Monday, November 30, 2009

Things I love - Tea By the Sea...

I've really gotten into tea and serving tea in the last few years and I have a great resource for buying it. It's a wonderful shop in Ventura County called "Tea By the Sea" and it's run by the very knowledgeable and generous Cindy Yoshitomi.

teapot and tea infused chocolate from Tea By the Sea; vintage teacups from my personal collection

A few years ago, my dear Wise Woman told me about her friend Cindy and the tea shop she runs so, on one of our visits to Ventura, my dear boyfriend and I went looking for the little shop. It's located in a building now called The Bell Arts Factory, which used to be a mattress company, but the building has been renovated into an arts complex and Cindy's shop is tucked into a hidden corner of the building. (I love that it's part of an arts complex!!)

She has many wonderful herb teas stored in glass jars and they look so beautiful. Each jar is labeled with the type of tea contained within and there are so many variations! Luckily, Cindy loves to share her extensive knowledge of the various teas and their healing properties and often will prepare some teas we may not have tasted before so we can gain an appreciation for them. This is how my boyfriend and I grew to love rooibos* teas.

One of the treats that I discovered were the tea infused chocolates she sells in her shop. A few years back, I gave some of these tasty delights to a few friends for Christmas, along with some vintage teacups and a few bags of tea that I thought each friend would like - they loved it!

mmmm, these tea infused chocolates are so yummy! the orange blossom is my favorite

On a recent trip to her shop, she told me that she had received a huge order for 35 pounds of tea and was puzzled by the amount of tea being ordered at one time. It turns out that it was an artist ordering tea for dyeing fabrics!! Cindy offers many herbal teas that can in fact be used for fabric dye, so if you're looking for a resource to by herbs for home dyeing, you may just want to check out her website and see all the offerings she has available, for craft or drinking. She has organic teas and tries to work with Fair Trade tea dealers as often as possible.

I love that she believes:

"...having TEA enhances the cre.a.tiv.i.tea of people
who desire to make the world a better place to live"

With someone like Cindy who believes that tea and 'cre.a.tiv.i.tea' can make the world a better place, it's no wonder I love tea over coffee!

* - better known as 'bush tea' if you ever watched or read "The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency"!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks a LOT!!

Today is Thanksgiving Day and I just wanted to share a few things and say a few thank you's:

Many thanks to my dear boyfriend who has always been supportive of my creative endeavors, especially his offer to help me make a better banner for my blog!

Much gratitude to my wonderful Life Coach and fellow performance artist, Pete Lee, who really encouraged me to register for the Artful Journey Retreat, and encouraged me to start this blog, which has opened up so many doors...

Thank you Tinniegirl, for being open to friendship and encouraging me to participate in your Blogtoberfest - I've met so many wonderful bloggers, such as Curly Pops, I Speak Melsh, Cul*ti*vate and so many others!

Thank you new readers who have discovered my blog through Blogtoberfest and are part of my little 'Tribe of Creative Kindred Spirits' - I'm so glad you enjoy my blog enough to make it a regular read =-)

Thanks to the fun knitters and the owner at Stitch Cafe!! I love knitting with you all!

Thanks to all my wonderful friends, new and old who have been in my life - you've all made much joy in my life...

Now for some fun!

I have mentioned before my love of This American Life and I want to share some fun Thanksgiving/Turkey/Chicken themed episodes they have aired in the past:

This is the most recent episode they have been airing and the theme is more along the 'magical/supernatural' properties of fowl (Poultry Slam 2008)

This episode includes stories from my all-time favorite episode and a few I haven't heard yet, but I will likely rectify that this weekend! (Poultry Slam 2003)

This is an interesting episode with a story of Francois Mitterand's last meal (Poultry Slam 2001)

This is my all-time favorite episode with a great history about the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, an opera about Chicken Little and the relationship between two sisters and a duck puppet, which generated one of the funniest phrases I've heard: "Rev up the duck"!! (Poultry Slam 1999)

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

*** *** *** *** ***

Goodness, tomorrow I begin my "No Clothes Challenge" - Wish me luck for the next year!

