artists, artists and makers, author, blogging, book writer, craft books, crafting, crafting projects, create, deb buckingham, deb buckingham dishcloth diva etsy housewares knit, deb buckingham dishcloth diva knitting book, design, dishcloth, dishclothdiva, etsy, goals, inspiration, inspiring a creative life, knit, kniting patterns, knitters, knitting, knitting books, knitting books. Etsy, life is good, Uncategorized, Writing, writing and knitting, writing romance

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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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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Book Review: Scarf Style 2 by Ann Budd

I often run across some pretty cool books. Scarf Style 2 is one of them.

Paperback: 26 Fresh Designs
Publisher: Interweave (2013)
Language: English 
Author: Ann Budd

It sells for $24.95 US

This book has nothing but scarves, hence the title. Who doesn’t love a scarf?  *raising hand* 

They appear as elegant and sophisticated, a fashion accessory that we all need in our closet, and can be knit in every direction imaginable. 

The patterns are well-written. Some contain charts due to the complexity, and some patterns are written as row-by-row instructions. The illustrations are spot on. Clear and concise. If you know me at all, this is very important to me as a photographer/designer. I appreciate a well thought out photo. The models show off these beautiful designs. 

I was able to ask Ann a few questions:

Deb: Your book, Scarf Style 2 seems to be a big hit my LYS. I was instantly intrigued with the cover photo. In fact, I’ve just bought the yarn for the project. It consists of 26 designs (1 of which is yours), to knit by different designers. What inspired you to write a book in this manner?

Ann: The original Scarf Style remains popular, yet neckwear has evolved in the past 10 years so it made sense to do a sequel. The whole premise of the Style-series books is to gather different designers for a common theme. The result is much more varied projects and approaches than a single designer could come up with. 

Deb: I’m also curious how the collaboration of the designers came about?

Ann: Again, because it was to be in the Style series, I knew that it would include multiple designers. I first contacted those that I knew would come up with innovative and interesting designs. Then the editorial director and I surfed Ravelry to identify other designers who could fill in gaps.

Deb: Scarf Style 2 is a fantastic book. Who was your target audience when putting this book together?

Ann: I wanted to reach a wide range of knitters, from relatively beginning to advanced, which explains the variety of simple to involved patterns.


As I paged through this beautiful book, I quickly marked the pages I would return to. There were, well…Lots!

I love the design on the front cover, Eufaula by Alexis Winslow, and the one I intend to cast on (tonight).

I highly recommend this book, Scarf Style 2. If you’re a scarf knitter of any kind, please do yourself (and Ann & myself) a favor by clicking on any of the highlighted links and checking it out!

You won’t be disappointed. I promise!

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb