Monday, September 29, 2014

Haircut!

I finally did it. I decided to chop of all my hair.

pre-haircut
For awhile I've been tired of my very thick, mid-length hair. I feel like my hair only does one thing, because I can't put it up (too heavy) and I can't leave it down. My style lately has frustrated me to no end, seeming only good for a pulled back out of my face look or clipped up in a half-updo that makes me feel like I'm still in college.

I wanted something different. I've had long hair since I can remember: I want short hair.

But I wasn't going to go in blind. I've had three haircuts in the past four years, and only one of them I loved (this one) and that was in 2011. I merely liked my haircut in 2012, and the one in 2013 was done out of annoyance and in hair-desperation. (I seem to be having a haircut-a-year theme here...) and I have not liked my hair since the last time I cut it and thus was determined to grow it out--only, I still don't like it. It's so poofy, and everywhere in my face at once and I don't know how to manage it.

the picture I brought
After trying to deal with it for a long time I googled around for "thick wavy haircuts". In all my picture searches this one came up, and I liked it. I bought it along to my stylist at Fusion (a salon a friend in my knit group told me about) and just hoped for the best. My stylist at Fusion (Nicole, if you live local and want the same person) went above and beyond--she not only looked at my picture, she analyzed my face shape and asked about my lifestyle as she pondered over what to do with my hair.

And she did this.


Ohmygosh I love it. It's fun. It's short, and it is so me. Low maintenance, able to be dressed in a hippie way and a kawaii way. And it fits my face shape so well. I'm in love. I'm so in love I left her a huge tip and she deserved every penny of it.

Instead of making long back layers like the pictures, she left it long in the front to frame my face better. It works this way, my face shape needed this framing. And, she talked me out of the bang, saying it wouldn't suit me (and she was right). All in all--I love love love love love love love my new haircut and whenever I need another haircut I know where I will be going right back to.

Yes, I'm like super hyper about it. I think it will also grow out well. And, I liked what I saw of Fusion--only, the price was a little more expensive then what they told me on the phone (but I know that happens at places) anyway, the price of my happiness does not really have a number, so I'm stoked. Yay! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

5th Street Art House

This concludes my first month of selling in the 5th street art house in downtown Lynchburg. I've enjoyed my time this month, and will be renewing for at least a second month. Last I checked I'd sold three things, but it may have gone up since then... at least, I hope so.


There are so many interesting handmade things in the shop--and I've met so many amazing local artists. It's been an honor to add my things to such a fun place. I can't wait to make more.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I did a Cleanse

About a month ago I did the Gaia herb full body cleanse. I was really excited and also highly skeptical...but since I've been having on and off health issues for the past two years I decided to try it.


If you are interested in seeing how it was, I vloged about it every day. You can click here for the playlist of all 12 days.

If your asking yourself why you should watch these, well, I made up with a bullet point list to help you figure it out.
  1. If you are interested in doing an organic herb only cleanse.
  2. If you have issues of bloating and/or constipation and are wondering if this cleanse can help.
  3. If you have ever been interested in seeing what I look like right in the morning after I wake up.
  4. If you creepily want to know what I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
There you have it. Let me know if you have any questions and please tell me what you think!



Monday, September 22, 2014

Sign Design

I created this fancy sign to highlight my items in the new shop I am participating in! I can't wait to show you guys what it all looks like. I am hoping that selling local will generate a bit more revenue and provide the means to jump start this knitting career of mine!


When I originally created this (and I'm not a print or web designer, by any means) I saved it as a PDF file and then attempted to go to Walmart and print it off. They can't print PDFs. So then I went to CVS. They also don't print PDFs, and the clerk didn't even know what they were! Finally I texted my boss (the owner of this store where I am displaying my items, he really isn't my boss, but I don't know what else to call him) that I was going to be late to set up. I ended up in desperation going to a UPS store and they printed it right off. I hereafter shall do all my printing there. And I wasn't late after all!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Easy Fold Over Crochet Boot Socks

I created these fun little boot socks the other week to wear for fall! They are crochet with worsted weight yarn and a 4mm hook. If you want to create these yourself, you can download the PDF pattern here or check it out on youtube.


