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As Pablo Picaso famously said, “All children are born artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” As a general rule, children don’t believe they’re poor at doing something until someone tells them they are. I’ve heard it time and again in childhood development classes and seen it in real life. I’ve cited my husband’s example of believing he wasn’t creative or artistic for years after a disparaging comment from a family member several times (most recently in my post on teaching the value of handmade). I’ve also experienced it first-hand. It’s difficult to keep creating when your efforts have been met with criticism or even just disinterest. Today’s printable is to help encourage you whenever you’re feeling afraid to create or to take a chance:

follow your inner moonlight watercolor printable

The full quotation is “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness” and it’s attributed to poet Allen Ginsberg. If you want to know the full story behind the quotation and where it came from, The Allen Ginsberg Project did some great investigative journalism, as it were, that you can find right here along with an even more full version of the quotation. As always, this free printable is available in the ‘printables for subscribers‘ portion of the blog. Not a member yet? Just sign up using the post below this post! And if you really like this design, you can find it on a variety of items in my Society6 store.

I hope that today, and every day, you chose to let your inner moonlight shine. Because, as Dr. Seuss said (and because today is apparently the day for lots of quotations!) “There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

 Natasha of The Artisan Life-01



Currently Crafting – Knitted Bracelets

Hello and welcome to this week’s Currently Crafting! Today I’m sharing my newest Etsy store listings – knitted bracelets.

knitted bracelets

I started making knitted bracelets because I really wanted to get a few items back up for sale in my Etsy store, but I need something that’s “baby friendly” to make. As I’ve written before, I can frequently get a lot of knitting done while LG is nursing. Knitting bracelets while feeding the baby gives me something productive to do and allows me to get some listings live!

To make the bracelets even more special, I’m using handmade polymer clay buttons. I really like using the ‘faux ceramic’ technique outlined in this tutorial, but I’ve also made buttons with solid colors of clay and a dark wash applied after baking to bring out the details. So far I’ve made i-cord wrap bracelets and knitted cuffs that button. I’m also considering knit in the round bracelets without any closure and my husband is interested in making some fair isle-inspired cuff bracelets. I think the’ll be super neat if he ever has the chance to make some.

knitted bracelet with polymer clay button

Because I love stamped metal, I’ve added stamped metal embellishments to many of the bracelets.

I’ve also been drawing on metal blanks and etching them, something I enjoy quite a bit but haven’t done in ages. It’s a good thing we’re moving soon – I used to get my etchant at a Radio Shack down the road, but they’ve closed and there are no more Radio Shacks in Hawaii! I can get the etchant in a dried form shipped here, but not the liquid. Since time is pretty scarce for me right now, I really prefer the liquid. I have just enough etchant for a few more pieces like this one:

knitted bracelet with copper etched mountains

Although I have more completed bracelets (and the purple one below has already sold!), I haven’t had the opportunity to photograph and list them all, yet.

I’ve been experimenting with different materials. This bracelet is knit with two strands of cotton:

And this one is a single strand of multi-colored wool yarn:

What new projects or items have you worked on lately?

Natasha of The Artisan Life logo








Polymer Clay Rainbow Necklace Tutorial

Do you ever have a project idea and know you absolutely have to make it as soon as possible? That’s exactly what happened with this polymer clay rainbow necklace tutorial! I had the idea Saturday morning and by Saturday afternoon I was crafting away. (In little chunks during nap times, at least.) The rainbow necklace idea came from a combination of thinking about St. Patrick’s Day and wishing for some sun. Hawaii may be called the “rainbow state,” but it’s very rare for me to see rainbows on the Windward side of the island. There’s too much rain and not enough sun! Winter on the Windward side means virtually nonstop rain for weeks, so I was definitely dreaming of sunnier skies and a few beautiful rainbows over the mountains during our fourth rainy weekend in a row. Whether you’re looking for a fun St. Pat’s accessory or just want to live a bit more colorfully, this polymer clay rainbow necklace is super quick and easy to make!

rainbow polymer clay necklace tutorial

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Free Blog Planner Printables for March 2018

Time has really gotten away from me – yikes! I try to publish my free blog planner printables with several days to spare before the beginning of the new month, but I just realized this past weekend that I hadn’t shared the blog planner printables for March yet! I’m very sorry for the delay – my mom came to visit for a week and then LG had her four month shots (= cranky pants for a few days!) Luckily I remembered before too late in the month so, without further ado, let’s get into this month’s planner printables!

As usual, there is a blog stats tracker page for March:

march 2018 blog planner printables

Then there are the new for 2018 month goals and intentions sheets:

As always, you can find these pages by logging into the “printables for subscribers” area of The Artisan Life. If you’re not a member yet, you can either subscribe using the box below or download the printables (for free) from my Selz store. You can get the stats tracker on Selz right here and the goals & intentions worksheets from Selz here.

I hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing more fun posts and tutorials with you soon! 

Natasha of The Artisan Life logo



Lavender Frankincense Pillow Mist Recipe

I’m not a ‘good sleeper’ (unlike my husband who is a sleeping machine!). I discovered a while ago that the combination of lavender and frankincense essential oils helps me settle down and get to sleep so I used to diffuse them almost every night. Unfortunately, my diffuser broke recently (womp-womp) and all the outlets in our room are full right now, anyway so we can play soothing background music to help block out ambient noise for LG. That’s why I decided to make and share this delicious lavender frankincense pillow mist recipe! It is so incredibly easy that even I had time to make it as a new mom. 😉

lavender and frankincense pillow mist recipe

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DIY Wood Bead Clutching Toy for Babies

The month before LG was born I went on a toy-making spree. Even though I knew she wouldn’t be able to use them for a while, I also knew I wouldn’t have the time to make them after she was born! I’m very glad I made them ahead of time so they were ready when she suddenly became interested in toys at about 12 weeks. This wood bead clutching toy is one of several natural, wood toys I made. Now that she’s starting to play with them, I’ll be sharing tutorials for two more wood baby toys in the coming weeks!

