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

inspire-photo

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

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?

inspire-photo

“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

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.

488a3-coffee_monkey

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.

92e7b-chillin2

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

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

Am I Missing Something?

Hi Knitters!

Haven’t we often heard that question, whether someone truly didn’t understand your intentions or they just missed something. Seriously, there’s a way in which it is interpreted.

Right?

I need to explain to you all what exactly I do, and who exactly my audience is, at this time.

I began designing in the year 2008. My focus was myself at that time, as I was somewhat of a beginner knitter. After I watched countless videos, read 100’s of books, and watched my friends as they made their way through a beautiful project, I realized what kind of designer I should be.

A designer that focuses on the simple. Simple Detailing. Simple stitches. Just. Simple. From that time till now, my audience has been beginners. I’ve taught beginners. I’ve walked beginners through issues. I’ve designed for beginners.

So, when someone questions my intentions from said project, I get a bit defensive. Though, after reading back the posts she and I wrote, I quickly deleted it. Why? Because it goes back to what I just wrote, I’m a simple designer with the beginning knitter in mind. They don’t know how to stripe the yarn or how many stitches to cast on or even do the math to figure them out. I love to be the one to do that for them. I often receive emails asking me, if I used your dishcloth pattern and wanted to make it bigger, how would I do that. Simply put…know your gauge, stitches per inch, with said yarn and needle, and multiply that number by how many inches you want the finished object to be.

Simple for the more advanced knitter, but not for the beginner.

This design is adorable, right? I’m just attempting to show you all what kind of designs you will continue to see. If you’re following me on Facebook or this blog, you quickly realize, the patterns you see are easy. Step by step instructions. No charts.
I love doing these. For me, it’s a pleasure to help the novice knitter get their bearings. It’s tough. We all were beginners at one time. We all had to take baby steps. So, there has to be patterns out there that address the beginner. Though, with that said, there are many knitters, myself included, who love a change of pace, a break from the sweater or shawl we’re working on. THIS type of project is perfect.
*stepping down (carefully) off my soap box*
Let me introduce my newest design.
I adore this pattern. And the texture it creates is thick and perfect for your kitchen. And did I mention it has the coolest, most simple, unique Icord? It does!
So, stick with me as I show you new patterns that will keep you sane or help you learn.
Hugs to you all!! You know my heart and how much I appreciate you ALL.
Knit On!!
Deb

TKGA Recap

Hi Knitters & Crocheters!

Well, it’s been a week and some days since I’ve been back from conference. As much as I looked forward to getting away, I looked (even more) forward to coming home. Getting back into my routine is always a good thing. 

So, I wanted to take some time and give you some feedback. You know, the things I loved and the not-so-exciting parts for me.

I arrived Wednesday, July 22nd. The shuttle driver was so cool, and explained to me that the previous week the sewers and quilters were riding in his van to the Town and Country Hotel. Must be quite the spot, I thought to myself. 


And let me tell you, the hotel was charming, full of character, and the rooms were inviting. The guy told me I was on the 8th floor. Well, those that know me, know that heights aren’t my thing. *eeek*  But, the views were beautiful. The movie, Pretty Woman, quickly came to mind. I viewed from the slider, as close to the slider as I could get. 🙂

See the green umbrellas just past the pool? That was my spot every morning for coffee, every afternoon for tea, and most evenings if there was someone down there to talk with.

After putting away my things, I ventured downstairs to locate some coffee and conversation. The people I met were so friendly, as all knitters and crocheters are, right? 

Well, I sat there for awhile, found the coffee, got out my knitting and people watched.

By now, you’re probably asking yourself, where is the conference stuff. I have to be honest…here it comes…I wasn’t impressed (at that moment). I know! I should have been, it was TKGA for goodness sake, but for me, the wow factor wasn’t there (yet).

I’ll explain…

Knitters and Crocheters were very friendly as you would expect. Yes, I was able to sit at any table and chat. Yes, they always asked what I was working on. Yes, I gave out a lot of cards.

