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I love to make things. Always have, always will. Still, I get bogged down sometimes and go for weeks without creating something new. It feels good to have a challenge! My creative outlet for the past year or two has been making rad rag rugs, which is something I want to continue to experiment with (bowls? purses? pattern experimentation? purely ornamental things?).

Last month I wove that neon green-ish thing in the picture. At first I hated it, and folded it on the corner of my bed and hated at it. But then I realized it was perfect as a wall hanging, and I pinned it up, and imagined it was something very special. And I still do look at it very proudly every night when I climb into bed. It is calming. And I made it. And it was tricky to figure out how to make!

In the past month I have been experimenting making himmeli, a Finnish (possibly other ethnic origins) ~Christmas traditional craft. It’s actually a funny story. I went to the feed store a couple blocks away (love living in the sticks!) and asked if they had straw. He said sure it’s $6. And it’s about 60 lbs. I weighed this in my mind…….60 pounds of straw? Genna are you a crazy idiot? YES! So I drove away with a bale of hay in my trunk. I get home, open the trunk, and realize ALL THE STRAW IS CRUSHED, laaaaaaaaaugh! and proceed to chuck the bale chunk by chunk into the dumpster. There goes $6! It was worth it! It was worth it.

Then I went to the HOBBY LOBBY!!!! (oof Michael’s is way better) and bought a small pack of intact wheat for the same price. Le sigh! <don’t have pictures yet blergh!>. Something badass like this is next.

Another creative activity always going is of course cooking – I baked a loaf of bread! It was tasty! More yeast-related adventures to come! I have also been making pizzas! Gonna make that ice cream too!

A further challenge (though somewhat less under my control) is my involvement with my parents’ landscaping project. They are letting me put together a small vegetable garden (alluded to previously) in four smaller round and two huge bowl-shaped terra cotta pots. I love the idea of planting snap peas to grow up a bean pole in the center of one of the larger ones like a fountain.

So truly, my life is not devoid of creative endeavors. However! Looking through these supremely inspiring websites this evening, I have decided that regardless of how much simpler my life is with only one sort of raw material in my room (thrifted, cleaned, ripped up bedsheets), I need to continue to test my limits and build my skills. So here is a list of five things to do to challenge me creatively in the next few months:

1. make a 3D cardboard animal or something

2. make something like this himmeli-like geometric jewelry with the crap in the bead box – hello Christmas gifts!

3. jigsaw and sand a cutting board from salvaged wood

4. new designs for the shop

5. make colorful quilted potholders

+++++++++++++++

Creative geniuses at work…

I’m pumped!, Genna

This is probably better fodder for Portlandia, and it’s likely to have been discussed already somewhere else, but I did a quick search and didn’t find anything marking the existence of this trend, so!

TREND: Naming things (shops, blogs) in an “A & B” format, where A and B are related as descriptors for the feel/merchandise. Typically these shops/blogs have a very [rustic arty twee style artisanal modern vintage design] vibe that is up my alley. Sometimes A and B are two surnames, which isn’t a new phenomenon, but I’ve included such examples whose content has the vibe.

I followed blogroll rabbit holes and did searches on Etsy for shop names with the word “and” (the “+” and “&” searches were fruitless). I also did some Etsy shop/item favorite rabbit holes. If you’re into this aesthetic, this should be a damn good suggestion list! The figs! The figs!

ALPHABETICALLY:

AIRHORNS & LASERS

BUTTER + BRASS

Chocolate & Zucchini

cupcakes and cashmere

Bevel and Boss

BIRD & BANNER

Bleu & Fig

blink & boo

BODIE and FOU

Bompas and Parr

bugandBear

Bunny and Dolly

Burlap and Basil

coos & aahs

ebb & flow

Cactus and Quail

Cocoa & Fig

coco + kelly

Damask & Dentelle

FERN & FEATHER

fig & cherry

fig + fox

fig + kindle

fig & me

Fig & Plum

fig + sage

Fig and Thistle

fig & walnut

frazier & wing

the girl & the fig

HankandLucy

heart & stone

HI + LOW

Hither & Thither

House & Fig

JAK & JIL

KNOT & BOW

LABOUR AND WAIT

Lillian and Leonard

Lily & Fig

Lined & Unlined

LOTTIE + DOOF

Luxe + Lilies

lylaandblu

Mary & Matt

mustard & sage

Nectar & Light

The Oven and The Fig

Paper+Cup Sketchbook

Peonies and Polaroids

pewter + sage

print & pattern

purse ‘n boots

rackk & ruin

Raine & Sage

Sage & Simple

SAGE & STYLE

scout&catalog

SHIM & SONS

sho & tell

simple + pretty

Smith & Ratliff

the snail and the cyclops

snippet & ink

stripe and field

Stuart & Wright

Swell and Stylish

TOBACCO&LEATHER

TWIG & THISTLE

vogue and coffee

{ wit + delight }

Whimsy & Spice

woolgathering & miscellany

…ETSY:

The Beaver & Panda Brand

BettsandBrand

Bird and Blossom Design

BitchandStitch

byrdandbelle

CONCRETEandSAND

Fern & Rolland

GlitterAndGarland

Hammer and Hand

Kiki and Polly

KNOT & BOW

olive and garland

PineandMain

Present & Correct

PrimandPosies

QuillandFox

roddy&ginger

Shuttersandsand

silverandsand

SurfAndSand

Figs, yo!

Lord I need the state to process my license faster. HURRY UP.

So I didn’t even touch bands, bookshops, bars, restaurants, or try searches for “and” in other languages.

Any I’m missing? Who are the originals?

Cheers, Genna