Faith

As we seek a greater understanding, even a perfect knowledge, there is no need to forsake the faith of a child.

These are but one and the same rather than being something different. The child believes whereas the adult seeks to prove. If it is of God, whether given or inspired by God, the belief and the proof are the same.

Buzzing in just in time…

Having seen a number of these little guys buzzing around Facebook recently, I decided I needed one for myself. Meet Lil’ Miss Boobee and ornament for the season.

Requests for her pattern followed quickly after she made her debut. So gathering up my courage, I have tried once again to write a pattern. You can download the pdf here Lil Miss Boobee

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Unlike the pattern for the little fruit posted the other day, this one is not necessarily basic. It requires a couple new stitches and a bit more careful reading. Nothing too hard, but certainly not nearly as simple as a sphere. Yet, the fun this one brings (especially as people say her name out loud) is worth the extra work.

 

Happy crocheting!

Emoji Fruit Ornaments

I have found that basic patterns are sometimes the hardest to find, especially for free. This can make teaching a skill troublesome when simple and basic are required. Young and old, there are times when a bit more step-by-step help is needed in order to gain success. I know that on my fibro fog days, I require an easy-to-follow pattern, one that can act as a check list to cross off as I go.

Years ago I worked up a few dozen quilting patterns that I could use when I was giving tutorials on basic quilting for beginners. Now I find I am doing the same thing in crochet. So here is my first pattern and I hope a few more will arrive in the next weeks and months.

Emoji Fruit Ornaments pdf download

The pattern has instruction for the fruit, but the bat wings and cat ears can easily be made from craft felt or free form crochet.

 

 

Emoji Fruit Ornaments - pattern pic

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I also made a lemon by adding an extra round of single crochet at the beginning and the end to make the ends pointed.

 

I hope my efforts help others, and that more skilled pattern writers and crochet artisans forgive me for any bobbles and flubs this pattern may contain.

 

 

A final note: In case anyone wonders, the white one is a snowball. Not a fruit, but he was lonely all by himself.

 

 

Gift giving, the thought is not all that counts.

IMG_0886In a world where there are so many in need of food, warmth, and shelter, it is up to the giver to gift responsibly. Intent will never be of greater value than a gift received by one who truly benefits from it.

There are many reasons a person creates items that end up in charity boxes. I personally find knitting, crochet, etc. helps relieve my stress. However I would not want something that helps reduce my stress to become the thing that causes someone else stress. An act of compassion, love, or charity should come unburdened by expectation. Yet, society seems to demand that well-meaning gifts be accepted with meekness, even when the gifts cause burden or harm.

Year after year, well-meaning people gift friends and family with the handmade items, many also donate hats, scarves, and blankets to charitable causes with the hope that their efforts will bless the lives of the recipients. Each year, I read social media the complaints made by disappointed givers who find that their gifts have not been received with gratitude or with excitement. This is a reality in the world of handmade gifts. These posts are usually accompanied by comments of support for the gift-giver, and the general criticism for those who do not accept the gift with glee, or at least with feigned pleasure.

This year I have seen something new – an attack on a recipient who found the receipt of charity to be a burden, and who was rightfully justified in their feelings. Justification did little to mitigate the condemnation they received.

In the years following the U.S. decision to pursue military action in Afghanistan, there have been many charitable organizations dedicated to sending care-packages to troops serving far from home. In the early years, sending a box to “any service member” would get a package delivered to some random service member. Safety, security, and practicality have ended such deliveries. Now for such charitable deliveries to be received, an actual recipient’s name is required. Unfortunately, this means that organizations need a recipient, and it seems they are not worried about gaining the permission of the recipient before sending the care-package.

There are many reasons that the unsuspecting recipient might find it problematic to receive unsolicited gifts, but when their name is used by a charitable organization as the end point of 20, 30, 40 or more packages, there is little doubt that they would have a problem. The charity might envision a gleeful recipient acting as Santa as they hand out package after package to associates, but not all service members are in situations where they can do this.

Local, national, and international charities all seem to agree that random donations are problematic and not nearly the blessing that monetary funds provide. Sending unsolicited items and care-packages often cost time, energy, and money. The act of charity becomes the opposite – it becomes a burden.

Charity and gift-giving should not cause hardship or stress for the recipient. It is not just the thought that counts. The very basis for giving a gift is the rooted in a caring for another person, even a stranger. The joy of making a gift will never compare to knowing that gift is welcomed. Therefore, responsible gift-giving is paramount.

Mob Violence in a Modern World

Mob violence is never restricted to one side or the other. In the modern world, the town square is often replaced by social media groups. The pitch forks and torches of the past may have been replaced by the written word or photograph, but do not doubt that the modern version of tar and feathers damages individuals and businesses just as much, if not more so than, it did in the past. Looking the other way and hoping the furor will die down does not absolve or protect us from the tragedy when the mob takes action. While we can try to insulate our groups and personal pages from such behavior, we cannot hide from the mob, at least not permanently.

Stars of Valor

 

Article discussing how mob mentality is affecting the quilting world.