Where I come from there is a belief that the way your first day of the year starts, it will be the way your year is going to unfold.  And I don’t really believe in that, except that this year that really has been the way.  On January 1st I drove with my family to San Diego for a short getaway to Legoland.  Then I was back a week later in Anaheim for the Craft and Hobby Association Mega Show.  Then a day trip to Sedona and Gerome.  A hike to Usery Mountain on the outskirts of Phoenix.  Busy I tell you.  Off course in between all of this I still work full time and devote my spare time to making things, practicing, getting better, keeping the flow, feeding the muse or the muse feeding me with ideas and visions of what I want to make.

Here is a quick little show off for you of what I have been making.  I am in the middle of a project and that I will post when I am done.  For now these:

I needlefelted these little hearts using a cookie cutter tin for the shape.  I proudly wore one over Valentine’s day.

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I saw an easy pattern for a skirt, so I tried to make one with whatever fabric I had on hand.  I like it.  I will be making more soon.

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And my table at one point looked like this with many projects going at the same time.

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For Christmas I got a book with Lenore Tawney collaged postcards.  Her work is so beautiful.  So…I was going to try to work on something similar.  I did want a bit more color than her work, and somehow most of mine turned dreamy pink and blue. I keep trying…

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Wow, I had not realized that I haven’t posted anything in a long time.  Life got a bit busy.  I started the year with a vacation to southern California.  You can read about it here and here and here.

Then I went back to California alone for the Craft and Hobby Association Mega Show.  Alone.  This was quite uncomfortable.  But I made some new friends, took a workshop and made some ice resin jewelry, learned about new products and craft materials coming out, got inspired, and drove through the desert and found some junk that I picked up to turn into something neat.

Shortly after I returned I got the flu, and it took me a week to recover.  Still battling a cough that comes and goes unexpectedly.

I have been working on some things that I will share with you soon.

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I have several jars of buttons.  All kinds of pretty buttons.  Small, big, shiny, colorful.  The problem is when I am looking for something I have to empty the whole jar to look through, and then maybe the next jar, and the next.

So it was the case the other day.  I am not sure why I was looking for a button, but in the bin with my button jars, I came across two dishes full of nick-nacks.  And among those trinkets and such, I fund a handful or more of shrinky dink charms I made long ago and used to sell at a boutique in Gilbert.

The shrinky dinks had Arabic symbols with the English interpretation underneath it.  Going through all those made me forget why I needed a button in the first place and I got all excited about making something with the shrinky dinks I found.

So here…work in progress….shrink dinks and fabric scraps, put together with few machine stitches and few hand stitches and little works of art emerge.  These will soon be necklaces.

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When I sit down to create I try to involve my children.  My daughter especially.  She is 6, and enjoys creating along side me.  I too enjoy creating along side her, except for the times when she can’t help herself and talks, sings or asks questions all the time.  It’s hard for me to be creative or even get in a flow when I am asked to spell this or that, or to come over to see what she’s created.

So in those times I make things that don’t require too much creativity, but still include making.  I needed to work on this necklace and was hoping to finish it.

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Instead, I made little circle holders for several pairs of earrings I made some time ago.

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A quick tutorial on the Christmas cards I made this year to send to family and friends.  They are also available for purchase here.

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You will need: blank card/envelope, index cards, washi tape, scissors, little bit of yarn and a sewing machine.

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Tape the washi tape on the index card.  I used 4 strips on each of the long ends of the index card.

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Trim it, and then cut into two sections of 4-washi tape-panels.

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Cut the 4-strip-panels in half.wpid-img_20141206_013838.jpg

Then shape each half into a Christmas tree.

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Place a Christmas tree in the center of a blank card, adding a little strip of yarn for the tree trunk.

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Stitch it in place on your sewing machine.

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Write a holiday note.  And mail it to someone special.

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It has been some time since I’ve made any jewelry.  I tend to go in cycles.  I sew.  I needlefelt. Then I switch to paper.  I stamp.  I collage.  Then I take the paper to the sewing machine.  I take some paint.  I give it a try.  I put it away.

Here are a couple of pieces that I made some time ago.  Probably around the time I learned zentangle.  I zentangled desert blooms.  And made some soldered jewelry with the tiny zentangle squares.

Available in my etsy store.

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This Friday (Black Friday) I am teaching an ATC (artist trading cards) class at Jerry’s Artarama in Tempe.  The miniature pieces of art are quick and easy to make.  They can be matted and framed.  You can put them on your wall or gift them.  They also make great gift tags.

If you are free, and in the Phoenix area, please come.  There is still room 2:30pm – 4:30pm.

Call to sign up: 480-775-6787.

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An exciting day, the mail lady brought me two little surprises:

1. The newest issue of SEW Somerset where I contributed art work.

2. A real snail mail letter, a little piece of art itself, from a friend.

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