I'm so excited about the cooler weather and I have a lot of projects in the works!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Knockout Knits (Book Review)

The other week I saw another blogger posted about a book she received for free from blogging for books. I was like--that can't be real--a whole book for freeeeeee? Mailed right to your house? SIGN ME UP.

It's not a scam. You sign up, add a book (you can only review one at a time) and post a review to your blog and also to the website. Another thing--they have both e-books and print books. As I abhor e-books with the burning passion of a thousand sunsets, I was very surprised to see they offer both digital and print editions of books to review. In short, I'm hooked. 


The first thing that caught my eye was this knitting pattern book. Knitting books are relatively expensive (usually 20-30$) so I, as you can imagine, was beyond excited to receive this for free. I looked up what patterns come in it on Ravelry to see if there was anything I wanted to make. Several of the patterns appealed to me (I so want this hat and this necklace) so I requested to review Knockout Knits

The book came very fast, only taking 4 days to reach my house from wherever it shipped from. The pictures are beyond gorgeous, and each pattern is charted and written: a plus for me since I like to gravitate from one to the other when working.

In the first few chapters Laura explains some new knitting terms that she will be using in her patterns. I think of myself as an experienced knitter, but there were are few techniques she went over that I had never heard of before. Also, all of her projects incorporate these "new" techniques in varying ways, so this book would still be good for a beginner knitter. Some projects use all of them (like the shawl) where others use only one (like the hat).


The only downside that I could find is that there is no picture table of contents. In most knitting books I own, there is a page at the front where all the patterns are shown so you can just turn to the one you want to make without having to leaf through the whole book. But that is a minor setback. I still love the book and am planning on making both the necklace and the hat, as well as a few other things.

I was given this book for free, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wearing

I was beyond excited when I found this little velvet number at goodwill. It's very vintage, and although it reads that it is a size 14, it just fits me. (I'm a size 12, so I thought it would be looser, but whatever--vintage sizes run small I've found) Anyway, I love it. The colors are bright and the fabric is really soft. And did I mention that it's lined and has pockets? Well, it does.





I could totally wear this to a very dressy event with heals, but I added a...cardigan without sleeves (what do you call that thing I'm wearing, I really have no clue) to tone done the class a bit. Perfect for a laid back church service and brunch with the husband.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Easy Tote Sewing Tutorial

As soon as I saw this fabric I knew it had to become a tote. I love the beautiful Japanese style blossoms and the burgundy color. (This fabric I found at Goodwill for $3). Thus, I turned it into a beautiful cross body bag one afternoon and of course I filmed a fun tutorial in case you ever want to make your own!


This tutorial is beginner level and all steps are shown. You will need two types of fabric, a heavy outside fabric, and a lighter liner fabric, as well as access to a sewing machine! Don't worry about how much fabric--in the video I show the shapes I make so you can literally make this any size you want. Enjoy!



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Q & A #1

Hey guys! Here are my rather roundabout answers to all your questions! This was fun and I will most assuredly be doing another one.


You can click here to watch the video on my YouTube channel or press the play button below. 



Thank you to everyone who asked questions! The three I know who have blogs are Kelly, Kristin, and Heidi (link goes to her book). Have a great day!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Gender Roles and Christianity

I'm a fairly new christian who was raised in a very fundamentalist Christan church. The concept of gender roles in regards to myself is a subject I've just began to grasp on a 101 level.

Last year I wrote a blog post about the things I learned in my first year of marriage. It wasn't rocket science, I mean--I'd only been married for one year. However, in the comments one of my friends said my list made her laugh because of the stereotypical gender roles/expectations included in my post. And yes, I have been stewing over that comment for over a year. It made me think. In a good and bad ways.

Today I set down to begin brainstorming for my second year post. I want to do one every year, so in 50 years I can go back see how my marriage has (hopefully) grown. My second year of marriage is coming to a close soon. And rereading my old post got me thinking about gender roles.


