Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WIP Wednesday: A Bag, a Hat, and a Scarf

This month I have three WIPs (Works in Progress) that I really want to complete and I only have ten days left.  Now, don't get me wrong.  These are not the only WIPs that I have lying around my house, and other various locations; they are the three that I would like to complete this month.  And I have only ten days left.

I'm sure that I can do it.  Really.  I'm sure that I can.

WIP #1:  Plarn Bag
This bag is my own pattern.  I hope to write the pattern out and offer it free on my blog someday soon, but first I have to complete this bag and the initial draft of the pattern.  All that's missing at this point is a row of single crochet around the handles, and somehow it is taking me forever to do it.  

I think I have an actual fear of  finishing things.

WIP #2: Elephant Hat
My cousin had a baby and she decorated the room with handmade elephant-themed items.  I just had to make her an elephant baby hat.  I had to.  This hat has had problems (wow, that sentence has a lot of three letter words that start with ha).  I lost the crochet hook I was using.  I made a newborn hat, and now the baby is three months old.  I still cannot find the hook that I lost or the yarn.  I have more of the same yarn and I finally found another hook of the same size, so it is time to make a larger hat, add a trunk and some ears, and send it to that little baby girl.

WIP #3:  2 Color Brioche Scarf
Oh!  I love this scarf.  I love everything about it; the colors, the stitch, the design, it's all perfect.  And it's almost finished; all it needs is a couple of button holes and some buttons.  This scarf is my own design and grew from a simple experimental swatch that I started, inspired by The Knit Show.  If you have not watched The Knit Show yet, you totally have to check it out.  Vickie Howell is amazing, and inspiring.

Ten days is a ton of time.  I can totally do this.  If only I didn't have this incredible cold that is making my brain not work.  No, really, I can totally do this!

What are you working on this week?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Plan with Me: March 2018

Plan with me is a monthly feature where I share my bullet journal setup for the month.

This month's theme is all about Vegas!  I am taking a trip to Vegas this month and decided to let that trip inspire my cover page and headings.

I wanted the letters to look like marquee signs and neon signs.

I think that the look was successful but wish that I had sketched everything out ahead of time.  

Oh well.  Lesson learned.

I continued the marquee letters into my monthly calendar.  

I really like this divided calendar set up, with my personal events separated from my work events.  

Materials I used this month:

*Staedtler triplus fineliners in red and black

*Micron fineliners

*Gel pens in gold and black

*Crayola Supertips in red and yellow

Do you bullet journal?  
What kind of monthly spreads do you have to have each month?

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Mandala Card for InCoWriMo

InCoWriMo is in full effect, and while I am a little behind, I am determined to write 28 letters this month.  

But what is a letter without a little art?  I decided to decorate a blank card with some of the new mandala patterns that I have been practicing.  I think it turned out really well.

I also included a little crochet heart, since it's almost Valentine's Day.  I love adding little extras to my letters, and that often means a crocheted applique.  The recipient then has something they can use in a creative way and pass on to someone else.

Are you participating in InCoWriMo?
Do you like to send letters and happy mail?

Monday, February 5, 2018

February: Month of Mandalas

Month of Mandalas February 2018
As I was creating my cover page for the month of February in my Bullet Journal, I was trying to think of a good theme for the month.  All of a sudden I realized that I was drawing a mandala heart, and the theme was decided.  I've decided to expand the theme from my bullet journal to all my crafty endeavors for the month of February.

Month of Mandalas February 2018
Welcome to my month of mandalas!

Month of Mandalas February 2018

I really enjoy drawing mandalas and I am always looking for new patterns and shapes to fill the circles.  I went to Instagram, found a mandala artist that I really like(@sine_art) and created a spread in my sketchbook with patterns inspired by her work.
Month of Mandalas February 2018

 I then realized that I have never tried crocheting a mandala, so I looked up some patterns, and plan to crochet at least one mandala this month.  I am also working on an altered book and I think that mandalas will figure prominently in that project also.

