Browsing articles in "creativity"

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Apr 16, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation, self-care  //  No Comments

my nearly finished iPod case - I still need to settle on the closure, it's a make-shift drawstring right now.

This last weekend was filled with lots of yoga and lots of creative play. On Saturday, I got together with Eve and Melissa again for our monthly knitting get together. It was a nice relaxing Saturday morning, catching up about life, and sharing about our new and old projects.

About a month ago, I got my new iPod, which no longer comes with any type of case or sleeve, so I made myself an iPod case. I used Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo in Providence Pink for this and free-formed the pattern. I used a size 6 9-inch circular needle, a little ribbing around the top, some stockinette stitch, and a playful basket weave pattern. It was a lot of fun to make and I’m loving using it.

the start of Melissa's cable knit coffee cup holder

Part of our get together this week was a mini-lesson in the cable knit stitch. Melissa brought the pattern for her cable knit cup holder and Eve gave a quick tutorial. And Melissa caught on really fast. See her work here, isn’t it awesome? I’ve decided i’m going to use cable knit in the next set of arm warmers that I make, I think that they will be lots of fun and it will provide a nice detail.

Then there was the piece de resistance – Eve finished the sweater she’s been working on for the last few months. When I first met Eve she was working on the back of the sweater.

the start of the back of the sweater

 

It was incredible to look at, because it includes such an intricate stitch pattern. The finished back looks amazing.

the completed sweater - view of the back

And the last time that we got together to knit, Eve was working on the second of the two front pieces, identifying where the buttons would go, diligently counting rows and lining up the left and right side panels.

the left side panel with button holes marked

Here’s the finished sweater from the front, the result of hours and hours of hard work, it’s a great piece for a variety of occasions and definitely one of a kind.

the finished sweater - view from the front

 

 

 

 

The detail and complexity of this pattern are mind-blowing to me. I don’t know that I’ll ever be making things like this, but I do truly appreciate the effort that goes into making them.

Julia's summer scarf - the first 12% or so (7.5 inches)

For this gathering, I played around with my friend Julia’s new summer scarf, finishing the first hank of yarn to see how many inches it would give me – 7.5 inches to be exact in about 6 or so hours. The scarf will end up being about 60 inches when it’s finished, so several more hanks of yarn to go and well, a lot more hours ahead, but it is simple to make and I think it’s looking great.

a closer look at the yarn and the pattern

I think this is going to be a fun project to work on in between wrapping up my other in-process projects over the next couple of months. It was a great Saturday at the coffee shop and before I left I got a vanilla soy latte and the barista exhibited his own brand of creative play too.

A little bit of latte art with a heart on the top of the foamed soy milk. It make me smile. I’m excited about my next afternoon of knitting creative play with the girls, but before then, there will definitely be more knitting on my own. Because I believe that just like yoga, creative play is good for body, mind, and soul.

When was your last afternoon of creative play? When will be the next?

Another Afternoon of Art Journaling

Apr 11, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, knitting, self-care  //  1 Comment

a sole tulip on my way to my afternoon of creative play

For the first time in 6 years, I spent Easter weekend away from my family. So I decided to fill my weekend with close friends, yoga, and creative play.  On Good Friday, I met up with my friend Valerie at Teaism for some creative play.

workspace for the afternoon of creative play with Valerie at Teaism

I went to a lunchtime yoga class after meeting with my yoga mentor and then headed to Teaism for lunch and some creative play. On the way, I saw this sole tulip and couldn’t resist capturing it. Then after enjoying some lunch, we took our iced teas and sweets to find a table to settle in at for a couple hours.

feeling inspired by the old window at Teaism

We spent our time talking and working on our creative endeavors. Valerie spent her time pulling images and putting them in her new “mini” art journal. I spent my time working on a summer scarf for our friend Julia.

