Monday, November 30, 2009

At the risk of sounding like a Grinch, or what I love and hate about the holiday season

I don't much care for the holiday season. Don't get me wrong - I like the holidays themselves. It's the overblown quality of the entire season that gets to me, especially the Christmas part. The top five things I find particularly obnoxious are (with exceptions)

1. Pop renditions of Christmas songs
These are hokey and should be used sparingly, if at all.
2. Cheesy Christmas movies
All that going on about The Meaning of Christmas when they're just making the holiday that more shallow.
3. Red and green decor.
These colors should be reserved for poinsettias and other plants on which they occur naturally.
4. Excessive spending and commercialization, especially of a religious holiday
A complaint we've all heard a million times before, but a valid complaint nonetheless
5. Basically everything that's fake (fake snow, fake trees, etc.)
If the tree's not real, then what's the point?

That said, I do like Christmas on a personal level. I love being with my family and friends. I love exchanging meaningful gifts with people I care about, especially if I get to make them myself. I love getting chocolate and candy in my stocking. I love hearing the old Anglican hymns I grew up with. I love the old world pagan elements like putting a tree in your house. And I love how for me - a practicing Buddhist - it's one way I can connect to and honor my Christian heritage, and a way I'll be able to share that heritage with my Jewish fiance when he comes to visit.

So let me focus on the positive. Plus, I'm now at 13 sales!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

An adorable little thief

Our squirrel friend figures out yet another way to steal sunflower seeds.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A4A blanket complete!

Here we have the baby blanket I just made for the current Afghans for Afghans campaign. Even knit with double strands using a size 10 needle, it took me about two weeks to finish! I finally completed it at about 3 a.m., and I put it in the mail this afternoon, quite satisfied with the way it turned out. And now I am free to return to my other projects.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Some thoughts on my day job

I don't think I really appreciated humanity until I started working with developmentally disabled people a few months ago. The guys I work with (and so far, I've worked only with men) comprise what is probably the most fascinating group of people I've ever encountered. I wish I could share some of my experiences with them to show you all what I mean, but for the sake of client confidentiality I don't think I can.

Just try to imagine, say, the four or five most interesting, different, and funny people you've ever known. Imagine them all living under the same roof and interacting with one another all the time. Then imagine a couple dozen more such characters interacting with them on a daily basis, some of them living together in groups as well - and you can begin to understand what my experience at the Tri-County Center has been like.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

8 Sales, and My Current Projects

I had enough sales and custom orders coming in last week that I actually started to feel some works stress relating to my shop. Life is really good!

I'm trying to balance several projects at the moment; here are the primary ones:
1. Dad's sweater. I'm done with the shoulders and almost done with one arm; thus I have an arm, the body, and trim to go. After his, I need to make Mom's. I'm hoping to get them done by January, when both their birthdays occur.
2. An Afghans for Afghans baby blanket. Yes, I know I just made one, but I'm onto another one! I've got some lovely bright-colored wool and I'm knitting a double-thick garter stitch blanket. It should be super warm.
3. A blue lace scarf like the orange one I've got listed in my shop here. I've had it on the backburner for months, but I really need to get going on it now before scarf season is over.
4. A capelet made of deliciously soft bamboo yarn.
5. Knitted roses for my wedding bouquet. I found an amazing free pattern online.

I've also got a bear going, as usual.