This blog is a result of the spark my Aunt Martha ignited in me to CREATE! She said, "you must create is a gift and it would be a shame to waste it". "Two hours a day" she said...I balked. Does creating supper count? Stacks of brightly colored folded laundry? Nope. Trust me, I would LOVE to have two hours a day to create, and some days I have the time to, but mostly I find it hard to have two hours. However, I am committed to not waste the gift and the projects you see here are the product of my unleashed passion.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Finally, some pics of my favorite beads from the bead class.

Same bead as above, only hanging in the light:

For my patriotic mother:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Playing with fire...

I have been having a blast this week making glass beads and sculpture! Sunday evening after class I was really nervous because it was much more difficult than it looked. After two more days of melting glass and making beads, I am comfortable at the torch. Some techniques still elude me and that's okay! I will get them eventually or else I will just leave them out of my work and do something else LOL.

I don't have pictures of my beads yet, but I've made a few I am excited about so far. Arriving at class each morning is fun because we get to pull our beads out of the kiln and see the finished product. When they go into the kiln the colors are different because the glass is still hot, so you don't get a true view of your work until they are cooled. Can't wait to see how my fish looks tomorrow morning!

Our instructor is Kelly Shatto and she is a hoot as well as being a great teacher. There are five students in our class (4 ladies, 1 gentleman) and we have had a good time "playing" together.

More later!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Busy week!

What a wonderfully busy week! Tuesday was homeschool co-op day, which was FULL and then we went to surprise Christa Joy for her birthday on Wednesday morning.

Tuesday night I made Christa Joy's birthday present, a clipboard:

I need to make another one today (Melanie!) and I am planning to start selling these on ETSY in the next couple of weeks, along with some other ideas I have!

I have been knitting and dreaming and those things should surface for your viewing over the next few days.

For some reason, Ward thought it was absolutely hilarious that I said my "creative door has been opened." He has teased me mercilessly about it ever since...hmph!

Tonight we take pictures during the church's annual Valentine's Dinner.

Sunday, sweet the first day of the glass beadmaking and sculpture class I am taking at the Folk School!!!! YAY!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The rag rug

Here is the rug I was talking about...I love that it is forgiving and shabby. I mean, seriously, if I make a mistake in this who is EVER going to know it but me?? No rhyme or reason, just happy crocheting time!

My yarn basket has exploded! I need to sit down and wind balls. Do you know how to wind a ball with a center pull string?? I found this great tutorial here and it works great! There are all my handmade knitting needles and some dowels waiting to make some more. That tiny ball at the top is the dark brown (I prefer to call it chocolate, thank you very much!) I mentioned yesterday. Do you notice the colors I am drawn to? It kind of scares me...I'm feeling like it will be hard to escape being a red hat lady someday with my passion for red and purple.

I played with knitting some i-cord last night for an idea I have, but kept messing up. Understandable, since it is pretty complicated to knit...NOT! I must have just been tired.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


That's what I've been up to. Yes, I have other things to do, but needed some "art therapy" the last day or two.

Nina (ninascraps at put out a new kit, joyful.days, and needed some layouts for her previews, so I came up with this. The template is from my other creative team...Melanie Colosimo, also found at

I did a test dye of that funky wool with some Rit Dark Brown and well, it turned out brown, just brown. Pretty, but not very interesting.

Crocheted on Reece's wrist warmers...during Sunday School. Ward teaches the youth every few weeks and I realized that it is a nice time to sit in class and crochet a mindless pattern. In Australia, it was commonplace and acceptable for women to knit during church services. I think I listen better if my hands are moving...must be why I like doodling so much. Christa Joy, I think you got that from me!

I started crocheting a rag rug from old blue jeans last night and it is coming along nicely already. Uses a huge hook, so it moves pretty quick. The hardest part is cutting the jeans into strips. Dealing with the heavy denim makes my hands tired too while I'm crocheting, but it's fun and will make a nice little rug for my bathroom.

I'm looking forward to getting my camera fixed. It's under warranty and the only problem I have with it is that the connection to the pc doesn't work. My little card reader doesn't work on my new pc for some weird reason, but works on Tyler's, so doing pics entails getting the cards off the card reader on T's pc and then transferring them to mine by a flash card so I can work with them. Eh, a pain!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Links to projects...

