A Project of Thanksgiving:

At church this past Sunday, my pastor showed a video. A first of a short series called ‘One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are’ by Ann Voskamp http://www.aholyexperience.com/ann-voskamp/ . At the end of the short video, we were challenged to write a thousand things we are thankful for. Even before the video ended, I thought to myself, that’s what I want to do, write an on-going list of the things I am thankful for.

After church, driving in my car and seeing all the golden leaves in piles along the road way, a leaf falling and swirling around in the air before reaching the ground, the feel of the cold air and bleak sky reminding me that winter is around the corner; all these things I am thankful for and I found myself thinking how I do love the autumn in New England; it brings me joy. Thankfulness promotes joy.

I am passing on the challenge, get a cheap notebook and start hand writing (yes, I said hand writing, I think there is something therapeutic about writing it out by hand) all the things you are thankful for, all those little things you enjoy and see what happens.

I Didn’t Win!

A while back I participated in a bead challenge; the prize was a $100 gift certificate to Thistle Beads in Niantic, CT. The second place prize was $50 and third was a pair of wonderful socks (I have several pairs). I didn’t win, but then, I didn’t think I would and that’s okay with me.  :)

I was dissatisfied with what I had done; I was frustrated having had to use beads I didn’t like. So the day I handed my finished project in for the challenge, I started looking for something different to hang from the part I did like. I found the ideal piece and bought it; setting it aside for when I got my challenge piece back.

I just cut off the part I didn't like (right side of picture)

I just cut off the part I didn’t like (right side of picture)

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The piece that will hang from the necklace.

The piece that will hang from the necklace.

The challenge ended on October 30th, and I got my piece back the same day. I cut off the part I didn’t like and set the necklace aside. I wasn’t quite finished with the bauble I had bought to hand from it, so I worked on it all weekend and finished it this morning. I am much happier with my end result the second time around.

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Finished piece with the old piece next to it.

Finished piece with the old piece next to it.

Potpourri (a mixture of things)

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For the past three months I have been working on assorted pieces of jewelry, mostly necklaces in various colors. They became Christmas gifts for somebody else to give. We are both happy and now, I am beginning to work on bracelets, some in pinch beads and some in superduos. I am also in the process of making a couple of pinecones. I do have the makings for earrings, but those are on hold for now; because I am starting to think Christmas! Pause.

My brother Ed and his wife Val came for a visit from California; it had been a few years, so there was some catching up to do. My sister Fran and I had such a great time with them, they went home a few days ago and we miss them already. One of the up sides to their visit was that we also got to see our niece, her husband and son for a few short hours. They drove Ed and Val up from their home in Maryland where they visited first. Sigh.

Now that life has returned to normal again, my focus is back to making things for Christmas gifts and once again I have several pieces started. I really need to stop doing that; having several pieces going at once with no real focus on one thing. I think I would get more finished in a shorter period of time if I was only working on one or two things at a time. Maybe that will become a New Year’s resolution . . . . . maybe.

An update on the bead challenge that went on at Thistle Beads in Niantic, CT, http://www.thistlebeads.com/

I didn’t win, I am not surprised since I wasn’t real happy with my end result, the frustrating part was on my way home last night from Thistle Beads, I was thinking of how I could have done it differently, meet the criteria and have been happy about it. Sometimes I wish I had my after thoughts first. I am now in the process of changing the piece to make it to my liking; but that’s another blog post.

Happy creating!

Coloring Pumpkins

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I saw this from an email I got from Pinterest; I thought it would be a great project to do with my granddaughter and a nice change from the carved pumpkin. So, when I went grocery shopping, I picked up a couple of ‘white’ pumpkins and a cheap box of crayons. The hardest part of this project is taking the paper off those waxy little crayons, but well worth it on the end result.

Enjoy the slide show.

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Getting Creative and Organized . . . Finally!

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Sometime in early August I started reorganizing my craft room; it was slow going, but I am finally done! I had to make decisions about a lot of little things that added up to one big thing and I think that is why it took me much longer to do than I first thought it would.
I had to decide what I enjoyed doing most and what was at the bottom of my list had to be downsized. Even though I still enjoy scrapbooking and making cards, they were at the bottom of my list of creative enjoyments. So, my Cricut moved in with my sister and I gave her first pick at stamps and punches and a good friend took the rest. I dealt with bunches of little piles of ‘stuff’ and cleaned up my work area. I went through my fabric and gave a lot of it away to another good friend. I had decided that when I start another sewing project, I wanted fresh fabric, not scraps and leftovers. I kept what I knew I would use in future projects and got rid of the rest.

