The Four Bear Attempt Pt. 2

IMG_1778So, I didn’t manage to get the 4 done that I wanted, but here are three, the three I was needing to get rent finished up by today. I really like taking these new pics of them outside by the succulents. Says something about spring, and their colors. Especially the orange-brown bear by the Terra Cotta pots, and the other two bears very close to the colors of the plants. They’re all ready to ship with a signed card by me, each of them made of wool.

Man, am I tired. Just click on the pic of the bear you’d like to adopt. And I really hope you’d like one. That would certainly help out.

IMG_1779 IMG_1780 IMG_1781

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1439

 

 

To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

The Four Bear Attempt

Over the last few days I have been knitting my little heart out to get 4 bears finished up so that I could finish paying off the rent. But, it hasn’t worked as I had hoped. I used to be able to knit like….well, a madman. But, with my arm as it is, my knitting is much slower. And trying to finish up these 4 hasn’t happened. With it already being the second of the month, rent hasn’t been paid. I’m still working on these 4 bears, but also on other bears that need to be delivered. But, the later it gets in the day, the more nervous I am about this. I just don’t see myself finishing these 4 bears today, not at the rate I’m knitting. I’m just realizing more and more…..I don’t have that ability anymore. I just don’t have the physical ability to whip them out as fast as I used to. When once I could finish 4 bears in a day, nerve damage has made it that I can do maybe one bear in a day. I still have my books I can offer, that helps. And my donate button is back up. My 4 bears will be ready in a day or two, but by then, my options of safety are off the table, and my lease may be up for grabs. So….

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

 

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

 

Two Rules to End the Violence in America

First, love the Lord God above all other things…..

The Ten Commandments are one thing, but should you be craving peace, then remember first and foremost only two commandments are needed to achieve the world of peace you envision.

My mind is swept up in the violence we’ve seen in our society of late. I can’t reach the globe, can’t persuade it to think differently….nor should I even try. Watched Baltimore burn to the ground last night….another in a series of cities destroyed by forgetting the two vital testaments of peace.

First, love the Lord God above all other things…..

You don’t have to be a Christian to follow that concept. First, love the motion and movement of the Universe above all other things. Why? Because once you’re gone, the Universe with all of it’s perplexities will continue without you. It’s better than you, stronger than you, doesn’t need you, but loves having you as a part of it’s spinning, whirring genius.

There is something humbling about knowing you are but a part of it, but not controlling it. It does not need you, but loves you. And no matter how hard man tries, man cannot control nature. He submits to it, follows it, respects it, honors it. Much like you would God. Nature rules, man only tries to understand how it does. Again, much like God. Having the ability to see insufficiency allows a man to learn so much more. It allows a man to understand that his only control is not over the Universe, but over his own actions and emotions….which brings us to the second concept.

Second, love your neighbor as you would love yourself.

It’s rather molecular in a way, when you think about it. I need only to love the being that lives next to me. I do not need to force my will, my hopes, my dreams on the world at large. I don’t need to impose, I simply need to love, respect, and appreciate the being that lives bordering my door. Because if I do that, and they do that in turn to the man on his left and right, and they proceed in the same pursuit of this idea, then all is well. Nothing monumental is required of you, no need to gleam with massive attempts at saving the extent of the world. These ideas can end in a spotlight. The ego takes over, the prominence and status of good deeds take over….the result is not the intent, the action is….And the action is always placed on the self. I’m going to save the world. Look at what I’ve done. Look at what I’m doing….

Doing is not the intent. Having done is. And it’s a split second concept. A split second. I value my neighbor as I value myself and will treat him as such. I will treat him as I treat myself. Not as I WISH to be treated, but as I treat myself. Because when you wish to be treated a certain way, then again, you’ve already turned the Universe back to you, back to the ego.

I wish, I pray, my neighbor is well….. Done.