Imagine my surprise when I was browsing videos on Youtube this afternoon and found a mandala challenge for the month of February.  The challenge involves sacred geometry, and I think I will give it a try.  I am looking forward to a month filled with mandalas and relaxation.

Do you draw or crochet mandalas?  
Are you trying the sacred geometry challenge?
Do you ever choose a crafty theme for the month?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Art & Soul Reloaded Week 1: Social Media Log

Art & Soul Reloaded
During November I read Art & Soul Reloaded by Pam Grout.  The book offers inspirational essays and weekly prompts to boost the reader's creativity.  I plan to follow the weekly prompts from the book throughout 2018 and catalog my progress here, on my blog.  Hang on, dear readers, this could get interesting!

Week 1: Analyze your time
During the first week of 2018, I kept a log of my time.  Time spent on social media and time spent watching tv.  I decided to keep a log of everything I did this week in half hour increments.

I noticed a few important things when I looked back at this log.

Art & Soul Reloaded Week 1:  Social Media Log1.  I do not set aside much time for my creative pursuits.

2.  I follow the same pattern almost every day of the week.

3.  I don't watch as much tv as I thought I did.

4.  I don't use social media as much as I thought I did.

I did try this week to increase my creative time.  I went upstairs to my craft room, sat at my work table, and stared at a current art project.  I picked the project up.  I turned it around in my hands.  I stared at it.  Unfortunately, after a long day at work, it was really hard to add anything to the project.  Finally I walked away from my work table, I walked away from my craft room, and I made dinner instead.

I understand what Pam Grout means when she writes, "What right do you have to refuse the voice that whispers to you every morning, every afternoon, and every evening as you retire spent and exhausted from denying again and again the hand of the Great Collaborator?"  but sometimes I lack the energy to create.  That's when I write ideas down or make sketches in my idea notebook, pin a project idea to Pinterest, or start following an inspiring account on Instagram.

I really liked this activity.  It was really interesting to pay attention to how I am using my time.  It made me more aware of how little time I spend creating every day.  It made me want to search out the spare minutes and devote them to something creative.  I encourage you to grab a piece of paper and track your activities for one week.  Who knows what you might learn about yourself.

Do you have difficulty finding creative time during the work week?
Have you ever logged your social media and tv use?  Do you plan to try this prompt?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

My Tropical Take on Drawcember

I have been trying to draw every day.  I usually do something creative every day, but I know that if I want to improve my drawing skills, then I need to draw every day.  I've tried many different daily drawing challenges, some with more success than others, but usually I feel constrained by the prompts.  If I can't think of anything to draw for the prompt, I go to Google Images and I usually end up copying someone else's doodle or a piece of clip art.  Now, I know that all drawing practice is good for me, but I have a hard time staying motivated when I am just copying clip art into my sketchbook.  As I was browsing Instagram for Drawcember prompts a few days ago, I felt even less inspired.  Most of the prompts involve snow and things related to Christmas.  Ugh!  

Meanwhile I can't stop thinking about the amazing vacation I took last December when I went to Costa Rica! 
I fell in love and decided then and there that I would take a tropical vacation every December.  Unfortunately, this year I am recovering from surgery and was unsure if I would be able to travel, so I stayed home, in rainy Oregon.  So, instead of traveling to the tropics, I plan to draw the tropics.  I brainstormed a list of things that come to mind when I think of Costa Rica.  I am not assigning a prompt to each day; I am using the list as inspiration each day when I sit down to draw.  I might end up drawing sloths each and every day (I am a little obsessed with sloths right now), and that's ok.  

Here is my list:

If you are interested in joining me on this tropical adventure, I'd love to see your daily drawings.  I'll be tagging my posts with #TropicalDrawcember as well as #Drawcember2017

Do you draw every day?  How do you stay motivated?
Please share your tips and tricks in the comments.
No, really, I need help!