Monday, July 23, 2012

Creative Juices and Big Messes

It always amazes me how my  creative juices flow or suddenly dry up!  And even more amazing is how they seem to work opposite of what I need!  For instance - I sit down to make a card I need right then and nothing flows!  Why is this?

Huge mess - tiny amount of space!
Then yesterday when I needed to be cleaning and straightening my craft room I couldn't stop creating!  Every time I walked into the room something popped into my head and wanted to be drawn and I mean right that minute.  Not today or even later last night, but right then! So I sat among a huge mess and painted!  Simple little watercolor/marker card fronts but ideas I didn't want to lose.  Once I've drawn something, I can always repeat it, but if I have an idea and don't get it down on paper, it just might never happen.  So while I should have been putting paints away and sorting through paper scraps and making room to scrapbook later this week, I sat and painted little flowers.

I need to head back up today and work some more, but I am almost afraid of the room now!  I saw so many projects that I've got ready to start that I just want to lock myself in the room and create!  Not what I need to do today! The one thing I know for sure, I don't need to order anything or shop in my favorite craft stores for a very, very long time.

I found more things that I couldn't live without (when I bought them) and more things I had just stuffed away for another day than I can shake a stick at and I honestly believe that if I worked every day on a project I couldn't make a dent in all of my supplies in a year, ugh, maybe even longer and yet I can't wait to get to market at the quilt show this year!  I have a problem!

I am confessing right now that I appear to like to shop more than I like to create!  Everything I see looks like fun! As an example, I want to sew (no, I really don't) but show me a cute pattern for a purse/bag and I will buy it!  I won't ever make it, but I will buy the pattern and the fabric and I will envision a completed purse!  Start to get rid of it and oh, no, my brains stops me with you'll do that some day!  Will I?  Will I even live long enough to do all the things that have accumulated in my craft room?!  When we moved to this house a couple of years ago, my new craft room looked huge!  I had storage cabinets, closets, room for two tables so multiple activities could go on at the same time and now?  It's just full!  Small spaces keep you grounded!  Well, me grounded!  And now things are just out of control!!!!!

This week my grand daughter and I will do some scrapbooking while she visits and then I must, do you hear me, I MUST get in to that room and sort out all of my different crafts and choose which to keep and which to admit aren't going to ever be used!  After all, I need room for new things this fall!  And right now, I must just go make room for us to work!

I hope I'm not the only person with this problem and I don't think I am, so I hope some of you who have conquered this problem will share with me your ideas for organizing my room.

Until later!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Road Trip Art Journal Update

Well, I have the cutest art journal ever!  Many of you saw it a few posts back, but here's a picture to refresh you memory.

Here's the only art in it and it's a bare bones sketch of a Corvette! I had to tell you what kind of car, because it's not clear! This was my first attempt and after talking to a fabulous car artist at the show and my husband looking at it and having the face of someone who just saw his sleek sports cart turn into a family car, I knew it needed work!  More on this a little later.  Anyway,  I really thought our trip to Chicago (suburbs) with a Corvette and my little dog Jack in tow would be boring and I would have so much time in the car and at the hotel to create!  I follow so many blogs where people sketch everything they see as they travel, but I have to tell you this is almost all I worked on for the entire eight days!!!!

Bill did all the driving, so I thought I would be able to sketch - not with a little dog sleeping on your lap!  I thought the hotel would be a great place, but after a busy day I just didn't have the urge.  I even thought I would sit over at the show on a grassy knoll at the golf course and sketch - I think not!I did paint a few flowers on rocks (I took a little bit of everything with me, including these wonderful acrylic paints that come in a perfect travel size and rocks) and gave them as gifts while I was there, but that's it.

I saved some mementos to stick in my book and I took lots of pictures, to sketch later.  This barn is one of my favorites.  Such a classic and on one of the main roads totally surrounded by businesses. With the land for sale you know it's fate!  I'm just thankful I saw it and was able to save it for posterity in my own little way!

We went to the best nursery ever!  I saw so many things I want to try and make on my own  Don't you love this dragonfly? They were dog friendly and even had a water station for  little four footed visitors, so Jack had a good time, too.  We were driving so I did get to bring some goodies home with me- one huge advantage to driving!

I did start one of my wild wacky women sketches and finished it when I got home - I think the wild eyes were a picture of mine after two 11 hours days on the road!  Heehee!

This car sketch was a stretch for me - It seems so easy to paint flowers and feet, but cars - oh my, not so easy for me.  The artist and previous teacher said I had tried to fit all of the car into too little space and to just cut it off and stretch it out, so with some major erasing even Bill said it was a little better.  We all know there's a lot more work to be done!  

Always good to get home and over 2400 miles is a long time in a car, but our car passed the Survivor category in the show and now we can look ahead to going gold next year. The show is moving so it will be about four hours closer to home!  Yay!!!!! Less driving and perhaps by then my sketching skills will have improved!

