Showing posts from July, 2013

Art Prompt: A Collage of Your Favorite Things

If you need a creative boost, a collage of your favorite things just might perk up your spirit. Here are some ideas for getting started:

- collect some of your well read magazines and start cutting out images that resonate with you. No need for a lot of thought here. Colors and patterns may catch your eye, faces or rooms might pique your interest, titles of articles may draw your attention. 

- find colorful patterned papers from gift bags, tissue inserts, the inside of security envelopes, junk mail, or greeting cards. 

- look for images online and print them on your printer

Snip away until you have a group of images and letters to start.

You can adhere your images of favorite things onto a piece of card stock or any heavy weight paper you might have on hand. Glue stick works well for this. First arrange the images in an appealing way on the page and use your adhesive to put them on the page. You can write over the images with words that inspire you. 

Once you've completed your collage, …

The Magic Blackboard

Two of my favorite fun things are thrift stores and Pinterest. They make an awesome combination. Creativity plus the search for the inexpensive and unusual make a great adventure. (I consider Pinterest my magazine subscription replacement therapy - no more magazines to collect and throw out). 

The Magic Blackboard is one of my best scores in both departments. I have seen many blackboard pins and was looking for that perfect frame while snooping around in the bins at the local Goodwill. I found this lovely piece with great faux painting (no glass) embossed on the background. Yes! 

Back home I painted the background with several coats of blackboard paint and voila! A new blackboard for motivational quotes in my kitchen. 

Not to stop there. More searching on future trips helped me to find yet another great piece to use as a smaller blackboard for food shopping lists and decor in the kitchen. So here is another, this time a checkerboard plank that I covered over with another few coats of the…

How to Pay Your Bills and Have FUN!

Does paying your bills feel like drudgery and stressful? I have found some ways to make writing those checks more fun and turn that time into a more creative and positive activity. 
As a participant in 21 Secrets, an online art journaling workshop (which is having a Christmas in July sale right now) I have learned a way to have a little fun with those bills that come in the mail. Jo Bruhn, one of the instructors, leads a tutorial on making flowers with the beautiful papers which line the inside of your security envelopes. I've never really paid attention to these envelopes other than to make sure my information is not visible from outside. But after carefully opening and flattening them out, I found a beautiful range of patterned papers. 
With all my bills, envelopes opened and flattened out, I outlined flowers, stems, and leaves with a black Sharpie and colored them in with highlighter pens. I carefully cut around the shapes and these beautiful blossoms are the result. You could do…

Your Unfinished Projects: Getting Things Done

As the Queen of Unfinished Projects, I have a number (I will not reveal the number of zeros) of projects that are carefully and chaotically resting in my studio. I have enjoyed a lifetime of projects, being the Creative that I am, some of which are completed and some... not so much. Just ask my friends and family. As my Monkey Mind thinks of way more things to do and accomplish than my Guiding Angel can whip up, there is a constant battle in my head as to which ones will come to fruition and those that will fall by the wayside, unfinished or as dreams on a list. 
This can and sometimes does become a source of stress and pressure. Gratefully, I have learned a few lessons along the way, so the Monkey Mind and Guiding Angel are more under control and playing nicely most of the time. 
One of the methods you can use is a Promise List. Its a spread sheet to keep in your briefcase or desk of the promises made to clients, friends, family and your self. Write down the promise you've made …

Art Prompt - Letting Go

This Art Prompt is to encourage you to let go of some of the things which are bringing you down, holding you back, and keeping you in a comfort zone where growth does not occur.

Letting go can be painful or it can be very freeing. I learned a technique from The Sedona Method that helps me to practice the Art of Letting Go.

Hold a pen in your hand and imagine whatever you need to let go as the pen. Drop it. When it falls, ask yourself these questions.

Can I let it go?
Will I let it go?

Each time you ask yourself these questions, no matter what the answer, you are allowing yourself to imagine letting go of whatever is you are holding. It can be a habit, a belief, a fear, possessions, a relationship, or any number of things that keep you in a pattern of negative energy.

So Let Go. Practice letting go as part of a daily or weekly routine. See what happens when you free the space and enjoy the freedom.

The image of Letting Go above is a place to write what you have let go. You can w…

Art Prompt - A List of Gratitudes

Today's Art Prompt is to create a list of gratitudes. You can draw write, doodle, collage or photograph anything for which you are grateful. No matter how small or large, every day or special occasion, simply be conscious of what is in your life today that you are thankful to have, experience, and enjoy. 

If you would like a copy of Gratitudes to use for your art prompt, leave me a comment with a link to your facebook page or blog.   

I hope you have many things for which to be thankful!

Your Sacred Space to Create

Do you have a place to create? A room to dream? A space for thinking, writing, sketching, sewing, tinkering? Everyone needs a place of their own for contemplation and creation.

If you have such a space, honor it by keeping it organized and decluttered. I know, I know... chaos precedes creation. But chaos can also kill creativity or get us "stuck" in a place where we don't know how to move forward.

