What a great honor to be one 2014’s grant recipients from the Ojai Rotary Club.
Proud to stand side by side wonderful organizations like Help of Ojai and the Nan Talbert Foundation. “One Stitch at a Time-Knitting in Recovery” is being recognized and acknowledged for the work we do using Knitting and Crocheting as tools for healing, compassion and inspiration. We are all Women IN Recovery, Knitting FOR Recovery, and this particular project for the Ojai Valley Family Shelter is to supply all the homeless who walk into one of our shelters with a hat and scarf set. Attached is a letter from the woman who knit them with love. Planting seeds goes a long way, and you never know who might find recovery. We are also knitting Blankets the shelters get to keep……and will hopefully have enough blankets to go around for everybody……in a few years:-)
……become a beautiful blanket consisting of crocheted CareSquares in all shapes and sizes……(yes, all shapes and sizes:-)) and in an array of colors and textures. All the squares are crocheted together and finished with a beautiful crocheted trim around the whole blanket enveloping the warmth of all the squares.
There is a lot of love in each of these squares, along with the courage it takes for these women to conquer something new, the peace and healing that follows when they fall into a rhythm with their hands and their hearts. The joy and laughter and shared stories that arise when we are in this room together for this one single hour. All this transcends into the square, and then connecting them all together… all the different women, all the different yarns, all the different colors, all the different shapes and sizes……into one…..blanket.
Little Handmade Prayers all bundled up together for someone to lay under and feel safe and warm.♥
……and here are the beautiful individual squares each woman helped heal herself with……
It was great to have some of us knitting girls back together again……knitting for a new cause!
This year we will make sure all our homeless in Ojai who visit the shelters during the winter months will receive a hand knit scarf and hat……with a special note from the lady who knit them. A little love goes way beyond what we can imagine! The churches that shelter our homeless will receive blankets the residents can use there. So we are keeping our little hands busy……all the time healing ourselves as we continue on our own journey. We laugh, We cry, We’re silly, We’re serious, We share, We eat, We take care of each other!
……you gotta love it when one of the ladies’ teenage son hangs out with us……I think he can feel the peace and the joy!
My Dear Scot……making sure we are fed and happy……delicious barbecued hamburgers with ALL the fixings!
My Norwegian friend gifted me this beautiful piece……perfect as our Ojai Knitting Group CenterPiece!!!!!!
NAMI Ventura (National Alliance for Mental Illness) just had their annual Walk at the beach in Ventura to raise awareness on Mental Illness and help break down the stigma. The clients at Turning Point Foundation spent weeks making pom poms, finger crocheting chains, crocheting flowers and vines to get ready to YarnBomb the city in time for the walk…… spreading joy, fun, color and a lot of smiles to the public. Thousands of people showed up for the every successful event……it was a Happy Day!
There is something very special about contributing to your community……by helping others you help yourself, it’s as simple as that. It’s a beautiful thing to see how many people stop and smile and wonder when we install the yarnbomb……giving us an opportunity to just be of service……making us smile in return……and the clients get to go home with an amazing sense of Self:-)
Here’s the story in pictures from Start to Finish
It’s Fabulous, It’s Fun, It’s Fantastic, It’s Yarntastic……some of the words we overheard the day of the Event!
The Girls from Prototypes Women’s Center in Oxnard, my friend Christine and I spent an afternoon YarnBombing Ventura Harbor just in time for the 16th Annual Kinetic Sculpture Race benefiting the Turning Point Foundation, an organization that helps to provide services for the homeless and people struggling with mental illness.
I have been teaching knitting and crocheting at Prototypes for 5 years now, and this was the first time we got to do something “outside” of the house. We YarnBombed six 14 foot poles right smack in the middle of the beautiful Ventura Harbor. People were stopping and taking pictures and asking questions……and the girls were so good at explaining what yarnbombing is and that they were also doing it for a good cause……giving back to their community……
There’s something about being together, in recovery together, being girls together, creating together, having fun together, giving back together, eating chocolate (shhhhhh) together, putting smiles on other people’s faces……together……
The five of us who were there were somehow chosen to be together this particular day for this particular event……all for different reasons. For one it was unknowingly being sent back to the scene of her old hangout and coming out strengthened, having created new memories of sober fun, laughter and girlfriends. For another it was tapping into yet another source of creativity, and one step closer to finding and realizing her own beautiful potential. One realized that who she was giving back to was indeed the organization that had helped save her life……and one experiencing the true beauty of women in recovery together.
For me……yet again I discover the magic that happens when we are together, the grace I continue to receive, the many many ways my life is blessed today……yet again I remember one of my favorite quotes “There is no Me, without You”
I had to go back the next day and HUG our pole!
Thank You Girls!