Friday, May 4, 2012

Christmas in May?!

It's the beginning of May.  The cold of winter has finally retreated for another year, and the songs of spring perfume the air.  Winter coats, scarves, hats and ice scrapers are all packed away for another season of hibernation.

So what am I working on? Christmas stuff!

Why?!  Because for me - Christmas is a huge time of the year, and on that I am never, ever prepared for.  I mean really - who thinks about Christmas when you're sitting on the beach?

Then September rolls around, and the stores start putting out their Christmas decorations and I think:
     1)  Are they crazy?!?!  It's too early for Christmas stuff
     2)  Hmmmm - I wonder if I should start making a few Christmas items?

But then it's Halloween, and then Thanksgiving and before I know it Christmas just came out of nowhere! No warnings!  Can you believe it?!

So this year, I invite you to do what I'm doing.
- I'm gathering up Christmas ideas
- I'm taking stock of what I have already made, and plan what I need to make.
- I'm prepping the little 'take along' projects, so if I'm sitting somewhere with nothing to do, I can work on them.
- And I'm not waiting until the last minute this year!

What plans/ideas do y'all have?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This is such an interesting book!

The Children's Blizzard

OK - raise your hand - how many people grew up reading the "Little House on the Prairie" series? (Now put your hand down) :)

Do you remember the book "The Long Winter"? How many people know that blizzard - that long, long winter really happened! It wasn't an exaggeration!

I have a very varied taste in books, and for some reason, this book struck a fancy in me - maybe because this is one of the first winters in a very long time that we've had so much snow.

It was such a different time that these pioneers lived in. They came from desolate poverty in their home countries and came to America for a better life. Those who came to the plains states found little of that - locusts, dust storms and, of course, blizzards.

This particular blizzard was not the longest blizzard. It didn't do the most damage, but it was one of the saddest. It was named "The Children's Blizzard" because this was the blizzard that killed the most children. You see - there had been blizzards all winter long, but on this day the snow stopped. The wind stopped. The sun was shinning and people were finally able to emerge from the houses and get some fresh air. People had been cooped up for days and weeks on end, and of course they were anxious to get out. The children wanted to go to school. Any many of them went.

The difficult it that blizzards tend to come up very quickly, and sad to say - too quickly for many people. It would start as a small could in the sky and within minutes - the snow and blinding wind would begin. Temperatures so cold it was difficult to measure. Leaving your house to go to the barn was almost impossible as you would get disoriented. (Remember Pa tying rope to the house and then tying to other end to the barn?).

Well - teachers saw the snow cloud and some of the children tried to make it home. Some never did. Some of the teachers didn't know that there was a blizzard until the wind and snow slammed into the school houses. Some of these people froze there because there wasn't enough fuel.

Yes - there are some depressing moments in this book, but there is also strengh and faith and the courage to carry on. I liked this book very much and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Time to Organize!

I know that most people try to do their organizing in January. New year - a new start on things. I'm a bit behind in that area, but I'm doing what I can do when I can do it. I figure - the goal is to be organized. The time line isn't quite as important as long as I'm not saying 'Gee - I need to get organized' but procrastinate about it.

So I decided to go and organize all the pairs of fingerless gloves/mittens that I made over the

past few weeks. It's not a difficult thing to do - just a bit time consuming. I have to write down all of the different pairs, photograph them (at least 3 photos per pair), download them, change them over to jpeg (which I never really understood why you needed to do that, just that if you don't it's bad!), then load them up to my Etsy shop. Oh - then put them in my storage containers and then note which pair are in which container so when I sell a pair I'm not opening up every container and searching through all of them for a particular pair.

I have to say I forgot the different patterns and pairs that I made, and it's kinda fun doing this. My Mother makes knitted sweaters (from the Guidepost magazine) and she makes them and then sends them out for children who don't have anyone to make them things. When she is finished with the sweaters she sometimes has little balls of leftover yarn. She gives my those, and then I use them for my fingerless mittens! We make a good partnership!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I so need a vacation!

This has really been a very rough week. It seems that everyone wants something from me all the time and I never have any time to breath. Work is stressful, my private life is stressful, and all that stress is not a good thing for me.

It made me think back to when I went to Brazil. When we were traveling down the Amazon and there were no neverending cell phone calls or texts, no meetings to run to, no errands to run, no computers to input data into. Just the boat, the river and peace.