Julia's summer scarf (the first 4 inches - 56 more to be completed)

It was a lovely afternoon out and about in DC. And it inspired me to do some art journaling when I came home, but only after I acquired my own “mini” art journal.

my "mini" art journal

 

After some more yoga on Friday night, I spent the better part of my evening, creating pages filled with inspirations that I’d been collecting for a while. For the first time in a while, I felt how the inspirations worked together.

the blank pages - not really blank, some lines and design make a great "blank" starting point

 

a collection of tea info and pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

inspiring images of happiness

inspiring images of healthy eating and nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was great to feel the inspirations coming together. It happened when I least expected it. I’ve got more creative playtime coming up this weekend, as I enjoy some knitting time with the girls again. I’m looking forward to picking up one of my older projects and getting closer to finishing it. I love finding time for creativity.

When was your last afternoon of creative play? How do you make time for creativity?

Springtime in DC

Mar 25, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, photography  //  No Comments

Springtime is one of my favorite times in DC. The flowers are blooming, the cherry blossoms peak, and the trees start filling out again. This spring I’ve found myself capturing the season with my iPhone lens, as it’s so handy, using it as an impromptu opportunity for some creative play, which is oh so important to me. Here’s a collection of spring through my iPhone lens (hopefully soon there will be some through my regular camera lens too)…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring is definitely beautiful in DC. I only wish that I had the time this year to find my way down to the Tidal Basin to visit the cherry blossoms there at their peak. And I’m hoping soon for an expedition to the National Tulip Library, before spring turns into summer and the tulips have faded away. I hope to have more images to share soon, from more impromptu creative playtime.

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Mar 24, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation  //  No Comments

me in my completed bungalow hat... a self-portrait

This past week has been incredibly busy again – work, yoga, keeping up with friends, keeping up with my apartment. So this post is a little late, but better late than never. Last weekend was filled with lots of creativity. My saturday included a little bit of photography mixed in with a shopping expedition in Georgetown and my sunday was knitting and art journaling. Needless to say, I’m just getting around to writing about my creative play now.

Melissa's Kindle Cozy - she was about an inch and a half away from completion when we packed up.

I spent a good part of my sunday knitting. The morning leisurely started in my favorite coffee shop with Eve and Melissa – chatting, enjoy sweet treats, sipping teas and coffees, and knitting. Melissa brought a fun small project – a Kindle cozy – that inspired me to make an iPod cozy (pics to come next week).

Eve's sweater

Eve brought the sweater that she’s been working on. It’s been incredible to watch her progress. She was working on the second of the two front pieces.

I spent my morning working on my bungalow hat. And I made incredible progress, so much progress that when I arrived at Teaism (meeting up with my friends, Valerie and Christine, and our other art journaling group) to begin art journaling, I set out my materials and then I took out my knitting needles and went back to work on my hat.

my art journaling space at Teaism - it looked like this the entire 3 hours I was there

As I’ve noticed in the past, I find that when I get together with my friends that it’s important to do what you need. And last weekend, I wasn’t feeling like working on my pages, I felt like playing with my needles. So, instead of art journaling, I knitted and chatted, while my friends journaled. It felt right and I had a really great afternoon. And the result was that, I finished my hat the next day.

the top of my finished bungalow hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

the bottom side of my bungalow hat

 

 

I really love the hat. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s truly my style. I think I just have to find the best way to wear it. This first bungalow hat is my prototype. I learned some new knitting techniques making this hat and I can’t wait to make the next one, where I can refine the skills and refine my gauge.

Last weekend was a great chance for creative play and I can’t wait to share my newest project and continue to work to finish up the projects I have started – leg warmers, my niece’s blanket, and my mom’s cape.

 

So, when did you last have some creative playtime? When is your next time?

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Mar 16, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation  //  No Comments

So, I definitely feel like I’ve been slacking with my knitting corner updates, but I think I’m back in business now. Last week, I finished my uncle’s 2011 Christmas gifts and am happy to say that he loves them. The exact text I got was “I needed a shorter dress scarf. That’s perfect. And the hat is cool. I don’t have one like that. It makes me feel really hip and young.” I don’t think I could be happier about something I tried on a whim – the hat – and I’m so happy he likes the scarf, too.

