Xiane Loves: March 2017

Hello, lovely readers!

I am squeaking this in at the end of March, because this month has been surprisingly busy! I have been deeply involved in brainstorming some new items for my Three Ravens Studio patrons, and exploring the connection between using one’s hands to create and mitigating the effects of depression and anxiety. [more on that in a bit!] And there was also one of my favorite yarn-and-fiber shows happening, too – Homespun Yarn Party, a yearly event that’s held in an old textile mill in Savage, MD – so you can see how this roundup might have been delayed a little. But I have quite the array of fun and interesting things to share, so YAY.

 

I love sharing photos of my plants and garden, as you probably know if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time! I get a LOT of questions about my tending methods, and let me tell you, they are the laziest you can imagine. But it seems that succulents aren’t as easy for some of my friends as they are for me, so after some back-and-forth about what I do, I decided that I should make a video showing how I water these pretties. I’ll put it up sometime this week, when I next water them.

In general, I would recommend benevolent neglect – in other words, I don’t fuss over the plants too much, I water them when I remember to – trying to get them about every week to week and a half, I talk to them occasionally… that’s about it. Probably the biggest trial is not overwatering – they’re adapted to hold onto water, so keep that in mind. And water near them, not on them on directly on their stem/roots. That helps a lot. When it is very hot, I soak the soil – ONLY in my pots with good drainage! – then let it dry out completely before I water again.

A slightly different approach is given here: https://www.succulentsandsunshine.com/how-to-water-succulent-plants/ – experiment to find the method that works best for you, with your schedule/environment/specific plants! And don’t be scared, succulents are very forgiving.

 

Figured I’d throw in a pic of my booth from Homespun Yarn Party, while I was at it… so many colors, so fun! I was pleased to find that the Arcanity necklaces and the air plant podlets were really well received. That made me so happy! I never ever feel as ready or as stocked as I’d like to be for these shows, but this time around, I felt pretty together… I knew that I wasn’t going to have fiber but plenty of others would, and my handspun yarn is fairly unique to that show and always gets a lot of attention. The Arcanity line was new to HYP, and I got a lot of inquiries, positive feedback, and sales! It just goes to show that innovation is always going to catch peoples’ eyes, and that I shouldn’t fear debuting new things at shows that are traditionally more about yarn and fiber.

 

 

 

Keeping with the plant theme, I’m excited to see that Rebecca Desnos is gearing up to launch her newest publication on April 1st, 2017! Plants Are Magic is a magazine that celebrates exploring botanical creativity and exploring the human relationship with plants, and it will be available both as a print version and a download. It is even ad-free!

 

The first edition of the magazine focuses on well-being, and it is 80 pages of plant based art, craft, food, healing, interviews, stories, experiences, recipes, and tutorials. I cannot WAIT to get my copy! Rebecca also has a fantastic book about dyeing with plants that you should check out. Everything is accessible from her website:

http://www.rebeccadesnos.com/

 

Photo: Megan Andersen/radmegan

 

Wondering where to put all those succulent babies that you’re getting, now that you know how to water them? What about in snail shells? Megan Andersen has a great DIY on how to make a miniature garden from your succulents, a small bit of potting soil, and clean snail shells. You could also use oyster, abalone, or other shells, as long as there’s enough space for the roots and some dirt. Absolutely adorable!
http://radmegan.com/2012/01/miniature-gardens-shell-potted-succulents.html

 

 

Switching gears a little here, because this is all about my favorite subject: creativity! The #100DayProject is a free global art project, designed to get you crating daily, as a community, for 100 consecutive days. You get to pick your media, your own special hashtag, and you can sign up for weekly prompts and encouragement via the website, too. You announce your intentions on Instagram and get to work on April 4th, 2017 – everything wraps up on July 12th, but if you miss a day, KEEP GOING. It’s all about making the effort to create every day!

I will be joining in, will you also come along on this journey with me? My hashtag will be #100daysofThreeRavens if you’d like to follow along with what I create. I think I will be exploring various new ways to use my yarn in creations. What will you do?

https://the100dayproject.org/

 

Want another awesome challenge? If you’re into writing/journaling/being legible/pretty lettering, this might be just what you’ve been waiting for. Hosted by Kara of Boho Berry, Dee of Decade Thirty, Kim of Tiny Ray of Sunshine, and Jessica of Pretty Prints and Paper, it is a monthly prompts challenge that you can join on Instagram or Facebook, and it goes as deep or as light as you need it to be. Just practice your handwriting, or delve deep into the techniques and philosophies behind why you do what you do with your writing… it’s all good and it will help you improve your hand/motor skills as well as give you a potentially meditative practice. I love it. Read more at:
http://www.bohoberry.com/rockyourhandwriting-3/ 

 

My friend and fellow fiber artist Stacey Budge-Kamison of Urban Gypz is a very smart and thoughtful artist, and here she shares some key thoughts about her journey in the artistic process and how she found the right media, styles, and paths that made sense to her and fulfilled her creative and aesthetic desires. It can feel really discouraging if you’re filled with creative urges, but when you look over your body of work, nothing feels cohesive or connected. As Stacey points out, the keys to being a successful artist are most importantly being consistent and gaining confidence in building your own artistic language. You will want to read this article! It confirms to me what many of my other artist friends have said about success: it’s all about practice and dedication.
http://urbangypz.com/the-5-keys-to-making-art-you-love/

 

 

So I mentioned that recently I’ve been exploring the connection with using one’s creativity as a form of therapy and self-soothing for those who deal with depression and anxiety. There’s a ton of research out there that backs this concept – working with our hands, making or creating, can very much help us to direct, control, and ease the effects of mood disorders. I am very open about my dealings with depression and anxiety, which can be scary but in the long run has brought me connections with others who have the same challenges, and I’ve been told that my openness has been very helpful.

 

 

In that spirit, I have been putting together a program of various techniques and explorations to share with everyone who might be looking for a gentle way to direct these energies in a way that is both useful for self-care and ultimately productive… because one of the things that often suffers when you’re going through an episode is the useful feeling of getting ANYTHING done, and I think some of these techniques will help immensely with that.

Bound By A Thread isn’t open yet, but you can sign up for the notification of when it opens via the form below:

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This is a different mailing list than the main one for Three Ravens Studio, so if you’d like to get updates on this and my other projects too, please do sign up to both lists!

I will have an introductory email coming your way within a short time of signing up, but expect some free content like simple creative ideas, some stories from other artisans who have traveled the same path, and suggestions for self-care, as well as the occasional group project which you can opt in to joining. Want a teaser? The first one will be a simple therapeutic ritual for focus and directing energy, Binding Intention.

 

 

If this sounds exciting or something you’ve been looking for, I hope that you’ll join me on this journey!

 

Thank you so much for reading – as always, I welcome your comments and links to projects that you are working on or that you recommend in the comments section!