It's slowly dawning on me how difficult this might be since I have even cut out thrift shopping for clothes altogether...conversely, I am also seeing how many clothes I actually have and it really is quite a bit, though some goes into storage for winter or summer. Since I've been working on storing the summer goods I really see how much I have and I need a better system for organizing and storing.

Maybe I should start calling this the "Organized Clothes Challenge"?!?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Minor Calamity...

So I was working on my trusty overlock machine Saturday afternoon and when switching the threads to another color, it stopped working. The light was still on but when I put my "pedal to the metal", nothing happened, and I mean NOTHING - not a hum, or a splutter or a last gasp of operation!

I had to call information to locate a place I had taken my machine before and wanted to go to again in the hopes I could get a loaner, which this particular repair shop had provided in the past...

my dear trusty overlock machine is being diagnosed for location of disfunction =-(

I got to the shop and explained what happened with my little machine and the guy at the shop thought it could be any number of things that went wrong:
  • it could be the power cord, which I'm hoping for since it's the least expensive option
  • it could be the connection to the pedal, which is the next level of expense for repair
  • it could be the motor, unfortunately the highest level of expense, though not as likely since I didn't smell any smoke during operation
When the guy at the shop mentioned it could be a more than a few days if it turns out to be the motor or the foot pedal, I asked about getting a loaner since I do have much sewing to do, whether it's costumes or holiday gifts. That's when I was told they no longer have loaner machines - OH NO!!!!

I am REALLY hoping it will just be the power cord and the repair will be done in no time and I can have my trusty little overlock machine back by the weekend. In the meantime, I guess I'll have to work on knitting and paper crafts during the repair process...good thing I spread the creativity around!!

*** *** *** *** ***

In related news:

After dropping off my dear trusty overlock to the repair shop, my dear boyfriend and I made a trip to IKEA to look into the long dreamed of sewing table. Upon seeing it, I realized it may be longer in length than my current table and may actually mean some serious reconfiguring of the sewing room altogether if I bring this table into my workspace. I had not brought measurements of the current table with me, but my boyfriend made measurement notes so I can take them to the sewing room and begin the work of what will need to happen for this table to make it into the sewing room.

Good thing I've been working on this for the last two weeks, which has not been easy for this 'pack-rat', as Glitterbygrammie commented on my last post - boy, we pack-rats can spot each other a mile away!! Which is why I love how she hides her pack-rat tendencies from her husband! ;)

Here's hoping my overlock machine will be restored to operation and SOON!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sewing Room Update...

my sewing table before the clean-up and de-clutter began...

I've been meaning to give an update on how the clean-up in the sewing room went during my "4 days to 44" that I posted last week. I can say that by the end of Saturday, it was a bigger mess than I started but I knew that would happen so I tried not to stress about it too much and proceeded to spend the evening with my dear boyfriend, and then Sunday morning having breakfast with some good friends to celebrate my birthday. I did more work for a few hours on Sunday but the bulk of clearing the sewing table took place on Monday and here is how my sewing table now looks:

my trusty overlock machine

this Kenmore machine has been with me since the age of 11 and still going strong!

an IKEA storage item (thrifted!) now housing all the sewing implements that had cluttered the table before

It took quite a bit of 'elbow grease', but passing the time with Sex and the City playing on my MAC really helped the time go by! I was excited to have found a use for the IKEA storage unit since I originally bought it for rubber stamp storage and I had not utilized it yet so it made it's way into the sewing room to house all the necessary sewing implements that I like to keep near my sewing machine. I have plans to collage cover it and hope to do that soon!(I'll be sure to post pictures of that!)

As for my other work table it's not quite looking like this from last week, but it is a little cleaner.

I'll continue working on clearing this table during the weekend and next week...

I did take a picture of the closet in the workroom before the clearing commenced and here is what it looked like before the tornado* hit:

how can i make this closet look organized and that possible??

