Entries from: March 2008

Creative Every Day: March 31st – April 6th

March 31st, 2008, Comments (17)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 3/31/08 -4/6/08.

Happy creating!

More Art, Synchronicity, and Block Busting Fun

March 30th, 2008, Comments (16)

As promised...some more art! First, some atc's on the backs of playing cards that I worked on yesterday. I just want to say "ooshie booshie!" when I look at them. They're so little and cute! It seems that I like everything miniature. Yesterday morning the hubster and I were in Dunkin' Donuts and there was a display of bags of coffee beans. I picked up the mini bag of ground beans and said, "I like this one!" To which the hubster replied, "You like everything that's small!" Busted! :-)

Yesterday was super fun and busy with loads of errands and then creative time for the hubster and I. He was working on some music in his office while I painted in mine. I popped out this miniature canvas (4"x4") of a cat in a box which I'm calling "This End Up." It's dedicated to my orange cat, Tabbers who has never met a box he didn't like.

A fun synchronicity occurred yesterday when Cris emailed to say hello and made a comment about the little postcards I had made for my 200th post giveaway. Cris was the first commenter on that post and I sent an art card to the first five commenters on that post. It just so happens that later that day that her card arrived and I'd sent her the card that she had wanted (without mentioning which one she liked.) I felt like I made a cool connection with each person I sent a card to and sent the right card for them. It's so cool when I can tune in with another person like that.

K commented on the last post, "do you know what i could do to unblock myself? i feel that my school work has killed my creativity. sad and frustrating..." I figured I'd address this question here since I think this happens to many of us at some time or another, where we've had some job or class or other obligation that seems to suck the energy and creativity right out of us. There are a variety of ways to deal with a block, but here's one of my favorites: doodle. I'm an out of control doodler. I will doodle on anything and everything including school notes. If you're in class and taking notes, you might try doodling in the margins for fun. I often get ideas for art pieces from my doodling. You could try drawing designs on the cover of your notebook. Try bringing a pocketbook sized sketchbook with you and whenever you get a moment, pull out your sketchbook and draw whatever is in front of you, make notes of inspiration you've noticed during the day and things you'd like to explore further. So that's one way to get started. Hope that helps! If you've got other suggestions for K, leave a comment!

Creative Every Day 2008

March 30th, 2008, Comments (3)


I regularly add new blogs to the list of Creative Every Day 2008 participants and we've just crossed over to over 200 participants! Wow! Such an amazing community has built up around this idea of being creative every day. One of our newest participants, Jay, mentioned in an email that it seems odd how we sometimes need encouragement, when being creative can be such a therapeutic thing. I wrote back that it is a strange, but true phenomenon. It seems to happen with many things that are therapeutic or feel great once we get started. I wrote, "Perhaps we think that our creativity isn't important enough or we're afraid of making something "bad", but deep down we know that it is important and that we don't want to let fear hold us back, so we find ways to keep going, including finding encouragement and support. That's my theory anyway! :-) " So that's why I think the Creative Every Day idea has taken off. It's been nearly 3 months since we got started and I want this community to continue being helpful and inspiring, so I'm going to list off a few reminders about the challenge in case you're new to the blog or could just use a refresher. And then I'd also be open to any suggestions you have for the challenge, what you'd like to be different if anything or what's working for you. I like how the challenge is low key and open to anyone and everyone no matter how they choose to post about it and/or how they choose to express their creativity. And I've loved being introduced to so many new and wonderful creative bloggers out in the world!

Ok, so for the reminders...

  • You can still join in! This is a year-long challenge, but if any one finds the blog later in the year or changes their mind and wants to join in, just leave me a comment or send an email and I'll add your blog to the list in the sidebar.
  • All the details about the challenge along with tips about posting the badge on your blog can be found on this page (which you can also get to by clicking on the Creative Every Day 2008 badge in the sidebar on the right.)
  • Every week (on Monday) I put up a post where you can leave a comment with links to your blog posts about what you've been up to creatively or you can just write what you've been up to in the comments. It's not required that you comment on this post. It's up to you!
  • There's also a Flickr group where you can post pictures of the creative activities you've done. Again, this isn't required, but it's a great option. Signing up with Flickr is free and even if you don't use the group to post your pictures, definitely take a peek and see what people have been posting! There is a great variety and loads of inspiration to see!
  • There's no need to beat yourself up (or apologize) about anything to do with this challenge. No matter how much  you've been creative or how much you've posted, it's no matter. Guilt is unnecessary here! :-) Do what you can, what feels right. The idea behind the challenge is to inspire more creativity in our every day lives. And when we are more aware of the creativity we put into so many things we do, we can see how all these creative moments add up to a wonderfully creative life!
  • There are loads of ways to be creative. Get creative about your creativity! :-)

