Three Things Thursday: 23 November 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, restoring faith in humanity. I just got back from the post office, where I was served by the lady I made the gloves for. It’s the first time I’ve seen her since I dropped them off and she thanked me very sincerely, saying I had restored her faith in humanity… now that’s not a bad thing to do with your crochet, is it? Anyway, her name is Rachel and I seem to have made her very happy.

Such a simple way to make someone happy

Second, new homes for unwanted items. My rehoming scheme seems to be going well… I’m never going to have a house completely free of clutter, but I am really enjoying seeing things that I have no use for finding their way to new homes. So far this week I’ve rehomed two lots of broderie anglaise and a 1990’s Vogue sewing pattern. Although money is not the main issue for me, charging for an item means that it’s more likely to go to someone who actually wants it and will make use of it.

This pattern has gone to a new home today

Third, a new home for a person. I’m really happy that it looks like my sister’s eldest daughter has found a new home. There’s nothing official yet, but we are all keeping our fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly.

So, that’s some of what’s making me happy this week. How about you?


Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Small calm things

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I came across this quote a while ago and saved it, thinking that I might use it in a post sometime. And, today, whilst looking at some old drafts I came across it, and thought that the time had come to share it.

After a number of recent ‘big mean things’ happening across the world, this feels like a very good time for ‘small calm things’. A few days ago I finished the cotton blanket I have been making for 60 Million Trebles (who have got two thirds of the way to their goal, reaching 40 million trebles last week), I’ve now returned to the wool and squares sent to me by Wild Daffodil earlier this year… it’s very fine yarn, so this blanket could take a while, but I am regarding every blanket that gets sent out as representing a hug to someone in need.

I’m also thinking that over the next month I will try to focus on some random (and not so random) crafts/acts of kindness. I have one gift completed to send off to a friend who is not at all well at the moment (no picture, as I want it to be a surprise), I have a partially made blanket that I want to send to a bereaved friend (again no picture to maintain the surprise), and I’ve made a start on some letter- and postcard-writing that’s long overdue.


so many letters!


I like random acts of kindness directed at strangers who I will never meet, but it’s also uplifting to do something for someone I know, allowing me to witness the positive effect of my action.

Random Crafts of Kindness

The pile of waste outside just one house after Christmas

I don’t want my gift-giving to mean this

As some of you may know, I don’t ‘do’ Christmas. I don’t give gifts and I prefer people not to give me gifts for Christmas. Two years ago I wrote about the history of this decision and you can read about it here, but suffice to say that it has made the festive season much more enjoyable. However, I don’t want you to think that gift-giving is not an important part of my life – it’s just that now  it’s linked to friendship and inspiration rather than a religious festival that, actually, I don’t believe in. And anyway, let’s not kid ourselves – for many people these days, Christianity has nothing to do with their activities in December, it’s very much about consumerism and greed, driven by companies not individuals.

Before I get too cynical, however, I must return to what I really want to say in this post, namely that giving and graciously receiving are wonderful acts, made all the more special by thought and effort going into each action. When we decided to stop giving Christmas presents, we started giving random presents; ‘I saw this and thought of you’ presents; presents at any time of the year; presents that the recipients would really want and at a time when they would want them. This means that sometimes our friends don’t get anything for ages and then, like buses, two arrive in quick succession, but that’s just how it goes.

A little jolly chunky bag

A little jolly chunky bag, which I sent to a sad friend to cheer her up

As time has gone on, however, I find myself making more and more of these presents. Several people now have pairs of crochet slippers because they have admired them and, when I have had time, I’ve made some. Some people have bling string bags, some people have bath puffs… as the fancy has taken me to make them and give them as gifts. And, in the past year, I have randomly sent other bloggers little crafted gifts. Partly, this is paying it forward- in thanks for the knitted and crochet squares that I continue to receive for my friendship blankets (there is a second one in progress, following on from the masterpiece), but partly it’s just because I love being part of this generous caring community, who reach out to each other and provide rays of sunshine even though most of us will probably never meet. The sentiments that Pauline expressed in her post that I re-blogged earlier today really resonate with me, and that’s why I will be participating in both her Random Acts of Kindness: the one that I help instigate and the one for a person I didn’t ‘know’ until today.

As for the festive season… we will eat, drink and be merry; we will enjoy the company of those we love and we will give a donation to our favourite charity; but we will not fill the world with any more plastic waste nor will we fill the pockets of greedy corporations. How about you?

Sharing the Love

The Contented Crafter and myself have been plotting (isn’t it fantastic that two people on opposite sides of the world can plot?) something lovely for Fran, a fellow blogger. She’s written about it in this post, but actually the post is much more than that. I wholeheartedly agree with her thoughts on the value of our online community – thank you Pauline for expressing them so well!

The Contented Crafter

In my last post I shared the story of this, the ‘Dangler of International Happiness’


Many comments focused on the extraordinary gifts that we receive from each other within our blogging communities.  Yes we receive all kinds of happy mail from fellow bloggers, gifts expected and unexpected.  Random Acts of Kindness that make a smile appear or maybe even a tear drop or two.  But even more precious is the friendship, understanding and positive support shared when times are hard, hearts are opened and just the smallest thoughtful word can make a big difference.

I have read posts that have questioned the reality of relationships made within the world of bloggers, claiming that we can invent ourselves to be quite other than we are, claiming that we can’t quite trust who or what is on the end of any comment, that we only present ourselves in our best possible light.

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