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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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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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Why Knitting and Crochet are the new Yoga

It’s been said, that knitting has many health benefits. Really?!

Yep, it does. I want to cover 5 reasons people knit or crochet…

me knitting

  1. Knitting can be used as a form of therapy. If you have ever gone through depression, you know that doing something outside the box can help. Knitting or crochet can motivate you to connect with the world outside your four walls. It builds confidence and self esteem. Depression is real. Just setting aside 1o minutes a day to relax and knit/crochet, you will feel like a new person. Here’s an article for you to read. 
  2. Knitting/Crochet is extremely relaxing; a great stress reliever, anxiety reducer. There’s been much study done on muscular relaxation and how it has a direct correlation to a relaxation response. It can decrease heart rate, muscular tension and blood pressure. It’s a Zen-like activity. Ask me how I know! I’ve found that knitting has improved my overall health. Here’s an interesting article on just this topic.
  3. Knitting/Crochet connects people through belonging to groups with like-minded individuals. Here’s a link to a great article on the Lion Brand Website.
  4. Knitting/Crochet can help reduce the risk of dementia/Alzheimers. Yet, another article for you to read. 
  5. Knitting/Crochet just plain makes people happy. If you knit or crochet, you know exactly what I’m talking about. My husband will be the first to say, Deb, go knit. It’s where your happy place is. And, OH! How true that is.

I recommend you sit back and take a look at this amazing craft. Not only will you have fun, but you will knit/crochet yourself into a healthier, happier life. Knitting IS the new Yoga.

As I always say,

Knit On!2b779-greenbeanie_preview

Deb

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Love What you Do, and You’ll never Work a day in your Life

You know that old saying, don’t you? It’s what we all wish we could do, right?

If your work involves something you’re passionate about, you’re one of the lucky ones. Particularly, as it can bring joy to your working life and your day. However, some people have to “put up” with having a “real job” that doesn’t satisfy them, this makes going to work drudgery, though it pays the bills.

I get that!

If your life is going this way, take a step back and think again. I’m not saying every hobby can become a job, but I am one of those “lucky ones” that it has. And it can be for you too.

I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips that may help you in thinking toward loving your job and never working a day in your life:

10 fun ideas to think about

(1) Maybe you paint, knit, blog, or even play in a 3-piece band, find a way to showcase your talent for others.

(2) Research has found, that the more people engage in their hobbies, the more likely they are to come up with a creative solution.  Perhaps making it their “career”. So, do (more of) what you love. Get good at your hobby.

(3) Hang out in groups on Facebook or Instagram that have like-minded individuals. See what they’re involved with. How they are making a living doing what they love?

(4) Are you open to taking a risk? If so, it may be time to take that plunge. Do your research. Publish a book, pattern, or write an article for a magazine.

(5) Teach others to do what you love? You can do this by creating your own class, doing a webinar, or teaching through a college or continuing education program.

(6) Teach the business of your hobby? For example, if your hobby is magic, teach marketing to magicians. Maybe you love cooking, you could teach others how to get their cooking book published, or teach them a new skill in the kitchen.Do you love to travel? Write an ebook on the best places to see or send in an article to a travel magazine.

(7) Speak or write about your hobby – Hobby-related topics or stories are always of interest to small groups, small papers. Maybe asking to do a guest blog post.

(8) Fix “things” related to your hobby. Maybe your hobby is computers. Most people don’t have a clue how to “fix” them when they break. I know I don’t. Offer your services. Are you a knitter? There is always a dropped stitch (ask me how I know). Offer workshops to show them how to “fix” their work.

(9) Sell your work at craft fairs, local events. Set up an online shop such as Etsy, to showcase your work. (I’ll be doing a post in the coming weeks on setting up an Etsy shop successfully. What I’ve learned along the way.)

(10) Most of all, be enthusiastic about your hobby. Love your hobby or hobbies. Seek out others in your chosen hobby “category”. Friend them, ask them questions on how they got started?

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“The next time you find yourself confused as to how to generate income from your hobbies, search out the most successful entrepreneurs in your area of interest and study their business models and revenue streams.” ~Forbes

Ask them where their income is coming from. Products? Services? What is their pricing strategy?

super_Star

Not everyone is going to be a super-star by turning their hobby into a career, but it will ensure us that we will love what we do, because it will nourish us. Feeding your creativity brings joy, excitement, and a positive attitude toward our chosen hobby. So, what’s stopping you from seeking out the possibilities.

