This image came up in my Facebook feed this morning. As we enter into a new year I am reminded of a simpler time in life. One in which the magic of Christmas was in homemade gifts and family traditions!
Each year my Auntie would make us all (4 in total) a new set of hat, mittens & a scarf. We would eagerly go outside with our sleds and try out our new gifts. Mother would have to take a picture of our colorful prizes (even though the film was black & white!). We just wanted to capture the moment.
As I reflect on those days I remember all the love we had for each other as siblings and the fun we had going out in the cold. We are grown now and have just recently, due to an accident to my younger brother, have all come back together. The last quarter of 2019 was a trying time for our family but with a happy ending!
Now as 202o rolls in I am going to make this the best year ever and remember the acronym KISS: Keep IT Simple Stupid! I have a habit of going bigger then I need to and making things more complicated then they need to! So this year I am focusing on de-cluttering my house. A much needed process. (My hubby is in the backroom cleaning now as I write this…LOL)
I am also making a BIG Commitment to my business this year! I am making a vow to do things with what I have….and I have A LOT! When I look around my studio I see so much potential. And there in lies the problem…too much stuff, too many ideas that I get overwhelmed.
Here is to setting goals, making a plan, and taking it one day at a time!!!
If you are a creative person then you are probably like me! You have an unlimited amount of stash supplies on hand. Yarn, roving, ribbon, lace, fabric…YIKES where does it end?? I am feeling very overwhelmed again; especially since I have to do my year end inventory soon! UGHHH
So for 2020 I have committed myself to using up what I have and only buy the most essential things! I know…easier said then done. But I have signed up for several shows for 2020…more then usual. I need to finally make money at this business or I have told my hubby that I’m going to hang it up. Does that mean I will be entirely done? UH NO! I will always have something going on….LOL
One thing lead to another (you know how that goes when on Pinterest!) and I saw yarn art. Did I mention I have a lot of yarn>>>
OH MY GOSH!!!! that lead me on another topic! Yarn wall art.
That lead me to this….Dip-Dye Wall art.
Weaving isn’t new to me and I have done macrame and dyeing before; so looks like I may have a direction. My goal is to create art pieces that I can not only sell but also make kits for smaller versions to sell to the fiber community and teach classes!
All of these projects would also be kid friendly and a great way to get the younger generation involved in the arts! Now that I like.
The other day I wrote about making a felted journal cover. I have started mine and pictures soon to follow. If you are not into making that big of a project, making bookmarks maybe the way to go. They also use little bits of fiber and you can use scraps of just about anything for embellishments! These bookmarks were made from one piece of felt made using the wet felting method. You can find the tutorial here: https://feltingsupplies.livingfelt.com/Wet-Felting-Bookmarks-Kit_p_571.html
If you would rather needle felt your bookmark, they can be made individually. More time could be taken to put in a particular design. Again they do not require much fiber and you have great opportunities to use up small bits of fibers! Here is you tube tutorial on this process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXjtx6APvEI
Fiber Art Cuffs—another great simple gift idea. Process is similar to making the bookmarks.
Aren’t these sheep adorable. The background can be made as one whole piece. The sheep are needlefelted and spaced far enough apart to make sure there is one on each bookmark. Cut apart and stitch around on your sewing machine. How Cute!!!
I’m fully inspired now and off to my studio to finish my journal cover and make some bookmarks for last minute stocking stuffers!
The needle-felting machine. You saw it and you just had to have it! Now it is home and you are staring at it in the box. What to do?? Should I open it? If I do then I will have to try and use it…but I am scared!!! It looked so easy at the demonstration. I saw all the cool things you could do with it.
But now here it is and I am afraid to open the box.
Does this sound familiar? You saw the cool fabric that was being made and you had so many ideas.
You saw how you could use your scraps of leftover fiber, fabric, ribbons, yarn & more. I don’t want to break any needles but I want to try!
Don’t be afraid! Take it out of the box.
Get a scrap piece of muslin or felt as your base. Lay out some fine wisps of roving on the base. Put it under the needles and here you go! It’s like machine quilting in a way. You run the machine faster then you are moving the piece. I usually put the pedal all the way down and then move my piece slower. If you move too fast and change directions quickly you will break needles. So do be careful.
I was on Pinterest this morning and came across this cool idea for a journal cover. It was from the blog post of Expression Fiber Arts. What a great way to use up small bits of wool, ribbons, and other scrap fibers and jewlery! I think this is my next project!
Another holiday season is upon us. We have not had much snow here but today everything is covered in white. It has been a busy and emotional year. Through it all the act of creating has kept me sane!
