Knitting EVERYWHERE.

The cold snap is nearly over. Thankfully, the country, and hopefully our hearts, are about to warm again. During that time, we all find ourselves knitting things to keep warm, and with the weather usually quite agreeable down here, I never really get the chance to bust out a sweater. But, this year the cold snapped dipped WAY down and I finally got to knit myself something quick to keep the chill off my bones. A simple set of fingerless gloves. Not bad! They took no time, work up fast, and are easy to get the hang of. Sadly, (no, I take that back, I’m looking forward to a thaw), I’ll be packing the away for next year, knowing they’ll be waiting for me.

I’ve had an idea about these “Crayon” bears, as I call them. Since they come out so randomly, should I list them all individually? Or should I just list them and say, “your bear will be a mystery…..” I mean, he might have a blue face, a green and yellow face, or an orange face. Who knows? What do you think? I mean, I only have 4 left, but it would be interesting to see what the reaction would be. For the meantime, I’ll make them “mystery color ways.” But, let me know what you think.

And! If you haven’t read, I’m doing these Valentine’s Day bears that really are adorable. There are only 12 left now, all signed and numbered, limited edition, and waiting for a loved one to receive them. And like I said, if you would like me to personalize the tag, let me know. It really is no trouble. (And we REALLY need for these little guys to fly on out of here).

I guess thats about it for now. Oh! I forgot to mention! We’re going to have a guest blogger tomorrow! I’m really looking forward to sharing her work with you. She’s a top notch blogger, if you ask me, and I’m more than happy to share my little forum with.

So, be sure to check out the “Crayon” bears here, and let me know what you think about how they should be listed, and the Valentine’s Day Bear here. After these are all gone, we’ll be closer to dwindling down the reign of the teddy bear here.

Talk soon,

Gregory

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To Be Reminded of Love

I guess winter drags so many people down. I imagine life in general can bring people down. The first and foremost thought on my mind as we move into the new year was to view everything with an eye of optimism, with a clutching hold on light over darkness.

That’s what hurt me last year. I lost hold of my optimism, let my heart get clouded by darkness. I wasn’t going to do that this year.

In terms of the world at large, we’re often pushed, cattled into battles of opposing sides and steadfast opinions. In terms of the world at large, we’re always supposed to be against each other, for some reason or another that was specifically designed to have us glued to devices that fed our anger, nurtured our distrusts, and cleverly imposed that being at peace was a fallacy. “You hate someone, I know you do. Admit it. If you don’t….I’ll give you someone to be mad at.”

I’m not playing that game anymore. I’ll avoid the negativity and move into softer places that cause the slight hint of a simple Buddhist smile to quietly draw itself upon my face. I like that feeling. When you think of it, its a bit like hearing a traffic report. “That road ahead is jammed, cars full of angry people back up for miles, going nowhere, but grabbing their steering, blaming everyone, stewing in frustration. Try an alternate route, you’ll be much happier if you do…..”

We’ve been so dead set on reminding ourselves recently that all of the holiday celebrations are over. For a brief moment, we put all of that aside (sort of), in order to revel in joy and mayhem. Then once New Year’s comes and goes in a flashing quick (literal) second, we stop, drop, and roll, Dick, roll back the distances and distrusts we had before.

But, what about Valentine’s Day? It’s just around the corner. Another day to celebrate in the dead of winter love and affection. And just after that is St. Patrick’s Day….then Easter. We’re never really at a loss to come together and enjoy the communities that we have, if you think of it. Really good spirited people don’t even wait for holidays. They celebrate simple occasions, or have block parties, or Sunday Tea Dances. The bottom line is that, there is always some way to connect with the joy that is around you, should you look for it. But, we’re too settled sometimes on these aggressive approaches towards each other because they’re just too damned familiar. I think society is becoming a bit like the cyclical battered child. It just keeps the madness in rotation from one generation to another until someone stops and says, “That’s enough.”

So, in the ideas of moving looking forward towards joy, I’ve already started my pursuit at Valentine’s Day, knitting up Limited Edition teddy bears for this year’s coming Valentine’s Day. There are only a few. Signed and numbered like my Christmas bears. What I like especially about this one is his holding a heart, and his legs sewn so that he sits readily on a shelf, on a desk, or beside your bed, so that he is always there to be reminded of love. And I refuse to believe anyone who says they are not loved by anyone. I won’t hear that. As long as you know me, you’re loved. And you always will be.

