October DIY Challenge Results!

We are so excited to share the great submissions we received from you all for our first ever DIY Challenge! The theme for this month was ‘Fall Leaves’ and we were blown away by the creative projects everyone came up with. As promised we are awarding our three favorite projects and showcasing everyone’s submissions.


The award for “Most Practical” goes to Donna Herron who made this gorgeous knitted cowl. We just love the whimsical leaf pattern she created and the bright colors she chose.

DIY Challenge Awards: Most Practical #diycraftchallenge

Donna Herron is an avid artist and crafter. Originally from New England, she now lives in the Southeast USA, but still loves knitting warm, cozy, and colorful items. She’s been designing her own knitting patterns for a few years, but enjoys crafting in a number of mediums as well.

My submission is my Changing Leaves Cowl. I love all the gorgeous colors of autumn and wanted to use bits of my favorite variegated yarn to depict these bright colors. I took a leaf from my yard to create a knitting chart for the leaves in this cowl. – Donna from Southeast USA

Donna’s Changing Leaves Cowl Pattern is available on her blog for free! Thanks so much Donna!


The award for ‘Most Decorative’ goes to Beth Watson. We love how she cut letters out of silk leaves to create a festive banner for fall.

DIY CHALLENGE AWARD: Most Decorative #diycraftchallenge

Beth Watson lives sunny SW Florida where there is no seasonal change with fall leaves, inspiring her to come up with several projects that incorporate them each year. Beth is a creative design professional, specializing in mixed media design, three dimensional crafts and home décor. You can check out her blog, here.

These are large silk leaves that I found at the craft store and I wanting to make them into a banner. I tried all kinds of letter stickers and chipboard, but finally decided to trace around the letters and cut them out with a craft knife. I have them hanging in my window, so the sun shines through them and creates cool shadows on the floor! – Beth from SW Florida


The award for ‘Most Creative’ goes to Shirley and her 8-year-old grandson Noah. We absolutely loved the face they created using collected fall leaves and flowers.

DIY CHALLENGE AWARD: Most Creative #diycraftchallenge

Thanks for the challenge. It was a lot of fun. Noah had a tough time thinking in such an abstract way. We worked together, and he finally figured out there was no wrong or right way… then it was great! – Shirley from Nebraska.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first DIY Challenge! We had so much fun seeing your creative projects. We hope you’ll join us again next month! (Next month’s theme will be announced tomorrow).

Fall Leaves Gallery

DIY CHALLENGE: Fall Leaves #craft #diycraftchallenge #autumn #october
Credits left to right:
1. Leather Leaves Mobile by Lin from Okinawa, Japan
2. Autumn Leaf & Pinecone Garland by Tamara (via Instagram)
3. Cardboard Autumn Tree by Rachel Beyer from Portland, Oregon
4. Embroidered Leaf Hoop Art by Alissa Thiele from Portland, Oregon
5. Embroidered Felt Leaf Brooches by Lindsay McCoy from Oregon City, Oregon
6. Chalkboard Sign by Alison Lang from Issaquah, Washington
7. Family Tree Leaves by the Halperin Family from Winfield, Illinois
8. Crochet Leaves by Kat Duke from Seattle, Washington
9. Cross-stitch Fall Leaf Hoop Art by Kim J from Northwest Georgia
10. Appearing Leaf Drop Dyed Tissue by Alison Lang from Issaquah, Washington
11. Fall Leaf Prints by Rachel Beyer from Portland, Oregon

Stay tuned for next month’s DIY CHALLENGE! We hope you’ll join us!


Need a creative boost? Join our new DIY Craft Challenge! Each month we (adventures-in-making.com) will choose a theme, and you get to run with it, then share what you make. You can stick strictly to the theme, or do something totally unexpected. Your creation is sure to inspire someone else, taking this creative community to the next level!

Share Your Project!

To share your project, email rachel@adventures-in-making.com with the following info:
• at least one photo of the finished piece (shots of your process are also welcome!)
• a little bit about yourself & where you’re from
• how you got from the theme to your final product
• links to your social media/blog/website (optional)

We will post our top 10 favorite submissions on the blog at the end of the month + award PRIZES!

DIY CHALLENGE: October Fall Leaves #craft #community #diycraftchallenge
(Sources left to right: Autumn Leaf Mason Jar Candle Holder by Spark & Chemistry, Hanging Leaves by Martha Stewart, Painted Leaves by Artful Parent, Book Page Leaf Wreath by A Delightsome Life, Savory Autumn Leaf Pie by Martha Stewart, Stitched Leaf Buttons by Feeling Stitchy, Leaf Embroidery Hoop Art by Positively Splendid, Autumn Leaf Cookies by Country Living).

