Sunday, December 29, 2013

Zentangle® Scrapbook

One of my other holiday projects is embellishing the cover of my Zentangle® Scrapbook. I'm incorporating some of my favorite tangles and projects as well as photos from my recent Certification Seminar in Rhode Island. I had selected a black cover, then decided to move my classroom scrapbook pages in to a larger book since I was running out of room. I've given the black cover to the classroom book and chose a brown paper one from Recollections (purchased at Michael's).

The brown paper cover is perfect for the micro pens, especially the sepia ones used for the Zentangle Renaissance tiles. I'm finding that I love working with this media. We did try the Renaissance tiles at seminar, but they seemed a little intimidating at the time. My Tombow brown-hued markers are helping with shading and I'm getting to know the Zenstone (white soapstone) to add highlights. This is becoming a work of joy as the individual tangles start to take on a life of their own and pop off of the cover.

I have still not tackled the fabric projects (Zentangle apron and bags), but I do have time later. The markers will wait until I finish the scrapbook, however.  I will post updates as I make progress. Stay tuned.


Holiday Creations: Zentangle® Christmas Cards

I wanted to make my Christmas Cards this year and to use my Zentangle® skills to do it. It seemed overwhelming when I finally got the time to start on them. Instead of doing individual ones, I tangled two tiles and scanned them onto the computer. I ran off copies onto nice card stock and incorporated them onto cards that I purchased. Is this cheating? Well, considering my heavy work schedule during the school year, ummm.... no. I like this idea for time saving and for anyone who wishes to start his/her own line of cards. Sure, it's nice to have a hand-drawn tangled card, which would tend to be pricier than photo-copied. It depends on what you're going for. If you have a nice design that you'd like to use for multiple cards, then photocopying would be an option for you as well.

I used the Christmas baubles for my co-workers on my hall. The tree was used for my family's cards. I used a strip of Christmas-themed gold washi tape for the border for these.

Something to think about is the background color of the card to be used. You can select colored cardstock to score and use or look at the colors available for the packaged cards. Right now, they're on sale at different craft stores, so you can probably pick up some deals as I did. Compare sizes, as these vary. If you select the card first, then this might determine the colors used for the Zentangle tile if you choose to go beyond the usual black and white designs. I didn't, but lucked out that my selected blues and greens coordinated with several different cards in the box.
 
I'm looking ahead to Valentines Day for the pink and red cards left in the box. I guess the yellow can wait for birthday or summer? Maybe next Halloween? It doesn't tie in to a holiday for me, but maybe Easter? Okay, that's for another day. Thanks for checking in with me again. Happy Crafting!






Holiday Creations Rheta's Christmas Tree

I have been noodling with different crafting projects over this holiday season, trying to get in as much as possible before the Jan 2 return to my day job deadline. I remembered last minute that I promised my sister, Rheta, to make her a rosette tree in blue this year. I'm glad I did, because I finally figured out how to open the CCR files from Cricut. There are definite quirks to this system as anyone who has downloaded any of these files has discovered. You have to have the Cricut Craft Room downloaded and working on your computer to open these up. When you have downloaded the files and saved it, open the Cricut Craft Room and click on File and Open. Select the CCR file and then wait for it to appear on your screen mat. With the Rosette Tree file, it looks like a lot of gobbledygook. Just go to "Cut" and there you'll have the choice of selecting "Cut all files separately" or each individual file. The files are named, such as "Reindeer" or "Charles." I'd rather they named them according to size as well. I didn't take the time to rename them yet, but have changed the colors of each layer on the opening page. Look at the top of the screen when the whole thing is displayed and you can re-color code and well as rename. This would save a lot of time in the long run if you plan to make more than one tree. I tend to plan last minute, so as usual, I didn't have a skewer to thread all the rosettes when I needed. I made a smaller one last year for my parents and found you need something to stabilize this project due to the heaviness of the rosettes. I did remember that I had a pair of #2 straight knitting needles that I would never use. I hot-glued the head of one of the needles to a Styrofoam plate which did quite nicely. The pointed end also helped the rosettes go through more easily. You need to add a rosette circle to the top AND bottom of each rosette to hold it together well. Try not to do as I did and put too much hot glue in the very center of the circles, since this makes it hard to get the skewer through it. I'm so much better at hindsight:) I would add that it would be better to make centered holes for each rosette circle PRIOR to putting these together. I'm learning as I go. I would like to redesign this tree. For example, toward the top of the large tree instructions, the directions call for making two layers twice. I did one of these and found it odd in appearance. The gradual reduction in size looks off. I'd also like to experiment with the other rosettes available in the Ribbons and Rosettes cartridge for various holidays, such as Halloween and Valentine's day. If time allows, I'd love to do a Valentine video for this project. Keep a lookout.  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Star of David Aura Knot Tangle

