ACrafty Interview with Linda Martin

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Linda Martin, quilter and pursemaker!

acrafty interview - linda martin bargello quiltWhen did you start crafting? LM: I think I have always worked on craft type projects. I remember as a child getting craft kits as gifts. Making collages, animals, painting, knitting, sewing, and crochet were always something I did. My Mom and Grandma always worked with me on them and taught me many useful skills along the way.

acrafty interview - linda martin painting of son jasonWhat crafts have you tried and what’s your favorite now? LM: I probably have tried most every kind of craft. In addition to those I already mentioned I have made many clothes, curtains, tablecloths and pillows. For many years I painted with oils and acrylics. I made many landscapes, portraits and animal paintings. Working with color and design was always part of my life. My favorite now is quilting. It’s been a natural progression of my interest in color and design projects.

 

 

acrafty interview - linda martin musical quiltWhat project are you most proud of? LM: Right now I’m very proud of a project I created this summer. I was asked by a friend to make a “music” quilt. I thought a lot about it and came up with a very free form kind of create as you go project. Of course I had the help of a friend as we brainstormed ideas back and forth. The quilt took me outside my normal comfort zone of making quilt blocks and putting them together.

acrafty interview - linda martin purse 2Have you ever started a project without a pattern or a plan? LM: I can’t think of a time when I didn’t have some kind of a plan, pattern or design in my head. Sometimes things change along the way, but I have a picture in my head.

 

 

 

 

 

acrafty interview - linda martin seaside quiltHas a project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? LM: Some projects have challenged me for sure, but I have always found a way to complete them. Sometimes I will put a quilt away for a while and let it rest! Really my head usually needs a “vacation” from it while I figure out a way to make it work.

 

How has crafting affected your character? LM: Since I have been making some kind of creative projects most of my life, it’s hard to tell if my character has developed because of my life experiences or creative experiences. I suspect it’s both.

acrafty interview - linda martin purse 1Since I was an elementary school teacher for over 30 years my organizational skills from teaching have certainly help me be better at my creative projects. When I began teaching we had to create our own classroom environment. That gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to draw and paint. I had always been too reticent to to take art classes because of fear of criticism. But as I got compliments and “oh wows” on my work from fellow teachers, my confidence grew. I gradually began painting. This taught me lots of perseverance because painting is very much a developmental process. Observing details is also important to a successful product. (whether it’s painting or quilting). Color and patterns in nature transfer to the finished painting or quilt.

acrafty interview - linda martin regatta quiltEven though I’m no longer painting, many of these skills apply to my sewing and quilting. The balance of color and design elements are also very important. This is often the most important part of the quilt. Without the right balance the quilt will not work. When I finish a project whether it’s a purse or a quilt I’m really proud of it. Sometimes I look at the result and say wow, I did it!

As I’ve gained confidence in my work, I’ve definitely become more adventurous to try new things. This summer I made a landscape and a portrait quilt (wall hangings really)! I guess I was brave to try those things.

acrafty interview - linda martin quiltCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? LM: Some of my friends who are not quilters have been curious about what I do. I have shared my skills with them as well as the process of creating a quilt. I helped and encouraged one to make a purse and a pillow! I have also given many quilts and purses as gifts.

acrafty interview - linda martin purse 3What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? LM: I’d like to continue with making purses and quilts, trying to expand my horizons with new kinds of projects. Another goal of mine is to do more free hand quilting on my long arm quilting machine. That’s a whole other learning curve!

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Linda for taking the time to participate in this ACrafty interview series, and thanks to previous interviewee, jeweler Ron Buhler, for recommending her for the series! Best of luck with the free hand quilting…

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodembroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!, needlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpitatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamilton, stone artist Jerry Locke, potter Nancy Germond, and Tina Puckett of Tina’s Baskets.

ACrafty Interview with Betty Busby – Followup!