Although my niece’s blanket is still in production, as are my leg warmers, I have had fun lately starting two other projects. First is this cute bungalow hat. I found the pattern in the Spring 2012 issues of knitScene magazine and couldn’t resist trying it. So last week, I started it. After working out some kinks and learning how to knit short rows, I am having some pretty good success with it. Here’s my progress thus far:

Bungalow Hat in Berroco Remix in Strawberry

I’m hoping that I’ll have this finished over the weekend. It’s been a fun and fast project, now that I have the hang of the short rows and have figured out how to create the faux seams. And I think it will make the perfect gift for a few people that I have in my 2012 project list (the first one is mine though).

the wrap I made my cousin, Jackie

When I left the bungalow hat at the yoga studio last week, it forced me to work on something else, and although I had two started projects, I found it necessary to pick up a third. I began the cape/poncho that I discussed with my mom over Christmas. She loved the wrap I made my cousin and wanted something similar. I ordered the yarn over Christmas, but hadn’t had a chance to work on it. On Friday night, I had a phone consultation with her and then started her white wrap. Here’s my “sketch” of what I expect it to look like when it’s done:

my sketch of my mom's poncho, I found a fun app (Doodle Buddy) that I'm having fun playing with (I'm fully aware it is a little child-like).

What I learned from starting it, is that I need to order more of the fun fur yarn. The design of this compared to my cousin’s wrap, will require a lot more yarn. I am happy to recognize this now. I’m pretty excited about this though, because I think I want to make something similar for myself with other fun fur and homespun yarn that I have in my yarn stash. These kind of capes will be nice ways to use up the stash.

the start of my mom's poncho

 

the start from another angle

I’m also considering making a simple shrug (rectangle with two sides seamed for arm holes).

I have fun designing, as much as I have fun following patterns and learning new stitches. I’m looking forward to an upcoming creativity gathering with the girls this weekend, for knitting and chatter and hopefully, wrapping another project.

What are your latest projects? Have you had any creativity gatherings lately?

Another Afternoon of Art Journaling

Mar 15, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, self-care  //  No Comments

Before I have another afternoon of art Journaling with the girls this weekend, i thought it was time I caught up on my last afternoon from two weekends ago. Valerie and I got together again to chat and catch up over some tea and our art journals (plus some crispy kale that I brought to snack on). This time we met up close to my place at my favorite coffee shop, Buzz, where we agreed we seemed to have the most space we’ve ever had to journal. We started tearing, taping, gluing, and talking.

part of our spread, and we could really spread out

more of our spread, i was reveling in being able to spread out

Valerie and I are both in journeys in our careers and it’s been great to be able to get together and just relax and chat. I didn’t really have a theme for the pages I created and honestly, I didn’t “finish” any. This time I seemed to add bits and pieces, but nothing was a complete picture.

the start of my pages

playing with layering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i sandwiched the envelope underneath a magazine page

the pages i started, i feel like there's more to go before these will be finished

And I realized when I was packing up, that not finishing any pages was completely okay. I played with layering and decided that I would possibly revisit these pages on my next afternoon with the girls. I also realized that one of my favorite things about art journaling is how it has connected me with others who have similar interests. I’ve made friends through this activity and that has made art journaling that much more meaningful. For me, it’s not just about the images on the page, but about the social aspect. So when I’m not given permission to chatter, it’s almost like my creativity gets stunted and i don’t feel as connected to my journal.

I’m so looking forward to the next social afternoon, where I can catch up with the girls, see where everyone is in life, share magazines, and maybe finish those pages that I started. It’ll be another afternoon of creative playtime, after a morning of creative playtime (I have a knitting morning planned, too) and I can’t wait. And if all goes well, it might be part of a long weekend of creativity, the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom and I think it’s time to break out my camera and find inspiration in nature again.

