Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Thankful Thursday

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Today is the last day of Blogtoberfest and it's also Halloween, with Day of the Dead looming tomorrow. There is a lot converging lately, but here is my list of things I'm thankful for on this day:

Thankful for my dear boyfriend and his wonderful love and support!

Thankful for my sewing student who completed a costume she chose to make for her friend:

Thankful for some AMAZING Scrap-O-Dex art cards arriving in my mail box!

 Thankful for getting some book binding done this week:

Thankful for making progress on this dress project, though I've changed the sleeves a bit:

Thankful for my good health...

Thankful for hearing a meaningful message when I needed it most... 

Thankful for good friends who are GREAT listeners...

Thankful for another fun year of Blogtoberfest!! I will miss the daily posts, but I'm ready for a break, which is much needed as I move forward with some big changes and transitions in the weeks ahead...

What are YOU thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Talkative Tuesday

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Can you believe that there are only 3 days left of Blogtoberfest? Time does fly, especially when ones life is packed with change and transition...

Many of you readers know that I have been cleaning and clearing a lot out of my home in an effort to manifest better things into my life, like more meaningful and creative work, more teaching and sharing my skills and experience with others and, especially, a new home in a nice neighborhood, something I first wrote about in this blog post...

One way I have been attempting to clean and clear my abundant sewing supplies has been to start cutting the projects my fabrics were bought/meant for!

Fabric bought to make aprons is now cut into an apron to be sewn!

I began cutting fabric projects in the hopes I can head to this sewing studio to rent some studio time to use the industrial machines to sew on. The industrial machines are much faster than home sewing machines, which means I would get more sewing accomplished in less time!

I am also cutting some projects that can be made up on my overlock sewing machine at home, and this newest project can be assembled in 10 to 20 minute time slots since it's a 'patchwork' project - my recycled t-shirt dress in shades of periwinkle and indigo blues:

The bodice/top is already sewn together - now to sew the 'patches' together and assemble all parts of the dress...

Cutting my projects in preparation for sewing might have been one of the best ideas I've had for awhile, especially since cutting projects is my least favorite aspect of sewing!

When I have an idea to create a new garment, I go through the concept of creating the garment in my head so often, I forget that it still needs to be CUT OUT before I can actually sew it into reality!

If I can just cut my projects in preparation to sewing them, I think I can downsize my bins of fabrics so there will be less to take with me when I move...

Yes, Dear Blog Readers, it now looks like I will be moving in the near future and I am struggling with this big change and transition...which made me think of Day of the Dead...

"Day of the Dead" aka "Dia De Los Muertos", celebrates loved ones who have transitioned from this life into a new life in another world...

This past weekend, I attended a Day of the Dead festival at a local museum. I saw a performance of a wonderful storyteller, who performs with his wife and children and it was a wonderful show with amazing music.

Now, why am I thinking of Day of the Dead as a move from my home is imminent?

While watching the storytelling, there seemed to be many messages in the course of the show, which was about the meaning and history of Day of the Dead:

Day of the Dead is not about the finality of Death because Death is not final but a transition into another world and so, Day of the Dead is a CELEBRATION of TRANSITION

So, I am trying to embrace and celebrate this change and transition as it comes into my life...

I hope to share this chapter of my life with you in the weeks to come, though it may not be easy as my time becomes filled with the logistics of packing and moving, but I might be able to share my prepped projects as they become completed projects, so be sure to stay tuned!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Photomosaic Monday

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Today I'm excited to share some photos I shot at a wonderful Day of the Dead event I attended this weekend...I hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Sunday Snippets

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Here is a peek at my week in pictures...

I'll be sharing more photos tomorrow for 'Mosaic Monday', so be sure to stay tuned =-)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Six/Seven Thoughts on Saturday...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Here are a few thoughts swimming in my head this week:

Why do you ALWAYS find a use for that very thing you clean out of your home AFTER ITS GONE?!?
I've been cleaning out my book collection and I thought I was doing well, but now I'm wondering: 

How did I manage to collect SO MANY craft books??

Why don't people throw more costume parties, instead of waiting for Halloween to dress up?