I’d like to share the followup of my interview with Betty Busby…

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Betty Busby in person at her home and studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Betty was featured in my fifth ACrafty Interview in June 2013. As you can read in the interview, I am a fervent admirer of her work. Her use of color and the detail involved simply amaze me. acrafty interview - betty busby detail of quilt diatom 3

I won’t give away too much of what I’ve learned about her process, but she uses various combinations of Photoshop, digital printing, hand-painting, drawing, hand beadwork, and a hand made longarm quilting machine to achieve some of her effects. And those effects are stunning!acrafty interview - betty busby detail of her quilt reliquary

She also has a fabric stash that would make any quilter green with envy. I didn’t want to take a photo as Betty was a bit shy about her studio space – but I will say that my jaw dropped when I saw it.

acrafty interview - betty busby with her quilt disco urchinBetty is a true artist, and it was a great pleasure to meet her. Her quilts are in exhibits around the country and she does teach classes a few times a year. If you enjoy her pieces, I highly encourage you to follow her adventures and hopefully cross paths with her someday!

[Photo: I’m on the left, and Betty in front of her piece Disco Urchin]

 

You can follow Betty through her Etsy shop, her Flickr photostream, her website, her blog (which contains info on some of her techniques), and she JUST started selling fabric patterns through Spoonflower!

Five Favorite Projects for DIY Crafty Goodness

I’ve been inspired once again this week by the Link Love post from Diane at CraftyPod and will share my five favorite projects (thus far).

Honeycomb Hexagon Wall @ Vintage Revivals-2#1 is this outstanding hexie ombré wall by VintageRevivals. First time I saw this photo, I was rendered nearly speechless – I mean HOW COOL IS THIS WALL!

 

 

Pin cushion tutorial#2 is this lovely and larger size pincushion tutorial from Lori at TheInboxJaunt. Love the ocean colors and the pattern in this small piece.

 

 

#3 is this tutorial from Jesse at NineRed that not only shows how to paint some awesome hexies, it also has great information about refinishing any piece of furniture, even if it’s ugly 70’s plastic!

 

 

 

Melted Bead Suncatchers#4 are these melted bead suncatcher projects from TheArtfulParent. These are so simple, fun, and bright, I can’t wait to try them out someday with the kids in my life.

 

 

hexagon crafts - scrapbook paper wall art by itsalwaysautumn#5 is this tutorial by Autumn at itsalwaysautumn. I knew this was something I wanted to try as soon as I saw it. It’s simple, inexpensive, gorgeous, and a great way to use and display some of your favorite scrapbook papers.

 

I’m going to give honorary mentions to two other projects – first is is this tutorial on popsicle sticks from LiEr at Ikatbag. These are great fun! Her kids did a good job…

 

 

Nicey Jane hexiesThe second honorary mention is this tutorial for bordered hexies (found through CraftyPod) that really makes me want to dive into making some of these little buggers!

 

 

I’ve made the last two links into honorary mentions as I showed the same photos in my link love post last Friday as well. As much as I love these projects, I just didn’t want to seem too repetitive.

You also might tell that most of my links here feature hexagons. Well, they’re from my four part series on hexagon crafts! Next week, I dive into a series on health-promoting crafts starting with good ol’ H2O – stay tuned…

My Top 5 Posts of 2013 Thus Far

I’m following the lead of Diane (of CraftyPod fame) today and posting my top 5 posts of 2013 thus far.

#1 Most Popular: Part two of my series on hexagons (HEXIE MADNESS, really), that covered crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, and last but not least, popsicle sticks. The hexie origami boxes are proving to be the most popular outgoing links, but my sentimental favorite has to be this colorful and fun popsicle stick hexagonal basket.

ACrafty Interview - Katie Kutthroat ain't nobody got time for that cross stitch#2 Most Popular: The ACrafty Interview with Katie Kutthroat. Katie was one of the first people I ever contacted on Twitter. Katie’s cross stitch has always cracked me up, and it has been seen on the set of the HBO show Girls. It was very interesting to get a glimpse into her crafty process and to see how she benefits from stitching.

