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Monthly Archive for January, 2012

Craft Resolutions: Maggie Oman Shannon

artwork by Michelle Edwards

To welcome this New Year, we thought it might be fun to talk to some of our Living Crafts friends- present and past contributors, all very creative people, and see what goals, visions and dreams inspire their craft resolutions for 2012!

This is the last post in this series… and an appropriate one that holds an invitation for Living Crafts readers to contribute and particpate.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series and that these posts have inspired some of your own craft resolutions for 2012!

Maggie's prayer bead necklace from the Winter 2008 issue of Living Crafts

Maggie Oman Shannon’s Craft Resolution for 2012:

  ” My most immediate 2012 craft resolution is to finish the manuscript for my new book, which has a working title of With Hands and Heart: Crafting as a Spiritual Practice.

  It is scheduled to be published later this year, and I’d love to invite Living Crafts readers to be a part of it.   I would love to hear from you if you have had the experience of your particular craft activities becoming something more, something sacred—a form of prayer or spiritual practice. If you’d like to submit a story, a thought, or a quotation that’s meaningful to you about how crafting can be a spiritual practice, please leave a comment here and also send it to me at maggie@thenewstory.com by March 1, 2012.

  Many thanks to you and Living Crafts—and wishing each of you a happy, healthy and creative new year!”

 

Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon, M.A., is an interfaith minister, spiritual director, workshop and retreat facilitator, and author of five books: Prayers for Healing; The Way We Pray; A String and a Prayer: How to Make and Use Prayer Beads; One God, Shared Hope; and Prayers for Hope and Comfort. Oman Shannon currently has the honor of serving as Spiritual Director of Unity Spiritual Center of San Francisco.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 31, 2012 10:30 AM | 1 Comment

Craft Resolutions: Annie Dempsey

artwork by Michelle Edwards

To welcome this New Year, we thought it might be fun to talk to some of our Living Crafts friends- present and past contributors, all very creative people, and see what goals, visions and dreams inspire their craft resolutions for 2012!

Annie's easy knit shoulder bag design for Oat Couture

Annie Dempsey’s Craft Resolutions for 2012:

“My craft resolutions for this year border on fantasies.  I’d love to complete a sweater for my dear husband.”

Annie's Yurt Office-a wonderful space to create!

  “I am going to try to make time for embroidery again (that was my ‘gateway’ needleart); as well as needlepoint (Christmas stockings in progress) and spinning (pure relaxation).  I have to admit I’ve given up on getting organized for now, but do hope to strike a better balance between work and play.”


Annie Dempsey of Oat Couture has been knitting and crocheting since she was a young girl.  Annie always designs with real people in mind, creating projects for all skill levels. Her life-long passion for all the needlearts has led to to the knowledge that knitting is fun, relaxing and sometimes challenging–just like life.

Annie lives and works in rural Southern Oregon with her wonderful husband, two lively dogs, one not-quite-wild-anymore peacock and an extremely hardy goldfish. You can see her patterns and places to purchase them at her website: OatCouture.com

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 28, 2012 10:35 AM | 1 Comment

Craft Resolutions 2012: Tara Jon Manning

artwork by Michelle Edwards

To welcome this New Year, we thought it might be fun to talk to some of our Living Crafts friends- present and past contributors, all very creative people, and see what goals, visions and dreams inspire their craft resolutions for 2012!

Tara's cardigan design in the Winter 2010 Issue

Tara Jon Manning’s Craft Resolutions for 2012:

  ” 2012 is a year of making. Making making making – making art, making felt, making garments,  making paintings and drawings.  Whatever I see in my creative imagination, I will make it in the media best suited for it – some I know, some that I may not even know about yet.

   In all this making I am most interested in continuing to explore the blending of “craft” and art, to mix things up and to continue to work with the idea of craft/handwork as an expression of spirituality.  Letting go and acting without agenda, in 2012 I will explore the ways we are transformed through what we make. 

   With a strong nature connection, I endeavor to be stay simple and inspired.  It is so easy for me to go off the rails with ideas and complexities – sometimes loosing the essence of whatever I was inspired to do in the first place.  My intention is to get out of my own way and watch the process and the project evolve. 

  

  In 2012 I resolve to spend more time in the studio, even if it is just to drink a cup of tea or sweep the floor.  The rhythm of discipline is easy to jump out of, very difficult to get back into.  I also resolve to publish more small projects.  Handwork folios, a small knitting collection, or whatever arrives, I want to share and inspire as I have been gifted and inspired.  Best wishes to all for a beautifully creative and inspired 2012.  Make and make and make and share and share and share.”

 


Author, artist, handworker, mom and maker Tara Jon Manning lives in Boulder, Colorado with her two sons, husband and dog Roxy.  She is often found playing with sticks, mud, cookie dough, wool, paint and fabric.  Visit Tara at tarajonmanning.com.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 20, 2012 08:51 AM | No Comments

Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge

a fly stitch sample from week one of Take a Stitch Tuesday

Looking to learn some new handsewing skills this year?  This may be just the challenge….

