Sunday, December 28, 2014

Building...

The beginning of our spawn village

So after visiting with family and festivities we played Minecraft.  This world will have a spawn town of sorts and we have all been taking some time to make it more realistic with municipal areas.  Yesterday I built the tree park.  I am actually quite proud of it.  The interlocking motif has a fountain in the center and trees of every kind surrounding it.  There are flowers and it is very lovely IMHO.  

The big thing was I had to flatten and then re-terrace a hill, a large and boring job to some.  But I really like the mindless chopping and clearing and then re-terracing.   





Here is a closer-to-the-ground shot of the tree park.  It is really lovely at night with all the glowstone. 



Here is my sister's teleport hub.  It is amazing!  I love the roof and the stones she used.  It is so bright and lovely at night too with all that glowstone.


As I mentioned, we have been taking our time.  My hubby has built roads and bridges so each place is accessible.  This oak house is my house.  I had always wanted to build a house with different hight roofs and it really intimated me.   But I really like the way my house came out.  I have a little cottage garden around the sides and my sister built me a fishing pier like hers.  Her house is behind mine and it is adorable...of course.  :)

I have no witty things to say today.  This has been a lovely holiday that where we have just relaxed and had fun.  I hope that you have done the same.

Bright Blessings to you and yours in this season of light,
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Good Night



So I'm going to share something that is kinda personal to me.  For years I've had trouble sleeping in the same room as my husband because he snores.  We have tried everything.  Earplugs made my inner ear troubles echo like a train was running through my head and they made me a bit woozy.  We got two white noise machines that allowed me to stay in there half of the night but as soon as he got bad it would break through the white noise. He has tried supplements and herbs; medicines and everything under the sun.  I have tried everything from herbal remedies to a shot of sherry (this was very infrequent as I don't drink more then a glass of wine now and then these days).

In short, I love being with my husband and look forward to that special feeling I get as he holds me at night.  It frustrated me to have to move in the middle of the night and my sleep suffered greatly.  But we kept trying to find some magic combination of something that would allow us to make it through the night together.


Over the last few months I have been working with Sleepio, an app that helps you understand your sleep and find ways to improve it.  There was a whole section on outside noises, including snoring, and how they affect your sleep.  Sleepio explained how over years and years by trying to avoid the snoring, I've created a reaction to the snoring and that was part of the problem.


My sleep coach taught me a piece of the puzzle that I hadn't even understood; I was projecting this inability to sleep.  Since I knew the minute I heard the snoring I would have to move I was all set up to do so.  Over the years I had put out clothes and water and stuff to bring over to the other room.  I always make my bed up that night so it would be ready for me with the covers pulled back.  I was creating a habit of moving every night and reinforcing it by my actions.


So slowly over the course of a month I stopped doing all those things to prepare for my moving.  I created a stronger "want" to stay under the warm covers with my loving husband then to move into the cold air and to try and find all those things.  I made the getting out of bed the frustrating part and one morning I found that I was still there and it was a wonderful feeling to be warm and snuggly with my husband.


That was step one because even though I had fought my way back to sleep through the snoring; I still felt wasted that morning...like I had fought a huge battle.  I kept telling myself that I was making strides and I needed to keep up the work.


Step two was to choose not to be affected by his snoring.  I started off the night as I did my nightly reiki saying a dialogue of me the next day happy and totally unaffected by any sounds in the night.  I projected me already making it through the night until I was done with my reiki and then curled up with my husband and was shocked when I woke up in his arms the next morning.  This time I was well rested and I knew that his snoring hadn't woken me up.


Now some nights I would make it through and then others I would not.  But this was better then never making it through.  I continued to use the new tools that I had created to help me but something was still needing to be changed and that was me.


The sound of snoring would set off an emotional response in me.  If I heard it out of context, it would still cause some serious anger, frustration and other negative emotions to arise...my sleep coach said these had to change if I was truly going to get a good night's sleep.


I needed to take my negative feelings about snoring out of the equation.  Little by little I needed to make a new pavlovian response to the sound of snoring.  So every time I heard snoring I began to relax.  


I would tighten my muscles up in one area of my body and this would be my old feelings about snoring; angry, unchanging and negative and then I would release that area of my body and say relax as I did so and this would be my new feeling...relaxing, serenity and good deep sleep.  I kept this up for another month.  In the beginning I would have to wake up enough to focus on the relaxing but now my body just sort of does it as I hear the snoring and the next thing I know I am waking up really rested.  Now the snoring actually relaxes me as I no longer have a negative emotional tie to it and that is fantastic!


It wasn't easy to get here.  It took months of dedicationworking with my surroundings and the support of my loving family...but I did it!  Last month I was actually able to make it through the entire night every night. When my hubby rolled over and I was still there he was so happy because that is what he has wanted all this time for us.


So I found you really can change things...you have to do it slowly and it takes time and everyone's situation is different.  But if you can change just one thing at a time and let that change sink in then the next change is a little easier until the moment when you realize that you have done it.  You have really changed your life.


In Minecraft survival you start out with nothing.  You have no food and no shelter.  The monsters will eat you at night and life is really challenging when you are starting out.  But as you gain tools and supplies, things change. Slowly you start to feel that you are going to be okay and you can tell you are getting stronger.  The monsters aren't as dangerous and most times you can avoid them.  You keep getting stronger and you grow crops and have collect animals.  Now you don't have to worry about food so much.  Each achievement makes you stronger and you grow as a character.


Gaming teaches me about life and life teaches me about gaming.  In all these games you start with nothing and create a world where you get stronger and stronger and that totally works in real life too.  The gaming is easier then the actual real world where you have to change up everything and really make an effort but the truth is that you can do anything if you really break it down and work on it and believe in yourself and the process.


