Rainbow Bear III

IMG_0364Whew! Now, in full disclosure, Kara is actually making the bodies for these little guys, I’m making up the rest. So! Again, made of wool and acrylic blend, 12 inches, ready to ship with a signed card. Dang its been a long day. Between knitting and a rather “spirited” debated about spirituality and religion, it’s a good thing I was able to get that coffee buy one get one free. Click here to adopt.

I’m Spiritual, Not Religious

So, I’ve heard that statement before. Actually, you hear it quite often. They say you aren’t supposed to discuss politics or religion in a social setting. I don’t believe in that. See, those two concepts have shaped not only nearly every moment in history, but the moments to come, and even more importantly, the moments of right now.

So, I was meeting someone for the first time, and as I usually do, I ask questions. I love to ask questions. Where are you from? Do you enjoy what you’re doing with your life and if not, what would rather be doing? Anywhere in the world you haven’t been you’d like to visit? Those sorts of things. But, then I do usually ask, “Do you have any political leanings?” and “Do you have any religious inclinations?”

And this time, I simply couldn’t resist. When I heard, “I’m spiritual, not religious,” I couldn’t help but sit back, sigh, and then say what was on my mind. It’s often the kind of thing you hear juveniles say when they think they’re being profound….edgy….

I hear people make that statement a lot and I honestly think they’ve seen it on a bumper sticker, or heard someone else say it and decided to adopt it as a philosophy. But, I don’t think they REALLY understand what it is they’re saying. I love hearing anyone, everyone, say they’re spiritual. That’s a good thing, that’s a brilliant thing. Being spiritual means you’ve decided to connect your soul to whatever Divine your spirit has moved towards (now, we can discuss at length the difference, but I can’t think of any. No, seriously. Some call it God, the One, the Light, Allah….tree, compost….doesn’t matter, we’re all talking about the same thing, but giving It different names). So, spiritually you have made through the physical, connected with what’s higher, communed, loved, felt the brilliance, glory and grace.

However, religion is when you put that spirituality into practice. Yes, religion is just the aspects of a physical follow through of what your spirit learned when it was connected with the divine. Religion is bringing what is above down here to the below in practice. Religion is the physical exercise of what your spirit learned. And every religion has their own particulars of how you PRACTICE what your SPIRIT has learned. Some have the notion that once your meditations, contemplations and prayers have finally brought you in contact with God, then THESE ARE THE PRACTICES you should follow in order to bring “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” The macrocosm brought forth in the microcosm.  Goodness, kindness, compassion….followed through in great aspects of practice. Religion.

So, when you have the desire to say “I’m spiritual, not religious,” I want you to be mindful that what you’ve said is that “I feel I have a connection to the divine, but I do not put what I have learned into practice.”

“That’s not what that means, it means I believe in something, but I don’t believe in organized religion,” he said.

Your spirit, if it has seen the grand and glorious moments of a connection to the divine, will dictate your actions from hence forth. That is religion. That is religion: how your spirit practices love, compassion, and good will toward man. You can call that religion whatever you want. But, I’m pretty sure some of those practices are already under the umbrella of some religions that already exist. The point is, you must PRACTICE, put into action what your spirit calls you to do. So, when you say you are spiritual, leave it there. Say nothing more. Say nothing else.

“I am VERY spiritual.”

We’ll all understand, we’ll all feel what you mean. When you say, “but I’m not religious,” you have looked me dead in the eye and have decided that no part of your spirit and soul wishes to be a part of the rest of this microcosm.

Its funny. I never hear a buddhist say he’s spiritual, not religious. But I do hear a pagans,  wicans, and naturalist say it often….and I kinda look at them and say, “but you have your rituals, right? Well….dude, I hate to tell you this, but that’s religion. You said you honor your spirit by playing naked in the woods with a smudge stick and a green candle while facing east and saying  a poem……dude, that’s religion. That’s a method of putting into physical action your practice of honoring the divine. Dude, that’s RELIGION.”

I think the phrase said so often in this blog, “I’m spiritual, not religious,” is actually a very cute way of saying, “I believe in God. I believe in compassion. I believe in mercy. I just don’t believe in bestowing those concepts on you.”

Be careful of using bumper stickers as a means of identifying yourself.  That’s all I’m saying. Just because you heard someone say it, and it sounded profound, doesn’t mean it should become a way of life. There is no life in dismissing what your spirit and soul have learned. There is no life in not putting into practice the greatness of love.

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Bear

IMG_0577Ok, here’s another Rainbow Bear. I’m going to be doing probably 8 of these since I have so many skeins of it. He’s made of a wool/acrylic, measures 12″ from toe to head, and ready to ship with a signed card. Click here if you’d like to adopt him.

IMG_0571Oh! And Mario was photobombing while I was trying to take pics of the bear, so I had to share.

 

 

Tigers and Bears

unnamed3IMG_0558IMG_0364So, the closer we get to the end of the month, the more I start pushing my merchandise. Of course, I do! I have rent to pay! So, I just wanted to remind anyone, if ya’ll hadn’t seen, that my mom’s blanket is still available (Click here for more info), and my new pattern for the tiger went up yesterday. Click here for the pattern.