Being Wednesday, there wasn’t a lot going on. A few classes had started and the conference was underway. But, where were all the people? That was what was most surprising to me. There didn’t seem to be a large crowd.

Thursday was a bit nicer with more people arriving, but still not to the level I would have expected. The coffee line was now longer. 🙂 That told me many more had arrived. This hotel had only one Market where you could get a sandwich or salad, coffee or tea. The little restaurant next door served Breakfast and Lunch, which I did most mornings. Breakfast anyway. As for dinner, well, the main restaurant had closed down just the week before. We did discover a mall within walking distance. Score! We ate dinner there. 

You can definitely see the charm, can’t you? The food was awesome. The fruit was fresh cut. I found this to be my every morning breakfast spot. 

I went for a walk around the property and found some fun plants and trees…

I met some great friends who I think I will remain connected with for a long time…From top right: Gloria, Barbara, Sharon and myself. These ladies made me laugh the entire time. And our server was adorable. He escaped before we could snap a picture of him.

So, what about the shopping, Deb? 

Glad you asked…

I wasn’t thrilled. Though, honestly, I think this conference is very heavy on the crochet. That may have been more of my issue. Though, the amount of vendors was lacking, in my opinion. I’m guessing 50 or so vendors. Not a lot when it’s part of a conference.  

I walked into the room and Red Heart booth is right there. Very impressive actually. Some very cool people were hanging around that booth. You know, it was in the hotel’s conference center, right there on the hotel property. Convenient? Yes!

This is a Marly Bird and Myself. Pop over and visit both of our Facebook pages, we love to interact with our peeps.

Here’s the funny part…The minute I turned my camera around to do the selfie, my comment was, “OMG, look at my hair.” She busted out laughing. This is the picture after I got over it. 🙂 I adore Marly. She’s so genuine, happy, and loves to talk with you.

Now, I did watch a fashion show. It was fun. There were a lot of fun pieces, though the two that caught my eye were:


Both of which were crochet.

BUT…The Best thing EVER for me was the YARNOVER TRUCK!!! OMG! Here are some pics. These are not from the conference. I think I was so in awe of this truck that pulled right into the room, I forget to get a few pictures. 

YARNOVER TRUCK– pics courtesy of google images

I mean, who thinks of things like this? Maridee and Barbra. Read about their story here. These two women are so friendly and inviting, you can’t help but step into the back of this truck. 

So, you can clearly see the things that appealed to me and the things that did not. I’m not sure if it was because I’ve been to two very large conferences, Stitches and VKL. Both of which had hundreds of vendors. This was a smaller scale type of event. Though, I had a great time, met some fun women, and made some business contacts. THAT was worth it for me. 

Would I go again? If you had asked me that on the last day of the event, I’d probably  have said no. But, after recapping the event, I would have to say, YES! It was worth every cent. I think I also realized I made a quick judgment based on the number of people attending and the lack of vendors. This isn’t enough to keep me from going again.

I chose not to take any classes because when I signed up, the choices weren’t there for me as a knitter. The ones I would have taken were sold out. The class sizes were too small according to my peeps. I’m wondering if it was the lack of space that kept them smaller. Just a guess, though. 

That’s my take on the whole event. I stayed the length of the conference, though I did leave before the final event Saturday night. 

So, as I always say,

Knit On! (and don’t be judgmental of an event until you’ve re-thought all the details.) 😉

Hugs!
Deb

Patterns, Dishcloths, Color Inspiration, and more…

Curvy in all The Right Places

Hi Knitters!

I’ve been working on so many projects lately, to include planning for a new book. *squee*

Yes, there will be a Book 3 in the Dishcloth Diva Series. Well, it’s still in its infant stages, as I only just now sent over the contract to my publisher. This book will be fun, full of more dishcloths, and even more ideas. 

As we have discovered, a lot of knitters love to cast on a dishcloth. Whatever your reason, I think that’s fantastic! 

