I am so delighted to be back at my blog again, but before I go into that let me wish you the happiest of New Years filled with wonderful dreams and hopes and accomplishments. I look back at the past year and some of it seems all fuzzy. I worked so very much and, yes, I admit it: I need to slow down. I think part of being successful is truly understanding yourself as your primary resource and understand your strengths and limitations and respecting your energy. So this year one of my resolutions (made yesterday, actually) is to use my energy more wisely. To do what I truly love, with all my heart and to take away what doesn’t fall into that category. As a healer, it always amazes me (and by amaze I mean in that, ‘I knew that but it’s wonderful to remember it every now and then,’ kinda way) that sometimes, to make something better, to heal something; sometimes we just need to clear. To clarify what we really desire and release what no longer serves us, to take away so that truth can be unearthed. 

So, what’s on your craft agenda this year? Will you be learning a new craft? Building on what you already know? Sharing your creativity with others? I really enjoyed making Christmas gifts over the holidays, especially the aprons. People really love receiving something handmade, I think because it feels as if someone cared so much to take the time to make something – just for you. Thus, I think I’ll be making more handmade gifts this year, working on my photography and reading the wonderful crafting books that I know we’ll be seeing. Hopefully I’ll have a nice book review for you soon.  

Did I tell you about my idea book? I keep clippings from magazines in it, for inspiration. Sometimes I just flip through it for the sheer joy and fun of it and as a beautiful reminder that even the smallest of things begin as just that – a simple idea.

 idea-book.jpg

last-minute-patchwork-quilted-gifts.jpg

So remember earlier this week I was yearning for something to read? Well yesterday I finally got my copy of, Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. Although I’ve been curious about quilting in the past it always seemed a little esoteric to me – the patterns, stitching bits of cloth together and such. After having a good go through of the book that has changed and I do find myself delving more and more into the world of patchwork and quilting (there’s a difference between the two.) Joelle’s book is lovely. There are clean, beautiful photographs by Anna Williams and different projects to both try and be inspired by. There’s an explanation of colour, patchwork and quilting basics, supplier list and also recommended reading. The projects in the book are divided according to time, for example, ‘2-4 Hour Gifts’. I’m quite eager to try the Bird Ornaments:

bird-ornaments-patchwork-quilted-gifts.jpg

just in time for the Holidays and the Summer Breeze Quilt:

summer-breeze-quilt-parchwork-quilted-gifts.jpg

perfect for a picnic on a sunny day with a tall glass of homemade lemonade. 

What I liked a lot about the book was the organized format in which the project instructions were presented and also the interesting fabric combinations used for the projects. It helped me to explore colour in a different light, especially as it relates to print. The book features a variety of quilt projects to choose from and some fun patchwork projects such as the ornaments above, cute needle books and patchwork tablecloths and napkins. Now my copy is sitting snugly on the sofa, waiting to be leafed through again, this time with pencil and paper. I think I’ll start with the needle books first and move on to trying my hand at a quilt. Let’s see how it goes – stitch, batting and patchwork…