Spring Suspicions

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Spring is the season I am slowest to accept. I do want to trade my weather in for sunnier days, but I’m suspicious of the whole thing.

The minute I peel off those winter layers, I just know the weather is going to shift and I am going to be caught out in the cold, far from home. By far from home, I mean the parking lot at the grocery store. Just to be clear, we’re not talking Siberia — but still. That could be a very unpleasant walk to my car.

Perhaps I just don’t want to get my hopes up. We had one blissful weekend where we sat outside on the deck wearing shorts and flip-flops. I tried to position myself so that I would not blind any of the neighbors with my pale, ghost legs. I drank a lemonade. I wanted to cry from happiness.

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However, it’s best to pretend that was a freak incident and will not happen again. It’s too crushing to put the sweaters back on when you have had a taste of something else.

My friends and family in Southern California make sad, consoling noises on the phone when I talk to them about the weather. (You can tell we don’t have family in Chicago or Minnesota or someplace that might put our temperature-related problems in perspective.) The thing I am now realizing is that I have always been this moody about the weather. It’s just that in LA, you are highly trained to appreciate the shifts even a few degrees could make. There is a delicate balance to be maintained. Do I wear the t-shirt or the tank top? IT CHANGES EVERYTHING.

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I try to be upbeat about Spring.

My neighbors and friends up here are so positive. I don’t want to ruin it for them. And they have reason to be. It’s ridiculously beautiful. I just need a few more weeks to be convinced. I was thankful I went the conservative route and wore black boots and a warm jacket to church for Easter Sunday, feeling very relieved I had not purchased a pastel sundress in a fit of optimism.

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I think this may sum up my life right now. I am convinced that good things are on the horizon. I know they are. However, I am not rushing either. It is one step at a time. I want both eyes open, prepared for anything. When it’s time to embrace that sunshine, I plan to do it with abandon.

{All images are taken by me for my tumblr blog.}

Filed under Gardens & Special Places, Random Stuff. Tagged with , , , .

Hear Me on the Radio

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Just popping in to share some fun news. Next week, I am going to be on the radio with Pat Sloan.

I will be talking about where to find inspiration and sharing the story behind Handmade HostessYou can listen in on Monday, March 24th at 1PM PST by visiting this link or subscribing to American Patchwork & Quilting Radio in iTunes. It should be fun!

In the fabric and quilting world, Pat needs no introduction. She has published over 25 books, 100 patterns, and nearly 10 fabric lines. (I’m borrowing this bio from over here. Pat is so prolific, undoubtedly these stats have gone up since then!) Four years ago, she began hosting a weekly internet radio show where she chats about creativity and her passion for quilting.

Filed under Fabric & Sewing, Site News. Tagged with , , , .

Shiny, New Tumblr Blog

I have been thinking about how to connect more regularly and decided I needed a fresh place to share inspiration and snapshots. So today, I am excited to introduce my new tumblr blog. (Please excuse any hiccups. I’m still tweaking a few things.)

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Now, I have to confess something: I am not a spontaneous person.  In fact, I said this to my sister, and she started laughing in that hysterical-but-slightly-pitying way only sisters can. But it’s true.

I don’t go to the grocery store without a list. I don’t send an e-mail without first writing it down in my schedule. I don’t really do anything without a whole lot of thorough and sometimes unnecessary research.

Always planning

 So those people who are posting about this great time they are having while they are having a great time? Just, NO.

I need a little time to reflect first. At least let me think about it on the drive home!

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Tumblr will be mostly in the moment but not quite. Things I am thinking about, planning, or doing although maybe not in that exact order. I hope you won’t judge me too harshly. I know we like everything fresh and immediate now.

I’ll still be writing the occasional blog post here, because I enjoy that, too. However, I’ll try to save those for whenever I have something longer or more thoughtful to say.

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Thanks for continuing to stop by and visit!

From the Imagination of Kelly Lee-Creel

{These images + more are from my new tumblr home.}

Other odds + ends:

  • I didn’t watch the Oscars this year, but I did catch Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech. I loved what he said about needing “something to chase.” Having my goals posted where I can see them fills me with joy each day.
  • The weather here is gray, wet, and monotonous. I have always loved the rain, but I am SO ready for a sunny weekend!
  • I just signed up for Molly Jacques calligraphy class on Skillshare. I am beyond excited. My parents gave me the class supplies for my birthday, and I can’t wait to dip into my new ink.

Filed under Inspiration, Photography, Site News. Tagged with , , .

Fabric Line News

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To my fabric-loving friends:

After waiting a long time, I finally have some news to share. My new fabric line, Wild Abandon, is not going to be printed.