I had fun using some unusual fabric and pre-fusable Hawaiian applique cutouts. This piece was quilted using my Sashiko Machine. WOW! what a learning experience that was!!
I vended at two new shows this year that was for handmade finished products; Wildwind in Pittsfield, PA and Crary Art Gallery in Warren, PA. Both were alot of fun and got to talk to people from the community where I grew up. I also have a booth at the Titusville Market Square in Titusville, PA. It features my handmade goods. They are open seven days a week.
I stretched myself with my needlefelting and created some Wool Paintings. Yes! They are all made of wool fibers felted together in a dry needling process. One lady had to touch one to make sure it really was made of wool…LOL
I also went back to making gnomes and this year added the elf. What fun to see their individual personalities come to life.
The santa gnomes were a big hit!
I am taking a bit of a break right now. Doing research for new projects for next year. I have myself quite booked with a record number of shows to vend at….6!!! The first one is in March and I will also be teaching 2 classes and demonstrating. It will be an exciting year for sure!
Look for new updates on my etsy store with a brand new name in the new year. I am finally making a committed effort to getting things on the etsy store….YEAH!
The pineapple as a welcoming icon can trace its roots to Christopher Columbus, who brought he succulent fruit back to Europe from its ancestral home in the late 1400s. Believed to have originated in Brazil and Paraguay, Columbus “discovered” the fruit in Guadeloupe in 1493.
Legend has it that captains would mount a pineapple on their gateposts outside their home to signify a safe return home. They were also an invitation to visit, enjoy food and drink and hear tales of the sailors’ adventures.
In colonial America, hostesses would place a fresh pineapple as a centerpiece at the table when entertaining visitors in their homes. Visiting was the primary method of cultural exchange as well as entertainment, so hospitality was central to colonial life. The pineapple symbolized the warmest welcome a hostess could extend to her guests and became the dessert for the meal.
I have loved this image for a long time and always wanted to make it into a project. Here is my interpretation of a pattern I found by Vicki Stratton Designs
I chose to use hand-dyed wool for the stem at the top of the pineapple. Instead of individual leaves I made it in 3 pieces graduating the color from dark to light.
Here is the finished project… a table runner. It still needs quilted but I am excited about the colors. I had enough pineapple material left over so I made a bag with the motif. There is still fabric left to make another pineapple motif and I may just make a pillow too!
I love this quote! It wasn’t until just recently I finally figured this out! All my life I wanted nothing more then to be a fashion designer, a writer, an artist. I think you can see…it was just about being a very creative person and having the ability to express my feelings in an artistic way for the world to see.
While I dabbled in writing my passion was to become a designer/artist. Over the years I have had some successes but just never quit reached the level I envisioned. I didn’t have a lot of self confidence and struggled with my self image.
All my life I have been overweight and just could not take it off. Before I got married, I did lose a bunch but it wasn’t a healthy way of losing it.
I felt fantastic. However, because I did not lose it the right way I gained it all back and more!
Over the years I did all the diets and felt miserable. While I did eventually become an Occupational Therapist and had a successful career, I never realized my artistic potential.
It wasn’t until I was taking yoga classes that my instructor told me when I got my health under control my creative and artistic side would shine and fall into place!
Boy was she right. After I retired almost 2 years ago, I finally got into a program where I started losing wt. and feeling stronger. I began to have success and feel better about myself and my future.
I learned about exercise, which was good and I did gain strength and built muscle and lost fat. However it became too much and my body started to hurt all the time. I also learned some about nutrition but I found myself in a holding pattern.
OK, so you may be wondering what does this have to do with creating. It has to do with energy and feeling good about yourself so you can express yourself no matter what your passion is.
So what happened to change everything. Several months ago I met Keith Klein and his program Lean body Coaching and everything changed!
Keith, a certified nutritionist, has been in the business for close to 40 years. He has taken on the food industry to reveal their lies and helped people realize the hidden fat in foods that are advertised as good for us! Did you know that oil sprays state 0gms of fat is a lie? Actually there are over 900 in one can! His program reveals this and so much more.
I started my 6 month journey in this program with my own coach, personal cookbook and food plan customized to my goals. Everyone is so professional and knowledgeable and eager to help you succeed! I never feel hungry & the food is amazing because I have learned many secrets for cooking this food myself 🙂
Bottom line is I have gained energy and my mind is clearer. I have taken a more reasonable approach to exercise and feeling so much more in control of my lifestyle. As a result I have been able to focus more on my art and am happy with the time in my studio.
If you are stuck and feel like you are not in control of your lifestyle, spinning in circles then I suggest checking out this program. It sure helped me begin to really understand how to lose the fat and create a sustainable lifestyle eating food made from nature and not made by man!!