Friday, January 4, 2008


I've been noticing that some bloggers are already making homemade Valentines. Goodness, they certainly are organized. I still have my Christmas decorations out! I didn't create the picture above. I took the illustration from a Pay It Forward website.
This post is way more about Pay It Forward than it is about Valentines, but it could involve them too. I waited until after the holiday hustle and bustle to do this post. A few weeks ago, I agreed to participate in Pay It Forward "exchanges" offered by two bloggers, Michelle from Poland, and Janet from the Lavender Loft, both of whom are on my sidebar. They aren't really exchanges but I don't know what to call them. I agreed that if Janet and Michelle sent me a handmade item, I would create three items and send them on to three other people. I don't give back to Janet and Michelle, I Pay It Forward!
I really like the Pay It Forward concept. I knew of it as "Prime the Pump" when I was a kid. I grew up in a village with an honest-to-god town pump and sometimes it had to be primed. Prime the Pump meant reserving some water when you draw from the well, and saving it for the next person who comes along in case the pump needs to be primed to get it working.
Later, this was translated into the Paying It Forward concept and was made famous by a movie I really love, "Pay It Forward" with Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt.
I have already embraced the PIF concept this past year, by sending small packages to my blogging friends. If you're saying, "Hey, I haven't gotten one yet" - just wait. I live on a budget and can't treat everyone at once. But I will get around to you if you are a regular commenter on my site. I enjoy this immensely and I always tell my recipient - "Don't send me anything - just Pay It Forward."
Of course, one can Pay It Forward in much bigger ways, as attested to by the various websites you can google. But right now I am keeping it simple and pledging to send some sort of item handmade by me to the first six people who put a comment on this blog. All you have to do is promise to send a handmade item to three other people (I'm doing six because I am participating in two PIFs.)
The best part of this is that you don't have to PIF it right away - it can be anytime in the next 365 days! That gives a person with winter doldrums a lot of leeway! Janet and Michelle did not stipulate this, but I would like to ask that the people who'd like to receive a handcrafted item from me choose their favorite holiday or time of year in which to receive their gift. (So Valentine's Day did wend itself back into this post after all!)
I might as well tell you right now, you won't be receiving a batch of cookies from me! If you read my post regularly, you know I'm not a baker. I'll probably do something with paper, scissors, glue and other fripperies (as Robyn and Daisy would say). Your PIF gift can be anything you create with your own hands. And remember - you have a whole year to come up with something.
A couple of updates on my post "Oh My Aching Hands": In regard to a couple of new comments, I do wear splints (or braces with the hard metal strip) at night. I was wearing them during the day, as well, but my physical therapist believes that the hand muscles atrophy if the braces are worn all the time. I think I am going to go to the rehabilitation center here and see if there is a more flexible brace that I can wear at work. My hands are feeling better right now. Someone asked if CTS is aggravated by cold weather. I'm not sure, but it may be. We are experiencing a January Thaw right now. If that is the reason for the lessening of my symptoms, I am grateful.
Speaking of gratitude, so many of you commented on the Celtic Blessing that I am going to share the website with you, so that you can see the beautiful imagery and music that accompany it. Erm, I'm sure the music is beautiful but I can't hear it since my daughter could not fix my computer's audio while she was home. :{
Be patient - it takes a LOOOONG time to load.


Leanne said...

morning Julie!

I love the film Pay It Forward- its one of my favourite films too!

There's so much bad news in the world, nice things going on dont make the news headlines, bad news sells more papers sadly! But the world is full of people who do make a difference in the lives of others, who give of themselves freely and there are selfless good deeds out there!

I took part in a pay it forward blogpost a few months ago. i 'won' a gift' from alison, and in return I made gifts and passed them on. I also made small gifts and popped them inside selected christmas cards, in the hope they made the recipients smile. PIFs create smiles, that cant be bad!!

I am glad your hands feel a little better Julie, that is good news Leanne x

Naturegirl said...

Julie I am so pleased that you are getting some relief from pain.
What a generous and wonderful idea the ~PIF!~ The gift is always in the
Continue to feel better..I continue to hold you in my prayers! hugs NG xo

Bimbimbie said...

Dear Julie, your blood is worth bottling as a dear old friend of mine always liked to say when kindness came her way. I love sending out unexpected greeting cards - so little snail mail is nice these days - usually bills lol .... ok I'll make my first promise for the year and won't break it *!* Good to hear you are having some relief for your hands

Lila Rostenberg said...

I will participate in the "pay it forward"! Looking forward to whatever you may create and send my way!!! Then I will send a handmade item to 3 others!

I will also be sending you the watercolor of bittersweet and chinese lanterns...once I locate it again! (That's what happens when you straighten up for a party...don't know where thing s are now!)

nonizamboni said...

What a great idea, Julie. You are a rare friend...and your priming the pump reminder made me smile.
I'd love to hear about your 'flagposts' sometime too.
Take good care and keep smiling.

Annie Jeffries said...

Hi Julie. I think there can't be enough reminders of paying it forward. Many of us do it to the point that it is like breathing, but the extra reminder can't hurt and gets us actively looking again. Glad to read that your hands are starting to feel some relief. Wishing for more for you.

gma said...

Hi Julie...Hope your hands are still getting better!!I'm going to eMail you a recipe for a pain reliever my uncle takes.
I participated in a PIF last year, very fun...hope it's still going.
Sending love

AutumnZ said...

If you will send me your mailing address ( nimbus 1108 at yahoo dot com) I would love to pay something forward to you.

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

I believe strongly on that concept but even more in RAK random act of kindness.
You will feel great satisfaction out of this PIF event. I met two wonderful persons in both events and they both became very dear to me and inspiring. One made sure later again for me to start developing even more my creativity by constantly checking my work and how to make it grow richer.
Hoping you have a great Today dear Julie!