A day with Balloons

Each year, the county fair takes place in my hometown. All through my childhood years, hot air balloons would launch at the fairgrounds and fly right over my house. Since then, whenever a hot air balloon is seen, I become a giddy little nerd. Fast forward about fifteen years, and now I find myself hanging out at a ballooning festival, up close and personal with hot air balloons, hanging with a couple of the greatest friends a girl could have! You may recognize one of them as a fellow misc•maker.

(Courtney, Alex, and Jess)

The last weekend in July brings scores of hot air balloon enthusiasts to Readington, New Jersey. Alex and I were lucky this year to be invited to this event by a future misc•maker, Courtney. We watched with excitement as balloons inflated all around us and began to float off before our eyes.

We even got a chance to stand inside one of the balloons as it filled up! Here’s me and Alex with Courtney’s soon-to-be father-in-law. Mr. Leota is among the nicest people I’ve ever met and I can’t wait until the next balloon festival! I’m told next time we will be helping to chase down the balloon to help it land. How cool is that!?

Let’s tie this into crafts, shall we? Leading up to the balloon festival, I tried my hand at replicating the Leota’s balloon in polymer form and here it is! Challening, tiny, but ohh soo cute!

(Photo by Adam Leota || Balloon Charm by Jessica @ FrostedTreats)

Overall, this was the most amazing thing I’ve experienced this summer.

Well, Gotta fly!

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What’s Your Motivation?

Over the last couple of weeks I haven’t been feeling well. Not only did I have to miss work, unfortunately it also prevented me from doing any scrapbooking or playing with polymer clay. This got me thinking about how much I miss working on all of my projects. It also led to the realization that my crafts are my way to relax and take any stress away.

So here is a question for all of you makers: Do you find it relaxing to craft? What is your “ritual” when you craft that makes it relaxing?

I have two rituals when it comes to crafting that help relax me. I usually have a night each week when my best friend, and fellow misc*maker, Jessica and I get together and work on our projects together. Not only do we get to work on our crafts, we also just enjoy each other’s company. We each work on our own project and talk about what is going on in our lives. No matter what we talk about when we are crafting I find it relaxing and any stress I have disappears.

When I find myself crafting alone, I have a different way of relaxing. I go up to my room and put on a movie. (It is usually a movie that I have seen a lot which is the only reason I get anything accomplished otherwise I would be watching the movie.) I  listen to the movie and zone in on the work I am doing. Whether it is making something out of clay or scrapbooking my life, it manages to calm me and take all of my stress away.

So you’ve heard my two ways of escaping the hard realities of life for a little while through crafting. Now that I am feeling better, I am looking forward to getting back into the projects I had to put on hold. So, I ask you all again, Do you find it relaxing to craft? What is your crafty relaxation ritual? I encourage you to share your thoughts by commenting here. I’m sure you will be as amazed as will I be to see how many different ways crafts can relax us.

 

So far, ehh.

Goals: let’s talk about them. We are officially one month into 2011 and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has struggled to keep up steam with their yearly goals.

Earlier this month I sat down and wrote out my aspirations for the year ahead. I found that writing them out with a pretty pen in my best handwriting was pretty therapeutic in itself. Committing your thoughts and goals to paper does help you, well, commit to them. Seeing a concept sealed in ink, at least in my opinion, gives it a little more weight. For 2011 my goals reach to all corners of my life – professional, personal, entrepreneurial, emotional, and so on…

Now I will be totally honest with you… After one month of working on these goals, it’s a pretty even split between success and “needs improvement.” I taped my list of goals beside the mirror I look into every morning while getting ready for the day. I should have posted it right in the middle of that stinkin’ mirror! I decided to break my goals up into one month intervals so that I could easily keep track of whether or not I was hitting my marks. Since we’re such good friends here, I’ll share my progress :D

*Continue to eat right and take care of myself – Lose 2lbs/month to reach my goal.

—–>Well, January is a bit tough for weight-loss. Holidays are still lingering, cold weather enhances the urge to snack… I lost 1lb. Not a major victory, but I’ll count it.

*Spend more time enjoying myself and less time worrying.

—–>I’m a worry-wort. This hasn’t changed too much, but I’ve definitely had a great time this month! Hanging out with friends, lots of laughter and smiles, and definitely less stress now that the holidays have passed.

*Read at least one book per month.

—–>Finished reading a book I began before the holidays and I’m halfway through my next book. I’ll count this one as a success!

*Keep my d*mn room clean!

—–>Ehh, cleanish. Not messy, but definitely not organized. I’ll work on this one for February.

*Wake up at a decent time/Go to bed at a decent time.

—–>Fail. I am an insomniac and I love to sleep in on days I don’t have to work. Still working on this one.

*Stay Organized/Be on time.

—–>Semi-fail. I try, I really do. I like to be on time, I hate being late… but, but… Ehh, who am I kidding? I’ve always struggled with being punctual. I get it from my mother, she runs in her own time-zone. Still working on this one.

*Continue to devote enough time to my art.

—–>Well, this site alone is proof that I’m keeping this goal alive! Yay! Success :)

*More actively seek a full time teaching job.

—–>Keeping up with job postings, check. I still need to spruce up my resume. Ugh, I hate job searching.

*Pay all bills on time, save money for a new car.

—–>Success with bills, fail with saving money this month. I’ll just have to split January over the next couple months to make up for it.

*Internal/Mental goals… (Just a few things I wrote down to remind myself… Maybe they’ll help you, too!)

—–>Be calm. Be aware. Be present. Be myself.

—–>Let pass the things I cannot change.

—–>Don’t dwell on those that do not return my affections. Find someone who will.

—–>Overall- Stay the course and keep my eyes open.

So there you have it! My goals for 2011. So far, not a total failure after one month, but certainly not a total success.

What is your biggest goal for the new year?

Welcome

Hey Friends! Thanks for stumbling upon this little project.

Here at misc•makers, we fall into what we feel is an under-represented, but wildly creative group of artists. Yes, we are artists. We create stuff, right?  A majority of the people we’ve come across online are of a different demographic than we are. Most are mid-thirties, married with children, and- well- housewives. Our generation is much more “in the closet” when it comes to our crafts. A middle-aged woman is more likely to be open about her love of knitting than a twenty-something single lady. We should be at a bar at this age, not at home decoupaging notebooks, right?!

 

image by jessica

 

In our group of friends alone, there is a wealth of creativity and talent that isn’t spoken about until one of us realizes the other is, in fact, a kindred spirit! How many other young people are in the same boat? I’m not talking about the artsy-hipster kids who majored in art and design- I’m talking about those of us who find peace and a break from our day jobs in occupying our hands with creative endeavors.

misc•makers aims to create an online resource for people like us to get more involved and active in the handmade movement. How to open an Etsy shop, how to take great product photos, how to market your crafts, how to get into new and different crafts, how to basically become more self-sufficient and even a little more “green” in an economy that is making it increasingly difficult for our generation to succeed.

We are each experts in something different. From sculpting teensy, tiny cupcakes to soap making to scrapbooks to crochet to sewing and beyond. Get my drift? Together we can build a community, a presence, a collective of young crafters on the side.

For one person, this task is near impossible. For a group of dedicated people with a common goal, this is not only doable, but extremely beneficial to all involved. Who knows where this could go from here?

And I will leave you with some words of Willy Wonka, slightly adapted to fit our purpose.
“We are the Misc. Makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

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