Monday, August 27, 2007

Craft and Art Helpers

I belong to the Etsy Bloggers Street team and it is such fun. The team has been hosting weekly blog carnivals. We are given a theme and then members create a post to go along with it. This week it was about who or what helps you in your crafty or artistic world. You can find links to all the entries here--
http://norabella-baby.blogspot.com/2007/08/this-weeks-blog-carnival-who-are-your.html

If you sell on Etsy and would like to join and get weekly blog inspirations go to Etsy Bloggers.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Everyday Companion



This guy is always a big part of my day. His name is Patches and he follows me through the house and lays down whenever I stop to do something. Even as I am writing this he is in the doorway of the room ready to go for whatever we do next. Maybe you can tell he is a great listener. With his one up one down ears and a tilt of his head I get positive reinforcement from him every time.

More seriously I think, like a lot of crafters and artists, that the inspirations come from all of our environment. Color and texture impressions come from all directions. I think we take a lot of this in without actually realizing it. It can be as simple for me as seeing the clothes for a new season on display in a store or the piles of fabrics or yarns in your favorite store.

One of my favorite things to do is spend an afternoon or evening going through my collection of knitting, crocheting and quilting books and magazines. I really don't do it very often because I would go into idea overload. They are great however for planting the seeds for new projects with colors, shapes or stitch patterns. I keep notebooks around for jotting down ideas as they come to me. Flipping through these notebooks can help me make new lists of ideas.

On a final somewhat silly note, one of my biggest pushes to create comes from housework avoidance. After all if I am spending an afternoon on an idea or project that may eventually be for sale online or at a craft show that is work right? To me it is and that certainly beats dusting or folding laundry in my book.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Audio Books

I discovered something about myself recently. I used to think that I wouldn't enjoy audio books. I am a visual learner and listening to a book in times past didn't appeal to me. As needlework, mostly crocheting and knitting, fill my hands and time this has changed. I have listened my way through television and movies for years while concentrating on the latest project. After listening to Kelly of Knit picks in her podcasts talk about audio books I thought I would give it a try. The Phoenix library has helped me out here with audio books available for download if you have a library card. I am so happy to have discovered a way to enjoy my two favorite things, reading and needlework. Getting the software needed which was easy to download from the library. My first book is by Michael Connelly and I am looking forward to more.



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jordan is 5 Today!


Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday Dear Jordan,
Happy Birthday to You.
Jordan's 5th birthday is today.  I hope he has a great day!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Camera Struggles


I really like the pictures I took here when my daughter and her family came for a visit. The kids were outside enjoying a morning rain here in Apache Junction. The picture of Joslyn and her Dad I think is charming. It wasn't posed and they aren't looking at the camera. They are watching Hunter catch raindrops. They are very comfortable together and you can sure tell they are related.




Hunter was having a great time catching raindrops. I am glad the camera caught the splash so you know what he is doing.

I think a lot the process is - first be there with camera and second take a lot of pictures. That way you will be sure to catch some great ones.

I am still struggling with photography so I am not sure I have much in the way of useful tips to share for this carnival. Some days I take pictures and am proud and on other days the shots I have taken all get deleted. I think people are easier than products. After all, for me how many ways can a scarf or headband pose? I want good shots that will sell and I know the best way to get there is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. I guess I should be glad that my practicing doesn't include film developing costs.

I have a lot to learn about photography and will keep trying.I am leaving you with the Etsy Minis of 2 of the photographers I admire the most on Etsy. Clicking on a picture or their name will take you to their shops to experience more of their work.








Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Books on the Way

Knit Picks is one of my favorite online stores. I read the blog, listen to podcasts and get the emailed newsletter and snail mail catalog.

They are having a sale on books until tomorrow. All books are 40% off. I have had some stitch libraries on my wish list for some time now so I went ahead and ordered three of them. I am sure with my crafting ADD I will be driving myself crazy when they get here. I can see myself looking through and making up a million projects that I don't have enough lifetime left to do. Part of that is the point though, to have the pattern library as a reference to make my own designs and projects. I like making things that are useful but that doesn't mean they can't have style and beauty.

I am so looking forward to getting these books. There are 2 more that I really want that are not available until the 29th of August so even more dreaming and planning will be going an all fall.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pleasant Distractions



We are done with a fun visit from a granddaughter that lives in Utah. You can see her here having fun at the hospital grandpa works at. We went and had lunch with him one day and got a tour before his afternoon meetings started.

We also got to the Pinetop-Lakeside area for a bluegrass festival last weekend. It was a small event but the music was enjoyable. Kaycee made a kaleidoscope at a childrens craft workshop. Between that and some snacks she enjoyed it even if she didn't really like the music like grandma and grandpa did.



I had hoped to have many more pictures of the time spent with her but we had some camera battery issues. Replacements have been found and those things will be fixed. Jim always does a great job of tracking things down and getting things working again.

My plan is to get back into blogging regularly now that summer visits are done. I also plan to get a lot of things up for sale online. I would like to have quite a bit ready to go as the fall sellling season starts. So it is time to get off here for now and get to work.

Until later.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Grandkids


I have no idea who said it first but "If I had known being a grandparent was so much fun I would have done it first". So true.


These guys brought their parents for a visit a couple weeks ago and got to stay for about a week. The picture shows them enjoying a morning rain. I don't know how anyone could make it through a Phoenix summer without the monsoon rains. I sure enjoyed having them here. We just did simple things spending time together. We took a dinner cruise on Canyon Lake, went to an old mining town and took a drive up to Roosevelt Dam, down to Miami and the back to Apache Junction.

Today another grandchild is arriving for a one week visit. She will be here this evening and I don't know who is more excited her, Grandpa, me or the dog. I am looking forward to lots of card games, book sharing and shopping. I'll try to keep up with adding pictures as the week goes by.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Only Pencil



I saw this etsy artist featured a while back on another blog and really enjoyed looking through the shop. It is so inspiring to see something come from such humble tools be so glorious. If I had money to burn I would start shopping here today. You can learn more about this artist from his own words found in the profile section of his shop.

"My medium of choice as you can see is pencil. I have always been fascinated with black and white images and pencil has that look that i love. I'm also a big fan of lighting and textures which pencil provides. Pencil is not a medium that gets the respect that it deserves, but i want to show people that it can be up there with more classical mediums such as oils and acrylics. If used correctly, it can produce incredible images that not only look beautiful but are so full of life. Well i hope you enjoy my artwork and hopefully one of my prints or originals can become part of your home or office."

If you would like to go shopping at the Only Pencil shop on Etsy.com clicking on the etsy mini for the shop will take you there. Enjoy!
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