Monday, July 02, 2012

What If?

They say confession is good for the soul!  I'm not sure who "they" are, but I think talking about my what if problem may just help me beat it - so here goes!

When I'm in my craft room/studio I often just freeze!  No, I'm not talking about the temperature, I'm talking about the "what if" syndrome.  I hope I'm not the only one who suffers from this problem, but if I am or not I hope someone will send me a note of encouragement to just ignore the "what if!"

I love paper, fabric, paints, decolourants, felting, embellishments of all kinds - you name it and it's probably in my studio, but so is the fear of "what if."

Fear was once explained to me as false expectations appearing real!  A great way of looking at the word fear, but it doesn't always allow me to dig in and have fun.  I love felting, I love making silk paper, I love stamping and cutting, painting on paper, rocks and fabric and I have more projects ready to start than I can count. I open a drawer and see fun things and I say, "Wow, I really want to do that!" The next thing I hear is the drawer or the cabinet door closing and some day floating through my head.

I would love to say that I just don't have time, but I don't think that's the problem.  I think I have a fear of imperfection!  I want to know how to do things well before I ever begin!  I don't want to mess up even a simple piece of paper and then, I think "what if?'  What if I want to use this piece of fabric for something else and it's already gone?  What if I want to use this piece of paper in a scrapbook and I've cut it up?  What if I use all of this paint and can't get anymore of this color?  What if I start on this and I mess it up?  What if I start to sew and my machine messes up?  What if . . . . . . .   This could go on forever!  And it has!  Oh, I'll use plain paper or card stock or paper that I finally look and decide I'll never ever use it in a scrapbook, so scissors touch it.  (The funny part here is that I don't really scrapbook, and why?  What if I use the paper and don't like the results!  Oh my, this is a very strange because I'm famous when making cards for saying, "that's why paper has two sides" when I make a mistake. But with so many things, I just won't proceed. But, this week I think I had a small break through.

Craziest thing happened.  I have a fairly new friend that is talented beyond words.  She has written books, taught classes worldwide and thrills me with her encouragement and friendship.  I've honestly never known anyone as talented in so many artistic ways and I ask for her address so I could send her a birthday card!  She sent it to me with a sweet note that said, "I would love one of your special cards." Now I couldn't just send her a simple card.  I wanted to make something so special that it would amaze even her, but I froze.  I looked at paper, I thought of sewing, I thought of mixed media, I thought of all the things I've seen her do and wanted so much to try something new,  and I finally slapped some paint on a piece of paper!

But first, I actually cut into some handmade paper!  And guess what it wouldn't take glue or sticky tape!  Learned something there - sure glad I hadn't saved it for a major project down the line.  Then I tried some other things and I felt free.  I just kept saying it's just a piece of paper!  If you don't like it throw it away!  And, of course the finished project turned out different from anything I've ever made and it's in the mail to her.  It won't amaze her, but I think she'll enjoy it and that's really what it's all about.  Well, almost what it's all about, because something else happened to me.

Last night I sat down and I added paint to paper again. I played with paint on paper, I made a card for a long time friend who's birthday is just around the corner and I took some of the ideas from the first card and made another out of the ordinary card.  I also have multiple pieces of paper with paint on them - backgrounds for further cards or mixed media pieces who knows, but I had fun.  I used wire, I used pearl embellishments and most of all I didn't worry or say what if?  I'm telling you, I have it bad - I've not used buttons or pearls because, what if I need them and don't have any more!  Oh, my gosh, that is crazy.  I could use things in my studio every day for the next 20 years and still have more to use.  Maybe I wouldn't have those little pearl halves, but so what!  I would have something else that would work just as well.  Those of you who know me, know I love to paint on stones/rocks.  I never have a problem painting on a stepping stone and I guess it's because I know I can always get more, but I've had a rock shaped like a sheep for years and I want to paint it, but I've been afraid!  And it's a rock!  If it turns out bad, I'll throw it into the driveway and it will soon disappear.  My brain though says when will you ever find another rock that looks like a sheep?  Who cares!  I will be posting a picture of the rock and the painted rock soon!  It is my next goal!!!!!!

I can't wait to make more things or rather just play and see what happens.  When I first met Liz at the quilt show in Houston, she had a book with her that was all different types of stitching.  The pages were made of fabric and it was the most wondrous book I had ever seen.  I bought her book so I could make one of these myself.  She gave page by page instructions, but I've never done it.  Sewing isn't my favorite pastime, but this concept could translate into any type of art and I have begun several art journals and I know that has been stretching me in new ways.  Maybe someday I'll have a book that will encourage someone else to just let go and have fun!

Hand Painted Rock! Stepping Out!
I believe this has helped me release some stuff and will be able to jump in to my projects and I hope this has been an encouragement to some of you to dig into your stash and use it!  I wish you could hear me yell out -

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