Why It is Good to Crochet Others Patterns and Rustic Mountains

This may surprise you, but it has been years since I crocheted another persons pattern. And yet, I crochet nearly every day.

Being a pattern designer is great, and I absolutely love the freedom I have to make whatever I need or want. I have learned so much over the years and I am still learning so much more.

But there comes a time when you need to crochet without having to design. Here are five reasons why I think this is so:

  1. It changes your perspective. You may "forget" how to follow instructions since you've been giving them so long. It's good to switch seats sometimes.
  2. It exposes you to other styles of pattern writing. This is a big one for me because when I was first learning to write patterns I was working for someone else and they wanted it very specific and detailed. Many people, however, are not so specific and it is good to acquaint oneself with the differences every now and then.
  3. It helps you continue learning. I may be a professional, but I still have so much to learn about crocheting. I believe that if you are going to teach then you need to keep learning yourself.
  4. It makes room for connecting with other crocheters.
  5. It's relaxing and good to crochet without an agenda. I have to remind myself that not everything I do needs to have an agenda or a deadline. It's good to just have fun!

So while mildly pondering this at the beginning of the week I ran across Crafty Queens' crochet pattern, Mountain Pillow, and I knew this was where I wanted to start.

The Designing Process - Part Two: Planning and Supplies

Welcome back to The Designing Process series where we talk about the procedure of designing your own crochet patterns!

Last week I talked about where to get ideas, how to get inspiration, and what to do next. If you've just discovered this series, check out the introductory post here and part one here.

This week we're going to talk about the next step: planning and getting supplies!

The Designing Process - Part One: Developing an Idea

Welcome back to The Designing Process series, where I talk about designing your own crochet patterns!

Today I'm going to talk about the first part of pattern designing which is developing ideas. In this entry I will cover how to get inspiration and what to do then. If you've just jumped in here, be sure to check out the introduction here for a explanation on what you can expect from this series.

The wonderful thing about crochet pattern designing is that you're the boss. You can make anything, however unorthodox it may be, and you can make it just how you want. Sometimes ideas just pop into my head during something totally unconnected. Other times I only have a semblance of an idea and I have to round it out myself. Naturally I really love having an idea shape itself. You know what I mean? When it all seems to come together so easily and perfectly as if someone else did it for you, just like you would.

But that is not always the case. Often I have a slight idea of what to make but no idea how I want to go about it or what supplies I want to use. I have to pull out the crochet stitch books and rummage through stitch patterns or some other form of inspiration, which I will go into more below.

I like a good challenge though, so I can't help but get a little excited when I am asked to make something in particular. For example, a good friend wanted a few chunky infinity scarves in a charcoal color to give as bridesmaids gifts. She wanted each scarf to have the monogram of the one receiving the scarf in a different color. It took me a few tries to find the perfect yarn for the job and a few more tries to find the perfect size and stitch. It wasn't easy, but in the end I had gained some priceless experience and realized that I could meet the required demands.

Finding Inspiration for a Project

Over the years I have found inspiration in many various ways. I like to start with a need. Look around you, at your home for instance. Does your kitchen need some new linens? Does your living room need a few more pillows or a throw? Or look at the people you know. Does anyone need hats, scarves, sweaters even? This is usually where "likes" come into play. Maybe my sister doesn't need a cupcake hat, but she would sure love one. In fact, the things my family has requested I make for them over the years could probably fill a book. The sad thing is I am too busy designing for business to do anything else, and I regret not being able to make more for them. Of course, when it comes to a crocheted Twi'lek hat or a knight's mantle, my regret turns to amusement.

Look Around You

Other ways to get inspiration is in nature and the things around you. One thing that always inspires me in both pattern and color is the sky. I love the mix of flaming colors when the sun is setting, or the soft colors of a cool spring day. When the clouds are wispy I think of a lacy pattern, or when they look like ocean waves I think of ways to create a sunrise scene, with the frothy waves giving way to a glowing sun.

Some people find their inspiration in the city, long lines from the looming high-rises or geometric shapes from the patterns on the wall of an office. At first the idea of looking for inspiration everywhere may seem hard and unlikely, but the more you try the more you train yourself to see inspiration all the time.

Check out my Pinterest profile for crochet inspiration.

