August 27, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hello everyone, and happy Wednesday! I was invited by Shelley at Cora’s Quilts to participate in this blog hop, and I am excited and happy to share! When you’re invited, you tell a little about yourself, answer a few thought provoking questions and continue the blog hop by inviting 3 other bloggers who inspire you.  They will blog the following week about their creative process and keep the blog hop going! This blog hop has seen a lot of quilty folks, which I think is awesome because I quilt, too, but I will be changing it up a bit now that it is my turn. Yes, I quilt, but I also do a lot of crafting, cooking, photography, writing, sports, reading and revelling in the beauty of everyday life. So I am taking the opportunity to invite other bloggers who inspire me and branching out a bit. 

But first… a little about me. For those of you who do not know me, I am a project manager by day, and a schizophrenic creator for the rest of the time. I quilt, cross-stitch, sew, create recipes, blow up my kitchen, play with DIY home projects, and photograph anything that moves (and some things that don’t). I enjoy tennis, reading, writing, eating (anything I am not allergic to… which isn’t much), traveling, and feeding people. 

I like to include stories of Mike and the Cats (Turbo and Hobo) in my blog. Mike and I have been together fifteen years now, and we have survived a lot of DIY projects together, and some DIY explosions, the most recent being the experience of the exploding beer bottles. Turns out home-brewed beer with added fruit has a very definite shelf-life. Note to self… But now, on to the questions!

What Am I Working On?

Oh so many things. No, really. I have so many projects in the works right now. Some of them just need a little bit to finish, some of them need a lot… they are all in various stages of completion. So I guess we can just start at the top.
I am working on a couple of beautiful quilts designed by Shelley over at Cora’s Quilts. I am working on Diane:


I am working on finishing my Spring Sampler from her collection:

I am working on my eagle cross-stitch:

 It’s a bit wrinkly, I know… but that will get sorted out as I finish stitching. I have a ways to go, as you can see… don’t hold your breath. 🙂
I am also working on a custom order baby quilt that I need to finish binding, but you don’t get to see it yet because the person who ordered it hasn’t seen it yet! I promise, I will post pics when it is all done and delivered.
I have a Christmas themed table runner I am hoping to get done in time for Valentine’s Day next year.
I am working on getting the pattern I created for my cousin’s baby quilt ready to sell online.
I am always working on items for my Etsy shop. I sell quilts, cross-stitch items, and hand-sewn items like tote bags and tissue holders, too.

I am also working on the idea of a cookbook. I post a lot of my recipes on my blog, but it might be kind of neat to put them in an e-book for downloads. With my food allergies, I eat a lot of Paleo or Anti-Inflammatory Protocol foods, and I find a lot of people looking for information and recipes for those “diets”.

How Does My Work Differ from Others in its Genre?

Yeah, that’s a good question. I don’t really know if my work differs all that much across the different projects, but I am probably one of the more Attention Deficit Disorder bloggers, since I cover so many topics with my blog. I read somewhere that if I want to make my blog successful, I should focus on one thing. But that wouldn’t be true to myself since I am pretty much incapable of focusing on one thing! I know that I have readers who are not interested in the sewing/stitching/quilting, and I know I have readers that could care less about the food, and I know that other readers are really just waiting to see more pictures of my cats. So I just try to feed it all. Some day I may split them into separate blogs, but for right now, it’s really just a sharing of myself with you, and it comes in this super-disorganized forum because that’s how I roll.

Why Do I Write and Create What I Do?

What I write and what I create are all an expression of who I am, and how I’m feeling. Even when I am quilting or stitching someone else’s pattern, it’s my choice of colors, fabrics, thread, quilting design… all depending on what I am trying to express. It used to be that I would pick a pattern and spend hours searching for just the right fabric. Now I find that I see a fabric that speaks to me, and then it all just comes together in minutes. Literally minutes. And writing is often the same way… I have something I want to write about, and it will just flow. I rarely experience writer’s block when I am sharing a topic or something that has importance to me.
Lately I have found that I am branching out more in my projects. I used to stick with projects that I knew would be manageable, wouldn’t take too much time, wouldn’t scare me away… then I attempted a purse pattern. It took me three years. No kidding. I would start to work on it, panic because I didn’t understand what I was doing, and then put it away again. When I finally sat down and did it (with some help from my awesome friend Chris Comfort explaining things to me!), I enjoyed it so much I made a second one for a friend. And now, I don’t let the fear of not knowing stop me. I grew past that. I am interested to see where I grow next… 🙂 I’m sure you will hear about it. I will put it right here on this blog when it happens.
The infamous purse. 🙂

How Does My Writing and Creating Process Work?

Oho… if I only knew. Honestly. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, or a thought. And I have found that I do some of my best thinking while in the shower in the morning. I designed the Christmas presents for my nephews in there. No joke. When I can clear my head and just close my eyes, there is a clarity to what I want to do (even if I had no previous idea I wanted to do it), and then it just flows.
Sometimes it is because I have experienced something I want to remember, like a trip to Europe might inspire a quilt. Or a meal at a restaurant might inspire a new recipe. Or a book I have read might inspire a craft project. I find beauty in just about everything in life, and it often inspires me to try and create new things. I definitely wouldn’t say I have any one particular muse, but I have found that a nice bottle of red wine never hurts, either. 🙂
And speaking of where I get my inspiration… I would like to introduce you to three bloggers who have inspired me in different ways over the years. I read probably around a hundred blogs on a consistent basis… everything from quilting to recipes, to dying fabric, to farming (no, I don’t farm… yet), knitting (no, I don’t knit… yet), travel blogs, blogs on how to minimize my carbon footprint, canning (yes, I do can)… just about everything.
The first blogger that I would like to call out in the blog hop and introduce to you is Janelle Serio with Through the Knitting Lens. She is not just my dental hygenist (no joke!), she is an amazing designer, creator, mother, wife, and friend. Her blog lets you look through the knitting lens and into her world, and you will find yourself a better person for it.
The second blogger that I think you need to meet is Rudd McGarity with Life Part FOUR. Rudd tells his story of finding inspiration and joy in life with his daughter, his girlfriend, the shop he owns and operates, his sports, and his friends. He talks of personal discovery and growth, and he tells it like it is.
The third blogger that I want to introduce is Amy Venezia with Amy V-talk. Amy’s perspective on life, her inspiration, her creations (I hope she shares Nola Creations with you when it’s her turn!), and her ability to share life’s lessons in a simple, succinct, yet beautiful manner is truly inspiring. Make sure you check out her post on Jessie’s Girl that just came up. Not just because it was a good song (which is now stuck in my head), but because it is an important point that I think so many people never see. Some things are just too close for us to see until it’s too late. I appreciate Amy’s style of writing, the topics she chooses, and how she shares her personal experiences: good, bad, and beautiful.
I am looking forward to seeing their posts next week. Thank you all for letting me share a little about me in this blog hop!


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