Monday, August 31, 2009

'Funday' with Creative Kindred Spirits...

On Sunday, I spent time with a "Creative Kindred Spirit" helping her create some fun props for a fundraiser that will benefit a wonderful non-profit organization she works for. Her name is Jane and she comes from London...needless to say, she makes one of the best cups of tea I've ever had the pleasure to drink*. So I wasn't too surprised when she showed me this adorable gift she received from a friend some time ago...
This adorable little "teacup" is made from a sweater!
Or maybe it's a cup of hot chocolate since there's "whipped cream topping" on it!!

I had a great time helping with making some props that will be used at the "Mad Hatter Tea Party" for the children's area, but I also had a great time sharing ideas and hopes and dreams with someone who also has great ideas and dreams for a life filled with more creativity that each of us want to share with others. Jane loves to teach sewing to enthusiastic children and the items they create in her studio are fun and fantastic! I may even teach a class to them in the near future - stay tuned!

*I've mentioned that I would love to know how she makes such a delicious cup of tea, but I suspect she may not be ready to divulge her secrets to the Creative Beast...yet! ;)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Funny...

"Life is unsure - always eat your dessert first"


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Love Quotes...

covered matchbox with quote tucked inside; i make these as gifts for friends and plan to make some to sell on my future etsy site! stay tuned!

I love quotes and use them in my collage work a lot and I will be sharing my favorites here on this blog. I made the matchbox above as a special reminder to myself using one of my very favorite quotes on being brave:

"Brave is simply those with the clearest vision of what is before them, Glory and Danger alike, and, not withstanding, go out to meet it"

I heard this in the movie "Kate and Leopold" with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman so I don't know if it was part of the written dialogue or if this quote has an original source...if anyone does know the original source, I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some Rubber Stamps I Found...

Checking in on the blog of Andrea Scher at Superhero Designs I found this link for some cute and inexpensive rubber stamps at the site of Ali Edwards.

I'm loving the "Created by Hand" and "Wingin' It" sets. I must order these soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Artful Mail...

cards made with hand tatted lace flowers the size of your pinkie nail and watercolor paint

I have been so inspired by the Missive Maven blog I discovered last week through the blog of Jen Lee, a creativity coach, that I have busted out some treasures I found in my granny's workroom closet after she passed away many years ago...
I thought I'd send the only blue colored envelope/notecard of the bunch to a dear friend who will be celebrating a birthday tomorrow and she loves blue. I added a quote to the front of the card and stamp images which I colored with my set of mini colored pencils (see my welcome post) but I didn't take any pictures of the card just in case she stopped by here for a visit -I didn't want to spoil the WHOLE surprise of a little artfulness in the mail!

And I found a mail carrier who was kind enough to take my decorated missive since I had missed the only mail pick-up time in my work neighborhood - HOORAY for the U.S. Postal Service!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Internet Heros & The Cutest Business Card Ever...

As I mentioned in my previous post, last week was quite exciting for me because I got to meet one of my internet heros IN PERSON!

Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Nonconformity was in Los Angeles (where I live) and had a meet-up with folks who follow his blog. Here are just a few of the people I met that night:

Johnathan Mead
Heather Schlegel
Jared Matthew Kessler
Colleen Wainright
Wendal Meldrum who had the most adorable business card I have ever seen:
yes, it's a vintage hankie and it is really keeping with the feel of her website...

It was very exciting to be in the company of others who are artists/unconventional thinkers (it is my opinion that if you are an artist, you are unconventional thinker!) AND exciting to meet an internet hero!

Interestingly, I found the blog of Andrea Scher through Chris's site and from there found the site of Brene Brown; I bought and read Brene's book which was amazing and very empowering. I eventually came to the blog of Kelly Rae Roberts by way of Andrea's site but only after I bought and read Kelly's wonderful book Taking Flight...

Where is this heading you may wonder...hang on, I'm getting there!

I would read about the special retreats they would hold and wish I could afford to go to one of them but then I thought "what if I made up a retreat of my own with some of my talented, funny and creative friends? I certainly wouldn't have to travel so far..."

My next thought was "How does one put together such an event??"

Then something wonderful happened: Kelly Rae announced an art retreat happening in my state of California and (somewhat) within driving distance!

I am now enrolled in the class Kelly Rae Roberts is teaching at "An Artful Journey" and not only will I get to meet another internet hero, but I will have an opportunity to meet yet MORE amazing folks who are creative and unconventional thinkers! I will also have an opportunity to see just what such an event looks and feels like so I can one day have a fun art retreat of my own...

