Monday, 20 February 2017

Five Simple Ways to Get Started with Your New Hobby

"I desperately want to craft, but I have no idea where to begin...or how!"
We have had many a lady say this to us over the years....

I will admit that oftentimes I too doubt myself and my creative abilities (a form of pride, I believe...) simply because something is new or slightly more challenging. 

For instance, I have lately become interested in attempting more complicated patterns and taking my sewing to a whole new level...
Daunted as I may feel, I realise that in order to make any progress at all, I need to actually make a start.  I need to view it as a challenge!

 
What would my advice be to someone eager to try their hand at a new craft or hobby but maybe hesitant to take the first step?  How would I answer the above question?

Let me share with you what I am learning at the moment and how I am stretching myself with regards to sewing.  I do hope you will be inspired to further challenge yourself, whether you are an enthusiastic beginner or an old hand at your craft...


~ Make a start ~
Creativity is something that can take place anywhere.  
On your dining room table...on the sofa...even the floor! 
I remember being most intrigued watching a lady cut out a dress on the tiles of her living room because she didn't have enough space anywhere else!

 If we wait for the perfect set up or the perfect tools, it is more than likely we will never get anything achieved and become discouraged to even try...

Oh, it is wonderful to have a neat and well-stocked craft room, but it is not necessary when the aim is to be creative.  I would strongly encourage you to not wait any longer!  
If you need a few tools for your specific craft, invest in them, but you needn't buy the most expensive ones or everything a certain craft book suggests.  

 

Talk to someone who already knows something about your chosen hobby and get tips from them, they are usually more than happy to share what they've learnt!  For instance, a rotary cutter is so handy and saves plenty of time, but it is not essential.  We sewed for years without the aid of one...



 ~ Be intentional ~
This is one area I cannot stress enough.  If you are not intentional, chances are you will never take that first step!  When I was younger and very much into paper craft, my mom and I would sit and make cards or a scrapbook page one evening a week. 
We marked our creative session on the calendar and cooked a simple meal that night which was served early so that we would have sufficient time for pursuing our favourite hobby. 


Even experienced crafters have to be intentional about what they want to achieve.  Unless I physically set aside time, I don't get a chance to sew for pleasure.

Make sure you have the items you need for each session ready, otherwise you might become discouraged or frustrated.  When starting out, it also really helps to have an image or idea to follow.
 


~ Allow room for error ~
Experienced crafts make mistakes too, did you know that?
 You will make mistakes along the way, but that is how you learn and grow!
And keep in mind that each time you supposedly make a mistake, you will become more experienced.  Your work can only get better...
I must say, I look back at some of my very first cards (which I was proud of then, mind you) and cannot for the life of me understand why I chose to coordinate certain papers or use a specific ribbon!  And my first few sewing projects were atrocious!   
Give yourself room to grow...and practice, practice, practice...



~ Increase your knowledge ~
This is something I myself am always doing!
Currently, as aforementioned, I am working on increasing my sewing skills.
Thus, the internet is my best source of information right now...I am watching YouTube videos, following sewing blogs and familiarising myself with new terms and techniques.
This can be very daunting, but push yourself - you can do it!
Speak to experienced crafters...I know I always love to share anything I have learnt with anyone just starting out!  Perhaps they'll even offer to teach a few basics...
There is no shame in learning and we are never too old to be taught something new!


~ Be the best version of yourself ~
I couldn't imagine a life without creativity.
Creativity is something I eat, sleep and breathe!
I believe creativity is a gift the Lord gave to each of us...but it is up to us to develop it.

The Lord is the ultimate Creator and a lover of beauty...  
I believe it brings Him joy to see His children embracing the unique gifts He gave them.
Each person is different with specific tastes and ideas...
Express yourself through your craft, whatever it may be.



If there is one thing I can leave you with it would be to never look to another crafter for what is the 'right' design or way to do something...
Seek inspiration and ask for advice, by all means, but strive to create with your own personal flair.
Your creations are unique simply because they are yours...they may look completely different to mine, but how wonderful! 
This world would be very boring indeed if we were all exactly alike with nothing to define our individuality?

 

Above all...do everything as if you are doing it for the Lord...let it be your motto.  
Keep this Scripture in mind and seek to bring Him glory through your creativity!
And don't forget to have fun!  {{smiles}} 

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Whether you like sewing, pretty fabric or paper, here are a few simple tutorials from around the blog to get you started...

How to make a fabric covered tin...{Tutorial} 
How to make vintage style gift wrap {Tutorial}
How to make a fabric journal cover {Tutorial} 
How to make fabric bookmarks {Tutorial}
How to make simple elegant pin cushions {Tutorial}

Crafty greetings,
Kelly-Anne

P.S.  These are a just a few of the items of clothing I have been experimenting with lately as well as a couple of my previous projects... 

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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Thursday Pearls

 "A thing of beauty is a joy forever."

