Sunday, January 30, 2011

3, 2, 1...Launch

The creative journey continues on the "The Daily Bird."  Join me as I explore the Gifts and Flow pathway.

Click Here.


this icon on my sidebar...

I'll see you on the road less traveled...


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oh! Heart of Mine

I thought I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted my heart, for the Heart from the Heart swap, to look like.  I picked out my fabric, embroidery floss, and beads...

 ...then, somewhere between that point
and the finished product something happened.

The embroidery got OUT OF CONTROL!

It was supposed to be simple outlines and some beads;
somehow it turned into full fledged crewel work and lots of beads.
This is definitely one project that took on a life of its own.

Vision. Discipline. Restraint...Out the window.
The heavy needlework on this side made the whole thing feel off kilter.

What to do?  What to do?

I found the solution at the flea market last Sunday.

A pretty silver butterfly.
I think it was originally a broach, but the pin back broke off.
A bar with a tiny hole in it made it easy to sew on.

So here is my heart, albeit slightly misshapen.
Who knew that a heart loaded with beads would be hard to sew?
Not me...but I do now!


I know I promised I would have a post ready for my new blog,
but I had some technical problems...Technically, I got lazy.
I'll have it ready to post tomorrow...Really...I mean it this time...Don't believe me?
Come back tomorrow and see for yourself.  LOL!  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Crown and A Heart

Today was the PERFECT day to find a sweet package in the mail.  It's snowy and cold, and I'm tired.  So when the mail lady pulled in the driveway with a box for me, it put a little skip in my step.  It was my giveaway prize from Amy at Mittens.

Everything was packaged in characteristic "Mittens" style.

I hated having to cut this wonderful envelope open,
but I just had to see what was inside.
It is the sweetest little assemblage.

I chose a "C" for my remind me to create!

I know this little bird is a Thrush, but it looks like a Magpie
helped her build her nest.

Lots of bits that they must have found in
Amy's sewing basket.

A lace and button finial and a heart shaped mold
to hold all the nesting bits and pieces.  And...
I LOVE the jewelry fob.  It adds just the right touch.

These dear tokens of friendship have already
found their place in my sewing room.

They will serve to remind me to create what I love (Amy's best advice,) and
 cherish the new friends I've made in the Land of Blog.


P.S.  I'll be launching my new blog The Daily Bird tomorrow with a post about my mandala, Gifts & Flow pathway.  I hope you'll join me.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lace for Julia

Recently, Julia (Vintage with Laces) created a tutorial just for me on making really lovely coffee filter roses. ( I posted about them here.)  I haven't had a chance to try them for a number of reasons, including not having the right kind of coffee filters in my pantry.  But they are high on my list.

Anyway, I know from experience that creating a tutorial takes time and effort.  So I wanted to do something in return - not only to express my gratitude, but as a token of my friendship. 

Thank you Julia...I hope you like the laces.  I'll be taking them to the post office on Monday (tomorrow) although I have no idea how long it will take to get to you in Germany.  Here's some photos so you know what's coming your way. 

If anyone reading this doesn't know about the GORGEOUS things Julia makes from bits of lace and other pretties, click HERE and go take a look.  But be careful not to drool on your keyboard.  LOL!

Beautiful lace remnants

Mother of Pearl and bone buttons.

Vintage ribbon, a rhinestone buckle, leaves or feathers from
a vintage earring and a few more buttons.

Crocheted roses and leaves, printed ric-rac, and some lace odds and ends. 

As I was going through my stash and trying to decide what Julia might like, I realized just how much of this stuff I have hoarded.  Also buttons, vintage fabric, etc., etc., etc.  Not to mention vintage photos and paper...

So I'm in the process of opening an Etsy shop.  I have my account set-up and a banner made but still have lots to do, so more on that later.

I can't wait to see what Julia does with her treasures.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing them with me.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Being Cozy

My ear is finally feeling better and my Dad will be released from the hospital
this afternoon, so no more long treks into the neighboring town to
make sure he's behaving himself.  (I'm not joking about that!)

Most evenings lately you'd find me here...sitting in my favorite chair, and
working on my heart for the Heart from the Heart swap.  I'm embellishing
my heart by following the print on the fabric with crewel embroidery
(my version anyway, using floss instead of yarn) and beading.
I'm just about finished, one more evening should do it.
Then I'll pull it off the hoop, cut away the excess fabric and sew it up.

