Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Life Changes and Projects Worth Posting About

Why, hello there blog! (And anyone who might still be checking in.) It's certainly been awhile... but what's a couple of years between friends, right?  Seriously, two years ago was my last post - /facepalm.

Now I haven't been working on a whole lot of projects lately as soon our family census will increase by one little boy and even sooner we will be moving. Despite these distractions, honestly, it's like I lost my desire to be creative for awhile there.  Knitting, crochet, card making, spinning, art journaling - none of them were all that interesting to me for probably a good year of my blogging hiatus.  But, you know what?  Crafting is my hobby and I wasn't feeling it.  If I'm not feeling like doing something that is a hobby, why should I do it?  Instead,  I did a lot of reading, caught up on some tv watching and focused on other stuff.  But, I think its time to let my creative side have a say in things for at least a little bit! 

The one project that I have been working on is this lovely crocheted Lego baby blanket.  I chose colors as close to original Lego colors as possible, joined the blocks with white yarn and then added a row of single crochet in each color to finish it off and make a nice clean edge.   I wanted smaller blocks so I chose Plymouth Encore DK and a G hook to get the look I wanted.  Overall, I am very happy with how it turned out.  The whole thing took me about a month and a half to create and assemble, which is pretty quick as far as blankets go.  Now that I have actually finished something, other projects are popping into my head.  They just might involve dragons and be super cute too. More details to come!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Victory Against the UFO Bin!

Finally!  I finishing SOMETHING!! Ok, so it only took two days, but nevertheless it is a small victory in the war against my UFO bin.

Crocheted Stash Bag - pattern is by Purl Soho, yarn is Lily Sugar'n Cream Cotton Solids
Ok, I'll back up.  For those of you who do not knit or crochet, UFO is short for unfinished object.  Often fiber crafters, like myself, get all fired up and want to to make everything new and fun they find online.  Ravelry is good like that.  It provides us scores of lovely patterns to choose from and often they are just a click or two away from arriving in our hot little hands or email inbox.  More patterns are more better I say!

So, you can see how easy it is to fall into the habit of starting something and then finding something even cooler to start a few days later.  Sunday I finally scored a victory against my pile of UFOs.   It always helps when the project is quick and easy... only 12 more UFOs to go!  Sigh....

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Creative Crossroads

In mid-July I took a really fun art journal class at my LSS (local stamp store) Ink About It.  I take quite a few art classes throughout the year to learn new techniques and hopefully find inspiration to be creative at home as well as during my classes.  All too often when I attempt to let my creative juices flow at home, they seem to fail me.  I get all excited, pull out a whole bunch of fun paper, stamps and ways to add color and then... nothing. I'm stumped.  All the possibilities for materials and layouts are totally overwhelming.  I can't even think of where to begin.  After my most recent class, I have found a solution.

Music art journal page
My first completed art journal page - Music
The class I took was Art Journal Pages with Nancy Lefko, a mixed media artist who currently lives in New Hampshire.  She offers both online as well as in person art classes and her teaching style is fantastic!  She walked us through the process of creating these journal pages layer by layer and gave us plenty of time in between each section to play with the materials as we went along. There was no need to rush; I just played with the different techniques and created.  The whole process was very satisfying.

Nature art journal page
The second page - Nature
While I left the class without any of my three pages technically "finished", I still felt really good about them.  What's even more telling is that I went home and the next day I worked on the pages some more... Bwah?!?!?  Yes, I kept creating!  I happened to have the day off and probably spent a couple hours finishing up the details of the Music page and then attacked the Nature page with gusto. 

Inspire art journal page
The third page - Inspire
It didn't stop there.  This Friday I spent the day crafting with my mom and we made three  background pages together.   After she left I completed the Inspire page that afternoon.  I'm so happy that starting this journal has allowed me to be creative at home and use all the awesome art materials I already have on hand.  As an added bonus I have been using a lot of my own photography for the collage element of the pages.  It makes the pages so much more personal.  Each one reminds me of somewhere I've been or an experience I have had.  So, by using my own photos I'm telling eve more of my story than by just using words alone.  Wicked cool!

If you are local to Westford, MA and would like to take a class with Nancy Lefko, she is teaching art journaling at Ink About It again on September 7, 2013.  Click here to see the class description.  If you are not in the area, check out her other teaching venues here.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Trickle trickle little drops
Falling thru the air

Gentle wind she makes you fickle
Descend without a care

Tell me now your part in nature
From where did you depart?

Sea or lake or stream or ocean,
Renewal is your art.
~ "Drops" written on 6/7/2013 by jjphotoftw

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Look who came crawling back....

