Monday, September 23, 2013

Plan + Pattern + Pop Rocks + Post Office = Mission Accomplished

The Plan:  to join Vicki at Two Bags Full for her Pink Scarf Project.
"Pink Scarf Project."
 Simply stated - it has only one goal~ 
 To bring a smile to the face of a woman who is fighting her own battle with breast cancer.  

Vicki has been collecting pink scarves over the last year and I'd been brewing along on it for a long, long, long time.  (See, my 'creative process' can take months and months.)  I'd kept my eye out for the pattern and the yarn that would be 'the ones'.

The Pattern:  Rachel's Shawl by Melissa Wyll. 

Finally!  Perfect pattern, perfect timing.  Melissa just recently released this beautiful pattern.  Her story and the lady who inspired its creation made it 'the one' and are worth your reading.  Check it out at Girls in Sheep Clothing... and a Few Boys, Too.  (There is even a Knit Along for this shawl.) 

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, Melissa is contributing to Emerging from Cancer with every pattern purchase this September and October. 

The Yarn:  Pop Rocks by Madelinetosh.  .  A super soft, superwash merino wool.  Hand-dyed with the beautiful tonal variations I so enjoy.   Yes, I love this color; it makes me smile every time I see it... I'm in hopes it will do the same for its recipient.

Now, if I can just get myself to the post office this afternoon!!  Going there is like pulling teeth for me.  Don't know why... just is!

Yes, I managed to hit my knitting stride... I will confess there are two little spots early in the garter stitch border that are not right, but I hope they can symbolize overcoming in difficult times. 

Without a doubt, the kindness, the prayers and uplifting words of my friends and family eased the funk.  There is great power in caring connections... I hope the precious lady this scarf goes to will feel a comfort of the prayers offered for her... just as I feel comfort from the sweet prayers of friends.

"A helping word to one in trouble is often  like a switch in a railroad track... an inch between a wreck and smooth, rolling prosperity." 
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Thank you for your words and your kindness. 

To a better week for all!! 

blessings ~ tanna

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sunshine and Creativity...

Sometimes, out of the clouds... a ray of sunshine finds its way directly to you...

The sweet Little Men & Co. (as in my daughter) surprised me with an unexpected dose of sweetness yesterday afternoon.  I love how the French Peas managed to use polka dots... they could not have known how much Amanda loves polka dots.  But, I do. 
I shared dinner with an amazingly creative group of women last night.  A group that, for the most part, have known each other for years... and have clearly embraced and claimed creativity as a God given part of their natures.  The discussion centered around what you do when your creative juices dry up... how do you get going again... and can you be creative on-demand.  It was interesting to listen to each of their unique ways of BEING creative and keeping it going.   One commonality I noted was that most of them grew up in homes where creativity was embraced and nurtured.  My best take away was that my Little Men and Little Ladies have a good chance of embracing theirs.  ;)
Though I struggle with identifying myself as creative, I believe the same lesson that served me in marathon training applies for me... it is just to get moving... take that first step... do something... anything.  Occasionally, I'll end up with an entirely different outcome than I'd expected... and better than I'd imagined.  Occasionally.  ;)
And, on the flip side of that, certain ideas need time to fermentTime for all the pieces to. fall. into. place.  It's okay to wait on those... they will come!  They will come.
What do you do to get your creative juices flowing?  Do you have a hard time claiming creativity? 
"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain as artist once he grows up."
~ Pablo Picasso 

blessings ~ tanna

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Pre-Change Angst...

It is official.  I'm struggling not only with the SIMPLE things.  After having to backtrack TWICE on this new project because 1) I repeated a pattern row twice and 2) I dropped a stitch, the light bulb began to come on

First, I'd had to rip out the Echo Beach shawl I had started.  THEN, there was a record setting eight rip outs of my first simple square!  Not to mention that I've walked off the golf course each of my last two rounds after only 7 holes... yes, it. was. that. bad.

Now, I find myself struggling with this nice lace in a beautiful color (my favorite knitting)!  YIKES!

Truth of the matter is that we are considering some big changes around here... and I generally resist big changes to the point of stressing myself out... even when the changes need to take place. 

In retrospect, my lifetime of pre-change ANGST has always been worse than any change I've ever made.

I don't know why I struggle like this... And, I'd like to be able to just stop.  But, until I figure that out, I can expect to be ripping back a lot of knitting.  =(
Fortunately, I still seem to be able to smoke fall-off-the-bones-comfort-food ribs.  ;)  Unfortunately, when I'm stressed like this... I add on the pounds, too! 

How do you handle big change? 

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
~Henri Bergson

Wishing you a wonderful week.... blessings ~ tanna

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I continue to be surprised at how difficult SIMPLE can be sometimes.  I worked on these two simple little eight inch squares over the course of five days.  Seems like I should have been able to whip them out in one sitting.  But, I couldn't.

The same applies to my trying to do an About Me spot on this blog.  You'd think that would be simple... and quick.  I've been mulling it over for six weeks. 

I attribute some of that to the fact that my life has transitioned so much in the last decade... and I still haven't gotten comfortable with all the changes.  The "I am..."s have changed.  Most of the "I believe..."s have not.

I believe in God, in family and doing what's right... even when it is hard... and especially when no one else is watching.  I believe that being nice matters... a lot.  I believe that we are responsible for our own lives and our own happiness and that there are consequences to every choice we make... good or bad.  I believe not making a choice is still making one.

I believe kindness spreads like ripples in a pond when it is tossed out... and so does mean-ness.  I believe, if you're very lucky, some people in your life will love you no matter what... and, that some people won't... no matter what.  I believe love needs to be appreciated and nurtured and arduously tended... and never taken for granted.  Though sometimes I do.

