Monday, May 26, 2014

What Does It Mean To Me: Memorial Day

I'm an immigrant.  I came to this country for a better future.  I came to be able to do more with my life then I knew I could in my country, Poland.  I came for the freedom - freedom to chose the school I want to go to, to choose the job I want to do, and, truth be told, to have more things... a house, a big TV...

When I first came to the US, I had no idea what Memorial Day was really celebrated for.  For many years, it was a day I had off from school and work so I could do things I enjoy to do.  I went camping and hiking.  I did my crafts.  I spent time with my family.  Sure, I knew what Memorial Day was - to honor those who fought and died for the country.  But I really didn't think of it much.  It was not my holiday to celebrate since I was not born here.

It wasn't until years later when it hit me.  America is MY country now, not Poland.  This is where I live, where I have my family and where I will spend the rest of my life.  I do have to say, living through the moments like September 11 and Hurricane Katrina had a big impact on me and the way I think about America and the people that live here.

Memorial Day for me is to remember that freedom is not free.  This country is free because of the people who fought for it and died for it.  It is not just a fact.  It is not just another day off.  It is a feeling in my heart, the ache for those who are no longer with us and for those families that grieve for their loved ones.  I have all I have and I can do what I do because of these brave souls.  When I'm with my kids enjoying the sun in my back yard, and I watch them play and laugh, there are men and women somewhere out there that are dying so I can enjoy those moments.

"Freedom Is Not Free" metal artwork by Iowa Metal Art
Does it mean I don't care about Poland anymore?  Not at all.  I still love Poland and I still celebrate the great things Poland achieved and is doing.  I teach my kids about the country their mom was born in, and their roots.

But America is where I live now and where my heart is.  This is the place where I plan to spend the rest of my life, and where my kids will live.  This is my home and I care deeply about those who keep it safe.

God bless to all who are no longer with us and who died fighting for freedom.  God bless to all who continue to do so.  Today and always - I remember and I thank you.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shop Indie on Cyber Monday 2013

If you asked me what "indie" means 1.5 years ago, I would not know.  So many thing changed for me during that time.  I used to think that if you have a hobby, than that's all that is, a hobby.  It wasn't until late in 2012 that I realized my hobby can be my business - my indie business, Twisted Thread and Hook.  I found awesome communities that support indie and handmade businesses.  We believe in the same values, we support each other, we believe in each other.  I can truthfully say, I discover a totally new world and I love it!

Will you be shopping indie and handmade this holiday season?  I know I will.  

Here's what's on my calendar on December 2nd: Storenvy Cyber Monday Flash Sale hosted by Lu & Ed.  All participating shops are offering 30% sale for one day only!

Here are my favorite picks from each shop, but there is sooo much more!

Handmade Gifts For Little Ones!
Sock Bunny from Kiser Krafts
Mollie Dollie from The Mollie Shop 
Stuffed Monster from Lu and Ed
Turtle bank from Just For Littles

Eco-friendly Gifts
- Gift Basket from Playablu
- Reusable Paper Towel from Nature Junkie
- Crochet Washcloths from Unique Creations by Tracy
- Organic Mascara and Powder from Squishy Warm

Manly Gifts
Crochet Hat from June's Pretty Things
"Let's Be Bad Guys" Pin from Little House of Crafting
Razor with Handmade Handle from Mystic Eye Creations
"Shop Indie" Shirt from Krmbal

Unique Jewelry Gifts
Crystal Dreams Necklace from Enchanted
Animal Print Bracelet from East Evelyn Square
Hand knoted leather bracelet from Anzipanz Designs
Rose Earrings from Afua Handmade

Handmade Toys for Kids
Plush Doll from Scrawny Girl
Unicorn from Ribbons and Robots
Peg People from Landon's Toybox
Sensory Soft Blocks from Baby Moon Boutique

Nautical Inspired Gifts
Cupcake toppers from Adore by Nat
Boat Wheel Rug from Twisted Thread And Hook
Nautical Bracelet from Fairy Tale Accessories
Turquoise Water Art Print from Knotted Tree Photography

Jewelry for Special Someone
Aqua Flowers Set from Mystigail Adornments
Snowflake Clip from Violet's Buds
Hoop Earrings from Michelle Bleu Jewelry Designs
Copper Earrings from A Single Dream

Warm and Cozy Handmade Gifts
Baby Boots from Bellamy Tree
Crochet Dog Sweater from Anna Bela Artistry
Fingerless gloves from Jaime D. Designs
Lacy Scarf from Tiger Knitty

Colorful Gifts for Home
Fall Leaf Framed from Lady Lack's Designs
Knitted Hoop Art from Crafty Podes
Tile Coasters from Kira Kira Kawaii
Rainbow Pillow from Poppy's Garden Gate

Timeless Gifts
The Inner Workings Necklace from The Lie Producing Factory
Floral Key Necklace from Sweet Mayhem Boutique
Alice Silhouette Necklace from Cel's Deconails
Time Charms from Pelhuaz by Red

Girly Girl Gifts
Tutu Dress from The Knotty Boutique
Bella Shirt from Anomic Apparel
Flower Clip from Knit Picky Mama
Wrapped Headband from D. Rix Creations


Christmas Inspired Gifts
Polka Dot Stocking by Sassy by Sacha
Christams Cards from Sweet Pepper Parties
Christams Ornaments from Mohu
Holiday Earrings from Calluna Muse

Bright and Happy Jewelry Gifts
Retro Fabric Ring from Kute As A Button
Chunky Bead Necklace from Sapphire Haven
Pendant Necklace from Artystik Ego
Rose Earrings from Sandy's Shop

Monday, October 28, 2013

Countdown to Christmas 2013 - Gift ideas!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm too old to to do this

My 5-year-old son, took a few classes of gymnastics this summer. One of the things he learned there was a handstand (with support). For the next few days, he was constantly practicing his new skill, most of the time without anybody to spot him, which didn't make me feel too comfortable, but there is no stopping him. We settled on a couple of places where there was more open space and floor was covered with a rug.