I first thought about her comment. Does my marriage fall under the umbrella of stereotypical gender roles? Sometimes. Do my husband and I run our marriage because we believe these rules are rigid and we must conform? Not at all. We operate our marriage because it works for us. From the beginning my husband and I have been really open with what we both want. We are both very happy with how our marriage is working "behind the scenes" in terms of finances and chores. I am lucky to marry a man who has, more or less, the same idea of what I should be doing in our marriage that I do.

That brings me to my next thought. Is having a stereotypical marriage a bad thing? Not for me. Not for my husband. But I think the idea is more because we choose these things and less about social norms or fundamentalist pressures. And the things I learned in marriage were simply that-- things I learned. They were not meant to preach to anyone else, they are just simply a list of revelations I had about marriage after one year. Maybe they spoke to you, maybe they didn't.

But wait, I'm not done. This further got me thinking about gender roles in a broad sense. You see, I did grow up being told "men are this way" and "women are this way". And this kind of thinking has caused some problems in my marriage.

I've learned that I didn't marry a man. I married Brian. Brian is male, but he is not his maleness. I realized that when I treat Brian like my idea of what a male thinks/ does, we have problems. Instead of looking at my husband as a person, sometimes I look at him though my "male-perception" glasses.

Let me explain. Think of every stereotype you've heard about a male: that they have a higher sex drive, that they like sports, that they stare at women, that they struggle with lust, that they hate "girl" talk, that they like bacon and rugged things (just to name a few). These things are preached from many pulpits as truth and as marriage "medicine": if you only gave him more sex, if only his secretary wasn't wearing that short skirt, if only you could cook, if only you didn't talk so much...

When I start to treat my husband like a "man" is when we have trouble. For example, one time I made a date with a friend to see what I considered a "girl" movie, only to find out that my husband was a little peeved because he had actually wanted to see that movie with me. For a deeper example, I am always fearful my husband is starting at other women. Much to the point of where I often question him about where his gaze is wandering when there happens to be a particularly attractive young lady in our vicinity. It took me awhile to realize that it was wrong to question my husband in this manner--(he is quick to notice cars, but not females he tells me) but it took me even longer to realize I was treating my husband as if he would be a very specific type of person because he was a man.

And that is what I mean about gender roles. I married Brian as Carolynn. We are a man and a women, yes, but our wants-needs-desires are our own. It would be to simple to compartmentalize us and view only a male and a female. I need to learn what Brian wants, not simply give him what I think (or was told) a man needs.

And I suppose that is also the biggest thing I've learned this year about marriage.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Me.

I am an unstoppable storm of creative ingenuity. I love to walk along the confines of my mind and pull pieces of myself out to show to the world.


I am alive. Sometimes I forget that. I forget to dig deep and keep becoming. I get lost in repetition and tradition, hours after hours of folding laundry and making small noises in the wake of a passing storm, like my little voice does not matter.

It's not like anyone reminds me that it does matter. Every day the news keeps on screaming and scheming and Hollywood's lost in diets and fashion, to money hungry to be still and listen. Thus, in many ways I'm alone, in a bubble buffeted by thin images dreaming my own dreams where maybe I'll eventually like myself. For myself.


Usually I fall back on what I do know. I'm me and nobody else, and although others impact my story I'm the only one writing it. Even if I've never felt that fascinating fear of the "one that grew too old" like a cold warrior done with play locked forever behind expectations and distrust; I'm still here and kicking, moving, and sometimes focusing on this is enough. But when it's not the world crumbles and leaves me just old and gone, like a thing once amused but now used up.

I want to be free in a way I've never been before.

With Christ I'm more alive then I ever was, knowing myself and dreaming of creating all the plans He has for me. I'm learning more and more every day that a moment without Him is a moment I don't want. Ever. But still the lies breed on in this world we've created with first world problems where everyone has learned to put themselves first and promote their own agenda. If you don't agree you might be hated, but to change would be to compromise your own reflections.


And I still wonder why all the hurt and pain. Why all the lies and self-preservation? What is it all worth in the end, this drive to be better, stronger and higher? It's all empty. Better to be still and listen. Sure at the top you can see the farthest, but at what cost?

