Here’s One Fun Thing to See and Do

I’ve found SO many things to see and do along my Creative Journey.

I want to do everything and all at the same time. I know, I know…that’s fairly impossible, right? And while I’ve spent these past 2-3 years doing practical research and participating in applications (i.e. making stuff), I figure now might be a good time to try to focus.

With that in mind, I’ll begin by saying that there are TONS of resources available for making just about all of those craft anythings. And…there are many ways to do those things, and even more suppliers who would like to sell you directions and supplies, kits, and workshops. I don’t think I’ll go out on a limb and try to list all of those resources here, but what I WILL do is encourage a reader to do their homework and research some of those on your own before spending a ton of money.

I’ll begin with SOAP:

I love to make soap for home use and gifting, and I have been asked to teach a class on soapmaking. I thought about that for a long time before I wrote up a proposal, because there is more to making soap than you’d think. My hope will be to make it seem so easy as to encourage the beginning students who sign on to do some research for experimenting with other recipes, fragrances, and in adding a little bit of color.

There’s a lot of information about that, too, so there’s room for diversifying and creating a gazillion different combinations. I’ve learned how to collect certain plant materials, get natural colors by the oils or liquid(s) I use, as well as using essential oils for fragrances that are both soothing and healthful. (Check labels to make sure the oils are skin safe.)

This photo shows samples of a lemongrass, a plain, unscented bar, a soap using dried lavender, a yummy soap using an essential oil that smells like fresh oranges, and a natural with vitamin E and a splash of color, just for fun. When it is time to “cut” the bars, I make them large for bath sizes and smaller for assorted gift sizes.

Today happens to be the first day of spring, and although the weather is still cool where I am, I’m looking forward to a sunny day when the temperature outside is in the upper 70s or low 80s and I know I’ll be outside, too.

Making soap, for starters.

And Happy Creating! I hope you’re making something fun today, too.

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Home on the Range

I am at home in either of these buildings. They have become two of my most favorite places in the world.

Here we have a blacksmithing shop and a general store. They are full size and functional, which means, sometimes we actually work there.

Ting! Ting! Metal hammer strikes metal on an anvil, and when I hear that sound, I know something is being made. Or repaired. The smell of burning coal in the forge, and the warmth coming off the fire reaches me in ways I hadn’t thought of before.

The store is used as a meeting place, a storage place, a place to get stuff. And where we can sit on the front porch on a sunny day to do nothing at all ALL DAY if we start early enough, doing nothing, all day. There’s a place beside the store where I hope to build an outdoor cooking area someday.

If anybody comes looking for me, I’ll probably be down in the village, where Creative Time might stand still, or there’s a real wrinkle in my timeline.

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Here, and There, and Over…Where? (part one)

2020 and 2021 feel like they were so long ago and yet just the other day. And while I know that it’s later on in the year 2022, this year has also shown itself to be full of surprises and experiences.

I wondered for a time if it was just me, and maybe I had dropped into the same rabbit hole that Alice fell into when she discovered Wonderland. OR maybe if I’d taken a nap and awakened years later, as did Rip Van Winkle, to another time and place.

But…I know those are fictional characters. I think I’ll call all of this as Research, share some of the information with those who might care to listen, and leave a trail of more than breadcrumbs along the way.

A 19th century Shepherd’s Wagon has found its way to our home. Some restoration is required, but all-in-all, sleeping in this provides a unique outdoor experience. Previous camping experience is preferred–there are not too many amenities provided and it makes me appreciate those who used this on a daily/weekly/seasonal basis.

Cooking on an outdoor fire can be a lot of fun, or it can be more work than you thought. I’ve spent a fair bit of time practicing, so the taste-testings are usually an event. These are cheddar cheese and herb biscuits and I’ll keep that recipe for use again.

Hope you’ll find a way down your own creative path too, and I’ll hope to hear from you along your journey.

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Old(er) Lessons Learned in New Ways

I think I know a few things. Then, I begin to work on something with what I think I know, get somewhere along in the process, and become sidetracked with something else. This has happened on almost every project I’ve begun: some of those projects are eventually completed, while some remain in the Who-Knows-Where? Pile.

