Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Continuing To Ponder My Journal Dilemma...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!

Today, I want to return to a dilemma I shared with you two weeks ago...and discuss a dilemma I've come across in the last few days...

I shared with you the many journals I've collected over the years that have, as yet, gone unused, but I also listed what each journal was purchased for and it seems that many of my journals will DEFINITELY be used for their intended purpose this year*.

I also shared how I hoped to purchase a new gratitude journal from Kristen, who made the beautiful cover for all the journaling I did to close out the old year and set intentions for 2013.

Whether to buy the new gratitude journal or not was my dilemma! So far, I received two opposing views on how to face this dilemma and both views were appealing to me:

1) Buy the new journal since it does support another artist (which harks to the Kwanzaa principle of Cooperative Economics that I try to follow)

2) Make a gratitude journal since it does help me use up my art supplies (which plays into my Buy No New Art Supplies Challenge)

I must say I really like both options!

However, I'd like to hear from more readers on this topic because I just can't decide what path to take!

Now, there is another dilemma I encountered this week that involves my no new supplies challenge: I'm running out of blank copy paper to use for my little books!!

I've been making more stab stitch books lately and I realized that I am nearly out of the ream of copy paper I've been using for many of my books.

I have lots of graph paper...I have lots of lined paper...But I realized that I don't have enough blank copy paper!

I did mention that I have some paper I bought for the Artful Journey Retreat next month, but I can't use that paper for my book making until I've used it for the workshop first; only then I can use what's left over for my book making. Also this paper is heavier weight than copy paper, which is why I use the copy paper for the stab stitch books. The copy paper is easier to hole punch and the same weight as the graph and lined paper I use for most of my booklets so the books are balanced in weight...

A booklet that includes lined, graph and blank paper...

I want to clarify that my challenge is really for me to keep from buying any NEW ART SUPPLIES that I do not currently own, for my own use and amusement. However, I forgot to take my book binding production into account with this challenge.

I think it will be okay for me to buy just ONE REAM of blank copy paper to use for my stab stitch books, but perhaps I could begin to create some stab stitch books using artful papers instead...hmmmmmm, that sounds like a fun and creative idea!! ;)

Oh my, this challenge is certainly challenging! I can see that I may be continuing to refine and define the parameters for awhile...be sure to stay tuned as I continue with this creative challenge!

* - I want to give a shout out to my blog buddy Kat for sharing a fun video about SMASH journals which helped me realize that I have actually been doing something like this for many years with all my crazy notebooks and spiral journals! NOW, I am truly inspired to use all my blank books this year the way I have always used them - to collect the quotes, creative business cards, interesting things happening around town and lists I have always made =-)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Last Journal...

Hello Dear Blog Readers and thank you for your lovely comments on my last blog post. It is so wonderful to hear how positive I am about challenges that come my way, but I have not always been this way! It's been a lot of work changing my outlook, so it's very gratifying to hear that I am making some headway, but I will write more about that another day...

Today I want to share a journal I bought when at the Silverlake Art*Craft*Vintage event in December, which I had promised to share with you all...

Now, I had no set plan when I decided to buy this fabulous blank book, I only wanted to purchase it from the artist who made it so I could lend my support to a fellow 'book maker' (and I loved the color combination - burgundy and olive green!). I did think of using it to record my sales when participating in vendor events, though...and I may do just that, so this book will not be used for my new gratitude journal, as I've been pondering on recently.

This blank book is made by a woman who calls her company Brown Bag Books and she had a wonderful set-up which she was kind enough to let me photograph and share with you all...

What a creative display - it got my juices flowing on what I could do in the future for my own display...

This book maker also deals in second hand books, hard back and soft cover...it was hard to not spend more time perusing the shelves of books!

I would love this shelving unit for my own book collection at home!

Look at all the altered books on display! YUM!!!

