Thursday, August 24, 2006

the true source of inspiration

The other day I asked where your inspriation came from - and mentioned how I got inspired at a craft show - but thinking about it more I realize the inspration to do what I do goes even deeper than seeing all kinds of projects and wanting to do them - it comes from having good teachers to get me started...

From my oldest sister teaching me sewing at age - oh - probably about 6 and then teaching me quilting at age - oh - probably about 36 (give or take a few years) - we have come a loong way since that purple apron made from a pattern traced on newspaper...

From my oldest brother... oh all sorts of things although he mainly teaches by example - fine woodworking, fine photography, fine cooking, fine kitemaking... he does not do anything halfway...

From my next sister (get comfortable - there are a lot of us!) - rubber stamps and more rubber stamps and more rubber stamps - and more recently beading... and the attention to the tiny tiny details - she helped me conquer my fear of coloring and let me think outside the lines!

From my 3rd sister - papercrafts, more beading but different, and very very cool lettering which I have never had the patience to master - and you gotta see her ceramics and ArtClay Silver - things I wish I had the equipment to try... She has been great about giving me lessons on the fly during all too short visits -and making me stretch outside my comfort zone in colors and combinations.

From my other brother... lots about music and theater, and now some cooking, too... And how to write letters at certain times that are real "keepers"...

And lets not forget Mom and Dad - cake decorating (and frosting sampling!), cooking, gardening, basic carpentry (experience with aluminum siding and roof shingles!) - and more...

I could go on and on but lets just say they all have taught me in one way or another that the best tools in my toolbox are the ones at the ends of my arms combined with the one between my ears.

Thanks for the inspiration! I am working on passing it down to the next generation!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Inspiring Creativity

Our Lions Club just had our 2 day Country Fair, complete with antique tractor pulls, craft fair, the best Chicken BBQ in the world, live entertainment and lots of other fun. The first year I lived here I was actually an exhibitor in the craft fair, but since then Lions Club duties, and this year motherhood duties, have kept me from the ranks of the crafters...

But that doesn't mean I don't come away from browsing their booths with lots of new ideas - which is easy for me since I love to do so many different crafts. This year it was a fun folded photo album - great for a grandparent's brag book, or in my case, a thank you to the friend who showed me the booth knowing that I would figure out how these things were made and soon be making my own. I found a website with easy directions - so you can see what I am talking about, and make your own.

I took advantage of my photo editing software on my computer, and actually cropped and printed all the text and photos right onto my base paper, so no additional layers were needed. I just need to finish the front and back cover and then make 2 more for 2 sets of grandparents. What fun!

Thanks Cyndie!

Where does your inspiration come from????

Friday, August 18, 2006

Giving From the Heart

Last night I went to a bridal shower, and it was interesting to see the bride as she reacted to different gifts. Many were items from her registry, and those made her happy. A few were for her honeymoon, and those made her blush. And mine was handmade - and it made her cry.

I think that is why I like giving handmade gifts so much - they touch people in a way that a purchased gift often cannot. They can be so personalized, and not only are you giving the recipient an item, you are giving the gift of your time and your talent, and that is meaningful to most people.

My gift to the bride? A photograph of a rose from my rosebush - she had always wanted to get married in a rose garden in Canada, but logistics prevented that - so I brought a rose garden to her that she and her new husband can have with them always.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Letter "Q"

A game from a friend.

I was told to take my assigned letter and list ten things that begin with that letter and a brief explanation as to why I picked that word. My friend Jacqui gave me the letter Q for QueenBeeCrafts :-) (thanks Jacqui - I think?!)

Time to get out the dictionary and thesaurus!!
Do you want to play, too? Email me for 'your' letter!

1. Queen - For Queen Bee - what else! I have always thought it was cool that my first name means Queen, and that I could see my name on money from Canada, Australia and the UK. Does that mean it belongs to me? If so - send it here!!!

2. Quilts - I enjoy quilts - making them, snuggling under them, sharing the craft with my sister, creating quilts for others. I am not as patient with the actual "quilting" part of it, I enjoy the composition and assembly more.

3. Questions - they should call it "quoogle" instead of "google" because I am always on there trying to find the answers to the 'whys' in my life.

4. Quiet - because everyone needs some quiet time - if only to hear the world around them more clearly.

5. Quarter - I am in yard sale preparation right now so everything is rounded to a quarter.

6. Quotation - I love quotes and am constantly bookmarking collections of them online, and finding ways to use them in my crafts. A current favorite that is posted above my monitor: "A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees - Amelia Earhart"

7. Quick - I admit I am not a patient person - I read fast, craft fast (LOL) and like the instant gratification of many crafts. Perhaps that is why I don't like the "quilting" part of quilting?!

8. Quit - don't like to do it, try not to do it...

9. Quail - My son's godfather is a quail - this is his totem from Scouting and one special quilt I made for him featured 12 different totems all paper pieced block by block. The quail was the most complex and I will probably never ever do it again - but for him I would. He is that kind of person. So now every time I see a quail I think of Bob and how glad I am that he is a special part of our lives.

10. Quest - because everyone needs a quest (and a bit of Monty Python)

What is YOUR quest??

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fireflies and Bubbles of Joy

From a recent discussion with friends about joy and holding on to the small things....

One friend shared how she holds tight to the tiny things - even buried memories - the ones that bring you or brought you a moment of joy - she calls them fireflies. She says they're only bright for half a second but what a brightness they possess! She says the more you hold onto them, the more other fireflies will come to you. Place them in a jar - not a closed jar, as they need air - and that jar will soon shine more brightly than you could ever imagine.

A different friend shared about finding bubbles of joy. The bubble might pop immediately or might float gracefully for a few minutes. It won't last long; but then you must go and look for another bubble. They're there in everyday life; we simply have to look for them.

My son's giggles are today's fireflies -they seem to propogate even more giggles on both sides, and one of today's bubbles is seeing him hug Daddy goodbye as he left for work this morning.

What are your fireflies and bubbles?

Friday, August 11, 2006

No Peeking Allowed

Here is hoping that one of my sisters has not become a regular reader of my posts - not that I have been posting regularly - but this is her Christmas NO PEEKING ALLOWED!!!

This is my first official TyTote - the dragonfly was stamped with watercolor ink and painted with interference paints, then overstamped with permanant ink, then beaded for a bit of pizzaz. The lining is all tyvek as well, with a quote for something "special" everytime the bag is opened. the fabric was from my scrap stash, and is actually leftovers from a baby quilt made for this same sister's baby (not a baby anymore - he just started 1st grade!!!)

This is a nice size bag I think - I designed it as a cosmetic tote -hence the tyvek lining - and the handle will hang over a hook at the pool or gym.

Lots more ideas -and lots more tyvek! I just got a "free" sample of tyvekk coveralls from DuPont - size XXL so I will have lots of "fabric" to cut apart and use in my projects. It is softer than what I used here, so perhaps some different techniques. Postal envelopes are another source. Fun fun fun!!!