August 30th Already? When Did That Happen?

In January, I wrote “So, welcome to 2014, the year of creative immersion” and then promptly was derailed by all of the non-creative bits of my life. If you’re a person who, like me, thrives on creative activities, then you know the tune and how disheartening it can be.  I know I’d been away from it for too long when simply inventorying the products for Harvest Moon Designs felt like a vacation.  Normally, inventorying is about as far from fun as I can stand to be.  Yet, it was nice just to see things that I’d made and be reminded of the creative process.

It’s time to get back on track again.  My Etsy shop has been growing cobwebs in my absence, so I’m trying to give it a little TLC and get it restocked in time for holiday shopping (hence the reason for inventorying).   I’m also attempting to get back into a daily creative practice, even if it’s only a few minutes at a time. 

I’m re-posting my list of 2014 creative goals as a reminder to myself what I’ve done and where I need to focus (while simultaneously attempting to cure insomnia in my readers).

  • Write at least 200,000 words – 100,000 each of fiction/poetry and non-fiction  – As of right now, the count is approximately 27,000 fiction and 10,800 non-fiction. After January, I fell off the writing wagon and haven’t really been able to climb back on.  I do plan to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year and if successful, will at least get my fiction word count closer to goal.
  • Quilt or crochet at least 4 new blankets for charity – One down
  • Create 24 new paintings or drawings – Two sketches down.
  • Make at least 10 new pieces of jewelry – No progress on this one.
  • Create a new batch of wands for my Etsy shop – I have approximately fifty wands in various states of completion.  This is my big push right now, as I want to get these up in time for Halloween shopping.
  • Take at least 50 decent photos to share – If pictures of my cats count, I’m almost there.
  • Finish at least 5 items from the Abandoned Projects Pile – Let’s just say they’re still abandoned at the moment.
    • Crocheted vest
    • Blue patch-work throw
    • Photo pendants for the shop
    • Woodland Santa cross-stitch
    • Autumn themed full-sized quilt

That’s where things are at the moment. With any luck, I’ll have at least one creative project to post about in the next few weeks. 

Hope you’re all finding time to feed the creative fires.

Chris Signature

 

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Resolutions – Progress Report

A few updates on that goal list I posted at the beginning of January:

  • Write at least 200,000 words – 100,000 each of fiction/poetry and non-fiction –   My total January word count is right around 31,000, which is approximately ten times what I expected it to be.  At this rate, I should be able to meet my goals without a problem. 
  • Quilt or crochet at least 4 new blankets for charity – One spiral afghan is in progress and should be finished by the end of February.
  • Finish at least 5 items from the Abandoned Projects Pile including:
    • Blue patch-work throw (from 2011 or 12) – The blocks have been assembled and seams pressed.  I’ve given myself a deadline of the first day of spring to have this one finished.
    • Autumn themed full-sized quilt (fabrics purchased in 2012/early 2013) – The bulk of the piecing has been completed on this one, but I still need to assemble everything for the top.  Another one that I want to finish by the end of the winter.

We’ll see how February goes.  Hopefully more words and lots of quilting progress.

Chris Signature

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2014 Creative Resolutions

A new year has begun and with it comes the inevitable resolutions.  Forget the usual thoughts of losing weight, saving money, and all of those practical and healthy ideas that sound so good on January 1st. This year’s resolution ignores all of the traditional goals in favor of this: Get back into a regular habit of being creative.

The past year lacked the usual myriad of creative projects that I normally have going on at any given moment.  Sadly, my biggest creative accomplishment of 2013 was finishing NaNoWriMo.  Unfortunately, the novel that resulted was pretty awful and will likely be destined for the rubbish bin if I don’t come up with a clever re-write very soon.  Other projects seemed to be half-hearted attempts as well and there are still several projects that I started in 2012 that remain unfinished.

So, welcome to 2014, the year of creative immersion. Here are my creative goals for the year:

  • Write at least 200,000 words – 100,000 each of fiction/poetry and non-fiction
  • Quilt or crochet at least 4 new blankets for charity
  • Create 24 new paintings or drawings
  • Make at least 10 new pieces of jewelry
  • Create a new batch of wands for my Etsy shop
  • Take at least 50 decent photos to share
  • Finish at least 5 items from the Abandoned Projects Pile including:
    • Crocheted vest (started last spring)
    • Blue patch-work throw (from 2011 or 12)
    • Photo pendants for the shop (from 2012)
    • Woodland Santa cross-stitch (started so long ago that I can’t remember what year it was)
    • Autumn themed full-sized quilt (fabrics purchased in 2012/early 2013)

No problem, right?  Let the creativity begin!