This vendor uses wonderful vintage hard back books to create her one-of-a-kind blank books. You'll see vintage cooking book covers, children's book covers, and the vintage business book cover that makes up the blank book I bought. She keeps the covers as they are, as you can see in this picture of my book:

The inside back cover of my blank book shows notes made by a previous owner
I'm not really a big fan of spiral bound books in general as they are not easy to work with when art journaling, but they are handy for writing or note taking when I'm creating a knitting pattern. These books are made with a nice weight paper that is great for drawing, sketching and writing, but the paper is not heavy enough for mixed media art. I will likely use my book for tracking sales when working at vendor events - it seems fitting with the 'business' theme of my book!

Sadly, this vendor does NOT have an Etsy shop - she prefers to sell to buyers in person. I don't blame her - her books really sell themselves when you can see (and handle!) them in person!

Vintage children's books available on sale for reading - these were not used to make blank books!

You can find Brown Bag Books in some museum shops around the country, but it seems that you can best find them at vendor events, primarily in California.

If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area on the second Saturday of the month, that is when you can find Brown Bag Books selling re-purposed blank journals and second hand books for reading!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Promoting My Workshop for Girl Scouts...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I am here to report on how the Girl Scout cookie event and the creative workshop I hoped to teach unfolded this past weekend...

The Girl Scout Cookie Kick-Off event was HECTIC! It seems that it was also Troop Picture Day so there were many troops that arrived to take group and individual pictures. There were a few other 'vendors' there as well and we had been instructed to promote/embody a skill that girl scouts will learn from selling cookies in the cookie program:

Goal Setting
Decision Making
Money Management
People Skills
Business Ethics

I decided I would embody 'People Skills' in action!

My table display for the Cookie Kick-Off event...It's all about BOOKS...

As troop after troop stopped by my table to learn what 'People Skills' looked like, I told them how I used my people skills to share my love of book binding with people when I attend vendor events to SELL my books. I explained how my vendor table looks when selling my books, much like the image above. I shared how I talk to people to explain my process of book binding, altered books and art journals...

My book press - it generated great interest and many demos of how it works!

I had my book press with me to share how it's used in book binding, so they could see how a book press worked; instruction of my process and tools of the trade = people skills!

I told them about the book binding workshop I conducted to help girl scouts earn their book binding badge, which also uses people skills of talking and lecturing, as well as listening, in the event of trouble shooting needed during a workshop...

Promo materials for my workshop: pictures of the original workshop in 'book' binders, flyers and business cards

I also used this time to explain (sell!) to the parents and troop leaders all about my book binding workshop: how long it lasts, what it entails, what the students learn/take home and what is included in the cost. Selling skills = people skills!

Troop after troop stopped by my table to learn about people skills, then get their "cookie college" card stamped by me.

I never talked so much in ALL MY LIFE!!

I did manage to sell two collage cover notebooks and two small stab stitch booklets and I gave away more flyers about my workshop than I expected. Many thanks go to my dear boyfriend for sprucing up the simple text flyer I created by adding the Girl Scout book binding badge icon and my blog banner - he is a smart fellow for doing that and the flyers looked great!

I also had fun talking with my 'next door neighbor', a man who was in charge of the character costume for a mascot called "Sammy Rabbit" for the Pasadena Federal Credit Union - I believe they embodied the skill of 'Money Management'!

Here's Sammy Rabbit blowing me a kiss! Hee hee, isn't he CUTE??!?

I spoke to the man in charge of the costume since I used to make such things during my costume career and it turned out we both knew and worked with the same man who was great at making these character costumes, but had retired some years ago. It was fun to talk about that time in my life again!

I really wasn't quite sure what to expect with this event and I really wasn't prepared to talk so much for three hours back-to-back. My throat was getting sore and swollen but luckily things quieted down enough for me to rest my voice before it was time to pack up and head home.

I spent the rest of the day and evening resting and being very quiet, something my dear boyfriend is not quite used to!! ;)

Regarding the creative workshop I hoped to teach on Sunday - it did not take place. 