Do you have creative playtime? Do you prefer being creative by yourself or when surrounded by others?

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Mar 9, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation  //  No Comments

It’s been a little while since my last knitting corner and that’s really been because I’ve been focusing my attention on three larger projects, so there wasn’t much to write about. I have finally finished one of those projects – my uncle’s 2011 Christmas presents.

Basketweave scarf - approximately 50 inches long - made with Berroco Remix yarn - pattern from Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting

Seed stitch hat - made with the same yarn - pattern #90446B from Lion Brand

I finished the scarf and with so much yarn leftover, I decided I would take a shot at making a hat, and I loved the fact that it only took about 7 hours. The Seed Stitch Hat was quick to make and I think worked really well in this yarn. I am not sure if it’s the right size, I may have made it too big, so as I mailed it to California, my note said, “I hope the hat fits and is your style. If not, please donate it to charity.”

I love knitting and I’m happy to be back on track with both fast and slower paced projects. My niece’s blanket is 64 rows away from completion, my leg warmers have another 9 to 10 inches to go, and now I’ve got another metro project, a really fun hat that I found a pattern for in Knitscene magazine. Progress pics of that one will be along next week, along with featuring some of my friends latest projects. It’s nice to be back on the creative track as we get ready to spring forward.

Are you working on any fun craft projects? Any pattern resources that you can recommend?

Adventures in cooking… chia what?

Feb 21, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, food  //  2 Comments

chocolate chia seed pudding

I have to say, I have been spending a little bit more time in the kitchen lately. During my Saturday afternoon of art journaling, I asked my friend Valerie about the chia seed puddings that I keep seeing her post about on her blog. I have often wondered about it and so I decided to give it a try. I bought the chia seeds a while ago, as I learned that they are a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium, and decided I’d like to give them a try. Up until this point, I only put them in my smoothies. Knowing there were more uses, I decided to try out a chia seed pudding. After getting some tips from Valerie and re-reading her blog, I came up with the following recipe (to make 2 servings):

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (drinkable kind, rather than canned)
  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder

Whisk the ingredients together and put in a sealed container overnight to chill and thicken. Next day, take out of the fridge and enjoy. You can add frozen fruit or other things if you so desire.

Chia seeds can absorb up to 9 times their weight in water. Since I’d never made this before, I was curious to see what was happening, and I checked on my pudding a couple times in the first two hours it was chilling and watched the chia seeds expanding as they were absorbing the liquid. I finally let it be and when I pulled it out the next morning, I had the above. It was a thick, tapioca-like pudding, which had the perfect amount of chocolatey-ness. I didn’t know what to expect when I tasted, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It was fast, easy, and tasted good. I don’t think you can get a better combination in a recipe. I have learned that I need to adjust the quantities sometimes of the liquid to chia seeds, because it can be too thin, but overall, it’s been easy to make and quite enjoyable.

I’m excited to try different variations of this and to use different milks. Although I believe, I’ll likely make all of them some variety of chocolate. I’m always looking for healthier ways to enjoy my favorite sweet treat. With the right blends, this could make a great breakfast or lunch meal or made in a basic way, a really great dessert. Looking forward to making my next batch.

Another Afternoon of Art Journaling

Feb 13, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, self-care  //  No Comments

the contents of my ephemora packet... a fun take-away from the workshop

I actually started writing this post as I sat in Philadelphia’s 30th Street train station waiting for my 8:35 train back to DC, yesterday. I arrived in Philadelphia Saturday for a day of fraternity brotherhood and yogic tranquility. Yesterday, I headed home early in the morning so I could add an afternoon of art journaling creative play led by Kimberly Wilson to my weekend activities.

