Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Life

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.  I am hoping that I can test for my LICSW sooner than later.  That would mean that I would have so many more options with in my career as a social worker.  I am trying to stay positive about remaining a nursing home social worker, at least part time, so that I can make money and then maybe do something with my love over creating and natural foods part time.

I have figured out that I do like to being a social worker, but I want to pursue a career in fiber arts and maybe even nutrition.  I know that I need to get some more education for both of these to be a career.  My 3 kids will all be in school all day in the fall, and since my husband is a teacher, I hopefully will be able to go back to work during the day starting in July.

I am hoping that when I go back to work during the day I'll have more time to work on things that are hobbies now and then maybe they will be more than hobbies.  I need to have a focus, and I need to get some more education on how to use my hobbies in a professional way, especially within my social work career.

I do know that I need to be better at following through with things in my personal life.  I  have been better at eating more naturally and less processed, but I really need to do more.  Today is the last day of winter, not that it means much in New England, but I am hoping that warmer weather is on its way with the Springtime.  I am hoping that with the warmer weather and starting our garden, I will be able to keep eating more naturally and be even less processed!

Welcome Spring!
Crocus from my garden!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Well, Hello There!

Well, Hello!

It's been a while.  I've been at the computer a lot lately, but not on my own blog, just every other blog out there, or so it seems.  I have written multiple drafts of different posts, but never seem to be able to finish them.  I'm hoping to get a new laptop or tablet or combo so that I can spend time doing different research and maybe even post a little more often.  I have started so many blogs, but I think that this one is one that I can maintain and keep going, all while combining the different aspects of my life.

I've gone a little off track with both this blog and my life.  I started writing this blog, trying to be more health conscious and living locally and naturally.  I seem to have gone away from this belief and started to eat more processed foods vs natural foods, buying things at large box style store vs local stores or even better making my own, and spending more time in front of the computer or the TV vs spending time creating or reading.

Today, I started making my own farmer's cheese and some sour dough bread.  I also started infusing some vodka (marshmallow and cranberry not that it's a healthy food).  I plan to try to make some homemade caramels too, again not a healthy food but better than processed store bought.  I will be making some yogurt over night too.  I've been growing my own sprouts lately and have tried to grow micro greens.  I just need to start the micro greens again.  My goal is to continue to make my own meals instead of eating out.  That way, I know what we are eating and we are saving money.

I want to start making my own clothes or at least up-cycling thrift store finds or hand me downs.  I Find myself sewing a lot more than doing other types of crafts.  I like being creative in general, but I really love sewing!  I really love quilting!

I hope to start posting more often.  Hopefully, my posts will consist of foods that I make and why and how I made them.  I hope to post more about the homemade things I make, bath and body items, household cleaning items.  I also hope to post more about the handcrafted things I make and how I make them.

This is a blog about balance, so it will also have some posts on how to not go crazy trying to live a natural and handmade life.  My house is definitely not a house that is free from plastic toys and they probably have too many toys.  The kids probably watch too much TV, but we are working on that (for me too).   Here, in New England, it's been a snowy and cold winter.  I am looking forward to spring and doing more outside things as a family.  I am hoping to get out to western MA to see some parts of my own state that I haven't ever really experienced.

I'm looking forward to being back on here and sharing how I have "the balance of living a handmade and natural life" with 3 small kids, a husband, a dog, and working part time.  Hopefully this will help me keep on track!

Amy

Monday, December 9, 2013

Creativity and Careers and Life

In my last post, I wrote how I was going to move out of my comfort zone, by joining a local artist group.  Well, I joined, but I haven't sent any pictures of things that I have worked on.  I still haven't allowed myself to call myself and artist.  I am still having a hard time thinking of myself as an artist versus a hand crafter.  While I consider hand-crafter's in general to be artists, I haven't thought of myself in that manner.

I started a new blog, http://reids-design-corner.blogspot.com, to document more of my creation as an "artist".  I am still trying to figure out my artistic point of view.  On one level, I just plain and simple, love to create.  On the other hand, I want to take my creating to a more significant level than just hobby.  I would love to find a way to make money doing something creative.

I have thought about going back to school for art therapy, but then I'm not sure that I really want to do therapy and art in the same job, maybe.  More recently, I have thought about going back to school and starting  whole new career.  I am thinking about getting a degree in fibers and textiles.  I could still be a social worker, but I could maybe teach or do something else in the fiber and textile field.  I live so close to the mill town and a quilt museum, that I could maybe do something there.

Life is still up in the air regarding careers, but I am trying to make a point of being creative.  unfortunately, I am so exhausted, that I don't always get to it.  One of these days, I am hoping to teach a class at a local craft studio.  I think once i got over my anxiety, I would love it.  I just need to get over my anxiety of failure.

Amy

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

A friend I met on Facebook, who owns a creative arts studio, has been asking me to teach some classes.  I haven't summoned up my courage to teach a class yet, but hopefully will summon the courage soon.  She also wants me to join the Art Collaborative of Wakefield, a group of locally based artisans.  I have put it off for some time, but am now, really considering joining.  I am hopefully going to meet a bunch of people who are part of the collaborative on Saturday.

I am still nervous that I am not enough of an "artist".  If anything, I consider myself a handcraft artisan. But, in reality, I don't know that I feel like an artist or an artisan.  I wonder if I am still just thinking that this is a hobby but I want it to be more.  I want to make it more of a central part of my life.