And one somewhat unrelated reminder. I will be out of town for a week starting Tuesday the 1st. I'll have my laptop, so I'll be reachable, but I won't be on the computer quite as much.

And p.s., if your name should be on the participant list and isn't there yet or if you haven't heard back from me with a question, pop me a reminder email as I can sometimes be a little scattered! :-)

Some fun art pics later on, in the meantime, have a wonderful Sunday!

Fun on a Gray Day

March 28th, 2008, Comments (11)

I had the funniest bit of synchronicity yesterday. I was doodling on a scrap of paper and started drawing a series of owls. As I drew, I got an email saying that a piece had sold off my website. I went to go see what it was and hehe, it was the Purple Owl painting! I packed it up this morning and sent it off. I had grown a little attached to that piece, so I was a little sad to see it go, but since I was already drawing more owls, I suppose, I'll be painting some more. I'm feeling the urge to paint BIG and teeny tiny. Go figure. There was a fun bit of synchronicity for the person who bought the owl painting too, a neat way in which she found my art. And oh my, I love when that happens.

I had picked today to drive up to Nahcotta to pick up the art pieces that didn't sell in the last show. I'll be putting those Subway Stories pieces up on my website for sale shortly. Of course, I paid no attention to the weather reports this week (I never do. I like to be surprised I guess. heh) and so I ended up making the drive north in a little snow storm. Doh! It ended up being fine. And by the time I got up to Portsmouth, the snow had stopped and I puddle-jumped my way to the gallery. I got to see Deb, which is always a treat, I stopped in a shoe store briefly and then hopped right back in my car. The streets were too slushy for walking around, but that was fine since I wanted to get home before the early rush hour of Friday afternoon. The ride home was a breeze and I enjoyed singing loudly with the radio and some car dancing. :-)

Last night, I was thinking about Artfest and the trades people do there. I've never made a traditional artist trading card in the proper size and such, but I'd read that people use playing cards as the base sometimes and so I pulled out a deck and started painting and collaging on some for fun. I may do some to bring to Artfest, but some of them, I just want to stick on my wall. I love the little snow owl and the chair with snails. Along the top are some random papers, a couple old prints and a gelatin print that I glued onto the cards and cut to size. They'll make a great background for further collage or paint or drawing. I can see why these get addictive. They're so satisfying to hold, such a great size, they truly do feel like trading cards or some kind of art game, and they're quick and easy to make...and if you screw one up, who cares! I did a quick search on ACEO's (artist cards editions and originals), which I think are the same as ATC's (Artist trading cards), and found this neat site of etsy artists that sell ACEO's. So many fun ways to approach these.

I've also done another drawing of Red Riding Hood and now I'm feeling more ready to do it up bigger. I hope your weekend is a wonderfully creative one!

Intuition in Art

March 26th, 2008, Comments (11)


I've had a busy couple days with not much time for posting. Yesterday was the hubster's birthday. He's the man who doesn't really need anything (if he wants a new toy, he'll get it for himself), so I did some things at home for him (like 20 pounds of laundry) and re-organizing his bureau which took an entire day to accomplish! He was super happy with the gift though, so I'm very glad I did it. We went out to dinner last night at a little fancy place nearby which was nice too. On Monday I delivered the wedding gift to my best friend (and she loved it, phew!) and I got to hang out with her and her lil baby girl who can now pull herself up to standing all by herself. She's adorable. While the baby napped, best friend and I embellished some small metal boxes (mine was an old chocolate box and hers was an altoids tin.) I snapped a pic of the outside (above) and inside (below).


