Crafting is good for our health

As a spa owner, health and wellness was an important part of my life. We provided services which produced benefits both physical and psychological to combat daily stressors and produce an elevated sense of well being.

Now that we are operating as a Creative Arts Center, we are still providing many of the same benefits.

Crafting has long been used in Occupational Therapy as a way to work on fine motor skills; but it is also used to work on cognitive skills and has been shown to improve overall mental health.

“There’s promising evidence coming out to support what a lot of crafters have known anecdotally for quite some time,” says Catherine Carey Levisay, a clinical neuropsychologist and wife of CEO John Levisay. “And that’s that creating — whether it be through art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography (or) cake decorating — is beneficial to us in a number of important ways.”

In a large scale international survey of knitters, respondents reported psychological benefits including relaxation, reduced anxiety, relief from stress, increased happiness and an improvement in cognitive abilities.

In another study, knitting was found to reduce workplace stress and compassion fatigue among oncology nurses.

Researchers tell us that learning new things and flexing our mental muscles, is one of the best things to protect ourselves from certain types of dementia. It also relieves stress by giving our brains something different to think about, gives us a sense of achievement, and gives us a new way to connect with others.

Crafting creates a sense of belonging and community. “When we are involved in (creativity), we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life,” Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said during a TED talk in 2004. “You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”

I am a solitary person by nature. But I have found when I craft with a group of others I am uplifted and inspired. I am encouraged, invigorated and enthused! I truly enjoy it and it is one of the few things that will get me out of the house!

I am so excited to be part of a community of crafters! I have spent the last two decades on a quest to learn as many forms of crafting as possible. I am looking forward to sharing this knowledge with and learning from others! You are invited to join me. Lets de-stress, relax, enjoy life and be well together.


Cathedral Window Quilt

I am so, so excited to announce our newest class!

Made and photographed by Beth Graham

This class will teach you how to make the time honored Cathedral Window Quilt!

 Inspired by historic church and cathedral stain glass windows, and made from ‘scraps’, this highly portable pattern became popular in North America in the 1930s.

This beautiful quilt is sewn 100% by hand; no sewing machine required.

Each quilt block is made using a folded patchwork technique similar to origami; and as you complete each block, you have completed the top, middle and bottom layers! There is no need to sandwich, baste, pin or ‘quilt’ through the layers because it has already been done!

This is such a peaceful, relaxing project! I’ve worked on them while watching TV, in meetings, in the car ( not while driving, of course! 😉 )

This class will take place over four Thursday evenings.

May 2, 2019
May 9, 2019
May 16, 2019
May 23, 2019

You will need to bring your fabric and basic sewing supplies. A detailed list will be sent out before the class.

If you have made one of these gorgeous quilts before, or inherited, or were gifted one, please share a picture with us!

Fighting the dreariness of winter with color

The dreariness of this winter has really sapped my energy. I
desperately need some sunshine to recharge! Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like
I will get any for a while.

Despite the weeks upon weeks of cold, dark, dreary, rainy weather, at least I can work on colorful projects! I’ve spent most of my time working on beading projects and I’ve created some really neat pieces.

This daisy bracelet is beautiful! It is my own design. I absolutely love it and I had so much fun making it! I am working on a tutorial and will post it when I finish.

This bracelet turned out gorgeous! This was created from a pattern I purchased on Etsy. I really love the colors of this one:

I love this pattern in general and ended up making it in multiple colors.

These earrings were also made with superduos and I think they turned out really cute!

I wanted to create some pretty, colorful, dainty bracelets that would be great for stacking and at a lower price point. I made the beaded bracelets below using the ladder stitch and Miyuki Delica seed beads. The Miyuki Delicas are tiny and come in beautiful colors.

Though most of the past few weeks have been spent on beading, I did manage to get in some crochet time. I made two cute, retro, nylon, crocheted bags. I still need to block the front flaps, sew on the button and add a liner. I will post pictures of them when I am finished.  

I have ordered the supplies for several new crochet projects and I can’t wait to get started on them.

Side note: I have been told that people tend to follow blogs that are heavy on pictures. I am terrible at taking pictures. I always have been. Even though mobile phones today have amazing cameras and photo editing capabilities, I still don’t seem to ever get around to taking pictures and when I do, they turn out horrible. If I didn’t feel the need to include pictures, I would write and post everyday!

