Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Inner Santa Claus

I love and believe in Santa Claus. There I've said it. This time of year, I live for glimpses of Santa Claus. This doesn't include- Santa Con. I'm sorry folks, but a mobs of out of control drunks in Santa suits sort strips the joy out of the idea of Santa. With the this exception, I love the unexpected Santa sighting. He's joy, positive energy, love and creativity rolled into on wonderful package. What's not to love or believe in? I get giddy everytime I see Santa.

When the call came out this year, from Animal Aid, where I volunteer, for a Santa Suit, I said I'll make a suit. Being a costume designer, I've had my fair share of opportunities over the years to make Santa a new suit. This year's Santa suit was for a fund raiser photo shoot. People will be bringing their dogs and cats to a local pet store to have their photo taken with Santa. Santa and pets. How wonderful. The idea of that makes me smile. That made creating the suit extra special. I also like the idea that I've contributed to a Santa sighting, and the organization will now have a Santa suit for years to come.

The suit turned out great. I had this wonderful deep red velveteen and long soft white fur. I even made the black pleather boot tops and of course the big wide belt. I don't have a photo, cause well, I didn't have a Santa to model it, and I had to deliver the suit. (Broadside said he didn't feel right putting on a Santa suit. I don't know why? Maybe it was the idea of having a photo of himself dressed as Santa posted on the Internet was too strange for him).

I think Santa Claus is one of my “banner carriers” for this campaign. He certainly role models the spreading for good feelings and creativity. This can be easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of this time of year. Sometimes trying to please everyone and do it all, I lose sight of the joy of simplicity, and simply creating. I think when we simply,  authentically and joyfully give out to the world our creative gifts, skills and talents, there is true power and magic.  We give of ourselves. The best part is, I don't have to go to the mall (I'm not a mall fan-sorry retailers).  No stress.  No fuss No muss.  All magic, love and joy.

I think, we are all Santa Clauses. Or at very least have a Santa inside us wanting to get out to spread joy and creativity. So, how will you spread joy and creativity not just this month, but everyday of the year?  Wouldn't it be great to have a Santa sighting throughout the year?
See, I think we can all do that. Magic!
I also love the story around Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus, and the wise newspaper editor's response.
This year the second paragraph struck me...

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exists, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGNIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished....”
Or as Natalie Wood's character from Miracle on 34th Steet said..."I believe.  I believe.  I believe...It may be silly but I believe."
Ho! Ho! Ho! Ya' all!
Until next week create to feel great.    

7 projects complete 45 to go. 1 Santa sighting, so far.
Craft Bazzar update-
Kim and I did okay, considering that the organizer of the bazzar didn't promote or advertise the event.  We didn't sell out of inventory, but we sold some of our items, and got orders on Monday and Tuesday for some of our items.  So, it was fun and a start of something good.   Kim and I will be sharing another table at the St. David's Last Chance Bazzar on December 19th from 1o am to 3pm.  St. David's is located at SE 28th and Harrison.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Big Fat Holiday Craft Fair

I think November might be about being over the top.  A feast. A harvest.  It goes beyond Thanksgiving which is the celebration of the harvest, but really it can be an over the top dinner.  A celebration of abundance.  I have several friends who are doing over the top activties in abundance this month.  One friend is writing her first novel in a month.  Another is running her first marathon.  These are just a couple of examples. These people are buzzing with energy and full of life.  They are doing things they never thought they would be doing, and it's amped up.  It's exciting to talk to them.  This week I found myself on this on amped up, out the comfort zone band wagon right along with them.

It started simply enough by seeing a posting for a Holiday Craft Fair.  It was easy to sign up.  All the sponsors wanted is a small fee for the table and I would get to keep the profits. I make lots of things that I've often wanted to try to sell at a fair.  Well, taking a cue from my amped up friends, it was time to step out of my comfort zone and do a craft fair.  Once I signed up for the fair, I thought, "I have to get some inventory going."  I had ten days.  Piece of cake.  With focus, I could do this.

At first, I had trouble deciding what to make. I has at least ten ideas of what I could make to sell.  I wanted to make them all.  Then I thought about it.  I didn't want  my table looking like Granny cleaning out her craft closet.  I wanted to sell something unique and fun.  Besides I only had ten days to my inventory up to a level that would make the fair worth my time.  Focus. Focus. Focus.  I decided to create two of my favorite items.  These cool Pyramid Evening bags and  Hand knitted Cyclist Earmuffs.  I merrily went on my way to create these items.  I wanted to use materials I had in my huge stash of stuff.  I knew that I was going to be sewing and knitting like mad for the next ten days.
I soon discovered that there is more than just inventory to selling at a craft fair.  I needed display, signs, cards, lunch, cash, etc.  Whew!  I also found myself caught up in the "What if no one likes my stuff?  What if I'm not making the colors people like?  What if I don't sell my stuff?  Selling my stuff is scary."  Those thoughts pulled me to a complete stop.  I lost valuable time and caused myself stress with all the fortune telling and trying to predict the future.  Man, that's the quickiest way to lose the creative spark.  I finally imagine that I was making these items to give away.  To people I care about, people I love.  Sure they would be giving me money for these items, that didn't matter. Focus on the love of creating and the joy of setting these items out into the world.  It got me going again.  Soon I was thinking and seeing people coming to the table and purchasing everything. 