I don't have any pictures of what the closet looks like now but this closet also got some clean-up but I would really love to make it look more organized and pretty, if such a thing is possible. During the cleaning, I went through the bins of fabric and made notes on what I currently have and hope to use during my "No Clothes Challenge". It was great to consolidate like fabrics together and clear out goods that I know I won't be using. I cleared a lot of items in the room and made space so when I get the new sewing table there will be room to assemble it - I hope! I also uncovered some holiday items I'd nearly forgotten about but I'm glad I found them! Be on the look-out for some pictures of the holiday items soon...

Now that the sewing table is cleared, my dear boyfriend is asking if we will be going to IKEA to get the long dreamed of sewing table soon, but for some reason I'm feeling hesitant to actually buy it. I'm not sure if it's not wanting to spend the money, though I set aside funds from costume work for this very table. Or maybe I want the room to look better before I bring a sparkling new item into the room...??

Have you been hesitant to move toward "The Long Dreamed Of" thing in your life? If so, what did you do to break through and claim that thing?? I'd love to hear what you did - maybe it will help me go out and get that new sewing table!!

* - did i really say 'tornado'? guess i now have those on the brain after admitting my secret desire to chase them !!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm A Winner! But aren't we all??

It seems that I have been nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award** by Chrissy at Cul*ti*vate - can you believe it?!!?!

Now that I have been nominated, I am to do the following:

  1. thank the person who nominated me for this award (DONE!)
  2. copy the logo and place it on my blog (this will be the tricky part for my technologically challenged self! it may not show up here for a day or two...)
  3. link to the person who nominated you (also done!)
  4. name 7 things about me that people might find interesting (see below and let me know if they're interesting!)
  5. nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers (easy-peasy!)
  6. post links to the 7 blogs I nominate (done & done!)
  7. leave a comment on each blog letting them know they've been nominated...(also easy)
I can certainly think of 7 Kreativ Bloggers:

  1. Tinniegirl
  2. CurlyPops
  3. I Speak Melsh
  4. EmmStarr
  5. PepperStitches
  6. ChunkyChooky

Now for the 7 interesting things about me...hhmmmm, where to start?

  1. I have an affinity for the snake, probably due to the fact I was born in the Year of the Snake, and it's also one of 3 animal symbols for Scorpio
  2. I LOVE hats and handbags! Shoes, not so much, though a friend recently told me I have pretty cool shoes
  3. I was never a big fan of the color RED*, but I have found myself ever increasingly drawn to it in the last few years - a co-worker stated that I was surrounded by PASSION and I think that may be why I wear it lately =-)
  4. I've jumped off a 40 foot pole into...NOTHING!! Okay, I was strapped and cabled within an inch of my life, wore a helmet and had a team of experts to insure I would not plummet to my death and this was for a crazy work retreat! However, it was a really cool experience and now I want to try the "trapeze school" being held at the Santa Monica Pier!
  5. I love watching little fluffy dogs walk away 'cuz i just LOVE how their little rear ends twitch!! SO CUTE!!
  6. Like Chrissy, I too have a fear of large bodies of water but it's a general fear of the immensity of so much water, so I don't go into the ocean for fear of being swallowed up
  7. I have a secret desire to be a Tornado Chaser!!

I can't believe I've actually won a blog award and I've only been blogging for not quite four months!! Of course, I'm not surprised that Chrissy has won the award and she has also been blogging for a few months, but she took the plunge to BEGIN blogging and that is what REALLY makes her a winner. I'm so proud of her for taking that plunge to begin to blog about her creativity because she is really making the effort to HONOR her creativity and put it out there into the world, which is exactly what all of the nominees I have listed are doing every time they post about their work, their lives and what they are PASSIONATE about.

Which is why I say "aren't we all winners?"

* - the reds i'm drawn to are the dark shades like crimson, but i really, really love burgundy

** - many thanks to Chrissy for giving me some tips on getting the award onto my blog!!! YAY!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today, I Am Born...

Some Stats:
Born at UCLA Hospital, Los Angeles California
November 17, 1965 at 5:55 am
Western Astrology: Scorpio
Eastern Astrology: Year of the Snake

can you believe i was this cute once?? ;)

A Creative Beast is born!!

