kath_red

Right now I am

by kath_red on April 10, 2013

in Newsletter

working and drinking coffee

Right now I am …

  • Sitting in the library in a lovely little town in the South West corner of Australia. I am catching up on emails, fixing a few illustrations for my upcoming quilt book, and writing blog posts.
  • Thinking about the swim i’ll be enjoying later this afternoon.
  • Smelling the bread roll that is sitting next to me, I can’t eat it in the library so i’m waiting to finish up here so I can go and sit in the park and eat a fresh roll and finish up with a crispy apple.
  • Planning what we are having for dinner tonight. We have some dough rising back at the campsite to be made into campfire pizza.
  • In awe of the amazing scenery we passed through on the drive to this lovely town and looking forward to driving back through it on the way back to the campsite.
  • Looking forward to a cold ginger beer around the campfire this afternoon.
  • Wondering where my family has gone — they are no doubt reading comic books in a bean bag in the corner of this wonderful library.

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At whipup …

Lots of lovely book reviews :: Fairy Tale Knits :: Elegant Quilts :: Lazing on a Sunday Crafternoon

Guest Posts :: During most of 2013, Whipup.net will hosting a monthly mini-series, each month edited by different crafters and designers. Enjoy! :: Second series is themed around Functional Creativity the first article is Build the Hearth :: First series was Making something from Nothing — articles include — Stash Busting, and Thrifty shopping for craft supplies.

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DO get in touch if you are interested in writing a guest post for whipup this year! Send me a short email with your idea Kathreen {at} whipup.net

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During most of 2013, Whipup.net will hosting a monthly mini-series, each month edited by different crafters and designers. Enjoy!

Mary Jo Borchardt is an Artisan, Farmer, Momma, and Wordsmith keeping a small homestead in the US near Madison, WI.  It is her life’s work to achieve the distinction of Renaissance Woman, whereby she will expertly wield a sheep shears, needle, frying pan, ax, design code, and pen, but perhaps not simultaneously.  She is the voice behind Five Green Acres  – a blog to capture some of the great material that is spawned by such an undertaking, and a mercantile to offer her homegrown :: This is Wool. yarn and original pattern designs.

Intro.spinning Intro.sheep

For the month of April, we’re going to explore the theme of Functional CreativityMaking to fulfill a specific need.  I’d wager that much of the making we already do falls under this category, yet I suspect that we can gain a lot of useful perspective if we examine the whole thing more closely.  I’ll go so far as to say that Making under the guise of Problem Solving vs. making for the sake of Art or Beauty allows us to bypass many of the creative blocks our brain uses to sabotage the process. I speak from experience.

I graduated from college with badge in Art and a vague idea that I’d make and sell it for a living. To get that art into a gallery, I understood, it must convey a brilliant new perspective, must shake up the status quo. I quickly set about making… absolutely nothing. For years. I collected materials, took full-time jobs to sustain me until I could made it big, moved the ever-growing stash of materials from home to home, and cultivated a hearty collection of plans for the pieces that I’d create. Setting out to make these pieces was, for me, each and every time mired in the realization that the ideas were not profound enough, not original enough. So for years I continued to make absolutely nothing.

A number of things came together at the same time to change this: I became reacquainted with my sewing machine, my exacto knife, and glue, ditched the idea of making art and focused instead on making things one could use – us, you, anybody at all, and opened a small shop to sell these things. The impeding birth of my first child inspired me to learn how to knit so that I could make my own woolen cloth diaper covers that I was convinced she needed. I never did knit a single wool soaker but added to my bag of tricks the skill of knitting and the conviction that wool was a fiber I wanted to explore. This trickle of Making that had started slowly over a couple of years quickly exploded into a mushroom cloud of pent-up creativity after we moved to the Five Green Acres homestead and then made another child. A whole house to fill with handmade things, and a new person to adorn – just imagine the force of all those years of stifled creativity coming to a head to meet these needs. That pent-up energy is still propelling me today.

So, make something because you need it. Because you’re cold (Hearth). Because you’re hungry and all you have are three things in the pantry (Feed). Because your kids’ sleeves are too short (Clothe). Because you need a place to live that houses you from the onslaught of the world (Shelter). Set out to make what you need and I promise that beauty will find its way into that thing without you even trying hard to put it there. The things that we make with intention, by hand, that surround us in our everyday are what add to the quality of our life; every Maker knows this. For me, Making is a need only slightly less urgent that breathing. As such, the muscles that support it need to be exercised regularly to keep me sane and balanced and happy. (and Fed, Clothed, Sheltered, and Warm) Letting go of the intense pressure to make lovely, perfect things and instead focusing on making what you need is such a liberating way to approach the Making process.

Let’s do it. For the next four weeks I will be focussing on :: Build the Hearth :: Feed :: Shelter :: Clothe.

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Easter Egg

 

Easter is on its way — a little earlier than usual — end of March, so it will creep up on you before you know it. As we are camping without extravent cooking facilities I am thinking of making some chocolate easter bark — which I think will be achievable, delicious and not too fussy — I was thinking of a toasted almond and a ginger or mint snap version. This gorp version would be great for camping and this coconut and macadamia version would go down very well, do you have a favourite chocolate bark recipe?

Don’t forget to grab a copy of the Easter Special edition of Action Pack Magazine from our shop.

Some more quick and fun easter crafts just in time for this weekend. Happy weekending!

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DO get in touch if you are interested in writing a guest post for whipup this year! Send me a short email with your idea Kathreen {at} whipup.net

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News and quilts

by kath_red on March 20, 2013

in Newsletter, Quilting

QuiltCon

The past month has been a bit quilty in the online craft scene

During March on Whipup I begin a monthly Guest Editor series, where I have invited a bunch of lovely people to curate a short series of posts each month.

Also recently we launched the latest edition of Action Pack magazine for kids. This edition is themed on Water — the first in a four part series focussing on the elements. A great issue with a bunch of fantastic contributors which was put together while on the road — libraries and tents and beach side writing — lots of ingenuity involved. If you are interested in contributing for further issues check in here. In the meantime do grab yourself a copy of this issue — only $6 for 40 ad-free pages of projects.

Book reviews this year are being managed this year by Julie and reviewed by a great team of crafty gals. Check out Feathered friends.

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DO get in touch if you are interested in writing a guest post for whipup this year! Send me a short email with your idea Kathreen {at} whipup.net

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Get crafty

by kath_red on March 11, 2013

in Link Love

cubby 

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