Over the last week or so, I’ve remembered why I fell in love with this city when I first came here.
Fourteen years after moving here, I tend to see more flaws and frustrations than awesome aspects to living here, but weeks like this – with gorgeous, warm weather and family visiting and touring around – are a good reminder to keep my attitude in check so I can enjoy the good stuff.
Yesterday, Greg and I had our first pottery class. I was so caught up in it that I didn’t take any photos (also, my hands were covered in clay), but check out the view from my wheel. Not too bad.
Back in November, I took a clay workshop and made a mug (which I totally use, much to my continuing satisfaction). A few months later, the same studio held another one-night workshop, this time including some wheel time. Wheel time! OMG.
So I made that lopsided bowl at the top of these photos, using a potter’s wheel for the first time since I was a kid at summer camp. And since there were only two wheels but about ten people in the class, during my non-wheel time I made the other two bowls. The ring bowl now sits on the ledge above my bathroom sink, where I use it every day.
When I got home after the workshop, I told my husband I’d woken the pottery beast that had been lying dormant in my brain for many, many years. I was ready to go deep. I was ready for a proper, weekly workshop.
Then he surprised me by saying he’s always had a fantasy about pottery, too. I’d had no idea!
Which is how it came to be that next week we’re starting a pottery workshop together.
No, of course we haven’t been dreaming aloud about converting our garage into a pottery studio. That would be insane.
I’ve had a love/hate thing going with Facebook for a very, very long time. I love it for making it so easy to stay in touch with far-flung friends and family; I hate it for making it so complicated to use for business.
But right now, for the first time ever, I’m loving it far more than hating it.
Did you know that Facebook has been rolling out the ability for people to do live video broadcasts, like Periscope? It’s called Facebook Live.
I’d sorta noticed other people doing it, but then I heard Kara, of Kara’s Couture Cakes, describe the details of it, and a giant window in my brain opened right up.
I’ve loved using Periscope to do live video. But I’ve been aware all along that Periscope has some inherent downsides: to watch a Periscope broadcast, you have to have the app on your phone; Periscope is still new, so not that many people have the app on their phone; you can comment during Periscope broadcasts, but twenty-four hours after the broadcast, both the video and comments disappear.
WATCH MY FIRST FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO, AND CLICK ON IT TO SUBSCRIBE!
But on Facebook? Half the world is already on there. And though you can only broadcast using a mobile device, you can watch live videos on any platform including your desktop computer. And the piece de resistance: when a broadcast ends, the video is archived permanently on the broadcaster’s page, and people can continue to like and comment on it indefinitely. There can be actual ongoing conversation!
Which, to me, just all sounds like tremendous fun.
So last week I did my first Facebook Live broadcast. And it was fun. You can see it right here.
And when you hover over that video, click the link to subscribe! That means you’ll be alerted by Facebook whenever I broadcast live. Even if you can’t tune in right then and there, you’ll be able to click the notification to see the archived video whenever you want.
I’m going to share more projects I make on there, and do some tutorials, talk about daily creative habits, and generally wax on about why and how we can all have more fun making stuff. I hope you’ll join me!
(If you’re not on Facebook, or are cynical like I am and don’t want to watch the video over there, I’m posting it below. Go ahead and indulge your curiosity.)
Quilting is an outstanding way to reuse and upcycle old clothing, and quilters have a long tradition of turning worn-out and stained clothing (or scraps) into warm and beautiful blankets. I, too, love using up every last bit of material that would otherwise end up in the landfill, so I was thrilled when I got this question from Kelly in Washington, DC, in my Maker Concierge inbox.
If you’ve ever wanted to turn a pile of well-loved clothing into a warm and snuggly quilt, here’s how to get started!
Quilting & Clothing Recycling Tutorials and Online Classes
Books & Magazines
Tips & Notes
In the Washington, DC, Area
Nothing like travelling with a five-year-old clear across the continent, and getting laryngitis the day after arriving. Fun times!
We’re on a two-week trip visiting family during my son’s spring break, and it’s been a whirlwind of visits, activities, illness and work. This Periscope broadcast I did yesterday morning pretty much sums it up, I think (featuring most of my immediate family!).
Laurie in Lynn, MA, has been dreaming about making a graveyard-themed terrarium. After preparing some advice for her on how to get started, I totally want to make one, too. Here’s a great list of resources for how to get started (many of which could certainly be used to make terrariums that are totally unrelated to graveyards!)
Tips & Notes
It seems like there are a variety of not-terribly-in-depth graveyard-specific terrarium ideas online, but I suggest you start with plain terrarium information and tutorials, and add your own graveyard touches as you desire. Look for products and tutorials that will help you craft your own miniatures, or miniature graveyard.
Terrarium Building Tutorials
Books & Magazines
In the Lynn, MA, Area
As you may know, March is National Craft Month.
As you may also know, one of the major parts of the work I do is as a crochet instructor at Craftsy. Crochet is the craft that got me onto this path toward camp-counseloring-for-grownups, and I love that Craftsy enables me to teach students from all over the world whom I’d never have a chance to encounter without the magic of their platform.
(And to be perfectly frank, my income from Craftsy allows me to do nutty spontaneous things like launch the Maker Concierge on a total whim. So I love it even more!)
This month, for National Craft Month, Craftsy is doing a very cool thing. They’re going to make a $1,000 donation to a craft-focused charity of one lucky student’s choice.
Every person who purchases a Craftsy class between now and March 13th will be entered into the draw to choose the charity.
If you’re new to the whole concept of online craft classes, here’s why I think they’re awesome (and not just as a teacher, but also as someone who loves taking online classes):
- You get hours of high-quality video instruction you can watch at your own pace, repeat as needed, and refer back to whenever you want.
- Yes, I most certainly mean you can work through them in your pajamas, on your comfy couch, at any time of day or night.
- And yes, you have access to the class forever (on some platforms – Craftsy included).
- At least on Craftsy (not all platforms include this), you also get access to the instructor – you can ask questions anytime, and the teacher will answer you. (This is the part I truly love, because though the videos are awesome, it can still be very hard to know what’s going wrong when you’re stuck on a certain technique and are pulling your hair out.)
- Downloadable class materials complement the video instruction. In my Craftsy classes, for example, downloads include stitch patterns, diagrams, and reference materials.
- There’s just a massive variety of classes available. Like, there’s one on the science of bread-making that I just discovered, and I think it might change my life. And there’s one on how to make a t-shirt quilt, and one on how to knit faster, and one on taking great photos with your phonecam.
Perhaps most importantly, online classes enable us to learn pretty much anything we want, even if those things aren’t taught in our own local communities or our schedules don’t allow us to easily attend in-person classes.
As someone whose major schpiel in life is encouraging people to try new creative things, online classes are like magic.
Which is all to say that if you’ve been wanting to learn some new things, signing up for a Craftsy class by March 13th would be a good time to do it, since you’ll get a chance to decide where that $1,000 donation will go. That’s a pretty cool reason to dive in right away, eh?
PS Links to Craftsy classes are affiliate links, and they all include a discounted registration just for you.
PPS I wrote about this in my last newsletter. I don’t usually duplicate newsletters here on the blog, but I want as many people as possible to hear about this event, so here we are. And you should totally get my newsletter. Just sayin’.