Thank goodness for the Renaissance Faire! I get to dress up twice a year...

I occasionally watch movies about artists, but when I do, all I can think of is this:

Why is EVERY artist's story I watch seem to be riddled with drugs and self-destruction?!?

Not all artists are like that and I think now is the time for movies to reflect more uplifting artist stories...

I am a HUGE fan of books, but I have begun to purchase e-books as a way to save space and storage, but I do wonder:

Will e-books ever REALLY replace the feeling you get from handling a traditional, traditionally bound book??

Is it really necessary to begin advertising Christmas before Halloween arrives??

I think we ALL know when Christmas is ;)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Friends on Friday

Hello Dear Blog Readers,
Today I'm happy to re-post this Creative Beast Interview with Art Journal artist, author and instructor, Orly Avineri.

I met Orly at my second Artful Journey Retreat and, not long after, I began attending her monthly art journal workshops in Redondo Beach. You can see how fabulous her art journal workshops are by checking out these blog posts, and you can learn more about Orly by reading this great interview...

NOTE: the interviews can be lengthy, but they are also full of juicy inspiration! Make a cup of your favorite coffee or tea, draw up a chair to make yourself comfy and savor the stories...

***This interview was originally posted July 8, 2011

Who first introduced you to creating? Was it a family member - a teacher? How did that person influence you?

It was a "situation" in my early childhood that introduced me to creating. A time when all that I knew seemed to be lost, but a notebook and a pencil seemed to always be easily found, when much alone time on my hands made me use them. A time fostering a deep need to create things out of nothings.

Spread # 126 - "Own Art" from March 2011 on Orly's blog...

What were your first creative actions that you remember? (Sewing, Dancing, Painting, etc?)

Using these notebooks and pencils to draw, doodle, and sketch what was right there in front of me, recording imaginative 'freedom maps' as I see them, and inventing fantastical worlds for me to be comfortably living in or escaping to.

Making art is a wonderful way to move through troublesome times and sketching is simple, requiring only some paper and a pencil! I'm glad you turned to art to help you through your difficult situation Orly - it has certainly reaped some amazing benefits in your life!

Do you have a favorite medium to create in? If so, what is it?

Art journaling is my thing. I'm passionate about making a tactile image that contains visual and textual mixed-media elements in my physical journal, then scanning it into Photoshop, further 'working on it' with computer graphic tools and applying it into a digital format to be posted on my blog, to be later accompanied by my words. That's what I love doing. I love combining all the mediums I ever created in into one medium, that I don't have to choose one or the other, that all is incorporated and integrated and possible.

Well, it's certainly clear that art journaling is what you love doing Orly! So many rich layered images can be found on your blog... and it's great when you can combine more than one style of art in your work...

Spread #123 - "Journaling and Exuberance" from March 2011...

How do you feel when you are creating in your chosen medium?

Liberated, expressive, smart, inspired, lively, light, gentle, loveful, playful, ageless, vibrant, layered, deep, mindful, forgiving, abundant, present, valuable, complicated yet simple, out of control yet in control. I like me when I am all of the above and more, all at once.

WOW! It sounds like you are feeling VIBRANTLY ALIVE when you are creating Orly!

Spread #78 - "Giving Thanks to Words" - as we can see, Orly has a GREAT way with words!

What is the greatest joy you derive from creating? Accomplishment? The process? Sharing it with others? Please explain…

I've been working in the creative field as a fine artist, graphic designer, illustrator, muralist, textile designer, and a mixed-media artist for a very long time now. What I love about art journaling is that it is an all-inclusive art form where everyone is welcome and is warmly invited to partake, that it focuses on the journey and not on the destination. An art journal lies somewhere between a diary hidden under a mattress and a painting showcased in a gallery. This is where my comfort zone is and I believe that this is the appeal that art journaling has for many individuals. The interplay between it being concealing and revealing, being private and public, an alone activity or a collaborative adventure and the relations between boundless art methods and materials has magical and wondrous properties for me.

Do you think a creative life comes from ideas, doing or being?

From all of these, and from so many other obvious and more obscure sources. Above all, a creative life for me derives from pure necessity...not being able or wanting to live differently...yearning to live originally.