If you’d like to adopt one, click here. These little bears will take us one step closer to a dream that is almost ALMOST coming to fruition. I really hope they find homes. I had hoped we’d start the New Year on even footing. I didn’t quite make that goal, but it doesn’t mean I won’t work harder, and more to make it so.

Oh! and if you’d like the card personalized for someone, just let me know.

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The Winds of a Dismal Winter

It’s just a pinch after 7:30am. Much of the country is under a deep freeze, and waaaaay down here in sunny Orlando land, we’re feeling it, too. Just peeked at the thermometer. A very unnecessary 29 degrees. Can you believe that? Well, it does happen, not often, but it does happen every couple of years. Now, I love how the media is turning this into the live action feature of “The Day After Tomorrow,” throwing panic into an already chilling situation, but to be truthful, we DO experience this every few years. “LIZARDS ARE FALLING FROM TREES! DYING FROM THE COLD!” No, they’re not dead, they’re going into a quick hibernation state to keep them warm. They wake up a few hours later when the weather hits the 40’s. “IT IS SNOWING IN NORTH FLORIDA!!!!” Well, yeah. They get flurries up there often. The panhandle of Florida is basically lower Alabama and southern Georgia. The weather is different up there…..4 to 6 hours away.

And this year the media went bat poop stupid with their obvious attempt at scaring the hell out of us so much that we would be FORCED to stare at screens of any kind declaring the oncoming “Bomb Cyclone.”

“WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!! STAY TUNED….” And TONS of commercials fill the interim. That was the reasoning for giving it such a dramatic name. Keep us glued, keep ads in front of us.

We went from “winter,” to “blizzard,” to “storm of the century,” to “polar vortex,” to “bomb cyclone.” Can you imagine what they’ll call it in two years time just to keep us engaged again? “The DEATH storm,” is probably already being floated around board room tables… and an app to track it….sponsored by….

Things like that tend to aggravate me. The media makes everything so hypersensitive sometimes that they force a panic that is cruelly injected into our psyches. They do the same with hurricanes here. “PREPARE TO DIE FLORIDA!!!!!”

And one lonely meteorologist this last hurricane told us quite plainly, quite softly, “This is Florida, we do have hurricanes. We’ve been through this before. We’re going to be ok. We’ll wake up tomorrow without electricity for a while, but if you’ve made your preparations, you’re going to be ok. So, don’t worry. We’re going to be fine.”

Now, isn’t that refreshing? Rather than dig your fist into the gut of someone’s fear, an open palm comforted the shoulder of the audience and said, “We’ll be ok.”

Our weather report says we’ll be back to normal on Monday. Back to 75 degrees and lovely.

I’m looking forward to spring. That really is when I excel. I can’t explain why. Maybe the angle of the sun, the dewy drops on newborn flowers, the promises of a bloom showing life will go on after the dismal death spell of winter.

I’ve done more “Crayon” bears. They are MUCH smaller than my usual bears, which makes them more affordable, and I’m able to whip them up in no time flat. These brilliant and dramatic colors help bring spring closer for me. I really am looking forward to spring. I have so many plans with my writing, but even more so, some things I plan to do to place peace at the forefront of my mind. I’ll explain more as we head towards that season 🙂

So, if you’d like to snag a little bear, click here.

Stay warm everyone. The winds of a dismal winter are almost over…..

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Shooting Sh@#! on My Birthday

Well….45 runs around the sun, and what fun it has been.

Today was my birthday. And you couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. I peeked on facebook here and there and saw the birthday wishes, and I cannot thank you enough for those. They were so kind and thoughtful. But, I didn’t spend a lot of time doing too much of anything….save playing “Centipede” with Phillip. Yes, that’s what I wanted for my birthday. Something of a retreat. No knitting. No marketing. Nothing but whooping my beloved’s butt in a shoot ’em up arcade game. It does freak him out that I’m good at those. Yes, I now hold the high score in both “Centipede” and “Space Invaders.” And he was gleefully laughing, “I can’t believe your this good at these kinds of games.”

“Oh, yeah? Why?”

“Well, because you can be so academic and serious….”

“Well, sweetheart, sometimes I just wanna sit and shoot shit. :)”

Then randomly our friends came over. Kara brought me some lovely olive baquette, some delicious cheeses, and a basil plant. I’m making myself the most amazing sandwich you can think of tonight.

