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Coffee with Deb

5F092C81-D382-41E1-9E29-55F75ED031D1*taking a sip of coffee*

Morning is my favorite time of the day. The little jingle, waking up is Folgers in your cup, comes to mind. Now, you’ll be singing this all day. You’re welcome.

While I don’t drink Folgers coffee, I sure do love my morning coffee.

Morning routines have been a part of my day as long as I can remember. I’m fortunate enough to be able to have one that includes a bit of knitting, email, and social media. It’s about an hour when I can just let the time pass and not even care that it does.

With that said, that hour is for me to ease into my day, maybe plan what it will look like, and create space in my brain for new ideas.

Which in fact, I have many.

*taking a sip of coffee*

The problem, if you’d call it a problem, is that too many ideas surface each morning and I have not a clue where to start. I’ve been wanting to write a non fiction book on living intentionally. With so much of my life having raised great kids and not having to have a 9-5 job, it leaves me with many hours of my own time. (Bless my husband for providing an amazing life for us so I’m able to be me.)

So, where does this leave me?

*taking a sip of coffee*

Mapping out a plan, if you’d call it that, to write that book. With the help of friends brainstorming ideas, this may come to fruition. I’ve written several novels, but not non fiction. Yea, it’s writing, but it’s all “plotting” it out, sectioning it off so it flows and makes sense to you, my reader. I have had such an awesome life filled with adventures that I know of many of you reading this would relate to. Living intentionally is about making a life that you can be proud of. It’s not too late. Whatever your age. Day one starts now.

Today starts your intentional journey. Do me a favor, take out a piece of paper, a pencil, and grab your cup of coffee. Journaling.

Ok, i saw you roll your eyes. 😉 I’m not talking “Dear Diary” journaling.

I’m talking focused journaling with the intention of increased productivity. Remember, productivity doesn’t have to always be about work; finishing a book you’re reading or fun day at the park with your kids.

*taking a sip of coffee*

What makes you feel joy and contentment? That’s what I’m talking about.

Living intentionally.

Share your thought below. What is the one thing that brings you joy? Thank you for sharing your time with me today.

*taking a sip of coffee*

Write On!

~deb

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What Knitting or Crocheting Can Teach Us

 

Hipstershawlraverly
Hipster Shawl 

As a designer, I spend many hour escaping into the Ravelry world, an amazing knitting and crocheting community (website) where people come and stay. For hours sometimes.

I click through 10, 15, 100 versions of the same shawl pattern (or dishcloth, sock, scarf, hat pattern), looking intently at the yarns used, the projects created from it, the way it looks in a worsted weight yarn vs. a fingering weight yarn. Which then starts down another rabbit hole of the actual yarn and what people created with that yarn–hats, baby blankets, socks, to name a few.

It soothes my soul, relaxes my over-stimulated-creative mind. But, even as a designer I have to wonder why people would knit a lace shawl that takes months to create such a complicated pattern. I guess because there’s something for everyone.

Here’s the thing about our online knitting or crochet community: we compare our projects, shaking our heads sometimes as to why someone would use that yarn or needle size, when clearly, in my own mind, I wouldn’t.

But that’s not for me to judge. Or even mention.

There’s a clear understanding that when someone posts a photo of their finished object, a lot of love, care and time has gone into producing that completed project. We should cheer her or him on and not make comments as to the clashing colors or think, I wouldn’t have done it in that yarn.

I ran across this the other day and shuddered. I did. Because it made me feel angry that someone would be so unkind to comment like that. I’m sure they didn’t realize it actually came across the way it did. But…It did!

So, I guess the moral of this story is, be kind when commenting on others photos. If you already do, which I’m sure you all do, good on you!

One Kind Word can Change Someones Entire Day

I know I’m not going to please everyone, but I’m ok with that. We all have different tastes in yarns, patterns, the way we photograph our finished objects. That’s what makes each and every one of us knitters or crocheters unique!And, I love that! And YOU!

The shawl at the top of the page is in my favorites. On Raverly.  I plan to knit this. I love the texture, the worsted weight yarn. I’m going to find a soft cotton worsted and knit it for summer evenings. 

Feel free to visit my Ravelry store if you’re interested. 

Hugs,

~DEB

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12 Days of Patterns Giveaway

12 Days of Patterns 2017

Hello!

It’s that time of year where I love to spoil my followers.

Do you follow me on Facebook? You might want to.

Each day, starting tomorrow Monday 12/11 – Friday 12/22, you will receive a coupon code that will give you a FREE pattern. I might even give another FREE pattern if you follow me over on Instagram.

It can be anything from a dishcloth pattern to a blanket pattern to a sockpattern to a hat pattern to a scarf pattern. Who knows what I feel like giving that day!

