Friday, December 28, 2012

Bordering on Romance Blender Pen & Crayons Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  It's Nice To Know You Can Steer In The Midst Of Overwhelm :)
I was contemplated the word "overwhelm" today.  Okay, I was doing more than contemplating it...I was feeling it!  As the year begins to wind down, I look around and still see my piles and stacks and unfinished projects...and projects yet to be started.  And well, yes, I can easily feel overwhelmed.  But as I contemplated the word, I realized that it contains hope!  After all, the word "overwhelm" ends with the word "helm!"  As a noun, helm means the equipment for steering a boat.  As a verb it means "to steer."  I can helm my life!!!!  I am at the helm no matter what is staring at me or coming at me!  It is up to me to steer in the direction I want to head.  In the midst of feeling overwhelmed I can choose where I want my life to head - in which direction I choose to steer.  I'm heading toward more peaceful waters :)
Today's card was an exploration with Watercolor Wonder crayons :)  I stamped the image from Bordering on Romance using Staz-On on Whisper White card stock.  I then colored with the Brights collection of Watercolor Wonders crayons and blended using my blender pen.  I would allow one layer of color to dry before adding more.  Once the whole piece was dry, I added a dash of dazzling diamonds glitter with a 2-way glue pen.  The sentiment is from Apothecary Art - stamped in Old Olive and then punched out with the large oval punch.  I then layered it onto the modern label punch piece and a decorative label punched piece.  The Old Olive background was put through the Big Shot with the Elegant Bouquet embossing folder and then all the pieces were adhered to a Rich Razzleberry card base.  I hope you like it and I hope you have a peaceful and creative weekend!!!!!  Remember, you are at the helm!!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Orchard Harvest Fabric Inspiration Journal

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Learn By Experimenting
I have always enjoyed watching Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesdays videos.  I love to watch how she goes about creating and experimenting - she just tries something out and sees what happens!  I have also always admired the books that she does her creating in and I discovered that she makes them herself!  You can purchase them on her website and she also has a tutorial you can purchase for how to make them yourself.  I am not confident in my sewing skills, but decided I would purchase the tutorial and try creating one with the Orchard Harvest fabric.  So, here it first self-made Inspiration Journal :)  I am quite proud of all of its imperfection :)  The instructions left me with a few questions so I did a bit of experimenting.  I have already created a second journal (which I will share later) where I decided to alter a few things - the measurements, the hole size for the inside pages - and I really like how it turned out).  Learning is a process of experimentation - the ability to dive in and tell yourself that it is absolutely fine however it turns out - you are, after all, a student :)  Michael has a quote by Shunryu Suzuki hanging above his desk about Zen practice that I always love to read - it says: In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few.  Allowing yourself to always be a beginner enables you to approach learning through experimentation.
Here is what the inside of the book looks like:
And here is what my learning and experimenting led me to do on the first pages of the book :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Out On A Whim Wednesday: Christmas Tree Wine Bottle

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  I Need A New Productivity Equation
Why do I feel the need to measure my productivity every day?  And how the heck do you measure "productivity" when you are a "creative?"  When I do other types of work it can be easy to see what I have accomplished.  If you cook a meal - you can see and eat the finished meal and you have that sense of accomplishment.  When you check things off your "to-do" list; you can breathe a little easier - paid bills - check!  Did blog post - check!  Wrote out thank you card - check!  The more risk-taking I do in the craft room though, the harder it becomes to just check things off a list.  Some of my projects are in progress for a long time.  Some I decide not to finish or just set aside.  Some take a lot longer than one would guess.  So I can walk out of the craft room feeling very satisfied from a creative perspective and then my logical mind (or maybe it's better described as my inner critic) shows up and says something like, "so, what did you really DO today????"  And I feel a bit let down - and begin asking myself, "What did you really accomplish today Michelle?!"  I definitely need a new productivity measure for tracking my success so that I can confidently respond to that logical side and say something like "I took three risks today!" or "I tried a new technique today" or "I engaged the creative gifts that I have been given."  Any of these measures would make each and every day in the craft room equate to an incredibly productive experience!!!!!!!  Yes, I don't need to change my practice - I just need to change how I measure it!
We have friends who invite us to dinner on a pretty frequent basis and our job is to bring a bottle of wine and the salad.  We also get to bring Buddy since they have a dog who is one of Buddy's best friends :)  I have gotten into the habit of decorating the wine bottles we bring and this last one was no exception :)  For this week's Out On A Whim Wednesday I began with bright green felt.  I had two large rectangles of the felt and I just sewed two diagonal lines down the felt to make a tree shape and then trimmed off the excess felt.  You could just cut the felt down and glue the pieces together.  I then die cut a star from sparkly white felt and glued it to the tree top.  Next came the addition of pom-poms and rhinestones - so simple to add with hot glue or a quick dry glue.  Finally, I stamped a piece of ribbon using Staz-On and adhered it with glue.  So simple!  I hope you like it!  (You could also attach an elastic strap to the bottom and then it could turn into a Christmas tree hat :)  Have a beautiful day!!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays To You!!!!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Enjoy the holiday, the day off, or just the day :)
For those of you celebrating the Christmas holiday, I wish you a very merry Christmas!  For those of you not celebrating Christmas, I wish you a beautiful day :)  Wherever you are, whatever you celebrate, I hope that this week is filled with love, laughter, happiness, health and peace...and, of course, a dose of creativity :)  I am going to take a few days off to enjoy the quiet that seems to take over the streets during this time of year here in Denver.  We might actually get some snow this evening too!  This squirrel definitely has the right idea (and kind of looks like me after I eat too big of a meal and can't move!)!!!!  I'll be back later this week with more crazy crafting....I've been a busy girl in the craft room (and will confess yet again that my piles and stacks have actually gotten larger v. smaller!  Yes, I know...inch by inch....I can do it!!!!!).  Have a beautiful day!!!!!!