Monday, May 18, 2015

52 Lists, Week 20

Happy Monday! Welcome to my 52 Lists Project, wherein I feature one list every week for 2015. To join in with your own list, scroll down to the link at the bottom, print out your own list, and then share it however you wish!

Week 20: List Your Summer Goals
I don't usually make summer goals because I don't get tons of time off in the summer to do stuff (I wish!), but I'm thinking it might be nice to have some concrete things to work on/get accomplished this summer.

  • start walking in the evenings again (train for Santiago!) - solo or with a buddy
  •  spend more time outside - go to Mom and Dad's pool on my lunch break
  • go rollerskating with my sisters on Wednesday night at least 3 times
  • continue improving ye olde blog
  • catch up on incomes and expenses at work - get stuff entered into the Neat database and keep up with it!
  • get things at work that need to be shredded organized and shredded
  • get on top of new/abandoned case files and get them finished
  • go up to Salem at least once
  • meet my summer savings goals for Santiago
  • start saving for Europe next summer
  • renew my passport
  • read at least 5 new books from my list
  • get my desk and vanity organized
  • pick patterns and yarn, and cast on, for Lila and Talia's Hanukkah sweaters
Challenge: This week, I will prep for summer by...
clearing off my desk in my bedroom to make more productive use of the space.



So there you have it! What about you? Got any splendid summer to-do's? Know of any killer beach reads I should add to my summer reading list? Let me know in comments or with a list of your own!

Love,

Willow


P.S. I'm now officially on Instagram! Follow me HERE.


For more fun with 52 Lists, click down on "52 Lists" in the little categories section at the bottom of the post, and go over to Moorea Seal's site to see more!

Check out Moorea Seal's entire project at her blog below:
http://www.moorea-seal.com/p/52-lists.html  


 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

FO: Wildflower Cardigan

Y'ALL.

IT'S FINISHED.

Exactly 4 months to the day that we started this project, we met up and celebrated the completion of probably the single biggest crafty undertaken I've ever embarked upon. This was a big deal.

But we finished!

 Left to right: Jaimie, Karen, Willow, Therese

We went to a celebratory lunch at the Melting Pot (fondue = delicious!) and took pictures at Jaimie's house (special thanks to her son Nick for actually pushing the camera button on our phones). Confession: I was sewing the buttons onto my sweater moments before running out the door to make our lunch reservation! But here's some close-ups of the "finishing process" including how I finally figured out sewing on my pocket linings and close-ups of my adorable buttons.


The main seams - setting in the sleeves, the sides, and the sleeves (originally knit flat) - were all done in mattress stitch. It took me a bit to figure out how to do it correctly because I was not familiar with how to do mattress stitch in knitting. I've done it in sewing, but there's a particular way to do it when working with hand knit material. Jaimie opted to crochet her seams together which actually looked fine. My concern was because my yarn wasn't as dense as hers that crocheting the seams would add unwanted bulk. They turned out fine either way.

Clockwise from top left: Inside of arm hole, side seam close up, outside of arm hole, large view of side seam.


As for the pockets, I just whip stitched them onto the back of my pocket front. They show a bit in the front but it really is unavoidable. I take consolation in the fact that it's not super noticeable while I'm wearing the sweater.

Top: Backs of my pockets; Bottom: Fronts of my pockets
 
I intended to sew on the buttons with the yarn I used, but I was rather concerned that I wouldn't be able to do as many stitches as I usually do with the added bulk of the yarn. I used light yellow crochet thread instead and it worked fine. I absolutely adore these buttons. I feel like they really make the sweater and I like the delicate design on them for a tiny bit of added visual interest. For those wondering, these buttons are by Organic Elements, natural coconut buttons number 2706. They can be found HERE because for some reason the manufacturer's site is "suspicious and not to be trusted." Okay, Firefox, thanks for keeping the internets safe. I bought mine at JoAnn's.

The sleeves are a little too tight for me to wear this cardigan with anything with sleeves, so it's gotta be sleeveless dresses or tank tops (which is what I wear most of the time anyway). The entire sweater is a bit more snug than I really wanted it to be but overall I'm happy with the fit. It has it's fair share of imperfections and I should really steam it properly but for now I'm very happy with my finished product.


