Thursday, April 28, 2011

An amazing organization called Handbags for Hope  help raise money for a great cause!! Handbags for Hope is a Greenville, South Carolina based group who along with their honorary chairwoman Andie McDowell and the South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation are doing extraordinary things to benefit Ovarian Cancer!! Every year they host a silent auction event where they auction off purses signed by some amazing celebrities!!
Last year’s event included bags signed by Sheryl Crow, Eva Longoria, Taylor Lautner, Brad Paisley, and Carrie Underwood…just to name a few :) These women are hard at work once again preparing for their 5th annual event and already have bags signed by Nicholas Sparks, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, the Cast of La Cage Aux Folles (including Kelsey Grammer), and the Cast of Monte' Carlo (including Andie MacDowell and Selena Gomez).
 In honor of this event, She has designed the bracelets and flowers in my HOPE Collection with 100% of the proceeds going to Handbags for Hope!! Please join me in supporting this great cause!!

New Hair Accessories on Etsy

When I was lucky enough to have grand girls  enter my life, my sons knew I would enjoy the chance to buy ruffles and bows. It is a very different world from the testosterone life of raising boys with bugs and mud.

Recently the Crafter's group from school decided we could make money for the nurses KIN (Kids in Need) fund. We got supplies and put together ribbons and flowers and feathers for hair clips and headbands. We sold them to our middle school girls and sold out. We met again Tuesday and made more. The girls even submitted drawings of designs they would like us to make. All of the money goes to a fund to help kids who need  eye glasses , prescriptions etc. when the families cannot afford it.

This all reminded me that a year ago I made crocheted flower barrettes for my grandgirls, so I dug out some of the flowers I made back then and I am putting them on my etsy site for sale. I taught myself how to crochet these by watching you tube. I think there is a market for these if I keep the prices reasonable and the buyer uses my free shipping coupon.

I hope you will follow my adventure branching out into hair accessories. Try some yourself.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Charm City Visit - Sisterly Love

Two weeks ago I went to visit my sister Linda in Pasadena, Md. (near Baltimore) It wasn't spring vacation time yet, but I took off a week to go and help her out during and after surgery. Before I left for the trip. I put together some materials in packets so I could work on bracelets while traveling and waiting at the hospital. Zip lock snack bags are perfect for this. It keeps materials together and keeps everything organized.

I rode the train and even though I had my " nook" to read  and my computer with me, the time passed quickest when I worked on my knitting. Many of the bracelets are pink and themed with a cancer ribbon because that is where my mind was most of the time. I plan to add some of these to items to my shop and have proceeds go to Cancer research. I have to figure out how to do this. My sister's surgery was successful but I had to leave while she was still experiencing pain. Prayers are appreciated.

The return trip on the train was an adventure. We came through right behind the tornadoes that came through North Carolina last weekend. 10 minutes east of Raleigh we were stopped for over 2 hours while they cleared fallen trees from the tracks. While this sounds boring, it was great fun! I sat in the clubcar with other ladies talking while I knitted and accepted comliments on my work. I had not finished any of the bracelets because I didn't have closures with me so I lost out on sales. Also I was writing my etsy site on napkins for people. Lessons learned I ordered business cards today and I now have a stack of claps which will go with me next time I work on a project in public.

I came back to school and the students actually missed me. The week went fairly fast and Easter sort of sneaked up on me. I had fun with both of my son's families in the past two days.

The rest of this week I will enjoy my grandgirls and play with my crafts, take some photos and maybe even get some blogging done. Friday is a friend's wedding (yes ,that day but this is not the royal wedding) This one will probably be more fun.

I hope to post a slideshow of my new items this week.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nuturing Creativity in Yourself and Your Children

Just now I had to tell about myself to create this blog and I realized a few things about how creativity is nurtured.