I had a request to show how I drew the Star of David Aura Knot Tangle, so I whipped up this short video this morning. I'm still getting to know my new Ziggi doc camera that Henry gave me for Hanukkah, so it's a little rough. No sound yet, but I intentionally left that off since my house was not vacant this morning. I'll gradually learn to capture the video without the extra buttons showing on the side, hopefully and be able to add voice-overs. I made a mistake on the third row of lines, but time isn't on my side today, so I'm showing it warts and all. I hope this is clear for everyone. I used liteCam HD software to capture the screen image and Windows Movie Maker (free) to add the titles and publish to the computer. Just add your own choice of music and enjoy! My treat!

video

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Birthday!

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday to my mother and brother-in-law. What a fun day at my mom's celebrating her birthday on the same day as my brother-in-law, Steve. It's always great to touch base with family members and eat rich foods that aren't on my usual diet. Henry and I have been enjoying potato latkes for the Hanukkah season - gluten-free, of course. I made gluten-free brownies with added chopped pecans to contribute. Really tasty. My lucky sister, Rheta, has a husband who loves to cook seafood, so we were treated to grilled shrimp, scallops and codfish in addition to the traditional turkey (thanks,  Mom) with giblet gravy and stuffing. Rheta brought green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole and Kim, my niece-in-law brought hash brown casserole. Like I said, rich foods. Delicious. We topped it off with Rheta's Dump Cake and my brownies. I'm holding off until tomorrow's visit back to my Mom's for a piece of her Chocolate Rum Cake. Can you tell my family members are born with a sweet tooth?

I'm still working on a new Hanukkah card for Henry's family. I used a pre-strung Zendala disk to draw an Aura Knot Star of David with other tangles: Coil, Poke Leaf and Betweed. I'm still considering colors I think I'll add in pastels from the Irojiten pencils in my collection. I'll post it here in black a
nd white. I'm also deciding on background colors for the card.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Classes Being Scheduled

I just got a verification for my first class to teach with Zentangle. I'll be giving a class through the Wayne County Arts Council Thursday, January 30 from 5:30 to 7:30. Please come and join us!

Friday, November 15, 2013

CZT® 13

Kathryn Jacoby, CZT

I can't believe it's already over. After waiting months to attend the 13th Zentangle® Certification in Providence, RI. I've been home for two whole days and although my exhaustion from spending almost ten hours in airports on the way home Wednesday, I still smile to myself when I remember my time away. When I entered the Hotel Providence, the immediate feeling was one of such positive energy and happiness.
Everyone at the conference (over 100 participants) was so open and friendly, not to mention supportive.

I had taken a chance on a roommate in order to help me meet others. I'm not an outgoing person in crowds and usually stay pretty quiet around others I don't know. I'm so glad I didn't choose a single room. I met the most wonderful friends over these days and felt instant companionship with my roommate and others attending.

Kathryn Jacoby, CZT
The classes were intensive, but fun. We covered basic tangles and a few more complicated ones, plus a top secret new one coming out soon. We also received priceless teaching tips and techniques from Rick, Maria, Molly (Maria's wonderful daughter) and others there. That in itself was well worth the trip. I have so many ideas about where to being teaching my classes. The Zentangle staff are a warm group who make everyone feel at home, relaxed and a welcome part of the Zentangle family.

