My next online class is in production, and I needed to film it against a background that was, well, that was not the lumpy 100-year-old wall of my tiny studio.
Pegboard to the rescue! Though it started out white, I wanted to give it a good coat of paint. So I lightly sanded the white surface, and dug up a leftover can of ceiling paint. Ceiling paint is great for filming against, because it’s about as matte as matte paint gets. Plus, it covers great and dries quickly!
Two coats later and it was ready to go.
Can you guess the topic of class? It’s on carving stamps for the very first time!
If you’ve wanted to learn how to make your own stamps – of anything at all, that you can use over and over again in all kinds of projects – and you want to learn and play in your own space at your own pace, sign up to be the first to hear when the class launches!
Over the last three years, I’ve taught over 25,000 people how to crochet through my online class over at Craftsy. Over 25,000! It boggles my mind, to be honest.
That class streams online through the Craftsy website, and though I stream pretty much everything these days – from craft classes to television to radio – I know lots and lots of people still prefer physical goods.
Which is why I’m excited that my class is amongst the first that Craftsy is offering as a DVD. And also? It means I can now offer signed copies of the class! Which may not sound all that exciting, but when it comes to giving gifts to people you love, I think a signed object is pretty special. Especially one that will teach them a new craft they’re sure to love. Just saying.
So if you love DVDs or you love people who want to learn how to crochet at their own pace, on their own TV or computer at home, now’s the time to order them a personalized signed DVD class!
If you read my Weekly Digest, you know I returned from my Craftsy shoot last weekend sick. Sick as a dog. Sick like we usually only get sick when we're kids. Antibiotics sick.
So it seemed like as good a time as any to gather together all the larger bits of scrap yarn and odd balls I've had hanging around, and start a new ripple blanket.
I made my first ripple blanket back in 2007, over several months that happened also to involve an ectopic pregnancy, eventual surgery, and health-related calamities from a variety of other family members. That ripple blanket was like my therapy. That and several seasons of binge-watched Buffy.
This new ripple started with strep throat, but I'm hoping the rest of the blanket will be made in relatively good, healthy times.
I'm using a variety of worsted weight yarns, a 5.5mm hook, and the same pattern I teach in my Next Steps in Crochet class (there are seven double crochets between increases and decreases, if you're into knowing those kinds of details). I'm making the blanket roughly twin size, thinking my son might use it on his bed, and it'll be good for sleepovers and camping trips.
The only thing is, I'm not entirely convinced I have enough yarn to finish it. Only time will tell...
I’ve been an instructor at Craftsy for almost two years now, and I absolutely love teaching there. I most love interacting with students from all over the world, pretty much every day.
Craftsy has just released its 1,000th class, and they’re celebrating by offering their most wish-listed classes at 50% off until this Thursday, 11th February (my beginner crochet class is on the list, and I’m just so excited to see it there!).
I can’t actually wrap my brain around 1,000 classes. But I can wrap my brain around how many classes I’ve queued up over the years, and not actually taken. I keep intending to work through all of them, but then like so many of the crafty things I stash, I end up not doing it. But I’m getting better about using the stuff I have in my studio, and I’m hoping my public declaration right here will get me to finally take these classes.
Here are the ones I’m most excited about that are also on the most-wish-listed list, so they’re half off for the next couple of days!
You know I’ve been fixated on having fun making stuff, yeah? I’m totally fixated on it. On not feeling stressed about making stuff, on not feeling defeated if a project goes south, on getting back in touch to how we felt when we were kids and we knew in our hearts that we could make anything and it would be awesome.
So I’m fully embracing my goal to be a camp counsellor for the rest of my life, and I’m launching the first in what I intend to be a wide assortment of online classes that are all about trying new kinds of things and having fun making stuff.
Introducing the Daily Making Jumpstart
First up: A 14-day guided adventure in forming an art- or craft-making habit.
There are so many great reasons to establish a daily creative practice.
Maybe you want to give yourself permission to experiment. To try new things or stick with the things you love most.
Maybe you want to connect with other people who want to explore and experiment and, above all, just make stuff.
Maybe you want to finish the projects you’ve got piled up in the corner.
Maybe you want to take that class you’ve been eyeing.
Maybe you don’t make anything at all yet, but you want to start.
Whether you want to take on a full year of daily making, commit yourself to 100 days, or even just use this guided adventure as a two-week trial to see how it goes, this course will help get you started. Instead of staring at a blank calendar begging to be filled with nothing short of brilliant creative acts, you’ll start with daily prompts, tips, tasks, options and directions. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
The Jumpstart is for any kind of making – it’s designed so you can apply the lessons to whatever you want to make, regardless of the medium, from painting to photography to crocheting to cooking.
