31 March 2010

Yipee for Yarn!!!

Yarn is one of my favorite mediums to craft with! Thanks at least in part to one of my sisters-in-law I am having fun KNITTING (thanks, Debi!)!!! It is also exciting to be moving on to learning things I wanted to, but did not make/have time for while working on my degree the last several years.

I started learning the beginning knit stitches when I was younger, about the same time I was learning the basics of crochet. For whatever reason crocheting felt more natural to me and I took off with it, leaving my knitting needles aside and unused for a very long time...until recently!

Here is my first knitting project...

...a small purse with a shoulder strap, about right for slinging on shoulder or across shoulder to hip. I put a box of dry chicken noodle soup mixes inside to fill it out for picutres, so it's just a little bigger than that.

I just purchased an awesome stitch pattern book at Barnes & Noble yesterday, but I learned the main stitch for this project on YouTube of all places! Actually, it is a great resource for refreshing and learning techniques! I'm working on some stitches from the Knit & Purl book, but it's not very far along yet...I think I will make a shopping bag, since I've wanted to do that for a while...for shopping at farmers' markets and at the regular stores.

Here are a couple more pictures of my completed project, with close-ups of the stitches making up the bag and the shoulder strap...

So long for now...from a knitting knut!

30 March 2010

On confidence...

I have had confidence issues my whole life, wondering if I am good enough, doubting it, etc. While I think I have made vast improvements in how I view myself, this subject is on my mind lately, mainly because some friends are struggling with their view of themselves. So, I share some thoughts here on confidence...

Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.
~ Vince Lombardi

One thing I have learned over the years is that although others may give us boosts of confidence, our own view of self—in order to be true and effective in our life—must be just that: our own. That is what makes it both so powerful and yet so difficult, I think. For myself, I don't want to be overly arrogant with a false view-of-self, believing I am better than I am. An analogue to my view of confidence is my view on driving a car: I prefer to err on the side of caution!

All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.
~ Mark Twain

...and yet I have seen a lot of injury from my lack of seeing value in myself, or thinking I have confidence when it is not from the right source...

The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another's keeping.
~ Dale Carnegie

...so I don't want to be inaccurate on the low side of my self-esteem...or on the high end...but just right, accurate, true...

Nothing profits more than self-esteem, grounded on what is just and right.
~ John Milton

...so, what is best then? How do we find a balance, or is it even possible? I would submit that it is in theory! While I am seeking that actuality, and encourage any and all reading this to do so as well, I find the following possibly helpful in pointing direction to get us started, or encouraged along the path of self-worth discovery...

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
~ Dale Carnegie

Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
~ George Washington

People who have given us their complete confidence believe that they have a right to ours. The inference is false, a gift confers no rights.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

...seemingly unfortunate at times, it seems that our hard times can actually help shape us, as a 'diamond in the rough', so to speak...

Adversity, and perseverance and all these things can shape you. They can give you a value and a self-esteem that is priceless.
~ Scott Hamilton

I cannot give you confidence or esteem in yourself, but I can remind you of it and encourage you to seek the balance between caution and arrogance. I can offer you the knowledge that I have of your worth as incalculable. I also know that that means so very little if you don't believe it.

You have then the truth of your worth, and where you are. If these two positions are not aligned, then I recommend seeking the truth of your worth. If your actual worthiness of esteem is the center of a spectrum, then to believe you are above that center is to be disconnected and overly inflated in yourself, and to believe you are below that center is like preventing yourself from seeing where you ought to be. I propose that the trick is finding the happy medium of true self-esteem. I hope some of the above thoughts might help in your quest...and mine.

While other, imperfect people around you may try to buoy you up, tear you down or treat you indifferently at most they/we can only remind you of your worth, we cannot give it to you or take it away. That is up to you. I am here to remind you of your worth, but mostly I hope and pray that you find within yourself a glimmer of that happy medium. It is priceless, I hear. I believe that it is so, because YOU are priceless.

With love.

29 March 2010

A thought for today...

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek.”

— Tom Robbins

28 March 2010

Do you like to read?

So, I thought since I haven't been posting for several months I would share with you some of what I have been up to since my last post. The stack of books above is what I was up to the majority of the time I was not blogging, just since January 4th of this year. One quarter's worth of books, for three of my four classes (one class did not have any textbook), and not including the electronic files that were required and/or recommended. It's a good thing I like to read, I think! The bitter with the sweet...it was intended as my last quarter as an undergraduate student!

On that note, I would like to thank ALL of my wonderful family and friends who have been the best cheerleaders any student could ask for in the journey of formal education. It has been long. It has been hard. It has been worth it...as far as I can tell! It does not feel like the reality of being done (for now, at least) has hit yet. Maybe it will when classes start tomorrow & I won't be going! Yeah, that might help!

My no-textbook class was a blast...so much fun! Computers for Poets--intended to teach non-geeks a little about technology. We made web pages all quarter, it was awesome! I'm so far from where I'd like to be, but I've learned a lot in the last several weeks. My projects are currently still up on the school web server, for the unseen future. I don't know how long they will be available, but here are some of my favorites if you'd like to check them out: final project (about me), Biographical sketch of Dr. Englebart and Ocean Animals .

I would like to leave you with a thought which I have heared iterated in many forms in the past, credit to all who have encouraged me with it: "Don't let your schooling get in the way of your education!"

Love to you all!