You can honor your creative corner by taking a moment (15 minutes!) to quietly sit and absorb the energy. Express gratitude and let the moment sink in before you begin your sacred work. Take a few minutes to throw away unnecessary papers, trash, and clutter. Organize your desktop or workspace and clear an open area for your work. Breathe in and express thanks for your talent, your energy. Simply acknowledging those things is often enough to allow your mind to open and allow the images, words, and actions flow.

If you don't have a sacred space, then choose a place in your h…

I Dare You to Create Something in 15 Minutes

Are you one of us who complains about never having enough time to create? Never enough time to journal, or exercise, or just breathe? 

Let me suggest you use the 15 Minute Principle. Go to your calendar, phone or daybook and write in 15 Minutes on every day. You may not write in a time, but the idea is to take 15 minutes somewhere sometime during the day and doodle, write down your thought, make notes, dance, walk or whatever you need to do to stop complaining about not having enough time.

A great website to gain control of your time is - she tells us You Can Do Anything in 15 Minutes! That goes for making time for yourself to pursue something that has been put on a back burner for too long. We put off doing things for ourselves way too often and feel unfulfilled because there is not enough joy in our lives.

Jack Canfield suggests writing NO on every day of your calendar. When someone asks you to do something that will take your time, you have to be willing to give up …

Grandma Camp - Where The Fun Never Ends

What a blessing to be a grandmother. Its the icing on the cake after having great children. So what does a grandma do when the Littles show up? Why Grandma Camp of course! 

I first learned about the concept from the President of the company where I work. She has the Grands for a week and, with another friend who is also a grandmother, takes them to the beach and has all sorts of activities planned for them. She collected the photos and artwork from the most recent camp and asked me to assemble them into booklets for each of the grandchildren to keep as a memento of each year. (I'm a graphic designer so I get to do fun things like this from time to time) 

So, I began to make a list of things I can do for Grandma Camp when my Sweet Pea shows up. I assembled a number of books and games on a special book shelf for her. I love to poke around thrift stores and buy lots of books, beads, craft supplies, and interesting objects to have on hand. I gave her a box full of art supplies for Chris…

Make an ATC - Artist Trading Cards

One of the little joys in life is giving (and receiving) small gifts, cards, and tokens from friends, children, and sometimes strangers. I discovered the delightful world of ATCs a few years ago and I love these small pieces of art that bring a little happiness whenever they are exchanged. 
ATCs are 21⁄2 by 31⁄2 inch cards, relatively the same size as playing cards or baseball cards. You can actually use a deck of cards to make ATCs easily without having to cut them to size. Another source of cards can be old artwork cut from watercolor paper or greeting cards from Christmas and birthdays. The paper should be sturdy and at least as thick as card stock as a base. 

When I make ATCs I like to begin with a good number of cards so I can make a lot of card bases at once. I can decorate and add details later. That way I can do a few at time when I want to paint and play for a few minutes or all day.  

Cover your work space with wax paper, a plastic trash bag, or a large sheet of blank newsprint…

Book Review: The Charge by Brendon Burchard

I recently purchased a book written by Brendon Burchard, titled The Charge - Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive. Having read the introduction and a bit about the author, I looked through the chapters to see what the rest of the book had to share.

The chapter titled The Drive for Creative Expression caught my eye and when I discovered the opening quote, something clicked right away. "There is a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one you in all time, this expression is unique. And, if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost." ~Martha Graham

I had found this particular quote many years ago and it had renewed a dream of being an artist when I was in the midst of raising children and busy with the many tasks of being a mother and wife. It made me aware that although I might not make original art, or even good art after years of not picking up a brush or …

A Ceremony of Release and Renewal

I recently visited my incredibly inspiring friend Karen and relished in the sweet respite of her back porch. This is a magical place where women gather to eat, drink and be merry, share secrets, release frustrations, and conspire to create. We conjure solutions to our problems and share in the comradery of the wisdom of women. There are sparkly lights to illuminate our evenings, pink flamingoes perched in corners, tinkling wires & jewels that swing in the breeze. Karen’s art hangs on the wall as well as huge, comfy, cushy wicker furniture where we curl up and relax. We gathered on the porch with shrimp, hummus, fruit and veggies for our fare.

The Summer Solstice and Full Moon inspired us to think about letting go of some old resentments and regrets as well as renewing commitments and dreams. Karen provided strips of colorful paper and pens. During the afternoon we wrote whenever something came to mind –letting go of resentments, joys to celebrate, a renewing of energy in some aspec…

Do You Have A Place of Peace?

There is a place I go to soak up the sun, find respite from the chaos, and share food & festival with my friends and family.  The Blue Ridge Mountains create the framework with green rolling hills, tall finely leaved trees, and board fences as a background of peace and serenity.
This is a place where food is shared, art projects are imagined and dreams are manifested. Laughter and tears are shared here, memories are recalled, and much love is exchanged on this deck in my backyard. My daughters and granddaughter grace the table with their art and books. We plot and plan our dreams. My son and his wife share wisdom and belly laughs while my son-in-law photographs our smiles. Friends gather bringing wine, beer and the happiness of shared stories.

The meals that I’ve shared on this deck have been rich with flavor, blessed by hunger, and spiced with love. Whether linens, china and candlelight or peanut butter and bread, the sharing of food is ever an event to be remembered.

Dahlias, swee…