Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Inspired by Other Blogs

I've been spending some time this week looking at some craft blogs as part of an assignment for this great website called Swap-bot. Swap-bot gives you a chance to do things for others while they do things back for you. I like to join ones where I can get inspiration from other people's blogs and where I can share my blog with others. This particular one is about craft blogs. So I'm going to share a few links of my partners so you can see what some other people are doing with their art! So here are some pretty cool and crafty blogs to sink your teeth into!

BLUE CRAYONS: http://craftingwithblue.blogspot.com

Bluecrayons has a really eclectic site. You can see her blog at I really enjoy how different people express themselves in different ways. I particularly enjoyed her Mardi Gras crafting session. I can relate to the outburst of color necessary to encompass this wild and crazy holiday. If you get a chance to check out her blog, be sure to leave a comment, we bloggers like that :)

THE VIRIDIAN MUSE: http://theviridianmuse.blogspot.com/

I love the craft the viridian muse calls her own. I can tell that with each fairy/doll that she makes there is personality in each one. I have always enjoyed creating characters and people in some way and her items get me thinking about doing that again. Check out her etsy site as well when you go to her blog. These would make really sweet and unique gifts!

BONE NEEDLE ARTS AND CRAFTS: http://bone-needle.blogspot.com/

Bone Needle is a very unique site because she focuses not just on arts and crafts but on crafts that are medieval themed. She has some incredibly intricate drawings, photographs and gifts that she has crafted for people she loves. I really enjoy blogs like this one because she is doing exactly what blogging is all about: being yourself. She expresses herself through her interest and that passion will always shine through.

VINTAGE TERRACE 2: www.vintageterrace2.blogspot.com

This is a really great blog. Vintage Terrace has awesome, creative ideas about how to journal using visuals and art. I personally love keeping a journal and have always enjoyed using imagery and drawings. Vintage Terrace's art journals are really phenomenal. They are beautiful and unique.

DEIDRE'S AMAZING BLOG: http://deidre421.wordpress.com/

When I saw the first few project of this blog I knew I was going to like it. Deidre takes things that are ordinary and makes them so unique and useful! I really enjoy her projects and her ideas. She makes some beautiful paper beads and throws her own pottery. Pottery has such an earthy feel to it that I love. her work is beautiful!

My words can only do these blogs a little bit of justice. What is important is to take the time to visit them and discover other blogs out there that inspire you. Part of becoming a blogger myself meant spending time on other peoples' blogs to see how this blogging world ticks. Thanks for visiting some awesome blogs today! And thanks to all my partners for allowing me to spend some time on your site and to share it with my readers!

BPositive and BFree to Blog Surf!


Monday, February 27, 2012

The Labyrinth

  by springknitter

There is a Labyrinth not far from where I live. It is not mystical or magical and there are no hidden secrets inside.

  by springknitter

It is a space where one can walk the paths and have deep and quiet concentration. A took me there after our brunch together on Sunday. My mind was anxious to get  home and and do other things but he asked me if I would go see the labyrinth with him. 

Of course. 

We started at the beginning and I allowed him to take the lead. We walked very slowly and very purposefully. I allowed myself to feel the weight of each step. As we continued onward I wondered how long it would take, when the next turn would be, and what would we do when we were finished? My mind wandered and wandered. 

A continued to walk silently, his breathing calm and even. 

As my mind raced, I convinced my feet to move slower in hopes of counteracting my thoughts. I began watching the path below me and not looking for where the next turn would come. 

  by springknitter

Watching the labyrinths beautiful lines I understood something quite simple about it's most distinguishing property. Eventually the path always turns. I didn't need to see the curve to know that it would happen.I trusted it. I thought about life and how I am always walking some form of a labyrinth. How I am constantly trying to see where the next turning point is. Why can't I trust the path of my life like I trust this concrete maze?

Perhaps the labyrinth held some secrets after all.  I think I will go back soon and walk the paths again, allowing my mind to be present and trusting the way of the journey. After all, practice makes perfect. 

