Category Archives: Crafty Goodness

My word!

Standard

That reads as though I’m exclaiming… “MY WORD!” in some kind of Downton Abbey, upstairs-at-the-manor type accent. But really, I’m just talking about a word. My word. One Little Word.

LISTEN

That’s my word.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a post on Facebook about a year-long project called One Little Word that is a project-based way for participants to incorporate a word into their lives on a daily basis in an attempt to live a little more intentionally. (Are you as tired of the phrase “live more intentionally” as I am!?) The project is done through a workshop available at Big Picture via Ali Edwards, a blogger, scrapbooker, and blonde.

The group of ladies I’m doing this with are all bloggers, and many of us are not scrapbookers, so there was some discussion of whether or not it would lend itself to being creative and thinking outside the box that is full of die cuts and washi tape. We agreed that there are plenty of ways to utilize our own creativity, even if it’s just letting our word guide our blog posts for the months ahead. So off we went.

For me, the word listen rang out pretty quickly – but of course I then had a hard time creating phrases around the word to focus on each month. Words like Open, and Create, and Move, and Joy seem much easier to jump off of. So I’m not done planning my year yet, but that’s okay… I think working to come up with additional phrases is going to be a good part of the exercise for me.

I pulled out an unused journal to help me brainstorm, and made a pretty first page…

Image

And then I started listing. So far I have four focus points to use as I create and write about this project:

Listen to my family

Listen to my heart

Listen to the universe

Listen to those who know

I’m looking forward to seeing how those come together for me, and how they impact my career, life with my spouse and children, the way I spend my free time, and the pursuits of my “alternate career” of writing and creating.

For the creating part of this project, since I don’t scrapbook, I also jotted down a few ideas for how to make something else that can give me time with my hands focusing on my word. I came up with a couple of ideas. One was to create quilt blocks that apply to the lesson for each month (the lesson I learn, not the workshop lesson). I’m not a quilter, but it would be a free-form kind of thing so I wouldn’t worry too much about perfect stitches. That would be my excuse, anyway… ūüôā Another was to make a chap book at the end of the year out of pages I make using photos, ephemera, and writings that were impactful for each month. Haven’t decided yet.

So, what do you think? Have you done the One Little Word thing before? What did it mean to you, and what suggestions do you have? Keep up with my lessons and ideas here… and feel free to share your own!

Sunday Funday!

Standard

I’ve been feeling extremely tangled up lately. That’s the best way I can describe it… just too many strings, all trying to go different directions, and getting all knotted up…kind of like my crosstitch thread that is wadded up in a bag in my craft room.

I have been writing for a freelance job that I have been barely getting done on time, and I’ve been neglecting my own blogs because of it. On top of the writing, I have a couple of craft shows coming up in December that I have been wanting to get busy making things for… but every weekend it seems that things I have no control over get in the way of me making the making happen. I have gotten more and more frustrated, and feel like I have been spinning my wheels for weeks.

Finally, today, I got up and managed my time and had nothing else to do except whatever I wanted to do. And I was actually determined enough to get stuff done! I got out of bed and found a corner to get some of my freelance writing done this morning, which will help me not be so frantic come Wednesday night when I’m trying to finish it up. I also made a dent in some of the prep work for making bags for the shows, and worked on a couple of vintage ironing boards I’m re-purposing into holiday decor.

ImageImage

After getting some making done, I went out to check on my chickens and ended up cleaning out their coop and putting a roost in. Then I picked up the legs of our pool that had been lying around in our yard for a few weeks and put them away. Then I put the new grill cover on our grill and cleaned up our patio…

So, a free Sunday is a good thing. I’m hoping to make this a routine, so that I can make some progress on the huge project list I have hanging over my head. Time for being creative and get stuff done makes me happy. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

 

Art vs. Art

Standard

Some of you know I have another blog called Junqe Rethunque, and that I have an Etsy shop… but I’ve been conflicted recently about whether the crafty side of me needs to be promoted more and nursed a bit, or pushed aside in favor of the writing side of me.¬† I am still going to pursue the business with my mom (from which I took the name of the other blog) but I am starting to wonder if Etsy is worth my time.¬†

I think the things I make are great, and I know my family and friends agree, but my sales have not been blowing me away.¬† I’m thinking it might be a better plan to focus my crafty self on a couple of craft fairs each year and maybe some brick and mortar shops here in town.¬† I want to enjoy my sewing and creating, and if I am always trying to figure out what I could make that people would actually buy, I’m not enjoying it as much.¬† My sister has a great jewelry line selling like gangbusters on Etsy, and she spends a LOT of time promoting herself online and making new things for her shop – but she’s childless and her significant other works nights.¬† Her evenings are all hers to do all the making she wants.

Now, granted, writing will take up a lot of my time if I want to make money at it… but I think it’s a situation where it can transition into a career, whereas the craft stuff is less likely to do that.¬† Plus, I can write anywhere – with or without my laptop – and my crafting has to be done at home, and primarily in front of my sewing machine.¬† It’s a matter of logistics to some degree.

