Favorite Quotes

Therefore do no worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. - Jane Austen

If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. -Mary Engelbreit

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tangles and Rainbows

My background check at Michael's came back and I start tomorrow! Hopefully this puts out good energy into the universe and I'll get some calls for interviews for counseling jobs soon.......

This week I mostly worked on the rainbow blanket below. I wanted to try out a granny stripe pattern like the ones I've seen all over the place. I wanted to try something slightly different. Each time I finish one rainbow pattern, I turn the blanket and have the next pattern start going in a different direction. I'm not sure if I like it yet but it is at least interesting. It is currently the size of a small rug. I took a pause on the crocheting to weave in the ends. Weaving in ends is boring and made my fingers hurt. I crave to just try a knot and be done with it. I will not do that however because that is what I did with the granny square blanket and after washing it, several of the squares became undone. Live and learn. 

I continued to work on my zentangle pumpkin. I'm really liking the use of the silver sharpie. Michael's is getting rid of all their Fall decorations. Sunday everything was 70% off. I bought three more pumpkins this size for less than the most of one full price pumpkin. I have not decided what I want to do with them yet. Maybe zentangle them as well. It just takes a long time to do one pumpkin. 

For a while I had paint at work for my residents to use. It became too much of a hassle because I did not have a good set up in my office. A bunch of my paint it stored in plastic jewelry cups that if the lid is not tight, air is allowed it. Shocker, teenagers are not the best at making sure the cups are snapped all the way. It was interesting to play with mostly dried out paint. The dark and light purples were dried out into a putty type consistency which I rubbed onto the paper. The magenta color was normal consistency for acrylic paint. 

To get in the Halloween spirit, I will zentangle this mask this week.  

These are the masks I zentangled last year. 

I taught a friend's daughter how to zentangle last year. She tangled the below images for me this past weekend. I bought small frames from Michael's and used black scrapbook paper as a background. More art for my future office. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Moss Stitching

I tried out the moss/granite stitch this week (follow this link for instructions). It takes more time that the other stitches I have tried out lately since it is all single stitches. I found it frustrating to start out and ended up permanently adding a twist in the scarf so it won't lay flat. Once is it is worn I don't think it will be too noticeable.  

I worked on this piece at my community's stitching group last night. Apparently it used to have 8-10 members but it is down to three, four if I am included. I am the youngest person by far but that's ok. One of the members is from Guatemala so I have increased motivation to try to learn Spanish again. 

After washing my completed projects with softener, it all feels soft and comfy. I rewashed the items after again because I am not a fan of the smell. After washing and drying the blanket I had to fix a couple squares that came undone. Luckily it is an easy fix.

Even though last week was mid-October, all the Halloween and fall decorations were 50% off. I bought a small craft pumpkin and have been zentangling on it. I found a metallic sharpie in my art supplies that adds a cool contrast.

I found this AMAZING yarn at Michael's designed by Isaac Mizrahi. It is super bulky and will feel great once it's done.
Unfortunately I ran out of yarn since each skein was only 69 yards. Hopefully I will start working at Michael's soon so I can justify buying more yarn in the near future. 
I started experimenting with the yarn I bought for a rainbow project. It will evolve hopefully over the week.
Another art journal entry 
This funniest thing I have seen all week. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Experimenting with Stitches and Scarfs

After accomplishing several project with granny squares large and small I decided to start experimenting with stitches that I had not tried before. My crochet knowledge is basic but I have learned a lot in the past few weeks from some helpful blogs. Eventually I will want to learn how to read crochet directions but right now I'm getting by without it. I'm enjoying the mindless stitches that don't require counting after the first row. 

Websites I found helpful this week:

I have found a pattern in my creative pursuits. When I am home for an extended period of time, I tend to engage in crocheting or quilting projects. A few summers ago when I was still in school but taking a lighter load, I crocheted my first baby blankets. Last year when I broke my ankle, I quilted two t-shirt blankets and my first first non t-shirt crib quilt. This summer during vacation I made several crocheted baskets. Now that I've been out of work for a month an a half I've created my first granny square crochet blanket, two crocheted baby blankets, and three scarfs. Outside of those times, I can not think of at this time any other long term project that I have undergone. In between this larger projects, I have done other creative things such as the drawing class , working in my art journal, or zentangling. I don't have a background in Art Therapy (yet) but think I am trying to replace the fulfillment I get from work through the larger projects. 