I'm feeling soo sleepy this week. Not sure what that's about! I'm loving the sunny weather we've been having. Not quite warm enough to be outside without a coat, but warm enough for just a sweater or spring jacket and the moon roof open in my car! :-)


Creativity in the past few days has been mainly in my art journal. I had the coolest synchronicity experience when I drew a little sketch (started a swirly doodle and then intuitively created from it) which became a woman in a forest with a cape (like Red Riding Hood) and a cabin below. Out of the chimney the smoke is curling and there's a shape resembling a wolf which I thought of as her intuition giving her a signal. (The original sketch is above.) A little later that night, I clicked over to Elena's blog and she had written about the book, Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, with quotes that talked about women, wolves and intuition. It gave me shivers reading it! I own a copy that I haven't looked at in awhile, so I picked it up that night and opened to a page where I'd underlined, "Intuition is the treasure of a woman's psyche."


Yesterday I saw that Melba was looking for some reading about intuition and while this isn't only about intuition it covers the topic quite a bit! Anyways, I've been drawing the image in my art journal (above and below) and I'm not quite satisfied with it. I want to express it in some other way and I just haven't figured that part out yet. I think I want to make it bigger.

And now some links to share!

- I thought this TED video was fascinating. It's about a woman scientist sharing her stroke experience. Her telling of the right-brain and left-brain phenomena, ties in so well with the things I've been reading about meditation and connecting with the body in books like A New Earth. The right brain experience she talks about is something I come close to when making art. It's that space that has no language that thinks in pictures that goes by the gut instead of the head, intuitive art-making. 

- Bridget of The Matchbook blog has filmed a couple segments for a local new show doing art demos. I loved this one about making jewelry out of bicycle inner tubing!

- There is a wonderful rising of support around a blogger named Jenni who is dying of colon cancer. A fund-raising auction is being done in her name to help with medical costs and such and the organizers are looking for items to be donated for the auction and also money donations. Go here for more info.

Creative Every Day: March 24th – March 30th

March 24th, 2008, Comments (14)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 3/24/08 -3/30/08.

Happy creating!

Art Making All Over the Place!

March 22nd, 2008, Comments (12)

So, I showed you the before...and once again it was a treat to see what you guys saw!

I thought it looked like 2 cowgirl mermaids, a large crab and a heart. Hehe.

Today, I had my first private art lesson and it went so well! I was working with a mom and her two children (10 and 8). I was a bit nervous at first, but then I relaxed as we went along. They were all so sweet and I loved seeing the kids' imagination at work. We started out doing some quickie collages on old postcards. I brought a bunch of collage supplies and I showed them how to make the collages. And then, I brought some pre-made larger inkblots (on colorful letter sized paper) and let them choose their favorite. I showed them some of the little inkblots I'd done in my journal and how you look for shapes and creatures within the inkblot and then I let them use markers, pens and colored pencils to create what they were seeing in the inkblots. They did such a great job with those!  And then we used the mini collages we made earlier to do little paintings. I showed them how you can cover parts of the collage with paint, partly cover it so some of it shows through, and so on. I thought the inkblots would be a good transition from seeing things in odd shapes like an inkblot, to seeing forms in their collages. They did great with this too. I spent two hours with them and I've got another appointment set with them for in a few weeks. At the end the little girl brought me a picture of a rose with a little thank you note attached that said, "Thank you, Leah. I *heart* you!" All together now...awwww. So sweet. 

I was super prepared with stuff in folders and baggies and a plan in mind. And I'm so glad I did it that way. Of course, I had to be flexible and switch it up a little bit. And I thought we'd be doing all we did in two hours in one hour! My idea of timing was way off. So, it was a good learning experience in that way too.

I got home and found that my moo cards and stickers had arrived in the mail. This is my first moo card purchase and I have to say, they are so cute!! I'm bringing them with me to Artfest for trading. I'm not sure I'll bring other trades. The idea of making and bringing so many things overwhelms me a bit.

Through the Artfest mailing list, I was led to the blog of Karan who was showing what she will be bringing for trades. I looked around a little and read about a cool new art challenge called, creative Therapy.  Actually they call the challenges, catalysts, with the idea that each catalyst will inspire you to do some therapeutic art making, perhaps in an art journal or whatever medium you choose. There are a group of mixed-media artists and scrapbookers who are going to take turns leading the group and you can comment with a link to whatever you make.  This blog is brand new and the first challenge is up. Go check it out!

