5 Key pieces for creativity and life

Have you ever thought about all those links you click on that market big ideas and plans to boost your creativity, but they all want you to pay for their publications? Or signing up to be bombarded by a series of emails to your inbox everyday… doesn’t that just irk you that you can’t just have all of the information right now for free?

Welcome to the Digital Age! Also, why are you looking for a list of things to tell you how to do something when you already have everything it takes to be that person?

Think about it for a moment. You are online searching for key pieces of information to solve a problem your currently facing. It could be that you’re looking for motivation to do something. It could be that you’re experiencing writer’s block. It could also very well be that you are on a journey to discover more about yourself.

You just need to know where to look to unlock the information you already have.

First of all, You are a wonderful human being and you are smart!

You have the ability to figure things out and you have the resources right at your fingertips. You have been using your body and brain every day already to accomplish things and discover new ideas. Using your past set of experiences you can accomplish everything you set your mind to! Your past experiences drives your knowledge today and sets the precedent on how you need to act to solve whatever lays before you.

Second, you are your greatest motivator!

You are the subject matter expert when it comes to all about you. There are no trick questions and you know all the answers. You can and will find it in yourself to accomplish exactly what you want to and are meant to, every day.

Third, you are also your own greatest critic.

Don’t let the nagging voice in your head tell you “You can’t do it!” Because you CAN do it and you will. Once you have worked past the things holding you back, you will drive forward your own success. Be fearless in your endeavors and you will have no regrets. Don’t worry about making a wrong decision in life because the best thing about life and living is you get to try again.

Fourth, You are not alone.

You always have at least one other person or resource at your disposal to help you along your path. In this digital world we now live in there are actually millions of people globally who want to help you. Some ask for money, other’s don’t. Just because your set of knowledge and past experiences don’t have all the answers you are looking for doesn’t mean that you don’t already have access to someone who does. We are all living life here on our planet Earth together and we all survive together no matter the distance.

Fifth, Your imagination is your biggest supporter.

You can do anything and you will do everything you set your heart on. They say “the world is your oyster”, well not everyone likes oysters like I do but the world is whatever you want it to be. Be the change you want to see and be the example for others to follow. Using your unique ideas, tools and knowledge can forge ahead your creativity to make and be whatever you want. “Writer’s Block” is temporary, there will come a point for everyone where you find your muse and your creativity will flow like a river onto your plans. Everything has a path and everything will come into focus. Use the pieces of the whole picture to build up your focus and your plans will succeed!

“Don’t worry about making a wrong decision in life because the best thing about life and living is you get to try again.”

Imagine all of the things you will accomplish in your life if we all just had a little less stress going on. How many things do you worry about in a day? I personally worry about a lot of different things all the time. Part of life is the things we stress about, some of these stress protect us from harm and other will hinder us from our full potential. One personal motto I would like to share for those who it may help is this:

If you want to get something done but are worried about the actions or effects from it, stop worrying about it and just do it. The sooner that you get it done the sooner that it is over and in the end you will realize that all the worry over it in the beginning was for nothing. Having done the action or task made me realize that it was not so bad after all. The end result made me stronger and more likely to be able to do other things. It can be hard to put yourself out there, but if you give it all that you are with everything that you are you can never fail. Be You and do everything as who you are. Make what ever you are doing as unique as you are and people will love it. Ignore the haters as they just want someone to be as miserable as they are.

And as one human to another, whatever you do, do it for good. Do it so that it benefits you and do it so it can benefit others. Be the example for others to follow. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Drive a positive impact and let your creativity flow onto others so they too can be wonderful like you.

Back to the Swing of Things

Every now and then we all hit that low spot where we don’t allows follow up on a blog post or work in progress. Projects can take a long time and losing interest is a very real thing. It can be hard to if the projects or things you want to accomplish seem overwhelming or overly time consuming, sometimes even make you feel like it’s just not worth it anymore.

Other times I have felt this have also been part of knowing whether or not my audience will want to participate in what I want to share with them. Those feelings of dread, worry or overall depression can make completing things difficult. That’s why I wanted to share this post today.

Even though things are tough, time consuming or maybe even boring. If you do what you can to persevere, you really can accomplish anything. Take for example the list of these next few things. How can something like one or more of these help You to get done what you are wanting to accomplish?

1. Find your Accountability Partner

Do you have someone who you can rely on to keep you reliable? An Accountability Partner is someone who can keep you on track by sharing your goals with them and turning them into things you can have conversations about and follow up with consistently. You can pick anyone really, a spouse or significant other, a friend, a family member, even a co-worker or boss. Finding someone to be able to discuss and keep accountable with can also help you develop stronger short term and then long term goals!

2. Take Action

What ever you decide, take action on it! Let your decisions become your reality and make it happen. One example of mine growing up was my middle school band teacher, “if you keep your instrument out and ready to play, you are far more likely to play than if it was put away in storage.”

