Thursday, January 30, 2014

#Creativeeveryday Weekly Round up

i haven't gotten nearly as much crafting done as i had hoped, although i have made a point of doing at least a little every day. The kids were home from school all last week, and have only had school once this week, so it makes it hard to really focus on my work. 

i still managed to get a few things finished up, and some progress has been made on other things.

i finished up almost all the necklaces i had started.  i'm dying to put in a huge bead order, but am trying to make do with i have right now.  i need to sell a few things before i invest more money into it. :) i'm quite pleased with how they've been turning out.

The jewelry is all available for sale on my FB page. i forgot home much i enjoyed making marble wraps. It's been many years since i've done any real beading.

A couple weeks ago i played around in the glass shop. i only spent about an hour or so down there (it's col!), but made a couple leaf pendants that i thought turned out okay. 

i took my favorite pendant and made myself a necklace. This one contains red and yellow jasper and tigerseye. i plan to make the other into necklaces and give them as gifts. i don't have a real passion for the glass word, but do like the idea of making my own beads and pendants to incorporate into my jewelry.

Playing around with some different styles.

My plan has been to work on dolls,  but with the kids home because of the weather i haven't had much time to put into them.  On Monday, they were finally both back to school and i was able to get quite a bit of work done on this doll.  i'm really happy with how her face/head turned out but i really don't care for the body pattern.  i'm going to finish her up and then try something quite different for the next one. 

i was looking for some Valentine's day themed activities to do with kids and stumbled across one of my old blog posts where we made the valentine owls.   As soon as i saw them i knew i had to make ew ones. My boy didn't want the Valentine colors this time, so instead he got a snowy owl.

i'm really trying to get away from making the bendy dolls, but sometimes i just have to make some.  This batch of Valentine fairies are available on my FB page.

So this is what i've been working on these past couple weeks.  What type of creative projects is everyone else doing? #creativeeveryday

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bee Kind Family Farm Kickstarter Project

Hey folks! My friends Jaime and Rob of Bee Kind Family Farm have started a kickstarter fund to help kickstart their Apiary & honey business.  If you are not familiar with Kickstarter it's a pretty cool idea. Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money.

Backing a project is more than just giving someone money.
It’s supporting their dream to create something that they want to see exist in the world. People rally around their friends’ projects, fans support people they admire, and others simply come to Kickstarter to be inspired by new ideas. 

Bee Kind Family Farm is a homesteading family of 3 located in the Mountains of NW North Carolina. They live in a Solar/ Off Grid home in the Pisgah National Forest where they organic garden, raise chickens and honeybees. They attend the local Farmers Market in the summer selling Honey and produce while connecting with people in the community.

i've known Jaime for many years, i first met her (online) back when she was selling patchwork on the website Back Porch Boutique. It has been amazing to watch their off grid/homesteading journey! They have been an inspiration to so many. They are really great folks and i look forward to seeing their apiary business grow!!  Please take a moment to watch the video and check out the kickstarter page for Bee Kind Family Farm.  

You can read more about Bee Kind Family Farm on their blog  Offgrid Homestead

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One year.

Jan. 22, 2013

"Sorrow prepares you for Joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart far better things will take their place." ~ Rumi

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Creative Every Day Challenge 2014

i suppose i'm a little late in starting a New Year's challenge now that it's almost the end of January, but better late than never.  Back in Nov. i noticed one of my online friends was taking part in an ART every day challenge. Each day she would post pictures of the progress made on whatever art piece she was working on at the time. i thought it was a neat idea, but with Nov. being such a busy month, and us preparing to move i did not have the time to join in.

With so many people posting New Year's resolutions, it got me thinking about what i wanted to do differently this year.   After a bit of thought, i knew i wanted to get back to living creatively and really focus on finding the time do at least one creative thing each day.

Rather than doing 'Art every day' i thought that 'Creative every day' was less limiting. It encompasses all forms of creative expression. So after deciding to create the challenge i googled Creative every day and found that there is already a group set up with an official challenge page.  So i signed up and borrowed the button so that i can follow along and hopefully stay motivated.  They do different themes, but i don't plan to do that...just do something creative each day.  A few of my fb friends have joined in as well, and we've been using the hashtag #creativeeveryday so that any one participating can share pictures of their current projects. If you choose to participate this way, the pictures must be set to public or they won't appear under the hashtag.

