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Let’s face it, finding time to craft is something that haunts us all no matter the season. But it can be especially difficult in those summer months. 

Here are 10 things you can do to make time to craft.

10. Pick one time every week.  Things are easier to accomplish when they are habits. My mom spends 1-2 hours every morning hooking. She has done this for as long as I can remember.  Of the family members she is the only one that consistently finishes projects. There is a lesson here. 

 9. Find a buddy. Projects are more fun to do when you do them together!  I can go for months without hooking and suddenly when my mom or sister visit I find I like doing it better.

8. Get inspired. Take a class. Find a blog. Read a magazine. Inspiration helps to motivate. Every year I leave Rug school filled with ideas and motivation. 

7. Start small. I find I don’t have big chunks of time in my day. But I do have 15 mins here and there. You don’t have to set aside hours at a time, just do a little here and there. 

6. Start smaller. Once a week isn’t working try once a month. The more you do it the more you will find you want to do it. 

5. Set goals. Make it manageable. Nothing brings greater satisfaction than accomplishing a goal. 

4. Book it. If timing isn’t working book it to force you. A hook in, Rug School, Guild meetings - these are great ways to ensure you set aside the time. 

3. Figure out what the barrier is and kick it down. What is truly holding you back? You can use any answer but time. Really think about why you aren’t crafting.  

2. Find ”you” time. Remember that taking time for yourself makes you the best you. Kids, work, school, pets. They are all things that require our attention, but setting aside time for ourselves makes the nagging, barking, phone calls much easier to manage. 

1. Combine your loves. Like wine drinking and crafting. My mom and I were recently talking about how multi-tasking has become a necessity. It no longer feels good to accomplish 1 thing at a time. Now we must do 2 or 3 at a time. Like driving and talking on the phone, watching TV and surfing the internet, or writing a blog post while you throw the ball for your dogs (ahem). 

Find what works for you and make time! If it is important to you, you find the time! No excuses, play like a champion!

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Yup! That's right. This article is going to teach you to dye like a pro in 5 mins! More likely an amateur, but hey, at least you are doing it... and I am going to kill the first 2 minutes of my time with the silly story below.  Therefore, I am really teaching you to dye in 3 minutes. Begin time now.

I have a short attention span and am therefore quickly on to the... hey, look a squirrel. I also learn best by doing. These two things make it incredibly difficult to teach me anything.  I often say to people "tell me everything you know in 5 mins or less".  Many look at me like I have 5 heads - but the fact is, they can typically tell me 80% of what they know in that 5 mins and listening to them drone-on for an additional 2 hours just to get that extra 20% isn't worth it to me.

I was ready to learn to dye and said to my mom (who has been dying for 40+ years), "tell me everything you know in 5 mins".  First, she looked at me like I have 5 heads (she does that a lot), then she said the following:

  • You need - a pot you dont cook in, some tongs, a glass measuring cup (I used a small glass pitcher because I didnt have a measuring cup), 
  • Boil water in a pot big enough to fit your wool with some extra space to be able to stir it around
  • Add a drop of synthrapol to the water
  • Put your wool in the pot and fully saturate it - maybe for 5-10 mins
  • Pull anywhere from a half a cup to a cup of boiling water out of the pot and put anywhere from a 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of dye into that water
  • A 1/4 teaspoon of dye in 1 cup of water would give you a medium color for 1/4 a yard of wool.  If you want a darker color increase the amount of dye.  For a lighter color, do the opposite.
  • Pour your dye water into the pot. Throw about 1/8 of a cup of citric acid in the pot. If you stir more it will be a more even color. Stir less, it will be more mottled. 
  • Once your wool has taken up most of the color (the water is mostly clear). Simmer it in the pot for 40 mins to an hour.  
  • Pull it out of the pot and wash it. For instructions on how to wash it read our previous blog post titled "Why it's important to wash your wool before it goes into a rug... and tips on washing."

Viola!  Your Done!  Here is what came out of my pot the first time I dyed.  I used 4 colors and 1/4 yard pieces of white wool.

Obviously, there is much more to dyeing than this. How do you get the color you want? Dip dyes, spot dyes, swatches.  There are also best practices in dyeing and things you shouldn't do.  How to keep you and your equipment safe, etc.  But use the above notes to get started and play.  See if you even like the process.  

Not sure how to build your at home dye kitchen?  I wrote a blog on that too!  Read "Set up your dye kitchen in 5 mins or less..."

If you decide you do like dyeing and want to learn more, take Suzi's dye class at Green Mountain Rug School this June! Suzi is a protege of the famous dyer, Maryanne Lincoln. For more information and to register visit: Strategies for Dyeing at Home 

 

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