Chris Signature

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So It Begins: NaNoWriMo 2013

Just a brief note to belatedly celebrate the start of National Novel Writing Month 2013.  I’m back for my seventh year and already busy trying to get ahead on my word count.   Only 46,000 words left to write!

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Crazy Cat Lady’s Pumpkin

It’s official: I have turned into a crazy cat lady. When I saw allyou’s Kitty Pumpkin Template, I had to make one. Several hot glue gun burns later, I ended up with this…

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch…  November is nearly here again, which means National Novel Writing Month is looming large in my world.  In twelve days, I’m planning to start the next novel.  The word counter is already posted here, so anyone who’s bored can come check my progress.  There’s just one problem.  I have no idea what to write this year.  I have twelve days to pick an idea, come up with something vaguely resembling a plot, create a cast of characters, and outline at least the basics of the story.  No pressure.  None at all.   If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the corner with my notebook, waiting for the ideas to find me.

Chris Signature

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Bowled Over

A few months ago, I nearly died of sticker shock when I saw the price tag for a coiled fabric bowl in a local craft outlet.  It was a lovely little bowl about six inches across in lovely watery blues.  It reminded me of something that should have had a place in my grandmother’s kitchen… folky, primitive, and homey in its style.  Unfortunately, this petite piece of folk art was priced at $75.  I left the cute little bowl right where I had found it.

While recently searching for some ideas for Christmas gifts, I came across instructions for making a coiled rag bowl very similar to the one I’d seen.  For less than the cost of a fast food meal, I was able to create one myselfl.  It’s an imperfect first attempt, but I’m pretty happy with it.  The creation involves strips of torn fabric, cotton cording, lots of pins, and a bit of thread.  Mine included more than a few pricked fingers and swear words, but that’s what usually happens when I’m allowed near anything sharp and pointy.  I imagine that a more graceful craft-person could manage the project without these last two inclusions.  At any rate, my wallet is still intact, even if my fingers aren’t.

Spring2013 263

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Happy New Year!

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In The Works

zzz1I’ve been kicking around an idea for quite awhile.  I need to find a way to incorporate my photography and a growing interest in graphic arts into something for the Etsy shop.  This really isn’t a new idea, I realized, because I’ve been attempting to do this since the shop started. First it was photographic prints, then microscope slide pendants, and then it was photo quilts.

To be honest, I was never really satisfied with any of those projects.  Prints were just not creative enough.  Once the shot had been taken, the creative part was over.  The microscope slide pendants were a pain, literally and figuratively- one too many nicked fingers.  And I worry that these are not going to stand the test of time, that they simply aren’t finished enough to appeal.  The photo quilts were too time consuming and took up a lot of space.  So, for the last couple of years, I’d given up on the idea of something combining photography and crafts that was a) creative, b) compact, and c) polished enough to be competitive in both online and live sales.

In searching for something else, I came across a tutorial for glass photo pendants.  I must admit that I was intrigued… so intrigued that I bought the supplies to make ten of them.  I’m still in the learning stage on this one, finding out what happens when you don’t do things quite correctly, like using  the right combination of printer ink and adhesives. I’m also learning things like a round hole punch is your friend if you’re incapable of freehand cutting a circle (I’m impared in this way- my life does not travel in straight lines, nor do my hands when operating any kind of tool).  I’m also learning that I love creating the miniature images for these.   My third attempt finally yielded a success, shown in the photo above.  I’m pretty happy with it, but I know that I can… and will… do better.

If you need me in January, I’ll be practicing my pendant making skills!

Chris Signature

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Happy Holidays

Christmas

 

No matter how or what you celebrate, may your holidays be happy and filled with those you love.  Blessings to all in this season of love and peace.

Chris Signature

 

 

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Treasury Tuesday – Handmade Holidays

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Treasury here and I’m afraid that I’m a bit behind. Without further ado, I give you this one from Angela at On a Spelled Wind.  I’m in love with the art print in the top right, very beautiful.  In case you were wondering, that’s one of my supply items way down there at the bottom, a Moon and Stars rubber stamp.  It’s still available in the shop if anyone is interested!

Hand Made Holidays.

Until next time!

Chris Signature

 

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