Spread #1 - "Vroom" from Orly's very first blog post in June 2008 - what a great mission statement!

How do you express your creative life? Is it integrated in your daily life or is it a separate part of your life?

In general I believe that a truly creative life is manifested in EVERYTHING and is not fragmented. One doesn't even have to be an artist to have a creative life. It's in my attitude toward the mornings, when I wake up, toward my days, places, people, the worlds around me, within me, and toward worlds much farther away from me. Foremost, a creative life is in my attitude toward my mortality. I create my life as I live it.

I agree that one does not have to be an ARTIST to be creative, it's definitely in one's approach to all facets of living, whether it's clothing style, cooking or one's view of the world...

Can you think of a time when someone else’s creativity fed you? What was that like?

I cannot think of a specific time, as every day countless individuals' creativity feeds me. For example, these thoughtful and thought evoking questions asked by you feed me today. I crave to be fed by others' creativity so I look for it and make sure I find it, in new and unexpected places everyday. I am indeed a starving artist.

Orly, I feel honored that you consider this interview to be source of creative inspiration. And I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the way you have re-framed the old phrase of "starving artist"! From now on, I will be PROUD to call myself a "Starving Artist" as I too crave beauty and visual inspiration every single day and I just can't get enough ;)

What is the most significant creative event in your life to date? Was it a defining moment? Was it a milestone or a lifetime goal?

I've been journaling for about three years now. What got me deeply into art journaling was my blog. The routine process of making an image that contains visual and textural elements, applying it into a digital spread, posting it on my blog, and naming it a journal entry, is quite similar to the process of keeping a real journal. Soon distinctions between virtual journaling and actual journaling have been blurred for me. Through art journaling and blogging I have gained the clearest, sweetest form of identity.

Do you think it’s necessary/important to be a self-sustaining artist?

Not necessarily for everyone. But for me, after years of realizing other people's creative visions, becoming a self-sustaining artist was essential. At some point I understood that it is time for me to be all that I can be, something I couldn't possibly be at 'work'. Being a self-sustaining artist became the only way to be, a need to evolve into a whole, to unite all contradicting aspects of who I am into one liberated, meaningful life. True contentment.

What is it like to be a self-sustaining artist?

There is nothing quite like it. To be able to teach, to help others find their long-lost creativity, recognize it, explore it, and deepen it, is purely magical. And through the teaching of others, to enrich your own creative process, is absolutely a beautiful thing. Now to be able to put food on my family's table through such practices, that's just fantastic. Honestly, it fills me with daily pride and gratitude.

As someone who has been present in your workshops, I can attest to your amazing abilities in helping others uncover that long lost creativity, Orly. It's great to be part of the give and take that happens in your workshops and I feel lucky indeed to witness the magic that your life has become as it INSPIRES me to move toward the same goal...

Spread #3 - "Mapping Me" from July 2008...

Is your life different from the time when you worked for others?

Completely. There is absolutely nothing like having 100% creative freedom at all times.

I hear you Orly! I've had such freedom in the past and I'm definitely working on having that kind of freedom in my life again as I move forward and away from the world of 9 - 5...

***   ***   ***
I hope you enjoyed this Creative Interview and I hope you have enjoy a great weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Thankful Thursday

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Here are few things I'm thankful for this Thursday:

Thankful that I have enough money to get my car repaired!

Thankful to have two students for personal instruction this week...

Thankful for my bicycle to get me to my part-time job, and visits to the library for books and movies to borrow...

Thankful for trading clothes and books to get enough money for fixing my car...and paying my rent!

Thankful for a good friend who reminded me that I have accomplished quite a lot this past year...

Thankful for the support of my Life Coach Pete...

Thankful for the love and support of my dear boyfriend =-)

What are YOU thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Talkative Tuesday

Hello Dear Blog Readers,
I am not sure how to approach this week of Talkative Tuesday, especially since I have been writing a bit of a serial to share my Office Art Book and the horrible job that launched it...

I recently shared that I have taken on a part-time job, which I have done to bring in much needed money to cover my living expenses, since my efforts to launch my creative career, which includes teaching, is taking longer than I expected...

