Monday, May 7, 2012

Nails done, hair done, everything did

     I'm a late adopter for just about everything... Including the latest and greatest in social media, Pinterest. 
    Before I started pinning, my sister-in-law would e-mail me the pins she liked. Such as, the one to your left - the totally adorable headband/neckwarmer.
     "Can you make this?" she asked. 
     "Nope," I said.
     Because I couldn't. Until I learned how to do a yarn over, which for some reason seemed really hard for me. 
     After lots of practice (lots) (more than a normal person should have to do), I finally figured it out, and I was off! 
     My sister-in-law received the finished product as a gift for her birthday, which just so happened to be in the warmest winter ever. So, maybe she'll get to wear it next year. Or, this spring, which is shaping up to be a chilly one.
     The easy-to-follow pattern can be found here

Thursday, April 19, 2012

There Is A Light That Shines

     The other day, I needed a little something to hold onto. Just something that I could look at when I needed to focus, stop my head from spinning, remember to breathe.
     I came across the meditation "May I dwell in the awakened heart," and it was perfect. To me, it meant, may I lift myself up out of this dark, fearful, tragic place that I'm going in my head and instead be in a warm, light place.
     I wrote it on a sticky note and put it on my desk. Throughout the day, when I would lose focus, my head starting to spin, I would look at my meditation.
     Although I did a nice job writing it on the sticky note and even drew a heart on the paper, I couldn't help but think, "Hey, this quote would make some awesome decoupage!" (That was after I was out of the dark, fearful, tragic place.)
     So, last night, I made my first decoupage project. I had been holding onto a small wooden heart for years, have a big container of Mod Podge, and also kind of hoard old "Whole Living" magazines, so I had my materials. 
     I used to collage a lot as a teenager. It was my primary form of self-expression. In fact, part of one of the walls of my bedroom was covered with my collages. Thinking back, I was such a cool kid. I wish I could have seen that then. 
     I would cut out words and phrases and pictures that meant something to me, that gave me something to hold onto. Back then, I did a pretty good job of dwelling in the awakened heart. I was so aware of all of my feelings and unafraid of most of them.
     I'm glad that there's still a part of me that wants to collage, to create something out of random scraps. And I love that my awakened heart can still be so creative.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Still Not a Player

I'm not a knitter, I just knit a lot.
        Seriously. I know how to do, like, six things with knitting needles. I know how to cast on, cast off, knit, purl, and in the past month, I've forced myself to learn how to do a yarn over - which means that you intentionally make holes in your knitting - and knitting increases, which you unintentionally do all the time when you are first learning to knit.
        So, maybe I should say, up until recently, I wasn't a knitter, I just knit a lot.
     It's a whole other world being a knitter - there's vocab to learn, abbreviations to figure out, and then you actually have to do the yo's and the kfb's.
     A few months ago, I learned how to do something different with knits and purls, which resulted in the lovely scarf you see a bit of above. Of course, I never posted about the scarf because, um, I wore it twice. Because we had the weirdest winter ever (80 degrees in March in Boston!).
     But, I loved making it with the pretty Noro self-striping yarn I bought on sale at a great shop in Boston (Stitch House in Dorchester), and I loved the truly shameless attitude of the pattern designer (her blog name is "Yarn Harlot" - how can you not love her!?) as she described what to do once you'd finished making the scarf:
     "Put it on, note how nicely it goes with your fall coat and go walk around Bloor West Village (or some neighbourhood near you if you don't live here) pretending to buy vegetables while waiting for someone to ask you where you bought your scarf. Gloat. (Nicely)"
     Happy to share it with you now, on April 1. Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Animal House

These little cuties were created in October, right around the last time I posted on this poor, lonely, neglected blog!

They were an anniversary gift for my sister-in-law and her husband - she loves monkeys and he loves owls (yes, the little felt friends are an owl (left) and a monkey (right)). 

You can't tell from the picture, but they are tiny - less than two inches at their widest points. And, they were a blast to make. (You also can't see that the monkey has a tail. What's more fun than a tail?)

I found the owl pattern for this pair months ago, so long ago that I've now forgotten the clever title of the book loaned to me by a friend. I had to search for a monkey pattern, and ended up creating my own based on a picture found online. 

Look for a couple more posts in quick succession - I have a lot of catching up to do!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mo Money, Mo Problems?

I did it. I went to a bead shop, talked to the owner, and gave her a ton of my inventory. To sell. That's right. In a shop. My jewelry. That I made. On my living room floor. 

I've been talking about (or being talked to about) selling my jewelry for years. My friend has a wonderful online shop called Homegrown Judaica where a bunch of my pieces are featured. But, selling in a brick-and-mortar shop is another level, at least in my eyes. 

I love online shops, but I love real shops more. (Sorry, online shops! See, I even called them "real" shops.) I love being able to examine things a little before I buy them and experience the whole "shopping" experience - especially bead shops. I love being surrounded by all-sorts-of-potential creative materials just waiting to be made into something fabulous.

Who knows if I'll actually sell anything!? But, for now, I'm excited that it's possible for me to go into this shop next week and see my little red half-moon earrings in the display case.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hey Baby, Drop It To the Floor

While many of my friends having babies are living in the Northeast, where hats are de rigueur, the baby-having has started spreading to warmer climes. A few months ago, when my friends in Atlanta had a baby, I knew I couldn't send a baby hat - the poor thing would never get to wear it. I found an adorable pattern (reminiscent of the felt birds that kicked off this blog) for a felt bunny

Sometimes I get to see the babies wearing the hats I've made, which is totally surreal. This may be admitting something weird, but I actually don't always imagine actual babies using the items I make. So, imagine my surprise when I was in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and saw this baby playing with the bunny!

I had been told by the mom that the baby loves the bunny - its shape is perfect for her to hold. What mom hadn't shared with me is that it is perfect for her to hold on to while she - wait for it - teeths on it. It hadn't occurred to me that she would put the bunny in her mouth. Oy. 

Here's hoping that felt is non-toxic.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One-Minute Creativity

For something close to three years, a friend of mine has, subtly and not-so-subtly, been trying to get me to try meditation. I've been reluctant to start primarily because I haven't felt that I had the time. I imagined sitting, for at least 5 minutes, and while the idea was appealing, the finding of the actual 5 minutes felt virtually impossible.

My friend really wants to help me, so today she sent me a video produced by this guy

What I experienced by following the simple (yet totally intimidating, but still do it!) instructions in the video shocked me. And, it inspired me to think a little differently about creativity.

As you may have noticed (or maybe not, that's okay), I haven't posted on the blog for almost two months. Nothing particularly bad has been going on that's kept me away from it (also, nothing particularly good, just sayin'). I've just been busy, haven't been creating much of anything that I want to show off, and haven't managed to find (or make) a minute to type up a post. I've been beating myself up about not crafting and not posting, which is really time-consuming, ha ha ha. But, after watching the video, I thought, "A minute isn't really that much time." 

Often, I think of the phrase owned by one of my favorite companies, The Paper Source. "Do something creative every day."

Talk about intimidating.

But. Maybe.

I'm not going to set a resolution to do something creative every day. I'm not even going to set a resolution to do a one-moment meditation every day. But, I will make an effort to cut myself some slack. It might even help me be more creative.