Monday, January 21, 2008

Creative Every Day 2008

Here I am with another brief CED 08 entry. Last week we made stab binding books. Now these really appeal to the seamstress in me because you need to use a needle and thread to put the whole thing together. How about this lovelly batik polka dot fabric. And see the stitching at the top?! I added my own turquoise beads and a pop of red to tie it together. Here's the guts of the book. The proper term is the "signature" or text block. I call it guts.
A lovely and colorful close up.
Here's the other book I did last week. It's called a stitch binding. In this one you use ribbons and stitch around them and into the book signatures. Pure fun. I love this vintage looking fabric. I've had it for fifteen years or so. I keep scrapping it into smaller pieces so I can have it all over my house. I started a quilt those fifteen years ago that is STILL in process.

This is the inside of that small stitch book. I think I will handwrite some recipes into this pretty little thing.

Other creative endeavors from the week include:

  • Wrote a short story to be posted soon

  • Drew sketches for my final project in Book Arts

  • Completed a canvas for a local art show

  • Made a home display of this

  • Did sketches in my sketchbook of patterns and played with design ideas

  • Garnered some inspiration from Country Living magazine

  • Wrote a children's story for illustration class

  • Baked delicious banana bread

  • Stirred up a hot batch of Red Soup

Wow! I sometimes do better than I realize. One thing I have really enjoyed about this whole CED is journaling my creative endeavors. I am keeping a book right near my alarm clock and before bed I made a gratitude entry and a creatactivity (did I use that right, Leah?). As I look back on my days I realize I have truly done alright!

In other life issues I am on the prowl for new & permanent digs. I am searching the mid-coast and southern coastal Maine area for my new home-sweet-home. This is big news for the girl who needs roots. Wish me luck and better yet, send a prayer my way as I listen to the wind for direction, keep my eyes peeled for the synchronicities and feel my belly quiver as I sense the timing is right. All of my senses are alive and eager to catch the next clue...

And have I mentioned the yummy seed catalogs making their way to my mailbox? OY!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Heartwood College & CED 08

My Happy Place has come to life again. Wheeee! Tuesday I found my way back to Heartwood for my second semester. This time the administration decided that the entire school would do two three and a half week long intensives. This first one is Book Arts. We did the pamphlet stitch and then, get this, we made codex books.

A codex books, for those who don't know, is the most traditional style, with text block pages stitched together, a mat board cover wrapped in fabric, beautiful end pages. Tah Dah. Here are mine:
In the top photo the small book with bricks is a sample of pamphlet stitch. Tiny, but it works. The larger book, still only 4 x 4, has black and white batik fabric with butterflies. The seamstress in me came right out and took over when making this book. I easily grasp patterns so the codex stitching was a piece of cake and I was able to help the teacher because it was one against ten in that room and she couldn't get to everyone.

She assigned us a final project, due in three weeks. A Passion Book. It's our choice of topic, hopefully something we are passionate about. It must be 5 x 7 minimum with at least four signatures in it and we have to illustrate the inside, too.

MAN ALIVE, I love school!

The other class Heartwood is offering is Book Illustration by Wade Zahares. Check this man's work, it is amazing. He does everything on the round. Try drawing like this, I challenge you. In this class we select any topic, he does children's books, we do whatever we like, and he walks us through the entire process of illustration, right from receiving the manuscript to final corrections.

Creative Every Day...(I'm keeping a journal on this, folks) I think I left off on the 4th day.

1/4...creative dreaming, no kidding, I spent the day being part of a couple of art shows. I imagined the paintings I will do and how excited I will be to receive notice that I was selected to take part of the showing.

1/5...drew sketches in my journal for paintings I will be doing

1/, please skip this entry.

1/7...painted backgrounds on three canvases

1/8...spent the day in illustration class, made a story board for the project, shopped for fabrics for the book arts class

1/9...Made two books, the pamphlet and the codex.

And last but not least, since I was feeling full of IT today. I thought I'd share with you some of the other projects I've done in the past three weeks that for some dumb reason I haven't entered in my journal.

Stand tall...16 x 20 acrylic and mixed media. Part of a series of tree paintings that had to come out of me. I purposely did the colors all wrong. Hillary tells me that this piece is awful and I am okay with that. This one spoke to me and so here it is.

Oh, this was for play. 8 x 10 canvas with acrylic and mixed media. This one has newspaper as a base and then it's just marker and swirls. The scan didn't come out so good, you can't really see it clearly. It's just for inspiration for me. I had fun doing it.This one I love. It is 8 x 10 canvas with acrylic paint. I was reading The Artist magazine and found an intriguing article and immediately went to work using a sketch I had done last fall of a neighboring farm. It has a wild, fiery orange under painting which peaks through the entire piece. I used only four paint colors, cadmium red, cadmium yellow and cobalt blue and white. I blended all the rest.

