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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Craft-it-Forward Projects and Mother's Day gift

I signed up in January to participate in Craft-it-Forward. About a month ago I completed two craft projects and sent them to their new owners. So now I will share them with you.

This first project is a triangle shawl for my wonderful friend Cathy Cooney. She is a huge Civil War buff and I came up with the idea of making her a shawl she could use if she got into re-enactments. I used a simple pattern by Caron and I used a pound skein of navy blue yarn. I chose this pattern because it looks like something a lady would have made for herself back in the Civil War Era. 

The second project that I made and sent out was for my friend Evan Schnabel. It took me awhile to figure out what I was going to make for him because I'm not very good at picking out things for guys. I finally thought of a practical throw. I used the moss stitch as a pattern and alternated colors every 15 rows. I used dark chocolate brown with sage green "I Love This Yarn." It's my favorite brand of yarn because it's super soft and has great give. 

This project isn't for Craft-it-Forward but for my Mommy for Mother's Day. Since she and Dad aren't here this weekend I thought I would make a post about my gift for her. My mom has problems with her wrists and legs (I kind of do too). We found that magnetic jewelry has helped with pain. Recently she told me that she would like a full set (2 bracelets and 2 anklets). I decided to make it for her for Mother's Day. I used round and helix shaped magnetic beads with brown and blue seed beads. The bracelets measure about 7 inches and the anklets measure about 10 inches. 

Well I hope you enjoy my projects. Let me know if you want more details. 


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Love of STAR!

I LOVE volunteering at Shangri-la Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR)! The riders are amazing. The horses/ponies/donkeys are amazing. The instructors are amazing and my fellow volunteers are amazing. Therapeutic riding is what it sounds like, riding horses for therapeutic exercise. But at STAR it is much more than just riding horses, it's about connecting to the riders and horses and other volunteers. Not only do the disabled riders learn how to use and strengthen muscles but they learn about caring for their horse. Some riding schools will groom and tack your horse for you but at STAR every rider helps with the pre-ride duties.  

I have only been volunteering at STAR for 8 months and have learned so much more than I ever thought I could. The riders have disabilities that range from Autism to Spina Bifida to ADD/ADHD. Some riders need more help than others but I love being there for the emotional support as well as physical help. I have also started learning a small amount of American Sign Language.

Helping out in the barn is also a great job I get to do. Cleaning out stalls, turning horses out and bringing them in are all enjoyable for me. It's a simple physical job that lets me forget about the every day worries I have. I have also learned more about caring for equines. Which brings me to the actual craft part of my blog.

The horses at STAR have tags for their halters so they can be kept neat. Not every halter fits every horse. Kandy, a percheron, has the biggest halter and Honey, a mini, has the smallest halter. The current halter tags that are being used at STAR are cardstock and fall apart easily. The environment of the barn is hard on paper materials so I decided that I would make some metal stamped tags that would stand up to the harsh treatment. Below is the finished product.

All of the halter tags together 

Honey's halter tag

I will be dropping them off today and can't wait to see the Equine Manager's reaction.