Craft Conspiring

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hi, From My Office

It is* a busy week filled with classroom observations, papers, assignments, discussion forums, and little else, less Friends episodes on Netflix.  21 minute breaks with laughter, '90s reminiscing, and Rachel's hair?  Duh.  
*Replace with: 'has been,' 'will be,' 'will remain for the foreseeable future'...

I walked into my office on this Saturday morning to find two mugs of tea, plus the mug I was holding in my hands, and thought that just maybe, my productivity could be quantified by the number of leftover tea mugs I leave sitting around the house.  "I need a break...I'll make tea," says my brain every, oh, ten minutes.

Despite my longing for the coffee shop where I studied last year and minus the drive, this place is a close second.  It's also rather apropos.  

There's the below constant distraction at home to deal with, as well.  

"Walk me.  Hi.  What are you doing.  Stop.  Hi.  Walk me."

On this Saturday, I will most likely accumulate more mugs, type more words, make more tea, and try not to watch Friends, so that I can enjoy the rest of the weekend however the Husband and I deem fit (which includes starting another custom pillow order!).  Free me from the shackles of school work, productivity…please.

Have a lovely weekend, you out there. 

& drink all the tea, 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Custom Pillow Lovin' & Great Friends.

This is Moe.

I received an email from my dear friend requesting a pillow be made for he and his wonderful girlfriend's upcoming anniversary.  He may win the award for the greatest custom order freedom in history, but this is my first custom order.  He still wins.  Also, they're geneticists.  I make pillows.

This is the cabin we stayed in during a fantastically rare and exceptionally fantastic weekend at the Russian River over a year ago.  It was a reunion of college friends.  It was a beautiful experience.  

It is also, well, pillow-inspiration. 

Here, vineyards grace the November roadside as we drive to find a calm, warm spot on the bank of the Russian River to recover from a night of card games laced with beer, and a morning filled with one too many waffles.

And here is that perfectly lazy day.

So with the artistic freedom of making a landscape pillow with Moe's face included, emails with little direction, see below: 

I sketched, 

...received a thumbs-up, visited the fabric store, 

...and embarked on another pillow-making journey.

Redwoods, vineyards, a landscape….and Moe (and pretty nail polish).

The finished product!  Moe is a little difficult to see when the pillow sits upright, but overall I like the outcome, and am even more pleased, excited, and well, thrilled! that my friends were also happy.  That's what it's all about, after all.  

 Sealed with lots and lots of love.

Could this be your next package?!  As much as I love coming up with pillow designs on my own, there's little better than making other people's ideas come to life.

THANK YOU for the fun, friends.  I love you.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Challenge Accepted

...Some days with reluctance.

School has overwhelmed my time and brain-space of late, leaving the spare minutes for pillow creating, or creating in general, scarce.  And, to be honest, I've felt underwhelmed.   Sometimes my focus is too narrow and I miss the adventure that turns everyday tasks into rejuvenating experiences.  Often I am too hard on myself about the 'should do's' and 'why haven't you's' and don't rely on the fact that, with confidence, I am working towards a bigger picture.  Sometimes I forget to listen to that internal compass of mine that guides my feet to, well, the best pasture.  Often I pass off important ideas, actions, or thoughts as nonsense, when really, those are the best things for which to listen.  And most of the time, I forget about Grace.

And then there are moments when I forget to just trust and let things be.  I forget to be honest with myself and that affects my interactions with others.  Sometimes I just want to stay in my cocoon of safety and avoid engagement of any kind.

And yet other mornings, I find the determination to walk in alignment and harmony with my heart.  I remind myself of how young I am inside and out, and that the day is mine for the taking.

Hopefully this is a good reminder for you, as well.

This week is nearly over, have you made the most of it? (I, hmmm, I have not; I'm working on it though.)


*Some of the images courtesy of Google image.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Because...Uptown Funk.

I dare you not to smile.