I played with the v-stitch for the first time and found this yarn extremely difficult to work. I crocheted five rows before stopping. This scrap will be probably stored until yarn bomber asks for my contributions. 
Throwback: This is the project which the picture above's yarn is from. I don't remember the yarn being nearly as difficult back then. 
My first experiment with a granny stripe. After doing so many granny squares this was easy. 

I did not get very far before running out of yarn. I love this yarn. I do not remember what is is called but I know it is designed for baby projects. It reminds me of t-shirt yarn but not quite. I hope to eventually find it again to finish it off. 

Throwback: This is the project that the previous two pictures' yarn is from. 
My first scarf. I ran out of yarn so it did not turn out a long as I wanted. I brought another skein today and plan on returning to it this week. I'd like it to be longer and wider. 

This is by far my favorite project of the week. These colors are left over from my granny square blanket and I LOVE the combination. I planned on giving this one away before I fell in love with it and and going to make another one to keep for myself soon. 

After watching my finish by v-stitch scarf, my mother took by to Michael's and brought several projects worth of yarn for me to make for her. I finished this granny stripe one yesterday.

One day after a morning of anxiety and disappoint I felt compelled to work in my art journal. 

Below are several screenshots of things I saw during the week that I found inspiring:

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Power of Distractions

For the majority of last week I worked on my husband's Christmas stocking. My fingers hurt a little by the end of the week from holding the needle. I love the results of cross stitching but my creative juices don't get following when working on these type of projects. I have found that a major positive effect cross stitching has is to quiet by brain. I have been spending a lot of time at home lately and I am not happy about it. While I have spent a good amount of time studying and applying for jobs, I can only do that so many hours in a day. The rest of the time cross stitching has helped as a distraction. I don't have to look at a clock and make sure I finish by a particular time. All I have to do is look at the pattern and make my needle move in and out. Anything to help take my mind off of my email rejections and lack of phone calls is a welcome distraction. 

The majority of the work was done in the top left corner.
I finished adding all the tiny Xs this week. Now I'm going back and adding the outlines. I believe it will help to give the cats more personality. 
This week I reorganized my yarns so they would all be in the same place. After looking at it all I determined that I have a lot of baby blanket colored yarn.

Last week I read an article (found with this link) about a journalist  having a horrible time finding age appropriate clothing for her pre-kindergartner. She searched multiple stores for clothing which shorts would be an appropriate length. So naturally I started another crocheted baby blanket, completely ignoring my plan to focus solely on the stocking.
 How my mind works: 
Step 1: I was appalled that some store think it would be appropriate for children to have shorts with an inseam of an inch. 
Step 2: I thought about what clothes I looked for when I was a kid. 
Step 3: I thought with dread about finding appropriate clothing for my future children. 
Step 4: I thought about a friend whose wife is pregnant. 
Step 5: I thought about making something else for my friend and remembered I had an upcoming car trip.
Step 6: Played with my yarn enough in my head that I had to play with it in real life.  
I ended up only making one small square. The pink isn't bright enough for my to make it interesting enough to carry forward. 

I wanted the project to be quick so decided to use three yarns at the same time again. This time I wanted to make a rectangle instead of a giant square so I read up some about granny stripes from here. This didn't work out like I planned because I used a significantly smaller crochet hook. It started out pretty stiff because of the density. 
I spent my car time well with this project and some Battlestar Galactica. I have seen the whole series but I'm trying slowly to get my husband more used to science fiction show. BSG is a good place to start since it focuses so much on the military and political maneuvering.  
Again I'm not in love with the color but I'm not making it for myself so I think it will be ok. I'm going to keep going until I run out of the white yarn with the blue and green accents, which won't be much longer. 
I'm looking forward to buying fabric softener before gifting this completed projects to their receivers. I'm not loving how they feel at the moment. 
I am going to start posting pictures of screen shots I take with my phone of pieces that I feel inspired by hence the following pictures. 

For purchasing home decor, my standards have become higher in recent years as I have gained more experience in crafting. I all too often have the thought, "I could make that".
This was at Home Goods. I love the store for some things but it is dangerous to my wallet. Not necessarily because I buy their products, but because it makes me want to go to Michael's to get the supplies to make this myself.