Project of the Month: Wonder Woman Wrap

 

Welcome Lovely People and October! I am diligently working to complete this Hitchhiker Scarf. I am eager to start the Project of the Month: Wonder Women Wrap by Carissa Browning.

As you know, there is always a story behind  the projects I embark on. So, sit back and allow me to tell you this tale.

 

On my evening commute back into the city of Brotherly Love, I was anxiously awaiting the 17 bus to arrive and get me to Loop yarn. I was determined to get there before closing (in 30 minutes ūüėē) to purchase a second ball of yarn for my Freia One Ball Shawl.

 

On arrival, I made my way to the rear door of the bus and my eyes became transfixed on a red and goldish project a woman pulled out her knitting bag. Then began a Q & A like no other. ¬†What was she making? What brand of yarn was she using? How long had she been knitting the project? What yarn store does she frequent? Where is Hidden Rivers Yarn? How easy is it to get there? This woman graciously answered all my questions and have me a brief overview of your back story. Yet I didn’t have time to ask her name before exiting the bus and embarking on an impromptu mini shopping spree. Later, I would find out the woman’s name is Anjeanette,

 

Once at Loop I purchased yarn for both projects.  For the Freia One Ball Shawl I chose…… to compliment the….  yarn.  For the Wonder Women Wrap I chose Knitted Wit Victory Sock yarn in Sunshine, Hedgehog Fibre Sock yarn in Sin. Both yarns are fingering weight, 80% Superwash merino and 20% Nylon.

 

Most of the time, I bring my projects along on my daily commute. Yet the Wonder Women Wrap is a stationary project because I have to learn new stitches in order to craft this creation. So, this is where you come in, I’m going to go live on Periscope every Tuesday until this lovely project is completed. Let’s call this our personal Craft-Along/Yarn Circle! The best part is that you can knit or crochet this pattern.

 

Ditch That Thought:

So because I’m getting to post this so late in the month I have already knitted the wrap and I got to meet up with Anjeanette to make sure I was on the right track. ¬†I completed the Wonder Woman Wrap in 7 days as a commuter project, stressed my eyes and my knitting community while doing it.

 

 

If you didn’t know I can be a little intense and extreme at times. ¬†For instance, I changed from Sunshine Knitted Wit Victory Sock yarn to Pollen Hedgehog Fibre Sock yarn because I did not have time to go home and get the skein; so rushed to Loop at brought a hank of Pollen. I promise to use the Sunshine Knitted Wit Victory Sock yarn in a future post.

 

 

This wrap is one of the prettiest things I have knitted.

 

 

 

Would you be interested in a monthly yarn-along? What type of projects are you currently working on?

Odunde! Happy New 2017 Recap

On Sunday, June 11, 2017, my trek to Odunde had a few hiccups.  I walk allover the city of Philadelphia which means in an instant my plans change, arrival times vary, and I refuse to be frustrated because things will work out. As I approached 31st & Wharton two beautifully designed and maintained classic cars ride down the street.  Seeing these cars were just like finding a penny to me; it sets the tone that my day will be filled with joy.

 

Once at Odunde I bumped into my first cousin Michael while walking to meeting up with Lil/Big Sis and the children. The last time we saw Michael was over three years ago.  Odunde created the perfect opportunity for a Monroe Family Usie!

 

 

After a brief chat with the family we parted ways, I gorged on funnel cake with extra powder, and then it was time to start the vending adventure.

 

A Little Background: Normally I am an Odunde attendee. I get to see merchandise and haggle with the vendors. I am from a family of street vendors; however, most of them stopped in the 1990s. So each year I look forward to opportunities to assist vendors. Doing this brightens my day, brings back feelings of nostalgia, and increases their sales. 

In 2016, I had an insatiable need to fold so I offered to assist vendor Naturally Chic Fashion (NCF) with folding and packing merchandise at the end of the event. I enjoyed the 2016 experience so must that at the end of the event I offered my services for 2017. In May 2017, I emailed NCF to remind them of my offer and to confirm their attendance.

