This is a free week at Four Foxes, One Hound. Normally I’d tell you about the books I’ve read from my TBR list, but this month I haven’t managed to read ANYTHING! Reading has been pushed aside in favor of two other passions: writing and crafting. So I guess I’ll have to tell you about those.
On the writing front, I finally managed to finish my annual Christmas novella. Since I had such positive feedback from The Partridge and the Peartree as well as its sequel Two Tutor Doves, I decided to continue the theme with Three French Inns. For some reason, this story was difficult to write, even though I had a basic plot and (what I thought to be) a major conflict. But after several false starts, a couple of meetings with what I’m calling my Brainstorming Buddies and some great advice from a history professor who was gracious enough to answer my email – even though we’ve never met – the story finally got off the ground and was submitted to a publisher this month. Now it’s on to the next project – which is also running into roadblocks!
I often brainstorm while sewing or crocheting. There’s something about keeping my hands busy that helps my mind to sort things out better than sitting in front of a blank screen. I always have a project in my hands when I’m watching television, because otherwise I feel like I’m wasting time. Also, I’ve discovered that if I keep my hands busy I’m less likely to snack – and snacking is what caused me to grow larger and larger until health concerns demanded that I make some lifestyle changes.
Last fall, I found a project that is so simple I don’t have to check the instructions any more – and the best part is, it costs NOTHING to make!
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may have seen pictures of the tote bags I make from plastic grocery bags. I’ve sold a few, but most have been given to family and friends. The other day I made a list – so far I’ve made almost 40 of these totes. It usually takes me around four or five days to finish a bag, but during the Olympics, my hubby and I watched a lot of television together and I finished five of them during the two weeks of events. I’m trying to finish a bunch of them so that my mom can give them to relatives in Japan when she goes next month.
Each tote bag takes between 80 and 100 plastic sacks. At first it was a challenge to collect enough to keep me busy, but now my friends and family who’ve received the totes keep my bag supply healthy by saving their bags for me. I can always count on getting several on Tuesdays when I go to my quilting group and scrapbooking club. Our grocery store has bins where people put their used bags for recycling, and my husband often stops to empty it out for me. So I have NO shortage of raw material!
Last winter I happened to mention my hobby on author Vicky Batman’s blog and she asked me to do a guest how-to blog post about it. I was happy to oblige and I even gave away a bag to one of her readers. You can read the how-to HERE.
So that’s basically how I spent my summer: writing, crocheting, and a little bit of performing (the community band plays concerts in the park once a month). I’m hoping to get back to reading and reviewing books written by authors I know (or have met online) very soon – just as soon as this current writing project is done!
How did you spend your summer?