With that being said, I think a large part of my issue is time.  I have 3 kids, a husband, a house, a part time social work job, and making handcrafted items.  I spend way too much time on the computer and not enough time doing what I should be doing.  I plan to unplug for a little bit.  I am only join to use Facebook for when I need to communicate with others and that is my only means.  I have enough projects that I can work on, I don't need to look for more.  I plan to quickly blog, but no spend too much time reading blogs.  I plan to limit myself to maybe an hour a day and that is a lot.  The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be too addicting.  no more spending hours on pinterest and pinning things that I never actually work on.  I will still go on pinterest, but will again limit my time.

My hope is that if I spend more time creating and less time pretending to create (by being on the computer looking for things to create), I will start to feel more like an artisan and not just a hobby crafter!  Maybe then I won't feel like I don't belong in the collaborative.

Amy

Monday, October 14, 2013

Creativity

It took some time, but I have decided that I don't want to limit myself to one creative medium.  At one point, I was thinking that I need to focus on one area and become totally proficient and perfect at it, but I don't think that is what I want or need to do.  There are too many creative avenues that I want to experience and I can't imagine limiting myself to only one.

I do need to spend time getting proficient in each area that I like, but I don't have to only, for example, make quilts.  I can make paper, scrapbook, quill, make jewelry, create with clay, create with class.  I just need to spend time doing each of the things I like and learn how to get good at it.

There are some things that I am comfortable with my level of proficiency, but there are other areas that I need to learn more.  Some of it is just practice, and some of it I really need to learn more.  I am pretty proficient at making jewelry.  I'm sure there are a lot of things to learn but I know the basics.  I know the basics of quilting, but I could practice more.  I know the basics of hand sewing and embroidery but can practice more.  I know little to nothing about glass and want to learn more.  I feel very comfortable with making soap.  I feel pretty comfortable with most paper crafts, but I know that there is more that I want to learn.

When I thought of not creating with a certain medium or only creating with a specific medium, I just really got sad.  I love creating so much that I can't imagine limiting myself.  On the other hand, I also know that there are things that I don't enjoy as much.  Taking a painting class is ok, but it's not what makes me smile.  Playing with finer makes me smile.  Glass makes me smile.  Paper crafting, in all forms, makes me smile.  Clay makes me smile.  Photography makes me smile. And, finally, making jewelry makes me smile.

I like smiling!  Smiling is good for all of us!  I think we all need to figure out what makes us smile and then do it!  Now I just need to figure out how to do what makes me smile for a career!

Amy

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"Unprocessed October"

I'm taking some inspiration from my Facebook friend and fellow twin mom over at http://bonusrounds.blogspot.com and challenging myself to follow through with my reasons for starting this blog.  For the most part, I shop the perimeter of the store.  I tend to try to make my own foods, but lately have become lazier than I would like.  I have also become lazy with my dairy free, gluten free diet.  With this being October 1st and the start of the fall season, I am challenging myself to really be focused on what we eat and how much of it is processed versus how much I make myself.

One thing I have started making from scratch is yogurt.  I used the "recipe" over at http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html and have loved how it comes out.  It is definitely thinner than store bought yogurt, but guess what?  All you have to do is strain it and then you have greek yogurt and it is delicious, thick and Creamy!

I plan to make my own gluten free bread today after I get home from a play date.  Unfortunately it is from a mix, but I had already bought it and don't want to waste it.  I plan on making up my own gluten free pancake mix, my own granola and granola bars, maybe even my own nut milk.  I am hoping to get back in the habit of cooking healthy foods for my family.

Along with cooking, I am also planning on continuing to research more about art therapy and how I can make it a career.  Being creative is something that is very important to me, including being creative in the kitchen.  Being as natural as possible is very important to me.  I am hoping to get back on track with following my beliefs and living a handmade and natural life as much as possible.  As the title of my blog states, there is definitely a balance, but my goal is to be more natural than processed!

Amy

Monday, September 23, 2013

Projects to Work On

I have multiple projects in the works.  Personally, for some strange reason, I have a hard time staying on one projects until it is finished.  I quickly lose interest and want to move on to something new and at least for the moment, more interesting.  I guess, I need a short break from every project I make in order to remain interested in it.  I never completely lose interest, I just become more interested in something new.

Right now, I have a four or five year old Christmas stocking to finish.  For some reason, I have little to no interest in finishing it.  I am going to finish it, just to finish it, but I am not really enjoying it. I have an embroidered fairy to complete.  That is actually something that I want to complete and will enjoy working on.  I have a few English Paper Piecing project to complete.  One is a monthly EPP block and I am a little behind, but I want to work on that too.  I have 2 modern quilts to work on, one for my daughter and one for my son.  I was able to complete my oldest's son Angry Birds quilt and I really enjoyed that, knowing that he was going to love it.  Then there is also the Halloween costumes that I have to work on.  I have a yellow angry bird to make, some princess, and a robot.  I am thinking about adding yet another project, a quilt for my bed.  Then there is always the potential to make a baby quilt for my niece's baby who will be born in December.

I know that there are other projects to work on, but right now I can't think of them.  I wish I had more time to spend actually working on projects.  I can't decide if I would ever like to sell my work, but I think I would love to have a studio and have people come create with me.  I would love to be able to have open studio time and create with others and make money doing that.  Then there are those times that I think I would love to teach others about traditional hand crafts.  I sometimes think that it would be fun to teach a class and work on a project while I am teaching.  I have the opportunity to teach a class at a local studio, I am just not sure if I know enough to actually teach a class.  I think I could probably teach a basic knitting and quilting class.  I could even teach an EPP class, which I know I would like but I'm not sure if anyone else is interested.  I could teach a jewelry class and rubber stamping classes, but fear gets in the way.

One day, I'll get enough confidence to actually teach a class.  Until then, I'll just enjoy working on my own projects!

Amy