Saturday, December 25, 2010


I usually don't have any trouble keeping myself more than creatively busy from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  There a million and one things I want to create. A million and one things I want to do.  It surprised Broadside when one Saturday morning, a couple of weeks ago, I announced I was going to take a painting class that afternoon.  He carefully asked. "Aren't you already creating a ton of stuff?  Why do you need a class?"  The class was painting a pop art pet portrait.  Mickeygirl and Gus on canvas, done by my own hand.  How much fun could that be?  I think Broadside was afraid I was going to start down another creative road and it would soon become an obsession for me.  He's right.  The class was one of the best and most fun I have taken in a long time!  I didn't know painting a portrait would be so fun.   I reluctantly do water color renderings for theater costume projects.  I'm not fast at it or confident and the the drawings always look strange to me.  Stiff.  I don't think of doing renderings as fun.  They are a task.  Allbeit, a creative one.

The Pop Art Portrait
 This process of taking a photo and using a grid method to transfer the photo on to a canvas was amazing!  It was joyful to me seeing Mickeygirl and Gus "come to life" for me.  Applying the paint was relaxing and fun.  I think the best part was using observational tools and being so in the moment as I worked.   Taking things one inch by one inch.  The zooming in and out.
As adults, I think we always feel like our play needs to produce a result.  At least I feel that way most times.
Play is just the result in itself.  Play is play.  If we have something to show the world fine and great.  If not, oh well.  Ask any kid playing. "What is your result of all your playing ?"   I'll bet you they will look at you cockeyed and puzzled.  Yes, I got a painting out of my playing.  Is it art gallery quality?  No.  But I like it.  And I had fun.  I went to the class to learn something new and to play.  I did just that.  I think kids playing are also, on some level, learning about themselves, their At very least they are connected to the moment and I hope, having fun!
I will be painting more.  I already purchased the canvas boards and I'm hoping Santa slips a small set of acrylic paints and some good brushes in my stocking.  I want to perfect the techinque and have much more fun.  I'm even thinking that doing costume renderings might start to be more fun and less of a task.  All from a bit of play.

When was the last time you had playtime?  Is it time for play?
Until next week...create to feel great.
10 projects complete.  42 to go!

The Original Photo
 P.S. Best wishes for a joyous, play filled, fun filled, love filled Holiday!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

There Must Have Been Some Magic

"To make all life more poetical, more sane,more living, loving, to experience the true of all things...
This moment...This moment...This moment." ~ William Segal 
Many people in my life know I love hats.  I love wearing them. I especially love teaching others how to make hats and I love making them to give to others.  My dear friend, whose daughter is getting married this week, asked me if I had a top hat they could borrow to add some fun to the wedding photos.  As much as I love hats, I don't keep the costume hats I make. I just couldn't say no to the prospect of making a lovely top hat.  I had the perfect fabric, lining, hat band.  As I was making this hat I had no idea of the joy and delight it would bring to the bride's face when I presented it to her.   She gasped with excitement as she exclaimed. "This is perfect! He's going to soooooo love this hat!  He's going to look sooooo handsome wearing it!  It's better than what he wanted!"  Then she hugged and thanked me a million times for this hat. 
Making hats are easy. (I am serious here.  Making a hat is easy. No, not just for me.)  I think they are like the ultimate zen process.  Much of a good hat is hand stitched.  A lot of tiny, delicate stitches and big stabbing stitches.  What makes creating a hat difficult is the when I don't focus.  Again, when my mind wanders into worry or other things I should be doing.  Stepping out of the moment.  With this hat I wanted it to be full of love.  The only way that happens for me is when I'm in the moment as I create.  I had my doubts that the groom would even want this hat.  I questioned why I was doing all this work?  Afterall, I have a ton of Holiday gifts and crafts to make as well.  This hat was taking me away from it.  All these thoughts stepped me out of the moment.  Out of creating what was to become "the perfect hat!"  The hat the groom would love so much.
I did my best to keep those useless thoughts at bay as I worked.  I'm glad I did.  The bride's joy confirmed for me I made the correct choices.
As I was saying goodbye and I'll see you at the wedding to the bride and her mother, the bride hugged me again and told me how much she loved me.  How important I am to her and not just for top hats and shawls, but because I give so freely of myself and my talents.  I hugged her tighter.
Her mom, hugged me and looked me straight in the eyes and said. "Thank you for bringing the magic.  You always bring magic." I know I do that, but lately I had forgotten that.  My friend reminded me that I do bring the magic.  For me, there is not a better more positive feeling in the world.
Here's what I mean by's not being afraid to show up with our tool bag of all our talents and who we really are at our core being.  Putting those talents, whatever they are, to use for the greater show of love. Not holding back on our talents or parts of ourselves.  Putting everything out there, without reservations or doubts, whatever those might be. (There are million of those nasty doubt-y  things)  In my mind when I act out of love, I'm more connected to the magic that there is in everyday moments.  I love bringing the magic. For me, it seems like a simple thing to do, as it really is.  I love my friend for reminding me of that fact and actually encouraging me.
As I look at this top hat I'm thinking of Frosty The Snowman.  The line- "There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found. For when they placed it on his head he began to dance around." Some one brought the magic there and it brought life to old Frosty The Snowman.

