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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hampster in the play ball

Does your mind ever feel this way? The thoughts jumble and spin and spin every which way? I find myself there more than a little. Change of season, new inspirations. I went to a knitters meet up group here last Tuesday night and met this really fun bunch of creative women. Sat there with my pen and clipboard, asked questions, took notes. I ended up starting a dish cloth in a simple basket weave pattern in cheap cotton thread from Michaels to remind myself how knitting works. Found the pattern on ravelry. Yes, another community I just had to join. What I like most about knitting is the portability. Unfortunately, I'm at that stage of life when I'm more likely hot than cold and summer is right around the corner, so I don't know that I will be doing much knitting for myself (maybe a sweater to wear around the office when the AC is on hyperdrive). I really want to try socks, but I gather they are considered advanced and I should master flat knitting first. A few dish cloths, though, and I'm going to have a go at socks, learn Kitchner stitch, and whatever else is involved.

At this meet up, I met a talented woman, Juanita, who spins and dyes her own fibers. While the knitting does seem like a great portable craft, I'm feeling drawn to the actual fiber manipulation. After the meet up, I ended up on ebay and won some yarn deals and even two drop spindles. Next time I see Juanita, I'm going to ask her about how I can learn the fiber world. Maybe she needs a student (yeah, right...)

Other than that, life is moving along. I've been gaming on facebook, working, working, working, doing a bit of knitting, and staying out of trouble. Since the crops in February, I haven't done much in the way of scrapping, although I'm starting to get the yearnings again and have gotten in some nice merchandising pieces for the shop as well as some assorted vintage laces etc. Oh, and at the office, they added a new shelf to our cubicles... since I really purged my ingredients when we moved to the new building in December, I had nothing to place there. Ended up at Michael's on my lunch break and got some shabby chic florals, a cream wire bench, a ball jar, a tiny wreath, a dream sign, and some birdies and made a little mental escape scene for me... very soothing and pretty... the urge to add beauty to everyday life sometimes overwhelms me...

Mom update - getting stronger, keeping stable. That's about what we would hope for her at this point in the process. Thanks to all who've been praying for her recovery.

Check in with you another time. Take care!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Abundant Inspiration

I know I've been offline a lot - been to Florida to see mom quite a bit this year - she's working at getting stronger and staying at one of my sister's homes for now. Thankfully, my sister is a nurse, so she understands what things to look for to keep her well.

Anyway, one good thing that I've found in all my travels - there are some amazing art type podcasts. I've even stumbled across some great stuff on the itunes podcasts. I've tuned in to some neat women podcasters - and now I'm interested in adding knitting to my portfolio of interests and maybe learning some new fibercrafts. There are more interesting knitting podcasts out there than scrap ones at this time - I think I'm addicted to Lime and Violet - when those gals get to chatting, I feel like I'm hanging out with girlfriends having fun. Another interesting one was CraftLit - I heard the podcasters talk to two older men who are combining humor with philosophy. They tell how they got their book "Aristotle and the Aardvark" published. Anyway, I ended up finding both their books at Barnes and Noble and picked them up - they're on my to read list.

No, I'm not giving up scrapping - it's still my most fav activity, but I love variety and new challenges. Along those lines, while I can't swing Donna Downey's event, I did go ahead and sign up for a full complement of a la carte classes to meet some of my need for personal growth.

Talking about growth, I was thinking that I'd love to host or attend some online chats for other small shop owners - particularly ones who take their store to events like crops. Now, to just find some people who fit in these categories. If you know anyone who might want to be part of that, please send them my way.

Other than that, I have had a few fun crops I attended this year already and am so happy with how they went. Janie and Andrea did a great job at their beach event - they do the Virginia Beach Sunshine Scrappers group and have affordable regular events. I did manage to sneak away for a couple of hours the one afternoon and took a class with Jenni Bowlin. We did 4 pages and had a fun time. I always enjoy meeting new people, especially talented artists like Jenni. She's very sweet and I love the vintage feel to their line.

Once again, I will try to do better at more regular blogging... 2010 just isn't moving along quite as I had hoped. Ah well, just keep moving forward and stay positive.

Have you been working on any new projects lately? If you've put them on the web, I'd love to see them. Please leave a comment with your link.