What has it come down to for you when you’ve faced a decision where you had to follow one path or another – both equally intriguing to you?¬† I’m open to any advice and all suggestions!

The other me has set up shop…

Standard

on Blogspot!¬† I love my wordpress blog, but I can’t add photos like I want to and link to my Etsy shop, so I’ve created another blog that will allow me to focus on my crafting exploits and curbside trash heisting adventures.¬† You can take a look if you like: www.junquerethunque.blogspot.com

The name is the same as the business my mom and I are forming together.¬† We both have an addiction to picking odd bits of furniture and cast-offs we find here and there and thinking “hmmm… what could I do with this??”¬† The addiction has caused her to spend a few thousand dollars fixing up my grandpa’s workshop, so I guess we’d better get busy and make it pay!¬† When the shop is up and running I thought we could use the blog to promote ourselves.

Of course, all the up-t0-date info on me and my family and my writing will be here… so there’s plenty of blogging goodness to go around!

UPDATE:¬† I remembered I already set up a blogspot blog under the name punkinheaddesigns, but I’ve tried all day to get into it and can’t. I finally figured out how to send an email to the powers that be at blogger to ask the questions I need answers to, so hopefully that will be up and running soon too.¬† I think I’ll try to focus on¬†the stuff I do personally (at my house) on punkinheaddesigns, and the stuff that mom and I are doing in our business at junquerethunque… but we’ll see how it plays out.

Pay it forward…

Standard

As seen at Knitting Hands’¬†Blog, a Pay if Forward promise…

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF (Pay it forward) exchange.¬† I’m not sure what that gift will be.¬† It will be a surprise!¬† The only thing you have to do in return is to pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.¬† (And you gotta follow through!)

It’s easy – if you are one of the first three… scratch that…4 comments on this blog posting, I’ll send you something handmade by me.¬† What it will be is a surprise, and surprises are fun!

If you want to play along, copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work.

Enjoy.

I found myself in a bookstore!

Standard

I went to a bookstore tonight and found myself.

For some, the process of finding themselves can be a long, involved process riddled with failed love affairs, too many overnight stays in hostels¬†or on friends’ floors, and possibly a visit to rehab… or at least some drug use.¬† My path to self-discovery was long and¬†involved as well, but instead of hostels and drugs being the catalyst, there was a mobile home and a few children.

So, tonight I went with Hubby to the local evil chain bookstore and while he looked for some literature to purchase with his birthday giftcard I grabbed some crafting books to look through as Boychild played with the train in the children’s section.¬† I flipped through the pages of a wonderful book (that is now on my Amazon wish list) and was inspired enough to¬†sketch some ideas and jot down notes on an envelope I dug out of my purse.¬†

Why do I think this was so cool?¬† Because, as I was sketching and writing and being inspired I felt like I was an artist.¬† I was able to own my desire to create the¬†things I was drawing on that envelope and it wasn’t just “something I want to do”, it was something I know I can do and will do.¬† I am able, now, to call myself an artist and a writer and own those titles and not feel like I’m just wishing or dreaming.¬†

So, as I walked back through the store on the way out, this realization came to me and it was a small, quiet, earthshaking moment for me.  I suppose it was worth waiting for.

Crafting makes my world go ’round

Standard

I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about what my purpose is during this phase of my life.¬† I don’t mean my spiritual purpose – I’m feeling okay about that part of my self.¬† And I don’t mean my purpose as a person – My daily routine of being a mom keeps me pretty centered on that front as well.¬† Mostly, it’s my purpose as a contributor to a family income and supporter of an as-yet-to-be-started shoe collection that has been on my mind.

To that end, I’ve been pursuing writing jobs and publishing opportunities (not to mention the plethora of resumes I’ve sent out for full-time jobs).¬† I have some things I need to put in the mail, so I need to kick myself in the butt to get that done, but I am going to have a poem published in a local poetry journal this fall.¬† Yay!¬† But in addition to the typing of words, I’ve been spending more time creating with my fingers in other ways.¬† I’ve become a Crafter.

For years I have made gifts¬†for family and friends,¬†created flower arrangements and designed holiday cards.¬† It’s just been something I did for myself, to release that creative energy that builds up.¬† I’ve had, for my entire adult life, boxes of ephemera and buttons and shiny bits and glue guns that I didn’t use on a regular basis, but that had to be kept for the day that one or more of those items were NEEDED.¬†

This year I finally have a place to put my boxes (and boxes, and boxes, and boxes) and a surface on which to work.¬† It’s wonderful!¬† I have also been frequenting a website (Hubby says I’m addicted) that was created for the purpose of matching art and craft sellers with buyers.¬† www.etsy.com is providing me with advice from others who do what I do – and actually make MONEY doing it – and a place to sell my creations.¬† More than that, though, it is inspiring me.¬† I am thinking of things I can make, and ways I can create, and getting excited about the possibilities.¬† This is a good thing.¬† I was needing to get excited.

So, cheers to all of you who make stuff! Even if your significant other or your circle of friends don’t understand why you make it (or even what it is, exactly)¬† Keep on Crafting!!

Shameless self-promotion: www.punkinhead.etsy.com