Our Inaugural New Year’s Day Open House

I’m hoping to start something that we can continue for years to come.. an open house on New Year’s Day. The idea is that friends can drop by to play a board game, enjoy some snacks, and visit with one another.

Living here in Edmond with our family in other states means that by this point in the holiday season I’m ready for some time with friends 🙂

Making a plan to see each other seems like a good way to start the year. Adding in an element of playing games lets us share new ones we received as gifts or pull out some old beloved ones that we don’t take time to play.

So, here’s the plan for this year, come on by if you can!

  • Friday, January 1st starting around 2:30 or so (that’s when J should be up from her nap) until around 6:30.
  • Bring a game if you want, if not no problem, we have plenty.
  • Bring a snack to share if you’d like.
  • We’ll have soup ready to eat around 5pm.

I know this is pretty short notice and that some people are still out of town, but if you’re near Edmond please come on by if you can, we’d love to see you and start our year together.

Crocheted Christmas Ornaments

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One of Great-Grandma Agnes’ creations

Christmas ornament making has history in my family. My great-grandmother made beautiful ornaments for years. Though I remember several things about her, one my clearer memories is her sitting in her living room with a TV tray table in front of her full of pins and sequins that she was using to craft an ornament. One of my most-prized ornaments on our Christmas tree is this one that she made and I received from my family when my grandparents’ Christmas decorations were being divided up among the family after they passed away.

Perhaps somewhat following in her footsteps I began making ornaments a few years ago. Though I love the intricate beauty in great-grandma’s ornaments the ones I make seem much simpler. Or, they at least require fewer pieces to create. In spite of that they inspire some of the same feelings of appreciation for loving work that hers have throughout the years.

IMG_20151221_193210996I’ve made several versions of crocheted snowflakes, but this one has become my go-to, a favorite in several colors. I printed the pattern from Caron yarn’s website a few years ago and can’t find it online now. The first year I made them in a variety of colors for friends and this year used a yarn that has a bit of sparkle in it, which was a favorite for my daughter. Though there are lots of snowflake patterns around, I really have enjoyed using this one.

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This candy cane was a new pattern for me this year. It turned out pretty cute, but a bit large. I started another one using crochet thread instead of yarn, but working with the thread took a lot more concentration than using the yarn and I decided it just wasn’t worth my time 🙂 You can find this pattern on Yarnspiration’s site. So far I’ve made just the one for our tree in traditional red and white. I thought about making some for gifts but would like them to be a bit smaller.

 

 

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And, then there is this one… a basket with yarn. It seemed like a fun addition to our tree since it represents my creative work with yarn. Like everything else it could be customized with any color of yarn in the basket, I just used some that was readily available from other projects. The pattern is available free from Red Heart yarn.

 

 

It’s been fun making these and sharing some of them with friends. I look forward to continuing great-grandma’s legacy of adding some handmade beauty to Christmas and look forward to passing on the tradition to my sweet girl as she grows. She’s already been busy making her own ornaments to share using foam and stickers. Seeing her joy in creating was a highlight to the season this year. We’ll be packing up the tree soon and likely won’t think about the ornaments for months. But, next year when it’s time to decorate again brining them out will be a fun reminder of family love and the joy that creating can bring.

Yay for Contributor Day!

I spent much of Sunday at the Contributor Day that was part of WordCamp US. It was great!

There were 3 big rooms full of people working on a variety of WordPress things. It was so cool to hear people meeting each other and sharing their experiences with the project and asking/answering questions of each other.

I was there to work on subtitling videos on WordPress.tv and see about helping others do that too. I’m glad to say it was successful!

I met some helpful new people and was able to share my experience a bit with a few who hadn’t worked on subtitles before. It’s exciting to be part of such a cool thing.

Several hours into it I decided to start working on a new video and see if I could finish one during the day. If I’d been able to stay until the end instead of bailing a tad early to deal with a fussy four-year-old I would have been able to do it. Instead I finished it up in the hotel that night.

I ended up really enjoying the video I selected. It’s from WordCamp Finland 2015. I had a list of ones that are under 15 minutes and I asked Morgan to help me find one that wouldn’t be too technical, so he picked “Why You Should Publish a Plugin on WordPress.org” by Otto Kekäläinen. He does a great job explaining some benefits of publishing your plugins on WordPress.org. For anyone who writes plugins and doesn’t publish them there, it’d be worth a listen, he has some great reasons why you should.

I finished it and submitted before bed. By the end of the next day the subtitles had been added. Now you can watch his video with English subtitles available. So cool!

So, besides my personal success in subtitling a video, I enjoyed seeing others working on subtitles too. There were at least three others who started their first one and two others I saw working on various ones in languages besides English.

In addition to the work happening it was really neat to see so many people visiting with each other and sharing their experiences. The WordPress community really is a fun, friendly, helpful group of people. I’m glad that I’ve been able to see it firsthand and hope that you’ll think about joining in. There are opportunities for people of all skill levels and interests. Check out the info about WordPress and find a way to join in the fun!

We made it to Philly!

J snow in Philly

The first half of our Thanksgiving/WordCamp US adventure has been great. We enjoyed some good time with family in Indy and made our 2 day journey from there to Philly Monday and Tuesday, arriving late last night. Now we’re ready for the WordCamp part of the adventure.

Yep, two days to travel from Indy – Philly. Having a 4 year-old along for the journey makes for lots of fun stops. I lost count last night how many times we stopped for potty breaks, but it was a lot!

Morgan’s off to the Community Summit today so Dad and Joanna and I enjoyed swimming and venturing out for lunch. We had some yummy sandwiches at Comcast Center and even caught part of a neat Christmas show in there too.

If you’re wondering about Morgan’s role here at WordCamp, check out this post from 10up to see a bit about Morgan and his co-workers who are speaking here this week.

I’m looking forward to a few more days of exploring the city with Dad and Joanna and then enjoying WordCamp with Morgan while Dad and Joanna get some grandpa/granddaughter time. And, when we’re all done here it will be great to get back home 🙂