Hold Onto What Matters…

When Its Unclear: Wooly Mastadon

In the past few weeks it has been a roller-coaster. I don’t like putting life updates here, this place is for the purpose of sharing projects, creativity, inspiration. Yet sometimes life just has to come to the forefront, needs to be seen. No matter how much you try to hide what is happening it shines through. It shines through here and elsewhere in my silence. Now, there have been some really good moments but there have been a lot of really hard moments too. It was to the point that all I wanted to do was run and hide from everything. Thankfully I have a really amazing person in my life who helped me get out of that but sometimes things hit you hard. One thing that I have shared on and off here was my Mom’s battle and defeat of cancer. Two months ago my family learned that that cancer had returned, and with a vengeance. She’s getting treatment and doctors seem pretty positive but it hit everyone hard, when something terrible was over…at least you thought it was, only to come back.

This was just one example of the downs that have hit these past few months. I lost track of what mattered and let things get to me. I let work drama creep into my time away from work and eat away at what was left of me. I gave up on knitting and reading, and really creating for a while. The only thing I really had to show for a span of time were some nature photographs from mini day trips to go escape for a while. I think somewhere in the mess that was my brain it knew the only way to get me out of my funk was to get me out of the house.

So I got out of the house. Some of my best friends came up to visit. I went on day trips, I took photos, and I worked. For whatever reason, possibly because some of the troubles are slowly being resolved, things are getting better. I have someone in my life who is constantly reminding me not to lose sight of my goals, and that it is always worth working toward the things that you find important.

What's Out There: Wooly Mastadon

And so in the past week I have made an effort to get back into the small things I love to do, the creative things that keep me going. I started designing some knitwear and brainstormed some big ideas. These big ideas reminded me that I still someday want to be a graphic designer at a knitwear magazine, or something like that. I want to move on and do the things I love for a living. And I have to work toward that, not give up, if I want to accomplish it.

Life isn’t always happy, it isn’t the perfectly edited photo posted to Instagram or the short witty post to Facebook. It isn’t the properly edited blog post filtered to make your life look perfect. Life has ups and downs, and sometimes the downs feel impossible to handle. It is possible, it will get better. You just have to hold onto what matters.

Hold onto what matters…it keeps you going when nothing else will.

I’ll be back, with projects, hopefully very soon. Thanks for listening.

~Stay Inspired

 

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And Yet Another Year Flies By…

Wooly Mastadon Turns 2!

It’s been another year and Wooly Mastadon is now two years old! Granted this year hasn’t been a banner year for consistency but the fact that it is still here is a good sign. I love this little piece of the interwebs and hope to keep it going for as long as I can. I had lofty goals to create something awesome to share here today, something useful like a tutorial or printable, but I was utterly stumped. I just didn’t know what fit, and I wanted it to be just right. Thus, I’m taking suggestions…what should I do next. I want to create something, whether it be a printable, a background you can use on your computer, or even a tutorial or pattern. What shall it be?

With that I leave you. Its been a crazy two years, and this also marks just over two years out of college (yeesh!, but I won’t go down that rabbit hole). There have been ups and downs, and this little space is still here. Here’s to another, hopefully more productive, year! Thanks for sticking around.

~Stay Inspired

TDF Spinning Fail

TDF2016: Wooly Mastadon

It’s TDF…and I somehow missed the memo. I knew it was coming, and had planned to spin like crazy to finish up the fiber I am spinning up for a shawl for my Mom. I had plans…and then I missed the first day of TDF. I didn’t realize til late that night that it had started. With only one day lost, I continued on. Despite going out of town shortly after it started, I dutifully brought along my drop spindle and spun for a bit every day I was gone. Once I got home…I stopped. For whatever reason TDF this year is just not happening for me and since getting my wheel two years ago I’ve participated, newby or not. It’s sad that I’ve missed this much, but perhaps I’ll catch up…or not.

TDF2016: Wooly Mastadon

But this year I’ve decided that’s okay. I may not be spinning a whole lot, I may not be reaching lofty goals, and I may not even touch the wheel for a few days in a row during TDF but it needs to be that way. When it rains it pours and life seems to do that lately. TDF was a self-obligation and instead of enjoying it I was starting to worry about it. Thus I have resolved to this: I will spin when I can during TDF, not participating on any teams. Once TDF is over and things have evened out briefly in life, I’ll give myself my own challenge to spin a certain amount of fiber in a specific time. I really do enjoy the challenge TDF presents and just how much yarn I can spin when I push myself. It just clearly can’t be now.