The best life is one that has loved others, I think. But those are just my small words in all the noise. Not to be remembered, because you've got Gucci shoes on your mind and perhaps a shopping spree to buy more pieces of fabric to clothe your aging body. Perhaps a different print will disguise you enough, take away your humanity and replace it with lust. Because everyone needs more things.

The need for more cripples me, it leave me thirsty and hungry--always reaching beyond my grasp to take from others like a dragon with his horde of plunder. I need it, it's mine, to add to my box I call a home that is empty of life but full of all these plastic things that for a time bring me small comfort if only I give in. They say "you won't suffer here; among your electronic pleasures all your troubles will disappear" So I listen and exchange money for a lie and friendship for a black box that shines.

If you're reaching for the top at the envy of all, think about your motives. You might want to stop. It matters not one jot or tittle how the world perceives you--that can turn on a dime. It matters most what you do. So breathe and relax, find your cornerstone and build your foundations. But not for yourself. And not with height in mind.


Instead build with curiosity. Build with love towards the clay in your hands and let your feet wander without regard to falling--be safe, but don't live in terror of breaking a few expectations. Know that you are free to dream and build. Even if naught can be seen of your toil with the naked eye.

After all maybe one day at 25 you'll stop and learn that sometimes the building can change the world. But often, it's the process that has changed the builder. And that is more important.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Except Me

Everyone seems to know what they are doing except me.

Did I miss a memo? An E-mail? A large florescent sign with an arrow?


Okay, okay, I'm sure there are others who are lost. No one has it all together all the time.

But I feel so strange. I wonder a lot if my life would look any different if I were more sold out to Christ. I wonder if I'm playing to much in the world or if I'm doing His will. I wonder why I have such drives and dreams and excitement over...knitting hats. How can I use knitting to show how much I love God? Does God care that a ball of rainbow colored yarn makes me swoon?

I don't know. But I still dream.

I mean, I know there is nothing new under the sun. But I make commitments.  I live to please. I Get It Done. I plan the next thing. My calender is full and then I forget to meditate on Him.

But He is all there is. He is all there should be on my horizon. There is nothing more important than giving my life to Him every day without fail.

I don't think I'll ever have all the answers but I know who I want to be my compass. And my boat. And the oarsman. And the sun, sea and sky.

Dear Lord, I really pray You will make me more like Yourself. I want to know You. I just lack motivation sometimes. And I am learning that I'm not that good at compartmentalizing my time.

*This post was brought to you by I Might Be Doing To Much and has been extensively edited by Mr. Anxiety. If you need me I'll be trying to get all my ducks in a row while probably writing really weird stream of consciousness blog posts. Bye!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Q & A



Hey guys! I wanted to do a little Q&A. Leave me a question in the comment box below and next Saturday I will answer it in a Q&A video. You can leave anonymous questions as well. This should be fun-- is there anything you want to know about me?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fall Fashion

I attempted to make a fashion video! It was kinda hard to film myself and find different places around my house to pose at without getting repetitive. Also, I had so many ideas but seemed to run out somewhere near the end of the video, hah. But here are my four fall outfits I plan on wearing this season.


Outfit number two is my favorite. I just love lace tights and slouchy hats! And I certainly learned a ton about filming. For example, whenever I do my next fashion video I definitely need to move slower. And hold a pose a lot longer!


What's your favorite thing you are looking forward to this fall?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Gypsy Scarf Crochet Tutorial

I crochet this amazing gypsy scarf as a consignment piece for a local shop I am putting my items in (totally nervous about this, by the way). I love it!


If you know how to crochet and are interested in a tutorial; here is how I made this. It takes 340 yards of bulky thick-thin yarn and a size 6.5 mm crochet hook. I modified a stitch pattern to create it.

I used 120 yards of dark brown and 220 yards of light tan to create this scarf by running the colors up the side. You most certainly can make this scarf in one, two, or even more colors. I'm working on a purple one as we speak. Also, please leave me a picture if you happen to create it and/or link up with the Ravelry pattern so I can see your work!