I know Christmas is coming fast, but these projects will be fast to knit and fun. The perfect gift for anyone on your list.

I have so many fun things planned this next year. I’m jumping in with both feet. Be watching for things like guest bloggers, interviews will begin again *happy dance*, podcasters who will be talking about the patterns I gift them and coupon codes for their viewers, challenges for you and me, and LOTS more.

Inspiring a Creative Life.

It will be a jam packed year.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

~Deb

 

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It’s A Thing

 

 

I’m always in my head creating new business ideas. Hence, my inspiring a creative life blog.

Hello! And, WELCOME BACK if you’re a frequent viewer, and WELCOME if you’ve just landed here.

coffee_monkey

I’m on a mission, beginning next year, to create a place you can find what building a business is like, what’s on-trend fashion and otherwise, what hobbies I’m currently engaged with, what coffee or tea  I’m recommending, writing projects, my preferred coloring books and coloring tools, photography tips, sewing projects that catch my attention, what’s on my needles (knitting or crochet wise), creative ways to shop to save you a buck, and so much more.

Being a creative is a real thing!  It’s a THING!

I believe the problem with being a creative is you’re always talking to yourself, whether out loud or in your head (I know what you’re thinking-I’m not crazy, I promise). 😉 Now, the problem with this is, you can’t settle on just one thing. You flit from thing to thing. Am I right? Comment below if you are the same way.

How do we solve this? We don’t. I’ve found the best way to embrace your crazy is to accept where you are at the moment. Accept that you are an ever-changing soul with a set of chops in many arenas.

So, bookmark this blog. It will have a new look; a new feel. It may have sponsored links (not too many, as that’s annoying even to me). The links will be relevant to you. Relevant to the post.

As always, be creative and embrace your crazy!

Hugs!

~Deb

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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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Favorite Newest Podcast

hellogorgeous

I truly love when I run up against a podcast that I had no idea was out there.

Knitting, while nestled in my space, looking for the perfect podcast, I landed on Mandarine’s Podcast; Melody Hoffman, designs inspired by nature, folklore, and minimalism. A delightful voice to listen to, engaging, and charismatic. Pure joy.

Take a minute to listen to her. You won’t be sorry. I promise! Oh…don’t forget to grab some knitting and something to sip on.

Melody has a beautiful website too. Her photographs are stunning.

Oh my! I’m fan-girl’ing all over the place here. *smiling*

Get the Pattern Moonlight Garden Shawl

I feel it might be fun to interview her. Shhh, don’t mention this just yet, I will need to talk with her.

For now, lovely knitters, stay awesome and remember to take time for yourself.

Hugs!

~Deb

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Critique Matters

red-hands-woman-creative
Hello!

Today I have been working on a novel that I had abandoned. For what reason, I don’t know. I probably got off on another creative adventure. Shocking, huh!

So, here’s what’s on my mind. I’d like to revisit this novel. I haven’t really fully edited it yet, but, I’d like to take an honest approach to getting it published. I know I have work to do and have reached out to groups for some honest critiques, but I thought I’d give my readers a chance at it first.

Let’s be honest, you would be my audience, right? Or maybe intrigued enough to read through this first page and tell me three things:

~ Does it capture your attention enough to turn the page?

~ Are the characters, this far, likable?

~ Should I trash it and try again?

Please leave comments or feel free to email me at Debbuckingham (at) yahoo (dot) com. I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

Thank you! Write On!

Deb


All Lacy Parker wanted was a little breathing room and the only place she could find it was in her bathtub. Even though the bubbles were flat and the water was getting cold, Lacy took this time to reflect on her complicated life, especially the last few months concerning Dawson’s infidelity. The four years they spent married was rocky, some would say . . .  insane.

Dawson was frantically packing for his tour to Iraq; a tour that would hopefully prove more successful on his return.

The letter sat unopened on the kitchen table.  A promise of a new tomorrow felt deep within Lacy’s heart as she heard the front door slam.

“Dawson . . .” Lacy howled louder. “Dawson.” Tears ran down her face leaving track marks through her makeup, only to realize he may not return.

Lacy sank further into her cold water, tears of anger welled up inside. A goodbye would have been nice.

“Hey . . . Lacy,” Dawson’s voice took up the silence, “You here?”

How didn’t he know where she was? Maybe he thought she went outside.

“Yea, Dawson, I’m up here.” Lacy jumped from the tub and wrapped an oversized towel around her thin frame; long blond tendrils lay wet against her shoulders. The knock on the bathroom door indicated Dawson was there.  She opened the door wide enough for him to walk in. Her towel fell to the tile floor as Dawson wrapped his strong tattooed arms around her.

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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.

 

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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

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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