Bright Blessings and a Happy Yule to those that celebrate,

Ruinwen
:)

P.S.  The above pic is two half-linen stitch infinity cowls.  This one is my Holda pattern: I wanted to show how different yarns really change the effect of the cowl.  I love the rainbow one it reminds me of an Egyptian neck piece.  And I still love the winter one with the grey on white.  It is such a fun stitch!  :)






Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reflections


I took this photo from our room in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in DC.  My DH is having his annual company shindig and we are staying the lap of luxury.  We are having a blast and the food is wonderful; they have a gluten free menu and I've really enjoyed trying some new things.

I usually find all these things that I want to change when coming to wonderful hotel like this.  In truth it was the Mandarin three years ago that helped us to solidify what kind of shower setup we wanted. Last year I fell in love with the bed we had because it was soft and I fell into it like a cloud, which in turn helped us to look outside of the box for a new bed.

But this year we have the new bathroom and I really appreciate the ADA height in our toilet...especially in the middle of the night.  Our bed is a thing of absolute relaxation built to our specific needs.  The thing is while this hotel is amazing and we have this beautiful suite and you could live in our bathroom...but I love my house more.  I appreciate the way we built it together and every time I look at our counter top I remember that my son picked it out.  I love the way my house feels like a home again and how very thankful and blessed I truly am.

Life is really what you decide it is.  Each day you make a choice how you are going to see the moments that string together.

Tonight I will dress like a princess but in truth I can feel like that in jeans and a warm sweater.  I feel special every day because of the people that I am blessed to have in my life, the talents I am blessed with and all the amazingness that life has to offer.

My son said to me the other day that he didn't know what to ask for when people asked him what he wanted for Yule because he is really blessed.  He has everything he wants.  He then gave me a big hug and talked about getting gifts for poor kids that don't have a way to afford gifts for the holidays.

There was a story they told in church about the pastor wanting the community to collect money for a needy family for the holidays.  This one family sat down and even though they lived pay check to pay check, they worked out how each of them could make a little money by doing chores for others. The family agreed that the father and mother could work a little overtime and the kids would help around the house.  I don't remember all the particulars but all the family even the little ones collected money by doing various things.  In their heart was the idea of helping someone else and how beautiful it would be for a family in need to be able to have a good holiday season this year.

The family was so proud that they were able to do this wonderful thing for another.  They all had to work a little harder then usual but they proudly offered the money to the pastor and he looked at them quizzically.  "We were collecting for you," he said softly, "We know that you wear the same outfit on Sunday and are just making ends meet."

The family was confused.  "Money is a necessary thing, yes," the father explained to the pastor, "But we have good jobs and our children go to school.  Right now they may not have a lot but we have each other and in that we are richer then most."

The pastor got tears in his eyes at the generous and beautiful heart of this family.  He saw that they were living the words of God in every moment of their lives.  What he had seen was lack had been through his understanding of the word; but in reality this family was blessed and prosperous beyond measure.

From our family to yours, may the blessings of the season bring you joy, prosperity, love and light,

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Just Checking In


Santa was posing in ESO the other day so I had to get a pic.  My dark elf is pretty shy, so she is the one behind Santa with the red hair.  :)

This week I have nothing really to show you - although I did make a beautiful cowl for my Secret Snowflake and she seemed to really like it.

I've been working on me and how I see the world but that really isn't something that is easy to explain without believing in the Laws of Attraction and Equivalent Exchange.

I've been writing character sketches each day and it feels good to write again.  It is something I have always enjoyed.  So, I'm not sure how you write a character but mine talk to me and I write them the way they present themselves.  I've had these characters in my head for what seems like a life time now and I never knew that they had partial color blindness.  Maybe it isn't something they share a lot or maybe it is such a part of them that they forget that others are different.

I was trying to understand that part of them this week from a writing perspective.  I was trying to find a way to duplicate what they see so that I could understand them a little better.  Here is how my main character might see.  The first shot is without any filters.  The second shot is with a red-weak filter and the third is with a red-blind filter.




As you can see, how this character sees would change the world he lives in.  What challenges does he face on a daily basis that I take for granted and he had to learn to overcome?  How would he decorate his room?  Would it be garish to me because he used colors he could see...that were pleasing to him? How does it help or hinder his job?

It is all perspective.  Life is shaped by how you see it.  That view can be changed by others if you choose to believe their truths over your own; which then becomes your true life view.  Or you can take your truth and change it to whatever you want it to be.  Is that easy?  Not always...sometimes...no...yes.  

All I know is that is what I've been working on.  POV.  How I see the world...or should I say how I choose to see the world.  And in this season of the light being reborn in different ways all over the world; I choose to let in and embrace that warm and fuzzy glow of goodness and hope that is the calling card of this season and share it with as many people as I can.

Hugs!

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)




Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Perfect Day




"Everything in life can be nourishing. Everything can bless us, but we've got to be there for the blessing to occur. Being present with quality is a decision we are invited to make each day."
-- MacRina Wiederkehr

Thanksgiving was perfect.  It wasn't stressful like other years; there was a subtle shift that made it a moment to treasure instead of a hurried crazy mess of hungry people waiting for a turkey.  

It started with a snow storm.  It actually was quite beautiful and the roads stayed mostly clean while the trees and grass were covered.  I was able to get my yummy smoked turkey with no trouble at all and my sister got here before I even got home from work on Wednesday.

After doing some chores, we began the cooking.  It usually takes us about 2 hours to get the casseroles prepared for baking the next day.  This year we were able to do all of the flavors we consider traditional while staying gluten and dairy free.  It was amazing to me how good everything was!

I should have taken a picture of all of it.  We had a yummy smoked turkey, sausage stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, spinach savoy, drunken sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin bread.  Everyone loved everything.  The flavors were like when Mom made them and everything stayed happy in my tummy.  

