Tag Archives: creativity

Halloween Prep

I’m working on my Halloween costume.

Hardware Store Stuff

So far I’ve shopped for supplies at Joann’s Fabrics & Crafts, The Dollar Tree, Orchard Supply Hardware, Ross Dress for Less, Sally Beauty Supply, and Smart & Final (groceries).

IMG_0016-001

I’m not saying what it is yet, but in due time I promise to post pictures of the finished costume.

Thank you for your visit.

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30 Reasons to Participate

Hello, friends.  Here is a great list of 30 reasons  to participate in 30 Days of Creativity which starts tomorrow, put out by the folks at 30 Days of Creativity.  I wrote here about how I’m adapting the concept so I can do it without making myself nuts.
I encourage you to participate at least on some level.  And remember it isn’t “Create a perfect masterpiece every day for 30 days” but rather it is to “Encourage people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days”.  June is suggested by anytime you want is also ok.  See?  Create anything.  Toss a nice salad.  Doodle on your To Do list. Put together an interesting outfit.
Encourage is a great word.  Give support, confidence, or hope to someone.

Garner a sense of accomplishment.
Form a(good) habit.
Conquer the fear of the unknown.
Find new friends.
Solve problems.
Refine your skillz.
Experiment with something new.
Defeat
the resistance that’s in your head.
Save
$ by being creative.
Build
your portfolio.
Motivate
friends and family to be creative too.
Exercise
the creativity we’re all born with.
Overcome
writer’s block.
Utilize
the drafting table, DLSR Camera, Guitar you bought years ago.
Break
the monotony of not doing anything creative.
Make
your mom proud.
Network
with other like-minded people.
Challenge
yourself daily.
Show off
and be proud of your creative work.
Join
a creative community.
Do
something free of judgment.
Move
beyond your comfort zone
Inspire
others.
Get
excited about new things.
Improve
time management.
Eliminate
procrastination.
Have
fun.
Gain
self discipline.
Use
this as an excuse to buy a new (camera/screen printer/piano/etc).
Create
stuff you’ve been wanting to do anyway.

I’m packing a bag of craft supplies because Rem and I are going down the coast for a few days to celebrate his birthday and I’m bringing crafting along. We are going to stay in a hostel at a light house, visit Half Moon Bay and see the elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Filed under 30DOC

30 Days of Creativity 2013: Art Journaling

30 Days of Creativity (30DOC) is a global social initiative encouraging people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days in June.  I’ve done it for two years (see Year 1 and Year 2) and though I have loved many aspects of it, it has also made me kind of crazy.

Sometimes it was both fun and chaotic, like when I tried making chocolate bowls by painting melted chocolate on balloons. They popped. Fail.

Chocolate Splattered

Last year, when the month had ended, I made a decision I would not do it again this year. But I’ve revised that decision: I’m going to do it, but I’m going to do my own version of the project.  The first two years I created many different crafts and recipes.  I did something new for each day and I photographed the results and posted them here.  Some of my time was spent crafting and some was spent finding things to try, shopping for supplies and scrambling to get the project completed, photographed and a post up and published each day.

I enjoyed the creative challenge, building and stretching my creative muscles, trying new things, and the camaraderie with other participants doing 30DOC.   But working full time and getting something made every day and photographed and posted made for some high-stress days and low-sleep nights.  Not really the goal or the idea of the project.

As it is, I often feel like I don’t have as much time to craft as I’d like.  So to spend time and money on craft projects that I wasn’t really loving didn’t seem like the best decision.  This year, Year Three of 30DOC, I’m going to do 30 Creative Projects in 30 Days.  I won’t try and post every single day (though I will when I can) and if I don’t get to the craft table for a day or two, I’ll catch up on the weekend.  I’m going to focus on one craft, Art Journaling, and explore it in more depth.

Artist's Journal

My decision to participate in 30DOC but to bend it to suit my own needs and desires comes in part from my recent visit to Virginia Simpson-Magruder’s studio, Kentucky Girl Designs in Novato.

Virginia

Her studio is packed full of art supplies and a stunning collection of Art Journals.  The picture below shows just a few of the journals she filled when she was doing daily spreads in art journals.

Journal A Day Collection

DAILY!  For over two years!  She told me that after she’d been doing the daily practice for awhile  (like over a year and a half), she would sometimes let a day or two or even three go by without journaling and then would catch up with a batch of pages. That really struck a chord with me and made me think I might be able to do the 30 DOC on my own terms.