The Cyber World

And yet there are simpler forms of inspiration, like the internet for instance. Pinterest is my go-to for inspiration. Check out my profile and the many boards I have on yarn crafting called A Fibrous Life. I have been using Pinterest to inspire me for new pattern ideas for a long time, so my boards can get a little full. Recently I divided them between a few more specifically named boards for easier access. I also have a Crochet Inspiration board that looks very random. On this board I pin whatever inspires me, from scenic pictures to retro items. If it gives me an idea then onto the board it goes. I also love the color palettes that people make where they take a lovely scenic picture and pull out a few of the most notable colors. This really helps when I am looking for color choices.

There are other places though that really inspire, like Ravelry, or any other site offering crochet patterns. However, when taking inspiration direct from a pattern be very careful to not copy the pattern itself and thus end up infringing upon another designer's rights. This has been a subject of debate for me and each person must carefully assess what this means for themselves.

The Professional Crocheter

For the hobby crocheter, it's simply a matter of what pleases you. But if you're crocheting for business, there are a few things that you might consider as well as what I have already mentioned.

When crocheting professional, you want to design something that will appeal to a larger amount of people. You can never please everyone, and clearly, you should never try. But it's good to know what kind of things the general public is liking these days. For instance, what colors seem to be in vogue this season, or what style is in. This year, boho is the new hippy and bold floral the new black. This is where the internet really comes in handy. You can do a quick scan of your Pinterest feed to see this years prevailing styles.

But what if you don't like boho or bold florals? That's okay. Because not everyone does. The most important thing to remember when designing is to keep it personal. Don't design something you hate merely because it's "in" or you will most likely have a flop on your hands. Create a brand that is all you and that is what will draw people in. A person who is unique will stand out among the crowd, as we all know, and be respected for their individual personality, whereas someone who only copies everyone else will go unnoticed.

A sketch I did for my Bridgette Bunny Pillow.

What to Do Then 

So what's the next step? Once you have an idea you can move right on to the planning stage. However, I am the type that likes to get things down on paper where I can remember them better and see them clearer. I keep a typical lined notebook as my idea folder. It was originally where I wrote down my ideas but I soon found drawing them to be more effective. After I have used this up, I might decide to replace it with an actual sketch tablet. When I have a more thorough idea or multiple styles to choose between, I pull out my large sketch tablet. But the point is to quickly sketch a rough draft of your idea to remind you of what it looks like and any little details you have decided on. Aside from the one above, here are a few examples of what I like to do.

Alternate ideas for the Cupcake Delight pillow
The sketch for my Sweet Carousel mixed media project.

It doesn't matter if you don't draw well, as long as you know what you want, you're all set to go on to the next stage of the pattern designing process.

I hope this post has been informative! If you have any questions or requests, let me know in the comment section below.

Be sure to come back next Monday for part two on planning and getting supplies!

See other posts in this series:

Intro: Crocheting from Scratch
Part Two: Planning and Supplies

Colleen Floral Headband | New Crochet Pattern

Last week I shared with you my first retro headband pattern, the Rosemary Floral Headband, which I was inspired to make from the character by the same name in the 60's film, Your's, Mine, and Ours. From the same film is another female character by the name of Colleen. She is red-haired and wears a pink floral headpiece during the wedding that inspired this new pattern.

Introducing the Colleen Floral Headband!

I wrote about the initial 60's styles in a post titled, Retro Fashion Sketches Inspired By Retro Dresses. Take a look to see my watercolor sketches and actual screenshots from the movie.

(A little retro tones for a retro headband!)

I crocheted 26 roses for this pattern and sewed each one to the headband, securing it with hot glue. Compared to the Rosemary headband, these flowers were a little more involved but just as fun. Each one is made in 2 rows and then coiled around itself to form a rose. It is such a simple but fun method for creating roses!

I have taken way too many pictures, as usual, but maybe they will help you better while crocheting! Let's get started!

(Keep reading for a free, new crochet pattern! Or soon you can purchase a concise PDF version at Etsy or Ravelry!)