Take a Stitch Tuesday is a project initiated by Sharon B. at Pin Tangle.

It’s a project that is as much about creative community as it is about learning a new stitch and stretching our handwork abilities, with challenge members sharing their experiences with the stitches through on online forum, comments, photos and blog links.

Sharon's fly stitch sample from TAST week 1

From Sharon’s website:
  “Take a Stitch Tuesday is a challenge I will run in 2012. Every Tuesday I will post a stitch and the challenge is to work a sample.
If you are learning embroidery the challenge will be to learn the stitch. If you are experienced the challenge is to push the stitch creatively.
Once you have worked a sample, you will need to photograph it and put it online at your blog, flickr or the Stitchin Fingers page, then swing back to the page the challenge stitch is presented on and leave a comment with your web address. People will visit the comments, and clicking on the link, will visit you to see what you have done.”

 

Sharon's buttonhole stitch from week 2 of the challenge

“There is not a particular project to work on. The idea is to experiment with stitches. They can be small samples on scraps of fabric or doodle cloths. Some people are going to make a band sampler, others are making fabric books, others working the challenge stitches on a crazy quilt block or project, while others are going to use fabric postcards, and ATCs (Artist Trading Cards).  The challenge is to work the stitch. The format or project is totally up to you.”

The stitch for this week is Feather Stitch- are you ready to start?  With such a beautiful presentation of stitch inspiration, plus instructions, it’s hard to resist the urge to find a quiet moment and get stitching!

Sharon's feather stitch sample from TAST week 4

Sharon has also developed a wonderful stitch dictionary at: Sharon B.’s Dictionary of Stitches for Hand Embroidery and Needlework.

Her website is an amazing resource in stitches, with tutorials, stitch worksheets, and inspiring photographs.

Learn more about the Take a Stitch Tuesday weekly challenge at Sharon’s website: Pin Tangle

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Jan 18, 2012 01:09 PM | No Comments

Craft Resolutions-Angela Mobley

artwork by Michelle Edwards

To welcome this New Year, we thought it might be fun to talk to some of our Living Crafts friends- present and past contributors, all very creative people, and see what goals, visions and dreams inspire their craft resolutions for 2012!

Angela's famous dragon from the Fall 2011 issue

Angela Mobley’s Craft Resolutions for 2012

“What a rich topic!   My dreamings include slow processes. I feel that I am always looking for a faster way to work…it is completely joyful, wildly abandoned, free, and very experimental.  It is also chaotic, too busy, and disorganized. So, my creative goal for this year is to engage in slow processes, and see what inspiration comes from a flow that is peaceful joy rather than rambunctious joy. I truly believe that both kinds of creative joy can of course co-exist, and they even need each other. But, for me, in the pace of life as mother, teacher, and maker, there is always room to slow things down and invite spirit in a peaceful way.

I have started this movement within myself already. I created a metaphor of a beautiful clearing in the forest and me sitting in the clearing. I am enjoying myself, and singing loudly for the birds and deer to come join me. But they would not, until I was still. In the stillness, when I wasn’t looking, I was surrounded by forest creatures. This is my picture I will carry for myself….to be the one sitting in stillness, silently noticing inspiration, and inviting a creative flow that feels powerful in its quiet.”

“In practice, the stillness looks like this:  I purchased a beautiful Border Leicester fleece from an Ohio sheep farm. This is the slow process I need, and want: to wash a fleece, to card it by hand, to spin it, and to dye and knit it , maybe one of Christine’s triangle shawls from Living Crafts Fall 2011.  I have already been tempted to use the drum carder instead of the hand cards. But no, I am going to enjoy this very slowly and cultivate my ability to savor.

Much happiness to you and yours (that goes for everyone)!”

a boy and his dragon

 

Angela Mobley is a regular contributor to Living Crafts Magazine, including designing the wonderful dragon on the cover of Living Crafts Fall 2011. Angela has worked as a seamstress and a music teacher, but her favorite job is the one she’s had for nine years now: handwork teacher. You can read more about Angela and her creative process at her website: The Indigo Rabbit.

 

 

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 14, 2012 09:23 PM | No Comments

Kaffe Fassett Video


A 2011 interview with Kaffe Fassett, discussing how he designs and how he inspires others to create and express their inner color, filmed at his London studio for Ehrman Tapestry.  You can find Kaffe’s latest needlepoint designs at www.ehrmantapestry.com

  Kaffe Fassett was our Living Crafts sage in the Spring 2010 issue.  He is a master of color, and one of our favorite designers.  He’s teaching right now at Vogue Knitting Live in New York, and don’t we wish we could be there!  For those of us that aren’t, we’ll enjoy this video inspiration, instead!

There is also another wonderful video interview of Kaffe at his own website.   Be sure to watch it!

If you have made one of his designs, or have taken any of his workshops, please do leave a comment or a link to share.  Thank you!

