#reverb10 – Day 10: Wisdom

December 10 Prompt

Author: Susannah Conway
Unravelling
@photobird

Prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

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I really struggle with picking the best *anything* of the year.

I have trouble picking desert-island albums and books too.

The thing with decisions is that they are usually all interconnected. One decision is not better than the other – they are all equal and necessary parts of a larger whole that lead to how someone lives their life.

I’m happy about some decisions I’ve (and in some cases, Sean and I) made this year. I don’t think any decision is better than another because each decision leads us to the life I want to lead.

Some of you will probably look at my answer and call me gutless. “Just pick something!”

I’m a fence-sitter though. Diplomatic to a fault. I see the good – or the potential – in most sides of a situation. I try not to be indecisive but I probably spend too much time thinking things through to get to my decision.

Sometimes just making a decision is the best decision.

#reverb10 – Day 9: Party

December 9 Prompt

Author: Shauna Reid
The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl
@shauna

Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

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I’m normally not much for big parties. I like smaller gatherings where I can be sure to talk to everyone and actually have a meaningful conversation.

I had a great time at the Blissdom Canada closing party (link goes to the entire Flickr pool for the conference. Scroll around for the party pics), but between karaoke, Halloween costumes and lots of interesting fellow partygoers, how could I not? It was noisy though so it was hard to talk to people. I didn’t know anyone very well (the joys of partying with people you met online first) so my level of social awkwardness were a little higher than if I had been at a noisy party with people I knew a little better. I hung out with some great women beforehand and I tried not to make myself a fifth wheel, but I’m not sure I succeeded. I hope I wasn’t too much of a barnacle, attaching myself to anyone that would talk to me.

Another big party this year was the one we hosted for Flora’s second birthday (link goes to my earlier post on the subject). We haven’t hosted a lot of formal “events” in our home. We’re more of a “show up and we’ll hang out and have something to eat” family – very casual, no pressure. We live by the “our house is your house” mantra.

We went to a little more effort for this one, since people were driving up just for the party. I think it went well. I’m grateful that everyone was willing to make the effort to drive up to us instead of us driving down to them (the disadvantage of living far away from family and close friends).

Our next big party will be the annual Christmas festivities. It’s not a party as much as it is a family gathering, but a gathering of more than 2-3 people is always a party, right?

#reverb10 – Day 8: Beautifully different

December 8 Prompt

Author: Karen Walrond
The Beauty of Different
@chookooloonks

Prompt: Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

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I’ve been pondering this prompt all day. It feels arrogant to list all the things I like about myself. So I asked Sean what he thought. If someone else says something nice, it feels more valid sometimes.

Why yes, my issues are showing here.

My husband told me that I was kind and had a good heart. That I think about other people.

I knew this in my (good) heart, but it’s hard for me to admit that it’s something that makes me special. It feels like something that should just come naturally.

I know there are other things that make me special, but talking about them really makes me uncomfortable. If someone wants to compliment me, I’ll smile and say thank you and quietly reflect on it to myself after the fact. I just have a hard time trumpeting that list to the masses myself.

A less-than-beautiful trait, but certainly not an uncommon one. Any advice on how to change it?

#reverb10 – Day 7: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010?

December 7 Prompt

Author: Cali Harris
caligater.com
@caligater

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

reverb10.com

This article, posted yesterday on parentcentral.ca sums up some of my feelings on community:

First-time moms more likely to tweet and text than others

I was tweeting for over a year before I became a parent, but I found my usage really took off once I became a mum and was at home with the baby. I posted in other places too: Facebook, my “baby board” – a message board geared to mums with babies born in the same month as mine, my website, Flickr and so many places.

Having a baby just gave me so much to say to the world. I think that was because when I was at home, I was talking to myself or the newborn, who didn’t talk back yet. I needed an outlet for all the little things I wanted to say, but would forget by the time my husband returned from work. (By then, those little things weren’t usually as important anyway.)

Once I got out of the newborn haze, it was easier to reach out to the world and talk about things other than parenting a baby. I struggled with talking and posting about her too much, and reminded myself to talk about the rest of my life. Like most new mums though, my world was small and didn’t stretch much beyond my daughter. As she got older, my world got bigger, and now I feel like I’m part of the world as a person again, and not just a parent.

Two years ago, I never could have participated in this type of writing project. It would have been boring, repetitive and I wouldn’t have had the time. It may still be occasionally boring and repetitive now, but at least I’m not saying “ZOMG BAYBEEZ!” in every sentence.

I have been so grateful to connect with so many people online, whether they are parents or not. Going to Blissdom Canada this year allowed me to take that sense of community into the real world, and I hope to repeat that in 2011.

I find it easier to reach out online. Now I need to do a little more reaching out in the real world. I hope to do both in 2011.

#reverb10 – Day 6: Make. What was the last thing you made?

December 6 Prompt

Author: Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project
@gretchenrubin

Prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

reverb10.com

I started making soap again. I’ve been making it on and off since about 2003, but I tend to go in fits and spurts. Make a ton of soap in a short amount of time, then not make any for months.

It’s been many months since I made my last big batch. I’m not even sure if Flora was born the last time I made a serious batch of soap. So it’s definitely been a while.

It felt really good to get excited about a non-computer-related hobby again. Of course, I spent lots of time online sourcing the best prices for my materials and reading up on new scents, but eventually I had to leave the laptop and iPhone and get my hands dirty (or clean really, since it’s soap and all).

Here are some of my latest creations:

Massage bar soapMassage bar. One of my newest molds, it’s a large bar and it looks gorgeous up close.

Snowflake soapHeart soap

Guest soaps (smaller in size) with snowflakes and hearts. This was my first time painting the shapes (or in the case of the heart soap, around the shapes) It turned out better than I thought, which always makes me happy).

Fish soap

Fishy soap! The fish part comes from an Ikea ice cube tray. The fish is then put in the oval mold and the second colour of soap is poured around it.

These soaps are made using the melt and pour method. Some purist soapmakers consider this slacker-style soap, which is okay with me. Melt and pour works like this:

  • Get your hands on some melt and pour soap base. This is premade, unscented, uncoloured glycerin soap. Other oils may be added. The fish and massage bar soaps have hemp oil in them, and the guest soaps have goat’s milk.
  • Melt the soap. This can be done in the microwave, or in a pot on the stove
  • Add your chosen fragrance and colourants
  • Pour into soap molds
  • Let harden, pop out of your mold, wrap and put in your bathroom
  • Scrub away!

I haven’t gone over the finer details like how much fragrance to use (important in these scent-sensitive times). That information can be found online or in books related to soapmaking. I am happy to talk more about it in the comments if anyone is interested. This is a craft you could do with school-age kids quite easily. I’ll likely make soap with my daughter when she gets a little older.

Two things I really like about melt and pour soapmaking are:

  • Soap is meant to be used. So many crafts just hang around the house, long after they should be tossed because “someone made it”. Soap can be admired while on display, enjoyed while using and put to rest when you’re down to the last tiny sliver. There’s a lifecycle.
  • Soap is a forgiving medium. I’m not the best crafter. I get sloppy and things never turn out as nice as I would like. Mistakes in soap can be considered artful, and at worse, you can always melt it down and repour it.

This is a craft I really enjoy. It’s easy, quick and produces impressive results. I’m happy to answer any questions you have, so if you have any, leave them in the comments or drop me an email.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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