I’ll ask you questions I wish I’d asked myself when I first committed to make something every day (two years ago, and I’ve been at it ever since!). It took me months to see the potential in what I was doing, and I don’t want you to wait that long. I’ll help you get in touch with why you make stuff, why you want to make stuff, and I’ll help you explore your whole creative experience in a way that helps you have more fun with it.
What You Get
Starting on January 1st, 2016 (or the day after you register if it’s after that date) you’ll receive one lesson every day for two weeks. Some will involve thinking hard about your creative experience, some will involve making particular things, all will help you establish a daily creative practice that makes you feel good, not stressed out or doomed to fail.
Access to the lessons and course material forever, so you can work at your own pace.
An invitation to the private Daily Making Jumpstart Facebook group, where you can get to know and support other people who are also starting (or continuing) a daily creative practice.
If you choose the + Ebook option only: A copy of the Year of Making ebook (a $12 value), for further exploration of a long-term daily project, with worksheets, links and ideas. If you don’t already have a copy of the ebook, this option will provide you with more worksheets, ideas, and food for thought.
Who Is This For?
The Daily Making Jumpstart is for you if:
you’re a crafter or artist and want to reinvigorate your practice by regularly dedicating time to creating.
you don’t consider yourself a capital-C Crafter or capital-A Artist, but you want to feel creative as a part of who you are. (It doesn’t matter if you feel like you have talent or not. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re totally not creative. All that matters is that you want to be and feel creative.)
you want to make creativity a priority in your life – even if you’re pretty sure you’ll make utterly awful stuff, but you want to have fun trying anyway.
you want to discover – or rediscover – the fun you can have when you make stuff.
you want to prioritize your creativity in a way that doesn’t stress you out or otherwise overwhelm you.
The Jumpstart is probably not for you if you have no interest in challenging yourself creativity, if you have no interest in making stuff, if you’re uninterested in having fun with art or craft, or if you’ve never wondered what it would be like to truly and properly see yourself as a creative person.
You’ll know which aspects of your creativity you want to explore further, which skills you want to learn, which kinds of making make you feel good and which kinds make you miserable.
You’ll have some great strategies to rely on during times when you feel stuck or blocked or hear the siren song of procrastination or, even worse, defeat.
You’ll know what it feels like to meet your own personal creative challenges.
You’ll have a taste of the potential a long-term daily making project holds for you.
Follow the lessons every day, or spread them out over weeks or even months – it’s totally up to you. You’ll have access to the course material forever.
Right when you register, you’ll gain access to the main course page and the introduction. If you choose the Year of Making ebook option (which you should if you don’t already have a copy!), your introduction will include a link to download the book, which delves deeper into why establishing a yearlong daily making practice is a good idea, and walks you through how to do it. Read through it before January 1st, or save it till the course begins – your choice!
I hope to start 2016 adventuring with you, and having loads of fun making stuff!
Several weeks ago, I got an email from the manager of an art-supply store here in Vancouver, asking if I’d like to teach a collage workshop in the store – specifically about how/where to start when you haven’t a clue. One of the things I love about Opus is that they have a very liberal view of whom they consider to be an artist.
Of course, I don’t really do collage. Like, ever.
But I want to. And I’ve wanted to for a long time.
So I considered the where-to-start thing to be totally in line with my goal of experimenting with collage, and I said yes. An enthusiastic yes to teaching this workshop.
Because though I know very little about collage, I am an expert in doing things I have no idea how to do. In fact, I have spent my whole life honing my not-knowing-where-to-start skills.
And very specifically, I’ve become truly ace at not knowing where to start and starting anyway.
So the way I see it, and the store manager seemed to agree, I’m totally qualified to teach this workshop. And teach it I will.
The first thing I had to do to start preparing for the workshop is to start starting. So I laid out my ideas for how to start a collage when you don’t know how or where to start, and then I started executing those ideas.
It’s tremendous fun. You should give it a shot!
Stay tuned for more workshop details. I’ll post about it on Instagram and Twitter (and also here on the blog, obviously) when registration opens!
Note: the very brief bits I wrote about collage in Make It Mighty Ugly were bits I really struggled to write, because I knew I was writing good advice, but I also knew it’s advice I’ve had a very hard time following. I think this workshop will finally be the death of those particular creative demons. Hallelujah!