When I learned she had a workshop coming up, I reserved a space immediately.  The “Express Yourself! Introduction to Altered Books and Collage Workshop” was such a pleasure!  Virginia has LOADS of wonderful supplies, so many that I couldn’t even begin to try everything out.  Stacks and stacks of magazines, ink pads in a huge variety of colors, water-soluble oil crayons, baskets of lovely rubber stamps that I didn’t even get started on, scissors, glue, paint, markers, glitter and way more.

Paint, Brushes and More

There were just four of us in the workshop and I was like a kid in a candy store.  We were surrounded by creative projects on every side in the sunny space. It was all so colorful and inviting.

This is a book that has been recreated into a shrine.  A niche has been carved into the pages of the book and special items are displayed in the space.

Altered Book Shrine

This is the cover of Virginia’s beautiful journal about doors for her “Altered Books as a Way of Seeing Workshop Portals: Doors, Windows and Gates“.

Portal Work Book

Here is the work table where we dug into the creative process, getting our fingers smudged with ink and sticky with glue as we crafted.

Work Table

One of the students, Susan, is intent on her design.

Susan

Her first spread that started with picking a color and writing about it, with Virginia’s guidance.  Layers of color and then collaged images fill the pages. I like the giant watch faces, rising above the animals and girl on the page like a full moon.

Susan's 1st page

For the second two-page-spread we learned how to make pockets (on the right, below) in which to tuck small items, such as business cards or post cards.  This is also Susan’s work.

Susan's Pocket page

Detail from the pocket page: “wonder more”.  I love the woman, almost hidden, and how she is turned away from the viewer.  The flower seller on the other page looks away as well.  The tag, tucked into a pocket says “The picture is half the story”. So true!

Wonder More

Jane (one of two Janes in the workshop), shared a spread she created.  She left early and I didn’t get a picture of her second spread.

Jane and Her Book

The other Jane, attending her second class at the studio, shows what she has been working on.

The Other Jane

“Seeking Peace” has a dreamy quality with soft blue, green, yellow and red.  Golden fish swim across the pages.

Jane's First Page

Her pocket pages have deeper colors with rich reds, and lots of interesting images, layered with flowers and swirls.

Jane's Page on Color

My first spread, the color page, started with “Periwinkle Blue” and words I associate with that color.  I rubbed the pages with stamp pads in vibrant shades of blue, purple and turquoise ink.  Then Virginia gave us 20 minutes to look through magazines and find some images to use.  I could have quite happily worked on that task alone  for about 2 hours.

My original composition didn’t include the music on the upper left.  Virginia suggested it would balance the music on the lower right and it worked perfectly as birdsong..  This is how the pages looked at the workshop.  I’ll share the changes and additions I made at home.

Big Ampersand

My pocket page has artwork from a Marin calendar and the pockets work perfectly with the images of rolling Marin hills, fog and the Golden Gate Bridge tower showing through the grey.

Fog in Marin HIlls

I created a few tags during the workshop and finished the others at home.  Since the bridge is almost obscured by the fog, I made tags with images of the well-known bridge and then added a cow tag and a California poppy.   I inked the cord to go with the famous International Orange color of the bridge

Tags

Virginia also showed us how to make a pocket in the back of the book.  I’m not sure this spread is done yet.

Back Pocket

Another technique she taught us was a way to add a postcard or envelope or some element that you don’t just want to glue down on a page, but be able to see both sides.  This is called a tip in.

In this example, we cut or tear two pages down to about an inch and half wide.  Insert your tip in, in my case some pieces cut from greeting cards, photos and magazine pages.  This is my garden spread.   I did this at home on Monday.

Garden Page

Here is a look at my desk – I was having so much fun with the journal that I didn’t stop to put supplies away.  Hmm, does this sound familiar?

Covered Craft Desk

I was so glad to have time on Monday for crafting.  It was wonderful to take all the ideas and techniques from the workshop.

The blue page was my first project.  I made some changes, adding new elements and embellishments.  More bling with a fancy cuff bracelet, a silver ring and some sparkle to the dangling gems. I even added nail polish to the thumbnail and the words “Unique” and “Delightful”

Blue &

I removed the image of a laughing woman and I’m very pleased with the final result.

This is my first window page – the image of the Native American woman smoking a sacred pipe on the left is from an article about people who are some of the last speakers of dying languages.  On the right, a shuttered window with leaves floating on water below.

Window Page

The shutters open and you can look through the window and see a path through trees.

View through the Window

When you turn to the next spread of pages, you can peek back through the window to see the wise woman outside.

Back through the window

Or close the shutters to see the branches on the other side.

Bounty

The last page I completed in my new Art Journal was a kind of happy accident, which, by the way, I think happens quite often in art if we are open to it.

