Thursday, October 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday

who needs an eight ball?
I have a vague, but cherished childhood memory of one of my first creative ventures. I had commandeered a bunch of kids of various ages, who were my playmates at after school care, and talked them into a plan of creative genius (well, in my mind it was). We were going to get our hands on a bunch of typewriter paper (that's what it was called in those days), construct mountains of paper fortune tellers, and sell them. I don't remember how I planned to move the product, or compensate the kids, but I do remember rows of those brown folding office tables set up outside, with me walking up and down between them, demonstrating each fold, with all the kids following along.

I laugh about it when I remember it, because a) I was cooking up crazy ideas, even when I was a kid, and b) people do actually make beautiful paper fortune tellers for sale now. One has only to head over to Etsy, and plug in "paper fortune teller", "kissing birds", and "cootie catcher", among other names, to find a slew of makers, some who will even customize them for you. I remember the girls used to put things like boys' names or numbers for how many kids we might one day have on the insides for the fortunes, lol. Did you ever make them as a kid? If you'd like to try making them again (perhaps with your kids?), I've designed and posted a printable template on the resources page of my website. You can print, fold, and be telling fortunes in no time! You can also use the template as inspiration for your own design, with your own fortunes written or printed inside! (I do not, however, encourage the whole child labor thing.) Happy making!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Creative [Building] Blocks

what next?
Found some time the other day, between working on other projects, to mess with this little paper mache teacup. It's been floating around my studio for a while, waiting on a bolt of lightning to hit to inspire me on how to finish it. It had a few coats of paint on it, but I felt the need to sand it, and this was the result. A sort of "happy accident" that resembles worn metalware (the painted metal cups and plates that people often take camping). In fact it reminds me of a favorite cup of mine.

Well, I'm leaving it alone again, to focus on other things (mainly commissioned and custom projects with deadlines), and give myself time to decide what kind of design I want to paint or draw over this background. I'm picturing a beautiful line drawing, or something to add some color to it, like a floral or other pattern. Guess we'll see!

This is a typical day/week in my studio. I must have numerous pieces going at one time, since things often need down time between steps for drying, deciding, etc. I'm sure my approach would drive some people crazy, but it has been the best way for me. Over the years, that approach has helped to inject variety into my work, keep me excited about each project, and to be pro-
ductive. Things stay fresh and interesting when I can work in spurts and see progress happening. Bonus: it keeps me from getting stressed out when I hit a roadblock with one thing and need time to figure out an answer. I consider solutions while I move on to other things. I think of myself as a busy bee in my studio, flitting from one piece to the next, moving each one forward and seeing series of things being completed in stages. View some of my finished teacups here.

Anyway, back to flitting for me. How would you finish this piece?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Motivation

I know you've probably been asked this before, but I'm askin again. What crazy thing would you like to be brave enough to do?

I read an article and watched a video last night that I initially planned to just post on facebook, but the post just got too long, and I figured, what do I have a blog for? I love that these two imagined something, then just did it. I recommend watching the short video, not just reading the article, and I hope you get something out of it. I guess I'm sharing this because I've been noticing how some folks are not happy [with their lives, choices, surroundings, whatever]. I glean it from the things they say and the circumstances that seem to frustrate them. My life isn't "perfect" by any means, and I don't have some magic answer, except find what brings you joy, and do that. Get inside yourself and figure out what is important to you, and what you can let go of to make room for something that will fulfill you. That is how I stay happy most of the time, in spite of life, and everything not so fun that comes with it. Choosing to make time for my passion gives me the joy that softens the not so fun stuff, and helps me be grateful for the good stuff. You. Have. One. Life. And many choices. Lecture over. And now, if I may share my favorite quote from the video, which I totally relate to, as a maker of many things: "... sometimes the easiest one is just saying you're an artist". Happy Monday, and a miraculous week to you.

read the article