I had sent out the email with instructions to RSVP, since I intended to host a small tea party at the end of the workshop and I would need to know how many people to purchase refreshments for. I did not receive a single RSVP, and among the group of friends I sent an advance notice to, only one sent a word of support and encouragement. The messages of encouragement and support I did receive from blog buddies was MOST APPRECIATED!! Thank you all for sending them - I do wish I lived in your countries so we could have a wonderful afternoon being creative and relaxing with a simple tea party!

I am not discouraged by the lack of interest in this first workshop. I know that I may have sent this initial invite a little late and, after the holiday season, many folks are usually on a 'spending diet', after purchasing gifts...and I still have workshops planned for the months ahead, so there is time to generate interest and gain students.

I was also relieved that I wouldn't have to teach, using my voice even more, the day after the cookie event - I might have ended with no voice at all!

It was quite a weekend and here my...
  • It's best to send advance notice for events, more than three weeks in advance if possible, to allow people time to plan and participate
  • Its best not to book events back-to-back in one weekend that will require me talking A LOT! It won't help me to lose my voice for future teaching gigs!
  • I am getting GREAT at sharing my love of book binding, my enthusiasm for teaching basic book binding skills, and explaining my art process, which gets people excited about wanting to learn book binding!

In Other News:
I'll have information about my next creative workshop on my events page soon so be sure to check back and find out the what and the when; I'll also have info about the upcoming Silverlake Craft Fair that I plan to attend in February, which reminds me...


I've got things to do and bags to pack so stay tuned for more about that!

Friday, January 18, 2013

What's Happening (Or Not!) This Weekend...

Hello Dear Blog Readers,
This will be an interesting weekend, if all goes well...

As you know, I have scheduled a workshop to take place from my home but I have yet to receive any sign-ups for this workshop. However, I will be a vendor at another event the day before, so I might just get a few people to sign up for it - I'm keeping the faith!

The vendor event I'll be attending is a Girl Scout Cookie Kick-Off event in Downey. I was invited to participate in this event from the girl scout troop leader that requested my first book binding workshop. I was very excited to get the invite and I look forward to sharing my love of book binding with more troops!

I will have my own table for this event, which will be great! I'm going to print pictures taken from the original workshop to create a poster or a 'book' that can promote my book binding workshop so other troops can earn their book binding badge...and I can get more CREATIVE WORK!

I began another series of small booklets using stencils and watercolor. I will have these available to sell at the Cookie Kick-Off event - here is the progress of these booklets so far...

Stencil is laid down with crayons for a simple 'wax resist' technique...

Then water color is added and the stenciled design remains with a wash of color to emphasize the design...

Before watercolor...

...after watercolor...

I also have been making more small stab stitch books during the holidays that will be available at the event:

Small stab stitch books that can be stashed in a pocket or purse - I love portable books*!

I've still got a lot to do before Saturdays event, so I better hop to it! You can find out the details of the Saturday vendor event on my Upcoming Events page. Stop by if you're in the area and say hello or buy some Girl Scout cookies!

* - Regarding my dilemma to buy/not buy a new gratitude journal: I may take SueAnn's suggestion to improvise a new gratitude journal using the stab stitch method - it would certainly help me use up my supplies and it would also be a nice portable book - I'll keep you posted but you can weigh in on this dilemma and let me know your thoughts at this blog post!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Journaling Dilemma...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I just realized that I may have a bit of a journal dilemma...

I mentioned in my last post that I was making an "accomplishment jar" instead of a "gratitude jar" because I already have a gratitude journal I've been keeping since June. Each night, before I fall asleep, I write down things that have happened during my day that I am grateful for. Last night I discovered that I am about to run out of pages in my Gratitude journal!

My current gratitude journal with some collage on the cover to make it my own...

I have also shared my year long plan to refrain from buying any new art supplies, which includes blank books, because I have so many blank books I am always buying, but not using! Here is my collection, so far:

Blank books of various sizes with lined or blank paper...the one on the far left is a Sabrina Harrison Ward journal

I want to make sure you see that there are three books nestled in the box at the bottom of this pile!