How do you bring the magic into your life? (Remember, it really is an easy thing to do and we all have that power in us to bring the magic. Magicians make magic look easy-'cause it really is.)
Is there someone in your life that you could encourage to bring the magic?
Until next week create to feel great!
9 projects complete!  43 to go!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Me And My Big Creative Mouth

Sometimes being the most creative person the people in my life know can cause a problem.  I don't think so much for them, but for me.  I'm also a girl who can't say no, when it comes to almost any creative project. Add to the fact that it's the holiday season and my creativity wants to amp itself up even higher. Imagine a race horse wanting to get out of the gate and run.  That's me and my creativity during the holidays.  It doesn't exhaust me, but it does some times leaves me feeling or asking. "Hey, what about me?"  When do I create for me? Please don't take me wrong here, I love love love creating and using my creativity for the benefit of others.  There are just times when I go way way overboard.  My creativity is always ready to run.  It's up to me to harness it for my good.  As I'm progressing along with this Campaign and I'm observing myself in this process, I'm learning.
I'm learning about it's okay to set boundaries.  It's okay if I pass on a creative project.  There will be more and more coming down the pike at any given moment.  My creativity will not dry up and go away.  I will, however find myself not being healthy or happy if I'm worn down to a thread in pursuit of every project.
Which brings me to this week's project.  A good friend of mine has a daughter who is getting married this month. (Crazy kid! What the what is she thinking?!)   Since I am one of the most creative people my friend knows, she has asked me to help add some creative touches to the wedding. It's important to note that my friend is wildly creative herself and very very good at asking for help and delegating- I'm watching and learning from this teacher.
Instead of agreeing to everyone of my friend's ideas and projects, I carefully weight what is possible for me to handle.  I still agreed to several things, because I wanted to and I thought it would just to the special day.
One of the things I agreed to was a shawl.  At first I had visions of knitting this wonderful white lace shawl. Light airy and warm.  Trouble here is I knit, yes.  I knit socks, not lace work.  I made a stab at knitting lace work and quickly grew frustrated.  Not only did I not have time to knit a lace shawl, I didn't want to spend my November/December in frustration. This was not the time to learn how to knit lace work.   So to plan B.  Beaded lace appliques on a light wool pashmina shawl.  Tadah!  Project of the week!  I think it's perfect.  If the bride doesn't like the bead work, they can be easily removed.  I don't mind.  I also had time to create shawls for the 3 brides maids.     
Another example of where my creativity got me into to something I was over my head in and came to my rescue with another creative idea. Again, I feel it's all about being open to the creative flow  As for knitted lace work, I'll attempt it another time.
Are there times when you get in over your head, even just a bit, and you've used your creativity to assist you to not feel so buried?
Until next week...create to feel great!
8 projects complete 44 to go!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Coming Together-Holiday Style

For the last two weeks, I've created projects that I had in mind to be a part of a larger one for this week.
I have to confess, that is about as much project planning I have ever done for this blog.  That is not to say that I don't plan.  I actually plan a lot in my life, almost to the point of driving Broadside a little crazy. (He's from the Cool Hand Luke School of "I've never made a plan in my life" mind set).  The planning for this project made me happy.  It wasn't the fact that I was making things and gathering up creative stuff.  Some of it was the fact that it is a holiday project.  The largest part was the fact that I had arranged to take all my gathered up crafting items over to my good friend Marilee's house and craft with her.  As I packed my large carry bag with goodies, it felt like I was preparing for a crafting adventure.  I really was.
Marilee has been my friend for over 17 years.  We use to work together.  We've taken great vacations together.  We've experienced life's ups and downs together.  It's great to have a friend like her, close by.  In past years, we've created some fun projects together.  As I drove over to her house, I kept thinking that it has been way too long since I've crafted with her or anyone for that matter.
Crafting with others, is a truly rewarding experience for me.  It amps up my already high creative energy.  It always feels like a celebration of life to me.  Certainly, this time it felt like a celebration of friends.  The afternoon was long and relaxed.  The creativity was flowing off the charts.  We laughed, talked and shared stories. We painted, glued and glittered.  I'd have to say, that for me, it was a perfect day. 
Together we created these decorated boxes.  We got inspired by a box she gave me for my birthday.  It celebrated Fall.  Ours celebrate the Christmas season.   I'm not so sure what I'm going to do with all these boxes.  I know I'll find homes for them. (Warning to all my other friends).  All the stars and paper I made I only used one of each, that's okay, they will get used for another project another time.
The round box lower right...uses the paper and
paper stars I made for the last two projects.
If I had one wish for everyone this holiday season, it would be for everyone to spend some time crafting, baking or getting together with a people they love  to create something.  It makes for a joyous celebration anytime of year.

Until next week...create to feel great!
7 projects complete.  45 to go!