Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nurturing Creativity - Week 17

Computer hiccups yesterday. No reason why they started and no reason why they abruptly stopped. Just glad I'm back up and running again today.

It is going to be a hectic week at best. The twins (Justine and Joseph) turn TWO on Friday. Unbelievable! So, there is a lot to be done this week for that and just some annoying errands (like renewing my driver's license,etc.) So, I didn't get to pick my nurturing card until this morning. And the topic is:

Live Dangerously

OK, HAD to laugh at that one!!! That is pretty much a description of my whole life. You'd think this would be a no-brainer for me! The concept is to take risks! HELLOOOOOOO, no problem there! I wonder if something will come up that will require even more risk that I'm used to??? hmmmm. We'll see!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nurturing Creativity and A Sad Week

First, the sad week. I found out earlier this week that a dear friend of almost 35 years was diagnosed with mesothelioma. It really knocked me for a loop. She's young and isn't in any industry or anything that would provide prolonged exposure to asbestos. As far as I know for now, they have no idea how it was caused. That's all I'll write because I'm still processing it all. So my week started on a very very sad note.

But even though late, here is my Nurturing Creativity card for this week.
Have A Fan Club -
Keeping notes, e-mails etc. from people who appreciate your talent and encourage you. I already do that and read them sometimes when I feel like I can't even mix blue and yellow and end up with green. Somehow though, this week it doesn't seem to matter much.

I did find that keeping busy did help. So, I completed some ATCs for a swap entitled Tower of Bable. Requirement: each card had to have a foreign language text or word on it. Here they are:

Spring in the Nederlands

Pharoah Dreams - sorry it's a bit blurry

Chinese Happiness

Memories of Spain - this one is special to me because one of my favorite memories of my summer in Spain was riding horseback at Sotogrande (horse on the stamp and a horse charm) and, of course, my black lace mantilla. The background is a Happy Birthday note from a friend in Spain.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Don't you love serendipity?? I do!! I just love the feeling of surprise and yet it seems like something that want MEANT to happen.

We spent the day with friends on Saturday. She brought something with her called "Tea Bag Folding". I had never even heard of it! So, she showed me some of the projects she was working on and then taught me how to do it! So much fun. Another relaxing, kind of therapeutic pasttime. Something while watching TV when I don't feel like doodling.

OK, so this morning when I logged on to the women's art group where I play sometimes, I found a new thread called Tea Bag Mandalas!!! NO WAY!! Yep, I checked it out and wouldn't you know...it is just what I learned only two days ago!! How cool is that?

Here are my first two attempts at this form of origami (from what I read). These two pieces are apx. 3" in diameter.

Mandala 1

Mandala 2

Something tells me these won't be the last ones. In fact, I just printed off a page of little squares to fold tonight. The color is purple, of course.

So do you see what I mean when I say I don't think I could ever run out of new things to play with or new techniques to try if I lived to be 100??? Oh, the only other thing to point out is that the next day...my poor fingers ached terribly! Using those muscles in a different way....never fails to be a bit painful! But I think worth it.

Nurturing Creativity - Week 15

YEAH! I'm on the right day today! The past two weeks were a bit hectic and this morning I just decided that posting my Nurturing Creativity card for this week would happen on the MONDAY like it is supposed to do. So, shuffled the cards and let one drop from the center of the deck.

Free Associate

So this is the concept - just like you've heard about free association - write down words then go back and next to or below that one word free associate by writing down the first words that come to your mind. The fun part seems to be not to stop at one word...just keep going and see where it takes you! Supposedly it will reveal something about where you are headed in your head these days. We'll see........hmmmmmmmmmm How about a little test right now?!?!

rug - woven - basket - laundry - yuck

car - broken - mend - sew - machine - clean - yuck

tree - green - money - job - yuck

dog - protection - lick - poop - yuck

OK, I don't think we need Freud or Jung here..........the trend seems obvious!! What do you think? LOL!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More Doodling

Doodles, Zendoodles, Zentangles....whatever you call them....they are fun, relaxing and addicting!! These are a few of the lateset ATCs I've done in the evenings. They are all Pigma Micron pen on fine grain watercolor paper. All of these are available for trade except the last one.


Spin Out

Sad Puppy (can you see this little sad puppy? Poor little thing....)