Have a lovely weekend, 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Brain Breaks via Watercolor

A welcome escape and a craft checked off my to-do list -- feathers in watercolor.  A post for another day, but oh how I love watercolors.  

Happy Weekend, 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Five (under)Thrilling Things on a Thursday.

1)  Custom order made with love, shipped with love? (if you'd only seen the postal lady stuff the sucker into the box…) was mailed yesterday!  The story will be told in the near future.  No need to hold your breath.

2)  A Haiku: 

Truckee yearns to walk.
"Give me a minute," I say.
"Absolutely not."

3)  This list: 15 Things to Stop Doing in 2015.  Read daily.

4)  A thought on the ever-evolving intrigue of getting custom orders to come in:  You could pick any subject(s) (your favorite place, your favorite activity, your pets) and then choose your material from this goodness.  I'll order, design, and create, then it's yours.

5)  My prof asked me how I felt about grades before grad school.  

The weeks fly by, don't miss them.


Monday, January 5, 2015

(Small) Purpose Setting for the New Year

On a road trip that reset this soul of mine last year, and after a long night battling bed bugs and washing my packed existence (including the dog), I found myself leaning on my reloaded car on the side of the road in Monterey Bay, CA just north of Asilomar, overlooking the expanse of the Pacific.  I was present in that moment due to the hilarity of the situation, the emotional strain to which my brain defaulted, and the stunning beauty of the location.   I'm partial to cocoons of cloudy days and the color gray, though.  "This is where you think about life," I thought.

I keep that location in my back pocket to escape from daily monotony, anxiety about starting school (today), and for peace in general.

 I am reading about goal setting, a topic trending in this new year I'm sure, and coming up with realistic and enjoyable goals for The Craft Conspiracy this year.  What I am finding most significant in the readings is not setting goals like, "Sell all the pillows," but finding a purpose.  I started TheCC because I was already sewing and wanted to spread some love to the world.  I began this as a result of friends' encouragement.  I continue this (not for profit), but because I know my strengths.  I am not good at many things, but when my hands and mind are creating, well, I feel at peace; I am most close to the life-reflection bench in Monterey.  

Some thoughts:
"…Your purpose happens in the present, and if the underlying reason you choose some ambitious goal is to consume your focus, it becomes detrimental to your being present here and now" (Source).
"Focusing on goals rather than purpose is epidemic in this world, and ignoring purpose altogether is quite common. So if goals stand in the way of the fulfillment of your purpose, they have to go, and they can go as they are not required" (Source).  
I have not formulated all the small goals I wish to reach to fulfill the purpose of this shop, but I love seeing those I love smile due to whatever I create.  If the purpose of the shop is to create for those I love and to spread some happiness in this (small) world, I feel I am on the right path.


1) Create a pillow per week two pillows per month. This semester of school is going to kick my arse.
2) Encourage more custom orders.
3) Sell at a crafts fair by next Fall, 2015.
4) Speed up the process without losing quality.
5) Get more traffic to the site(s).
6) Get business cards.
7) 100+ likes on the FB!
8) Build separate website

So there's a start.  I can't wait to show some pictures of the custom pillow I am making, but in the meantime, know there's some extra embroidery and scenery involved.  Ha. 

Peace and Purpose to you,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

OK Fine, I Reflected. 2014 in Pictures.

I told a dear friend I wanted nothing to do with January or resolutions this year, and he graciously talked me off my ledge.  Resolutions are, after all, kind of my thing, right up my alley, you know, generally just a good idea.  And I like those good ideas.  Also:

So anyway, in an effort to reflect and as a result, GROW, I reviewed some pictures in true social-media-age fashion, made the below, and realized just how many firsts for which 2014 was comprised.  And that's kind of, well, thrilling.

I wish you time to reflect, time to grow, and time to take all the actions your soul desires.  All the best for this New Year of 2015 to you.  ALL THE BEST.

Year in Review 2014 from Joanna Moore on Vimeo.