Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Crafting Projects


Red Paper Roses Kit, at Paper Source

Winter is the perfect time to catch up on our crafting, scrapbooking, writing, baking, knitting, or hobbies. There's no holiday shopping, wrapping or baking to slow us down. Weather in most parts of the country isn't nice enough to tempt us outside.

If we can resist the distractions of our computers, televisions and video games, we can enjoy our handicrafts, rubber stamping, letter writing, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, dollmaking, sewing, writing, journaling, photography, photo album sorting, or other indoor wintertime pursuits.

It's all about making time and space for yourself to actually do it. (And cleaning up afterwards!)


Martha Stewart Chunky Iridescent Glitter Set, on eBay

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Do you have any borrowed pots and pans, or food containers you need to return because people brought them over for the holidays? Any pie pans that need to be washed and returned? Find them, wash them and make time to return them. (Even better, return them with fresh baked cookies or pies inside).

  • Make time in your schedule for vigorous exercise. If it's too cold out to walk briskly, put on great music and dance for half an hour. I'm sure I'm not the only person with a little bit of holiday weight gain or a need for some heart-healthy exercise. Luckily I have two very hyper Labrador dogs demanding insistently that I walk them several miles today, even though it's raining.

  • Have you taken your vitamins recently?

  • How are your supplies of firewood, propane, wood pellets or similar heating and ambience supplies? Kindling?

  • Do you use a space heater? Inspect for signs of damage, clothing and curtains too close to the space heater and other hazards.

  • Launder used gloves; remove used Kleenex from jacket pockets and replace with fresh packets.

LOVELY CREATIVITY: Crafting


Campo Marzio Fountain Pens, at Kate's Paperie

Are you planning to do any crafts this winter, while it's too cold to distract yourself with outdoor activities? Inspire yourself by getting out your craft supplies, then organizing them. Read (then recycle or give to a friend) any back issues of magazines you have about your hobby. You might have let a few pile up over the past few months.

Browse and enjoy a few webpages about your favorite kind of crafting, but don't spend so much time online looking around that you don't have time to actually DO your craft.

If your craft supplies are in a shambles, now's the time to invest $7 or so in a storage container (or maybe you'll need more than one). Then you can really get your supplies put away in an organized fashion. This way it will be easier to bring supplies out, do crafts for an hour, and put them back away again. I don't like to have my dining table covered in rubber stamps, ink, and paper for days at a time. Instead, I put my supplies away neatly in a particular box when I'm done playing in the evening. Then my dining table is neat and ready for my roommate to eat his breakfast there in the morning.

Make a vow to not buy any more craft supplies until either you've used up several items from what you already have, or until you've completed a specific number of your projects. Finish knitting your sweater before buying that luscious soft pink yarn for the next. Find a creative way to use up some yarns, fabric or ribbon you've been storing for years. Throw out that old dried up tube of fabric paint and really evaluate before replacing it with a new one in the same color. Winter crafting is not about shopping for more craft supplies - I bet everyone reading Lovely Living right now already has more than enough crafting supplies squirreled away - possibly even overflowing our closets! I do know that shopping for supplies is the most fun part of any hobby for me. I just have to hold off and control myself and not shop in any more crafts shops this wintertime.

If you're taking any online classes or participating in any book groups, have you done your reading assignments for the week? If you keep a blog or online journal, have you written in it in the last few days? You can't force yourself to write, but if you have some ideas of things you want to talk about, give yourself the time to enjoy doing it.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Quick Tidying

Between grocery shopping today, walking my dogs in the woods for a few miles, crafting this afternoon and socializing with friends later tonight, I don't have a lot of time left for cleaning. That's ok, because I've been good this week at "keeping up" with the messes and taking care of them as they happened. So I'll just do some quick tidying today.

Walk quickly through your house dealing with any problem areas. Empty small trash cans, remove clutter and dishes from your living room, straighten or replace hand towels in your bathrooms, refill toilet paper rolls if needed, empty or fill dishwasher, empty and scrub kitchen sink, wipe down bathroom and kitchen counters.

Need to remove any piles of items on the stairs, or shoes by the front door? Any stray items that need to go back into your children's bedrooms? Any house plants that need to be watered or thrown out? Any piles of packages or items that need to be mailed out?

LOVELY BLOGS: Piewacket


This is a "Show and tell" type blog with beautiful design and decor inspiration. There's also some interesting food and style content, too. You'll love browsing the finds and photos here!

http://www.piewacketblog.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: Open Studios


I'm so looking forward to reading Open Studios. It was supposed to be released on February 23, but has been pushed back until March 23. I'm looking forward to peeking into the studios of all those artists, designers and crafters. (I wonder if they tidied up a bit before the photos were taken, or if they photographed them As Is?) The studios featured are in New York, Tokyo, Copenhagen, and other cities.

LOVELY HOME: Colored Vases in Winter


Orange Vase, from Crate and Barrel

I had such a fun time browsing Crate and Barrel yesterday. I decided I needed a little inexpensive dash of color for my home, so picked up this little orange vase for my kitchen. I'd just bought some orange-and-yellow tulips, so chose three of them to cut smaller to fit into this vase. Set into my kitchen window, it seemed to smile at me every time I walked into the room today.

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Bartenders Tap New Inspiration: Beer Cocktails (Seattle Times)

Dumplings, Rolls and Ribs: Lunar New Year's Treats (Epicurious)

Mushrooms fill in the Blanks for the Meat-Free (NY Times)

Singapore Stir-Fried Noodles (Delia Online)

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