Thursday, January 30, 2014

Creative Inspiration - Book Making...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I just had to share some creative inspiration I recently discovered - this fun YouTube video on making books from cereal boxes!

I've been saving cereal boxes for some time now, mostly for book making projects and the occasional Inspiration Card Deck Swap, but I actually got rid of many of them before the move! I'm glad I didn't get rid of ALL of them, especially after I watched the video. I was so excited I played the video again and began the first part of the process! Here is a peek at the start of some books I'm making from a cracker box:

I was particularly excited about learning how to use the tab from the top of the box as part of the book closure! I just love learning something new...

Now that I've got the base started, I'll be thinking about what to fill the books with and whether or not I'll cover them with collage - be sure to stay tuned for more peeks!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Flea Market Finds and Thoughts on Buying Supplies Again...

Hello Dear Blog Readers,
Today, I'm excited to share a few flea market finds I picked up from my trip to the Topanga Vintage Market on Sunday...

Just a few little things to perk up my creative juices...

This is the second flea market trip I've made this month since my dear boyfriend and I went to the Pasadena City College Flea Market on the first weekend of the new year, where I did NOT buy any supplies of any kind, though my year long challenge to buy No New Art Supplies was officially over...and I certainly remembered my challenge was over while perusing the aisles at the Topanga Vintage Market!

First, was this sweet floral dessert plate I found for only $1:

I knew I still had a glass candle stick I could use to turn this plate into a sweet little cupcake or candy holder...

Add some glue and a cupcake plate is born, like these I've made and shared here...

Then I found this plastic doily for a mere fifty cents:

I actually have a plastic doily just like this that I have used as a stencil, but this new one is bigger and it will be fun to layer them together in some collage/mixed media projects...when I get my first stencil unpacked that is!

Just before we headed out, my dear boyfriend started going back through aisles we had already walked through and just when I was about to remark on 'going around in circles', I found some great scraps of fabric that I'm pretty sure are vintage, purchased for just $2:

I saw the yellow floral first, then the gingham. The floral is only 36 inches wide, which tells me it's a vintage piece and the gingham is a wonderful contrast fabric that can be made into bias trim - my plan is to make an apron with these two fabrics!

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Before making this trip to the flea market, I was pretty clear with myself that I just wanted to walk among vintage goods to get inspired and perk up my creative juices, which have been pushed to the back burner with all the moving and unpacking that I've been doing. I've been torn between unpacking and organizing the new studio space and making time for creative projects. I have not been very creative, in the ways I need to be, and I've been feeling it in my moods lately.

Though I spent a LOT of time cleaning and clearing in my home, this move has made me see that I really have an OVER abundance of supplies to work with, despite regularly culling and giving away much of it through the years. So, of course, I was reluctant to bring home yet MORE supplies...but I did keep the supplies I brought to the new home to a minimum and they HAVE helped to spark my creative if I could just find a place for my sewing machine so I can start sewing an apron!

As for my buy No New Art Supplies Challenge, which included many other types of supplies, I plan to unofficially continue with it, until I can actually start whittling down my current stash of supplies, which for me means working with what I have and getting around to the craft/book-making/clothing projects I've been planning on creating for some time now, like more aprons:

Some aprons I cut just before the move, in the hopes of working through my fabric stash so I wouldn't have to lug it with me! =\

I know I will be much more mindful about supplies I buy in the future, especially after this move and all the downsizing I still need to do.

I'll keep you posted about my progress in working through all my supplies so be sure to stay tuned!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Snippets - A Changing Landscape...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!

It's Sunday Snippets - a peek at my week in pictures...

However, this week I'm sharing a landscape I've grown to love that has changed in the past 4 months...

October 2013

December 2013

Pod blooms sprouted in December due to the unusually warm weather we've had for this time of year...

January 2014


I really liked this tree.

I'm sad to see it gone, but glad I have some photos of it I can look at from time to time...

"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down?..."
Jack Handey

Friday, January 24, 2014

Feeling Disappointed...but DETERMINED!

Hello Dear Blog Readers,
I've been excited about my upcoming creative workshop teaching gig taking place tomorrow at Los Angeles Valley College for the Community Services Program...

Part of the workshop kit for LAVC students available for sale in my Etsy shop...

However, it's now been cancelled due to lack of enrollment.

Needless to say, I was disappointed when I saw the workshop removed from the website, followed by an email from the manager of the program informing me that the workshop had been cancelled...

Paper ephemera scraps are another part of the workshop kit...

Launching a creative teaching career has not been easy, but I'm DETERMINED to keep searching for places or ways to teach and encourage creativity and self-discovery through fact, I'm going to let you in on a little dream I've had for awhile:

I want to create an online workshop

But something has been missing and this is it:

I need YOUR HELP to create it!

I have had a few ideas for an online workshop, but I'm not sure what you readers would REALLY TRULY be interested in:

collage art?
book making?

There are many workshops I've conducted or begun crafting that are listed on my Upcoming Events page and maybe you would have loved to participate in the workshop but you don't live nearby and an online version of the workshop would be great for YOU and your schedule!

I am going to compile a list of workshop ideas and offer my list to you, Dear Blog Reader, so you can help me determine some workshops I can create and post for online participation. However, you are welcome to peruse my current workshop offerings on my Upcoming Events page and choose a workshop from that list - you can leave a comment or send a message if one of my current offerings is something you would like to see online! But in the meantime, be on the lookout for a list of fun and creative workshops that would be made from scratch - there might be something for YOU!

