The Sum of All Donations

Donations 2015 - 2

Thank You to Luanne Pontbriant and Jacquie Lober for helping to sort, write cards and package all the knit and crochet donations to the various shelters and programs we have adopted. We delivered to Help of Ojai, Project Understanding, Ojai Valley Family Shelter, Casa Serena and several shelters in Alaska and Canada.

Lots of nice fuzzy, warm knits with lots of love in every stitch!

Prototypes Women’s Center Knitting Hats

Daughter in Law and Pink Hat

Here is a happy recipient of a hand crocheted hat by one of the women at Prototypes Womens Center in Oxnard California.

Mens Hat

……and another happy recipient……

Women Crocheting

One of the ladies has been inspired to start her own little side business designing and crocheting hats!This will indeed help her find her own independence when time comes to leave the house and set out on her own……I am so proud of her……these are all created and crocheted by her with no patterns!

Turqoise Hat

White and Red Hat

Red-White-Black HatOrange Hat

Prototypes Logo

Prototypes Girls YarnBomb for Charity

All Poles

It’s Fabulous, It’s Fun, It’s Fantastic, It’s Yarntastic……some of the words we overheard the day of the Event!


The YarnBombers


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.


Green PolePurple PoleThe Girls


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……


Misha and LauraChristine YarnBombingthe Girls at the Harbor


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.


The Girls and Me

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”


Lise and Green

I had to go back the next day and HUG our pole!

Thank You Girls!

The Blanket – Handmade Prayers

Prototypes Blanket Bench copy

24 HandMade Prayers become a beautiful Blanket consisting of knitted CareSquares in all shapes and sizes……(yes, all shapes and sizes:-)) and in 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.

The girls at Prototypes Women’s Center knit these prayers and donated the Blanket to Turning Point Foundation for the homeless.  In gratitude and wanting to be of service and help someone even less fortunate than themselves.

Prototypes Blanket 1

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.

Prototypes Blanket

Little HandMade Prayers all bundled up together for someone to lay under and feel Safe and Warm.


Prototypes Logo




turning point foundationPositive Places of Recovery for people disabled by mental illness

Emergency Shelter


Supported Housing

Prototypes Blanket Turning Point

Sing a Song, Knit……Unwind……Unfold

Lisa Prototypes April 4.jpg

Singer/Songwriter Lisa Barbee sharing her story and music with the women at Prototypes one beautiful Sunny afternoon. Setting the peaceful and nourishing tone for the day, and for our souls.

Lisa Prototypes April 3

There’s a lot to be said about coming together in a circle after a long week of work, commitments, problem solving, doing our very very best……to just release……soak up some sunshine…… listen to another woman’s story through song and music……and knit……

Girls Crocheting

……and crochet

Vanessa Crocheting

The girls brought out their blankets and continue to crochet for their loved ones as well as for their own healing

“……one stitch at a time……”

Lisa Prototypes April 1

Lisa sings about her healing “……One Stitch at a Time…..with each Purl you Knit your Life……”

Lisa Prototypes April 2

“……Creating for You Peace of Mind……”


Can we just Unwind?

With no limit, just time?

One of the women at Prototypes has discovered the serenity unwinding yarn gives.  Creating the Patience and Tolerance and Kindness it takes to unwind the “mess” of this yarn translates into creating the tools necessary to clean up our own lives……with patience, tolerance and kindness towards ourselves. And our new lives can begin to UNFOLD.

Knitting Holiday Donations 2012

The Alano Girls 2012

Here are some of the FABULOUS women belonging to the Tuesday Night “One Stitch at a Time” group at the Ojai Valley Alano Club. We’re all wearing some of the items we have knit for our annual donation to the homeless in our community. It’s a FUN bunch, and how lucky are we to have a place to go to, to belong to. A place we can safely continue our own recovery and healing. A place we can come together and knit, share, laugh……for ourselves, for others and for a higher purpose.

Lise and Donations 2012

This year is our third annual donation to The Turning Point Foundation serving the growing homeless population in Ventura County and who creates

Positive places of recovery for people disabled by mental illness

Emergency Shelter


Supported Housing

turning point foundation

We’re also so happy to have knit hats for the cancer patients at Ventura County Hospital – Hematology and Oncology Center. Thank You to the amazing nurses for their endless compassionate work. They surely keep their patients hearts warm, and we can help keep their heads warm:-)

Knitted Heart Drawing

I want to also bring attention to the AMAZING girls at Prototypes Women’s Center in Oxnard where I teach knitting and crocheting every week.  They all got together and surprised me with countless knitted and crocheted CareSquares for the blankets and scarves we donate to Turning Point Foundation. Their lives are so full working on getting back on track and back into society in a healthy way again, and yet they feel the need to already give back and be of service to someone even less fortunate than they are. Given the chance and opportunity I think we all innately feel the need to be of service to another, I think it is part of our essence.

Prototypes Logo


To all the women at the Ojai Valley Alano Club and Prototypes Women’s Center



Logo One Stitch at a Time

The Calm

These last few months with the women at Prototypes have been so much about creating a calm environment for ourselves, and together… even if it is for only a wee hour.  A CALM hour, or as I like to call it Chill After Life Management”.

Our days are filled with so much hustle and bustle, schedules are filled to the max, with all very necessary duties, classes and having to learn a lot of life management.  This one hour of knitting and being together has now become a very soothing time for us all.  We have time to share more stories with each other, stories that this calm somehow brings up in us, that otherwise wouldn’t have surfaced.  There are women who utilize this time and space to just be quiet…for themselves, and with themselves.  All you can hear is the quiet clicking sound of the knitting needles moving in a constant and repetitive motion. There you have a deep and beautiful meditation.

A little dexterity is helpful in working with ...

We have one  woman reading and one woman writing that just want to be in the same room as us……for the calm.  The Director took 10 minutes off and just sat with us……for the calm.  The counselors deeply thanked us for bringing this “quiet hour” to the house.

The journey to get to this point however has taken time.  You should have seen us in the very beginnings.  No one knew what was going to happen, how it was going to happen, and aren’t pointy knitting needles dangerous to have around?  Needles(s )to say, it was quite rowdy in the start, very loud, very busy…it was hard getting them to even sit down for an hour.  Oh, and they would saunter in a little late, and try to saunter off a little early.  Somehow along the way, it came to a  point where they were sitting and waiting for me…EARLY:-)

And now there is a calm in the room, even before I get there.  The women automatically create it themselves, waiting with knitting needles in hand.

With this calm a good dose of serenity emerges, and peace is right there with them.