That is the collection of regular to small sized books that were bought for writing in, though the Sabrina Harrison Ward book was bought for art journaling. Here are the small sized books, most of which I've had for over ten years, all unused...

These are approximately 4"x 4" in size, though the smallest one is about 2"x 4"...

I've had this unique little blank book for almost 20 years! I really love the vintage photo on the cover...

And these are the blank books I've bought for art purposes, which doesn't include the two large black books that measure 11" x 14" each - they were a bit big to photograph!

2 blank books for collage that measure 6" x 6" and one small linen covered journal for creating watercolors...

I believe this is just about all the blank books I have in my current collection! It does seem that I do not need to purchase another blank book or journal...
So here is my dilemma: I had expressed the hope to get another special journal made by Kristen to use for my nightly gratitude list, which I mentioned after receiving the beautiful journal cover for my year-end worksheets. But if I am doing a year-long challenge to not buy new art supplies (which is including blank books/journals), then it seems that I will not be able to have Kristen create a lovely journal to use for my nightly gratitude ritual.

But here is what I REALLY love about the journal she made for me, that makes me want to buy a new one:
  • It really made me HAPPY and JOYFUL to use it for my year-end worksheets
  • I continue to use it for goal and dream planning maintenance
  • It is portable so I take with me to my dear boyfriends home when I am with him on the weekends (which I'm not able to do with my current gratitude journal, but I want to continue with this ritual on the weekends)
You might be wondering right now if I can use any of the blank books in my current collection for the new gratitude journal - here is the break down of how I planned to use them at the time of purchase:

Two of the blank journals with the floral patterns were purchased to be used for goal planning and to-do lists and I am happy to begin using those for that purpose. The smaller books were purchased to be used as field notebooks to be kept in my purse, and I do this fairly regularly.

The small 4" x 4" books were purchased to be made into some form of art books, before I really knew what those were, and I still want to use them for that purpose. Of course, the art books will be used for art journaling...

Since virtually all the blank books I have in my collection are generally 'spoken for' will this allow me to purchase a lovely journal from Kristen for my gratitude journal??!?

What do you think Dear Blog Readers? Should I use one of the blank books I already have, or should I purchase a lovely new journal from Kristen to use for my nightly gratitude ritual?

Weigh in and let me know what you think!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Making An 'Accomplishment Jar'...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I wanted to share a small project I am just starting to create: an "Accomplishment Jar"...

I found this idea on the Facebook page of a dear blog buddy, Tinniegirl. It was actually listed as "a gratitude jar filled with memories", but I already keep a gratitude journal, which I began last June. I did, however, like the idea of keeping memories to look back upon at the end of 2013 and I thought why not keep memories of things I accomplish, as I move toward CREATIVE WORK for 2013?

My "Accomplishment Jar", so far...

So I found a jar I could use, among the many, MANY jars I've collected for storage. Then, as I was going through my rubber stamps, to see what I could cull (then giveaway in accordance with my year-long challenge!), I found a rubber stamp that I don't use very often but really wanted to keep and I realized that using it for the purpose of writing down my accomplishments would allow me to keep this pretty stamp...

Using a rubber stamp to make 'accomplishment tags' for my jar...

I decided that the stamped side will have the date of the accomplishment, and I'll fill in details of the accomplishment on the back of the tag. I'm still thinking about how I want to decorate my jar, but I'll share the images of the jar later after I've decorated it.

I am excited about this idea and I got more excited when I realized that I already have some accomplishments to write down:

  • I managed to get contact information for two program coordinators at the Burbank Library who I could talk to about conducting my book binding workshops
  • I already spoke with one of them for an introductory chat and she was excited about my ideas - I hope to have a formal meeting with both coordinators soon
  • I received an invite to participate in a Girl Scout Cookie Kick Off event to promote my book goods AND promote my workshop to other Girl Scout troops
  • I've been putting out the word for my first creative workshop in my home!