Since i am starting the challenge late, i haven't been creative every day of January, but i will be starting now. So far this month i have completed 4 crocheted hats, 5 rainbow window stars and 3 bendy dolls. i've started about 12 necklaces, and completed one. i also have two new Waldorf dolls started and 5 that need completed.  The necklace above is the first to be completed, i am hoping to finish up a couple others this afternoon.

Winter is really the only time i crochet, but once i start i can't seem to stop. i've been having fun making kitty ear and fuzzy fox hats again. i'm going to start a brimmed hat for Kenan in the next week or so.

In the past i have used tissue paper to make my window stars.  It has always worked out fine for me but i know most people use the kite paper. Last month i won a Gift Card to Imagine Childhood (amazing store!), and decided to finally order myself some kite paper.  It has just been sitting my dresser for a while, and i remembered it yesterday and decided to try it out to make stars! i'm so excited by how pretty they are! There are more colors than i had with tissue paper,, and they are much more vibrant!  i ended up making a few different folded patterns, and can't wait to play around with some more. 

Yesterday i also decided to play around in the glass shop. When i say play, i mean play...i dont really know what i'm doing.  Kenan gave me a basic demonstration of the basics several (7-10?) years ago, but he's never really given me any lessons. It's been several years since i've even messed around with the glass, and although i made myself a couple leaf pendants i definitely need a recap on how to finish off the pendant loops. :) With Kenan's shop back at home, i'm hoping that he might be able to fit me in for a lesson now and again.  i don't have a real passion for working with glass, but i like the idea of making my own pendants to use in the jewelry i make. 

So this is my start to the Creative every day challenge. i plan to post updates here on the blog about once a week or so, i'll also be posting daily photos on FB #creativeeveryday.   

i would love it if you participated as well! You can click the button at the top of the page and sign up for the official challenge, or just play along by posting pictures on fb, or leaving links here to what you are working on.  i think this is a great way to help motivate and inspire each other.

So who's in?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Year, New Beginnings, Back to Business.

When i first started this blog back in 2009, it was intended as a way to document and promote new work for my online business The Enchanted Tree.  i was also trying to maintain a personal family blog, but decided to combine the two and just focus my attention on this one.  This blog has become a way for me to document my creative journey, promote my work and the work of other craftsman and artists. It  is also became a journal of sorts where i talk about family life, homesteading, share pictures,recipes & craft ideas and occasionally host fun giveaways.  This past year i've also used it to help process things as we moved around and found ourselves far outside our comfort zone. 

With the new year i've found myself reevaluating the path i am on. i am trying to find my way again and accept that the path has changed a bit.  It's hard to feel like a homesteader when you are in a brand new house, with electric heat and a pantry full of store bought food.:(  

Delilah (my goat) was supposed to be bred last year as well, so we could start the spring with fresh goats milk. Somewhere in my 5 year plan, i had decided i wanted to raise dairy goats when i turned 40. :)  i was hoping to pursue making goats milk cheese and soap this year, but like many things it's been pushed to the back burner yet again.  

That doesn't mean i've given up on these dreams, it just means the path has changed and i'm not quite sure what direction i am heading in. i'm optimistic, and pretty open to the changes to come. At least i am trying to be. :)

When ever i begin to feel lost, i look for something familiar to get me back on the correct path. When i first began selling items online back in 1999, i was selling a variety of items. Patchwork clothing, hemp jewelry, rag dolls and beaded work. Beadwork became my main passion, but i could never focus on just one thing.  As the years passed, and life changed my crafting focus began to change and evolve as well. 
Once i began having babies, sewing and beadwork became almost impossible. Crocheting was something i could do while nursing/holding a baby, so crocheted hats was my main focus for a while. Then as the kids got older, my focus shifted to toys. Crocheted playfoods, felt animals, bendy dolls and soft sculpture dolls.

My plan for this year is to be a doll maker, and just a doll maker. However, having lost all of my supplies/patterns/dolls/yarns in the fire, it meant i had to start from the beginning again. So at the end of December i reordered all of the materials.  While waiting for the materials to arrive i decided to play around with some beads that a fellow beader had sent me.

