Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter crafting

I like to think of myself as an artist...not a crafter.  No offense to crafters, as my work cannot compare to master craftsmen.  I just feel I travel to a different beat sometimes.  That's one of the reasons this is "renaissance" living.  I perfect nothing, but sample everything.  I also tend not to exactly follow the rules..

My current favorite "craft" is quilting.  There is no way I could make one of those beautiful traditional quilts in a full size.  I just don't have the patience.  I can't see cutting and sewing the exact same thing over and over again.  And matching up points perfectly....the people who can do that are saints.  I have found a few websites and blogs, however, that inspire my creativity and crafting.  I love Block Lotto.     A different block is presented each month.  You can try it and put it in the "lotto".  If you "win" you get blocks sent to you, enough for a quilt. otherwise, your block is mailed to someone else.  I'm currently working on putting together the blocks I won a couple of months ago.  But with each month's block, I'm learning better quilting techniques in new ways without a big commitment.  I also love the Stay At Home Robin.  Each month there are new instructions to add to our quilt.  It's just a small quilt, so again, no big investment.  But the instructions are very open ended so it is truly a design challenge. I'm actually working on two SAHR quilts.  While the instructions were the same, the quilts are vastly different.  Very fun.
Another craft that is popular with me is crochet.  I especially tend to pick it up in the winter.  There's something about curling up on a couch with a quilt on you lap, hot coffee on the table, a dog snuggled into your side, and soft yarn being crocheted in your hands.  If I had a working fireplace it would be a perfect winter picture.

To encourage and inspire my favorite crafts, I traipse around the internet checking in on blogs and websites.  The thing about blogs is that one tends to lead you to another. And I love when I discover someone new to admire.  Her name is Ashley Martineau and her business is Neauveau Fiber Arts. She spins and dyes her own yarn and does freeform crochet and some crazy knitting. She has given me the desire to recycle yarn.  I truly want to go unravel a sweater or two.  Just seeing her work makes me smile.
So how about you?  Does the winter cold keep you inside?  Perfect for crafting then, I'd say.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, New you...not

For years, January has brought out the slogan "New Year, New You" at work, but not this year.  This year the signs bear the sentiment "A Fresh Start".  Hmmm.....What's that supposed to mean?  That sounds more like a do-over as the kids would say.

 But aren't the new year's resolutions designed to make a new, better me?  I like new things, not refurbished things.  Although refurbished things are usually cheaper.  And they usually work just as well.  Some even come with good warranties.  Is this a marketing ploy due to the recent economic depression?  Oh, yea, there wasn't really a depression, it just felt like it

. I admit I get confused sometimes.  The media and politicians often don't seem to live in the same world I live in.  That must be my problem as everyone knows television reflects reality today.  Yes, all those reality programs must be the way the rest of the world lives.  I'm just here in the Ozark hills living like....oh ....the people in Winter's Bone.  Is that my reality?  Well, no....not really...not even close.

 As confused as I am with how I'm "supposed" to be, no wonder I need a "fresh start".  I need so much work, it would be almost impossible to create a "new" better me.  So you all will have to settle for the "slightly used" version.  And if that's the case, then I can save myself the trauma of having to come up with any new year's resolutions that I won't keep.  I'll just be me for 2011....the same old me....take it or leave it....Now that's a Fresh Start.

P.S.  Like my picture for 2011?  I want to thank Robert, for that.  It's his family with real sparklers on new year's photoshop tricks.  Awesome, don't you think?