Here are the links to the projects I listed previously

This is the burgundy crocheted heart:

The dark red knitted heart:
This one looked a little shabby around the edges before I felted it, so I did single crochet around the outside edge as per the large mauve heart below. It helped A LOT!

The larger mauve heart:

Tutorial on Painting with Kool-Aid (they have a dyed Kool-Aid link too, but I used the painted one for more stripey effect):
I used 1/2 cup hot water and one pack of Kool-Aid for each of my colors since I was just experimenting. I spooned the mix from a bowl onto my yarn. My little batches were COMPLETELY done in 1.5 minutes in the microwave. There was some popping and dancing going on in the microwave was a little unnerving but turned out not to be a problem.
I actually did some digital scrapbooking a couple of days ago...
(click for larger view)

All items used were from Ninascraps found at

Yesterday I did a little knitting for some more felting experiments. Today I attended a Photoshop Webinar by my friend Lori Gragg, so I learned something new to create with later! AND I created this blog!

Dying Wool....with Kool-Aid

So I had this rather unappealing (to me anyway!) yarn that I picked up at the thrift store ages ago for a steal. You will recognize it from previous posts as some I felted. Anyway, I was less than enthusiastic about the color. Then I read that natural animal fibers (wool, silk, etc.) could be dyed...with Kool-Aid! Yes! I decided to see if I could get something "yummy" out of that wool. I used Wyler's brand instead of Kool-Aid brand and it worked just fine. Below are my experiments:

Dyed with Black Cherry and Grape Kool-Aid
Original yarn is on the left and the dyed is on the right. Beautiful!

Orange and Tropical, not so excited about this one, since I'm not a big "orange person." Not terrible, though!

I do love this one though...Berry Blue something or the other and Grape.

This was heaps of fun and smelled good too :o)
These were just small test batches, now what to do with the three skeins of the original I have...

Felting Fun

I have wanted to try my hand at felting for a long time. I even attempted it with a couple of old pieces of clothing and a knitted swatch, but failed, because I did not know that the wool had to have AGITATION to felt! Below are some examples of my experimentation this past week.
My first experiment. Knitted, felted and then the next day some practice embroidery, which did not turn out so well since there is not enough contrast with the wool. But I think some more design ideas and I might just have a cute pin.
Little felt balls, before and after felting. I'm thinking these would be fun to surface embroider and then string for a bracelet, or use on a keychain.

A little knitted heart with wool I dyed (next post!)
A little crocheted heart.

A bigger crocheted heart, which I don't care for since it shows the stitches too much. But, I will not just post my successes here, it is after all a journey and failures have their purpose too.
Might be cute on the front of a journal though. Buttonhole stitch the edges??
Yes, you will probably see my cat's hair on most of my projects!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The catalyst...

Pictures of the passport case I made in the class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. It is wild and dimensional, but I love it!

My Dad's sister, Martha, showing her passport case, which signified her sabbatical journey.

The silk lining I painted for inside my passport case.

Our display at the end of our week at the folk school.

This was part of the oil painting class display at the end of our week at the folk school. Something about the way the paintings sat on the steps with the light streaming through the window spoke to me. I loved how it looked like a painting itself.


All it took was a nudge...a push in the right direction from my creative aunt who I love and respect. She said, "take a class at the folk school...I will pay for it with my sabbatical grant". We took it together. We sewed, beaded, embroidered, ate, laughed, painted, cried (me!), played, dreamed and hugged. It was wonderful! I finished the week feeling so inspired. Aunt Martha said, "you must create is a gift and it would be a shame to waste it". "Two hours a day" she said...I balked. Does creating supper count? Piles of brightly colored folded laundry?
Nope. Trust me, I would LOVE to have two hours a day to create, and some days I have the time to, but mostly I find it hard to have two hours. I do WANT to create, so now I have to rearrange my priorities and decide what is most important to me and my family. What do I need to do to make it happen? I am pondering, brainstorming...

I've decided that I will at least do SOMETHING creative every day. It may be a creative experiment to learn something new, or just sitting and doing something creative that I already know how to do. I will chronicle this journey and see where it takes me. Thank you, Aunt Martha, for encouraging me to dream and create.