Thursday, May 21, 2015

In The Merry Month of May...

Hello my fellow Creative Beasts,
It's been awhile since I last posted here and though I have been in 'cocooning' mode, there is much happening in my world...so pull up a chair and have your favorite beverage at hand to enjoy as we move through the recent adventures I've been having since my last post:

It's Renaissance Faire Time!
It was time for the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire and I went with my dear MOTH (Man Of The House), IN COSTUME, of course and got to visit with a beloved vendor and creative inspiration, Petrushka...here is a photo taken of us together as I'm wearing one of her fabulous hat creations in red and burgundy:


I'm also wearing a 'book brooch' she gifted me at a previous Faire outing and a new necklace she gave me as a thank you for giving her some vintage wooden spools to use in her creations, with one of the spools being added to the necklace on the spot!

Since receiving this wonderful gift, I've been embellishing it a bit, making the necklace a kind of 'collaboration' piece as I add my creativity to the creative style of Petrushka...here is a detail shot of what I have added so far - you can view a few more shots of the process at my Facebook page:

A tiny heart with an "M" for my name, sequins, tiny beads and rhinestone embellishments glued to a vintage wooden spool that once belonged to my grandmother...

'Tidying Up'
One of the reasons for my 'cocooning' is that I've been in serious cleaning, or 'tidying' mode since discovering the book 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Marie Kondo and it has been a real game changer! I can't wait until I can begin to work on the 'komono' category, which is where my studio and all my craft supplies will come into play, but so far, I've been 'tidying up' my clothes closet and it has brought on some interesting inspirations since my tidying process began:
  • I'm wearing sparkier outfits now that my closet has only clothes that bring me JOY
  • I'm rotating and using my beloved handbags more often
  • I'm making more jewelry, finishing old projects to wear, or to give as I get inspired with jewelry ideas that will look great...on someone else!
Needless to say, a few friends will be getting some surprise jewelry in the mail in the months to come and here are some earrings I recently made that will be mailed to a dear friend for her birthday in June:

I really love how these earrings look but it's not really a style that I wear, so they will be sent to a dear friend who has more of a 'rock & roll' vibe than I do!

Not So Merry Tidying 'Side Effects'
Now, it must be said that one problem with all this cleaning is that I seem to come down with sinus attacks, allergies and head colds!

This happened back in February when I made an effort to move my scrapbook paper cabinet out of the bathroom and into my studio closet. Accomplishing this task took a whole day and it meant being exposed to some long-standing dust that the vacuum could not always reach, and I came down with a terrible allergy attack that lasted over two weeks and eventually morphed into a head cold/infection for one week.

The recent 'tidying-up' process began with my clothes and was broken down into several sub-categories. This too meant I was exposed to some long standing dust in the clothes closet that the vacuum can not always reach, not to mention dust gathering on the closet shelves as I took down my hats, my shoes, my scarves and my handbags for sorting and eventually discarding. I've been going through all my things, but here is a quick peek at a before/after tidying session with just my scarf collection:

OMG - there are 29 scarves here in this pile, before the discarding began, some of them knitted or sewn by me

The pile of scarves has been whittled down to 13, though there are one or two that might return to the fold, but all of these scarves bring a joy-full smile to my face!
 
Now, I am suffering another sinus attack as I write this, which has derailed my plan to begin sorting through my books this week...

DARN IT!

I guess I should have seen this derailment coming since Mercury Retrograde is upon us again...

Mercury Retrograde Plan De-Railed
I had plans for this Mercury Retrograde period to start up my "Habit of Completion" Project again, but I have been too sick to do much computer work, so I won't have much energy to start this project off the way I want...but I can still look at the unfinished projects I have and put them on my list of projects to finish before the retrograde comes to an end...

And you are certainly welcome to join me in finishing any long forgotten projects you might have lingering in your studio!

Here is a project that could use some finishing - an old necklace idea I shared here on my blog a few years ago, but have yet to assemble and complete:


And a few weeks ago I discovered this jade butterfly pendant I've been meaning to turn into a necklace and I've found many wonderful elements to use for it:


I'm excited to share that I FINALLY created a separate page for the 'Habit of Completion' project and it lists ways you can play along, as well as listing many of the projects I hope to complete before the Retrograde phases have ended. So far it has not been showing up on the home page but I hope that is only Mercury Retrograde up to it's technological computer tricks! Be sure to check out the link and see the many projects to be completed in 2015!

Some Last Thoughts
Interestingly, I've been on a quest to find and purchase a collection of butterfly pins since cleaning out my jewelry collection...it must be the 'transformational' aspect of the butterfly that is attracting me these days, as I 'cocoon' myself in my home and begin some earnest work on transforming the clutter into a home and studio that is cozy, calming and inviting to creative work and creative play!

I'll be sure to share some photos of my studio cleaning process when that time comes along - so far it looks like I will be working on the studio by the end of the Merry Month of May, but that could change - be sure to stay tuned!

