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Gathering Inspiration

Gathering Inspiration

January 30, 2014

RocksBaby-GirlGranny-SquaresNeedles-and-HooksInspirationDrawingColorsBaby-FeetEmbroidery-3EmbroideryDSC_7239-copyEmbroidery-Sketching

The past year is not one that I would say has seen a lot of creative inspiration for me. It has been an incredible year, a magical year, but not a creative year. Perhaps it was the pregnancy and postpartum brain, perhaps it was the adjustment to a big homeschooling family, perhaps I was just really really tired. Whatever it was, I have not done much more than knitting, and even that was simple baby knits.

As the craziness of the holidays subsided and the new year turned, my oldest and I spent a few days looking through books, videos, and patterns trying to decide how to get 2014 off on the right foot. I think that somehow we both knew that we needed new bits of creative goodness to get our mojo back. We made lists, day dreamed, and discussed the ins and outs of new projects and techniques. We decided that while we already do a creative project almost everyday, picking something specific to work on with each new month was how we wanted to plan our time. Screen painting, crochet, woodworking, throwing on the wheel, all of these things are on the list for this coming year.

In December (or maybe November, the days have blurred together) I discovered Creativebug. Oh my, this is a crafters dream. Classes from some of the best teachers and artists that you can take whenever you want, even in your jammies. In my current state of mommyhood, this was like finding the holy grail. I immediately bookmarked a few that I wanted to try, and I signed up for their monthly membership. One night, as the baby was asleep on my chest, with the toddler tucked safely in the crook of my arm, I decided to watch a class on embroidery. I knew the basics, and occasionally I would take needle to thread, but I wanted to really understand what it meant to embroider something special.

As I sat there and listened to Rebecca explain so many different stitches, it all came flooding back.

Any crafter will tell you their story of when the bug bit them. When they began traveling with their supplies, doing handwork in public, or started designing projects in their sleep. When the idea of a vacation was learning Irish Cabling by a lake, drawing with a best friend at the kitchen table, or taking needle to thread in a cabin along the Rockies. There are ups and downs, lulls and a few hiatus here and there, but we always return to the work of the hands at some point.

This time around it took that bug a while to come back and get me, but I am ever so grateful it did. After a lull long enough to put me soundly to sleep, my imagination was suddenly aglow, and my hands yearning for something new and fun. The past few months have been spent with cloth and thread in hand, with books galore on such subjects as crewel work, wood burning, and sketching. There are a few quilt tops that have been sitting for years, begging me to finally learn to finish them. There are certainly skeins and skeins of yarn that are telling me that now is the time to get over my fear of Fair Isle, and some little girl clothes that promise to be adorable, if only I will sit and learn to smock a dress or two.

Then there is this space, that promises me that if I will once again take pen to paper (or key to screen), I can find that voice that I have missed for so many months.

I dream now in color. In fabric and yarn, in thread and paint. I dream of words, of texture, and of creating the beautiful world I know is right at my fingertips.

                                      ::::::::::::

The sampler I embroidered above is designed by Rebecca of Dropcloth. Her work is a lot of fun, and so easy to get started with. My oldest loved it so much he asked for one of his own. The gorgeous purple silk blanket was a gift to Emma Jeanne from Stephinie of Gypsy Forest. If I can ever sew half as good as Stephinie does, I will call my life complete :). 

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna January 30, 2014 at 6:20 am

Oh, it is so nice to “hear” your voice again. And so beautiful to see your creativity and the beauty of handcrafts (Emma Jeanne’s blanket! that embroidery!). I seem to have lost my creative mojo as well. Not sure what the right fit for me is to get it back, but thank you so much for inspiring me to start looking.

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:14 am

Thank you Anna. It is always so nice to reconnect 🙂

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renee~heirloomseasons January 30, 2014 at 7:02 am

Dear Heather, My embroidering, sewing, stitching Colorado friend! So nice to get a little note from you yesterday when I had just been thinking of you. I love seeing what you have been creating, and your words always inspire too. I’ve also been knitting more than anything this past year, especially cause Elsa needs woolens to keep her warm. Did a bit of sewing the other day as I was determined to not let the first month of the year pass without sitting at my sewing machine. And so so want to do more. (I don’t want to tell you how old the quilt top I have waiting is, but it’s mostly just lack of backing fabric that keeps it from being completed…) My granny squares have been neglected for a long time, but baby likes playing with them!
And your growing Emma Jeanne baby! What a sweetheart!!
Well, I feel like I could talk crafting stuff with you forever. Someday at our picnic, right? We’ll bring embroidery! I love your sketches, and that you and your children are seeking and creating together…
Love to you and your beautiful family!
Renee

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:15 am

Oh my goodness, I loved reading this Renee. Someday, we will sit under the tree and watch the kiddos run around, with piles and piles of handwork surrounding us. Someday soon, I hope.