Upcycling tshirts

I always feel the urge to purge during the month of January. This year we desperately need to purge our closets! We probably only wear 10% of what’s in there and there is nowhere to put anything new. I don’t know why we continue to hold on to hold on to clothes from decades ago!

I haven’t seen Marie Kondo on Netflix, and I really don’t know much about the KonMari method of decluttering; but I can tell you that all this clutter is NOT bringing me joy!

Since I love to make things, I am planning to do some serious upcycling this year! I have been scouring Pinterest for some good ways to upcycle some of our bazillion tshirts and I have found really creative things to do with them!

Tshirt Quilts.
I have always wanted to make a tshirt quilt with my kids shirts from sports, clubs, etc. I can pretty much guarantee that is not going to happen in the near future, but I do intend to go ahead and start organizing the ones I want to keep specifically for this project. Here are some tutorials for making one. What a cool way to memorialize their childhood!

Throw Pillows
This is the perfect gift idea for the members of the family who have a favorite sports team or concert shirt they can’t wear in public anymore but can’t bear to part with.

Rag Rugs.
I have always loved the look of rag rugs. There are lots of rug tutorials online. Some require sewing braids togther and some are crocheted. These would make a great project for kids! They will be recycling, making an art project, getting something new for their rooms and learning a craft all in one, free project! What a brilliant thing to do with left over, worn out play clothes! Here is a tutorial that I like.

Cat Basket.
We live with two cats who would really appreciate this project! I think all cats love getting in boxes, bags, containers and hiding. I was recently making a crocheted basket and I could not keep the cats out of it! Here is a cat basket I really like. The blog is in Finnish but can easily be translated.

Dog toy.
I never would have thought of this had I not seen it on Pinterest; but what a brilliant idea! Dogs love to chew and play. Recycling an old, faded, torn up tshirt into a dog toy is perfect. My son recently joined the Army and our dog misses him. Using one of his old shirts seems like a great way for him to feel close to his best friend.

This is something I will definitely be doing right away! There are so many neat projects that can be made with tshirt yarn. It is the perfect medium for crocheting things that need to be sturdy like rugs, baskets, bags, etc. and it works up very quickly. I can’t wait to get started crocheting!

I hope you like these ideas. If you make anything with your old clothes I would love to see pictures!



Last year I saw a really cute bracelet on Pinterest. I really wanted to make one like it. It had been made with superduo beads but I didn’t have any and had not worked with them before. My local Hobby Lobby had a very limited selection but I bought a couple of colors and put them aside for when I got a chance to play with them.

I finally got around to making that bracelet today and I love it! I loved making it and I think it is really cute. I went online and ordered several more colors. :)

I can’t wait for the new beads to come in! I think these will be perfect for Spring Craft Fairs. What do you think?

Crafting with A.D.D.

When I was in my early twenties I was diagnosed with ADD. I was prescribed Ritalin and it was like the clouds in my head cleared up and the sun shown through! Everything was so clear! I’d never known anything like it. I could do anything, learn anything, remember Everything! I was brilliant!!

A couple of years later, I got pregnant and went off the Ritalin. I was pregnant and then nursing; then trying to get pregnant, pregnant, and then nursing… and I never went back to the medication.

At the time, I wanted to be able to manage myself. I sometimes think I should have gone back on the Ritalin. I’m pretty sure if I had, I’d be running in the same circles with JK Rowling. My book series would have sold billions, the movie would be in post production and I’d currently be in negotiations for a theme park.

Or maybe I’d be hanging with Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos because the company I started and our software would have net me billions.

Alas, I did not. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Instead I worked, raised my children, and spent an inordinate amount of time learning how to do everything that was ever invented. Because I just love everything.  :)  And I can’t focus on or choose just one thing!

I want to fill my life with color and beauty! And I want to make it myself!

So here is an example of what happens in my free time.

I’m sitting in my recliner crocheting, beading or cross stitching. Netflix is on and I’m browsing through Pinterest. I pin several beautiful beading patterns; a gorgeously swirled soap; a beautifully smocked and embroidered infant dress and a whimsical hand painted Christmas sign for inspiration.

I see some adorable felt Christmas ornaments. I pin them and click on the Pin which takes me to Etsy. Oohhh. She has some adorable patterns! They are so colorful! I think I need these in my life. I put several in my cart, ‘favorite’ her shop, check out with Paypal and download the patterns. I open a browser window and go to Amazon (Hi Jeff, we could have been peers!). I search for wool felt, find some nice color selections, add them to my cart and check out. I’m guaranteed to have my felt in two days! I love you, Amazon Prime! (Could have been my idea!!)

