Monday, February 02, 2009

Focusing for February

February feels like a month that I need to seek and find support and focus. It feels like I need to reach out and make and share and do. And it seems I am lining it up to be a month heavy with commitment, but good commitment. In ways that looks invigorating and inspiring and good. We need some good after the rough month of January.

It seems like February is our harbinger to Spring here, although we cannot claim to have had much winter. The first commitment we are making is our Slow Month pledge. This is a simple concept, that for one month we will not buy anything that is not needed for food/work. And that sounds simple, but I am curious to see how difficult we will find it. I anticipate a lot of down time as we will try to shop in a smart way for food, make and use up what exists in the pantry and find awesome free things to do with the boys.
Bus Crash
We have already shifted into this mode in the last few months, but I mean to stay on track with the not buying.

Next up is the planning/planting of our food garden for the season. We always have some veg growing, but this year we will experiment with raised beds and lots of diverse planting. I ordered heirloom tomato seeds from a great site while on sale (in January) and plan on growing and canning what we harvest. This week the seeds go into flats, and then the weekend holds plans to set the beds. I am really excited and found a great community group called Food not Lawns that are committed to helping ordinary suburb folks convert their space to food production.

Shutter Sisters recently invited readers to participate in a project, the One Word project. I decided it was a good way to help me focus my camera and work to see the word manifest in my life. February is choose your own word and I have chosen to look for Awakening this month and will try to bring that to mind as I shoot.

I found a great Ravelry group holding a Vestuary event, the aim is to knit something in vest form to bring back the warm weather or at least, make one think about it coming back. I was inspired by the beautiful piece by Lolly and chose some stash yarn, knit a swatch and commenced the knitting yesterday.
I am looking forward to the yoke and the colorwork, there is something about a pattern developing in your hands that feels so very good.

And a good blog friend Matthew over at CHild's Play x2 had asked his readers to participate in a planned auction for his YMCA(check out that link for a peek at the prizes). He is director and they are feeling the crush of the economic changes in their programs. They offer services to those that may have less than us, but much more need. His plan is to auction off contributions from his readers. I offered to make up a few special hand made baby items then I felt a little small after realizing other people are offering cruises and other big prizes, but then decided Small is Beautiful and any bit helps.
I will keep you posted on the auction as it comes together.

And though this is not an arty shot in anyway, here is my first photo for the OWP.

These little bits all put up above the sewing table came down and are awakening serious desire to Make. And I think that is right where I will start this new month.

Along with a whole lot of this, as coloring has become the latest and greatest.
Daily Shots

Anyone one have and want to trade an unneeded automatic pencil sharpener for a hand made pin cushion? I am not kidding, my hand aches from turning these things out and we are in a slow month. I will take any offers and send you a cute one of these...

and so begins the blog as barter place. Awesome.


LauraC said...

I always love coming to your part of the blogosphere. Such a beautiful place with so many great ideas!

Our slow month was spectacular. Only thing we purchased was sports bras, which I decided to declare clothing since it got me out there running so much more. It is amazing how much extra time and money we had after one month.

Only one big failure when I wasted my precious dried cranberry beans and even more precious Lindeman's Frambois Lambic on this recipe:

The whole house smelled of cooked raspberry beer for two days, no one liked the beans one bit and nobody got any raspberry beer.

Anonymous said...


I am with you on the Matthew thing :) I was also a bit 'shocked' to see that cruise offered and I felt that my lace knit shawl might be 'too little'. But then I thought not everyone wants a cruise or is willing to participate in an auction for a big-ticket item!! If I can get more smaller items knit as well, I'll be donating some cowls as well I think.

All 'little' bits help, so even hand sewn baby clothes or knitwear. Actually, I think they're worth more, because our TIME and creativity go into them... which isn't true for putting up a cruise so NAH :) :) :)

knittingknirvana said...

We are doing a "slow month" too! :) I look forward to seeing your ideas for slowing down.

Katie said...

I have to agree with LauraC, I always leave your blog with a few more ideas up my sleeve! I was so excited to see your crafting because I just received a copy of Doodle-Stitching for Christmas (from Nik)! I haven't made anything yet, but embroidery is my next crafting goal... I just have to put down my knitting needles! And thanks for the suggestion to switch up my header picture - it was your comment that motivated the change:-) Have a great day!

Gabrielle said...

You are such an amazing person Ames, and your commitments are just as kind and thoughtful - what a truly lovely way to get started in 2009. I have been going in the opposite direction lately, and have been uncomfortable about it - spending too much on things for Thomas that he really doesn't need (I think to compensate for all the changes in his world with a new baby), but after reading your post I'm determined to change my focus and spend more time playing with him and encouraging his imagination and his connection with friends and community and environment rather than the endless desire for more possessions.

Anonymous said...

You've got so many wonderful things going on, as always! I'm all over the place- I could use some focus!

Zonnah said...

Hey I’d like to pass along a Kreativ Blogger award to you. If you go to my site you will see it and you can then pass it to someone else. :)