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Tonya January 30, 2014 at 7:22 am

Heather,
Love all of your inspiring photos and for me, like you, creativity at different phases of life, takes different forms. But I know that it is such an important aspect of who I am that taking the time to express it – whether making a little centerpiece for our table, knitting or crocheting, or drawing with some of my children….
Looking forward to seeing more of your embroidery. (and your son’s)
Love, Tonya

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:16 am

I love the way your phrased this Tonya. It is an important aspect of who we are, and even in the little things, a good reminder to always express ourselves :).

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lily boot January 30, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Oooh Heather – so much to look forward to! You will love fair isle – I started a couple of years back now and completely smitten. If I could suggest looking at Kate Davies patterns – her Blaithin cardigan which I think comes in a baby size – is a lovely introduction to fair isle – with the added fun of some different cast ons, icord edgings and steeking. It was my first go and I loved it! Now, I’ve moved into Lopi sweaters from Iceland – they’re knitted in the round with a simple yoke construction – the patterns are beautiful – I can just picture your beautiful boys wearing them – and that patterned yoke part just flies off the needles. Now I’m charting my own designs for the fairl isle – it’s positively addictive. As for your embroidery – I’m so glad you linked to that sampler – in the early photos I was thinking – oh that’s lovely! Off to check it out. Enjoy your day – and I do so look forward to seeing what you explore 🙂

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:17 am

Lily, thank you so much for the pattern idea! I am going to check Kate out right now. I am so excited to learn the fair isle technique, and I always love coming to your space to gain some inspiration :).

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a little crafty nest January 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Hello again, Heather…how happy I am to read some more here…and something just so close to my heart, as well. Funny, I have no excuse for the dwindling craftiness in my life, other than spinning and dyeing and knitting. I also have plans for my kids, and have been trying to stick to it, but some days I get a bit tired and turn to my own knitting quietly by the fire while they play instead. But you have once again inspired me and now I want to peek at the link you provided. Everything in your stunning photos looks inviting…everything! And yes, my idea of a perfect vacation involves like-minded friends and some crafting project…
xo
Jules

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:18 am

Thank you Jules! The sweater that was on your blog the other day is just stunning. I say keep on knitting girl :D.

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shelley January 31, 2014 at 6:32 am

What an inspiring post. Good to remember that just because creativity escapes us for a small time, it is always a home to return to. Thanks for the link to Creative Bug too!!

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:19 am

I agree, as crafters we always come back.

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Andrea January 31, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Lots of gorgeous going on there! Here’s to creating and inspiration in the new year!

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:24 am

And to you!

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Lindsey January 31, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Heather, it has been so fun to see your embroidery pins on Pinterest. They’ve been so inspiring to me! Thanks for sharing about the class and sampler here. Best wishes for the flow of creativity in 2014!

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:23 am

Pinterest and I get along too well some days :). There is so much there that is so inspiring, and I always find myself gravitating to it when Emma Jeanne is asleep on me.

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Sigrun Jones February 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

I have been so lazy about the blog reading and writing. I used to read yours all the time, so inspirational. The last time I read, it seems, is when the previous baby arrived. How wonderful that you have a little daughter. Will be peeking in again.

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:23 am

Oh my, I hear you there Sigrun. It is hard to find the time to read the blogs I once did. So glad to hear from you though, always.

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christy February 7, 2014 at 10:12 am

Hi Heather. I’m checking out your blog after following your creative ideas on Pinterest, and I’m glad I stopped by. I love the rich visuals of your life with your family.

I understand how it feels after a baby – some things go into hibernation and naturally take a back seat while we nurture and create with our wee babes. I went through a creative dry spell for at least two years. It was during that time that I reignited my love for photography and discovered Instagram as a way to find inspiration. I’ve recently come out of a knitting hibernation and am enjoying the late night bursts and all weekend sessions in which I’m finding myself.

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:20 am

Thank you Christy. Oh my I do so love those late night and weekend bursts of knitting that I have occasionally. Food for the soul :).

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Hannah@HomeBaked February 12, 2014 at 7:10 am

How wonderful that your creative inspiration has returned! So many beautiful things in your pictures – I feel inspired by it too!
Looking forward to seeing your new projects as they emerge xx

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Heather February 18, 2014 at 6:19 am

Well you always inspire me as well Hannah. Your blog certainly shows just how beautifully creative your past year has been.

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Stephinie March 1, 2014 at 3:25 pm

I haven’t visited in awhile…… I so loved stopping by and seeing your sweet girl with her blanket 🙂 Thank you for the sewing compliments….. you are too sweet. So glad she is loving that blanket. I hope it is a favorite for years to come <3

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