Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Feeling Accomplishment and Gratitude for Creativity...

Oh, my friend! Once again, I've been so busy with creating, that I have been neglecting sharing my creativity with you!

But there are many creative projects that I have accomplished in the past few months that make me thankful for Creative Inspiration. Let me share some of these creative endeavors, so you can join in the fun I've been having recently...but I warn you, this is a long post, so you might want to settle in with a cup of tea and some biscuits as you read through my creative doings!

The Sewing Projects
To begin with, I sewed up two new recycled t-shirt skirts for myself, both of which I've shared on my Facebook Artist Page, but have yet to share with you here, so here are some pics of these skirts as they were in process and completed:

Recycled t-shirt skirt, cut, pinned and ready for sewing...

 Recycled t-shirt skirt COMPLETE!

Old t-shirts laid out as I planned the color blocking for visual impact and balance...

T-shirt skirt COMPLETE and ready for wearing!

I helped a performance art buddy sew up her background set for a stage show she's in process of mounting and the set is a recreation of the Wall Street trading floor...IN FELT!

 The 'NASDAQ' panel that would be added to the larger background panels of 'ticker tapes'...

One of the 'ticker tape' background panels - two of these measured 4' by 10' and the main one measured 6' by 10'!

 The "New York Stock Exchange" logo, recreated IN FELT!

That's me, sewing madly to get the largest panel sewn together. I gotta say, large quantities of felt get HEAVY to work with!!

After the felt project, I finally completed the 'mock-up' of a tunic garment for a long distance client, whom I connected with during August Moon - this garment has been mailed and happily received by my client who is now choosing fabric patterns to make the final garment, but here is how the mock-up turned out:

Front view of the completed garment to test the pattern for fit and accuracy; the fabric was part of the clients stash of craft fabrics that she was happy to use for testing the pattern made from her original tunic garment

PROCESS SHOT: sewing the pockets was tricky, due how they were designed into the garment, but I figured out how to sew it all together!


The Jewelry Projects
Due to all this sewing work, I fell behind in my monthly mail art project with my new friend that I met through Facebook. However, I quickly thought of using some of my jewelry supplies to make earrings for my friend and this began a 'trend' of completing many of my 'abandoned' jewelry projects:

Revising my old rose quartz chip earrings by adding pale pink faceted stones - so pretty!

Finally putting together some vintage millefiori beads from my grandmothers stash with some pewter charms to make new earrings

Assembling a pink bead 'charm bracelet' using beads that have been patiently waiting to be made into this sweet bracelet - it will go great with my revised pink quartz earrings!

As I was sharing these 'abandoned' jewelry projects on my Facebook Artist Page, and bemoaning my problem with unfinished projects, my long distance client sent me a message on how she looks at her own unfinished jewelry projects, that she leaves on her creative studio table:

"...you never know when the Muse will call, so while awaiting her visit I like to think those trinkets are little encouraging offerings"

I really loved this way of looking at unfinished projects! I plan to keep this concept in mind from now on, instead of continually berating myself for having unfinished creative projects piled up - it's pretty clear that berating myself is NOT working for me!

Birthday Baking and Some Knitting
WHEW! As if that wasn't enough creativity happening, all of a sudden, it was my birthday! And since I've been doing a lot more baking after moving into a new place with central a/c, I chose to make my own damn cupcakes AND homemade frosting, all without an electric mixer!

And I used a freezer bag to frost the cupcakes since I don't have frosting bags or piping tools...but I think some frosting tools might be in my future after this baking adventure ;)

Not a bad frosting job for a frosting beginner like me, eh??!?

A lovely mid-day break of coffee and cupcake...

With the holidays on the horizon, I've brought out my knitting needles to use up some yarns in my stash, as well as some items from my grandmothers craft stash - you could say it is 'inter-generational' Projects in Process!

Knitting little hats and scarves for some wood 'snowmen' ornaments I found in my grandmother's craft stash - I'm sure she meant to make ornaments of these little cuties...

WHEW!!! This is a WHOLE lot of CREATIVITY going on!

You can see that I have not been idle, but it is tricky to make time for SHARING my creative projects with you here, while I am in the midst of MAKING all these things! But I do love sharing my creativity with you, so I will endeavor to find a way of sharing while creating as I continue on my path as a Creative Beast...

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Some days, I just don't know what I would do without Creativity in my life. It is not just a source of inspiration, but it provides a great support and comfort for me. I've been looking at Creativity a LOT these days and looking at the huge place it has in my life. Grateful doesn't seem to cover how much I appreciate having Creativity in my life, but I AM grateful that it is such a big part of my life...

And I am grateful for the feelings of ACCOMPLISHMENT I get when I finish my projects, whether they are new projects or old ones! All the accomplishments add up to some pretty strong "identity capital", which gives me a very strong sense of SELF, and that is something we all could use in our lives...

Yes, my friend, I have a lot to be grateful for and one of them is having YOU to share my creative accomplishments with!

I hope you are making time for a creative project in the days to come and that you enjoy a lovely holiday being thankful for the things and people in your life!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened...

Well my friend, it seems that a funny thing happened while I was spending time being angry and frustrated about my creative studio - I shared my frustration about my messy studio with over a 100 other artists, and I realized a few things in the process:

  • I was not the only artist who feels their studio is an unholy mess and unfit for public consumption
  • Yet, many visiting artists thought my studio space was wonderful, full of color and fun to look at, just as I felt about looking at the creative studios of these same artists!
  • Realizing that my studio is really not the unholy mess I thought it was propelled me to begin a cleaning and clearing process which helped me to clear off my studio table enough to be able to work on when my creative workshop events came up and I needed to prep my teaching supplies...
A studio table with space to work on and prep supplies for my creative workshop...

