Monday, May 30, 2011

Finally finished

One good thing is I generally finish what I start. I worked on this pair of socks for more than a month, because I stopped to do other things. But, finally, I finished them this weekend, and now I can go onto the next knitting project - a white T-shirt to wear on my vacation.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My salad

George just went to the kitchen and made this delicious salad for my dinner. Twenty-three pounds down!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Six Tips for Your Crafting Life

Recently a Twitter friend sent a post from The Interweave blog that has inspired me. So I have my personal six tips for my crafting life here. I'll list them, and then I'll elaborate.

1. Put your craft at the top of your priority list, and not the bottom.
2. Make a project board out of wood, and put everything you need on the board, in plain sight.
3. Gather your inspiration and put it in 3 ring binders where you can find it easily.
4. Listen and Learn: spend time looking at other creative people's work -- listen to creative people and learn from them
5. Listen to good music that inspires you as you create.
6. Learn to love organizing. Time spent putting things away neatly, and labeling them for the next session is not wasted.

Crafting is my priority. Design your day around your craft and decide what you want to accomplish that day. Don't waste your crafting time doing housework or worrying about things that aren't getting done. You are an artist, and your creation IS what is important.

Walking through Home Depot one day, I found a beautiful 4 foot square piece of oak. We sanded it and rounded the corners and stained it with two coats of pecan Minwax and two coats of polyurethane. It is a lovely shiny thing that keeps all my stuff handy. I thought of this when making metal clay jewelry one day and my brushes kept disappearing in the clutter around me. Clear the distractions. Create a space with great lighting. Buy an extra Ott light or two and keep them handy when you need them. When bringing your craft on a trip, make sure you bring your own lighting. Once I tried to repair someone's jewelry on a towel in kitchen lighting, and it was a disaster. Bring your light with you!

3-ring binders are my salvation for keeping my ideas in a safe and permanent place. I have several large binders, one for knitting, one of magazine articles & inspirational pictures, one for beading ideas and techniques, one for beading class lists and a diary of beading classes. These large and colorful binders are close at hand, and I refer to them several times a week. Some of my knitting patterns are 20 years old, and I know of no other way that they could still be referenced if I had not started my notebooks. Many old ideas are still good ideas!

I spend a lot of time on the internet looking at other people's blogs and looking at the links that they put on Twitter. If they think it is important, and they are wonderful creative people, then it is worth my time to see what they think is worthy. My creative life is my own, but a shared creative life is twice as much fun, and probably ten times more fruitful.

Music is a great mood mellower. Listen to music that soothes you and makes you happy. Ideas will flow.

Learn to love organizing your beads, yarn, knitting supplies, etc etc. Spend time organizing; know what you own and where it is. Creating goes much easier when you are relaxed and in command of your materials!

And my 7th tip? Have fun and don't be critical. First efforts are not usually your best efforts. Give yourself some time to learn and hone your skills. Relax, and love the time you spend creating!

Have a great day.