Am I ready to teach? You bet! I'm not going to rush the process, however. There is a lot of planning involved in teaching anything, which 30 years in education have taught me. There are also logistics as to where to teach, overhead, who to teach, etc. I recently took an online class on teaching crafts, specifically, the business end of things. I plan to review the course again to make sure I'm not leaving out advice needed. I've taught many craft classes, from gourd design to One-Stroke Painting. I feel even more confident now with Zentangle. Plus, I know I'll have a wonderful support group to help me succeed.

We joked a lot this week about being the 13th CZT group, finishing up on the 13th day of November in the year 2013. We all felt extremely lucky to have made it to the conference, to have met Rick and Maria as well as each other. I would definitely encourage anyone who loves Zentangle to go to a conference, even if they plan on just enjoying creating Zentangle and not teaching.

In all of the craft conferences I've attended, I've never felt the positive energy that flowed throughout the hotel. Even the hotel staff admitted that they usually ask to work during the Zentangle conferences and that the Zentangle students are always more "family" than the actual families they usually host. That pretty much sums up the feeling of everyone I met and I look forward to hearing from many of them in the future.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Upcoming CZT Seminar

I'm on pins and needles awaiting my trip to the Zentangle® CZT Seminar November 10 with Rick and Maria. This will be my first trip to Rhode Island and a lovely break from teaching for a few days. I'm trying to imagine how peaceful three and a half days of zentangle relaxation could be. I have the perfect sub for my students, a whole day planned with one of our computer labs for them, so that part is secure. My husband, Henry is right now suffering with a possible stress fracture in his right foot, so I'll need to make sure everything is left easy for him to navigate - two cats who demand breakfast at 5:30 every morning, whether I'm working that day or not, and a frisky maltipoo to let out, not the easiest thing wearing a cumbersome boot. He has assured me that he is fine to manage without me for a few days. Quick trips are not usually as simple as they seem. Thanks to my wonderful neighbors, though, I know he has resources he can count on if needed. I wonder if this is the kind of stress parents feel when leaving home for a few days with kids at the grandparents.

There is a definite pull and push here. I've waited months to get to go this seminar as they're generally booked well in advance. My love of Zentangle has only grown since I first discovered it. I'm sponsoring a Zentangle Club for the second year at school and even my regular students who aren't in the club are asking for tangles to do in their spare time. I'm more than happy to teach it to anyone who wants to learn. If anything, we can always use stress-reducers at school. I also can't wait to share what I learn with my blog followers and others in my community. Eight more days.......!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October Delores Fletcher, Cobweb Catcher Classroom Book Set Giveaway

Argie and Maude argued so much about who would be able to announce our latest giveaway, that I've decided to do this myself. In honor of our favorite holiday, Halloween, Aunt Rita, Triple-Great Aunt Mabel Verity, Argie, Maude, McDuff and I would like to invite all public school teachers and librarians to enter our latest giveaway. The prize - an autographed, Ten-Book Classroom Set of my story, Delores Fletcher, Cobweb Catcher! Our storyteller, Kathryn Rose Jacoby, is feeling generous and this is also her favorite holiday. Okay, so, here's what you have to do: Like our page on Facebook Tweet about the giveaway Follow Kathryn on Twitter Answer some easy questions (you have read the book, haven't you?). No? Tch, tch. It's available on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites. Already own a copy? Great! How about getting your students in on the deal! Get them to read the book after you read it and help you research the answers. Are you a librarian who would love a new set of books? You're also eligible to enter. Not a teacher, but willing to donate these books to a school classroom or library? As long as we have a school address to mail them to, you're also eligible to enter. Good luck everyone. Happy reading. Hold your moonstones for luck. We'll be keeping tabs on the contestants. It's going to be an exciting month! Love, Delores Fletcher a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pumpkins Scrapbook Page Video

School has already started monopolizing my time, so this video has taken a few extra days to complete. Hope you like it.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Play Date


 
We recently had a delightful visit from our cousin, Mary Ann, her mother Ann, and grandchild Zoe. We met at my mother, Donna's house. My sister, Rheta brought her grandson, my great nephew to meet Zoe. The kids had a great time getting to know each other and we enjoyed a very pleasant visit. 
My mother and sister are very enthusiastic bird feeders. The grandchildren were treated to a lesson in spreading cracked corn in the back yard for the birds and squirrels. 
Inside, the kids played with cars, talking books, and posed a lot for pictures. 

