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What are you passionate about?

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling ~Fabienne Fredrickson

Fear and discomfort can paralyze you unless you choose to lean into your passion. When opportunity knocks, you are tempted to answer, right? Opening that door will be scary, will make your palms sweat, but may ultimately push you toward what you’ve been ignoring.

The things you are passionate about are actually your calling. When I decided to write my first book, I couldn’t help but wonder if I really knew enough about creating knitting patterns. Would people be able to follow along? Would I lose them? Would they love my style?

I realized that I DID know what I was doing. I WAS doing it. I had (still have) a successful Etsy shop, my blog had (still has) a strong following, I was doing interviews with successful creatives, and working my life was full.

My passion was my calling and I believe, to this day it still is. My books, Dishcloth Diva and Dishcloth Diva Knits On, are still going strong. They are found on Amazon, and will be added to my Etsy shop where my fans of my patterns can have them, as well.

I’ve recently tried a new adventure. Real Estate. For those that know me, and those that are just getting to know me, know that I’m realistic, emotional, passionate, sociable, grounded, adapt well to a situation, outgoing, though far removed from the “typical” real estate professional.

Oh, I wanted to be the best real estate agent in the worst way. I would spend the day at the office, look at properties online, send out handwritten notecards. People often ask me, why did you get into real estate? Well, my answer is always the same…HGTV.

#thestruggleisreal

the struggle is real

I love the glamour side of showing a buyer a property, helping the seller get to the point to be able to list their home. But, what others don’t show/tell is the other side of real estate. The scary contracts, the negotiating and more negotiating, knowing your role, feeling a sense of concern for your sellers/buyers when it’s not going so well, being accused of putting words of others in their mouth, being so stressed out that my body struggles to stay well, and most importantly, for me, is challenge in making everyone happy. Because, as we know, that is utterly impossible.

The emotional side to all this is real. It’s a hard job. No, I’m not afraid of hard work, but honestly, the older I get the more I realize it’s on my terms. I come from a hospice nursing background where my job was to console and educate families losing loved ones.

Why do I mention that? That’s who I am. Whether I want to challenge that or not. I love who I am. I love the person I’ve become as I’ve gotten older. I just don’t love being stressed over something that’s not in my control.

Well, nothing is actually. 🙂

Today was an eye opener for me. I’m not sure where it came from, but it came through pretty loud this morning. I’m not about to ignore it.

Blogging is my passion; it’s something I’ve neglected because of the recent job shift. I’m about to find a way to take this passion of writing and put it into something that will help others see their passion, live through mine, and be a part of a community that feeds into a creative side.

blog computer

Because that’s what’s important, right? And, the reason you follow me here. Thanks for that!

What’s next, Deb, you’re probably wondering? Please stay tuned and find out. I’m sure it will be creative and involve a lot of knitting and writing.

So, for now, friends, decide what you’re passionate about. It may just be your calling.

Hugs,

Deb

 

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How to be a more Productive knitter

Have you heard words like Area 51, UFOs and PHDs?

Are you tired of being stuck in Area 51 (your stash) with all your UFOs (unfinished objects) and PHDs (projects half done)?  I’ve put together a list of ways for you to be more productive and organized with your knitting.

Keep Your Stash Under Control

We are all guilty of having too much yarn. You know what I mean. We leave the house and find ourselves in the yarn aisle at Michaels or our favorite LYS, and we just buy. It’s pretty, it talks to you, the shop gal tells you it’s the perfect color for you. Guilty! Why not start buying for a particular project and keep your Area 51 from growing out of control. Whew…done!

sock yarn pile

Choose Projects that you are serious about

Ravelry is the perfect place to spend hours, literally hours, searching for that pattern. You all know what I’m saying, I’m sure. It’s down the rabbit hole you go. But again, it will keep you from having to add on to the house for additional yarn space. *smiling*