So taking action can be as simple as preparing the things you need to accomplish your goal. Having things readily accessible make it easier to accomplish our goal. Other ways you can take action is by sharing your goals and timeframes with your accountability partner or trusted person. Letting others know your goal and deadlines creates a purpose to follow up because you are being required to follow through with expectations you set with others.

Don’t be afraid of the nervous jitters or butterflies. We all get them at some point. Use that nervous energy to commit to action and next time you might find those feelings are less while your courage and determination grows!

3. Seek Council

When in doubt, ask it out loud! A wise person always listens to others around them. How you use that information is completely up to you and is part of your actions. You don’t have to be an expert about everything, but having the knowledge to be able to look and ask for answers will always be an invaluable resource.

Be careful though on getting advice from others that may not share the same determination or drive you want to be able to take action. Spend your time with others who want to succeed and want you to succeed too. If your getting council from those who are accountable and take action, you are much more likely to become more accountable and actionable yourself.

4. Believe

No matter what you are you’re biggest fan as well as your biggest critic. Accept the good and the bad but don’t give up. Know that as long as you continue to try and believe that you can continue to make progress that you will always be successful in the end. Believe you can and you will!

It Arrived for Curbside Pickup!

I was so excited to see the missed call from “Ann Jo” to find a voicemail from Joann Fabrics that my local store had finally received my new Sewing Machine!

I placed my special order for the sewing machine as they were SOLD out of inventory in store but luckily shipping was free. I got an amazing deal on its purchase and waited so eagerly for that phone call. I remember calling a few times over the course of waiting in the hopes that they had it but they are very persistent at Joann that if you don’t get a phone call or email, its not ready yet.

There were other order attempts to get more interfacing, several order cancelations but I have not given up.

And just this past Monday I got the phone call that it had finally arrived! I finished my normal career work at 4:30pm and RACED to town with about 2 minutes to spare before the store closed and got my sewing machine in hand to take home!

I was so excited to try it out but first I had to get a picture and I knew I wanted to show off its first use. This is me on my journey to starting video blogs too. So thank you for reading and hopefully you will continue to watch my future videos too.

I have been able to sew more face masks far more effectively than with my previous Brother Sewing Machine and I love that it is quieter and smoother also. This is the best to date purchase of my crafting life!

Keep a look out on my Etsy store for more finished projects for sale and I will be sewing more face masks through the rest of 2020 and into next year also. Joann Fabrics has some amazing deals going on right now so I will have a big variety of fun fabrics to choose from.

Social Distancing and Crafters

Face Masks I’ve been working on as one way to pass the time after all the kids have gone to bed. I’ve been keeping very busy.

As a crafter and Mother to 4 kids, I know the most productive crafting time is after they have all gone to bed. I’ve been doing this long before Covid-19 came along. I have found things that help the quiet (or a quiet a sewing machine can be) time pass alone not feeling so alone. It’s more than being alone, as a parent its time to actually spend with myself and my thoughts. There are many thoughts and self-conversations I would think would make for an excellent Vlog or Podcast but until I get the gumption to actually put my face and voice to digital media, printed word it is.

I live life as a passing of one project at a time, like remember when I was making [insert project] and [insert event] happened?

I am not the fastest crafter by any means, but I do get it done!

My first go to when I’m in my alone crafting time is rehashing all the projects I have currently in progress. Right now there are many. A blanket for my Mom’s BFF in Virginia. Another blanket for Basil to match her decor in her room, everything in turquoise or mint. Sewing many many face masks, but this project will span the whole of 2020 and onward. I’m eagerly awaiting some hand spun wool yarn from my Husbands co-workers wife who spun it herself. I would love to make the best sweater ever from it! And, once I get my new Singer Heavy Duty Sewing machine, I am going to then make bowl cozies. All because I am so tired of having to find a way to take a hot bowl of food out of the microwave.

If you have a problem of any kind, I bet you there is some kind of crafty person out there who can make you a solution of some sorts.

Blanket for Kaola

I live life as a passing of one project at a time, like remember when I was making [insert project] and [insert event] happened? Whenever I think about this question as it leaves my mouth I think back to how long it took me to complete that said project… I can say a blanket is pretty heavy on time it takes me to complete it.

15 Minutes Later…

I just finished watering all my house plants as I remembered it is Saturday and that is the day I chose to water my plants. To make sure that I don’t over water anything and nothing is forgotten that is why this day is the one day for watering only. It’s harder to forget that way to.

During this time Theodore has also been put down to bed for the night as its 7pm local time and he’s not yet 2 years old. He was ready for bed, rubbing his eyes and all. Little boys are the most adorable when they are cuddly and sleepy. Those are my favorite parent moments.