So while I've been feeling disappointed about my cancelled workshop, you can see that I haven't been disappointed for long and, looking on the bright side, it gives me more time to continue unpacking and sorting the new studio make it a little more 'camera-ready'! ;)

And it definitely needs a LOT more work, as you can see!

I'll be posting Sunday Snippets this weekend and sharing a progression of shots of a 'landscape in transition', so be sure to stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Feeling Lost and Adrift...

Not all those who wander are lost - J. R. R. Tolkien

Hello Dear Blog Readers,
I going to cut to the chase and say it:

I have been feeling lost and adrift since moving

As much as I love living with my dear boyfriend in our lovely new home, which is in a MUCH nicer neighborhood than the one I lived in, I have to admit that there are days I miss my humble little abode...

As I began to pack up my old home, I came to the realization that I was going to have to attempt the impossible:

Move my entire 'studio space' into one room

You see, my entire home was actually my studio!

My sewing space and all fabrics and trims were in the spare bedroom:

 My messy sewing table with threads, bobbins and sewing tools stored in the wood organizer

The closet packed with fabrics, trims and clothing projects in progress

More fabrics, stuffing and patterns stored under the 'cutting table'

My collage and painting station was in the dining area:

Many books were also assembled on this table!

My art and bookmaking supplies were in the living room, along with my knitting supplies:

Art and collage supplies, paper punches and books waiting to be altered...

Rubber stamps on display where the scrapbook papers are stored - a large file cabinet that is FILLED to the brim

Knitting needles, tools and patterns were stored in the cabinet for easy access when knitting in the evenings

And my books were everywhere:

Shelves of reading books alongside many craft books...

Another shelving unit with lots of craft books and a few more art supplies!

Trying to pack all of these supplies into one room has been a challenge, to say the least:

All my crafty goods are in this room, hoping to find a home and eventually be made into something...

Another reason I think I've been feeling adrift is the fact that I've been unable to sit down long enough to sit with my Word of the Year (MONEY) and start writing about well as taking time to reflect on the previous year, what worked, what didn't and the accomplishments I made.

I do make a little time here and there to sort out my studio space when I can. Luckily, I recently came across this item during some unpacking:

My Accomplishment Jar - it will be good to open it and see what accomplishments were made in 2013

My Scrap-O-Dex was also in the same box. I don't have a place to display it yet, as I did in my old home, but knowing where my cards are to make a little bit of art is comforting...

***   ***   ***

Yes, there is much to do to organize the new home for me and my dear boyfriend, as well as finding time to sort out the new studio space. I know it will eventually get done, but I do wish I could get it done faster!

And I also know that feeling lost and adrift is temporary, that I will eventually find my way back to creating artful goodies and binding artful books...

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring -
J. R. R. Tolkien

PS: for those of you in the Los Angeles area, my first workshop for Los Angeles Valley College Community Services Department is this Saturday and it's going to be a fun class! Register and sign-up with this link: Mail Art Postcard

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A New Year of New Challenges...

Hello and Happy (Belated?!?) New Year Dear Blog Readers!
It's barely the start of a new year and it already feels like its flying by quickly - how is that possible??

Due to my recent move into a new home with my dear boyfriend, and the addition of the holiday season, I've been swamped with unpacking and settling in...and settling in is taking much longer than I anticipated. Especially since I jettisoned some furniture from my old creative play-space, namely the two main tables I used for 1) my sewing machines and 2) for holding odds and ends...

My old sewing table just before the move took place - my machines are still waiting to be unpacked =-(

My old worktable: meant to be used for cutting clothes to sew, it became a catch-all for bits and bobs instead

When I had both tables I could use the space underneath them for storing boxes of fabrics, stuffing or other items. Now, all the goods are just out in the open with no place to go, no place to be stored...

Though there is a pile of bins and boxes in the middle of the room, it IS giving me an idea for the new layout* of this studio space...

...and with no table to work with, I have no place to do any creative work and no place to teach my in-home workshops. This means the workshop I had planned for this month (Calendar Compositions) won't be happening for awhile...

Luckily, I do have a place to teach and I will begin teaching one of my workshops at Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) Community Services Department!

My very first workshop for LAVC will be held next weekend and I sure hope to get some students for it! I listed this workshop at the start of last year as "Meaningful Mail Art Postcard"- it can be found at the bottom of my Upcoming Events page. In the LAVC catalog, it is simply called "Mail Art Postcard". Here are the details for the original workshop, as listed on my page from last year:

"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!"

I thought this workshop would be a great way to start the new year with art and creativity for those who are looking for a fun and creative way to start their new year...and it will be a great way for me to start my new year, helping others unlock their creativity, something I enjoy doing.

It has been a challenge to settle into a new routine since moving, especially with no real studio space to actually WORK IN, but I have begun to make some progress in organizing the new studio space. Here is how the closet looked in the first weeks of being in the new home:

I have so many packed supplies, I can hardly get to the closet to organize it; also, the shelf is not being well utilized to hold my supplies...

And here is how it looks after some organizing and unpacking took place last week:

NOW, I can actually walk to the closet and open the drawers to the dresser/storage unit and more supplies are being stored on the shelf - WHEW!

My closet in this new studio space contains an old dresser I used to use for storing my personal collection of single teacups and saucers. I'm not sure if I will continue to keep this piece, but I do like the pop of color when I look in that part of the room. I plan to have the closet doors removed for more accessibility and I hope to add an extra shelf to better utilize the upper region of the closet.

Of course, I could also begin working on my many projects that are being stored in boxes and bins to start stream-lining all the stuff I have!

Here's to new beginnings for a new home and a new year!

* - I may buy a new worktable for the new studio and use it in the MIDDLE of the would be a good set-up when I'm able to begin teaching from home again!