Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Crafting for No One But You

I've kept a journal in my personal life for about as long as I can remember.  Although I still have one, I find that I only write in it every few months since I have found other ways to express my feelings over the years.  In my journals though I've never just written about my day, although there is some of that.  I've always tended to use my journals as a creative outlet.  So I draw in them, or I write poems, or I've even done a watercolor in one before.  A recent trend in papercrafting though has been the concept of an art journal.  I liked the idea of a journal to create whatever you felt like in it.  Anything from painting, to stamping, to paper arts.  Basically a journal you kept in your studio to help you keep the creative juices flowing for those days when you've hit a creative wall.

So a little while ago I began to keep one.  Finding quotes, words, and inspirational messages I like, and then creating a visual background for them to go with.  This isn't something I do to really share with people, this isn't something I make any money on, but for me it's been important to do this for myself.  I get so swamped with making things for profit, that I sometimes forget that I began crafting for myself, and the profit came later as an afterthought.  So I am going to share a few of the pages I've done, because I'm proud of them, like I'm proud of all the mixed media pieces I do, but I don't care what people think of them.  I think it's important for all of us to remember why we begin doing something like paper crafting, or quilting, or painting...for almost all of us I think we can say we began doing it for ourselves first.  Remember to continue to do things for yourself, it really is therapeutic. <3 p="">
Bloom Where You Are Planted


She Took The Leap and Found Her Wings On The Way Down

When Words Fail Music Speaks To The Heart

Friday, February 7, 2014

Looking past the Imperfections

I tend to go in waves.  There's a wave of completing a lot of crochet projects, or sewing/quilting projects, or card making projects.  Recently though the wave has been painting.  If you head over to the Etsy store, or the Facebook page you'll see that January was definitely a wave of painting.  Sure I've done other things, but the number of paintings I did compared to the other projects is far greater.

I've gotten a lot of questions from family and friends about the paintings.  Primarily they don't remember me drawing or painting in my past.  Well this isn't a new hobby, just one I've chosen to share for the first time.  All artists are critical of their work, regardless of the type of artwork most artists never see a piece as finished, or perfect.  I'm no exception.  Even though I may "finish" a quilt, and have the customers love it, I always see it's imperfections.  That one spot where the pieces didn't line up perfectly, or where a seam didn't lay flat and there's a bulge.  You learn to look past some imperfections knowing that you are the only one who is going to notice those things, or you go back and fix it because you're a perfectionist.  The fact is I have learned to look past many imperfections in my cards, quilts, photographs, scrapbook pages, and various other crafts.  I've never been able to do this with my paintings though.  For whatever reason I am most critical of them than any other craft I do.

So even though I've been drawing, and painting since I was in high school. I'm only just now learning how to share them with others.  In the past they have been trashed, given to goodwill, or family has taken them.  (My sister still has 2 Mixed Media pieces I did ages ago hanging in her living room it pains me to look at, but she loves them.)  I may never be able to look at a painting and truly love it, but I am beginning to see the beauty in them even if I don't always see it.  So here are a few of the pieces I accomplished this past month, some are even still for sale over in the Etsy shop (click the big orange circle on the left if you're interested in seeing which ones).

In other crafting news I was finally able to complete and deliver a baby gift in the making since November.  A good friend of mine got pregnant and I wanted to make a special gift for her, so I decided a personalized baby quilt was the way to go.  The issue, well she and her husband decided to wait to share the baby's name until she was born.  So I told her that even though she was receiving all kinds of baby shower gifts before the baby's arrival, she had to wait for mine.  On December 4th Mary made her arrival and I went into quilting overdrive.  I had finished the quilt top with the exception of adding Mary's name, so I added that and then sent it off to the long arm quilter since it was too large for me to quilt in my small space.  The long arm quilter I use usually has a turn around of about a month so around the end of January I got notification that they had completed it and sent it back to me.  I could not have been more happy when it arrived, it was perfect!  I added a binding, and this past week was able to hand deliver it, something I don't get to do all that often.  Everyone seemed to love it, and I'm so happy that Mary will have this quilt for years to come.

This month has already proved to be a crafty month as well as I'm trying to move back into my other crafts and let painting be for a while.  Be sure if you haven't already to "like" the Facebook page for the most recent updates. <3 br="">

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 Update

Yup I'm a horrible crafty blogger! If you follow my personal blog you know that it's not just a crafty blog thing either!  I tend to be able to make quick posts on the Facebook page, but typing out a blog takes a bit more time so I don't seem to do it as often.  I'm thinking if I give myself a deadline every few weeks maybe that will help, but one thing I do know is I'm going to try and do this more this year!

Speaking of, Happy New Year!!!  With a new year comes new challenges for me, for instance I have become a full time crafter again. At least for the time being. I'm also challenging myself to push Handmade Heart further.  This business is kind of like a baby to me.  I want to watch it grow and learn to stand on it's own two feet.  I know this is going to take lots of time, but hey it's a good goal to remember for every year.

Another new thing for this year is a new logo!  I loved my old logo that Lynda from LynLaBelle Designs created for me, but it had a lot of problems when I would try and transfer it to quilt labels or to stamp on the back of cards.  So I had to retire that logo, and asked a friends husband who is a graphic artist to turn a doodle I created into an actual logo.  It was quite the process since I wasn't 100% sure of what I wanted.  He even created an original design totally different than what I had thought of in case I liked that.  I ended up deciding my original doodle digitized was perfect though.

The new look for Handmade Heart!

So there has been a lot going on other than new logo's, and goal setting around here!  I have been creating a lot, and the Etsy store has been staying stocked with a lot of goodies from holiday items, to baby items, and even a few things just for fun.  Just because the blog has been a bit neglected recently, don't think that everywhere else has been too!  As a matter of fact the Facebook group stays very up to date, and even has a contest or two every once and a while. :-)

So just a taste of what has been made in the past few months...

All kinds of fun things that have been special orders, gifts for friends and family, or made just for fun.  There's a lot more planned for this year and I'm not slowing down anytime soon, like I said it's time for this baby of a business to grow this year!!  If there's something you'd like to see me tackle this year and try and make, let me know.  Remember I'm always taking special orders, and my Etsy store will always have a few things in it.  It's going to be a big year, and I can't wait to share it with you all!  Thanks so much for your support!! <3 br="">