Colleen Floral Headband Pattern and Tutorial

Skill Level easy

Finished Size
Size of the headband

Light Weight Yarn – Anne Geddes Baby Yarn in Taffy and Rosie
  Yardage: 36 yards of color A (pink), and 10 yards of color B (light pink)
Crochet Hook G (4.00mm)
Headband (I used Scuncii's The Most Comfortable Headband Ever)
Hot glue
Yarn needle

Rose measures 1 1/4 inch in diameter.

Making the Roses!

Here is the pattern for the Rose, which I used a darker pink for, while the lighter pink I used for the Buds. Make 18 Roses, or as many as you think you will need.

Round 1: ch 20, sc in 2nd ch from hook, * ch 1, skip next ch, sc in next ch, repeat from * across: 19 sts
Round 2: ch 2, turn, dc in first st and next 3 sts, * sc in next ch-1 space, 2 dc in next sc, repeat from * to last 2 sts, sc in next ch-1, (dc, sc) in last st: 27 sts
Finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Begin coiling the rose from the start of the row toward the end, like I am doing in the photo. You don't want a tight coil or your roses' petals will look smooshed. Then again, you don't want too loose of a rose or the petals will flop about. Practice a few times before stitching your rose together. Don't worry, it's not as hard as it sounds.

Using the end from Row 2, stitch through base of rose 3 or 4 times in opposite directions to ensure the flower doesn't uncoil. Fluff your rose a little and pull the petals apart gently.

Now make 8 Buds with light pink. It's essentially the same pattern as the Rose, only shortened by a little.

Round 1: ch 10, sc in 2nd ch from hook, * ch 1, skip next ch, sc in next ch, repeat from * across: 9 sts
Round 2: ch 2, turn, dc in first st and next 3 sts, * sc in next ch-1 space, 2 dc in next sc, repeat from * to last 2 sts, sc in next ch-1, (dc, sc) in last st: 12 sts
Finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Coil and stitch the same as for the Rose pattern.

Once you have a sufficient amount of flowers, it's time to gather the rest of your supplies: the hot glue gun, headband, yarn needle, scissors.

I just adore a pile of roses! Gorgeous little bundles of yarn!! And don't they just look wonderful against the light blue cloth?!

Attaching Roses to Headband

Take a rose and thread a tail with your yarn needle. Starting in the middle, sew around band 3 times, going into base of rose each time. Thread second tail and do the same. Tie both ends in a knot and dab hot glue on the knot to secure. Cut off excess strands.

ALWAYS be careful when using hot glue! Give the glue plenty of time to cool before continuing. And don't underestimate how hot the barrel can get. The one I have is my mother's, meaning I don't know about modern hot glue guns, and it gets scorching. Hardly ever do I come out of a project without having burned myself.

Attach another rose the same way. I like to attach them just to the side of where I actually want it, and when the glue is dry, I slide it into place, up against the others.

AVOID hot gluing directly on the underside of the band where it sits on the head. You don't want the headband sitting higher on your head because of the bulky glue.

I added about one bud every three roses, making a pattern where a bud never touched another bud, but feel free to add them as you like. You can get a better idea of my pattern in pictures below.

In this picture I went ahead and attached a handful before hot gluing, which was not such a good idea since the knots were kind of hard to get at.

Here's what a rose looks like while attaching. Like I said before, I slid my flowers close together to prevent any gaps. I wanted a lush, flowery piece, not spriggly.

After finishing one side of the band, start back at the center and complete the other side, following the same pattern.

And there it is! The finished piece. Leave about 3 inches of headband so that the flowers will practically disappear into your hair.

I had to make a few a more than I had originally, and then had two buds more than I needed. Just goes to show you never know how many you need. Hence the term, "flying by the seat of your pants".

Where the underside of the Rosemary headband was white, you can see the alternating strands of pink and light pink, lending an artistic effect.

Dab on a little more hot glue in any areas that might need it for a more secure hold. I might suggest dabbing a little at the very ends to keep the flowers from slipping down, though I highly doubt they will.

From the side, you can see my pattern: roses surrounding the buds. Two roses and a bud, two roses and a bud, alternating the bud from side to side.

My original sketch had green flowers intermingled but I didn't have the green yarn I wanted and I didn't care to wait until I could get it, so I went on without it and I don't think it's any worse for wear.

My two retro headbands together, Rosemary below and Colleen on top. What do you think? Which one is your favorite?!

