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Friday, November 9, 2012

Gratitude 'Stones'


I am not naturally a positive person.  It's hard to believe, I know, but it's the truth.  It's through a great deal of determination and practice that I've learned to see the bright side in life challenges.

At my core, I am a worrier.  It's been said that worrying is like praying for what you don't want.  I have enough life experience to know that while that's not exactly my truth, worrying has never done as much for me as trying to find something positive in my situation.

This week has been extremely challenging in my personal life.  My grandma got very, very sick and I've been her full-time caregiver.  Usually we happily co-exist in our home, and she doesn't need much help beyond fixing her meals and doing her laundry.  By me providing full time care for her means that Jake has had to take Mims to school, and break up his sleep into two sections.  And someone has to be at home all the time, so we can't go out as a family, even if it's just to run errands.  It's been hard to find happy thoughts this week.


So I made us some Gratitude Stones.  If you're not familiar with them, they're a tiny reminder to be grateful for what your life has been blessed with.  You carry one in your pocket, and every time you put your hand in your pocket and find it throughout your day you take a moment to be grateful for all of the good things in your life.

It works.  I discovered that while I was sad with our situation, and worried about my grandma and her future, I could choose to be grateful that I got the opportunity to help her, and that I had such a wonderful family that were willing to pick up some of my responsibilities while I was so busy. While it didn't make my life any easier, it made me feel better about my life, and that made me happier.  Jake used his and found it easier to maneuver difficult situations at his job.  And Mims found that hers made a really cool hopscotch marker.

Gratitude Stones
Supplies:
Embroidery floss (don't separate it, we're going to use all 6 strands)
Size C hook (I like Susan Bates hooks for working with embroidery floss)
Tapestry needle
Poly-pellets (very small amount!)
Scissors

ch 15, sl st to first ch to form a ring (be careful not to twist stitches)
R1: ch 1, sc in each ch around, sl st to first sc to close round (15 st)
R2-8: ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st to first sc to close round (15 st)
Fasten off.

**Note:  If you want to make yours like I made mine, I changed colors at R2, R4, R6, and R8.  The rainbow 'stone' I changed color at every row (it's only 7 rows too, because I wanted mine to be Roy G. Biv accurate)**


If you make a bunch, your family might be snarky and ask you if you were crocheting all of the missing fingers from your fingerless gloves...


Whipstitch one of the open sides closed.  It will now look like a finger beanie.  Weave in the ends and let your daughter do a finger puppet show.  Then realize that the sun is starting to go down and if you want to get the pictures taken you need to get the finger beanies back...  But, uh, don't make her cry...

Remember that giant bag of Poly-pellets that I made you get for the hopscotch markers last month. Go get it and use another 15 pellets to fill your tiny bag... (it might take more than 15, I was just being sassy...)

I like to pinch my 'stones' closed the other way, so instead of getting a little square packet, you get a funky triangular shaped beanbag.  That's just me, though, you don't have to make yours triangular. 

Whipstitch the open side of the bag closed.  Make your stitches nice and close so that you don't lose your pellets on your daily travels.


The finished gratitude stones.  They're tiny.  They're fun to carry.  They didn't even make a dent in your poly-pellet stash.  But don't worry, I've got a holiday project that will use at least another ounce of poly-pellets next week...  We'll use it up!  I promise!


My grandma seems to be doing better today, and seems to have gotten past the worst of the illness.  It's still going to be a while before she's back to her regular self, but that's okay, I'm grateful for how far she's already come.

xoxo

33 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry you've had a rough week. My thoughts and prayers go out to your grandma and your whole family. These little gratitude stones are adorable and the reason for them is commendable. We all sometimes need reminders to be thankful. Positive energy to you and big hugs on top of that!

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    1. Thanks Teeni! We're getting through it and hoping for the best. At least I've got crochet (and my friends!) to keep me distracted! Big hugs back atcha!
      xo Jaime

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  2. I am glad your grandmother is doing better. And I am glad you are able to care for her, if you are anything like I was you will be forever grateful that you had this time with her. I am also happy for you that you seem to have a very supportive and loving husband. But I am sure you are already grateful for these things too :)

    Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

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    1. Hi Sylvye! Thank you so much! I agree with you completely, I know that I'm going to be so glad that I was the one that had this amazing opportunity to spend this time with her, even though it's hard to watch her slowly declining. Today, though, I am very grateful for incredibly thoughtful friends like you!
      xo Jaime

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  3. Oh, lady, there aren't words...... you are awesome. Three cheers for finding a way to overcome the worry-gene. SO glad Mema is getting better.
    Should we put cro-club on rain-check? don't want to add more work to this weekend for you. Let me know. (with all the holidays approaching, I fully realize that if we do, we may end up "rain-checking" all the way into Jan -- but, that's ok if that's what we gotta do.)
    xoxo, prayers, etc.
    love,
    Eliz

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    1. Yes, thank you... Do you know how much I love you?! THIIIIIIIIIIS much! This week has been such a challenge, I am pretty sure (now that I think about it) I have not had a chance to take a shower. Ugh. TMI, I know.

      She's starting to feel better, but she's still not walking or able to take care of herself (ahem, the phrase 'chamber pot' has been bandied about too frequently in this household, although Mims is terribly jealous of Mema's 'room potty'). Trust me when I say, you want no part of the business goin' on over here...
      I'll keep you in the loop...
      xo Jaime

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  4. This was such a beautiful post, and I LOVE the gratitude stones and the idea behind them. Best wishes to you and your family. Sending positive thoughts and vibes your way :)

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  5. Oh Jaime, I love you for giving me such a nice idea for give-aways this year! :))

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    1. Hi Eve! Aww, I love you too! Hugs! xo Jaime

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  6. Sending you all hugs and love in the hopes that things get back to normal real soon! I am grateful to you for keeping your sense of humor and making the rest of us smile even through your difficult times.

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    1. Hi Sue! Thank you so much, I'm trying!! xo Jaime

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  7. I'm so sorry Jaime. I am going to pray for your family, especially your Grams. I will also send Reiki. I love the stones you made, it's a very excellent idea, much like a reminder for affirmations. God is with you always remember that too, he will never leave you nor forsake you, and he is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. I will plead to him and ask for healing in your situation. I know he will listen. Hugs Jaime, keep your hope alive, you are doing good. Know that I care too.

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    1. Piper, you are the best! Hugs, hugs, and more hugs to you! xo Jaime

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  8. I have been watching some crochet videos (This being one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vax4DaI968M&feature=share&list=PL166DA68A2E700BDB) and the hook she is using brought this post of yours to mind. I recalled you mentioning that you like different brands for different "yarn" and that got me wondering if trying a different brand than the ones I have might make a particular yarn I have a stash of easier to work with. Seems like that could help.

    You are such a valuable source of information and inspiration. I am SO glad I found your blog and started following you. You are such a kick and I love your tidbits from the family :) Which brings me to your grandmother. I hope she is recovered or at least still improving. I have not noticed any updates lately but with everything going on right now I might have missed them. I send you and your family prayers and warm thoughts and wish you all the Merriest Christmas ever :)

    Hugs, Syl

    P.S. Also, these gratitude stones were featured in the Hooked on Crochet news letter I am subscribed to. I recognized them from the name :)

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  9. Hi Syl! YESS!!!! Try a different brand of hook if you've got a yarn that's giving you trouble!! Sometimes the head of the hook makes yarns split, or doesn't penetrate through the loops easily enough, or the throat isn't large enough to pull the loop through without tugging, which isn't the yarn (or your) fault! Blame the hook and try a new one!!!
    I love that you asked about my grandma. She's doing much better now, although she took a nasty tumble the other day and scraped up her arm... Oh, we're so grateful that there were no broken bones!!! :D
    Thank you so much for all of the wonderfully sweet things you said. It means more to me than you could possibly know.
    xo Jaime

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  10. Hi Jamie. I found your blog through the Hooked on Crochet news letter. I am so glad I did and will start following you. I really like your Gratitude Stones. I was my mothers caregiver for 2 years. It is a struggle at times and I could have used these earlier. She passed away this past Dec. 13 and I know she is not suffering and with my father now. I will be making the 'stones' to carry with me to help the sadness I feel from losing her.

    Prayers and thoughts to you, your grandmother and family. Hope your grandmother improves. Thank you for sharing!

    Everyone can use a hug... Hugs to you!
    Patricia

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    1. Hi Patricia. I am so sorry for your loss. Great big giant hugs to you!!! I'm glad your mom isn't suffering anymore, but I am so sad for you. You are in my prayers.
      I like the idea of using the stones as a memory stone. Gosh, I feel like everything I say isn't enough. I am so deeply sorry for your loss.
      xo Jaime

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  11. God bless you for caring for your Nana. As we get older and realize we are unable to care of ourselves as we once did can bring depression to us too. The stones are something I will make, carry with myself, give to my family members and friends. We all need each other. My crocheting keeps me young as I make chemo hats for the chemo patients, lapgans for the wounded warriors, and hats for the homeless. We are blessed by our giving. Love and prayers to you and your Nanna.