October Challenge: Fall Leaves

Our favorite sign of fall is a bright crunchy bed of fallen leaves– and we think that’s a great jumping off point. You can use actual fall leaves you’ve collected, or use the ‘fall leaves’ as a theme for your project. Any and all materials and mediums are encouraged! This challenge is open to ALL AGES, so don’t be afraid to get your kids involved too. The challenge officially begins today, October 1, 2014 and ends on October 29, 2014. We will post our top 10 favorite projects + announce the award winners on October 30th. Have fun and happy crafting!

Don’t forget to share your projects with everyone on Instagram using #diycraftchallenge.

Invite your friends!

This is the perfect opportunity to host a craft night with your friends! Take photos of everyone’s creations and send them to us! Here is a button you can display on your website/blog to let your people know what you are up to.


<a href=”http://www.adventures-in-making.com” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adventures-in-making.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/diychallenge-blogbutton.png” alt=”Adventures In Making DIY Challenge” width=”140″ height=”140″ /></a>

Share your project on Instagram using #diycraftchallenge

TODAY: Heal a Creative Soul

The illustration above is from a college class assignment, and was one of the ways I dealt with some of the more negative critiques of art school. It was also my very first letterpress project, so even though it’s not the cheeriest subject, it lead to my biggest creative passion!

A few weeks ago I was talking to someone I knew from junior high, and they said something fairly innocuous that has been plaguing me since. It was mild, probably a joke, and definitely something my adult self would have laughed off– but somehow it struck right through to the insecurities of my inner ‘tween.

I think there are very few of us who would say that they had a childhood completely free of bullying (and if we’re honest with ourselves, we probably didn’t treat everyone perfectly). It’s been a long time since that was me; and even though I am a worrier, I try not to worry too much about what people say about me. I’m a “grown-up” now.

But here’s the thing- I am just now getting to the point where I can make things without constantly worrying what people will say about them.

The trouble with subjective work

I think that bullying has a special impact on our creative souls. If you make a drawing that one sour person says “looks stupid” you will forever question your talent. Your work is subjective, so there’s no standardized test for creativity. What’s worse is that art programs encourage this kind of snarky commentary in class critiques. Very few programs make an issue of allowing only productive criticism, so you end up with people saying “I just don’t like it” “It’s not successful” “The perspective is off.”

Basically, there’s never going to be proof you’re talented, so it takes a long time for those kind of negative experiences to wear off.

I’d love to turn the whole world around (and bring world peace) but I’ll settle for getting everyone to embrace their creativity and appreciate their own style.

Below are a couple of ways that people have, over time, helped me overcome some of my hang-ups about my work– and things that I try to do to reinforce positive feelings about what I’m doing. It’s all personal, but I feel like they would be great ways to encourage creative exploration in your own life, and to help the people around you have confidence in the things they make.


Make Someone Happy

Show interest in their work.

Even if people who are quiet and secretive about their creative endeavors, they usually enjoy when people show interest in them. Don’t be pushy about it, if they don’t want to show you their work, let it go… this time. Ask questions about what they are interested in, their point of view, and places they like to look at for inspiration. Show interest in them as whole (creative) people.

Compliment, Compliment, Compliment.

If someone shows you their work, say something nice and say something true. Don’t just make up something to say, really take a moment to appreciate what you’re looking at. There’s bound to be something to admire– tell them!

Ask smart questions.

Again, showing interest in the work is key. Ask why they made decisions that they did, what they are trying to say with their work, what problems they are trying to solve.

Ask them to look at your work, sometime.

Even if you do totally different types of creating, asking for someone’s opinion shows that you appreciate their point-of-view.

Basically, be encouraging and interested.

We all need a little more creativity in our lives, and that’s much easier without nagging doubt. So lets nip those mean little voices in the bud, and while you’re at it…


Heal your creative soul

Interact, frequently, with people who “get you”.

You know, like the community here at A-i-M! There are also free meet-ups and craft events in most areas that are a great place to interact with other people who are making creativity a part of their lives. (We’d love to know about creative groups in your area- let us know in the comments section!)

Be honest with the people who make you feel less than awesome.

Sometimes people don’t think about how their comments make you feel about your work. If you take a (calm) moment to give them a little insight, you might find out they have a lot of great things to say.

Take compliments when they come.

Sometimes it takes a little work to let those compliments sink in. Take a minute to consider who they are coming from, and let it go to your head.

Keep making things the way that feels right.

For me there’s always a fight between the way I want to do things, and the way I feel like I should do them. Lately I’ve started following my own flow, and I feel happier with the things I’m making. It also gives me more energy to try new techniques, whether or not they end up working for me.

Do all that other positive stuff.

Make affirmation cards, do wacky projects, cook something crazy, and just get your creative life going. The more you do to bring joy to your life (and the lives of others) the better the world gets.



What soothes your creative soul?