Sunday, December 30, 2012

Crafty Ideas for 2013: Vision Boards

2012 was an interesting year for many of us. My family had many challenges and celebrations that, in many ways, brought us closer together. I feel like 2013 is going to be a great year with exciting adventures ahead. There have been some dreams and aspirations that have been flowing in my head for a few months. I wanted to see how I could keep those goals in mind as I begin another year.

So, I googled "vision board," something I had heard about, but not really understood. And did more research. Basically, there are inspiration boards and vision boards. An example of an inspiration board is kind of like what we make on Pinterest: it's a place to gather images or ideas about a certain goal. A vision board encompasses a little bit more. Many people choose a special word for the year and then create a board around that idea and how it looks in different aspects of their life. I read Joyce Schwarz's book "The Vision Board: the Secret to an Extraordinary Life." Here's a link about vision boards: The subtle tricks to building an effective vision board | Martha Beck.

I started thinking that "abundance" might be my word for the year, but after creating my board, I think my word or phrase is "creating openness." I'm still working on my board, but when, I'm finished, I'm going to hang it in my bedroom so I can see it every day. The idea is, that by creating this board, your brain is thinking of that concept regularly. Current brain research states that your brain only " knows" your thoughts, both negative and positive. So, why not bring positive thoughts and energy into your life?

Even better, make it a party! Gather some girlfriends, wine, snacks, canvas, magazines and catalogs and start creating your vision for the year! I would be happy to help you along.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

30 Days of Creativity

I discovered "30 Days of Creativity" through Pinterest at the end of May and thought I would give it a try in the form of an art journal. Here's an image of ideas from the thirty days website. It's helped me explore different ideas...

Mixed media art journals have been around for a long time. There are several magazines devoted to this special art form. I have friends that use journals to help them think about big ideas in their life. I have a few friends look back on their journal to discover who they are as a woman and how they've grown and changed through the years.

For me, it is a way to explore different art mediums. I also used this as a way to help my kiddos explore different art materials.

Below are some links to help anyone get started:

  • Ashley from LittleBlueBoo has a step-by-step tutorial for transforming a plain-Jane composition journal into a spectacular art space.
  • Tammy from Daisy Yellow has several posts with prompts. I bought one of her ezines to get even more ideas...
  • Julie from Balzar Designs has more ideas for pages.
It's not too late to take the pledge to do something creative everyday in June. Check out the "30 Days of Creativity" tumblr and go make something!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Of Quilts

After the end of each school year, I find myself sewing with abandon for a few weeks to rejuvenate. I've worked three quilts that have "been in my brain" for a while.

Meet "Tree of Life." Last summer, I bought some of Free Spirit's Hot Flash fabric, with the intent of making something a little chaotic. I put a border around three sides and then sewed a chevron border along the last side. I'm intending to hand quilt this one with lots of swirls to complement the movement of all the colors.
This turquoise and red quilt is the completion of an online quilting bee I participated in last year. Four times last year, I was placed with six women from around the world. We shared our color preferences and then each quilter made the SAME block in different colors for their group. At the time, I was crazy about red and turquoise together. I really enjoyed working with different colors and design elements. I think I'll just "stitch in the ditch" or sew around the squares. I bought tons of red polka dot fabric for this purpose.
This is "Royal Squares," a free pattern I found off of Craftsy. It utilizes scraps of all sizes. I only had to buy white fabric to make this. I like the way the white squares POP out. This quilt also helped me with those 1/4" seams.

Now, for a bit of sadness. My sewing machine has died. It was an old one, though. I bought it when Rich and I were in college, about 15 years ago, at least. He still has some of the shorts I made him. I've made Vincent costumes, Ava dresses, quilts, baby gifts- so much on that machine. Here's a picture:

It appears that sewing machine technology has taken off since I bought this one. Long gone are the 4-step button holes of mechanical machines. Now, there is automatic everything! Along with computerized technology comes a big price. There are machines out there that cost less than my first car! I'm researching machines and Rich is gonna give me one for my birthday. Maybe I'll be able to sew without my family hearing the loud roar of every little stitch. Looking forward finishing those quilts!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Bucket List

This is an unusual summer for us. We usually have a plane trip planned to visit family. We did a lot of traveling during the school year, so we are going to take it easy.  That said, Vincent is a little disappointed. "But staying home is SO BORING!" he says in his tween voice, voice dripping of sarcasm.  Enter the "Summer Planning Pages." I found a website that offers free blank calendars, printed 3 and we started organizing our summer. Gina from East Coast Mommy has a great, free printable I used to help get our creative juices flowing.  Here's Vincent's, all circled and ready to go! 11 Cat, from No Wooden Spoons, has some great ideas for summer photography.  Then, I used the planning calendar pages and color-coded everyone's activities that are already planned.  13 Now, we are going to add all of the activities on our summer bucket list so we make sure this summer is full of possibilities. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spiral Scarf and a pattern

I knitted my sister Jill some spiral fingerless mitts from the book Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson for her birthday. I had 2 skeins left, so I made her a scarf to match. With a little help from Janine, I figured out how to keep the pattern while knitting flat. Some may think this is a no-brainer, but it was a growth step for me.

Now that my first knitted project is finished, I wanted to share the pattern. For an experienced knitter, it's a simple rib pattern, that twist slightly as you go. All it takes is 2 skeins of sock yarn held together. I used Plymouth Happy Feet, and size 6 needles.

Spiral Rib Scarf

CO 24 stitches.

Row 1/3: K2P2 to the end.
Row 2/4: follow pattern as set up, knitting the knits and purling the purls.

Row 5/7: p1, *K2P2 to the last 3 sts, K2P1
Row 6/8: follow pattern as set up, knitting the knits and purling the purls.

Row 9/11: P2K2 to the end
Row 10/12: follow pattern as set up, knitting the knits and purling the purls

Row 13/15: K1, *P2K2, repeat from * to the last 3 stitches, P2, K1

Row 14/16: follow pattern as set up, knitting the knits and purling the purls

Repeat until you run our of yarn or your scarf is long enough. If you make this, please link up on Ravelry - I'd love to see your project!
Birthday Girl, modeling her scarf

Monday, January 2, 2012

Yarn Resolution 2012 (And a Giveaway)

I have a confession: I love yarn and fabric. A few people I know have a room designated to hold their stash (think an ENTIRE wall of yarn!). My stash is confined to Ava's bedroom closet. It has occured to me that she may want her closet in the near future, so I've decided to decrease the stash a bit in 2012.

My resolution is to knit through at least 6 skeins of my sock yarn. Currently, I have 10 skeins, so I think this is a reasonable goal. My plan is to utilize Judith Durant's One Skein books. I have 3 and each book has patterns to choose from.

While straightening the stash, I came across this lovely little skein from Cherry Tree Hill. It's 420 yards of sock weight yarn that needs a new home. And, I have a small project bag I printed this weekend. Wanna win both?