a little more creativity

I haven't forgotten AEDM, I just got sidetracked by the holiday and then by setting out Christmas.  However, I did a couple of creative things in there......

For Thanksgiving (hope all of you here in the US had the best Thanksgiving ever!), I handmade the place cards for the dinner table.  I printed photos of each person and then doodled the edges of the card.  A pinecone and some wire completed the place card.

Then, after Thanksgiving it was time to bring out the bins of holiday decorations and get the house whipped into shape.  Traditionally we have a holiday party the first Saturday of December and play bunco (if you haven't tried it, it's a simple, brainless dice game that's SO easy, fun and a great 'forced' mixer for a group of people).  Most of my decor goes in the same place each year, but I do create a different mantel arrangement - and that's a challenge!  My mantel is about 3' deep and the opening is probably 4' tall - it's tough to fill it up and not make it too crowded.....  My creativity was stretched a bit here.....

Then, I tried something totally different in the entry way - it came to me as I was laying in bed trying to summon the energy to get up and get moving.....I went to the local park a week ago and picked up some fallen branches, gave them a light coat of white spray paint and added lots and LOTS of curling ribbon streamers.  I love the touch of whimsy in my entry......

So, no art per se, but creativity none-the-less.....  See what others are doing to wrap up this creative month by visiting Creative Every Day...

By the way, in my email this morning was a nice little surprise.  Stampington now offers a wide range of washi tapes (for those of you addicted or wish you could be) for an affordable $3.49/roll through their Shoppe at Somerset.  Lots of fun, unusual patterns - will I see one of them on a postcard from you?  


Gratitude List

The house is still quiet this morning, Dan's not up yet, no wind and rain, the cooking frenzy has yet to start, the guests haven't arrived.  Just me and a few minutes to reflect on what I'm thankful for.

On Tuesday I made a pie-in-the-sky Santa wish list - it was fun, but I don't want to lose the gratitude for what I have in the wishing for things I don't have.  So, today I make a Gratitude List.

I'm thankful for:
- my strong, loving, supportive husband, Dan
- my smart, funny, happy boys, A & E
- our health
- we're lucky enough to own a home (it's not worth much anymore, but we DO own it! :)
- our cars are paid for, we own every stick of furniture in the house, we have money in savings. I know many people can't say this and I'm SO grateful to Dan for keeping us on such a straight financial path (now if he could just find a job before we deplete those savings! - oh wait, that's a wish, isn't it?)
- we never go hungry (unless I'm dieting)
- friends and family that love and encourage us
- my best friend; what would I ever do without her?
- we're able to afford to replace my crashed computer so I can feed my internet addiction
- our travels - we've been able to visit some extraordinary places!
- the time and ability to pursue my relatively new-found interest in art
- my art room and its wealth of supplies and goodies just waiting to be turned into ..... something else
- blogging buddies that encourage, push, and constantly inspire me to try new things - THANK YOU!

I hope all of you in the US are enjoying a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends; elsewhere - have a fabulous weekend!


Wish List

Join Aimee and everyone over at Artsyville for List it Tuesday. I've missed a couple weeks but this week's prompt just caught my attention.....

Wish / Santa List:

Santa, please dip into your magic bag and  .......

- bring Dan a job - soon!
- keep our cars running til he's working again
- make Christmas music stop til Dec. 1
- find me a parking place at the mall when I do my last minute shopping
- help me keep focused on finishing Christmas gifts so they can be given THIS year!
- help me resist the temptation to over-eat between now and Jan 1
- schedule a family vacation to London (we've put it off several times!)
- let all my tagless photos be magically restored
- no more computer crashes - EVER
- move my sister here to Seattle, and with a job
- create political unity so decisions and actions can happen
- have my big toe be well
- have the price of gas go DOWN to.....$2/gal?  That would be good, right?
- as long as I'm wishing, I wish we were in the position to retire (like several of our friends) so that we could each pursue our fun interests - more time for art for me and for him......dunno, maybe more TV time? :)

What are your pie-in-the-sky wishes?


AEDM 16-18

Continuing my efforts to show my daily creativity for AEDM.

