Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hobbies Are the "In" Thing

It seems everywhere I turn these days there is information on having a hobby or getting one if you don't already have a leisure time activity. The Digerati Life blog about money and other things has a great article on how to have a less expensive hobby - The Perfect Hobby: One That’s Cheap, Makes Money Or Becomes A Business.

Of course this would be awesome if it could work that way for crafters especially quilters and knitters who love to have the "stash". One of the comments on this article addresses this because of the advice of only "pick up what you need." I have yet to meet a crafter who can walk out of a store with only what they need for a project and then if they do it usually means they forgot something and will have to go back or make due if possible.

There is also the question if it becomes a business, is it still a hobby? I hope someday to be lucky enough to incorporate what I love to do with what I need to sustain an income. For now it would just be nice to break even.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vertical Quilting Curve Feed

Since I've started writing for the blog Vertical Quilting Curve I've been doing less over here because I feel like all I would be doing is repeating myself sometimes, but I don't want anyone to think I've dropped off the edge of the earth or worse that I am not keeping myself busy.

To help keep you connected to my quilting news I have added a feed of the Vertical Quilting Curve on the side panel so you can see the newest articles published over there. I am still getting used to the Word Press program that the blog is done through so I've only just started to add photos and I just added a photo of a new needle punch piece if you want to take a look.

Hope you get a chance to take a look!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Have a Great Memorial Day Weekend!

I am so glad its Friday and a holiday weekend at that! So far mine is off to a great start especially compared to a week ago when we had to go to the ER with our daughter and spend the weekend there for her to rehydrate. Last night we attended Kindergarten graduation and she is officially a first grader and we celebrated by going to her favorite place for pizza, Garibaldi's. It was a good tasting cheese only but at least cheap compared to real Chicago pizza that I love.

Don't forget that today is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who died serving our country. Also, look out for veterans selling poppies to help raise money for disable and hospitalized veterans. Without getting into politics I would like to say this is a very important cause to support the men and women who willingly put themselves in danger answering a call most of us don't have to. My father and both brothers served in the military but luckily did not need the use of the medical facilities although they covered WWII, Vietnam and the Cuban Missile Crisis. One of my strongest memories of my childhood is how my mother would make sure she went to town to buy her little paper poppy on poppy days. You can learn more about the story of the poppies that hospitalized veterans make by clicking here.

Have a fun and happy weekend!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Good News, Bad News

First off, I want to let everyone know my good news that I have a new writing gig at 451 Press writing for the Vertical Quilting Curve blog. So far I only have one post and will have another published tomorrow. A preview of the post involves the bad news of my daughter and her stay at the hospital this past weekend due to dehydration from a stomach virus. I missed quite a bit of work last week and really thought she was getting better until it decided to get really, really bad Friday evening. Luckily my in-laws were able to come in today to watch her so my husband and I can get back to a more normal work schedule while she stays home from yet another two days from school.

Also, since the new blog is a quilting blog, I will be keeping this one for all of my other crafting and everday life adventures. I will also still be doing articles over at Craft Critique. Speaking of, be sure to check out my last one on Michael Miller Memories fabric paper. It was published last week but I didn't get a chance to sit down and tell you all about it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Get a Hobby

A follow up post to 5 Reasons You Should Learn a Craft.

Over at Whip Up you can check out a book review and interview with the author: Get a Hobby by Tina Barseghian. Looks like a great reference for finding something different to do or a great gift for a retiree.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

5 Reasons You Should Learn a Craft

1. Exercise your creative side, especially if you have a regular job that doesn't allow for creativity. If you already have a career that is creative then try something that is different from your daily job. For example, if you're a graphic designer, take a pottery class or learn how to sew.

2. Relaxation. Many knitters, crocheters and other needle artists I know say they do it for de-stressing. In the November 2005 issue of Natural Health they ran an article "Knit one, relax two" where knitting was cited as a meditation method. Click here to read the article.

3. Meet new people. Make new friends. I've moved around a few times and I always make friends by joining the local embroidery or quilt guild. After moving to the Chicago area I used to find the Chicagoland Craft Collective and the Palatine Crochet Group. Most groups don't require you to be experienced in the craft represented just interested and there are always people willing to teach each other.

4. Make gifts for friends and family. Want to give someone a special gift that's not mass produced by someone overseas? Or, maybe you want to give something a little more personalized? Find a book, take a class or enlist a crafty friend to help you learn how to sew, paint or decoupage.

5. Just to have fun! Of course, this is probably included in most if not all the 1st 4 reasons but it is probably the most important. But, if you find you start a craft then decide it's not for you, don't give up on all crafts. Just because you're all thumbs and can't for the life of you cast stitches onto a knitting needle it doesn't mean you can't try to make that mosaic stepping stone for the garden.

I hope you give something new a try. Everyone has the ability to be creative in some way. Whether you scrapbook your favorite photos or quilt a full sized bed cover just remember to enjoy yourself, especially when you first begin. Your skills will improve with each step of the way and you will make new friends and impress old ones.

This post was inspired by Problogger's Group Writing Project. If you have a blog of your own and are looking at ways to grow or are thinking about blogging as a business Problogger is a great place to start.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Happy Scrapbooking Day!

Can you believe it? A day just for scrapbooking. This hobby has come a long way. If you don't believe me you can check out the official website for National Scrapbooking Day created by the National Scrapbooking Association. Scrapbooking has been around a long time but I have only recently been really interested as I play with all the beautiful papers and embellishments.

As my interest in the craft/hobby has grown I have even done a book review, Scrapbook Styles: Fabric and Florals, for Craft Critique that put scrapbooking with some of my favorite things involving fabric. At that time I did my first 12" x 12" page using a cute cat fabric and an assortment of photos of my first cat. Although it turned out nicely, it just wasn't quite finished. Since I had not been doing scrapbooking very long I really didn't have the embellishments to give it the finishing touch. The weeks following my original creation I went on several hunts to find just the right items but it seems like I would find something and then it wouldn't be the right color or size. Eventually I picked up enough things to sit down and embellish the page. As you can see in the photo, I didn't really add too much more but I feel like I accomplished a good page.

Some of the things I used to finish it were some star shaped brads from Spare Parts. These were especially helpful for attaching the matted photos to the page. Since I had used fabric for the background I didn't think glue or regular adhesive would hold up so I attached the photos to the background with the brads. Some other embellishments include Love My Cat stickers from Karen Foster Design, an acrylic heart piece from Spare Parts and fabric letters from Spare Parts.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Craft Critique: Altered Ikea Magazine File

Whew! I've been so busy lately with regular life stuff that the only thing I've done crafty lately is my article for Craft Critique and trying to clean up my craft room so I can have space to do more crafting. It is such a small space and I have soooo much stuff that soon it's hard to tell if there is an actual floor in there.

The magazine file I chose to do really got my creative juices flowing. I was cutting, gluing and even ironing. It turned out super well, too. I have to say I was very happy with myself since I haven't done that much papercrafting. You will have to see for yourself over at Craft Critique. I hope it inspires you. I know I will be making more and may do one for my daughter's teacher for an end of the year gift but probably not quite so involved. To see the details of how I made an altered magazine file and up close pictures just click on over to Craft Critique: Altered Ikea Magazine File.