Now back to Karan for a second, I thought this was the coolest story of dreams coming true that I've heard in awhile. Goes to show that it's important to give voice to your dreams. You never know where it could lead you!

And with that I'll say toodalooo for now. Hope your weekend is a wonderfully creative one!!

What Do You See Now?

March 21st, 2008, Comments (15)

I pulled into the driveway after a quickie trip to the store and was struck by something...I had to take a picture. Do you see it?

Not yet? How about now?

Yeah, this tree was looking at me! Now, I've always felt like trees had unique personalities and I've seen some faces before in their curled limbs and bark. But this one is so distinct to me. He looks wise...and a bit grumpy! :-)

It's crazy cold and windy today, but it's also sunny which is nice. The cold season is far too long in New England for my taste, but then again, time goes by so much quicker now, that before you know it it's summer again! The hubster and I both feel our heartstrings being pulled towards the Pacific Northwest, Portland and Seattle in particular. We traveled out there last year and both felt a sense of connection that we've never felt any other place. I think we'd have a great time out there. And then we both feel the loads of guilt about how our parents would feel. Who knows. For now, the hubster's job requires that we stay put and we will.

Some random loves today:

-This Lotta Jansdotter fabric that I would love to cover a comfy chair in.
-This print by Matte Stephens
-The kick-ass studio space seen on PoppyTalk (I could never be that neat, but it sure does look lovely!)

Before and After

March 21st, 2008, Comments (7)

So you saw the inkblot before (below) and I loved reading about what you saw. Here's the before:

And here's what I saw!

So much fun. I've completed one more, but before I show you what I did, I'll show you the before pic.

Now, in this one, what I saw was pretty whacky, so I kinda doubt anyone will see the exact same thing as I did, but I'd love to hear about what you see! I'll show the result in a later post.

Actually, what I saw in the above inkblot/paintblot is somewhat related, by random synchronicity, to this Hip Tranquil Chick Podcast with Sera Beak, the author of one of my favorite books of the last couple years, The Red Book, which I listened to yesterday.

Inspiration Galore

March 20th, 2008, Comments (10)

I'm working away on some inkblots and prepping for the art lesson on Saturday. In the meantime, I'd love to share some inspiration with you! Oh, and speaking of inkblots, Tammy asked about the medium used to create them and she was right on. They're actually made with acrylic paint. So I suppose I should be calling them paintblots! :-) I loved reading what you saw in the inkblot/paintblot by the way! So great! I'm working on that one too, so soon you'll see what I saw! Now, on the the inspiration!

-I loved this Craftcast podcast with Christine Kane. I mention Christine's blog posts a lot on this blog because she always has such great inspiration to share. I loved hearing the interview with her and how she described creativity as something that can be found anywhere and everywhere. I couldn't agree more!

-I'm sure many of you have heard about Michelle Ward's GPP Street Team challenges. If not, do check them out! Michelle has such great style and energy. You can't leave her site without some inspiration. The latest challenge is about creating your own stamps. I did this last month and it was so fun! Be sure to check out the list of participants of this latest challenge to see some fabulous stamps such as Kim's and Kathy's! And speaking of stamps, I totally loved this foam stamp tutorial from Bridget of The Matchbook Blog.

- Claudine Hellmuth has a great video tutorial on her blog about doing transfers. I especially like the look on metallic paint!

- For some business inspiration, be sure to check out the blog, The Boss of You, which is all about women run businesses. The authors of this blog have a book coming out by the same name and you can now download (for free) the intro and first chapter. The first chapter has some great exercises about determining your business goals, your personal measure of success, and your strengths and weaknesses. I found it to be very helpful and I'll definitely be checking out the book when it comes out.

- For some business inspiration with an art twist, check out this site which has some great articles about getting your art out there.

- For some inspiration in the kitchen, check out this delicious smashed potato recipe. Super simple, super delicious. And they were a big hit with the hubster too, which is something cause he's definitely the better cook in the relationship. :-)

- Lastly, check out the amazing student work from Judy Wise's encaustic classes with high school students! Wowzers. Great stuff!

Hope you found some inspiration here!