(Please excuse the photos at the top, I am having some technical difficulties) That's the quilt I am working on (handquilted), the "Names of Jesus" garland I made for Easter and some of my new cooking (blueberry crumb muffins, whole wheat lemon bread, the jar is sourdough starter and I didn't get a decent pic of the butter, applesauce or ketchup I made).
I haven't been blogging very long (obviously) and at first, I really didn't have a sense of what blogging was all about. Kittenpie had told me about it and I knew that she had made some really good blogging friends online, many who were moms going through similar stages of life to hers and so she was really enjoying that (especially with little ones at home who make socializing challenging at normal hours). I decided to try it and here I am.
I wasn't sure what kinds of blogs I wanted to read or what role this would play in my life. I quickly realised that I could find blogs on just about everything and that I would have to make some decisions about what I wanted to see. I didn't go in with an agenda in mind and it's been really interesting to see what has developed in terms of what I like to read (and how that has changed how I spend my days).
I started out by reading Kittenpie's blog and a few others from her links. I found some fun stuff there (Kittenpie is such an amazing writer and I am blown away at her ability to come up with interesting things to say a the strangest hours after having taken care of a baby all day). My interests really started to come to the fore when I found Herstory. I stumbled into the religion blogs and found a wonderful blog by Abbie (http://allinhisdesign.blogspot.com/). I enjoyed her blog and noticed the info about the online Bible study. I contacted her and decided to give it a try. It has come at such a perfect time in my life (as you have read, things have been pretty hard for the last while). I have friends from church but nobody really like me - we are all in very different places in our lives and while everyone is a Christian, there are degrees to which people let it influence their lives and for me, especially right now, it is at the top of my priorities. I have had a hard time finding Christian women to help me "walk the walk" and this Bible study group has been amazing (thanks, everyone!!!). I had read a great book a couple of years ago that had suggested that we as Christian women always look for mentors to guide us as we try to live out our faith and this group of women has in large part become that for me.
Somehow, I also ended up finding some fantastic sites with the greatest recipes! I love to cook but I am very committed to trying to eat organically, avoid preservatives and to form Pk's tastes so that she won't be one of those kids who live on lunchables. It's easy to find recipes online but not so easy to find recipes that don't involve a can of soup, lots of sugar and/or white flour or ketchup unless they are recipes that involve insanely expensive ingredients (and frugality is the goal these days). I find cooking exciting, especially when it comes to making things that I would normally buy (a friend at work claims that I am "going pioneer"). I have been totally inspired by some wonderful blogs. I have started using new ingredients (I am now hooked on coconut oil for baking - http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2009/03/all-the-wonderful-uses-of-coconut-oil.html) and techniques to make food healthier like soaking grains (http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2008/04/whole-grains-grinding-soaking.html), making staples from scratch (http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/blog/category/sourdough-starters) and I have even tried making my own butter (with great results). I plan on trying to make my own buttermilk, sour cream and hamburger buns in the next few days. It's a lot of work but it feels so good to be doing something so connected to my home and that benefits our family.
Of course, crafting is another love and I have found several blogs that have inspired creativity. I found one, a quilter's blog (http://metrosupialdesigns.wordpress.com), that I love and it prompted me to get out the baby quilt I had started (for a friend whose baby was thought to be a girl and turned out to be a boy - too much pink in the quilt for him). I am hoping to get that finished in the next month or so and then go on to starting a twin-sized quilt for Pk for when she moves into a big girl bed. I haven't had all that much time to check out quilting blogs and she has a link on her blog to a quilting bloggers group that I might just have to check out sometime. I have also found another SAHM/homeschooler's blog who has some wonderful ideas about living beautifully and I found an idea there for a "Names of Jesus" garland for Easter that I have made and really like (http://thehomespunheart.blogspot.com/2008/12/names-of-jesus-garland-tutorial.html - sorry, the link is for the Christmas version, I was having trouble finding the Easter one to link but if you look in her "vintage" section and click on crafts, you will find the full details on the Easter one there).
Finally, I keep coming back to blogs written by Christian women. Having my daughter has really led me to a season of trying to figure out what it means to be a Christian woman. There is so much variation on what women believe to be there called role and it has been interesting to look at different womens' interpretations. There certainly are a lot of extremes and I would say that while I don't always agree, even in considering how I feel, I am learning to trust my heart in terms of what I feel is God's call in my life.
More than anything, I am just incredibly impressed at the creativity and generosity of many of the women posting. I tend towards women's blogs, as much as anything because my explorations have been through Herstory and Babywearing Bloggers. On the one hand, it is almost enough to make me want to give up right now since I couldn't begin to try to produce some of the wonderful blogs I have found. On the other, it gives me something to strive for and a wonderful way to try and express my creativity. If any reads it, even better but I don't expect it to be widely read.
If you have any suggestions for great blogs to check out, please, send me the links. I am always interested to see what people have created!