We chilled after doing the dishes and watched a movie.  Then there was more clean up and lots of Minecraft.  Sis and I built this little island for getting leather.  All the design is Sis.  Her architectural skills kicked in and she was having a ball just creating some beautiful coordinating pens, a house and an enchanting room.

Our island leather farm and enchanting house


We started this little endeavor because when we upgraded to 1.8 we lost all of our achievements. We both needed to get the enchanting achievements and last time we traded for the bookcases from the village for days before we got enough to build a really nice enchanting nook.

Ahh Serenity
My Sis had wanted to travel somewhere new, so after many days walking on water I found the above scene.  I knew that I wanted to explore the caves in that mountain and look at all the coal...but what I love is the flowing waterfalls...so serene.  

Two scenes from the same window in my Mesa House

One of my big things in this game is every house I have has to have windows.  In most survival scenarios I have windows before I have a door.  :)  One of the things I love about Minecraft is the beauty of the world.  My family knows this...each of us have that thing that is important to us and we all try to honor each other's little nuances that make the game special.  Mine is windows.

Windows allow us to see the world; sometimes we see things from a different perspective that help us to appreciate them more.  Windows also open up and let the light in.  Both are ideal to appreciating the beauty that is around us.  

I think what made Thanksgiving different this year was that I opened myself up and let the light in.  I tried to look at everything from a different point of view and not judge what I saw with my perceptions or preconceived notions.  I really tried not to stress about how everything would come out and focused on enjoying the cooking and creating a beautiful tapestry of a meal, that as a whole became something even more beautiful.  Instead of focusing on what I couldn't eat anymore, I opened up a door of possibilities of things I could use to substitute with.  But most of all I had a little mantra that I said until I believed it, "I intend for Thanksgiving to be wonderful."  ...and it was.  :)

Blessings to you and yours, this day and every day,

Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Finding Balance


Here is another shot in my diamond world Shiny.  I couldn't decide on the title for this post: Fire and Ice or Temperance.  Having diamonds in abundance makes so many things easier, like weapons or armor are no big deal.  I could build a house of the things and probably will at some point...just because I can.

But Lapis, for example, is so rare, I have only found 23 of them so far.  So if I want to enchant all that beautiful diamond stuff, then I need to find some more.  Redstone is really hard to find as well. I've traded my diamonds for everything else.

This was just an experiment to play with the sliders and stuff but in reality I have offset the whole natural order of Minecraft.  Changing things up can be fun but there is always a price to the delicate balance that runs through the Universe.

I've been trying to change things up in my life as well.  My symbolic "diamonds" have taken over a bit and I'm trying once again to balance work, career, knitting, being a wife, being a good friend, housework, bills, being a good mother, taking care of myself and my gaming.

This cold snap has sapped my energy.  And when I say cold...I mean there was ice on the ground the other day.  Fall was here and then, it suddenly was not.  The shift was abrupt and none of us were ready for our Winter to begin...now.

Winter is the time when I take and clean out my stores and look within.  That is why there is this big holiday in the middle of it...so people remember to find the light in themselves and others.  For many the loss of actual light causes depression and despondency.  I'm someone who gets up with the light so I really dislike getting up in the dark and going to work.  My body rebells instead of greeting the day...I just kind of stumble into it...and I just hate being cold.

So sometimes I find it really hard to greet the day with joy in my heart at this time of year.  But the Goddess is on top of things and for the twinge in my back, I now have heated seats.  For my morning blur, my DH makes me a hot breakfast with coffee to boot...I love that man more each day.
(insert heart here).  When I feel the darkness downers, my son is there to give me a hug and that my friends is the greatest blessing of all.  When you have a loving family and wonderful friends imagining joy is not a struggle at all.  I just think of my happy thought and soon I am soaring through my day.

So as the days get shorter and colder I am reminded that I indeed have a wonderful life and am so blessed.

This year we are attempting a full gluten free, dairy free and citrus free Thanksgiving.  The BBQ joint in town is smoking our turkey for us...my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  We are making all our traditional dishes with a twist and I'm even attempting pumpkin pie.  I'm hoping it all tastes close to what we remembered.

We made the gluten free stuffing and gravy last year and you couldn't tell that it was GF.  Everything was really good and everyone liked it.  So I am hoping to add the other dishes back to our holiday that are harder without dairy to make.  I'll let you know how it works out.

But it's not the food that is the big thing...it is the family around the table.  And even though some are missing, and some are in heaven...they are all here and a part of our lives.  They are all special gifts that we are blessed to have in our lives.

So, from our family to yours...have a safe and beautiful Thanksgiving with those that are precious to you,

Hugs!
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, November 16, 2014




So I was fooling around yesterday in creative and built a little house out of the different forms of Prismarine and Quartz.  Sis wants to build a little seaside villa type deal in our family world and I was playing around with the way that the blocks can go together.

Please forgive my field of lava and the pig spawners in the background.  Everyone was coming up to my door and I made the lava field to discourage any solicitors.  This is my working world where I can try out anything.

If you could see in the other direction you would see a roller coaster of sorts, a beacon, a zillion pigs from trying to figure out how to make a spawner, a working skeleton spawner, the start of a tree and tons of other things that I was trying out here before wasting blocks in survival.

This is one of the things I really love about Minecraft.  You can make a creative world and try out anything.  All the blocks are there for you to use and the monsters don't hurt you.  Of course you can change over to a creative world at anytime in your play but this is a flat world that was made just to create.





So here is my bedroom in my little house.  I really like it.  I had fun building my little seaside house that is surrounded by lava.



I know it is a bit hard to see, but here is my new avatar in Minecraft.  I spent a good 2 hours working on her.  

I made my first avatar at dinner with my son and I didn't really understand what I was doing.  This time I took my time and created something that had some meaning to me, and I'm pretty happy with her.

Shift to knitting...