I return to Pinterest.

See gorgeously decorated Sugar Cookies. Pins Sugar Cookies; thinks, ‘Oh! Maybe I’ll be a cookie decorator!’ Begins search for the best sugar cookie recipe on the internet. Finds multiple recipes declared ‘The Best’ and compares ingredients, amounts, directions and comments to find the similarities and differences. Do the same for Royal Icing. Watch several videos on outlining and flooding Cookies with icing. Print out several recipes; determine what ingredients do not currently reside in the kitchen; make grocery list; schedule grocery trip and cookie making time on planner. Return to Pinterest to look at ‘more like this’ and pin more gorgeous cookies for inspiration.

I hear a knock at the door. FEDEX! Yay!! I quickly open the box to find the gorgeous light pink skeins of t-shirt yarn I recently ordered from Australia to knit the amazingly beautiful baby bassinet I saw on several of the Russian and Japanese blogs/sites I follow. Because there are absolutely beautiful patterns coming out of Russia and Japan!

Yes, I know I don’t have any babies. Or grandbabies. Or prospects of either…. (which is good at the moment! Haha) But this bassinet is so beautiful. And beautiful things make me happy. And I just want to spend my life making beautiful things. Full of color. And texture. And happiness. And just the thought brings tears to my eyes.

I put the yarn aside and return to the computer. Satisfied with my Sugar Cookie Decorating Progress, I start closing browser windows and return to my Pinterest feed.

Oh look at that awesome laser cutter advertisement! Clicks on ad, watches informational video, decides I must have it! After digging further, sees ‘Starts at $5,999.99’. Quickly closes browser window and returns to Pinterest.

Wow! Look at that amazing, whimsical and quirky wood relief carving! Pins Quirky Relief Carving. And there’s a tutorial! Quickly reads through tutorial scanning for required supplies and tools. Dremel, check! Flex shaft attachment, check! Sanding bit, check! Chisel…hmmm…think hubby has one! Makes note to ask hubby about chisel and mallet. Safety gear, check! Acrylic paint and varnish, check! Oooohhh! Can’t wait to make this! I open a new browser window and start sourcing basswood…




Surely I’m not the only one!!

Love to All!


Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! We had a wonderful time spent with family and friends. My son left yesterday to return to base but my daughter is with us for another couple of weeks.

It’s back to the grind for me today. It is so hard after having time off to start getting up early again. I am such a night owl. I can stay up until the wee hours of the morning reading, sewing, planning. Binge watching Netflix.  :)  But today I had to report back to the office which meant reacquainting myself with the alarm clock.

I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions but I do have some things I would like accomplish this year.
* Learn to weave on the  Rigid Heddle Loom.
* Complete more projects.
* Get the Studio at Lavender Crossings up and running.
* Paint the interior of the house.
* Do some massive decluttering.

The last one there seems to get added to my list year after year.

What do you want to accomplish in 2019?

Crocheted Flower Earrings

I LOVE crocheted flowers and motifs. I especially love them when they are crocheted with thread; they are so dainty and pretty. I also LOVE color. All colors. Looking at beautiful colors makes me happy!!

One of the great things about crocheting these small motifs, is that I can actually finish them in one sitting! Which is especially good if you are like me and suffer from ADCD (Attention Deficit Crafting Disorder 😉 )

As much as I love making them, I had struggled with what I would do with them. And then I saw something that looked like a crocheted earring and I thought, ‘Brilliant’!! How completely brilliant! I can make these adorable motifs in every color imaginable and actually make something useful!

Here is what I have been making.

This particular pattern I found on Pinterest.

It was only available as a graph but I have converted it into a written pattern if you would like to give it a try! I use size 10 crochet thread and a .8 or 1.0 steel hook.

Chain 6. Join with a ss.
Chain 3 (counts as 1st DC). DC 19. SS to 1st DC. (20 DC).
Chain 3 (counts as 1st DC). DC in next DC from previous row.
Chain 2.  DC in the next 2 DC. Chain 2. Continue around for a total of 20 DC. End with a chain 2 and SS into the first DC.
SS into the first chain 2 from previous row. Chain 3 (counts as first DC). DC, Chain 2, 2 DC into first chain 2 from previous row.
Continue 2 DC, Chain 2, 2 DC in each chain 2 around. SS into first chain 3 (40 DC).
SC. Chain 3, SS into first chain 2 from previous row. DC 6 into same chain 2. Skip DC, SS into next DC. 7 DC into next Chain 2, skip next DC, SC into next DC. Continue around, SS into first Chain 3. Weave in ends.

