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fifteen minutes of creativity a day

What can you accomplish in fifteen minutes a day?

In the spirit of “little things add up to big things”, a piece of wisdom imparted by my best friend in college, I’ve been participating in something called Marchalong this month. All this means is that you to commit to setting aside fifteen minutes a day for creativity. That’s it. Fifteen minutes. But if you do it–how many hours of creativity does that add up to by the end of the month? Actually, I’m terrible at math, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot.

I’ve tried this “fifteen minutes a day” idea before with cleaning and decluttering–and honestly, it has never stuck for the whole month. But doing something fun and creative? I think I can make that happen for fifteen minutes a day.

So, how have I been spending my few minutes of creativity so far? First, I finished up my February hand sewing project that I am doing along with the Fat Quarter Shop. I am really loving hand piecing these blocks–I’m almost sorry when I’ve finished the six for the month. But the March blocks will be coming out soon, so I don’t have long to wait. I’ve been stitching away on these in the evenings while we watch Grace and Frankie and This is Us. I’m all caught up now with This is Us and it is agony to wait a week between episodes. I clearly need to find a new British drama to become obsessed with–any suggestions?

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In the meantime, I cast on some shorty socks. I got a little obsessed with knitting socks over the summer, but have not cast on a pair in months.  It was clearly time to do so. I cast these on while listening to The Off-Kilter Quilt podcast–which is my favorite quilty podcast. Frances is charming and chatty and just plain entertaining. It’s a great way to spend your fifteen minutes.

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Don’t you love this knitting project bag? My friend Minki made it for my birthday last year and I smile every time I reach for it.  People went a little nuts over it on Instagram the other day, but I can’t take any credit for it, except for the little pink knitted patch on the front.

I’m also working on a new quilt design–and honestly the jury is still out on how I feel about this one. I am in absolute love with the fabric line, Sundrops by Cory Yoder. That fact is not in doubt. However, I have rearranged the blocks in a million different ways and I hope I landed on the best one. Stay tuned.

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I like having a few different projects at hand–because sometimes I just don’t feel like sitting down in front of the sewing machine. Or the only way that I’m going to get my fifteen minutes in is in the waiting room at the doctor’s office–so I’m glad that I can pack a sock to knit. But one thing is sure, I’m always amazed at how quickly a project progresses when you actually work on it! Even for just fifteen minutes a day.

What’s for dinner?

Because thinking about what’s for dinner is never far from any woman’s mind, I thought I would share that we are having Jonah’s favorite: Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss. You should try it 🙂 What are you having?

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slow stitching

 

photo credit: Minki Kim
{photo credit: Minki Kim}

Have you heard of the Slow Stitching Movement? It’s all about process over product. Take your time and enjoy–there’s no finish line. It’s a frame of mind that I have to remind myself to be in–today’s world is so rush, rush, rush! But our sewing doesn’t have to be that way. (deep breath) It’s not even just about sewing–it can be knitting, crochet, anything creative pursuit really.

Today, C&T Publishing ran a blog post about slow stitching featuring Sew Illustrated! We talk a lot about sewing being a way of life in the book. Take time to sit down with your cup of coffee and stitch for a few minutes–and reap the rewards for that self-care for the rest of the day.

Here’s a website devoted to it, and here is a good blog post about it.

Enjoy the process friends.

 

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knitting bowl

I was gifted this gorgeous knitting bowl from by the talented woodworker Chris MacBain and couldn’t be happier with it!

Have you seen these before? The concept is fairly new to me, but makes a lot of sense. If you have ever knit out of a tupperware container with at hole poked in the lid so that your yarn didn’t tangle up, then you understand the genius of the knitting bowl. Your yarn lives happily in the bowl and feeds through the slot to avoid nasty tangling. I’m working with two balls of yarn for this lap blanket and it has frankly been a nightmare of tangles up to this point, so I’m so happy to have a great solution.

You can knit with it beside you, or sitting in your lap, or even nestled between you legs. A much more elegant solution than a beat up tupperware!

I’m leaving it out as a decor piece and I think I will be inspired to just pick up my knitting and knit a few minutes here and there during the day, since it’s so accessible.

Check out Chris’ Amazon Handmade page here.

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yarn along

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I’ve been doing more sewing than knitting lately, but I did knit up a whole pile of dishcloths that will replace the ones that are falling apart in my kitchen drawer. I find dishcloths to be the perfect summer knit. Small, quick, portable, and they don’t sit in your lap and make you hot.

My book club is reading Longbourn by Jo Baker, this month, and truthfully I just got it out of the library and will dive in this evening. It is described as a “downstairs” version of Pride and Prejudice. So, it basically sounds perfect to me.

Joining in with Ginny over at Small Things.

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yarn along

IMG_7180I’ve been reading Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman this summer. I was lucky enough to get an Advance Reader Copy and this book has been such a blessing to me. It’s all about slowing down and appreciating the Tuesdays in you life–meaning the everyday, nothing special moments. Which are, in fact, special. It was finally released this week, so I encourage you to pop on over to check it out.

Summer knitting means dishcloths for me, and this one has been a fun one to knit, I just need to finish up that last petal! Sadly, I think I made a mistake and need to rip it back and figure out where I am. Oh well, it just means more knitting. Not such a bad thing.

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along today.

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crafting a life

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Carmella over at The Art of Simple has such a great post over there today called, “Mindfulness in the Empty Minutes“. It is all about not necessarily wishing for more time in the day for creative pursuits, but finding the little nooks and crannies of time already there and using them well.

In order to do that, I have realized, that you need to be a bit organized. You need to have your knitting projects ready to go in a basket, your next block ready to for you to sit down at the machine for a few minutes while the kettle boils. I am trying to be better about all of that, because sewing and knitting bring me joy and creative satisfaction.

Looking back over the last few months of crafting, I am so happy that I have found a few minutes here and there to indulge in my creative passions.

Make time for yourself every day, to do whatever it is that brings you joy.

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yarn along

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I may be the last person in the country to jump on the Outlander bandwagon. I was cautioned that it starts out a bit slow, but that it was worth it. I completely agree, and I think I’m hooked. I’m about halfway and it is due back to the library soon, so I think I’m going to log some serious tea-drinking and book-reading time this week.

That is, when I’m not knitting this prayer shawl. I recently joined the Prayer Shawl Ministry at my church, as it seemed right up my alley. However, I didn’t really know where to start. I hadn’t actually ever knit a shawl. It turns out that people actually knit small blankets, but oh well. This is going to be a shawl. Of course, I googled it and found this website with a simple pattern. I may try something a bit more ambitious next time, but this is nice, mindless knitting–suitable for TV watching. I love the color and hope that it brings someone comfort in there time of need someday.

Linking up with Ginny.

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yarn along

 

Linking up with Ginny over at Small Things. Reading and knitting are two of my favorite things, and it is fun to see what other people are reading and knitting too.20 knitting 120 knitting220 knitting 320 knitting 4

Still working on the Tea Leaves Cardigan. Will the sleeves ever be done? I’m reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It came highly recommended and I was able to download it to my Kindle from the library. (yay!) I recently finished The Girl You Left Behind by the same author and cannot tell you how much I loved that book. It had France, World War I, art, things taking place in two time periods- so many things going on that I love. I highly recommend it. I just started Me Before You, so I don’t have much to say about it yet. But it looks promising.

What are you reading (and/or knitting)? Feel free to link up over at Ginny’s or just share in the comments.