I still have 8 skeins of that very interesting multicolored yarn I worked up The Rainbow bear with, so I’ll be doing a few more of him by the end of the month.

I’ll be sure to post them as they’re finished up so you can adopt them. I’ve been reading your comments about advice and I do like (I REALLY like the “calling all knitters” plan. I’ll work out the details this weekend.

Ok. I gotta run. Hitching a ride with Kara to Publix. Coffee is buy one, get one free this week. That’s a lot of busy knitting :)

 

 

 

 

Tigers Are For Cuddling

IMG_0558So, here’s my first tiger! I made him with Paton’s classic wool in pumpkin, black and aran. I really think he came out rather well. And yes, I initially wanted to do a version of Calvin’s stuffed version of Hobbes. But, there were far too many out there.

 

xI wanted to a stuffed version of Hobbes as we see him, animated and engaging, like the version Calvin sees in his imagination. If you’d like to adopt my very first tiger, click here. He’s ready to ship with a signed card.

And HERE is the pattern!

RARRR!!!

How to Get Rid Of Stress

We all have our own individual escapism. We all have our own way of dealing with stress. We all find ways to block away the toils of the day, finding our own ways to relax, release, and find enjoyment. Mine? Simple pleasures. Kara hit Clemen’s produce yesterday and snagged me some more green peanuts for boiling. You have no idea what that simple little gesture does fIMG_0548or a day of worry. It’s gone, I tell you. GONE. So, people have asked, how do you cook them? What’s the recipe? Now, you can get all fancy and frilly and do lovely things, I’m sure, with a recipe, but it’s quite easy. Throw your peanuts (about a pound) in a big ol’ pot filled with water. Now, just fill the pot with water. The peanuts will float, so you can’t cover them. Add about a quarter of a cup of salt. Actually, reduce that a little. Just a touch less than that. Set the burner on high and put a lid on the pot, titled, so some steam is allowed to escape as they cook. Once it begins to boil, think one hour. One hour of boiling should be all you need, but check on them every 15 minutes to see if there’s enough water in the pot. Once your hour is done, pull a peanut out, blow on it, cool it, snap it open and see if the peanuts are tender enough. If so? Then proceed to step two: turn off the heat and let the peanuts sit there for another hour. The brine will flavor the peanuts. Done. Delicious. Devilishly nutritious.

thNow while the peanuts were soaking in the hot brine I took to my tub, for which I’m too tall for, but who cares! It still does its job. Now, when I soak in the tub I tend to read Calvin and Hobbes. I don’t know where that came from…..

That’s a lie. I know EXACTLY why. I often felt like Calvin when I was a kid. A crazy little shit with a wild imagination, too smart for his own good, and whose stuff tiger became his best friend. I didn’t have a stuffed tiger. I had an E.T. doll I carried everywhere. I identify with Calvin. I think a lot of people reminisce about their childhood through Calvin and Hobbes. So I was compelled to work up a tiger. I’m fond of felines anyway. But, something about that connection between Hobbes and all of us former little shits seemed to call upon something in my spirit. “DO it,” my spirit said. “Be a boy again.”

IMG_0549So, the tiger isn’t quite done, but will be ready tomorrow, but I thought I’d show a quick sneak peek into how he’s working up.

IMG_0554And finally? How to unwind and get rid of stress? Have your best bud, Mario, sit on your lap and read and critique what you write. Its funny that she really does seem to perch herself right here on this lap of mine just when I start to blog.

So that’s how you unwind and get rid of stress. Soak in the tub, read some Calvin and Hobbes, boil some peanuts and have your best bud at your side. It’s little things, simple pleasures. No spas nor vacations to exotic locations. It’s all about the pleasure of little treasures.

And from that? I dare you not to smile.

Talk to you tomorrow. (“ROAR!!!!!” said tiger…..then he yawned and went back to sleep beside me).

Mad Man’s Mom

unnamed unnamed2 unnamed3I was talking to my mom on the phone last night. She said she had seen my blog about being behind on back orders and such and offered some help. Now, my mother doesn’t knit, but she does crochet, and some of you out there have a couple of her blankets that she’s whipped up. And I always think it kinda interesting, when she has a question about a stitch or a pattern, she still comes to the master, the ninja, her son, the madman. Anyway, she offered some help in the form of a blanket she just finished. She said, “Sell it. Keep what you need from the sale to help you get a little caught up.”

So, hell yes, I will. She sent me photos of the blanket this morning and so I decided to go ahead and offer it up to you. As you can see, its made up in something of a granny square/window pane approach. It covers a queen size bed (so its HUGE!) and made in acrylic so its easily washable. The colors are a sea foam green bordered with white.

Now, it won’t be shipped from here, from me, but it will be shipped from “Mad Man’s Mom” (her name is Virginia) on St. Simon’s Island and then a thank you card from me. Which is pretty cool, if you ask me.

My backlogged bear for the day is finished and now I’m working on…..a tiger. Yeah. I’ll explain more tomorrow when he’s finished, but my youth and spirit were called to work on a tiger. And he’s coming out nicely.

