An Invitation to the 5th Handmade Joy Exchange

In 2012 I organized the first Handmade Joy Exchange. People from 4 countries and 6 US states participated. Since then I’ve hosted three more exchanges, the most recent in 2017. That year I had 40 people from 16 US states and 7 countries participate.

Read More
Happy Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice to you.

It’s the longest night of the year and the official beginning of winter (though around here it’s been feeling like winter for a few months now).

Read More
Stealing Calm Amidst the Chaos

This has been a chaotic week. Or maybe I should say, my studio is in chaos. I’ve been filming my next Skillshare class and somehow my studio always ends up looking like a small tornado has passed through when I’m filming. Having my sewing table and ironing board set up in the room hasn’t helped matters.

Read More
Making Do and Making Art

What are your barriers to creativity? What keeps you from making or doing on a regular basis? A lack of:

  • time?

  • space?

  • money?

Read More
On Dreaming Big

When I first started writing a blog and named it My Giant Strawberry one of the things that appealed to me about that name was how it spoke of my big dreams. Back then I had a lot of dreams, but I never imagined I would begin painting or that painting would become a main focus for me.

Read More
The Answer to Slowing Down? Gratitude

How is possible that Thanksgiving has already come and gone? If you celebrated it, I hope it was peaceful, joyful and filled with love.

It seems I’m always pondering how fast time is flying by and how I’m not able to keep up with it. Am I the only one? Do you feel this way, too?

Read More
Any Step Will Do -- How to Move Forward with Your Creative Journey

For a while now I’ve been in a weird place in my art journey. Knowing that I need to change, or am on the cusp of change, but not knowing how to do it or what that change is supposed to look like. I know I mentioned it last month.

Read More
Successes, Failures and Celebrating Where We Are

This morning there is a blanket of snow over everything. When I checked the thermometer it said 23. And yet I have more energy and feel more inspired today than I have for a long time because the SUN is shining.

Read More
Being in the Middle

When I sit down to write to you it’s usually with a plan that I’ve been thinking about for a while. I usually start writing about a week before I’m planning on posting. I have lists of topics. I have a schedule. But sometimes things don’t go as planned.

Read More
The End of the Season in the Garden -- Reviewing and Planning for Next Year

We’ve been having cold nights for a while now. We’ve even had snow. Except for a few hardy growers, my garden is finished for the year.

At the end of the season (and in truth, even during the season) I’m looking forward to next year’s garden.

Read More
Learning to Slow Down

Lately I feel as if I’m always in a hurry. As if the days are hurtling by and I can barely keep up. I’ve been feeling like this for a while and I don’t like it. One of the reasons we moved out of the city was to live a slower life, but here I am rushing, again.

Read More
Allowing The Change (And New Calendars)

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. In part with the changing of the seasons as I wrote last week, but also because change seems to be all around.

Isn’t it always?

Read More
Honoring Seasons, Transitions and Change

Last week the weather shifted dramatically from summer to full-on autumn. Suddenly the days were cold. Dark. Wet. I layered on sweaters and hats and scarves. We turned on the furnace and brewed pot after pot of hot tea.

I felt lethargic, melancholy. It was hard to get out of bed in the morning. I made soup and baked bread. I wrote Joy Lists. But nothing seemed to help. I was uninspired and discouraged in my art, too. All I wanted to do was snuggle beneath my quilts and crocheted blankets to wait for the sun to come out again.

Read More
Giving Ourselves Permission for Rest and Play

Do you (regularly) schedule time for doing nothing or for projects that don’t have a specific end result? Do you put “play” or “rest” on your to-do list?

If you’re anything like me, probably not.

Read More
2019 Tea Towel Calendars and Coordinating Fabric

I want to thank everyone who voted for my Tea Towel Calendar design. Although this year’s tea towel didn’t place as high as in the past, my Blue Roses is one of the Community Favorites on Spoonflower.

Read More
Joy List Monday

It's been ages since I've done a Joy List Monday post  (I've never done one in this space), but this morning I am overflowing with joy and wanted to share it with you (and encourage you to discover some joy at the start of a week, too).

Read More
Why trying new things and even making mistakes is good for your creativity

When you're learning how to do something or if you're building up a business, it's important to focus your energy in one direction.

When I first started teaching myself to paint I didn't do that.

Read More