It’s quite different than, “I wish my neighbor would treat me well, for I hope he knows I treat him well.” It’s not about the self, it’s about the handing over of the self.

“I wish you well.” Done.

“I am going to treat you well, so that you treat me well.” Doing….

Sorry. I just feel with all of the monumental moments of violence that have permeated our society of late, people keep screaming about wanting peace. They keep demanding it, and wanting conferences about it, and having discussions and throwing ideas around, and wanting to have dialogues, and meanwhile only two rules need apply for peace. Only two. Not simple, granted. But there are only two things you need to do.

First, love and respect and honor that there is a greater energy than you that controls the world in which you live. Be humble to it, and realize you control only YOUR actions and emotions. Not the actions of everyone, nor everything around you.

Second, love and respect and honor the being bordering your doors. Forget trying to save the world, nor saving anyone. You are only required to love and respect honor the being next to you first and foremost. And allow them to do the same. And don’t forget to accept their love in return. Police only the way you behave towards another. Not the way they behave towards you. You cannot control that.

Another city burns…..the perpetrators demanding respect. The quiet amongst them demand peace….but neither of them are following the rules….. They’re both still doing….not having yet done it.

The Virtual Book Tour

Good morning everyone!

A lot of people have been asking me when “Knit For Food” will be available in distribution, or on Kindle. Easy answer…..NEVER! LOL! :)

Nah, the whole point of “Will Knit For Food” and it’s nearly 600 pages was that it was intended as an exclusive to this blog. You wouldn’t be able to buy it on Amazon, or go to Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy. No, it would only come from me because I get to sign them. Absolutely! I can’t sign a kindle copy, and my agoraphobia won’t allow me to go on a real book tour. I mean, I’m working on the agoraphobia, but we’re talking baby steps…..baby steps.

So, in an unusual way, THIS is my book tour. And you know what? It’s actually a bit more fun than a usual one. I mean, check this out….my book is happily going to Japan, the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia! Nice! I wouldn’t have been able to do that in real time, but here, on this blog, I’ve been able to send my book to all sorts of places across the globe.

And I love signing them. I DO! I smile when I sign my book….it makes me feel kinda special :) So, with rent coming up in 5 days, I’m gonna be pushing my little butt to sale my little book. So, go snag a copy soon! And if you have the t-shirt, or are getting the t-shirt, please send a pic of you wearing it! I’d love to see it! Just send them to madmanknitting@gmail.com

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

 

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

Mountain Morning Bear

My teeth are much better this morning. I wasn’t so grindey last night. I did my little mantra, slept on my back, had a pillow tucked to the side of my neck to keep my head propped up.

IMG_1772To keep my mind off my teeth last night, I managed to work out this little bear with some superwash merino wool from Alina Shea Creations. I love the name of the color: mountain morning. Which it truly does look like. Has that nice,smokey, blue grass mountain color, of sky meeting earth in a hushed mist. I was lucky enough to get a nice box of all of these wonderful, hand-dyed, handspun yarns and this one was a real treat to work with. He measures 12″ from head to toe, and is ready to ship with a signed card by me. If you’d like to adopt him, click here.  There’s only one!

Ok, headed to Walgreens to check into one of those dental guards. Thanks for the heads-up on that!

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

Lips Together, Teeth Apart

Ok, I know it’s the title of a play, but it was my mantra last night…..all night.

If you’ve followed my blog for a long while, you’ll remember I have a terrible problem with my teeth. Bad nutrition for years set in a bad case of periodontitis. I’ve been told by dentists for years that I should take special care, and if I do, I’ll be able to hold onto my smile for maybe another 5 years. Maybe. Usually, once a year, my face flairs up, blows up to the size of a grapefruit. I take the antibiotics, whimper for a week, then when all has cleared and the dust settles, I’m able to go back to my daily routine, my life, my smile. And part of what perpetuates the problem is a terrible habit of grinding my teeth at night. Anyone who has ever slept anywhere near me at night will comment in the morning, “DAMN! That was LOUD!” I often wake myself up in the middle of the night. But, I get it. It’s related to stress.