I first considered using a variegated yarn for the flowers. I didn't want to use just one color and I didn't think making row one a different color would change much. However, while designing the roses, I wondered how little pink buds mixed in would look. I'm glad I did it!

As always, thanks to my lovely, sweet sister (who, by the way, pouted when I didn't use her last week) for modeling my creations. What with the knowledge my family has of photography and the gracious cooperation of the "models", I have my own little corporation. Makes my job that much easier!

And that does it for this weeks crafty creation! I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and are all prepared to go and make your own retro floral headbands. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I'll help you out!

Soon I will have an inexpensive PDF version of this pattern available at Ginger Peachy Store on Etsy and Ravelry! I will also be selling copies of the headband itself for those who are interested.

Come back Monday for the first part of my The Designing Process series!

This is an original pattern created and designed by Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. You are welcome to copy the pattern for personal use but do not sell the pattern, distribute, or reprint it. Feel free to share a link to the pattern. You can sell products made from this pattern but please credit me, Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. Do not mass produce or factory manufacture using my pattern. Thanks for respecting the wishes of the designer, and be sure to ask me if you have any questions regarding this copyright.

The Designing Process | Crocheting from Scratch

Have you ever designed your own crochet pattern? Maybe you want to but are afraid of getting in over your head. Have you made adjustments to other's patterns? Extra stitches for a bigger size or a different size hook to compensate for gauge?

I've been crocheting since I was a child and it didn't take too long before I started adjusting patterns to fit my own needs and likes. For example, turning a simple beret pattern into a floppy beret, or adding more rows to a motif purse for a larger size. And yet, I never really did much designing until I began working for Crochet Spot on the design team five years ago. Taking into consideration the many years of an average life, five of them may not seem like very much, but I have learned so many priceless things during that time that has made it possible for me to now own my own business, Ginger Peachy, and share with you what I have learned.

Why I Love Designing

I am a terribly opinionated person. Sometimes I wonder why I have a blog, surely it just feeds my tendency to over talk. It's just that I know what I want and only I know how to make it that way. Too often trend-setters want to tell you what to wear or what colors to use. It's good to know what is popular, but you can't let it stifle the real you. When you learn how to make what you like you are less hindered by what the stores supply, but more importantly, you have gained a freedom and a new confidence in yourself.

Years ago, when my grandfather learned that I designed a new crochet pattern each week, he incredulously asked if I ever ran out of ideas. My answer was, "Not yet." And although there have been times when I simply ran out of inspiration, I've learned how to find inspiration and start seeing it in everything. I love that God has given me the ability to make! It refreshes me. And if you let yourself be creative, it can refresh you to.

A Behind the Scenes Series

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to talk about the design process of creating your own crochet patterns. We'll go behind the scenes for a change, and look at the challenges and blessings of making your own patterns. As we take it step by step, maybe you'll see that some of the things you feared most about designing are not so challenging after all. From getting ideas and inspiration to putting the final touches on your completed project, I'll cover the basics and hopefully, encourage you to start out on your own. Then you have the option to go professional or not.

I hope you will come back next Monday and read part one called Getting an Idea, where I will talk about inspiration and the beginning strands of creativity. Thanks for reading! And as always, tell me what you think in the comments below!

Part One: Developing an Idea
Part Two: Planning and Supplies

Rosemary Floral Headband | New Crochet Pattern

Welcome back to Ginger Peachy!

It has been way too long since I last shared a Ginger Peachy pattern, something I have been desperately trying to remedy. I am so happy to be able to share with you this latest creation of mine, the Rosemary Floral Headband!

I was inspired by the 60's fashion I talked about a few weeks ago in this post. Rosemary, one of the characters in the film Your's, Mine, and Ours, wears a purple floral hairpiece during the wedding. (Read the post for a little more late 60's fashion.) 

I was also inspired by Sewrella's Mouse Ears pattern, and took a few tips from her. When I had the idea for this, I was debating on how to attach them to the headband. I was thinking hot glue, but I wasn't sure what other ideas were out there. When I saw Ashleigh use hot glue, I was like, "Hot glue it is!"

