Craft Challenge: January is for Sharon

January 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Welcome to 2011!  Almost two weeks into the new year and I feel like I’m stumbling out of the Holiday Season Fog–you know, that place where everything turns into one long blur of Merriment and Stress and Twinkling Lights?  I love that place, but it can be a little exhausting.  I’m glad that life is slowing down a little so that I can focus on other things, like my Year of Crafts!

You may remember that a little while ago I requested some volunteers from the audience for a project that will (I hope) motivate me to keep actively crafting and creating throughout the year and also (I really hope) leave my eleven volunteers with items made Just For Them that they will really enjoy.

My first volunteer is Sharon! I’m really excited to introduce everyone to Sharon (this is because she is wonderful) and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions about herself:

Sharon, on the morning of her wedding

(she took some time for herself to sit down and read, because that is how awesome she is)

What is your name? Sharon

Do you have a blog or website? I started blogging at Bride Sans Tulle last year while planning my wedding and have kept it going since as a way of documenting newlywed life, our cross-country move, and my grad school adventures.  (Note from Charis: You definitely want to click on that link and read Sharon’s blog, because it is excellent!).  I’m @pensyf on Twitter and you can follow me if you like rambling commentary on (in no particular order): the mysteries of Bay Area microclimates, TV shows, politics, cooking, Phillies baseball, and a myriad of other random topics.

What is your quest? Currently, in the big picture, I’m trying to figure out if I want to continue pursuing a PhD in the humanities or go in a totally different direction with my career.  I’m also deeply interested in developing communities of women supporting women and have a project in the works involving that.  More frivolously, I’m always on the lookout for good reads, good conversation, and a good cardigan.

What is your favorite color? I don’t really have one, but I’ll admit to having a weak spot for teal household items/furniture.  I never underestimate the power of a good pair of mustard yellow tights to brighten up my day.

What is your life like at the moment? What do you do in a day? I’ve recently gone back to being a student after a few years of working in the non-profit sector, so right now my life involves a lot of reading, writing, and research.  A typical day finds me in the library, classroom, or at a cafe.  Evenings are mostly spent with my husband and we’ll usually do some combination of cooking, watching favorite TV shows, or playing computer games together.

What is your creative outlet? I love crafts and wish I had more time for them!  My crafts usually involve paper goods and calligraphy of some sort (like the centerpieces of favorite poems that I made for our wedding), though I have a not-so-secret desire to learn how to sew.  However, my main creative outlets are of the non-crafting variety.  I love to write (letters, blog posts, stories) and I love viewing the world through a camera lens.

What have you been reading and/or watching lately?  What is your current favorite thing to read or watch? I’ve been using my winter break as a chance to gorge on fun reading, which I don’t get to do much of during the semester.  Right now, I’m slowly rereading George R. R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series as well as some young adult novels.  My current favorite read is actually a reread – I’ve been reading a chapter of Anne of Green Gables to my husband every night before we go to bed to introduce him to the series and am really enjoying getting to revisit my beloved P.E.I. and getting to see him experience a great book for the first time.  We’ve also recently started watching the first season of Fringe because we’re both die-hard J.J. Abrams fans.

What inspires you at the moment? This will probably sound pretty cheesy, but right now my husband is my greatest inspiration.  Jason inspires me daily by how hard he works to support our new family, how generous he is to those around him, and how much he believes that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.  My tendency is to approach life in very safe, risk-averse ways, but knowing that Jason will have my back with every success and despite every failure is really transforming me into a braver, more creative, and more loving person.

Sharon and Jason at the Georgia Renaissance Faire

Thank you, Sharon!  Stay tuned–my craft for Sharon is in progress, and will be unveiled in the next few weeks!

The Meaning of Meraki

October 20, 2010 § 27 Comments

According to an article at NPR called Translating the Untranslatable, which is all about the book In Other Words: A Language Lover’s Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World, there is a word in Greek that I want to be able to apply to everything I do:

meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective)

This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be. Meraki is often used to describe cooking or preparing a meal, but it can also mean arranging a room, choosing decorations, or setting an elegant table.


October 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

Welcome to my blog!

It’s brand new, and it is shiny and lovely and probably has some kinks, but it’s my very own.  I’m putting out a welcome mat and hanging curtains.  I will stay until the wind changes, I expect.

What is the point of this place?

This is a place for me to celebrate my creative side.  I seem to spend a lot of time thinking ‘oh, that would be a good idea!’ and never using that idea, because I didn’t have an excuse.  This is an excuse.  This is motivation.  You might even call this a self-perpetuating monster, but that might hurt its feelings…

This blog also exists because I decided that I wanted to be part of the cycle.  I read a lot of blogs–book blogs, humorous blogs, thoughtful blogs, wedding blogs, parenting blogs (those last two are not at all relevant to me but are so fascinating), cooking blogs, craft blogs–and they all inspire me.  They make me want to try new things, to put a little extra into making things around me special, to take better pictures, and while my creativity doesn’t have much room to grow in some areas of my life my blog reading keeps the creative spark alive and makes it easier to spend my eight hours a day at a desk daydreaming about crafting instead of beating my head on that same desk.  And if blogging can do me so much good, then perhaps I can do some good as well–it’s worth a shot, anyway.

I may not be any good at craft blogging.  This project may be a failure.  But if it does work out–well, then I’ll become an internet celebrity, and go on Martha Stewart, and then take over the world. Shazam.

…that probably won’t happen.  But if you enjoy reading this, and it inspires your creativity, then that’s almost as good.

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