Now, I thought I would continue with this line of sharing, but I really have no desire to share anything about my part-time job, despite it being related to the arts and empowering women in the arts, which are closely related to some of my personal values of ART and COMMUNITY...this is because my new work environment is sadly similar to my previous work environment* - a non-profit with 'scarcity mentality',  a 'put out fires' approach to planning work, and a somewhat isolating environment...

No, I do not wish to share anything about this new work situation I find myself in, AT ALL...

So what to talk about on Talkative Tuesday??

Perhaps a few bullet points about myself to let some new readers, visiting by way of Blogtoberfest, learn a little bit about me...and perhaps I'll continue to learn more about myself!

Here I am, in a few 'bullet points':

My grandmother taught me to sew by hand when I was about 6 years old - I then began to sew all my own dolls and doll clothes...then make them to sell:

I make boy dolls as well as girl dolls! I also do custom work to match hair and eye color...

Making dolls and doll clothes might be why I have always had a love of clothes, fashion and style...and costumes

My grandmother taught me to sew on a sewing machine at the age of 11. I still have this machine and the overlock machine she helped me to buy when I completed my learning in fashion design and pattern drafting:

When I was a young girl I loved drawing flowers in pink and red...

As I grew older, I was never a fan of the color red or wearing it (until recently!) mostly because of some of the negative aspects of the color, but I wear it for the positive aspects now - energy, passion, love!
I have yet to out grow the color pink...and I eventually returned to the combo of pink and red for a skirt I made from old t-shirts...

I have seen this photo of my skirt on MANY Pinterest boards - I may have to create an online workshop for this project!

My grandmother taught me the basics of knitting - knit and purl, decrease and bind-off. I did not begin to learn more advanced knitting skills until 5 years ago...

A shawl project I hope to complete by next month - I said that last year but this year I'm DETERMINED!

When I returned to knitting in my late 20's, I had to call the yarn store I had visited to ask someone to help me remember how to bind off my knitting! And we managed it over the phone!!

In my late teens/early twenties, I stopped sewing for two whole years because I was frustrated with the results I was getting from my projects, many of which were cut on the fly WITHOUT A PATTERN!! No wonder my projects weren't working...

I later learned that my great grandmother had a talent for looking at a person and cutting a garment from fabric WITHOUT A PATTERN, and the garment would fit...I had to learn pattern drafting to make this happen. Some things don't always get handed down from generation to generation ;)

I studied Fashion Design and Pattern Drafting because I wanted to make myself better fitting historical costumes! Okay, and better fitting clothes...but mostly costumes!

One of many costumes I wear at Renaissance Faire - I made the skirt, chemise, bodice and trimmed my hat!

I always loved making my own clothes so I could wear something no one else had...

A dress made from various t-shirts - I'm creating another dress in shades of periwinkle and blue...

I have been a big vintage fan since my teens, whether it was clothing, accessories or housewares...

A vintage teacup and saucer that belonged to my grandmother - the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree!

Working with my hands provides a great deal of accomplishment, which adds to my self esteem about my abilities and capability in Life...

Small hand-crafted hand-bound notebooks - you can find them for sale in my Etsy shop

I really enjoy teaching my skills and sharing my experience with others so they can have the same feelings of accomplishment and self esteem - they are great feelings to have!

***   ***   ***

Well, I think that is more than enough bullet points to share today...and I also think this was more fun than talking about office jobs!!

There is only more Talkative Tuesday before the end of Blogtoberfest - I'm not sure what I will talk about next week, but I do hope you stop by to visit...maybe I will finally get around to having a giveaway next week before Blogtoberfest ends, so stay tuned!

* - In my post of '6 or 7 Thoughts on Saturday', I shared that I am working for a non-profit arts organization and many of the thoughts/questions that I shared are an outcome from my previous and current work experiences with non-profits

Monday, October 21, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Photomosaic Monday

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I had a fun Sunday, spending time at two street fairs! Actually, one is a weekly farmers market in Montrose and the other is the annual street fair held in my dear boyfriends neighborhood. Here are some images I shot to share...Enjoy!

Montrose Farmers Market

Sherman Oaks Street Fair