Tag Archives: Sewing

Creative Juice #123

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Creative Juice #123

Twelve articles to help creatives take their artistic endeavors to the next level. Soak up some inspiration!

Creative Juice #110

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Creative Juice #110

A dozen articles to inspire you to new heights of creativity:

 

Creative Juice #88

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Creative Juice #88

May these offerings be like a spring breeze to your spirit:

Creative Juice #32

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Creative Juice #32

Thirteen articles to ponder.

Guest Post: Our Advent Calendar…by Linda McQuinn Carlblom

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Guest Post: Our Advent Calendar…by Linda McQuinn Carlblom

Our Advent Calendar previously appeared on one of my favorite blogs, Parenting with a Smile. I was so blessed by Linda’s Christmas posts last year that I asked her if I could share some of them on ARHtistic License this year. Since today is the first Sunday in Advent, this article is especially apropos.

It’s Timeless Tuesday here at PWAS so I wanted to share with you one of our most timeless Christmas traditions, my daughter’s advent calendar.

My daughter, Ashley, is my parents’ youngest grandchild. She is seventeen years younger than the oldest grandchild. Around each grandchild’s third Christmas, my mom made them an advent calendar.

Mom lovingly sewed each calendar using the same pattern, yet made each one unique. Some of the pockets have numbers on them and some have bows. The Christmas trees on some have trunks and others do not. Some have cloth borders and some are entirely felt.  Finally, Mom added a hand-written label on the back of each one that had a special message of love to that child.

Once the calendar was sewn, Mom went to the store and found little Christmas do-dads that would fit inside the tiny pockets. She stuck a strip of Velcro on the back of each item so it could stick to the felt Christmas tree.

On December 1, the child takes the ornament from the first pocket and sticks it on the tree. The last ornament to be pulled from the last pocket is the one that goes on top of the tree. For some it’s a star, for others it’s an angel.

All three of my children and all their cousins have enjoyed their advent calendars through the years. As they’ve grown up and moved away, their calendars have gone with them. Some share them with their spouses and their own children now. It’s a reminder of home, family, and a grandma who loves them.

Does your family have an advent calendar? Share about it in the comments.

Linda

Creative Juice #14

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Creative Juice #14

Fourteen articles to inspire you.

The Accidental Mentor

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The Accidental Mentor

In 1962, when I was nine, my family took a vacation in Germany to visit our relatives. My parents hadn’t seen them in more than ten years, not since they emigrated to the United States.

We spent a week with Tante Thilde and Onkel Karl. They owned a tailor shop where they made custom clothing, including coats for Lord and Taylor in New York.

sewing-needle bing free commercialTo me the shop was magical. It contained four sewing machines for my aunt and uncle and two young women who were their apprentices. Shelves holding bolts of fabric and bins of notions lined the walls. Mannequins wore completed outfits and works-in-progress. Customers came in for fittings and to pick up their purchases. I remember lots of activity and smiles and jokes and laughter.

My aunt set to work on dresses for my mother and me in the traditional dirndl style. To occupy me, she gave me pattern pieces, the fabric already cut out, for me to make a doll dress. I don’t think I ever completed it, because I was so excited about the other things she gave me—lots of different needles and pins and threads and a tape measure and tailor’s chalk (I still have some!) and—glory of glories—scraps of a hundred different fabrics. I spent hours cutting up that fabric and stitching it back together with stitches so big you could drive a truck through them.

Measuring_Tape bing free commercialWhen we returned home, my mother taught me some practical hand sewing: darning, hemming, and a little embroidery. It wasn’t until ninth grade home economics, however, that my sewing really took off.

I took two years of home ec in high school. The program was divided into one semester of cooking and one semester of sewing. I lived for the sewing semester. Mrs. Stratton, the sewing teacher, was meticulous. She made sure we learned the correct way to lay out a pattern, thread a sewing machine, insert a zipper, and make bound buttonholes. Our final project was a suit with a lined jacket. I wore that puppy with pride for years. I am so sorry for today’s students that home economics has disappeared from most high schools. You can thank our society’s emphasis on standardized testing for that. Also, the reluctance to adequately fund public schools.

I made a lot of my own clothes, and a lot of clothes for my children. I also made curtains and drapes. In the 80s I met a woman who taught quilting; she facilitated my next obsession. sewing 1 bing free commercial

But I don’t know if I would ever have had the enthusiasm for creating with fabric if it hadn’t been for my aunt putting fabric in my hands. She opened a world of possibility to me with that one simple act.

Lots of creative people can point back to someone in their childhood (a parent, relative, teacher, or neighbor) who somehow encouraged them to explore and experiment. Your example and a small contribution from your stash—whether fabric, paints, clay, an old instrument, or notebooks—can inspire a child for a lifetime.

Was there someone in your life who put you on a path to creativity? Or did you help start someone out and watch him take off and fly? Please share in the comments below.