On my day off I went through every pattern that I had started designing in one way or another and made a kind of triage plan for them.  The ones that already have been branded are first, then the ones that I made a pattern for, then the ones with pictures and finally the ones that might only be an idea jotted down somewhere.

I started off with Holda.  This is a half-linen stitch infinity scarf, with a bind off in pattern.  The winter tones fit in perfectly with the snow and ice storm we got this week.  

The goal of this lengthy project is to get my patterns from their various states of being to Ravelry.  

I have also decided to create a sister to Holda; it will be the same exact pattern except using linen stitch.

Holda

Not yet named linen stitch


The two stitches, while close in nature are both very distinctively different.  They both look woven but half-linen stitch is more rustic while the pure linen stitch is smooth to the touch and more like a fabric.  Both stitches show off a variegated yarn and bring out it's inner beauty and they both add texture to the fabric that is intriguing.  It is hard to not see how each stitch can bring something new and exciting to one's knitting; which is why I made two patterns, both named for Goddesses of weaving.

Back to Minecraft for a sec.  (yes, this is how I talk, it's the Aries in me, I can never focus on one thing)  :)

This week on my day off, I not only made a new avatar and created a triage sheet for my knitting, I also created a diamond world.  I tweaked the settings to spawn diamonds like dirt on the levels where they could be found.  This was an experiment in playing with the settings; I had no idea what would really happen.

OMG DIAMONDS!!!!
I treated this world like an other survival world and I found myself in a biome I have never started in before; the savanna.  My savanna starting place was right next to a chasm which it took me all week to get into since I needed to build a house first and plant and harvest food and all that normal stuff.

But it is glorious.  I'm like a little kid when I find a hole in the earth.  Maybe it reminds me of me and Dad going to places where they were building to show me the beautiful stones that were hiding under the soil.  I remember him showing me quartz for the first time and how it sparkled in the sun.  I remember being obsessed with stones after that.  They don't even have to be gems or anything; anything can be beautiful.

Later when I took metaphysical classes I found out how important simple quartz can be to so many aspects of healing, cleansing, charging, protection...really you name it and it is the stone that will guide you through it.

I still love stones; my altar is proof of that.  I love the windows and rainbows that you can find in them.  I love the colors and shapes.  I love the way their energy feels as it mingles with mine.

So maybe I take a little of that into Minecraft with me.  And every time I find a vein of iron or spy some red stone it is like being that child again and seeing quartz for the first time with my Dad. Regardless of the reason, I really like caving in Minecraft and turning a sock heel...no story behind that one except I really like it and I have no focus today.

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Building with Borders



As you can see I have settled into the first Captive Minecraft and established a homey base of operations.  The animals are downstairs since they trample everything and tend to kill themselves by suffocating in the border.



The problem with CM1 is that all the portals are wonky and you suffocate on entering them; so I did a bit in Creative but it was the only way to get the achievements...and this game is all about the achievements.



The Captive Mincraft games are also about working with a border.  You know in Vanilla Minecraft you can deplete a mine and then move on to the next one, but in this world you only have so much that you can work with.  Coal becomes scarce and iron is almost non-existent.

The rail achievement is not possible in this game; but it provided a chicken a bit of fun.  :)

Since I am going to do every achievement, I find myself now mining every scrap of the world out for resources.  I even started mining around the bedrock in the Basement.  I'm not going to tell you where, but there are goodies in the Basement at bedrock level and you will know that you found them because they are marked with Obsidian.

So even if your Nether portal suffocates you, there is hope because there is a blaze rod in one of those troves.  The game gives you a lot of these little helpful items, for instance the one lone piece of sugarcane in the stone growing in a little bit of water can be a life saver.  Cane makes sugar; thus cake and cane makes paper; thus books.  You can make a bookcase with books and an enchantment table.  That is three achievements that can be grown from one little piece of sugarcane that is nurtured and cared for and cultivated.

I've found some strange items in these special chests that are scattered all over the world.  I found some mycelium so I made a giant mushroom because I like them.  I found some horse armor that is so beautiful but I never been given a horse.



I have four achievements left and the fifth cannot be done: so say the creators.  So I'm off to find some skulls to make a Wither because that is what is next on my to-do list.  I was thinking of letting him loose in The End so if I can't kill him then he can terrorize the Endermen, but I'm not sure yet. I've only ever made a Wither in Creative and he is still running around there I believe.  Scary things Withers.  But killing him will give me 2 more achievements and then I will have two to go: make a beacon and kill a skeleton from 50 blocks away...that one is hard.  You have to set it up just right.  50 blocks is like a Robin Hood shot...I will need a super bow...good thing my enchanting room is coming along nicely.


A Wither Skeleton with a pumpkin on his head celebrates All Hallows Eve.  :)

I wish you all a Happy New Year for those that celebrate and for everyone else I wish you unexpected blessings and beautiful moments of joy,
Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Up


I have a fear of heights.  It is a rational fear; being high means one could fall...very...very...far.  In the beginning of playing Minecraft I used to get a pit in the middle of my stomach when I was up high. It was a normal fear response to being up high but in a game fear can be managed; much like it can in real life for some situations.

This is a picture of my house from up high in Captive Minecraft.  I pillared up and then used vines to create a ladder up to Sky Island #1.  As you can see I have worked through my fear a bit to be able to use this method.  Many a time I have fallen off my pillar and fell in the air a bit until I flail and find it again or fall to my death.  "Act don't react."  Xena said that in an episode where she was teaching someone how to deal with enemies attacking.  I find those words to be sage advice as I am falling.  If I do something I might survive, if I freak out...I probably won't.