I have found in my own personal way of crafting that it is impossible to have only one WIP (work in progress) at a time. If I don’t feel like I’ve got too much going on then I start to feel idle and restless until I find another project to work on too. I’m not saying that everyone should work on everything all at once because there are those out there, and I’ve met a few, who cannot have more than one thing going on. It just doesn’t work for everyone. So please, work on your own projects at your own pace and preference.

The next thing to help my solitude during alone crafting time is Audible. I love audio books because it allows my hands to be free to craft. Audible has not paid me either to put a plug in for them, I really just love their service. So far Game of Thrones has kept me going for over 60 hours of audio time, 5 hours remaining of the second book now.

The last thing that I’ve been working on during my alone time is creating videos and working towards my goal of having a Vlog entry and even a podcast some day. Some day I am going to get there, some day.

I have read a lot of articles where Covid-19 has had a big impact on others who are not getting their needs for social interaction met. So the biggest thing as a crafter I want to advocate for is that no matter what, no matter how far, and no matter who, please reach out to your friends, family and co-workers. It doesn’t have to be a super long conversation, even just a check in will help. Pay them a compliment, find something nice to share maybe. Let’s still enjoy each other’s company even if we are not face-to-face.

Thank you for your time and thank you for supporting the Arts! Check out our Family’s latest creations on Social Media and shop us on Etsy.

I Ran Out…

I can’t believe it almost, my first set of face masks all sold out! There were not too many of them but enough that they sold quickly. I have more supplies on the way to make more, shipping is the longest part.

My Etsy shop has received many many views and I hope other items catch the eyes of viewers.

I have purchase more interfacing that should arrive by this Friday, I am working hard to prep more fabric ready to sew when it arrives.

The fun part is after our little boys go to bed, we have uninterrupted time from 8:30pm to midnight to craft away, other than any fun crafts we do during the day.

Hard at Work

Happy hobbies during a quarantine make all the difference for me. I have been fortunate to continue my career working from home for my regular full-time position and my crafting hobby along side it. I have found that having a hobby has been more anxiety relieving now than it has ever in the past. Let me share with you how Knitting and Crocheting have helped me during these difficult times.

Large Reusable Market Bag

I do have an Etsy shop where I list almost everything I have made for sale. If you are interested in checking it out, go to my social links menu to click to it or click here -> https://etsy.com/shop/MrsVogels to visit it too.

When I am crocheting something simple like the market bag, it is such a simple stitch that I get lost in the motion and its relaxing tempo. Chain 2, double crochet into 3rd stitch, repeat until the end of the row and so on and so on. The “mindless” crafting places a brief hold on anything complicated outside of my field of vision and touch that I truly am relaxed and comfortable. Until of course I split the yarn and lose the beat for only a moment.

When I am creating more complicated things like this baby blanket where I am carrying three colors of yarn there is a little more involvement and thought that goes into the craft. Like which yarn carries over the the top of another and do I crochet the carried yarn in or allow it to hang back so that I may weave in the ends later in post work. And more importantly, did I switch colors at the right stitch and place.

Posting a section here as the finished project has not been delivered yet.

I have grown to love crocheting more than knitting at this time in my life but I will return to knitting too, it’s in my title and all anyways. But knitting has the same great benefits of crocheting, you just carry all your work at once so there is a weight factor for larger projects.

I can say that one of my reasons I love crocheting more right now is because of the AMAZING deal I found on Clover comfort crochet hooks that are normally $75 online and in store and I was able to snag a set on Amazon for $35! Yes, it was totally worth the wait too as it was the real deal.

But other than good deals, shopping for supplies, the craft itself is what matters. When you make something with your own hands there is a sense of pride into what you make. I am happy in knowing that I made something. I made something with a skill and trade that has been in use for centuries. My skills grow every day that I use them. My projects get better each time that I try them. My for sale items show quality even now when I can make them for quantity too.

There is one drawback to comes to my immediate attention. Time. If you are not a fast crafter or if you do not have patience for a in depth or larger project, it makes it more difficult to maintain focus on finishing what you started.

Take for example the Latch-Hook Anchor above. Believe it or not I started this project when I was only 3 month’s pregnant with my first son. Leander is now 3.5 years old. I only finished it this last January, 2020. The finished project is maybe 1.5 feet square. I finished 90% of it within less than a month than what took me 3 years to do the first 10%!

So if you want to get into any type of crafting keep aware of the time requirement projects have. I can make one of the Airpods cases listed in my Etsy shop in less than 20 minutes. It takes me the better part of a day to make a market bag if I am mostly uninterrupted. And I can make a blanket in about a month if I make enough time to get it done. Now my particular case is that I do all these projects simultaneously… I hate being tied to just one project after all. I love my WIPS! (Works in Progress)

I encourage anyone and everyone to find a healthy hobby to help make the best of what we have at any time. Check out my social media pages for inspiration or something to try I prepared custom.

Recap 2019

Happy Holidays from the Vogel Family

Becoming Who We Are

PreSchool, High School and future planning, this year has been filled with milestones and memories for everyone in our family, big and small!

It started 2019 with my Birthday turning 30! It doesn’t feel like I’m getting old but I am glad to be done being pregnant. We won’t be adding any more little ones to our family after Theodore was born, Eston and I decided we were done having more kids. Next, we celebrated Basil’s 12th Birthday! Her last year before becoming a teenager and before we know it, then she’ll be an adult. All the wonderful things about being a woman and We’re so happy that We get to see her grow first hand, emotions and all.

Leander had his first experience with surgery at the beginning of the year with a Trigger Thumb Release surgery on his left hand. His first look at his stitches when he removed his bandages scared him a lot and convincing him to leave the bandages alone was interesting, to say the least. Both Eston and I wore matching wraps to make sure he kept his on as extra influence. When it was time to take the bandage off to complete the rest of his healing, that was interesting too. Leander no longer has issues with his thumb and it’s healed perfectly, as well as he learned the importance of leaving bandages alone.

I returned to work in March; four months of maternity leave was so amazing to spend with Theodore and getting back the time that I didn’t get to have with Leander was so wonderful. While Riley and Basil went to school, our routine was to watch the bus every morning they left and to be there watching when they got home. Leander can’t wait until he can ride the school bus too! Theodore just wants to do everything Leander gets to. Our winter stay-cation with Mommy being home was well spent creating memories.

Riley’s birthday in May signaled the biggest change in our home. He is now ready to go for Driver’s Training and get his first job! Riley seems hesitant about both a little bit but we know once he gets started with his foot in the door, there’s no going back and we’ll be looking for a third vehicle soon enough. 

The summer was filled with great things. I got a promotion at work to Senior Coordinator, a nice pay increase and greater responsibility included. Eston finding his career with T-Mobile as a Mobile Expert! We’ve got blue and magenta swag all over our home and our family from our great workplaces! As Riley says he’s “sponsored” by the two companies. Theodore, in June, also had his first memory with stitches. His were due to an accident though, poor baby busted his lip wide open playing with a toddler chair. He received two little stitches in his lip and after it was all done, he played just as bravely and hard as he did before. He really is a brave boy trying lots of new things.

In June we also got to visit the Largest Candy Store in Minnesota, The Big Yellow Barn! Leander loved seeing Iron Man but was a little intimidated by the big suit.

     Back into the School year, we bought school supplies for Riley and Basil then celebrated Leander’s 3rd Birthday! He is growing so fast and learning so quickly that when he starts school we are going to be blown away by what he can do and learn. He is also still measuring near the top 100% for both height and weight.

Eston and I celebrated 7 Years in July. It’s supposed to be the year of copper and wool, instead, we celebrated with a Himalayan Salt (Lamp)! It’s supposed to cleanse the air with negative ions and promote a peaceful environment. Either way, we love it. Thinking to the future, we want to continue to have inviting conversations and loving home for all of our family and friends. No matter where we are and what we’re doing, we keep each other close in our hearts and thoughts.

Finally into the Fall and Winter, Eston and Riley enjoyed scaring the pants off of people at Molitor’s Haunted Acres. Riley’s first job was a success and he cannot wait until next October to do it again. Most of our family was sick the first couple of weeks of November, 5 of the 6 of us were on some kind of antibiotic at one point. Luckily we get well quick!

We had lots of fun and enjoyed both Theodore’s First and Eston’s 35th Birthday! It is so hard to believe it’s already been one whole year Theodore has been with us as his birthday was a week prior to Eston. He was walking and talking so quick it was like being our little baby boy was just a short little while and now he’s all ready to become a big kid. Eston loves that he gets to have his birthday with Theodore but we made sure to celebrate him also. As a Father to four, it is never a dull moment. 

     Basil won the local American Legion sponsored Peace Poster Contest with her Peace Poster she drew so artistically. Keeping it a secret from her for a few days while getting her answer on what Peace means to her was a little tricky but she was so excited and surprised when it was announced she was the winner at her school! Her poster will go on to the District Level contest against other districts in Minnesota. If she wins there too then she would be entered into the National contest where she could potentially win real money! We are keeping our fingers crossed that her poster continues.

     Ending the year with the few remaining Holidays, We visited my Grandma Darlene’s home for Thanksgiving this year. Leander and Theodore got to meet a lot of the cousins they haven’t had a chance to yet and had a lot of fun playing with new friends and eating tasty foods! They also really love seeing their Grandpa Roger who is always good for lots of fun and great big hugs! We cant wait to see Leander and Theodore’s faces light up with seeing all the family they love and all the presents they get are so much fun.