It’s a fact!

I love my job! You can too.

I’m curious, and I would love to get some feedback. What can you add to my list? Tell me your hobby? Are you an artist, writer, journalist. Do you knit, crochet, or sew? What do you love to do? Let’s chat.

Live a Creative Life,

Deb

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The Power of a Morning Routine

“I’ve never been a snooze button person. If I could afford to waste my time with a snooze button, I would just set my alarm later.”

~Ben Brooks

I have to agree with this statement.

Creative people can struggle to get things done because our minds are in constant forward motion. Right? So, why waste your time hitting the snooze button.

What is the power behind a morning routine?

Successful people have one thing in common, they treasure their morning routines.

Ritual is very important to me, but so is my sense of adventure. My ritual helps motivate me for the day. How do I inject creativity into my morning routine without loosing my focus? I try to keep it loose; sipping on my coffee, reading my emails, and working on social media. I then head to do some yoga. That for me, seems to clear the mind and open it up to creativity.

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The alarm clock goes off around 7:00 am. I don’t seem to linger long in bed, though, I have been known to stay in a bit longer than I want, at times. This never is a good thing. The Keurig pops on at 7:00 am, so I know by the time I get down there it will be ready for me. I make my coffee, grab my ipad and head to the chair in the corner by the windows. There’s something about an open window that draws me in. There seems to be another blog post in that last sentence. 

I will usually put on some music or my favorite podcast as I scan email. After that, I work on a knitting project, whether it’s a new design or my own knitting. I won’t allow myself to sit there longer than 9:00am, where I then head to my loft and work out the kinks with yoga.

What is your morning routine?

The early morning hours are my most productive. I’ve been know to shut down around 3, or grab some coffee, and just sit.

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You might think, what does she do all day? Well, for me, each day is different. I like to sit and plan with my notebook in hand. The early hours of the day allow me that flexibility before the demands begin.

As a creative person, I have many facets to me: knitwear designer, quilter, drawing/coloring (is my new favorite), and reading when I can focus long enough. My job is a knitwear designer.

So, what are your thoughts?

Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas into new meaningful ones. Imagination is the key. The important thing is, you find your ritual that will motivate you.

The main benefits of a morning routine every day is that not a day will go by without you thinking about your goals, which in turn, helps you achieve them. Be creative in your morning routine, friends!

Deb

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What’s in a Name?

Good Morning Knitters!

I have so much on my mind this morning, I thought I’d just chat with you all a bit.

Let’s start with, What’s in a Name? What does that mean? Well…

When you hear the name Martina Behm, what designs do you think of? Shawls

Heidi May of the Velvet Acrorn? Cute animal hoodie/cowls and kid accessory patterns.
Hannah Fettig? Sweaters
Stephen West? Shawls, specifically Rockefeller.
Tiny Owl Knits? BeeKeepers Quilt.
Mason-Dixon? Ballband Dishcloth
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee? Socks
Susan B Anderson? Her Plain Vanilla Socks & Animals.

Now, for the big question, What do you think of when you hear, Deb Buckingham?

I’m curious.

Branding is so important to anyone who has a business of any kind. It tell you, the consumer, what you can expect from (me) as far as products and service go. It differentiates (us) from each other.

My brand is derived from who I am, who I want to be, and who you, my customer, perceive me to be.

With all this said, a new business plan is in the making. Yes, I will be designing. Yes, I will stay true to my audience. Yes, I will continue to offer fun, easy to follow patterns. And Yes, I will stay true to me, and the same quality patterns you’ve always received from me.

Things I will be considering are: A new logo, integrating my brand through that logo, creating a “voice” for my company that reflects my brand, creating templates, (using same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel for my patterns and marketing materials) and most important, to YOU and ME, is being consistent.

By the way, did you notice the butterfly theme? Hmm…that may be part of my branding.

I hope you’ll follow along on Facebook, if you don’t already. Check out my Etsy shop where new patterns will be listed. My Ravelry shop where hundreds of knitters shop everyday.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!
Deb