Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Am I Really Doing It?

Am I really moving forward with one of my goals?  I talked to my husband about potentially becoming the chapter leader for Enchanted Makeovers in MA and while he is supportive of me doing this, I think he would prefer that I either did it myself or it was a paid position.  I would love to be able to start my own "company" using creative arts to help my community or the surrounding communities, but I am not sure that I have the know how or the ability to do it on my own right now.  I am thinking that I can still do my own thing.

I talked with Terry Grahl, founder of Enchanted Makeovers, and I love what she has to say.  Being a chapter leader is an awesome thing to do.  I really like what Terry has to say and what her beliefs are.  I love that she doesn't want to label people that she helps.  I really want to be a part of this, but I am not sure if it is the right time for me.  Do I become a MA Chapter Leader or do I just contribute handmade items and try to start my own thing?

I love the idea of helping women and children.  I love the idea of helping people in MA.  I love that it would be a community effort and that it would tie into my social work career and my love of create handmade items.  The question is, do I have time to devote to this as much as I should, and/or is there something more I can do on my own to help another group or groups of people with handmade items and have it concentrate more in my town then branch out to surrounding towns and then branch out further in MA.  I guess I need to pray about this.  I am not someone who is a major church goer, but I do believe that someone (God, higher power, etc) out there hears us and helps us make different decisions in our lives, especially important decisions.

I just need to know what is in my heart and follow it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wishcasting Wednesday: What Do You Wish to Share

It's again Wednesday and I remembered to join in with Wishcasting Wednesday at http://www.jamieridlerstudios.ca.  This week we are asked "What Do You Wish To Share?"

For a long time now, I have been looking for a way to share my love of creating and my love of my career as a social worker.  I have tried to find a way to get continuing ed credits by taking conferences that are more creative driven vs. clinically driven.  They all have a clinical component, but they also have a creative component too.  I have taken an art therapy workshop, a journaling workshop, a yoga worksop, and next I am taking an art therapy for grief and loss next month.

After reading a couple of books, specifically "Craft Hope", I have been trying to find a way to craft for charity.  I figured this would be a decent way to combine some community work (social work) and crafting (creating).  I've been trying to find a way to go about doing it.  I was hoping to start in my own community, but didn't know where to start.  I was reading Facebook and saw a post about "Enchanted Makeovers" looking for dolls.  I still have to create some and send them off, but I looked at the website and noticed that they have national chapters and my state is not listed.  They are looking to have a chapter in more states, so I contacted Terry Grahl, the founder of "Enchanted Makeovers" and have a phone conference on Monday to talk about heading up a chapter in MA.  I am a little nervous about this phone call.  I haven't told my husband about it.  I have sent e-mails to over chapter leaders hoping to get some inside info on what being a Chapter leader entails.  I figured that this may be a good way to start to share my love of community (social work) and my love of creating.  It would be an established program and I guess I would just be a liaison to the company for local people who have questions or donations for area shelters.  I wish it was a paid position!  I would love to have something like this as my job.  I do think that this will be a great addition to my resume for when I have the ability to start my own type of program.

I don't want to be the person that has dream that never get fulfilled.  I don't want to look back on my life and say "I wish I had followed my dreams and passions".  I do like being a social worker, but I don't just want to do clinical work without creativity.  I want to share my love of creativity with others as well as my love of social work, but more the community work of social work, not individual clinical work.  I want to help my community by sharing my talents and gifts, both as a social worker and as a crafter!

What do you wish to share?


Friday, July 20, 2012

Dreams, Passions, and Goals

For the longest time, I have been trying to figure out what my dream, my passion, and my goals are regarding my career.  In the past, I have wanted to go into private practice as a social worker.  After getting my BSW and my MSW, I have decided, much to my husband's dismay, that I don't really want to have a traditional private practice.  I am considering going back to school and getting my art therapy certificate and then when I can go into private practice, I can do art therapy.

My latest thoughts have been spurned on by reading a couple of books and finding a website about crafting for charity.  Wouldn't that be an awesome way to use my social work degree as well as my love for crafting?  Now I need to research exactly how to go about doing something like this!  I'm sure there is a lot that goes into doing something like this and is not something that I can take lightly.  I'm sure that there are a lot of things that I need to learn.  I have no business background, no marketing background, and limited supervisory background.

