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Are you doing creative stuff this winter?

 
pollinator
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Ellendra, I got most of my information from the Scents of Earth web site and incensemaking.com. Even with this I found there's a learning curve in getting the blends right if you want to make cones or sticks that burn properly. It is definitely an art form, especially in blending the resins, woods, herbs, etc. to make your own scent. A lot like cooking actually. I just made some sandalwood cones using powdered sandalwood and a little makko powder (natural binder that helps burning). It was mild and very pleasant, unlike so many overpowering scents out there.

You can get high quality ingredients from Scents of Earth, but shop around because some of it is overpriced compared to other places. Mountain Rose Herbs is my favorite for any herbs that I need. Apothecarys Garden has some great info and high quality ingredients. There is a lot of variation in quality so I suggest starting with a small amount from a high end supplier so that you know what it should smell like. I bought some benzoin off Amazon and I think it was adulterated with something nasty since it was sickly sweet and gave me a headache. The same resin from Scents of Earth was incredible with no headache or other effect.
 
steward & bricolagier
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Pearl Sutton wrote:After the Original Post I made here, I have been thinking. I have been doing emotional/health therapy that has a lot to do with I feel split in my life: I live in a rental I dislike, but my heart is on my property that I love. Part of that is I don't feel like the parts of myself are mixing, very distinct division between them, it's affecting my health and sanity. So one of the things that makes me feel most like me is to wear my pretty things, clothes, jewelry etc. But in my crawling under the tractor, getting grubby life, I end up wearing grubby camo jeans and black or brown shirts to match them and hide the dirt almost all of the time.

I have to go to the city tomorrow (EEEW!) and I'm going to stop at a huge cool fabric store, and pick fabric that I can make pretty work pants out of. Needs to be tough, and gaudy printed! I'll take a pattern off my most comfortable work pants, and add lots of pockets in the places I want them (which isn't really where they end up being on the men's pants I buy and modify to fit. Maybe I can feel more like the parts of me are tying together, less split in my soul, if I can be my bright gaudy self while I work, instead of my tired grubby oh so practical self.

Thank you all for inspiration to do it!!

:D


I did end up making some gaudy work pants, one pair ended up HERE  and another pair are HERE

But I don't wear work clothes all the time, and I have been under a lot of stress again, and I've been expanding my odd wardrobe a bit, and digging out things that were packed down that work with it. I really have my own style, and in this tiny town, I'm very noticeable and distinctive.  Petticoats in the grocery store or post office are a head turning item, and the more stressed I get, the more I make heads turn with long skirts and interesting jewelry. It keeps me somewhat sane.   Flannel petticoat and a lacy one too

Not sure yet what I'm doing this winter, I have a massive backlog of work to get done, so fun things may be few and far between. We shall see!!
What are YOU doing? It's fall, time to bounce this whole forum again!!  

:D
 
gardener
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I love hearing about all these great winter projects!

Unfortunately for me I have about 9 extremely busy months ahead of me—finishing up grad school—so I won’t have a ton of time for projects until next September or so.  But if I were to have a good over-winter project, it would be to have a nice compost pile made largely of shredded leaves and placed on one of my raised bed.  All the goodness from decomposition would deep right down into the garden bed.

Eric
 
pollinator
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In my spare time I hope to finalize and then run a Kickstarter campaign for one of my tabletop game designs. My birthday is in February and I hope to have the campaign going that month. Hopefully that's enough time to make it happen.
 
gardener
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I don't know if knitting files as creative, because I usually do follow a pattern. I am an experienced knitter but if for five Euros or so I can save me the hassle of calculating the perfect neckline, yoke etc. I will do so to shortcut the project.
So probably more producing than creating?

Maybe I will find more time for sketching and drawing. I follow a guy with a blog "One sketch a day" and he makes amazing stuff. I had started taking a notepad and pencil anywhere I went but somehow did not follow up after some months.

And writing: Well, let's see if I can set myself a goal to participate in any contest to send in a short story? I love writing but never attended a workshop or similar, but I still sometimes dream of a career a la Joanne K. Rowling writing at the kitchen table and becoming famous (and rich) - but I am late to the game, my kids are teenagers already...
 
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I think it still counts, Anita!

I'm building a shelf for the tv (that I'd just as soon get rid of), to hang under the mantle of our non-working fireplace. It will hold the tv above the actual fire box, and above our dog's normal walking height (Irish Wolfhounds are notorious tv blockers!), and will allow us to store a few days worth of firewood inside, to use in the woodstove. So far, I've taken the measurements, created the plan, cut the wood, and have about half of it sanded. After the sanding is done, I'll stain it to match the mantle, as closely as I can, assemble it, and mount it. I may paint the glass doors, but I'm not sure. More likely, I'll build and paint a screen to set in front of it, during the summer.