I think that’s a plan. I really want to finish the fiber on my wheel so I can knit up an amazing shawl for my Mom. Let’s do this. Until next time, Happy Weekend.

~Stay Inspired

 

Adventures in the Woods (and by the Big Lake)

Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon

As you may (or may not) have noticed I was absent last Friday on the blog. Perhaps you didn’t care, perhaps you did but it was all for a good cause. In the past two weeks I’ve taken my camera for a spin, both close to home (my backyard of course) and a bit farther away in Copper Harbor, Michigan. Nature is my happy place, nature by the water is even better, nature by the water with an amazing friend is the best. Here’s what I’ve been up to (warning…photo dump!).

Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon

Let’s start with Copper Harbor. I finally had a day off that coincided with my friend’s work schedule. He had never been to Copper Harbor before and I went several times every year…any chance I could. It was a cold (45 degrees fahrenheit!) windy day, but neither of us minded. I made sure we hit all of my favorite spots, Brockway Mountain, Fort Wilkins, a park with a cool rock formation you can climb, the works. It was lovely, we both enjoyed it, and had a blast. Of course my camera came along for the journey and he humored all of my crazy just to get the best shot (read he’s terrified of heights and I’m not…yeah, he endured almost heart attacks so I could get the best shot with my camera). It was fun, I came away with so many photos, and the urge to go back again soon. Next time we’ll hit up some beaches and perhaps a lighthouse or two when the weather is warmer.

Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

My second location, my yard. Granted this isn’t the most grand of places to take photos, I still find joy in crawling around in the woods for the best shot, laying under bushes in the flowerbeds to get the best angle, and just general exploration. Today I topped everything off with planting my mom’s flower beds…perhaps I’ll have to capture some of that with my camera tonight but we shall see.

Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

Anyway, I do have some projects coming to share with you very soon. Here’s to hoping that the beginning of what might actually be summer is here to stay for a while. Happy Friday!

~Stay Inspired

When You Get Mad at Your WIPs

Scrap 'Ghan Fail: Wooly MastadonIt happened, and no one is surprised. In the past two weeks, I pushed to attempt to finish the bane of my existence, my scrap afghan. Honestly, its been a project for almost two years and although the initial idea was cool one mistake at the very beginning made this project a time sink and trouble all the way through. For some people, they would have seen the warning signs and ripped out the first few motifs at the start, but I was stubborn and decided to plow through.

Scrap 'Ghan Fail: Wooly Mastadon

I was so excited when I finished the borders around each motif for the afghan. So excited I didn’t plan and simply tried to crochet all of the motifs together…without testing for strength. Yeah, that was a fail. I shoved the connected circles, loose ends and all, back into the bag and I haven’t looked at it since. The kicker to all of this, it has stalled my knitting/crochet/spinning mojo. I want to cast on my Waiting for Rain shawl (yes that is going to be my next project), knit away at my socks, and start other projects. However, this afghan is preventing me from starting anything.

Do you ever have those projects, the ones that seem great at the beginning, but slowly but surely fall down the slippery slope of constant error and troubleshooting. This is one. The only way to get this cloud off of my knitting mojo and out of the back of my brain is to finish this afghan. I have an idea for a fix. Here’s to hoping it works and that I can report back with better success very soon. Happy Friday.

~Stay Inspired

A Friday Update

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

Once again it is Friday…how on earth did that even happen? Well, although I don’t have the final project pictures taken, I just had to share a sneak peek of my current FO. Yes, my Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur is finished and blocked to all it’s glory. It’s super long, way past my wingspan but it’s light and airy and I absolutely love it. More details and final project photos to come.

As for the rest of my week, I finished that shawl and started searching for a new shawl pattern to cast on. Any ideas? There are so many beautiful options and I just can’t seem to pick. I also got out my crochet scrap ‘ghan and started working on the borders on each circle. I’m over half way and since this will be a two year old WIP in June, I hope to finish it soon before it ages that much.

Sketching: Wooly Mastadon

Other than that, it’s been warming up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The sun has given me reason to do things again so I’ve been cleaning and organizing up a storm. I rediscovered some artists materials I forgot I even had and unearthed my desk from a winter’s worth of stuff. It’s been a productive week. Here’s to an awesome weekend.

~Stay Inspired

When the Time Change Kicks Your Butt…

WIP House Cleaning: Wooly Mastadon

It’s true, the time change, especially when it comes to “springing forward”, gets me every time. We had a lovely day Saturday, sunny, warm, just beautiful. I took my dog for a walk, cleaned a bunch of stuff, and started feeling the need to work on or clean out old WIPs. I was motivated. That evening I sat down and ripped out what I had completed on my sock loom for a baby hat. It just wasn’t working, the acrylic didn’t have any give, and I had hid it in a bag for a few months…a good indicator that it was time to go. Perhaps I’ll just knit some hats out of that yarn, but we shall see.