These are small steps I'm taking to get to where I hope to be in my life, but I am excited that they are happening and I love the idea of keeping track of these baby steps in my jar so I can look back in December 2013 and see how many baby steps I've taken and see how much I actually accomplish...

Why not create a jar for all your accomplishments in 2013?!

Many thanks to Tinniegirl for sharing this wonderful idea on her Facebook page!

Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm Hosting A Workshop!

Hello Dear Blog Readers!

Some of you may know by now, but I'm excited to announce that I'll be hosting workshops from my home starting this month!

I have been considering this for quite awhile but it became clear that I would have to host my own workshops from my own home for the following reason: many of the venues that hold creative workshops have been closing!

Sadly, the venues I had hoped to teach from such as Urban Craft Center located in Santa Monica, and Home Ec in Silverlake, have shut the doors to their brick and mortar stores!

Last month, on a recent outing to South Pasadena where the wonderful shop Zinnia was located, I discovered that they, too, had closed their doors and I missed enjoying one last visit by six weeks...what's a Creative Beast to do??

The Creative Beast decides to host workshops from her own home!

I'll be hosting a monthly workshop that will finish with a simple and fun tea party afterward to replenish our stomachs after we have replenished our souls with artwork. For fun, I'm calling this creative workshop series "CrafTea"!

Here is the description of my first workshop, which you can also find on my Events page, where you will find more details included:

Meaningful Mail Art Post Card

Here is what you will learn:

  • You will learn a simple wax resist technique to create a colorful background for your postcard
  •  Through sharing a meaningful story of personal values you will glean a word that will be the inspiration for your postcard
  • You will layer paper ephemera and decorative tapes to create a collage
  • You will add your meaningful word from your shared story onto your postcard, then address it to yourself
Now here is the twist:
I will collect your postcard and mail it to you when you least expect it as a reminder of your meaningful values!

The workshop will finish with a simple tea party which will include appetizers, sweet treats and of course, tea.


And, of course, some form of chocolate will be included ;)

This idea has been in my mind for many months now, so a lot of the cleaning and clearing I've been doing in my humble abode for these past months has been done toward creating the space to host such an event, both physically and mentally.

I've been gathering a few emails for an email list, so the word of this event has gone out to the small list I've cultivated, and a special message went out to a few special friends in advance.

I also included some dear blog buddies in the email to keep them in the loop though, sadly, they are too far to attend, which many of them would do as they have been responding. I may have to find a way to turn this into an e-course, so they can participate from afar!

This first workshop is due to take place in approximately one week and though I do not know how this first event will turn out, I can say that I'm very excited to announce it here on my blog, especially since it's in alignment with my word for 2013, CREATIVE WORK.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and would like to participate, send me an email at:

thecreativebeast (at) gmail (dot) com 

I'd love to see you in my workshops!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Tiny Confession...

Hello Dear Blog Readers,

I have a tiny confession to make...

I told you about my year-long challenge to Buy No New Art Supplies in 2013, but I did not tell you about the last 'hurrahs' I purchased before 2012 was over...but there were only 3 'hurrahs'!!

I must confess that the thought of being unable to buy ANY new supplies did have me in a tiny bit of a panic, so I made a mad dash to pick up three things before the end of the old year:

A last bit of decorative paper tape...

It came in a batch of three and this is the LAST paper tape I've purchased!

...A last bit of vintage ephemera...

vintage unused tickets from this Etsy vendor; this is the last ephemera I buy for the next 12 months!

...One last vintage book...

I've been coveting this book of math tables for the past year because I love to use mathematical ephemera in my collage work, but I SWEAR it's the last vintage book I buy!

Oh! and there is the special artist journal that was made by this wonderful artist and blogger, that I purchased as a way to support her art...I guess that makes FOUR last 'hurrahs', not three.

All of these items have been arriving this week, but they WERE purchased in 2012, not in 2013, I can assure you!

That is my confession, Dear Blog Reader - I hope you can forgive for my weakness, but I promise that I will not purchase any more new art supplies for 2013!