I'll post some more/better photos of me wearing my sweater soon, but I wanted to get this up for Yarn Along Wednesday.


Reading: I finished listening to the audiobook version of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and it was awesome. So, so good and such a satisfying ending! I'll try to get a review up pretty soon.

What have you been knitting and reading lately? Let me know in comments and then head over to Ginny's to see what everyone else is up to!



Love, 

Willow



*Author's Note: All images used in this post as well as text are (c)Whitney Miller and may be used only with my express permission. See my About Page for details.*




Monday, May 11, 2015

52 Lists, Week 19

Happy Monday! Welcome to my 52 Lists Project, wherein I feature one list every week for 2015. To join in with your own list, scroll down to the link at the bottom, print out your own list, and then share it however you wish!

Week 19: List the Things You Want to Be Known For
I had to think about this for quite some time, because I don't think about it very often. Sure, I think about what it would be like to be a famous actress or a Youtube star or something like that, but realistically I doubt I'll ever be anyone people talk about like that - and that's totally fine with me. But I thought about the kind of mark I want to leave on the world and in the wake of my grandfather's death, I'm thinking about how I'd like to be remembered someday:


  • my smile
  • my intelligence
  • my loving/nurturing/maternal nature
  • my great love of books and the written word
  • doing the things that frighten me - being brave
  • overcoming the stigma of my mental illness
  • gently evangelizing others by simply living my life
  • reforming Catholic religious education
  • loving Jesus, Our Lady, and the Church

This week, I will feel solid in my identity by...
making plans to celebrate my upcoming birthday.

 
It's short and simple. Really, I don't have any great aspirations or deep-seated longings to change the entire world. I'd like to change a small part of it, though, and maybe inspire a handful of people to love a little more.

What about you? What are the things you want to be recognized or known for? What kind of mark do you want to leave on the world? Let me know in comments or with a list of your own!


Love,

Willow

For more fun with 52 Lists, click down on "52 Lists" in the little categories section at the bottom of the post, and go over to Moorea Seal's site to see more!

Check out Moorea Seal's entire project at her blog below:
http://www.moorea-seal.com/p/52-lists.html  
 

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Star-Struck Nobody (or, That One Time I Went to a Blogging Conference)

I think I may be among the last to write this up, but I've had to take a lot of time thinking about it and processing and (as usual) second-guessing myself. 

A few weekends ago I did something daring and adventurous. It didn't involve sky diving or bull riding or mountain climbing or a crazy puzzle-solving chase around the world in 80 hours type thing.  It involved me getting into my car and driving to Northridge, CA to meet 27 other Catholic women bloggers for a weekend of fellowship, networking, and learning. 

I'm sure this post is going to be a little out of order because I'm still processing my reaction to all the amazing stuff that happened. It's an awful lot to make sense of! Also, this post is rather long. Sorry.



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Yarn Along - Wildflower, Week 17

Greetings! Obviously one of favorite things is reading, but I also quite love knitting. Ginny over at Small Things hosts a lovely little link-up so once you're done here go visit and see what everyone else is up to.




Seaming is taking SO LONG. But I'm all but done with the first side, then it's on to the other side, weaving in ends, and steaming. Yeah, that's kind of a lot, I know. I absolutely positutely must be finished by Friday night, though, because on Saturday morning we're going to the park to take pretty pictures of us in our sweaters and then we're going to lunch in Pasadena as a group. So I have to be done.


I'm confident that it will happen because there's no babysitting this week for me until Saturday night, so I have all kinds of time in the evenings.


Reading:
I'm making headway in Jack Hitt's book, Off the Road. I've decided that I don't like him as a person. He's very pessimistic and unlikeable and sounds like he needs to have a long conversation with his mother about why his worldview is so unpleasant. Or a therapist. I'm liking the stories, though, and the feeling of walking and how - as much as I dislike his overall attitude - he remains bluntly honest throughout the telling of his story. I also love that he tells other people's stories, and it's a great look at the human condition through a slightly different lens.


That's it for me today - next week I'll post some of our pictures from our park photoshoot and the final, finished project!  

What have you been knitting and reading lately? Let me know in comments and then head over to Ginny's to see what everyone else is up to!