And I had fun scrapping the whole thing later.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pumpkins Scrapbook Page

I spent the better part of yesterday making a video of two duplicate scrapbook pages, one for my sister and one for my niece. This was the first time I've made a craft video in a while and I was very excited about the project. I'm trying to make a scrapbook each for them of my great nephew, Nick, and this was a cute layout. This afternoon, I'm putting the segments together, splicing, cutting, making notes. The quality of the video is less than I had expected, but I'm not doing it over. I cut it down to 32 minutes which will probably mean making three installments to get it on this site. I'm including two snapshots of the finished project that I took with my camera, so at least you'll get a clear closeup of the finished project. I'll still post the video when it's finished because I feel it was clear enough to get the ideas across. I need to check the settings on the video camera, or maybe next time shoot downstairs where there's more light. Like I said before, it's been a long time, and I do remember making a lot of the craft videos at the downstairs kitchen table rather than in my workspace. I hope you enjoy the film and please send comments.

I'm also linking this page to Pink Cricut.com.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Birthday Cards

July is a busy month for birthdays in our family and with our friends. I'm working on birthday cards for my nephew and great nephew. So far, I've finished one for my nephew. I'm taking a class online with Marie Browning again, this time using Irojitin Pencils on My Creative Classroom. Marie showed us how to transfer photographs to paper in order to enhance them with pencils. I had a photo of a Monarch butterfly from my butterfly bushes and decided to use this. I traced the butterfly and vague outlines of the flowers. I used Irojiten pencils for the colors, scumbling the background using colors from the flowers and butterfly and some pale lavenders., The black is inked in with Sakura Pigma Micron 01 and 05pens. I used a Martha Stewart punch for the double layered leaf embellishment and a Hero Arts stamp for the "happy birthday." The stamp got a little messy, but I cleaned most of it up with a sepia micron 01 pen. The scan of the card doesn't show the flowers well due to the paleness of them, but I like the contrast. I can draw basic things, but I'm not up to drawing this butterfly free-handed, so, thanks, Marie for showing us how to transfer our own photos to projects like these.

Holiday Ornaments with Zentangle®


This is a fabulous video with Suzanne McNeill, CZT, which shows how to make beautiful Zentangle inspired Christmas ornaments. This gives me ideas for a fund-raising project for my Zentangle Club students this year. Do I need to make a run to Michael's? Ummm...twist my arm!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Organization Ribbons

I have a lot of stackable drawers in my craft studio. The drawers look neat and clean - until you open some of them. I  bought some ribbon today when out shopping with my sister, Rheta. I opened the ribbon drawer and made a decision to try making a ribbon organizer.
I had set aside a couple of shoe boxes, intending to put them with the recycling. I was planning to use them when I remembered I had at least one photo box from Michaels that was empty and some dowel rods in my attic. They were a little too big and not as long as I'd like them, but I was determined to use what was on hand. I managed to get two rows of ribbon. Some of the ribbon spools had holes too small. I made small cuts around the holes and pushed them in slightly. Not too pretty, but it doesn't show. 