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Once my craft room was organized again, I found it easier to work on projects that seemed to be at a standstill; I made a pair of earrings, working on some Kumihimo that will be necklaces and finally got an idea for the bead challenge I am participating in from my local bead shop; Thistle Beads in Niantic, CT.
My focus now is to finish up all the projects that I have beads for and maybe, just maybe I will start working on a quilting project, but no promises. 
Happy creating! :)

I Am Cleaning House!

Every year, my church has what we call a “Church Give-a-Way”; an opportunity to ‘give’ used items to the surrounding neighborhood; like a yard sale, but free. For those who donate, it’s a chance to get rid of items that are still in good condition that they no longer want or need and for those who live around the church a chance to receive the items free. It’s a win-win all around.

This year, it’s a few weeks early (first Saturday in October) and will take place at the end of a visit from my brother and his wife from California; so I didn’t want to wait until the last minute to gather my items to give, but get it done before the visit.

I started with my craft room, talk about using a spoon to shovel a mountain of sand; well that’s what it feels like. I have so much ‘stuff’ for so many creative things I do and ideas I have just taking up space. So I needed to decide what gives me enjoyment and what doesn’t and go from there. Scrapbooking and card making; these things were at the bottom of my list of what I enjoy doing. I don’t want to give up either of them entirely, but a lot of the ‘tools’ I didn’t use just took up space. I went through the things I could ‘live’ without and had my sister Francine take first pick of the things she wanted from my stash, my friend Ann took everything left. It was a lot of stuff, but Ann does projects with her grandkids all the time and she also helps out at their school, so it will all be put to good use. One more thing about scrapbooking and card making, I still like doing these things but not as much as I enjoy beading or quilting. I was able to get my supplies for these crafts down to a more reasonable amount and it takes up much less space.

Since I now share the craft room with my husband (he’s working on a wooden ship model) I needed to give him a bit more space, so I cleared a small shelving area that had ‘my’ stuff on it for him to use. His work area looks more organized now. The first of many objectives completed.

The next step is to remove an old book case that was once my oldest sons when he still lived at home. There are three cut outs in the back of it, one was for the light switch, when it sat in front of it and the other two were for outlets, to make them usable when the book case blocked them. Today, I will put it out by the curb with a sign that says ‘FREE’! It might come in handy in someone’s storage shed or garage.

Right now my craft room looks like chaos, but the goal is order and I think once I am done, it will be a more workable space. I have two boxes for the give-a-way so far and hope to gather more as I finish this room and go on to the next room.

In the meantime, I am still beading and have a lot of projects that I need to complete before mid-October. I also have a bead challenge to do that is due in one month! Yikes!!!

Happy creating everybody!

A Kids Bead Class and More . . .

IMG_3239I took my nine year old granddaughter to a bead class for kids at my favorite bead shop in Niantic, CT; Thistle Beads.

The class was to make a lizard out of beads, a very basic but a place to start for a child. There was one other child there who also made one and they both seemed to have a great time. My granddaughter gave her lizard to her daddy and he hung it over his computer.

I have been bezeling Cabochons and Rivolis, I made one complete necklace and one that I am still working on the necklace part of.

IMG_3233 I made these earrings for my daughter in-law, because of her job wearing bracelets are out, but she had said she would love a pair of earrings.  So I had my sister teach me how to bezel.  When my sister learned, I was knee deep in other projects and wasn’t interested in learning this technique, well not until my daughter in-law suggested earrings.  Now that I have learned, I find I like it and as you can see by the pictures, it doesn’t take much to have the same technique look different.  I also have the makings for more earrings, so it will keep me busy for a while.

IMG_3235 IMG_3226The necklaces are done with the Kumihimo technique, the lavender and white necklace is made with Delicas (white beads) and size 8o (Ceylon Gladiola) seed beads and the dark one is done with ‘pinch’ beads in the color of Picasso.  I found the pinch beads very easy to work with and it creates such a different look for Kumihimo.

:)

 

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