Here is how it began for me:
Mother used to take us to "Back to School Fashion Shows" with a notepad in hand. We would then go directly to the fabric shop and create the same items at a cost the family could afford. Mother had a knack for seeing the latest accessory or color everyone would be wearing and transfer that to our wardrobes. We devoured  fashion magazines and "window shopped" at the stores we couldn't afford. I learned to sew  before I was 10 and remember making Easter outfits every year including the hat sometimes. Our mother had lost her mother before she was 10years old and she used to tell how she took and old adult coat and remade it into a coat for herself at an early age. The key seems to be  getting the skills, exposure to materials and an attitude to "just try it". Believe me everything attempted isn't a hit but the occasions when it is make it all worth it.
Getting the Skills
Sewing was a skill girls learned when I was a child. We had a Doll Clothes Design Club with our Ginny dolls. At first we just used scraps from out mother's scrap bag and cut and wrapped fabric. gradually we began hand sewing the scraps and eventually went to the sewing machine with our mothers' help. It was a Saturday morning party every week for a while.
I also learned to knit, embroider, do mosaics, paint fabric, and I even cover shoes with fabric to match an outfit in high school.
As I grew older I was away from home when I was trying to make a project, many states away from my mother ,and she advised me to just take it to a knit shop and they would show me how. Yes , they were wonderful and helpful (and non- judgemental) and they taught me to crochet too.
As time went on, if friend was learning a new skill, I would ask them to teach me. Most people are happy to help. Cross stitch, and hooking rugs came to me this way.
Some things are easily learned at a class: ceramics, fabric painting, and tole painting are some things I learned this way. The basics are learned at the class but it takes practice before one becomes skillful.
The latest and greatest way to learn is you tube. I see something cute and do a search. It is always there with a "how to" video. The reason I say it is the greatest is because I can pause and replay as I do my own work with the teacher. All in the comfort of my easy chair ... and free.
Being Inspired by Materials
I enjoy haunting fabric shops, hobby and craft centers and on-line sources. I do this alone a lot. I can spend 3 hours looking, dreaming, imagining and planning without knowing there is a concept of time. I have certain friends who share the addiction and I will call them or they will call me when we don't have a time limit and we can lose ourselves in shop touching and looking at fabric, yarns, trims beads,etc. I know which friends enjoy which material the most , so I call the appropriatly addicted friend. Bouncing ideas off of each other doubles the fun.
Finding a Reason to Create
  • Usually a beautiful material will be all the inspiration I need.
  •  Sometimes I see something I want that passes the test. "Can I make it?" "Is it worth the time" "Would it be fun?"
  • Do I need a personal gift  for someone "made from the heart"
Be Accepting of Yourself (or the loved one you are teaching)
Skill takes time. We often get discouraged and quit. Some skills will be easier than others and some may take more patience. Everyone makes mistakes. Any skilled craftsperson will tell you they have ripped out as many stitches as they put in. When I begin teaching people to knit I always empahsize that it looks lumpy and uneven for a while but it will get better. I can figure out what errors they made and help them only because I made so many errors when I was learning. Be gentle with yourself!  This is probably the most important aspect of creation.

Find your Style
You have a style in how you put yourself together, decorate your house or even choose your car. Obviously, most of us admire style we cannot afford.You are constantly changing your style and adapting it but you have a style. Recognize this, become aware of it , how is your style unique in some way? How does it express you? This is important, accept it and accept that others have their style. Don't try to change them or judge yourself by a standard set by the media , your friends, or the times you live in. It needs to be practical enough to adapt to your life but that is the only limit I see. Teenagers go through a style a minute while they are finding themselves. They need to have this time to explore. Back off parents as long as they aren't doing things that harm them physically or get them arrested maybe we should let them look foolish for a while. you will be surprised how they become more like you as they grow up.

Oh sometimes a project will start with one idea and in the process it decides to beome something better so be flexible.

First Post

Today I am starting my blog. I am pursuing this as a support for my new etsy shop, but I understand it is even more valuable as a way of keeping in touch with one's self. I plan to share my adventures in creativity as I am inspired by new materials and new approaches to several crafts I enjoy.

I have just added several items to my shop. I hope you will go and visit :