Friday, April 30, 2010

Schedule! Monday's post

I forgot to mention...  My car is currently in the shop.  I am hope hope hoping to get it back on Monday (else I'm screwed trying to get to work on Tuesday) but there are no guarantees.  So I am not sure if I will be able to post on Monday.  If I don't, expect a double post on Tuesday as I sum up how I destashed this month. 

Also, depending on my car situation, the post for Friday will be early on Thursday or later in the day on Friday.

Have a happy Beltane and May Day!

Create: April Showers Bring...

May Flowers!

I zoned last night and didn't finish my May Day baskets, but I do have some of these lovely flowers to show you.  Even something of a tutorial!  I learned how to make a different kind of felt flower last year, but this year the wonderful people at our Sew 'n Swap event taught us how to make gathered flowers from felted sweaters.  I don't have any felted sweaters available at home, so I used felt that has been in my stash.

To start, trace out the shape you want your flower - circles, rounded edges, spiky edges - and make several different sizes of template.
Next, trace the templates onto your felt then cut them out.  Once they are cut out, fold them and take a piece out of the center.  This the the part that you are going to gather around.  I try to do about dime size but the lovely Sew 'n Swappers figured out that the larger the center hole, the more bunched your flower is going to be. 
Then you do a gather stitch around the hole you have made.
Then you layer your three sizes, biggest on the bottom, and sew them together.  Instead of cutting off the thread when I finish sewing the smallest one, I simply knot it and start sewing from there.  Once that is done, you can cut some pieces of green felt and layer them on the back to make leaves.
We used pin-backs at the Sew 'n Swap to make these into broaches.  I think I am going to try to work some safety pins into the back so that I don't have to buy pin-backs.  We will see if it works.

Happy May Day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Write: The Joys of Spring

I always think of Beltane as a summer holiday, but it is still a spring holiday.  One of my favorite things about spring are the lilacs.  The smell is gorgeous, but since you can't recreate the smell (at least without it smelling fake), spring is the only time for it.  This time of year is when the juices of spring really get flowing, things are growing, and the trees are alive and full of leaves.  Get out there and enjoy it!

For this week's writing experiment, think back to a favorite memory/sight/smell/event that happens as spring really gets swinging.  Take ten minutes and write about that favorite thing.  Describe it in detail or sing about how it makes you feel.

This is the last week of April, so enjoy this last bit of poetry.  I will still be trying to write every day (which I've mostly accomplished this month, go me!) but I will try to get back to the exercises and prose in coming weeks. 

The lilacs are blooming,
the delicate blossoms emerging
from a sea of green.
The sweet scent
twirling on a damp breeze
brings memories of bouquets
gathered by small hands
gracing the table.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Inspire: Beltane! May Day!

Yup, I suck.  Sorry.  Was sick from work today and didn't get a post up.  This no computer thing is starting to get pretty annoying.

May 1st is May Day.  Also known to us Pagans as Beltane and a host of other names.  It's a holiday for ringing doorbells and running away from kisses, a night full of fire and broomsticks, a fertility celebration.  Beltane is one of my favorite holidays, although I'm almost always alone on a day celebrating the union of the female and male.  This week has been pretty rainy and it's only starting to get warm here, so it really doesn't feel like Beltane.  But the trees are going from a green haze to being covered in leaves.  Flowers are blossoming like crazy.  And it's possible to go outside without a jacket (on the days without rain). 

Our inspiration this week is this wonderful first day of May.  What will you be doing to celebrate the new fertility singing around you?  Will you be reviving the tradition of May Day Baskets?  Will you jump the fire or broomstick hand in hand with your significant other?

I know that I, at the very least (if it stops raining), will be painting a mural.  :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Create: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Crafts

I've discovered in this month of stash busting that 1) I suck crafting without a deadline, nothing is getting done, and 2) almost everything I have made has been stash because I'm always broke. :)  Here are a few of the things I've made recently.
Here is the haul I made for my poetry swap partner.  Yarn out of my stash for the sun and clouds.  Beads from stash for the rain drop necklace (I need to make one of those for myself).  Magnet and candy wrapper stash for the swallows and card.  Cardboard, white paper (saved from the trash at work from printer screw ups), and fancy paper from stash for the handbound journal. 

Here is what I was working on last night.  The little pouch is for my converter drive so I can share pictures with you guys!  Made from a pair of my son's old pants.  The flower is made of used envelopes from work.  The jars are a pickle and salsa jar, painted with modpodge and food coloring.  They are supposed to be candle holders.  The idea for the jars came recently from a post on my feeder, maybe from Craft?  I don't remember.

Have fun and remember your three R's!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Write: Fresh Earth

At some point, I am going to have to go back through my posts and rethink what the Write posts are supposed to be.  Should they be an exercise that you, dear readers, can do with me?  Should they be a place for me to randomly wander about with words?  Should they stick with the theme for the week?  Of course, I also need to start planning ahead and getting things done sooner than the day of. :)

This month we are mostly focusing on poetry and will continue that thread until next week.  Then we will decide where to go from there.  Maybe I will sit down with index cards and write out exercises that we could do.

