Meet Ginny Giraffe!

It’s the 15th! That means it’s New Pattern Day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

Meet Ginny! Doesn’t she have a sweet face?

She can also look a little goofy. Here’s she is with some glasses from the Fancy Doodads pattern added. πŸ™‚

There’s already a giraffe block in the Safari quilt pattern – but it’s a double-high block, which makes it harder to work with on its own. Also – the giraffe in that quilt isn’t smiling. I wanted a smiling giraffe. πŸ™‚

Here’s how to make her. . .

See how easy that is?

If you’re already in the club, you can access the clubhouse with this link. Grab the new pattern!

If you’re not in the club yet, you can use this link to join.

I can’t wait to see your sweet giraffes!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Kevin Koala pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

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Daily Bear – My March Drawing Challenge

These are the faces I drew for February. I drew a face every day!

Well, actually I colored a face every day.

You may recognize them from my quilt patterns. πŸ™‚

In January I learned how to use some of the painting tools in the Procreate app on my iPad. (You can see all the results here.)

In February I wanted to apply those new skills by coloring something besides dots. πŸ™‚

Now I’m really going to push myself.

I’m drawing a bear every day this month!

Not just any bears. I’ve drawn a bunch of bears. I have a quilt pattern called Bunches of Bears!

But they’re all kind of neutral, smiling bears. They’re definitely cute and I love them – but this month I’m going to push myself to draw bears with more distinct personalities – and especially with a wider variety of emotions.

I want to draw happy bears for sure. But I also want to draw curious bears, and surprised bears, and anxious bears, and snooty bears, and goofy bears, and grumpy bears, and more.

I’m starting with a grumpy bear. πŸ™‚

I love him!

You can follow my progress on Instagram where I’ll be posting a bear every day. πŸ™‚

Have a great month!

Best,
Wendi

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Happy March!

Happy March!

It’s been a super warm winter so far – but we finally got some snow! And I missed almost all of it. πŸ™‚

Download your wallpaper below. There are options both with and without the March calendar, in case you want to keep that cuddly bear up during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

(If you want to make that bear, you can get the pattern here.)

Happy March!

Best,
Wendi

Meet Russell Rat – the Newest Funny Faces Block

It’s the 15th! That means it’s New Pattern Day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

We just celebrated Chinese New Year last month and it’s now the year of the rat – so I made a cute rat block!

Want to see how easy it is to assemble? Watch this video. . .

See how easy that is?

If you’re already in the club, you can access the clubhouse with this link. Grab the new pattern!

If you’re not in the club yet, you can use this link to join.

I can’t wait to see your adorable rats! Not a sentence I’ve ever said before. πŸ™‚

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Kevin Koala pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

How to Establish a Habit

I am a person who exercises.

I never thought I would say that sentence.

I remember when my daughter was little, my husband invited her to watch a college basketball game with him. She sat and watched for a little while, and then she asked, “If you go to college, do they MAKE you do that?”

That was me and exercise. It was something I had to be forced to do. I ran track in high school, but I never actually liked it. It was something I did so I’d look “well-rounded” on my college applications.

But about a year and a half ago, I started doing taekwondo. My daughter had started a few months earlier and she really liked it. I had to drive her, so I saw every workout and it actually looked fun.

I gave it a try and I liked it!

So I started doing taekwondo 3-4 times a week. I noticed that on the days when I worked out I felt much better. I had more energy and I was in a better mood. I also liked sparring against my teenage daughter. πŸ™‚

So I stuck with it!

The downside is that I got injured a few times – and the last injury was to my wrist, which made it hard for me to work for a few months.

I also couldn’t do taekwondo while it was healing. And then when I was ready to come back, Jo was injured and I didn’t make the time to go on my own.

I thought I had built a good habit – I wanted to exercise regularly – but I wasn’t doing it.

Do you have something you wish you were doing that you just. . . aren’t?

Maybe you wish you read more, or cooked more, or quilted more – but you just never seem to make it a priority?

Read on.

I remembered this post that Abby Glassenberg wrote a long time ago, about how she made exercise a part of her life. Such good advice! She wrote it about exercise and I used it for exercise – but it applies to anything you want to make a habit.

Abby identified specific problems – the reasons she wasn’t running – and found a solution to each of them.

So I did the same thing.

I realized that I liked working out, but I didn’t especially love taekwondo. In fact, I didn’t love the precision needed, and memorizing the forms. My favorite classes were when we played games.

So I looked for a workout where I would be moving, but not in a specific way. No Zumba, where just as soon as I figure out what we’re doing, they change to something else. πŸ˜›

Dance. I wanted to dance.

Ok. When? And where?

I really didn’t like going to work out in the middle of the day. It meant showering twice and changing clothes what felt like a million times a day. Also, going to a set class run by someone else meant I needed to get there early to stow my gear, stretch and loosen up. And there was driving time there and back. It ended up being a big chunk of my day! It was worth it, but if I could get a workout with less transit time, that would be better.

I also didn’t like driving there and back. I’ve been trying to walk to as much as possible (bank, library, post office, grocery store, etc.) so I thought about trying to find something within walking distance of my house.