It helps to load one of the ribbons on one of the dowell rods and another on the other dowell rod to see where they'll fit in the box. Draw a circle around the dowell end and then use scissors to punch through.
I didn't finish emptying the drawer and  again, it's not as pretty as the more expensive ready made ones at the craft store, but then, HGTV isn't exactly breaking down my door to take pictures of my studio decor either:) I'm happy for now to have emptied these rolls at least The box is prettier than a shoe box and best of all, Michael's has these boxes on sale right now!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Farewell to the Knifty Knitters

I recently received an email from www.cricutmachine.com with bargain prices on knifty knitters and accessories. I also get emails from the Loom Knitters Blog, so I connected the two to pass on the savings. I rarely use my looms, but still enjoy them for quick projects once in a while. I also have a certain fondness for them as they got me started knitting. I had tried knitting before and was unsuccessful. I've spent many a happy hour making items on my KK's and have also taught numerous students how to use them.
I followed the emails from the Loom Knitters and found out today that the Knifty Knitters are being discontinued. I'm not reading good reviews for the Boye versions, and the Martha Stewart ones, although everything her company produces is fantastic, are a little pricey, especially for young kids.
I Googled "Knifty Knitters being discontinued" and found a very nice blog, Renee Van Hoy's The Invisible Loom, which says it all better than I could. Her blog also has reviews of the other looms which is very informative.
So, if you are attached to the Knifty Knitter and would like to purchase them before they're gone, I'd suggest that you not wait. Check out the websites mentioned.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The First Few Years Cricut Cartridge


It's been a while since I've had time to complete anything with the end of the school year. Most of the IEP's I need to write and hold meetings for were in the last two months of school and with four sets of exams to give, most of my time and energy were spent on school. I offered to do a scrapbook for my great neice, one of them, and my great nephew and have been worrying over taking so long to get into them. My brother-in-law and his wife, Alan and Pat, gave me the Cricut cartridge, The First Few Years and Southwest. I'm saving the Southwest cartridge to use for some gourd design later. I've made my first layout with The First Few Years. I love this cartridge.

One of the hardest parts of doing scrapbooking is designing a layout. This makes it so easy. It has tons of whole page designs to use. I did change the one called Sweet Pea a little, but that is the fun part of it. I'm also taking an online course through My Creative Classroom called Scrapbooking 101: Back to the Basics by Johanna Peterson. One of the things she talks about is scrapping what is current. She is so right with this. My sister sent pictures of her grandson, my great nephew, Nick, gardening with his grandfather, Steve. It was so precious, I wanted to do this page right away. I will go back and pick up the newborn pictures as well, but there was a more sense of immediacy about the gardening picts.

Another thing I've found that works for me is buying packs of 8.5 x 11 sheets of cardstock when they go on sale. I'd love to be able to buy coordinating 12 x 12 packs of solids to go with each patterned pack I buy, but it's not economically feasible. I watch for sales at Michael's to pick up a pack here and there. With this layout, I used a pack of shades of green that went on sale around St. Patrick's day. They worked great with the patterned paper to give that nature touch. I'll post some other pictures this summer as I use the cartridges more. I have one I started for our great neice. Can't wait to get back upstairs to scrap.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mandala with Tangles



I just finished an online class, Drawing Mandalas with Genevieve Crabe. I loved this class mostly because it was so relaxing and fun. I also loved her explanations of how to draw out the mandala framework to start the design. I found myself being drawn more and more into creating the design of my first mandala. And, of course, I chose to do the twelve-part mandala instead of the simpler six-part one. It's so interesting to see the different ways the same basic structure can lead to so many different designs. If you're interested in taking the class, it can be found at www.craftartedu.com. This website was started by Donna Kato, the fabulous polymer clay artist. Her site has wonderful classes for many different crafts, all as professional and fun as she is. I found Genevieve a marvelous instructor and very personable. I would definitely recommend her classes to anyone. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Debbie

Henry and I finally had a chance to take our friend, Debbie, out to dinner for her birthday, which was actually back in March. I had been sick that weekend and we have all been busy since, so it was well overdue. I was also finishing up the Zentangle class online with Marie Browning. I decided to combine a handmade birthday card with my final entry for the class. I'm still working on the card, but I'll give you a peek at it anyway. I've had so much fun making it, it'll be hard to give it up. What do you think? I can't wait until Marie's next class starts this week. Check it out through www.mycreativeclassroom.com.
P.S. I substituted the finished card.I'm linking up today with Pink Cricut. Check out the other paper arts.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Zen in the Shade

