During the weekend my dear friend, Nicolette, tagged me for the "Why do you craft?" meme. You've probably seen this newer meme floating around blogland the last week or so. This one is very interesting and different than some of the other memes of late. It's been fun to read everyone's beginnings and thoughts on crafting. And so I will share my own here. But first, the rules: Answer the following on your blog and then let five other bloggers know that you have tagged them to complete the meme.
1. When did you start to create and make crafts? When I was a child I loved to draw and paint. Some of the best Christmas gifts were a new box of crayons, coloring books or pads of drawing paper. Art classes in school had me drawing up until I graduated from high school. Then there was a break in any drawing or creating of any kind as I was working, trying to save money to go to college. But then a car accident changed my life and my health. (Never did get that college degree...still dreaming & hoping on that one). After the accident I had a long period of adjustment, healing and dealing with what happened. At that time, I experienced a deep spiritual crisis as well. It was a hard chapter in my life for many reasons. But it was during this time that I discovered the beauty and serene pleasures of needlework of various kinds--embroidery (especially silk ribbon embroidery and cross stitch), knitting, as well as some sewing. Much of what I made became gifts for family & friends. This healing time also gave me a chance to rediscover drawing and painting again. Most of the needlework crafts I learned on my own, from books and other media.
2. Why did you start creating? As a child, I was painfully shy. School was difficult. I loved all the learning, but socially the shyness held me back. (Shyness is something I've been conquering all my life, now nearing mid-life, I think I'm "cured," or mostly--LOL!) Creating was a way to express myself, let myself go (be it in art class at school, or tinkering with drawing/painting at home), to be a part of and experience the world around me, and the world inside of me. I've always loved learning, so trying new things, new ways to create and make things has long helped me broaden my inner and outer horizons. (Creating is also a terrific way to connect with other people. Writing this blog has been a terrific way to meet other people who are also interested in crafting and creating.)
3. Why do you create? It is as vital to me as breathing, thinking, feeling, eating, sleeping...It is something I simply must do. If I could not make, I think I would die. A crafter is who I am. It is written on my soul.
4. What do you create? These days my crafting takes me into lots of genres. I knit and sew (mostly handbags, accessories, some clothing and soft home furnishings). To knit and sew feels very like coming home to me, they make up much of my days and feel so good to do. Also, I do some quilting, beading/jewelry-making. Drawing/painting and some simple embroidery weave their ways into my crafting as well.
5. Has this changed since you began crafting? As time goes by, my sewing skill develop and become stronger. This gives me confidence in tackling new sewing/sewing-related frontiers for myself. While I have grand knitting aspirations (like finally knitting that sweater for Dear Husband one of these Christmases...), I tend to focus on smaller knit projects with lovely details, and I am happy with this. Knitting has also taken me to trying felting, something I hope to do more of in future. Although I don't do as much embroidery as I once did, it is still a pleasure to do. Lately I've been working with ribbons more, and I see that that may rekindle some silk ribbon embroidery work. Drawing now is mostly reserved for sketching and planning designs for the crafts I make--especially those which I sell at my shop. I always like to start with a sketch (done in pencil and/or ink and colored pencils). Beads and jewelry-making are just for fun, and for when time allows--much of this end up as gifts. Writing and shaping this blog has given me a new way to create--photography! I've found a new love in taking pictures and capturing life my way through the lens. The only change or difference is in materials, or rather the quality of materials--trying to purchase the best I can afford. Better quality often makes for a finer result.
(This is not one of the original questions, but I'm making this one and adding it to my own answer here. What are your crafting goals for the future? Knitting socks. I've tried, but have yet to really be bitten by the sock-knitting bug. My first attempts I was not too happy with, but willing to keep trying! And just create more all together inspired knitted items. Plant dyeing would be fun to try--for yarn and fabric. I'd like to learn to sew more clothing, and learn better how to adjust or change patterns. Also I'd like to do more advanced quilt blocks and take greater quilting challenges.)
And still speaking of crafts, I have dug into some new crafting this week. I'm working on a custom order which will take me some days to complete, and I must finish it and have it delivered quite soon. It's not very photogenic at this stage. But I do hope to have something fun to share in the way of crafts by the weekend...so stay tuned!
Hope this finds all of you having a great day...crafting or otherwise, may you be inspired!
P.S. A note on the photos--the top photo is a very muddy, messy finger painting-type "work of art" I made when I was about 7 years old, also in this photo is a picture of me when I was 2 wearing one of the many pretty dresses my Momma made me. She's taught me lots about sewing over the years--she's my sewing guru! The middle photo is from one of my many notebooks showing a pencil sketch of a very fanciful teapot I drew as a teen. I would often take photos from magazines, books, etc. for sketching practice. I remember the photo of the teapot was from an old, early issue of Victoria magazine. (Oh, while home I did get to see the first issue of the relaunched Victoria magazine--I'm sooo thrilled this gem is back, and hope it's back to stay!) The last photo is of two of my first needlework projects--a bookmark, which was from a kit; and a needle case in blue velvet. I've had the needle case for many, many years now and use it still.
Thank you so much, my good friends, for all your welcome home wishes here! It warms my heart more than I can say to be so missed and thought of while we were away. And I missed all of you too...So it's great to be able to visit you all as usual, share and chat.
I had the great delight while we were on vacation to discover that I was given the You Make Me Smile award by three lovely friends, Marie, Marit and Nicolette. Thank you very much for this sweet honor! I love to laugh, have fun and smile. And I'm glad that so many of you find a smile when you visit here. To keep the blog love and smiles going, I am to nominate some blog friends for this award in turn. :o) But this is the hard part, for everyone and their blogs makes me smile! Here goes though, hoping to nominate some who, I think, have not already received this award, and who always make me smile: Nature Girl, Valerie, Laney, Alice, Tami, Natalie and Kate.