#3 Most Popular: My book review of Crochet Saved My Life by Kathryn Vercillo of CrochetConcupiscience. Her book explains the benefits of crochet for a variety mental conditions including depression, anxiety, OCD and addiction, for physical conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis, and as a tool in occupational therapy.

Her book also has a curious physical effect! Read the review for more info about Kathryn’s fantastic world of crochet.

 

Nicey Jane hexies#4 Most Popular: Part one of my hexagon series, this one covering quilting (featuring a link or two to CraftyPod), leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry. Of all the links, I think the most popular is probably these bordered hexies, although the Diane von Furstenburg box clutch gets a lot of attention as well.

acrafty interview craftypod quilting happiness book cover#5 Most Popular: I’m very pleased to say that it’s my ACrafty Interview with Diane of CraftyPod! Diane was so gracious to give some of her valuable time to my fledgling blog. I have to say that CraftyPod is a wonderful resource of crafts and craft blog information, and I highly recommend anyone in a creative field to follow her adventures (and best of luck with the new book launch this week, Diane!).

 

 

ACrafty Interview with Cresus Parpi

Welcome to this ACrafty Interview with Cresus Parpi! Haruhi Okubo is the creative mind behind the creative and intricate needlepoint of Cresus-Parpi.

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - hanabana floral needlepointWhen did you start crafting? HO: I started that when I was an elementary school student. I was taught art by my father and handcraft by my mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? HO: I have tried embroidery, knitting and crochet, patchwork quilt, hand weaving, dressmaking, and hooked rug. My current favorite is needlepoint.acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - mwwm bright yellow wave interference needlepoint project

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - impromptu coaster set 16 needlepointWhat is your most popular (or bestselling) project? HO: The impromptu coaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - gaso needlepoint clutchHave you ever started a project without a pattern or plan? HO: The pattern is usually drawn on the canvas by freehand, after having drawn some ideas in a sketchbook.

As for the GASO series and some others, the pattern is made with a PC.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the biggest craft project you have ever attempted? HO: The (90 cm square [35 in. square]) zigzag drive rag rug.acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - zigzag drive rag rug

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - impromptu coaster set 5 needlepointWhat craft project are you most proud of? HO: The coaster series. I made a plan to make 100 pieces of them. And I achieved it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Has a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? HO: My eyesight failed rapidly by this work. I thought that I should have made it with more low count canvas (this project used 40 H.P.I. [holes per inch] silk gauze). [Note: Haruhi typically uses 10 H.P.I. canvas]acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - hina dolls tiny needlepoint

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - impressionist sweater knittingHow has crafting affected your character? Has it made you more patient, grateful, organized, supportive, adventurous, persistent, proactive, independent, diverse, imaginative, observant, expressive, consistent, brave, calm, etc.? HO: All of those, and taking good care of things (recycling, ecology). Even the scrap of thread and cloth can become the necessary materials. Like [a] patchwork quilt or hooked rug or embroidery for strengthen[ing] cloth (sashiko), etc… The number of times to throw away my old clothes decreased.

 

 

Can you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? HO: There was the person who dropped tears to see my works. They seemed to be impressed… arigato…acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - shikaku colorful squares needlepoint cushion

What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? HO: I want to challenge a work of large size, because I made many works of small size. I think that it will be the tapestry by the needlepoint.

Many thanks to Haruhi for giving us a glimpse into her craft. Being a needlepointer myself, I am an enormous fan of her work. The creativity, the quality, and the speed at which she creates these pieces always impresses me. In fact, the first time I saw her stunning MWWM Bright Yellow work (second picture down in this post), I’m sure I caught my breath. I highly encourage everyone to look at the Cresus-Parpi Flickr Photostream and see all the pieces that I couldn’t include in this post.

You can follow the adventures of Cresus-Parpi on her websiteFlickr, and Etsy. She also sells some of her pieces through the TakeHeartShop in Austin, Texas, and you can read more about her clutch bags and her history at the ShopFloorProject.