Today is my personal New Year and what a year it has been. Many trials and many joys occurred in the last year; here's a quick run-down:
  • have worked with amazing Life Coach, Pete Lee for just over a year
  • began a plan to find a new job that is more fulfilling
  • began to formulate ideas for creating my own job - one that does not yet exist!
  • dreamed of starting my own blog
  • bought book "Taking Flight" by Kelly Rae Roberts - charmed and inspired by her journey
  • dreamed of attending an art retreat
  • began a test blog to learn some basics of the Blogger system
  • registered for An Artful Journey Retreat and got space in Kelly Rae Roberts class!!
  • Launched "The Creative Beast" blog - this was BIG!!
  • "met" Tinniegirl/Cathy through the Artful Journey online group
  • pitched workshop/class ideas to owner of local knitting shop - met with enthusiasm!
  • Participated in first Blogtoberfest, with encouragement from Tinniegirl
  • Submitted resume/portfolio to production company and craft magazines for potential creative jobs
  • 'met' more amazing artists through Blogtoberfest
  • working on creating curriculum for future classes at knitting shop and other locations
  • looking forward to Artful Journey in 2010
  • working on creating organized and beautiful workroom worthy of a Creative Beast!
And that's the short list!!

Looking forward into the next year, I have been considering taking the challenge posed by Rachelle Mee-Chapman at her blog, Magpie-Girl. Go ahead and read this post about it and then this other post, then come back to hear my personal plan. Go on, I'll wait! ;)

Have you read her posts on "A Year Without Clothes"? Great! So here is my plan for participating...

A year without clothes, new, on sale or used!

  • I will use this challenge as a way to get the creative fashion juices flowing and use fabrics in my stash to make the clothes I dreamed of when I bought those fabrics
  • I will utilize the many, many clothes residing in my closets and work room by embellishing them to give them new life or renovating the items i've found at thrift shops that are still waiting for renovation
  • I will use those projects to create tutorials to share with like-minded folks who have an interest in STYLE over fashion and like wearing unique garments, especially ones they have made for themselves
  • I hope to inspire others to join in this challenge throughout the next year

I just love Rachelle's project and I love that she encourages everyone to play along and make their own rules as they go. I will certainly utilize the idea of having 'coupons/passes' to allow me to buy certain things as the year progresses. I will have a friend hold those coupons for me so I have someone to be accountable to for using them, but will list them on this blog so you all know what I'm up to and will help me stay on track for this challenge.

I will begin this challenge on Black Friday, a day before Buy Nothing Day(US), since I usually celebrate Buy Nothing Day(UK) on that day.

I know this is going to be a big challenge for me in the next year but I'm ready to take it on. Will you lend support and encouragement on this journey? Would you like to join me? Let me know what you think!

PS: "Thank You" to some of you who have sent advance wishes for my birthday - they have been truly wonderful and heartwarming =-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Four Days to 44!

In four days I will turn 44 years old - WOW!! I could not imagine what the 40th decade would look like when I was a young girl and now all I can think is: this is pretty cool, this gaining life experience thing...

I love to use my birthday as a personal 'New Year', a time to reflect on the past year and look toward the next year of aging, gaining life experience, wisdom and knowledge. This past year has been one of difficult growing pains but also of much personal expansion and pushing of personal boundaries, such as starting this blog.

There is much I want to accomplish in the next four days before my actual birthday and the biggest goal is to declutter my workroom/studio/creative you can see here, I've got my work cut out for me:

my current sewing table with the trusty Kenmore and the overlock; the cover stitch is hiding

I've been wanting a new sewing table for my workroom for some time, not to mention a tidy and functional space to work in for sewing, collage, and jewelry making...the knitting generally takes place in front of the TV...

Not much room for creating here!

It's time for a beautiful, organized and functional workspace for this Creative Beast and I'm hoping to get the two main tables relatively cleared so I might be able to get the new sewing table I've been pining about for over a year. I know I will really need it because I've been thinking of setting a special challenge for myself in my 'new year' which I will post about next week and I hope that many of you will help me stay on track for that challenge and maybe even join in..? Stay tuned for details!