It's supposed to be absolutely frigid this weekend, so I think
I'll put a fire in the fireplace, make a cup of tea and
settle in to finish my handwork.

Have a wonderful day dear friends...and be cozy!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Note to Self...

Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that it's not how fast
we get to our destination, but rather it's the forward momentum that
is what's important.  I've been away from my blog a couple of days --
mostly due to a bad ear infection (the third one in as many months.)
But also, my Dad's in the hospital for knee replacement surgery
and I'll be looking after him for a few days.

So, if you stop by and don't see a new post, please know that
I'm thinking of you and that I'll be back soon.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Generosity of Spirit

Inspiration. Community. Humor. Understanding and Support
I've found them all, tied up in a great big ribbon of Generosity

First, my friend Amy announced a giveaway. 

She makes wonderful things, including this sweet
little crown, that reflect her love of
old, worn and much loved relics of everyday life,
 In doing so, Amy gives them new life and give us
the opportunity to see beauty through her eyes.

I was lucky enough to win this giveaway, my first ever.
But, the generosity Amy embodies didn't stop with me.
She's announced that everyone who entered, all 35 of us,
 will receive a crown.  Thirty-five little crowns = a whole lot of love!

Next, my dear friend Lynn, posted about words
that reflect our art, who we are and who we want to be.
Words like... Hope, Authentic, Renewal (my word)
and Playful joined her word Intention.

But, Lynn didn't stop with simply giving us the opportunity to
look inside ourselves and boil our aspirations down
to a single word.  She has generously offered one of her
beautiful pendants in a giveaway.
Click HERE to visit Lynn, share your word and enter to win
one of her stunning pendants -- Purpose.

Finally, Linda over at Itsy Bits and Pieces is celebrating 400 followers.
But we really know that's code for 400 friends!

Her warm and generous spirit draws us in,
and her creativity keeps us coming back again and again.
For Linda, its all about the little things in life.  Fortunately for us,
she wraps them up in a cozy blanket of warmth and friendship.
Click HERE to visit Linda and enter her giveaway.

I'm so grateful for the love, wisdom and companionship
that these women share everyday.

And I can't wait to get my crown!

I just had to come back and add one more incredible example of generosity to my post.  Not long ago, I sent an email to Julia, her blog is called Vintage with Laces, to ask her if she had ever considered doing a tutorial on how to make her fabulous coffee filter roses.

Julia's work is extraordinary and I fell in love with these roses
the minute I laid eyes them.  Well, in no time at all -- this very morning,
to be exact, I received an email with a tutorial attached.
The pictures and directions are so easy to follow.
I know I'll be making roses in no time.
In fact, I think I might just make some today!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Julia.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heart and Meaning

PassionMission.  Bliss.  Beautiful, powerful words, but they have the power to bring me to a quivering halt because they have been missing in my life lately.  Tonight though, I'm feeling a little easier about them, about finding what they represent in my life and my art again.  I've been thinking, with intention, about what is truly important to me.

It seems like this should be easy, and in some ways it is.  Family, friends, pets...yes, but also love, faith and spirituality, curiosity, a quick mind.  And what about humor, empathy (it's what makes me cry at sad movies,) loyalty, civility and tenacity.  You see, the list gets longer and longer because all of these things are deeply important to me.

I was looking at Etsy yesterday and a piece of artwork caught my eye.  I won't use it here because I don't have permission, but basically it addressed the notion that if you're creative - chances are you're interested in just about EVERYTHING.  I know that's true for me.  Unfortunately, everything is a lot to put in a pathway of my mandala.

So, after a process of writing and circling keywords, words that kept showing up... and in addition to  those concepts of family, faith, etc. listed above -- I have narrowed down a list of words to place in the Heart and Meaning pathway of my mandala.

The most used word in my writing is story or storytelling.

Stories about History...

Our Individual History...

...and Shared History.

Natural History.

Stories of Ancient Places...

...and How We Live in them.

Stories of Rural Life and Architecture.

Stories of Animals...

 ...and Gardens.

Stories of how we Work...


...and Learn.

These are my words of inspiration, passion and bliss; and they'll take their place in my mandala.

Where does your heart lie?


Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Creative Journey Begins

My creative journey is about discovering where my creative heart lies and trying to figure out whether I can build a real business out of the artwork I produce.  I have been working in papier mache and air dried clay for few years, and had just started gaining some headway with gallery representation, a growing group of collectors, publication and the financial reward that comes from regular sales when the recession hit in 2008. 

Over the course of the next few years, the gallery downsized and hosted fewer shows, I lost contact with some of my collectors (because they were really the gallery's clients, not mine), sales fell off, and financial rewards dwindled.  On top of all that, 2010 was challenging on the home front and my desire to create art all but dried up.

All this has led me to try and look closely at what I really want to do.  There is no doubt in my mind that I want to lead a creative life.  I'm not sure I'd really know how to live otherwise.  But, how that creativity gets expressed, what my art looks like going forward and whether I'll be able to contribute financially through my art are BIG questions.  So I'm on a journey to find the answers.

One of the guidebooks I'm using to help me find my way is The Creative Entrepreneur, by Lisa Senora Beam, and one of the tools that she teaches you to use is the "Creative Entrepreneur Mandala."  The mandala is an ancient symbol of "wholeness" and was used by psychologist, Carl Jung in "the process of  individuation, or becoming a whole person.

The mandala looks like a flower with eight petals.  The petals represent four distinct pathways:
  • Heart and Meaning,
  • Gifts and Flow,
  • Skills and Tools, and
  • Value and Profitability
The center where everything intersects is the "sweet spot."  Here is my mandala. 

As I go forward, I'll be filling in each of these petals and refining each pathway.  Hopefully, by the time I've finished this and the remaining exercises in Lisa's book - I'll have a clear understanding of what I want and how to put it in practice.

I'll be posting about the work I'm doing on this blog, but I'm also in the process of setting up a second blog called, "The Daily Bird..."  You can read about how I came up with this title HERE.  The Daily Bird... will give me a place that I can write in more depth about the questions I need to answer, without having to worry about long posts or fewer pretty pictures.  Although there will be pictures, artwork, as I explore.  You are invited to follow along if you're interested.

I'd love for you to join me on my journey.  Make your own mandala, or just comment on what I'm doing.  Better yet, if you're like me and want to build a business based on your artwork, pick up a copy of The Creative Entrepreneur and join me on the whole journey.

So good night dear friends.  I'll see you on the road less traveled.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Best Friends Forever

I know I said I was going to post about my creative journey today, but somehow the day got away from me and now I'm too tired to think straight.  So I hope you will come back tomorrow; and in the mean time, my two girls want to wish you a warm and cozy night.

Holly-Berry (1 yr.) and Maddy May (10.5 yrs.)

Best Friends Forever!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Ready, Set, Sew

It took most of the day yesterday, but my sewing stuff has been moved to the guest room.  Everything is organized and ready for me start sewing.  I have a whole list of projects...starting with my heart for the Heart from the Heart Swap, and ending (at least for now) with new curtains for my sewing room/guest room.  Actually, we've always just called it the "blue room,"  you'll see why. 

The Blue Room is pretty small, about 10' x 11'.
These photos pretty much cover it - corner to corner.

It doesn't really show well, but the paint is really pretty.
I started with a nice cream base,
then ragged on a pretty blue that I thinned down with water.
Next, I added glaze to a sage green and lightly ragged that on.
Finally, I added some iridescent glaze to a light lavender,
and pounced it on with a scrunched up plastic dry cleaning bag.

Here is my sewing cabinet, all ready to go.
I love everything about this cabinet - except the color. 
I'll paint it one of these days.

I made a nice big inspiration board and can't wait to start filling it up.
It's actually two fabrics - a pretty green stripe
covered with a piece of antique gold lace.

The chair is very shabby chic, but not high enough to sit comfortably
at the sewing machine, so I'll have to drag my chair in
from the studio until I can replace it with something else.

Here's a close-up, lots of cubbies.

Here are some of my vintage pin cushions and a baby doll that I saved at
an auction.  I'm not really a doll gal, but I thought this would be really cute
with the top of her head made into a pin cushion.

The shelf is the arm frame from an antique settee. 
My sweet hubby, aka Bad Rooster,
added some support pieces so that it can be free standing.

Buttons on another cubby.

And last but not least, some close-up pics
of the ribbon storage shelf that I made over.

There you have it dear friends. I hope you enjoyed the tour,
and found a little inspiration.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting about my creative journey,
and I hope you'll join me.