Have 2-3 projects going at all times

I know what you’re thinking, “but Deb, you said not to buy yarn just because and I might not have the yarn in Area 51.” I gotcha. Here’s what I propose…you search through Ravelry, find 3 patterns that you’d like to make. One that is super easy and can be done while knitting with friends, one that is a bit more complicated and will take a couple months to finish, and one that makes you excited every time you think about knitting on it. Maybe its a new stitch or some part of the pattern you can’t get enough of. If you have more than 3 projects going at any given time, it will cause you to put them away and forget.

entwined2
Entwined Blanket Pattern
vanilla socks1
Free Vanilla Sock Pattern

Choose a podcast or listen to an audiobook

My favorite thing to do is to watch a knitting podcast or listen to an audiobook while I knit. Even if its a bit more complicated, I find myself able to concentrate on the pattern, yet listen at the same time. Weird, I know. But, it’s also a great use of your time. A couple of my favorites can be found on Youtube: Brooklyn Knitfolk, By the Lakeside, and Grocery Girls.

Take your knitting with you (always)

Remember the one project I mentioned that is super easy and can be done while knitting with friends? Yea, that one. That’s the one you grab on your way out the door in case you’re stuck waiting somewhere, or you are done running errands and just want to find a nice cup of coffee and sit. I do it all the time and love it. Make sure it’s in a cute project bag. Just ‘cuz.

me knitting

What’s your next project?

It’s ok to take breaks. Ravelry is a great place to go to. You can assign yarn and projects. You will find yourself back there, I’m sure, so why not have a list of yarn (in Area 51) that you’d like to knit with next. Assign that along with a pattern for future projects.

With these ideas, you will soon find yourself organized and productive; actually ticking things off that list and getting rid of UFOs and PHDs in your Area 51.

How exciting is that? Please share with me your plan, your new pattern finds, and of course your UFOs and PHDs. I have many myself.

(note to self, go through Area 51 and take your own advice.)

Knit On, friends!

Deb

 

 

 

 

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Rebellious Introspection

In my journey as an artist and blogger, I have leaned toward the rebellious side, seeking out ways to make my work different, breaking the rules, in my own way. Finding content that inspires, yet challenges.

I’m persistent in everything I do, because I keep practicing. That’s the key to anything consistent.

People love to see that I’m not perfect, that they aren’t perfect. They love to see the real me. So, I give it to them.

As a blogger, I have been random with my posts. Rebellious again, in not following any rules. As a creative, I often find myself being real; putting it out there. Embracing imperfection comes naturally. So, I encourage you, do it with all your heart, do it every day. Be the best YOU, you can be.

 

image

Blogging is hard work. I used to think it was as easy as pouring a cup of coffee in the morning.

It’s not.

It’s a lot of work. Disciplined, dedicated and creative come to mind. There are times I feel frustrated and not motivated. I often felt it was a struggle to find content, so I’d just put anything out there.

This blog is about to change. It’s a good change. With the reintroduction of my books, a new line of handmade products, and a blog that will be consistent.

I need a new challenge. One that is scary.

So, I ask you to join my tribe, my village. Embark on this journey with me. Take a seat, because it may be bumpy at times. A good bumpy.

Blogging as a creative can only be that.

{Hugs}

Deb

 

 

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Make Art That Sells

Good Morning creative friends!

Today marks Day 1 of my Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers. Do you know of her?

Yes? Fantastic, isn’t she? *smiling-fan girl here*

No? Let me tell you about her.

She is an Illustration agency that represents the best artists. She  licenses and sells work for surface design. You know…those cute, whimsical pieces of fabric, stationary, etc, all over the market?

A couple of examples I found were:

surfacedesign
Zoe Ingram
surfacedesign2
Land of Nod Queen Flannel Sheets

Super Cute stuff. It’s the coloring, patterning, and structuring of fiber and fabric. This is what I want to learn/do/create/sell.

My end goal is to be a surface designer. Did I say that out loud?! YES! Yes, I did!

So, why do I tell you all this? Because I’ve enrolled in Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp. Make Art That Sells. It is 5 months long. 5 large assignments with 5 mini assignments, and lots of fun things in between. I’m excited for this new adventure. I’ve been searching for that next thing to take me out of my comfort zone and into a zone that will test my skills, faith in myself as an artist, and give me the ability to create in another medium.