But here are some general plans for this "4 days to 44" weekend:
  • I plan on finishing a t-shirt scarf so I can finally mail off the Giveaway package of goodies - sorry it's taking a while Mel! (BTW: love your 'Pink Christmas!)
  • I'll spend some time with my dear boyfriend during the weekend and the big B-day
  • I'll squeeze in some knitting of, what else? MITTS!!
  • Visiting some dear friends I used to work with for breakfast

And heed the advice of Pete, my Life Coach, to "Celebrate Myself Wildly"!

In the meantime, I plan on seeing some performance art buddies strut their stuff tonight, which I think is a good way to start my weekend off!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Poem/Prose...

Last night I had the opportunity of working with a lovely dancer and performance art friend, Shyamala Moorty, since she has been conducting a class in movement and spoken word with TEADA Productions which I've mentioned here before.

I was inspired to work with some text I've worked with before but also liked a phrase I created when I worked on the challenge set by EmmStarr for her end of Blogtoberfest giveaway and posted here a few days ago. Here is the new poem/prose:

Pioneers of Creativity -


Bring forth your courage
Your expressions of Beauty will
Inspire the World
and shed Light on

It was great to work with my body to create movement for the words and string it all together. It was a small class with two other lovely ladies, one of whom I had worked with in a workshop a few years back. They also produced some really beautiful and powerful work last night. It was so invigorating to be with women creating with words and movement!

The last class will be next week and I will continue to work on this piece at that time, but I like what I managed to create in just an hour and a half. I will have Shyamala make a little video of the work and I might just post it here...maybe!!

Or maybe I will continue to work on it and present it at a later time...stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Shifting...

I've been at a bit of a loss on what to blog about lately since I have been 'shifting', as I mentioned in a previous post.

Being an artist is tough. I live in a society that doesn't really value art - if it did, we would still have art as curriculum in the schools. This is why I have been "underground" so to speak, but after discovering the world of art blogs, I knew I would eventually join the community and make my voice heard among the many brave and artful souls that I have followed for the last few years.

I read Tinniegirl's recent post and I know how she feels because I've been there. And I also know that it does pass, those dark feelings...

I love that she states "You are the one creating this struggle" because it is something I have been working with lately after seeing Wayne Dyers movie "The Shift". We do sometimes create our own struggle and I know because I've been working my way out of the struggle to leave a job that is not fulfilling. I struggle with creating a life that is more meaningful to me, that allows me to create and to share creation and creativity with other like-minded people, but I often fall into the "infinite abyss"* when it seems as if nothing is really happening. I heard once:

"Pain is the distance between where we are and where we WANT to be"

(source unknown)

and I instinctually felt that this is the pain I find myself in. Artists have a unique way of seeing what is possible in the world and when the reality of what surrounds us fall short of the beauty we KNOW this world can be, it is painful and disappointing. But at the same time, the fact that we CAN see potential, beauty and the possibilities of an amazing future can be our saving grace and is the North Star** we can use to guide us on our artful or creative journeys.

Sometimes we just need to take time for ourselves to sift out what is really unhappiness or what is a period of contemplation of growth that may be taking place or has already taken place. I know this 'shifting' work that I am in process with comes with 'growing pains' of doubt, uncertainty and unknowing of the outcome. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful Life Coach who is on this journey with me, who has encouraged me to move from being 'underground' to being in the light and let my voice be heard.

I am also fortunate to have 'met' so many wonderful artists and creators through my blog and I applaud you all for your valiant energy to continue walking the path of creation and artistry - you all inspire me everyday!

* - "infinite abyss" used in the movie "Garden State" - great movie about learning that depression and unhappiness are part of the Human Experience

** - "North Star" used in the book "Reviving Ophelia" by Mary Pipher - used as a metaphor for the guide/goal to help you steer your own boat/stay on your own path

Monday, November 9, 2009

Poem for EmmStarr (M*)

Over at the blog Emmstarr (M*), a giveaway was being conducted on the last day of Blogtoberfest 2009, which was rather challenging, but I thought it was a great writing exercise. I was not lucky enough to win the adorable tea cosy prize, but I thought I would share my little prose/poem here:

the seamstress sat under the tree to take her fresh cup of tea
and soon after fell asleep...

where she was inspired by dreams of the pioneers of creativity who fed
their souls with craft and sang as angels...

as she awoke, she still heard the song and it was a bird in a branch above

You can check out the amazing winning story here. Thanks to Emmstarr for such a fun word challenge!
I hope she considers another one in the future...

