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    Week 5 Creative Challenge : Four Themed Vintage Valentine Vignettes for Instagram

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    Hello! I hope you're doing well. Here I am with an update on the "Weekly Creative Challenge" that I've set for myself for 2023 (as introduced in this post).

    To recap, I finally began using Instagram on January 1st. (My account is Loulou Vintage Home.)

    Although I'd looked at other people's photos on the site in the past, when I created my own account I had no idea that there was such a robust and active vintage community there. So far, I have found 114 accounts of like-minded vintage enthusiasts to follow. The people, for the most part, have been very friendly and welcoming, and, my goodness, the stunning pieces and collections I've seen photos of this past month have made my jaw drop. I've also felt quite the urge to go shopping, which is a bit of a downside, haha. So far, I've fought that, but, dang, there sure are a lot of cute things out there.

    One thing this group does a lot of, which I've found to be really fun, is they post photos based on particular themes. It's neat to see what everyone does to meet those themes, with what they have in their own collections. Some themes, (or hashtags), are ongoing and you can post to them anytime you have a photo that meets the particular criteria and others are for a time period, as in "this week we're asking you to show us your (fill in the blank) ". Some of the asks are pretty straight forward and some of them make you really think about what you have, that will fit. And, of course, since this is a visual medium, you want to present the items in an interesting way, and take good photos. Also, part of the fun are the clever written captions that go along with the posts. I have found myself laughing out loud at some of them.

    This past week, I jumped in and posted four different vignettes, for these themed challenges : Note: photos on Instagram are square so users don't see the black bars on the left and right of the images.

    1) The hashtag was #colorfulvintagegirls and participants were asked to post photos of a vintage footstool.

    Week 4 Creative Challenge : Romantic Puffy Hearts Made From a Vintage Pillowcase

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    Hello! For last week’s creative challenge (as introduced in this post), I used some cotton fabric from a worn out vintage pillowcase to make a few stuffed hearts.

    I really like the shape of hearts, so end up making some sort of decoration featuring them every year as we approach Valentine's Day. My usual colour scheme tends to be in the dark range, with rich ruby reds, deep turquoise and quite a bit of black (as seen here), so, with this project, I wanted to try something different. When I looked through my bin of scrap fabric, this well worn vintage pillowcase stood out as a good option for the soft romantic pastel effect, with an old fashioned primitive handmade look, that I had in mind.

    Week 3 Creative Challenge : Making a Tiny Wooden Door and Painting a Little Log Cabin

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    Hello! At the beginning of 2023 I gave myself the challenge of creating at least one thing every week (as described in this post). If you're doing the challenge yourself, I hope you made something you're happy with last week.

    Something interesting that I distinctly noticed last week was how good it made me feel to create what I did. It was an extremely dark and gloomy week here in Toronto -- cold with drizzly rain on most days, with the sun barely coming out all. That type of weather usually leaves me (and everyone, I assume) feeling kind of low, but I honestly noticed a mood lift resulting from making what I did, especially with the little door.

    So, I looked up the mental health benefits that come with making things and found this article, which states :

    "Research has shown that crafting, regardless of the medium you use, can bolster mood, improve self-confidence, and reduce stress overall.  In addition, crafting has also shown to improve mental agility, improves both gross and fine motor movements, and also decrease cognitive decline.   Crafting additionally has been shown to be a natural anti-depressant. Research studies have shown that those suffering from PTSD, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Insomnia and any level of chronic pain have achieved a reduction in symptoms by incorporating crafts into their lives. 

    Crafting creates a situation very similar to that of meditation.  When engaged in a craft, you are focusing on the here and now.  In those moments, time stands still.  You are able to forget the stressors of day to day life and be part of something completely separate. In addition, crafting stimulates the production of dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter, that is responsible for pleasure and enjoyment."

    Thrift Store Finds from Value Village in Toronto

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    Hello! I hope you're doing well.

    I found some good things at the thrift store recently, including something I've wanted nearly my whole life.

    If you like watching videos, everything is discussed, including prices, in this one ...

    https://youtu.be/dFaxP90Kaf4

    Week 2 Creative Challenge : A Crocheted Doily and More!

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    Hello! Welcome to Week 2 of the creative challenge I've set for myself for 2023, (as described in this post). If you're taking the challenge, too, I hope you created something you love last week.

    1)