Here is my home again from a second pillar up to the Burning Island.  As you can see I'm in the clouds now and really...really...really...high.  That is my house way down there; I was thankful the zombie pigman didn't push me off while I was getting this shot.  :)

Captive Minecraft has been a challenge and I really have been enjoying it this week.  But much like ESO I made some bad calls.  Instead of planting the sugar cane (the one piece I found) I used it to make sugar.  I forgot you needed two pieces of sugar to make cake and that has really screwed me up.

In Captive Minecraft you start with one block and a world border all around you.  This border moves every time you successfully complete an achievement a half of a square.  As you can see messing up one of the achievements can really cost you.  So I'm in limbo right now.  I'm mining out every piece of block that I can and my goal is to be able to see the world border in every area of my world.

I was worried when my cow suffocated herself in the border, but thankfully, another one was given to me and I was able to corral and breed them. 

This is a challenging but fun map.  At some point I settled down and made a house and a farm and did all the things that usually do when I play.  I figure the achievements will come as they will and I'm not in a rush.  In the meantime, I am having a good time.

I just received a villager.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him yet.  :)

Have some knitting in the works but nothing to show yet.

I hope you have a graet week as we go out of Mercury's grip of crazy,
Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mercury is in Retrograde



After checking here to see what Mercury was doing, I was actually relieved. See that tiny dot next to our beautiful sun, located a little south of the center; that is Mercury.

Everything this week has seemed like such a struggle that I was ready to just throw my computer through the window.

Mercury governs communication, clear thinking, truth and travel.  When it is in retrograde then you can expect all of these things to just run amok.

Even signing into my blog, something I have done thousands of times, was made impossible by Google deciding that I needed not one but two security checks that needed to be sent by text, before it would let me proceed.  Very frustrating.

Gah!  I really dislike passwords and creating new passwords and more and more things that I just can't remember.

And now I get an error code for goodness knows what.

I'm thinking I should just be happy I could get a few words in and stop there.

Mercury is in retrograde until the 25th...Goddess help me.

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

P.S.  Please ignore my grammar and sentence structure this week.  I just can't seem to put two words together in a cohesive fashion.  :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Amelia




This week we had a little visitor.  My son had to adopt a Flour Child for the week.  She can't be left alone and for all purposes she must be cared for like a real child.

From the beginning I tried to take this very seriously.  The lessons that can be learned from Amelia are important ones that children need to understand.

The school seems to be taking it very seriously too.  There is a day care in each class so while the kids are learning the babies won't suffer.

After the first day my son has been cradling her head and holding her in a way that she is supported. It makes me smile inside to see him so compassionate.

We were baby sitting while my son took a bath and I had to check on some laundry so I gave Amelia to "Grandpa" and when I came back he was rocking her back and forth...so sweet.

When we went out to the restaurant we had to get a high chair for her and when we went shopping we used a cart that had a strap for kids.

I found that she seems to be heavier today...they grow up so fast.  I also found myself talking to her like I used to do to my son when I carried him everywhere and learned to do almost everything one handed.

Amelia has brought out all my emotions.  We talked about adoption and choices and what family means.  My son answered with some pretty personal observations about me and her and life in general and I realize it makes me love him even more.  He is such a beautiful soul.




I was hit by the designing bug and decided to make some mitts.  I started with some cables in ribbing. The above shot is as far as I got this week, but I really like the way they are working up.  My sis had noted that the gloves I made last week were a little snug and we both agreed they would stretch...like a good pair of jeans.  But, if I made the top side with some ribbed cables, then if it needed to be tighter it would and if it needed to be looser it could.

I imagined in my head when Amelia grew up what she would look like and pictured a girl who loved nature and played outside as much as she could.  I could see her auburn curls glinting in the setting sun as she watched a hawk in its nest or ran after a frog.

A girl like that would need some mitts to keep her hands warm as she headed home when the street lights came on.  A girl like that would appreciate the delicate cables that made the mitts seem a bit Fey...she might even make up stories about being a Faerie Princess visiting the Earthly Realm.

So I've named these mitts Amelia...for that spark of little girl in all us women that is connected to nature and believes anything is possible.

Bright blessings to you and yours,
Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Under the Sea



I've got goodies to share!  This haul came from the Shenandoah Fiber Festival last weekend.  My Sister and I had a blast.  It wasn’t as big as MD S&W but the quality of the booths were amazing.  If you like spinning your own, this show is for you.  There were bunnies, sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas and camels on display to pet and ogle their beautiful fur.



My sister got these mitts and I said I would knit them up for her.  I love the colors and they are really easy to make.  knittyandcolor had some beautiful, bold and bright hues.  My kit with the pink came from her as well.



I had the flu and then I just felt blah for a week so I didn't knit.  But this is what I am making for myself.  A little Halloween scarf…there is a theme going no?  :)



Let see, we got the yard done.  I meant to show a shot of it a few weeks ago…but time got away from me.  Here it is.  I absolutely love it!  There are a bunch of herbals in there and plants that all flower during different seasons.  It makes me smile every time I come home.  :)



Our big family goal over the last few weeks was to conquer a Minecraft Underwater Temple.  It is the biggest temple in the game and has three big mean bosses.  There is a ghost of those bosses who gives you mining fatigue which makes you mine really slow.  It took me 8 real time mintues to get through a block!

So, first my Sister and I scouted for a temple.  We sailed the seas of Minecraft looking for one of these rare temples.  Usually I can find one really quickly, but it took a bit of time.  Luckily there was a little island right there and we built a little stanging shelter.



Hubby decided he wanted to dig under the temple and that is what he did.  Isn’t this amazing?  He glassed in the atria to the temple and I love the way it looks.  :)

While he was digging, I was cooking.  I made potions of water breathing and night vision so we could breathe and see underwater.  I cooked chicken and rabbit stew.  I crafted golden apples, torches, boats and a bunch of other items that we would need.  I forged new diamond armor for everyone and swords and pickaxes.  I enchanted the boots for water striding and the helm with aqua affinity.  I made sure everyone had a silk touch pickaxe for getting the lanterns, which are pretty rare considering the numbers of the prismarine we obtained.