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodcross stitcher Katie Kutthroatembroiderer Sasha of What! No Mints?quilter Betty Busby, embroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!, and the multi-talented David Tedin.

Book Review: Crochet Saved My Life by Kathryn Vercillo

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of finding the CrochetConcupiscence blog. Kathryn’s work on that blog, rounding up the best of crochet from around the web, is to be lauded. Not only does CrochetConcupiscence cover the best in patterns and projects, but also the best in what crochet can do FOR crafters.

Her book, Crochet Saved My Life, is a thorough summary of the benefits of crochet. Through a combination of interviews, article research, and her own personal experience, Kathryn explains the benefits of crochet for mental conditions including depression, anxiety, OCD and addiction, PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, and dementia, for physical conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, restless leg syndrome, and Menière’s disease, and as a tool in occupational therapy.

The book isn’t “light reading,” but Kathryn keeps the writing interesting and direct. The stories around her own experience as well as the two dozen other people she interviewed are presented matter-of-factly – as a way to demonstrate how crochet has benefited their particular situations. And the benefits are many: calmness, focus, relaxation, creativity, productivity, generosity, and increased self-esteem just to name a few.

a crochet hook heartAlthough the book focuses on crochet, as a needlepointer and cross stitcher, I know that I definitely experience the same benefits as Kathryn’s crocheters. Fortunately, I do not suffer from any of mental or physical conditions mentioned in the book, but I still benefit from my craft. Indeed, I tend to think of my needlework as a bit of preventive medicine! I can easily see how many of the same benefits apply toward other crafts – knitting, scrapbooking, woodworking, gardening, pottery, beading, weaving, jewelry making, quilting, just to name a few.

Polymer Clay Crochet Hook HandlesI would recommend this book to anyone dealing with any of the mental or physical conditions listed above either with yourself or with a loved one. I would also go as far as to say that psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, counselors, gerontologists, life coaches, and other professionals in mental and physical health would find this book a very valuable resource in their toolkits.

One final, rather curious, comment about this book. In her chapter on depression, one of the topics Kathryn covers is the sense of touch. She mentions that “a fuzzy pet can be a great comfort,” and that “the feel of working with yarn can be one of those healing touch options” as well. Well, I found the book itself to have a similar beneficial effect! To be specific, the feel of the edge of the book and quickly flipping the pages with my thumb had a very calming effect. In fact, I found myself thumbing the pages almost unconsciously while I was reading. Fascinating!

Visit CrochetConcupiscence for the latest in crochet trends and benefits. And visit CrochetSavedMyLife.com for more about the book and Kathryn’s work.

Hexagon Crafts – Part 1

Welcome to this series on hexagon crafts, which should really be titled HEXIE MADNESS! Hexagon crafts are incredibly popular, and have been for years. It’s a trend I think and hope will be around for a long time. This is the first of four posts covering hexagon crafts ranging from crochet to cakes, pottery to popsicle sticks, and everything in between.
Hexagons

[Photo: Detail of a giant kite by Gerald Keller via Flickr]

Before I get into the specific projects, I’d like to share this story by Megan of SewingInCircles. While she was traveling, crafting hexies had a huge anxiety and stress-relieving effect for her:

“…we were stranded, flights were cancelled, next available flights were two days later….clearly a time when either alcohol or chemistry would be needed to calm the nerves.

“But never fear, the hexies are here!! (and a large glass of wine)

“By the time we actually boarded a flight, I was frazzled, I was like frazzle rock, or frazzle wrecked. But I pulled out my hexies and started to sew. The hexies were with me because I had no other handwork that was in a state to travel. But once again, handwork saved me on the flight from shaking the whole way.”

This is a great example of how crafts can benefit us all. So take a look at these great hexie projects, get inspired, and get crafting!

