Friday, December 23, 2011

Change of Scenery

It is the eve of our family vacation. I am almost done packing, but had to sneak down to grab some art supplies for the trip. Not sure what these next 10 days will bring. I am hoping for rest, fun, and some great insight into the next course for my life. I will probably have to settle for rest and fun.
Happy Holidays to all of you. 
I am so grateful for your friendship and encouragement over the last year.
May 2012 bring bountiful treasures!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Minor Detour Into the Jewelry Department

Sometimes I live dangerously. I go to the craft store without a list and allow myself to wander aimlessly. If I really want to push it, I bring a coupon. Last weekend I pushed it to the limit. I wandered for almost two hours and brought my "20% off your entire purchase (includes sale and clearance items)" coupon. I walked out with all the supplies I needed to start a new craft, stamped and hammered metal jewelry. (I know, I know, I just couldn't stop myself!)

I bought a book called Stamped Metal Jewelry by Lisa Niven Kelly. It came with an instructional DVD that was helpful with some of the basics. The craft store tools are not top quality, but I decided to try it first and then invest in better tools if I still want to do it after my initial excitement wanes. I tried a few letter stamp pieces and need to keep practicing. They looked a bit like a Cub Scout summer camp project.

I was pretty happy with the hammered pieces. 

I found the hammering to be super fun and quite therapeutic. After saying good night to my kids, I got completely ready for bed. Jammies, robe, I even flossed and moisturized. I then went down to the basement and set myself up in front of the TV. Peanut snuggled up beside me in an old quilt. I hammered away on my coffee table as I watched missed TV episodes on my streaming Netflix account and laughed at my hound dog chasing rabbits in her sleep. I will be honest with you. Even with a few thumb smashings, it was a little bit of heaven.

Along with all the hammering, I also played around with inexpensive chains and lobster claw hooks to create a funky charm necklace. I was inspired by some fantastic charm necklaces I saw in a catalog. I loved the funkiness, but did not want to spend over $100 to get it. For about $10 and some time scouring my junk collections, I had my own version.

I think this is an old lamp pull. Found it in my grandma's button tin.

Bead doodad from the clearance bin.

When I get tired of wearing it, I will just dismantle and use the pieces for another project.

I just finished an enormous afternoon coffee. The hammer might be swinging tonight!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mail Order Collage

As I mentioned last week, Cloth Paper Scissors is having a Free Art Show in NYC over the holidays. Anyone interested can submit an unlimited number of collages to be given away to lucky passersby.

I carved out some time over the weekend to create some pieces from my scrap pile. I just couldn't resist.

I enjoyed making these collages because I didn't put much thought into any of them. I just had fun cutting, gluing, and sewing. Knowing they were gifts for strangers made the whole experience quite joyful. A perfect holiday treat for myself.

What are you doing right now? Don't you have time to glue some scraps together and create a collage to share? All collages are due to CPS by December 19th.
Collage, my friend! Collage like the wind!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Share Some Collage Love

I just read about an exciting opportunity to share some art with New York City. Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine is hosting a sidewalk free art show in NYC. This is such a fun way to create and share art with random abandon.

Sending art to strangers intrigues me. I like to imagine who might pick it up and where she will put it. Refrigerator door? Cubicle wall? Space between the toilet tank and the towel bar?

This project reminds me of the magic I felt one day in a badly-lit Target dressing room. As I reluctantly turned to check the back view, I saw a yellow sticky note on the mirror that said, "you are beautiful!" I felt such a connection with the genuine good intention of another person. That little sticky gave me hope that there are still regular old good folks all around me.

Meanwhile, I need to get collaging.
I can submit an unlimited number of 6" x 6" collages!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fuzz Here, Fuzz There, Fuzz Everywhere

I am surrounded by fuzz. I've been washing Peanut and her bedding and I have been sewing felt necklaces. Both lead to fuzz on my clothes, in my eyes, and up my nose. I feel a bit like I have been peach-picking on a hot and sweaty day (an activity I vividly and uncomfortably remember from over 30 years ago.)

The felt necklaces are coming along.

If I could get my act together, I'd put some in my empty Etsy shop. But, no time. I need to watch Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer with the kids, take said dog for her annual vet visit, and make sure we have enough Cheerios for breakfast tomorrow. The shop can wait.

Lots of things can wait. Last weekend I found myself stirred into a frenzy of why am I not doing this? accompanied by a case of I need to do that too! I nearly drove myself and my poor husband crazy. The pressure inspired me to create a Twitter account and start tweeting until I realized... I have nothing to tweet! No one will follow my boring life. That realization sent me into another type of panic called why can't I think of something fabulous to tweet?

Thankfully, the ridiculousness of that last panic sent me back to reality and I wisely just turned off the computer for a few days. I spent time folding laundry, reading, cleaning the tub, and mindfully wiping counter tops. I also turned my attention back to the people (and doggie) I love. I needed to clean out the fuzz that was taking over my brain.

Technology is a wonderful thing, but sometimes I just hit a wall of too much. Facebook, crafty blogs, and (have mercy) Pinterest. My head starts to feel like a Jiffy Pop popcorn pan, expanding and filling with ideas and images every second.

Instead of being inspired, I start to feel overwhelmed. And suddenly (gasp) my creativity is gone.

So here I am again, peaceful creative woman on her own path with her own timeline.

I give myself two weeks before Jiffy Pop brain returns.

By the way, Peanut feels like silk and her bed smells quite different.