The second project, and yet again a project I had hiding away in a bag was a final pair of mini mitten ornaments. I had cast this on in a frenzy a few days before Christmas and realized I wouldn’t have time to finish it to give it to it’s intended recipient so I gave up, stashed the project and happily forgot about it. Saturday came and it was staring at me taunting me. I finally decided to bite the bullet and finish the stupid thing. The plan is to give the pair to mom this week, she’ll have a brand new ornament for the tree or a decoration for the house come fall, bonus points if I don’t have to see it much during the year.

I wanted to keep going, I wanted to cast on a new project, work on my scrap afghan that seems it will never be finished, and knit on my socks, but alas, when you have to be in at work for 7 am, you get to bed early. Although that did happen, so did the time change and now my knitting mojo is dwindling. Hopefully we have another sunny day to bring it back, but at least I frogged/finished a few things so I can move on with new projects guilt free.

Happy Monday! HAPPY PI DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~Stay Inspired

A Weekend Project: Painting Textures

Acrylic Paint Fun: Wooly Mastadon

This weekend I decided it would be the perfect time to paint…or at least attempt it. I had a friend over and we both went at it, trying our best to paint something decent. Although he gave up painting realistically very quickly I never even tried. I just decided to play with paint in the hopes that I could make some textures I could scan into the computer and use in future graphic design projects (perhaps a branding system for tea…hmmmmm yes). That is what I did and although I didn’t make a whole lot I ended up with three textures playing with color that I think will be fun to put to use digitally.

Acrylic Paint Fun: Wooly Mastadon

On a side tangent, I absolutely love the idea of taking something tactile and combining it with digital media to create a new project, piece of art, or branding system. That part of art is what keeps me going when I get frustrated in the current digital age. I love being able to make a project or piece of art with my hands, but then also be able to digitally make something as well. Perhaps this is my balance.

Acrylic Paint Fun: Wooly Mastadon

Regardless we both had fun with paint, acrylics to be exact. I think I need to get the watercolors out next to make some more textures, despite the frustration I feel every time I get out paint I still want to go back and try again. That’s got to stand for something. With that, happy Monday! Here’s the chance to make it an amazing week.

~Stay Inspired

A Week of Projects

Sock Knitting: Wooly Mastadon

It has been a week of projects, of finishing things, getting caught up in socks, and starting a new knitting project. This week I finally got the urge to go full force back into spinning and ended up finishing the project currently on my wheel (finished skein photos will come soon). Next on the wheel, some fiber my mother picked out for me to spin up and knit into a lace shawl. I can’t wait to start it, perhaps that will be a project for the weekend…I get a weekend off!!!

Spinning: Wooly Mastadon

As for knitting, I’ve been reaching for my socks at every spare moment, especially at work on lunches and breaks. It’s my popcorn knitting right now, I say just one more row but that almost always means five or six. I love how the colors are making a striping pattern and can’t wait to wear the finished socks.

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

Finally, I started knitting my Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur. I dyed up the yarn this past summer and am not set on the color. If all fails, I’ll overdye the final shawl but I want to see how the color plays with the pattern first. Right now, my shawl just looks like a fluffy catterpillar, but I am hoping to knit a few rows here and there and have a beautiful shawl this summer.

With that, I leave you for the week. It has been a week full of projects and productivity and sunshine. Hopefully the weekend follows suit. Here’s to a crafty fun weekend full of fun, fiber, and yarn.

~Stay Inspired

FO: Crazy Socks!

FO Socks: Wooly Mastadon

They’re done, they are finally done! This past week I finally completed a pair of socks that has been on the needles for far too long. I started these socks back in October and have had them on the needles since. I have no idea why it took me so long to complete these other than the fact that that holiday knitting cut into my time quite a bit and that I had some fun life things going on as well. However, I love how they turned out. The yarn is some Knit Picks Stroll I had dyed in college with the help of my fiber professor a few years back now and I just love the results. Per usual I knit theses socks using my basic vanilla sock formula, toe-up with an after-thought heal (the cheater style with the lifeline placed heal) on US size 1 needles (2.25 mm). They are indeed in your face bright but I will wear them with pride. Here’s to another pair of socks completed and in the sock drawer, yipee!

~Stay Inspired