If you make any, I would love to see them!




Crafting Without Distractions

Have you ever sat down to work on a project but found yourself constantly distracted by ‘Life’ at home? The kids were fighting. The dryer was buzzing. The dog chewed up a pillow. The cat threw up on the floor. Someone wanted cereal but there were no clean spoons??? It happens all the time at my house. When you have a family, it can sometimes feel impossible to get any crafting time in.

But, I have to create. Seriously, a creative outlet is important to my mental health. Lol

When my kids were younger it was very difficult. When I was at home there was always something else that needed my attention. The only way I would be able to start and finish something was to do it somewhere else. So, I started taking classes.

I did three winters of weekly quilt a-longs. I took two semesters of Stained Glass classes. I took a semester class on writing and illustrating children’s books.  I’ve done many, many paint and sips. During this time, the only time I was able to really work on any of my projects was when I was actually AT the class.

That is why we have decided to host Open Studio sessions at Lavender Crossings. During these hours you can come, claim a place at a work table or in a cozy chair, and work on your project without having to worry about folding the laundry or loading the dishwasher.

We have tables and chairs; sinks to wash out your brushes; outlets for your sewing machine. Basic crafting tools like cutting mats, rotary cutters, irons, scissors, paint brushes, heat press, etc. are available for you to use. We will also have a limited amount of basic materials and supplies available for purchase.

The cost for Studio time is $10 for an evening session (6-9) and $20 for a Saturday session (9-4). No appointment is needed. Just show up with your project, sign in at the front desk and get to work! Coffee provided.  :)

Dates and times for Open Studio Sessions will be listed on our Events page. Hope to see you there!

Love to all!


Creative Arts Studio

Creative Arts Studio

If you know me at all, you know my life is consumed with Creating and Making!

I have an insatiable appetite for learning new things and now, I am going to be able to help others learn new things, too!

I am so excited to announce that we will be converting Lavender Crossings into a Creative Arts Studio!!!

We will be offering a variety of classes starting in January and also plan to hold open studio days where you can come and work on your projects without the constant distractions you have at home!

I am so, so excited!! More information to come in the next few weeks. Subscribe to our blog to get updates delivered to your inbox!!

Love to all!


That time I bought a Spa

Once upon a time, I bought a day spa.


God led us to this place. I truly believe that.

I found the spa property for sale on the internet. We were not looking to buy anything. We were not planning to move. Our house was not on the market. But I came across it and felt led to go look at it.

It wasn’t just a spa. It was a house, a commercial property, and 10 acres of land in the middle of nowhere. I told my husband that I believed we were supposed to buy it. We spent a lot of time in prayer over the next few days. We made an offer. I asked God that if this was not what he wanted for us, to please not let the sale go through! It did. We closed within two weeks of making an offer and many stars had to align for it to happen.

My husband, Mr. ‘NO’, the yin to my yang, the one who attempts to keep my spontaneity and impulsiveness in check, even said he believed we were being led here. A miracle, if I’ve ever seen one!

Why me? Why us? Why here? I didn’t know then and I don’t know now. I will probably never know. Was I led here to make a difference in the life of one of our staff members? A client? Was it so that I would have my children in the right place to meet someone that would change their lives or whose life they would change?

Many times over the years I have asked myself, ‘Why me?’ Our lives since making this decision have not been easy. Immediately after purchasing the property I was laid off from my job. The house we put on the market didn’t sell for two years. Translation: We paid two mortgages for two years! We pulled our children out of private school and put them in the public school system. We had issues with neighbors. We had problems with staff. We went into debt. A lot of debt. But through it all, I never once waivered from the belief that God led us here.

After nearly a decade, we have made the decision to close the spa. We recently became empty nesters and I believe we are now being led in a different direction. Did we accomplish what we were brought here to do? I don’t know. I hope so.

We are prayerfully considering our future and trying to discern God’s will as we go forward with the next phase of our lives. Stay tuned for information about our future plans!!!

Much Love to you all!

— Beth