Maybe that’s just how my mind works. I’ve been pursuing a Creative Path for a great many years now and before anybody jumps in to say anything about ANY of that…I’ll go ahead and admit that I haven’t gotten lost anywhere along in my journey. Some of the scenery has been really wonderful (ThankYouVeryMuch) and there is so much to see and look at and DO, because I try to keep all possibilities for Creative Living open as often as possible.

I’m hoping that the time spent away from doing a few favorite activities in 2020-2021 will show itself to be productive going forth in 2022. Admittedly, there were a LOT of things I liked to do that weren’t possible, while other things showed up in a Most Unexpected Way.

Here are some photos of what I can only describe as a Heritage Quilt Piece. We THINK the top was originally pieced together by hubs’ Great Aunt, and our best guess is that that might’ve been prior to 1970ish. The fabrics are mostly cotton and while there was a bit of wear and tear, it was in remarkably good shape. I appreciated the simplistic pattern (Enlongated Hexagon, I think) and will go back to more reading/researching quilt patterns eventually.

For this piece, I decided to make and add the crocheted medallions myself, because even though “Aunt E” didn’t put them there, she had lots around her house. They seemed to fit right in with the “feel” and design. I’ve made a tag with the family name on the back, the year we think it was begun, and then, the year that the quilt was completed.

I say all of that to say this: I’ve learned a lot from this project, and not all of it was about sewing.

Something’s gonna take however long it takes. If you work on a project and don’t finish it, maybe you pick it up again. Or not. Or maybe someone comes along, adds to it, and then…it’s there to be enjoyed and/or remembered. And maybe, the joy came from doing whatever it was you were doing in the first place.

Happy Creating…or catnapping. (Whatever.)


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(Under Construction)

There has been so much interior work I’ve been doing on my creative journey (in 2021) that I don’t really know where to begin if I wanted to try to play Catch Up. I’ll just admit to being busy in ways that will hopefully show up on a page.



or “Over Yonder.”

Happy creating, right?

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Not yet time–but almost–and the value of persistence.

It’s been cold. And wet. And I’ve been inside for too long. It’s making me crabby–I know. I KNOW!

I’ll bundle up and go for walks in the woods on cool, sunny days. Read or write or make stuff when I’m in the house or barn/studio on colder or rainy days.


I yearn for warmer weather. To dig, to plant, to grow, then harvest. I miss the dirt under my fingernails, and don’t mind the aches that come from working in the garden.

I saved tomato seeds from last year, so what better time than RIGHT NOW to put a little soil and seeds in a few cups? You know…just to see?

I am happy to report that things are looking up in what will hopefully be garden tomatoes. And there’s a lot I’ve learned from doing this which will hopefully be shared in future posts.

But for now, I’m thankful for patience and persistence. In creating artworks of ANY kind, you gotta have a helping of both.

Happy creating!

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In Bits and Pieces

It seems to go like this: I’ll begin to work on a project or two, LIFE happens, I pause or stop work on the project(s). I’ll put the thing away, time passes, I begin to work on something else. The original thing is set aside.

The thing remains in an unfinished state for WhoKnowsHowLong? And I must admit that I have a large number of UFOs (Un Finished Objects) packed away in plastic crates. There are more of these crates than I thought, btw. Along with all that are a lot of supplies to complete those projects, or newer supplies to begin with again, since I couldn’t find whatever it was I thought I had. (What was I thinking?)

2020 has shown me that, while I enjoy making and creating things, maybe I could slow down and work with what I already have. Maybe I can change what I thought I wanted into something else. And just maybe I’ll accomplish several goals at the same time.

Because I work on projects in bits and pieces of time. I really don’t know exactly how long something takes me to make and I don’t think that’s the point, even though I DID keep a time log for a project once, a long time ago. Just to know.

I found part of this quilt project in one of the plastic crates. There were no directions or notes I’d left to myself on how it was to be finished, but I was pretty sure I’d cut out all the pieces needed. But where were they?

