cultivate what feeds your soul
After a day at work, an evening of preparing meals, cleaning up messes, driving children, and doing laundry I am frequently feeling like I am running on empty. So how do I recharge my batteries? An artist’s date!
This is something I learned from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”. Julia’s entire process is amazing but it is rather intense and time consuming, so I am challenged to maintain the entire program but her concept of an artist’s date is one I have been able to maintain.
Basically, you carve out an hour each week to feed your creative spirit. Something like visiting your favorite store, going to the library, sketching in the park, etc. Schedule it and treat it like a very important appointment! You deserve it and it will fill the well.
Learn more at Julia’s website: http://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/artists-dates/
A room of your own (or maybe just a corner)
Does environment matter? It does to me and to the thousands of others who subscribe to the magazine “Where Women Create”. I find it much easier to work in a space I love surrounded by things that inspire me. Craft spaces can be a challenge to keep tidy because there is a lot of items and equipment to accompany them. You just never know when you might use that vintage remnant or those rainbow buttons.
Storage is key to keeping things orderly and I love the shelves for fabric and the vintage tins pictured above. Find more ideas and inspiration at www.wherewomencreate.com.
Take a moment for yourself.
This is step 1 of 5 simple ways you can nurture your creativity. I will post all the steps over the next couple of days.
This fast paced world is pulling for our attention and focus all of the time. Technology is wonderful, but it is important to unplug and connect with yourself and be quiet for a moment. For some people it is yoga, for me it is sewing. What is it for you?
Connect with The Freedom Experiment to meet Marthe and explore her blog about life and inpiration.
Do what you love. Give it a go!
Sweet Handcrafted Valentines
Congregating with creative women and seeing the beautiful way they put their talents to use quickens my pulse and makes my heart sing. I had kind of forgotten about this in the craziness of starting a new full time job that entails a 45 – 60 minute commute each way and being the single mum to two teenage boys. But today, I found myself with a rare pocket of free time and remembered that among the hundreds of e-mails in my inbox, there was one inviting me to a sweetheart of a sale featuring vintage wares and clever flea market transformations. Grocery shopping or a beautiful marketplace in a historic building? An easy choice on a cold February afternoon. We can always dig a little deeper in the cupboards.
Smith Douglas More House
Be Mine Market Event
So away I went, feeling a bit like a school girl playing hooky, to the Be Mine Market Event. Upon entering I felt the excitement of hustle and bustle of treasure hunting. Brightly painted furniture was being paraded out the front door by happy customers and vendor Kim Yeager of Lark Nest Design busily rearranged her room to fill the freshly emptied spots. Kim is just one of a group of vintage dealers who sell their wares at special sales. This particular market is located in a historic building in Eden Prairie, MN that also houses a Dunn Bros. Coffee shop.
Lark Nest Display
Lovely vintage textiles are sprinkled throughout with my personal favorite being a sweet and simple quilt made up of pink and white squares embellished with embroidery.
close-up of embroidery
It was an afternoon well spent and a reminder that when it comes to matters of the heart, time and attention are needed to make it sing.
For those of you in the Twin Cities Area, the sale continues tomorrow, February 12 from 9-4 at the Smith Douglas More House located at 8107 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55347. For more information call 952-361-3282 or 952-934-0145. Their next sale at this location is scheduled for Mother’s Day week-end, May 12 & 13.
the last little bloomers in the garden
It seems that autumn has finally arrived and as things are browning up and bidding farewell this little guy continues to put on a show.
Jess of Urban Patchwork
The class I was most excited about taking at the Sewing Summit was Improv Piecing with Jessica Berrett of Urban Patchwork. Feeling ready to break out of the box and embrace a more unstructured approach towards piecing, I grabbed my scrap bag and anxiously awaited a new found freedom.
Jess opened with a show and tell session of her quilts. Her style is unabashedly organic and modern infused with a sense of randomness. The daughter of an artist, Jess absorbed her design sense from her mother who continues to provide feedback on balance and color.