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Last Two Posts for April Moon...

Hello my fellow Creative Beasts,
I have been participating in Kat McNally's writing challenge, April Moon 15. Even though these are the last two days and prompts of April Moon, you are invited to join and play along however you are moved to do so at whatever pace you choose! You can still find all the details and sign up HERE...
 
There are only two prompts left for April Moon and I will now share my thoughts on these final prompts:

DAY 14:
 
"LUCK is what happens when PREPARATION meets OPPORTUNITY" - Seneca

I continue to prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead and insure that I will be ready to recognize them as opportunities when they cross my path by having an open mind and open heart...it often means living in uncertainty, but such is Life, isn't it?

 
DAY 15:

To have more fabulously creative opportunites cross my path
To pass along my sewing knowledge to enthusiastic students
To share my love of creativity, book making and art making to yet more enthusiastic students
To earn a good income with my teaching that will allow me to travel to visit my creative friends near and far
To teach at an art retreat in another state, near a beach or near a forest
To have a colorful and well organized creative studio that inspires all who see or enter it, including ME
To be able to read every morning for breakfast in the loveliness of our garden patio
To have a FIAT car and to travel to Paris in the next two years...and finally...

I wish to have a wonderful 50th birthday in November!

 
Many thanks to Kat McNally and to Alana Lawson for hosting this wonderful writing challenge!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Catching Up With April Moon...

Hello my fellow Creative Beasts!

I have been participating in Kat McNally's writing challenge, April Moon 15 and you are invited to join and play along however you are moved to do so. You will find all the details and sign up HERE.

It's been awhile since I've posted because I have been SO BUSY, but the April Moon prompts are SO GOOD, I really want to write with these prompts! Since I'm now a bit behind on my April Moon journaling, I will be playing with them a little bit, as some of them dovetail into each other...so without further ado, here are my writings for the following prompts, slightly out of order:

DAY 9:  

I immediately feel my body tense up whenever I hear YOU come up in conversation, because it means that I will have to hear yet one more story of your selfishness, manipulation or idiocy and having to hear such stories only means that once again, I am being held hostage to YOUR self-centered crap...if only the people who continue talking about YOU in my presence could understand that all they are doing is reinforcing my experience (and opinion) of YOU and YOUR foolish, immature behavior, which I have long resented.

I am working VERY HARD hard to release this resentment in my life, which is why...

DAY 11:

...which is why I am trying not to talk about YOU anymore, especially as it gives YOU more air time than YOU really deserve, for all your selfishness and manipulation and idiocy. YOU are welcome to hold others hostage to your self-centeredness, but I'm tired of hearing about it, tired of being held captive to it, and tired of being resentful about it because, frankly, YOU do not deserve so much attention, especially on MY time, on MY blog, with MY community - you get more than your fair share of air time elsewhere, with more than enough 'captive audiences' (the operative word being CAPTIVE!) so you don't deserve my community! And my community most certainly does NOT deserve to be held captive to such a person as you...

Enough! I'm DONE!

DAY 10:

...I feel a great many things depending upon the time of day, or day of the week, I enter the kitchen:

FRUSTRATED...
about dirty dishes that have piled up
HUNGRY...
for my lunch, which I will prepare
TRANQUIL...
as I clean up in preparation for my dear Man of the House to begin cooking a lovely Sunday dinner for us
HAPPY...
to see a clean kitchen first thing in the morning, when it's actually clean first thing in the morning!
INSPIRED...
to bake some cookies or cupcakes or pound cake, which I don't bake because of the work it takes =P

DAY 12:

I am watering before the sun begins to beat down upon the blooms on our ledge, while our little solar fountain is running to keep me company. The hummingbirds are also keeping me company as I move from watering to sweeping our little garden patio space, which is blooming with more flower varieties then last year (including a cherry tomato plant!)...




How I love hearing our little solar powered water fountain as I tidy up our little garden patio!




How I love watching and hearing the hummingbirds come to visit our little feeder!

Tending to our little garden patio each morning is the BEST part of my day, because it means that I will be enjoying the view of our little garden patio for the REST of my day!

DAY 13:
 
Have enough money to travel to PARIS...
Be in a position to move to Northern California or Portland, Oregon...
Teach at an art retreat in another state, like North Carolina*...
Live in a house, instead of an apartment...
Own and drive a FIAT...
Read all the books that are growing in my library list...
Stop buying BOOKS altogether...
Be someone who knows a lot about plants and flowers, like a GARDENER...
Get tired of taking photographs of FLOWERS...
Be a decent cook...
Take the time to create botanical watercolor paintings...
Bake another pound cake...
Bake more cupcakes...
Bake my old go-to chocolate chip cookies again...

And I wonder if I will ever get tired of eating cake, cupcakes or cookies??!?


 * - North Carolina has been coming up around me a LOT lately, and my favorite jewelry and book artist, Nina Bagley, lives in NC, so it would be great to be in NC!