When I heard from Kevin, on Odunde Sunday,  I did not fully grasp that my 2017 experience would be predominantly as a vendor.  This year Naturally Chic Fashion had three booths. Kevin and I would be working the 21st & South Street booth together. 

 

 

It was fast pace, chaotic, fun, lucrative, and the best vending experience I’ve had in a long time. We had so many people attempting to make purchases that our team of two became three; my girl P.Battle jumped in to assist.

 

 

From A Vendors Prosceptive: We still got to experience the sights and sounds of Odunde. We partook in the delectable cuisine of the Caribbean Pot, friends/acquaintances/partners came to booth for hugs, we felt the reverberation of live drumming, and heard the faint sound of Whodini performing.

 

 

After a hard days work I was gifted NCF 2017 Statement Shirt Collection.  To see all the available statement shirts for purchase click on the my collection picture. 

 

My NCF 2017 Statement Shirt Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you NCF Crew for the experience and to P.Battle for your participation. Follow me on Instagram as I tour the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection rockin my MD gear!

 

What was your Odunde experience? Let me know in the comments.

 

Fear Be Damned: I’m Doing It Anyway

To be totally transparent I have not blogged for fear that my writing is subpar and what do I really have to say. Sometimes I feel all over the place because I have several passions not just one lazer focused interest to share. I have spent most of my life perfecting many skill sets rather the investing exclusively in one.

 

I have almost failed my first quarter goal of blogging every Wednesday because of constantly questioning myself. Well here goes nothing‚Ķ I am going to blog anyway. If you like it, love it, or abhor it; I hope you experience my growth as a writer and see my confidence grow. That’s all I got.
You grow by stretching. So for 20(Sweet)16 I am stretching myself like never before.

Beauty Created, Beauty Released

The same beauty I find in creating is the same beauty I have to find in letting go…

I have become anxious with every signature creation that I must release into the hands of its new owner. So much time is spent in selecting the perfect colors, graphing a customized design, crafting, implementing the proper techniques and praying it all works out.

My creativity time is really time with my Creator. Many things I create I’ve had no formal training just a passion and desire to create it. If I believe I can make it I can. So I know in these quiet times and places He guides me. I’m in awe just as much as the recipient. Many of these items I will never duplicate and that’s what makes me nervous.

Every Artwear piece is a 15-30 day commitment to see a vision come to pass.

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I put the same energy into signature cupcakes, however, the commitment is shorter.

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Yet once its completed its time to pass it on. I cannot allow the nervousness of relinquishing my rights to overshadow the joy of completion. When commissioned to create on behalf of a party I will never get to see the recipients facial expression which is how we normally gauge if they like it, hate it, or are indifferent. I would like to make sure they are pleased with their gift yet only God knows.

The only way I know to stop this anxiousness is to know God is leading me with every step and every step is intentional. They will see and know that He and I love and care for every aspect of creating this special gift. Bringing them joy through our creative expression is our highest priority.

 

Passion Driven Journey Minded,

J. Monroe

Beautifying You: Ending 2014 Stronger

As we approach the last six months of 2014, are you wearing yourself well?
In the Beauty in Being You post we discussed evaluating the character you exemplify. Character is the moral qualities we illustrate. I know it is hard to swallow yet character is tested, reinforced and grown through adversity. It is easy to be patient when no one is testing your patience. It is easy to show love when everyone loves you. It is easy to have self-control when nothing is irritating your soul. Who we believe ourselves to be must be the same person that shows up in times of adversity.

Now is the time to sit down, verify one or two character flaws, acknowledge them and grow them out like a bad perm (lol). An honest review of one‚Äôs self is character reinforcement. For instance, if you see more negative thoughts then positive thoughts about your life keep a gratitude journal. This journal is a daily log of at least three things that you‚Äôre grateful for. The goal is to find at least three new things everyday to be thankful for. And remember because words have power take the optimistic approach when being grateful. Rather than saying “I’m grateful a tree didn’t fall on me today” maybe “I’m grateful for this day”. Now if a tree almost fell on you the former would be a positive view of what would have been a negative experience… I’m just saying.