The bags are easy to make.  And I enjoy dressing them up.  So, I went overboard. (well, it's my harvest and it is Thanksgiving time.)  I have over 25 Pyramid Bags and 8 pairs of earmuffs to sell on Saturday.  I have an abundance of items.  I have an abandance of creativity and ideas. 
This was a complete creative project for me. It's more than just the items, it's an event.  I'm stoked. I'm energized, and I'm full of life.
If you are interested in seeing or purchasing my bags or ear muffs, I'll be at the Reedway Friends Church at SE 28th and Steele from 10 am to 5 pm.  I'll be there with my friend Kim, who is selling wonderful jewelry (they go great with the Pyramid Bags).  I guess I could say the Campaign is going on the road.  I'm takin' it to the streets (or The Reedway Friends Church).
Hand knitted Cyclist Earmuffs.

 Until next week...           Create to feel great.          6 projects completed 46 to go

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Cards- Just a Swirl In My World

I had no idea how easy making marble paper would be when I saw the directions in an old craft magazine. A baking pan of water, some oil base paints (I used the model airplane paint, the kind sold in those little bottles), a bit of white paper and some newspaper to protect my work. This project was so simple to do, the results were delightful, and as I worked I had some insights. I kept thinking if anyone wanted a project to bust a creative block, address a fear, free up their creative spirit, or totally let go of the idea of control...this is the ticket! It is very fool proof and fast.

Dropping the paint into the water and taking a toothpick to swirl the paint, I'd think this is awesome, I'd put the paper down on it, careful not to submerge the paper under the water, and pulling it up to reveal the finished product, it was nothing like I thought it would be. It was better. I had no control over this outcome. It was freeing. I had trouble stopping.    

With all this great paper, I made note cards. Or as I wanted to call them, Thankful cards.

I couldn't think of a better way to start November and Thanksgiving than to send cards that I've made with notes to the people in my life who I am so thankful for their contribution to my life.

I've been lucky to have a number of people in my life, who care about me and want the best for me. I think I do a pretty good job of expressing my appreciation. Yet I wanted these folks to have something that I had created and a written expression of thankfulness. I was going to wait until Thanksgiving week, then I remembered something my friend Nan would say, “Don't put off telling people how much you love, appreciate them and what they have added to your life.” She's right, again.

I felt so close to each person I wrote a card for. A couple of these people I haven't seen in years.

It is my hope the card will bring a smile to their face, and they too will feel closer to me as well.

From the simplest thing came a great deal of joy. My suggestion...don't put off creating and certainly don't put off telling the people in your life the impact they have had on you.

Until next week...create to feel great!

5 projects complete 47 weeks to go

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Puttin' On The Creative Ritz

I like an apron. Looking around me, I think I'm not alone here. I see aprons for sale everywhere. The sewing pattern books have numerous offerings and styles. I see lots and lots of cool vintage aprons trimmed with lots and lots of rick rack. I think there might be something behind all these aprons. A bigger reason besides someone's strong desire to either use all the rick rack trim in the world or to have a wonderful excuse to wear all the rick rack trim in the world. I hope it's the latter.

Here's my thoughts on my love of aprons, and what I think might be behind all these wonderful aprons appearing everywhere. Besides the apron's ability to protect my clothes when I'm doing messy, sloppy projects, an apron helps me prepare to be creative. The action of putting on an apron, for me instantly sends a message to my mind and creative source, that it's time to be creative. It's part of the preparation. I put that apron on with the one thought, “Let's get creative!”

Even if I'm not doing something messy, I'll put on an apron. (I'm wearing an apron, as I write this.) Being in the creative process can be messy and sloppy.

Another thing an apron does for me, is it sends out a message to the folks around me that I'm doing something creative. Care to join me? (or please don't bother me.)
I really don't think this is too odd. Most professionals have something they put on that sends a signal out that they are doing their work.  Why would it be different for when we are engaged with our creativity?
Perhaps this comes from my years of  creating costumes and watching actors prepare.  As an actor puts on their costume, they are not only putting on their characters "skin", but the actor is also preparing to engage their creativity.  It's transforming on many levels.

Let me ask you this...What do you put on as you begin to engage with your creativity? It doesn't have to be an apron. It could be a hat, a smock, a pair of shoes, a garland, anything that would shift your energy and send a message to the rest of your self that you about to embark on a creative adventure.

If you haven't tried this, give it a try. If you feel you are stumped, lacking inspiration,blocked, missing your muse or any number of the things that get in our way to our creativity, try putting on something with the intention that you want to shift your energy. You want to get with your creative flow and expression.

Lastly, I love aprons because they are very easy to make, I can use fabulous and wonderfully wild fabrics, and of course rick rack! Even if you don't sew, you can still glue rick rack onto a purchased apron. Really an apron can never have too much rick rack. They are like little colorful jagged smiles.

Until next week...Create to feel great!
(4 projects complete.  48 to go.)