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 14, 2012 08:35 PM | No Comments

A Knotty Valentine

Celtic knot work can be stunning in any form, and this beautiful knotted necklace is a great example.

The video tutorial explains the process so well, simplifying what looks like complex knot work.  In addition to Valentine’s Day gifts, wouldn’t these make lovely wedding tokens- as necklaces for the guests or bridesmaids, or as table decorations for candles, vases or glasses?

Or make a garland of love knots by using a longer length of rope….On our must do list!

 

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 12, 2012 09:56 AM | 2 Comments

Sew What You Love: Free Pattern and Book Giveaway

 Sew What You Love, reviewed in the upcoming Winter 2012 issue of Living Crafts, offers many easy sewing projects.

Just like her fabric designs, Tanya’s sewing projects offer a vintage-modern aesthetic charm.   The fabric used for the purse on the cover, was also used for our crocheted edge tablescapes by Linda Permann, in the Fall 2010 issue of Living Crafts.  While many of the projects in this book are easy for beginners, there are plenty for inspiration and more challenging items for the intermediate or advanced sewer.  Although hard to choose from the 30 projects, the Apple Pie Ottoman, the Ruffle-Mania Skirt and the baby toys are among our favorites.

This Travel Checkers Project is easy to make from your scraps, and practical to take with you and the kids when travelling.  The generous folks at Potter Craft  have not only offered to send one lucky winner a copy of Sew What You Love, but have also made the pattern for this project, right out of the new book, available to Living Crafts readers here: Travel Checkers Project.

 

Giveaway

Potter Craft is giving away one copy of Sew What You Love by Tanya Whelan to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post by Thursday 12 Midnight Pacific time – January 12th.

 

 

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 9, 2012 11:50 AM | 397 Comments

Craft Resolutions- Elizabeth Seward

artwork by Michelle Edwards

To welcome this New Year, we thought it might be fun to talk to some of our Living Crafts friends- present and past contributors, all very creative people, and see what goals, visions and dreams inspire their craft resolutions for 2012!

Please join us in celebrating this new year, filled with potential, craft and creativity, by reading our craft resolutions and sharing your own, in our comments section!

Elizabeth Seward’s Craft Resolutions for 2012:

  New Year, New Beginnings!

After a challenging year in 2011, I am resolved to move forward consistently this year into work I love, and that also nourishes me.

  I am calendaring in two hours of writing time five days per week, and my resolution is to stick to this 80% of the time. My dearest hope is to complete (and publish) a book that has been simmering on the back burner for a while: Teaching through Stories: Jane and Jeremy Learn to Knit. I love to write, and to tell stories, and to teach, and to knit, so this project brings together several pieces of myself.

 At the same time, I am launching my website, newly designed by a young man who was my knitting student when he was in 1st grade. More than handwork, even more than teaching handwork skills, I love to teach how to teach them.

Stepping into the grandmother role, nurturing the joy of teaching in others and visiting and mentoring handwork teachers in their classrooms, the warp and weft of my life is coming together to make a fine and serviceable fabric. It feels like a tartan mohair blanket: light, warm and lustrous!

 

 

 

Elizabeth Seward is a regular contributor to Living Crafts Magazine’s Evolving through Craft feature. She teaches spinning, knitting and other textile arts to community groups, and shares her enthusiasm for Waldorf Education with parents of young children, home-schooling parents and graduate students. You can read more about Elizabeth and her work at www.workofourhands.net.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 8, 2012 02:05 PM | 3 Comments

Craft Resolutions: Tricia Drake

artwork by Michelle Edwards

To welcome this New Year, we thought it might be fun to talk to some of our Living Crafts friends- present and past contributors, all very creative people, and see what goals, visions and dreams inspire their craft resolutions for 2012!

Please join us in celebrating this new year, filled with potential, craft and creativity, by reading our craft resolutions and sharing your own, in our comments section!

 

Baby Cocoon designed by Tricia and featured in Living Crafts Summer 2011

Tricia Drake’s Craft Resolutions for 2012

“My business currently focuses on chunky knitwear designs for newborns, but since my own last “newborn” is now 2 years old, I’d like to focus on growing my pattern collection to include toddler (and larger) sizes, as well as adding new designs for toddlers and older children. I have 7 of my own models ranging from 2 to 14 – might as well use them!

Fun Toddler Legwarmers by Tricia

“And I should really write another book. Of course, I’ve been saying that since March when my first book came out. But a new book with chunky knitting patterns for toddlers would be such fun! Cheers to getting that done in 2012!

Tricia with her beautiful family

“Personally – I want to knit more for my children this year. With all of the knitting I do for my customers, it’s a shame that until this Christmas, none of my children owned anything knit by me!”

 

Tricia Drake is the founder and designer of TrickyKnits. She is also the author of Welcoming Home Baby, published bySeller’s Publishing, Inc. You can read more about Tricia and her work on FaceBook, and purchase her knitwear, patterns and supplies in her Shop.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 6, 2012 06:12 PM | 2 Comments























  




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