To read or not to read

I’ve been doing a little experiment. I have not read my RSS feeds for a week. The reason is to free up time to be creative. To give my brain space to think. I normally spend my morning going through my RSS over my cuppa tea and breaky. Some days it takes me a couple of hours to go through it all! My morning then becomes a blur from information overload. Not a good way to start the day. 😯

But I started to miss reading it. I missed not knowing what my favourite bloggers were up to. I missed looking at all the pretty pictures and all the creative projects people get up to. Most of all, I missed feeling like I was part of this community. Is that silly?

[Reminds me of a great article I read on Make + Meaning. The article is called Choose your own adventure and it’s about how you participate in the craft community. Worth a read and I dare say, worth subscribing to.]

Photo from Mashable

I launched my Google Reader this afternoon and I had over 600 items to read! Bugger! It’s a good thing that Google Reader has “Sort by Magic”. Really. Magic. I’m not kidding. Well, not pull-a-rabbit-out-of-the-hat magic. But the popular feeds that people like get shuffled to the top. Like magic.

I’ve been using it for a few months and it works a treat when I’m short of time but need a quick update. I don’t miss out on the good stuff. To return the favour of those who helped sort by magic, I click on the “like” icon too whenever I feel a post deserves it.

Silly me in 2006

Buddhism got it right when it taught us to find the middle path. My experiment proved that I cannot remove reading RSS from my life and it was stupid of me to think that I could. But I do need to evaluate who and what I read.

Then the question is what makes a blog subscribe-worthy? Here is my list:

  1. It has to entertain me visually. Great pictures are a big attraction.
  2. It mustn’t be too wordy. Some people have huge brain farts and I don’t really want a stinky mind.
  3. Don’t post too often. Once a day is plenty.
  4. I would like to be able to learn something new every now and then.
  5. If it makes me laugh or go WOW, then I’m subscribing.

So what makes you subscribe to a blog?


Donating to Doctors Without Borders

Thank you to those who purchased my crochet patterns in January. 50% of last month’s Ravelry sales was donated to MSF ‘Doctors without Borders’ to help provide care in devastated Haiti. I can only pray that my small contribution will help those who are still desperately waiting for medical attention.

Photo by Inside Disaster

I’m also gobsmacked to hear that knitters around the world has helped Yarn Harlot raise over $1,000,000 for MSF since she started ‘Knitters Without Borders’ in 2004. What an accomplishment! What a true inspiration! You can read more about ‘Knitters without Borders’ here and see how it’s so simple to pay it forward.

It makes me so proud to belong to this great community. 🙂

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Crafters rally to help Haiti

It feels my heart with warmth knowing how quickly the crafting community has responded to the Haiti emergency. Yarn Harlot threw up the knit-signal encouraging knitters to make directed donations to the MSF, the Craft Hope Etsy store opened its doors to handmade donations and 100% of the proceeds goes to Doctors without Borders and many Ravelry designers have pledged part of their proceeds to help Haiti relief efforts.

I am doing my small bit to help by donating 50% of the proceeds of all my patterns on Ravelry from now till the 31st of January to the MSF; Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural or man-made disasters, like the people of Haiti.

Ravelry store:

If you have queued my patterns for future projects, why not buy them now and help me do my bit. If you are not interested in any of my patterns, please check out all the other great patterns on Ravelry who have pledged to help Haiti.

Thank you so much crafters.


Happy New Year!

2009 was a great year, filled with fresh beginnings, new friends and exciting experiences. I had regrets and sadness but I am as thankful for them as the happy memories for they have made me just a little bit more patient, a little bit more appreciative and just a tad wiser.

I’m excited beyond words of what 2010 has in store for me. No doubt there will be plenty of crafting, designing, blogging and great food! Bring it on!

Umina Beach on New Year's Day '10

Thank you so much for reading my blog, buying my patterns and being so very supportive! I don’t think I could have made it through 2009 (in one piece) without you. 🙂

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.

~Edgar Guest


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