Last I woke more than usual with an acute pain centered around my right upper molars. That’s the usual spot where my flair up occurs. Apparently, I had been grinding my teeth so bad that I had pushed one molar well up into my gums and the searing pain had me waking and moaning. And that’s when I started on my chant. “Lips together, teeth apart.” And it does work. An hour or two later and I was at it again, waking with a moan and a pain, but would rest my head back down on the pillow repeating over and over, “Lips together…..teeth apart.”

And the last time I did that was somewhere around 4am. I decided to sit up for a minute, scratch Mario’s back who was laying beside me, and pop on some old school. (“Murder, She Wrote”). As I lay there I decided to consider the stress factor, for that’s where the grinding teeth come from. It didn’t take an entire episode to realize where it comes from.

It’s not easy being an independent artist, or writer, or knitter. It’s not easy waiting each day to see if I’ve made a sale to see if I’ll be able to pay the rent, or eat. But, don’t forget for even a moment, that these were the decisions I made. I started all this when I was homeless. I used my hands and my talents with a set of knitting needles to get myself out of it, and it took a few years, but it gladly happened. Happily happened….but, something is missing.

And as I lay there, I realized I was focusing on the wrong stress. It wasn’t a fear of not selling and being homeless again, no it was more philosophical. It wasn’t a fear of failure….it was a fear of not living to my potential.

I have value, and thanks to all of you, I have purpose. I have a life that I never would have thought possible five years ago. When I sold my first bear, I was only hoping to buy a bag of groceries. Now? Now, I get to hear your stories, be a part of your lives, smile with you, morn with you, share ideas with you, I get to sleep in a real bed after having a nice bowl of chili stuck to my gut. And the real stress, I discovered, was that I could do more, but haven’t. I could do more for this community of knitters, but haven’t. So worried about surviving, I wasn’t thinking enough about thriving, and in turn, doing the same for anyone who comes across this blog.

I can do so much more for all of us. I know I can. And I just have to remember when I go to bed, that I’m no longer doing this for myself. I’m doing it for everyone that has read my work and felt a need to say hello, to email me, to contact me with kindness and joy and understanding.

I have all ideas I’m gonna sleep tonight with lips together, teeth apart…and the grinding will stop. I get it now. I get it now. Everything I’ve been working for isn’t just so I can pay rent and buy food….it’s something bigger. There’s something bigger that’s going to happen. And it won’t because of me, but because of us. All of us, side by side like a couple of knitting ninjas with needles in hand, not only surviving….but, all of us thriving. Finally, thriving….

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

The Secret Life of Cats

When I first met Phillip, our friendship started on a mutual appreciation for each others artistry. I knit and write, he does stenciled prints.

“About what,” I asked?

His response? “The secret life of cats….”

I took a peek at his work and grew fond of it quite quickly. They reminded me of Mario and her madness. What in the world does she do when I’m not around? What does she think about? What is she conspiring in that little feline mind? Well, Phillip’s prints truly did capture that.

tb,1200x1200,small.2I saw this one print of his and said, “Dude! You have to! YOU HAVE to make this bigger, more. Keep going.” He was developing this story line about a battle between cats and mice, each of them with their own combative agenda, each creature dedicated to the destruction of another. And I fell in love with it. I truly could see the story line happen slowly. But, instead of comic panels, they were done in a pillow, a coffee cup, on a tote bag. There are cats playing…then suddenly surrounded by mice in a sneak attack. Suddenly a battle breaks out.

mug,standard,x400,center-bg,ffffffI was impressed. I truly was. It’s one thing to tell a story, to write about things in the fashion that I do, but it’s an entirely different idea to carry the story from a pillow to a coffee cup. And even more so, the idea that the first print, the tote, was something akin to fashion of the “American in Paris” 50’s, and then the second print, the coffee cup, was an ode to something that reminded you of Batman in the 60’s. Now, I’ve been peeking over his shoulder and I’ve seen the next one, which does remind one of war films of the 70’s.

tpr,875x875,s.62Maybe that’s the trick? I haven’t asked him yet, but maybe each print tells not only the continuing saga of the secret life of cats and their ongoing battle with mice….but an homage to pop culture identity per decade….or maybe, that as time has progressed innocence has been tossed aside for the sake of violence? Will have to ask him about that.