This last week's lesson was on shading. I loved the ideas presented and am still working on perfecting my shading. I believe this will be a life-long endeavor. I'm finding that shading seems lighter when photographed. So, should I be more subtle for pieces that are just to be viewed in person and go darker for those pieces to be posted online? Sounds like a good idea for a project.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Oh, What a Zentangled Web We Weave

Adding Tangles for Zentangle Class
I was delighted recently to discover a Zentangle course online being offered by My Creative Classroom. Marie Browning, CZT, author of Time to Tangle with Colors, is the instructor. I've had one and a half lessons so far and can't wait until the next one. She introduces several new tangles each lesson and is very personable and quick to communicate with her students.
Her second lesson covers shading techniques, which is the trickiest part to me. It's also the part that gives your work it's pop and depth. She gave me some advice to use better materials, which I'm trying to do with good quality watercolor paper. I have a notecard packet on rings I keep just for a handy reference. I love color and thought I'd submit some tangles on lime green. It's not as striking as on a white background, but I found out that adding a white highlight (Marie's suggestion) helps. Also, by happy accident, I discovered that adding this with a Prang white pencil gives a light pink highlight instead of a stark white one. I love the effect. I'll post later some examples.

I had also purchased a Made in the Shade: A Zentangle Workbook by Cris Letourneau, CZT. Between the two, I hope to start giving my work much more depth. I'd definitely recommend both books.


I've also registered for the Zentangle seminar next November with Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, the founders of this wonderful art form. Right now, it seems like such a long way away, but I'm glad I registered as soon as I heard about the additional seminar they've added. It, along the the two earlier seminars in June and October of this year, are already filled. I've also never been to Rhode Island, so this will be fun.

Student work
Student work
My Zentangle Club at school has gone really well this year. I started with only 6th graders because I'm working with that grade this year. I also find that the younger students are more enthusiastic about clubs and don't question themselves or their abilities as much. They also don't have access to some of the other clubs reserved for 7th and 8th graders, so this would be special to them. The students have been very enthusiastic and have created beautiful tangles. It's also probably the quietest club on campus. Everyone concentrates so hard on their tangles, you could hear a pin drop in my classroom. I'll definitely continue the club over the next two years (yes, I'm retiring after that!). The best feedback has come from reactions from the students themselves when they talk about how much this is relieving their stress at school. It's so good to know that I can help make a difference.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tangled in a New Story








I'm working on a new YA novel involving a new concept (actually an old one redesigned) called Zentangle. It involves drawing repetitive patterns on a small square of paper, using mostly pen and ink. I've been buying books for this for the last year or so and have become totally hooked on it. It is very meditative and relaxing. I went to my first class in Havelock, NC recently and loved it. I posted some other pictures on my crafting blog, Crafterdays. As you can see, I've started incorporating color with this. My plans are to continue to take classes, hopefully from several teachers, and to use it to illustrate some of my picture books. It's great by itself, but when combined with other art is really incredible.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Spinning Again!

I encouraged my sister, Rheta, to buy a lovely Ashford Country Spinning Wheel a couple of years ago at SAFF (Southeast Animal & Fiber Festival) near Asheville, NC. She has become so involved in photography, that she decided that she would sell the wheel. Since I've always wanted to be able to spin bulky, fancy yarns and can't do it on my smaller Louet, and since I convinced myself that it was my fault that she spent the money, I decided to buy it from her.

My mother, always a trooper when it comes to helping us with craft projects, agreed to help me put this together. I'm pretty sure that we put each leg on at least twice to get them correctly attached. When we finally got the whole thing assembled, but the end caps on the pedal bar, we were ecstatic (and also, as they say in the South, "give out"). The end caps decided not to cooperate either, though. The depth of the caps was not enough to connect and they kept falling off until we had mangled them with the hammer with our "yes, you will stay on here" attitudes. A close friend of my parents was at the house that afternoon and checked over the wheel, even disassembling and reassembling some parts. He assured us that the wheel should still work without the endcaps, now totally useless. I did buy some others at Lowes later, but they proved unusable. The wheel works well without them, though.