Apt. 6 Quilt
Quilt by Jess Berrett
I love her asymmetrical compositions and unexpected color combinations that make each quilt distinct. So how does she create these lovelies? A process she shared was to commence with a scaled rectangle or square drawing of the finished size of the quilt on graph paper (so the outline) and then sketch within without paying heed to the boxes, then when the layout pleases her she will refine her drawing to align with the graph paper grid.
Top 10 Tips for Improv Piecing
- Use pieces of various shapes and sizes
- Arrange blocks in unique ways
- Slightly curved seams add interest
- Work with what you’ve got
- Think beyond squares
- Asymmetrical balance is pleasing to the eye
- Add pops of color & contrast with small pieces
- Use multicolored & high contrast prints sparingly
- Neutrals & solids give the eye a place to rest
- Deliberate use of negative space can provide balance
Making my block was so much fun! I just went for it without spending too much time analyzing my design and I love how it came out! One thing is certain, there will be a lot less scraps going in the trash from here on out. I’ll be creating my own scrap bags for more improv play! Read more about Jess and visit her blog.
my improv block
Posted in Connect, Journal Entry, Learn, Top 10 Lists, Top 10 Lists
Tagged Improv Piecing, Jess Berrett, Jessica Berrett, Modern Quilting, Modern Quilting Techniques, The Sewing Summit, Urban Patchwork
It is rare that I can brag about the weather in Minnesota, but by some little miracle we are enjoying a magnificent autumn. My walk this morning was filled with color and inspiration. Here a few of my favorites.
Old Red Barn Co.
My first class at the Sewing Summit was “Documenting Your Creativity: Blogging and Social Media” led by Dana Bolyard of Old Red Barn Co. (they handcraft yummy soaps and scrubs). I felt a little intimidated as I situated myself in the middle of the class room to realize that in place of my old fashioned paper and pen most attendees had their laptops or tablets. Obviously, I have a lot to learn! These younger technophiles tip tapped away while simultaneously checking out the blogs in reference as my pen worked it’s way across paper. So, from my hand scrawled notes here is a summary of what Dana shared.
old school note taking
Dana’s blog is an extension and personal connection to her business. It serves as an online medium for her to document her life and creativity with others. Her own curiosity about how her mom felt about being a mother to young ones inspired her to leave a legacy for her own children that will provide windows into her life, feelings and experiences.
image from Old Barn Co. blog
She emphasized that a blog should not be a numbers game, but rather a pure form of expression and interests and a means to build a community. Here is a list of elements Dana feels make a good blog:
- A clear focus
- Interesting & engaging content
- Writing that is not condescending
- Regular posts
- Substance with insight and a personal touch
- An approachable demeanor
I need to back up a little bit. In my excitement over the Sewing Summit, I forgot that not everyone knows the who, what, where and why behind the event. Taken directly from the Sewing Summit website, the founders define the event as follows, “We are a sewing and blogging conference for the modern sewist who wants to connect with others in a fun and inspiring setting. With a full weekend agenda of classes, panels, speakers, parties, networking events and more, it promises to be the most fun weekend of 2011! Whatever it is that you sew – garments, handbags, kids items, quilts – there are classes and activities for you.” And they aren’t just saying it! The week-end has been filled with all of the above and then some.
attendees checking out tips and tricks for free motion quilting
The event is taking place this week-end (October 7 – 9, 2011) at the Little America Hotel in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah and is promising to be an annual event. Founders and active bloggers Erin Singleton (Two More Seconds) and Amy Ellis (Amy’s Creative Side) met online and envisioned a gathering where virtual friendships had a chance to blossom into real life encounters. Their dream has been realized and their hearts warmed while witnessing hundreds of such moments. Surprisingly, the duo did not know each other outside of the blogosphere and had their own initial introductory meeting here at the hotel while scouting locations for the event. Since that time, there have been thousands of e-mails exchanged, daily conversations and plenty of face time.
Amanda Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew
With teachers like Bari J, Gretchen “Gertie” Hirsch and Amanda Harris it has been an exciting and enriching week-end. As a sponsor and attendee I’ve tried new techniques, made new friends and added many blogs to my Google Reader.
In the coming week, I will share more photos and details on what I learned in classes here at the Summit!