Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Creative Challenge ... Left vs Right Brain Part 2!

Last week, we talked about my new love of weaving ... but no matter how many weavings of other artists I absolutely adore, I'm having trouble making anything remotely similar!

If you missed the post, you can catch it here:  http://bit.ly/1tcWLIL

I would LOVE to create something like this:

Anna Sophia

The Decorist
(The Decorist describes weaving as "this 70's craft 
is the hottest trend in wall art"!)

and something more colorful like this:

Honestly WTF
(This page has a great step by step tutorial)

In addition to the different colors, what all the weavings I adore have in common, is an amazing use of texture and layout.  I would LOVE to be able to do that!

As you will have seen in last week's post, my problem is my left vs right brained creative issue.  No matter how creative I want to be, the left side of my brain always wins!  To remind you of how the left vs right works in your head:

I'm a newbie to weaving, and the handful I've done so far all have a "theme" to them ... they're too left brained.  I can't just let go and be creative, the analytical side of my brain is making everything too symmetrical.  While this one I recently finished might be crazy in color, it's still too "samey samey"!

The most recent CraftStar LIVE show, had a guest - Kristen, from A Bit of Ewe Craft Emporium - she's a pro at weaving and creating all the elements that can be used ... from unique hand-spun and hand-dyed indie yarn and roving, to everything in between - and she gave us some great tips on how to "let go" when it comes to the creative process.

I reached out to her after the show and sent her a couple pics of my most recent attempts.  Being an incredibly helpful and generous crafter, she sent me a sketch of something to try with a package of her goodies that she's going to send me.

She also sent me before and after pics of parts of the package.  The work she does is amazing!

The raw materials

She dyed them in colors she knows I love!

If you have a project in mind with a specific color combo, reach out to Kristen in her shop on The CraftStar and she'll be more than happy to help you.

This is her latest gorgeous weaving which she's posted at a VERY reasonable price of $53.00!

Hand Woven Wall Hanging
Purchase here:  http://bit.ly/1ragmY3

So, while I'm waiting for my fabulous package to be put together, I decided I would make another attempt.  With Kristen's advice, I was determined to out-smart my left brain.  I had these components to work with, the color scheme was based on a few strips of fabric I had (you can see them top left of the pic)

Off I went to start my next weaving, with the same intent for success I had while taking any college exam.  While I did well on those using the left side of my brain, I could NOT conquer it creatively  - which is REALLY beginning to annoy me!

While this may look a little different than my previous attempts, the only thing different about it is I added more colors!!!  It's still symmetrical - aaaarrrgggghhhh!!!

Oh, and I added a tassel!  
Really great tutorial here on A Beautiful Mess:  http://bit.ly/1oaEe9J

This new love of mine, weaving, is different than many crafts that I have tried and failed at.  As I mentioned last week, I can't knit or crochet to save my life and I've given up trying.  I am NOT going to give up trying to create a weaving I love!

I'll post again when I receive my package from Kristen, and in the meantime, if you want to try this fabulously fun craft, go shopping in Kristen's store for unique and beautiful components!  (also great for knitting, crochet, dolls hair, jewelry, and much more!)

Til next time,

The Left-Brained Crafter ~ Bethan

Some more goodies from A Bit of Ewe Craft Emporium, including really handy "yarn cards", yarn bowls, and a mini loom!  Have fun shopping!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Stock Up Your Crafting Supplies - FOR FREE!!!!

If there's one thing that us crafters can't get enough of ... it's crafting supplies.  Well, those and coffee!

This week we've teamed up with Nicole from Solo Supplies and we're running a FABULOUS give-away!  $50 worth of crafting fun!

Whether you're a crafter yourself, or your daughter or son, or sister or brother, or your favorite neighbor ... we can guarantee someone in your life would fall over for $50 in crafting goodies!!

To get an idea of what YOU can CHOOSE from ... here are some of our favorites.


This is a perfect time to stock up and get ready for the summer craft fairs!

Just enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway






Monday, June 6, 2016

The Left vs Right Creative Challenge

I don’t often talk about my personal life, but this is something that has made me so happy, I want to yell it from the rooftops!  I have fallen in love! 

This new love doesn’t argue like my ex-boyfriend, and I didn’t have to go online dating to find this one.  However online is where I found my new relationship … through an amazing artisan on The CraftStar.  As it was pretty much love at first sight, I went in search for more information and fell deeper and deeper along the way!

I’d like to introduce you to my new love … 

As a life-long crafter, I’ve tried many projects … some work out, some don’t.  No matter how many times my mom has tried to teach me, I can’t knit or crochet to save my life.  While I would LOVE to make a summer weight shawl like this:

... in the gorgeous bright pink yarn I bought a heap of, I usually end up flinging the needles across the room in frustration.  I have learned to accept knitting and crochet needles and I just don’t go together. 

When it comes to “making things”, I have the patience and attention span of a mini mouse.  A great thing about being in the creative zone is your mind wanders.  A really bad thing about being in the creative zone is your mind wanders. 

I will be half way through a project when either I spot something sparkly across the room (often) and HAVE to start creating something with that RIGHT NOW, or, I’ll be making, say, a leather wrap bracelet and think “those lilac stone beads would look awesome on brown leather” so I drop the pretty crystal and black one I’m currently doing, to start on that.  I can’t count how many bracelets, necklaces, canvases, attempts at drawing, etc, are half-finished around my home.  I feel like I'm two-timing my handmade work.

So falling in love with weaving was a perfect way to play with the yarns and textures I ooh and aah over, and a HUGE plus about only having one loom is you can’t cheat on it!  You have to finish the piece you’re working on (unless you want to dump it) before you go on to the next.  (this really is starting to sound like my ex-boyfriend)  Bingo, I’ve finally found my perfect match!

Only, so far, this relationship isn’t as successful as I had dreamed.  I’m already stuck in a rut.  I want to make something like this:

 or this 
Bonnie from Going Home To Roost
(can you believe that's her FIRST attempt at weaving?!!  It's GORGEOUS!)

But I end up with this: 

My latest weaving - I call it "Cinco de Mayo"

and these earlier attempts:

I can’t break out of the symmetrical zone.  I want my pieces to look fabulously creative and “fluffy” like Kristen's and Bonnie's above, but I end up with it looking too organized, too samey-samey.  

The left side of my brain over-rides the right every time. 

Last week on The CraftStar LIVE show (if you missed it, you can catch it here:  http://bit.ly/1PheRmw), Kristen from A Bit of Ewe Craft Emporium (and the creative genius behind the first beautiful weaving above) was our guest, celebrating the publication of her fabulous art yarn in the latest issue of The Knitter Magazine!

Through her fun (and funny) stories of how she creates her beauties, literally from shearing sheep to dying and spinning, I was raring to go for another attempt.

After the show, I emailed her a picture of my latest weaving, explaining my left vs right frustration with it, and she really kindly offered to sketch out a design that would challenge my creativity, and will put together a package of her fabulous goodies to send to me.  How sweet is that?

She even created a video to show us how she works:

The minute the design and goodies arrive, off I'll go!  

In the meantime, I'm going to try a self-challenge.  These are the elements I have to work with (I based the colors on the strip of material at the top left of the pic): 


(I just noticed how the colors totally match the rug!)

Will catch you up next week to see if my right was able to conquer my left!

The Left Brained Crafter ~ Bethan

PS.  If you have any tips and tricks for beginning weavers ... please share them in the comments!

PPS.  If you love color and texture as much as I do, check out Kristen's amazing array of art yarn and indie dyed longwool (these are some of my faves:)