I have a VitaMix and there is no way I’m going to use it to make my paper, so I went to Walmart and bought a 56 ounce blender for $20. By creating my own paper from junk mail I can also add things like flowers, flower petals, glitter to my pulpy mess. I haven’t made anything yet since I just purchased the blender.
I think a hand crafted journal is going to be a great contest prize. The winner can use it for themselves or give it as gift. Maybe sewing isn’t something your interested in, but this might be something for you to explore. This could be a project you can do with your kids. There are lots of video’s on book binding. I love Nik the Booksmith, Sea Lemon and Jenniebellie’s video’s on book binding methods.
Homemade papermaking will work for all the areas of writing I do. As with most creatives when I sew, paint, or do crafting it helps stimulate my imagination and writing. In a previous post I had mentioned holding a contest for my blog subscribers. I signed up for Rafflecopter, so you’ll be seeing a contest in the near future.
I wanted to share my favourite sewing and refashioning resources with you. One the things I’ve missed most during the pandemic is the chance to go and poke around in my local thrift stores. Recycling and upcycling items help my creativity while giving something a brand new life. To some people this sort of activity isn’t fun, but for me it’s exciting. So, if any of you are contemplating the joys of refashioning and upcycling come along with me.
I understand not everyone is excited about sewing, refashioning, and thrifting. If you know someone who is please pass the link to this post to them and share the love.
There is a difference between recycling and upcycling. RECYCLING is the destruction of waste and making something new. Example: Automobile windshield glass made into drinking glasses.
UPCYCLING it taking an item and creating something new from it in the current state it is in. Upcycling is creative and reduces the need for recycling. Example: My purse made from a pair of old blue jeans. I get lots of complements on this purse and I love it. Pinterest has lots of ideas for upcycling denim as well as other sewing projects.
Jillian of ReFashionista.net is the one person I credit with giving me the courage to even attempt refashioning. She gives clear directions and warns you of possible pitfalls along the way. I love her sweet, bright personality that’s bursting with creativity. I hope you’ll stop by and take a look at all her wonderful creations. https://refashionista.net/refashions/dress-refashions/
After the ReFashionista got me enthralled with refashioning I found other ladies who are of the same mindset. I came across Beth of The Renegade Seamstress creates amazing refashions like Jillian. Beth has wonderful videos that show you step-by-step how to create a variety of projects for yourself, your family, and your home. If you’re looking for a book with a great variety of refashioning projects check out Beth’s book. I’ve already chosen the first project to make out of my copy. You can find the Renegade Seamstress here: https://therenegadeseamstress.com/
I wanted to add So Sew Easy is another fab resource. These ladies have a nice variety of projects and at various difficulty levels for wherever you are in your sewing journey. https://so-sew-easy.com/
Some of you know I love vintage clothing and I’ve found some amazing designer/seamstresses. Bernadette Banner has absolutely gorgeous Victorian/Edwardian period clothing. I think if I ever met her we would be friends. She made an Inverness coat and a Lady Sherlock outfit, an 1890s ballgown. If your interested in this era of fashion, please visit Bernadette’s YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSHtaUm-FjUps090 S7crO4Q/videos
For 1920s era on up, Evelyn Wood is fantastic. I believe she has course on Teachable, too. I just love her personality and the way she explains how and why she makes the decisions she does in her refashions or whatever garment she’s creating. I love learning about vintage sewing skills. You can find Evelyn here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ59owAiWL2IgaANbG-jm0Q
For dress eye candy on Instagram I always look at Molly Nguyen Designs. Her exquisite ballgowns and wedding dresses with floof and sparkle make me so happy.
If you’ve always wanted to try sewing or upcycling I hope I’ve given you enough places to encourage you to step in and give this a try. Or, if you have some basic sewing skills you’ll find plenty of places here to inspire you.
Being chronically ill I’m home a lot. Doctor visits range from two to four times a month. If I’m feeling good that means I can drive into town to pick up a few things at Walmart or the resale store and then a coffee from Starbucks.
I’m telling you this because I had to change my mindset when I lost my job. Being pissy about my situation wasn’t going to make it better or bring back my health. After dealing with the grief and anger I had to make some changes. I had started writing children’s stories and articles in 1990, so I had a foundation in it when I forced out of my job. It ended up being my saving grace along with having sewing and crafting hobbies. Creativity was and is the key for keeping depression and negativity to the curb (at least most of the time for me). Having hobbies can bring great joy and relieve stress. The writing and the art crafts saved me.
My plans for next few months are to finish final edits on an erotic paranormal novella and publish it. Finish polishing two middle grade short stories that I’ve had sitting in my computer and publish them together so the kids get two funny stories. Then, start plotting a Gothic romance gaslight/steampunk story. I’d like to finish some junk journals and maybe do a bit of sewing. I’ve always wanted to learn more than two stitches in crochet so that’s something to consider. Do I have the energy for all of this? Not all at once, that’s for sure but I look forward to getting up in the morning and writing stories that make people happy. Or teaching my creative writing workshop and helping writers understand aspects of the craft better. I’m thrilled to have assisted so many wonderful people over the years.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a book. Now would be a great time to start it. There are novels, short stories, novellas, a collection of short stories with a wide variety of genres to write in: romance, science fiction, fantasy, high fantasy, Western, children’s: picture book, middle grade, young adult, new adult, historical romance, historical fiction, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mysteries, cozy mysteries, thrillers.
If your child wants to be a writer National Novel Writing Month, nanowrimo.org has a Young Writer’s Program you can check out with your budding novelist. There’s also journaling to express feelings or it can be used as a way organize your life while being creative.
These strange times could be a blessing in some ways. You have the chance to make more memories together with this extra time together. There’s a chance someone may want to learn to cook. There are beginning cookbooks for kids, beginning cooks in general, then there’s specialized categories such as French cooking. Take photos of the meals and add them to a document or blog and track your progress, comments on how it turned out and if you want to change anything for the next time you want to make it. You could also take a blank hardback book and create your own cookbook.
Our Cairn terrier, Smudge keeps us laughing as well as vigilant because he’s a stinker that runs off with things the minute your back is turned. The TV remote, ink pens, paper of any kind can go through the terrier shredder. He loves being outside, is curious, intelligent and loves people from young to old. Pets are a comfort and a blessing and I’m grateful to have my Smudgie. Petting a dog or cat lowers blood pressure.
My husband is doing a few things in the yard while he’s off and playing some video games. We’ve been watching classic Doctor Who on BritBox, Farscape and Highlander, enjoying each other’s company.
Have a romantic dinner with your spouse at home. Remember why you chose each other.
Getting grumpy during these difficult times isn’t going to make things better. That kind of mindset will make you and everyone around you feel worse and that leads to ugly, nasty things none of us want or have time for. We do need to wake up and learn from this pandemic. Each of you know know what that teaching is. We may not be able to go back to our old way of life, we might have to adjust to a new normal. Be grateful you’re still here to have the opportunity for another day, another chance.
I pray all of you are healthy and not getting each other’s nerves too badly. What have you found that helped you and your family during this time of confinement?
Sending this with love and light,
P.S. : You can find my books on Amazon. I believe my teatime cookbook in ebook is free with Kindle Unlimited. I price all my books with people’s budgets in mind so as many people have access to my books as possible.
Ex-stewardess, now USA Today bestselling author of happy ever afters. This is where I chat about my books, writing and the writing life. My love of animals, nature, whimsy and magic, just about anything interesting. Cozy, not glam. Kindness always. If you'd rather look for cool stones than buy shoes, and love the smell of woods after rain, you'll feel at home here. Bonus points for cat lovers. Welcome aboard!