Crafting is my meditation. The act of creating something useful and beautiful — with your own two hands and creative mind — is so satisfying and peaceful. So now that summer has come to a close — the shadows longer, daylight shorter, and more time to be spent indoors — fall is a season for crafting and creating. Together with Atelier Truckee, here is a collection of fall-inspired crafts.

SPOON CARVING is an activity that allows for creativity, leading to a piece of beautiful and functional art. “This is a great activity for families. After each creating a handcrafted spoon, everyone can enjoy a cup of soup together. A perfect fall craft,” said Kelly Wallis, workshop manager.

Start with a pre-cut wooden spoon. Draw the shape of your spoon, marking places you want to cut out. Second, use a gouge to hollow out the bowl, of your spoon. Rotate the spoon as you carve the bowl, being careful not to create the bowl too deep. Third, start with the body and carve toward the handle. It’s best to shave off bit-by-bit (using care to not take off too large of pieces), which will make sanding easier. Fourth, once you’ve shaved the spoon to your desired shape and feel, begin by sanding. Start with 60 grit, progressively working your down to 220. Now, enjoy a cup of soup with your new, handcrafted spoon.

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CHUNKY KNITTING is totally in. Instead of paying big bucks for a blanket or scarf, do it yourself! If you have basic knitting knowledge and a blustery afternoon, this is an easy, affordable activity with a unique and chic outcome. And since you’ll be using larger needles and yarn, chunky knitting is a quick activity.

MAKE A BLANKET:

12 to 14 balls of wool yarn, each roll 100g by 50m (similar yarn can be found at Atelier in Truckee)

Size 50mm knitting needles (circular cable needles will get the job done)

Start by combining two strands of wool together (for extra chunkiness), cast on 32 stiches. Knit four then purl four stiches until end of row. Continue until blanket reaches 50 inches long. And voila! You have a 4-square-foot ribbed blanket. Pattern by Lynn from Design The Life You Want to Live.

CREATING CYANOTYPES is a unique way to preserve your nature findings, using the sunlight to create a lasting print. “This is another great activity we recommend for families,” said Wallis. “Take an afternoon to gather pieces of fall — leaves, sticks, and wood — then make something beautiful out of it.”

• Cyanotype kit (Potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate)

• Large disposable container

• 1 Yard of 100 percent cotton fabric

• Leaves, plants, or other flat objects

• Rubber gloves

• Empty photo frame

Measure your piece of fabric so that it is a few inches larger than your glass sheet (from the empty photo frame). Stuff fabric into your container. Then, put on the rubber gloves and mix equal parts of the potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate (in cyanotype kit) together in a different disposable container. Next, pour the solution over your fabric. Soak it for a minute then remove. Hang the fabric to dry in a dark space overnight. Then, lay out the backing board in a shaded room, placing fabric on top. Arrange your leaves, flowers, and other findings. Place in photo frame. Take the assembly outside into direct sunlight. Expose anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse fabric in cool water afterward. When finished, hang to dry.

~ Instructions from apartmenttherapy.com

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Jackie Ginley

Jackie Ginley is a former journalist and Moonshine editor who shelved the pen in 2013 to pursue a career in real estate. With deep roots in Tahoe, she enjoys hiking, skiing, and après-everything with friends. Her move to the Nevada side opened up new opportunities to explore the Eastern Sierra and the fun outdoor dining venues popping up around Midtown Reno. Read her premier edition to Moonshine's latest column How's the Market? here.

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