Hi, My name is Michelle and Blackhawk Living CA has asked me to contribute a monthly arts and crafts column. Here’s a little more details about me and how I find my creative inspiration:
Our family has been Blackhawk Country Club members since 2005. Through the club, we have met the nicest people and decided to move inside the gates in 2018. We are truly happy here. We enjoy our friends, neighbors, wildlife and the peaceful setting. We have felt very welcome in our new community.
I have been sewing since I was small. I was inspired by my four older sisters. Sewing evolved into quilting for me. It’s something I find fulfilling.
I taught Technology classes and headed a Maker Space at Montair Elementary school in Danville for eight years. I taught students from (TK to 3rd Grade) how to type, create computer coding programs, create documents, presentations, etc. The Maker Space was an explosion of all kinds of creativity. In this space, students were able to create whatever they could come up with using the supplies on hand. They could use the 3D Printer, the 3Doodler, Spheros, Cosmo Robots, Little Bits, create buildings with cardboard, make pom-poms with yarn, paint, make bracelets, make cards and many other things.
When the Shelter In Place order was put in place, I began sewing face masks. There was a need within our community and the businesses they owned/ supported. I sewed and donated more than 100 masks.
I have my hands in a lot of things like embroidery, books (I lead two book clubs), crochet, watercolor, ink drawing, hand sewing. I try new things all of the time.
Here are some of my favorite ways to get inspired:
Firstly, Instagram is the place I go for inspiration. It’s where I go online to see what artist’s and quilters are creating. Instagram can be all consuming so pace yourself.
Second, YouTube has an endless number of tutorials to learn ANYTHING! Can’t remember an embroidery stitch? Need a tutorial on making a face mask? They have countless videos for artists and crafters.
Third, CreativeBug www.creativebug.com is a great starting place. They have a ton of classes. They have a lot of FREE classes too. Rebecca Ringquist’s embroidery class was a lot of fun and the result was super gratifying (below).
Fourth, Facebook has Groups that you can follow: Deep Space Sparkle, Cloth Sampler Stitchers, Shiny Happy Art, CreativeBug, etc. For example: CreativeBug’s Facebook group offers FREE tutorials on creating coasters out of resin, crochet lessons, making cards, making a mask and more.
Lastly, start a journal. I just recently started a journal class (online) with Alisa Burke alisaburke.com. She is an artist in Seaside, Oregon. She is one to follow on Instagram. You can view all of her past work there too.
By Michelle Barry, Resident since 2018