Wow. Good job, Phillip :) So take a peek at his work. I think you’ll find it interesting, humorous and…..might make you rethink the secret life of cats. Just click on the pics to see his work.

Cheers!

Something Like Tartan

IMG_1764I worked up this bear with Lionbrand’s Wool Ease and with all of it’s striping purples and greens and reds, it did end up looking pretty close to something like a tartan. The colors are awesome,  but there wasn’t enough left in the skein to complete the whole bear so I was able to finish him by giving him a white muzzle and bottom paws. I think he came out rather cute, very Scottish, very Highland Games (don’t ask me why, but that’s what I see when I look at him :) ) If you’d like to adopt him, click here. He measures 12″ tall and is ready to ship with a signed card by me. There’s only one!

More to blog about later, but had to get this little guy adopted soon. Have a great day!

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

Only For Tonight

Anxious (ok, maybe desperate) to get my book out there and raise some funds, I’ve dropped the price of the signed copies to $19.95. Which is not bad, really. What else can I say? Buy my book? Nah, you’ve already heard that, but I thought this would be a nice way to get it moving more.

If you like this blog and would like to see it continue, be sure to donate. Every dollar helps.

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

A Celebratory Blog Post

vlcsnap-2015-04-21-10h32m53s104Over the month of April, I managed to sell 25 signed copies of my new book”Will Knit For Food.” Now, some may not think that’s very many, and heaven knows, my share of that amount isn’t very much, but it sure does make me feel good. It gives me the hope that I have a chance, a truly good chance to make this year a really good one. I’ve discussed time and time again that I just can’t knit like I used to because of the nerve damage in my arm. I’m still knitting now of course, but nothing like I used to. And once this year is finished, I won’t be able to knit for a living anymore. So, selling 25 copies made me smile, made me laugh…..made me dance. Yeah, had to make a little video of it because I truly do look ridiculous and these days, I rather like looking a little silly. I’m having fun with my life, I’m enjoying these days because I have so much to be thankful for.

Just think, 4 years ago when I first became homeless, there was nothing, and I do mean nothing, to smile about. And here I am now. I don’t have much, but I do have a little place to live, food to eat, and people that love and care for me. That is so much more than so many people have. And I can never ever be grateful enough for it. That’s why lately my mood seems fun, because I know from experience what that means to never give up on hope. The darkness will lift, as long as you remain true, as long as you hold tight to your beliefs, and as long as you remember, the light of the universe will always be on your side.

Yes, THAT is what “Will Knit For Food” is about. You see a man making great strides in his life, becoming a man and making a way for himself….then suddenly, it’s over, it’s all gone. No money, no home. You find him homeless and living in the woods, and for four years you see him NEVER give up hope, never waver from the belief that he was a valued member of society, that he had a purpose….and near the end of that 500 page tome you see it lifted, it see it all slowly come together with a place to live, a sense of purpose, and a sense of gratitude for all of you that must never be forgotten, for it’s because of you that I have a life. A truly great life.

So, this was something of  a celebratory blog post. 25 copies in a month! Not bad! I’m itching to sell more, of course! I’d love to sell 25 more so I can keep on dancing…..and then who knows? Maybe this month that will cover rent, and next month, rent and electric, and then maybe in a year, I’ll finally have that little white house of mine…. Finally, a permanent place to live. :)

So, watch the video, dance with me. Laugh a little at my jiggy self.

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here.