Thursday, May 31, 2012

Got Creative Correctness?

(Part two of my Got Creativity? series.  First article here. )

Do you feel that you must have your creations turn out exactly like you envision?  And absolutely with the correct techniques you are attempting?  Let me tell you, correctness is a killer!  There is an old saying that you need to remember, if you are in the afore mentioned state.  And this statement is not currently politically correct, either!  Remember:  "There is more than one way to skin a cat!" (I think this saying originated with hunters and they were referring to a polecat!)  Maybe a more politically correct saying that conveys the thought would be: "There is more than one way to get to Chicago." tee hee!

Just because a pattern, that you might be using, says that you must do the procedure one way, doesn't mean that it is the only way to complete the task! Honestly, if it were, there wouldn't be a plethora of craft/sewing books available that tell you how to approach it!  Let yourself go, try your craft like it feels right to you! Throw the rules out the window, just come up with a finished product that is pleasing and sound.  You will be invigorated, refreshed and motivated to move ahead with further creativity!  So what if you don't like the first attempt?  It's OK.  Try it again!  Remember Rule one: Stick-to-itiveness.  We talked about this in part one of this series)

Here's my example:  I first started with embroidery art hoops using just a line style and one color:

Next I tried filling in the design and came up with this which I am sure is not correct technique and, by-the-way, not one of may favorites pieces:

Next I tried some different techniques including a couching technique (on the grasses--enlarge and look closer) and came up with something that I do like:

Practice makes perfict . . . I mean perfect!!  Keep at it and don't let correctness stand in your way nor let it derail and stall you!

On to more creativity tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Got Talent?

(Part one in a series of articles on your attitude of creativity.)

Do you struggle with your creativity?  Do you think that others were just born with it?  You think, others just "have what it takes" and do not struggle with making lovely things. I, personally, think creativity is a matter of style and "stick-to-ativeness".  (Like my new word?  -- It's creative!)  Yes, I agree, takes a few times to do something to perfect it! In the process, you find things that you would do differently the next time.  But stick to it!  You'll get it.

As to style, I understand that my style is not like someone else's.  If you are trying to reproduce someone else's style, you will never be satisfied.  Just keep working on your own designs until you are satisfied with your own creativity! And quit comparing yourself to others!  You are unique!

My pansy quilt and matching pillow cover

I often have tried to compare my quilting to some of those beautiful creations that I see in the quilt shows.  Mine are nothing like those!  But I have come to accept my creations as an extension of me!  They are creative, pleasing, and talented!  I have learned that I have a "child-like" quality to my work, and that is OK.  Anyone ever hear of Grandma Moses? Her creations--her artwork--was primitive and hot (in her time) for an old lady! "Child-like" was OK!

I had a friend  who considered herself "craft-challenged"  but when we had a get-together, she participated and came up with lovely quilt squares for our group project.  I don't think any of us are UNtalented.  Just take a browse thru Etsy and you will see! And make sure you "keep at it"!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Celebrating . . .

Celebrating Aprons! 

I recently did some preliminary work for a local, yet international, factory/retail business toward the opening of a new small gift shop in their factory tour facility. (Their larger retail facility is shown here.)

I did a prototype apron for them.  The buyer wanted a vintage style apron that they could attach their logo to.  After being submitted, it had an "on again, off again" relationship with the company officials.  But finally, an initial order for three aprons "to try" has come thru!  I am so celebrating! (And sewing, of course!) Once they are in the shop, I will show you a photo! But for now . . . .

 . . . . to celebrate, I am offering the aprons that I have in my Etsy shop at HALF OFF!  You can share the celebration with me!  I would like to offer some new styles in my Etsy shop, especialy if this wholesale order takes off, so I am clearing out my existing aprons.  This is a great time for a SALE, since it is wedding season!  Also coming up are backyard BBQ's for the holidays.  Treat yourself to a new apron (you'll look so cute in it!) or purchase one to give as a gift!  Be sure to use coupon code APRON12 to get the huge discount!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Scraps, scraps, and more SCRAPS!

While working on my regular projects, I seem to accumulate lots of scraps!   I have a little wire basket on my sewing desk that I pitch all my usable scraps into. 

When it gets too full, I stuff them in a large plastic Ziploc and hide them away somewhere--in the cupboard, under the bed, anywhere!  What to do with them--When to do something with them? Recently,  I needed the space in my cramped quarters, so I started a crazy quilt top with them.  You can do it too! Anyone can do it!  No need for fussy cutting, or worrying about cutting the patchwork pieces extremely straight.  There's really no wrong or right way to do this!  And there's no pre-prep needed to plan out the quilt top!  Just let it evolve!  A fun adventure with scraps!