What started off as one necklace to pass the time, quickly became many necklaces.  Just like that, i found my beading passion again.  i put in a bead order and am now eagerly awaiting my order. So perhaps this year, i can be a doll maker and jewelry maker. :) 

My doll making supplies arrived a few days ago.  i ordered from Weirdolls again. They are located in Ann Arbor Michigan which is my old stomping ground. :) They have high quality products, and comparable pricing. i was also able to pick up everything i would need from them- fabric, yarn, needles etc.  As much as i love the crazy handspun art yarns for doll hair, i decided to stick with the boucle for my first few dolls. Then hopefully i can sell them and put the money right back into buying more supplies.  The initial start up is quite expensive. i wanted to go with the organic fabrics this time around, i'm hoping they have the same quality and durability as the non-organic. 

i can't finish the necklaces i started until my bead supplies arrive, so i started on a couple new dolls. So much for staying focused this year. :)    i wanted to show off my new doll making basket, which was a housewarming gift from some neighbors. It's absolutely gorgeous, and was made by a local woman at Yoder Baskets.  Isn't it fabulous!!  This will allow me to carry them with me and work on them whenever i get the chance, rather than being limited to a craft room/space.

Kenan began moving out of the shop he was renting at the end of December.  He's been working on building new benches and getting a new set up in his studio downstairs. After being off work for close to 3 weeks, he is finally back to work. 

It's nice to have him working from home again.  He is actually here for dinner now, and able to spend time with the kids. For the past year it has felt as if he only slept here (while in the rental and camper) as he spent all of his time working.  Although there were some benefits to him having a shop away from home, there were definitely some disadvantages as well.  Although we had dreams of turning the shop in Willis into a gallery or store front, i think leaving it was the right decision and i'm excited to have him back at home.

So yeah, lots of change, lots of transitioning, change in our path but still moving forward.

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” - The Buddha


Friday, January 10, 2014

Holidaze and New Year.

My only real resolution for the New Year is to get back (or move forward) to when life was simple. December was anything but simple. Between trying to move in, prepare and decorate for Yule, back to back company and just trying to find normal again...the entire month was complete chaos and pushed me to my limits.

i just want to slow down, focus on what is important and create a new path towards simplicity.

i have always loved simple, natural decorations.  We celebrate the season, the winter time and the return of sun.  It only makes sense that our decorations reflect this. Pine cones are one of my favorite winter decorations. Sometimes we spray them with a hint of glitter and sometimes we leave them natural.

We lost all of our old decorations and ornaments in the fire, but because most of my tree decorations are intended to be impermanent we were able to easily remake and decorate in the way we always have. We purchased new lights, a box of blue glass bulbs, some glittery butterfly decorations and some ribbon.  Then we gathered pine cones, decorated gingerbread and dried fruits. Kenan provided the glass icicles.  

i hate the idea of cutting down a tree so we have always used a potted tree. After the holidaze we replant it back into the ground. It always depresses me to see those discarded xmas trees laying by the side of the road, and worse yet the ones that never even sold. :(  We use the same tree year after year, until it becomes too big to dig.  This is the same tree we used last year. It missed the fire by only a week or so. Not even sure why we replanted it so early, as i like to keep them inside a while often waiting till early spring to replant. It always feels like welcoming an old friend when we bring our tree back inside. :)

The kids and i spent a weekend making paper snowflakes. Then we hung them in the windows and above the kitchen, from the loft. i like that we will have very little to store for next year. The snowflakes, gingerbread, dried fruit...they can all be made fresh next year. As making our ornaments is part of our holiday tradition, and much more preferable to just taking them out of a box.

We had so much 'stuff' in our old house. This starting over thing, it's hard, but it also is a fresh start. i am trying to begin the new year with that perspective. This gives us a chance to be much more mindful in the things we bring into this house, in the things that we keep. i still have a lot of 'stuff' to go through in the basement, but i have very little that i am attached to now and so there is very little that i feel the need to keep.

For the first time my folks and grandmother came up from FL to spend the holidays with us. We haven't seen my Grandma in around 5 years, since the last time we made it down to FL.  So it was incredibly special to have her come up, spent time with us and get to see the new house.  They only stayed a few days, and then we had a few days break before some friends came in to visit from Colorado.  

Once everyone had left, we spent the next few days doing absolutely nothing. It was wonderful. 

i have never been so ready for a year to end. i gave myself the year to mourn, and now i'm ready to be done. i'm ready to start the New Year in a new house. i'm ready to focus on new goals and the chance to begin again.

i'm ready.

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
-Neil Gaiman