I had pulled a page from a magazine because I liked the image on it.  But when I was looking through my collected pages, I saw the image on the reverse and was drawn to the expressive face of Jane Goodall.  A few minutes of online research for a quote from Ms. Goodall and the pages were practically done.

Jane Goodall

Make a Difference

A big thank you to Virginia and her  Kentucky Girl Designs studio and to the other students taking the workshop with me.  In the words of Jane Goodall: “What you do does make a difference…”  I feel inspired and ready for the upcoming 30 DOC challenge.

Thank you for the visit.

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Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Scorecard for 30DoC

I’ve been thinking about all those things I created during the 30 Days of Creativity (30DoC) project, and I decided to review and rate them in several areas:

Was it fun to make?  Did I like the results?  Would I suggest it to others? Would I do it again? Do I consider it a winner?

I’m using a scale of 1 to 10 with 1= No Way! and 10= Definitely!

Project

Fun?

Like?

Suggest to

Others?

Repeat?

Winner?

Day 1: Washi Tape B-day Card

8

9

8

8

8

Day 2: DIY Cake Stand

7

10

10

5

8

Day 3: Icebox Cupcakes

6

9

10

6

8

Day 4: Double Sponged Card

10

10

10

10

10

Day 5: Tape Dispenser

6

10

8

4

7

Day 6: Shrinky Dink Rings – Fail

5

0

0

0

1

Day 7: Lemon Ice Cream

7

10

10

10

9

Day 8: Cardamom Cookies

5

6

7

7

6

Day 9: Glass Tile Pendants

9

9

10

10

9

Day 10: Veg Potato Salad

5

8

8

8

7

Day 11: Button Rings

9

8

10

7

8

Day 12: String Jar

7

10

10

5

8

Day 13: Vegcycle

10

10

4

0

6

Day 14: Business Cards

10

10

10

10

10

Day 15: Lined Envelopes

7

9

10

6

8

Day 16: Carved Rubber Stamp

10

7

7

10

8

Day 17: Chocolate Bowl

8

0

0

0

2

Day 18: Banana Message

10

8

10

7

9

Day 19: Wrap Bracelet

9

10

10

10

10

Day 20: Chewy Granola Bars

8

10

10

8

9

Day 21: Bleach Pen T-Shirt

9

10

10

10

10

Day 22: Water Marbled Nails

6

4

5

0

4

Day 23: Crepe Paper Flower

6

8

8

9

8

Day 24: Lace Pancakes

8

10

10

10

10

Day 25: DIY Blue Glass Jars

7

9

9

5

7

Day 26: Recycled Gift Bow

6

9

10

5

7

Day 27: Image Journal

10

10

10

10

10

Day 28: Marbleized Notebook

5

8

10

3

6

Day 29: Plastic Spoon Rose

5

6

7

0

4

Day 30: Macramé Bracelet

8

10

10

10

10

Some projects didn’t really work in the end, but were fun to make.  I have to say the Chocolate Bowl project that ended up splattering melted chocolate all over me was fun.

Would I suggest it to someone else? No.   The final score isn’t always mathematically correct.  I rounded up for some and rounded down for others just depending on my own gut response.

I have a total of 7 projects that I gave the full score of 10 in the Winner Category.  Does that mean they’ll work for you or that you’ll love them?  Nope.  But those are the projects I will go back and do again, in fact, I’ve already completed another wrap bracelet and I did a batch of Sponged and Embossed Cards.  I want to make another batch of business cards because I so enjoyed making them and because I want to have business cards with my blog site on hand to give away.

The recipe for the Lacy Buttermilk pancakes made delicious pancakes even in a traditional but boring round shape.  I’ve made another batch of those but I loved the lace ones too and I’m sure I’ll make them again.

I don’t know how soon I’ll do a Bleach Pen T-Shirt but I’m completely delighted with the one I made and I am happy to put it on every time I wear it.

I’ve had my Image Journal for years but it had been gathering dust lately.  It was such a pleasure working on a layout that I plan to continue doing pages.

My final project, Macrame Bracelets, has been keeping me busy in recent days.  Some friends at work wanted a closer look so I  organized a crafting session at lunch.   I love it when I can combine crafting, eating, talking and laughing with friends!  I’ve made a few more macrame bracelets and I keep going back to the bead store for more supplies so I’m not finished with this project yet.

What were your favorite projects?  Are there any you’ve tried or plan to try?

Thanks for the visit.

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Filed under 30DOC, Cooking, Crafts

Day 27: Image Journal

This is a two page spread I did tonight in my image journal.  I’ve been keeping it for years though I don’t sit down with it as often as I’d like.  My sister also keeps one and very occasionally we’ll sit down together for a relaxing afternoon or evening of journaling.