You can start with any piece which serves as the middle of your finished block.  Next, sew on scraps; just match a fabric piece to any side of the first piece, making sure you sew a straight stitch.  You can even use a length of fabric that is too long for the side.  Trim it where you need it to end, once you have finished the seam. You keep building, not unlike a log cabin block (tutorial here), until you have the approximate finished size of the block you want.  Then, iron it out flat, trim any seams that are unwieldy. Next, cut a finished block, discarding the uneven and odd edge cuttings that were not used if they are too small.  Toss large enough pieces back into your scarp heap if they can be used again. 

Here I used a panel scrap for a corner. It needed to be cut to fit after the seam was finished.  I only needed a little piece of the red dot fabric to make the corner.

I'll share the progressions of one block here (Started with the purple piece):

find a piece to fit your side 

I felt it was a little short, no problem!

Added another scrap to the end of my scrap!

Regardless of the side, sew a straight line stitch-- trim later.

Finished seam.

A nearly finished block.

Trimmed and ironed--ready for use!

This is a simple way to use-up (upcycle) your scraps.  I will be sure to show off the rest of the process to a finished quilt top in future posts!  Watch for it!  And . . . try this yourself! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nature Inspiration

My favorite Etsy team, Blogging Business Artisans, hosts a monthly challenge.  Team Member Sharla of  has challenged us this month with:  "Your challenge is to incorporate your favorite inspiration into a project of your choice."

I always look to nature for my inspiration.  For me, just one look out my window into the tree tops is restful, calming and invigorating! It takes my mind away from the mundane and transports me into the infinite possibilities.  Ever really looked at a tree branch?  In one tree, there is a myriad of ways that the limbs and leaves attach to the branches, never to be redone in that exact same way again.  Ultimate creativity! And you thought a snowflake was really something!!!

So, I took my inspiration from the tree and created nothing as elaborate as God can create, but a tree none-the-less, a simple one!

This is my embroidered tree on muslin and homespun.  It's a button down pillow cover.  This is the first in my line of primitive country products for wholesale only.  Not available in my Etsy shop, at least not at this point in time. 

Thanks Blogging Business Artisans for the monthly challenge!  It keeps me creating!!!
P.S.  Visit  the blog link between the 26th and the end of each month to see what other members are creating and find out more about our team!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My 500th Post!

I can't believe it!  This is my 500th Post!
When I started blogging back in December of 2008, I really didn't know where it would take me!  I started because I wanted to support my new fledgling online business and I was told that blogging was one way to do it! 

So, where has it taken me?  What have I accomplished?  Do I want to continue? 

It truly has been an adventure!  I have learned A LOT!!!!  Tags, and SEO; advertising, and content; link parties, and blog rolls--to name a few!  HTML is still a mystery! Wow!  Tons of education about Internet blogging.  And because of the need for blog content, blogging has forced me to do more online research, not a skill that I used much before I became a blogger!

I have made new friends everywhere--Other bloggers, Etsy team members, customers.  I read other blogs now, never did before.  Enjoy interaction with friends online. Thanks to all my wonderful readers!

Do I want to continue!  Yes!  Even though my regular readers are not so many as I would like, I find that I enjoy writing!  I will do it for me! (and you, of course!)  I am also thinking about having my blog posts made into a book for posterity's sake.  There are many online sites that can help with this task. I will list a few:

I'm not recommending any of these, just did my research and want to pass along the possibilities.  Isn't that want blogging is all about?  Sharing!!!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mom, is that you?

This picture was originally posted by my friend Laurie, on one of her lovely blogs. She collects all kinds of odds and ends and makes beautiful things! I don't know where she got this picture, but the two gals on either side of the lamp stand look exactly like my mother and her sister!  The brunette looking like my mom, Jodine, and the blond like my aunt Wilma.  Both sew, and have all of their lives.  They are both in their eighties now.   My aunt Wilma, even altered an evening dress for herself the other day, because she wanted it short, not long for her granddaughters wedding!

Wouldn't it be a hoot to find out that this IS a picture of them!  Mom lives far away from me, so I am re-posting this for her to see on my brother's computer.  We will see what she says!  