My Louet has one large pedal for both feet. I'm very used to it and can operate it with both feet or with one. Going to the Ashford with two pedals was a little difficult at first, but I felt that I was getting better. I managed to spin a bit of two different rovings, one I promised to Rheta that I would spin for her and another from Ashland Bay Company that is promised to my mother for her help.

I let the wheel sit for a while and have only in the last week tried to use it again. I couldn't get it to catch the roving and keep it spinning. It was like being a beginning spinner again. The roving literally flew out of my hands and broke from the batt. I even listed it on Craigslist, thinking that I had made a big mistake in buying another wheel. Did I really need to spin big yarn, or should I just be happy with what I had? Then, I remembered something else I had let go for too long - ravelry.com.

Yes, I was a member of at least one spinning group on that site. I pulled up the site  and sent out a call for help. I got several responses. Someone suggested adjusting the large bolt that holds the leather brake. I had a Homer Simpson moment "Doh!", and oh yes, oh yes, it worked! I also slowed down my pedaling and am now actually seeing the bottom of the pile of Rheta's lovely blue-green roving. My goal is to get both done by Valentine's Day.



So, thanks again to the lovely women on ravelry's Ravelers Who Spin for their sage advice. I'm so happy no one responded to my Craig's List ad. It's expired in the meantime, thank goodness.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Zentangle!

For the past year or so, I've been fascinated by a meditative art form called Zentangle. I've purchased several workbooks on the subject and have been trying to learn this on my own. I was really happy to find out that there are teachers within an hour to an hour & a half's drive of my home. I've signed up for a class next Sunday afternoon and can hardly wait. The idea is to draw repeated patterns, taking one's time, to relax and ease tension. I've been concentrating on a book, called One Zentangle A Day, by Beckah Krahula. I've been keeping a ringed set of note cards and am now branching out to watercolor paper.
My life has been extremely stressful this past few months. I've had to move my classroom at school due to a new building being completed. I have a beautiful new classroom now, but my back is still paying for the lifting and carrying. My family lost my father on January 10th after a prolonged illness. I've been in a fog a lot of the time and rely on my Zentangle to keep my mind going and to feel that I'm accomplishing something other than going to work, or sitting in front of the TV.  I'd love to learn enough to eventually do my own illustrations for my writing or to someday teach others, but for now, I'd settle on just doing this well.

Yarn Giveaway Winner!

Thanks so much to my readers who entered the New Year's Resolutions Contest. The winner is....Anonymous! I take it that she doesn't want her email or name listed, so I'll keep the secret. Your yarn will be coming your way January 21, when the post office opens up again. I hope you love the yarn.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Yarn Giveaway Resolutions Contest!

Happy New Year to everyone! I've never been one to stick to New Year's resolutions, so I tend to not make a lot of them. However, this year being so hectic between teaching a new grade of exceptional children (6th) and twice as many as usual AND, raising a new puppy, my crafting has really fallen off. I fully intend to get back on the crafting wagon this year and make some effort to make time for myself to do so. I purchased two scrapbooks for my great nephew and one of my great neices and have actually started on these. I'd like to get at least their first year done by May so that I can give them to each of their mothers. My Mighty Wolf loom is warped and partially woven for a wall hanging, I have a new 15-inch Cricket loom I can't wait to warp.
So that's a start with my resolutions. My etsy business is my other resolution. I've decided that my craft studio is too crowded. I'm hoping to sell out of most of my yarn and concentrate on offering handmade items such as woven fabrics and scarves, or maybe even some handwoven toys for pets. That all hinges on getting my pup, Benjen, to settle down upstairs and to perfect his potty habits a little further.
So, what about you? Have you made any crafting resolutions for this year? Send a comment to share. I'm offering two free skeins of yarn from my etsy shop: Universal Yarn World Class Stash 403 Pergola Lot S3520. This is a newer yarn from Universal Yarns of Concord, NC. It would make a really fun knitted or crochet hat or mittens.  I'm listing the skein information so you'll know what you're competing for.  I'll post the winner by January 20th.  Good luck!