A foggy, wet and windy day here in southern Norway. Not much excitement here this weekend as Dear Husband has had to work both days, and I've been tackling mountains of laundry and trying to catch up on other household chores before the new week starts. We changed the clocks, turning back, here this weekend. And since coming home again, we've noticed how dark it becomes earlier in the evenings. Winter solstice draws nearer. A warm and comforting mushroom stroganoff sounds just the thing for dinner in a little while. This evening I hope to make a start on a new project or two. The one drawback of being on vacation is the lack of crafting opportunities, so I have been experiencing severe craft withdrawal these last two weeks--LOL! But that will be remedied very soon. So all in all, slowly we are returning to life here. Hope this find you all having a cozy Sunday and happy day. See you during the week! :o)
Hello, my friends! Wednesday afternoon saw us safely returned home here to Norway after two wonderful weeks in the USA. The last couple of days have seen us working on getting through the jet lag fog, unpacking, laundry, lots of cuddle time with our kitty, Charlie, and just getting back into the swing of things. I think it will take us until the weekend is over to really get back on track, though! After experiencing some very summery days while in Pennsylvania, it was a shock to return here to colder temperatures and most of the trees without their leaves. To get some autumn flair going in the house today, I decorated a shelf in the dining room with this little Halloween scene. This clay jack o' lantern is cheery! His smile lifts my spirits as I feel a tiny bit blue. That post-vacation feeling, you know. And I think of all our many days with family and friends across the ocean and already anticipate next time...
Last week I had a fun surprise. Laney sent me a package in care of my Momma, so I could receive her PIF (Pay It Forward) gifts while we were in the States. Such a terrific and very generous package she sent...The tote bag she made just for me (it even has my monogram in one corner on the front!) has lots of fabrics, appliques, embroidered embellishments and lace--an amazing amount of work and detail on this bag! Also some great thrifted items--A 1973 McCall's Needlework magazine, a black and beige floral/polka dot scarf, green apron and a bracelet with coral roses set in it. Thank you so much, Laney! Have you met Laney yet? If not, swing by her creative place.
Some more pretties to share...in the form of treats picked up while doing a bit of shopping back home. A trip home would not be complete without stopping at Borders Books and Music, and while there I had to get the latest Interweave Knits magazine, also an Interweave special issue publication Felt. I can't wait to dig into these magazines! Since my fabric stash is already bursting at the seams, I didn't purchase much in the way of fabric during our trip. (I know, that probably sounds crazy and unbelievable--LOL!) Instead I bought some beads to use for jewelry making. This photo shows a little of what I bought, mostly gorgeous glass beads and some shell chips. The beads are from a gem of a shop in York, Pennsylvania, ArtFX & The Bead Gallery. Some lovely buttons were also in among our suitcases along with some other goodies.
This fall I will be rejuvenating my yoga practice. So for yoga and mediation I bought some wonderful packets of incense from a new age shop and wellness center in York, Pennsylvania, New Vision, which my sister tipped me about. They had Shambhala Sun, one of the best Buddhist publications in print. Also an incredible array of healing gemstones. I found rose quartz, crystal quartz, amethyst, jade, blue lace agate, aquamarine, lapis lazuli and turquoise. (This site is where you can discover the meanings and healing properties of gemstones.) A new book of poems by the 13th century Sufi poet and mystic, Rumi, Rumi: Bridge to the Soul, also adds to my sources of spiritual inspiration and delight.
Hope you all have been having days of delight and inspiration! During the weekend I'll be around to see you all and catch up with all you've been doing these last two weeks. I feel like I've missed a lot while away! Happy weekend everyone! :o)
Yesterday we took a trip back in time...to the Renaissance! We went with my sister and her boyfriend to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire held annually at the Mount Hope Estate & Winery in Manheim, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It is a fun fair with a Renaissance theme. Many visitors come to the fair in costume (costumes are optional, though).
We saw people of all ages in costumes, dressed up as medieval lords and ladies, gypsies and peasants, pirates, fairies and all sorts of fanciful beings and creatures. Being there really was like stepping into another place, another time. We were swept away by the fantasy and magical air created there. The people running the stalls, shops, staged productions, jousting tournaments, etc. were all very skilled in what they do--putting on a great show with period details. It was like being at Disney World (on a slightly smaller scale, of course) but instead of Mickey Mouse and Cinderella's Castle and all that BIG opulence and grand scale, there was an old world feel to all the buildings, like wandering the streets of an enchanted small town. Street performers went around bringing little skits to life, or breaking into song. A lot of laughs, a lot of comedy and good cheer.
A big highlight of the day was the jousting tournament where highly skilled horsemen (and one woman!) duelled to defend honor, chivalry, and country! It was a day full of impressions and excitement--so much to see, so much to do! And to get to the Faire we drove through some very scenic places in Lancaster. Fall is really happening here now with all the colors changing, the trees tinged red, ochre, gold, bronze and orange. And pumpkin displays everywhere!
Our time here in the States has been fantastic! It's been heaven to have this time with family and friends and have some fun. The days go by so fast though... Today and tomorrow are our last two real, full days here. Tomorrow being packing and last visits and goodbyes (oh, how I have a tough time with that last part, all the goodbyes!) Tuesday is our long day journeying back home to Norway. I may not get to share again here or visit everyone until we get back and the worst of the jet lag is over and we get a little back to normal. Hope this finds all of you having a wonderful weekend. See you in a few days, my friends! Happy Days! :o)