Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween


Here's wishing you plenty of treats, some tricks up your sleeve, and the happiest of Halloweens.  xo

Friday, October 28, 2011

Creating a Creative Business



I have big dreams.  And I've had them for a long time.  I know exactly what I want to do with my art and my creative business.  But.  It can be a bit overwhelming, the getting started part.  I'm much more comfortable arting-it-up in my studio, or doing the research about the things I'd like to do.  But when it comes down to executing my own dreams...I'm like a deer in headlights.  Frozen.  Can't.get.going.  I recently dug this up.  "My Creative Business" journal that I started two.years.ago.


This is the inside cover to my journal.  Clearly, two years ago I was already wondering what I was waiting for.  Again.  Two.years.ago.  Two years of my life have gone by, and I'm still wondering.  Argh!  I'm not going to candy-coat here.  It's HARD!  It is so hard for me to hold this very clear vision of what I want, and not have the wherewithal, the courage, the chutzpah to get myself and my art out there.  What is wrong with me?  What am I waiting for?  I'm really not looking for sympathy.  Maybe if I put the words in print, in black and white, where you'll read them, I'll feel accountable to someone out there.  I'll feel like I'm letting you down if I don't get it together, and make some progress, some big, hairy, scary steps towards my dreams.


I've filled my creative business journal with bright, happy, and inspirational images and phrases.  Don't get me wrong.  The pages are pretty to look at, and very encouraging. 


Here's the thing.  As I write this, I realize that maybe I'm now beyond this phase.  I've moved past needing the inspirational images and encouraging words, and need to move into the next phase.  Maybe my next step is to create greeting card prototypes, even if they suck, just to do it.  Perhaps in that exercise, the next step will present itself, and the next...and the next.  Maybe I don't have to know it all now.  Maybe I don't have to have formulated all of the plan now.


I think that's one of my biggest stumbling blocks in all of this:  that feeling that I need to know how it's all going to unfold, logically and chronologically, before I can actually get started.  Maybe that's not the right approach for me.  (Because, clearly, again, two.years.have.gone.by.) 


Maybe i just need to do.it.  Whatever "it" is.  Maybe today "it" is creating a few greeting cards.  And maybe tomorrow "it" will be doodling up a stitchery sampler to sell.  Maybe next week "it" will be contacting Tilde to make an appointment to show my paintings. 


I love to create.  And I love creating in different media.  I love to paint and doodle and cut and paste.  I love to stitch.  I love stringing bits and baubles together to make jewelry.  And I love that about how my brain works.  I truly do.  My brain and my hands work together to turn ordinary things into something special.  Little works of art.  Everything I create begins with something old: a discarded kitchen cabinet door, a length of vintage chain that once belonged to a piece of costume jewelry, or a reclaimed remnant of fabric.  And then the magic happens.  Inspiration takes hold, and out come the paints and the vintage papers, the beads and buttons and charms, the embroidery floss and fabric scraps and ribbons and trims.  I love combining the old with the new, and coming up with something completely unique.


If I could just get that process to manifest in my "getting it out into the world" part.  That's where I get stuck.


And there's always this:


That gets in the way of this:


But I am determined to make this happen.  I am committed to my dream (even if I spelled committed wrong in my journal - haha).


It is scary, and requires bravery.  But I think I've got something wonderful to share.  And that I need to at least make an attempt.  I have to trust my gut on this.  I need to take the risk, not just talk about it.  It will be better to have tried, than to wish later that I had done it.


Besides, there is a little voice inside of me that knows it's going to happen.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

De-Stashing and Making Room


Tis the season.  Days are getting shorter, and I feel the gentle settling in of fall.  Soups and apple crisps.  Stitching and sipping (wine, of course.)  Cozying in.


And with all of that comes a need, an instinct almost, do tidy up in the studio.  Maybe it's anticipation of spending more time in there than in the garden during the coming months.   In any event, it's time.  So, I've loaded all sorts of goodies, supplies, baubles, and pretties on my etsy shop


Monday, October 24, 2011

Breakfast of Champions


A cup of joe in my favorite "Do Something Creative Every Day" mug from one of my favorite shops in the world, and a little bit of stitchery.  A brilliant way to start the day.  Drinking coffee, making stitches, cozied in under my quilt, with the dog at my feet (literally, at my feet, sharing my ottoman...I ordered an extra large ottoman for that very reason.  Spoiled little pooch.)  Anyway...my favorite way to start my day.



I'm just working on some little stitched bits right now, that will eventually become a journal cover, an apron pocket, or an embellishment for a tote bag.  I've got a loooooonnnnnggg list of ideas that I'm working on, and it feels so, so good to have the creative mojo back!!  Seriously, it's been waaaaayyyy tooooo loonnnnggg.  (Oh, I just noticed, you can see how anal I am:  my embroidery floss bobbins are, yes, labeled with the manufacturer and color number.  Want to know another secret?  I have SIX boxes of embroidery floss, each skein re-wound onto these bobbins and labeled.  And each box contains it's own color family.  It's the one - honestly, the only - thing that is organized in my world.  Funny that I chose embroidery floss as my obsessive compulsion.  But I digress.)