BPositive and B A Mindful and Trusting Traveler!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Communities at Large

Before this weekend I was having trouble identifying myself as a member of Americorps. I have been so deeply connected with my position at Manna Food Garden, it felt as though Americorps were just the organization facilitating my placement. I'm happy to say I've been proven wrong :)

The Americorps conference I attended was important for so many reasons. I realized that myself and the 6 other members from my county are pioneers for Pensacola. We are the first Americorps members to serve our area and to unite as a team to join the rest of the state members of Florida. I became aware of the diversity that represents Americorps members in this state. We all come from unique places and backgrounds and we all have different passions for the organizations we work with. I also understood better, the foundation in which Americorps was built and why it continues to thrive today. It was like zooming out and seeing the sad realities of what people in our communities suffer from and how individually we work hard to make sure we provide better situations for all that we can. We are a giant group of workers and helpers and by focusing on different areas of our state we cover a lot of ground.

Speakers, members, and leaders united to evoke passion in our hearts and replenish inspiration for us this weekend. This of course I am incredibly thankful for. But what this conference really provided was an understanding that what I do day to day is a piece of a much larger mission.

Community can be simply the people in our town, neighborhood or school but community is also clearly something bigger at times. I feel blessed to be part of the Americorps community knowing that each tiny move I make is contributing to much larger changes.

BPositive and BInvolved in Your Community!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Live with your Heart

We are faced with decisions every day. Small ones, big ones, and in between ones. Often I make my decisions based on practicality and reasoning. I'm sure many of you do the same. 

This week I made a different kind of decision. Over the last two weeks as I've really been focusing my growth efforts inward, I've noticed changes in my outer steps. Choosing to rescue little mouse was not what my practical side would do. 

Little mouse lived over 48 hours in my care. I got to feel his powerful little life in my hand even though his weight felt as light as a paper clip. I got to watch how a mouth so tiny it was invisible to the eye, would magically open when food or water became available by my hand. I even watched him search for love and comfort, rolling around in my hand or curling up next to a fluffy ball of cotton in the box. 

I am sad that little mouse is gone now. I think I may have been denying how attached I had become. In fact I really believe that in those short days of interaction, a lot of love was exchanged by two living things. 

My husband A reminded me that my tears were a representation of love and that I should not be ashamed to have loved little mouse so much. 

It was then that I realized how much we numb ourselves to protect our hearts from pain. We create cushions of practical reasoning all around us in the form of routines, schedules, and rules. 

Little mouse reminded me that I am capable of living through the love in my heart and not just always by the rules. I think his short time here really served an incredible purpose through that lesson. Thanks little mouse for reminding me to live with all of my heart.

  by springknitter

BPositive and BFree to live with your heart!

Love always,

This post is dedicated to my friend little mouse who reminded me it was ok to do things a little differently and that love comes in many forms.  Maybe he rest peacefully now. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Unexpected Gifts

Sometimes gifts of life come from very unexpected places. And often they are so unfamiliar to us they seem scary or wrong. I recently received a gift in a perplexing package and here is our story...

Orphaned newborn mouse by springknitter

He may not look like much, and I can hear the many "ew's" echoing through cyberspace, but for some strange reason it seemed he needed me and I knew I had to do my part. I call him little mouse. 

It went against all of my better judgement and practical reasoning to partake in this situation but something really tugged at my heart. This little guy, originally found the day before, went missing and we thought he was gone. He unexpectedly turned up on the top of the compost pile, having gone 24 hours without food, warmth and companionship. I watched it struggling to sturvive on the top of the dirt pile. He moved around trying to figure out where to go. He breathed intently. It seemed this was an opportunity for me to help him live. 

So here we are. The interesting thing is I don't want a pet, I don't want to get attached, and I don't even want to give him a name. I just felt this sense that every living creature deserves at least a chance to live and I was given the gift of helping this orphaned mouse do just that.