Now, I did mention that I may need to purchase TOOLS for the upcoming workshop at the Artful Journey Retreat, and this is because I do not own a Japanese screw punch, which is on the list of supplies/tools. I may look into borrowing this item but I have been thinking of purchasing this tool to use for my book binding projects. I'll continue to think about my options, whether I will purchase or borrow this VERY necessary item. Luckily, I have everything else on the list for the workshop, so no new supplies are needed!

In the meantime, I've been going through my rubber stamp collection and there are a few that I'm setting aside to share or swap with you all. I'll photograph them and begin the list of goods to share soon, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Year Long Challenge For 2013...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!

I've been spending time with my dear boyfriend, since he took some extra time off for the holidays. It's been a much needed time of relaxation, though I have used some of the time to begin planning CREATIVE WORK for 2013. I've also been giving thought to a year-long challenge I've decided to make for myself...

In the past, I participated in a form of this challenge, which was my No Clothes Challenge. It was not easy, but I did realize that I really didn't need any new clothes (or shoes, hats or handbags!) to get through one year with all the clothes I already had in my closet. Interestingly, the money that would have been spent on clothing was then spent on art supplies (not surprising!) after attending my first art retreat a few months after embarking on this no clothes challenge...

Today, as I continue with the cleaning and clearing of my humble abode, I have come to realize that I have an ABUNDANCE of art supplies, an abundance that would take a few years to work through before I need to buy more. So I have decided to buy no new art supplies for one year, but that's not all...

I have also realized that I have an abundance of quite a few things it will take me awhile to use up such as:

beads and jewelry supplies...
This is approximately 2/3 of my entire stash of jewelry supplies...

...rubber stamps...
This is approximately 1/4 of the entire collection of stamps

...vintage lace trims...
 This represents approximately 1/6 of my vintage lace stash

...stationary, new or vintage...
 This shows approximately 1/3 of my collection, which does NOT include my handmade envelopes...

...handmade envelopes, for my personal use or for selling in my Etsy shop, eventually..
These are for my personal use and it represents 1/3 of my handmade stash...

...blank books for journals, whether written or artful and books for altering...
These two boxes represent approximately 1/4 of the books I've collected for altering or recycling

...scrapbook paper, cardstock, paper ephemera...
The plastic storage bins represent 1/6 of my entire collection of paper stash - it really IS quite a lot!

...and then there are the vintage stamps, vintage photos, yarn and fabric!

Yes, I really do have quite a LOT of goods and supplies to use up and I am determined to use them up in CREATIVE WORK this year or to share them with you Dear Blog Reader!

Now, I have realized that there may need to be just a few exceptions to this challenge:
  • I will need to replace glues as they get used up, which will include gel mediums, stick glues and decoupage glues, though I tend to use gel medium the most, which means my bottle of Mod Podge may take awhile to get used up
  • Replacement blades for my cutting tools such as rotary cutters and exacto blades since these do get dull over time with frequent use
  • THREAD: new color thread for sewing projects I take on for clients, replacement thread if I use up currently existing spools. I would include thread for book binding, but the only thread I anticipate using up is my red thread. As you can see, I have an abundance of book binding threads, too:
...approximately 1/3 of my book binding thread stash...

  • Rubber stamp ink IF it dries out...but I have quite a few of these too, so this may not apply ;)
  • Tools needed for my upcoming Artful Journey Retreat workshop that I am participating in - I have already purchased paper to be used in the workshop and plan to use the rest for remaining book binding projects this year; there may need to be some new paints, but I will check my list before making that purchase!

I plan to post a new page to this blog to share some of the abundance of my supplies with many of you, so if you see something you'd like to have, you can contact me. I would also be open to a swap of my supplies for something you might have that I might be looking for, such as the following case... 