~ John Keats

"Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things."

~ Isaac Newton

~ Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works...  Psalm 40:5 ~

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A wonderfully blessed Thursday to each of you, sweet friends...and a warm welcome to my lovely new readers!

With love and joy in Christ,
Kelly-Anne

Sunday, 12 February 2017

I Love Austen Week ~ Tag

 
It is not often that I participate in tags, but I simply could not pass this one up, being a devoted Jane Austen lover as I am... 

1.  Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?

Shockingly, I was actually fourteen when I first discovered the delights of Jane Austen!
A friend said I should come over and watch the 2005 film adaption of Pride and Prejudice with her and from that day onward, I have been a devotee of all things Austen.  I recall picking up the book the next day and not being able to put it down!  The rest is history...

2.  What is your favourite Austen book?







































 I have read all Austen's books several times each and I am still unable to pick a favourite...I seem to change my mind every few months!  Currently, Mansfield Park is a favourite of mine, but I have loved Emma since first reading it some years ago.
 

3.  Favourite heroine?  Why do you like her best?

I love Elizabeth Bennet...she is witty and ahead of her time!
But, truth to be told, I love all Jane Austen's characters equally with the exception of Lady Susan Vernon!

4.  Favourite hero?  Why do you like him best?


Mr Knightly is probably my favourite hero...he is a true and loyal friend and in the end...a devoted lover.

5.  Do you have a favourite film adaptation of Austen's work?


I adore the 2009 BBC adaption of Emma...it is beautiful in every way from the music to the costumes to the casting of the characters.  In my humble opinion, there could not have been a better choice for Emma than Romola Garai!  

 



 






























6.  Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?  Etc.)

As I was only introduced to Austen in my teens, I seem to think my taste has remained pretty much the same.  

7.  Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)?  (Feel free to share photos if you want.)


Can you believe it, I do not!  Jane Austen is not so well known in South Africa as other countries perhaps and the only thing I have ever seen that was Austen was a Pride & Prejudice colouring book which I would have bought on the spot if my purse hadn't been emptied at the craft store earlier that day!  {{smiles}}  I might just go back and get it...what could be better than a Pride and Prejudice colouring book?  I have almost all the soundtracks from Austen film adaptions on my laptop though, including the one from Becoming Jane which I doubt I could tire of!

8.  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?


Only one question?  How could I narrow my questions down to only one?

9.  Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?


A new Mansfield Park adaption would be excellent!  I felt that the most recent BBC adaption was lacking in something...  Fanny Price is so sweet that it would have to be an actress with a shy innocence about her...I will have to ponder that question a little!

 

 





























 10.  Share up to five favourite Jane Austen quotations!

"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."
~ Jane Austen

 I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” ~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

"Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort."
~ Jane Austen

If you would like to join in the Austen delights, stop by here...

Happy new week to you, friends! 
Kelly-Anne

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Thursday Pearls



Painting by: Edmund Blair Leighton
 “First we must understand that all of the world's deceptions flow from the belief that love is primarily for the fulfilment and comfort of the self. The world poisons love by focusing first and foremost on meeting one's own needs.


Christ taught that love is not for the fulfilment of the self but for the Glory of God and the food of others. True love is selfless. It gives; it sacrifices; it dies to its own needs.”


~ Joshua Harris

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity." 
 ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

Love and blessings in Christ to you, dearest readers...
Kelly-Anne

Monday, 6 February 2017

Valentine Inspired Crafts, Bakes and Thoughts from Around the Blog & a Giveaway Winner...

Valentine's Day is a little over a week away and I am beginning to think a little Valentine inspired crafting, baking and decorating may be in order for the next few days!  {{happy sigh}}

While I do not celebrate Valentine's day in a worldly sense, believing God alone should be the author of my someday love story if He sees fit, but I do enjoy celebrating true, Biblical love and showing those I hold most dear to my heart, how much I value and appreciate them!

Here are a few Valentine inspired ideas for you from around the blog should you be in need of a little lovely inspiration...

What does the word love really mean?  I share my thoughts and heart in this post and encourage you to love deeply with Christ's perfect, unconditional love...

These little cards are so charming and such fun to create!  
These cards are not just for Valentine's...they are lovely enough to be used for many different occasions!

Paper mosaic is very striking and these cards are such a delight to create...
Make large ones for special messages to loved ones and smaller ones to use as gift tags...

These gorgeous fabric hearts make beautiful Valentine inspired decor...  
I hung mine up on a white branch to add a love theme to our home decor...
Or simply use a heart as a ''tag'' on a gift for a loved one...

 Heart Paper Garlands ~
Make a pretty heart paper garland from offcuts of scrapbook paper and use to add an eye-catching feature to your living room, kitchen or even bedroom...I have mine in my room all year round!  {{smiles}} 

This felt heart garland would add such Valentine cheer to your home!  I used red, dark pink and light pink felt hearts to create a beautiful garland which is now strung up in the little girl's room as decor!