Hexagon Crafts in Quilting

Spoonflower-placemat-finished-2Diane of CraftyPod created this tutorial for Spoonflower for making these modern and bright quilted hexie placemats.

 

 

 

Nicey Jane hexiesThrough this link love post from also from Diane, I saw this tutorial for bordered hexies that, like Diane says, makes me “want to chuck my whole To-Do list out the window and spend my day making these things.” The colors and fabrics in this photo by Silly Lil’ Doe! are so attractive!

 

hexy mug rug tutorial 17Here’s a great tutorial from SewHappyGeek on how to sew a mug rug made of all hexies:

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts - scrappy quiltAnd I love the vintage and scrappy feel of this quilt pattern available from BrigitteGiblin. This is a great way to show off some feature fabrics and get your hexie fix at the same time!

 

 

 

 

jeni baker color hex quilt patternIf you don’t feel like making a zillion tiny hexies, PinkChalkFabrics offers this Color Hex Quilt Pattern by Jeni Baker. Very fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hexagon NecklaceWild Olive takes the quilted hexie to the next level with this tutorial to make one into a necklace,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and MicheleMadeMe has this tutorial available on making this adorable fabric hexie headband!

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Leather

POUF - leatherI found these two products that certainly could be used for some crafty inspiration! The first is this very fun leather hexie pouf by KSIA-Berlin.

 

 

 

 

Diane Von Furstenberg Tonda Hexagon Patchwork Leather Box Clutch in Orange (blush) - LystSecond is this elegant and colorful box clutch by Diane Von Furstenberg via Lyst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Scrapbooking

hexagon crafts - scrapbook paper wall art by itsalwaysautumnI knew this tutorial by Autumn at itsalwaysautumn was a keeper as soon as I saw it. It’s simple, inexpensive, gorgeous, and a great way to use and display some of your favorite scrapbook papers!

 

 

 

 

Hex4Kelly Purkey on her It’s Me, KP blog has this very useful Photoshop tutorial on how to make hexagon photos without using a punch.

 

 

 

open hexagon explosion boxI had never really heard of an “explosion box” before I saw this hexagon box project by Karen on CraftsForAllSeasons. I imagine it would be a great present for someone who already has everything! Very clever…

 

 

When it comes to hexagons in real-live full-on-scrapbook pages, I’m going to direct you to this article by the GetItScrapped crew at DebbieHodge.com. The article covers using hexagon shapes, creating visual interest with hexies, using hexagon embellishments… covering just about every way hexies can be used in scrapbooking layouts. An excellent resource!

 

Hexagon Crafts in Weaving

hexagon crafts - woven hexagon by noreen crone findlayNoreen Crone-Findlay has a video tutorial on how to weave a hexagon using a Lily Speed-O Weave Loom. I can only imagine how warm a blanket made from these woven hexies must be…

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Jewelry

Beadweaving Tutorial No 27 - Hexagon PendantHere’s a tutorial from Lynn Davy available on Etsy on how to make this fun, colorful, and sparkly crystal hexagon pendant,

 

 

 

 

and I found instructions to make these basic hexagon stitch beaded earrings from Chris Franchetti Michaels on About.com.

 

 

 

 

Honeycomb Necklace, Geometric hexagon jewelryYou might find some inspiration in this simple and elegant geometric honeycomb necklace by HyJewelry on Etsy,

 

 

 

Neon Statement Necklace, Honey Comb Hexagons, Modern Molecules Geometric Jewelryand with this bright and gorgeous neon statement necklace made of leather by BooandBooFactory. BooandBooFactory features a lot of hexagons throughout their shop – check ’em out!

 

 

 

Green Hexagon mosaic shell cuff (cuff button cuff links).For the sharp dressers, I spotted these beautiful mother-of-pearl hexagon cufflinks from CuffCuff.

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts - hexagon earrings by india hicksAnd finally, once again not a tutorial, but I just ADORE these earrings by India Hicks that were available at Bloomingdale’s. They’re beautiful, and with the right outfit, they would be absolutely stunning!