Stichonary 
  • Tr: Triple Crochet
  • Dc: Double Crochet
  • Sc: Single Crochet
  • Ch: Chain
  • Sk: Skip

The Pattern
  • Chain 122 stitches. Pattern is done in multiples of 4 sts plus 2 if you want a different size.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook *ch 3, sk next 3 ch, sc in next ch (4th); repeat from * across, turn

Row 2: Ch 4. (Tr, 2 dc in center of this last Tr, ch 1) in each ch-3 loop across to within last ch-3 loop.  Tr in last ch-3 loop, 2 dc in center of this last Tr, tr in last sc, turn.

Row 3: Ch 1, sc in first tr, (ch 3, sc) in each ch-1 space across, ending with last sc in 4th ch of turning ch, turn.

  • Repeat rows 2-3 11 times ending on a row 2 before working the finishing three rows below

Finishing Row 1: Ch 1, sc in first tr, (ch 2, sc) in each ch-1 space across, ending with last sc in 4th ch of turning ch, turn.

Finishing Row 2: Ch 4. (Tr, 2 dc in center of this last Tr) in each ch-2 loop across to within last ch-2 loop.  Tr in last ch-2 loop, 2 dc in center of this last Tr, tr in last sc, turn.

Finishing Row 3: Ch 1, sc in first tr, (ch 1, sc) in each space between the tr and two dc across, ending with last sc in 4th ch of turning ch, turn.

  • Now, seam up scarf and weave in all ends. 


Style and wear and don't forget to make one for a friend! I would love to see pictures if you happen to make this. Also, please feel free to sell or gift any item made using this tutorial.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Writing Process

I was tagged by Brita to blog about my writing process. Thank you Brita, I love your blog and reading about Columbus really makes me want to come back for a second visit.

  • What Am I Working On?

Right now I am working on To Many Things (hence why nothing really is getting done right now besides my anxiety...) I blog and am currently writing a novel on my blog as well called What Losing You Did To Me. I try to post a chapter or two of that every week. Writing a book is perhaps one of the most stressful things I've ever attempted to do. I will finish this book and I honestly don't think I'll do it again.


I also write knitting and crochet patterns for a living right now. Every month I try and publish one free pattern and one paid pattern to my shop. If you knit or crochet, you can find my patterns on Ravelry.

  • How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?

This question is kind of hard. I just love to create things. I don't know what is different about my work. I suppose it's because these things are created by me, not someone else. As for blogging, I love telling my story--and I'm not afraid to talk about my faults and shortcomings as well. I want people who read my blog to see the full picture of who I am. I have an interesting background, a good mind, poor spelling, and I love to meet and interact with people. My work is different because I am a unique person--in a pool of others, yes, but with my own eyes and my own voice.

  • Why do I write what I do?

I write stories because they keep me up at night with their tales and I feel I would do them a great disservice to keep it all bottled up where no one else can experience the world within my world. I write knitting patterns because I hope to one day operate a successful pattern company and help people make neat things. And also because these ideas come to me. I will dream of new things to knit the night before and I have a list a mile long to complete. I wish my hands were faster.

And I blog now because my story is important. As a women, whose voice can be lost in a world that has long been man-dominated. As a Christian woman who lives in a world where people understand less and less of what we believe and stand for, causing a lot of misplaced hatred to arise. There is so much out there about Christians that is so false. It is very sad when those who are ill informed bare grudges against Christians. I want to change that, at least a little bit. (And truth, many do horrid acts in the name of "Christianity"--this is even sadder...)

But mostly I just write because I am driven to. This is my 800th post.

  • How does my writing process work?

Well, if you can ever figure out how this thing operates please let me know, because I have no clue. It just works sometimes but other times I have to think really hard and each word takes a lot of effort. And many days the words won't come at all and I get scared they will never come again.

Thank you Britta for tagging me! This was an soothing and introspective blog post to write. If anyone else wants to answer the questions please do so. You are supposed to 3 tag people who then are to answer the above questions and link back to whoever tagged them. If I could I would tag Breenah (lifestyle blogger whose curly short hair I adore) ModaMama (fashion blogger and silly storyteller) and Sew Technicolor (vintage film lover and fellow yarn enthusiast). But you guys don't have to do this, just if you want too...or are in the mood!

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