These pretty sugary treats are perfect for Valentine's inspired baking and would be sweet used as place settings on a Valentine's inspired table...  

 
This elegant cake is perfect for a Valentine's day tea...
Not only is it a striking red inside, but it is moist and perfectly delicious indeed! 

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 And now for the moment you have been excitedly awaiting, dear readers...
The sweet giveaway winner, randomly picked by my dear mom...

Without further ado, I'd like to announce that...

MRS LAURA

Is the the lovely winner of my friendship giveaway!  

I will email you for your details and then send your little package of love off to you!  {{Smiles}}

~ ♥ ~
Happy new week, lovely readers...
Will you be doing any Valentine decorating?
With love in Christ,
Kelly-Anne
 
~  For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son.  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16 ~ 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Thursday Pearls

Painting by:  Carlton Alfred Smith

"Dear friend, remember it is not hasty reading, but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that will make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul.  It is not the bee's touching of the flower that draws out the sweet substance.  Likewise, it is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.  And be certain that it is not the knowing, nor the talking, nor the reading man, but the doing man, that at last will be found the happiest man.  If you know these things, blessed and happy are you if you do them."

~ Thomas Brooks

"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."

 ~ Numbers 6:24-26

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A most blessed Thursday to you, my dear readers...

~ One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.  Psalm 27:4 ~

A Mini Pin Cushion Tutorial and New Items in the Shoppe!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/509195701/free-shipping-pin-cushion-turquoise-red?ref=shop_home_active_1
 The tutorial you have been awaiting is here, my dear readers!
Brew yourself a cup of tea, pull up a comfy chair and let us discuss one of the happiest of subjects…sewing. 

What I love about these pin cushions is that they are elegant, practical and require very little effort indeed…
I would even recommend this project to a beginner…  

Oh and before I forget...I have decided to extend my special giveaway by another few days...it will end on February 6th.  
If you would like to join in the delights, please do visit my giveaway post here...

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On to the tutorial…

Let us begin by selecting the fabric we wish to use.
I have used a plain design for this pin cushion...



Using a ruler and rotary cutter (a fabulous tool), cut two 5 inch by 5 inch squares of your fabric and lay aside.

 

Now look through your ribbon and lace collection and choose three or four pieces which coordinate nicely with your fabric.
Be creative – I like to sew narrow ribbon on the edge of my lace, but it is not necessary.

Cut ribbons and/or lace a little bigger than 5 inches.

  
Now pin the ribbon and/or lace in place. 
I like to measure and mark with a pen where each piece should go so as to ensure straight sewing. 

Now for the exciting bit…


You may have to thread your machine several times – although it does take a little longer, matching up cotton to each length of ribbon and/or lace really creates a stunning effect which is pleasing to the eye.

Note:  I loosened the tension and increased the size of the stitches on my machine so that the ribbon and lace wouldn’t pull the fabric inwards.

 
 Once you have neatly stitched the ribbon and/or lace in place, use an iron to press flat on the wrong side of the fabric as you don’t want to melt the ribbon and/or lace…  I speak from experience here.  {{smiles}}

 

Place fabric squares right sides together and pin. 
Sew all the way around the square, leaving a small opening on one side so as to turn the cushion right way around.   
I used a ¼ inch seam allowance.

 
 Use a crochet hook, knitting needle or a blunt pair of scissors to press the corners of the pin cushion out. 

Use an iron to open and press the side seams being careful not to go over the ribbon.


Fill the pin cushion with stuffing. 
Sometimes I add a strongly scented teabag to give the pin cushion a delicious fruity flavour!  {{smiles}}
Once the pin cushion is filled evenly, sew the opening closed using mattress stitch.

 
You are almost done…
Now decide where a button or satin rose (or anything else that takes your fancy) should go to add the finishing touch to your little pin cushion!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/509195701/free-shipping-pin-cushion-turquoise-red?ref=shop_home_active_1

  …And there you are…a beautifully elegant pin cushion!

A charming gift for a friend who loves sewing or for yourself!  {{smiles}}
Did you spot my pin cushion in this tutorial?

https://www.etsy.com/listing/509195701/free-shipping-pin-cushion-turquoise-red?ref=shop_home_active_1

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I have also restocked my little Etsy Shoppe with bookmarks and pin cushions, including this one and offering FREE SHIPPING worldwide on ALL items for a limited time only!  Stop be here...







 *Pins not included.

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I hope the month of February is most beautiful one for you, sweet friends…
I am once again working in the garden alongside my little sisters, creating something of a paradise for us as we so love to sit outside with a cup tea and chat or browse through an inspirational magazine…

I’d simply love to hear how you get along with these pin cushions should you decide to make one…or two or more! 
Do drop me a line in the comment box or email me…

With love and joy,
Kelly-Anne

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 Today I am sharing this sewing project with...