Hi!  Remember me?  At this point probably not... let me reintroduce myself.  The name's Jo and I like knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, cycling, rubber stamping, photography, reading and all types of music.  While I haven't blogged in a long time, and who knows how much time I will find to write now, I have been and will continue to be very active on Instagram.  You can check out my feed by clicking on the widget below.  



What's keeping me busy...

I've been working on a lace shawl, or should I say NOT working on it.  It is the Vermont Shawl, which was very nicely gifted to me by a fellow knitsib.  I'm doing the last three pattern repeats now, but they are very long and intricate, so who knows when this will be done. 

Vermont Shawl Pattern Link:

I was able to take a nice bike ride today.  I'm trying to be more active and am fortunate enough to have a lovely rail trail not too far from home.  I can just ride down a short hill to it, it's great!  I did almost 9 miles today, which is pretty good for my first ride on it in a few weeks.  Hoping I can do the whole thing later on this week if the weather holds.

Well, that's about it for now.  I know my life is completely riveting and you obviously can't get through the day without hearing about mine... so I'll try not to wait too long to post again :-)

Behave yourselves...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Have a Kindle? Three Great Blogs for Free Books

I've been doing a lot of reading in what little free time I've had lately.  The beautiful thing (since like most people, I'm watching my wallet) is that most of the books I have been reading I haven't paid a dime for.  Below are three blogs I read that post about bargains or free books available out there.

Books on the Knob - Recommended by my knitsib and fellow Kindle Fire owner, CaughtKnittin, Books on the Knob is a great resource for Kindle users.  They also list deals for the Kobo and Nook as well, so still check it out if you aren't a Kindle owner.  I find the posts really comprehensive and very easy to browse through quickly.  There are short descriptions of the books as well as the publishers they come from.  As an added bonus they even post about any free audiobooks through audible.com.

Pixel of Ink - I just recently started reading Pixel of Ink after it was recommended to me by my friend RisenPhoenix.  This blog is specifically for Kindle users and is similar to Books on the Knob in format, though the updates range a bit more throughout the day rather than all at once.

Kindle Nation Daily - This is another blog I stumbled across recently that again is only for Kindle users.  The format for their updates is a bit longer than the previous two blogs.  There are more reviews and sometimes samples from the books that can be quite lengthy, so if you are looking for more in depth info about the books, you might want to check this one out.

By following all three of these blogs I do see a fair bit of repeat info, but I don't mind.  Someones one will post about something that the other doesn't.  Anyway, that's it from me today... so HAPPY READING! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tour de Fleece Days 4 through 6 - Cape Cod!

In my little corner, happily
spinning away!
So I'm a little behind on the whole posting thing for the tour, but hey, at least I'm spinning!  I started off day 4 spinning with several fellow Tour de Fleece competitors at my usual Tuesday night knit night.  When I spin there I get soooooo much done!  It's nice to only have the distraction of laughter rather than all the normal chores which so easily pull me away from my wheel when I am at home.   I just love my knitsibs!  They are a wonderful group of ladies that sympathize,
I was so on a roll I actually finished up with my 2oz of roving in less than two hours!  It was a good thing too because after I got home, hubbie and I headed to the Cape to spend time with his family for the 4th of July. 
12oz of singles done!
On the 4th we spent the day at the beach where I relaxed in my camping chair and did quite a bit of reading on my Kindle.  I just love having multiple books with me wherever I go.  I don't have a ton of books on there yet, but I have a good selection of fantasy and classical literature, which are two of my favorite genres.  Lately, I've been re-reading Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind so that I can pick up the second book in the series and continue reading that.  I'm trying to read better quality literature rather than the easy to read romances I have trended towards for the past few years. 
The 5 seconds our sail was going
just fine!
Most recently I read North and South (free Kindle edition) by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell which was written in the 1850's.  I really liked the story, which is a bit like Pride & Prejudice (free Kindle edition), however it took me more than a few chapters to get to the point where I was taking in all that was reading.  The prose is very dense and required my full attention until I got used to it.  Once I got into the mindset though, I flew through the book.  Gaskell has written several other books, which also happen to be free for the Kindle, so I'm hoping to read some more of her work over the summer.  
My first 340 yard 2 ply skein
After beaching it throughout the afternoon and getting some quality time in with our nephew and the extended family, we went back to the house to watch the Pops and fireworks as per usual.  We didn't have the opportunity to see live fireworks due to the 4th being in the middle of the week, but I was content to spin away listening to all the great music performed. 

The next day, hubbie and I went out for a sail on the family's sailboat.  Let's just say that itwas not the best sail we've had and leave it at that... Hopefully the next time we make it to the Cape, sailing will go much more smoothly.  Other than, that I just spent the rest of my time on the Cape spinning away on my roving.  I made tons of good progress and was able to hang out with family and chat at the same time.  All in all, it was a nice little trip.  Hopefully we'll be able to go back very soon!