Tonight I reorganized all the pictures or images that I collect for the journal.  If I see something in a magazine or want to save a greeting card, bookmark, postcard or other visual piece, I tuck it into a translucent plastic box.  When I’m ready to spend some time working on a page or two, I pull out the box.

Quite simply the only thing it is for is my own pleasure.  It has no deadline and the only theme is things that I like.  When I sort through the torn pages from magazines  I’ve saved, I put like things together.  Than I paste them in the book.

Following are close ups of the two pages I put together tonight.  I used some Washi tape, a first for my Image Journal.

Creativity isn’t far away.

On Day 27 last year, I created Photo Cards.

Thanks for stopping by.

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30DoC Status Update + Magic Shell Chocolate Sauce

It’s the 15th of June, the halfway mark for 30 Days of Creativity.  It is going very well for me.  Having plans for possible projects has made a huge difference.  I started copying down ideas along with websites and supplies or ingredients needed several months ago.  A few weeks before the start of June I put them all in a chart.

When the 30DoC calendar was posted I was able to look at my chart of ideas and pick out ones that could work with the themes, although that wasn’t a big concern for me.  The themes are fun and sometimes help direct me towards an idea but I don’t focus on them most of the time.

I’m happy to see that I’ve still been flexible and open to other ideas so I’m not completely tied to my chart.  I’ve created three things that were not on the original list (and we’ve still got 15 days left).  What I’m noticing is that even with plenty of projects to choose from, more than enough to get through the month, I’m more affected by the weather than I thought I would be.

I’ve got a Chewy Granola Bar on my list but when I’ve had time to make it, it’s been too warm out to turn on the oven.  Even a project that won’t heat up the apartment but is more tuned to cold weather (a Felt Flower Scarf) isn’t very appealing when it’s 90 degrees outside.  Not that I won’t ever make these things, but they just may not debut as a creation during 30DoC!

Two nights ago I made Magic Shell Chocolate Sauce.  I started to write a post and put some pictures together but I was really, really exhausted.  It was the day after my dad’s Memorial Service and though it went beautifully, it was emotionally draining.  So here is the sauce.  It isn’t a fail but nor is it a big success.  Kind of a “meh”.  Luckily, Rem and I put together the vegcycle that evening so I still had a creation to post!

Attempt: Magic Shell Chocolate Sauce 

Maybe because I was tired and cranky, but chocolate usually makes me happy and this was disappointing.  I saw the recipe here on Whipperberry.  Heather on Whipperberry was adapting a recipe from foodnetwork.com.  Maybe if I used the tip from Aarti Sequeira on Food Network and did it with something besides chocolate chips (she specifically says not to use chocolate chip), I’d like it more.  On the other hand, Heather said she used chocolate chips without any problem.

I tried the sauce the next evening and was still underwhelmed.  It is fairly thick and gloppy.  Not very magic.  It’s still chocolate so it can’t be all bad!

It takes just two ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

8 oz.  Dark Chocolate chopped up in small pieces –  I used chocolate chips

Heather suggests you use a double boiler for melting, but I used a microwave. In a microwave-safe container, melt the coconut oil.  Stir in the chocolate chips and heat in short bursts of 15 to 20 seconds at a time, on 50% power, stirring chocolate sauce after each heating time.

When the sauce is cool, drizzle on your ice cream and watch it harden.  Rah.  Magic.

Ta da!

The flavor of the coconut is apparent in the sauce which for me was fine.  It reminded me of a Mounds Bar.  But keep this in mind if you are serving to a coconut-hater.

I’m glad to be doing the 30DoC again this year.  It does take time and energy but that is really a plus for me in these days after the death of my dad in late May.  Grief ebbs and flows but the crafts give me focus and I’m very comfortable sitting at my craft desk making something.  Creativity also seems to attract more creativity so I’ve been cooking and making things that I don’t blog about.  It is wonderful therapy for me.

Now, I’d best go create something for today, Day 15!

Thanks for sticking with this and with me through the 30DoC.

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Filed under 30DOC, Cooking, Crafts, Life

Congratulations!

The first of my 30 Days of Creativity Giveaways has a WINNER!  Congratulations to Emily in California who will be receiving a bottlecap necklace and a few other little goodies I threw in for fun. Wishing happy crafting and collage creativity to Emily.

Since the response was so small this time I’m contacting all those who participated for their shipping addresses and will send them each a little tag that I made.  Thanks to those who took part and watch for another giveaway soon.

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Filed under Crafts