And, there you have it... I am stuck again.  Maybe, if I just move forward a bit at a time, I'll get this done.  LOL!  Or, maybe not.  ;)

Hope your SIMPLE goes better this week...

blessings ~ tanna

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Echo Beach and Dragon's Breath...

After finishing Love Train on the way to the beach, I started this Echo Beach by Kieran Foley at the beach.  I'm using Noro Sekku in colorway 3. 

Ended up ripping it all out on the plane coming home and starting over... now, I'm looking forward to finding some time to get back to it!!  Not yet... but, soon.

A few beach echoes of my own... the Little Men working away... oh, I'm missin' these little guys.

And, can't you just feel the breath of that Dragon?! 

"Make voyages!  Attempt them!  There's nothing else." 
~ Tennessee Williams

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  Make your voyages...

blessings ~ tanna

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Vintage Birthday Vision.

My dear Daughter-in-Love had a Vintage Vision for our Little Lady's 1st birthday.  Our century old Arts and Crafts bungalow made an easy backdrop to bring her vision to life.  She had found lots of ideas on Pinterest and executed them so well.  Zack helped make and then hung the banners.  I'm sad that I don't have a photo of the beautiful burlap H-A-P-P-Y   B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y banner hanging over the front door.  It looked great.

Months earlier Zack delighted me with a request to make Little Lady's "smash cake" (for those not 'in the know' about 1st birthday parties this day and age, a smash cake is the honoree's personal cake to do with as any one year old might -- Little Man's here and Roo's here, I did not make Roo's and I think he enjoyed his the most!!).

I was ecstatic when a photo Candice sent to me matched the vision I had in my own head. When I was explaining how I wanted it to look to my daughter, Amanda, she immediately sent a link to a GREAT tutorial on making rose icing at I Am Baker!!!  Now, mine is NOWHERE as good as hers, but you should take heart if you want to try... I loved the way it turned out (even though  I was too chicken to try to fill in the little gaps like the tutorial said). 

Fun.  Fun.  Fun!  I want to do more!  LOL!  But, not for awhile.

The kids loved the candy bar and filling their goody sacks.

Their little eyes just glowed with anticipation!

I was particularly fond of the photo banner Candice made with Instagram photos.  I may have begged to get to keep these... just sayin'...  ;)

In the week of preparation, I did manage to spray paint our tired porch furniture some fun colors!  I'd been wanting to do it for awhile, but somehow I just needed a deadline to get it done!  Then, I always wonder why I waited so long!  My biggest advice is that it takes MORE paint than you think.  So get plenty the first trip. 

Now, I have a happy-leftover of colors from the party!!

I'd planned to scatter rose petals down the table... None available.  Bummer.  We had the drop cloths that I'd used for drapes at one time.  Burlap was in the closet from prior celebrations and the disposable table runners were $2 a piece on clearance from Target.  The fun candlesticks were a Valentine's Day gift from my Beloved several years ago.  And, my Mason jars get LOTS of use; I never tire of them.  Only cost:  flowers (from Sam's) and $4 worth of runners.

I never got the chance to tell Zack that the green vase was one he had sent me once for Mother's Day... or that the quilt was one my grandmother passed to my mother... and then passed to me... and now used in celebration of a fifth generation's first birthday! 

My friend, Patrice, was so sweet to dry brush some pink acrylic on a window from a home they are restoring so I could use it here.  I sure appreciate her!!

Candice had a delightful Vintage Vision and we were so happy to help celebrate our Little Lady's 1st Birthday!! 

I tell you, you all need to try that cake!!  ;)  Just the bee's knees of fun!

"From my earliest youth, I have known that while one is obliged to plan with care the stages of one's journey, one is entitled to dream, and keep dreaming, of its destination.  A man may feel as old as his years, yet as young as his dreams." 
~ Shimon Peres

Linking to Kim's Wow Us Wednesdays.

blessings to all ~ tanna

Monday, September 2, 2013

Little Lady is One.

I do so love our Little Lady...  I can hardly believe a year has passed so quickly...

She is almost ALWAYS in good spirits... Even on a big day, with no naps...

Her smiles and laughter can set the world right for her Noni in a millisecond... just like each of my precious grandchildrens' can...

And, when these tiny little arms reach up to me, my heart swells with joy... and overflows with love...

It near bursts when I see the fine father her Daddy has become (let me tell you, he wouldn't be wearing beads for ANYONE else... LOL)...

And, I  am thankful each. and. every. day. to have Little Lady and her Mommy in our lives...

Happy, Happy 1st Birthday, Little Lady!!! 

Thank you, Father for the sweet, sweet blessings you have bestowed...

With all my heart ~ tanna

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Morning After.

We celebrated our precious Little Lady's 1st birthday yesterday... I've spent the morning beginning to restore order... That process is never as much fun as the frenzied week of getting ready...  LOL!

Sadly, I don't have many photos of the big event... There is a lot of behind-the-scenes-business that goes on when six slabs of ribs, two large smoked chickens and a ten pound brisket evaporate with the crowd passing through the food line.  As you might imagine, getting to take photos doesn't really fit in that business... at least not for me.  I'm sure there are those who are more organized.  ;)

This kind of sweet appreciation makes such labors of love worth every moment...

But, since the frenzy is over... and, I've made a small dent in getting things back to normal (including digging through six bags of post-party trash in hopes of finding a missing silver spoon... no luck), I'm about to take a queue from our precious Little Lady earlier this week and chill awhile.

Now, isn't this a precious little face?  I'll share some of the few photos I was able to get later this week.  I hope everyone is having a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend!! 

blessings ~ tanna
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Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.