I found it!

I’m ready…

FullSizeRender

bobbedhair1920
My first Mini assignment. 1920’s Hairstyles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, I hope you’ll stick with me through these next 5 months. I plan to blog about my journey (good and challenging).

CoLoR outside the lines and find YoUr HaPpY!

Deb

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What Makes You Happy

whatevermakesyouhappy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is quite the profound statement. Kind of intense, yet insightful. I’d like to think that analyzing quotes can give us a place to start, or something to think on.

I often sit with my laptop, feet propped on my cute ottoman, in my office. Sometimes, it brings inspiration as I look out my window. Other times, it’s the simpleness of a quote.

In this case, it’s the quote:

I have the passion, the drive, the opportunity to make my life what I want. Some call it blessed. I’m definitely that! I feel that what makes you happy, makes you successful. In whatever medium you choose. In whichever way you’d like to interpret this.

In someone who delights in positive thinking, I love the idea of this saying and that someone thought enough of it to allow us to enjoy it.

Let’s describe happiness, because this is what they’re talking about, right?

As we are all human, I suspect you want to be happy. You want to do something that makes you happy. Happiness for me is sitting down to knit with friends, it’s teaching others the craft, it’s drawing circles, trees and flowers, then coloring them. It’s tearing up fabric (coming soon to my studio), it’s sewing on a special quilt, it’s designing wHaTeVeR. Happiness is spending time with my loved ones, reading a good book, or just sitting in my comfy spot with my thoughts.

Absorbing my Vitamin D for the day makes me happy. I know, it’s the little things sometimes. It doesn’t always have to be about work.

What makes me happy, may not be what makes you happy.

So, I say figure it out, friends, and find your happy!

~Deb

what-makes-you-happy

 

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Inspiring YOUR Creative Side

Hello February 2

First off, Happy February.

Ok, I’m a day late, but I’ve been snowed in with nothing but a warm fire, a hot cup of coffee and my knitting/micron pens/colored pencils and a sewing machine. I’m sure you understand.

So, here’s what I’m thinking. Inspiring A Creative Life is the theme to this blog. Why not, for the month of February, have a daily or every other day challenge. However you want to work it. I know, this will be for my own good as well as yours. It will keep us from being challenged with “what do I do now”. Yes, I have work stuff I could do, but this will be more fun, as well as, continue to feed OUR creative side.

I will provide a list below for the month of February. Yes, today counts.  You can choose to check off all 20 or pick the ones that speak to you. You probably noticed I didn’t do one for each day of the month.

That’s unrealistic. We all have busy lives, yet if you’re following along here on the blog, it’s because Creativity IS in your vocabulary.

Either way, you will be inspiring YOUR creative side. I’d love to see pics–which can be posted on Instagram by using #inspiringyourcreativeside OR here if you’re not an insta kind of girl or guy. Your comments below will be fun to read as well.

I want to be inspired by YOU!

cute-life-quotes
THIS is what inspire me to be me. What inspires You?

Keep in mind, we all interpret differently, so this may be your own idea of what each is. Your style is what’s important here.  This can be photography, drawing, knitting, crochet. It can be sewing or a coloring page. Maybe you doodle or create beautiful hand lettering. Whatever your interpretation is, is what makes it YOURs.

Here Goes…Let’s have funcreativity

 

February-Inspiring YOUR Creative Side

1: Flower

2: Texture

3: Playtime

4: Family

5: Home

6: Simplistic

7: Circle

8: Line

9: Happy

10: Morning

11: Hobby

12: You

13: Joy

14: Nature

15: Color

16: Mealtime

17: Inspire

18: Knit

19: Round

20: Heart

So, go be inspired, friends! Let’s share, chat, and be AWESOME this month. Show me what you can do.

CoLoR OuTsIdE ThE LiNeS and Find YOUR happy!

