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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Olympic Knit Pattern Inspiration

Hello friends!

Are you watching and enjoying the Olympics? I’m sure there are many of you (like me), that don’t have a lot of time to sit and enjoy them.

I did see Chloe Kim in the snowboarding competition, though. Wasn’t she amazing? And, did you see her hat? Cute, huh?!

Designers have taken it upon themselves to create their own version of this cute winter hat.

Me included!

I’m calling mine Winter Games Chunky Hat.

 

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The details for this cute, cozy and comfy hat are below. I hope you enjoy this fast and fun ONE skein knit. Gather your supplies, your favorite beverage and a great Netflix show. Cast On!

Materials

1 skein Super Bulky Yarn – I used Lion Brand Thick and Quick

US Size 15 Knitting Needle

Notions

Tapestry Needle, Stitch Marker, Scissors, Tape Measure (if you’re analytical like me), Pom Pom Maker

Directions

CO 44 stitches, place marker and join for working in the round.

Round 1: *K1, p1; repeat from * around.

Repeat round 1 until hat measure 10.5″ or desired length. This length includes a 2.5″ rolled up brim.

Next Round: *k2tog; repeat from * around. 22 sts

Next Round: *k2tog; repeat from * around. 11 sts

Finishing

Using a tapestry needle, thread remaining 11 stitches through, pull tight and secure inside the hat. Weave in all ends.

Pom Poms can be made various ways. I chose to use the largest Pom Pom maker. Attach, wear and gets lots of compliments.

Knit On!

~ Deb

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Knitwear Trends

According to Vogue, “Cardigans, jumpers, turtlenecks and poncho styles: fashion embraces soft materials like wool, mohair or cashmere. Knits for everyone and for all tastes. For winter 2018, we are giving you a selection of innovative  knitwear brands whose soft and warms pieces will keep you warm and trendy.”

70srainbowsweater

skirttopknitted

vintage poncho

How spectacular is that?

“V” is for Vintage.

For us knitters or crocheters, playing with wool/fiber thickness, different hues, asymmetrical shapes, fringe detail, are what we’re going for as a designer or even as a consumer. The 70’s vibe is back, baby!

Knitwear has been with us for decades, drifting in and out of fashion. Knitting is one of the oldest forms of clothes -making. Hand-knitting has transformed from a necessity into a hobby, and some into a business.

I know for me, when I’m out shopping, even the everyday styles are looking more 70s/80s. It’s hard to wrap my head around it, though…I was a product of the 80s.

I’d love to hear your opinion on what you think of these styles.

Let’s get on board with these styles and see what we can create!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

And So On…

Summer has finally come to a close. The months where the temps are too hot, the bugs too buggy, and the only solace you get is sitting in your air conditioned home.

Do you get the sense summers aren’t my favorite?

Right?!

Fall is upon us. The months where the leaves are changing their reds, oranges, and yellows, the bugs have long gone, and the temps are more than perfect.

My favorite time of year.

It’s also the time I’m inspired to do something new, or new(er).

Writing (again).

My summer was filled with knitting pattern design, working with (knitting) magazines to firm up the release of my new patterns, keeping up with my Etsy shop and answering knitters questions. Busy, but blissful.

What am I up to now, you ask?

A writing contest. Harlequins, You Think You can Write, contest. Romance writers like me send in their first chapter to be judged by over 50 judges in their extensive lines at Harlequein. The winner will be chosen in November to win a 2 book contract among other goodies.

I’m in!! All the way!

After completing NaNoWriMo (refer to earlier posts), I had a complete novel that I believed to NOT suck. After editing (and you also know if you’ve been following that I edited along the way–that’s how I roll), I feel this piece is ready for the eyes of one fantastic editor.

Wish me luck! Submissions begin next week, September 22nd.

I’ll keep you informed!

Write On!

Deb

Yet, I Begin Writing Again

Ok, not that I haven’t been writing, I’ve written 2, yes 2, books. Knitting books.

I’m a Knitting Pattern Designer with a publisher that gives me a lot of creative freedom. Now that the books are done, I can get back to my regularly scheduled writing program.

<in walks NaNoWriMo>

Excited. Ready. Enthusiastic.

Here’s how it will go down…beginning November 1, I, along with thousands of others, will write 50,000 words in 30 days. That breaks down to 1667 words/day. Not bad. I will post daily (YES, I will) as to my progress, thoughts, perhaps what tunes are playing on my ipod, maybe the knitting project that I must knit so my brain has time to itself, and much more.

Why, you ask?

I have this secret desire to be published as a novel author. I have the non-fiction wrapped up, so why not, right?

Here’s where you, my fantastic readers come in. I would love you all to keep me accountable. Leave me a message, send me a message, I work well when others are nudging me along.

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My pencils are sharpened, though a computer will be used, and my notebook is quickly filling with romance like ideas. *smiling*

So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb