Monday, October 29, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

I am happy to announce that Rina has won the signed copy of Love Simplified and the $20 Amazon gift card! Congrats, Rina! Please message me on my FB author page (Author Terri J. Haynes) or email (terri@terrijhaynes) your address. Thank you to all who entered.

If your looking for another chance to win a copy, visit my friend, Connie Almony's blog Infinite Characters for a chance to win a Love Simplfied ebook. She interview me and I had a great time answering the questions. Who knows? You may learn something new about me.

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Life in Stitches: When Crafts Collide

I have never met a craft I didn’t like.

That’s one of my favorite sayings and it’s true. Cross-stitch didn’t agree with my eyesight, but I still loved it. In addition to knitting, I crochet and bead. I’ve done rubber-stamped greeting cards and cross-stitch.  I’ve tried my hand at sewing, but lost my sewing machine when my basement flooded. I’ve done latch hook rugs and bow making (sucked at that).

My bracelet.
I enjoy knitting the most and with beading coming in second. I started making jewelry a few years ago and last year started making stitch markers. I enjoy the many colors and shapes of the beads. Since I enjoy these two crafts so much, it stands to reason that I would love it even better if they collided. And Tuesday night they did.

I was following a thread on Ravelry about beaded row counter bracelets. I was totally fascinated because they were so beautiful but so functional. They work like an abacus and keep track of your rows even when you take it off. Smart and pretty.

See my tiny wrists!
I think it turned out very well for a first attempt. One of my problems is my wrists and hands are so small, so I had to keep adjusting the length so it didn’t slide off. Also, I had to change the beads I used because the ones I picked were too small for my cord. All and all, I can say I pleased with it. I used it during Bible study and it’s a great deal quieter than my clicker counter. My pastor probably thought I had a nervous problem fumbling with my bracelet every couple of minutes.
One of the green row beads broke.

What I’m not pleased about is that one of my beads split in two. So now I only have eight beads on the bottom row (I’m supposed to have nine). I guess this is a good reason to go and buy some more beads and make another. I think I want to add a third row.

Funny thing is as soon as I finished making my bracelet, my husband promptly announced that he was taking my clicker counter. Oh, well.

PS. I started my Color Affection. It's a good mindless Bible study project for now. I may have to leave it home when it gets too big.

PSS. My writer friend, Connie Almony interviewed on her blog today. Hop over to Infinite Characters and get to know me a little better. Also enter to win an ebook of Love Simplified

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Great Dates: Dating with Marriage in Mind

Today I’m beginning a new series called Great Dates. The purpose of this series is to give advice and tips on dating. These tips are not just for singles, but also for married people. Married people need to date, too. I will also share ideas for how to plan Girl’s or Guy’s Night Out.

Since this series is all about dating, I thought it wise that we start by laying some foundations on dating. The dating discussed here is for Christians. So what makes Christian dating different from regular ol’ dating? Not much except dates adhere to Christian standards (so no hookin’ up after the date, unless it's your spouse and then you can hook up all you want) and, particularly for singles, dating with marriage in mind.

This definition may be a little different than what most Christians have been taught. I’ve heard definitions from the very strict (Christians shouldn’t date at all) to the very loose (date as much as you like). I think a middle ground approach is better, dating with marriage in mind.

When you date with marriage in mind, I believe it removes some of the reckless, irresponsible, and random dating that is so prevalent now. When you date with marriage in mind, it gives your dates purpose. You’re trying to get to know if this person is marriage material. That’s the purpose. This requires more analysis of the person you’re dating.

Now I don’t mean that you should start talking about marriage the first date. This is a sure-fire way to get rid of a date or attract a stalker. I mean approaching the date as something that will grow into a more permanent relationship not a fling. You’re looking for qualities that make a great spouse, not a one-night stand.

This means dating solely for companionship shouldn’t be your main motivation for dating. Yes, companionship will come, but using dating as way to cure temporary loneliness isn’t the goal. Marriage in mind dating focuses on moving toward a something that will last longer than a few months.  

What are your views on Christian singles and dating? Do you agree with dating with marriage in mind?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Auditioning Writing Music

I write to music. A more accurate statement is I live to music. I always have music going. The only time I shut my music off is when I go to bed because it stimulates me too much and I don't go to sleep. But most of the time, iTunes is working over time (or I'm singing).