And when you recall in later days the highlight of your life, don’t place so much emphasis on the dramatics, the red letter days. Be sure to include a few that were tenderly simple, and filled with affection and love from those around you; don’t always include the things you’ve done, but remember to always include the things that were done for you.

I need to go up my high score. Love ya’ll.

Gregory

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An Apology for These Mistakes

This could be the last post of this year. Not sure what my schedule is like for the next few days, but if I haven’t the time to blog or write before we fall unto the promises of 2018, I wanted to make sure that I wrote this before the clock’s announcement, rather than after.

It was an interesting year, filled with my own marvels and mistakes. I shall think I’ll pack those mistakes away in the secret places of my soul to only call upon should a less than damaging year occur in the future. I’d be able to shake my head and whisper, “At least it wasn’t as bad as then.”

I made some dreadful mistakes this year, many of which I shall learn from, which should always been the intention in growth: to know when you’ve done well and be proud, to know when you’ve failed and admit it. You can’t grow if you don’t know you’re own smooth paths and craggy cliffs.

I got far too political, even when I was told I shouldn’t. From posts that read of faith and hope, I fell into the dark trap of fire and passion, leading my readers into vulgarities that turned many away. I went from comforting to confrontational, all while trying to break free of a box that I felt had been a restraint, rather than realizing that this was my place of comfort…..a bit like burning down your own house because you don’t like the furniture.

I allowed ambition to cloud my judgments and allowed the worst sorts of people into my life to allow influence. They’re all gone. I’m still here.

I forgot this year that all of the eyes that read these words are entitled a respect, that I have a responsibility, a duty to them. I let it be more about me, rather the work, the knitting, or these words I pen that give so many hope and encouragement in dark hours. I turned on them without thinking about it, turning my posts of optimism and faith into posts that were combative.

To all of you, I apologize for a year where I seem to have lost my grounding because I allowed some little internet fame go to my head, allowing me to think I could say whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted…..when once I was the champion of, “be mindful….there is a real person reading what you write…”

I love Mondays. I love sunrises. I love when the clock moves from 11:59 to 12. I love New Years. They’re all examples of a tabula rasa, a clean slate. Another opportunity to begin again. I have often said that Thanksgiving was when you gave gratitude for what you had, Christmas was to remind of what others don’t, and that New Years was to reinforce that we’re all in this together. And I do not want my part in this spinning turning of the beautiful earth to be one of confrontation. I’d rather whatever I write, whatever I say reflect what I have always promoted: hope and optimism.

So, I apologize from the bottom of my heart should I have turned some of you away, as I myself strayed from my own principles. But, rest assured, I look forward to the correcting that in the year to come.

I love you all and hope we all, together, have a blessed new year.

And don’t look so sad! We’re going to have a WONDERFUL new year!

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Dreams and Crayons

So, these smaller bears I’m working on are coming along quite fast. I’m really enjoying watching them come to life so quickly, and how wonderfully welled received they were yesterday. So, I sat here last night whipping out a few more. SO adorable and soft. If you’d like to adopt one, the colorful Crayon bears are here, and the nice vintage looking bear is here.

I’ll write more later today, but was hoping to get these shown right away. Talk later!

 

Quietly Waiting in the Nursery….

The day after Christmas for many of us is simply a quick return to work after all the wonderful celebrations we’ve had over the last few weeks. But, not to fear! New Year’s is almost here! Yes, it will be the end of the year, but its also the end of the month, which means I have to get right back to work to make sure the bills, the rent, and all of those obligations are met by first. And I’ve been taking on the goal of not only wanting to make sure that the bills are covered, but that Phillip and I start the New Year a little more ahead than playing catch up every month.

So, I thought about my teddy bears. Maybe I could make them smaller? God knows, so many are strapped after the holidays, so perhaps if I made them smaller? That way they could be more affordable. And! I could make more! Where it usually takes about 5 hours to make a bear, I worked up this little guy yesterday while watching some dreadful movie while we digested our Christmas lasagna. He took half the time to come to life. And I really REALLY loved the yarn….Maybe I’ve been watching too much Downton Abbey, but it does have an Edwardian feel to me. I can see him sitting near a crib in a nursery, waiting patiently for little hands to hold him. So, if you’d like to take him home, click here. We sure would like to find a home for him quite soon. Or perhaps you’d like to take home “Crayon,” or at least thats what I call him. All those vibrant colors brilliantly brightening up a room. If you’d like “Crayon,” click here.

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