~Deb

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Creative Journey

Hello Creative Friends!

keepcalmcreating

How do you describe a creative journey, or better yet, YOUR creative journey?

Creative journey can have many meanings. One which describes what it does, how it makes one feel, or how it helps one learn their strengths.

For me it’s inspiring others to create something that brings them joy, maybe relieves a bit of stress, or just allows them creative freedom. It’s what makes me happy. It’s what drives my day. If you’ve been following for awhile, or you’re new to my blog, you will have seen me go from writer to knitter to designer to author. I threw in some quilting, as that’s always a go-to for me. Then I discovered coloring and drawing. That led me down a path to learn more about micron pens and what else I could do with them. And oh, did I mention the beautiful lines you can draw with KOI markers?

I’ve been on a creative path for quite some time. It has allowed me to play with different mediums, bring new friends into my world, and even opened my eyes to a new form of art. I have so much to share in the way of this journey, yet I want to hold back a bit, as this may be my next WIP (book). There’s something in me that feels I need to bring my story to life. You may be interested, you may not. Either way, it will be a journey in itself.

A written journal of sorts, maybe blog style. I do love to write, so for me, this journey will be filled with pictures, projects and words of wisdom.

I found this and had to share. Oh, but look at the lettering. One of my favorite pasttimes is to figure out a different way to write a word. Hand Lettering how-to videos are my constant youtube obsession.

creative life

So what brings you joy? What drives your day? Your Creative Journey?

Let’s discuss…

Create a Creative Journey all your own and find your joy!

~Deb

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Grow Your Art

Hi Creative Friends!

As a creative person, I’m always looking for outlets that will put me in a happy place, or happy space.

I mean, who doesn’t, right?

I wanted to show you a creative space I walked into today…

Grow Your Art is a phrase I noticed as I walked into this beautiful, creative space. Heartseed Studio. It’s a place one can go to be inspired with paint, pencil, marker, yarn (I will be teaching a knitting class there soon), and just about any other medium you can think of. It’s a place I would love to own. My brain went wild on the drive home. That would be my dream, to have a studio space like that. I felt instantly in my (new) happy place. My happy space. They have it all figured out.

Heartseedstudio

heartseedstudio2

They believe artistic expression and creativity is vital to a happy life. You know what?

I do too! Now, more than ever. It’s a way to find YOUR happy. It’s a place you can go to find what inspires YOU. It makes life infinitely more fulfilling. Imagine YOUR life without a bit of creativity. Boring, huh? Imagine working a 9-5 job, coming home to kids/husband/chores, bed, then doing it all over again without squeezing something creative into your day. Fortunately, for me, I don’t have to punch a time clock, but you better believe, if I did, I would certainly have a creative outlet that would release tension, allow me to pull back from a stressful day.

Art makes you happy

Art is a true form of happy. It’s the expression of human creative skill and imagination. Doodling and drawing are my new art forms. Really new. I’ve began “coloring outside the lines” and am very proud of that. My friend said to me last night as I was taking one pattern and making it new, “Way to color outside the lines, Deb.” I hadn’t thought of it that way. I’m a left-brained thinker, coming from the nursing field, and have learned that both sides of my brain can, and do work well together. Most days, anyway.

paintoutsidethelines

So, what’s your creative happy? I’d love to know. Please leave a comment below and lets chat about it.

CoLoR OuTsIdE ThE LiNeS and Find YOUR happy!

Deb

 

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Embracing my LoPsIdEd Thinking

I really thought my blogging days were over.

faceplant

I wanted to title this blog post, Embracing my Crazy, but, well…I didn’t want you all thinking I was crazy. *smiling*

 

This past year, I found myself reflecting on how my journey began…

as a knitter, then learning the ins and outs of being a designer, then starting a business and beginning the next phase of my life. It really was the next phase. I left a nursing career in 2008 and went blindly into a creative field.

A BIG step. Learning to think with the right side of my brain rather than my left. Though, both work together in my world.