These things simply can not happen if you don't take a chance or take a risk to put yourself out there and reach out every once in awhile. I can tell you it's not always easy - I certainly wondered if I had anything worthwhile to say to Chris Guillebeau but he was kind enough to make time to speak with EVERYONE who showed up and he and I had a nice conversation about Ayn Rand. He was also kind enough to thank everyone who came that night BY NAME on his blog.

That evening I had the opportunity to thank him personally for sharing who he is and what he does on his blog. I thanked him because the more we all share who we are and what we do the more we can encourage others to do the same...

And wouldn't the world be a nicer place if everyone did it?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday has arrived!

And may I say WHEW!!

It's been a hectic week for this Creative Beast and there have been some exciting adventures that I am still processing, but hope to share with you soon when I have a little more time to write...

In the meantime, I will leave you with this quote which is in the spirit of this weeks' happenings:

"Whatever you are, be a good one"
Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mail Art...

Today was a day of mail art!

I sent a payment toward an exciting
art retreat I am participating in next February along with a special card for an amazing writer who recently turned 50...

I discovered this great blog yesterday and was inspired to send a little mail art. It has been awhile since I sent notes or letters to friends in the mail and I've missed doing that. Lately I try to decorate my envelopes to make them entertaining to the recipients and I'm sure the mail carrier gets a kick out of it. I know the postal worker who sold me the stamps to mail these missives was quite tickled by my artful decorating!

I encourage you to send something lovely in the mail today to a friend or loved one - it sure beats getting the usual bills and junk mail!

Monday, August 17, 2009

My breakfast bowl and other news...

I took a day off from work on Friday to relax and play and I was able to have my favorite cereal in my favorite breakfast bowl. I wish I had time every morning to eat from my favorite cereal bowl...I just love the bright colored stripes. It always makes my morning happy to look at it!

In other news, I did have a fitting on the Pretty In Pink dress project I mentioned previously and it went well. Now begins the work of cutting the fabric and sewing it together! It was actually quite an event...

The client came with her little girl and husband. I looked for something to keep her daughter entertained because, I recently learned*, that my home is quite the eye-candy for young girls. It turns out however that it was quite the eye-candy for my client AND her husband!! They are both flea market folks and they collect many vintage items. My clients husband was so intrigued by the items around my home that he was asking several questions, often overlapping questions from my client. I almost said "One question at a time, please!" There are few men who are interested in vintage items, thrift shopping or flea markets, so it was a pleasant surprise that he was interested in such things. And I was happy when my client could see how my home reflected my Creative Beast ways, never mind that my humble abode is still rather cluttered, in my mind, anyway. It was nice to hear that my home reflects my Creative Beast ways...

* - about two months ago a friend came by with her young daughter to pick up some pants I hemmed. The daughter began to create a tower with my thread spools once she entered the "Lair of the Creative Beast", aka the workroom! That's when I realized that my home is quite the eye-candy for the uninitiated!! The daughter of my client made a tower also, once she stepped foot in the "lair"...very interesting! ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

i love books...

My primary bookcase with 'Wishbone' protecting the children's literature section!

Yes, I do, I love books a whole lot! And, in keeping with my love of books, they are all over my home -
  • cookbooks in the kitchen (not that I cook much but I keep hoping - so it's only 4 or 5 of those)
  • home decor, fashion design/history, hats/hat making and craft books in the workroom
  • a few knitting books in the living room where I actually knit (most are in the bookcase)
  • a few fashion style books in my bedroom closet where the clothes and style live
  • a few novels by my bed that are waiting to be read...
...and the current read can usually be found under my pillow!

Does that sound strange to you??

I'm not sure when this habit started but I tend to keep what I'm reading in bed under my pillow when I'm sleepy enough to turn out the lights. Maybe it's my creative way of keeping the story in my head while sleeping..?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Book binding...

Everything needed to create a lovely book - Wendy provides all supplies and materials you need...

Ready to sew the signatures (paper pages) into the book...

The signature knots on the outside of the binding will be hidden later...

Here is my metal empbossed cover before glueing to the cover of the book itself...

The finished product!

Hello everyone!

Well, it's Monday and back to the office grind. I did have a fun weekend, though, in a bookbinding class creating a book with a metal embossed cover. I've been taking book binding classes taught by a great gal, Wendy Poma, who teaches at Vroman's Bookstore located in Pasadena. This class is my third one so far and I'm planning on taking more in the near future since she also teaches at several venues in the Los Angeles area. The next class I hope to take will be held at Descanso Gardens, which is a great place if you love walking among beautiful flowers.