I'm sure you have heard it time and again, but I love a good challenge to recreate. And I love being inspired by life in times past. I hope you are as anxious to get the pattern for this easy, retro hairpiece as I am to give it!

Remember, I sell concise PDF versions of all Ginger Peachy patterns at Ginger Peachy Store on Etsy, and at my shop on Ravelry. I also sell the physical product on Etsy here. The PDF for this headband is available here!

Read on for the complete pattern and tutorial!

Rosemary Headband Pattern and Tutorial

Skill Level easy

Finished Size
The finished size of this project depends upon the size of the headband

Light Weight Yarn – Anne Geddes Baby yarn in Lily, Posy, and Jam
  Yardage: 10 yards of color A (white), 15 yards of color B (light purple), 5 yards of color C (dark purple)
Crochet Hook G (4.00mm)
Headband (I used Scunci's The Most Comfortable Headband Ever since I heard they fit better than average headbands)
Hot glue
Yarn needle

Flower measures 1 inch in diameter

Ready?! Let's Go!

To start make as many flowers as you think you will need. I bunched my flowers together tightly for a full headband, but you can spread them apart more for a looser looking piece. I started with about 12 light purple flowers and 5 dark purple. At this point I wasn't sure how many I needed but I thought this would be a good starting off point. However, while attaching the flowers I ended up making at least 6 more. Here's the pattern for the flower:

FLOWER (make 16 in light purple and 6 in dark purple)
Round 1: with color A, make an adjustable ring, ch 2, 5 dc in ring, changing colors on last dc to color B or C, sl st in first dc: 5 dc

Round 2: ch 1, (sc, 2 dc) in each dc around, sl st in first sc: 15 sts
Finish off.

Go ahead and weave in the ends of the second color, but make sure and leave long enough tails of white for sewing onto the headband later.

Take a moment to admire your pile of flowers. Ah, doesn't the bunch of floral goodness just inspire you?! I love how fast these worked up. As the designer, however, I spent a long time trying to design the right kind of flower. At first, I started with a small, flat flower with only four petals. I was thinking lots of small flowers. But they were just too squished. No matter how many times I raised the hook size, I just didn't feel like this design was really going to set off the yarn material. 

At this point, I did like I always do: I pouted. Yeah, I do that too. What kind of flower did I really want?! Plus, the mound of plain light purple was uninspiring. So I went for help.

Me: Mom, I don't know what to do. I don't like them; they're too squished. Plus their boring. Do you think they need more color, like a white base or a few scattered darker flowers? [I was very uncommitted]

Mom: [Patiently inspecting the handful of flowers I had thrown at her. Yes, I sometimes toss my project at her. Did I mention she was patient?] Yeah, I think a white base and a little more color would be good.

Me: [Dejectedly returning to the "white board", rather my notebook, feeling very uninspired] Alright, I'll try that. It can't get any worse.

The result of that pouting session, during which the only bright spot was the intriguing walk of Tokyo we were watching from YouTube, I discovered the flower before you now. That is, only after a few minor adjustments.

I don't know why, but when designing projects, I almost always meet with a luff at some point or another. But I usually perk up and everything turns out alright in the end.

Attaching Flowers to Headband
I started in the middle of the headband and worked my way down one side and then the other, leaving a remainder of 3 1/3" of headband. 

Notice! Remember when using hot glue to be very careful. Don't underestimate how hot the glue can get. We have an old hot glue gun and it can get searing, believe me. I almost never come out of a project without a burn or two. So be sure to let the glue cool before continuing. Thankfully, it doesn't take long.

First, sew the flower on. Using one white tail, sew around headband and into base of flower 3 times. Take the tail of the other and do the same on the other side. Tie a tight knot with the two ends and dab a glob of glue on the knot to secure it. When the glue has completely dried, trim the excess of the ends.

Attach the second flower in the same way. 

When figuring out just where you want your flowers to go, remember not to put it too much lower than the side of the headband or the headband might not fit well. Also, sew the flower just to the side of where you want it and then slide it into place.

Continue adding flowers in this manner.

My intentions were to be very haphazard with the setting of each flower. I really didn't want to create a pattern, contrary to my usual taste. However, this can be hard to avoid, so don't worry if you do. No one will notice but you.