 

 

 

 

 

That gorgeous note concludes this, the first of four articles on hexagon crafts. Is there anything else in these five crafty categories (quilting, leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry) that you would like to add in the comments?

Stay tuned for hexie crochet, pottery, painting, needlework, stained glass, gardening and much much more!

[Update: here’s links to Part 2 (crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, popsicle sticks), Part 3 (sewing, pottery, knitting, quilling, woodworking, plastic and stained glass), and Part 4 (paint, cross stitch, embroidery, baking, lamp making, and gardening)]

ACrafty Interview with Betty Busby

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Betty Busby! It is my honor to present her art as I am a fervent admirer of her intricate, colorful, and unique work.

When did you start crafting? BB: My two younger sisters and I had “arts and crabs” sessions from way, way back – we were all in elementary school.
acrafty interview with betty busby quilt color me happy
What crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? BB: I love a whole ton of things – I actually have a degree in ceramics, and ran a ceramic tile manufacturing plant in Southern California for almost 20 years. I also enjoy knitting very much. Except when it’s too hot out (smile).acrafty interview with betty busby quilt la luz
What craft project are you most proud of? BB: It’s hard to say, currently I am very honored that one of my pieces was awarded Best in Show at the Form, Not Function exhibit at the Carnegie Center. It’s entirely handmade, and took a big chunk of last summer to make.
[This is the winning piece from 2013,titled Retia.]
acrafty interview with betty busby quilt retia
What is the silliest question you’ve ever received about your craft (aside from this one)? BB: Well, somebody will always ask you if it can be washed.
acrafty interview with betty busby quilt diatom 2
What is the one question you wish someone would ask about your craft? BB: Would you like to have a solo show in my 5,000 square foot museum!!
acrafty interview with betty busby quilt after rain
Has a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? BB: They are all challenges – every time I do something, it’s a bit of an experiment in a different way. I’m working on something right now that is about 180% different from the way I had planned it. Not finished yet, hope it will be worth all the trouble it’s been!
acrafty interview with betty busby quilt push
How has crafting affected your character? BB: I’m sure it’s made me more persistent. I have a “rule” for myself that each project must be finished before the next one gets worked on. So that forces me to get over the “humps”- that boring place when it seems like it’ll never get done – that most of us face.
acrafty interview with betty busby quilt night jungle
Can you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? BB: We had a 16 year old German exchange student one summer. She told me she liked to draw, and I showed her how to translate that into fiber art. She had never sewed before, but loved it so much that she stayed an additional couple of months and made three quilts while she was here. All while barely being able to speak English!
acrafty interview with betty busby quilt enigma
What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? BB: I’m about to leave for Florida for the opening reception of my solo show at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. It’s a very big honor, but also nerve wracking since all eyes will be on me!
acrafty interview with betty busby quilt ojo caliente

Betty, I just can’t thank you enough for your time. Best of luck with all of your future endeavours… 

You can follow Betty on her blog and at her Etsy shop. I also highly suggest you check her Flickr Photostream to see more of her amazing creations. And I have a sneaking suspicion that I will feature more on this blog with Betty in the future. 

Would you like to be a part of this ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with knitter Sabrinacross stitcher WhateverJamesmulti-crafter Diane from CraftyPod, and knitter Apockylypse!

Linky Goodness – Embroidery, Fabric, and Knitting x 2

In my ongoing mission to demonstrate how crafts can make us better people, here’s the next installment of linky goodness!

Schindermania at Aviva House

photo-7Sometimes the good isn’t in the crafts you make – the good is in the crafts you help others make. Ellen Schinderman volunteers teaching needlework to girls who are in the justice system. She sums her feelings up well in this post when she says “Not only do I get the selfish joy of giving back – and feeling ‘there but for the grace of God go any of us’ when I see the situations these girls are in and from – but I adore my girls!!” I’m left wondering if the teachers at Fine Cell Work get the same type of buzz from helping their inmates.