The next thing that I should mention is that there are the three Elder Guardians which are really tough but then the whole place is swarming with the normal Guardians which shoot bolts at you.  The normal Guardians will keep spawning when there is eight blocks of water present; so we were literally up to our arm pits in them. 

We fought our way to the sponge room and one of us collected a sponge while the other watched for Guardians.  You dry out the sponges and then can use them to dry out a section of room.  It takes time and teamwork and we rocked at both.



As you can see we have demolished the rest of the temple for stone and lanterns and stuff.  I put in glowstone lights and I did it all legit.  Not like it really matters, but I did.  I laid out the floor lights wrong twice and had to break them and put them down again.  But I think it looks nice and nothing like zombies or such can spawn with all this light.  I can hear one though.  There are tons of mines under this structure and they are rich with ores and zombies.

We will turn the temple into a spawner for the Guardians when we are done, since they are a renewable source of prismarine crystals and shards.  These shards are used to make the lanterns and other blocks.  This way we will have a never-ending source crystals and shards.

It really is a beautiful temple.  You can’t see it but the colors slowly change in the prismarine.  It is such a lovely stone.

We really enjoyed doing something new together and everyone was so awesome.  We piled all our loot into 3 chests and everyone should have enough prismarine to add on or redo part of their houses.  I can’t wait to add it to the floor in the entry hall.  :)

In other gaming news…my ESO character reached level V1.  Veteran Rank 1.  I can’t believe it.  My next big quest is to kill the big bad of the game Moleg Bol.  We have a statue of him next to Alduin from Skyrim and he is really, really, really big.  But I have faith in myself.  I am looking forward to being able to travel to a new province once I destroy him once and for all.

And that my friends, is where I am at.

I wish you all shade and sweetwater,
Happy crafting,

Ruinwen

:)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

So It Would Seem

Oops, this never got published back around Labor Day.  My bad.  :)

Ares are bad at finishing things.  This is one of the things that I told you I wanted to work on in my life when we were talking about things I'd like to change about myself.

But this week I actually felt that I took some steps to conquer whatever it is that holds me back when I want to complete a project.

My sister and I began the Herculean task of seaming the blanket together.  I went back and forth on how to do it since with the carries the edges were a little wonky and came up with this:



When you have garter there are smiles, the bottom stitches and frowns, the top stitches that create the fabric. Normally when you seam, one of the ways to do the mattress stitch is to go up through the smile and then into the corresponding frown.



With my extra bit of yarn for the carry I ended up going through both of the stitches on the left-hand side and it ended up looking like this.



I'm actually very, very happy with this join.  The mattress on garter will always be a little less invisible then with stockinette by nature; but everything lines up nicely and I'm just going to let any little imperfections go. I'm going to see the forest instead of the trees, as it were.



Again, I am really happy with this join and voila the blanket is ready to have the border put on. Please excuse the ends; this is a work in progress.  :)

This week I reached out to the knitting community not once but thrice on advice on how to end things.   The responses I got were wonderful.  Each person took a time out of their day to help me on my journey even though we never have met.  It is such a blessing to be a part of something bigger then myself that is full of beautiful and kind people like Ravelry.  I am very thankful to each of you for your help and without your advice I might not have been able to finish both my seaming and my Sunburst Spectacular Shawl.



Here is the shawl in all of it's glory.  I just love the color progression!

It feels good to complete so many things.  :)

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Bump in the Road

"When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you."
-Stephen Richards

Ever have one of those days where you have to go back home not once but twice because of things you have forgotten?  My day started with a dream that I couldn't get out of and I didn't want to be in.  I felt foggy after waking and everything was a bit blurred around the edges; but life goes on.

After forgetting my coffee (Goddess forbid) and my raincoat I thought that I was good for the day.  I was wrong.

A company I had sent a form into called to tell me that it was the wrong form for the wrong branch of the wrong company.  Yay me!

Plugging on I realize that I don't have the info to fill out the next set of totally unrelated forms, I sigh and put them away.

Then at lunch I make a horrendous mistake in my knitting of the very-hard-to-rip-back beautiful color changing yarn and I try and fix it.  In ripping back, I drop more stitches which need to be fixed, and it was there that I just stopped.

BREATHE

I knew that anything else that I did would just go wrong from this point and there was no use getting upset about it.  One should never frog knitting when they are in tears or really emotional.  So I put it away.

I put away the forms and the knitting and I worked on other stuff and just tried to let go of all that stuff not working out the way I wanted it to.

After taking about an hour to refocus my center I tried again.

I called the people with the form and they helped me to get the right one and are sending it out.

Oh, I forgot about the shower hose breaking...hubby called me with that....he was having a rough day too. So I called them as well and they are sending out a new hose.

I got the info for the form that I didn't have and all that was left was the knitting.

Sometimes things can be fixed: I'd say 80% of the time.  Sometimes they can't...this was one of those times.   It is the risk we take every time we pick up a needle; sometimes stuff just goes wrong.

So I ripped back 4 rows and fixed the problem and went on my merry way.

When you are on a journey there will always be a bump in the road somewhere along the way.  How you face it is the important part.  No one will know that I ripped back 4 rows by looking at the finished project. In some ways it endears me to the project more to know that I was able to fix it and go on instead of stuffing it in a drawer swearing to never touch it again.

So here is another picture of my project. As you can see the green is giving way to blue, so even with the backtracking, progress has been made and I am happy...the past tinking (knitting backwards or unknittng) is forgotten and I am moving forward.

Hugs to all!

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bunnies O' My!

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
-Lin Yutang

If life there are always things to do and a forward progression is good, considering the alternative. But, sometimes the thing to be done is to just do nothing.