But I feel dorky when I work out. I’m not very coordinated. I like to dance, but I don’t want anyone to see me dance. πŸ™‚ I could get over it (I did with taekwondo) but I knew I’d enjoy it more if I did it at home, by myself.

I tried a bunch of different dancy/workout classes on YouTube and finally settled on Body Groove. I liked it so much that I bought a full year of her on-demand service with TONS of different videos.

Now I don’t work out 3-4 times a week. I work out every single day! And I love it!

I roll out of bed in the morning before anyone else is up, throw on my workout clothes, and turn on the TV. I choose a workout and I dance for 30 minutes, until I’m sweating and breathing hard and tired – but also energized. I’ve also built some special 30 minute playlists so I can dance to my own music using the moves I’ve learned in the classes.

I’m healthier, my energy levels are great, I start my day in a good mood – and it’s all because I figured out a way to get past all the little reasons that were keeping me from doing a thing I actually wanted to do.

Use Abby’s method and figure out how to make time for the thing you actually want to do. πŸ™‚

Maybe it’s stitching. πŸ™‚

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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Daily Dot 2020

I decided that this is the year I really want to improve my drawing.

I used the Procreate app on my iPad to draw all the motifs in my book (How to Embroider Almost Everything) but that’s just black and white line drawings. I wanted to take it further. I especially wanted to learn how to add color and texture.

I also knew I needed to take small steps. I can’t get better at all the things all at once – so I’m setting my self small daily challenges, a new challenge every month.

I started in January with something really simple.

Dots.

Everyone can draw a dot, right?

You can read more about the awesome picture book that inspired the challenge here.

So I drew a dot every day in January, and I learned all kinds of new ways to add color and texture in Procreate.

If you’re interested, these are some of the classes I took to help me along.

And here are the results!

I had so much fun!

So this month I’m taking the skills I learned in January and I’m applying them to actual drawings. I’m not drawing anything new.

(Aaack! Too much pressure!)

Instead I’m taking things I’ve already drawn (favorite quilt block patterns) and I’m coloring them in with fun texture. Here are my first two. . .

That’s one of the bears from the Bunches of Bears pattern.

And that’s the Yeti pattern. I’m especially pleased with the shading on his horns. πŸ™‚

I’m posting a new image every day in February. You can follow along on Instagram!

Happy stitching! (And happy drawing!)

Best,
Wendi

Happy February 2020!

Happy February!

It’s the season of love – and pink. πŸ™‚

Download your wallpaper below. There are options both with and without the February calendar, in case you want to keep those sweet monsters up during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

(I cut these freehand, but you can make similar monsters using the Mix & Match Monsters pattern.)

You can see me zoom through making these cuties here!

Happy February!

Best,
Wendi

How to Assemble the Lion Block

The lion is the most popular block in the Safari quilt pattern – and now he’s available as a stand-alone pattern. Use him on pillows, tote bags, placemats, and more. Or make a whole quilt with just lion blocks!

You can get the Liam Lion applique pattern here.

And here’s a video showing exactly how I assemble it.

Have fun with him!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Kevin Koala pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Happy January 2020!

Happy January! It’s a new month, a new year, and a new decade! Woo hoo!

Of course we’ll continue to have a new wallpaper every month here at Shiny Happy World! Download yours below. There are options both with and without the January calendar, in case you want to keep seeing that koala face during other months of the year. πŸ™‚ (You can get the koala applique pattern here.)

And here’s a look at what’s happening at Shiny Happy World this month.

Here are all the links to the things I mentioned. . .

Happy January!

Best,
Wendi

Daily Dot Creativity Challenge

“Just make a mark and see where it takes you.”

That’s one of my favorite lines from my very favorite book about creativity – THE DOT by Peter Reynolds. (That’s an affiliate link.)

It’s also the inspiration behind the start of my creative practice for the new year – and I’m inviting you to join me in this 31-day challenge.

Make a dot!

Make a dot every day in January and see where it takes you. Use a different medium every day – or use this as an opportunity to explore one medium you’ve always wanted to try (or get better at).

You can do anything! Crayons! Pastels! Paint! Collage! Embroider! Applique! Clay! Photography! Jewelry!

Post a photo of your creation on Instagram and tag it #dailydot2020. (You’ll be able to see all my dots here.)

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are a few links for you.

  • The Dot by Peter Reynolds – seriously my favorite book about one girl’s path from “I just can’t draw” to “I am an artist.” It makes me teary every time.
  • If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can watch a lovely animated version of the story here.
  • What the heck – get the whole “Creatrilogy” from Peter Reynolds – three books about creativity, the beauty of imperfection, and creative inspiration.
  • Start with a Dot – a guided journal with all kinds of fun prompts “whether you’re a timid beginner or a seasoned artist who needs a creative jolt to keep fresh and recharge.”
  • I have a Pinterest board here jam-packed full of gorgeous circles, ovals, and scallops.

I can’t wait to see what everyone makes. There are soooooo many possibilities in a simple dot!

Happy Almost-New Year!

Best,
Wendi