“Why Knitting and Yoga are Perfect Bedfellows”

Yoga Wrap and Legwarmers_Page_1The Guardian published this excellent article which shows how knitting and yoga complement each other. Some knitters use yoga to help solve some of their repetitive motion problems. Knitting is also very calming, producing effects similar to yoga and meditation. The article cites some impressive statistics about the benefits of knitting on thought and concentration.

Make Time to Play!

fabric scrap storage I love this post by Melissa at 100BillionStars about the value of play. She always has some fabric scraps around, and for her “this is where the ideas come from, where the sparks of creative fire reside.” She also says that “play has no hard and fast rules, except one….let go… of every negative and critical thought.” A way to tackle this rejection of judgment can be found in this article that I posted previously. This is excellent advice for people working in any craft.

A Free and Powerful Mind

This interview with Annie Modesitt was published when her book, Romantic Hand Knits, was released in 2007. When asked how knitting has brought romance into her life, she answered: “When my mind is free—and powerful—the way it feels when I knit, then my soul soars a little and all of this adds a layer of joy to my life. Not to put too fine a point on it, this makes me love life, and love love, in a much deeper way, which in turn makes me more lovable. Nothing is more attractive than a quiet self confidence, which is what I get from knitting.”

She goes on to say some great things about brilliance being in all of us, and also shares some constructive thoughts on women’s body image issues. An outstanding, positive interview!

What do you think of the links above? Do you know of any inspirational craft blogs or posts that you would like to see in a future edition of linky goodness?

1939 Movie Crafts

For me, movies and crafts go hand in hand. Not only do I get inspirations for craft projects from movies, I can craft while watching movies. I also learn and try to improve myself from movies – see how to act in some situations and how NOT to act in some situations.

1939 was arguably the best year ever for movies. Dark Victory, Gone With the Wind, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Gunga Din, Love Affair, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, and Wuthering Heights (among others) all were released in 1939.

I’m a big fan of Cary Grant, and now that I have a DVR, I’ve been catching up on his movies that I haven’t seen yet. A couple of weeks ago, I saw Only Angels Have Wings for the first time and I just loved it (here’s a good review). Looking it up online, I discovered it was released in 1939 as well. So I’ve been wondering “are there any 1939 movie crafts out there?” The answer is a resounding YES! Take a look:

 

 

 

 

I found this charming movie quilt by Joan Bjork that features three 1939 movie characters – Bette Davis in Dark Victory, Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, and Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind. The quilt also features six other amazing actresses, Debbie Reynolds, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ingrid Bergman, in some of their most famous roles.

Then I found, via craftgossip.com, this adorable felt Scarlett and Rhett pair by DeriDolls. She really did a wonderful job on the details for this epic couple from Gone With the Wind.

 

 

 

Ehow.com has a tutorial on how parents and kids can make a stagecoach from cardboard boxes and craft paper, while hobbylinc.com offers this 1848 stagecoach scale model kit.

 

 

 

 

Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights Cross Stitch Pattern Sunday Avery created this Heathcliff pattern, complete with torrential Wuthering Heights rain, available at her Etsy shop, BookPilgrim.

 

 

 

 

 

Geeky Cross Stitch KIT There's No Place Like HomeOf all these movies, the most popular and most crafted has to be The Wizard of Oz. There’s a TON of crafty goodness inspired by the movie. This cross stitch kit by Leslie at DisorderlyStitches puts a cool contemporary twist on the popular quote, as does this Wizard of Oz lineup pattern by PixelPowerDesign.

 

 

These DIY cupcake toppers from SweetPaul gave me a good chuckle, and Craftsy offers this Technicolor knitting pattern called Dorothy’s Dream.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I really like this inexpensive, simple, and colorful rainbow project for young kids at MomsCraftySpace. So cheery, and streamers are always fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are any of the 1939 movies on your list of favorites? Have you ever made a crafty project inspired by one of these movies?