knitting for charity

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since i took my first knitting class last year, i’ve completely fallen in love with this relaxing new hobby. i need to get back into the swing of knitting some more things for the holidays and gifts (look out family – there may be knitted items in your gift boxes this year!)

i’ve wanted to figure out a way to use the left over yarn i have laying around from various simple scarf and hat patterns i’ve knitted.

low and behold, i came across this site that will provide warmth to those in need utilizing a simple 8 x 8 inch knitted or crocheted square.

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(image courtesy of knit-a-square)

knit-a-square was created to allow knitters across the globe to create knitted squares that are mailed to a central location to be sewn together to create quilts for children in south africa suffering from aids – many of them orphaned and abandoned. these blankets are sent to these children in need.

i can’t think of a better way to use my new hobby to give back and send warmth to these children.

i’m getting started right away! how about you? knit-a-square (or two or ten) today!

it’s pink week!

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this week at iheartfaces it’s pink week in honor of breast cancer awareness month. i wish i had a more profound photo to submit, but i just love this one i took of anya. the pink shirt she’s wearing and her pink lips and tongue really stand out against the green grass. be sure to click on the box above to check out all the other wonderful entries.

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blog action day 2009

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it usually hits me when i’m playing outside with my kids. watching the kids chase after bubbles blowing in the wind; hearing them giggle when they run through the sprinkler; watching as anya closes her eyes so tight to make a wish before blowing on dandilions and watching their seeds waft away in the wind. i always wonder what the weather is going to be like in 40 years. what will summers be like? will winter just be a few weeks in january?

here in california, where i’ve lived for 10 years, i’ve most certainly seen a change in the climate. it’s mid-october and the forecast is showing 80 degree temperatures for friday. our summers seem to start earlier every year. and the hot temperatures last longer into the fall months.

each year when the summer temps hit highs in the hundreds for days or weeks on end, and we are literally melting from the heat, i wonder how much hotter it will get. how much hotter can it get? on these days, it’s nearly impossible to enjoy fun activities outside with the kids unless you get them all in before the sun hits high in the sky – or 10 a.m.

we try to teach our kids about taking care of the planet as they grow up. it’s the only one we have to live on and we need to do our part (big or small) to make sure it’s livable. my 4 year old gets it. she’s learning about turning off lights and conserving water and recycling. climate is a harder one to explain. how do i tell her the ice caps are melting? how do i explain that polar bears might not be around when she has children? how do i explain to her that the coast line is changing?

these are questions i think about. i hope as a population, we will work together toward making things livable for generations to come.

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i {heart} faces – excited!

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this weeks photo challenge at iheartfaces is “excited”. i think that is the perfect word to describe anya on this ride. it was at the san ramon kite and wind festival and they had little kiddie rides set up. it was the first time she’d ever been on a ride by herself (that wasn’t a merry-go-round.) this was her expression as this little airplane started going up in the air.

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be sure to click on the link above to head on over to i heart faces to see all the other great photos!

before and after

this is kind of a late post, but i was playing with photoshop today and working on some pictures i took at the fair back in early september (i know, i said it was late!)

so, just for kicks, i thought i’d post a little before and after of one of my favorite photos of the day. i thought this ride was beautiful! the colors were gorgeous against the blue sky. of course, i figured we could make things pop a bit more with minimal work.

here’s the before:

before

and here’s the after:

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here’s a breakdown of what i did:

– adjust levels
– select color in sky
– adjust hue/saturation
– increase saturation
– decrease light
– add more blue hue
– layer overlay with opacity at 53%

and there you have it! the pop of color i was looking for! enjoy and leave a comment to tell me what you think!