So, I hope all of you had a great weekend.  It was a quiet one here, but it was sort of nice to get the toilets cleaned (my life: all glamour, all the time), watch our nephew play football, go out for a cold beer, and watch a movie with a big bowl of popcorn.

And, I'd like to go on record that I pop the best popcorn.  (It's so good, I smuggle it into the movie theater in one of my ginormous totes, whenever we go to the movies.  Haven't been busted yet!)

Here's my secret:  start with this popcorn - it's the best for popping (yes, the kernels, not microwave).  Heat a large-ish saucepan (one that has a lid),  over medium-high heat.  Swirl in about 2-1/2 swirls around the pan of olive oil (yes, olive oil.  Trust me, you're going to love it.)  Put in one kernel of corn, and cover pan with lid.  When the kernel pops, dump in 1/3 cup of kernels, and shake the pan so they get happy with the olive oil.  Once they start popping, turn heat to medium.  Shake pan frequently during popping to avoid burning.  When you can count two beats between pops, take the popcorn off the heat, and dump it into a big bowl for sharing.  Add a little salt, or whatever you like on your popcorn, and enjoy!  I seriously could eat a bowl every day.  Let me know what you think!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser

I love to learn new things.  Given my druthers, I would have been a full-time student all my adult life. 

(I get that the phrase "curiouser and curiouser" has less to do with wanting to learn vocabulary or how a steam engine works, but in fact with the opium-induced tale by Lewis Carroll of Alice falling down the rabbit hole and a whole preponderance of things making her adventures in Wonderland "curiouser".  But, I like the phrase.  So I'm hijacking it, and using it out of context, for this post.)

The day I learned the word "why", my mom used to say was the day that changed her life.  After explaining "why this" and "why that" for a few years, she finally bought me a full set of World Book Encyclopedias, along with a set of "Childcraft".  Do you remember Childcraft?  Man, I loved those books.  And my encyclopedias.  I loved scouring the photos and captions, learning how things work, what is photosynthesis, how to make a sand candle.  I could spend hours and hours.  I loved writing reports in grade school.  In high school and college, my favorite tests were essay format because I had to learn enough about a topic to be able to write a whole lot about it.

I was sort of a nerd.  Cute (naturally), but nerdy.

Even today, if I'm curious about something, I'll first try Wikipedia, or do a broader Google search.  I often find myself wishing I had an excuse to research something and write a paper about it.  Sometimes, when I get hooked on a topic because I'm reading a book, I'll go a little crazy with it.  Let me give you an example.  I just read Leaving Van Gogh by Carol Wallace.  (A great book, by the way, if you're a fan of Van Gogh or are just looking for a good read.)  I've always been intrigued by Van Gogh.  When I studied in France, Dear Theo was required reading, and thus my fascination began.  But I digress.   So, I finished Leaving Van Gogh the other day, which is a work of fiction (brilliantly done, by the way).  And because it was fictional, but based on Vincent and his Dr. Gachet, my curiosity about Dr. Gachet and his relationship with Van Gogh was piqued.  So, what did I do?  Requested all the relevent books I could find from my library system.  When they arrived, I learned as much as I could about Van Gogh's time in Auvers, and at the asylum in St. Remy, and his relationship with his brother Theo.  Fascinating.  And when I get my fill, I'm off to the next topic that pops up. 

The same thing happened when I saw the movie "Frida".  And when I fell in love with a portrait by Matisse.  When I got sucked into The Tudors a few years ago...needed to learn all I could about Henry VIII.  More trips to the library, more Wikipedia searches.

So, although research papers and essay exams are no longer a part of my daily routine, I continue to learn, I still ask "why", and I'm always curiouser and curiouser.

How about you?  What are you curious about?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Journal Snippets


I don't know about where you live, but here in Portland, that Indian Summer weather that I love has been replaced by rainy days.  I don't mind it.  I love making soups and wearing sweaters.  I just hope we'll get one more autumn blast of sunshine before we settle into the rainy season.


The shorter days make it really inviting to cozy into my favorite chair with a cuppacuppa in the mornings before I head to the gallery.  I've been doing a lot of writing these cool, dark mornings.  I'm so glad I have taken that practice back up again.  I sort of got away from it.  It just starts my day off right.

I thought you might like to see a few page snippets from my current journal.  I am loving my journal so much right now.  It's so happy and colorful, and full of the things I love to read and look at.  Makes me happyhappyhappy.





Hope that wherever you are today, you're having an amazing, inspired, and happy day, too.