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14 April 2014

On Crafting and Blogging with Alycia of Habitual Homebody



When I started this blog 4 years ago, I thought that giving back to the handmade community was the tiniest of things I could do to repay for what I learned (and keep on learning to this day).

That is why, after a few months' rest I am reviving the all-time favorite interview series featuring amazing artists from the virtual indie handmade world.

So today, I'd like you to meet Alycia of Habitual Homebody. I met her virtually in the very beginning of my blogging life and I kept on following her musings, travels and crafting in the years that followed. I love her creativity and the strength with which she copes with life's challenges. There is much to learn from this young lady and her determination. Read on.


Give us some background about yourself. Describe yourself and what you do.
Hi! I'm Alycia and I'm currently living in Pennsylvania with my husband and our two dogs Monty and Mabel. We are about to move to Colorado this summer though (where there are SO many yarn shops!). I do office work, but in my free time, I'm a crocheter and blogger. I've been crocheting for 2 years and blogging for 5 years.

How did you start crafting? Do you stick to only one craft?
I've always been into crafts since I was a kid. My mom is a seamstress, quilter, and crocheter so I was always around creativity as a kid growing up and encouraged to create. And her mother, my grandmother, enjoyed sewing and crocheting too. I like to play around with different types of crafts and keep my eyes open for pretty projects or DIYs that catch my eye, but right now I'm big into crochet.


Why are you passionate about handmade?
I love making something out of nothing. And the process of planning a project, finding the supplies I need, and working on it from start to finish is so entirely satisfying. It also gives my mind a rest from all the everyday worries when I have something fun to focus on. Handmade items are so personal and lovely. I especially love the online handmade community too.

How and where do you sell your products?
Currently I do not sell any of my products as I don't have the time to commit, but I used to sell on Etsy. I'd love to reopen my Etsy shop once things settle down (we are in the process of a big move) and sell some of my crochet wares!

How much influence do you get by the Internet in your creativity?
I get SO much inspiration from the Internet it's crazy and I love it! My main sources of inspiration are Pinterest and Ravelry. I find all the patterns for my crochet projects online, mostly for free through Ravelry, but I'll also peruse Etsy. I follow a lot of crafty blogs so I'll find patterns and project ideas that way too. I'm finally starting to feel confident enough in my crochet work to make a few of my own patterns too.



Why do you blog? What does blogging give you that crafting doesn't?
Blogging gives me the platform to share my projects and inspire others to create. I love interacting with like minded people and sharing about life with others who have similar interests as me.

What does "being creative" mean to you?
To me, being creative means expressing yourself in a way that gives you fulfillment and satisfaction while not being afraid to try something new. Finding inspiration in the smallest of things is all it takes to make creativity happen.



What advice do you have for people wanting to start crocheting?
What worked for me was watching video tutorials on YouTube. For whatever reason, I just couldn't grasp how to crochet when my mom tried to teach me (go figure!), but when I had access to video tutorials it was as easy as pressing pause or rewind to really understand what I needed to do. I have also made a few of my own video tutorials for beginners.

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? Share it with us.
I found this quote on Pinterest and it's always made me smile because it's so true!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."
Which then reminded me of this quote:
"Stop pinning and make things."

Here is where you can find Alycia:
Blog - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest - Ravelry 

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12 April 2014

Simple Living Rabbit: Spring Flowers



On a sunny spring day Muffin Rabbit is outside with us. I think he's missed all the nature smells and you can tell when you see him around the snowdrops and the crocuses.


Read more about the adventures of Muffin, the simple living rabbit.

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11 April 2014

Surreal Photo Print Giveaway



Don't you just love spring? I feel empowered, excited and awake when I look at the blooming trees and flowers, and when I notice how fast the leaves are growing. Every living thing seem to be waking up from the long winter sleep and the sun gets warmer each day.

All this excitement reminded me how much I love to bring joy to the people around me, including you, my readers. That is why, I am reviving the giveaway series on Kanelstrand. Yes, prepare for awesome prizes, just like before!

This week you have a chance to win ONE OF THE TOP TEN SURREAL PHOTOGRAPHS for 2013 according to Smithsonian Magazine. That's right, I am the author and can't wait to send it to you wherever you are in the world.



The winner will receive a signed 8x10 inch photo printed on professional photo paper with original Epson eco-friendly dye inks that will last a lifetime. The print has a thin white border and is ready for framing. The value of this print is $30. The giveaway is open worldwide.


So, what are you waiting for, this stunning wall art is waiting for you! Enter the Rafflecopter. You only have one week! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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04 April 2014

A Beginner's Guide to Loving Nature in Spring



This is a step by step guide to finding a way to notice and love nature this spring. Why, you'd ask... because by noticing nature, even for a couple of minutes each day helps you hear your inner voice and little by little, as each day goes by you become a more real you.This, on the other hand will help you live a more authentic life, to be more productive, more creative and calm.

So, why don't you start this spring?

A Beginner's Guide to Loving Nature in Spring

Inside
Open your window. Listen to the noises outside. Even if you're in the busiest of cities you will hear a nature sound - birds chirping dogs barking, the wind, even waves if you're lucky.

A Beginner's Guide to Loving Nature in Spring


Nothing? Play a YouTube video with nature sounds on your headset. I did a quick search for you, here are the results.  That will even help you work better after the designated couple of minutes. You will instantly be transferred to the forest, a meadow, or the fields, depending on your choice.

A Beginner's Guide to Loving Nature in Spring


Stop thinking about anything except for what you're hearing. Exclude your worries, shut down your eyes and absorb the sounds. It will be hard at first because city life may have turned you numb for nature and overly sensitive to achievement and competition but with time you will manage to go back to loving nature.

Outside
Whether you're driving or walking, don't hurry. Move slowly and try to notice all little nature details. Look down to the ground and kneel next to the flower you see. Smell it. touch it gently, feel the ground, last year's leaves that are covering it, the fresh new grass. Be quiet and observing. 

A Beginner's Guide to Loving Nature in Spring

Stop by a tree, look at its blooming branches and tiny green leaves, touch it. Hold your hand on the bark and forget your worries. You will feel some resistance at first. You will probably find it stupid or childish but ignore those thoughts. Try to do this every day for a week and you will find yourself in a better shape.

A Beginner's Guide to Loving Nature in Spring

Look up to the crown of the tree, you will hear and see a whole universe, a colony of bees, flies and butterflies having a feast on the tree's blooms. Hush... Listen to the buzz. There is a different life than going to and from work. There is a slow life, in tune with nature and you can live it. If you want to.

A Beginner's Guide to Loving Nature in Spring

Those of you who feel brave enough and are willing to expand their communication with nature and converse with the trees, please read this post by +James Clair Lewis who taught me that you can communicate not just with the bees but with the trees as well.

A Beginner's Guide to Loving Nature in Spring

Spring is the best time to sparkle a new love to nature. Try it, you don't know where it will lead you but I promise it's a good place. 

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