Orphaned newborn mouse 2 by springknitter

The mouse is set up in a tiny little plastic box with holes next to a little space heater. He needs to be fed every two to three hours, throughout the day and night. Initially, I thought, what am I getting myself into? But that feeling inside me kept telling me that this is a good thing. I set the alarm, feed him and go back to sleep. My wonderful husband helps and supports. He may live a day, or 2, a week or maybe until he's full grown. But if I left him struggling on the top of that pile, I know I would have been doing a diservice to his right to live and I'd have missed out on a pretty awesome gift. 

This morning he began suckling on a thin paint brush dipped in formula. It's probably the first food he's had in 2 days. He seems quite active and is fighting to live. And all I can do is try. 

I wanted to share this story not because I feel like we as humans are always obligated to save every animal we find. In fact I was deeply surprised by my decision to take this on. But ultimately every creature on earth has a place and a purpose. And I think maybe when the right opportunity comes along, if we listen to our internal instincts we may be surprised by the choices we must make. 

I'm really glad to know this little guy. He has personality. He learns. He grows. He reacts. He breathes. He eats. He sleeps. He fights to survive.  He's a gift and I'm glad to have received him, even if it was in an unexpected way. 

BPositive and BFree to Listen to your Instincts. They may bring you unexpected gifts!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Planting Seeds

Planting seeds by springknitter

I was walking to work the other day, noticing the palm trees that grow in northern Florida. Sometimes you can look down at the grass in the yards of neighborhood homes and find palm spikes sticking straight of of the ground. Their seeds having sprouted, push their way out of the ground and into the sunshine. They want so badly to grow anywhere they can. 

It got me thinking about my life over the past few years. I left my hometown in Rhode Island to embark on several different adventures with my now husband A. They took us all over the country, and landed us residing in places like Carrollton KY, Las Vegas NV, Springfield MO and now Pensacola FL. Wow. What in the world could all these places have in common that would have brought us to all of them in such short periods of time?

From an outside perspective, nothing. There is nothing in Las Vegas that is like Missouri. And pensacola is completely different from rural KY. But there is something about all these places that will always be united; the seeds I planted there. 

My roots grew strong in RI. They are deep and vast and complex. I learned so much of what I needed to know to expand my horizons and live a life in new locations. Exploring however proves to be difficult sometimes. Once I got to these new places, I often felt unsure, lost and uncertain about what the first steps should be. How do you live somewhere new when all you know is back home? And while I didn't recognize the lesson at the time, my "small fish in a big, new pond" syndrome was teaching me how to survive. I somehow found the sunniest spots, dug some little holes and planted some seeds. 

In Carrollton, KY honeysuckle vines drip with the sweet scent of love, giving and family. A group of strangers united and we planted seeds together and created a forest of trust and strength. We learned how to rely on each other and how to love each other through all of our ups and downs. It was here that I found my first home away from home. Las Vegas holds my "overcome fear" ferns. I learned how to miss my family yet still figure things out without running back home. To overcome that fear, I had to feel more scared than I ever had before. I planted some seeds and felt myself grow. In Springfield, MO a dogwood tree blooms with my "confidence." I sowed those seeds during a time that I felt weak and vulnerable and needed to love myself so I could be strong and always thriving. MO is where this blog was born and consequently a piece of me always resides in its soil. 

Today I write from Pensacola, FL where I literally plant seeds almost everyday. In a literal way I plant food, tend to it, harvest it, and hand it out for people to eat. I help teach people how to feed themselves and plant their own vegetable seeds. I haven't yet identified what kinds of figurative seeds I have been planting. But I do know this...I feel confident in the seeds I have planted all over this country and it seems time to plant seeds for others. I have planted my family, my fear, my confidence and my love for who I am. And now I am ready to put all those things into the community here and focus on those who needs my gardening hands and heart. 

Our roots may be what originally made us who we are. But once we put our seeds in many different places we start growing new roots. I like to think that even though this blog is in a cyber world, accessible at any location, it's got its own roots growing deeper, plants getting taller. I just know that now is a time to pour myself into community and see what I can do to make it grow. 