OOObird in a Cage (see the two eyes and the tail and wings? The O mouth? He's a pudgey little bird!))

Itchy Itch (in inside family joke - this one is for my collection, not for trade)

Hope you enjoyed them! I'm sure there will be more to come!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fractured Architecture

Ha!! Just realized I didn't post my latest endeavors for the Amsterdam Canal Houses project! OK, so our embellishing challenge for the first part of April is pleats and tucks. So, I thought I would use that technique to make one of my houses! I ironed the pleats so that they were kind of like window shutters. Then, when I did the pleats crosswise I added some bits of thread lace. This is to be window boxes (pleats) with flowers (pink and purple thread lace). Quite fun really!
Haven't put in the windows yet or snipped threads even! But here it is!

And here is a detail picture -

Nurturing Creativity - Week 14

I pulled this card days ago but, like I said before....I'm been having so much fun playing that I haven't taken the time out to blog! So, today I'm playing catch-up! And here is this week's challenge.....

Emotional Hot Spots
The idea - take emotional issues and work through them (at least partially if not completely) through creating something. An emotional catharsis. Funny, but not too long ago I remember telling Tom that I just really didn't understand artists who say that pain and suffering enhanced their art. When I'm depressed or frustrated, I can't seem to get the creative juices flowing at all! Totally confusing.
However, as most of you know, there is a lot of frustration and emotional hot spots recently (like the past year anyway). One of the pieces I did was really more to celebrate the fact that I was coping! Transitions - "Life Upside Down" was one of those endeavors. But what I recently found interesting is that I made quite a few ATCs to kinda ease back into my studio after a dry spell. I didn't think about it much....just did it. But when it came to naming the cards for trading or swaps........I found that the names for them expressed many feelings of frustration, etc.
Like...Rough Around The Edges I and II....

...Back From the Abyss...

...Trying to Keep It All Together...

...and Searching For Memories. This one is for my dad who is now in nursing care with Alzheimers.

So, it seems that the emotional hot spots have a way of working themselves to the surface even if you aren't looking for them! Very interesting week........................

Some new ATCs and Lino print

I'm playing swap on an ATC group and the theme for this one is "On The Map" Believe it or not, I had TWO fabrics with maps on them! So, of course, two of them had to be with fabric. The first one was made for the swap but I just couldn't part with it. I actually RODE my bike from Minneapolis to Sturgis one summer (didn't trailor it). So, it will stay with me and I made the other four to swap.
Open Road
(The background is map fabric - with Sturgis, of course!!! The bottom left corner is melted Tyvek painted black with tiny silver brads - to represent my leather bike jacket)
(I SOOOOOO miss my bike!)
Country Road
(this map is really old. Got it in an ephemera lot on e-bay a while ago)

April in Paris
(the second one with map fabric - this one is a map of Paris)

A New Way Of Seeing
(another old map from the ephemera lot. The title is from a quote by Henry Miller - “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” )

A Little Traveling Music
(new map with a music stamp and cut out car)

Another place I love to play online has a printing sub-group. The current challenge is to cut a tulip. Here's what I did for that one.
The lino cut (apx. 4"x 6")

Multiple prints on printer paper just as a test to see what it would look like

Single print on watercolor paper in case I want to paint it sometime!
That's it for now. I'll be posting a couple of times today. I've just had so much fun playing that I haven't taken the time to post until today!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fabric for Water

Is that kinda like "Water for Chocolate"? Nevermind..........

Anyway, I have been known on occasion to "forget" that I had fabric in Soda Ash to soak in preparation for dyeing. Sometimes for longer periods of time that I care to admit. One time, I decided that since they WERE soaked in soda ash after all............why rewash them only to soak them again. It was one of those "I wonder what would happen if..." moments. So, I just squirted on some dyes in the colors I was working with at the moment and let it batch overnight, rinsed it out the next day, washed....you know...all that stuff. Then I ironed it.....AMAZING RESULTS. Well, at least I love it!
I found a piece like that in my bucket just the other day. Hmmmm I had some dye mixed...why not do it again! I used some Mixing Blue and Marigold. And I gotta tell you...I LOVE this piece of fabric! AND I have an immediate use for it! You know those houses we are making in the DAG group???? Well...........this would make awesome water!! Don't you agree???
The whole piece is 18" X 44". These are pictures of different sections of it.