Here is this mornings offering, based on the joy I felt yesterday from planting my garden.  I think the only thing that beats having fresh earth in your hands is the smell of black, fertile earth moist from the rain.  Mmmm.

Enjoy!

The bare earth,
tilled by a loving hand,
is loosened from winter's grasp
and turned into a yielding bed.
Embracing each young soul
it sings a lullaby of
questing roots and strong stems.
Each grain whispers,
calling visions of the
riches of the underworld,
promising gems and precious things
in the form of leaf and blossom.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Inspire: Earth Day

Earth day is right around the corner, folks.  For us in the US, April 22nd is a day to celebrate our planet and take steps to make sure She sticks around for many more generations to come.  Earth Day was founded in the 1970s as a way to promote environmentalism.

I am going to be celebrating Earth Day this year with my son's class.  We are going to be picking up trash and helping to beautify a park, I believe.  Normally Earth Day passes for me without any big fuss.  After all, I (mostly) practice reducing, recycling, and reusing.  I think most people have figured out the recycling part, but I believe more emphasis should land on the reducing and reusing R's.  It's great to recycle, but if you are still buying things with packaging or things that can be recycled, you are still using energy. 

It's not that difficult to find ways to reduce your consumption or to reuse items.  Rather than buying a new bottle of water every day, but a filter and a reusable water bottle.  Or buy a regular bag of chips and some Tupperware to make smaller portions instead of single serving bags.

Even just a small change can make a big difference.

For instance, I have been using Tupperware in my son's and my own lunches this year, but I've been buying him juice boxes.  I didn't want to fill his aluminum bottle every day because it would be one more thing he might forget and it won't fit in his lunch box.  Most Tupperware/other-brand drink containers that I have tried have all leaked.  But a month ago or so, a friend shared an article about Rubbermaid litter-less drink containers.  It had great reviews so I went out and bought a couple to try. 

My son loves them.  When I showed them to him and said that for less than his previous drinks, I could use these and buy a large thing of juice, he was all excited.  His words, without any prompting from me, were that now he wouldn't have to have as much trash.  I love my kid.

Here are some sources for Earth Day and things to inspire you to do your part:
Earth Day Network
Earth Day Wiki
April Stash Bust
Craft Leftovers

Happy Earth Week!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Extra! Noumenia Goals

It's that time again!  When the moon is new and the month is reborn.  Hail to Hekate.  Hail to all the gods.  Hail to the spirit of the house.

Last month I didn't make a list of goals, but I found myself trying to follow the previous months goals.  Which is a good thing.  I think that by trying to follow these monthly goals, I can try to change habits and make new ones. Unfortunately, I forgot to hold a ritual for Hekate's Deipnon last night although I was thinking of it all day, and I chanted while doing a bit of cleaning.  I made sure I paid my bills, except for one I need to go in physically and ask about ( I cancelled my cable and need to return equipment).  I am also not going to be able to do the Noumenia ritual tonight either, although I am going to try to do something in the small amount of time I have.  I have to go make sure our float is ready for the parade.

So this month I am only going to have one goal, in addition to the informal ones.  I've been getting out of touch with my religion lately, and I need to make a change again.  So this months goal is:

Keep up with your religion.

Until next time!

Create: Vintage House

In my lovely new (to me) basket filled with vintage goodness was this little house.
The instructions that are with it are for a 'gingerbread' house and after comparing the two, I'm not sure this little house is supposed to go with those instructions.  But it's neat.  It is plastic canvas and yarn.  I didn't make this one but my plan is to make a roof for it. Wouldn't this be cute with little flowers around the bottom?

After I make the roof for this one, I think I will dive into my stash of plastic canvas and maybe make some actual gingerbread houses for xmas.  I think I'm going to have to make a house with flowers too.  The picture on the instructions so the house as an ornament, but I think it's a bit too big to hang on my tree, so I might experiment with making it smaller.  Too much goodness!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Write: Where You Find It

I thought I would write a poem about my new nifty basket, but... it isn't ready.  I feel like it should be more of a metaphor and what I wrote sounds kind of forced.  I've got to work on it.  Shouldn't you all be happy that I want to work on something before I post it? ;)  Yeah, didn't think you would.  Especially because today's poem hasn't been worked on!  Hahahah!  Ahem. 

So today's writing challenge follows the surprising inspiration theme.  Go outside, look around for five minutes, and write about something you saw or something that suddenly gave you an idea.

Highway Signs

Signs point the way,
identifying branches from
the main artery
into small
veins.
Allowing the life blood to
travel without worry.
Never stopping for directions.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Inspire: Surprise Inspiration

Quick Note:  Sorry, again, for posting late.  Dentist appointment so no work today, and I tried all this weekend to get to the library and failed miserably.  The rest of the week should be fine. 

