaf for the base sits on top of this stand.

Then, there's the desk, with all of its wires and electronics. We use a dining room chair as the desk chair. It is covered in a ripple stitch afghan that we picked up along the way. The floors are light hardwood and feel great under hand knit socks. The walls are an icy blue, which is not too cold even in the Maine winter.

This has been a little peek into my design studio amd home. What does your dream crsfting space look like?

Traditional Thursdays

Beginning with this week in January, 2012, I plan to post my ramblings about the three traditional subjects of this blog: God, Homosexuality, and Crafting/Knitting. Please feel free to reply with questions, either here or through Twitter, @cathseeker.

Recently, I was in the hospital with severe pain from debilitating headaches. Going to the Emergency Department and saying I need help was a hard choice, but a good choice. Telling humans things are beyond my ability to cope is some times easier than telling God. I have a higher standard for what God allows of me than what others expect of me. This is a silly thing to do to myself. God understands my situation better than anyone can, including myself.

God isn't worried about the individual details of the tapestry that is my life in a way. He is more interested in the big picture and where I end up eventually. Heaven is a possibility for me as well as for everyone one else, but so is Hell. These are real places. I cannot see or touch them, but neither can I see or touch the surface of the moon, but I believe it to be solid and dusty. Heaven is the full embodiment of connection with the Triune God, while Hell is the complete and utter opposite. To have one, the other must exist, at least on our plane of existence.

Heaven and Hell are like a knit stitch. One side is knit, the other side is purl. You can't have one without having the other. I'm not blaming one stitch or the other either. I'm a left-handed knitter, so I pick my stitches and find purls just as easy as knit stitches. My right-handed knitter friends don't necessarily have that same luxury. They carry the yarn in the right hand, so they throw their stitches and change the yarn position with more steps than us pickers do. I like the efficient and deft little movements of my fingers when working with my knitting.

I like that I can while away the hours with little noise and not end up with too bad of a headache. The meningitis from September is following me around like a bad penny. I call it my constant companion, probably always will as it is a part of me, now. I had been re-hospitalized for the pain from a headache that I'm still having that's been going on since Wednesday, a week and a day ago.

The doctors adjusted my medications, but the strongest thing they told me was that I have to wait out the headaches. Though, they did give me strong pain relievers for severe pain, changed a sleeping medication, and incorporated other medications. The strong pain relievers have a tendency for abuse, so I am being cautious about using them.

The hospital staff and nurses were great with including my partner. They recognized her positive effect on my health and the strength our relationship gives each of us. The nurses also reminded me that my partner would be able to help me get through the changes going on with work. I have been on Family Medical Leave Act for most of the 12 weeks allowed, and it doesn't make business sense to hold my job any longer. My employer is working with me to find a different position that I may be able to work with, but there is no guarantee of that going through.

As a shop owner through Etsy, I understand the business case for not holding my job. The business deserves someone who can be at work, interacting with clients and staff, and fulfilling all work duties of a lead staff. At this time, that is not myself. This is not a personal reflection on me or the work place. Both my employer and I are trying to find a way to keep me employed and yet get the job done too.

I have learned that my job title is not who I am through this process of doing what is good from a business standpoint. I am also learning patience through this process of healing. I have learned that I am able to go through drastic changes and not think of the changes as a catastrophe. This is just a change, an opportunity to find some other way of working.

What about you? How do you react to changes at work or in your health?

Jan 15, 2012

I just opened a new Etsy shop!

New Etsy Shop!!

Feel free to come on over and peruse the shop. I have just started unpacking and will continue to add new items throughout the week. Once everything is situated I will add new items weekly.

This has been a dream for a long time. I can't believe it is happening so fast. And, it's so easy!!