Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Just make Something"- Pics of the Process of Becoming Unstuck

Yup, that's a pic of a few assorted bottle tops. I've been washing them and setting them aside with the intention of doing Something. Just didn't have a clear idea of what that was. Yet, I had this feeling they really could be something. The feeling was one of those tickly, just on the edge of your consciousness ideas that flits to the fore briefly and then flits away before you can really grasp what it was you saw. But you know that for a moment you had something really really cool.

I feel like I've been a bit of a creative slacker lately. (My penance for claiming to be prolific a few weeks ago-as soon as I did I felt a creative block coming on strong). 

It's not like I don't know how to get out of a block. Generally I just sit myself down and make myself spend some time doing the no-thought- required prep work that can always be done. But it's been too easy to distract myself with housework or doing something with Jasper. I did finish up one of the suncatchers I started when we were taking the step by steps for the book. That didn't help a whole lot though.So the block has just sort of dragged on.

This weekend though I was determined to make something.Even if it was horribly, awfully, awful. So after I played with my background I pulled out my bottle caps and arranged them with some wire on the canvas. Then I played around with some fabric, deciding what to use, which is what I was doing when I took this pic.

Decisions... decisions...

To attach the bottle lids I punched holes around their sides with my crop-a-dile and then stitched them in place. The wire forms were stitched on as well. Then I decided to go all out and really add some stitching as well as some big items I love. So I glopped on a ton of gel medium and added the paintbrush and carpenter's ruler as well as some buttons.The piece ended up looking like this....which I like. 

All done... now what?
I still feel a little stuck though and haven't any more bottle caps but I am teaching a mixed media class tomorrow night at The Studio at Rush Creek and teaching always gets my creative juices flowing. I love the energy, the possibilities that come up as I'm introducing others to mediums or techniques. Their enthusiasm inevitably fuels mine. I would love to have anyone who's interested join us. And thank you for reading my mish mash of thoughts today. I hope you have a wonderfully, fabulously, unstuck and utterly creative kind of day today. Hoping to see you soon.  :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The first thing to do when making a dream a reality is simple. So SO simple. You need to DREAM  (sounds obvious I know but sometimes we don't allow ourselves the time). Then, you need to BELIEVE in them. This is the part when you start to think the seemingly impossible is possible. That's a huge step. Now, these dreams can become GOALS. Goals can be achieved through action. So a list of baby steps would be good. That, then, gives you a place to start. Ta-da! After this it's just a matter of work, and time, although you need to keep in mind what  you're trying to accomplish. This will keep you from getting side tracked, and it will keep you focused on achieving your goal. But what about when you're done with one? How do you choose where to go next?

When I wrote my book I really loved having a definite goal with a clear path to achieving that goal. There were deadlines and milestones and it was all scheduled with the end result being the book's release. That was SO cool! When my part in the book was finished I figured my next task was to promote the book because really I wrote the book so that others would feel inspired, and for that to happen it meant getting people to see and buy the book. Okey doke. I figured I'd look up a bunch of magazine deadlines and try my best to meet as many of those as I could. This blog was another place to find people like you (who are like me) and might be looking for some ideas, new techniques to try, or just for some encouragement. Publish. Blog. Connect. Check, check, and check.

But then what? How do you choose and focus if you don't really know where the path you're on goes? Or even where you want it to go? A couple of days ago I stumbled via the Etsy Success newsletter the blog of Tricia McKellar. It's titled wonder thinking (which I think is absolutely brilliant) and has a number of really fabulous resources available free of cost. Right away I printed out her Business Plan-O-Rama (you can find a link on her sidebar). It's basically an artist friendly guide to the business plan for those of us who are business plan shy. I read it rather quickly and am looking forward to taking some time to work through. I definitely wanted to share it here with you. Just in case anyone else is looking for some help self-directing as well.  

I'd also love to know what you all think? Do you just go with the opportunities at hand or do you seek out and plan your course? How do you know where to go next? How do you know where to concentrate the limited amount of time you have? How do you choose? Thanks for your comments!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011


My son and I were at Target today, headed straight for the Lego aisle when I was diverted into shoes by this totally cute looking pair of platforms. The price was right (under $10) and they were denim. I love denim. So on a total impulse I bought them. At home as I put them in the closet I noticed that they were by far the highest heeled shoes I own. So just to make sure I hadn't made a mistake I put them on and walked all around the house; I was trying to see if I could actually wear them without turning an ankle. And they're great.  I feel completely stable wearing them. Up and down the stairs- no problem. Then, just now, I realized what a great analogy they are.

When we reach for our dreams we often feel shaky, as if what we're doing could cause us to topple at any moment. We may have taken the big leap already, or maybe it's still ahead of us. But somewhere, either before or after, we'll find ourselves walking. Just moving forward a step at a time.

Here's where the shoe analogy comes in. This summer has been hard, I've put my work and this blog aside and concentrated on spending my days with my little boy while he's been home and trying to fix up the house. I've also tried to make sure I'm spending more time with my husband then I am with you. But I've felt a little guilty showing up here when I do to pop on and pop off so irregularly. Then today, looking at the shoes, I got it. They're super tall heels but because they have a firm and wide platform base I feel secure as I walk. That's what I've been doing this summer, I've been building up my platform. And my base, my platform, is my faith, my home and my family.

It's important. Just think about it- how comfortable do you feel taking a big leap in  your art, or writing, or your business  if your marriage is rocky? How secure do you feel reaching for  your dreams if you know that your family needs you, really truly needs you to be present and with them? I know that I could not have made the leaps I have if my husband wasn't supporting me as I made a go of it. I truly need him there as my foundation, stabilizing me. 

So I've decided tonight that I'm not going to feel badly about all the things I'm not doing because I've been taking time for my family and home this summer. I'm supporting them as they do me and building that firm foundation with them so that we can all walk tall this autumn, reaching higher then ever before.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Altered Sundress

So I'm now officially hooked on altering my clothes. My mother- in- law makes all her own clothes and gave me this very cute but very basic sundress a while back. She wasn't crazy about the fabric and asked if I'd like it. I loved it but had to add some of my own personality to it before it felt like mine.


Earlier that week I had made a this little pin corsage from a bit of fabric, lace, a silk flower, and string. I really loved the colors and decided to use it as my inspiration for the rest of the dress. The lace I had leftover from my little black dress makeover of the week before, the green eyelet fabric was from who knows where but was in my stash. The idea was to simply wrap the dress in the green fabric but as there was a zipper all the way down the back I had to leave the back open. It ended up looking like a little apron from the back- which I like. Honestly, I don't have very strong couture sewing skills and without a sewing machine I feel a little at a loss to make hems and pleats etc. But I had some fusible tape and some embroidery floss and in the end that was all I needed. Pretty cute and very very fun.

Now for that sweet little brown sundress my mother in law just gave me....