The above photo was taken while the group I was in was in a canoe. The water was so calm that I was able to get almost a perfect reflextion of the sky.

We were also in a canoe for this photo as well.

Sometimes there is stress in your life and there's nothing you can do about it. I have that now.

So I thought back to a calmer time in my world. It doesn't stop the stress, but it does help me give me some peace right now. Tomorrow will come. And there will be more stressors with it. But I can't let it get to me.

I will breathe. I will relax. I will do the things that give me peace - and I will carry on!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Quick Chance to Breathe!

I don't know about you, but latley my life has been anything but calm! My job has been more and more responsibility (without adding any pay!), Difficulties in the health of one family member and a winter that has left no doubt in anyone's mind that it is here to stay!

So I haven't had as much time to blog as I would have liked. Ok - I haven't had anytime to blog, but that is going to change! This is my way to express myself - to show off a bit of creativity and of course - to read other people's blogs!

So - even though I have been very busy - it doesn't mean that I have been idle. Crafting and making things is my way to calm. And - I hate just sitting and not doing anything. So - I have done a bit of crafting and I would like to show off one of my favorite things if I may...

This is a pair of fingerless mittens (or gloves as some call them) that is inspired by the Harry Potter Movies. It is green and grey (because the house colours are green and silver, but I couldn't find a nice silver yarn). I also can make matching scarves (which I have made, but they sold so I didn't want to post a photo of until I make more).

I'm also exploring options to make hats as well!

Well - must go for now, but I will return with more updates, and I'd love to hear what you have been up to!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Here I Go Again!!

Well - this has been a busy couple of months! I was finally able to return to work 31 July, and then had three months worth of paperwork and such to catch up on. But - I'm so thankful that my employer held my job for me - esp. in this economy, so I don't want to complain that much.

So recently, I'm trying to budget my money, and make as many handmade gifts as possible. And - of course, if I can sell any custom orders - that's a great thing too!!

My good friend has many children, and some are teenagers. She has seen my make my fingerless mittens, and she asked if I could make a pair of mittens for her, and scarf to go along with it. She would like black with hot pink edging, as well as a black scarf with hot pink edging.

I'm also working on a holiday gift for one of my staff. I'm taking this pair of fingerless mittens/gloves:

I love the way the rainbow colours look against the black, and then I thought I would make a black scarf with the same rainbow edging around it. That way it will be bright, but not too over-the-top!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Wonderful (featured) Etsy Shop!!

One of the things that I love about Etsy, is that there are so many people there that have different skills sets from me. Now personally - I couldn't draw or paint something if my life depended on it (although I think I can draw a mean stick figure!). Cara, on the other hand is a very talented artist who has her own shop on Etsy, and I think it's fantastic! Here is my interview with her..

1. I love your paintings - when did you start drawing?

I've always had a pen in my hand....some kids have a dummy....think i had a pencil :) It's a passion i've always had. A need that i've always had. I'm not the most vocal person in the world and painting/drawing and the like is my voice.

2. I see you do alot of portrait type paintings. Do you base these on real people?

No actually. I've never been good at capturing real people on canvas. I literally have pencil, roughly sketch and then let the paint create a face and personality.

3. Have you ever had anyone sit for a portrait?

Yes, but only for practice. I tend to sketch roughly and never create a painting of a real living person. Maybe one day i'd like to my style of course.

4. You use watercolor and acrylic. Which do you like to use more, and why? (From someone who does not paint, and has no idea about these mediums).

I go through stages. At the moment Acrylic is back in favour. I love the freedom of colours, building up colour and textures. I love the hugeness of canvases and great big chunky rollers and paint brushes and slapping on paint :) Water colour is totally different, i paint more delicately (but quicker for some reason)and in a smaller scale

5. What inspires you?

Other people! Other peoples lives. I know that sounds bizarre....but no amount of books, paintings, poetry etc etc can influence me or inspire me as much as real, interesting people who have much to show and offer.

6. You have some pretty jewelery in your shop too. Is this also a passion for you?

Yes....i got into jewelery making a year or so ago. It was a therapeutic outlet for a crazy life at the time. I have many beads, findings, wires, clasps etc in my little room.....and flit backwards and forwards from time to time. Ironically....i'm not a dress/junk jewelery why i make them i don't know.

Cara's Shop is named Caralara, and you can find here : , and I definitely recommend it!!