Click here if you’d like my mom’s blanket. And again, the profits made go to help me out. Thanks ya’ll! Oh, and if you think its a bit too pricey, let me know and I’ll adjust the price for a fair offer.

Gotta go tame a tiger.

From Broken Bricks

So, the day after my last post, I spent the majority of my time reading  comments and emails and just sitting back quietly and listening. I didn’t even knit. I was in reflection as I learned about what you needed from me, what you hoped for me, and for some of you, how I had failed you. Yes, most of you are so vibrantly kind and patient with me and for that I get to walk away from my work on occasion and feel thankful and joyous. But, there are some who are not at all impressed with me. I understand that and hold now grudge or ill will. To them I can only offer my forgiveness that things did not work out so well, wish you well, and proceed.

But, proceed I must. I can’t stall in a quagmire of disappointment. We learn, we grow, we move on. We correct our mistakes, take the lashes and thrashes that we are due, and then aspire to do better. We do not rest in the self imposed confines of bad reputation, where our only highlights are the memories of fonder days. Absolutely not. We move towards ideas of the future, of how to make situations and relationships better, how to correct what we may have done wrong, and build upon the broken bricks of our heartfelt mistakes greater foundations for the future. I did lose some customers over this. But, it was expected that I might. To them, I can only say I hope you find all the treasures and dreams you wish for in your life. I am sad that things did not turn out well for us, but I have to proceed….

Now, I did not just jump to this conclusion quickly. No, it was a day of sitting back and listening, or reading emails and comments. This feeling of clarity came after talking to my friend Giovanni in the Netherlands. We were finally able to skype, and for nearly 2 hours we had the best time talking and laughing. The first part of the conversation was spent talking about the issue at hand, but once it seemed it had been dealt with, and I knew what decisions to make, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I was able to smile again, laugh again, understand that I should never take it personally, nor take myself too seriously, and enjoyed the rest of our talk, enjoyed meeting his wife, and thoroughly enjoyed time to myself away from some pressures. I certainly did need that. So, Giovanni! Thank you for the great talk! I look forward to our next one!

And to the rest of you that decided to stay, give me words of encouragement, and even dispute to others that said I wasn’t worth the trouble, you know that I love you. And I know how much you love and care for me. I know that for certain. And it is rather comforting, isn’t it? That in a society filled with doubt and uncertainty, miscommunication and whisperings, that I KNOW that you love me. Great Steven Wonder shout out in As: “Did you know you’re loved by somebody?” I never have to second guess it. \

So, let’s go forward now. I’ve heard, learned, and lost….now, let’s move forward and build.

IMG_0541IMG_0542 IMG_0543Here’s my bear for today. Made of that luscious lamb’s wool in a soft creme colour, a little bigger than the others, 12″ ready to ship with a signed card. I like the idea of this bear, coinciding with this particular blog, moving into the hands of a newborn. If you’d like to adopt him, click here.

Where is My Bear?

So, I’ve gotten quite a few emails (actually TONS) from alot of you wondering where your bear is. I understand. I truly do. Now, this is the process I’m working on now. The first part of the day, I work on a bear that was made to order and it gets boxed and sent out. My mailman shows up at 4:30. The second part of the day I work on a bear to sell right away. At this point, I have no choice. I mean, I have no money. And I have to sell one bear a day to keep things afloat. Rent, electric, more polyfil. So, alot of people are upset that I seem to work up a bear and then sell it, when they haven’t received theirs yet. I totally get that, but the reality is, I have to keep selling. Another crinkle in the scenario is that I get some rather angry people who say, “Send me bear now, or else.” And I have to oblige, even though someone further down the list hasn’t received theirs. Someone who has been waiting longer writes me and says someone they know got their bear before they did, but I seemed to have skipped them.

So, there is a lot of….geez, I dunno. I’m trying to make everyone happy, but pissing everyone off at the same time. I’m not sure what to do. I have wrestled with the idea of charging more, so I wouldn’t have to work as hard….but that’s a risk that could turn people away. At this point, I have to sell 30 bears a month to settle my bills. And that’s not just rent and utilities, that’s also food, boxes, poyfil, and postage. I’m not trying to whine, or bestow a pity party, I’m just asking you what you want me to do? I mean….I’m asking you, what do you want me to do? Right now I’m working on Kathi Ganz’s panda and at the same time, working on a bear to sell for tomorrow. Because that is the reality. I have to sell another one tomorrow. Actually, I now have to sell 3 tomorrow. So, I know people are confused, and angry, and I’m…..

I just….I don’t know what ya’ll want me to do. I want to do right by everyone. So, I just need to know how to do that.

 

And Finally…..Jelly

IMG_0530Ok, this is my last Debbie Bliss bear made with Merino Wool. And since the last one looked like peanut butter, couldn’t help but think this one looked like grape jelly. Like the others, this bear measures 12″ high, stuff with polyfill, and ready to ship with a signed card. The Debbie Bliss yarn was a lot of fun to work with! Sorry about the crappy  lighting. Click here to adopt him.