Do you struggle with creative endeavors? I think we all do. As creatives, we set such high expectation for ourselves, and for the right reasons. Lately, I have changed my focus from visual creative projects to more written ones. Worry not! I have some new projects in the works and will soon make an appearance. Hears to keeping the faith, and knowing that creativity doesn’t exist on a schedule.
As we keep in mind our consumption and impact on the world around us, one of my personal focuses has been fashion. Fast fashion is a huge environmental drain, as well as a source of many unethical work practices. While I always advocate for second-hand clothing, I understand that sometimes we want something for our wardrobe that you just can seem to locate. Etsy also has great handmade and second-hand options, but for new purchases, I found this great list of brands working on both improving the ethics and sustainability of the clothing supply chain.
How are you evolving your style and fashion? Have you decluttered your closet? Started a capsule wardrobe?
Locally, the public library in Middleton, WI has an awesome upcoming event; A Craft Swap. You can bring your unused materials and trade for items will actually use! What a great way to reduce waste and make sure that your items find a good home. Does your local community center or library do something similar?
You can RSVP for the next swap at https://www.midlibrary.org/EventDetail?ID=18384
Have you seen Target.com DIY crafts section? Of course they link directly to product that you can purchase through Target.com, but there are a few great ideas, and some of the materials you probably already have hanging around. We’re talking egg decorating, centerpieces, even candy jewelry!
What fun ideas! Thanks Target!
I’m always on the lookout for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Currently we’re in a bit of a bind on our recycling (most of what we recycle ends up in the garbage, regardless of our good intentions), so I’ve definitely been more mindful of reducing my consumption and attempting to reuse what I already have. So when I found this great dog toy DIY, I had to share.
I just had to share this article on my new favorite crafter, and fellow Wisconsinite, Jonah Larson. He’s 11 years old and loves to crochet!
And you can follow him on Instagram
Considering that the kids in WI have had sooo many snow/cold weather days off of school, I have a good feeling that Jonah has made great progress on his pending orders.
If you haven’t heard, much of the Midwest is trapped inside due to the effects of a polar vortex. Temperatures here in Wisconsin are in the double digit negatives – without windchill. Gang, that’s cold enough to turn boiling water into snow nearly instantly.
Since Winter (the dog) shockingly has decided that -20ºF might be too cold to play outside, we have hunkered down. I’ve spent the day tidying, which is usually the worst thing to do, but I feel pretty good about it. Even on a day as ‘miserable’ as today, I’m feeling pretty happy. And it might just be because yesterday I made over a dozen pieces of jewelry, and I’m still feeling a crafter’s high.
Apparently I’m not alone: According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, 658 students at Otago University in New Zealand, participated in arts and crafts. They journaled their emotions after partaking in creative endeavors and overwhelmingly felt calmer, happier, and more energetic the next day. The craft didn’t matter – writing, coloring, designing, knitting; all reported crafts netted an improvement of mood. That’s not the only study…there are dozens that detail how crafts can improve mood and treat anxiety, and even further promote MORE creativity!
So even though the weather is awful and you’re probably stuck inside, it’s the perfect day to make something! And if you’re interested in even more examples of how crafts can make you feel better check out: http://theconversation.com/how-craft-is-good-for-our-health-98755
While cleaning I rediscovered a small bud vase I received from a friend (I believe it was from Crate and Barrel, but it was years ago, and a gift). Instead of getting rid of it, I decided to repurpose it. I wanted to start us with a project that was easy, healthy and anyone could do it right now, either with things you have around, or things that would be easy to get: A reed diffuser. There’s so many options and all are easy, so let’s do this!
Recipe 1: Essential Oil in Carrier Oil and Alcohol
This is my preferred method: Use ¼ cup oil (I like sweet almond oil, but you could also use safflower as neither are petroleum based nor have a scent) with 2-3 tbsp alcohol and a generous quantity of essential oil until you achieve a ratio of 70% carrier oil and alcohol and 30% essential oil). Swirl to mix.
Recipe 2: Essential Oil in Alcohol and Water
Pour ¼ cup of hot tap water into your container. Add ¼ cup alcohol (rubbing alcohol or Vodka) and approximately 20 drops of whichever essential oil you choose. Swirl to mix.
Recipe 3: Essential Oil in Carrier Oil
Start with your carrier oil (see above for recommendations). Add essential oil and swirl to mix. Try for a ratio of 30% essential oil to 70% carrier oil.
For the reeds, you can buy specific diffuser reeds, but you can also use bamboo skewers. More reeds will diffuse the oil faster.
A gentle reminder: some essential oils can be toxic to pets. Please make sure keep your diffuser out of reach, and avoid Clove, Thyme, Wintergreen for both cats and dogs. Anise, Yarrow, and Juniper are also toxic to dogs, while Basil, Birch, Juniper, Cinnamon, Fennel, Tea Tree, Oregano, Peppermint, Citrus, and Eucalyptus Oils can harm cats. Watch any premade mixes, as they might contain any of the previously mentioned oils.
What do you think?
Many of the things we do unconsciously are not great; not for our mental wellbeing, and not for our planet. Being mindful of our consumption, habits and attitudes can have a positive effect on our environment, and I for one, want to start the new year doing just that. I started 2019 on a major cleaning frenzy – putting away gifts and decorations, sweeping, dusting, organzing. You name it, I cleaned it. And I was doing so with my mind on reducing the things I was bringing into my home, and focusing on things that brought me joy.
One of the reasons I started this blog was that I noticed that over the years I accumulated a lot of crafting materials. But I wasn’t crafting. I’ve been in love with arts and crafts since I was a child. I used to hide coloring books under my pillow and color by flashlight under the covers. But somewhere along the way, I lost focus. I forgot the thing that brought me so much joy that I would risk the wrath of my mother. So now, with the pressure of an audience, it’s time to get crafting.
This year let’s ask ourselves:
If we can’t make it, do we need it?
If we don’t love it, can we change it so we will?
If we do love it, can we share it so others can too?