Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Joy In Sharing

I am sure that most bloggers, artists, musicians and craftsman have a common bond that is the joy received when sharing. For some, it may be very difficult to share their creations as they fear criticism. For others, the delight and enthusiasm outweighs the doubt and we are treated to their gifts quite easily as they paint, sing, write or dance with abandon. Most often, I am somewhere in the middle, usually listening to that self-criticizing voice in my head for a short time and then I will take the leap into the unknown. This a cycle of creating that I cover with a mantra of  "you can't please everybody" or "not everyone will get what you are trying to express". From there I share either by blogging, selling, gifting or displaying and move on to the next creative endeavor. I have to give myself pep talks, repeat my mantra and slap my hand for wanting to just add one more little something or word edit. Do you see yourself in any of these scenarios? My only advice is that if you are afraid, don't be. Creative junkies like myself are out there just waiting to soak it up like a sponge! 

Share and the joy you receive outweighs the fear!

So today, I delight in sharing with you what's been on my work desk!

First, I have the parts of a book that I am altering for an art swap. I found this awesome book in pieces ( I don't think I could tear apart a perfectly good book) and went to town creating drawers and embellishments that would evoke a romantic theme as required by the swap guidelines. We are given complete artistic interpretation and that made this a joy to work on.

Great cover, eh?

Jewelry boxes used as drawers, and a cereal box to build their frame.

Chipboard covered with decorative paper, faux pages added and awaiting embellishments.

Vintage leather gloves, a secret key and  a pearl necklace are highlighted by metal corners and clockface knobs. 

I love working on projects that have surprises waiting for the recipent and I made a paper flower with a crystal stickpin to hide in the drawer.

A long forgotten corsage and pin hidden in the drawer.

My endless hours creating, stalling and self-criticism gave way to sharing. It brings me joy! May it somehow make your day brighter or stir up some creativity of your own!


“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”

― William W. Purkey

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Cold and grey winter days are my favorite times to snuggle in with a good book. 

The Oxford Book of English Love Stories

My mother gifted me with several interesting books for Christmas and I'm currently reading "English Love Stories" edited by John Sutherland. It contains a collection of short stories by such favorites as Mary Shelley, Rudyard Kipling, and Graham Greene. My intention is to get my mind frame around the romance of era's gone by, in order to create a mood or evoke that era for an art project. 

I am participating in an altered book swap with a "Romantic Era" theme for the Yahoo Group 'Art For The Creative Mind', affectionately known as AFTCM. The group has about 75 or so men and women from all over the world (mostly Canada and the US) that chat through an online forum and participate in mixed media art swaps. These swaps vary from the exchange of small artist trading cards, to embellished fabrics, to altered objects and all kinds of paper crafts. The support and encouragement is the binding for AFTCM as we are all at different levels of experience on our creative art journeys. I've only been a member for a short while and can't remember how I even found this group, but it has been the highlight of my days. It has taken me a good solid year of retirement to erase the emotional ties, the stress of deadlines and alarm clocks, and the all encompassing drive to remain employed in a sea of crazies that my work brought to my life. I only say that because I was a government employee for most of my career and it was nuts! But that's another story...  AFTCM has given me a place to meet people from all walks of life with incredible talent and ideas and a reason to be up to my elbows in glue, ink, paper scraps and ephemera. This is my idea of heaven. 

I'd like to show you what I am working on:

Book cover for my altered book, a work in progress.

The first stages of the drawers featuring a jewelry box and some chipboard from a cereal box.
 All of the pages have been removed.

Lace scraps sewn and gathered while watching "Downton Abbey"

You have got to love the costumes, the drama and the gorgeous set designs on Downton Abbey! Add to that a real-life castle and you've got the makings of a great program.

Highclere Castle
 Highclere Castle in England

So, I will leave you with a view of my desktop as I continue to work on my altered book project and read and dream about the romance of the days of old.