I went to the thrift store yesterday before a meeting because I forgot to check what time the library opened when I checked what time it closed.  I've been haunting the stores for cassarole dishes and parts for the childs theatre costumes.  I was overwhelmed with what I found.  It was amazing, I could have spent fifty dollars and still had things I wanted.  And for those of you not familiar with thrift stores, fifty dollars goes a long, long ways.

I am constantly reminded why I would rather go to thrift stores than the big box stores every time I go in there.  Yesterday I was drawn to a large square basket, the type with an attached lid, handles, and lock.  I thought it might be a picnic basket.  When I opened it up, it turned out to be full of vintage cross stitch and embroidery supplies.  For eight dollars, I had to have it.  Not only could it possibly be retouched to carry traveling craft supplies, but it was just awesome.  I aquired several patterns, some works in progress, about five unopened aida cross stitch clothes, and bits and pieces of everything.

This basket inspires me to continue to look around me, in unlikely spots, for inspiration for my life.  It keeps my eyes open to the world of possibilities, especially in places others think of as ordinary.  It's part of the art of poetry as well to draw out the mystery of the everyday.

What surprises and inspiration can you find in what others have given away?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Create: Poetry

Okay... I suck.  I've been so busy this week, I forgot to make you guys a craft!  And the craft I finished and was going to post I realized I can't yet, since it's for a craft swap that has not yet been sent.  I also forgot that my son's spring pictures were yesterday...  Sigh.

So today instead of a crafty arty project, you're going to get a second poem this week.  I promise I will be better prepared next week.  This morning we had plumes of fog over the bodies of water on my way to work, including the river.  I love seeing that.  It is so awesome and inspiring. 

Smoke on the Water

In the first light of dawn
as it kisses the grass
and teases the shadows
from dark hollows,
the golden rays embrace
the deep black water.
She sighs,
rushing along her bank
as they enfold her.
Rising above her surface
is proof of the love affair
that a voyuer remembers
the rest of the day --
passing witness to a mystery.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Write: Morning Poetry

Good morning, peoples.  In starting a month of writing poetry every day, I have found that I write mostly while traveling.  Good for me because I car/van-pool and don't have to drive, bad because I have a thirty minute commute.  Some people exercise in the morning (which is another thing to do when I catch up on enough sleep. :P), I am happy I am writing in the morning.

So today your challenge is one of two things.  Either write about, or during, travel or write about achieving your dreams.

This is a poem from this morning, please keep in mind I haven't edited it yet.  One of these days!

Skeletal limbs stretch bark blackened by the rain
In the warming air, a haze of green shimmers
and captures the gaze.
New leaves materialize
heralding the new season.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Inspire: Stop Dreaming and Do It

I had a talk with a friend recently about being tired of being good at a lot of things but not great at anything after a comment about how I should learn more about crochet.  She made a list of all the skills she had, narrowed it down to the top selection, and narrowed it down again to what she wanted to focus on.  I realized that that is sort of what has been percolating in my mind.  I have a million more techniques and crafts that I want to learn, but I want to become better at what I already know.

One of the things I want to be better at is my writing.  I just discovered yesterday that April is National Poetry Month.  For someone who wants to write, I feel pretty silly not knowing about this.  I probably did, but I tend to hermit and miss important information.  I'm slowly coming out of that and realizing what I should know and do to meet my goals rather than just dreaming.

At the same time, I've realized that I tend to try to skip steps, especially with my writing.  If you've read through the old blog posts, you might have noticed the 'get out there and do it' state of mind I've been in.  It's a great thought, but that doesn't mean I can go from not writing to submitting the next day.  I need to slow down and work on my technique, my poems, and just writing itself.  I want to have a body of work that I am proud of before I start submitting again.  Plus, that should hopefully keep me from writing poems for a specific publication.  That wouldn't be me being a poet, it would be me writing to get published.  They are completely different animals.

So, as it is April, I will (now) be trying to follow the Poem a Day challenge and devote the month to taking the steps to meeting my goals.  I hope to share the best with you.

What do you want to do?  How are you meeting your goals and dreams?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Create: A New Beginning

 Sorry again for the late post, didn't plan on not going to work today...

But on the bright side, I figured out how to get my pictures into your hands.  Since Easter is around the corner and we are talking about things that are rebirthed and given new life, I thought that the April Stash Bust going on is perfectly timed.  It's a great way to keep things from hitting the landfill or just sitting there clogging up your house.  Go on, check it out.  You know you want to.

So I am sharing a few things made pretty by trash, rather than stash.  I typically use stash items since I'm a broke bastard, but I'm going to make sure that all the items I bring you this month are things I already have on hand.

First us is a lovely little card I made yesterday out of a Fedex envelope and candy wrappers. 

I love the way it turned out.  It's all shiny and colorful. 

Next is a quick something I put together out of leftover colored paper from a work project.  Normally, this stuff would go in the trash, but instead I took a few and wove a quick basket.
It's not perfect but it's cute!

Have a happy Easter!