This is the first half done. It doesn't look like a lot, honestly, but when you put it on, the flowers stop just before the end of the band disappears into your hair.

And that is it! You can just barely see the yarn that was wrapped around the headband, but even nicer, you can't see much headband peaking through the yarn. 

I was pretty confident that the flowers were there to stay, but I went ahead and daubed on a little more hot glue on the side that I had designated as the wrong side (this isn't important to do, because you don't see the glue when wearing the headband anyway). Hot glue is fast, but for a less bulky look in this step, I might consider next time using Dritz Fabric Glue.

Here is the finished headband beside my original sketch. Kind of a before and after picture, you might say.

My little sister, who by the way isn't so little anymore, was kind enough to be my model. With her long, thick hair, and parted, long bangs I was able to achieve a pleasingly superb retro style. Kind of bordering on hippy, I would say.

This is really my favorite picture yet. Her expression is so genuine.

In her dark hair, the headband isn't even noticeable. And the flowers sit just perfectly on top, not too close to the hair so as to get smooshed, nor too far above it as to look like Carmen Miranda.

And that does it for the Rosemary Floral Headband! This new hairpiece will look great with a summer dress! 

You can purchase a PDF version of this pattern at Ginger Peachy Store on Etsy, and Ravelry! Click this link if you are interested in purchasing an actual headband or more!

If you run into any mistakes in my pattern, please notify me as I am always eager to improve my designs!

What do you think of my project? Leave me a message in the comments below or check out the buttons at the top to reach me anywhere on social media!

If you liked this, then come back next week for another new design!

This is an original pattern created and designed by Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. You are welcome to copy the pattern for personal use but do not sell the pattern, distribute, or reprint it. Feel free to share a link to the pattern. You can sell products made from this pattern but please credit me, Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. Do not mass produce or factory manufacture using my pattern. Thanks for respecting the wishes of the designer, and be sure to ask me if you have any questions regarding this copyright.

Crochet Inspiration in the Movies | Tammy and the Bachelor

I've been too busy with all of my other post topics that I haven't written a crochet inspiration post in forever. Maybe it's because I'm too busy to pay attention to these things in movies, or maybe I just haven't run across anything in particular. Whatever the case, today I'm breaking the fast and talking about crochet inspiration.

I love a good afghan, and while watching Tammy and the Bachelor the other day I immediately noticed this Hollywood favorite. In fact, I call it the Hollywood afghan, because it and one's like it can be seen in any number of films through the years. Take a look at my Crochet Inspiration posts if you don't believe me!

Although I do not like black, and would never design a blanket with so many colors joined with black, I would totally remake this Hollywood prop in a second.

Notice the color choices: a lot of yellow, some green with red, pink with yellow, light purple with dark purple - definitely some strange color combinations. But all in all, the afghan with its familiar granny squares looks quite homey, especially splashed up against all the gingham and country wood.

Shawls are not very practical for the modern day, I guess, but I love the dainty-ness of a delicate shawl. The one Tammy wears when going to check the wreck for survivors is a musty pink. It's made up of crochet filet, creating a periodical diamond relief, with an intriguing puffy stitch for the ruffly edge.

To remake this shawl, I would start with a light fingering weight yarn and a small hook, maybe 3.50mm or 2.50mm. I haven't had a lot of experience with filet patterns but I have seen some excellent graphs from older crochet books that would help immensely.

As for the movie (you know I can't conclude without making some comment on the movie itself), I love the country home feel it has, as well as the reenacting of 1800's life. However, I really wish Hollywood hadn't felt the need to overdue her naivety. After all, in that day and age surely she would have had a chance to get a better education. But either way, the story is cute, and the romance genuine feeling, and that's enough.

So that does it for my crochet chat! I'd love to hear your thoughts! Don't be a stranger and contribute in the comments below.

Nautical Collage | A Mixed Media Project

I know I have said time and again, that I don't care for blue or white, but in designing, personal taste depends upon the project. Besides, who can say no to nautical!

This is my latest mixed media design, my Nautical Collage! What do you think? (Check out this post to see "ground level" pictures of the design.)

While looking for a good frame for my Sweet Vintage Carousel, I saw this collage and at the same time remembered three quotes I had ran across that really inspired me. It just kind of fit to use them with this collage. It was easy-peasy. That part, at least. It took me a while to figure out what kind of theme to use.