Do you need a change from you lace knitting? How about a gift for someone? A housewarming gift? As we all travel over the summer, what a fun gift to hand to that person who chose to open their house to you. 

Here are many of the “favorites” among my repeat customers.

Ashley – Knit

Tideway – Crochet
Omaha – Crochet

Mom and Apple Pie – Knit

As I pack to get ready for a trip, the first thing I pack is my knitting. You too? I always have some size 7 needles and cotton yarn packed. What is easier than sitting in an airport knitting on a washcloth and people watching.  

As Always,

Knit On!!

Deb




What is Color Inspiration to You

Hi Knitters!

I’m always in the mood to create things that help in my color inspiration. Whether, it be paint chips (that I admittedly took in handfuls from Home Depot), Pinterest Mood boards, or browsing through magazines your neighbor hands you as you are getting in your car.

It’s all about color theory…basically, how to select colors that go together.

This lesson will be basic information that I hope you can take and use.

Imagine your caked yarn, or balls if that’s how you roll, 🙂 is organized around the color wheel.

 Most yarn companies are mindful of their colors, and making them compatible. We all seem to have our favorite yarn companies, the good news is, they have kept that in mind when selecting colors that work well together.

Designers, yarn companies, and other fiber gurus have figured out (for us) this color theory, so all we have to do is choose the colors we like.

Here’s the basic method:
Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel.  These are the colors that are near/next to each other and work well together. Generally sticking to 2, 3 or 4 colors.

Complimentary colors are done in pairs and sit directly opposite each other on the color wheel and pack a punch. This is my ideal way to choosing colors when I use the color wheel. I’d recommend going out to your craft store and picking one up. It’s a great tool to have in your box.

Split Analogous colors are the colors that are next to the complimentary colors. Example would be, choose your favorite color on the color wheel, zip straight across. The 2-4 colors on either side of that one color are the Split Analogous colors. Again, choosing 2 or more colors and sticking with every other color on the color wheel.

Another thing that works well, and is cheap (because any home store has walls of them for you to take) are the paint sample chips or cards. They have laid out similar tones on one sheet for you. Don’t even get me started on the hundred of crafty things you can do with them. I follow this board.  A blog post all it’s own. Hey, that would be fun to explore. 🙂 Though, this blanket is crochet, can you imagine the possibilities with knit stitches? Oh, how my mind works in so many mysterious ways.

*taking note as to a next blog post*

A Paint Chip Blanket

So, how about creating your own mood board, or perhaps collecting some paint cards. Get that inspiration flowing with a color wheel. Everyone is a photographer in some way, and I also believe everyone is a designer in some way, as well.

Get Creative and Knit ON, friends!

Deb Buckingham, Author/Designer
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BOOK REVIEW: Warm Days, Cool Knits

When I receive a book to review, I immediately sit down and flip through. My first thought was, well done Corrina! The layout was simple. The sections referenced the four seasons. And, the photography showed off the details of each piece.

Author: Corrina Ferguson
Paperback: Warm Days, Cool Knits
Publisher: Interweave/F+W
Number of pages: 144
Retail Price: $24.99

This book allows you to create a versatile, any-climate wardrobe. 

After living the majority of her life in Ohio, Corrina moved to Florida where she experienced a bit of culture shop. The weather is definitely different, though this book will provide you projects for Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. 

All the projects included in this book are made with DK weight yarn and lighter . The perfect anytime knitting experience. Stitches that are textured, cabled and lace will be closet staples that are fresh and wearable.

I highly recommend this book. I found (at least) 4 things I will definitely knit and wear. Socks, shawls, a cute tank, and a hat. All the projects in this book are titled with Old-Fashioned Southern names. You all know how I love that!

Emmylou

Leora

Weldon

               Williston



I really enjoy a good accessory knit. I know you will too. So,  pop over and have a peek, or visit your LYS and pick up your own copy. I would even get in ring bound on the side. This will be a constant go-to. 

As I always say,
Knit On!

Deb Buckingham, Author/Designer