 Book kits of paper, thread and needles for binding...

This studio clean-up was actually spurred by the possibility that I would have a sewing student (and friend!) coming to work on creating a Halloween costume. The sewing lessons did not take place after all, but it DID galvanize me to do some cleaning to accommodate my potential student and it provided the benefit of a clean and clear table to work on when it came time to prepare the supplies and teaching materials I need for my Bookmaking 101 workshops, which I'm happy to report actually took place, despite low enrollment...

Completed books made by students in the weeknight workshop!

And then there were other creative opportunities that came my way, so the month of October flew by before I knew what was happening...

Things are a bit quiet now so I thought I'd use the time to check in and let you know what's been happening in my part of the world, such as a renewed interest in some jewelry projects that have been waiting for completion since I blogged about them in 2012!

A few of my old jewelry projects I uncovered while making something special for one of my mail art friends

This long stretch of time in completing many of my creative projects is why I am coming to the conclusion that it's time to start eliminating the creative channels that no longer serve me and to keep the creative projects that make my heart sing in my life AND in my studio space. I know that if I begin to clear out that which no longer interests or serves me, it will make space for better opportunities, not to mention some space for storing the creative supplies I plan to keep!!

I will be sure to come back soon to share a few details about the workshops that took place and a fun project for a performance art friend I worked on - it was the kind of creative challenge I really enjoy doing!

By the way - did you know that November is Art Every Day Month?? You can learn more about it by visiting the blog of Leah Piken Kolidas who has been hosting this art-full event for 10 years now! This just might be the year I join the fun =)

Thank you for taking time to read my belated letter to you and I hope you have made time for a creative project or two in your day!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Aftermath of Sharing my "Studio Table"...

Well, my friend, I shared the reality of what my 'studio table' and creative space REALLY looks like right now and the world did not come to an end!


In fact, my eyes were opened as I saw 123 participants (!) in Seth Apter's call for artists to share their own studio tables and the colorful reality of what a WORKING STUDIO SPACE really looks like.

It seems I am not the only one who enjoys busting a few myths, this one being the myth of the 'pristine fantasy studio space', of which I have shared my own fantasy about before:

One of 3 'fantasy' studios I shared in this blog post...at least it DOES appear as if SOMEONE is working on this studio table!

In sharing my own frustration at my messy studio table, I have received some wonderful support and encouragement from the other participants, whose blogs I visited and got inspired by.

And despite visiting many artful studios looking less than 'pristine', as we are being 'conditioned' to think a studio space should be, each space I visited was FULL of VIBRANT ENERGY of creative work being made in wonderful, glorious COLOR!

Here is a short list of some of my favorite studio tables I got inspired by and what I loved about them:

Rita Vindedzis - she shared how her table has to convert to a dining table for guests, but she and her husband usually eat 'Big Bang Theory" style, on the sofa, in front of the TV, which is just how my dear boyfriend and I eat now that we share our new home!

(And my boyfriend and I DO watch this show regularly I might add!)

Jo Murray - his creative space is full of color and works-in-progress with so much visual inspiration and books on creativity that I felt instantly 'at home' looking at his space; and his title "Studio Chaos - Situation Normal" made me laugh! I do love folks with a sense of humor!

Tracey Fletcher King - a lovely studio table filled with color and wonderful light to work in was quite inspiring, not to mention her hilarious take on a day gone wrong, which had me laughing as I could recognize myself in how she looked at her 'day gone wrong', though I'm not always able to see such days with so much humor in the moment...

Terrie Purkey - seeing her table with stacks and stacks of paper made me feel SO MUCH BETTER about my own tabletops and learning that she works in more than one art process (collage, paint, sewing) helped me to see that having more than one art interest can be a bit of a bugaboo when it comes to space for it all...

Kim of Paperie Petals - seeing that this artist works in a space slightly smaller than my own was helpful for me - if she can manage to have supplies organized and be able to work in the amount of space she has, then I can figure out how to manage it too!

Deb's Studio Blog - the space of this book artist reminded me of how my old home used to look, with the hardwood floors and every nook and cranny holding/storing paper, art books, supplies and tools, all with a lovely 'rustic' vintage vibe everywhere you look, but I confess, it made me nostalgic for my old creative home-space...and finally...


Kelly Kilmer - she shared one image of her creative space and it was a great example of an artist with WAY more rubber stamps and art books than me, which made me feel better that my supply collections are not that big! But if she can have it all organized in the corner of her living room, I should be able to organize my supplies in the whole room I have available to me, which got me thinking...

As I visited all the wonderful artists sharing the reality of their creative working spaces, there were some things that stood out for me:
  • Making art gets messy VERY QUICKLY, and it's high time I really EMBRACE THIS instead of feeling ashamed about it because it is strikingly clear that this is just part of what it means to be an Artist and THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS!
  • Having one's supplies organized is VERY HELPFUL to keeping a space relatively clean-looking
  • Having more than one creative avenue you work in can lead to overload of supplies, which can lead to disorganization which, I'm discovering, is my biggest problem

And I'm also discovering that it might time for me to look at the artful venues I truly enjoy working in the most, so I can begin to move out the supplies for the crafts I no longer wish to work in...

I'll be sure to keep you abreast of how this project to whittle down to my favorite creative pastimes works out in the weeks and months to come - it will be a process that will take some time to be sure!

Thank you for reading, my friend, and I hope you have made some time for a creative project today =)