Saturday, October 22, 2016

Crafting Retreats


My name is Zer and I've been a maker all my life.  I've dabbled in plastic canvas, cross stitch, embroidery, machine sewing, hand sewing, knitting, crocheting, and book binding.  I just enjoy making, not so good at finishing, but I'm a pro at starting.

A few years ago after hearing about the Squam retreats in the northeast I became determined to find a retreat closer to home (Texas) that I could attend.  I searched the internet, but to no avail.  I then remembered that Cal Patch teaches all over the country and went to her website HodgePodge Farm and low and behold on her calendar was a retreat in Texas called Lucky Star Art Camp!  (I went, I met her, we were roommates, it was amazing!) I know there are many wonderful retreats out there I decided why not make a list for others?  Please comment or send me an email about some of the numerous events I am missing, because I know I am missing tons!  More to be added.

I mostly work with yarn and fabric so this list is skewed in that direction.  I hope this list will help you find some great inspiration and lasting friendships.

Retreats (some are not every year, some have multiple per year please check websites):

Alabama Chanin
Harveyville Project
Heather Ross
Lucky Star
Wing and a Prayer

Other than being friends and/or fans I am not affiliated with any of these retreats, nor do I receive compensation from any of them.  I have attended some and dream of attending them all in the future.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Garden of My Own

I have tried to have gardens before.  Summer squash is my staple.  I've also had great luck with morning glories.  But this garden is different.  A raised bed, that has been planned and thought out, and then some of that planning forgotten in the excitement.  This is my first garden with my children.  Everyone has had a hand in setting up and planting the garden.
Here it is right after we built it (from a kit).  We planted carrots, peas, spinach, cabbage, and zinnias on the first day.  

Then we waited.  

The following Saturday we ran out after breakfast to look for sprouts. The cabbage and zinnias were growing!  I must admit we did do a Totoro dance, perhaps that helped.  We then planted my faithful staple summer squash.

I purchased some tomatoes and strawberries which have been transplanted and seem pretty happy. Today when we checked one of the strawberries already had 2 flowers!

Sprouts for the carrots, spinach and peas popped up today.  We are all so very excited about our garden.  

I'm going to keep updating about the garden here.  Please share your garden/gardening plans.  I can't wait to see what happens next.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happy New Year!

Or should I say Happy Chinese New Year!  It is the year of the goat/sheep which is my animal.  I've been thinking a lot about resolutions :
1. since I did not make any for the calendar year change
2. being Lent many people I know are giving things up

I have decided that my word for this year is gentle, and especially to apply that to myself.  I have dubbed this my "Year of Self Care".  It is often times easier to take care of others than to stop and take time for yourself.  This isn't selfishness.  For the last two years I have gone to an amazing Women's art Camp Lucky Star!  I will be going again this year.  It is the most amazing group of ladies, being themselves and taking a broad range of classes.  Taking those 5 days off just for me felt very selfish at first, but in the end I realized it was healthy for me and my family.  You need to take care of yourself to be able to give more to others. It is important for your children to see you taking care of yourself and having your own interests.

Here's a selfie I took at Lucky Star

As a first step in both the self care and gentleness I am working on this year, I bought myself  a subscription to Julep Maven.  This is a monthly nail polish/makeup subscription.  You are able to completely customize it.  I chose nail polish since I don't wear makeup.  I don't think I've had my nails painted for about 7 years.  As I was waiting for my nails to dry I messed up my right thumb.  Instead of getting mad at myself, I thought of it as an opportunity, and I am going to paint another color over the spot and have some fun.  Small steps.

Here are my sparkly nails, they make me happy.

Do you have any thing you do for your own self care?  What helps you to feel calm and happy?  What are some ways you could be gentler to yourself?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ramona Flowers

On Thursday my local Alamo Drafthouse had a quote-a-long showing of Scott Pilgrim Vs the World.   I decided to dress up as Ramona Flowers.  I have never cosplayed before, nor do I regularly dress up for Halloween. I guess I just wanted to make an event out of the movie.

I had a fun time finding pictures, deciding on which outfit to recreate, and making my purse.  For the purse I used this tutorial.  I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.


It is the first time I have made a purse or used piping.  It even has an inside pocket!
There were at least two other Ramonas at the movie.  The Alamo made it so much fun with the added props, there was a light up foam stick, bubbles, and gold coins to throw whenever an evil ex was beaten.
Here is a picture of me all dressed up:

2011-01-01 00.04.09-1.jpg

Much to my and the kids chagrin, my husband would not dress up as Scott Pilgrim.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


The universe has, in no uncertain terms, let me know that Gratitude is the word for me!  On the way to work my radio station aired a piece on Gratitude for being adopted, it was very interesting on how she had to separate Gratitude from Indebtedness.  Then on Goodreads I was entering a bunch of book giveaways (which I never win but are fun anyway) and I found a giveaway for:

I woke up this morning to an email to tell me I won it! Well hello Gratitude!  Welcome to my life, and you are very welcome to come in and get comfortable.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December Thoughts

I have recently decided to do a practice known as word of the year.  Are you familiar with it?  It is where you pick a word and work on what it means to you and how you can bring it and it's meaning more fully into your life.  You embrace and embody that word, or work towards it, during that year.  Vivienne McMaster wrote a lovely post about her word for next year, go ahead read it.

Today is the first day of the Hectic to Harmonious Holiday Challenge, and today's challenge is to write down what you really want to feel and experience this holiday season. 

While thinking on both of these things, I realize what my word is:


I have a bit of a problem with seeing everything that I have.  With being pleased, and thankful, and gracious about what I have been blessed with.  Yes, I want more, I want more too often.  I need to step back and see that what I have is truly good, and feel complete about it.  I want to be more gracious in my daily interactions with people.  I want to be the person you come and say good morning to, and not the person you avoid in the hallway.

I want to feel at home in my skin, and to let others around me know that I am thankful they are there with me. 

If you have a word for next year leave a little note and let me know what you are experiencing.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcome Autumn!

I love the fall.  I normally go to New York to see my parents and absorb the fall of my childhood.   This year I will not be able to.  Instead, to show the transition, I have made some new decorations for the house.  I realized I mostly have Christmas decorations, this had to be fixed!  My kids are getting older and I want to mark the changing of the seasons in a more memorable way, especially because where we live it will mostly look the same outside for a few more months.

I bought some of those pre-painted wooden decorations from a big box craft store, they are just so cute:


I glued them onto wooden spools and put them into the birthday ring.  I figure after Halloween I will just remove the witch shoes and the candy corn.

I also made this bunting out of some scraps from other projects:


This is just the beginning.  I think we need a wreath... Maybe a wall hanging?

What kind of Autumn decorations do you have in your house?