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    1. Hi there! Thank you so much! As a cancer survivor, I am so exited that you do so much charity crochet for cancer patients. It sucked losing my hair, but it was awesome that people cared enough to make us hats! You're doing amazing things!!!
      xo Jaime

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  12. Just found your 'stones' pattern. Love the idea. Thanks.
    Bless your heart for taking such good care of your Granny. They are very precious people. So many never have the chance to relate to them. I am one of the lucky ones to have had mine for so many years way back. I still miss her and my Mom. I am going to purchase a bag of the stuffing for the stones and get busy. God bless.
    Aunt Dee

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    1. Hi Aunt Dee! It really is a blessing, isn't it? I think my cousins are missing out!
      I'm so glad you found me! I hope to see you around more!
      xo Jaime

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  13. I used a 'peaches and cream' yarn and made it into a cat toy. Polyfill, instead of polybeads, and a little catnip... She's still tossing it around.

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    1. Ha! I love it!! I should make some of those for my mom's cat!
      xo Jaime

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  14. I love your sense of humour in your writing. Just found your blog via the crochet crowd (not really sure how lol) Love these gratitude stones. I'm going to make some for my kids who are really ungrateful about everything and I hope to help then learn a more positive and gratfuly outlook. Thanks for the tute and the giggle.
    Deanne
    Sydney, Australia
    xx

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    1. Hi Deanne! I think that "Tutes and Giggles" should be my new tagline for the blog! ♥ I'm so glad you found me, no matter how it came to be! I love new friends!!! I hope your experiment works, I think a positive and gratefuly outlook is one of the coolest gifts we can give our kids!
      xo Jaime

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  15. I stumbled upon your site tonight. I love the gratitude stones idea. You are an inspiration. I am going to make some for friends who are going through rough patches. Love, love your site and will be a regular visitor.

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    1. Hi Bowman Rita! I'm so glad you found me! Thank you so much. I hope that it helps your friends. And I hope to see you around lots!!
      xo Jaime

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  16. This is a great idea. I'm such a worrier. I've had a life of trouble and strife no not a wife. I'm the wife but yes I've had trouble with me. Everytime I think things are looking up something happens to shatter any peace I've acquired. You can be happy even with bad health. Well most of the time the rest I think I'll make a gratitude stone and think of the good in my life rather than the trouble or be more optimistic about it. So thank you for this. I'd like to give your site to a great group of crafters who may all like help finding the good in everything. As a friend says `every cloud has a silver lining'. Not original to her but she uses that as a mantra.

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    1. Hi there! What a beautiful mantra! I think that the one thing I've learned from this site is how many of us need a little dose of optimism in our lives every now and then. Thank you so much for your kind words, and please feel free to share anything you find on this site with whomever you want.
      I hope you have a lovely day.
      xo Jaime

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  17. Just found your site through Hooked on Crochet and the Worry Stones. What a great idea! I have a stash of embroidery cotton but will have to get some poly fill. Thanks for the idea. I am the leader of a depression support group (taking a break over the holidays) but will be making some to take with me to give to participants.
    Wonderful to hear about your family--I was not able to take care of my mother and dad during their last days but visited every weekend (about a 200 mile round trip) and really feel blessed that I could share that much of the time they had left. They died knowing that they were loved, cherished and respected and I know that it made things easier for them and left me with a great legacy of memories.

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  18. Just found the gratitude stones through the Hooked on Crochet newsletter, I'm going to make a bunch of em for my group of "downers", namely my teenagers and their friends who never seem to leave my barn. You'd think having horses and goats would solve most depression issues. Just watch them sometime, it's hilarious, but then "life" intrudes and takes that laughter away. These should give us some good reasons to remember and smile for no reason (as the saying goes-smile, it makes people wonder what you're up to) during the course of a day. Thank you for the great idea. I normally carry an obsidian stone around, it's my worry rock, but I could never find one my kids would keep track of. They aren't the right shape, or pretty enough, or whatever reason. These should fix that, by being whatever color they pick out. Thank you, and I hope your Grandmother is still hale and hearty, and enjoying your sassy company! Here's to the new year, may it be filled with love and laughter.

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  19. I love your thoughts and pattern. I have odds and ends of number 10 cotton thread. It works up a little thinner than the floss. Now I only have to find the poly pellets. Thank you for designing the pattern.

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