Critique Matters

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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.

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

 

 

What Makes You Happy

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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

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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!

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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

Creative Journey

Hello Creative Friends!

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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

 

Embracing my LoPsIdEd Thinking

I really thought my blogging days were over.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

~Deb

 

 

Inspiration from a quiet place

Nighttime is quiet, other than the low hum of the diffuser, which large amounts of steam escape through the pin-like hole on the top. Drops of eucalyptus oil swirl around inside.

I’m awake, too miserable to sleep. The coughs come quickly, yet profusely. I look across the room, dimly lit by the one lamp on the table. My reader sits awaiting that next page to turn. My knitting sits beside it.

It’s 3:00 am, the clock tells me. Far from time to get up. I twist my neck to the side, take in a deep breathe. Ouch. Will this night ever end? Eventually, I hope to sleep. In the meantime, it’s me, my thoughts and my iPad.

Ever have those sleepless nights where it’s your own worries, a cold, or other ailment that keeps you awake? It’s probably the best time to reflect. Take a moment to think of all the things that inspire you. Clearly, it’s the quiet house that makes your mind go crazy, your thoughts to run wild.

I rally around those thoughts, and wonder what next year wil look like for my design business. My writing. What inspiring thoughts can I have that will be effective in creating the inspiration for the (master) plan.

Do you know what I mean?

I can feel the cough subsiding, the essential oils doing their thing. My eyes are getting tired, but now my mind is moving.

2016 feels like the year to up the anti with my business. Create another facet to the ever popular Dishcloth Diva, me. Reaching into the vaults, or my computer archives and pulling out those patterns I love so much and recreating them. Repurposing them, if you will. Inspiring to be that next superstar in the fiber industry.

Oh wait! I am!

Or maybe writing that next novel, memoir, or industry type of book. Spinning tales of my yarn business, how/why it’s led me to where I am.

Sigh…it’s time to close the iPad, turn off the lamp and attempt to get some sleep. It feels like a good time to say, thanks for being my loyal fan, my reader, or however you have come to me. I appreciate you. I know we all have inspirations. For me, apparently, they come in the middle of the night.

Night all!

Deb

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Top 10 Reasons I Love to Decorate with Color

I’m all about COLOR. Anyone who know me, knows COLOR  is what gets me in a good mood and keeps me there. I’m decorating my loft/work space to reflect me.  COLOR inspiration is something that tickles me to the core. This is the COLOR  palette I’m aiming for. 

 

Wall COLOR, and accent pieces all working together to create a cohesive look. Whether it’s monochromatic or pastel, neutral or complimentary, everyone has their thing. I love to go down into my fabric stash and choose COLORs that work well together. Like this. I love to have one COLOR that just pops. In this case, It’s the pink.

 

Now…what are the top 10 reasons I love to decorate with COLOR?

1 –  Decorating with  COLOR makes me feel like a designer.

2 –  Decorating with COLOR gives me permission to go buy things that I normally wouldn’t buy.

3 –  Because when studying about COLOR, I ran across what it says about someone who likes purple, for example…artistic and unique. Someone who likes pink is happy, blissful, content, artistic (there’s that word again), and quirky. Probably. A person who likes green is balanced, relaxed, humble. (well, not sure about the humble part, in my case anyway) *smiling* How about brown…solid, dependable, stable, realistic, mature. Definitely me, well, unless you want to take mature out of there. I’m definitely a kid at heart. *smiling again*

4 –  COLOR provides the creative inspiration in everything I design from dishcloths to accessories.

5   COLOR gives me that happy feeling. 

6 –  COLOR is something that can change a room or change the look of a whole house. For example, I painted one living room wall a rich red/burgundy COLOR, and yes, it changed the room instantly.
7 –    COLOR is always the first thing my friends comment on when they walk in one of my color inspired rooms.
8 –   COLOR gives me the satisfaction in my decorating than even placing a new accessory on a table would.
9 –  Loving COLOR so much, allows me to decorate “Diva” style. 

10 –   Because I get to highlight the word  COLOR every time it comes up in a sentence. 
What about you? Why do you love to decorate with COLOR? This is where you can share all of your secrets, good or bad. A place to (maybe) learn from someone else. 
Please leave a comment. I would LOVE to hear.
This wasn’t a fiber related top ten list, because I got a little diverted due to my current WIP. Not knitting wise, design wise.
So, as I always say, 
Knit On!
Deb
 

Color Inspirations to Inspire Creativity

Where does it come from? I can spend hours on Pinterest. In fact, I could designate an entire board to what look like paint chip pictures to inspire my creativity. Here’s a few: 

The color chips are so inviting…orange and teal, or grey and cinnamon color in the 2nd one, how about condord and wild willow in the 3rd one. Oh yes! The 3rd one is what inspired my loft color scheme. I will add brown in there to round out the colors.

 

What about other sources of inspirations…scarves? I have a closet full of them, but actually didn’t think to use them as color inspiration for my next project/pattern, until it appeared on Pinterest. Love.

 Or perhaps the beautiful bedding found at your favorite store. I like to go and take pictures of pillows and quilts to jump start my creativity. The staff may look at you funny, but it’s perfectly okay to take the shots.

What about buttons? As a quilter, sewer, and knitter, I’ve accumulated LOTS. They are typically so colorful.

And let’s NOT forget the yarn. Oh My Gosh! The minute I walk into a yarn shop or even a craft store, I’m instantly drawn in by all the color. Colors that I would never think of putting together have been spun and dyed together.(True) Love.

What are your inspirations? What inspires your creativity?  How about you leave a comment as to what colors inspire you to create something cool. I’d love to “hear.”

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb