A Trip To My Happy Place

Those of you who know me well know that things have been crazy in my life for the last couple of months.  It’s been one beat-down after the next and things are still up in the air with some of those issues.  An utterly sucktastic last week ended with me and my 24 year old neighbor in a disagreement over the extremely high volume of her stereo.  When she plays it, I can’t even hear the sound of my own T.V.  What’s even crazier is that she admitted that she does play loudly but basically told me that city rules say she’s not a noise menace if she doesn’t go past 10 pm so what’s my problem.  Where I come from, no matter what city rules say, you be kind and considerate to your neighbors.  That interaction and the crazy week had me questioning just about everything  … everything I tell you.  But since I’m not one to keep complaining I realized it was time to take a trip to my happy place.

When I go to my happy place:

I take the weather for what it is … snowy on the first day of Spring … no problem.

Snowy Spring 2015

I knit a cowl for my friend then add my signature tag to it.

Xerox II

I fight with the “porcupine” aka dpns (double pointed needles) and seem to be winning.

bulky mittens

I bake my signature cranberry nut bread then have my aunty over for tea; she comes bearing gifts, laughs, and sage advice.

Cranberry Nut Bread

I enjoy my new spindles (the two in front).

Kundert Spindles

I enjoy new spices from my friend Porsche from her Dubai trip.


I meditate, pray, let some things go then allow God to do what I can’t.

The thing about being in the happy place is that I never know what I’m going to get.  Laugh till I cry conversations with my mom or my “Shirley” aka Andi.  Real talk with Porsche or Elisa.  Running together with Preeti.  Unexpected cards in the mail.  “I’m checking up on you” texts from Nizzy.  Devotional readings which get to the heart of matters.  Being able to vent to my cousins and my home slice Dominique.    Linda, Sudana, Asha & Courtney staying close on IG and Tracey, Paula & Lisa keeping me in prayer.  I could get anything on any given day.  And it’s all good!

I suppose I just need to go there — every day — so I can replenish my reserves consistently instead of waiting until I’m totally dry.  I took a little trip to my happy place this weekend past and came out feeling renewed.

Have you been to your happy place lately?

Stash Down Scavenger Hunt 2015

I’ve said it time and time again — the craft community is one of the best communities I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of.  The creativity, inspiration and sheer genius of crafters at all stages continues to motivate me to do better than I’ve done as each year passes.  In the discussion of genius and creativity, I have to talk about the most ingenious way I’ve been inspired so far to use my current stash —  The Stash Down Scavenger Hunt 2015.

On Ravelry, I’m a moderator of the Knitpicks (and more) Stashdown Group.   This year, our own Queen of the Sweater, Queen of Stashdown and all round Queen of Sweetness — Rae (Yondercrawdad on Ravelry) —  fellow moderator came up with the idea of the tasks I’m about to post below.  Rae is the first of us to go through the entire year without purchasing yarn but used her stash to make the most amazing sweaters; when you look at her projects, it’s hard to imagine not purchasing for a year and yet being so creative.   She’s the primary reason for our stashdown tiara challenges this year — The 6000 gram Tiara (aka the Weight Tiara) and the Yarn Tiara which is the no purchases for a year one.  And in addition to those, she came up with the Scavenger Hunt Challenge which I absolutely LOVE!!!!!

The goal is to scavenge through your stash then create projects which can fit one, two or a few of the prompts below.  Based on your ingenuity, there are levels and badges to be won to show your scavenger worthiness but there is the ultimate scavenger title — Alpha Better Recognize — if  the projects you create between Feb 19th 2015 and Feb 7th 2016 (end of Year of the Sheep) fit every letter of the scavenger hunt prompts.  What’s even better is that she provided two prompts per letter so you have choices even there.  See what I told you … ingenious and super creative!  This couldn’t have come at a better time especially since I did that massive destashing last Saturday.

The group is here and the challenge thread is here if you want to join and play along this year.  The group is super friendly and we welcome anyone who wants to join.

I’ve decided to make this post my holding place for the list of tasks in this scavenger hunt rather than having to log into Ravelry every time I need to see what’s next up.  So let’s get to it then:


We have 52 tasks – two for each letter of the alphabet. In the task descriptions, anywhere that I have written “related to” could also say “inspired by” – more abstract connections are perfectly fine.

A is for abacus – something related to counting or numbers
A is for antipathy – use something in your stash that you dislike
B is for birthstone – something related to yours
B is for broccoli – something healthy or good for you
C is for cicada – something related to your life 17 years ago
C is for cosmos – something related to outer space
D is for delicacy – something fancy or rare
E is for excavation – use some of your very oldest stash
F is for fingerprint – something that’s totally “you”
F is for festival – something related to your favorite holiday or celebration
G is for giant – something bigger than normal
G is for garden – something related to plants
H is for haberdashery – something using buttons, ribbons, or other similar notions
H is for homeland – something related to the place you live in or identify with the most
I is for inauguration – something new to you
J is for jacket – make something that is or has an outer covering
J is for journey – something related to a trip you have taken, or want to take
K is for kinship – something that celebrates your close relationships
L is for labyrinth – something full of twists and turns
L is for lilliputian – something smaller than normal
M is for marsala – use the color of the year! or craft something related to wine in general
M is for mimic – something which appears to be something else
N is for newcomer – use your most recently acquired stash
N is for nomenclature – something related to your name or nickname
O is for ornament – something purely or primarily decorative
P is for protuberance – something with bobbles, nupps, or other sticky-out bits
P is for potpourri – combine two or more things into one
Q is for quantum – use the smallest bit of stash that you still count as stash
Q is for quadrangle – something with geometric shapes
R is for reading – something related to a specific book or books in general
R is for roulette – choose stash at random and use it!
S is for solstice – something related to the shortest or longest day of the year
S is for sandman – something related to sleep or dreams
T is for taffy – something related to sweets
T is for tortoise – something which takes a long time
U is for umpire – something related to sports or games
V is for vacation – something that is a break from the everyday
V is for virtuoso – something employing a skill where you excel
W is for whimsy – something fun or silly
W is for waffle – something related to breakfast or brunch
X is for x-ray – something that is normally hidden becomes shown
X is for xerox – make something again
Y is for yacht – something related to the ocean or with a nautical theme
Y is for yodeling – something related to music or song
Z is for zoology – something related to animals

The idea of working through the prompts might seem daunting and the urge might be there to bullet through the prompts quickly but I think I’m going to employ some timely Elizabeth Zimmermann advice “speed is not necessary with knitting”.   I want to enjoy the process since the prompts are already inspiring me to work some techniques I’ve not tried before (knit bobbles anyone?  LOLOL).

This is going to be so much fun!