Friday, November 6, 2009


It's been quite a day already and not necessarily a good one but luckily there are a few things that have made it MUCH better:

I saw this
post at the blog of future classmate in the Artful Journey Retreat, Chrissy at Cul*ti*vate and it was great to see her honoring herself and her need to create - way to go Chrissy!! I also noticed in the comments that Tinniegirl will be moving forward with her painting as well and going beyond the "ugly stage" to something I'm sure will be wonderful - YAY!

My wonderful Life Coach, Pete, sent this
posting to me and I really needed to read it after the morning I had!! I can't wait to look into the other postings on this blog.

I was also listening to this
audio book on the way to work this morning as some follow-up to the movie "The Shift" which I saw last week with my dear knitting buddy and fellow artist, Jane, who has been kind enough to loan me her copy - thanks Jane!

"The Shift" was quite a film to watch and if you have a chance to see it, you should. You might be able to
locate a screening near you or possibly host one. One storyline in particular will be of interest to many artist/crafters out there - it's the story of a wife/mother who has forgotten the artist part of herself in the busy hub-bub of being a wife and mother but begins to remember that part of herself and attempts to reclaim the artist within her.

I know that many of you out there can probably relate. I know I've seen many people close off parts of themselves and it's sad to witness. I can't say that I have done this since I have always managed to create, whether sewing costumes as a career or simply creating my dolls and gifts over the years, but I have ALWAYS created and I could not ever imagine stopping this part of myself because it's like breathing to me...but watching that storyline made me think of the many artists whose blogs I follow and I think many of them would appreciate this movie. I know they would certainly appreciate that the 'wife/mother' character makes a decision to reclaim this integral part of herself.

It can be hard to make that choice and harder still to keep making that choice everyday, to choose to honor those parts of yourself. It takes a great deal of strength, not to mention a few friends and loved ones who can cherish that part of you and support and encourage you. Making the shift to honor yourself can sometimes be painful, and I know because I have been feeling this pain as I move forward and share myself with the artful blogging world, but I know it is well worth the fight.

So to all of you, I will give these words of Emile Zola as a "mantra" on your journey:

"If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, as an artist, will answer you: I came to live out loud."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One year ago, on this day...

One year ago on this day, America made history by electing it's first African-American president, Barack Obama...

I LOVE how self-possessed he is in this moment before the Inauguration Ceremony...

The self assurance this man possesses is nothing short of phenomenal - it takes a bit of life experience to get to this place, my friends, but as we see, it can be done!

A moment in History...

The moment the announcement was made that Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States of America was quite a moment and in January I took the day off to watch the Inauguration Ceremony and witness History continue to unfold. It was a long journey from 2004...

**** ***** ***** ***** *****

In 2004, when George Bush won his second term as president, I was beside myself and simply had to create something to express my deep felt disappointment. Here is what I created:

collage 'flag' with hand-written background & photocopied textiles as paper

This piece would alternately be titled: "A New Flag for A New America" or "A Better Flag for A Better America", depending on my mood with the state of the nation. The hand-written background contains ideals of what the colors of the flag represent for me:

Red is for Courage - White is for Compassion - Blue is for Truth
Red is for Passion - White is for Purity - Blue is for Honesty
Red is for Love - White is for Innocence - Blue is for Integrity

detail of hand-written section

After the election of Barack Obama I finally knew the title of the piece would be "A Better Flag for a Better America". I believe this country has all the elements to be a great nation that our Founding Fathers would be truly proud of if they were alive today.

Now, this was not the first time I used art to make a"political statement". Way back in the mists of time there a strange fellow who tried to run for president of this country and I thought he was quite deluded in his thinking so this is what I created for him:

"Rebel Without a Clue" By "The Creative Beast"

Does anyone even remember this man? His name is Ross Perot and who knows where he is today!