I am a little particular about my writing music. I don't do secular music at all. I prefer to have a whole album to listen to so I don't have to stop writing to play my next song. But most of all, it has to be an album that NOT singable. If I know the words, or the words are easy to learn, I'm singing and not writing. 

When I wrote Love Simplified, I tried a couple of albums before I found the right one. I settled on Tenth Avenue North's Over and Underneath. I played that album so many times it's a miracle I didn't learn the words. And some days, when my writing was intense, I'd put the track Love is Here on repeat. That album got me through the edits, too. 

So I'm starting a new novel and I need a soundtrack. I was leaning towards Tenth Avenue North's new album, The Struggle, but I've already learned the words to the last song on the track (Lamb of God, LOVE IT). My second runner up was Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons, but I know the words to Bless the Lord (10,000 Reasons), another song I love

Give me your suggestions for a new writing CD and I'll give you a shout-out in the acknowledgments of the next book!

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Life in Stitches: Project Before the Yarn or Yarn Before the Project?

Last night my husband asked me a very thought provoking question: Do you buy yarn with a project in mind or do you buy yarn because it’s pretty?

Normally, I am Johnny-on-the-spot with an answer to his knitting questions. But for this one I had to pause because I have done both. I think most knitters, except my husband, have done both. So what’s the right answer? The answer, for me, depends on your perspective on stash management (I guess I’m creating a new term).

My Stash!
To let the non-knitters in our interesting knitting world, your stash is how much yarn you have stored in your house. Most knitters try and manage our stashes, but most of us do a poor job of it, When I returned to knitting, I was very anti-stash, mainly because I had a “stash” of other crafts I’d done cluttering up my basement (and I’ve never met a craft I didn’t like). Unfortunately, I’ve failed at keeping my stash small. It’s not big, but I think it would take me a year to knit through all the yarn I current have.

So I think that if you are anti-stash, you should buy the yarn with a project in mind. I find that when I do this, I usually only buy the yarn I need for the project, thus helping with stash management. My husband is a testament of that. He has a very small stash because he only buys yarn for the project he has in mind. 

Emotional purchase.
Malabrigo Finto. So soft...
Now when I go yarn “shopping,” that’s a whole different story. Any kind of shopping, I think, involves emotions. When I go yarn shopping, I buy yarn for the emotional response. Something is a lovely color, or wonderful to the touch, and then you buy it. You pet it and take it to your knitting group so everyone can ooh and aah over it. Pure emotion.

I have, however, found the wicked downside to emotional yarn shopping: when you finally figure out what you want to make with the random skein or two you bought, you many not have enough yarn for it. It’s hard to figure out how much yarn you need when you don’t know what you’re making.

Still, this is a personal preference. I don’t think there is a wrong answer or a right answer. I think a little yarn shopping is good, but if you don’t want a huge stash, stick with buying yarn by project.

What do you think? How do you buy your yarn?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Things I Used to Do

Even though I’m a stay at home/homeschool mom, my schedule is always full. As a matter of fact, the past couple of days have been particularly busy. Funny thing is I’d planned to take today off and relax, but I have an appointment today. And one tomorrow. And one Wednesday. And Thursday. AND Friday! I don’t remember my life being so busy even when I had a full time job.

I recently realized that I’ve gotten so busy that I’ve kinda neglected some things in my life. There are so many good things that I used to do that I don’t do anymore. I miss those things.

I used to sleep in on Saturday mornings. It was the one day my whole family was home in the mornings. I used to go to bookstores and browse for hours. I had a chance to do that this weekend with a couple of my friends, but it had been a long time coming.

My family used to have Friday Family night. We’d watch a movie together, or have a video game tournament. I used to read more. I can remember reading 6-8 books a month. I used to go to museums more, particularly art museums. Haven’t done that since last summer.

I used to find free cultural events to take my children to. We’ve missed the National Book Festival twice and we didn’t go to the Folklife Festival on the Mall this year. I used to go bowling. I used to walk for exercise.

The most distressing thing that I used to do is write. I’ve been battling an awful case of writer’s block. I wondering if it’s related to the rest of the things I used to do. The lack of these enjoyable events must have put a damper on my creativity. Maybe it’s time to get back to doing thing I used to do and love.

What enjoyable things have you stopped doing in your busy life?