One day, with my husband and I in the room, he started practicing again and I said that I used to do that in my gym class. Hmm.. that would mean last time I did that was about 19 years ago.. I should have expected he would ask me to show it to him. My immediate response was “Well, it's been so long ago, I don't think I can do that anymore” while picturing myself falling on my head and hurting my neck or whatever else. My husband smiled at me and said “Oh, come on, I'll spot you.”
Great.. Why did I say anything about it? Now if I don't try, my husband will think I don't trust him, and my son will be disappointed. That's not a lesson I want to teach my child.

OK, fine, I'll try it, but I'm really not sure I can do that anymore.”

So the first time was a failure. I did not push off hard enough.
I tried again. To my greatest surprise, I did it! My husband caught my feet just in time so I would not fall over. For a good few seconds, I was standing on my hands.
Really? I was able to do that? I was not too old to do that?

Ok, so I'm 36 and I don't consider myself old-old. However, doesn't having 2 kids, a husband, a house, a 9-5 job and all the responsibility that comes with it, make you kind of old? If it was not for my son's asking me about doing a handstand, I would never actually consider doing it. But really, WHY NOT?

And it occurred to me, that being “old” is a big excuse so many of us use because we are afraid to try and fail.
What if I was not able to do the handstand? Well, then I would have known that yeah, my skill is gone, but at least I tried and now I know. It surly would not mean that I am old.

Sure, there are still things I do not try even when my son asks me to.
Can you burp loud?” - Maybe, but that's not the behavior I care to endorse.
Can you lift this couch?”. So my back is bad (I'm still not old), and the couch is heavy. .. I know my limitations.  If I want to stay active with the kids, I better stay away from things like that.

So here's what my son taught me:
Never use your old age as an excuse for not trying. Instead, use your years of life experiences to be smart in what you are trying.”

So make a goal, try something different today - something you might not normally do.  Maybe even a handstand***.

*** Check with your physician before attempting.  I cannot be held accountable for any bodily harm, damaged goods, holes in the wall that may occur as a result of "trying".  That's where the 2nd part of my wisdom comes in.. so be smart and try!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I went biking and my head got clear

It was my day off from work. Kids were in school or day care. I decided that it's a great day to try out my new bike. I have not been on a true bike ride (without kids) for few years now. So I changed, got my water ready, cell in hand only to realize my bike does not have a water bottle holder and I have no pockets for cell phone. Sure, I could have taken a backpack, but that's not really comfortable... So, I drank as much water as I could, put the cell phone aside, and jumped on the bike (with my helmet on). No, I don't need a lecture on dehydration and what if I get into trouble and need to contact somebody. I was just set on going.

I had a beautiful ride. This bike was seriously going almost by itself (at least on the flat surface and downhill).  Finally, somebody came up with the handles that are comfortable for my hands without giving me carpall tunnel pain.   It was worth the expense. For those curious, it's Cannondale Quick.  I can't say the same about the seat..  need to get a gel seat cover or something.

So, I was zooming on the Dutchess Rail Trail.  The weather was beautiful.  Windy enough to cool me off, but not to bather me too much.  Sure, my legs were hurting and I got a bug in my mouth (thank goodness for sunglasses though) but I felt great.  I was afraid to stop in case my legs would give in and not let me go back on the bike (after all, I did not have a cell to call for help).  I ended up doing about 18 miles, non-stop in about 1.5 hrs.  Yes, I did walk at the very end, but seriously, who could bike up that steep hill that leads to my house.  Well, my husband would, but let's get back to my story.

During my ride, I had lots of time to think about things that are going on in my life.  One of them, of course had to be my crafting business.  I'm really happy where I am right now.  I started it at the end of year 2012, but really, didn't define what I want to do until just recently.  From that point, I really think I made big progress.  But I was thinking about this blog.

I created this blog to promote my business because this is what you do.  You write clever posts to attract buyers, who see you have a shop and they fall in love with your things and you make lots of sales..  Arghm..  nope..  I realized, I have nothing to write to "attract" buyers.  When I was on my bike, I had a big a-ha moment.  I need to STOP thinking about this blog as a tool for promoting my business.  I need to start having fun with it.  I'm going to write about things that are interesting to me, things that are going on in my head and are asking to be typed up.
So what if nobody reads it.  If somebody finds it interesting and/or helpful or whatever, woot! woot!  Let me know and you'll make my day!  But my main goal is to have an outlet for the many things going on in my head, and simply writing about things I love.

When I get a chance to take a picture of me on my new bike, I'll add it to this post!