So I will go first,
Grateful For:
1. Creating a new blog post. I hope it inspires someone to grow their character.
2. Allowing myself to feel and release the animosity that attempted to derail me evening.
3. My neighbors Lashawn, Dana, and Scoop coming to visit me. They replaced the animosity with love. I am truly blessed.

Easy… simple… and it works. It’s time we put pen to paper¬†and make our Ending Stronger than our Beginning. Romans 5:3-5!!

 

Preparing to 2015,

J. Monroe

No Running Allowed

I am No Runner

I have come to the conclusion that there are those that runaway and those that are steadfast in the game of life.  For many years I would only pursue those things that I knew success was assured.  By age 10 I wanted to crochet, bake and braid skillfully.  I made no excuses rather I invested my time, and myself to become better at my crafts.  I worked on these skills religiously… why? I was determined to be one of the best at what I did. I cannot say learning these disciplines were easy yet my passion, determination and cheering sections (family, friends, strangers) encouraged me every step of the way. To my 10 year old self I had to be good at these things because my family was.

In my eyes failure was not a choice in these areas because:

My late grandmothers, Dorothy & Emma, were the best at crochet and macramé,

My mom, Ulicia, made the best peanut butter cookies,

My dad, Jimmie Lee, was an artisan,

And my aunt, Mary, was an amazing hairstylist.

Yet as we grow in age and from fearless to apprehensive we begin to doubt ourselves, our abilities, and our capacity to learn new talents/skills  based on the words of others whether true or not.  As I got older some of the same people who encouraged me began to deter me from expecting more out my skills, myself and life.  During this negative whirlwind of words I stopped being my creative self to fit in with the norm, emotional walls were built to shield me; however once not needed I did not know how to knock the walls down.  I began to retreat just enough to seem like a reserved version of myself.

In my teen years God began to expose me to more than just my small South Philadelphia and church community. Whatever my new area of interest, He granted me a common and uncommon mentor.  I received awards, accolades outside of the four walls of my community and though some of the people from my cheering section departed, it was filled with a few who truly believed in me.  God would not allow me to stay stuck behind a wall unless that’s where I wanted to live.  He offered me more and I wanted the more.73507-Just-Trust-Me-I-Have-Better-For-You

It took me until adulthood to begin to understand most children are fearless but adults project their fear of failure and/or doubt onto children. I had to allow the words that plagued me to cultivate my ability to surmount the fear of failure.   Failure is a tool for growth.  It is not a hindrance, it can be overcome, and it is necessary to produce gratefulness, humility and personal character.

People will fail you‚Ķ processes will fail you‚Ķ you will fail you‚Ķ there is nothing to fear about failure… failure is real and it happens. Yet through it all you must allow yourself to acknowledge your failures, allow yourself to feel the emotions, embrace the newness of it, and grow in spite of it. Stand steadfast, face your failure and grow.

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For you are no runner.

 

Creatively Yours,

J. Monroe

Here’s My Penny, Blogging 101: Assignment 3

Good Day Ladies & Gents,
I would like to share with you what caused me to blog. At 36.5 years of age I watched my friend, Dennis, take on his 8 months to 30 years Challenge. He discussed what his challenge would entail and what he expected to accomplish.

That’s when the cogs started to turn… I would celebrate my 40 months to 40 years with a 40 to 40 Journey Yes, I know that it was 3.7 years yet it would be epic (I had no clue how.. yet it would be). I sat down and began to think of the areas I needed to work on, better habits I needed to foster and what type of party I would throw for myself at the end (in my head April 1st, my birthday, is a National Holiday). During this self chat I realized a blog would be the perfect to share my Journey.

Then nerves stopped me…. then indecisiveness gripped me… then I needed a website forced me… my friends suggested I blog about my baking and crafting. They helped me realize WordPress would give me the best of both worlds. So here I am. Trying my hand at something new and enjoying the journey.

I am not sure what the next 3 years will yield yet I promise to Blog about it.

35 Months to 40,
Jimella