Somewhere else. Stored. Ready. Waiting for me to pick them up again and finish what I’d started.

I’m not finished with this just yet, but I’m working on it in bits and pieces of time. And that’s probably going to be as good as it gets for now.

Happy Creating!

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Old/New Things Coming This Way

1924 Dodge Truck. It won’t be advertised as “ran when parked.” It’s not even for sale. But it became a decoration in my front yard and I’ve really enjoyed seeing it there over the holidays. While 2020 was a year like no other, I’m thinking 2021 will be filled with possibilities if I can get myself in gear, too. Here’s why: I began this webpage as a way to encourage readers, other creatives, and myself. “Random Thoughts from the Creative Path” might sound like a vague description, but when I think about it, that’s probably the best I can determine for now. I plan to refocus efforts as I make adjustments in both content and make revisions. WordPress has changed a few new things here and there on this format, and since 2020 was filled with so many OTHER things I had to learn and do and be….well, my engine stalled out a bit, too. (Where DID I put that file/photo? I don’t even remember.) As we begin this New Year, I’ll add more postings, including “How to Make” for handmade items, or “How to Grow” when out in the garden. I might even include a page that’s for the “Young at HeART” with kid-friendly content. Looking forward to whatever comes next on this journey and Happy Creating to you, too.

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One of These Days…

One of my grandmothers taught me how to crochet when I was about nine years old. I made lots and lots of square and round shaped things. The other grandmother taught me how to sew.  I created teeny, tiny clothing for my Troll (doll) figures out of her discarded scraps of fabric, sewed with a needle and thread, or wrapped the figures in yarn. (I learned how to knit, weave, and spin my own yarn on a spinning wheel much later.)

BOTH of them encouraged an appreciation of things handmade, as well as a love of reading, planting/watching things grow in the garden, and of making music.

So I wasn’t too surprised that when it came time to select a career path, that it would’ve been in making things by hand…and to encourage children to do the same. Maybe my parents were (surprised) and might’ve thought I’d do something other than become an Art Teacher, but then again…maybe they knew it on another level. For three decades (yes!) I could say that I got PAID to draw and color pictures with kids, and worked with clay, paint, as well as a variety of other art materials.

I was naturally drawn to the area of fiber arts, and pulled toward learning a great deal about Traditional Appalachian handcrafts and music-making.  Here are a couple of “selfies.” (My hands at work/play.)

And I can’t say that I’m through learning new things, either.  I have a six foot table in my work/studio space for current writing/research projects which is covered in–books! A recent find is a publication about earth pigment paints and yes, you can make paint out of clay, dirt and natural materials.  Another book is a “how to” book on a Scandinavian fiber technique called nalbinding, which is a forerunner to knitting. When I found out that a very substantial part of my ancestry profile included regions well known for their fiber related, handmade handcrafts…well, I was all over that!

I hope you find activities you enjoy doing and that you make time to do those things as often as you can.  Enjoy the journey,  learn something new, and Happy Creating!


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Every Day? Every Day.

The year 2019 was “one for the books,” as I’ve heard on more than one occasion. It certainly was one for me, too. I can’t think of a lot of specific instances that I could bring out for discussion because those experiences are related to me and mine.

I think I’d prefer to assimilate all of that information in my memory, distill it into something worth mentioning, and share what I think I learned from all of that with you. Here’s hoping it makes some kind of Creative Sense.

This tree was harvested from our property and used in holiday decorations, after a lovely walk through the woods with the littles.

Here we have a view of the sawmill. A storm came through in 2018 which provided us with lots of downed trees, and from THAT, we cut wood.

And more wood.

And even MORE wood.

But notice that within all that wood which was not used, there was good wood which WAS. Working every day(weather permitting), deciding what to use or not to use, and using other days for surprises that Life sent our way…eventually we will have this:

I can’t help but find a correlation between building a cabin–that of course, we didn’t know how to do–with almost any other Creative Endeavor.

AND it seems to me that if I show up every day and get just a little bit done, eventually I’ll have a Something, whether it’s a fiber art, or a writing or a drawing, too.

Happy Creating to you. Today, and every day.

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