DIY wood bead clutching toy tutorial

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Teaching the Value of Handmade

I think most, of not all, makers have run into a situation where someone else has failed to adequately value their work. Whether it’s a stranger at a craft show, friend, or family member, it can be frustrating and painful to hear someone dismiss your efforts. A careless word can keep a person from embracing his or her creative potential for years – my husband mistakenly believed he wasn’t creative or good at making things for over a decade after an ill-considered comment from a family member. I used to feel so bad for him when he’d say he just wasn’t creative or good at making things! Now he’s awesome with polymer clay and is definitely a better knitter than I am. {{It’s so adorable to watch him knit and crochet cute items for our baby!}}

Although the handmade movement has gained traction in recent years, many makers still struggle to have their creations adequately valued. I believe this trend of valuing handmade will continue, especially if makers work to educate others and really teach the value of handmade. With the advent of mass production of goods, accumulating lots of stuff became a popular status symbol, but an increasing number of people are deciding that possessing large quantities of mass produced, frequently poorly made stuff isn’t as fulfilling as the commercials make it out to be (plus it’s downright unsustainable!). In my experience, the more people are exposed to handmade and educated about what goes into making items, the more they realize they’d rather have a smaller quantity of nicer, lovingly crafted items.

If you’re a maker who would like to see others place greater value on handmade items, I hope these tips for teaching the value of handmade help you out! Also, please be sure to leave a comment if you have additional advice on how to help others see the value of your work!

Teaching the Value of Handmade [click to continue…]


As longtime readers know, I’m all about remembering to be grateful and developing a daily gratitude practice. Although having a new baby has kept me busy and unable to physically write down things I’m grateful for each day, I try to consciously offer gratitude in my mind on a daily basis for all the wonderful things in my life. In the first few weeks when LG’s sleep schedule was nonexistent and she wanted to nurse basically around the clock, I reminded myself of how thankful I was to have a healthy baby I was capable of nursing, a caring husband at home to help us out, a safe place to live, etc. I’ve found that being thankful is often most effective and needed when life is challenging. Those newborn days are behind us, but I still try to remember to be consciously grateful every single day for our smiling, healthy baby and her wonderful dad (among many other things!). Although mentally listing things you’re grateful for is fantastic, physically writing them down is even more beneficial, especially if you’re new to a gratitude practice. That’s why today I’m sharing a “lucky” printable gratitude banner for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a fun and easy way to get yourself in the habit of gratitude and you’ll have a cute seasonal decoration at the end of the week.

Free Printable Lucky Gratitude Banner [click to continue…]


Last spring I created a “loopy” ribbon lei tutorial class and posted it as a free course available to Artisan Life subscribers via Teachery. For a variety of reasons, I’ve decided to move the class and I’m happy to announce that How to Make a Loopy Ribbon Lei is now live on Skillshare!

how to make a loopy ribbon lei - Hawaiian ribbon lei online class

This lei is so beautiful and it’s lovely as a graduation gift, Mother’s Day present, welcoming gift, or for virtually any special occasion. Although it does take longer to make than the braided lei, double braided lei, and tricolor lei, you can find on my blog, the process is quite simple. Because I want the class to be accessible, you can follow this link right here to enroll for free, even if you don’t have a “premium” Skillshare membership. If you’re the kind of person who likes free trials, you can also snag two months of Skillshare premium for free by following this link. If you do this, you can watch as many premium classes as you’d like, not just my loopy ribbon lei class!

Hawaiian ribbon lei online class (free!)

If you need a ribbon lei in hurry, you might want to check out my posts on how to make a braided ribbon lei:

Or how to make a double braided ribbon lei:

I’m really hoping to get another lei tutorial made this spring since it will be my last spring in Hawaii, but we’ll have to see what sort of time the LG allows me! I’m sure I can make another type of lei (I already have a design in mind!), it’s photographing it and/or creating videos that are challenging with Baby. Part of the problem is that her play mat typically lives exactly where I need to assemble my photography setup! It’s okay, though; she’s already ‘growing up’ so fast. If I don’t get a new lei tutorial made in time for this spring’s graduation season, it will just have to wait a little bit longer. Our LG sure is worth it. =)

I hope you decide to stop on over and enroll in How to Make a Loopy Ribbon Lei for free and enjoy the class!

Natasha of The Artisan Life logo

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, The Artisan Life will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!






Faux Ceramic Polymer Clay Gift Tags Tutorial

My gifts have a reputation for being the “worst dressed” under the family Christmas tree. I’m not really sure that it’s a fair assessment of the situation – any wrapping job looks pretty shabby next to my mom’s presents. It’s kind of like how you can’t feel too bad if you don’t bake as well as a family member who happens to be a professional pastry chef or something. In an attempt to spruce up gifts this year, I made some faux ceramic polymer clay gift tags. They turned out so nice that I decided to share the process in a tutorial! Nothing about these polymer clay gift tags is specifically ‘Christmas,’ so they can be made for any occasion during the year. I hope you enjoy and, as always, please let me know if you have questions about the process!

Polymer Clay Faux Ceramic Gift Tag Tutorial

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