I was excited to see what was next. Where my creativity would take me. Etsy was my first business venture. Online was a safe place where I could show the (virtual) world what I was selling. October 2009 was the grand opening of Dishcloth Diva Knits On. Who knew the name of my store would one day be the title of my book(s). 

Even though I was ready for a change, I was excited to see where it would take me next. “Oh, the places you’ll go“, I kept telling myself. Or maybe, hoping. I was filled with doubts of, can I do this, and I want to be like (this designer). Comparing yourself is so easy at times, yet it fills you with self doubt and , can I be as good as them, type of questions.

ohtheplacesyou'll go

In 2012, I felt in my heart it was time to produce a book, Dishcloth Diva, geared toward those beginner knitters that I was teaching to knit. Their enthusiasm was contagious and often left me feeling proud of them for accomplishing this craft. Then in 2013, just one year later, Dishcloth Diva Knits On was published.

This past summer, thoughts of closing my Etsy shop quickly surfaced. I was facing burnout, and it was happening quickly. I was suddenly faced with mental turmoil and how or if, I could turn this around. It continued to get worse.

And then, late summer, I was introduced to coloring. Adult Coloring Books. My husband, Mr. Engineer, ordered one from Amazon. I remember him coloring down in our studio with these crazy cool markers. Oh boy! I became instantly curious. Maybe I could do this and take my mind off of my burnout. That led to drawing, then art classes online. Coloring offers me a place to go where nothing but me and my pencils/pens live. The stress of the day melts away. Have you tried it? Oh, you SO should!

coloring page1

shading

So, I’m coming back. Blogging is my way of being creative. And I have so much more in me. It’s helped me to grow and love writing, though writing has always been a part of me. Etsy will remain open, though I’ve narrowed it down to a pattern shop only. A (creative) type of nonfiction is being developed.

I’ve made a long list of topics to cover. Some will be short. Some will be “are you ever going to stop writing?”.

My message (or theme/motto) for 2016 is #inspiringacreativelife. I hope you’ll jump on my wagon and # along with me. I’m on Instagram as well. Come follow. My days will be filled with fun pictures of all things creative to include: knitting, designing, coloring, drawing and even sewing. I love my life and everyday am thankful for what I have, for the gifts I receive, and the talents that live inside me.

beingcreative

Take care and remember, being creative is NoT a hobby, it IS a way of LiFe. #inspiringacreativelife

~Deb

 

 

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Magazine Review: Artist & Makers

  

Hello Knitters and Creators,

I figured since I enjoyed the last issue  so much, I’d share with you the Spring 2015 issue.

Magazine: Artists & Makers, Spring 2015
Publisher: Interweave/F+W 
Format: Digital or Paper
Retail: $9.99

I’m at Starbucks working away today. The part I love about my job is it’s portable. The other part of my job is, being able to review amazing magazines as this.

Let me take you on a virtual tour…

This issue is about going public–engaging in social media, a booth at an art show, or even building a website. And much more!

Meet cool featured artists like Tula Pink. Oh my gosh, I fell in love with her and her story. She’s a colorful textile designer who has stayed true to herself. You will love her too.

Again, more featured artists. I think, for me, these stories drive home the reason I do what I love to do. For example Jonathon Adler takes you through his day. A typical day for him begins with tea and ends with a nice roast chicken.

Perfect, huh?

Pat Sloan states, “I don’t sit and make quilts all day, I run a business most of the time. I’m lucky that I also get to make quilts as part of that.”

This is where it is for me. A business woman meets creative woman. I feel that those lucky enough to call their (craft) a business, should spend time with this magazine. It will make you say, YES! It will give you that warm feeling that makes you feel what you’re doing is the real deal.

This magazine is the perfect pairing with your favorite beverage. In my case, coffee or tea. I will honestly cozy up on the couch and read it from cover to cover.

I would highly recommend you find yourself a copy.

So, I bid you much love knitters and creators. I encourage you to take a peek at this magazine if you are a creator of any kind. You will appreciate the depth of this magazine.

You won’t be sorry. Have I ever steered you wrong?

Knit On!

Deb