Love, 

Willow



*Author's Note: The Yarn Along button in this post is property of Ginny Sheller and is used with permission. All other images used in this post as well as text are (c)Whitney Miller and may be used only with my express permission. See my About Page for details.*








Monday, May 4, 2015

52 Lists, Week 18

Happy Monday! Welcome to my 52 Lists Project, wherein I feature one list every week for 2015. To join in with your own list, scroll down to the link at the bottom, print out your own list, and then share it however you wish!

Week 18: List the Ways You Are Energized
I'm more of a person who likes ways to calm or relax (having generalized anxiety makes those a priority) but there are good kinds of energy, too, and I like being filled with that positive buzz. Here's this week's list:
  • stepping out of an overly air conditioned house or office into hot sunshine
  •  going for brisk walks in the autumn and winter
  • cold showers in the summer
  • that strange urge to run (does anyone else ever have that?) - and then running, full tilt, until you fall down
  • getting up early and doing tons of small tasks before the rest of the world is awake
  • drinking cucumber water
  • the endorphin high after a really good workout
  • dancing
  • singing to upbeat music in the car
  • being silly with my sisters
  • playing card games with my cousins
  • intense bonding during retreats
  • the beginning of a journey/adventure

I will spend time re-energizing this week by...
making time to walk in the evenings with my new roommate!



There you have it - and yes, the roommate is officially here! We haven't talked about how she wants to be represented on the blog yet so for now I will strictly refer to her as the Roommate or Roomie. 

What about you? How do you fill up the energy reserves? What gives you that buzz of energy to go out and do stuff? Let me know in comments or with a list of your own!


Love,

Willow

For more fun with 52 Lists, click down on "52 Lists" in the little categories section at the bottom of the post, and go over to Moorea Seal's site to see more!

Check out Moorea Seal's entire project at her blog below:
http://www.moorea-seal.com/p/52-lists.html  
 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Pinterest, Vol. 17

Happy Friday and welcome to Pinteresting! The part of the show where I roundup my favorite pins from this week and share them with the world. I pin recipes, decorating ideas, religious stuff, teaching thoughts, funny stuff from Tumblr, kids' activities, crafting ideas, knitting/crochet patterns, and cute cat pictures.


 1)


This quote from St. Faustina has so much going on in it, I'm still trying to unpack all of it. I've been thinking a lot about suffering lately (I'm trying to write a post about it but it's really hard) and this quote about suffering perfecting our ability to love others brings it into clearer perspective.

2)


This post is one of my favorite things I've read in the last two weeks. I'm very familiar with having little people barge into adults' conversations and sometimes insisting that they say, "Excuse me" before they interrupt results in them screaming it at you and then yelling what's on their mind anyway. This mom's method is much simpler - and quieter - and gives kids a sense of empowerment with the "secret code." I can't wait to start using it with the little ones in my life.

3)


I don't know which state she represents but this young woman is clearly more than a pretty face. I'd love to see what she could do with 20 minutes if this is what she did with 20 seconds.

4) 
Kendra is always so spot on with the stuff she writes.  In this post she explains how she introduces her kids to fine art and culture. Her methods may not work for everyone but it works for her family and I think her approach is both practical and effective. Go read it!

5)


Ignoring the alarming lack of possessive apostrophes present, I couldn't help but laugh at this Secretary's Day card. As someone who is an Administrative Professional/Office Manager/Executive Assistant/the only one who actually knows what's going on, I have a deep appreciation for it.

I think it is tremendously important for more people to see this. I realized a while ago that there are a lot of things I'm not informed enough about to form an opinion. I don't have a problem saying that. I'm the kind of person who would rather hear both sides of an issue than just make a snap judgment and I sincerely hope that more people will come to the same conclusion.


That's it for this week's edition of Pinteresting! I always enjoy curating my favorite, most recent pins. If you're not currently on Pinterest, make sure you take a moment to say goodbye to your loved ones before you log on, because there's no going back! You can follow me on Pinterest (any or all of my boards, find your cup of tea) HERE. Happy weekend!

love,
Willow


**Author's Note: None of the images in this post are my property. I have borrowed them from Pinterest and made my best effort to ensure that the Pinterest pages linked to link to an original source. If you see your work here and want it taken down please see my About page and contact me. Thank you for not suing.**