Sunrise in Philly - Sunday, February 12

I’ve been excited about this weekend for weeks. I got to do lots of the things that I love in two days. And after last Saturday’s art journaling afternoon, I’m completely ready for this one. My bag of supplies was packed before I left for Philly. And I was ready to make a quick transition of bags at my apartment after arriving to head straight out to the workshop.

my spread - images, magazines, ephemora, and supplies

 

 

As always, Kimberly started the workshop with a brief explanation and background on art journaling and our first prompt was creating a background, since a blank page can often by a bit daunting to start with.

creating backgrounds - the first prompt

 

 

Like the last workshop,  I followed some of the prompts, but not all of the prompts. I created a few backgrounds, which I did work with.

more backgrounds - i was drawn to the lines and the colors in this one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a while, I ended up in my own world piecing together inspiration. While I had sought out to only find inspiration about personal style, I also found inspiration in words about finding a healthy life and personal transformation. Some images I was just drawn to and so, I used them where they seemed to fit.

inspiration for finding my personal style

color and shape inspirations, plus some 2012 bucket list items, that seemed to fit in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kimberly also prompted us to work with layering. There are various layering techniques. Some are as simple as adding the tags and writing on them or the card stock. Others are creating foldouts or inserting envelopes to create more private pages.  I was having fun playing with foldouts today.

inspiration for my personal style, using a layering technique

images and words that i was just drawn to, relating to transitions and a healthy life (the page on the left is the foldout page, folded in half)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also followed prompts on creating a self-care and gratitude list (not pictured) and my top ten (really 12, maybe even more takeaways). I used one of the backgrounds that I put in a few months ago for this top ten list.

Today’s workshop was a lot of fun as always. Some of my friends (Valerie and Christine) and fellow yoga teachers attended, which just made it that much more fun. And afterwards, Valerie and I went over to Cafe Green for a nice vegan/vegetarian late lunch.

It was a great afternoon of creative play and the perfect complement to Saturday’s exploration of tranquility. And it ended with an exchange of e-mail addresses, so that new friends could join in on our monthly scheduled afternoons of art journaling.

When was your last afternoon of creative play? When’s your next one? Mine will come in about 4 weeks and I’m pretty excited about it.

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Feb 8, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting  //  No Comments

So, it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted and that’s mostly because it’s the same three projects that I’ve been working on. Blankets, in general, take a while to make and when working three projects at a time, it is difficult to get anything finished – the benefits and drawbacks of multi-tasking. I have had a great couple weeks though – I got together with my friends to knit a few times (okay, with Alison two or three times and then the rest of the girls for our monthly knitting gathering) and I had a yarn accessory consultation with my friend Valerie. After making my friend, Julia’s scarf, and my mentor’s yoga socks, I told Valerie, I’d be happy to make her something too.

Julia's scarf... my first "commissioned" project

my mentor's yoga socks

the yarn for the accessory consultation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the winner... Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo in Providence Pink for a set of full length arm warmers

Valerie asked me for full length arm warmers in one of my favorite yarns. As soon as I finish at least two of my outstanding projects, I’ll be getting to work on these for her and probably a pair for myself in a different color. I can’t wait to design these and get them started.

I also got to have a morning of creative play – knitting with the girls. It enabled me to get some more work done on my bigger projects. I’m much further along on the blanket for my niece than a week ago. See the progress below:

 

 

 

this picture: I had 152 rows left to complete

this picture: I have 100 rows left to complete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I’ve been busy with the blanket, my friends have also been keeping very busy. Eve worked on her very intricate sweater when we met up to knit on Sunday. Alison has been working on a few different projects, the scarf below is one of four that she has in process.

Alison's infinity striped scarf in Berroco Bonsai yarn (colors 4155 and 4103)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When was your last afternoon of creative play? What’s your favorite activity for those kind of afternoons?

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About Lisa

Auntie to two adorable little boys and a beautiful little girl. Sister. Friend. Yogini. Yoga teacher. Accountant. Knitter. Amateur photographer. Very amateur golfer.

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