You know, I realized I feel creative every day, even if it doesn't necessarily result in getting glue and paint all over my hands (and everything else).  I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking creative thoughts (planning a centerpiece, planning an art piece, planning a card design, whatever).  And we all know, we are what we think about, right?  :)  Sometimes creativity takes a more practical or mundane avenue but is necessary in the overall encouragement of our most creative selves.

So, while Leah's challenge is helpful to focus on actual production, I don't feel like I need any nudging to be creative....maybe just to get it out of my head....  In that vein, I focused on the practical on Friday.

Day #16:
As you may remember, my computer crashed a few weeks ago, then the new replacement one crashed a week later (something in the air????).  Yes, I'm still retagging those thousands of photos, but one of the other necessary tasks was reassembling my vast font library.  Which I discovered I can't do.  I didn't keep the original font files and many of them are no longer available or aren't free any more.

Then, because I'm compulsive that way, I had to create an updated reference list of my fonts by style: handwriting, novelty, bold, stencil, etc.  I know, it's a curse.  But, it's done - check!

Day 17:
I went back and finished my first veneer project.  I found inspiration in a quilt book, so this is a simple version of a quilt block on a small canvas board -5x7 or so. 
Here's most of my veneer bits laid out on the floor by color - trying to figure out how to store this stuff.....

Work table filled with veneer bits and quilt book inspiration.

The start of a background......

Glued in place with white glue.  Oops, I appeared to have measured wrong.  No problem.....

I just happened to have this cool button ready to go -  (it's brass toned, not green)

 I had to add more layers to the background to darken it and create more contrast with the wood color.

Day 18:
Started working on a Christmas gift.....an advent calendar -got the idea from Pinterest.  Started with cutting lots of pockets from some scrapbook paper I've had on hand for a couple years.  Then is the fun....embellishing each pocket (which is still underway).
Lots of cutting....

Working on the layout.....

aedmlogored      Are you finding/making time to be creative?  It gets harder and harder as the holidays approach and start to suck up our time! :)


AEDM #13 -15

Catching up with my Art Every Day Month entries.  You can see daily creativity at Leah's site Creative Every Day.


Day #13:
Outgoing mail day - sent out about 25 postcards.....are you on my list?

Stamping, collage, some texture, paint and words and I've got lots of mail art love going out.  My mail carrier at work loves these mail art days and we actually chat for a couple minutes as she's never seen handmade cards going out (guess that makes sense since she's on a business route!).

Day #14:

My creative time today was spent in prep - I took that stack of Christmas cards I've been saving for years and cut them up - cut out the pretty front elements, cut up the words, kept scraps of pretty glittery edges. These are now going to morph into holiday cards.....(when, I'm not exactly sure....)  You can see I retreated to the bedroom to do the cutting while watching TV.  Big Mistake.  Huge.  (remember what movie that's from?  - Pretty Woman when Roberts goes back to the boutique that wouldn't help her when she was dressed as a hooker but now she's a transformed, elegantly dressed woman)  Anyway, my mistake?  Glitter and paper bits all over the bedspread and floor!  Then I had to get the vacuum out.  Sigh.

Day #15
It's so gray here in Seattle, I thought I needed a reminder of warmer, more exotic days.  A little digi art is the answer!  Started with a palm tree photo that was also a little gray but added some background textures and now I'm ready to head back to Tahiti.

We're half way through the month - hope you all are staying creative!


AEDM #10-12

An update for AEDM - check in with Leah at Creative Every Day to catch up on what others are doing.... Saturday I spent the day planted in front of my computer tagging, retagging, more tagging of photos. So, another digital creation.  Since it's the season of gratitude, thought I'd go that direction....

My photo of a yucca plant bloom, plus a couple of blurry bokeh pics as part of the background, some digital scrapbooking elements and my first digi art journal page is created..... :)

A different kind of creativity:  I thought it time to embrace fall more completely, so I moved out my summery candles and sea glass and created a fall display on my sideboard.