I know some of you have seen glimpses of it over at the Andover Fabrics website (or maybe even in person from your sales rep). The decision to drop the line came from Andover for business reasons.

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I wanted to share a few thoughts since some of you have asked me for advice over the years about the fabric design business.

First, I am proud of the artwork. I really pushed myself and created something I consider beautiful. Sometimes, that’s the win.

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A year or two ago, I would have been absolutely heartbroken. Now, I feel that this is confirmation that I am moving onto a different path.

The work of an artist — or in this case, a fabric designer — is to keep going back to the drawing board and to create new artwork. You must really love THAT part of it — the sitting at the blank page and starting again. It must be enough to keep you going when your work is rejected, unpopular, or needs revision. (And, believe me, I’ve had plenty of all three as all artists do. This is not the first line that has ended up on the cutting room floor.)

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The other aspects of designing fabric — the booths at trade shows, the occasional press, the sewing samples, the teaching, the moment when you first touch your fabric — are all great. In fact, any of them might get you excited enough to try. But, at its core, fabric design comes down to the design itself. You need persistence, vision, and the desire to practice at it continually.

At this moment, I am being called to a different practice: writing. As I mentioned in this post, I recently completed my first novel. I don’t consider this giving up. but giving in to another calling — one that, in all respects, I feel much better suited to.

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This will still be a creative space, and I’m excited to see how it evolves.

On a related note, I wanted to point out something some of you have probably already noticed. I recently made the decision to close comments. I want to let you know up front that I still respond to nearly every email and Facebook message I get and try to help people with their sewing and pattern-related questions. I consider you all my friends and will continue to support you in any way I can.

As bigger bloggers like Grace from Design*Sponge have noted, comments on blogs really took a nose dive last year. At this point, I’m getting an odd mixture of spam and the occasional troll! However, the thing that pushed me to this decision is that I don’t want to seem like I’m constantly asking for pats on the back. I am hopeful that we can have a better, more two-sided conversation over Facebook, Twitter, or on e-mail.

Thank you to everyone who has cheered me on in this journey. I feel very blessed and optimistic about the future.

Filed under Fabric & Sewing, I Made This. Tagged with , , .

6 Random Things I’m Into Right Now

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Lately, I have been really into:

Doughnuts on the weekends: Generally, I’m a fairly healthy eater, but I always make an exception for Top Pot doughnuts on Saturday mornings. (It’s not usually a good sign when I start daydreaming about them this early in the week.)

Clearing out space: This video about clutter in American homes scared me to death. I immediately sent it to my sister so we could panic and feel disgusting together. I try to see the objects in my life as tools and get rid of the ones that are not helpful anymore. However, the truth is that managing clutter requires constant upkeep.  It’s easy to let things slide.

I spent the month of December ruthlessly cleaning out my home. I even listed some one-of-a-kind pieces and goodies on etsy. Now, I feel SO much better. Thank you, scary video.

Beauty blogs: At 30+, I JUST learned how to blow dry my hair (with the round brush).  You will either nod in total understanding OR you will shrug and wonder how I could be so lame. I was convinced that with long, super heavy hair it could not be done. Turns out, that’s not true.

My quest began with this book: How to Look Expensive by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig. Don’t let the shallow title fool you. It’s full of excellent advice and a sound message.

Latest guilty pleasure? Watching Emily Noel’s Beauty Broadcast channel on Youtube.

Reading TV Recaps: I am a die-hard fan of Entertainment Weekly and started subscribing to the magazine when I was 15. I regularly read the TV episode recaps – even of the shows I do not actually watch.  This conversation takes place over dinner regularly:

  • Me: Today, I was reading about XXX on…
  • My husband: Let me guess… Entertainment Weekly?

Weekly Skype Calls: Hands down, the best decision I made all last year was to invite a close friend to a weekly Skype call to encourage, support, and challenge each other in the pursuit of our goals. I am planning to get out and network more this year, but I am reminded that connections start by valuing the people who are already in our circles. Anyone can do this!

2014 Goals: I have come across a lot of posts from people who have decided not to write goals this year. I’m not surprised; 2013 was hard on a lot of people. Some met their goals but suffered burn-out.  Others didn’t meet them and wondered “why bother?”

I still believe in writing things down. It takes courage to try again. Every year, my vision is a little clearer. That list of things that didn’t happen? I try to see those as opportunities – to persevere, to pare back, to pray. It’s never the “writing things down” that’s the problem; it’s my focus that may be misguided.

Gosh, this started sounding like a pep rally. I’m sorry.

I sound like this at the beginning of the year. It’s my inner nerd getting excited about new planners and clean slates. I probably need to call a few friends and apologize. I’m sure I’m even more annoying in person!

Filed under Random Stuff. Tagged with , , , .