Then, I am building a pair of 6ft long benches for our dining room table. Don't be too impressed with this one, because we just bought a pair of 6'x12"x2" boards four $17@, and 3 sets of 4 hairpin iron legs that I found for a total of $78, including shipping (with that length, I'm putting 2 from one set in the middle of each bench, for support). I'll round off the corners, sand, stain & seal the boards, mount the legs, and be done. Two very sturdy, stable, 6ft long benches for $95, with minimal work.

Besides possibly making a screen for the fireplace, r.ranson, with no knowledge, has been working hard to inspire me to paint again. I've never done much as an adult, with watercolor, so I bought some, and want to play with that. But, I also want to paint (acrylic) something on what will become the face of the Murphy style cutting & crafting table I'm building for my craft room.

As far as fiber arts, I've several embroidery, spinning, nahlbinding, and weaving projects to work on, while I'm relaxing with John in the evening, while he watches tv.
 
Anita Martin
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@Carla: I am impressed anyway! I think woodworking is cool but somehow never took the first step. We do have a lot of tools in the basement but this is husband's core competence.
The only thing I did was to clean and sand (by hand) some planks of antique fir that we found in the house when we bought it. When comparing it to new, cheap fir planks you can see an immense difference, the rings (word?) are very close together, the wood overall is harder and the colour a beautiful honey.
Husband mounted the planks to form a couch table. For a real dining table there was too little material unfortunately.
 
pollinator
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two years ago I wrote something here. Not much changed since then, only the projects I'm busy with. Some new knitting with unraveled (and partly new) yarns (mostly wool). I just finished sewing a dress. I'm thinking of more sewing projects ...
... In fact I'm always thinking of other projects. Never lack of inspiration ... Someone called it 'inspiratitis', as if it's a disease which causes you to have more creative ideas than you're able to finish. But it isn't a disease, it's who I am.

Here some photos of recent projects

knitting with unraveled wool


more knitting, with wool from Kempisch Heideschaap (a Dutch type of sheep) that's plant-dyed (not bij me)


the linen dress I made (pattern Hinterlanddress by Sewliberated)


and when I'm not doing anything else, I'm drawing doodles ...
 
Carla Burke
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Anita Martin wrote:@Carla: I am impressed anyway! I think woodworking is cool but somehow never took the first step. We do have a lot of tools in the basement but this is husband's core competence.
The only thing I did was to clean and sand (by hand) some planks of antique fir that we found in the house when we bought it. When comparing it to new, cheap fir planks you can see an immense difference, the rings (word?) are very close together, the wood overall is harder and the colour a beautiful honey.
Husband mounted the planks to form a couch table. For a real dining table there was too little material unfortunately.



That's how I started, as a kid - maybe 3 or 4yrs old (gradually adding skills, as I grew into them), working at my dad's side; "Carla, hand me the ______", "Take this sand paper, and rub it on this part of the wood this way, and that part of the wood that way, while I ______." "This is how the set square works, you place it here..." "Damnit, Carla, I told you to use that other block of wood to push this one through! That table saw doesn't care if it's eating wood or skin & bones!" Mom worked first shift, and Daddy worked second shift, so they didn't need a babysitter. I was most definitely the son my dad never had. Even after he remarried, years later and had 2 stepsons (with whom he also built strong bonds, the same way), he never relegated me to the 'women's work'. I mean, I had to at mom's house, and sometimes my stepmom needed help with cooking, baking, canning, cleaning, sewing, etc, but I mostly worked with my dad & brothers, on the farm, building, hauling hay & water, cutting, splitting, hauling & stacking firewood, building fires, taking care of the critters.

My stepdad was an industrial carpenter, so even at mom's, when no one was around, I'd go use his tools, and make stuff, being very careful to put his tools all right back where they belonged, so he wouldn't rat me out to mom, who wanted me to be 'lady-like'. Pffft. I'm usually the family handy woman, but I can't take credit for the stuff I know - that's my dad's 'fault', and I love him for it!
 
gardener
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I made some crafts with the broomcorn stalks. They are much weaker than bamboo yet many of the same techniques can still be applied.
20231126_143736.jpg
Planters and hairpin
Planters and hairpin
20231126_143949.jpg
Dry flower arrangement vase
Dry flower arrangement vase
20231127_154035.jpg
Round wood picnic table copying the lab version
Round wood picnic table copying the lab version
 
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