See how I am all over the place in my work??? HA! This one has a true story attached:

Anna's mother made six year old Anna angry. She stormed off to her bedroom. After some time passed she emerged wearing a paper hat on the top of her head.

"What is that, Anna?"

"Please, don't talk to me, I am wearing my Alone Cone."

EEE GADS if that didn't crack me up! Anna had indeed rolled some newspaper into a cone shape and written the words Alone Cone on it. Soon, alone cones, appeared everywhere. You had to know I'd want to make one.

My version has stamped words: Do Not Disturb. I also put the alonest (okay, not a word) donkey I could imagine, Eeyore. It has a ripped fabric tassel, buttons and pages from a Winnie the Pooh book.

Okay, Leah, how did I do?

Friday, January 4, 2008

I've Been Holding Out on You

Being happy, being healthy, being wiser. That's me.

I have been searching my soul A LOT. I have been unhappy with my circumstances. Things needed to change and God Bless the Internet so I could do my research. See:

In December I was losing my mind. No kidding. I was driving myself insane working at this restaurant a couple of towns over. Busting my tail serving customers isn't such a bad thing, I enjoy working hard, but this day when the customer had a $28.86 tab and left me $30 and then left me standing there as they said "Merry Christmas, keep the change," I blew a gasket. That tip was $1.14!! I am worth so much more than $1.14!

I gave my notice that day. Not smart for a woman on her own who's going to school part time.

All's well. Synchronicity played it's part. Following T Harv Eker's instructions on how to make a living doing what you love I had made my list of top ten things I am good at. My top three things: creative endeavors, writing, health & wellness. Shortly after I made this list it happened. The wellness thing came into play, and long-story- short, I am now an Herbalife Independent Distributor.

I did my homework on this. It's not just about weight loss, it's about good nutrition and complete wellness. The company is 27 years old. There is Nobel prize scientists and doctors researching and in turn producing the products. The products are all-natural (another HUGE point in my life, because I don't believe in synthetic drugs).

People who know me locally have long commented on my interest in wellness, my need to be fit and my deep interest in nutrition, particularly organic or all-natural versions. So I'm fussy!!

Here I am, I am a product of the products. I take the multi-vitamin shake and a few of the other supplements and my energy level has flown through the roof. No more mid-afternoon sluggishness. I feel I can take on the world! And, I say this gently, I know I'm no heavyweight, but the last ugly 5 pounds I wanted to lose is melting from my frame. My quick metabolism is BACK!

Herbalife offers weightloss and weight mangement...& (I am so excited)...targeted nutrition for your various needs (women's issues, eye health, kids supplements, sports & fitness drinks, etc)

SO, dear readers...

Yes, I will occassionally discuss these products here.

Yes, I will put up a permanent link to my herbal nutrition webs site and

yes, I feel rejuvenated and renewed at a cellular level and will joyfully share this with you.

I can't wait to apply my new energy to the other projects I have coming up for 2008 which I will discuss with you as soon as I can. Wishing you a happy, healthy new year.

This is an open invitation to those of you who want to feel better, contact me any time at all.

Creative Every Day Challenge-Post 1 and MY HANDS DOWN BEST CREATIION EVER!

*Oh dear*... I did sign up for this, didn't I?! Just kidding. I am excited to be pushed into remembering to do SOMETHING for my creativity each day. So far it's gone like this:

  • Jan 1...I did a long post on this here blog. It took a long time and a lot of thought. I love the act of writing and do it almost daily. You'll see it quite a lot here as my CED08 entry.

  • Jan 2...I designed my new business cards for the other business I opened in December. If this intrigues you then read the next post I do.

  • Jan 3..Two things. I did a doodle on an envelope. I happened about a website that had a photo of an ancient coin with an owl on it. I was mesmerized and instantly pulled out an envelope, because it was the most handy, and sketched it out in marker. And secondly, I made a delightfully colorful New England dinner. Salmon pie (think mashed potatoes and pink salmon mashed together in an amazing flaky pie crust), served with pickled beets (bright red goodness), homemade cranberry sauce (sweet, tangy & deep red) & a pile of green beans served with a hoppsy-good beer. Eee gads. Perfection.

December creative every day thingy's were many. I did a bunch of sewing projects, made multiple Fimo clay beaded projects, painted several things (small paintings, big paintings), wrote prayers (a great and growing love of mine), baked yummy sweet treats for Christmas, made jewelry. Gads, I did okay. Leah really has me hooked on this creative every day thing. Sorry there aren't any pix, I stink at dragging the camera out.

And now...MY HANDS DOWN BEST CREATION EVER....this was NOT part of the CED challenge:

Meet Danny. When he was looking over my shoulder a bit ago and saw a post with a picture of his sister his green eyes said "Now put a picture of me." Glad to oblige. Six feet of sweetness. He shaved his head two weeks ago and I miss this big mop of hair. Regardless, he is an amazing piece of art.