I added my wrapped rocks, some wrapped sticks and beach finds to my candle plate and a few silk leaves for bold color.  That's about as much fall decor as I put out because I'm really all about Christmas.....fall is just a holding pattern til the day after Thanksgiving when I can pull out my bins of Christmas decorations! :)

For day 12, I finished my companion piece to the book I won from Fiona.  I'm really pleased with the result of this - I focused on creating layers and trying to forget about the layers I was covering up, just enjoying what was on top.

Before and after (obviously shot at different times of the day):

The brush was a yard sale find with stone disks and bone handle, don't know what kind of hair in the brush, but it's very cool.  Fiona's long narrow book is such a delight of pattern and texture that I wanted something to complement it.....
So, I used similar elements: color palette, black lines, etc. but I added a little teal ... well, because I like the color! :)  There's a button and the circles are from the baby wipe I used when smooshing around the paint, so it's in the exact same tones....I just found interesting patterns on the dried wipe.  Such a great fabric texture.

Keeping my focus and making time to create every day is a challenge this month, but I'm game. Still plugging along!  What path did your creativity lead you down today?


delicious mail art

Even though I've been neglectful in sending and returning mail art the last few weeks, I continue to get some great pieces!

This charming card is from Lorinda and her most recent visit to her favorite town of Tofino. On Lorinda's recommendation Dan and I visited it on our vacation to Vancouver Island and it did not disappoint. Thanks for thinking of me and I wish we'd seen this little chocolate store!

This fun p/c from Millicent in Pt Angeles, WA was a fun surprise - what a fabulous collage, right?

OMG  - look at this fun p/c - a big letter T!  Collaged with layered papers, it was such a delight to see this unusual shape in my mailbox!  Thanks Ria (IUOMA).

And, last, but not least, I did a mini inspiration deck swap with April and just received her 10 cards filled with amazingly creative cards.  Best of all I loved the way she had them already on a ring and backed by this very cool gingerbread figure on patterned paper. April, you rock!

Thanks ladies - I'll be getting back to each and every one of you!


I have the start of a couple of projects for my creative efforts today.....  Working on a 5x7" canvas panel I am just laying down the background starts for a couple of ideas I have.

Started with adhering an Asian book page to one panel (the paper was received in a swap!) with mat medium.  I won a small book from Fiona a couple months ago and have it hanging on the wall, but it needs a companion so I want to make something gently Asian and compatible with her gorgeous book.

The other project is that I want to experiment with working with the veneer pieces I get from work.  My thought is that I'll use a few different veneer colors and make a quilt type pattern on the painted background.

Used yellow, orange and light brown so far....

The Asian beginning is on the right, the veneer will be on the gold one and the left is my baby wipe drying to become collage fodder for another day.

Why don't you join in the Art Every Day Month?  It doesn't have to be a big project - just a little working in your journal, begin a project (like me), take a gorgeous photo, or make a new soup.  Who says creativity is restricted to painting/collage?  How will you be creative today?


beach walk

Dan and I went for a fall beach walk last weekend and I wanted to share a few photos....

Some clever person created this fish 'sculpture' from found driftwood bits and branches.  It's so artistic!

A little further down the beach we came across this carving in a driftwood log. Someone put a lot of effort into this art that will be transient. It was such a joy to stumble across these two examples of artistic effort - at the beach, just because, no expectation of longevity, just joy in creating.

I noticed this empty bench in a little clearing at the park (we were at Lincoln Park in W. Seattle) and asked Dan to go be my lonely person......

The path up to the park from the beach - this is where I started gathering those giant maple leaves that became my sewn garland.  I love that in Seattle we enjoy the colorful leaves of deciduous trees but also have the contrast of deep greens of the evergreens like in the park photo above.

Our Seattle beaches are pretty rocky and I miss the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean or Tahiti or Hawaii.  BUT, I've become quite addicted to rock gathering at our wonderful beaches - I have piles of rocks showing up on my window sills, table tops, in vases and wrapped in yarn... There's a lot of beauty in a rocky beach! :) (just hard to walk barefoot across the beach!)

As we here in the west are enjoying our fairly mild fall/early winter weather, my mind is continually wandering to those of you on the east coast and the mess of weather and nastiness that you're dealing with.  I can only hope that you all get through the mess without undue hardship.