I have certain ideas that I am thinking about based on my love of sewing, making jewelry, knitting/crocheting, making bath and beauty products, paper crafts, photography, and pretty much any craft.  What I need to do, is find out more information on non profits, see if there is anything already started to get information or even see if there are any positions that I can get hired for.  I need to find out what population I want to work with. I also need to figure out a business plan and maybe think about grant writing.  My social work background will definitely come in handy here!

I really need to find a part time job and I will be heading back to work full time with in the next couple of years.  I am hopeful that I can spend some time researching what is needed and maybe find someway of making my dreams, passions, and goals happen!

My latest crafting pleasure has been making a doll bed for my daughter's doll as well as a quilt to go with it.

doll bed made out of a recycled clementine box with hand sewn mattress and pillow

doll bed with quilt (I still have to bind the quilt)

crocheted rag rug for under the bed!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sewing and Soaping

Yesterday, I was more creative than I've been in a long time and the best part was that it didn't take a ton of time.  This week, all 5 of us have been fighting off the dreaded stomach bug in one form or another.  Yesterday, I decided that I needed to make chicken soup.  Of course, the kids didn't eat it but my husband and I had it for lunch and dinner.  Since it was last minute, I decided to buy packaged broth and use a chicken that we had cooked earlier in the week as well as some escarole from my husband's uncle's garden and frozen veggies.  I also bought a chicken so that I could make my own broth and chicken soup for later.

Later in the afternoon, I brought my sewing machine up from the cellar and made a quick strip rag quilt made out of flannel that I had bought when the twins were infants.  It worked up really quick, and even though I still need to bind them, the twins used them last night.  I like my daughter's blanket way better than I like my son's, but that could just be the colors.

All sewn and snipped, waiting to be washed

All washed, waiting to go in the dryer

Finished in the dryer waiting to have the binding put on

Later, last night, I decided to do something that I have been wanting to do for some time now.  I made soap in the crockpot.  I was a little nervous since I was told how dangerous lye could be, and even though it is very dangerous and caustic, it wasn't any where near as scary as I thought.  I most likely used the wrong oil mixture for a good hard bar of soap, but for my first try, it wasn't bad.  I am going to try again tonight with a better mix of oils.  I will use a different soap calculator than I used for my batch last night.  The one, http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php, I used last night was good for telling me how much water and lye to use given the amount of oils I was using, but it didn't tell me that I didn't use a good balance of oils.  I am hoping that after some time curing, it will harden enough to be an ok bar of soap.  I removed it from the mold and cut it so there is more surface area expose to air.  I can't wait to make more soap.  I think I have become addicted after just one batch and that batch didn't even come out right!  I think, at least for me, the lye calculator to use is: http://www.SoapCalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp.  I like all the information that it gives.  I know there is some controversy to which calculator to use, but I like http://www.SoapCalc.net.

In the crockpot cooking

colored and put into mold

un-molded and cut

I'm pretty happy with how creative I was yesterday.  If I could be creative, just a fraction of what I was yesterday, I would be thrilled!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Latest Projects

A while ago, I decided I wanted to make myself a baby carrier.  So, I looked up a tutorial on the internet and found one, bought my supplies and made one.  I have actually used it a decent amount of times especially given that I finally made it when the kids were older and most people don't start using Mei Tai style carriers at that age, but it worked for us.

finished carrier

My daughter in the carrier

Over the last few days, my daughter started asking for a carrier for her baby doll Rapunzel.  I looked online for some simple tutorials, knowing that I could probably figure it out myself.  I figured, I had already made one for a baby, this one was just for a doll.

I decided to make a rectangle 13"x15" with fleece material and blanket stitched the sides.  I then used flannel material 8" wide by 42" long and folded the edges into the middle and then folded it in half and sandwiched the rectangle in the middle and stitched along the top.  I then cut more flannel about 6" wide by 45" long (this really depends on the size of the child, my daughter is small).  I folded this in half and stitched along the top and the long side.  I then sandwiched it between the 2 rectangle pieces and stitched across the top of the rectangle.  I could have done more to make it a little more neat, but I just wanted a quick prototype to see how it would work out.  After I finished sewing it, I put it on my daughter the same way you do a real Mei Tai.  I personally think it came out cute and would love to make more!  Only this time, I want to spend more time and make it a little neater!

Front of the carrier on my daughter

Back of the carrier on my daughter