Where do your seeds grow?

BPositive and Always BPlanting!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Living and Loving

  by springknitter
, a photo by springknitter on Flickr.

As I sat in my Grammy and poppy's motor home something occurred to me. I was in the presence of a couple. A married couple who have lived life together for almost 56 years. As we talked about the dogs they've owned, the parties theyd thrown, the children they raised and the bumps in the road along the way, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for this relationship with these wonderful people. Yes, they're my grandparents but they're people. They're people who once sat in my seat, 26 years old and setting out into the world of marriage, family and adventure. And my grandparents really live each moment. I can see them as young people making their choices and learning as they go. I can see the years of laughter in the wrinkles near their eyes. I can feel the years of dancing together in their seemingly everlasting agility. I was truly in the presence of love and living tonight. How lucky I feel to have that to learn from. This post is dedicated to anyone who wants to keep living and loving every day of their lives Thanks for the lessons Grammy and poppy! Safe travels through the rest of your journey on the road.

BPositie and BFree to Live and Love!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Giving Heart

Melted broken crayons by springknitter
Melted broken crayons, a photo by springknitter on Flickr.

A week ago patience was on my mind. On days where I truly felt patient in my heart there was a sensation of peace and contentment. Outer forces could not penetrate my patient, happy heart.

Today however I feel like everything is penetrating that peaceful bubble. Am I lacking patience? Yes a little, but mostly having carried those lessons with me from last week I'm burdened by something different.

Insurmountable lists of tasks, piles of stuff disorganized in boxes, endless dishes in my sink, and an over abundance of "stuff'" in my life feel like a 75 lb weight on my shoulders.

I took a few moments to myself tonight to breakdown the battles I've been dealing with today. All I could come up with is there's too much to do and not enough time, help, or energy to do it all.

Something told me to do something relaxing and forget all the tasks for a while. Naturally I took a shower! Isn't that when our greatest revelations happen? Well mine always do and today was no different.

I was washing my excessively long hair, thinking about which of the many comfortable clothes I should wear when I get out, and deciding if I should wash all of my many favorite dishes in my kitchen. Or perhaps I should organize the 5 boxes of crafts and yarn or dust off all the wonderful new lamps, dressers and chairs that were given to us for free.

Suddenly I was very aware of the abundance in my home. Why do I need all these things? And why do I let them make my life heavier?

Further into this realization I thought about what it means to give. It felt good to think about giving because giving seemed just the opposite of stewing in all my stuff! I spend so much time worrying about what to do with all my stuff that I cloud the more important things going on around me.

I don't feel as though I am meant to give away all that I own. But it really opened my eyes that having things all around me was actually impeding on my clarity and peace. I think this is a good segue into something I've been wanting to write about for a while and that is Giving. Giving naturally comes in many forms and sometimes we need to focus on relinquishing what we have to reclaim the freedom in our hearts.

As frustrated and overwhelmed as I felt today I am really glad I got to the point of needing to figure out what was happening in my heart. Conflict always leads me to beautiful resolutions.

I'll try to relate a lot of what I do this week back to what I think it means to have a giving heart. Just as a patient heart is peaceful and content I think a giving heart leads us to a similar state of happiness.

BPositive and BGiving!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Love Being You

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
~Dr. Seus

I have to thank my friend B for reminding me of this quote. I love its simplicity and comforting message.

Today, I toured school gardens. It was quite apparent that each had its own personality. Not just different features or produce, but actual one of a kind personalities. The vegetables represented the kids, the teachers and all that put effort into their roots. A garden really does become whoever loves it. Each one is unique.

Flowering broccoli by springknitter

Did you know that each tiny knob on a head of broccoli is a bud ready to bloom? We must show up, shine brightly, live freely, be our unique selves, and have the potential to bloom beyond our functional abilities. Like gardens, we are also the product of the love we receive, and that very much includes our love for ourselves. 

BPositive and Love Being You!