Though I am restricting rubber stamp purchases, I am putting the word out in case someone is able to locate some rubber stamps I am currently searching for, with no luck. I bought a few number stamps from a discount store and used them to create this New Year image:

Unfortunately, I was unable to acquire any other numbers and I would love to complete the series if anyone is able to locate them for me! I made a few postcards using this image and I would love to make a series for 2014 and beyond, if possible. If anyone knows where this rubber stamp series can be found, or if anyone has them but is not interested in keeping them, let me know and I'm happy to swap out some of my rubber stamps, or other supplies!

So there you have it - Buy No New Art Supplies in 2013! It began on January 1, 2013 and it will end on December 31, 2013. I'll let you all know how it goes, so be sure to stay tuned!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In With The New...

Hello and Happy New Year to you all, Dear Blog Readers!

I hope you all enjoyed a fabulous New Years Eve celebration, or maybe you have enjoyed watching The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade today. It's a personal tradition that I watch the first run of this gorgeous parade every January 1 and today was no exception!

I love having special traditions and rituals in my life and Word Of The Year has become a great annual ritual that I now look forward to doing, though the word that came to me for the new year was not exactly one I would have considered. Let me share how my word for 2013 came about...

A few weeks ago I was out for my morning walk. As I waked I began to ponder what my word for 2013 should be and a few words swam around in my head but one forced itself to the forefront of my brain:


"UGH!" I thought, as WORK was making its presence known to me. Why would anyone, let alone ME, want to have the word WORK as a guiding force for a year???

But then my creative brain began to remind me that I usually add a descriptive word to my main word, in order to have as much clarity about my word as possible. In the past "Art-FULL Creativity" manifested as just that - a year of art making and sharing, which exercised my creativity. Another year was "Amazing Opportunities", because I wanted AMAZING opportunities, not just any old, run-of-the-mill opportunities, and there were many that year. Last year I chose ABUNDANT SUPPORT and I can tell you that I definitely got it in 2012!

But the word WORK hung heavy for me, a reminder of my previous job, in an isolating environment, being overloaded, underpaid and surrounded by people that didn't appreciate what I did or who I really was.

My creative brain reminded me that WORK did not have to be the kind of work I had been doing in the past - office work. It could be fun, it could be playful, it could be collaborative, with like-minded people. It could be meaningful, it could be healing, it could be what I am...


I realized that CREATIVE WORK was the right word for me because I feel ready to create a work-life that WORKS for ME, instead of trying to fit myself into a model that doesn't feel right, that doesn't serve me.

I mentioned this seedling of an idea with Kristen, the lovely woman who created the beautiful Word Of The Year journal for me and she had an excellent suggestion for my word:


I loved her suggestion because it continues to define and refine my idea of WORK in 2013. I want to CREATE the WORK I want to do to earn my living, because it will be in alignment with who I am, what I do and it will be alignment with my values. And so this is my word to guide me in 2013:


While working through the Unravelling worksheets, I found other words to support my guiding word for 2013. Here they are:


And I think I should add:


I already have some ideas of what I can CREATE for WORK in my life:

  • continue being a vendor at the Silverlake Art*Craft*Vintage fair - I can sell my creative goods and maybe even offer some on-the-spot demo workshops in book binding!
  • continue making hand bound books to sell in my Etsy shop
  • create some fun workshops to conduct in my own humble abode and I plan to host my first workshop THIS MONTH!
  • create an e-book to share with you all
  • create some tutorials on creative projects that I love to do
  • create a few Party Hats to sell in my Etsy shop and offer custom order to commemorate special events
Of course, I have other ideas, but I think this list is enough to start with for January 1! Looking at this list I certainly have my WORK cut out for me! ;)

I have been thinking about doing a year long challenge for 2013 and I have decided that the challenge will be to BUY NO MORE ART SUPPLIES in 2013!

Yes, you read that correctly. I will not buy any more art supplies this year, but I will share more about this challenge in the next few days, since I do have a few details to work out and maybe an exception or two to this rule. For now, I have revealed my Word Of The Year and I'll let that soak in...

It seems to me that I have QUITE enough supplies to last for a few years! ;)

HOORAY for 2013 and a year of CREATIVE WORK and ABUNDANT POSSIBILITIES for us all!