It can not be overlooked that this country experienced a BIG shift when Barack Obama was elected to the presidency and I just couldn't let the day pass without taking a moment to celebrate this 'anniversary' in the history of America and re-live some of the moments. Thank you for reading my moment of nostalgia!

I did not note the sources of the photos since they were collected in January and I did not think I would share them publicly but I can say that many were pulled from Associated Press, Getty Images and the New York Times. If anyone can correct the sources, please let me know and I will ba happy to do so!

The Giveaway WInner is...

After much consideration, my Wise Woman, Janet, has finally chosen a winner for the Joy Doll Giveaway and here she is:

It's "Joyful Mel" from the blog "I Speak Melsh"! Joyful Mel's "impishly joyful spirit" has won the day! Congratulations to Mel =-) I'll be in touch to see about customizing some of the goodies for your 'bag of goodies' such as the t-shirt scarf. (I can probably make a tutuorial on the scarf while I'm at it!)

You can see her entry on her blog along with pictures of Super Mel here.

And here is the other entry that was submitted by Tinniegirl herself, 'Hostess with the Most-ess' of Blogtoberfest 2009:

It seems that they were the only submissions that had been completed by the due date! Since Tinniegirl is runner-up she will receive a few goodies for participating. I'll be in touch to get your mailing address soon and let you know what you'll be getting...

You can see her post of her lovely 'Joy' creation at her blog here.

Congratulations to the winners of the first Creative Beast Giveaway! Many thanks to the participants and to those who followed along. If you have made yourself a Joy Doll of your own but didn't submit it,feel free to mail a picture of your creation and I will be sure to showcase it here =-)

It's a great day for winners since this is the anniversary of a very big winner one year ago today...can you guess who that might have been? I'll be posting about that later today so stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some of my firsts...

I thought I'd share some "firsts" that I made.

Before I finally signed up for book binding classes in Pasadena I made some very small hand-bound booklets - these are my first little handmade books and they are little! They are approximately 2" x 1 1/2" in size:

small books for making mini-collages/altered book art

I also tried my hand at knitting a bag for felting. I had a skein of a soft mohair yarn and some odd yarns of unknown fiber content but I figured it was safe to assume they were polyester. I liked how the colors mixed together so I cast on and made alternate rows to see how it would turn out with some of the yarn felting and some is my first felted bag...

I think it turned out pretty nicely for a first felting on my own!

I will be including the felted bag in the giveaway as soon as the guest judge reaches a decision on the winner of the Joy Doll entries which will be later tonight and announced tomorrow...yes, tomorrow is an exciting day for many reasons and I will post about it all then =-)

In the meantime, have a great day and keep creating!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello dollies!

So it was quite a weekend finishing my Joy Doll and sprucing up a boy doll for a baby shower I attended this weekend. Here is the baby shower gift - isn't he cute?!

Since we all knew the gender of the baby-to-be I knew I could use one of the few boy dolls I have and made a new blue t-shirt and knitted a scarf to match...he was VERY well received at the baby shower...

But most of my time this weekend was spent on completing my own Joy Doll and here she is!

I think I will name her "Happy-happy Joy-joy"!

As I began work I knew I wanted to include symbols of things that make me feel happy and joyful, such as music, flowers, the sun and love. I hand embroidered the sun and hearts on the dress and did them all free-hand...I can't believe the line of hearts turned out so well without a drawn-in guideline to help me! This the way I like to draw the sun...

I also knew I wanted her to have a crown and decided to use some of my vintage sheet music glued to cardboard to give it some stiffness...

I may have to make myself a crown like this!

It was fun to make this doll and great to see the submissions of those who participated. My Wise Woman is currently reviewing the submissions and there should be a winner for the giveaway by Wednesday!

I plan on leaving the link in the sidebar so if anyone in future would like to make a Joy Doll guidelines will be available and be sure to share your finished dolls by sending pictures!

Many thanks to Tinniegirl for hosting Blogtoberfest and many thanks to the participants who discovered my blog and joined me in my first follow-along project! I plan on having more in the future so stay tuned...