(Keep reading for details on where you can purchase your own Nautical Collage!)

I make quick sketches of all my ideas, the one's that I am seriously interested in making, so that I don't forget them. Why is that so important? There are times when I am working on one project and have a handful of ideas all at once. Then the roller-coaster of life goes down and I don't have any ideas for a long time. I don't rely on my memory when that happens or I would feel totally bogged down trying to keep track of everything. It's kind of like the art of brain dumping, getting it all out on paper to see so that you don't have to keep it organized in your mind. It frees my mind up immensely.

I don't take much care in neatness when I sketch --my main priority is getting the main idea and details down that I might not remember at a later date. But then of course, that's what a sketch is.

I played around with my paper, tried this and that, but wasn't satisfied until I came to my nautical book of paper. The middle one with the gold anchors was immediately my favorite when I first got the book! I have been dying for a chance to use it, but naturally, it has to be the perfect thing. This was it. I found a couple of contrasting patterns from the same book and went to work.

I sized up the paper choices to the frame I had and found out something very important: the inexpensive frame was not at all even. I had cut out three 3x5 rectangles but when putting them in the frame, found that the bottom box was bigger and the top smaller. Here is a prime example, people, why it is a good idea to invest in better quality materials.

Anyhow, I was able to work through this. I cut a long rectangle from the large sheet of paperboard I had to work as a foundation for my featured rectangles and then lined them up to the frame.

Next came the quotes. I spent some time in Gimp trying to get some satisfactory templates for my quotes. As usual, it took me some time and playing with until I could be satisfied. In the end I reprinted the quotes twice and found a gold Sharpie to be the finishing touch. Don't look to closely or you'll see inconsistencies in the outline. But then again, if you do see inconsistencies in the outline, let me remind you that this is handmade. That's at least my defense.

My biggest hangup, however, was the center box. What to put in the center box? I had already concluded that it needed to be something different from a quote, but what kind of center piece would highlight the picture while having the same feeling? I found the gold-lined ship's wheel in the book as well --I cut it out of a picture. It was the perfect thing! A balance between white on blue, and blue on white, outlined in gold. Needless to say, I was pleased.

Don't those gold anchors just make the picture?!

Okay, so I am a sucker for gold... and anchors.

Switching gears from design to meaning, this quote is simple but very deep. "Answer to the Rudder, or answer to the Rocks." I was reading The Journals of Jim Elliot and he noted these maxims himself. Always an attentive student of Elliot's, I took them to heart as well. This Scottish proverb has a lot to teach this modern society. Think about it for a moment.

I have been working on this piece for a few weeks now, and I realize that I haven't really considered the true meaning during that time. Oh, I considered them when I first read them, but after selecting them for my piece I really haven't take the time to meditate on their meaning. How one-sided a mind can get.

I remember being impressed by this one from Elliot many, many years ago. It is so meaningful. In our society where there are so many distractions, so much sensationalism and inspiration all at once, it is easy to find yourself divided.

Take for instance, your phones. How many times have you gone somewhere with family or friends and spent most of it on your phone texting another friend? You're definitely not all there with them.

Another example is our temporary focus. All the demands of life that pull us to and fro. If it's not our technology distracting us from the moment, there are a million and one things running through our minds, things to do when we get home, things to do after this game or conversation, things to remember to do Monday, etc. What would it be like to "live to the hilt every situation"?

And what about our long term focus? Translated, are we content with where we are in life? This is a hard one. Stages of our life that seem unproductive leave us wondering what life might be like once we can get that one job, or acquire that one thing that will change our life's direction. I myself have spent many frustrated hours asking God what He wants for my life, why He won't provide that one thing that I know is His will? God has had to teach me that if He hasn't lead me anywhere else yet, then this must be where he wants me now.

It's a hard thing to learn. But in light of that, we have the responsibility to live our lives to the hilt. Make the most of every moment and situation. Be truly content now, or you won't find contentment later.

Obviously, I love these quotes.

So what do you think? Do you like my latest project? I'd love to hear from you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

I have added this latest piece to my shop, Ginger Peachy Store on Etsy! I almost always keep the original, so when you order from me, I make the item just for you!