Day 17 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: The challenge of distance…

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Isn’t it difficult to be away from those you care about who are also going through some real hard times, especially at the holidays? It often makes me feel helpless. This year it seems I know so many that could use a pick me up visit and yet there are miles keeping us apart. That’s where I rely on my “make & gives”. Nothing can replace being there in person for friends or family in need, but when that’s not possible, I hope that receiving a little care package in the mail should somehow lighten one’s spirit? Such is the case with a friend living out in “The Badger State”. She has had a year of back pain and surgeries. She is also a very creative person. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for her be not to be working at her art, due to her physical limitations. For her I sent along one of my hand dyed indigo pieces, a toasty scarf and a cool read. I hope that while she is recovering she can stay cozy and inspired and dream of her next projects! Feel better my friend!

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Day 16 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Sistahs

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Today I had the pleasure of meeting up with a few of my art sistahs. With our busy lives including families and jobs we now see each other very seldomly. Despite the miles and the obligations, we will always share that special bond of creativity and for that I will always be grateful. Pictured above are the sweet and festive cloth bags I made to hold my makes for them. Using the serger to zip up the seams, I can sew these bags up in no time. I love using holiday printed fabric as gift wrap!

Day 15 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Giving to the Makers, Making for the Givers!

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This past June, I had the honor and privilege of attending the Spring Squam Art Workshop 2017, in Holderness, NH. This is the 10th year of the Workshops, held in the Spring and Fall. I had been hearing and checking out the posts on classes offered and finally decided this was my year. Over the 4 days I had what I would have to describe as a magical experience. The setting, the attendees, the classes, the “Woooo”, it was all as described. MMy classes were so relaxing yet stimulating. My two cabinmates are now life-long friends! They even taught me how to knit, naturally I’m hooked! Elizabeth Duvivier has been the founder, inspiration and director of Squam for the past 10 years. She is an extraordinary and mindful woman. Nothing gets by that girl! She is involved, in a good way, in every aspect of the planning and executing of the retreat. She puts in an exhausting amount of time, energy and effort into assuring a positive, creative and fun time for each and every attendee. Elizabeth decided this year she would pass the baton on to Meg Fussell as Event Coordinator. . Meg is also a wonder of a gal. She generously brought the joy of song to us all during our time at Squam.  I cannot wait to attend again in June, these ladies make our time there so speical and memorable And so today is my day of gratitude to them for the giving me the gift of a lovely, unforgettable experience at Squam, which holds their signatures. I am gifting them my canvas journals stamped with my word for 2018, “notice”. Enjoy ladies!

For more on Squam, click here.

Day 14 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Perfectly Positive

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Today’s Make & Give goes out to a gal who despite all the tremendous challenges she has had to face, has maintained an attitude of patience and positivity. There’s always a warm smile on her face, she is truly an inspiration! For her, a hand dyed cotton shawl, homemade baked bread, tea and a little read. Wishing her love and light throughout the holidays and always!

Day 13 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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To set the stage for today’s Make & Give, Day 13, the temperature is 23, the wind gusts now are 43 mph, Christmas tree on the deck is down(!), and the wind chill is 8. So yes, baby it’s cold outside for an early/mid December not yet winter day!

This is Juanita, our longtime mail carrier. Every year we have a bag of home baked goodies and a hot cup of hot cocoa, in a new travel mug, waiting for her on her route. Mother of four and a grandmother as well, nothing can stop this lady!

We are ever grateful for her exceptional service in every kind of weather. It always seems that the day for this Make & Give coincides with the snowiest, rainiest or coldest of days, yet there she is doing her job and with a smile!

Day 12 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: The Process of Making

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For creatives it’s always about the process, isn’t it! Usually there are several pre-steps before the actual creating the treasures!  Such is the case for my make & give pieces each year.  I start early in the year. I think about what my word will be for the year, “notice” is for 2018.  What things does that word inspire, what pieces do I want to make and for whom. Then I organize my supplies and purchase what ever materials I’ll need. By June, all the different dye processes begin. Outside dyeing is a seasonable favorite of mine each summer, easy, breezy! Loads of tea towels, t-shirts, trims, embroidery floss, fibers and yards of fabrics, find their way to the various vats and dye baths. I use Procion MZ Reactive Dyes, RIT dye for Ice dyeing and this was the year I really dove into organic/natural dyeing. Every experience yields unique designs and surprises! The fabric stamping and painting is the next step, followed by hand and machine sewing, embroidery and serging. And finally the embellishing, tag making and gift enclosures . My process for the “25 Days” takes up most of the year but it is something I so look forward to!

These items pictured above account for about a third of this year’s bounty. Each piece is a labor of love, sprinkled with TLC!

 

Day 11 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Copy that!

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Here’s to those patient, efficient folks over at my local Staples who always help me through all the copying and shipping that goes on with my business all year long!

Robin, Kyle, Lezlee and the staff at the Kings Highway location…you guys rock!

Enjoy my homemade Eggnog Spice Cake!

Day 10 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Technical Support, in gratitude of…

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This past June, when I attended my first Squam Art Workshop, my two roomies taught me how to knit. It was bliss for 4 days and then I came home and well, I was in need of technical support to say the least! The two directors at the nursery school where I worked were so helpful to me but then there was a point where I needed some serious guidance. Enter Laura, knitting mentor extraordinaire from Westport Yarns. Since then Laura has been there for me, through dropped stitches and all sorts of knitting may day experiences! Today I visited her and bought her these goodies, including homemade cookies, as a thank you for all she has so patiently done to support me and my newest needle art addiction! I thought gifting her with one of my canvas, stamped and embroidered mini journals, with my take on “SSK”, knitters know this lingo, was a perfect choice! Thank you Laura!

For more information on Squam Art Retreats, click here.

For more information on Westport Yarns, click here.

Day 9 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Gratitude for Service to Community and Country

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This Make & Give is an annual tradition. Our neighbors up the street are committed to service to community and to country. This tree I’ve decorated in patriotic red, white and blue is a tribute to them for their continued service.                 Thank you dear friends, with deep gratitude, always.

Day 8 of My 25 Days of Make & Give- A Good Read for the Ride

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Every year I always look forward to this act of community service:  stocking the free for the ride book rack at our local train station. My family is full of commuters, who ride the rails in and out New York City. We know well how long that commute can be with regular system delays for whatever reason. I feel as though I’m doing my little bit to help ease the frustration of a long day for some passengers by offering a varied selection of books for their journey! Enjoy a good read, compliments of The Duke Family!

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