Now I believe there are different forms of nothing...which some might argue might actually be something...but it works for me.  Some call this meditation...some argue that meditation has a goal and doing nothing has none...but does it really matter if the end result is the same?

There is the actual nothing where you turn off all distractions and just stop for 5 minutes and live in the moment.  If a thought comes you acknowledge it and let it move through you but you don't focus on it.  You don't think about what you have to do but instead you just do nothing.

This is the hardest part of doing nothing for me, turning off the endless white noise chatter running through my brain.  A thought will pop up like, "So and so is having a birthday," and my rational mind will start thinking about gifts and where to get them.

My nothingness mind will have to say, "Shhh we are doing nothing now.  Her birthday will still be two days away after our 5 min of doing nothing and the opportunity to take care of this problem will still be there and we will address it when we are done doing nothing."

This is the same way I quiet my mind at night when it wants to think about things.  Eventually you break through to that voice, I'll call it the ego, and it lets go.  It s a subtle shift but I can feel it when it happens because suddenly everything is relaxed and at peace.  At night this is where I fall asleep, if I am doing nothing this is where I just shift.  Sometimes I only feel it for a moment.  But once a week I take a long bath in my fabulous tub o' bubbles and colors and in that moment is pure bliss.

There are moments like this when I write, knit or play a game where I become so immersed in what I am doing that everything around me and within me is quiet; only the moment exists.  So in reality I am doing something but I do it with such a focus that has that same effect of when I do nothing.



This photo came from our family Minecraft romp last week.  They added bunnies and I'm always happy to try out new things and figure out how they work.  So here is a shot of a bunny stalking me through my window because I am holding a carrot.  Cute no?

But this picture really brings home the message of doing nothing to me.  If the bunnies are your ego and the carrot is the internal chatter in your head.  Do you your thoughts invite the ego in to belittle and harass you?  I know mine do.

But I have to remember, that much like my picture, I am behind a wall of protection.  The bunnies cannot get to me unless I let them.  The more moments that I spend in the present moment instead of worrying about the moments before or the moments to come, will help to limit the negative voice of the ego.

While the ego's role can seem very negative, the ego's alignment is neutral.  This is the part of your mind that responds with a voice to whatever life you have created and tries to maintain that view with what ever means necessary.  It is like a day planner and will use gentle persuasion and then get more and more negative as it is ignored.  This is why I acknowledge it and let it know that I have heard it's demands but right now I am doing something else.  This way if it heard and then you actually take care of the thing it is concerned with as you agreed to do then the voice softens again.

The ego then is the creative part of the mind that follows the path of your thoughts and tries to get you to implement them one way or another.  It is really a partner that is trying to create the world that we have envisioned for ourselves in any way it can.

How does the ego's voice become so negative then?

I believe the negative voices don't come from the ego alone.  The voices that float through our head and say stuff like, "You'll never be good enough," or "You're stupid," or whatever yours say, come from things we have heard and latched on to and decided for one reason or another to believe about ourselves.

Our ego latches on to these things because it believes that we believe them and then uses them to motivate us not knowing that it is harming us in the process.  Because if a negative belief gets a result, it will use it again and again to obtain the same result not knowing that it doing real damage to our psyche.

You never know which messages will stick and become a part of your belief system.  You can be praised your whole life for being intelligent but one kid in 2nd grade calls you stupid and it sticks like a thorn in your metaphorical paw.  Then anytime after that moment when you are not quite getting something or you make a mistake then you use this negative moniker to describe yourself. Eventually it becomes a habit and part of your white noise that ends up rattling around in your brain.

Even when you get straight As on all your papers and then an A on your final thesis your mind keeps that single negative word to describe your learning process.  You try everything to change that word into something new and positive but it keeps popping up time and time again.  Why is it easier to believe the worst about ourselves then to believe the best or even a better version of ourselves?  How does one stop this negative cycle once it has started?

Since the above example is my own negative cycle; I can tell you what I have done to try and at least quiet this negative voice.  It must be noted that once you have a negative cycle, I'm not sure it ever really goes away.  I think the voice gets quieter at times but like all self-work, the relationship with yourself is a constant work in progress and you will have good and bad moments.



1. Do something that takes you into the present moment: yoga, meditation, nothing...for me that can be reading, listening to music, watching a movie, sitting in nature (esp the ocean), knitting or gaming.

Anything that totally occupies your mind will quiet the voices.  Many times in a movie, book or game I get so engrossed I totally forget that it is just a story.



2.  Have an attitude of gratitude.

Thinking of three things every day that you are thankful for can shift the negative voice towards a positive one.  For many years I kept a journal and it was gratifying on a really bad day to look back over all my precious blessings.  Now I have an online app I use but the idea is all the same.

We sponsored a child who was happy to have a tin roof so she could stay dry in a storm and the animals could too...just a roof, no walls.  But her happiness shined through her words; she compared herself to royalty since she had this roof.  And when the storms were very bad she was thankful she could invite others to stay dry under her roof.

We sponsored a woman in a war torn country who was able to learn how to start a farm and become self-sufficient through our donation.  She was so happy to be able to provide for her family and then have enough to sell as well so she could save to put her daughter through school.

As I sit writing this on my computer, in my house with AC, with our cats, with food in our kitchen and family surrounding me; how can I not feel blessed...how can I not be thankful?

Just 3 positive things a day will bring your focus into the good in your life; it can change how you see everything.



3.  Smile, laugh...have fun.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile but sometimes your smile, can be the source of your joy.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Smiling releases neuropeptides which in turn activate neurotransmitters that relax your body and lower your blood pressure.  Endorphins are also released which ease pain and serotonin is released as well which helps lift depression and elevate your mood...all from a smile!

A smile can be contagious and if you are smiling chances are they might smile back.  If you are in a place where you are finding it hard to smile, find a movie, a picture...something that makes you flash those pearly whites and use it to uplift your mood.