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Mother's Day

Yesterday was a wonderful day for me! (For those of you who don't know I am the mother of ten kids!)  Being a church day, the men of our little church served a moms day breakfast! Then for lunch, my youngest daughter and family took hubby and I out for Chinese.  At dinner time my oldest daughter invited us over for BBQ.  Later, we played a game--Mad Gab--with her family: the oldest against the younger--three of my grands and Katrine, our exchange student from Denmark.  The young ones beat us, even with a handicap! Also, some of my grands gave me roses, and, of course, I got lots of calls during the day, including a "Mother-in-law's" Day call from one son-in-law!  First time I ever got one of those, but it was nice! I love and appreciate all of my grown children and how they have matured.  It is such a blessing to enjoy the fruit of one's labor (not even mentioning their wonderful spouses and my grands!)

So here is a treat for you--I thought I would share all of their pictures from eldest to youngest. My prides (plural!) and joy! Obviously cannot show you all the family, spouses and grands, but tried to mix it up to keep it interesting!  

Don and family
Jackie and hubby

Elaine and SIL who called me on Mother's Day

Paula and hubby

Jeremiah and wife

Aaron and family
Peter raises and shows horses with his wife

Suzanne with her Dad, my sweet hubby

Now, to show all my twenty five grand kids . . . just kidding!!

Hope you had a wonderful mother's day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Winners and a Birthday!

Today is my second granddaughter's 21st birthday!  Maybe i will share some birthday pictures next week!  I thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of her when she was young.  Here she is a cute 6 1/2 years old.  Happy Birthday Kelsie!!!!

Now . . . It's that time!  Time to announce the winners of my latest giveaway, celebrating  the re-opening of my Etsy Design shop! Thanks so much for all your entries!  Thanks for tweeting, commenting and connecting to my blog and facebook page.  I appreciate all of you who visit and read my blog!!! Now for the winners!

Necklace Winner is Daph!

Earring Winner is Cynthia R.

I will contact both of these winners by email. 
And according to your comments, these earrings were the favorite:

Terra Cotta Earrings by PruittDesign
 Again!  Thanks to everyone who participated!  Have a great Thursday!!!!! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bird Bath WW

P.S.  This is the last day to enter my Giveaway!  Tomorrow I will announce the winner by random selection.  Enter here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Embroidery Embellishment

Coin Purse by PruittDesign
Lately, I am really enjoying embroidery.  I haven't really sold many of my embroidered art hoops, but I still enjoy embroidery in the evening; it's relaxing.  This weekend I was making a batch of zipper pouches for an upcoming craft show, when I was inspired to put embroidery on one of them.  It turned out pretty cute and I was pleased.  Apparently several Etsians were too, because it got several fave's in the first few hours that it was listed! 

I am wanting to do more elaborate designs, especially in conjunction with ribbon embroidery, crazy quilting and embellishing with beads.  I have done this before, even have a couple of items in my shop with crazy quilting (including this brooch that is clearance priced!)

Crazy Quilt Brooch by PruittCreations
but . . . I haven't done enought of it to suit me! One of my goals for 2012 involves being more extravagant.
So you can see what I am talking about, I have found a couple of Etsy items that I really like that utilize these techniques. 

Victorian Pillow by Kittyandme

Phone Pouch by HummingNeedles

And then there is my very favorite, Waterrose.  I like most everything that she embellishes, so do over 11,000 Etsy admirers!
Hydrangea Bridal Cuff by Waterrose

Hope this inspires you, like it does me, on to newer projects and different techniques! 
What are you longing to try?  Anything extravagant?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still Learning

I learned something the other day.  I think we should all learn it.  I learned from an exchange student from Denmark.  Her name is Katrine and she is staying with my daughter and family.  Here she is with my daughter, Jackie, and my granddaughter, Courtney (in Watermelon).  BTW--I altered Court's dress before the prom for her--that one was a difficult one!

Anyway, we gave Katrine a ride home from school the other day and she was asking why American kids know nothing of our politics.  She says that they study politics in her home country--quite a bit, and when they are in high school, they understand where they stand personally and with which party they want to align themselves with! (They have 21 parties!!) She was baffled by the ignorance of our kids about their own government. 

What did I learn?  I have always heard: "Stay away from religion and politics" in polite conversation.  Maybe if we did talk about it in civil terms, not just this black and white accusation, we would be better for it.  We might even begin to understand instead of just act like we do!!!

P.S.  Today is the National Day of Prayer,  oops!  That's religion, oh well, pray for our country anyway! :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012