I've posted just a few hi-lights of what I accomplished in my class, as you can see above...more creativity coming soon!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thank you, John Hughes...

I am saddened today by the passing of John Hughes. He created many memorable movies that spoke to me as a teenager coming of age in the 80's (am I dating myself here?!??) but more importantly for me, he created a template of who I wanted to be - Andie Walsh as portrayed by Molly Ringwald.

Andie was the most creatively stylish female I had seen in film or in life at that time, with her hats, her inventive second-hand and home-made outfits and her curly bobbed hair. I really resonated with her character being from the "wrong side of the tracks", hanging out with friends who did not fit in with the rich/popular crowd AND she drove a Karmann Ghia, a car I dreamed of having.

I loved that she defended her friends from getting picked on, she stood her ground and gave her own father "tough love" about his inability to let go of the past and she stuck up for herself when Blane turned into a coward and wasn't going to take her to the prom after all. She was so fierce in spirit that she STILL made her own prom gown and went alone to show she wasn't beat down, which to me was such a courageous act because NO ONE goes the the prom least not in those days.

Which leads to the prom dress above...

I loved how Andie used two different dresses of completely different silhouettes to create an imaginative and original dress that was all her own. To this day, I still love that sequence in the film because it is a great example of the design process: you look at your materials and play with them, sketch out the ideas and thus the creating begins.

*as a side note, I will, in fact, be working on recreating this very prom dress for a co-worker who is participating in an 80's theme party and this is the outfit she decided on two weeks ago!

I don't know how John Hughes created such a strong female character or what his inspiration was for her but I will always be grateful he did because Andie Walsh was an example of what I could (and often was and still am!) be as a creative individual. Andie made me proud that I hung out with the not-popular folks who, like Duckie, were fiercely individualistic, imaginative, and intelligent and I was proud to call them my friends during my time in high school.

Thank you John Hughes, for creating Andie Walsh as an amazing and creative role model for this Creative Beast to aspire to. Rest in Peace...

John Hughes
February 18, 1950
August 6, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday Night Knitting

I am so happy for today. Not only are there only two days to go before the weekend, but it also means knitting with my buddies...YAY!

I attempted to take a few pictures of ONE of my current knitting projects this morning (yes, I have several in rotation - don't YOU??!?), but they didn't turn out very well so there is no picture today. I will, however, make a list of the knitting projects in rotation:

1) one mitt needing loose ends weaved in; then a pair is complete
2) one hat waiting for me to learn to make a tassel for it; then I can finish the scarf that will go with it using the last of the yarn
3) one hooded poncho in the midst of being 'un-knitted' due to missing a stitch and the whole thing going off the rails from there
4) one red 'chenille' scarf in process - this is the kind that you add stitches so the rows get longer and longer to knit until knitting (or purling) ONE row can take as long as an hour
5) one knit-to-felt yoga bag...

The yoga bag is the one I am taking with me tonight since I fear that I may not have enough yarn to knit the whole bag and still be long enough for felting shrinkage. The original yarn was bought at another yarn shop and it was a limited amount; when I bought it I wasn't sure what I would do with it but recently I was inspired by "Last Minute Knitted Gifts" and the yoga bag they included in their book. In true Creative Beast Style though, I am combining instructions for the knitted/felted bowl from another book, "One Skein", with some of the instructions from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts", only to find I will have to buy some supplemental yarn to insure the bag is long enough to allow for shrinking when I felt it.

I can say that the yarn is deep red (crimson) so picking two other colors for striping will be fun. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Workroom Chaos...

Well, it's Monday and another weekend over. I did manage to get few things done despite the state of my workroom table:

From left to right: granny's tray with beads being sorted for projects; a journal with a few ideas sketched in; what will be my 'Baby Ganesh' riding shot-gun in my car to remove (traffic) obstacles; a necklace in process; various 'stuff' in the background...
There it is - the messy truth =-( and this is only a SMALL portion of my workroom, not to mention the rest of my humble abode...
Believe it or not, this is not as bad as it was in the recent past. Usually, there is NO room for anything on my work table, what with all the 'stuff and clutter' piled everywhere, but recently I've been working with two amazing ladies to help me clear the excess clutter in my home, and hopefully my life. I hope to reveal their identities in the near future...
In the meantime, I will post my progress in cleaning/clearing from my home because I hope that by clearing unnecessary 'stuff', it will pave the way for better things to come into my life, like more creativity!