4.  Surround yourself with positive people.  Everyone should have people in their lives who they are happy to be in the presence of.  These people don't try and change you and accept you for who you are, warts and all.



5.  Help someone else.

When you aide another then your focus is removed from you.  There is this great feeling you get from helping someone or something less fortunate then you.  In helping others you are giving a blessing to yourself.

It doesn't have to be grandiose in design.  You can hold a door for someone.  Let someone in front of you when you are driving on a busy street.  You can donate old clothes to a shelter or torn sheets to an animal shelter.  There are a myriad of ways to give.  You can donate time, money or talents. You can lend an ear when someone needs to unburden their soul.  You can really listen when a spouse or child has something to say.  You can give love to a pet.  Write a letter to a friend or write a thank you note to someone who inspired or helped you.  Do something randomly wonderful that blesses someone.  The ways to give are limitless.

For it is in giving that we receive.
- St. Francis of Assisi

As we work to create a light for others, we naturally light our own way.
Mary Anne Radmacher



6.  Do something you love to do.

Sing your favorite song.  Watch your favorite movie.  Have a games night.  Whatever it is that makes you happy, do it.

I realize that Ash Ketchum and Pikachu may not be your idea of something you love.  But the bond between Ash and his Pokemon will always evoke a positive emotion from me...and I just adore Pikachu.

Find your something and cherish it.



7.  Remember no one is perfect.  Everyone has bad days.  Everyone feels bad, falls down, makes a mistake, and gets in a funk once and a while.  Don't dwell on it and move on.



8.  Create a new reality.

In reiki I have learned that you can go back to the moment of an event and in effect, relieve that event in a different way so that you can see it from a different light.  I have been able to do that with a few of my deeper negative tapes that played in my head and it really works for me.

Just because someone said something about you that doesn't make it true.  You are what you are and no one can label you. If you let them, then you certainly can unlabel yourself just as easily.  They are all illusions anyway, even if they feel so real.  They are just words, not truths.

The truth is that I am not stupid.  That voice in my head that keeps saying that the first time I don't get something, or when I get lost or when I drop something...is wrong and not helpful at all.  I am working on a new voice, a mantra that I say when that "stupid" word pops up.

"I will figure this out."

You see I am fabulous at researching and cross referencing information.  I love doing it.  I am really good at it and people will ask me to look stuff up for them all the time.  So if I don't know the answer or I don't understand what is going on, I can look it up...I can figure it out.  This is a truth that my negative voice agrees on.

I've always taught my son not to give up; that the answer is out there somewhere.  It may take time and you may have to learn some new skills but eventually you will be in a place where it will work out.  He will cite back to you my month long Zelda experience of trying to beat a yeti's time in tobogganing.  Every night for a 1/2 an hour I would sled.  And I failed each time: but I also learned something about making a turn tighter or shaving a second off by jumping.  Some nights I would get closer some I would be farther from my goal then ever.  But I never gave up.

And one shining day I beat that yeti and earned that piece of a heart that upped our health so we could finally go to the final boss and win the game.  *insert happy Zelda noise here*  The point is that I figured it out.  The answer is not always easy but that doesn't make me stupid.  Edison figured out 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb before he actually made one: and he was brilliant.

You can change the way you see yourself.  Don't let someone else's words decide who you are.  You are a work in progress there will always be things that you don't agree on about yourself and that is fine.  But realize that there are also wonderful and beautiful things about you too.

Just to be brave and bold I will tell you three things I want to change about myself and three things that I love about myself.

1.  I wish I was not scared to try new things
2.  I wish I could believe in my self like my family and friends do
3.  I wish I could finish things that I start before I start something new

1.  I have a spiritual core which radiates through in everything I do
2.  I care about my friends and family and will help them in any way I can
3.  I am very creative in a myriad of ways

I'm not sure why I decided to write about all this.  It is in part with a talk that I had with my sister and then my son.  It is also in part because the passing of Robin Williams really struck me.  He filled my life with such laughter and joy.  We quote him all the time...he will be sorely missed.  It is also in part because this week marked the anniversary of my parents and my Mom's birthday.

I feel.  My Father always called me simpatico because I was always emphatic to a situation.  Some people listen to a song and it changes the way they are in that moment; me, I read something or sense someone's feelings and it effects me.  I have to go to great lengths not to absorb other's energy and make it my own.

But there are all these people that we see each day who are feeling things that we can't see.  On the outside they seem fine, but inside they are struggling.

Everyone struggles with something at one point in their lives, if not everyday...reality is hard enough...don't let the illusionary negative track get you down.  You are special.  You are unique and even though I might not know you personally...I give you a healing hug and pray that you find your light...a way through your darkness...a spark of hope...a smile or a happy thought...a kind word...or a new connection with a Higher Power that you can lean on until you are able to walk on your own again.

Namaste.

**************************************************************************


In knitting news I am struggling with this beautiful pattern Sunburst Spectacular Shawl.  I am making it out of the color changing cotton Wolle's in the Carnival colorway.  The pattern is beautiful the yarn is beautiful but the knitting it is really hard for me.  I still have trouble seeing little details because of my floater and getting older I guess.  This yarn is amazing; she takes 4 threads and slowly changes each to a different color so you get this beautiful transitionary color change.  Mine goes from magenta to green to a dark blue.

Sorry the picture is really bad, but it was hard to photograph as hubby and I were laughing as we took the shot.  :)

The problem is that there are 4 threads to keep track of for every stitch and sometimes they want to stay together and sometimes...they just don't.  The S2KPs are the hardest.  I really have to slow down and pay attention that all 8 of those threads make it over my knit stitch.

So it is slow going but I love the lace and the colors and how it is working up.

I wish you all love and light and unexpected blessings.

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)